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Monday, May 16, 2011

Healthy & Heavenly 29th Wedding Anniversary Weekend

This past weekend my husband and I celebrated our 29th wedding anniversary. I always get excited the month leading up to our anniversary. Isn't it silly, but I get a little giddy about the fact that we manage to rack up another year. It seems not only like a notable accomplishment but also a gift. I agree, I am one of the lucky ones...but no, I don't take it for granted!

We always manage to find the time to take a couple of days for ourselves. Nothing extravagant or far flung....too hard with our family obligations and work. We would rather spend the time hanging than traveling. So we drove 45 minutes away!

My big worry this time around was how to not get sucked into old habits. Celebrating to me usually means indulging in MANY glasses of wine AND eating whatever I want with multi-courses AND a dessert just for myself. And that is just one meal! The old me would have done this for each meal for the whole weekend! Yipes! The reality is I can't do that any more without really negative consequences. I don't seem to have any "Get by Free" cards anymore. Not only do I gain weight but I end up feeling miserable and don't sleep well taboot. How to avoid this? Old habits die hard.

I had to pre-plan. First I discussed it with my husband so he would support the plan. I knew I would most likely not have the perseverance to stick with "the plan" if he wasn't on board. Next I-

*Set a Menu for each meal while we were on our vacation
*Took all the food and ingredients we would need for the menus with us
*Kept my log of what I ate to make sure what I planned and what I did were the same (I now do this everyday so it just meant even doing it on my vacation). This also included a calorie count since my ongoing goal is to eat @ 1200 calories a day.
*Pre-thought what I wanted to eat for our big celebratory meal out at a restaurant that is one of our favorites...which my husband agreed to..he agreed to the same menu so I wouldn't long for something I shouldn't have...(yes, awesome guy)

Honestly, even with all of this I thought I might have a melt-down. I often "give in" to the moment...loving the idea of extravagance and indulgence, all in the name of celebration. I have had the philosophy of "live for today for you never know what tomorrow might bring"! Understanding that I can still celebrate, make a moment special, continue to enjoy a great meal and a glass of wine without overindulgence is my biggest challenge.

So how did I do? Great! This is the meal we had at the restaurant-
1 Club soda with lime
House side salad with blue cheese crumbles and balsamic vinaigrette
Appetizer of steamed mussels in a white wine & shallot broth
1 piece of garlic bread
1 glass of wine- Kendall Jackson Chardonnay
1 decaf coffee-- to savor the end of the meal

We figured the total calories for this meal was about 1000. What is scary is what I must have consumed in calories in the past adding on a couple more glasses of wine, an entree and a dessert! Humbling...To be truthful, by the end of the meal, I was stuffed. Having already started on my new regime, my stomach is used to so much less so this meal of a salad and appetizer was a bounty. Psychologically that was key. I wanted to be able to eat something special, have it be delicious and enjoy a glass of wine. It worked. I was happy and satisfied. More importantly, I didn't feel denied a thing.

But what about dessert? Dessert is big in my world. Any special occasion or memorable moment needs to be punctuated by a delectable dessert to make it a memory. This was a little challenging. I knew having something at the restaurant would be too much. But I knew I needed to mark the occasion. So I looked up in Dispirito's Now Eat This cookbook a recipe for brownies (with only 53 calories!). I made them the night before. I also thought they would be great with 1/2 cup of fresh raspberries (only 32 calories). It would look beautiful, include the taste of chocolate and would qualify as an official dessert to mark the occasion. We could enjoy it once we got home, in front of a roaring fire with mellow jazz playing in the background. A great image and a great plan. Only thing was, we were too stuffed when we got home. Instead we cuddled up on the couch and watched an episode of Camelot on our computer! Still romantic. Still ended our special day on a lovely note. Could this really be the new me?