Sunday, July 10, 2011

A Sunday Surprise

Yesterday was a good day.  I thought it would be because I had been watching my diet like a hawk.  The three pounds I had gained last weekend had officially came off when I weighed myself Saturday morning.  What a relief.

But yesterday had some serious challenges too.  I started the day by going to work to meet with some contractors.  We are painting our building so I had to confer with the architect and the painter to approve the colors.  After that was over I knew I needed to eat breakfast. 

Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day and also the most difficult meal for me to eat out because the temptations of pankcakes, waffles, doughnuts, bacon, hashbrowns, et al.  Turning those down are close to impossible. 

I ended up going to Orange Cafe in Orange, CA. This is a great little hole in the wall coffee shop that serves classic diner fare.  Their pankcakes are huge and one of their specialties is a strawberry pancake that comes with a vanilla bean cream cheese filling, fresh strawberries and whipped cream.  It is decadent and one of the most delicious concoctions I have ever sampled.

But I was good.  I ordered two scrambled eggs, a side of fresh fruit (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and cubbed honey dew) and ice water.  The egg plate also came with whole wheat toast but I only had one half of a slice  (it was really good though...).

I did some chores around the house and then treated myself to a pedicure.  I know doing the pedicure is a female thing but I never mind being the only guy among all of those women as long as my feet are being pampered.  (Sidenote: If I ever become a billionaire, hiring someone to pamper my feet will be one of the luxuries I will indulge in daily.)  Plus I found a nail place where they only speak English. It is so nice being able to chat with the lovely woman working on my feet instead of wondering if the conversations in Mandarin among nail technicians is about how disgusting my toes are. 

After the pedicure I wanted to check out this new spice store I had heard about. The name of the shop is Savory Spice Shop and it is amazing.  For as much as I like to cook, I am often frustrated by the lack of selection and low quality of the spices sold in grocery stores.  Savory Spice Shop has everything I could imagine.  Plus they are exceptionally nice, very knowledgable and generous with the samples.  I ended up buying a 2 oz. jar each of sumacGaram masalaMexican oregano, and a Greek spice blend for seasoning chicken and seafood.  If I could find these things in a local supermarket I would have easily spent over $20.  I ended up spending a little over $13 and that included a $1 deposit on each bottle I purchased.  When I need refills they will just give me a two-ounce bag and I'll get a $1 discount on each spice.  How cool is that?

After a luxurious afternoon of a pedicure and shopping, I was faced with a delimma.  My parents rent a house for a week on Balboa Island, every summer.  This has been a family tradition since I was about 8 or 9.  There are also two other families that my family is close to, who rent their own houses the same week.  All of the kids, and now grand kids, are within a few years of each other.  So it's a lot of fun.  It's also a week of gluttonous eating and drinking.

I had the option to visit the island for dinner or eat on my own and come down for dessert.  I chose to eat on my own.  Just across the parking lot from Savory Spice Shop is Gulfstream.  Gulfstream is a Hillstone restaurant and they manange Houston's, Bandera, R+D, and several other great restaurants across the country.  It's a happening, pretty person place where the patrons are as attractive as the food is good. 

But I wasn't there to look at debutants and cougars, I was there to eat healthy.  I was in luck because one of the specials was wild Alaskan salmon.  I substituted roasted beets for mashed potatoes and had water with lemon to drink.  It was a little pricey, $40 after tip, but a nice healthy treat that made me feel like I wasn't being deprived of great food.

So off to the island I went.  They were just finishing up some MExican takeout (one of my biggest weaknesses) but I was content to sit on the couch knowing that I made the wiser choice for my dinner.  But then the next challenge came.  Every night on the island we walk into "town" for ice cream.  Balboa Island is famous for its Balboa Bars. A Balboa Bar is vanilla ice cream on a stick, dipped in choclate and then rolled in the topping of your choice.  A few shops sell them on the island, as well as other sinful delights such as cookies, doughnuts, hand-scooped ice cream and frozen bananas. 

Again I was strong and chose to go to Starbucks for a decaf Iced Caffe Americano.  It wasn't the same as a Balboa Bar but it was cold and something that I had never tried before.  Plus I am supposed to drink two servings of coffee or tea a day on the 17 Day Diet so I was technically following my plan.

I got home around 11:00 p.m., which is a little late for me, but slept in a few hours later than normal too.  Hey, it's Sunday and even God rested on Sunday, right?

I went to bed last night thinking that I needed a treat and that maybe today would be another free day because I had lost the weight I gained last weekend and I deserved a reward.  I decided that if I weighed myself this morning and lost a pound I could go to Silverado Cafe, one of my favorite breakfast spots, for pancakes and bacon.  So I pulled out the WiiFit balance board and weighed myself.  I didn't just lose a pound, I had lost 3.5 pounds since yesterday.  

My first thoughts were to how much food I could eat today and that I'd probably still be ahead of the game.  But then I thought to myself, why should I sabotage myself instead of building on this accomplishment?  So I drank my hot water with lemon, scrambled two egga and slices up a half cup of fresh strawberries.  I feel great and above all, guilt free.

I do plan to go back to Balboa Island tonight for dinner.  Each family takes turns cooking a dinner and tonight my family s making pulled pork.  It's not the healthiest form of protein but I think I can work around it without too much trouble.  We'll see how it goes.  If I fall down a little I know I can rebound from it.  I also know that one lap around Balboa Island is 2.6 miles.  If I walk it, I'll burn approximately 400 calories. 

Wish me luck!

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