Saturday, October 30, 2010

Day 4 - The sweetest thing

It's the weekend! The time for relaxing, winding down, doing chores, lazily sleeping in is finally here!

Have you ever noticed that you work all week long looking forward to sleeping in on Saturday morning, which finally comes around, only to have your eyes pop open at 6:30am?

A mere hour later than you (or I at least) usually wake up?

That happens to me just about every week. I typically fight it and try to go back to sleep without success. This morning, though, I didn't fight it, and have a cup of deliciously smooth coffee next to me while I draft my telling of the failures and successes of yesterday to share with you.

Last night, after I finished a fairly decent workout at the gym, Tyler and I went to dinner to celebrate his birthday and our one year anniversary, despite him not feeling all that well after a much-too-long-week at work.

We didn't just 'go to dinner' - we patronized Chef Mavro, a rather lavish fine dining establishment, due to my having a gift certificate that I bought for half price on one of those internet deal sites. We don't usually go places that nice, and neither of us really knew what to expect.

We drove up, and there was a guy with a 2 liter bottle of soda and a laptop sitting under a little tent. Tyler and I didn't understand this, as it was self park. We thought that perhaps he ensures that only restaurant patrons park in the lot - but as we were walking towards the restaurant, he disappeared magically, like a leprechaun. I was commenting on this when we realized that he had gotten up to hold the restaurant door open for us. I think it was at that point that we realized my gift certificate was, err, not quite going to be enough for dinner.

Regardless, we carried on.

We walked in, and the restaurant had the air of wealth to it. There was not just one host, but two (which is unheard of at a small restaurant, at least any restaurant that I've ever worked at) available to walk us to our intimate table by the window. We were not given menus, which made me feel slightly nervous. 'They can tell we don't belong here', I thought...

Finally we were given menus, which were laid out rather uniquely - you had an option of a 3 course meal, a 4 course meal, a 6 course meal, or to try ALL the dishes the chef makes, in tasting portions. I laughed remembering a great movie I once saw where the main character went to the restaurant of her dreams and ordered ALL the menu items. I considered doing this until I saw the price of that option. Yikes. Is there gold in the dishes or something?

Long story short, we both ordered the 4 course menu and it was delicious. I had this whipped brie cheese on a small pat of sweetbread with figs and wine reduction sauce and just YUM! They served opakapaka with some lightly foamed sauce over a large homemade crouton with tempura asparagus, and pork medallions wrapped in oyster wraps with paper-thin sliced veggies and quite possible the most amazing au jus sauce I've ever had.

And dessert.

Are you ready for this?

Well, let's back up a bit and have me say that I LOVE dessert.

When I was a little girl, and my mom can attest to this, I used to eat dessert first ALL the time when we would go to restaurants.

'Why wait until you're full', I would think to myself in a shrill 6 year old voice. I think I was afraid I wouldn't have room for it and wanted to be sure that I was able to enjoy my favorite part of the meal. (I guess the concept of self control wasn't really familiar to me.)

So I pretty much live for dessert. But, I won't eat it unless it's really, really good. I once heard someone say that when you eat something that's unhealthy, ask yourself, 'Is this as good as I thought it would be?' If the answer is 'no', then stop eating it right then. If it's 'yes', then continue on. And if it's 'better than I thought it would be', then savor it and remember!

Last night's dessert was a rendition of s'mores. As a former girl scout, s'mores carries quite a bit of nostalgia for me. It reminds me of camping, cabins, scary story telling with flashlights, slumber parties, lakes, cold weather, and warm fires. I recall many nights of girl scout camping and always looking forward to the end of the campfire where we would look for sticks to mush our marshmallows on, and then roast them over the fire. I was always that girl that would take extra care roasting it - never setting it on fire, and patiently waiting until the entire exterior was golden brown with the inside an ooey, gooey melty mess. Sometimes I'd throw a piece of the chocolate bar into the marshmallow to ensure that it would melt right along with the marshmallow, then sandwich it immediately between two honey graham crackers and take a giant bite. Mmmmmm. Memories.

So I was very excited about this dessert. And when they brought it out, my eyes bugged out like a cartoon. It was like Pavlov's conditioning experiment - I instantly started salivating. That's because it looked like this:

The lovely server started to describe my dessert, as they had done with each dish. On the upper left is a rosemary toasted marshmallow resting on top of a rich dark chocolate mousse, married with a gingerbread sauce. On the bottom right is a 'graham' cracker (but very thin and not at all graham like) sandwiched with homemade mint ice cream and dark chocolate sauce.


And it was much, much better than I thought it would be. So I ate the entire thing (Tyler got a bite, too), even though it was likely an entire day's worth of calories.

Guess I'll be eating all veggies today to make up for it!

But that's ok. I had planned for this, and I've been eating really well (besides the cookies on the first day). Yesterday at work there was an abundance of cookies and candy and all kinds of delicious looking treats that various co-workers had brought in for Halloween. I was able to resist them because I knew I had something else to look forward to.

And I think that's key. It's important for me to eat well 90% of the time, and to plan in 'treats' - not necessarily food - but something. Several years ago I was on a major exercise kick at the start of a new year. I had a goal of running a marathon (I didn't. I discovered I hate running. Though I did stick to my workouts!), and I knew that I would need some sort of reward system in order to maintain my heavy workout schedule.

I needed new exercise clothes anyway (as I had none), so I went to a discount store, bought about 8 new things, and wrapped each one individually in tissue paper.

Each week, as I completed my goals for exercising, I would get one of them as a 'present'. Yes, that's right - sort of like you would do with a child that you were potty training. I do realize how ridiculous that sounds.

But, hey, it worked! And I didn't run the marathon, but I did run (half, the other half I walked) another 8 mile run. And that was quite an accomplishment. Unfortunately, I don't have the funding available or the need of clothing to justify implementing another reward system like that - but I think getting married in 51 days is reward enough.

I'll talk tomorrow about my eating plan for the next week. If you have any suggestions, I'd love to hear them! Thank you for all of the comments and encouragement, it really helps!

Enjoy your Saturday, and eat something delicious!


  1. Oh, Just ONE bite of that dessert,Yum, I can almost taste it. Any doubt in your mind who you inherited your love of dessert from? Love mom

  2. Hold the six meals a day!!! I want to go to this restaurant and have that dessert! You're right about giving yourself a treat once in a while! And boy what a treat! Glad that you and Tyler had a great time at the Fancy Schmanzy Restaurant! And... happy birthday and anniversary all at once!
    Now back to the workouts, please be easy on yourself. You've got to believe me about those 5 or 6 small nutritious meals a day and remember not to make them laden with'll be surprised!