So….my March Break adventures were so numerous that a single post could not encompass them all. So I give you, March Break eats: part II (if you missed part I, catch up here). The title of this post refers to food choices. Sometimes (well, often) when you’re out and about and out of your own kitchen, the food available to you is not your first choice (both calorie and taste-wise). As delicious and wonderful as the food we had Tuesday night was, sadly, all of Wednesday’s options were not as tasty (and not always so healthy either). The old, diet-mentality Hilary would have gotten stressed-out and miserable when the only food available was unhealthy fare. Instead, I chose to make the best choices I could under the circumstances. Here’s how it all went down.
Our hotel included free breakfast, so I was not about to turn that down (side note: scary story – we arrived at the hotel, which was fully booked, and they could not find our reservation! Thank goodness for the wireless internet and my ipod touch, I could check my Expedia reservation and get the confirmation number….they had it with my middle name as my last name…so it was there all along…phew!). Our breakfast option was the buffet: pancakes and syrup, bacon, scrambled eggs (plain or with ham and cheese) and bread/English muffins with jam and butter. I knew I needed protein (after all, I had just completed a tough treadmill workout) so I opted for the ham and cheese eggs (plain scrambled eggs don’t really excite me), I took a small helping of hash browns, avoided the bacon and pancakes (I am pretty picky about pancakes, and these ones didn’t really look all that special, so not worth it for me) and toasted a slice of rye bread. I enjoyed the toast with butter and blackberry jam (two things that are never part of my regular breakfast routine, so a tasty treat). The eggs were not super hot and kind of greasy, but tasted ok, and the hash browns were pretty cold. So, not the best breakfast (nutritionally or taste-wise), but not as bad as it could have been.
I was pretty proud of the decisions I made at lunch time. I was tempted to splurge a little bit more since it was a “vacation” day. In fact, my sister and I had considered going for burgers. But after the heavy breakfast which lacked fruit, we were both really craving some produce. Did you know that any Subway sandwich can be ordered as a salad? It’s true! I opted for a ham salad with fat-free Ranch dressing. I was saying to my sister, I’ve only recently discovered a love for Ranch. It’s not something we had growing up, but I really like it – and the whole packet only had 60 calories! I also tried a couple of pieces of Catherine’s mango cucumber sushi (I’ve said many a time, I’m not a fish person, but I’ve been wanting to try vegetarian sushi for a while now). It wasn’t bad at all. I don’t know if you can see it in the background, but I also bought a couple packages of Brothers Fruit Crisps (freeze-dried fruit) in apple and strawberry banana. We both love this stuff! It’s sweet and crunchy, and way better for you than dried fruit, since there’s no sugar added.
During the afternoon, we enjoyed a couple of shopping treats. Have you ever heard of/tried Dippin’ Dots? My sister has a weird fascination/obsession with them (I like them too…it’s ice cream after all). Basically it’s a bunch of tiny little dots of ice cream…according to the website it is “cryogenically frozen” and they “flash freeze it into little beads.” See picture for close up of texture (note: special thanks to my sister for her help in photographing our culinary adventures and also for getting a picture of me so you can see the human behind the food 🙂 ). I got chocolate cookie dough was quite pleased with the dough-to-ice cream-ratio. 🙂 Catherine got chocolate mint. Another afternoon treat were the numerous food samples enjoyed at Le Gourmet Chef (it seems like they’re always sampling the same things when we go…we never buy, but always eat)!
We were both pretty tired, so opted for an early dinner (as in 4:15…we felt like old people). We had previously dined at Bravo and really enjoyed it. Plus, they have half-priced appetizers in the bar (which we had eaten before) so we decided to go there for a cheap option. Bravo really let us down this time. I’m not even going to bother posting all of the pictures I took because honestly it wasn’t that fabulous. We had rosemary bread with a sundried tomato dip (complimentary, of course) which was good and then ordered the Italian Wedding Soup, which was fabulous last time, bur sort of run-of-the-mill this time. The appetizers we got were a mushroom/Boursin bruschetta, shrimp Napoli and a baked ravioli with cream sauce…none were bad, just not that good. The meal left meal feeling sort of gross, but unsatisfied…does that make any sense at all? I find it frustrating when you spend extra money (and calories) on dining out, then get food that’s just so-so.
Since I felt unsatisfied, I made some poor choices later in the evening…I ate an apple while at the grocery store (separate post to come on that later), then was so overcome by a sweet craving I ate a fibre one bar in my purse…but then also purchased 2 peanut butter cups in the bulk section (I figured that would be wisest, so I wouldn’t have more around than I needed). At the bookstore on the way home from Buffalo, I got some sort of raspberry mocha drink (I did go fat and sugar free and held the whipped cream)…but then ate a free brownie sample and a drink sample, which did have whipped cream. And then when I dropped my sister off I had 2 caramels from her candy jar and when I got home, I snacked a bit on some of the food I bought.
So, all in all Wednesday had its ups and downs. I made some smarter choices, some not-so-smart, some things were in my control, some out of my control. Some splurges were so worth it (hello, Dippin’ Dots), some not (appetizers). Live and learn, I guess. But although the food was not always fabulous, the company was divine. I love my sister and any time we hang out together is a good time. 🙂
How do you handle it when food choices are out of your control?