San Diego Zoo
Thursday 28 September 2006, 10:38 pm
On late Tuesday night and Wednesday, we drove from San Jose to San Diego.
At 80 mph, and catching the LA traffic just right, it was a much shorter
trip than I'd imagined. We left San Jose around 9:30 pm and arrived in
the San Fernando Valley around 2:30 am, just five hours later. Next
morning, one more hour to Anaheim, and two more hours to San Diego.
Of course, after being up late the night before, we did have to take a
nap. But a quick and enjoyable trip all around.
In the San Diego Zoo, we found a reptile building we don't remember
having seen before, and a monitor lizard that is so huge he has his
own building. The polar bears were not out, boo hoo! Their exhibit
was being cleaned last week. We did see the pandas ... there are getting
to be so many of them, only half are on exhibit at any one time. (This
is partly because they are solitary animals and they don't get along
when you put them all together.)
We had really good success with eating on this trip, despite the fact
that we have two strikes against us: in addition to avoiding gluten,
we are both now on Weight Watchers (more about that later). We found
that Denny's has a "Fit Fare" meal that is a tasty omelette made with
Egg Beaters. I think we ate one every day while we were gone. It does
come with toast, which we asked them to replace with sliced tomatoes.
It does not come with hash browns, the Denny's dish that makes me gag
because of the putrid oil they use. The eggs themselves don't seem to
be done in any oil or butter, because they are not greasy at all.
In San Diego, we ate both nights at
Anthony's Fish Grotto
in La Mesa. They have a wonderful rare tuna served with pineapple
salsa (which doesn't contain any vinegar). We counted up the Weight
Watchers points and discovered we still had enough remaining to
split a glass of wine, which they graciously split into two glasses
for us both times. Both waiters knew just enough about gluten allergies
to ask the right questions of us and the cooks, and thankfully
both times they steered us away from choices unsuitable for us.
(They also have a special "healthy dining" menu specifically useful for
those people counting calories, but most of those menu items contain gluten.)
OK, so on September 1 we both signed up at the local chapter of Weight
Watchers. Mary has been on it before and she found it effective.
I had developed a "Buddha Belly" and we decided to bite the bullet at
the same time. We're our own 24/7 support group! And it has worked well.
After one month, we have each lost about 15 pounds. Our grand goal is
about 40 pounds each, though, and we hope to get there by around
One item that really bites me is Coke. Three points per can. I can't
drink Diet Coke because the Aspartame messes up my kidneys. I discovered
this when I went to the chiropractor complaining of back pain. No, not
the back, but the kidneys. In the store, I found Pepsi One, which
contains Sucralose but no Aspartame. There is a similar Coke product
but it has smaller amounts of Aspartame and other sweeteners. I do
have a case of regular Coke in the garage and I grab one every once in
a while when I want "the real thing" and I have a few points to spare.
In our local Nob Hill store, I also found a special line of Diet Rite
Zero products that use Sucralose. One is a cola but it has no caffeine.
The others are Raspberry and Peach. The Raspberry is good; I haven't
tried the others yet.