It’s Week 14 of Food Blogger vs. Fat (where does the time go?) and it’s update time. This week we celebrate a milestone while also celebrating the Fourth of July.

The Successes

In my open, I mentioned a milestone. That came on Sunday when I recorded my 100th consecutive of tracking my weight loss on the Lose It! app.

screenshot of the Lose It app with a congratulatory message for logging 100 consecutive days
100 Days!

Lose It! has played a key role in my weight loss so far, helping to hold me accountable for everything that I eat.

Everything gets recorded in the app from a single teaspoon of ginger (two calories) to the regrettable McDonald’s milkshake (610 calories).

Many sources have cited the benefits of keeping a food diary – it makes you aware of how much food you’re actually eating, it makes you realize what exactly is going into your body and it makes you feel guilty about eating that extra snack.

All of those are true for me. I read nutritional labels a lot more closely than I should, and I spend way too much time researching restaurant meals before I go.

Without Lose It!, I would not have made it this far.

The Challenges

Recording everything has its downfalls, including knowing exactly where I went wrong in my dieting. This week was easy to find. It was the Fourth of July holiday weekend so Julie and I decided to take advantage of it (we each had off Saturday, July 1 through Tuesday, July 4) with several day trips.

Saturday we visited Harrisburg and the Pennsylvania State Museum. It’s a great museum – extremely family friendly – and I highly suggest it for anyone interested in their home state.

Broad Street Market in Harrisburg
The Broad Street Market is a landmark in Harrisburg.

Before the museum, we made a stop at Harrisburg’s Broad Street Market.

Broad Street Market is one of the larger farmers’ markets that I have seen in the area. The market spans two buildings with several vendors set up in the open space in between.

One of the buildings is completely devoted to dine-in and takeout restaurants, and they cover the globe from Asia to the Caribbean and all places in between.

Food stand called Tasty Dishes with images of African entrees and sides on the menu board
Tasty Dishes is one of many globally inspired restaurants in the Broad Street Market.

I couldn’t resist trying the market’s African kitchen – Tasty Dishes – and some jollof rice.

Jollof rice is yellow rice with a little bit of seasoning. It was served with stewed chicken legs and fried plantains.

two chicken drumsticks atop rice with plantains
Jollof rice with stewed chicken and fried plantains.

The best part was the chicken. It was a little sweet, not barbecue chicken but similar. It also went great with the rice.

The woman behind the counter asked me if I liked spicy and being the manly man that I am, I said yes. So she also gave me a dollop of spicy paste that consisted of ginger, garlic and jalapenos.

I didn’t feel so manly after I got my first taste. Julie said she could see my eyes light up when it hit my tongue. It was the last bite that was intentionally ingested.

Later that day we stopped at A&M Pizza in Lebanon for sandwiches. The rolls at A&M are some of the best around (I’ll be visiting the recently re-opened Wernersville location for a blog soon) and it’s a favorite stop of ours when we’re in the area.

meatball Parmesan on a ciabatta roll with fries
I can’t get enough of A&M’s rolls.

I had the chicken parmesan sandwich and we shared my side of fries. It’s a lot of food, but I didn’t feel like I had overdone it on this day.

Sunday felt more like overdoing it when Julie and I made a late afternoon visit to Knoebels Grove.

As someone who doesn’t do roller coasters, Knoebels is my favorite amusement park (no entry fee means I don’t feel guilty watching other people riding the Phoenix). Knoebels also has great food – the best amusement park food in the country according to many surveys.

While we both enjoy the grab-and-go snacks throughout the park, Julie and I are big fans of Knoebels’ sit-down restaurant, the Alamo.

Don’t let the name fool you, there’s nothing southwestern about the Alamo. Instead, it’s a family restaurant with classic American diner food.

plate of pot roast with a scoop of mashed potatoes next to a gravy boat
The roast beef dinner at the Alamo, featuring my favorite restaurant applesauce.

I had the roast beef with mashed potatoes and applesauce (if you read my blog from Sunday, you know why I was inspired to order it). It was served with a personal gravy boat to pour as I chose.

The roast beef is more of a pot roast-style with tender chunks that pull apart easily. The mashed potatoes are like homemade.

The applesauce deserves a paragraph of its own. It’s my favorite applesauce that I have eaten anywhere, a one-of-a-kind dish that is sweeter and packed with more flavor than any other version. It’s almost like eating a caramel apple that has been crushed into sauce. I love it.

ravioli in cream sauce
The Gorgonzola cream sauce at Paganini in Doylestown was one my favorite dishes of the holiday weekend.

Monday was a day trip to Doylestown (I think we’ve about covered all points of the compass over the weekend) which included a heavy lunch at Paganini Ristorante. We both ordered ravioli – Julie with gorgonzola sauce, me with tomato sauce. She definitely had the better of the two, but mine was lighter.

And Tuesday was, of course, the Fourth of July and picnics. And a cup of ice cream from Sweet Ride at the West Reading fireworks.

The Results

Current Weight: 171.2
Weekly Weight Loss: -0.0
Total Weight Loss: -18.2

It was a wash this week, but that wasn’t surprising with my weigh-in coming after a heavy eating weekend (I weighed in Monday morning so Monday and Tuesday will affect this week’s weight).

The Week Ahead

There’s no rest for this weary food blogger this week. The holiday is behind me but on the horizon is the PA BBQ Fest at the Leesport Farmers Market. It’s one of my favorite events of the year because I get to try a lot of barbecue all in one place.

This Saturday and Sunday also marks the last weekend of this year’s Kutztown Folk Festival. Sure, there’s lots of great entertainment and history on display at the Folk Festival, but I’m in it for the food.

One thing about Pennsylvania Dutch food though: it’s not exactly low-cal. Neither is barbecue, come to think of it. Should be an interesting week (and a heck of recap next week).

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