Thanksgiving 2013: Dining Out
In recent years my family has spent Thanksgiving at the home of our friends, the Gerbers. Unfortunately this year they moved to Texas and we decided instead of finding another group to join or having Thanksgiving at home, we would go out! Obviously this was my idea and of course we selected J. Gilbert’s, my favorite restaurant, as the spot. Thankfully (ha get it?!) we were smart enough to call a couple of months in advance and lock down a 6:30PM reservation for our party of six. We received a call the day before Thanksgiving letting us know that a 4PM slot had become available, and my parents jumped on it. This was not fun for me because the earlier the reservation the more time I was going to have between finishing dinner and going to bed to think about what I’d ate. But I was the only one in that camp, so I had to deal!
I felt ridiculously hungover on Thanksgiving morning thanks to the previous evening’s festivities (Jager, never again) but made it to the gym for 30 minutes of StepMill intervals and an upper body workout. I sure am glad I went because I felt a lot better afterward, but man it was torturous during! I rushed home to shower and get cozy with coffee and the Black Friday circulars…a tradition! I felt very tempted to restrict after the gym and just not eat until dinner so that I would ensure I’d have plenty of room for the amount of food I was “bound to consume”. I texted my girl Brittany for support and she gave me the reality check I needed to push forward and fuel my body post-workout.
My sister was nice enough to give me some beautiful curls to go with my Tobi Barococo Skater Dress (purchased a couple of months ago using one of their periodic 50% off promo codes). I paired it with black tights, Madden Girl heels that I actually bought on a Black Friday a few years ago, a Forever 21 ring, and my beloved Michael Kors Golden Oversized Runway Watch.
Nana Connie was still swooning over the brandied cherry she sampled at Barcelona the night before, so I ordered her some on the side wither her martini. For myself I asked for extra in my favorite drink – the J. Gilbert’s Barrel-Aged Manhattan. I’ve yet to find a Manhattan that tops it!
For the table I selected the Rodney Strong Pinot Noir, one of several Rodney Strong wines that the restaurant is currently featuring. We loved it so much that we ended up getting a second bottle!
It took me awhile to decide on my food but I ended up going for the special roasted turkey platter, because this was the only night I’d be able to get it and I’ve already tried everything else on the menu! I’m so glad I went with this because it was essentially a traditional Thanksgiving meal sampler. Instead of mashed potatoes though I asked for baby cabbages, because it isn’t a holiday without my favorite vegetable.
The stuffing was the star – it even overshadowed the Brussels – and I love that I was given both dark and white meat. The cranberry sauce had a nice balance of sweet and tart. All I left behind was a yam or two and I definitely traded bites with others and enjoyed my share of sourdough bread with the infamous J. Gilbert’s pastrami butter. I left quite full but did order their newest dessert, coconut cake, to-go…because it was a holiday after all!
I got home and kinda felt like lamenting in my own blah about being full. But instead I made the conscious decision to be with my family and do some Christmas decorating. So I changed into stretchy pants and got to work hanging ornaments on the tree, which my dad had assembled (yes ’tis fake) that morning.
After an hour or two of family time some folks busted out the desserts we’d brought home and though I wasn’t planning to have any because I still felt full, I did have some. J. Gilbert’s carrot cake is just…divine. I didn’t end up having room to even think about touching my coconut cake but went to bed right after I had the dessert because doing so really made me feel down on myself. I certainly know I didn’t need any of it. I almost feel like I ate it just because everyone else was and in my had I thought, “It’s Thanksgiving, this is my chance to eat a decadent dessert guilt-free.” But it didn’t end up being guilt free. Clare’s Thanksgiving recap really spoke to me because she pointed out that because she is eating certain foods (like dessert) more than ever before she didn’t feel the need to overdo it on Thanksgiving because she knows she can eat any food any time. I think if I was better about adopting that mindset, I too would not have placed dessert on a Thanksgiving-pedestal.
But I still am glad that I didn’t let my fears get in the way of enjoying my Thanksgiving and really appreciating the time I spent with my family. I certainly can’t put pressure on myself to be perfect be it in terms of eating or in terms of recovery. Perfection shouldn’t be the goal. I enjoyed my holiday and tried not to let food hold power over me on the food-centered day. It did end up holding some over me, but not as much as I could have let it. I’m thankful for a wonderful and supportive family and to have the means to even make the decision to go out to eat at my favorite restaurant on Thanksgiving!
Have you ever dined out for Thanksgiving?
Did you have to deal with any Thanksgiving food guilt this year?
What was your favorite thing you ate on Thanksgiving?