We eat with our eyes first so I always try to make my food look beautiful. If we see beautiful food, we anticipate it tasting beautiful. If we see food that looks like a dog's breakfast, then we are not too inclined to venture into those unchartered culinary waters. Taste is actually the last sense we eat with. We first see it, smell it, touch it, hear it - if you are at Chevy's and order the fajitas ;) - and then we finally taste it and all those senses come together in an orchestral crescendo of flavor. It's the joy of eating. Food is magical and I love doing my tiny part to share that magic. That's what bring me joy.
Next to my ubiquitous frittata, this is my second favorite brunch-y dish to serve because it is just so beautiful and so healthy. They say the job of a chef is the get the best possible food (produce, meat, fish, whatever) and get out of the way. I couldn't agree more. In New Orleans last year, everything was breaded and fried or drowning in a thick sauce. I would have loved a simple piece of local grilled fish or an oyster fresh from the sea. Really nature is much better off without our intervention and these combinations of fruits above are a perfect example.
Nothing fancy really, just a melon and papaya sliced with some berries tossed over. Nature did all the work. I simply brandished a big sharp knife :) So what? Well for me, when I eat something served like this as opposed to a bland plate of sliced melon, it is so much more enjoyable and satifying, visually and emotionally. Emotionally being the key word. I am an emotional eater, as in I eat at every emotion - happy, sad, celebrating, grieving, anxious, uncertain, confused, upset, joyous, holidays, birthdays and a random Tuesday night. It physically calms me down and the fattier the better hence my addiction for Jack-in-the-Box french fries. But... and this is a big BUT...
The past 23 days, I've been able to lasoo the emotional eating. It wasn't easy, oh my goodness no. I lost count of how many times I had to talk myself out of flipping a u-turn (much easier now in my little mini) careening through the drive in for a fry fix or grabbing a bag of Pirate Booty (another kryptonite) and devouring the entire bag as I meandered through the isles of my local Whole-Foods-wannabie store.
I was at Garcon last night, one of my favorite restaurants in San Francisco where they cook their fries to perfection, along with everything else. I wanted to order fries SO badly but I didn't. I told my friend that I'd gone 22 days without fries and I didn't want to break the record ... and it is indeed a record. I haven't eaten any fast food nor any bread in the past 23 days. A challenge again last night when a few of the items we ordered screamed for a chunk of their french bread and a good sopping. Wasn't easy. But I did it. What I didn't do was say: "It's only one piece, it won't matter." or "What's a few french fries at this point?" because IT DOES MATTER!
The exercise is the next area I want to focus on. I've done a little something every day. A few days of walking (panting) up Bernal Hill from the bottom of Folsom and the other days included just 10-15-20 minutes on the treadmill at a meandering pace as I clicked through my apple tv. That I want to kick up to the next level. It was getting to the "daily" part that was the most insurmountable challenge. At this point in my life, if it's not a habit that involves copious amounts of wine or lounging on a beach, it's pretty freaking hard to start a new habit, at least for me. This was a biggie. Now to get the heart rate up ;)
So in the past 23 days, I've had no fast food and no bread. I've done a bit of walking every day. I haven't stress eaten (another HUGE accomplishment) nor done my usual late night anxiety-laden kitchen raid. I've really focused on being accutely aware of what I am eating, even when I ate too much cheese at that wine and cheese or when I ate too much of Tom's sinfully delicious off-the-hook lacquered bacon. I knew what I was doing and I ate it consciously. I did have to move the plate to the other end of the table out of arm's reach though ;) no way could i resist it sitting there but the difference is the conscious acknowledgement that I was eating too much of it and moved it.
With all that ... drumroll ... I'm down 5 pounds! Well 4.7 exactly according to my FitBit scale. It's too damn accurate for my taste, especially when the BMI pops up, but that is down 1% as well :)
So as my friend Emily says: Recognize, Acknowledge, Celebrate, Expand! Today calls for a little celebrating. Not in the form of a home made cheesecake ;) but a little pat on the back, job well done, and a bit more confidence that maybe I can actually do this. Maybe, after all, I *can* be fabulously healthy in 365 days. Something that 23 days ago I honestly didn't think I could ever accomplish.
As far as expanding, I believe it's time to expand the heart rate so onward and upward - up Bernal Hill that is!