How To Celebrate Without Guilt

Eleven Madison Park

May 16, 2013   28 Comments

A friend of mine told me to write about my visit to a fancy-shmancy restaurant. This is a shot of the lovely table setting at Eleven Madison Park in New York City.

I took the photo as I was admiring the beautiful room. The pitcher on the left is our water pitcher. Isn't in amazing how they meshed the practical with the accents?

My husband and I were celebrating our 10th wedding anniversary and we picked this restaurant for the food. Before I go any further, this is not a review of Eleven Madison Park. Snack Girl doesn't have the foodie chops to pull that off.

I do want to thank the staff and chefs for an unforgettable experience and meal. I hope (some day) to return.

What I want to talk about is how wonderful it is to forget about guilt, calories, points, and just celebrate with food. Let go and just give in to its wonderful textures, flavors, smells, and nuances.

Here is an example of what I am talking about. When I go out to dinner on a regular night, when the bread basket arrives, I ask for it to be returned to the kitchen (unless I am really hungry).

Here is the bread offering from Eleven Madison Park:

I believe the butter on the left was made from duck fat. Hello! Do you think I asked them to remove the perfectly warmed buns and butter from the table? In fact, I was enjoying my bread SO MUCH that I yelled at my dear husband of 10 years when he tried to steal a bite from my plate. oh no you don’t!

Why do I love eating at a fancy restaurant?
1. They make you feel like royalty.
2. You don’t have to cook or do the dishes!
3. Cloth napkins (‘nough said).
4. You get the pleasure of experiencing someone else’s skill with food.

Every day, I write about eating healthy and I include calorie amounts for all you counters out there. I am aware of how much fat is in duck fat butter, but I didn't care! This was about pleasure and love.

Food can be so many things and in this case - it was pure joy. While you work on your healthy journey, please don't forget the joy.

When do you let go of fear and guilt and simply enjoy food?


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First 20 Comments: [ see all 28 ]

Cooking is both art and therapy for me. Because I enjoy cooking so much we limit our restaurant visits. When we do got out I consider nothing "off limits". i do , however. limit my portions. The only times I eat with abandon is when we are celebrating a really special occasion like an anniversary or walking on my own after six months in a cast! ( or winning the Super Bowl )

on May 16, 2013

I have a sleep over this saturday but I've always ate healthy, usually even on the weekends and I exercise nearly six days every week, maybe even twice a day sometimes. So this saturday I plan to just enjoy myself, guilt free. Watch movies, stay up late, have a great time with my friends. Just the pleasure :)

on May 16, 2013

For me, the guilt would come in, not for the duck fat butter, but at paying $195 pp plus. Seriously? Guess you target a different audience than myself.

on May 16, 2013

Super Post! So glad you had such a great time. The pictures are wonderful and beckon one to a guiltless celebration.

on May 16, 2013

Thank you Snack Girl for sharing your special day ,and that it is okay to treat ourselves Occasionally without the guilt.

on May 16, 2013

Just curious,what did you have for your meal?
I agree that even if you're trying to lose a few ponds it is o to indulge every now and again. A nights worth of indulgence won't put 5 lbs.on you overnight so long as you get back on track the next day.

on May 16, 2013

Happy Anniversary! I'm glad you had a nice time enjoying your meal!

on May 16, 2013

Sweet message to receive on my birthday! What I have to keep in mind that I simply cannot celebrate everyone else's birthday, wedding, and super-special events with the same indulgence ;)

on May 16, 2013

Congrats on 10yrs of marriage. I allow myself to eat one meal of whatever I want for every 20lbs I have lost (72lbs to date) now that I only have 28 more to go I'm going to switch it to two special occasions a year. I will stick with only allowing myself half the meal though. I ask them to bag half the meal prior to bringing it to the table and to bring the bag with my check so then I know its going home. Then my son eats the rest for me. LOL.

on May 16, 2013

Thanks for sharing this - I can't get through a diet without one day of pure food pleasure. I spend time to make as many of my favorite recipes - healthier - that it is a great break to have a slice of pizza and a beer or more :) at my favorite pizza joint and not feel guilty - Pinn mentioned that she works out throughout the week just so that she can enjoy those nights out with friends. Why not?

on May 16, 2013

I agree wholeheartedly - I enjoy a splurge meal at a nice restaurant twice a year - my anniversary and birthday. I don't typically eat at expensive restaurants, I do for celebrations only. It involves some financial and dietary planning on my part, but as you described, it is so worth it!!

on May 16, 2013

Congratulations on your anniversary! And congratulations on balancing - that's what it's all about and you found it :)

on May 16, 2013

Thank you for this post. So often times my clients forget that food is not something to constantly feel guilty about! Food is many things to many people. Food can be a form of art and an expression of love, a hobby and a celebration...we need to remove the shame and guilt from eating and improve our relationship with food! When there is an opportunity to celebrate a special occasion with truly exquisite food, food that is WORTH celebrating, get off the guilt trip and savor each bite. This is not the end of the world, just one of the many curves in the road to a healthy lifestyle.

on May 16, 2013

This topic is something I really struggle with. In trying to eat healthy, I find that (at least for me) it's easy to become obsessive and start depriving myself of any pleasure that comes from eating. Not eating the snacks at a get-together with friends. Not ordering desert at a restaurant. While I realize that these "deprivations" can feel like achievements for many people trying to lose weight or change bad habits, I don't want to be that person refusing something delicious or special or homemade because I'm thinking of the ingredients or calories. I think it can be very difficult to find a good balance, and it can be a slippery slope in either direction!

on May 16, 2013

The meal was about 15 small plates of things like oysters, clam chowder, roast duck, cheesecake.....It is a tasting menu and was a once in every 10 years kinda meal (because of the expense).

on May 16, 2013

You don't have to defend your choices!! just because you are Snack Girl! Indulging, whether it is the food or the expensive price is human and joyful! None of us has a lock on how long we will be here. Do what you enjoy and Congratulations!!!

on May 16, 2013

Way to go! OK some of us need to watch our diets. But life is also something to be enjoyed. Congratulations on 10 years.

on May 16, 2013

I agree, no need to defend your choices and to those folks who might think it was lavish or extravagant, it was a once in 10 years kind of celebration and you can go all out and celebrate! Congratulations! Thanks for reminding us it's okay to splurge sometimes. :)

on May 16, 2013

Happy Anniversary!

on May 16, 2013

Happy anniversary, and I agree indeed. A healthy body is very important, but so is pleasure and enjoyment. Life isn't just a regimen. None of us has a firm lock on how long we'll be herem and no one in their final moments has ever said, I should have eaten more lettuce.

on May 16, 2013

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