As my previous post mentioned, I'm focusing on getting buff and working toward attainable health goals. I'm going to be covering a lot of broad bases over the course of the next year, but one of them is learning to control myself when going out to eat.
Let me preface everything I am about to say with this:
Chicago is amazing. Chicago restaurants are amazing. We have some of the best restaurants and chefs in the world.
Food trucks line the block next to my office on the daily. I live walking distance from two NY by the slice pizza places that I love. I just discovered the art of the late night post-drinking burrito. There are German beer halls opening up left and right in the city, some nearby my new apartment. Eataly is opening up a ten minute walk from my office building... dare I go on?
But in light of my decision to get "swoll", i.e. fit, healthy, and toned - I need to work on a bit of portion control, and build up the will power to not grab a bagel from Reno every time I forget to make coffee and breakfast. I want to spend the next year allowing myself to eat what I want, at the restaurants I want, but with control. Not always ordering an appetizer, or the dish made with heavy cream and pancetta. Skipping dessert, or maybe not ordering another round.
This past weekend was my first opportunity to experiment with fine-dining and pseudo-dieting, in the form of the ultimate challenge. Brunch at Publican. Publican is beautiful, everything on the menu rules, and they serve some of the best meats and cheeses in the city. But eating light/right at a restaurant like this is truly a challenge in itself. After reading and re-reading the menu multiple times, I found it nearly impossible to find a light, healthy, vegetarian option... and don't get me started on how badly I would have loved to drink a Bloody Mary. Determined to find something that was "better" for me than sausage and pork belly, I opted for the scramble, a cup of Joe, and plenty of Chicago's finest tap water. Yes, I did breakdown and try a bite of my dining companion's porky deliciousness, but I also made sure to order consciously.
Which brings me to this: I can dine out and have fun, while still eating right. It's up to me. I am in control of this, wherever I go.
This weekend at brunch was a big epiphany for me, and you know what, it was still delicious.