Going out to dinner with my husband used to be a no holds barred opportunity for gluttony. Now I didn’t think of it like that at the time; I just considered it a time to forget about the “diet” and enjoy myself. But gluttony it was and invariably I would walk out feeling completely overstuffed and painfully uncomfortable and, given the fact that we tended to have a “date night” once a week, it was a big factor in my steady weight gain.
Tonight was date night – actually it was a “I really don’t want to think about what to cook for dinner, so if you want to take me out to a restaurant, I wouldn’t complain” kind of night. I have a great husband!
Every time we go out now I am thrilled by the healthy habits that are starting to become second nature to me. Habits like passing on dessert 97% of the time or taking half of my entrée home to enjoy the next day have helped to curb the after-dinner regrets I used to experience. Learning to eat slowly, chew thoughtfully, and put my fork down in between bites while stopping to have a focused conversation with my husband has also aided my return to good health. Going out to dinner has evolved from an event that was truly all about the food to one that is all about the relationship and conversation with my husband.
This week we had our cook’s night off at the Newcastle Publick House, a restaurant that has a friendly, laid-back atmosphere that encourages you to eat a leisurely dinner while having great conversation. A plus is they feature locally grown produce (in season) along with local organic meat and seafood. A negative is most of their menu is high in carbohydrates – a tough thing when a patron is diabetic (or the supportive wife of a diabetic), but that’s ok because it is about the company and not about the food! After perusing the menu trying unsuccessfully to find something low-carb other than steak, I reached down into my healthy eating bag of tricks and pulled out the latest learned behavior. I ordered a low-carb appetizer (6 bacon wrapped scallops) along with a delicious small house salad with buttermilk herb dressing. Victory! Once again, I walked out having savored wonderful food that satisfied me without ruling me (or stuffing me) and, most importantly, we had a great time together.
Stay tuned! The next installment of 52 Weeks of Health should be out by tomorrow – I know it’s overdue, I’ve just had a little too much on my plate lately (figuratively speaking of course) and I wanted to complete some research on the next topic.