Saturday, March 28, 2009

Date Night Dilemma

Chadd and I have busy lives. And in this economy, we also have economic lives. The combination here makes staying home, opening a bottle of wine (me) and playing video games (Chadd), a lot more desirable than going out on a date. This has actually been a really good thing in a few aspects. It's made weekends very restorative for me. I get a lot of sleep and relaxation and I also get to be in charge of what we eat. I can go grocery shopping, plan out my meals for the week, and cook at night. And it's also reassuring to know that Chadd and I don't get sick of each other when we're at home together on a Friday night. I've really enjoyed our low-key evenings; they're even romantic to me.

But this weekend, Chadd took me out for the classic dinner and a movie date. Needless to say, I was excited and nostalgic for our first few dates when we were back in high school. Our first date was to Coldstone one evening after he came to see a play I was in. *nostalgic music*


The big down fall for dieters, I believe, is when they are no longer in a position of 100% control. I can go to, let's say, Cosi for lunch because I know that their signature salad with the dressing on the side (fork dip method) is about 260 calories. I know that Noodles & Co. has a chart that disects pasta dishes by calories, fat content, amount of carbs, and sodium. But when we go to a local restaurant or a chain that doesn't like to advertise their nutritonal're left with a undesireable options: "it's probably not that bad" food or guessing and possibly eating something you didn't want to begin with--makign going out pointless.

So when Chadd took me out on Friday night, I had a few choices to make along the way.

Going out is fun because it means you don't have to think about dinner. All you have to concentrate on is the people you've gone and the fun you're having. It's time to change that mentality. It's especially fun when you're going on a rare date night and want to really treat yourself. This is part of our mentality--and there is NOTHING wrong with it. I'm a big proponent of going out to eat as a special event, a treat, a celebration.

There were, of course, bumps along the way. Our evening went something like this:

After getting our movie tickets for "I Love You, Man" before dinner, we went over to Chadwick's on K street. Chadwicks, for those of you who are not local, is basically a mix between a sports bar and an average American Grill. It's the perfect pre-movie outting--right by the theater, quick service, wide selection.

We opened our menus. Normally, I'd have ordered a beer, a cheeseburger with jalepenos, maybe some guacomole and fries. This totals to a whopping 1,000 calories (that's choosing a bud select, which I would never choose).

I say to Chadd: "You know, I'm getting sick of eating salads."

Don't get me wrong, I like salads. I especially like good, unique salads that fill me up, and taste better than a normal garden salad...but after a while, I like sinking my teeth into a nice, juicy burger. After all, I am a texas girl.

Thank god for iPhones, I googled "turkey burger" to get a calorie read out: 600 calories.

I was probably visably distressed.

Chadd said, reassuringly: "I don't want you to feel like you always have to eat salads, what else do you think you can eat on the menu? I want you to enjoy yourself."

I perused. I finally settled on a salmon BLT sandwhich. I knew I'd ditch the bread, but pick up the sweet potato fries. SP Fries have the benefit of being lower in carbs. When people go the sugar busters route, sweet potatos become their best friends. I planned to keep the LT and ditch the B. I'm not really a bacon fan. Remember, rarely do buns actually taste good. They're normally slightly stale, buttered or wipped with mayonaise. Use a half bun and you'll get a better taste of what you ordered--the burger, the club of the club sandwhich, etc.

Chadd is a gentleman and likes to order for me. I also love this. So when he orders the salmon for me and our waitress let's him know that they're out of salmon, I'm back to the drawing board.

Much deliberation later, I determined on the veggie wrap, which I then pulled apart into grilled vegetables, disposed of the tortilla, used the fork dip method with the sundried tomato aoli. And it was good. I employed the method of "I'm hungry, I'm not craving." Chadd had wings (I had a bite to curb the craving) and a steak wrap (nothing I was interested in that evening) and fries (I literally, honestly, had exactly 1).

I will be curious to see what happens when I do have an honest craving.

So our hero passes another big challenge: date night.

For now, I think I'm too paranoid to go off my diet on a splurge night. But I'm sure, in the not too distant future, you will hear about a night of philly pizza. And damn will it taste good.

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