Last month N and I went to Reston Town Center to walk around. As soon as we got there, I was hungry so we went to this burger joint that we’ve meant to go to since early October: The Counter. We walked into the rectangular shaped restaurant that featured a counter right in the middle of it (think of it as a bar, but a bar for burgers!). This place is the ultimate burger joint; you can pick from a variety of breads including english muffins, a variety of burgers including turkey and veggie, and toppings and house-made sauces–imagine a kid in a candy shop, except burgers, toppings, breads, cheese, sauces galore. The Counter is magically for sure, not just because it offers the best burgers around, but because it is super low-key–exactly what a burger joint should be. I ordered the turkey burger on an english muffin with sprouts and spinach topped with the roasted garlic aioli and a side of sweet potato fries.
The Counter is a California-based company, that is now an international company. I’m not someone who usually dines at chain restaurants, but this one is my exception. With fresh, healthy options, it allows someone like me who does watch her burger intake to indulge without guilt or consequences. One thing I will applaud this company for is it uses locally sourced and sustainable food which makes each menu slightly different. (Out of curiosity, I looked up the menu of its Dublin restuarant and found the cheese offerings exciting!)
This past year I’ve been working towards a healthier diet. Attempting to eat more lean proteins, fibers, and the good carbohydrates without sacrificing on flavor. Now that I’m older, my body doesn’t process the input at the same rate it used to–alas. Losing weight was something I didn’t know how to accomplish, but knew I desired. I started this journey last October after two consecutive decadent trips: Hawaii and Jamaica. I came back a little rounder feeling out of control in terms of my habits. So I enlisted some help from a program that I thought would allow me to continue to enjoy eating: Weight Watchers. As soon as I enlisted, I was scared of what others would say. I was scared of not reaching my goal. I was scared of feeling like I was on a diet.
I sat in the back row of my first meeting and listened to my super vibrant and hilarious leader. She spoke the truth about all of us in a funny, charismatic way. As the year continued, I gained and lost weight, but kept going and weighing in. As time went on, I began to learn about my habits. I learned about my trigger foods. I learned to accept my inner foodie without depriving her. In the past, the only way I knew to lose weight was to deprive. However, at Weight Watchers I learned to make clear decisions about what I eat and how much and when I felt like eating something decadent was worth it. It used to be that I believed that if you want to eat something, then you should do it right then and there. (This is how I was raised; when my mom saw that I liked something, our pantry would be filled with it.) Now I make sound decisions based on how I feel before and after I eat it. I learned that I eat when I’m tired, when I’m sad, when I’m stressed.
This past year has been a lesson in feeding my mind and body with what they need instead of a temporary band-aid of food. This means that I don’t eat a burger weekly or even monthly, but I do eat one for the right reasons. When I do indulge, it is incredible to find a place like the Counter that allows me a zillion options to build my burger.