How to Do Your Best When Food is Beyond Your Control

In life, there are times when you’re not in control of all of the decision making around food.

When at the airport.

When you’re visiting your grandparents.

When you’re living with your parents or in a college dorm room.

These are all examples of times when not all of the food power is in your hands– when you need to rely on other people’s food decisions. Sometimes those other people don’t ascribe to the same food philosophy as you do.

Your grandparents or parents may not follow a Paleo lifestyle.

You might not be able to find all of the foods that you need slash want at your college dining hall.

Not being able to make the food choices you want to can be stressful.

What do you do when you show up to Thanksgiving dinner and there are only two dishes that don’t have grains, legumes or dairy?

So what do you do when your food choices are beyond your control?

Do Your Best

1.Don’t stress.

Stress is bad. The WORST. Stressing about eating healthy food is almost as bad for you as eating foods that make you unhealthy. Chances are that if you’re that stressed about not having your healthy foods, that you make healthy food decisions most of the time. In this case, there’s no need to worry– after being in this situation, you’ll be able to get right back to your healthy eating habits.

Sometimes these situations last for longer than one family gathering–like when you’re living with your parents or living in a dorm. In this case…

2. Don’t stress.

Like I mentioned above, stress is tres mal (very bad). Even in cases where you’ll be going an extended period of time without having complete control over the foods available, don’t stress. Try your hardest to…

3. Do your best.

Even when you can’t make your ideal choices, you can still make better choices. Try hard to make the best choices for you. This could mean:

  • Bringing a dish to a dinner party that you know you can eat– something to share with your friends and family so that they can better understand your lifestyle.
  • If you’re in a living situation where all of your food is provided, and it’s financially feasible, do some of your own shopping. Claim a small space for yourself in the fridge, or get a mini-fridge for your dorm room. Head over to your local supermarket and pick up some of your favorite healthy food staples.  Maybe even offer to make dinner.
  • Be picky…to a degree. Eat the foods that you feel will make you healthier, and leave the foods that you feel will make you less healthy.
  • Talking to your family and friends about why you choose to eat the way that you do so that you won’t encounter these situations as often.

4. Consciously indulge.

It’s totally okay to eat some of those foods that you don’t usually eat. Just make the conscious decision to eat them– being mindful is the most important thing.

5. Don’t stress.

Everything will be okay. Life is a journey full of ups and downs. Constantly moving forward. Stay in the present, try not to dwell too much on the past or worry about the future. Everything will be okay.

What tips do you have for navigating a situation when the food is beyond your control? Please share in the comments!

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