Tuesday, April 7, 2009

You CAN Go Home Again

I know I've shared with you before that going to visit my family is always a big "eating danger zone" for me. All the old factors are there -- the emotional side of family dinners, huge portion sizes, different kinds of food -- but I'm happy to report that this was a very successful visit, eating-wise! I've shared with my family what I'm trying to do with the nutritionist, and they all got very into the idea.

I stayed with my brother for 2 days, and he really made the effort to try and pick good eating-out places (sushi, a cute locally-sourced cafe for brunch) and even cooked me a meal. He was very eager to show off his kitchen skillz (he's been cooking a lot longer than me) and made marinated tilapia filets with his own seasoned couscous with peas. Plus he showed me how he makes plain oatmeal with sugar-free maple syrup to give it some flavor. He also bought me special snacks and we were good all weekend.

Then it was 2 days with Mom and Dad. They also bought some special snacks just for me, and had good breakfast items. Sunday night dinner was tricky, as Dad made a big lamb roast, but we'd talked about the menu beforehand and he traded out his original plan of homemade mac & cheese for his saffron rice with peas & tomatoes (yum). Plus he did 2 different sides of cooked veggies - the usual carrots, celery, and potatoes in with the roast (I skipped the potatoes) and roasted mushrooms and artichoke hearts. I skipped bread, and tried to have sensible portion sizes of the lamb and all the sides. It was delish!

We ate out twice in Bloomington, and both times were ripe with potential temptations.... first up, my promised birthday dinner for Dad (a month late) at his choice of restaurants. He chose a steak place, well-known for huge portions of meat. I perused the menu beforehand and made my choice, knowing it was a treat. I got a 7 oz petit filet (instead of the 10 oz or any of the monster-sized steaks), allowing myself a steak since I never cook that at home. I make chicken, and pork chops, and fish, so the steak was a real treat. It came with a baked potato, which I had with some sour cream, a nice side salad which I ate completely with vinaigrette and a little crumbly bleu (treat!), and one roll with a little butter. I was hungry enough I could've eaten more, but I didn't fill up on bread and instead really enjoyed my dinner.

Then, today, Mom and I visited my favorite place in B'ton, an Afghan restaurant. I had my heart set on my favorite dish, another lamb dish, and I was a little annoyed when I was peer-pressured into having the lunch buffet. (Yes, I was tired, and didn't mean to be a snit but sometimes it just happens. Sorry Mom.) I love that lamb dish and had planned for what was in it -- the buffet was good, absolutely, but it was totally different stuff for me to think about what I was eating. I did fill my plate, with mostly veggie dishes, some brown rice with carrots & raisins, 3 little beef meatballs, and a small piece of chicken. But -- I skipped the bread and the hummus, and I skipped the "included" baklava-style dessert.

So -- even though I was worried about this trip being bad for my overall dieting efforts, I think I did fairly well and still indulged a little since it was a vacation after all. :-)

I stepped on Mom and Dad's scale this morning and really liked what I saw... I'm going to wait to see what my own scale says tomorrow just to see if they're calibrated differently, but it seems like week 2 of this plan is working.


Laura P said...

Way to go Stef! It's hard to be somewhere else out of your normal routine but it looks like you handled it with style!

Can't wait to see how it works out...


DC Food Blog said...

Good job stef! That's been one of the biggest challenges and one of the biggest triumphs of this whole healthy living process. How do you not feel singled out in what you are doing? I agree that one key thing is that whatever "healthy" option you make is there for everyone and not your own sad little portion. For Thanksgiving I made espresso panna cotta (with Splenda for me and with sugar for everyone else) for one dessert. As for the Thanksgiving sides, there was cauliflower puree and balsamic roasted carrots for everyone. My mom made some key modifications to her stuffing to double the amount of carrots, mushrooms, and celery she put in and halved the stuffing mix. Like everything in life, the key is preparation. Way to go!