Ask the Critic: How Do You Manage . . .

How do you manage to try all that food and not blow up like Kirstie Alley?

Ahh, such a popular question. I always have a bit of a food baby, but it's really not that hard to keep the jean size in check.

Rule number one: Just taste.

If I've described half a dozen things in my column, I didn't necessarily polish off each one. Usually, I've had a few bites. Don't forget, I'm dining out with friends, not solo. 

Rule number two: Never clean your plate.

This is the hardest rule to stick to. I was raised not only to finish everything, but to have a second helping. I'll only house it if it's really delicious or if I'm on the verge of passing out from hunger. Quality over quantity is a good mantra.

Rule number three: You have to cut back somewhere.

Dinners at restaurants are balanced out with salads at home. Starchy meals are balanced out with sashimi or ceviche. Too much meat is balanced out with a couple of veggie days. A fattening breakfast probably means no lunch. 

It took me a while to admit to myself that I shouldn't try to make every meal a splurge. I'm fine with making a meal out of a bowl of cereal if it means I can have the foie later.

Rule number four: Consider the booze.

All of that cutting back can be negated with a few beverages -- especially given my fondness for red wine and ass-kicking beers. So I have to make up for whatever I drink as well. I drink more water than most people.

Rule number five: Exercise.

Nobody wants to hear this one, even me. But I know it works, when I want it to.

Got a question for the critic? Email me at michele dot laudig at newtimes dot com

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