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5 Ways to Diet-Proof Your Social Life

5 Ways to Diet-Proof Your Social Life

Let’s face it, dieting tends to get in the way of truly enjoying all food. Show of (digital) hands: how many times have you said “no” to the homemade birthday cake at one of your friend’s birthday parties? When dining out, have you had to turn down a bite of food because it didn’t “fit” into your diet?

Feeling constrained by your diet is not fun for anyone, but don’t fear, we’ve got you covered! From brunch to the mid-day coffee break to late-night snacks, having your diet get in the way can be restrictive and limiting. And nobody has got time for that. Read on for solutions and strategies to diet-proof common social events.

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rye sandwiches and mashed avocado, eggs, tomatoes and cucumbers. tinting. selective focus

    Brunch

    Literally my favorite meal, since it incorporates some of breakfast’s best with lunch’s finest. When brunching, try to select options that are high in protein (think eggs, lean meat) and whole grains (whole wheat breads, oats) and don’t be afraid to add in some healthy fats (hello, avocado!). My current obsession is avocado smashed and spread on toasted whole wheat bread and topped with sunny side up eggs. If I’m feeling extra adventurous, I douse the whole thing with hot sauce.

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    Coffee

      Mid-day coffee break

      You are not alone if you often feel the need for a mid-afternoon pick-me-up. I prefer my coffee black, but when I branch out of my comfort zone, I favor a fancy flavored coffee sweetened with lower-calorie options and fewer pumps of syrup. When I don’t feel like having something sweet, I just add milk (regular, coconut, or soy) to my coffee. It’s a nice way to make coffee feel like a treat while adding some healthy fats and protein.

      Happy Hour

        Happy hour

        To avoid a dreaded demise from happy hour to “hangry hour,” make sure you don’t show up to happy hour starved. Popping a handful of nuts before you head out the door will keep your stomach from grumbling. Once there, gravitate towards options that are fruit and veggie heavy. Enjoying a cheese platter or dips with some veggies is a great way to incorporate some more healthy choices.

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        Ice Cream

          Sweet treats

          Sweets and socializing go hand in hand and you don’t have to give them up to be healthy. Here, it’s important to keep portions in check. Split dessert with a friend or ask for a child-sized portion (many ice cream places offer this). It all boils down to calorie balance. You’ll not only be able to shave off some calories, but will save some money as well!

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          Wholewheat wholemeal pizza with tomatoes, cheese and herbs

            Late-night snacks

            Pizza, nachos, and anything fried—some of food’s greatest gifts. I would be crazy to advocate eating these foods all the time, but these foods, when indulged in moderation, can have a place in an overall healthy diet. It’s more about how they’re prepared than the foods themselves. Here are a few tips on how to “healthify” these tasty treats.

            • Order your pizza with whole wheat crust—this is becoming a more frequent option, and I have even seen these options in my local grocery stores, so take advantage of it!
            • On your next order of nachos, why not add veggies?
            • In the mood for fries? Sweet potato fries are a nice alternative to regular.

            So there you have it: five different social events and more than five different ways to liberate you from restrictive diets. Try one or two at your next outing and see how they go.

            Small changes can really add up to something significant, especially over time. Hopefully, you will be freed from dieting constraints while feeling empowered to make more healthful food decisions in these exciting, yet sometimes over-indulgent, social situations!

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            Last Updated on January 21, 2020

            The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

            The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

            Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

            your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

              Why You Need a Vision

              Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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              How to Create Your Life Vision

              Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

              What Do You Want?

              The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

              It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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              Some tips to guide you:

              • Remember to ask why you want certain things
              • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
              • Give yourself permission to dream.
              • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
              • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

              Some questions to start your exploration:

              • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
              • What would you like to have more of in your life?
              • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
              • What are your secret passions and dreams?
              • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
              • What do you want your relationships to be like?
              • What qualities would you like to develop?
              • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
              • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
              • What would you most like to accomplish?
              • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

              It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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              What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

              Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

              A few prompts to get you started:

              • What will you have accomplished already?
              • How will you feel about yourself?
              • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
              • What does your ideal day look like?
              • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
              • What would you be doing?
              • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
              • How are you dressed?
              • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
              • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
              • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

              It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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              Plan Backwards

              It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

              • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
              • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
              • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
              • What important actions would you have had to take?
              • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
              • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
              • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
              • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
              • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

              Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

              It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

              Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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