Once again, it was time for my company's swank Christmas party Saturday, where my co-workers and I shed the shackles of the Engineering Mines and step out to eat and drink well ( and not talk about work! )
Because we enjoyed last year's meal so much, we decided to have our party at the same steakhouse as last year : a very upscale steak house in Annapolis...the kind where steak is priced by how long it is aged, and essentially everything is made in the restaurant...no processed foods, everything handmade.
2011 Christmas Party
2010 Christmas Party
This year, I again used the techniques I've learned to control myself, my intake - and I still had a wonderful meal and a great time. There are definite ways to stay Clean while eating in mixed company ( Clean and Unclean eaters, that is! )
1. I made sure I found out the menu before hand, and knew exactly what I was going to select - no last minute wobbly "Um..." or "Well..." - I knew what I was going to eat, as if there were no choices that night.
House salad with their homemade basil vinaigrette ( tomatoes were AWESOME )
Filet mignon on a small pool of garlic mashed potatoes and broccoli
A magnificently delicious baked 1/2 sweet potato ( a side dish )
Skip the dessert course and ask for coffee instead
2. I ate a small meal a few hours before we left for the restaurant. This way, I wasn't ravenous by the time our meal was ordered and more easily swayed to make an incorrect choice.
3. I ate slowly, savoring my steak with a mindfulness so I enjoyed and appreciated each bite. I finished my steak with a very satisfied feeling.
When the dessert course came, and our devastatingly handsome waiter brought my coffee as requested, he made a suggestion - sometimes he'll bring a single slice of cheesecake or whatever to the table, and divide it into 4 or 6 pieces...so everyone has just a taste. I looked over at a female co-worker who also carefully watches her food consumption and she nodded. A plate of cut up cheesecake was brought forth for us, yielding about 2 bites apiece. Enough for a taste and a savor. It was delicious, I felt satisfied and not deprived, and I left the table knowing I had a well thought out meal and a little treat without going "hog wild" and eating an entire slice of cheesecake by myself.
Recap: Preplan, Pre-eat, Mindful Eating - keys to successfully staying on Path when dining out.
PS - Saturday was also my few times a year indulgence with liquor. ( I don't drink beer or wine at all. I like whiskey and will have a glass a few times a year, at most. )
The glass of Jameson was welcome, and that was all I was going to have 1 glass. I had already told myself I would only have 1 glass this year, and even warned my whiskey drinking co-hort of my plan.
He asked for a glass of Knob Creek bourbon straight up. It arrived on ice. He frowned. The waiter apologized. I couldn't see a good drink go to waste, so I took it from the waiter, smiled, and said I would drink it. My co-worker said "Um, that's a little stronger than you are probably used to..." and I assured him it was no problem. ( This morning, I looked - Jameson is 40%; Knob Creek is generally between 50-60% alcohol by volume )
Between you and me - the Knob Creek knocked me on my ass. Lesson learned. Next time I will stick to the single and double malt end of the Whiskey Pool.