Being flexible when things just don't go as planned.
There are three objectives to my annual pilgrimage to Tiverton, Rhode Island: indulging in the amazing bakery and ice cream shops, hitting a favorite, funky clothing store, and taking in the beautiful surroundings by bicycle. The terrain is bucolic, perfect for riding with its gentle rolling hills lined with farms and old stone walls, classic and unpretentious New England homes and stunning views of the ocean. The clothing store, Abigail and Marigolds, never disappoints (except for my husband who patiently waits in the “husband chair” as I try on and ultimately purchase more comfy, fun and colorful garments).
We arrived just in time for lunch—what a coincidence—and headed right for Provender, the bakery café. We were sensible enough to share a sandwich, leaving room for what we really came for—the baked goods. We split a carrot cake cupcake (quite small, I might add, except for the mound of cream cheese frosting), a chocolate orange cookie and one oatmeal raisin. Then off for the ride! We covered a good number of miles over the crisp fall-like late afternoon before returning to our parking spot. Yes, we were conveniently parked near Gray’s ice cream, an establishment known to us for their exceptional homemade quality ice cream.
But it was dinner, real food we were seeking, and so we sought out a fish restaurant that was recommended. Twenty minutes later we arrived back at Gray’s. The restaurant was closed on Sundays, and it was already getting late and we were now quite hungry and ready desperate for some fuel.
What’s a girl to do? Stuck with ice cream. So I attempted to order a “kiddie” size, typically a small, ½ cup size intentionally omitted from the menu so that you’ll spend more money for a larger portion. But to no avail. No kiddie size possible. Sure, I could have said “then just a very small scoop, please” but no, I just couldn’t bring myself to, not at $3.50 for a small. And so I order a “single scoop”, the small (coffee chip, I might add). And it was good. Delicious, in fact. But enormous. What was supposed to be a single scoop had to be about 1 ½ or 2 cups of rich, premium, high fat ice cream. And yes, I finished every creamy bit.
At that point, fantasies of fish fillet were put on the back burner. I had no interested in dinner now, as my hunger was well taken care of. But an hour and a half later I felt like I needed a little something. So I made a light dinner, a salad with a bit of feta and croutons and felt quite satisfied.
What can you take from my Tiverton experience? Certainly, that it's a lovely place to visit. But also that sometimes we need to just go with the flow. Food wise, things didn't quite go as I had planned. Ice cream for dinner? Much as I love ice cream, it wasn't what I had in mind. But feeling quite satiated after a portion that exceeded my needs, the best thing was to wait until I was hungry and delay dinner. And if needed, eat a light dinner. But not because I had consumed too many calories and I had decided that I needed to reduce my intake. But because quite frankly, I didn't need any more food at that time. And pushing to eat what you believe you should eat--whether to satisfy other people's needs, or to get in some protein or other nutrients you believe you need at a meal after consuming more than you needed, is a mistake.
The other point I hope you'll take from this is that there's a place for baked goods. And ice cream. Not only when you are active, but even when that's what you are yearning for, simply because it tastes good. And eaten in reasonable amounts that fit with your need, it is 100% appropriate!
Now one disclaimer-I don't recommend daily, large portions of premium ice cream and baked goods particularly if you care about disease prevention, like keeping cholesterol levels in range. But is there a place for these items in the context of a healthy balance diet? Absolutely.