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Posted on Oct 10, 2011 in Food | 35 comments

K-BBQ (or, That Time I Ate All the Meat)

Abby & John-Paul’s wedding was absolutely beautiful, but the recap will have to wait due to me having to edit roughly twenty zillion photos of the amazingness. Good thing I have today off from work to get through them all, eh? [/brag]

In the meantime, let’s talk about last night’s family dinner!

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Sorry sis, I just couldn’t NOT post this pic.

The whole gang got together, minus Steve, but including my unpictured brother who served as co-photog for the night (I’d say the photo cred split goes about 50/50 for this post.)

Famiry

My uncle, aunt, and cousin (different relatives than last week, haha) were visiting from Boston, and my mom picked out Korean as the cuisine du jour.

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Hi Aunt Martha, Uncle Tommy, and Tomas!

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Oe Gad Gib is in Annandale, VA, and offers an All-You-Can-Eat Korean BBQ special that my mom had seen advertised in the Chinese Newspaper. So what did we do, friends?

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We All-You-Can-Ate, of course! Boy, oh boy, did we eat.

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Thin strips of beef, marinated tenderloin, and pork belly – whoosh! I’m pretty sure I ate all the meat there ever was, ever.

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With some salad and kimchi in between, of course! Korean food is notorious for being especially spicy, so even with my spice-lovin’ tastebuds I was, er, a little hesitant at first:

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Phew, not that spicy after all!

With so much red meat in one sitting, my stomach certainly wasn’t thanking me, um, later on (tmi?), but in the moment it was delicious. Sometimes we (non-vegetarian, non-vegan people) just need to be a little carnivorous, y’know?

Again, stay tuned for a full wedding weekend recap to come tomorrow, but in the meantime I’ll leave you with this little nugget from the big day:

Photog at Large

What, you don’t go to weddings toting thousands of dollars worth of your brother’s camera equipment? Bahaha.

Are you working for The Man this glorious Columbus Day, or do you have the day off?

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Posted on Oct 5, 2011 in Dear Diary, Food, Vlog, Weigh Ins, Weight Loss | 53 comments

Take 2

Ahhh, the bittersweet taste of Wednesday. We’re halfway there, but still halfway, er, away. Plus, it’s weigh-in day. Urk. After last week’s less-than-desirable weigh-in, I wasn’t really sure what to expect this morning. I tried to keep it fairly light all week, despite all the eating out that’s been occurring. Last night I met up with Reema for… SUSHI!

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And it was happy to see me!

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As we were to see it, hehehe.

Post-deliciousness, I was busy preparing for the worst. In order to make myself feel better after a potentially heartbreaking weigh-in, I spent a little time throwing together my second-ever vlog! That way, I’d at least have an excuse to watch myself talk afterwards, which we all know I vainly love to do.

I’ve definitely learned from my first experience with, sigh, vlogging (still hate the word.) I’m getting faster at splicing together clips, too. It only took me like, an hour and a half this time!

Note: my hair is wet because I had just showered (shock!), and I had just showered because I did 30 Day Shred (BIGGER SHOCK!)

All right, all right, time to get on with this other show:

Starting Weight: 246 lbs
Last Week’s Weight: 189.4 lbs
This Week’s Weight: 186.2 lbs
This Week’s Change: -3.2 lbs

I DON’T UNDERSTAND MY BODY. I gain two and a half pounds last week, only to lose three now? Oy. I guess I should just take the loss (between the yo-yoing up and down, it’s a 0.7 pound loss overall for the past two weeks) and be happy, but I’m just so confused. I guess even when you limit yourself to a weekly weigh-in (although in full disclosure, I did take a couple of sneak peeks over the weekend…) things aren’t always going to be reflective of your “true” weight. As long as it’s all headed in the right direction I can’t be too upset though, I suppose!

Thoughts on the vlog this time around? Tips or ideas for next time?

Another question: is it true that sparkling water still isn’t good for you because the carbonation weakens bone density? Because if so, I will be sad. It makes water so much more interesting!

Edit: I just Googled the answer to this, and it looks like the answer is no! Evidently it isn’t the carbonation in soda that affects calcium levels and bone density, it’s other (worse) stuff. Huzzah!

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Posted on Jun 20, 2011 in Blogging, Food, Weigh Ins, Weight Loss | 23 comments

Blogtasrophe! (Weigh-in)

AND WE’RE BACK!

In case you couldn’t hear my screams of anguish echoing over the blogosphere, something was very wrong with my blog today. I was unable to log-in to my blog client, couldn’t post all weekend, couldn’t post all day, it looked all nutty and plain-texty and well… to sum it up, my poor blog-baby was sick. And I was sad and angry and distraught, and it was all directed at the internet as a whole, hahaha. But! Thanks to my amazing brother/webmaster, it’s back and… better than ever? Well, that’s not true, because I’m still working through some issues. But hopefully it works for now.

So that at least explains why this post is coming so very, very late, and it’s coming with (hopeful) brevity because, you know, of that I promise that a real post with hilariousness and complete dog overload will be up bright & early tomorrow — in case you missed out on the tweets and Facebook photos showcasing the dogs’ pool adventures and my sister’s new puppy! Oh, and there may be pictures of me in a swimsuit too. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

So, without further adieu here is my weekend from Friday to Sunday, centered around a trip to Delaware to visit Steve for his birfday before coming back to celebrate my wonderful Papa, in pictures. Of food. Hehe.

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Taco Taco Taco!

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'Roon

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Localvore

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So there you have it! Lots of delicious food (and this wasn’t all of it, but them’s the highlights fo’ sho’.) Steve and I went to this cute little place called Beseme in Lewes, DE to celebrate his birthday dinner.

Happy Birfday!

It was really delicious, but the service was unfortunately super slow. Oh well, it is a beach town, I guess. Gotta go with the flow, haha. Then when I returned on Sunday, we celebrated Papa’s Day at a manly restaurant for my manly papa: Outback Steakhouse.

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Happy (now belated) Father’s Day, Daddy! 🙂

Oh right, that pesky little thing that happens every Monday. Sigh, bring on the weigh-in. Okay, no drawing it out, here you go:

Starting Weight: 246 lbs
Last Weigh-in: 194.0 lbs
This Weigh-in: 192.5 lbs!!
This Week’s Loss: -1.5 lbs
Total Loss-to-Date: 53.5 lbs.

HUZZAH!

C’mon now, that’s pretty impressive considering all the previously listed decadent weekend food, no? So at least this thus far thoroughly emotionally-and-physically exhausting Monday has been made better by a very nice little bit of weight loss. It’s the small victories, y’know? Hopefully I’m just a hop, skip, and a week or two away from… holy crap. I don’t even think I can say it out loud. It’s just so crazy to think that I could ever actually hit… the 180s!

AHHH! That’s almost like, an acceptable weight! Hahaha. Don’t worry folks, we can celebrate tomorrow, when I announce the winner of my Popchips giveaway! So make sure you get your final entries in toniiiiight!

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Posted on May 12, 2011 in Food | 19 comments

Sweet Rice

HAPPY VAMPIRE DIARIES THURSDAY. Yep. That’s right. I’m not even crossing out the “Vampire Diaries” part of that sentence today because I’m sosososo excited that the season finale is tonight! Excited, but, y’know, sad. Because after tonight no more Vampire Diaries. Duh. 😛

So you should all be very proud of me, since yesterday afternoon I went for another outdoor run — two days in a row? Who am I?! I took a bunch of your comments about running fuel to heart and snacked on a medjool date dipped in a little peanut butter about 10 minutes beforehand. But I don’t think I gave it enough time to digest or whatever because the run wasn’t so hot. It was much more difficult for me than yesterday’s, so I only got through a little over a mile (bleh.) I’m thinking maybe I still am at a point where even though I’m not running a lot, I should give it a day in between. Which makes me feel really lame, haha… ha. Anyway, after my lame run I came back to the house and did some ab exercises (crunches, obliques, bicycles, and leg lifts if you’re curious) and arm toning stuff. The first beach trip of the summer has been scheduled, and I’m FREAKING OUT! I preemptively bought a couple of *gasp* bikinis to foolishly motivate myself to slim down some more, but with summer so closely impending I’m a little nervous… eep!

Anyway, last night after my workout I met up with some old friends for dinner that I hadn’t seen in foreeeeevers. We did Thai food, Falls Church-style. So off to Sweet Rice we went! Since I hadn’t seen these folks since my BFF Bethany’s wedding that was Memorial Day weekend of last year, I wanted to show off my accomplishments and look super cute, teehee. For comparison’s sake, here’s a picture of me as a bridesmaid in said wedding:

And here’s a picture of me before heading out the door yesterday:

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(Shirt & skirt: Old Navy; Shoes: Toms; Bee Necklace: Stella & Dot)

These food photos will be a bit of a repeat if you’ve already read my daily eats post from yesterday, but we ordered a couple things of summer rolls for the table to share (I ate 3 pieces, heeee) and I went with the Shrimp Pad Thai as my entree.

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I took my own advice and stayed away from my coconut milk-laden faves (namely, Tom Ka Gai soup and Panang Curry. Sigh.) I know that Pad Thai isn’t exactly the absolute best choice I could have made, but thanks to careful calorie counting throughout the rest of the day I knew I could get it without feeling too guilty. See? All this annoying calorie counting does pay off! I can’t say that I know the exact count of how much I ate, but I’d estimate between 700-800 calories is probably close. That’s a LOT more than I usually would have for dinner, but y’know, eating out and all. I swear that I’m cooking at home tonight. I SWEAR IT! Between the bon voyage dinner at my mom’s and dinner last night, phew!

Are you gearing up for beach season? Any special moves you want to share with the group to help somewhat tame the tummy beast? 😀

Okay, peace for now my playas. Have a great day!

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Posted on May 6, 2011 in Weight Loss, Weight Loss 101 | 18 comments

Weight Loss 101: Eating Out

Hello all! It’s been a little while since the last installment in my Weight Loss 101 series, so I thought I’d get back in the game with an addition of some more of my losin’ tips & tricks. On the docket for today: going out to eat.

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If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, you know that I like to eat out. A lot. I fully recognize that food intake and calorie counting is easiest to do if you cook for yourself, but it isn’t always reasonable to assume that you’ll be able to do that for every meal. As I’ve had to find out the hard way, if you deprive yourself of things that you enjoy, you will only end up crashing and burning harder later. It is totally, 100% possible to still eat healthy and lose weight even if you like to go to restaurants (or in my case, if you like to go to restaurants a LOT, haha.)

You’re going to want to go out to eat. Even if you’re absolutely hellbent on cooking for yourself while you’re losing weight, what about when you move onto weight maintenance? Hopefully you can glean something from this post if you find yourself resisting wanting to spend time with friends or try out a new place for fear of what it may do to your weight loss.

General Tips

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1. Look up nutritional information online beforehand.

This is the number one, most important thing that you can do to make smart choices about what to order at a restaurant. Most restaurants (especially chain places) have all of their nutritional information available online nowadays. Granted, some places may be trying to hide it a little more than others, but it’s usually there. Do a quick online search or head straight to the restaurant’s website to check out your options. In today’s uber-technological world, you probably even have the technology to look up this kind of stuff on the go! So even if you are out with a group of friends and make a last-minute, game-time decision on where to eat, just borrow someone’s smart phone and get Googling.

If looking up the information online isn’t an easy solution for you (or if you’re just looking for another resource), I also highly recommend the “Eat This, Not That” books. The standard book pretty much all existing chain restaurants listed with the best and worst dishes to order, and the special “Restaurant Survival Guide” (I own both) includes even more info as well as some general guidelines on eating out.

2. Budget for dessert (or skip it altogether!)

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My sweet tooth only rears its ugly head every once in a while, so not having dessert when eating out isn’t something I have a fundamental problem with. However, I do know that a lot of people really go to restaurants almost solely for the decadent desserts. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that! Just keep your cravings in mind, and plan out the rest of your dinner accordingly. Ask to take a look at the dessert menu along with the regular menu ahead of time (as they often offer it separately) so you can identify if there’s something that you just HAVE to have on there.

3. Ask for a takeaway box when your meal comes out, and put half of your portion in there.

I don’t really do this myself, but you’ve probably heard it as a trick for dealing with restaurant portions before, too. Restaurant portions are typically HUGE. They are far more than a person needs to eat in a single sitting, especially if you have any kind of appetizer, soup, salad, or dessert course involved as well. If you’re a devoted member of the Clean Plate Club, you may need to utilize this tip so you don’t end up overeating. Also, revoke that membership. It may be appropriate for kids who refuse to eat their broccoli, but you are under no obligation to finish everything on your plate every time you sit down to eat.

4. Drink water.

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Why drink your calories when you can eat them in the form of delicious food instead? Forgo the soda, juice drinks, fizzy cocktails, and whatnot and just drink refreshing, good-for-you water with your meal (with lemon or lime if you’re feeling adventurous!) Naturally, if you are out for happy hour or something and want a glass of wine or light beer then you should go for it, but just bear in mind that liquid calories are calories all the same, and they won’t fill you up.

Cuisine Guidelines

Naturally, you won’t always have the luxury of being able to look up restaurant information before you go. You may be visiting a small local place that barely even has a website, let alone one that has nutritional information posted on it. So you want to be equipped with some basic knowledge about good things to order that won’t affect your waistline too severely, even if you don’t know the specific caloric count. Here’s a breakdown of tips when dining on some of the cuisines I most often partake in:

American:

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American cuisine is usually full of robust, full salads and light fare. Stick to lean proteins like chicken or fish, and vegetable sides. Ask for dressing on the side. All pretty standard stuff in terms of menu navigation. You should have some good options here.

Recognizing the obesity epidemic that we are all facing, many American-style restaurants even include some sort of “Light Fare” section on their menu. And you should never feel awkward asking your server what some of the healthier choices on the menu are. It might surprise you — I would never have known that the Hong Kong Style Seabass at Coastal Flats was the lightest choice on the menu if I hadn’t asked once. And it was deeeelicious!

Asian:

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Asian food can be a really great choice for diet-friendly food, or a really bad choice. Sushi (my fave!!) is usually a pretty safe bet. For all you ‘phobes out there, just because it’s sushi doesn’t mean it has to be raw! You can get lots of delicious, fully-cooked fish rolls. The ratio of protein to carb is usually pretty good, and it’s extremely filling with all that rice. Ask if they offer brown rice, and enjoy other healthful, vegetable dishes like edamame and seaweed salad as well to round out your meal.

Pad Thai Shrimp

Thai food (another one of my absolute favorites) can be a little trickier. Ka Pow (so fun to say!), Cashew Chicken, or even Pad Thai Shrimp aren’t too bad (bearing in mind that you watch the amount of rice/noodles you actually end up consuming.) But beware of thick curries, which are almost always made with coconut milk and have a high saturated fat content (but are oh. so. good.) Steer clear of thick noodle dishes like Drunken Noodles and Pad See Ew, and be aware that many times the tofu in vegetarian dishes at Thai restaurants comes fried.

Mexican:

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Mmm, Mexicano. Mexican food can be surprisingly good for you… if you know what to do. First things first, always ditch the tortilla. Flour tortillas (and even corn ones!) add hundreds of unnecessary calories to your meal. Do it like Chipotle and eat your burrito bowl-style. Turn your fajitas into a salad. And just, you know, don’t get enchiladas. The same rules applies for the shell of your taco salad, as well as the big basket of chips that inevitably get parked in the middle of your table. I know it can be difficult, but practice restraint and you can reward yourself with an extra spoonful of guac.

Super Guac

Speaking of which, guacamole > sour cream. Always. Guacamole may have a lot of calories, but it comes from healthy fats. Ditch the sour cream altogether, and be sparing with the cheese, too. Feel free to load up on the salsa though! I’m not how true this is, but I hear a lot about how spicy foods help slightly speed your metabolism so the hotter, the better! Fish tacos are UHHmazing and a much better alternative than beef.

Italian:

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Well, I have to say that this is a toughy. Italian food involves pizza, pastas, heavy meats, creamy sauces, and extreme deliciousness. My basic tips would be to always choose a tomato-based sauce over a cream-based sauce, forgo pasta dishes for lean proteins (hello mussels!) and vegetable sides, and recognize that Caesar salads, despite their misleading name, are actually not very good for you.

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And leave that bread basket alone! Almost all Italian places (and most nicer restaurants in general) will offer you a bread basket to gnaw on while you’re perusing the menu. Granted, I rarely ever actually follow this rule because I love bread, but then again I also have only lost like a total of 5 pounds in the past two months. So take from that what you will, huh?

Eating out is part of having a life. It happens. And it generally results in good times and (hopefully) great food! Hopefully some of the things I’ve listed here will help equip you to make healthy (or at least, healthier) choices when eating out. Diet may be a four letter word to some people, but it does not in any way mean you have to stop enjoying your life. I certainly know it’s not stopping me from enjoying mine!

What other cuisines are you looking for tips on how to dine healthily on? Do you have any tips that I’ve missed? I want to hear from you guys!

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