Keep trim at local restaurants

Here are my tips for keeping your New Year’s resolution

By Sandee Glib on January 10, 2008

The New Year is here and yet we are still stuck with the same bodies we had last year. There is this dire need to renew and refresh. Eat healthy, workout, drink less, get more sleep, and it MUST begin January 1. But in reality, you were most likely hung over or in a food coma on New Year’s Day, so Jan. 2 had to do. For those of us in the food and beverage business, to survive we must live like everyday is Jan 2.

For years I was a “Y-Yite” (My definition: one who lives at the YMCA, figuratively, not literally). Before I was married, I lived and breathed the “Y,” and after marriage, I never stepped foot in the place. Soon after opening my restaurant a few years later, I saw the writing on the wall and it said, “Hey! You’re fat and dumpy. Get back to the “Y” and make it yesterday.”

You see this business will take your body over. It goes a little something like this: food- stress-booze-food-stress-booze-food-stress-booze, no sleep. You get the picture. Not for everyone mind you, just the highly creative and crazy like me. So taking care of myself became a lifestyle. If I am going to survive, I have to make some adjustments, and you can too.

This time of year always gives me a little giggle. Because I go to the “Y” on a semi-regular basis, I witness the New Year surge. You know what I’m talking about, membership at health clubs increase about 300 percent in January and screw the rest of us who have been going religiously for years. Well, mostly.  My point dear reader is MAKE THIS A LIFESTYLE, not a New Year’s resolution.

Eating out always gets the blame for those of you trying to lose weight. So how can I (we) in the restaurant game help you? It’s not too tough, and most restaurants will be happy to make accommodations for you. For starters, nothing against big chain restaurants (OK, I’m a liar, they are the devil), cheesy pasta with sausage and goo for $9.95 is not a good start.

To help your new lifestyle get a good start, stop by your local, independently owned restaurants, cafés and bistros. I can only speak for myself, but most places prepare everything from scratch and can tweak your order quite easily. Why today alone, I had a customer order a Greek salad with no croutons, cheese or salami. Boring yes, but it still had some great ingredients that were tasty and satisfying.

Now, most fitness folk will say, “Ya gotta cut out the booze.” Well, yes the six-pack of PBR a night might need to be adjusted (take heed, honey husband, love of my life), but you don’t have to go dry. I’ve said it many times in this here column: make my adult beverage healthy! That is why I love Bloody Mary’s. I can’t drink them all the time (sodium), so try some soda with lemon or lime in your fancy Vodka. Diet Coke with rum or whiskey works well too.

Another direction to turn is the grape. Red wine is supposed to have fabulous health benefits, just not two or three bottles a night worth (no finger pointing here). A white wine spritzer is also another light but satisfying social lubricator that won’t pack on the pounds. Chat with your favorite bartender and he/she will keep you on the straight and narrow.

To wrap it up, people, everything in moderation, except exercise and lovin’. That is my mantra. If I didn’t follow this philosophy, I would be big as a house and insane. Don’t forget, those of us in the hospitality biz feel your pain more than you know. We are surrounded by temptation every day and we are here to make your life easier … if we can.

Eat out Tacoma. We need your love.

Sandee Glib has worked in the restaurant and hospitality industry for more than 12 years as a server, bartender, cook and owner. Her opinions are expressly her own and she is always right.