Navigating bar food.

So I’m adding an element to the blog.  Super relevant, yet super challenging.  It’s the part where we’re young and we like to go out with our friends – so how do we navigate the downtown bar/restaurant scene without totally wrecking our diets/lifestyles/training programs?  Here’s a little guide with a couple of tricks to help you navigate when your frands call you up.

First, don’t panic.  It’s tempting to, when you’re training, or when you follow a specific diet, alienate yourself from friends who don’t eat or drink the same way you do.  But just because you’re watching what you eat doesn’t mean you’re not allowed to spend a little quality time with friends, right?  So your friends call you up and say, “Hey, let’s go get nachos and watch sports (ew) at the bar!”

Draft 1

“Okay girl!  Let’s go!”

So second, scope out the scene.  Google the place where you’re going to go, check out the menu, and make a plan for yourself.  Don’t expect yourself to make a great nutritionally sound decision when under duress.

Draft 2

Third, skip the sodas, skip the bread basket, and skip the appetizers.  If you can manage that, you’ve already won half the battle right there!  Between those three things, you could add on enough calories for a full meal, so if you skip those, you’ll actually still be hungry when your food comes out!

Eyeball the sides.  Can you replace the chips or fries with something else?  Is there a fruit option?  An option for a side salad?  Even sweet potato fries?  Go for the one with the least grease, and stick to it!  Fries and tots are completely awesome, but trust me, your belly will thank you in the morning on your next run.

Draft 3
Veggie burger with green beans on the side! Proof that you CAN find better choices, even when you’re at the bar, among the nachos, beer, potato skins, and fries!

Do your thing!  Enjoy your meal!  And enjoy pretending that you care about sports!

Finally, finally, if you slip up and go for something that wasn’t the plan, that’s okay.  Don’t beat yourself up over the stray fry or the dessert that accidentally found its way into your mouth.  Food is meant to be enjoyed, and dang it, you’re allowed to have a good time once in a while!

So fear not next time you go out with friends, and hey, maybe your good habits will rub off on a few of them!

 

 

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