Can Dating and Healthy Living Mix Well?

So lately I’ve been prioritizing filling my “fella” card with 1st and 2nd time dates.

Why? Well, why not?

I am single after all. I have found, with no surprise here, men are very responsive to a slimmer Irene. As if [magically] I’ve gotten funnier, or something, making me mystically more of a catch.

In reality, and I hate to be mean here, I’ve hung out a shinier shingle with a thinner face and apparently a sufficiently “average” looking body type that works well enough to catch the attention (of almost too many) men.

Mean? Sorry, I wasn’t very clear. I’m not meeting these men with the expectation of anything panning out. They jumped at a photo after all. Not my witty repartee.  My dating profile is below. Please, go ahead and be the judge. I’m really not offering much up besides a cheeky smile. You want to take me out and treat me? Fine, go ahead if you think I’m just eye candy. 

Dating is a wildly different thing in Phoenix than it ever was in New York. I’m not complaining, I’m just saying. I uploaded a few photos with the thinnest (ha, poor word choice) and just a few sentences profile and “BAM!” – I’m popular. In New York I felt like I must have been wearing eau de skunk. 

Anyhoo, back to the driving force behind my post….

Can dating and healthy living mix?

I did specify – very clearly on my profile – that I like to exercise and that I follow a healthy diet.

So why have I been less than pleased with my dates? I will try and refrain comments on questionable behaviors noticed, and focus solely on food (and drink, if appropriate).

Recently I met two characters whom I shall refer to as “Mr Sushi” and “Mr Picnic” to protect the not-so-innocent. This blog post covers “Mr Sushi” as I followed through, and silly me, actually had two dates with him. “Mr Picnic” I’ll save for another typing day.

If I had to summarize why they were both epic eating failures?

  • “Mr Sushi” basically ordered for me – without asking! Yes, on both dates. 
  • “Mr Picnic” eats whatever he finds first, even though he insists he’s a healthy eater. (This includes white bread people. White. Bread.) This only matters to me as our date consisted of a lunch he packed.

My Dating Profile

“I’m relatively new to Phoenix (as of the fall) from New York. I moved here for the unbelievable weather, open spaces and slower pace of life. I love it here! My original goal was to improve my health. My perfect day includes reading, working out (yes, at the gym), meditation and some basic yoga. Going forward I’d like to balance more hikes in. It is important to me to eat a healthy diet.

I’ll pop in and add more.”


That’s it. That’s all I’ve got in my profile. That, ok, and a tiny sentence about my ideal first date. (Which is going for coffee or somewhere we can talk.) And yet I feel like a fire hydrant is pumping water into my face with so much interest. Funny. 

What’s the Big Deal About Food?

Prior to joining LA Fitness I started keeping a visual food log. I found it helpful for tracking purposes. I have the worst short term memory and having photos around are great for when you’re ready to plug stuff into

I randomly plucked out three different prior days of food to share. Generally, good stuff.



The day of Date #1 with Mr. Sushi I had oatmeal in the morning (pre yoga!) and a very light snack/ pre-lunch consisting of greek yogurt and shrimp.


This was an excellent way to prepare for late afternoon date which started around 3pm. Per myfitnesspal I was more than in the clear with 900+ calories to spend for the remainder of the day/eve. (My target budget is 1200 calories/day without factoring in any exercise.)

Date #1 With Mr. Sushi

I knew a glass of wine was in order as I had picked Postino’s in Arcadia (see for their menu and additional details). I figured a glass of wine would set me back ~150. My date insisted we share a bottle.

Buuuut I didn’t want to share a bottle. Even though I said I’d only be having a glass I [finally] shrugged when he pushed the issue.


The wine I picked, by the way, is from Macedonia, and rocks the house. I highly recommend it. Mr Sushi probably recommends it as my better judgement was thrown out the windown when he auto-refilled my glass when I wasn’t even halfway done. There is an expression,” Twist my rubber arm.” So here I will accept blame.

I drank it. And got tipsy.

A little bit of booze couldn’t hurt to blur the rough edges right? And by rough edges I mean:

  • out of date / fuzzy photos
  • a delusional idea of what exercise consists of (golf is a sport, but not exercise if all you do is drive around on a golf cart…with a 12 pack of beer)
  • someone who fibbed about their height (WHY do men lie about this??)

I didn’t realize how busy Postino’s was going to be on a Sunday. (I had assumed there would be more of a crowd listening to music at The Vig. But no. There was a 45 minute wait for a table.) When time had stretched and stretched (over the estimate) I finally convinced Mr Sushi it was “OK” to eat as a side table. Fine, menus were procured and we started the review process.

Mr Sushi instructed me to pick a starter, and that he would do the same. When asked I said either of the olives or the mozzarella & tomatoes would be fine. He kind of turned his head, said his choice was the meat plate and … well, that he didn’t want either of my choices.


Whatever. So, having that extra wine in me [must have] calmed the cuss words out of my system as I simply nodded. (I am withholding the fiasco that the wine selection process entailed. Geesus. Let’s just say I was a tad irked already.) He elected to order the artichoke and hummus dipping platter.

You know, as if there wasn’t already enough fat coming with the prosciutto and other cured meats. (Oh, yes, and there was plenty of cheese on the meat plate.)

This is what our fat and carb heavy meal consisted of.


This photo does not adequately represent the amount of house baked bread and pita I chowed on. I wasn’t really paying attention at first and then stopped myself. I had to have eaten at least three chunks of bread. My date found it odd when I started rolling prosciutto without any bread.

So when I got home I tried to guestimate how many slices of assorted meats I had eated, the approximate times I swabbed soft cheese onto my bread, as well as the candied almonds and dried cranberries that I consumed. Oh, and the tastings of the bloody dips Mr. Sushi insisted I partake it.

Each time I took a bite (which was on bread, what else?), my brain was screaming,

“Mayo! Oh no!”


Date #2 With Mr. Sushi

So now I can share why I’ve been calling him Mr. Sushi.

During date #1 I struggled to listen thru his [many] tales of the wide ranging restaurants he had eaten in while living in NYC.

“I’ve been there… I like this___… This___ is great…. Do you remember ___ place on the corner of so and so?”

Mind you – he moved over five years ago. As he worked in sales he had travelled quite a bit, or made himself sound like he did, and that he liked to “explore different cuisines”.

Anyhoo, when I briefly expressed interest in sushi he was suddenly an expert.

“I have the best places to go to. If you really want to get good sushi I’ll take you to a few of my favorite places.”

Blah blah blah.


So when asked later in the week if I wanted sushi I said yes. I thought…

“Give him another shot. Maybe he was nervous. You never know. Just go.”

(And god damn it. You can eat some “good” sushi!)

If you read no further – Mr. Sushi is NOT an expert on Sushi. NOT. His experience would best be deemed “novice”.

Breakfast that day:
– 1/2 cup uncut oatmeal w/2 splenda packages
– 1 hard boiled egg white

I made spinach tacos with roasted red peppers, grapefruit, fat free sour cream, plenty of seasoning and hirachi sauce. I noshed on shrimp before assembling the tacos. (I ate plenty of shrimp that week as I made the error of buying a big bag of shrimp. Never again. You can’t refreeze and it was boooring to eat shrimp all the time, even when assembled ten thousand ways.)


My tacos before they were rolled..


Stoked to be having sashimi in my future I had to keep a tight ship. Plus I planned to factor in room for a tiny bit of warm sake. My breakfast and lunch tallied up to 339 calories. (Woot!)

Onward to Tempe I travelled to a place called Kobe. It took me nearly 50 minutes with traffic to arrive at my destination. Fifty. Oof. (The same ride home only took twenty.)

As it was still happy hour I grabbed opportunity to pick up a $2 hot sake at the bar while waiting for Mr. Sushi.

Ordering Woes

After we were seated there was some confusion about what “WE” were ordering. I misunderstood (to say that diplomatically) when Mr. Sushi placed orders for a spicy tuna roll and a spicy scallop roll. I figured he wanted something on the table ASAP, while we were reviewing the menu.

Nope. Turns out he was ordering for the two of us.

Um, hell NO.

I did not just
A) sit in traffic for a repeat of date one (take your macho culture and stuff it)
B) consider this to be representative of “great sushi”.

Hellooo? Does everyone not realize that ordering a “spicy” roll is just an easy way for a restaurant to cop out and repackage borderline tuna/fish/whatnot? You can cover a wide variety of issues by smothering fish with a mayo based sauce. If you want spicy that’s what the green stuff is for on your plate my friend!

Also, as I quickly articulated, S-L-O-W-L-Y, I wanted to order sashimi. As in fish without the rice. So no, that wasn’t it for me (smiled sweetly).

Mr. Sushi flagged the wrong server down (a brunette) and was rude to her (!) And even when corrected that our server was someone else (a blond) he continued to insist on placing another order. Something to do with a cucumber shell roll. But nothing to address my sashimi interest.


The rolls came out in quick order. The spicy scallop roll had a creamy center. I was encouraged to taste one, so I did. It was ok. I was also educated on how to properly use wasabi. (Ha. Really? Is that how that stuff works? Thaaanks.)


Before our server left I was able to place my sashimi order. Mr. Sushi had no interest – what so ever – in even trying any sashimi so I only ordered two types, three pieces. Mr. Sushi has never tried sashimi, doesn’t really like raw fish (HAHAHA) and didn’t see the appeal.

Right. Moving on.

The spicy tuna roll looked and tasted like … nothing special. To be honest, Trader Joe’s does a better job of cranking these out with brown rice.


My white tuna and mackerel had a wonderful presentation, although the mackerel was incredibly dry. (Bummer.)


I give Kobe credit for presentation on assembling such a large amount of tuna, salmon, fake crab and some other unidentifiable stuff in a palm sized roll. These suckers were ENORMOUS.


I asked Mr. Sushi to take a photo for me. Then I remembered he refuses to admit he needs glasses. Good thing I thought to check my photo gallery as he had taken three videos. (Amusing as he had rebuffed my demonstration on how to take a photo. “Of course I know how to take a photo!” Yeah, right.)


I deconstructed two of these and rather enjoyed them. I didn’t eat the unknown creamy looking stuff, but the rest was pretty good.

Here’s another thing I don’t understand. When the server returned and asked,”Have you had enough food to eat?” it would have been perfectly ok for Mr. Sushi to say,”No, I’d like more.” No shame in that. But instead he cajoled (and basically whined) until I agreed to share a roll with him.

But I wasn’t hungry.

So what did I do? I skimmed the specialty roll menu and read off a few of the highest price point items with tuna in them. Because, you know, Mr. Sushi couldn’t see the menu. (I’m so going to hell. But seriously, bring your glasses. This wasn’t the first time!)

This was the “Snow White” roll.


I had a piece. It was creamy as something that looks like that should be. Would I ever order that on my own?


My challenge with rolls in general is that a serving size is usually three pieces. Three! That’s nothing. I’d rather skip the rice and just eat the fish thank-you-very-much. Also it is almost impossible to guestimate a calorie count on a specialty roll. So why bother?

Needless to say, Mr. Sushi is a no go.

Buh bye!


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