Thursday, March 8, 2007

New Orleans Can Be Unkind to Diets

We left in a caravan Saturday morning about 10 AM and returned from the conference in New Orleans about 10 PM last night (Wednesday). My diet intentions started out well, but degraded as we went along. Tomorrow at the fitness center, I will find out whether/how much damage I did. On the plus side, I did a lot of walking in the hotel from the room to the various forums and workshops, on the Riverwalk, and on the street. I didn’t use the Hilton fitness center because it of the time. We had multiple workshops, roundtables, and forums to attend from 8 AM to 5 PM, including lunch time. Almost every timeslot had several things I would have liked to attend. In the evening we socialized, and that usually meant going to good restaurants.

Saturday-Holding My Own

We finally left at 10 AM after dropping our Cavalier King Charles Spaniel off at the boarding kennel, and I started the day with soy crisps. The group consensus for lunch was Arby’s on the road. This has never been one of my favorites, but I ordered a turkey, bacon, ranch wrap without the bacon and the ranch. It wasn’t too bad and I discarded about 30 % of the wrap. On the road I had 4 Organic Blue Corn Tortilla chips and nothing else. For supper, I had a 4 ounce grilled ground beef patty with steamed vegetables, grilled onions, and crumbled blue cheese. I also snagged two small fried shrimp from Sandy’s shrimp po’ boy and finished the night with two Ry-Krisp crackers.

Sunday-Not Too Bad

The hotel restaurant served EggBeaters so I had a nice frittata with onion, red pepper, and asparagus, and a slide of dry whole-grain toast. For lunch, I went to the room and opened a can of albacore tuna which I had on a slice of whole grain bread. I also had a banana and a 4 oz. Dannon all-natural yogurt. I made a mistake and the tuna was low sodium, 200 mg, instead of the very low sodium (35 mg) I also had with me. Supper was out and I had 6 oz of grilled catfish, a nice medley of zucchini, green beans, mushrooms, and onions. The twice-baked potato just looked too good and I ate it skin and all. Snacks for the day were a half cup of seedless red grapes and 4 Ry-Krisp crackers.

Monday-Sushi Leads to Harrah’s buffet

Monday started well with another frittata and dry toast, but for lunch, we went to the food court on the Riverwalk. I am sucker for sushi, so I had a California roll, and a salmon skin hand roll. I ate the pickled ginger and put unmixed wasabi on the sushi, but avoided the soy sauce. I snacked on a banana and 4 Ry-Krisps. We decided to go to Harrah’s Casino right across the street from the hotel for their buffet and a little slots action. I had about 4 oz of roast beef, 6 oz. of turkey, two cups of mixed veggies. I also tried about 2 oz. of hot and sour soup. Then, I saw the bread pudding. I had two servings of delicious bread pudding (without the sauce).

After eating, Sandy and I each took $10 to the slots. I lost mine quickly, but Sandy was up to $39 when I returned to her machine, and she cashed out at $25 (I never said we were high rollers)-a tidy $5 profit. Take that Harrah’s.

Tuesday-Free Buffets and a Classic New Orleans Meal

I started with Kashi GoLean Crunch and skimmed milk but the free continental breakfast lured me with a cinnamon raisin bagel, 1 oz. Neufchatel cheese, and a cup of fresh fruit. Lunch took me back to the room with good intentions, and I had two servings of very low sodium albacore tuna and a slice of whole grain bread. I yielded to the late afternoon hospitality buffet, and I ate about 1 oz. each smoked cheddar and jalapeno jack cheese. Supper on the last night in town had to be authentic, so we went to a café in the French Quarter and I had salad with balsamic vinaigrette, a small bowl of red beans and rice with sausage, and the fried seafood platter. I ate calamari, oysters, shrimp, and catfish, all fried. I did pass up the potatoes.

Wednesday-On the Road Home

I had GoLean Crunch in the room, checked out and prepared to hit the road, only to learn the group had decided to make a quick stop at the Café du Monde for chicory coffee and beignets (fried square donuts in powered sugar). An order was three beignets and they were delightful. For lunch, the consensus was Italian and we stopped at Johnny Carino’s, somewhere around Lafayette Louisiana where I had half the chicken skilletini (slices of chicken, peppers, onions, and spaghetti). I asked for the sauce on the side and used very little. I ate half for lunch and the rest when we arrived home. I snacked on a couple of Ry-Krisp crackers and a few soy crisps.

Home Again

I am home, back on track, and have had oatmeal, low-fat/low-sodium chili, and extra lean ground beef with veggies today. In retrospect, I didn’t do too badly but I felt somewhat indulgent. Tomorrow I will reckon with the fitness center, the scales, and the blood pressure machine. I’ll let you know.

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