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Episode 192: 6 Ways to Celebrate Life Without Junk Food

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Do you ever get stuck in the middle between your ideal body and your ideal lifestyle?

Like, you want to be lean, and toned, and feel good in your skin, but you also want to relax and enjoy having fun with friends and family -  celebrating birthdays, holidays, and heck, making it to the weekend. 

Well, this is where that all-to-common all-or-nothing thinking comes into play. We think we have to either be super strict with our food and have the body we want or we can have fun and live our lives. 

But my friends, clients, and I are living proof you can have both with a little bit of creativity and an open mind. 

How? First of all, by not being overly strict with our food in general. This leads to the mindset, "I've earned a cheat day" or "I deserve that 4th glass of wine" and at that point, that's the only way you can even imagine celebrating.

And second of all, by not using food and drinks as the only way to have fun and unwind! 

Don't get me wrong, we love a good night out trying new restaurants and sipping on cocktails at bars. But we also mix it up with a ton of other fun activities that actually help us reach our goals as opposed to hindering us. 

Here are some of my favorite ways to enjoy life without always turning to unhealthy treats.

 1. Going for a coffee walk/hike/bike ride.

Instead of always meeting for drinks, why not grab a coffee, grab a friend, and take a nice long stroll through your neighborhood?

My friends and I love using this as a way to catch up and bond while also getting a solid 2 hours of movement in. 

2. Going dancing.

If you follow me on Instagram you know this is my absolute favorite way to celebrate, de-stress, and get in a damn good mood. We'll go salsa dancing, two-stepping, or have random dance parties in the kitchen. So much more exciting than always just sitting at a table at a restaurant staring at each other. 

3. Working out to a killer playlist. 

If you're new to working out this might sound nuts, but my girl friends and I love going to workout classes together. We'll find one with a good teacher, a good vibe, and great music and let the endorphins wash over us. Often times that's followed up with a green juice or protein shake somewhere.

If this is new to you and you haven't yet fallen in love with fitness, my recommendation is to grab a friend, sign up for something like ClassPass and try a bunch of different studios until you find one that resonates with you. Then make it a weekly ritual with your buddies to go and sweat together!

4. Getting crafty with a friend.

This past week my sister Calie and I had a sister's day that started at Upstairs Circus in Deep Ellum. When you walk in there are all of these crafting tables lined up, and as you head to the back you see all of the art projects you can choose from. You can make jewelry, wallets, wall art, home knickknacks, kitchen tools, and more. 

It was such a fun, unique way to spend time together and we walked out with beautiful necklaces.

I've also seen advertisements for bouquet making classes, pottery classes, wine and paint nights - there are endless creative options to choose from!

5. Investing in a hobby.

Remember when you were in school and you always had some sort of extracurricular going on - dance classes, art classes, karate, soccer practice, musical rehearsals, piano lessons, archery. Whatever happened to those days??

Bring some of those hobbies back into your life and either bring friends or make new ones! 

Even with dating, it's so much more enjoyable going on a random adventure or learning a new skill with someone than sitting across a bar interviewing each other. 

6. Have a healthy cooking night with a friend.

So often when we have friends over for dinner we treat it like an automatic 'cheat day' (ya'll know I hate that word). We order pizza, or make some unhealthy dinner with booze and dessert, which is fine every once in a while. But why not also have nights where you intentionally make healthier fair together. 

For example, last night I met my friend Marina at Whole Foods, we picked up ingredients for this delicious Buddha Bowl with quinoa, roasted zaatar caulfilower, chickpeas, pomegranate, pistachios, vegan feta, and a tahini-lemon dressing.

We got back to her place and cooked together with our friend Laura, poured kombucha into wine glasses, and enjoyed a lovely evening talking and laughing without feel bloated and heavy and without a hangover the next day. 

The point is, eating junk food and drinking is not the only way to have fun as an adult and when we think it is, that limiting belief puts a huge damper on our health goals. 

So experiment, try new things, and for the love of God take the lead. Chances are your friends aren't going to randomly change their ways, so it's up to you to suggest different ways of connecting and turn the tide. 

Which activity are you going to try from today's post? Share it to social media and remember to tag me @follow.your.gut.nutrition


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