Thursday, June 12, 2003
Dining Without Fear
posted by Julie |
Tomorrow night hubby and I will head off to a lovely restaurant along with our daughter and son-in-law. The restaurant is the finest one in this little part of the world. We will celebrate (a couple of weeks early) our 20th wedding anniversary.
We've each worked very hard to lose weight, change our diets, change our lifestyle. And now we're celebrating with food? What gives?
People celebrate things by feasting. If you want to swim against that stream, babies, more power to you. I wish you every scrap of luck in doing it. I do.
But just in case your nephew's bar mitzvah comes around, or your niece is giving the valedictory address at her Montesori school graduation ceremony or your daughter brings home her first A ever, and they demand to be feted, here's an alternative consideration: How can we make celebratory feasts healthy ones?
I am feeling fairly confident about tomorrow evening's meal. I know that we'll be fed by a team of the area's most creative chefs. The ingredients will be fresh and uncomplicated, and the portions will be fairly reasonable.
I also know that the level of service at this restaurant will allow me to request that potatoes are left off my plate, starches kept away from my reach. Bread baskets banished.
I'll wear a snug waistband that will remind me to lay off the dessert.
What I'll focus on is the luxury of the day's catch, or the jetted-in crab or lobster. Possibly an aged filet mignon. I'll put my focus on precious proteins, simply prepared. The more unusual, or rare, or dear the better. I'll look forward to salads and vegetables prepared from the season's best offering, spring-tender and served with a delicate hand.
It won't be hard to shun cream sauces or breaded things in favor of grilled or planked things. I wouldn't want to risk the sauce landing on my swanky silk shantung pantsuit anyway, now would I?
I'll focus on the beautiful setting, and the other folks in the restaurant who are all probably celebrating something too. I'll focus on the beautiful faces of my lovely little family set off by flickering candlelight.
And maybe the next time it's time to celebrate in my household, I'll remember that it's the love and art and effort that go into a meal that make it special, make it a gift. It's not the calories, fat, pounds of sugar or portion size.
It feels good to face a restaurant without fear. It feels good to look forward to a celebratory meal with my family. It feels especially good to feel confident about dressing up and liking the result of that effort. These things have been a long time coming.
Here's wishing you beautiful dinners with the people you love,
Choosing well in restaurants
More eating out strategies
A neat book on making celebrations really celebratory
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