Post-holiday Eating

by Zen Gray

Memorial DaySince yesterday was Memorial Day, most people spent the weekend eating BBQ and visiting family and friends.

It’s no secret that the first day returning from vacation is usually the toughest day to get back on track with good habits. But I find that the sooner I jump back in with healthful eating and a quick workout, the better I feel and the easier it is to shed a couple “happy pounds”.

Certainly I’ve had the urge to prolong my holiday with another treat because I want to hold onto the sugary-haze of the last couple days… but I’ve got to suck it up and go for the spinach omelet instead of the strawberry waffle now. Like anyone, I can add 5-10 pounds in a weekend of unchecked eating. There’s a big difference between having just one cheat day as opposed to two or three.

Personally, I planned for one cheat day over the weekend. One of my clients had suggested we go to the Getty for the 18th Century Parisian exhibit and wear girlie hats and have a lunch-time picnic with Nicoise, bread, cheese, wine, fresh cherries and raspberries and the wholeZen Gray in flowered hat at The Getty Parisian Exhibit works.  Since my fiance is such a good sport, he came along to help carry all the baskets and get immersed in estrogen.  I think I may have gotten a little high on brie and date cake in this picture, actually.  (Also, the exhibit was gorgeous and if you’re in LA, you can go see it until August 7th: the dresses, jewelry, artwork, furniture and games, etc. of that era.) After the exhibit, we enjoyed our favorite chocolate butter cream cupcakes from Magnolia Bakery and THEN some macaroni & cheese deliciousness for dinner. It was a pretty big cheat day before we sank into our carb-induced comas.

But then Sunday rolled around and old friends were in from out of town. We HAD to meet them for brunch, of course, and since they suggested eating at The Griddle on Sunset, we waited over an hour for a table. By that time, I was starving and just as in most cases when I’m starving… I ordered what I was craving instead of what healthy. (Plus it’s easy to do if you’ve ever devoured a pancake, waffle or french toast at The Griddle… omg… so delicious.) And once I open the flood gates at breakfast, the whole day is usually shot. So, I decided to just enjoy myself and start fresh the next day.

One thing I was really proud of was that we FINALLY decided to start cooking on the grill my brother and his wife gave us for Christmas. It’s been sitting out on the patio for ages with various grilling accoutrements because neither David nor I have ever grilled before. My brother told us to get this charcoal-starter-thingy so we wouldn’t have to use lighter fluid. And I loved the idea but when we went to implement lighting the fire, we just kind of looked at each other and blinked.

“Do you know how this goes?”
“Uh… put the newspaper underneath it, I guess.”
“Do I stick the paper in the holes and light it like a wick?”
I shrugged.

Grown adults were soon staring at each other and engulfed in smoke and our kind neighbors were nice enough to just close their patio doors without comment. But we would not be discouraged! Soon, my healthy red pepper, onion, and tomato kabobs, asparagus and turkey Italian sausage were filling the air with tantalizing aromas. And shortly thereafter, David triumphantly carried in the delectable-looking plate back inside along with the 2 1/2 foot tongs. (Is that really necessary? Are my meager foot-long stove top utensils hopelessly inadequate?) However, I’m thinking perhaps just one small meal is too little for charcoal grilling. David kept checking the coals before we went off to bed and I think they might just now be cooling off this morning…

grilled vegetablesI have decided to call this past weekend a success because we feasted on a great holiday bounce-back meal AND learned to do something new that had been pushed aside for months. It’s funny how just a little win can motivate me to continue the momentum for the coming week. Lots of canned legumes, tuna, chicken and veggies await to be savored. I know that my couple “off” days will force me to work a little harder this week, but I’m willing to put in the extra work to get back on track as long as healthy eating is delicious in it’s own way, too. And grilling those vegetables and lean protein was a VERY yummy way to enjoy my “on” days again.

Enjoy your week!


2 Comments to “Post-holiday Eating”

  1. Let me just say Z…I have missed your post! You always make me laugh!

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