Cake during birthday celebrations. A specially prepared meal upon visiting home. A pastry shared with a friend while drinking coffee… Food is the common thread throughout much of life.
Food brings joy to life for reasons more than taste: It facilitates bonding. It represents love. It is social, exciting and enjoyable.
Yet, for a long time, I lost sight of the good qualities of food. Instead, happiness, joy and pleasure were replaced by anxiety.
I passed up on invitations to eat with friends. If dining out was inevitable, I agonized over the online menu before even arriving at the restaurant. When actually eating, I was distracted, distant and often depressed.
During meals, it was as if the voice of my E.D. was always louder than the voices of my friends.
When I finally made the committment to get healthy, one of the biggest obstacles was overcoming my fear with going out to eat.
I stepped outside of my comfort zone by letting friends choose restaurants. I banned myself from looking up the menu before going out. I challenged myself to order what I really wanted instead of what was “healthiest.”
This wasn’t always easy and it certainly didn’t come naturally.
But, meal by meal, it got a little easier. I began to enjoy the company of friends. I enjoyed having a meal prepared for me. I enjoyed indulging in something I couldn’t make at home… I enjoyed food.
Now, I strive for balance. Going out to eat isn’t a pass to go all out on eating. Conversely, it is about company, laughter and experiencing the joy of food.
Upon getting home, catching up with friends has often meant going out to eat. The other day was one such example.
The night started off at one of my favorite restaurants in town, Esquina. The menu is clearly a Mexican and Latin American blend, but the dishes are more unique than any I’ve seen before.
With so many tempting foods, it’s lucky for me that Esquina offers a trio of tacos.
Consumed: Fire-roasted corn taco with chili-lime mayo. Chorizo style tofu with potatoes and assorted vegetables. Roasted purple potatoes, roasted garlic purée and poblano-corn salsa. All wrapped in deliciously pliable tortillas.
After dinner, I found room in my satisfied stomach for a special event: The grand opening of a frozen yogurt place.
3 Spoons isn’t only delicious, but the yogurt packs probiotics, which is shown to help with internal health.
There are plenty of sugar-free, fat-free and low-fat yogurt options. The toppings selection also includes fresh fruits and nuts.
To tell the truth, a few extra calories every now and then is much more worth it than sitting home, skinny and alone.
Questions: Do you have tips for going out to eat? Do you view eating as a social event?
I really enjoy cooking at home, so I don’t go out to eat too often. When I do, I try to order foods I can’t prepare by myself. I definitely believe that eating is a social event, but it can also be as simple as having friends over for a light meal.