Surviving Brunch, or Why is Everything in a 9x13 Pan Delicious and Not Good For You?
Tuesday, May 01, 2012
So, first of all, while I did survive brunch, albeit with less than 400 calories available for the rest of the day, I did not survive book club last night. I had such good plans; I ate a piece of salmon and an apple before I went, so that I would not be starving, and I started with a big glass of water, so I didn't start in on the wine right away. I had a glass of wine and a baked samosa, and then one cracker with smoked salmon, and walked away from the table, but then came my hostess with the wine bottle... after the 3rd glass of wine, at about 10 pm, I weakened and started picking at the food that had been moved to the cocktail table directly in front of me. I have gone over calories a few times since I have started, but those were intentional decisions; this is the first time since restarted Spark that I have just mindlessly eaten without really being aware of what I was doing.
I ate about 600 calories over the high end of my calorie range. Not horrible really. Given that I usually eat in the middle of my range, I am probably fine for the week, but I was really upset with myself for the mindlessness of what I was doing. I didn't need that food; I didn't even particularly want it. I just ate it because it was in front of me.
Today is a new day however, and a new start. Unfortunately it is also a holiday, and therefore an excuse for a party. Bunch is notoriously high calorie too, all those potatoes and sausages, not to mention the coffee cakes and other sweets. I had a plan going into it though, which kept me out of serious trouble.
1. I ate some fruit and some protein before I went. Enough to take the edge off, so that I would not devour everything on the buffet table.
2. I made sure that there would be food there that would be healthy and tempting enough so that I would not feel deprived. I made an egg casserole that used skim milk and a mixture of regular eggs and eggbeaters, and instead of piling it with bacon and cheese, I used artichokes, sun dried tomatoes and spinach, and only scattered a handful of feta on top rather than mixing it throughout. I also suggested to my friend that he bring fruit salad when he asked what he should make.
3. I filled my plate once. I started out with the fruit salad and filled about half my plate with that. Then I scoped out the table for other things that looked calorie-friendly. There was a cucumber salad, so I took a scoop of that, and added hummus and carrots, a spoonful of my egg dish, and about a tablespoon of roasted potatoes. It was hard to skip the other casseroles, they all looked fabulous with their melty cheesy toppings and chunks of bacon, but after last night's indiscretions, I felt like I had to be extra vigilant.
4. I ate dessert. I love dessert. I would feel deprived if I had to forgo the dessert table entirely. But I had one dessert, not four, and I had about 4 bites worth, not a huge slab. I felt satisfied, but not stuffed when I was done.
5. I didn't drink any calories, with the exception of the milk in my cup of coffee. There was juice, wine and champagne, but I stuck with water. I was a little concerned about my resolve weakening if I had a couple glasses of wine, and juice is really mostly sugar, even if it is 100% fruit, so I decided against it.
So there you have it. A pile of satisfying food for under 1000 calories. It's still a lot certainly, and it would not do to eat like that every day, but I am sure that without being mindful about what I was eating, that 1000 calories would be more like 3000.
I don't feel gross either. Usually you come away from brunch feeling bloated or sleepy, but I feel great. I'm still going to take a nap, because it is a holiday and I can, but I don't need to.