Ed Levine's Serious Diet, Week 127: My Vacation Food Fantasies, And What I Actually Ate


[Photograph: Robyn Lee]

So I've been gone a week, and somehow, some way I've managed to avoid many of my serious diet vacation pitfalls. I say that knowing that I certainly had grand plans for this past week. This is what I fantasized about eating this vacation:

Ten stops on the Connecticut Fried Clam Belt and Lobster Roll Belt.

A Search for the Best Fried Clams on the Vineyard.

A Search for the Vineyard's Best Lobster Roll

A Search for the best piece of pie on Martha's Vineyard.

But the best laid plans of even the most serious eater often go astray. Thank God for that.

As I previously noted, I ended up sharing two lobster rolls, one hot and one cold, on the way up. After that I went cold turkey (or should I say cold crustacean) on lobster rolls for the week.

I had one small portion of fried clams from John's Fish Market in Vineyard Haven. Served on a paper plate instead of one of those fried clam-killing little boxes, they were dee-licious. I always used to complain about the size of the portion in a small order of fried clams (not just at John's, but every fried clam joint on the Vineyard). Not anymore.

The 2010 Ed Levine appreciates and savors every little sweet, crunchy, and nutty bi-valve put on the paper plate at John's. Small really is beautiful when it comes to a la carte orders of fried clams.

One piece of Mrs. Blake's Strawberry Rhubarb Pie. Although Mrs. Blake herself died, her daughter proudly carries on her mother's pie-baking tradition. The crusts are just as flaky as ever.

A tiny piece of her chocolate peanut butter pie. This is a new one. It tastes like a giant peanut butter cup with a bottom crust. How bad can it be?

We tried three different pizzas (one small, two larges) at the Vineyard's newest pizzeria, a branch of the granola-ish pizza mini-chain Flatbread Company, which has been inserted into the island's biggest music club, Nectar. The pizza here, made in a homemade-looking wood-burning oven, is easily the best on the island, but even so I was pretty careful in terms of how much I ate.

That's it. I even had lots of vegetables and salad. Every day. I grilled asparagus, radicchio, and zucchini, to seriously delicious effect.

I never gave myself the well-known vacation license to go crazy and overeat. I just never gave in to that insidious rationale that has caused me so many problems over the years.

The Weigh-In

I don't think I've ever lost weight while away, but I'm thinking I got a shot to do just that when I get on Thinner. Interim weigh-ins have been encouraging. I was at 221 yesterday, Thursday. Okay, here we go: 220. Down a pound. A not so quick one while I was away. A serious diet vacation triumph. It really is the little things in this world that count.

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