Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Starting a Weak Week

Why is it that when it comes to feeding a large group of people - over one hundred - the food is generally poor tasting?

Today was an advertising industry luncheon event - the kind I have been too many many times over the years. No matter the event it is always either at the Hyatt on 42nd Street or the Hilton on 6th Avenue. Both hotels have scores of conference rooms for events in the thousands, or less than one hundred. Another thing that they have in common -- every luncheon serves rubber chicken.

Today's event had a chicken and a salmon filet - both looked horrendous, and my colleagues confirmed my suspicions - why break with tradition and serve something edible? No matter, I don't swim in those waters anyway. I grabbed a waiter and asked for a vegetable platter which they accommodated. Peppers, asparagus, lettuce, tomatoes all in oil. Not great. But, I don't expect lunch at those events; I choose to eat before or after. And for lunch I grabbed a salad and edamame, but cut back on the miso!

Dinner was at a fabulous tiny old ramen noodle place on 56th Street called Menkui Tei, but the dirty yellow awning says Larmen New York. It’s a simple, tiny, cheap eatery with the two chefs behind the counter straight out of Central Casting. These two very old Japanese men look like they walked off the sets of Bridge Over the River Kwai, Sands of Iwo Jima, and Tora, Tora, Tora (or maybe out of the island jungles of the real thing) moved to New York City and opened up the greatest ramen noodle shop I have ever been to, hands down. Not only one of the best meals I have tasted, I had the vegetable ramen, but the single greatest meal under $10 in the entire world!

"What a minute!” you say. "What about your 'sprint' this week? Noodles and not vegetables?" Yeah, I know, I know! Throw in some damn jelly beans, and you've got a weak start to the week! My dear friend from Boston called me tonight all I did was bitch and moan about my choices today, and my blueberry smoothie did not make me feel any better either.

I know some of you have that knee-jerk reaction of, "Hey, it's OK, everyone falters." To me that excuse is like telling a great golfer, "Hey you screwed up Sunday, but you played so well Thursday through Saturday."

In a word, that excuse doesn't wash.

The closer I get to the finish line, the more apt I seem to reward myself with technically vegan, but off script from the Eat to Live screenplay.

I'll turn it around tomorrow, Wednesday. And if I don't I'll confess, but I would welcome some old school, pre-Vatican II penance!

Tomorrow's goal - fruit and vegetables ONLY, and a vigorous work out before work.


Naina said...


I know how you feel. I too have been going of plan. While I am doing great as vegan goes,........my nutritarian eating has suffered.
I have not battled weight my entire adult life. So, for me it is all about being healthy. I started "Eat to Live" to battle IBS. I have been faithful since early Jan. Faithful that is until 2 weeks ago. I honestly thought my IBS would be so much better by now, and it is not.
That fact has brought on depression, and I have been eating way to many carbs. (comfort foods)
I said all that to say, perhaps there is something bothering you too, that causes you to seek out comfort foods?
Knowing why, won't necessarily make it go away. (It doesn't for me) But, it helps emotionally to understand the why, behind the relapse.
All in all, you have much to be proud of!! I am excited for your journey :)

Vegan Epicurean said...

Sorry to hear you had a rough day. It is always difficult to find decent food at conferences. We have found if you contact them when you register they will normally make a veggie meal without dairy. While these meals are normally bland and boring they are at least reasonably on plan.

Good luck today!

Terrence said...

Thanks Naina -- I actually do know why I make some less than stellar choices, and in the case of candy, bad choices. First, I have never had a sweet tooth until this diet, and when I eat too much salt (edamame with salt, miso soup, noodles ramen) I get a craving for sweets. When I eat healthy - oatmeal in morning, then salad, I also get a sweet tooth around 3 PM. Not sure why. Secondly, I will go for the impulsive falafel wrap, or Japanese noodles at night for the same reason all those 1960's sitcom fathers would make a drink after a work. It just makes me feel better.

Naina said...

I just thought of something odd.
You never had a sweet tooth until now? (this diet)
I have never had a salty tooth until now! (this diet)
Twice I have munched down on salty
baked chips! This concerned me greatly, as I have observed throughout my friendships........all my friends that loved salty chips were obese.
So, now I have this fear it might get me too!

I wonder what is up with this?

Danielle said...

Hi Terrence, I followed ETL/EFH principles and started developing a pretty nasty eating disorder (Bulimia) because I felt immense guilt for eating off the plan and I also wanted desperately to reach a goal weight. I fully support Dr. Fuhrman and believe in the nutritarian lifestyle, but just be careful! From working with a nutritionist, I have learned to eat more during breakfast and lunch and less at night. A smoothie for breakfast followed by a salad for lunch has not been sufficient for me even when I put beans, nuts, and seeds on the salad. I was getting hungry and craving chips/sweets in the afternoon (then feeling guilty and then binging). Once I adjusted and ate oatmeal/fruit/nuts for breakfast and "dinner" for lunch, that mostly disappeared. Also, I learned that taking a "good enough" attitude towards my food choices for the day really lessened my feelings of guilt and negative self talk (which can fuel more unhealthy eating behavior). Good luck in your goals and treat yourself well!

Terrence said...

Thanks Danielle - very interesting!

garden said...

To Naina: there's a food colorant that is made from a plant called Annatto, and it doesn't get listed on the ingredients of North American products (because it is "natural coloring"). This product is illegal in the European Union because it causes IBS. Eliminate it from your diet, it you really want to cure your digestive system.

garden said...

Buddy, the best film for ramen eating is "Tompopo". It's Japanese with english subtitles, and it's as hilarious as it is profound. If you like Japanese films, wash that down with a real beauty, Kurosawa's "Seven Samurai". Bon Apetit.

Terrence said...

Thanks G - love Secen Samari, and Roshomon, will have to check out Tompopo.