On that list of “Things Single People Are Scared Of”—aka Why I am secretly afraid to get a dog:
Just something I come back to whenever I need to remind myself why I bother at all…
For better or worse, I like dating. The process of figuring someone out is fascinating. It’s also fun to have a reason to dress up a little and go new places and try new things. When it’s good, it’s good. However, it can be frustrating and, yeah, a little bit soul-crushing, especially when your mailbox is flooded with Save-the-Dates and your Facebook feed has magically become a giant baby picture album and oh! Look who else got engaged this week…
Apparently, being a sane, healthy, gainfully employed woman with a masters degree is a handicap in New York City. I’ve often been that person someone dates right before they meet their next long-term partner. That said, I’m wired for optimism, and my workaholic nature means giving up just isn’t an option, despite the sh!t that comes out of my mouth sometimes. If nothing else, I’ve had a wide range of experiences, complete with a few ridiculous stories, some good to offset the bad.
Since this is a food blog, I thought I’d share a few things I’ve learned about staying well-fueled while playing the field. Granted, some of these are mainly applicable to ladies looking to find a suitable gentleman friend, but for the most part, they’re just common sense for anyone. Common sense some of us may have come to accept through learning the hard way, that is…
- Eat a snack before heading out or stash something in your purse if you’re at all ambiguous about whether food will be involved. As my friend Ryk puts it, it’s hard to be sexy when you have low blood sugar. By this, I think he means that crankiness and dizzy/sweaty/shaky-ness are not exactly conducive to playing the get-to-know-you game.
- One or two drinks max (and note: if tequila is not your drink, it will most likely still not be your drink on a random weekday night)
- On a dinner date, order what you feel like eating, not what you think you should order. If you want salad, eat salad; if you want lobster tacos, go for it. Order what you’d order if you were out with a family member or friend you’re comfortable with or by yourself. Also, if he picked an expensive place, don’t automatically assume he’s going to pay, but do consider that it’s likely because he wanted to bring you there and show off his good taste and fat wallet. Because $$$ = inches or something? There are exceptions, of course. If his online dating profile name is something like Srching4Sugar_Mama, just say no.
- On that note, let him pay on the first date. Old-fashioned, yes, but still applicable for a reason.
- If your overwhelming thought is “That’s nice you want to hold my hand and all, but I really just want to eat this taco,” that’s probably a sign. Especially if it’s a first date. Am I just out of touch or is hand-holding on a first date a little weird?
- Know your deal-breakers. For example, if you can’t stand eating in bed and you find a gentleman caller eating cold McNuggets (with BBQ sauce) in your bed while you are trying to sleep, tell him to take it to the table. Not that this has ever happened to me or anything…
- Beware the man who drinks his dinner. This goes for booze, smoothies, and Master Cleanse-like concoctions. The exception to this one is a very attractive bartender I used to chat with about juicing (I was working on an article about it) who would work his way through a big green smoothie throughout his shift. Because I have a tendency to play it too cool/dumb, he probably thought our conversations really were just informal research to me.
- Be upfront about food allergies. Always.
- Never underestimate the awesomeness of the afternoon walk & talk. One of the best dates I ever had involved getting green juice and walking down by the river for a few hours. Never saw the guy again, but I had a great time.
- Be open to being spontaneous. If you’re having a good time and he suggests grabbing a bite after finishing a drink, it’s oaky to say yes if you want to go. On the flip side, of course, don’t feel obligated. Listen to your gut. Your time is your time—no explanation or apology needed. Also, you could always be the one to suggest a change of scenery—no need to leave it up to the male of the species to dictate the course of the evening, you know?
What are some things you’ve learned about dating and eating?
This month’s WIAW theme is sensible snacking. I don’t know about you, but I definitely need to eat between meals, especially on days I work weird shifts like 7-3 and then have things going on in the evening.
I’m not gonna lie—I am way out of my element in this Food Service rotation. Luckily, I’ve found that by pretending I’m totally calm and capable, I start to sort of believe it myself. I’ve been having a much better time than I thought I would! Being able to set my own pace and manage my time in a way that works for me is nice. Still, I miss being up on the floors and seeing patients. That face-to-face interaction keeps me energized throughout the day, so any chance to get out of the basement, I’m, like, “Let’s go!”
I’d thought I’d be spending more time behind a desk, but I’ve actually been up and about a lot, running between buildings doing a million things a day, so snacks have definitely come in handy. Here’s how I got through Monday, one of those lovely 7-3-ers. Luckily, I was able to get in a little lie-down in before I had to go back out for an evening event.
Snack: Baby carrots (unpictured)
Dinner: Leftover kabocha squash risotto, side salad because I forgot I’d already had salad
Do you like to snack between meals? If you do, what do you reach for?
Good morning and happy Sunday. How’s your weekend going? I’m heading up to Cambridge for the night to see A Memory, A Monologue, A Rant and a Prayer. I actually really like taking the bus by myself, especially if it’s a nice day, and I’m looking forward to getting some work done on the trip. Last night, I made some overnight oats, so breakfast was ready and waiting when I got back from the gym. Me being me, I also have lunch packed.
Some of the people in our group were taken with the cat wandering around.
I didn’t stay out too late because I had early-morning plans that involved a walk on the High Line. I hadn’t been since the summer, and it was lovely on a chilly, sunny morning when it was still quiet out.
The rest of the day was pretty mellow, complete with mimosas, a trip to the Hells Kitchen flea market, and other good weekend-things.
What’s been the best part of your weekend so far?
While I know I’m hardly the only person guilty of this, it drives me crazy sometimes that I tend to order the same thing at certain restaurants. Case in point: whenever I go to a diner, I pretty much always get an egg-white omelet with spinach and feta. Wheat toast. True, it’s delicious and fairly healthy, but I always roll my eyes at myself for being so predictable.
Yesterday, I met a friend for lunch at the Renaissance Diner in Hells Kitchen—trying to make time for weekday lunch dates with my girls while I still have a flexible schedule! We were both craving eggs, so of course I thought about ordering my old stand-by. But I didn’t! Instead, I ordered an egg-white vegetable frittata…So okay, maybe it’s almost the exact same thing, but this had mushrooms and tomatoes and broccoli. And it was amazing. I’m a little obsessed with mushrooms right now. Progress.
Pardon the abundance of “what I ate”-type posts lately. I’ve been trying to squeeze in as much bill-paying work as I can while I still have control over my schedule. A lot of people have been asking me how I’m going to handle freelancing once I start my internship, and to be honest, I haven’t totally figured that out yet. I have a few plans in place to help keep me sane, but I know it’s going to be a bit of a balancing act, at least in the beginning.
Still, I’m excited. I’ve been working toward this since 2009, and within a year, I’ll be just about ready to add MS, RD to my business card. Even if the next year is going to be nuts, I know I’m going to learn so much and, because I can never seem to help it, end up with a lot of stories to tell.
Do you tend to order the same thing at restaurants? How do you stay sane when your schedule is crazy?
Happy Sunday. Hope everyone’s had a lovely weekend. I’ve enjoyed a good mix of work and play…
1.) Breaking in new boots that already feel like you’ve had them for ages. When my feet are happy, I’m happy.
2.) Cocktails in speakeasy-esque bars. Sometimes it’s fun to step outside the wine & beer box—or okay, bottle, because we all know I’d never drink wine from a box, right? If you knew me before, say, 2005, please don’t answer that question.
After a workout, it’s amazing, the things you find yourself craving. For whatever reason, a warm bowl of spinach, roasted veggies, and homemade falafel sounded like the perfect lunch on Saturday—topped with hummus and goat cheese, of course. On the side? Roasted sweet potato rounds. I will definitely be re-creating this weirdness in the near future.
4.) Speaking of working out, is there anything better than taking a long shower afterwards and then putting your pajamas back on? I spent the better part of Saturday afternoon in my favorite old slip.
6.) This Tumblr. It’s like Pinterest, only better.
What are your “things” for Sunday?
Health professionals often recommend smaller plates to people looking to eat less. While a lot of research has shown visual cues to be a major aspect of satiety, a recent study published in the recent issues of Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics suggested that eating off of a smaller plate may not necessarily lead people to eat less.
10 overweight or obese women and 10 women with a normal BMI were randomly assigned to have lunch using either a small (8.5-inch) or large (10.8-inch) plate and to serve themselves, eating until they were satisfied. This was done on two different days, using a different sized plate each time. Results showed no difference in energy intake due to plate size, weight status or plate size by weight status. Subjects ate the same amount regardless.
According to senior researcher Meena Shah, a professor of kinesiology at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, the overweight and obese women “reported lower levels of hunger and prospective consumptions before the meals and felt less full after the meals compared to normal weight subjects despite no difference in energy consumption between two groups. This suggests that overweight/obese individuals may have a lower ability to sense hunger and fullness than normal weight adults.”
However, it’s worth noting that this was a very small study, and the subjects were told to eat until satisfied. Had they been given a one-plate rule or at least not known which size plate they were using, it might have shown more directly whether the , uh, size mattered.
Sorry, I just giggled a little.
What do you think—does plate size matter?