Monday, April 16, 2012

Tips for Eating Out: Run to dinner so that you can eat more

I had a rough eating weekend.

All I've wanted to eat is comfort food. I guess getting smacked in the face with a steel bar will do that to you.

The bump has gone down, but it seems that it is
draining down under my eyes.  Looking Good.

I was planning on running on Saturday morning but Jessie and Awesome Jeff ganged up on me.    It was suggested mandated that I rest and recover for a few days.  I felt like the Great Oz had spoken.

And so a new nickname for Jeff was born. 
We love nicknames at our house.
And, I think I love "the Great OZ" more than "Awesome Jeff."
It fits because he really is
the man behind the curtain at our house.

To get back at the Great Oz, I slept until 9:15 on Saturday . . . something that I swear I haven't done in 8.5 years . . .  which coincides with the birth of our first child, Easy E.  That's how it works.

The problem is that when I don't exercise, I tend to eat like crap.  For me, they go hand in hand.

no saturday long run = weekend of mindless grazing


That combined with Drama's birthday resulted in complete udder devastation.  Did you catch that?  Aren't I hilarious?  Are you still reading?

This very average looking grocery store cake was
shockingly moist.   Astonishingly good. 
Or maybe, my standards are lower these days.

And, I ate out this weekend.

Remember me saying on Friday that we had fancy-pants dinner plans for Saturday night? Well our plans fell through.    Since we already had my mom on the hook for babysitting, the Great Oz and I went out to dinner . . . just the two of us . . . like a date or something.    

There are four good places to eat in Ardmore, and we chose this place: 

Cafe Alley

I was speaking messaging (who speaks anymore?) with a Facebook friend yesterday about the evils of eating out.   To be frank, it is very hard for me to eat out and eat clean.  It's not because it's impossible to find healthy choices on a restaurant menu.  


Except for maybe Hooters, you can find something healthy on almost any menu.   Or, you can pretty easily substitute things in an offered dish to make it a better choice.

The problem for me is that when reading the menu it's hard for me to choose to eat this:

A fine looking salad

When my eyes scan down the menu and find this:

Monte Christo

We don't go out for dinner very often.   Its not that we are morally opposed to it.  Rather, it is because we have 3 kids.   We would rather have our heads sewn to the carpet than dine with the little monsters in public.

As a result, whenever I do get to go out,  I feel like it's a celebration.  Celebration for me means overeating.
But eating out is no different than eating in.  It's all a matter of willpower.   Unfortunately, when I'm getting ready to go out to dinner, willpower is an accessory that I seem to forget to put on. 

So, here are my rules often-broken guidelines that I try to use when eating out:
1.  Know what you are going to order before you get there. 

I'm not sure what this image is trying to tell us.
 I found it while looking for a picture of a menu. 
Maybe it means run to dinner so that you can eat more.
On Saturday evening, I decided on the drive to dinner that I was going to order a Cobb salad without the dressing.

2.  When you get there, stick to the plan.

Don't be bamboozled by all the intoxicating choices when you get there.   Don't even read the descriptions of pasta and shrimp swimming in creamy sauces.  Ignore any items of french fried fabulousness.

Just remember, you decided to order the salad.  Stick with the salad. 

Unless . . . you are drinking.  If you are drinking (heavily), rethink the salad.  Order the fish.  My experience has been:




Not our toilet. But maybe it should be?

3.  Splurge on one thing and split it.
 Choosing a healthy entree means that you can splurge on something else.  For example, since I was getting the Cobb salad and was going to eat it naked (the salad was naked, not me), I decided it was okay to indulge a little with the appetizer.   But that means, no dessert. 

We chose the fried wasabi green beans.

These are TGIFriday's Green Beans. 
I bet they aren't as good as Cafe Alley's Green Beans.
But Cafe Alley's Green Beans are not available for
a photo shoot today.

The only thing better than fried pickles is fried green beans.  Really, any fried vegetable is all right with me.  Or fried cheese. 

4.  When you are full, stop.  Even if means doing something drastic.

Easier said than done, right? 

The Great Oz ordered the side of mac 'n cheese with his dinner.  I asked him why (because that is not his style at all . . . he's a grilled veggies kind of guy).  He said that he ordered it for me.  God love him.   He knows that I love, love, love Cafe Alley's mac 'n cheese.   I've been told that it has 17 ingredients or something and that even if I had the recipe I couldn't possibly recreate it. 

Conundrum.   I was really trying to be good.  I had purposefully ordered the salad so that I wouldn't have a choice of sides and be faced with the tough decision of mac 'n cheese.   It sat on our table for 20 minutes before either one of us went for it.  And, even then, it was still steamy and hot.  

By this point though, I was really full.  So I ate 4-5 bites, and he ate a couple of bites.  And, then I poured sugar on it.

Sometimes it takes sabotaging my plate to get me to stop.  If its something sweet, I will pour salt on it.  If its something savory, I pour sugar on it. 

And then, I am done . . . because I do have some standards . . . even if they are low.

Do you have any tricks for being good while eating out? 

Do you eat out with your kids?

Have you ever had your head sewn to the carpet? 

Happy Monday,



  1. I would much rather have my head sewn to the carpet than to eat out with my children- but when do a fully loaded margarita is the item on the menu I plan to order :)

  2. Fried green beans, who can resist those?