Friday, May 23, 2008

Chickens, Choices and Chance Meetings

The first day of the north Louisiana culinary trail presented a few challenges - mostly because of limited food choices.

Our first stop was for lunch at Big Mama's, an off-the-beaten-path restaurant where southern-style soul food is served in portions big enough for two grown men! Salads? None. Fried food, gravies, starches and desserts? Plenty!

After carefully peeling off my fried chicken skin, other folks at the table gobbled it up like hungry baby birds in a nest. My two sides of baby limas plus okra and tomatoes were the healthiest choices on the cafeteria buffet. But talk about good!!

By mid-afternoon, we were sampling fresh strawberries at the West Monroe Farmer's Market. Just across the street, Daily Harvest Bakery features huge freshly-ground whole grain cookies, all naturally sweetened, and none with more than 200 calories.

Last night, we were guests at the local university for Wine Over Water, a fundraising event where guests stroll a bridge spanning a bayou while sampling wine and hors d'oeuvres from local restaurants.

Luckily, I found a tray of fresh fruit at one station. Not far away, Dilla's restaurant - dubbed a fresh Mexican grill - handed out samples of chicken tortilla soup, made with whole wheat, lard-free and trans fat-free ingredients.

But the biggest surprise of all came when a former high school classmate said, "Has anybody gotten in touch with you about our 35th class reunion on June 6? Last I heard, nobody knew your new last name or where you moved."

I didn't attend my 10-year reunion because I was in the hospital having a baby. By the 20th, I was just going through a divorce. By the 30th, I was too fat to be comfortable. But NOW?! You betcha!
I called DH last night, and we're ON!

Here's me before Healthy You Challenge. (You'll notice nearly every picture of the less-healthy me has nearly half of me hidden!) Check out that chin!


Hanlie said...

Ah you looked beautiful then and even more beautiful now! Grooming is so important and you're impeccable in both pictures. Enjoy the rest of your trip!

MargieAnne said...

Sounds as though you are having fun while working. It must be a huge challenge to eat well while doing your job.

How neat to meet an old classmate and feel so confident in your new look too. Judging from the photos you've always been beautiful and I know what you mean about making sure that 1/2 of you is covered by another person. *giggle* I do the same. We all have our little tricks

Cammy said...

Now, see, looking at your before (what "you" actually shows in the photo), I wouldn't have thought you had much, if any, weight to lose. Until I saw the "now" photo! What a delightful difference! Again, congratulations on all your successes!

I'm so glad you're trip is going well. I love those wonderful hole-in-the-wall restaurants like Big Mama's! You're right: not a lot of healthy things on the menu, but a taste of this and that is always a wonderful treat!