The other day, a friend put up the following on Twitter, "@DianaTakesaBite I shall call u blimpie from here on out..."
I responded, "Blimpie?"
"'Blimpie'... because of all the food u consume and the indigestion u must endure. Pretty soon you'll b as big as a blimp!" She wrote back.
Her words, while meant to be in jest, hit me hard. Especially after receiving a random personal message on Yelp a few weeks ago asking, "How are you not a big giant fat person?"
Looking over many of my blog posts, reviews on Yelp and updates on Twitter, it does appear as though I do eat an obscene amount of rich, decadent food. I go for pizza and ice cream. I treat myself to multi-course meals, I regularly post about my chocolate finds, and I am not one to turn up my nose when offerred a cookie. It is not hard to see why people think that I am constantly shovelling calorically dense food into my mouth with no regard for my health or hip size. I can't really blame them for thinking I am on the path toward a weight problem, Diabetes or, as my friend put it, a state of blimpdom.
What people don't see, however, is the healthy meals I prepare for myself most nights of the week that include whole grains like quinoa, fresh steamed vegetables and lean proteins. Or the sack lunches and fresh fruit that I take with me to work every single day. Or the green tea or water that I drink instead of sodas or sugar-laden fruit juice. In addition, while I do review quite a few restaurants, I actually eat 85% of my meals at home, limit my intake of alcohol, and, more often than not, eat my chocolate finds in moderation. A couple pieces of Hershey's Bliss dark chocolate after lunch and two Trader Joe's chocolate ice cream bon bons does not a blimp make. Especially considering my levels of physical activity (5 days of cardio + 2 strength training sessions every week).
This salad I made for lunch on Saturday, composed of balsamic-marinated grilled chicken, fresh cherries, roasted asparagus, green beans and shallots, and a moderate sprinkling of slivered almonds and feta cheese, exemplifies how I approach most of my meals. I enjoy delicious, foodie-friendly foods that still fuel my body and provide me with the proper vitamins, healthy fats, good carbohydrates and lean protein grams that I need to get through my day. I truly endeavor to make sure that I get at least 5-7 servings of fruit and vegetables every day, and am conscious of what I'm putting in my mouth when I am not indulging at a nice restaurant, chowing down on pizza with my parents, or seeking out a decadent dessert find for Sugar Bomber. I am able to truly eat whatever I want on those occasions because of the healthy habits I adhere to when I am not shovelling in the bacon, ice cream and cheese.
Plus, I do crazy things like go for ten mile hikes to nowhere on my "lazy" Sundays. (But, more on that later.)
The point is that the elicit images of food porn that I put up on this site are not representative of my entire diet, and I don't at all encourage anyone to subsist on an all pork fat or all ice cream diet. I do, however, encourage a diet that doesn't label any food as forbidden -- a diet that is about balance. Follow up a hearty meal at the meat lover's paradise, Animal, with a salad the next day. Eat a lighter lunch when going out for a big meal in the evening. And, by all means, eat a couple pieces of dark chocolate after lunch every single day. It doesn't just taste good, it's practically virtuous! Especially if eaten after a salad like this...
Grilled Chicken, Cherry, and Roasted Asparagus and Green Bean Salad
Grilled chicken, marinated in balsamic dressing, sliced
Mixed field greens
Fresh, ripe cherries (or dried)
Asparagus, green beans, shallots, tossed in olive oil, salt and pepper, and roasted in the oven at 400 degrees until tender (approximately 15 minutes)
Balsamic dressing made with balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, lemon juice, honey, salt and pepper (to taste)
For another take on how to maintain a healthy "foodie" lifestyle, check out LA and OC Foodventures H.C.'s other blog, Foodie Fitness.