Tag Archive: dining out


Yesterday was a fantastic day!  I felt like my day at work went quickly (which is strange, I usually find that my days go slowly when I am anticipating something fun) and that I didn’t have to work hard to follow my health plan.

After work, I came home for a quick change of clothes and to pack for our night out.  When we were ready, we went to Red Lobster.  We wanted to go there because we had a beach honeymoon and we ate a lot of seafood while we were there–eating seafood helped us to celebrate our first year together the way we celebrated our marriage originally.  We also liked that most seafood is in the TSFL “leanest” category, so we could feel good about what we were eating (as long as we ordered the right things of course).

I ordered Lobster, Crab, and Seafood Stuffed Mushrooms, broccoli, and asparagus–all of which were delightful!  The only downside to my meal was that the Stuffed Mushrooms contained a high amount of sodium–1100mg!  To put that in perspective, those of us who do not need to watch our salt intake should get about 2300mg of salt each day.  Fortunately, I rarely add salt after my meal is cooked anymore, so I probably didn’t reach the limit for the day.  This is one more thing I love about Red Lobster (besides making me feel like I’m back on my honeymoon and being delicious), they are very transparent about their nutritional information and the nutrition facts for all of the dishes on their menu.  I am a big believer in transparency–it really is a must if we are to make good choices for ourselves.  For all of the seafood fans out there, they also have a lot of good looking recipes and tips for healthy cooking on their website; I look forward to trying one of their recipes at home!

I was also proud of myself because I didn’t have a single bite, nibble, or lick or their cheddar bay biscuits which have a smell and taste that used to get me every time.  We ordered a to go bag for them right away to help conceal the appeal of them while we were enjoying our meals.

Right after I was finished eating, I had a very intense hunger pang. I knew I wasn’t hungry, so until it went away I just kept drinking my water.  I hate when I finish eating a satisfying meal and then feel hungry.  Thankfully, it usually doesn’t last long, so if I wait it out I realize I don’t actually need to eat anymore.

Yesterday and today were great days for water–I easily got in all 80 ounces that I was shooting for each day this week.  This week I’m going to increase the amount of water by 8 ounces so I drink 88 ounces of water each day.

Today was a more difficult day at work, but it was a good kind of difficult–if that makes any sense!  I had a lot to do, but I would always rather be busy (the day moves faster and I get paid more when we are–both of which are always a good thing) than bored.  I did struggle to eat my meals on time, though, which makes things difficult.  Today, for example, I started one of my meals at 3:30, but didn’t actually finish it until close to 5!  Its hard to decide when to eat next when the window is so large!  It made me pay more attention to signs that I’m hungry or not hungry today since I didn’t have a definitive time to wait 3 hours from.  I also had to readjust my meal times twice today because I ate late twice.  I prefer to be in control of my meals and when I eat rather then just let them happen.

I ate my lean and green meal in two parts today.  I had the lean for breakfast (our hotel had free hot breakfast) and the green after work.  At the hotel I had a small piece of ham and a little bit of scrambled eggs.  I am always wary of scrambled eggs when I didn’t cook them, because they can have a lot of milk or cheese in them.  Later, I had an all veggie salad with a bit of vinegar and oil.

I had a fun, relaxing day yesterday, and a fairly good day today.  I hope my weigh in tomorrow goes as well as I think my week has gone!

Week 8 – Saturday

Today was a busy day for me.  I started the day by meeting my future sister-in-law for lunch.  We went to Applebee’s (I know I just went there, but I know what I can have there and I find their food quite tasty).  I ordered plain grilled chicken, a side salad, and a side of broccoli.  I did really well, but I couldn’t finish my salad.  I decided that since I wasn’t hungry anymore it was best to leave it and have some more veggies later.

After that we met up with the other bridesmaids in her wedding and tried on a few different gowns.  I was really surprised, I could actually get into every dress I tried.  They didn’t fit, but I could get them on which made me feel really good.  I was worried that I wouldn’t even be able to get them over my hips or bust, but I did.  They were sizes 12 & 14.  The 14’s even fit my hips and waist, they just didn’t zip!!!!  A few more pounds and I should fit in nicely (I used to wear at least an 18, many times a 20).  I’m glad that I could get them on, even if they didn’t completely fit; it would have been very discouraging for me otherwise (even though 14 and 12 are still quite small for someone my weight).

When we finished up, I headed to my parents house to spend a little time with them and pick up the top tier of my wedding cake for my anniversary on Monday.  We decided to all go out for putt putt golf to spend some time together while still getting a little activity.  I actually didn’t come in last–which has nothing to do with my journey, but made me feel good none-the-less!

The next thing on the agenda was dinner.  We all went over to Eat n’ Park–as I mentioned before, its cheap & you can eat healthy there without anyone questioning you (plus they are very open about their nutritional information).  On the way over, I seriously considered having a garden burger or piece of chicken with a slice of cheese.  I kept telling myself, “I had all my protein today, but I’d really like to taste the meat & cheese…maybe if i just eat 1/2…”  I eventually decided that I only was considering it because I wanted to taste it.  I already ate my protein for the day so i made the decision to have a side of broccoli and nothing more.  This was a major success for me.  I had a feeling, stopped and thought about the feeling and what I wanted for myself, and actually made the choice not to overeat. I think many times, we all stop thinking and just go with whatever our first impulse is when it comes to food.  Its important to slow down and think about it though, otherwise we might make a decision that ultimately isn’t good for our health.

Later, I got to spend some time with more of my family at my cousin’s baseball game.  Its always nice to see everyone and spend some time with them–even if its not for long.

When I got home my husband and I decided to go ahead and have our wedding cake for 2 reasons: 1 We weren’t sure if the cake would last until Monday (since it has been frozen for a year) and 2 We had the house to ourselves so it was nice to have that quiet time to spend together and focus on what the cake represented.  We each had a little bit and reflected on our first year together and future rather than focusing on the cake.

The first day of getting 80 ounces of water in went well, the first day of getting back on a normal sleep schedule…not so much.  I ended up playing a game on my cell phone longer than anticipated last night so when 7am rolled around, I was still quite sleepy.  I set an alarm for 8am when I couldn’t get up at 7, but I never heard it.  I didn’t end up getting out of bed until 9:30 this morning!  I really wanted to be able to take my time getting ready today and spend a little time with my husband since I wasn’t going to see him much.  Tomorrow is a new day though!  I hope to get to bed on time tonight so that I can wake up refreshed and ready to start my day tomorrow morning (even if I still can’t get myself up at 7, I at least want to keep working on it!)

Today was a difficult day for me.  I’m not sure if it was all the driving that made me tired and hungry or if it was just one of those days, but it didn’t go as well as I had hoped.

The Good: I did NOT have a cheesesteak from Pat’s when everyone went this afternoon.  They looked and smelled amazing.  The good thing for me was that everyone said it really wasn’t worth breaking my diet for anyway, they didn’t think the sandwiches were anything special.  That bit of information certainly made it easier to handle the smell.  We also had everyone order their sandwiches and eat them in the car–I was driving so eating a cheesesteak would have been hard even if I had wanted to give in to old habits.

The Bad: Breakfast was difficult.  The only thing I could really have (or even wanted) was an omelet.  The first time through (this is why I categorized this as the bad, there was a second time through) I got a ham & cheese omelet.  I did not realize there were peppers available so I did not get any veggies on it.  I don’t think ham is technically something I am supposed to have, as its not very lean, but I went ahead with it so that I would have something more than just eggs and cheese.  Between ham, bacon, and sausage I think ham would be the best choice.  The omelet tasted amazing but it was tiny, which of course left me feeling dissatisfied.  I saw that my brother had peppers in his omelet so decided to go back and get a veggie and cheese omelet.  I got back in line and found myself ordering a veggie and cheese omelet…with ham.  Overall, I was disappointed with how my breakfast went, because i knew I had more than a day’s worth of lean and no where near a day’s worth of veggies.  On the way home we made a pit stop at one of the plazas along the turnpike.  I knew I needed to eat more veggies, so I went over to a place that had a variety of salads.  I started by asking for a garden salad without onions, cucumbers, tomatoes, or croutons, which made me feel like I wasn’t eating very much (lettuce, peppers, and a light balsamic vinaigrette).  Right as I was finishing my order I asked the person making my salad to throw on a bit of turkey and feta cheese, even though I knew I already had plenty of protein for the day.  I’m glad I kept it to turkey though–Burger King was only a whiff away!!

The Ugly:  When I got home I was still feeling unsatisfied.  I ate my last two Medifast meals–after the last one I headed out to the kitchen (red flag–I should know by now that I shouldn’t go into the kitchen alone after I have had all my food for the day–at least not yet).  I saw cottage cheese in the fridge and had a few spoonfuls of that.  Then, I found the peanut butter and had a spoonful of that.  Then, my brother came in to the kitchen to experiment because he wanted chips and salsa to snack on but we didn’t have any salsa.  What he made turned out SUPER hot and he asked me for a way to cool it off.  We put some light buttermilk ranch in it and it was still really hot.  So I tried putting it in a dish and adding refried beans and cheese to it, hoping that the surface area would decrease the spiciness.  When it came out of the over the look and smell of it got me, so I had a few spoonfuls of that too.  I’m pretty sure refried beans are a bit too starchy for me to be eating.

Today was a day of failures mixed together with a bit of success.  I had some failures today, I ate too much protein and I snacked too much.  I think I can still be proud of myself though.  Even though I ate too much, I made better choices than I would have a year ago or even a couple months ago for that matter.  If I’m going to add meat to my salad, white meat turkey breasts is probably a good choice.  If I’m going to have something to snack on when I shouldn’t, light cottage cheese isn’t the worst thing I could have picked.  Its great that even though I mess up from time to time, I can tell that I am making progress.  Instead of the cottage cheese, not long ago I might have gone on a Sheetz run and ordered a cheesy chicken sub with ranch dressing–as a snack!  Or used the excuse that I was on vacation so I could put whatever I wanted into my body (e.g. a cheesesteak hoagie) even if its not something that I should consider food (it isn’t food just because you can digest it!).  I learned a lot about myself the last two days.  I learned that I can make the best choices possible for myself even if I can’t be perfectly on plan.  I learned that I can ask for whatever I want at a restaurant–it really doesn’t have to be on the menu.  If I ask for plain grilled chicken and broccoli, I won’t feel silly, I will feel good because I know what I want and what I need for myself and I’m going to get it.  I learned that I don’t have to focus on food to have a good time.  I can fuel my body properly while I’m on vacation and I will still feel like I’m on vacation.  It’s about relaxing and having fun, not food–focusing on the real reason you are on vacation makes it more refreshing anyway.

Next Challenge: My 1st Wedding Anniversary (July 30th)!!!!

Week 7 – Monday

Have you ever had one of those days that just kinda drags on?  Today was that kind of day for me.  I woke up on time and went to work.  Work was VERY slow today…lets just say, I got caught up on all my paperwork and when I was done, I still had 3 hours left of work!  Basically, all I had to do today was monitor my eating habits–which went well.

After work, my husband and I decided neither one of us felt like cooking or cleaning up after ourselves in the kitchen today, so we decided to go out for dinner.  This is always a challenge when you are trying to limit your fat intake and especially if you are trying to limit your carb intake.  I did a great job though.  I ordered a piece of grilled chicken and the salad bar.  That’s one nice thing about going to Eat n’ Park, they don’t give you funny looks or question your order, they just give you what you ask for (I have had one exception to the previous statement there but when I go anywhere else it seems to happen a lot more).  There is no–What? You don’t want a bun??? Are you sure??  It’s included in the cost…  -.- Salad bars can be dangerous, in addition to the usual restaurant temptations.  Not everything on the salad bar is something that should go on my salad and in the past, I have assumed that if it was on there it must not be that bad for me.  I put lettuce, green pepper, red pepper, mild pepper rings, a small amount of egg, a small amount of cheese, and 1/2 a ladel (I believe the ladels on the salad bar are typically 2Tbsp, so 1/2 would only be 1Tbsp, I would have to double check though to be sure) of ranch dressing (the only fat free option was fat free french which is loaded with carbs, with chicken as my protein I get one healthy fat, so I opted for a little extra fat instead of carbs–we will see whether or not this was the right decision) on my salad tonight.

After dinner, my head hurt and I was feeling nauseous, so I ended up laying down for a bit.  It helped, but I still just wasn’t feeling much like doing anything.  As such, I didn’t do much of anything after dinner.  Since today was a day of little activity, I want to be sure I go for my walk tomorrow.  Since my brother will be cooking tomorrow, I am also going to try to get in a little Just Dance 3.  I have a lot of fun when I play that game and if you use the non-stop shuffle option, you can get a lot of activity in without taking pauses every 3 minutes to pick what song you want.  I should also be getting in some NEAT activity tomorrow, since we need to pack for our mini vacation Wednesday & Thursday.

As promised, my lamb recipe:

Italian Style Lamb Chops

Note: I would make sure you are careful about the lamb you purchase.  Try to find lamb that is lean and boneless.  Our lamb tasted great, but we ended up wasting a lot of it because we bought it bone-in and with a lot of fat that needed to be trimmed.