Eating out has its challenges.

Occasionally, someone asks how, or if, I am able to maintain a balanced, nutritional diet since we eat out for all our meals (lunch and dinner). The answer is I find it challenging. Kate and I are drawn to slightly different food items. That has led me to repeatedly visit restaurants where I know she and I will both be happy.

She has a much stronger preference for carbs than I do. I don’t mean that I don’t like them. I do, but I attempt to control my diet by eating salads for most lunches and some dinners. Typically, I avoid bread except on Sunday when we eat at Andriana’s. I like their bread more than other places. We also share lots of meals. That helps a lot. For example, at the Bonefish Grill last night, we split an entrée of 4 grilled shrimp and 4 scallops. It came with a small house salad which I ate. For our sides, we got sautéed spinach and mashed sweet potatoes. I ate the spinach and Kate ate the sweet potatoes. This works pretty well for me.

The big problem for us is desserts. We both love them. For a long time, however, we have only eaten dessert infrequently. The major exception is when we eat at Casa Bella. Their Amoretto cheese cake has been a favorite of ours for many years. We always split a piece when we are there. That was fine when we were just going there periodically. When they started their music nights, that meant eating there three times a month. More recently, we’ve started going to another small Italian restaurant that makes its own gelato. We eat there every Wednesday night. We’ve added a single scoop of it to our weekly routine. We’ve gone to Carla’s regularly for about a year. We eat lunch there on Tuesday. A few months ago, we discovered they also make their own gelato, and we love it. We now get one scoop of it each week, and it’s a little larger than the one we get on Wednesday nights.

We’ve eaten at Andriana’s on Sundays the past three years or so. We had never had a dessert there until a few weeks ago. For some reason, our server asked if we would like dessert. She probably hadn’t done that since the first few times we had gone there. As I was about to say no, Kate said, “What do you have?” I knew it was all over then. It turns out they had a special that day, a banana pudding cake. It was a yellow cake with two thick layers of banana pudding and a heavy cream cheese icing. Since then we have had dessert two other times. I’m afraid this could be habit forming.

To make matters worse, we’ve replaced our regular Tuesday night restaurant with the Bonefish Grill. As I noted above, we split a meal there. I failed to mention that it comes with dessert.  <g>

Here’s the real dilemma for me. I could use my will power and skip the desserts; however, one of the pleasures of our marriage involves our sharing desserts. I don’t know how much longer this will last. In the meantime, I have opted to keep it going. I’ll have to figure another way to keep my weight down.

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