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Burger Diet

March 14, 2016

No joke. The diet is going well. Sadly, this isn’t the diet that’s going to make me my fortune. I wish it were something catchy like, “The Burger Diet” or “Metabolism Metamorphosis”. But once again, it’s simply the “Don’t Eat Like An Assh*le Diet.”

It’s hard to package that to publishers.

When I started this program the only ray of sunshine was that my starting place was so abysmal that improving my diet was almost a sure thing. So I put a sign on the refrigerator that read “Don’t eat if not hungry.” I stopped eating ice cream and fried foods whenever I pleased. I started measuring out cooking oil. I watched portion sizes, and didn’t make trips back into the kitchen for second helpings. I stopped eating all the chicken skin, and started choosing leaner cuts of meat. And when I had a choice, I chose healthful vegetarian or vegan options.

Sometimes the choices aren’t so clear cut. Like for example when my kids want to go to Chipotle. The burritos are a big calorie load thanks to the tortilla. But a vegetarian bowl without cheese or sour cream would just feel too austere. I’m not perfect. I have cheat days, like the Tour de Wings and the NYS Craft Brewers Festival. But even after all of those, I’m still down eight pounds.

So what do I do when it’s time to go out for a burger?

I love burgers. And I had never been to Crave Burgers + Frozen Yogurt for a meal. The Yelp community loves it, so I made a date with one of my Yelp friends to go and give it a try. But this outing was scheduled long before this diet thing kicked in.

My plan was to try some of their really creative burgers. I do love a good beef burger. But lamb burgers are amazing. And the sausage burger there looked like it would rock my world. This is what happens when you put an actual chef at the helm of a burger joint. He brings some craft to thinking about flavor combinations. But not just that. Also about how the burgers look when they’re done.

These burgers are freaking beautiful.

But I have no idea how they taste, because I went for the house veggie burger. And quite honestly, part of me is incredibly pleased with this turn of events. Of course, another part of me is deeply ashamed.

Screen Shot 2016-03-14 at 8.34.35 AM

It would seem that vegan burgers are really the next big thing. I have no money riding on that assertion, but if I were a gambling man, I’d put a big bet on that category. Right now, I don’t even know what you would invest in to make that call.

But in New York City the Guac Burger at By Chloe is proving the popularity of the vegan burger done right.

Sometimes it takes a trend years to get up to Albany. But we’ve got a vegan burger right here. Maybe we have more than one. I’m not an expert yet on this category. If I recall correctly, Josh Coletto developed a black bean and quinoa burger for The Low Beat. But the square patty made at Crave contains corn, roasted onion, black bean, white bean, mushroom, and polenta. And do you know what? It’s delicious, and it tastes like real food instead of some kind of industrially processed patty created in a lab somewhere.

Not all vegan food is wholesome.

But throw some avocado on there, or some of Crave’s other creative toppings, and you can start trying to craft the best vegan (or vegetarian) burger in the Capital Region.

The hardest part was avoiding the fries. So I decided not to avoid them. Instead, we got sweet potato fries, which have at least a bit more nutrition. And I only had a few of them. Which again, I think is still fine with my diet as an occasional indulgence.

Can I tell you something? Fried food tastes so freaking good when you’ve abstained from it for a few days. Oh my. Which is why I’m going to be completely draconian about my diet for the first part of this week. Thursday is Tavern Time, and that will be when I cheat on this crazy thing.

Thankfully, the food and the weight thing have been relatively easy. Next I’ll have to figure out how to get some exercise into the day. Someone recently suggested basketball, which sounds like a load of fun. I’m just kind of convinced that I’d hurt myself. Badly. You know. Because I’m old. And in terrible shape.

Maybe bocce ball.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. albanylandlord permalink
    March 14, 2016 11:06 am

    I give you a lot of credit for going to Crave and getting the Veggie Burger. I tried almost everything there and didn’t try that. The force is strong with you.
    I appreciate Crave even more lately after trying more of the “better burger” places. Crave is way better, though also Way more expensive.

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