Food: Cheating vs. Living & My Fave "Cheesy" Detox Kale Salad
Last weekend I went to visit a friend in Philly. It was a girls weekend with my four best friends from grade school and so much fun!
I have to say, I've been to Philly a handful of times but never got to spend much time in the city and I actually really loved it. It's so underrated! We went to great restaurants and coffee shops, took a beautiful one hour bike ride along the river, did some boutique shopping and went to an RAC concert. It was way cheaper and less crowded than NY and had really cute streets with brownstones that kind of reminded me of the West Village. Overall, I felt like it had a similar feel to Hoboken and/or Chicago.
Where & What I Ate:
We were there from Friday to Sunday so that means 5 meals out of my usual routine. Friday night we went to an AMAZING restaurant, Double Knot. It was Asian Fusion and the cod fried rice was one of the best things I've ever had. We also really loved the truffle edamame dumplings. Saturday morning we went to Wm. Mulherin's Sons for brunch. We shared a burrata mushroom truffle pizza for the table so we could each try a slice but I wish I got that for my meal...it was heavenly. For my meal I had a truffle mushroom burrata frittata...more cheese please! (if you can't already tell I LOVE truffle and mushroom). Brunch was late so we were full until dinner and went to a Greek Spot, Dmitri's. There we ordered a bunch of apps for the table...hummus, greek salad, baba ganoush, shrimp scampi, octopus, squid. Everything was really good and this was one of our lighter meals (other than the endless amounts of pita). After the concert on Saturday night, one of our friends really wanted pizza. I wasn't the least bit hungry but after a night out I couldn't resist. So yes, we had MORE pizza. Talk about throwback...this was a usual for us in high school. The next morning we went to Res Ispa Cafe for a goodbye breakfast. I got a chai latte with soy milk and an egg sandwich (with egg, cheese and some herby green sauce on a house made english muffin).
For me, this was A LOT of indulging. The main things that would throw me off here are the carb heavy breads which make me bloated, the cheese which gives me a stomach ache and then just eating out in general where they use more salt, butter, etc (fried rice, crispy spicy tuna, etc.). Oh and of course we drank. Not too much, but more than I usually do.
Cheating vs. Living
Do I regret "living" this weekend in Philly? ...enjoying some quality time with my best friends over some delicious meals and drinks? Absolutely not. I was recently listening to one of Chris Kresser's podcasts about weight gain and cheating vs. living. In it, Robb Wolf made a great point that I agree with 100%. Eating healthy and foods that are good for you and your well-being is a lifestyle...not a diet. I eat healthy majority of the time but there are also times when it's okay to deviate from your normal routine such as on vacations. If I eat healthy majority of the time, and then make the decision once in a while to enjoy what's around me, or immerse myself in the culture at a new place...that is OK. That said, I also must be fully aware of the consequences. If I'm going to get just a small stomach ache from a certain kind of cheese, then maybe that's OK for me to deal with every once in a while, but not as part of my regular diet and also not if the consequences are going to make me feel worse than that. He also made the point that doing this shouldn't be referred to as "cheating" but instead as "deviating" from your normal habits.
So what happened after this weekend of indulging? I paid for it. But nothing too extreme. When I got home on Sunday I felt bloated and tired with a little stomach ache, assuming it was a combination of eating foods I don't normally eat that I know usually have this affect on me + not sleeping in my own bed + drinking. When this happens I like to start detoxing asap to get back on track for the week. To do so, I drink extra water (+ lemon) and try to eat as light and clean as possible. Below is one of my absolute favorite dishes, not just for this but also in general. This was my dinner on Sunday night...a big ass bowla kale. But honestly I love this so much and make it all the time. So if you want to "live a little" or happen to deviate from your normal eating habits for whatever reason, give this reset salad a try!
"Cheesy Kale Salad" Recipe
- 1 big bunch of kale (make sure it's curly kale, not baby kale or Lacinato kale)...it shrinks when you cook it so I use about half a bag from Trader Joe's
- 1 tablespoon of either coconut oil or avocado oil for cooking
- Himalayan Pink Sea Salt
- 2 tablespoons Nutritional Yeast
- Head pan over medium - medium-high heat with oil.
- Add kale + sea salt after oil heats and cover. Mix and recover until kale is soft and darker green.
- Add in 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
- Remove from heat and add half to bowl with 1/2 of the remaining nutritional yeast + sea salt. Top with remaining kale and add the rest of the nutritional yeast + more sea salt.
*Salt can be added to taste. Don't go overboard with it - the nutritional yeast will already give it a salty flavor.
*For those scared of "nutritional yeast" because it has the word "yeast" in it, don't be. It's "cheesy" tasting flakes that I add to EVERYTHING. Benefits = high in vitamin B12 (great for vegans!).