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I count calories.

No - that's not right. Counting calories implies that I have a set number of Calories and that I can only consume that many per day and that I am a calorie nazi. This is not the case.

Record keeping is a skill that OTC teaches as soon as you start the fast. The goal of record keeping is simply to be mindful of what you eat so that you can notice patterns and find out what is a good number to aim for. It's not even about the daily number, but the weekly average. When you put weekly caloric averages against weekly weight average, you can learn a lot about how your body deals with food and exercise.

It's taken me a long time to finally come to terms with record keeping. When I first started eating real food again, I felt a sense of rebellion and frustration to my record keeping. I hated it, I hated feeling like I was being restricted to a certain number every day. I hated that I couldn't eat what I wanted. I felt that my emotional self worth was somehow tied up in the numbers that I wrote down every day. If I slipped up and had a candy bar, I felt a surge of shame having to record it, I felt like a failure, like someone else was reading these numbers and would know INSTANTLY, just by numbers alone, that I had candy that day. I was starting to develop an unhealthy complex.

Of course, instead of doing the healthy thing like talk to my behaviorist about this, I decided to go on about a three month sabbatical from record keeping, from a healthy diet, and from OTC. Now, some of this was also me finally dealing with a lot of other things that were going on in my life at the time, but it provided me with a much needed release. I was kind of like a teenager again, pushing my boundaries and learning what my body can and cannot do when it comes to processing food (such as - my body cannot maintain its weight when I eat chinese take out about three times a week...).

I started January with a reset and I started keeping records again. This time I am able to separate myself from the numbers I write down. I stopped caring about reaching a mythical, magical number and just focused on eating RIGHT. When I did this, record keeping became a hell of a lot easier and I found out that I was consuming less than 2000 calories a day and still feeling energenic, healthy, and happy. Most importantly, I feel good about myself. I love seeing the how the weekly averages effect my weight. What the avarages mean is that I can have one day that's a high calorie day if it means that the days after it are lower calorie days. I can plan things out accordingly and still feel good about the food I eat.


Jonathan and I have this disgustingly cute thing we do: we keep track of the board and card games we play and write down the winner. At the end of the month, the person who has won the fewest games treats the other to a nice dinner. Seeing how I got my ass handed to me this month, I decided to treat Jonathan to dinner at Salt House and abuse my insane employee discount.

We went last night. First - I want to preference this by saying that San Francisco at 5:45 on Super Bowl Sunday? DEAD. And do you know what happens when you have a kitchen full of bored chefs with nothing to do? They to Incredible Things. They do Incredible FREE things.

So we went in for our reservations, were seated right across from the kitchen, and were treated to two glasses of their sparkling rosé. We ordered two appetizers: Poutine (think thick cut french fries smothered with white cheddar and short rib gravy) and crispy shrimp salad (lightly battered shrimp served on a bed of green beans with almonds and serrano ham); and for our entrees, I ordered the short rib and Jonathan ordered the braised calamari (mmmm....delicious baby cthuluhs.

Before our appetizers came out, we had a gift from the kitchen - each of us got a dayboat scallop wrapped in bacon. The scallop was perfectly cooked and was amazingly succulent. I love me a good mollusk, I'll tell you what. Our own appetizers came and were, as always, delicious. It was nice to have the scallop because I probably would never have thought to order it myself - I tend to be conservative when I go out to eat because if I end up taking a risk and not liking what I get, I feel like I wasted money.

So after our appetizers, I went up and thanked the boys at the kitchen - Richy was moonlighting as the expo and as I came up, jokingly gave me directions to the bathroom (out the door, down the hall, first right past the elevators, ma'am). Back to the table and some more chat with Jonathan, another gift from the kitchen appeared at our table. This time is was Sonoma Rabbit with lady apples and ricotta gnocchi.

Oh. My. God. This was foodgasm on a plate. The rabbit dissolved in my mouth to be just the pure essence of flavor. The gnocchi was so light and savory it was like a little tiny orgasm in dumpling format. The kicker? The rabbit wasn't even on the menu that night - they had a bit of it and Aaron was bored and wanted to have fun. Our server Nick said that last night people were cleaning the bowls with their bread when they ordered the rabbit. Yes, folks, it was THAT GOOD.

Then, just before the entrees that we ordered came, we got one more gift from the kitchen! This time it was a small scoop of blood orange sorbet as a pallet cleanser. It was light, crisp, and incredibly refreshing - perfect for getting us ready for our main course.

My short rib was fantastic - it was so tender I needed my knife only to hold the meat in place while I pulled it apart with my fork. Jonathan's calamari was decadent. I think, though, I will still on cloud nine due to the rabbit, so I'm not able to give the short rib the write up it deserves!

After they cleared our plates, Chloe asked if we would like to see the dessert menu. Jonathan said that if we were going to go over calories, we might as well make it count for something, so we said yes. We ordered the Carrot Cake and the Chocolate Malt Bavarian. When they brought it to the table, Richy came out and presented us with the Salt House cookie plate, loaded with sugar cookies, snickerdoodles, chocolate chip cookies, oatmeal raisin, and a few others. We decided to focus on our own desserts and take the cookies home with us!

My chocolate malt bavarian was served on crisp rice with a vanilla marshmallow. The flavors and the textures complemented each other so nicely. The carrot cake was especially fun because last wednesday, Richey brought in an experimental version of it for me to try - it has ground ginger and a kind of nut mixed in with it and served with a cream cheese icing. It was a very great take on a classic.

Overall, Jonathan and I were BURSTING at the seams. We joked about just walking home to Pleasant Hill, but settled for a walk to the Embarcadero Bart Station instead. By the time we got there, my muscles were kindly reminding me that hey - they were more needed in the aide of food digestion over anything else. We both commented on the fact that we haven't eaten this much food - eating to discomfort - in a very long time. However, we both knew that it was worth it. Before we left, I went up to the kitchen to thank the boys once again for everything they did for us tonight, and they just told me I deserved every bit of it.

So yeah - I have NO IDEA how to even begin to count the meal that I had last night. I know that I'm going to be a lot more calorie conscious for the rest of the week, but I know that that's something I can do and really? It was worth every single bite.
You didn't try the Priest?
I'll go back when Judge is on the menu!
You ate rabbit?!?!?! :(
Come to Salt House sometime! :D And come with me for the insane discount ;)
sounds like a plan!