Thursday, May 13, 2010

There's no 'No' in NOLA

As a follow up to my recent post on counting, or not counting, Points, I wanted to check back in and share what a blast the New Orleans trip was, both from a musical and, of course, culinary perspective. The Jazz Fest itself was a fantastic experience. All types of music (from Gospel choirs to Pearl Jam), peaceful and happy crowds, and the food…..

I have never experienced such divine food at faire/festival. I think my single favorite sampling was a $6 bowl of shrimp n grits. Served in a Styrofoam bowl and looking like bland English porridge, I was shocked when I took a bite to taste of the freshness of the shrimp and the smoothness of the grits and sauce. But there was also the oyster po' boy in close second, a stuffed meat bread, fried soft shell crab po' boy, creamed crawfish pasta, pulled pork po' boy, all washed down with either a single-serve screw cap bottle of white wine or a miller high life. Ahhhhhhh….. I heard restaurants compete for the booth space, which I'm sure are cash cows, and that is how the food ends up so good.

But the indulgences didn't stop there. I took my first trip to CafĂ© du Mond for their world famous beignets. I don't really care for sweets, so this was more of a "gotta do it" stop for me…until I tried one. Holy powdered sugar on a fried dougnut-ish-type-thing! We also went out to upscale dinners each night, to counter-balance the fest-scene. From fried oyster flat bread, to lamb procruito, to Kobe beef steak and duck fat roasted potatoes, my tongue and tummy were doing the happy dance! Don't even get me started on how much wine I drank. Hello old friends! And not a single point counted.

As if that wasn't enough, each night after dinner, we hit a late-late local music scene show. A couple started at midnight and one started after 2pm. So you know what that means….more drinking! Gotta stay awake, right? Between the festival, meals and practically non-stop cocktailing, the NOLA world was my fried oyster -- literally. Yes, yes, yes, I'll have it all! After 10 weeks of being semi-smart about everything, it felt really good to take a complete break and enjoy the treats of a vacation.

The third and final night I was out until 4 a.m. and up again at 6:15 a.m. to pack and run to my flight home. Much like a trip to Vegas, a few nights is about all I can take these days. My body was telling me, "Erika, seriously, enough." And I listened.

Despite 2 hours of sleep and a hangover that gave me the shakes by the time I landed at DIA for a connecting flight back to SFO, I was back on the Weight Watchers wagon. Instead of ordering some McDonald's French fries and a Coke as a hangover cure and last ditch pig-out before I landed back in the reality of home, I ordered two salads and an apple to get me though the last leg of the trip. I jumped back on the WW iPhone app to log my points all day Sunday, because I was ready. After a few days plus on the lam, it was actually a relief to have a system to go back to immediately.

Because of my healthy choices I made on Sunday, and my first good night's sleep in days, I was able to start a new routine at the crack of dawn on Monday morning. I got my ass out of bed at 6:15 to take a one hour power walk and will do this every weekday for the next two months (in addition to my regular after-work workouts). I am quite invigorated to do this and feel these walks are a treat, rather than an evil alarm clock chore. But I think that is because I got to let loose for a few great days and can now move on to this new "Phase Two" of my WW journey: The Next Ten Pounds.

Do you have a Weight Watchers hump you are trying to get over but can't? Are you stalled at the intersection of "I want it but don't really want to"? Maybe it is time to take a planned break from the points and constraints of the program. Maybe for a week, maybe for just a few days. You might find that you will appreciate being away from it for a bit, but once you've had your "fill" you can bounce back on the wagon and be content with it.

1 comment:

  1. Well done, stu!!! Very impressive. I've taken a planned break from running, but having a harder time jumping back into it. This weekend I get back on track.