Category Archives: Food

Review: 111 Bistro – Medina

It’s been about 111 years since I last posted on my blog, so I thought the opening of a new restaurant in Medina would be the perfect time for my return. This restaurant is 111 Bistro and I hope you see what I did there.

I’m always excited about food, and especially new-to-Medina food, but I’m extra excited about this one since they gave my kid a job. The kid I never thought would graduate high school not only did, but is now gainfully employed as a prep cook. I feel like I deserve a trophy. But anyway…

Here’s a photo of the front that I shamelessly stole from their FB page. And then sharpened and lightened in PS because otherwise it wouldn’t look like it went with the rest of mine and you would know I didn’t take it. Except for me just admitting it. Best restaurant reviewer EVER.

From what I understand, the philosophy behind 111 Bistro is fine dining in a casual atmosphere. I would say they hit that mark. The restaurant itself is nicely decorated. Nothing high end enough to make you feel underdressed, but tasteful enough that you feel like you are at a nice place. The servers were in jeans and company t-shirts. Some patrons were dressed up, others were in shorts. Really a mixture of all kinds.

Tonight was just the soft opening, which was theoretically by invite and reservation only. We had the invite because of my son working there, but didn’t make the reservation until 6:25 and they had one for 6:45. We were seated almost immediately when we arrived. One of the owners was at our table within a minute or 2 to introduce herself and welcome us, which I thought was nice. I did fess up and tell her I was Cody’s mom and we talked about him a bit. I didn’t, however, tell her I was going to review the meal or restaurant. Probably because I didn’t know. I did not take his future employment into consideration while composing this post.

Since the idea of this review kind of came to me midway through my second cocktail, I probably don’t have as many photos as I should. They’re also probably not as good as they could be because, well, cocktails.

But speaking of cocktails! Since it was a brand new place, I felt compelled to try one of their specialty cocktails. I’m normally either a beer or iced tea drinker (or margarita!), so I don’t know where this inspiration came from, but it was the best decision ever. Naturally, I don’t remember exactly what it was called. Hey, I’m not a real food critic or restaurant reviewer, cut me some slack! It was the first one on the mule menu… Georgia something. The ingredients were ginger something and ginger beer and I don’t know what else. I wish I’d taken a photo of the drink menu. I do have a photo of the drink, though!

Is that adorbs, or what? The server told me it’s a specially designed cup to keep the drink cold longer or something. Not like I needed THAT but it sure was cute. Not only cute, but actually the best cocktail I’ve ever had. No lie. I am pretty passionate about ginger, so keep that in mind, but boy howdy that was a good drink.

While we are on the subject of cute and water… we got an additional little carafe of water. Love these little touches, though I would have enjoyed some ice in the water. Not a huge deal, as I’m sure they’d have given me some if I’d asked, I just didn’t care enough.

My husband asked the server what red wine she recommended and then I punched him. Because, seriously, it’s basically her first day! She probably doesn’t even know what wines they HAVE, never mind which ones are popular or good. She didn’t miss a beat, though, and offered to go get the bar manager who “loves to talk about wine”. He came over right away and they discussed wine while I tuned them out and checked Facebook or whatever, because I don’t care about wine. He was very very happy with the wine that was recommended, though.

As a starter, I ordered the wedge salad because OMG I LOVE WEDGE SALAD. It took a while to come out, but not annoyingly so, and since it was their very first day, to be expected.

The dressing was absolutely to die for. The tomato confit was good, as well. The speck… meh. I’ve never had it before, so I’m not sure what it’s supposed to be like, but it was pretty much hard to chew, disappointing bacon. I’d have rather had bacon, but maybe I’m just not fancy enough to appreciate speck. It didn’t bother me, though, I still ate it.

My only real complaint was that it was just entirely too much lettuce. I could have had that salad as my meal and been full, except that there wasn’t enough dressing for that much lettuce. Honestly, though, they could have given me that same amount of dressing with half as much lettuce, still charged the same $7, and I would have been perfectly happy with it. The portion was just way too big especially considering I had a meal coming. Having said all that, I would definitely order it again!

My husband had the hummus appetizer, and again we thought the portion was overly generous. It was definitely enough appetizer for 2 or more. There were 2 kinds of hummus, both delicious, and pita triangles to dip. When I think of ‘pita chips’, I expected them to be crispy. They weren’t exactly crispy, but not soft like you’d think of pita bread, either. They were more like a dense biscuit, for lack of a better description. I wasn’t sure how I felt about the texture, but the flavor was good. No picture because… well I don’t know why.

The main course(s) followed soon after. Our table wasn’t really big enough for the salad plate and the dinner plate, and I hadn’t come close to finishing that salad, so it was a bit awkward to shift stuff around to make room, but it worked. I also only ever got the one fork, but I just attributed that to new staff. I didn’t mind reusing it, it’s my own cooties.

I ordered the Lobster Mac. I do not have a single bad thing to say about this dish. The sauce was divine, and there was just the right amount of it for the amount of pasta. The pasta was perfectly cooked. The bread crumb topping was good, and normally I am not a big fan of bread crumb topping. But the lobster… oh my stars the lobster! Delicious and so much of it. Very generous hunks, and lots of them. I don’t know what my star rating even is, but this dish gets all of them.

Just to throw one more dish in here, my husband ordered the Beef Short Rib, which was also delicious. It was tender and fell off the bone and fava succotash sauce, well I wouldn’t mind dying face first in a bowl of that.

Here’s a stunning across-the-table shot of his dinner.

He finished his all gone. I brought about 1/3 of my lobster mac home. I had better than half the salad left, but I didn’t bring it home, because ew leftover salad. Plus I’d basically licked all the dressing off. DON’T JUDGE ME.

All in all, an excellent meal. I highly recommend all of the dishes we had, and I look forward to trying many more (along with more of those cocktails. How late are they open?). They open for good on the 17th. Check them out at 111bistro.com or on Facebook. They’re open for dinner only during the week, but have brunch on Saturday & Sunday.

Week 2 Report

Week 2 went “ok”. Not as smoothly as week 1. The fast days were both fine – same story as before. I’m generally fine up until 2pm, then it starts to get a little hairy. But, it comes and goes and as long as I keep myself busy, it isn’t too bad. I’ve fallen into a good rhythm of eggs/spinach/cheese with fruit for breakfast and the Strawberry Poppyseed Chicken salad from Panera for dinner.

Total loss this week, .4

Now lets talk about Thurs, Friday, Saturday.

Aye, caramba! If it existed, I ate it. Sunday ended up a mix of “omg this is my last day to eat before I fast again” and “I need to get my shit together here!”

Hoping as we go along, my desire to eat the world on ‘feast’ days will diminish. But we are talking about a 42 year food addiction here, so I guess we are operating in baby steps. And 1/2 pound lost considering what I ate – I’ll take it!

Week 1 Results

I survived the first week of The 5:2 Diet. Of course, my fast days were 1 and 3, so the 4 after that were pretty easy.

As I stated in my post the other day, I tried to keep my “feast” days somewhere between 2000-2400. That was pretty easy. I wouldn’t call it “eating whatever I want” because I “want to eat everything”, but it was still quite a bit of wiggle room. I was able to have lunch at Chic Fil A, make a trip to Lemonberry, etc.

My weight fluctuated during the week with the fast/feast days, obviously, so I am only counting my Monday weights as official. With that, I lost 2.6lbs the first week. Far far exceeded my expectations, especially after eating all what I did on the feast days.

Today is another fast day, and I’m actually excited about it. Onward!

Fast Day 2

My second day of fasting was a little harder than the first, but honestly, I think it’s just because I wasn’t as busy. Still the hunger came and went, so it wasn’t like a hunger was gnawing at me all day, but I was getting a little squirrely by 4pm.

The kids coming home and making toast definitely did not help. Toast smells super amazing when you haven’t eaten for 8 hours. LOL

Instead of making my salad at home, I had the Strawberry Poppyseed Whatever salad at Panera. It was actually 350 calories, so technically I was over by 50. But, I only had one cup of coffee (cream) instead of 2, and I put a little less feta in my eggs, so I think maybe I was closer to target than that. It was delicious and filling and physically satisfying. What I really wanted was that baguette, though. I took a big smell of it and threw it away. That was definitely harder than fasting the whole day. I love that bread!

I spent the rest of the evening obsessing about food and joking about whether or not I was allowed to set an alarm for 12:01am and eat a cupcake. The whole thing was silly, because I was NOT physically hungry. It is my emotional relationship with food that is the issue, for sure. I wanted to eat everything, but for no good reason other than comfort, I guess. I suppose one doesn’t get to be 100lbs overweight (only 20lbs currently) by having a healthy relationship with food. One step at a time.

I’m officially done fasting for week 1, and I will say THAT is a good feeling. Now I have to try to not eat back all the calories I cut over the next 4 days. I totally could, I know.

As of this morning, I was down 5lbs since Monday. Sadly, most of that will bounce back today. But, it was still nice to see that number, even for a fleeting moment. I will only count my Monday morning weights as “official”, but I’m still going to weigh in every morning because I’m a rebel like that.

I am sitting here typing this having been up for 90 minutes, and all I’ve had was my coffee. So even after all the dramatics last night, I didn’t hop out of bed and run straight for food. I plan on making a protein shake once the kids leave in 45 minutes. B

All in all, it’s going well I think!

Day 2

So, day 2 was an eating day. I expected to wake up ready to eat the world, but surprisingly I didn’t. It just seemed like any other day. Although I weighed a lot less (like 3.5lbs less). I knew much of it would come back the next day, but it was still encouraging. I guess from now I will just have to only count the Monday morning weight as “real”, since I’ll likely be fluctuating around quite a bit surrounding the fasting days.

I went about my business and didn’t eat breakfast until I’d been up for 2 hours, and even then I just had a Fiber One bar because I knew I was headed to the coffee shop to study. They have *the best* peanut buttery homemade granola bars, and I wanted one of those!

All told, I ate fairly ‘normally’. I didn’t go to BW3, even though I wanted to, but I did go out for Mexican with my son (I had fajitas) and Panera for dinner with my husband (my fave: Chopped Chicken Cobb with Avocado Salad). I had snacks throughout the day, and a couple pieces of chocolate covered toffee from Costco, and had no trouble staying around 2000. Yay.

I decided I’d target between 2000-2400 rather than trying to stick to one number or the other. That seemed to work well back in the day when WW gave you a range like that, so lets run with it.

I did start to wonder how wise I was to only put one eating day between my 2 fast days, but on the other hand, I like the idea of being free from Thurs-Sun, so we will see how it goes. Looking around the internet, I see that many people do Monday and Thursday, but my Friday run is too important to me to fast on Thursdays. And I WAS weakish yesterday. I tried to lift some weights but it was meh. Or maybe my heart just wasn’t in it. Could have been either.

So, today I fast again. Planning to eat the same meals I ate on Monday. Next week on Monday I’m going to replace the breakfast with a protein shake and see if that makes a difference. Seems like more protein would keep me full longer. But food is more emotionally satisfying. So, it’s hard to say.

Planning to run 3 miles this morning. Not sure how smart it is to burn off all the calories I eat, but I have to run some time. LOL

Day 1 in the books!

I didn’t die.

I’m not even lying when I say this: It wasn’t NEARLY as bad as I thought it would be.

I ate my breakfast around 8:45 and went about my day. I dropped my car off at the shop and walked home 3 miles. Later I walked another mile to pick up the rental. I drank a ton of water. I had a soccer game at 6:30pm. I was worried about how I’d be able to run, so I offered to be goalie. I ended up only playing goalie for half and field the second half, and actually felt fine (other than having to pee something fierce!).

I didn’t get home until 9pm to make my salad. So a full 12 hours between meals.

I’d say 2-3 times the hunger hit me a little, but within a few minutes (10 or so) it passed. I wasn’t even really that hungry for the salad. I could have gone without it. I forced myself to eat it, though.

Here it is, for 300 calories:

Romaine, cucumbers, strawberries, pecans, 1.5oz of rotisserie chicken, low fat bleu cheese and Kraft raspberry vinaigrette. I may have gone a bit overboard on the lettuce. LOL

All in all, it was an easy day. I think it was actually easier to just not eat all day than to try to figure out what I could have or couldn’t have, how many calories I had left, how many calories were in this or that and so on. I was barely hungry, and my energy level was fine. As an added bonus, I kept the water flowing, so I’m good and hydrated. I liked it! I’m actually looking forward to the next one – HOW WEIRD IS THAT, Y’ALL?

5:2 / The Fast Diet

It’s been a long time since I’ve posted. Geez.

I figured now was a good time to get back into it as I’m starting a new diet this week and I know people will have questions. So, I’ll get them all down here, as best I can.

Up until now, I’ve been following (or not following, as has been the case the last month or 2) a 1600 calorie a day diet. If I worked out, I allowed myself to eat those calories, as well. It was working, and it was pressuring me into exercising more, but I was miserable. I always felt like I wanted to eat more, and that I couldn’t have what I wanted. Which is what led me to eventually throwing in the towel and just eating whatever and not keeping track. I still kept the fact that I’m fat in the back of my mind, and tried not to go all in and still make halfway decent choices, but you can imagine how that went.

A friend of mine from the running group, Dan, posted that he was doing a diet where he fasts 2 days a week and eats whatever the other 5. I gave it a “hmm” and then didn’t think too much more about it. I saw him the other day, eating a big ass Panera cinnamon roll, and asked him how it was going. He said he’d been at it 3 weeks, and was down 3 pounds, and he was currently eating a big ass cinnamon roll, so I became a little more interested. Especially as he doesn’t appear to have 3lbs TO lose. I’ve got a good 30.

Long story still long, I ordered the book. It’s a quick read, so I had it done in 2 evenings. It would have probably been one, but I read in bed and I’m old and fall asleep easily. At any rate, the science behind the fasting was interesting – it goes back to the days when we were always feast or famine and how our bodies aren’t made to be fed non-stop. Cell regeneration begins when the food stops, etc. I do like the idea of being healthier.

Here’s a site that talks about it a bit more than I have here.

But, what I really like, is being able to eat ‘normally’ 5 days a week. I did a lot of math that I won’t bore you entirely with, but here’s the gist of it.

At 1600/day, I was consuming 11200 per week (not including exercise calories consumed or burned)
My BMR (calories I burn naturally doing nothing) is 1555
So my daily calorie intake to maintain my current weight (ain’t nobody got time fo dat!) is 2410 (I used ‘moderately active’).

2410×7 days = 16870 calories per week. In order to lose 1 pound per week, I would cut that by 3500, giving me 13370, or 1910 per day. Side note: This might explain why I was miserable. Although, on exercise days, I DID eat 1900+ and still felt like I wanted to EATALLTHEFOOD.

If I were to change that around to eating 500 on Monday and 500 on Wednesday, that would leave me 12370 to eat the other 5 days, or 2474 per day.

Notice, the weekly consumption is the same. But with 2474 calories per day, I can actually eat, and eat well, and eat what I want. If I can manage to keep that at 2000 with the fast days and all the exercise, I’d probably be closer to 1.5 per week. With 30 to lose, I think that’s reasonable enough.

The big question becomes: How will this effect my running. That was the first question I asked Dan, who runs 3478x more than I do. And better. He said the day OF the fast, it goes ok because he runs in the morning before the fast would have had any impact. It’s the day after that is the problem. Since I normally run on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, I decided Monday and Wednesday would be my days to try it.

And that today would be an even better Monday to try it, since I don’t intend to run today anyway.

I decided, as the book recommends, a small breakfast and dinner to spend my 500. There are other ways to spread it out, but that felt like the best fit. I’m going to try to keep the breakfast around 200, and dinner 300.

Today I made this:

1 egg, 2 egg whites, 1 cup of spinach, 1/8 c low fat feta with 1/2 cup strawberries. I also had 1 tbs cream in both of my 2 cups of coffee. Grand total: 206 calories.

Mental note to self, pick a not yellow plate to make eggs look more exciting.

Now I keep myself busy until dinner.

I might be going to bed at 5pm. Ha.

Diet Bet Day 29 / 1

One of my 2 Diet Bet games ended today, the other tomorrow. Round 2 of this starts today. Once I weigh out tomorrow for the other game, I’m probably going to stop this every day blogging of it. First off, I’m sure everyone is sick of my plates of food. And secondly, I haven’t even written up my Goofy race report because it’s been all focus on doing THIS every day. Maybe I’ll do weekly highlights, or something.

ANYWAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY…

Today I weighed OUT for one of the games and… EXACTLY 4% down. YAY. So, I win part of that pot. Now I need to hold on until tomorrow for the other game, and I’m golden.

Here’s what it took for me to lose 4% in a month – I’ve run 114 miles including a back to back half and full marathon. I set my base calorie goal at 1200, which I think would have killed me, except – I did some form of cardio almost every single day (Not the day before / after Goofy, etc) for extra calories. Some days, I ate all the calories I burned, and others I left 100 or 200. But I only left exercise calories, I never ever ate under my 1200. Because I’m not sure I can, I love to eat. I’ve eaten exceptionally well. Lots of fruit and veggies, not a ton of bread, mostly healthy stuff. When I ‘slipped’, I still never went more than 200ish calories over for the day. I spread my calories out over the 3 meals as fairly evenly as I could, and left room for snacks because I snack. I made an effort to have protein at every meal, as well as a fruit.

It took a lot of focus, but I can see a difference, even in the baggy shirt and bad photos. Aside from the fact that I just look more tired in the after.

Ran 5 miles @ 10:30 – Really it was 1 mile at 11:30 through the slush and grass until we moved to the road, then it was 4 miles @ 10:ish. Fun run. Saw a coyote. In the neighborhood.

Breakfast - Egg beaters, spinach and feta and a pear

Lunch - Turkey/Cucumber/Laughing Cow Swiss light wrap, carrots with hummus. Pics are getting sloppy on the last day.

Dinner - Broiled Parmesan Tilapia, Broccoli cheese potatoes, Steamfresh mixed veggies

Not shown: A ridiculous amount of Dark Chocolate Chex Mix. *shakes fist* Damn you, free with coupon Chex Mix. Lucky for the run today and the Egg Beaters breakfast that left me some extra wiggle room.

Diet Bet Day 28

Ran 9.25 (snowy/icy/YakTrax) miles @ 10:12 average – Feeling great! Back at my old pace and miles are flying by. Whew. Helped that my old training pal was back with me. The run is over before I know it when we run together. Been too long!

Breakfast - Trail Mix bar on my way to the run.

Brunch - Big ass pancakes with Phil after the run. Mine were berry, his were peanut butter. His were better. I had buyer’s remorse. But they were still delicious.

Dinner - Date night with my hubby. Man, 2 dates in one day. How lucky am I? Mjadrra and lebanese salad at La Kabob. Took 2 bites before I took the photo SO SORRY. Was delicious.

Pretty sure I went over calories today even WITH the 9 mile run. Oh well. Living a bit large over here so close to the deadline. Weigh OUT for one of my games in the morning. Hope I pee a lot when I wake up.

Diet Bet Day 27

Homestretch now! I can’t believe how well I’ve done both with the diet and with the blogging! Go me!

Run 4 miles @ 11:10 average – Saturday run with the people I’m training (and my dog!). Very snowy and beautiful. Ready for spring.

Breakfast - Oatmeal with pumpkin, pecans and Craisins and I added some soy milk this time. Perfect. Loved it. I didn’t even sweeten it this time since the soy milk was vanilla.

Lunch - Taco Soup leftovers and a Gala apple

Dinner - – Running club banquet. Had a couple Bud Lights and then whatever the dinner was. Pasta, chicken, salad, cake, whatever. Kept the quantities small. Probably not the best meal I’ve eaten all month, but I’m at peace with it. I had lots of calories left to spend. Gotta have fun sometimes. :)

Weigh in for round 2 is tomorrow, I think. I’m hoping that weight can also count for my weigh OUT for round 1 but I’m not sure. Cross your fingers for a good number in the morning!