Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Wedding Food Pictures

Eating at weddings is not easy when trying to eat healthy. I usually manage this calorie overload by watching my alcohol consumption (planning ahead how many drinks I am going to have) and eating a little bit of everything. Tasting everything helps me feel like I am not missing out on anything, while not actually overdoing it. I will never know if my estimation of calories consumed at these weddings was accurate- but I did not gain any weight after either of them.

Here are 3 images taken from two different weddings TE and I attended this summer. The top two images are taken from the last wedding-- the first image is a seared halibut steak served with a corn risotto with a mango, red pepper, and tomato salsa- my order and the healthier option. It was very tasty. The middle image is of the smoked pork steak (TE's order) served on top of a polenta mash and mango. I usually do not love pork, but seriously, that pork was to.die.for. I was thankful I did not order it, because I would have eaten it all! The last image is the "salad" course at the first wedding of the summer. I put it on here because both "salads" served at the weddings were not very healthy. Thinking about the foods served at weddings in general got TE and me thinking about food expectations at these types of functions, specifically at our wedding.
We were fish-eating-vegetarians when we got married, so we did not want to serve our guests anything we did not eat. Our menu consisted of an amazingly rich wild mushroom "stew" (for lack of a better word), a tricolor tortellini with a red sauce (the three tortellinis each had a different filling but now I am drawing a blank), and a red snapper with a mango salsa. I remember one guest actually checked off each option on his response card- he thought he was choosing the red snapper as his main dish and a side of each "vegetable." We thought it was funny at the time- but now thinking back I wonder if any of our guests were disappointed with the choices. At the first wedding of the summer there was an excessive amount of food- if you happened to order the prime rib (we did), you were served at least 12oz of steak- plus a side of roasted zucchini and potatoes. It was overwhelming and I thought it was such a waste of food. No one could/should eat that much steak after all the appetizers, salad and drinks served-- and not that many people did finish their steak, so it really did go to waste.
I wondered what everyone else thought? Were they impressed? Would you have been? What if you went to a wedding and they served proper portion sizes? Or they only served vegetarian items? Would you feel a bit unsatisfied? What is it about the American culture that we feel the need to couple our celebrations (or holidays) with excessive food? I am not pointing fingers- when I host a party I serve an excessive amount of food- and anyone who has attended any of my Superbowl parties will agree! I wonder if I can incorporate any of my new CR habits into celebrations... probably not... I will probably serve just as much food, but maybe now I will have more healthy items so that the excessive eating will not be as damaging :)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

6 months!

I am currently sitting in the clinical research lab in a room very similar to the one I was in when I found out I was going to be following a CR diet for 2 years-- 6 months ago. I am beginning the 6 month physical (it is 3wks long!) and I can not believe how fast time has gone... I have lost 16.3lbs and I love CR! Looking back at old posts, I was pretty skeptical/nervous about being on a diet and I would not say I am a perfect CR practitioner, but now I feel good that I know what I am eating and I love how I feel when I am eating well.
I hoped I could catch up on more blogging being stuck here for the day- but my faithful readers will have to wait. Tomorrow TE and I leave for sunny California for a wedding, but I shall return with more stories about how to diet (or not diet) while on vacation and at weddings!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Nice Surprise

Today my laboratory is going out to lunch to say goodbye to a visiting student- and we let him choose the restaurant. He chose Pizzeria Uno. I quietly cringed. Mostly because I am a closed-minded-snob and would never choose to eat at a big chain restaurant, but it was his choice I need to make the best of it. So I went online to see what my options would be for lunch.
I must say that I was very pleasantly surprised at the nutritional information section online! link
It is broken down into multiple different categories: Under 500 calories, High Fiber, Low Sodium... etc., and then again into menu categories.
Now I currently have a little cheat sheet in my pocket with the calorie information all written out for quite a few menu options I would be interested in eating.
My top contenders are:
French Onion Soup (285) with a house salad (120) or a house salad with grilled chicken (260)
Asian Chicken Salad (550)
Mahi Mahi with Mango Salsa (220) and veggie soup (135)
or share a flatbread pizza (405/half with 6g of fiber)

That will teach me to be closed-minded! I will let you know how I enjoy this lunch and what I decide!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Slacker Confessions

I am a slacker. On all fronts. School, food, life... I have emails I have not answered, work left partially completed, lists keeping me up at night... I could go on- but you get the idea. So what have I been doing with my time if not working, cooking and relaxing?

Going to concerts. Really. I went to 3 concerts, in 4 days, in 3 different (and not all neighboring) states. I am realizing that I need to eat better if I want to do that again...

I maintained my 1670 calorie prescription (mostly) but with the worst possible foods. This has left me feeling really really icky (stomach), my allergies are acting up (nose/eyes), and I generally feel gross. The next month is also going to be difficult (3 weddings), so I am starting to think about how I can make the best of it without going back down the gross food road... Any ideas for healthy road trip/eating on vacation tips?

While I am still here, I am going to have a much better menu, filled with fresh veggies and planned dinners. I am also going to have to work my butt off at my research before classes and teaching starts again!!

Also- I set a new goal for the second six months of my participation in the CALERIE study (can you believe I am almost at 6 months!?). I am going to make one new recipe every week until my 1 year anniversary.

I will publish each new recipe and keep you all posted on my progress!

Slacker Liz, be gone!