May 11 was Eat Anything You Want Day, but I postponed this long-awaited “holiday” for a time when I could make the most of it. That day happened to be May 19 – my friend’s bridal shower and my cousin’s graduation party.
I am not a very strict person when it comes to food. I never liked soda, doughnuts, or cold cuts, so I am not really struggling with eating healthy. My only vice is chocolate. I do have a sweet tooth, but after 30 years of training, I have managed to control it.
That said, I have been extra careful with what I eat over the past year because I have a baby whose favorite food is breastmilk, so I am being very good for his sake. But, frankly, it is exhausting and a little boring — I recently set a personal record for most salads eaten in a day (three).
I have been looking forward to just one day when I can transfer all food-related responsibilities to my husband and go all in.
I was thinking of keeping track of how many calories I eat as I went along, but why spoil a perfectly wonderful day? However, I did a rough calculation before I went to bed — I had consumed no fewer than 5,000 calories, a drastic increase from my usual 1,700 to 2,000.
I know this was a day when I could eat everything I wanted, but nothing was within arm’s reach until I got to the bridal shower venue at 11:30 a.m. I was starving at that point and no food had been served yet, so these chocolate, sugar, and cinnamon cookies were my savior. I ate three in less than two minutes.
Along with eating whatever I wanted, I also planned to drink whatever I wanted. And since this was a party with an open bar, as soon as I got three cookies’ worth of energy, I headed for the drinks. This Champagne punch with strawberry, lime, and lemon was delicious.
The sugar crash started to take over my body, and I was getting very hungry again. Unfortunately, something must have gone awry in the kitchen, I guess, because the food was nowhere in sight. So I grabbed all there was on the table: egg rolls and butter. It may have just been because I was hungry, but the snack was delightful.
By this point, I was on my second Champagne fruit punch. I think there was a little more alcohol in the drink than I had thought because I was beginning to feel it. (My booze tolerance was once perfectly average, but I haven’t had more than half a glass of white wine with ice in about a year.) So I did what I thought would help: I had two cups of black tea. It worked.
The only way I can eat a Caesar salad is if it is drenched in dressing. Otherwise, it’s just dry lettuce with ever drier chicken and a few croutons. This particular dish had a lot of lemon juice in the dressing, which was a bonus for my taste buds.
Would anyone really order the salmon when they can have a steak? I didn’t. This medium-well steak with mushroom gravy, potato croquette, and steamed green beans hit the spot. Unlike everything else so far, I took my time because A) it was delicious and B) I would not have been able to finish it otherwise — I was getting full.
I would have stopped eating at this point on a normal day. However, this was the day I had chosen to munch on everything I wanted. So, of course I neglected what my stomach was telling me and made it work in overdrive to break down this delicious piece of cake with strawberry jam and whipped cream.
The bridal shower wrapped up around 4 p.m., and I was heading toward another gathering with lots of food — the graduation party of a relative. My body had had a nice two-hour break from eating, and it was ready to resume. We started all over again with this appetizer.
I can have creamy spinach dip any time any day. I quickly forgot about all other food in the room and lingered around this appetizer until I finished about half of it. I did think — for maybe two seconds — about how many calories I was subjecting my body to, but ultimately I didn’t care.
You can probably tell by now that I love carbs. I’m lucky I don’t have diabetes, otherwise I’d be in big trouble all the time. I could have skipped dinner, but I can rarely resist pasta or potato croquettes. I only ate the steak here so that I could say I kept it “healthy” by including some protein in my meal.
The graduation party was long; I had to fuel my body again. This time I added some healthy carbs (from the grilled vegetables) to go with the somewhat unhealthy kind (from the pasta and potato salads). I did not eat the bread.
I never fail to try a chocolate dessert. The only non-chocolate sweet stuff I can’t resist is a profiterole. How lucky was I to have one offered on the one day I decided to eat everything I wanted! My taste buds were thrilled, but my body wasn’t happy about it; I was feeling the sugar rush again.
By now I was experiencing the consequences of my actions. I was so bloated I looked like I was six or seven months pregnant again. I felt that way, too. I could barely walk because I was carrying several extra pounds in my belly, and I was very tired. Still, how could I resist the chocolate cake with whipped cream and Oreos?
I have no idea what this dessert is called exactly, which is just another reason why I wanted to try it. The combination of sweet crackers/biscuits and the cheesecake-like dip was incredible, and very fulfilling. I was in a food coma afterwards.
We were celebrating — so, naturally, we had to have a toast. I wasn’t planning on having two glasses of Champagne, but it was too good to pass up. The fact that I would not allow myself to pig out like that again any time soon also made the decision easier.
Normally, I would never eat immediately before going to bed. But since this was a day of freedom and a couple of hours had passed since my last glass of Champagne, I decided there was some room left for a simple snack — chocolate chip cookies with yogurt (because yogurt just makes everything taste better).
I will totally have an everything-I-want-to-eat day again — but not for another six months, at least. The night was not pleasant. I couldn’t sleep. Whether it was all the sugar, the carbs, or the quantity of food, my body was too busy processing everything I had thrown at it, and I couldn’t rest at all. Feeling a bit guilty, I spent most of the next day outside so I could get some exercise and burn at least a tenth of the calories I had consumed — and avoid the feeling that I should start exercising every day before work.
More from The Daily Meal:
What the World’s Oldest People Eat (or Ate) Every Day
What the World’s Most Famous People Drink Every Night
How to Grill the Perfect Steak
Can You Guess the U.S. State by Its Mascot?
35 Symptoms You Shouldn’t Ignore