1 crumpet with butter&manuka honey (rectangular.)
Medium portion of fruits and nuts (about half of the bowl pictured.)
Satiety Level: Neutral
Medium portion of creamy tagliatelle with pancetta, chicken and wholegrain mustard
2 small slices of veggie pizza
1.5 large potato wedges
Satiety Level: Full
Medium portion of veggie soba noodles
4 tiny dhoklas&sweet chilli sauce
Medium bowl of Chinese-style corn soup
1 homemade scone with Bertolli and jam
Small bowl of fruit and nuts
Satiety Level: Between pleasantly satisfied and full
Great day for proving to myself that I can easily carry these conscious eating principles and McKenna’s Four Golden Rules over to eating out at a restaurant. Circumstance meant that there was a 7.5 hour gap between breakfast and lunch. With a lot of running around and work to do. So by the time I met nearest and dearest for lunch, it was 3.30pm and the place we were intending to eat at had been depleted to a cold, skeleton (not literally!) menu. But the pizza place next door was still serving, so we went there instead.
Firstly, the food was much tastier than we were expecting. And the short, blonde, bespectacled waitress who served us was unobtrusively smiley. The small goat’s cheese, rocket, olive pizza promised not very much, but delivered a scrummy taste sensation because of the good quality ingredients. Far superior to your Pizza Huts and Pizza Expresses and Dominoes. Hell, I wasn’t going to mention its name, but it seems churlish not to considering how much we like the food there. It is the Terrazzo del Giardino in the Trentham Gardens Garden Centre in Stoke-On-Trent, Staffordshire.
Every mouthful of the tagliatelle was luscious. And the whopping potato wedges were very simply cooked in olive oil, but were very lightly, fluffily potatoey. Basically the best we’ve ever had!
And despite being pretty ravenous by the time the food arrived, both nearest and dearest and me maintained a firm grip on our portions. I had seconds, but they were very small. I was full by the end, but not stuffed. Up till 1.5 weeks ago, if we’d dined out at the same place, we would have ordered a pizza, tagliatelle, potato wedges and, at least, two starters. And possibly dessert. And we would have polished the lot off! As it happened, we ordered a sensible amount. And we had most of the wedges, half of the tagliatelle and a couple of slices of pizza left over!
We also managed to eat in close to total silence. We talked in between mouthfuls, but the eating part itself was distraction-free. This, we realize, will prove more of a challenge when we are dining out in company. As might photographing the food for the purposes of this blog. But we might just have to come clean with our friends when we have to.
The only – slight – gripe about the restaurant was the way in which the second waitress reacted with a slightly pained look to our request for a doggy bag for our leftovers. A few minutes later, she delivered the tagliatelle and pizza and wedges back to us in kitchen foil! No plate. No take-away box. No receptacle of any kind. Just the food itself wrapped in foil! If it had been accompanied by an apology for this inadequacy or the unpreparedness of the kitchen to send out doggy bags, we wouldn’t have minded. But it was accompanied by a mildly contemptuous look. Which encourages me to make sure we ask for doggy bags every time we dine there! In fact, in future, we might even take some plastic containers with us to save their precious kitchen foil budget! I’ll be interested to see what look she gives us in response to that!
Anyway, I was very decently full. Probably more than I had usually been after most meals since beginning to eat consciously. But I was planning a trip to the gym to do some upper body weights, so I figured I’d need the fuel.
And my gym workout was, indeed, pretty intense. Very slow reps. Heavy weights. No more than 10 reps per exercise. Back, arms, shoulders. Bish bash bosh. Modest evening meal post-workout. Very tired by bedtime. Which is why I’m writing this the following morning. Great night’s sleep. Whenever possible, I aim to be asleep by midnight at the latest.
Today, I will hit the gym for a good session of walking/running/chi kung. I might do that first, before lunch. And then knuckle down to write and do the other pending work.
I still have some corn soup left. And some dhoklas. And fruit from this morning. That should take care of lunch. And I plan to make a veggie pasta for the family meal tonight. (Using, for the first time ever, some black truffle oil we bought at Trentham yesterday. I have no idea how much to use. I’m guessing very little by the size of the bottle and the expense!)