Sunday, April 22, 2012

Clearing the Hurdle

Although I'm a wonderful cook, "eating out" has always been one of my many guilty pleasures.  Thankfully, due to {religious} dietary restrictions my options for eating out are quite limited...  and of course my three kids complicate matters further by making it a little less enjoyable and more expensive.  Therefore, eating out has become a rare treat for them (I still made an effort to go alone or with a friend).

However, since I started my journey 11 weeks ago I haven't had the desire to go out.  The temptations have presented themselves unsuccessfully; friends inviting me to go out, the kids nagging me to take them out to eat... The answer remained, "No."  I just haven't had any enthusiasm to go (which is a good thing)... 

Yesterday, my daughters were longing for a "Mama and me day."  I told them MONTHS ago that we could have a special day - just us girls (without little brother).  Apparently my oldest daughter claims I promised to take them to Souplantation.  I almost never make promises unless I know for certain I can keep them... I seriously doubt I promised to take them to Souplantation - but I'm sure I did mention going.

Immediately, I told them I was not going to take them to Souplantation.  They whined for quite some time and I could see how much they really wanted to go...  I was a bit cranky because I had missed breakfast AND lunch - not intentionally, but I was so determined to clean the house and get started on the laundry that I never stopped to eat.  Bad me, I know!

By 3:30pm I knew I absolutely had to eat - and the kids were pretty hungry too.  Unfortunately, I was completely drained and I had no energy to spend another hour in the kitchen cooking something.  A mini-war was being waged inside my head...  Should I just take the kids to Souplantation and make them happy?  If we do go, what would I eat?  (What I used to eat when I went there was most definitely out of the question)  No, Serena - you'll be too tempted to overeat once you're there!  Ah, but I didn't have breakfast and lunch - so I have a bit of calories to work with...  Are you even in the mood to eat there?  Etc, etc...

Just because they serve soup and salad doesn't mean it's healthy (or calorie friendly)!  Ultimately I went online and started perusing the menu (and nutrition facts).    Oooooh, they were serving one of my favorite salads (Summer Lemon with Spiced Pecans).  ARGH!  But there's so much unnecessary fat/calories in their recipe (I've recreated this salad at home on my own but I use yogurt instead of the mayo they use to make the dressing).  Aaaahhhh, they have Old Fashioned Vegetable Soup - very low in calories and high in fiber - awesome!  Mmmmmmm - the Creamy Tomato Basil Soup sounds really good and it's not too bad, calorie-wise.  Hmmmmm.... what to do?

I ultimately decided to go ahead and make the kids happy... it wouldn't be a girls-only date because hubby was away for the weekend and I didn't want to ask anyone to watch my Little Man, but it was certainly better than not going at all.

By browsing the menu (and nutrition facts) ahead of time I mentally prepared myself for the obstacle course of temptations ahead of me...  I had 2 servings of the oh-so-yummy Summer Lemon salad and added some beets.  I was very happy with the bowl (serving) of vegetable soup and treated myself to a half bowl of the Creamy Tomato Basil Soup - I'm glad because it was super delish!  I avoided the cooked pastas, breads, and muffins entirely.  I had a little low-fat tapioca pudding and fresh pineapple for dessert.  Although I had to guestimate the servings - I'm fairly confident, after years in the kitchen cooking/baking, my portions were correct.

More importantly I ate S L O W L Y - which I'm usually quite terrible at.  Savoring the food was a pleasant change!  All-in-all I believe I did remarkably well.  This doesn't mean I'm going to go out and eat more often - but it's great to know that I can do it without blowing my diet or cheating!  Everything in moderation and due diligence!!!  

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