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Heading in the Right Direction

It’s not typically the best time to start a new nutrition program around your birthday, especially if you celebrate for a solid 10 days. Such was life last week. I had three post-birthday dinners with friends! Instead of worrying about it, I met with Meridan Zerner, my Cooper Clinic dietitian, who helped me plan my week. We researched restaurants and menus. It was amazing how quickly she could evaluate each dish and broke them down into: order as is, make modifications or just say no. So here are some of the highlights:

Monday – I met a friend at Houlihan’s and the plan was we’d split the humus plate and I would get the spring rolls for my entrée. Humus was great, but I was cold sitting on the patio so I ordered a cup of chicken tortilla soup, light on the cheese, for my entrée. I tried my first Michelob ULTRA® 65 calorie beer (had two) and was well within my calorie count for the day. Success!

Suprise gift from Meridan! Healthy Steps Portion Control Nut Bowl

Tuesday – Meridan stopped by and brought me a gift. This Healthy Steps™ handy portion control cup measures one or two ounces of nuts or whatever. I carry it my purse now. What an awesome surprise!

Wednesday – I met a friend at Cafe Express. Meridan orders the veggie salad with chicken, dressing on the side. So that’s what I did. It was delicious, although I ended up eating all of the salad dressing. I expect the idea is to leave some in the little cup. One glass of wine and done.

Thursday – Meridan called me at work to check in. “Hello?” “What are you eating right now?,” she asked me almost laughing. “Um, I’m staring at a banana,” I responded nervously. “Awesome! I’ll take any fruit you can give me,” she cheered. I passed the test. We cracked up, and I told her about my dinners. That bit of encouragement was so helpful and appreciated.

Saturday – This was a big group celebration of several people, so it was harder for me to manage. First, I didn’t know where we were eating so I couldn’t plan what to order in advance. We went to Green Papaya and my game plan was to order the spring rolls that I didn’t have Monday. But then the group ordered spring rolls and fried egg rolls for appetizers, of which I ate both. Now it was time to order dinner. I started to panic. No one wanted to split a meal. Their portions were huge. Ugh! So I ordered a side of fried rice. I only ate half of it and hoped that three hours of dancing would burn some of those calories off. Definitely a topic to review with Meridan next time we meet.

All in all, I learned that it takes just a little time to plan if you’re eating out to make sure those meals don’t derail your entire effort. This morning I weighed and lost a half of a pound. Hey, that’s pretty good considering it was my birthday week! I’m definitely headed the right direction.

This was written by Amy George former VP of Marketing and Communications at Cooper Aerobics. Amy is no longer with Cooper Aerobics and we wish her all the best with her future endeavors.

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