There’s a First Time for Everything


I had not one but TWO firsts today. You’ll need to be sitting down for this. And it won’t hurt to have smelling salts nearby.

The First First: I went to a pizza place and did not have pizza. For reals. I’ll wait while you collect yourself.

I was treating a colleague to lunch and I wanted her to choose the restaurant. She chose a place noted for its pizza. I’ve never eaten there before but I’ve heard fantastic things about it (for you Nashville peeps, we ate at Mellow Mushroom).

When I began the South Beach Diet “100 Days on the Beach” experiment, I made a commitment to follow this food plan WITHOUT letting it interfere with restaurant choices. Mellow Mushroom would make a great laboratory.

My friend ordered a slice of pizza. I ordered a salad. But not just any salad. This restaurant has a “build your own.” You select the type of lettuce, then select the veggies among a list of choices, then choose the type of cheese, then it’s on to the meats. I had mixed greens, artichoke hearts, sundried tomatoes, roma tomatoes, provalone, chicken and a little bacon. It was the best salad in the history of salads. After the meal I realized I didn’t spend one second pining for pizza. That’s really a miracle.

The Second First: Hubs and I ate dinner at a Mexican restaurant and I didn’t eat one tortilla chip. Again, I’ll wait for you to absorb that.

I’ve eaten at this restaurant boocoudles of times. (In fact, I’m the Four Square Mayor.) This was my first chip-free experience. I really scoured the menu to find something South Beach-friendly. I was going to order a taco salad and not eat the shell. Then I noticed a salad that was simply made with lettuce, cheese, chicken, onions and tomatoes. I ordered that and added a smidge of hub’s untouched guacamole. It was delish.

I have a history of eating squeaky clean during the week, then letting down my guard on the weekends. I wont promise to never eat pizza or tortilla chips again, but I’m willing to save that for an occasional night out with the girls or a family birthday party. Every weekend is just too much.

Those who know more than I do about health and fitness tell me that it’s 80% nutrition and 20% exercise. I’ve really bought in to that concept. Today I taught myself that it’s possible to eat out at traditional pig out places and not blow it. I don’t feel the least bit stuffed or gross and I’ve eaten good food that will get me through tomorrow morning’s workout.

Thank goodness I had witnesses for both firsts. Otherwise I might not believe it.

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