Saturday, January 16, 2010

Mrs. Thighs Vs.The Chocolate

It's been almost two weeks and I've been going strong with this whole healthy living thing, but last night, I faced my toughest challenge yet: I had dinner at Max Brenner (, a chocolate bar that's in New York City.

Those who know me can tell you that I'm a crazy chocoholic. I mean, I crave the stuff. I have at least one chocolate thing every day, but it's usually something low-fat, like a cup of diet hot cocoa or a Weight Watchers brownie (which are surprisingly good). In this case, though, I was surrounded by all different types of hot chocolates, chocolate cakes, chocolate fondues and even chocolate pizzas. Yum!

When my girlfriends first sent me the link to show me where we'd be meeting for dinner, I was going to kill them. Not only did the online menu have lists and lists of these delectable chocolate items and drinks, but they had huge pictures of the desserts! Huge, freakin', gorgeous photos of fudge cascading over brownies and whipped cream piled high over ice cream ... I'm not exaggerating when I say that I nearly cried.

However, I took a deep breath and clicked on the link to the dinner menu and discovered that the restaurant actually served real food. I then came up with a game plan: I decided to get the lemon herbed chicken with baby spinach and then share some fruit and chocolate fondue with everyone else for dessert.

I'm proud to say that I stuck with my plan.

The chicken was a little dry, but tasty, and it came with really well-prepared mashed potatoes and spinach. After eating about half of that, I was pretty full. Then for dessert, my friend and I shared a fondue, but we asked for extra fruits instead of cookies. The waiter, who was incredibly kind and helpful, happily obliged. I was tempted to get one of the chocolate martinis, but ordered a Diet Coke instead.

I didn't entirely stick with fruit -- I had a couple of marshmallows (the fondue comes with a little burner so you can roast them; how cute is that?!) and a piece of my friend's chocolate egg roll (which was served in a Chinese restaurant-style takeout box), but I didn't go crazy with the extras. Happily, the fruit chunks were enormous -- I seriously had to cut the strawberries into quarters. I only wished that they'd had a wider variety of fruits. They served the giant strawberries, bananas and pineapples, but some apples and kiwi slices would've worked well, too.

Anyway, when I left the restaurant, I felt full, but not stuffed. And when I awoke this morning, I didn't have that heavy "food hangover" feel that I'd sometimes get after a binge. Instead, I had a nice memory of having fun with my girlfriends in a funky restaurant. It was exactly the type of evening I always imagine that "normal" people have out -- they enjoy their meal, but aren't obsessed with the food, and appreciate the entire experience of being out for the evening.

I know that this was only one meal, but this shows me that I am capable of practicing moderation. Hopefully, I can keep it up for the long haul.

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