First I have to tell anyone living in Oakland that the food at Penrose restaurant will blow your mind . They have a flatbread that is out of this world. It is crispy thin and you get little blobs of sauces and some dill and mint sprigs and you just won’t believe how good it tastes. When your tongue picks up the perfect hint of crazy fancy sea salt you will cover your mouth and close your eyes and just sigh. At least that’s what I did.

Also the lights are beautiful, their cocktails are the bomb and they feature great music…for example the song Cruisin by Smokey Robinson. Swoon.

This is me happy to be eating real food – quelle difference!

You might say that I am not a good judge of how yummy something is, since after The Great South Beach Diet Meal Delivery Fiasco of 2019 and my own lackluster meal prep – well anything is delicious by comparison. Fair enough.

But now I got me a good new plan and it’s called Only Eat It If It’s Really Yummy.

I know that this is a hopelessly first world bordering on offensive concept, but think about it.

If you only ate food that really speaks to you – wait for it…. food that brings you JOY (if I’m riding the current wave of first world personal growth according to Netflix)  – well, you’d eat a lot less and feel a whole lot better.

Provided that you already have excellent, healthy taste in foods. Which we all theoretically do, right?

I’m combining this with Thin Within principles (eat when you’re hungry, stop when you’re full), a strict ban on nighttime eating as a cure for boredom and all that ails us at 10pm (no, no NO!), as much movement as I can work in between work and taking to my bed (sorry but it’s February) – and I am going to compare this free range February eating with my month of externally restricted eating. So tune in Feb 28th to see if I actually dip below my current low which I’m going to stop repeating because it doesn’t bring me joy. I don’t really identify as 160 pounds, mmkay? My driver’s license says 125. And so far no one has accused me of not being me on my driver’s license.

It must be very confusing following this blog, so for the few brave souls out there who don’t mind a little whiplash, I know what I said. I know. It came from a good and honest place, I swear. I wanted to be featured in the South Beach Diet Success Story Gallery. I thought it was in the bag.

As G-d is my witness, if following these eating plans had done anything remarkable for me, I’d have stuck with it. It would have been so much easier to have actually blasted off when I said I was gonna blast off.

I lit the rockets, then fell into the ocean. I know. I know.

At least this way you get to hear about great food, though I suspect it was more fun to be a fly on the wall with the South Beach thingie. Because haven’t we all been just a little bit curious?

Well, here’s to hoping that I saved you from that fiasco. Also I need to report that the actual price for the partial South Beach Diet Food that they masquerade as all-inclusive is over $500/month and since I got a DEAL, I have to pay for another month’s food before I can cancel without a fee. Yep, they employ every scam tactic in the book to rip you off, I mean to support you in your weight loss journey.

After twenty minutes of wrangling that included me threatening to get a note from my doctor (I’m my own doctor, heh) stating that the food led to unbearable constipation and gas, I got to at least change my plan month two, after which time my “obligation” will be “fulfilled”. The woman on the phone I tried to complain to was a pro. She said I hadn’t added in appropriate amounts of greens and vegetables and she was right. So best I could do was shift my plan over to only breakfasts and snax for my final month. I now have the ability to pick my poison, I mean choose my specially engineered junk food, I mean hand select my own delicious (not) South Beach Diet delivery meals.

In a week or so I will be receiving forty-eight packages of high protein cheese puffs and some diet candy bars they call breakfast. After that, I’m freeeee!

Today Monica came over to strangle the cat. I mean play the fiddle. She taught me the second part of Kitchen Girl and we ate lunch. We each had a mini sandwich on Hawaiian slider bread (squee!), some cheese, black bean hummus, nuts, arugula and roasted vegetables.

Not being one to forget a lesson learned, I made two extra slider sandwiches for lunch next week and packed up some sliced cheese (I do love cheese) and hummus. I meal prepped in like ten mins. Throw in some greens and…done.

Really yummy.

I do understand I have given myself permission to eat white bread. But don’t panic, it’s only an experiment. Because goodness knows that I’ve been known to buy a mini Reese’s peanut butter cup at the gas station when I’m filling up. So it’s just a little bit of bread. Like the good old days.

Right now I’m battling Super Bowl vs. Ballet.  I really want to stay home and drink wine and watch the Super Bowl. Hold on….ok I’m back. Just made a reservation for ballet class so that takes care of that.

See, not a quitter.

1,2,3, and off we go.

And c’mon February!