On Saturday, we headed down to my inlaws' place in Southern Minnesota for their annual Farm Party. I've documented the farm party before. Last year, it was in conjunction with Joan and Dan Sr.'s 50th wedding anniversary.
This year's affair was much less extravagant, seeing the return to an informal gathering of friends and family.
However, one thing that you can count on every year is lots and lots of food. It's a pot luck affair, and there will always be numerous salads, sides, things in crock pots, breads, snacks, and of course, boat loads of tasty desserts. Oh, and did I mention coolers filled with Sprite? Those too.
Last week saw me getting back into a more focused and healthy eating pattern. As of last Friday, I was feeling much more balanced, my energy was good, and I felt like the carb crap fest from the previous week was thankfully over for the time being.
But I knew the Farm Party was looming.
Now I don't want to be that person. Oh, you know her. She's the one who gets so wrapped up in trying to be healthy that she begins to fear, or even avoid social settings in which her better judgement will be tried and tested as it relates to all tempting and tasty sugary or alternately unhealthy carbohydrates. But sometimes, I am that person.
Every time I head down to the farm, the lure of Sprite and the bread basket are often too great too resist. Before I know it, I'm snacking myself into a sugary oblivion, then wonder why on the drive home I'm sleepy and feel like ka-ka.
But this year, I decided to have a plan. First, I planned what I would bring. I put out a call on my Facebook page for new, healthy pot luck ideas, was given tons of great ideas and eventually settled on this Strawberry Balsamic Salad (thank you, Nitza).
Next, I woke up and got a run in, ate a good, filling breakfast of eggs, sprouted grain toast and butter, had a healthy snack of almonds and apples during the midmorning, and then had some more eggs at lunch time. My goal was to have lots of protein in my system before I left to avoid the cravings that so often overtake me when I see the spread at the farm. I also brought lots of filtered water to drink throughout the day. (That farm well water is almost undrinkable, which renders Sprite all the more appealing.)
I should back up and tell you, I have been eating a lot of eggs these days, often a couple a day. I'm trying to get more protein, but not being a huge lover of meat in general, it can be a tricky that. But I digress…
When it came time for the 5 p.m. dinner, I filled my plate with my salad, then a most delicious and simple potato salad, and some succulent roasted turkey breast. I avoided the buns and the pasta salads and found my meal to be just right.
I even tossed in a handful of delicious Wisconsin cheese curds (unfried, mind you) for good measure.
I did have a serving of Dairy Queen ice cream cake, but much less that I usually go for at these affairs.
By the time we packed up and headed out in the early evening, I was completely surprised at the choices I made.
It wasn't about depriving myself of good food. It wasn't about counting points (though I did keep track of what I ate via my Lose It app). It wasn't about being that girl who can't enjoy herself at a party.
It was simply not going overboard and entering into Ye Olde Party Fueled Food Frenzy.
I woke up on Sunday feeling really proud that by making better choices, I felt better throughout the day.
This isn't too say a Crap Fest isn't in my future. I think you all know how that pendulum can swing. It just means it feels pretty good to make better choices on any given day.