Eating for Special Occasions: Foods to Eat for Your Best Performance
Romantic Dinner for Two
If you're looking at a 50-year anniversary dinner, you're probably fine -- but if the romantic night is more along the lines of a first date, you might be a little nervous beforehand. Also, this is a time to impress your date, so you want to eat right (and properly).
Objective: To be calm and feeling good, debonair, funny, sexy, and not too hungry.
Pick these foods: Eat a light meal, such as a small chicken sandwich or scrambled eggs and toast before you get dressed for your date. For your dinner, order foods that are easy to eat and don't require too much attention. Fish (so long as it doesn't have bones) is a good choice because you don't have to fuss with cutting tough meat or spending a lot of time chewing. You should be talking instead. Never order pasta; it's too messy. Same with salads -- you risk dropping the lettuce on your lap. Nibble on some crackers or a piece of bread before the meal is served. Be careful about your alcohol consumption; drink water if your mouth is dry.
Why? Eating ahead of time will allow you to focus on your dinner partner and not on your hunger. Eating carbohydrates before the meal is served will calm you down, says Wurtman.
When should you eat it? Eat your at-home meal about two hours before the date so you will be full. If you don't get to finish your entire meal at the restaurant because you're so busy talking, don't worry about it. You can eat a big breakfast the next morning.
How much should you eat? At the restaurant, eat about half of what is served; the portions are usually twice as large as anyone should be eating.
Avoid these foods: Any high-fat foods like three-cheese pizza or nachos dipped in cheese sauce.
Why: They tend to make you feel sluggish. Candy, you're probably fine. However, some people get stomach discomfort and/or a dreaded laxative effect.
Charles Stuart Platkin is a nutrition and public health advocate, author of The Diet Detective's Calorie Bargain Bible (Simon & Schuster, 2007), and founder of DietDetective.com, the health and fitness network. Copyright 2007 by Charles Stuart Platkin.
Reprinted with permission from www.dietdetective.com, July 2007.
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