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One of the FIRST objections that almost everyone I know gives me when talking about going on a restricted diet like Paleo, Whole30, or AIP (or even sometimes gluten-free) is that it'll be a death sentence for their social life.

Perhaps you believe this too?

Or maybe you're already seeing the effects of your friends and family leaving you behind as they go out to dinner, to happy hour, to anything really that involves food?

It's all too common because our culture these days seems to revolve around food.

Sure, there are plenty of ways to still go out to eat while on Paleo, Whole30, or AIP, but as you get more and more restricted it gets more and more difficult and typically involves a bit more planning.

Plus the fear always creeps in of “what if I get contaminated with an ingredient that I'm working so hard to avoid?”. It's only natural to worry like this.

BUT…. never fear. There are PLENTY of ways to enjoy quality time with family and friends that do NOT involve food.

At first, this takes a shift in thinking. Get together by not going to lunch?


But as you think about it there is a world of opportunities awaiting you – the list is endless really if you just put a little creativity into it.

And sometimes these CAN involve food if you want it to, but maybe not a full-on dinner but instead going to have a tea or a smoothie with your friend after you do the activity.

Just be creative and you'll see that there is SO much to do!

To spark your imagination though, here's a list of 25 things you can do with your friends (or family) that do not involve food.

(Watch this video to get more info on each one)

Social Ideas Without Food

  1. Take a walk or hike together
  2. Play a board or card game together
  3. Go to an Escape room
  4. Go to a museum
  5. Go to a play or musical
  6. Go to a comedy show
  7. Go to the zoo or an aquarium
  8. Go skiing, snowboarding, tubing, snowshoeing, xc skiing, or ice skating
  9. Visit a botanical garden
  10. Go to an amusement park
  11. Go apple or berry picking
  12. Take a crafting or painting class together (or have a teacher come over and teach a bunch of you)
  13. Craft together (pick an idea from Pinterest and try it! You either get something cool or have a good laugh over a Pinterest fail 🙂 )
  14. Make cards for others – create and stockpile for the year with birthday, holiday, teacher, thank you, wedding, Mother's Day, Father's Day, etc cards
  15. Make a baby scrapbook for a mutual friend (or WITH that friend) . You can either do this before the baby is born and scrapbook every page and leave spots for where the pictures would go, so your friend simply has to print out pictures and paste them in (one of my FAVE baby shower gifts I ever got, btw). Or you can do it after the baby is born and help your friend paste in the pics as well
  16. Take an exercise class together
  17. Take your kids to a playground or the park and sit on a park bench and chat
  18. Go to a sports game together
  19. Volunteer together (do good AND get good social time in)
  20. Go canoeing, kayaking, boating, or even paddleboating on one of those big swan paddleboats, ha!
  21. Go geocaching (learn more and download the app from this site, but it's essentially treasure hunting that you can do so many places you go. Fun for both adults AND kids – I wrote a post about it a few years ago about how we do this with our kids)
  22. Go to the dog park (with your dog of course)
  23. Learn an instrument like guitar or ukulele together. There are plenty of online resources, like on YouTube, to learn for free, or you can get a teacher. Ukuleles are super cheap too (like $30-60 USD). (This is the one I have)
  24. Go to the arcade and get ridiculously overpriced cheap prizes
  25. Do random acts of kindness together

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