Monday, December 17, 2012

Adventures in Clean Eating Out & About, Part III - The Office Christmas Party

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! )

 ( using the same pic as last year because heck, it's cute )

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 processed foods, everything handmade.

Previous years:

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 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.