The weekend has come and gone and with it, lots of food has come and gone. At least it did in our household. A food weekend it was. Let me explain.
Friday night brought us to Mendoberri, a cafe and wine bar in Mendota Heights. “Local. Fresh Organic” is their tagline. Wonderful food and good for kids (we sat next to the “kids area” which was surprisingly quiet and entertaining to our daughter. My partner and I almost had a semi-date, save the 3 month old on her lap. She didn’t interrupt conversation too much.) The hostess was charming and even held our daughter for a bit. I am sure all this wonderfulness led us to eating more food. We were comfortable, being paid attention to, and we sat our table longer because of it. And we all know what happens when we linger.
Upon concluding our dinner we decided to stop by the new yogurt shop near our home, Freestyle. Let me describe it this way: Heaven. Simple, clean, bright, and again kid friendly. The gentleman behind the counter (who it seems was the owner) was welcoming, asked us if we had been in before, and offered samples. Again, his customer service skills probably led us to eat more than we typically would. At Freestyle you pick up your cup and serve yourself yogurt (14 flavors with many others as seasonal), add from a host of toppings, and then head to the register for your “weigh in.” The moment of truth, Freestyle charges by weight. From a research perspective, Freestyle does things right. Bright lights, friendly service, big cups with plenty of room for yogurt and toppings, and most importantly, self service. (“That’s not quite enough, just a touch more.” And it’s fun to watch the yogurt swirl into your cup). Each of these by themselves will increase consumption, together, watch out! From an obesity prevention standpoint, I need to remember moderation.
Saturday brought a dinner of grilled salmon, eaten with dear friends. A few bottles of wine, good conversation. Need I say anything else?
Sunday brought a return to the grill (can you tell we just bought a new one?) and barbequed chicken. Mmmmm. My partner can cook. And I can do a really good job of saying, “Mmmm. This is amazing.”
My point to mentioning my weekend is this: Many of the factors that increase our consumption came to fruition this weekend past, for both myself and my family. Weekends have a way of doing that for they bring about downtime, a sense of relaxation, gatherings with friends, and sense of “it’s the weekend, I’ve earned this.” We all eat differently on the weekends compared to weekdays. Add in some excellent customer service and enhanced portion sizes at wonderful local establishments and our consumption is further increased. We need to be aware of these influences and be determined to not let them become habits. You will never hear me say “Stop that” or “Don’t eat that” when it comes to food. Moderation is key. There are subtle influences lurking everywhere to beat up on our moderation. The environment can be a bully. I was scared of the neighborhood bully in 3rd grade and I still am afraid of bullies today.
This morning I am wondering about strategies. How can we approach weekends and effectively say, “I will not overdo it this this time.” I will see what I can come up with.