I have a huge problem with making a lifestyle change to where you don't get to enjoy the things that you just plain enjoy - like going out to eat with friends. I know all the experts say mealtime shouldn't be social time, but too bad I enjoy having a meal with friends and eating out.
So, when my co-workers planned to go to lunch to celebrate another co-worker's new position (promotion) in another department, I, of course, wanted to partake.
The restaurant was Amerigo - a new world Italian bistro. "Uh oh, what's the chance they'll have Carb Lover's options," I thought to myself.
The night before I perused the lunch menu and narrowed it down to a salad choice, entree with fish or a grilled chicken option. Doing this allowed me to wait and see what I felt like eating for lunch that day before making a decision, leaving me more satisfied with my meal.
When we got to the restaurant I avoided the bread. It was non-Carb Lover's friendly white bread served alongside olive oil (my favorite combination). Sure, one piece wouldn't have been too bad, but I know one piece would have led to another and then another and before you know it I would have eaten a whole loaf.
I ordered the Chicken Acuto - Flame grilled chicken breast over black bean salsa with grilled Roman artichokes and green beans. Topped with a spicy sauce of olive oil, cilantro, lemon juice and seasoning.
Putting the ingredients into Sparkpeople, my lunch calculated under 500 calories. I'm considering this a victory. I realize it is just one meal and only one time I was able to resist the bread basket, but I feel like my portions and binging have been really under control (sans this past weekend) the last several months and every time I am able to do this out at a restaurant it reminds me it IS possible.
Again, preparation is key. Would I have been able to make a smart choice had I not looked through the menu before hand? Most likely not!
***Side note: in the midst of ordering I did find a note on the menu that they can substitute whole wheat pasta in most of their dishes - good to know for next time!