Well, this is it. Aside from some late night snacking (I have a bag of chips and some chive dip set hidden away from the kids), I have taken my last uncontrolled and guilty pleasure filled meal for at least 9 weeks. I promised you I would go out with a bang and I think if you read on, you will not be disappointed.
As we all know, the Paleo diet’s biggest limitation is that there are to be no grains or dairy. While other things are restricted as well, those two are the most common in MY diet at least. So, how do you prepare to go 9 weeks without something you are used to consuming in quantity on a daily basis? Why you stuff yourself to the point of nausea at the last possible moment of course! So for that I dragged the family to The Olive Garden! I figured that would be the best place to take my last supper.
As you can see from the picture attached, I left no stone un-turned. My goal driving there was to see if I could make them regret the “Never Ending Pasta Bowl” concept by eating their weekly stock in one sitting. While I may have missed that mark by far – I didn’t even take 1 refill of my pasta – I made up for that by stealing bites from everybody else’s plates and making a total pig of myself!
We started as one always does at the Garden with Soup and Salad. I love the Zuppa Toscana and my wife is a salad fan so I tickled both fancies there. This was followed by steaming hot breadsticks. Those sticks came out so hot that I had no choice but to dunk them in Alfredo Sauce to cool them off so I could eat them before they started to harden and cool. I washed that down with a Diet Coke (gotta love us fat guys that eat like pigs and drink like ladies) and prepared for the second course. Along with my drink refill, Erik our friendly waiter brought out our triple play appetizer. To the sound of much rejoicing he presented us with Stuffed Mushrooms soaking in butter, Fried Calamari with a side of Caesar Dressing and a mistake! The third item was to be Cheese Sticks but somehow we got some kind of fried Ravioli. Not to fear, all that meant is that I got ONE MORE INDULGENCE! Erik was more than happy to put in a replacement order for those Cheese Sticks and let us keep the Ravioli! By this time I am starting to second guess myself. Would I be up to the challenge? Could I possibly eat all this food and keep going? Well, it was a challenge and I am always up for a challenge or I wouldn’t be doing this darn Paleo thing now would I??? I pressed on.
After a quick trip to the restroom to freshen up it was back to the meal. While I was away Erik brought out the main event. For me it was Fettuccini Alfredo but there were 2 other plates being served and I am a greedy guy so I also sampled my son’s Spaghetti and Meatballs and my wife’s spectacular Steak Gorgonzola. I think I had to loosen my belt just to get through the entrees.
So there we all are, stuffed like Thanksgiving Turkeys when Erik comes along and asks: “Anyone up for desert?”. I looked at my wife. She gamely reminded me it WAS my last chance… So, DESERTS ALL AROUND!!! Beyond reason and with a touch of insanity we ordered a coma inducing amount of sweets. My daughter ordered the Strawberry & White Chocolate Cup, my son the Chocolate Mousse Cup, my wife the Dark Chocolate Caramel Cream Cup and me, I ordered the Black Tie Mousse Cake. My mouth was enraptured with the heavenly sweetness and my stomach is swollen with the decadence.
So now it is time to put this all behind me. I am about to spend the next couple of hours preparing food that tips the health scale 100% the opposite direction that tonight’s dinner did. I went out tonight and bought $200 worth of food, spices and Tupperware so that I could set myself up for the weeks to come. I say goodbye to grain, be it pasta, bread or cereal. With a tear in my eye I say goodbye to milk in all its many forms. Farewell to packaged food and fast food, our relationship was one of convenience and you no longer are. Now I welcome in healthy foods. Some of you went to the same parties as I did but we never made it out to the dance floor together. That changes now. Broccoli, Cauliflower and Brussel Sprouts. Peppers, Tomatoes and Sweet Potatoes. Almonds, Fruits and more meat than a New York Deli – All of you are my new dates. Let’s paint the town red!!!