Tonight I'm going out for Thai food with two of my best friends. Both of them are incredibly beautiful and enviably slim, in addition to possessing many, many more awesome qualities completely unrelated to how they look.
And whenever the three of us go out for dinner, which is about once a month, I can't help but notice that they seem to have, shall we say, cracked the code. That is, without making a big deal about it, they seem to know how to eat out without throwing all their good eating habits over their shoulders like so much rosemary-scented organic sea salt. Unlike myself. To 'splain...
They don't drink like it's their last meal on Earth.
When the wine list arrives, my slender and smartypants friends will order and enjoy a glass. I, on the other hand, tend to be the one pushing for a bottle for the table. (Liquid calories may be my biggest enemy, especially when combined with my compulsive frugality.)
They don't order like it's their last meal on Earth.
Even at a Thai place, you know what? There's fish. There are vegetables. There are things to eat other than noodles and rich curry sauces. (My brain does not seem to register those options, oddly enough.)
They don't eat like it's their last meal on Earth.
If one of my lovely lady friends orders something like mac and cheese, she doesn't eat the whole thing: She'll eat about half or two-thirds and then get the rest in a box. (I am a member of the Clean Plate Club, to my chagrin...although even I have been known to raise the white flag of surrender when faced with the extra-large portions they tend to serve at restaurants.)
Maybe it's a peculiar hangup from my childhood, when dining out was a big deal, a celebration, an adventure...but what I've realized is that I tend to over-indulge at restaurants. Even though I live in New York and go out to eat at restaurants all the time, I still order and eat and drink like I'll never have the opportunity again. Weird, right?
So tonight, I'm going to try drinking less, ordering something veggie-packed and relatively coconut-milk free (like Som Tum, just about my favorite dish ever), and stopping when I'm full. Simple. If only all good habits were so easy to form...
Anybody else have a good dining-out tip to share? Let's hear it.
By Siobhan Adcock
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