What my foodstravaganza taught me about sticking to nutrition any time


Lena restaurant, Saks Fifth Avenue, Toronto Eaton Centre

I’m in the midst of a “foodstravaganza”. I have no idea how else to describe it, possibly because I’m up to my eyeballs in food and everything’s a blur! I mentioned in my post yesterday that it’s a long weekend, so a lot of events have popped up. I will say this, Friday is probably the worst food day I’ve had in years. Most people I know had a half-day of work or left work early. So, the festivities started early. I felt like I was on vacation, constantly eating at restaurants. I had made last minute reservations at a relatively new vegan restaurant Planta that Aldo had mentioned in his post about the best vegan and vegetarian cities. But the first time slot I could get was 9:15 pm. And I need to eat every few hours…so this is what happened.

What I did (I need a shame face emoji)


Delicious oyster mushroom lettuce wraps at Planta

To try to condense my food binging day as much as possible, I’ll skip over my breakfast and lunch to when everything went sideways. At 3:00 pm I had beef stew at a place called PJ O’Brien. It’s simply the best Irish stew I have ever had (I will take a gluten hit for this – that’s how good). I eat it until I get the meat sweats. For those of you who have never had that happen, it’s when you’ve eaten so much meat that you start sweating. I was starved by 6:30 pm. And what do you do when you’re overly hungry? Sometimes you make poor food choices (well I do!), so I ordered chicken wings with fries. Later that night, at Planta, and I will say this, the food was outstanding, we first ordered appetizers to share so all of us could taste a few different things. And then I had gluten-free deep-fried mushroom wraps. I cannot imagine how many calories were in this meal, but overall I would not be surprised if my caloric count was more than double what I would usually eat. I fared better on Saturday, I ate a lot but tried to get back to opting for healthier choices. So, I think I scared myself silly from my day of excess.

Today it’s a last-minute planned barbecue. It’s going to be 13 degrees Celsius, or 55 degrees Fahrenheit. What do you do when it’s what I call “a Canadian winter’s patio weather”? Sit on a patio and/or have a barbecue! So hosting duties today, but also I can control the cooking (since I clearly have little to no willpower at the moment).I’m also reminding myself of what I do when I backslide.

Some options if you’re dining out or hosting a party with food

If you’re hosting


Why not play a game? I continue to add Murder She Wrote references where I can!

Sometimes the stress of hosting a party causes people to eat more than usual. If that’s the case, it helps to create activities that don’t focus solely on food. Here are some fun ideas that may help.

  • A 20 questions game to get to know the guests better.
  • Watch a movie or videos.
  • Karaoke contests.
  • Play board games, cards or darts.
  • Dance competition or musical chairs. It can also help work off some of the food.

If food is a central part of the party, try some of these ideas.

  • Serve fewer appetizers; they tend to be higher in fat and calories, or look for substitutions such as veggies.
  • Try to cut down on the percentage of fats and salt you cook with and substitute for some other spices. For example, I use mustard to marinate lots of things because of the low fat and calorie count and then cut way down on the amount of oil I use.
  • Space out food accordingly, so people (including you) don’t overeat.
  • Eat treats in smaller quantities, such as baking in small amounts so that it gets finished in one sitting, with no tempting leftovers.

Whether you’re hosting or a guest


Fruits are a healthy option to cake or pie.

When food is an important part of the evening, make sure you make or choose nutritional options. Here are some examples.

  • Instead of cakes or pies for dessert, try sorbets or fruits. I know it’s not the same, but they have so much fewer calories, fats, sugar, and cholesterol. If you’re a guest, and there are none, try to forfeit the dessert.
  • Cut carbs in half.
  • If you’re unsure of ingredients and are shy about asking, try to eat less of that food item.
  • Use less or no dressings, sauces, and dips.
  • If you get tempted easily, ask friends or family to help keep you in check.

Whatever changes you make, it’s important to ask family members and friends to respect your choices and to refrain from tempting you with goodies.

For additional tips on reducing calories and fat, or if you have specific concerns about your diet, consult with a nutritionist or registered dietitian.

Today’s barbecue has darts, videos and 20 questions on deck!

What are some of your suggestions?

31 replies »

  1. Great post! Sometimes, we got to live a little and indulge. My nutritionist told me that it fine to do eat vacation food occasionally as long as I make up for it.


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