A group of friends of mine and I have a dinner club. We meet once a month, and take turns picking local restaurants to dine and wine, and catch up on good times. We grew up together and have known each other more than half our lives, so it’s really special. No matter how busy I am I will make sure to make time for dinner club—unless of course I have an actual conflict or happen to be 2,000 miles away. Still, we try very hard to make sure all six or seven of us can make it. Our seventh is currently off becoming a professional baseball superstar, so tonight was our first dinner club of the year without him. At least now though, I might actually go to baseball games and watch baseball games, instead of going to delight in a Dodger dog and cheerful banter 0:). Anyways, I digress…
I realized today, that in a strange coincidence, it seems every time we’ve had dinner club the last few months, I’ve always been in the middle of a cleanse or challenge that involved eating clean. And even to this day, I still get the occasional, “So what can you eat? Nothing?” NO, NOT TRUE! I’ve said this before, and it’s something I’ve learned to be more and more true, the more I educate myself on nutrition and eating clean—the thing is, I eat as I always have, just with better ingredients. Since my 10 day, March Challenge just started on Thursday I’m extra strict about eating clean; and as hard as it was to tell the waitress to hold the feta on my salad, I said it without hesitation. Luckily, my friends are also very supportive and have come to realize that I’m not on a “diet,” I’ve just changed up my lifestyle a bit. It’s not too hard to eat clean while dining out, and I might add that I quite enjoyed and was happily satisfied by my Mediterranean salad tonight. Well, I suppose I’m also a bit spoiled out here in southern California, where there are plenty of healthy options, and growing. But, another reason I am so conscientious about eating clean, is so that every now and then, I can indulge in something not so complimentary to my hips, and not feel terribly guilty.
We went ahead and scheduled our next dinner club, and it just so happens that we’ve planned to meet on a Sunday. This means I can let myself indulge a little in not just the things I have generally excluded or limited from my regular diet, but the things I gave up for Lent—the operative words being A LITTLE. And until that dinner club, I am going to make sure I am extra well behaved ;). And I WILL behave, because it's my turn to pick the restaurant, so I've picked Brazilian BBQ...and I know I am not going to be able to resist having ONE of those heavenly Brazilian cheesy bread balls :).
BIG LOVE & BIG HUGS
Tips for eating out:
· Check the menu before you go to the restaurant. Almost every restaurant now has a website where you can easily access their menu.
· Drink a glass of water before you go out.
· Have a piece of fruit an hour before you eat.
· Keep your hands off the bread!
· Skip the appetizer
· Avoid creamy sauces and soups
· Instead of fries or coleslaw, ask for veggies on the side.
· If you order a salad, ask for the dressing on the side, and/or try to stick to just using olive oil and vinegar. Sometimes I will ask them to hold the dressing, and just bring me some olive and lemon.
· Many restaurants give serve up to 4x as much as a normal serving on one plate. Recognize what a normal serving is, and bag the rest. If you don’t think you can control how much you eat, ask for a box right away.
· Drink water instead of juices or pop.
· Chew thoroughly to help with digestion.
· Eat slowly to give your body time to recognize that it’s full.
· If you feel you must have dessert, have 1/3 of a normal serving or what you would normally have (whichever is smaller).