The first few weeks I struggled greatly with eating out and potlucks. Now it is almost a no-brainer. I have made choices, developed a plan of action and stick with them 99% of the time. A typical week for me -
* Sunday after church- eat lunch out at our favorite restaurant
* Monday after homeschool coop - eat lunch at a buffet type restaurant or having a picnic
* Wednesday before church - eat dinner at the church potluck
* Thursday - take DS9 out for lunch
* Friday - eat lunch with DGS21 - we either eating out or eat at his apartment
* Saturday - eat out after hiking
this required me to develop several plans of action for each type of eating -
** Favorite restaurant - Grilled meat (I like a grilled pork chop), baked potato (I eat 1/2 of it and bring 1/2 home with me), 1 T of butter on the potato, green beans, and tomato/lettuce salad. This is my go-to....already decided meal that I order when eating at a restaurant. grilled meat, baked potato, 1 T butter, low carb vegetable and a salad.
** Buffet type restaurant - I follow a similar plan - Grilled or baked meat with no breading (using the size of my palm to judge how much), 1/2 of potato or 1/2 cup of rice, 1 T butter, a large helping of raw vegetables, a large helping of cooked low carb vegetables (not fried or breaded)
** Potluck - I pack my food and eat it before the potluck starts. After we get all the food ready to serve, I step out of the church kitchen and find a quiet place or sit in my car to eat my food. Then I get a drink and join friends and family who have their plates filled and are eating their food. It is about the fellowship NOT the food. This is where the saying "Food in one hand, life in the other hand, don't clap" really helped me. In the many weeks I have been doing this, only a few people have asked why I'm not eating. I just tell them I already ate. A couple of people have asked why I eat before the potluck and I told them I don't eat sugar or flour so it is easier to just eat my food. At this point, 100% of the people have started talking about how they wish they would give up sugar and how bad it is for the body. I just listen to them talk about their wishes and smile encouragingly.
** Picnic - Easy. I have an insulated bag that is easy to carry and holds my food and drinks. I use this insulated bag several times a week. I pack food that doesn't need to be warmed up. I freeze bottles 1/2 full of liquid then I fill the rest of the bottle before packing it. These bottles of 1/2 frozen liquid keep the food cold and are my drinks for the picnic.
This probably seems too detailed and hard. But it is in the already-decided-action-plan that I am finding freedom and joy with eating out. Give me 3 minutes and I can have my next meal packed and ready to go.
Saying all this......I am wondering how well I will do next week when we are traveling 5 days back-to-back. DH and DS9 will be eating out 100% of the time. I will be out of my comfort zone and eating my food plan for 20 meals (3 meals & a snack X 5 days). I know it can be done, but I have no experience eating this way while traveling. It will be a challenge to learn, but one that I am looking forward to.
Time is precious. Waste it wisely.