A Splurge Day

by Lisa on Monday: Jan 14, 2013

If there’s anything I’ve learned in the past several years, it’s that consistency is extremely important for me when I’m trying to reach a goal. If I want to create a new habit, I need to do it every day. If I want to resolve to lose weight/get fit? I also need to work on it in some form every day.

I know a lot of people will say that if you’re embarking on a “diet”, that it’s good to give yourself a cheat day during the week so that you don’t go insane, and when I first started on this new goal of mine, I told myself I would do the same. But once I got started, I found that I didn’t WANT to. It was really weird at first, but in the back of my mind I sort of knew that once I had a cheat day, I’d probably go a little too overboard with it and then the next day, would want to keep cheating.

Saturday was technically my first cheat day of the month (though I should clarify: I have been letting myself have little treats here and there on all other days too. Just within moderation and nothing overly indulgent). D and I were celebrating our 3.5 year anniversary and we decided to do something we don’t do nearly enough: go out to eat and have a date night! We decided on the Melting Pot, which we had both been to at some point in our lives, but never together.

It was a great meal and pretty much exactly what you’d expect from the Melting Pot: indulgent, decadent, delicious, and WAY too much. I had two cocktails while we were out on top of the cheese fondue, chocolate fondue and a house salad. Both of us left feeling like our stomachs were going to explode. So: cheat day was in effect!

Being that it was a special occasion and a restaurant we almost never go to, it was worth it and I don’t regret deciding to go out. However, I have been a little off on my diet since then, and since that meal on Saturday, I also haven’t tracked my calories at MyFitnessPal.

It’s time to get back on track! We’re about halfway through the month and I have about half of my 6.5 pounds left to lose before the January Diet Bet comes to a close. Let’s see what happens!

Vacation Recap: Hawaiian BBQ for a Vegetarian??

by Lisa on Thursday: Oct 25, 2012

In case you’re just tuning in, I’ve been recapping some of the amazing meals and adventures from our recent trip to Disney World.

One of the most interesting and out-of-the-ordinary meals we enjoyed while we were there took place at ‘Ohana at the Polynesian Resort. We had never been there before and really hadn’t even heard of the place until our travel agent recommended it to us. I was skeptical at first because the menu is Hawaiian bbq food, which is pretty much ALL meat. So I talked it over with our travel agent and she let me know that they would be very accommodating and have a very nice vegetarian meal that isn’t listed on the menu.

Polynesian Resort 3

When we first arrived at the Polynesian, we decided to walk around the hotel a little bit and do some exploring since it was completely new to us. It’s one of the deluxe hotels which means it is extremely expensive, thus likely a place we’ll never end up staying, and so we were expecting pretty big things. The lobby and shops inside were very nice and the Polynesian theme was very well done.

Polynesian Resort 2

As soon as stepped off the monorail and into the hotel, the skies opened up and it started pouring. This was also the very last night of our trip so this dinner had the potential to be slightly somber as we knew we didn’t have much time left on our vacation. However, there is SO much going on at this restaurant that it was able to distract us from this fact.

Polynesian Resort

We had a prior reservation, so we didn’t have very long to wait until we were seated. When they called our names, we were escorted by one of the hosts to our table and on the way he gave us a mini tour of the restaurant. He showed us the bar, the barbecue (which was out in the open), pointed out the drink selections (all of which were served in glowing glasses) and tonight’s dessert. Right before we arrived at our table, he pointed to the food selections and said, “We have pork, shrimp, chicken and steak. You don’t pick one, you get them all.”

As soon as the waitress arrived at our table I asked about the vegetarian option (I guess I was still a little skeptical), and right away she told me about the entree (which would also be all you can eat) and some special appetizers they make for veggies like me.

Well, the dinner didn’t disappoint. My first appetizer was an Asian-style noodle dish with green beans and broccoli, and then the SECOND (again, I didn’t explicitly pick these things – they just give you everything!) was pita chips with three different kinds of hummus. My favorite was the sun-dried tomato, but all three were extremely delicious, so much so that when I got back home to my regular hummus I found it kind of boring.

My entree came out and was quite large and filled with lots of good things: tons of vegetables, and a generous helping of roasted potatoes. They also presented us with three different dipping sauces, which did spice up the dish a lot. I could have gotten the dish refilled at any time, but it didn’t take too long until I was so full I couldn’t take another bite.

And then….

Dessert came out! It ended up being a bread pudding style of dish with caramel sauce and bananas and topped with ice cream. It should come as no surprise to you at this point that this dish could ALSO have been refilled as many times as we wanted.

From a meat-eater’s perspective, D really enjoyed his meal as well and was equally full when we were done eating. He didn’t particularly care for the steak, but the chicken and shrimp were his favorites and the appetizers for him were equally pleasing.

This meal was included in our dining plan so we didn’t have to pay anything but the tip, but when we took a look at the bill, it was actually quite affordable. It was around $35 per person, which when you consider the endless amount of food we got, is really quite a good deal, especially at a fancy resort in Disney!

Have you ever tried Hawaiian bbq?

Second Chances: A Return to Tokyo Steakhouse

by Lisa on Friday: Oct 12, 2012

After a visit to Tokyo Steakhouse a few months ago that was disappointing to say the least, D and I found ourselves back at that same mall with his mother this past week and with no other great options in sight, we decided to take a chance and give the place another try. We knew it would be a risk because of the bad service and so-so food that we had last time, but with both of us loving Japanese food so much, we figured it would be worth it to give it one more try and if this experience was as bad as the last, that would be the last visit.

We could tell things were different right away, as our waitress wasted no time coming over and was extremely attentive. D’s mother had never had Japanese food before and ordered hot pot which involves cooking your own food as you want it on the table in front of you. She had a lot of questions and our waitress was patient and gave her tips on the sauces and spices that were available on the table. This waitress was so drastically different than the one last time (the waitress who forgot we existed, got mad when we wanted dessert and then pretty much abandoned us before we were done, forcing another waitress to take over) to the point where she was almost TOO attentive.

This time around, I got the Japanese noodle soup with vegetables and udon noodles. Whereas last time my dish was devoid of veggies and not nearly big enough for my appetite, this dish was massive, as Japanese noodle soups tend to be. There was an abundance of carrots, leafy greens, peppers, broccoli, and other veggies and the broth was very tasty. I added a little soy sauce, some hot peppers that D’s mother didn’t end up using for her hot pot meal, and a little of the crushed pepper spice. Those additions really upped the spice factor!

I almost had trouble finishing the dish, especially after ordering my usual avocado roll, which was just as good as it always is, wherever we go.

D got the same dish I did, except his included some pork and also came with shrimp tempura. He had no complaints and finished the whole gigantic bowl, which is rare for him.

We all decided to get dessert because it was a special occasion (D’s mother’s birthday was only a few days prior to this). He and his mother split the strawberry cheesecake we got last time.

And also unlike last time, this time around we were offered the “special” dessert menu, which is separate from the regular menu and confusingly seemed to be full of very Italian-sounding desserts. From this menu, I found the Pyramid, which was advertised to be a chocolate mousse in the shape of a pyramid with some kind of caramel center. When I got it, it was completely frozen, to the point where i could barely get pieces off of it to put into my mouth. Shouldn’t mousse be more of a creamy, smooth texture, instead of frozen? This was the only disappointment of the night.

I guess it pays to give second chances because we were all very happy with our experience that night. I think we’ll actually be returning there from time to time and on top of all that, we ended up only paying about $60 for all 3 of us total, which when you consider the amount of food we got is an awesome deal!