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Eating on the run

January 27, 2008 - Kathie Evanoff
My goal when beginning this blog was to show how a busy person could still make healthy food choices even though sometimes the world is a hectic place. Friday and Saturday were perfect examples of how hectic it can sometimes get. As a result, I wasn’t able to post right away, so I am posting both days today. To access them, click on their titles beneath my photo on the right side of the page.

Trumbull County Master Gardeners are hosting the state Master Gardener conference on October 3 and 4. That may sound like a long way off, but there is a great deal of preparation involved when welcoming a large group of people for tours and workshops. There are more than 3000 Master Gardeners in Ohio, and although we don’t expect all of them to attend, we could be seeing as many as 400 to 500 people. As a member of the five-county conference steering committee, I spent much of the day Friday at the agricultural center in Cortland for our monthly meeting.

I wasn’t sure what to expect as far as food when I arrived at the meeting. At the last meeting, we were greeted with a huge tray of doughnuts. I knew I may not be able to resist if I didn’t have breakfast first, so I opted for a quick dry-cooked egg, whole wheat bread and a pear. I only ate half the pear because it wasn’t that good. I also had my morning tea and a glass of milk.

When I got to the ag center, I was delighted to see they were serving fresh fruit.

By lunchtime, I wasn’t starving, and again was happy to see that our wonderful hosts prepared several good choices. I passed on the potato salad and chips and resisted the chocolate frosted brownies. What I did choose was a sandwich consisting of slices of turkey and roast beef with Swiss cheese and mustard on rye bread. I also had a small serving of pasta salad with oil dressing, although I took out the sausage. For a treat, I allowed myself a chocolate, butterscotch cookie. My drink choice was a diet coke.

By the time I got home, I was off again with my husband to do a restaurant review for the Tribune. I was assigned to the Atmosphere Café in the Niles Park Plaza.

I perused the menu for some healthy items, and although there was a section they called “lighter sides,” I wasn’t in the mood for anything on that menu. After all, I hadn’t eaten since noon and I was getting pretty hungry. Since it was Friday night and most restaurants have a fish special on Fridays, I decided on baked fish, but I no sooner ran the thought through my head when a server stopped at our table to say they were all out of baked fish and only had fried. I debated between a grilled chicken breast or steak. I chose steak because I seldom make it at home, yet I often make chicken. For my sides, I ordered a dinner salad with raspberry vinegrette dressing and green beans. I also asked that the steak be prepared dry, without butter or oil.

My husband ordered veal parmesan with spaghetti, and while his meal was fine, I was disappointed. The beans tasted good, but they were coated in the butter that I opted out of on the steak. I should have been more mindful and asked how the beans were prepared, but it never crossed my mind. I also had a diet coke. In the end, I realized I should have gone with the chicken. Be sure to read the entire restaurant review in the entertainment section, the Ticket, published each Thursday in the Tribune Chronicle.


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Breakfast: 1 ounce meat, 1 ounce grains, ½ cup fruit, 1 dairy, 30 discretionary calories