Charting life's circuitous path

Eat. Live. Be. for a Better 2011 – Challenge 26

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My Update:

I am learning to do more and less at the same time.  There are days, like yesterday, where I take a break and do a single 30 minute yoga session.  Then there are days like Sunday where I do strength training, high impact aerobics and a bike ride.  This is my new routine.  Rather than do consistently difficult sessions of exercising every day, I do a rolling hill approach with high intensity one day and light yoga the next.  I’m finding that this allows my muscles to heal, and it has given me flexibility that was lacking in my old routine.

Plus, it gives me just enough of a break to make me feel like I’m being naughty without actually being a total bum.

I’m also increasing my “make it from scratch” repertoire with homemade granola bars.  Recipe post coming up.

Challenge Week 26 TopicStaying healthy while dining out.

This topic is a tough one.  I love to eat out.  Not all the time, mind you, or the food all starts to taste the same and it loses its thrill, but I do love me a good night out at a restaurant or some yummy carry out and a movie.

A couple of weeks ago was our vacation and with family visiting, this meant a lot of meals eaten out.

We went to:

  1. An all-you-can-eat buffet twice: American and Chinese
  2. The Cheesecake Factory for their delicious Chocolate Coconut Cream Cheesecake that I still dream about
  3. Delicious ice cream that featured my new favorite flavor: banana cream pie
  4. Multiple burger joints
  5. Various cafes and other restaurants

I worked my way through desserts, burgers, and the best foods imaginable, but I did it sensibly.  For the first time.

Normally, I go to a restaurant and order what I want with little regard to the calorie or fat content.  Eating out for us is usually an EVENT.  It doesn’t happen very often because we aren’t very rich, and we like to select places that we can get excited about.  I’ve been known to have extra orders of fries or mashed potatoes with the regular meal and still order dessert at the end.

Profiteroles covered with fudge and cream. Evil yet sooo good.

This time around, however, I didn’t want to torpedo all of the hard work I’ve made on my healthy eating routine, and I didn’t want to feel guilty about all of the good food I was consuming – I mean food is meant to be enjoyed and savored, right?

So, with that in mind, I went nutrition info searching online before we went to the restaurant.  Since I’m a vegetarian, this wasn’t very hard to do – there are only a couple items at most for me anyways.  I would select the yummiest yet most reasonable dish and remember it for the next day.  Some websites, like Panera Bread or even McDonald’s, allow you to add and subtract ingredients for a more customized menu.  I love this.  I’m a bit picky with my food and it allows me to see what type of damage, say mayo or fries had on my order.

Other restaurants, like the Cheesecake Factory, don’t give out this info so readily.  If I couldn’t find it, I tried my best to make a sound judgement (course, with the Cheesecake Factory, all bets go out the window since I am not known for sharing cheesecake or restraining myself).  A lot of the time, though, I could simply input a food with “calorie” and find it on the web.

I also made sure that I was still exercising every day.  This was especially important since I knew that I wouldn’t be eating my normal meals.  So, I’d wake really early and go for a run or do strength training.  I made sure I did it early in the day so that I wouldn’t have to slog through it late at night.

At the end of that week I had actually lost weight rather than gain any.  I think it all paid off, and the best thing: I didn’t feel deprived for a second during the entire time. 🙂

Author: iscribbler

A girl scribbling her way through health, love, food and life.

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