Feature Image by Jay Wennington

Dining out when you’re trying to eat clean is already hard, but when you’re on Whole30? It can seem nearly impossible, so we asked Whole30-approved coaches for their expert tips on how to survive happy hours, dinner dates, and meals out on the town.

Check out their best advice below.

BYOS (Bring Your Own Sauce)
This option might not be for everyone, but bringing your own dressings and sauces can really save you when dining out on Whole30. “I will always bring my own coconut aminos when going out to sushi,” says Morgan. If you don’t want to carry around your own dressing, Morgan suggests asking for olive oil and vinegar on the side when you’re ordering a salad.

Beware of hidden ingredients
While you might assume you’ll be safe with a salad or some type of grilled meat, it’s not always the case. “A lot of restaurants also use soy sauce and sugar in marinades, so just because you ordered the chicken breast, doesn’t mean it is free from gluten, sugar, or soy,” says Whole30 certified coach Carina Morgan. So how can you be sure your food is Whole30 compliant? Morgan suggests calling ahead. “If you know you’re going out somewhere [that doesn’t have] a specified Whole30 menu, ask questions [ahead of time]. That way, when you get there, you can ask for your modifications and feel confident about your choices and what you’re asking.”

Keep an emergency stash
Outings like happy hours and birthdays might feel like things you need to avoid when you’re on Whole30, but that is not the case. When it comes to keeping your social life active while still being Whole30 compliant, it’s all about planning. “Have emergency foods with you at all times” advises Dr. Catherine Moring, a health education specialist. Things like meat sticks, nut butters, travel packs of oils, and even olives are easy to keep on hand. It also helps to eat something before meeting your friends to ensure you aren’t ravenous and tempted to cheat when the apps hit the table.

Ask key questions
Asking your waiter a few simple questions can keep your dining experience compliant. “You always want to ask about the oils used as many restaurants use vegetable, peanut, or soybean oil. Ask for olive oil or, worst case but still compliant, canola oil,” Dr. Moring recommends. The easiest way to keep your meal compliant is “asking the server to prepare yours in olive oil with salt and pepper only” she says.

Need some healthy food inspiration? Follow these 10 Instagram accounts that make clean eating so easy.

xx, The FabFitFun Team