Mindful indulgence

by Khushboo on July 6, 2015

Given that I’m the one in my friends circle with a healthy living blog and have made a career as a Nutrition Specialist with K Weigh, it’s often expected that everything I eat is “clean” and nutrient-dense.  While I do tend to gravitate towards healthier options by nature, there are certainly times when I practice mindful indulgence i.e. selectively choosing when to indulge. As a culture, we tend to infuse shame into indulging in certain foods. We’re taught that sweets, carbs, and alcohol are “bad.” Therefore, instead of feeling happy after a pleasurable meal, we resort to guilt.  No matter how calorific or nutritionally-void a food might be, it’s still fine to eat in moderation without compromising your health or waistline…so long as you’re mindful about it and can actually savor each bite/sip. While I know that eating dessert and having a drink daily would leave me pretty terrible eventually, there are definitely instances that call for eating more indulgently than normal:

  • Eating at a new restaurant
  • In good company
  • Vacation
  • Special occasions like birthdays & anniversaries
  • When a food/meal adds to the overall experience
  • Freshly-made and/or homemade food

Since I’ve reached London, I’ve definitely been indulging more than I would normally would but I’m okay with that- it’s summer, I’m socialising more than normal, and there are just so many new-to-me restaurants to try.  Given the frequency of eating out that I’ve done in the last few weeks, I’m going to abstain from sharing recaps of all. However Saturday night’s dinner at the American restaurant Christopher’s in Covent Garden was too phenomenal to resist posting about…and it was definitely a restaurant that called for some mindful indulgence.  Apologies in advance for some of the dark photos- I didn’t want to be the obnoxious diner using flash! 

Christophers

Source

Although the rest of London seemed to have ignored the American holiday, Christopher’s put up some festive 4th of July decor in the restaurant which already made me love it. Although there was a special set menu for the holiday, we decided to order of the à la carte menu…starting with drinks.   I normally prefer to drink vodka/soda over sugary cocktails, but ordering a martini seemed almost necessary given Christopher’s Martini Bar downstairs.  After much deliberation over the extensive cocktail menu, I went with the Apple & Raspberry Martini (Stolichnaya, Raspberries, Crème de Framboise, Apple Juice, Lemon Juice & lightly dusted with Cinnamon):

Apple & Raspberry Martini - Christopher's

So delicious!  Shortly after, a waiter came around with a huge (unpictured) basket of various bread & herbed butter- quite rare given that most restaurants have started to charge for a bread basket!

Between the 3 of us, we shared two starters:

Superfood Salad (Beets, Quinoa, Lentils, Radish, Pomegranate, Sunflower Seeds, Miso & Cumin Dressing)

Superfood salad - Christopher's

Tuna Tartare  (Guacamole, Cilantro Slaw, Ginger & Tamari Dressing)

Tuna tartare - christophers

I normally hate cilantro but the restaurant did a great job in making sure the herb wasn’t overpowering.

Being a sucker for salmon, my choice of main was almost a no-brainer: Blackened Salmon with Jambalaya Risotto & Cress Salad.

 Blackened salmon at Christophers

There’s a fine line between almost raw, overcooked, and falling-apart flaky salmon but the chef cooked the fish to perfection…to the point that this might just be in the top 5 restaurant salmons that I’ve eaten till date.  Next time I eat at Christopher’s, I’ve already mentally decided that I’m ordering the Sirloin Steak with Peppercorn Sauce.  I ate a bite from my friend’s plate and it literally melted in my mouth.

We were already full by this point, but hey everyone has a separate stomach for dessert right…especially when the menu consists of options like Banana Tarte Tartine & Pecan Maple Pie with Salted Caramel Ice Cream.  After the process of elimination, we ordered the Chocolate, Peanut Butter and Caramel Tart with Espresso Ice Cream.

 Chocolate PB tart- Christophers

Given the presentation, this  dessert was almost too pretty to eat…almost!  God bless ‘Murrica for combining chocolate & peanut butter!

What instances do you think call for mindful indulgence?

What’s the best dessert you’ve eaten recently?

How did you spend your 4th of July?

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{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Shashi @ RunninSrilankan July 6, 2015 at 2:11 pm

Birthdays – birthdays are definitely a time -for me- for “mindful indulgences! But, if faced with “Chocolate, Peanut Butter and Caramel Tart with Espresso Ice Cream ” I might have to make an exception for mindfully indulging in it! 😉 I haven’t been eating out too often lately, so, the best dessert I’ve had were these chocolate fig cups I made.
And, the fourth was pretty low key – but, my fiance and I went to a “mystery room” – not as detailed as the one you mentioned,but so much fun!

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Khushboo July 8, 2015 at 3:10 pm

Ah I didn’t realised you were engaged, Shashi- CONGRATS!!

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Jess July 6, 2015 at 2:18 pm

Mindful indulgence is a requisite when you are travelling! 🙂 Sounds like you are having a lovely time!

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Khushboo July 8, 2015 at 3:10 pm

It really is!

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Cat July 6, 2015 at 4:39 pm

Hey I forgot you were coming to London – welcome! Looks like you’re doing it well – I’ve never been to Chrsitopher’s but it looks amazing! That dessert… oh my. I get kind of jealous of our cousins across the pond celebrating July 4th so I wish we did more of it, just for the sake of holiday fun!

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Khushboo July 8, 2015 at 3:10 pm

Oh you must try out Christophers, Cat- SO delicious!

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Parita @ myinnershakti July 6, 2015 at 5:53 pm

Love the idea of mindful indulgences. It’s about making a choice and truly enjoying it. 🙂

And the best dessert I had recently has to be the raw fudge pie at Inspiral. You need to check that place out!

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Khushboo July 8, 2015 at 3:11 pm

As if I wasn’t already keen to try out Inspiral- that dessert did the trick!!

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Erin@BeetsPerMinute July 6, 2015 at 7:13 pm

I’m so with you on mindful indulgence occasions. I kind of think they are just intuitive indulgences. I always think if I am in a particular situation or if I’m craving something, I just let myself have it. I don’t go crazy, but I know that I’m giving my body what it obviously wants and needs. It’s a good way not play mind games with ourselves! This was my first 4th of July away from America and in Glasgow. I think there was something 4th related going on somewhere, but I just stayed in and attempted to make terrible s’mores with McVities digestives lol. I LOVE Covent Garden. It’s magical. I must get down to London at some point!

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Khushboo July 8, 2015 at 3:12 pm

On the contrary, s’mores made with digestives sounds rather epic….and let’s be honest, British chocolate > American chocolate ;)!

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Arman @ thebigmansworld July 6, 2015 at 7:34 pm

This is similar to my post last Monday of my sister and her process before going to a buffet. Definitely mindful indulgence/intuitive decision. Hope London’s treating you well!

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Khushboo July 8, 2015 at 3:12 pm

London is treating me too well :)!

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Tara @ Sweat like a Pig July 6, 2015 at 8:05 pm

I’ve heard good things about this restaurant and, after seeing your pictures, I’m kind of kicking myself that I didn’t go before I left!

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Khushboo July 8, 2015 at 3:12 pm

All the more reason to come back soon! I wish we tried it out for brunch- you would love it!!

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Meghan@CleanEatsFastFeets July 7, 2015 at 3:58 pm

At the end of the day, you gotta live and I think a few extra calories in a sea of healthy living are a good choice. This dinner looks and sounds amazing. I love the plating of the dessert.

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Khushboo July 8, 2015 at 3:12 pm

Me too- full points for presentation!!

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Lucie@FitSwissChick July 8, 2015 at 1:25 am

Oh well, this was totally worth it. I actually think restuarants like this can’t even have food that can make us feel guilty – given the fact that most of the time it’s fresh and local food, and seriously, a dessert like this just can NOT be unhealthy! It looks too delicious and pretty!

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Khushboo July 8, 2015 at 3:13 pm

Exactly- it’s almost difficult to feel guilty over a meal made from local, fresh and quality ingredients…no matter how calorific is might be!!

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