By Robin Swanson
OK – no, I didn’t actually eat the dress.
But when eating a low-carb diet, it’s interesting how suddenly everything white starts to look like a tasty carbohydrate. Though the diet/work-out regimen appears to be working slowly but surely, I must confess to a temporary relapse while on vacation last week. Who can pass up a few tasty “lava flows” (pina colada meets strawberry daiquiri deliciousness) being brought to you pool-side along with chocolate covered macadamia nuts or a sorbetto in a waffle cone? Surely not this Girl “off” the Grid…and on the griddle!
In any case, they were worth every empty calorie. And now it’s back to bridal boot camp and a rum-punch-free reality.
So why the energy about fitting into this dress, when all along I’ve planned on having a low-key, stress-free wedding? I honestly still don’t actually have a great answer for that (see Girl Vs. Wedding Dress – Round I), except the dress is awesome and what bride doesn’t want to feel like a million bucks on her wedding day? I just hope not to fall into the trap of “everything has to be perfect and shiny and flawless” for the wedding.
While on vacation in Hawaii, which was in part a wedding reconnaissance mission, I did catch an episode of “Say YES to the Dress,” (they capitalize the YES for emPHAsis, in case you missed it) where brides parade around in a flurry of wedding dresses until the onlooking peanut gallery of meemaw and pappy and auntie and the requisite sister-green-with-envy provide the appropriate amount of approving oohs and aaahs and the bride cries tears of joy signifying that she has found the exact perfect dress that she was supposed to wear her whole entire life.
Maybe avoiding this whole humiliating process is exactly why I’m determined to fit into the dress that showed up at my hotel doorstep unsolicited over a month ago. I truly don’t understand the obsession with perfection around weddings. Life isn’t perfect, people aren’t perfect, marriage isn’t perfect and the weather isn’t perfect — so why do brides often worry that everything has to be perfect on this one day of their lives? I figure that’s why I’m hiring a photographer – they can make everything look just right and airbrush the parts that aren’t. Tan-lines – click—be gone! Drunken cousin who jumped into the frame – photoshop—delete! Perception is reality, right? This is also precisely why I WON’T be hiring a videographer — PR 101. Though I’m anti-perfection, if I end up having a wardrobe malfunction, I don’t need it to end up on America’s Funniest Home Videos so that some cheesy host in a tuxedo can make fun of me and send me on an all-expense-paid trip to sunny Burbank, CA to be the bride-with-no-pride.
OK – time to abbreviate the rant and get back to the (non-nutritionist-approved and representing my non-medical-opinion-only, so don’t sue me if it doesn’t work) diet-tips to avoid mortifying wedding dress shopping excursion. We’ll start with lunch: after weeks of salad-only lunching, I feel as if I’ve become a bit of a connoisseur of leafy-green offerings on the grid. So here’s my top picks:
Lucca Restaurant and Grill (1615 J St)
Salmon salad – it’s as if my trainer invented this salad himself – a bed of romaine lettuce topped with mildly spicy salmon and a small side of corn relish. You really can’t go wrong with this one – bonus points for ordering dressing on the side. Negative points if you order Lucca’s delicious flatbread with olive tapenade for an appetizer, unless of course, you’re not a diet because you’re naturally skinny, and if that’s the case, you can just stop reading this now, little wench.
Paesano’s Pronto (1501 16th St)
Farmer’s Market Salad. This salad is so good it brings a little tear to my eye – but if you’re counting calories, you’ll probably want to ix-nay on the delicious cornbread croutons, and maybe do dressing on the side. But one of the best things about being a Californian is our ready-access to ripe and tasty avocados, and this salad has no shortage of them, so that seems like a healthy place to indulge a little.
Buckhorn (1801 L St)
Spring Mix Fruit and Nut Salad. This is a salad that only includes seasonal ingredients, so in the winter, for example, it’s called the “winter’s green” salad. In any case, this is another one that’s probably worth getting the dressing on the side (and tell them to go easy on the blue cheese), but it’s simply delicious. You can also order salmon on top of this salad.
Jack’s Urban Eats (1230 20th St)
OK – if you can’t make a healthy salad that you like at Jack’s, where you get to pick out all of the ingredients yourself, then something’s wrong with you. Just walk quickly by the danger-zone otherwise known as the “side-dishes,” including thigh-enhancing mashed potatoes and cheesy-bread.
So – aside from a vacation-induced setback, progress is being made in Girl Vs. Wedding Dress, Round II. Stay tuned at GOTG for more bridal-dieting adventures to follow…