Wednesday, February 23, 2005

The foods I like to eat

When we were in Washington we had a great time eating in five different restaurants. We had sushi rolls, Japanese noodle soups, Thai seafood and, big juicy hamburgers with guacamole and chili on the side, nachos, salads from the bounteous salad bar and barbecued steak, pork, sausage and turkey at Green Fields. Oh oh, that night I also had a beautiful slice of carrot cake with cream cheese frosting. The last day we went to a restaurant called "Hops" in Alexandria, and without a doubt had the best food and service in a long time. It was terrific. George and I split a Reuben and a Crispy Chicken Salad. They had delicious honey croissants that were...well, to die for. Now I'm back home and staring hard at the face of reality.

I don't eat like that when I am at home. At home, I eat a lot of plain yogurt. I developed a taste for yogurt when I was doing a very strict "no suger, no flour" diet a few years ago. I lost a lot of weight on that diet, and gained it back when I stopped.

Yogurt, when it is the life-giving substance of both breakfast and lunch, starts to become the nectar of the gods. When shopping for yogurt, you have to be careful, because some fruit yogurt is so caloric you might as well have a bowl of ice cream. I use plain low-fat yogurt with no more than 120 calories for 8 oz.

I still eat only plain yogurt, with a little packet of sweetener and a banana, or cantaloupe, or berries. It froths up and looks beautiful, and my co-workers are jealous when they see me eating it at my desk. I would like to leave out the sweetener, but I haven't gotten there yet. That is another goal to be worked on.

I have a weakness for potatoes, which are my comfort food. Any meal with potatoes seems like a good meal to me and George laughs at my obsession. I recently developed a craving for white or brown rice with low-salt soy sauce...I know, too much salt, but done right, it is really yummy. I usually have salad with chicken for dinner if we go out to eat, and at home I limit my meat to a 3-4 oz. piece (the size of the palm, they say in WW) and try to heap a lot of vegetables on my plate. It is not that I lose weight on this food plan, but at least I don't gain as much as I probably gained eating all that "good" stuff this last weekend.

My big weakness and the one that is the most bothersome to me is my affinity for baked things like cookies, pies and pastries. I really love to bake and George makes the best cookies ever, and I just really have to tear myself away from the stuff and it is a never-ending battle. I come from a long line of great Norwegian and German bakers (my aunts), and flour and sugar are in my genes.

It was great fun to be out and about this weekend, and not to worry about limiting our calories so much. But, "Maggie, bar the doors", now I am back on the diet-wagon and dreaming of thin spring clothes in pretty colors.

Have a great day.