Photo Diet: Day 1, Dinner

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Dinner did not go as planned. I had made a nice low cal soup, and was actually worried about meeting my calories for the day. Then, just after I packed my lunch I found out my partner had decided to take the day off work for his birthday. I was expecting the birthday celebration on the weekend, but instead we had a small celebration with his sister last night, and we’ll have to see his mother this weekend or next weekend.

Birthday celebrations for us me that the birthday person gets to pick the restaurant – he picked an Indian Buffet, and cake.

So day 1 turns out to be the first day I have to post less than ideal eating photo’s. I tried to be good, and make good choices. I don’t know that I succeeded at that. However there are some small successes. I ate less than I normally would have, and I was at a buffet and thinking about making good choices.

2 1/2 small glasses of Orange Juice for 1 cup = 112 calories

2 1/2 small glasses of Orange Juice for 1 cup = 112 calories

My sister in law drank all of the rum, so I resisted the alcohol and had the orange juice plain. But I did get 2 glasses for 1 cup of orange juice.

White Wine 1/2 Liter = 410 calories

White Wine 1/2 Liter = 410 calories

There is an argument to be made that I didn’t “need” the a whole half liter of wine to myself.

Indian Salad Buffet = 316 calories estimate

Indian Salad Buffet = 316 calories estimate

I started by filling half of my plate with green salad, and only a tiny bit of dressing, then I took pickled carrots, and chaat papri that is the orange looking stuff at the top of the screen, it’s a cold chick pea and potato salad with yogurt and spices. I did succumb to 2 vegetable pakoras, which are deep fried, and topped them with mint and mango chutney respectively.

This is a buffet improvement for me, I typically can have 2-3 plates of salad, and typically I eat a lot more of their appetizers, including a few samoza’s more pakora’s some onion bahji (also deep fried) and much more chick pea salad and much less green salad.

Indian Buffet Main = 737 calories estimate!

Indian Buffet Main = 737 calories estimate!

Wow! 737 calories! That is the total amount I had planned to eat today with prepared food over 3 meals and it was one main course plate at the buffet. I usually have 2 dinner plates at the buffet, and I don’t think I’ve ever logged a buffet meal before as they usually happen when I’m “off the wagon”.

I used a 1/4 cup (a small spoon) of basmati rice to cover the inside of the plate, and tried not to place anything outside the inner circle. The buffet was mainly vegetarian so I figured that may help and picked potatoes with a red cream tomato sauce, saag Paneer (spinach with fresh cheese), and Eggplant Bharta. I also limited myself to 1/4 peice of naan bread, I can usually eat one of those.

Still, I thought I was ‘being good’ and it’s 737 calories! That’s shocking! Long way to go on this nutritional and portion education me.

Gulab Jaman = 70 calories estimate

Gulab Jaman = 70 calories estimate

I should have skipped the deserts, but this is a lifestyle change rather than a diet. I’m not going to skip desert for the rest of my life, so I tried to be a bit more responsible than I usually am. I took 2 deserts not 4, which in itself makes me realize where the problems are. Gulab Jaman is about the size of a tim bit and is a cake in syrup.

Kheer = 130 calories estimate

Kheer = 130 calories estimate

Kheer is an Indian rice pudding, it’s really delicious. I took about a half cup, maybe less.

You may notice that all of the foods say “estimates” beside the calories. One of the troubles I find with counting calories in Toronto is we have a huge selection of ethnic foods that I don’t know how to cook. If I knew how to cook them I could enter them as recipes and get a better estimate of the calories. However, without recipes I’m relying on the nearest approximations available in my calorie tracker. The tracker is pretty good and does have some of the main popular indian dishes like saag paneer, eggplant bharta, naan bread, papadums, but does not have some of the others like chaat papri, gulab jaman and kheer. For those I’ve had to use my best judgement on some approximations like chick pea salad, tim bits, and rice pudding.

Mocha Cake 86 grams = 340 calories

Mocha Cake 86 grams = 340 calories

No birthday is complete without birthday cake. I got a fresh Mocha cake from our local bakery (my parnters favourite). I took one medium slice which is still a HUGE amount of calories, but I did not go for seconds and now I just have to feed him the rest of the cake over the next few days.

TOTAL CALORIES FOR DAY 1 = 2,669

Yes, that is shameful. If I ate like that everyday I would be back to a size 20 inside of a month. The good news is knowing what I’ve eaten at buffets previously I easily ate one-third of the amount. I am also now keenly aware of how much unlimited food on a buffet can really pack on the pounds.

More importantly a failure this early in a diet like this would usually be a reason for me not to do this post and to quit for a few weeks, but here it is my photo diet failure on day one, and I’m going to go on with day 2 and however long I can keep this up.

With only one day gone I can really say that I am thinking much more about what I’m eating as I have to photograph it. The photograph did make me catch a few things that I had forgot to log. I did feel like a total prat in the restaurant photographing my food, but we laughed about it and had a really good time.

Most importantly I didn’t whine about my diet all night and ruin my partners day. He had a great birthday which is really important.

Oh, and I did clean out the fridge:

My Fridge

My Fridge

See, take away gone, that white box is the birthday cake, and the tupperware containers are my healthy soup, all ready for today.

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