diet health advice party healthy happy hour balancing act the chalkboard

You’re a social butterfly and love to meet up with friends, but want to keep the healthy habits that are so much more easily kept when home alone.

On one hand… Life’s a party, and you’re invited! You go out to meals with friends or are invited over for dinner, drinks and the latest episode of The Voice. You realize that being social doesn’t have to include food – but let’s be honest, it usually does.

On the other hand… You don’t want to keep sacrificing your healthy habits just to participate. Maybe you’re experimenting with a new lifestyle in the new year and feeling fantastic – or maybe you practice being your healthiest, most nourished self every day. You don’t want to be the odd man out or a pain in the neck, but every time you just “go with the flow,” you end up feeling way less than stellar within hours – a “hangover” that sometimes lasts for days. It’s affecting your wellness, your waistline, and most importantly, your happiness.

The Balance: While some of us have life-threatening allergies preventing even the slightest bit of cross-contamination to be allowed, many of us simply choose to eat, drink and be merry with the help of whole, unprocessed meals tailored specifically to what makes us feel at our best. We get it: You don’t want to opt out or always be the “difficult” one in your group of gluten-loving, sugar-craving, everythingatarian friends or family. The simplest solution? Don’t be. Many times, we overestimate how much others actually have a bone to pick with our healthy eating habits. What they do care about, however, is our happiness. If you don’t make a big deal out of your dietary choices, no one else will, either.

Need some more ways to strike a balance of which your social-butterfly self will approve?

Don't arrive hungry

If you know you will partaking in happy hour with the girls and bar food is all that will be on hand, eat a light (yet satiating) dinner beforehand and stash a non-perishable meal replacement bar in your purse for after.


Staying in? Offer to contribute to the meal; something you’ll enjoy and you know your guests will love, too. Your host will be grateful for the thought – and the extra help.

Do your homework

If you’re meeting up for a bite, try to look at the menu online beforehand. Chances are, you can find at least one item that is close to what you would normally eat, and then order it prepared to your liking once you’ve got the waiter’s full attention. Practice beforehand so you can rattle off any specifications like a pro and then go right back to the latest juicy life updates around the table.

Read between the lines

If you start to panic, take a deep breath and read between the lines. In our experience, we’ve found that we can find something nourishing and fulfilling to eat almost anywhere, in almost any situation. Some sort of side vegetable offered with an entree, some kind of lean protein we notice in the add-ons, a tiny healthy appetizer, which when coupled with a side of leafy greens makes for a satisfying salad. Will it always be the most exciting thing on the menu? Maybe not. But will it keep your body feeling balanced for 24 hours and beyond? You bet. 

In the end, when it comes to enjoying one another, food is just an accessory: the experience is the grand ensemble. Ask questions, tell jokes, dive deep, laugh. You can eat your kale and seaweed tomorrow – and still be true to you today.

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