Monday, March 25, 2013

Order's up: Healthy example

I had a lunch date today. Well, hot in the form of spicy food and date in the form of my favorite adventurous-eating co-woerk.

S and I usually eat lunch once or twice a month, frequenting Asian restaurants (Burmese, Thai, Vietnamese) that our husbands don't particularly appreciate. Today, though, S decided to get me primed for my excursion to the great South (aka Lexington) and selected a neighborhood barbecue joint.

When I wrote my list of goals for the day, I included eating a plant-based lunch ... but I have also been meaning to re-visit this spot, known for its burnt ends and green chile macaroni and cheese.

So we went.

I chatted with S about my menu favorites but I let her order first as I tried to find some balance among the selections. I ended up going with the smoked turkey, green beans, tomato-cuke salad and green chile mac. I figured that going with the lean meats and picking something green as sides equaled enough balance to justify the mac and meet my goal half-way.

I didn't think of my order much beyond that until S and I were walking back into the office. We were chatting about how good the food was when she made mention that she had wished I had ordered first. She thought that if she had seen my selections first, which she knows skew to the better options (not always best), that she might have selected something different.

A bit surprised and flattered, I told her that I'd do my best to go first next time. The conversation got me thinking: Do you rely on friends or family to set good examples or keep you accountable?

I know that I'm more likely to make poorer choices when I'm with people who don't value healthy eating. I can tell you exactly who (but won't) I will invite out because I'm craving dessert or that latte + pumpkin loaf. I will allow myself to, for all intents and purposes, sabotage myself because I can say so-and-so convinced me to get it. However, I've never relied on another person's habits to make me stay in my healthier comfort zone.

I guess you can say that I have an intrinsic motivation to eat things that are good to my body and need extrinsic motivation to eat things that will make my body feel crappy.

P.S. Today's vocabulary lesson was brought to you by the American Council on Exercise and CVS, where I found insanely cute index cards to help me study for my personal training exam.


  1. I tend to order what feels like the right choice for me, like how you decided on your lunch. Usually when I'm out, I'm more focused on what is available that falls within a plant-based diet vs. what others are ordering, so I thought that could be part of it. However, this also seems to be true even when I'm out with other people who follow the same lifestyle though... so maybe it's just intrinsic for me too. Good vocab words. :)

  2. For starters, your lunch sounds really yummy! Second, I do have a tendency to choose healthier options on my own and I agree with you, I try to eat things that help me feel better in the long run. It's nice to know that you lead by example! :0) Awesome!!

  3. LOL re: intrinsic vs extrinsic. I actually have a blogger friend who I always want to eat healthy around. Some friends I am comfortable binging around. It depends on the person! But all those studies say that you are heavily influenced by what people around you do, so I can see why S said that to you!