Saturday, March 19, 2011

The Curse of the Gulab Jamun: 3/14/11

Ah, another week.  This week's blog entry, which is always "supposed" to be typed on Monday evenings (I have a little free time on Monday least sometimes...), is happening six days later.  Yep, it's Saturday, and I'm hanging out with the hubby and the baby and sipping cold coffee while lamenting the mountain of calories I've consumed in the past 46 hours.

I had a really, really decent week, up until Thursday's dinner.  I ate only 1100 calories both Monday and Tuesday (EXACTLY!), and I did 50 minutes on the elliptical machine both Monday and Wednesday.  PSYCH!  I weighed 157.0 pounds at my Monday morning weigh-in, and by Thursday morning, after only three days of diligence, I was at 154.0!!!  This is the lightest I've been since before September 20th!  I was thrilled and pumped up by my success. 

And then, as it so often happens... I experienced a FAIL of epic proportions.  I never cheat a little.  When I cheat on my diet, it's always to the EXTREME.  (Why do something half-assed, right?)  

I had a perfect day Thursday right up until dinnertime.  I had eaten only 530 calories by 6:45 p.m.... right on track for another 1100-calorie day.  

Then I went to India Palace with the teenager for dinner.  

I'll never pass up a chance to go to India Palace in Duluth.  It's my favorite Duluth Restaurant, and has been since it opened in 1998.  It's also the teenager's favorite spot.  We go there together whenever we find ourselves with an hour of free time at the same time, which really isn't often enough.  We've been trying to make this happen more often recently, though.  And when we are able, this is where we love to go.  The food is, in a word, perfect - every time - and we always order the exact same things.  Here's the spread we had on our table Thursday evening:

Veggie samosas are a flaky, pie-type crust stuffed with potatoes, peas, and spices.  HEAVENLY.
Tamarind chutney gets drizzled (poured...!) over everything.

One order of naan is two HUGE halves of a circular piece - similar to pita, but much lighter and flakier. 
Basmati rice is delicious!  My all-time favorite.
Kheer is Indian rice pudding, seasoned with pistachios.  Lauren's fave dessert!
I always have two cups of hot chai with my food.  Mmmmmmm!
So that was our spread.  My stomach is twisting with hunger right now, as I'm typing this and drooling over these pictures.  I wish I had the time (energy?) to shop for the necessary special ingredients (most are at the Whole Foods Co-op, rather at our grocery store), drag out our Indian cookbook (or look up great recipes online; they're all there...) and cook this food at home.  I should make the time, but so far, I haven't.  But it's probably just as well; all the carbs and rice and sauces and cream would probably have me weighing 300 pounds in no time, because I cannot eat this food in small portions.  I have tried.  It's impossible for me, and I don't say this flippantly.  It. Is. Simply. Impossible.

So our meal progressed; we stuffed our faces and barely bothered to visit, we were so blissed-out by the perfection of the flavors and the scents around us.  The crazy thing is, it was really just a few appetizers - I was trying to be good by not ordering a larger entree.  If I'd wanted to be REALLY decadent, I would have ordered a vat of my favorite dinner:
Navratan korma has nine main ingredients - all scrumptious!!!
So our fabulous appetizer extravaganza was winding down, we were both stuffed, and out of the corner of my eye I caught the dessert menu on a little cardboard thingie.  At the bottom was a picture with the following description:  "Milk Balls in Sweet Syrup."  Now I ask you:  What person would NOT want to try something that sounds so interesting?!  I had to know what constituted a "milk ball."  So I ordered it.

Gulab Jamun, in the preparatory stages...
Enter:   the Curse of the Gulab Jamun.  Oh my GOD, these were some sweet milk balls.  I managed to get Lauren to try a teeny bite, even though she was already bursting from her pot of kheer... she turned green and looked like she was going to lose it all.  She whispered, "TOO SWEET!" while holding her hand over her mouth.  I ate the remaining 3 3/4 balls.  Yes, it was very, VERY sweet.  They were delicious, seriously.  Kind of like a donut hole (same type of carby-licious "material...") and the syrup was just that - a watery, sugary goo that they were swimming in.  I finished it.  And those milk balls were kind of the straw that broke my stomach's volume limit on Thursday.  I was so absolutely, uncomfortably full when I got home, and all through that night, that I barely slept.  I would order Gulab Jamun again, but ONLY if I hadn't eaten a full day's worth of calories in the 45 minutes leading up to it!!!  NOT wise.  Bloated, flaccid misery.  And the next morning...I was UP THREE POUNDS on my TRAITOROUS scale!!!

Now, if anyone else had done what I just described, they would most likely have a nice, LIGHT eating day on Friday.  This was my plan as well.  Morning coffee, CHECK!  Eat nothing for hours after that, CHECK!  In fact, by 1:15 Friday afternoon, I had only consumed a total of 200 calories.  I was on-track to have a great calorie-counting day.  Then all holy hell broke loose.  It was like something snapped in my brain; I ate one of baby's forgotten Ritz crackers, and POW - handfuls of carbs followed, shoved in my gaping mouth and swallowed whole, without even tasting them.  Sesame sticks, dry roasted peanuts, dried mango, yogurt-covered raisins, pretzel sticks, cheesy-Goldfish-type crackers.  All within about 7 minutes.

I drove to my dermatologist's appointment at 1:45, feeling disgusted and remorseful.  I was doing SO GREAT!  I was still stinging from the three India Palace pounds, and could have - SHOULD have - driven back to work after my appointment, instead of drowning my misery at Hacienda del Sol.  Yeah, that's right.  I drive right past my old stomping grounds (I waitressed there for two years...) on my drive back from the clinic.  I decided that aside from my carb-inhaling offense, I really hadn't eaten much all day.  So I told myself that IF there was a parking space nearby when I drove past, I would stop ONLY for an appetizer - NOT a meal.  Just my luck; there was a space right in front.  BAH!  I went in.  I got my complimentary basket of homemade chips and dish of mild salsa, and I ordered a half order of homemade guacamole - my old manager, Kevin, makes THE BEST guac.  Lots of lime, lots of tomatoes, fresh avocado.  YUM!!!  THEN, as I started to order my diet Mountain Dew, it came out sounding more like, "margarita."  I have no idea how this happened!!!  But whatever; I thoroughly enjoyed my little chip-and-alcohol fiesta at 2:20 p.m. on a Friday afternoon.  How often do I do this???  Never, THAT'S how often!!!
Homemade chips and salsa - DELICIOUS!!!
Homemade Guacamole - AMAZING!
Hacienda's margaritas are mixed by hand and ON TAP - they look exactly like this.  PERFECTION!!!
It was, in a word, BLISS.

Up another pound this morning.  Am refusing to eat anything so far today.  It's 1:30 p.m. now.  Tonight is a long-overdue date night with my hubby.  This means Guadalajara and a movie, or in other words, roughly 2000 calories.  I guess it's fasting until 5:30 for me!!!


There's always Sunday, right?

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