Bad, Better, Best

I once saw a presentation by a nutritionist who recommended avoiding the “good food/bad food” dichotomy by thinking about food decisions on a spectrum. You can make bad decisions, better decisions or the best decisions. You will never be able to consistently make “the best” decisions. After all, it’s appropriate to indulge a little on special occasions. As long as those special occassions are rare and the indulgence is in moderation, you can still have weight loss success. Last night, I exercised the “bad, better, best” skills.
After picking up Evan from the airport, we were hungry, so we set out to grab a bite to eat. I was ready to do a salad from Baja Fresh or something quick and simple, because–let’s face it–I hadn’t seen the boy in more than a week and wanted some alone time.
The best decision would have been to pack or make a healthy dinner. But I wasn’t able to make time to do that. The bad decision would have been to do the McD’s drive through for a double cheeseburger and fries. The better decision was to eat a reasonably healthy meal at Carrabbas, despite the temptation of delicious pastas and their amazing bread with olive oil dipping spread. And I did that. I made smart and reasonable choices–especially important given the fact that that very little of their nutritional information is available to the public. (Boo!!!) Before we got there, I had an internal dialogue that went a little like this:
You can have some bread with the heart-healthy olive oil OR you can have pasta. Get that? Either bread ORRRRRR pasta.
So… I had the bread (3 slices and approximately 2 tsp of oil, I think). I also ordered the mediterannean salad (45 calories, including the dressing!) and the crab cake appetizer (only ate 1, 120 cal, 7.5 g fat). Oh–and three pieces of calamari from Evan’s dish. I also had one of the dessert minis, shot glass sized. Higher in calories than I’d like? Not really, although possibly a tad more fat and sodium than I’d normally have. Good, fresh, whole foods? Yes. (Except for the bread, which I’m sure was made with bleached and processed flour but did I tell you that I DIPPED IT IN HEART HEALTHY OLIVE OIL? Okay… so I was a little overexcited about the dipping oil.)
Unfortunately, my weight is back up–by 1.4lbs. It’s like some of the 3lbs I loss last week just came back from vacation. Note to self: next time send them on a longer cruise. To the freakin’ Bermuda Triangle.
I’m going to be quite strict with the diet over the next couple weeks to see if that gets me anywhere. This is annoying.
All’s not lost though… my “best” move today was going BACK to the gym after WW to watch The Biggest Loser while exercising on the elliptical. They were testing the alarms in my apartment complex, so I figured going to the gym would let me watch the show in peace and quiet.
End results of the day thanks to my Bodybugg:
Calories burned: 3434 (900 just during my elliptical session!)
Steps taken: more than 20,000
Today’s Meals (approximately 1900 calories)
Breakfast (500+ calories):
McD’s sausage egg mcmuffin (at 450 calories and 27g fat, this would be “bad”)
iced coffee, unsweetened
Mid-morning treat (100 calories?):
A homemade chocolate chip cookie brought into work by “the new guy” and made by his wife. Super delicious. Glad I then left the office before attempting to consume the rest of the bag.
Lunch (320 calories):
grilled chicken
steamed spinach
4 oz mashed potatoes
1 cup melon
Snack (200 calories):
RF cheddar cheese
1 serving wing-flavored pretzel crisps
Snack 2 (220 calories):
Cliff Mojo PB&J bar
Diet Dr. Pepper
Dinner (540 calories):
homemade turkey meatballs (4oz)
1.5 oz spaghetti
large salad of mixed greens, tomatoes, shredded carrot, RF cheddar with TJ’s light cilantro dressing
1/4 cup of premium ice cream, amaretto chocolate covered almond

5 responses to “Bad, Better, Best

  1. You definitely made some great choices at the restaurant, and I can’t believe how many calories you burned on that elliptical machine. Go you!! Love the Bodybugg!!

  2. I thought I read once the breakfast at McD’s was the healthiest their food got…so on the McD’s spectrum it isn’t the “worst” you could choose

  3. I like the “bad, better, best” approach! Eating mindfully is always good. It sounds as if you did a great job!

    I love bread dipped in olive oil. I’d pick that over pasta more often than not.

  4. Tina lies! I think she had like FOUR pieces of calamari from my dish of fried health bad-ass-edness! I was very proud of Tina for choosing one carbohydrate payload over the other instead of indulging in both. I hope to one day if not follow in her food decision making footsteps, to at least jump into every third footstep to eat and feel healthier.

  5. Evan- why wait for one day? you can make small decisions now… 🙂

    I sent this to my friend that rules food out as bad… no food is bad..

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