Wading into the real food waters is allowing us to experience a lot of firsts. Tonight we had another one - our first restaurant experience where we actually tried to follow real food guidelines. We've been out to restaurants twice before since we started eating real foods. The first time, though, was a day after we started and so I convinced myself that it was too soon to worry about it. The second time was last weekend, when I took my husband out to dinner for his birthday. We had already planned the restaurant several weeks in advance, before real foods were on our agenda, and it was not a very real food-friendly place. So we viewed it as a last hurrah of sorts, and ordered all of the junk that we used to love diving into. While I was excited at the time, I felt both guilty and sick for the remainder of the evening, which was not worth the trade off.
So tonight, when we went out with a group of friends from church, we figured we were out of excuses. I attempted to do my research, scouting the menu ahead of time to determine possible options. Of course, it's hard when you don't have a list of ingredients to refer to. It was also tricky knowing that most people would be ordering appetizers to share, since they tend to be one of the least healthy options on the menu. We made a plan, though, and I am happy to say that we stuck to it. We ordered hummus, subbing in fresh veggies in place of the pita bread. We also got a cheese plate with local cheeses, and chose to eat them with the offered apples, as opposed to the cracker variety that came as an accompaniment. I'm not sure if everything was 100% real food, but I feel confident that we did a pretty darn good job for a first attempt. The only thing that was really hard for me to pass on were the nachos. I may need to try to find a brand of tortilla chips soon, so I can make my own at home. Once we got home, we enjoyed a simple taco bake for dinner. Would it have been easier to eat the free, prepared appetizers tonight? Of course. After our homemade meal, however, I feel both satisfied and content, knowing that I'm giving myself the best fuel possible before my long run tomorrow morning.