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Eating out...I need to vent

Posted Oct 01 2008 9:27pm
I don't like it. My main reason is that I'm a vegetarian who also likes to eat healthy. Therefore, aside from meat-free dishes which are mearly vegetarian because the meat is replaced with loads of cheese, I don't enjoy ordering salads EVERYTIME I eat out. Who wants to pay $9 for lettuce and a tomato when I know I am going to be hungry 1 hour after I eat. And because I'm a bit frugal with my money and impatient I don't enjoy having to drive to a place to eat, wait to be seated, wait for my food and then have to pay for something that I had to custom-make myself and I usually end up pissing off the waiter. I guess I don't like going out to eat because it isn't very fun for me due to my healthy eating habits which label me as an "outcast" compared to the rest of our culture. I'm sure those reading my blog understand where I am coming from, so I think I am speaking those who I see eating out, when I just don't understand why they don't get it. The portions are too big, there are too many calories in a single serving (when it should feed a family of four), there is too much unnecessary sodium in the food, there are too many unhealthy options and not enough healthy options and why do you need a desert menu when you are served more than enough food to last you two dinners?
I absolutely enjoy having a healthy diet. I love eating fruits and veggies, I love my bread and whole grains like oatmeal. I love my healthy fats, like olive oil, PB, nuts and cheese and love my protein sources like cottage cheese, string cheese, whey protein, yogurt, skim and soy milk, beans, tofu and vegetarian meats. I love my diet, I rarely get bored with my routine foods (Eggs, bread, oatmeal, nuts and PB) and I enjoy not having to worry about my weight (I don't weigh myself, I just look in the mirror or pay attention to how my clothes fit). I have energy all the time, I rarely eat before my morning workouts (Which can last up to 2 hours), I don't feel the need to eat big snacks or meals and I rarely crave foods. I have accepted my eating habits as the way I will eat forever and I feel 100% healthy with what I put in my mouth. But if I want something heart unhealthy, I don't feel guilty that they food is forbidden or that I shouldn't eat it cause I will gain weight. An extra 300 calories one day isn't going to matter and a treat every now and then won't throw off my routine. Although I catch myself sometimes thinking it, I try to always be concious of what I am eating and when I indulge in something (like real ice cream rather than the fat-free, sugar free, boring vanilla ice cream) I tell myself that nothing will happen to my body. I do understand that if I always eat those heart-unhealthy, foods which do not contribute to my training, I may throw my blood sugars off and I may experience a change in my energy and mood and my hormones may be thrown off. Therefore, the only thing I am very strict about is snacking and eating protein before meals. I always carry nuts with me and I try to eat some type of protein (like a piece of cheese, nuts, a few scoops of yogurt, sip of milk) or a piece of high fiber fruit (apple) before meals to keep my blood sugar stable. Therefore, if I always do that, i don't have to worry about eating that sweet treat every now and then. A few years back I was a little obsessive with my food and I saw food as fat-gaining and therefore I never allowed myself to eat certain things. Now I realize that foods which are high in calorie that you eat everyday, overtime will cause you to gain weight. But any food which will help your performance should be viewed as necessary food on a daily basis and therefore can be eaten at anytime. Heck, you could eat carrots and grapes everyday in excess and gain weight. Gosh, I wouldn't want to be the one to tell my friends that I am trying to cut back on carrots and grapes in order to lose weight. It is all about controlling what you eat so that all food is used as fuel. Simple as that.
Last night Karel and I went to Smokey Bones Bar and Grill. I was home all day writing articles and I think karel could sense that I didn't to get out and not cook for myself. Of course, when I go out to eat I have to look at menus, see if there are vegetarian options or see if there is something Marni-friendly. Karel is really good at finding places for me to eat at and I am blessed to have someone in my life (incluiding my family and most of my close friends) who understands and accepts how I eat. If anything, karel has lost a lot of weight (actually, increase lean muscle mass and decreased fat mass, weight has only dropped about 10 lbs) and really enjoys his healthy eating habits as well. He gets full quickly, he stays full and doesn't feel like he needs to eat all the time. Of course he is a guy so he can eat a lot more than I can. So, we decide to go to Smokey Bones because they have great salads. Not lettuce and an onion salad but really filling salads. I got a salad with pecans, cranberries, fresh strawberries, goat cheese, lettuce and onion w/ fat-free vinagarette on the side. It was actually a crispy chicken salad but as usual, I ask for eggs instead of the meat. Sometimes I ask for the meat on the side and give it to Karel. The salad was great and Karel enjoyed his salmon. So, here is where Karel and I started to get a little disgusted. And I really say that in a sensitive way because I am not one to call people fat or to look at people and think they are disgusting. I just question why and how people can consciously eat unhealthy. I think when food is around you when you eat out, you just tell yourself that it is ok, or you just can't resist. Well, it isn't ok and I just can't believe what people are eating. I don't sit around and just stare at people but Karel and I were discussing the big portions, fried foods, fatty, oversized deserts after a high calorie meal and most of all, the foods that kids are eating. Again, if YOU as a grown adult won't eat it or know that you shouldn't eat it than WHY are you feeding it to your kids? Even if they have fast metabolism, they are active or they are growing at the right height and weight, fatty, high calorie foods are addicting and so heart-unhealthy.
OK, I think I have vented enough but I just hope that people out there can realize that it is a lifestyle choice to eat healthy. It is much easier to eat healthy most of the time than to eat unhealthy food, regret eating the unhealthy food, feel sad about your body image because you ate the unhealthy food, feel lousy because of the change of chemicals and hormones in the body due to the unhealthy food and most of all, continously telling yourself that you need to start eating healthy and losing weight but continously putting it off. Take control and starting fueling your body with healthy food!
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