Hmong/Thai Food Addiction - 3 Fat Chicks on a Diet Weight Loss Community


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Old 05-08-2008, 12:33 AM   #1  
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A Hmong family in our area opened a Hmong/Thai restaurant in March. We discovered it in early April, and we've been eating there twice a week or more since finding it.

I'm hopelessly addicted. I haven't gained weight (which I know I couldn't say if I were eating out this often at any other restaurant). However, I haven't lost any either. They have a deli case, as well and the owner is always sending us home with things to try. Most of them are very healthy, but even a lot of healthy food, is still a lot of food. I really need to get portions under control, and stop ordering the fried eggrolls (I succeed about half the time. I know if I always made the best choice, I'd be losing again).


Today we went in, and the owner said she was hoping we would be in, because she saved us some steamed fish to try (she didn't see us until we had already ordered, so of course this was in addition to our order).
I ordered the spicy tilapia (their signature dish, and possibly my all-time favorite restaurant meal, and I'm not even much of a fish fan, especially when it's a whole fish, with the eyeball still staring). Yikes, it is so absolutely amazing. I even managed not to order the side of sticky rice to sop up the amazing garlicky sauce. It's probably even a very diet-friendly dish (except for the fact that the fish ins 9 inches long and two inches thick).

The papaya salad is also very diet friendly. I order it for lunch a lot. The closest thing I can compare it to, is a garlicky cole slaw, because the green papaya when shredded is like maybe jicama or shredded turnip, kohlrabi, or broccoli heart (mild flavored, not really cabbagey though). And only $3.00 for a huge plateful. It's served with plain bibb lettuce that you eat along with it.

The laab also is a sensible choice (pronounced Lah as in Lot without the t). It's very lean ground beef, seasoned and also served on lettuce leaves (it can be raw or cooked, but in USA restaurants are almost always cooked).

The noodle dishes are not as diet friendly (especially the portions, they serve), and I need to stop ordering them (or start splitting them with three other people). In fact, that's my new goal (not eating there isn't an option, at least I'm not ready to go down that path, yet). Just saying it, though, I'm already missing their street noodles and pad thai. Aaaaaagh!

Actually, I did very well today. I didn't eat off-plan, even at the restaurant and went for a long walk on the treadmill. I also drank extra water, because I think the sauce on the fish seems low carb and relatively low fat, but high in sodium.

I was talking to the owners sister yesterday, and she was telling us we should to go to Thailand on vacation, because the food is so good and so cheap. She's heavy herself (maybe a size 16), and she said that she ate and ate and still lost weight during her trip (she said the fruit is amazing - though I've always heard that eating the uncooked fruit in any country or even sometimes in the US in an area you're not used to can cause Montezuma's revenge).

I don't really know where I'm going with this thread. Just started rambling I guess. I'm excited that I found a restaurant with a lot of diet-friendly yet amazingly tasty and affordable options. I just have to get out of the restaurant means off-plan eating mentality.

Last edited by kaplods; 05-08-2008 at 12:34 AM.
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Old 05-08-2008, 01:11 AM   #2  
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I'm not sure if this is the case with the restaurant you are referring to, but most Thai/Hmong (been to both kinds, but never one that had both) restaurants that I've been to serve things in family size portions. In other words, you are meant to share them.

It sounds like they have lots of healthy options available. If you're going to be addicted to a type of food, that's not a bad category for sure!

Last edited by zenor77; 05-08-2008 at 01:12 AM.
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Old 05-08-2008, 03:15 AM   #3  
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Quote:
I was talking to the owners sister yesterday, and she was telling us we should to go to Thailand on vacation, because the food is so good and so cheap. She's heavy herself (maybe a size 16), and she said that she ate and ate and still lost weight during her trip (she said the fruit is amazing - though I've always heard that eating the uncooked fruit in any country or even sometimes in the US in an area you're not used to can cause Montezuma's revenge).
**** yes! If you do make it out here, I'll take you out to see the sights & eat the yummy food (although we'll be avoiding rice and noodles - I'm low carbing). And as to the fresh fruit - personally, I've had no problems at all (whereas when I was living in Egypt it was Pharoah's Revenge every few months...for 3 years). The fruit here is indeed amazing, and gorgeous to look upon too - rambutans like little punk hedghogs, gleaming black mangosteens, fabulous prickly pink and crimson and lime-green dragonfruit with their cool black-and-white innards...it's a feast for the eyes as well as the tastebuds.

One thing to ask your lady, though, is maybe whether they add sugar in unexpected places - Som Tam, for example (the yummy papaya salad) is usually made with sugar cane as well as chili and fish sauce. On the whole though the traditional Thai food is very healthy - just try to avoid the noodles and rice!
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Old 05-08-2008, 11:59 AM   #4  
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I know there is a little hidden sugar in some of the salads, but I don't think it's the hidden carbs that are my problem, it's the in your face carbs - the noodles and sticky rice (and the deepfried eggrolls) that are keeping me from losing, as well as my need to keep a better eye on portion. When the dish isn't super starchy or sugary, I can control portions pretty well, but I need to plan it out (and find a way to politely steer her away from sending so much extra food home with us, or at least find more people to share it with).

The owner is Hmong and was born in Thailand. Her parents owned a grocery store/meat market in Thailand. Right now most of the menu is thai, but she wants to add more traditional Hmong dishes. I don't know the difference, of course, but am hoping to learn.

I would agree that many of the dishes are meant to be shared, and there's also the midwest restaurant thing going on. Most restaurants around here serve crazy portions, especially the inexpensive family restaurants, ironically. It's almost a hallmark of a new family restaurant - to try to make an impression with ridiculous portions. One of their most popular menu items is the Pho, a huge bowl of noodle soup. My husband and I could easily share a bowl, though we usually each order our own, as he prefers the seafood and I prefer the chicken (then my husband has another meal out of it, and I have two more out of mine). They have a king size bowl (like a large mixing bowl), and I've only ever seen Hmong men order it, or finish it. There's a rumor that one of the local Hmong factory workers ordered and finished two King Size bowls in a single afternoon.

Broadabroad, that would be so cool! I don't see us affording the trip for a decade (if we start saving now) though. I think that's why we like the restaurant so much, the owner and her family tell us stories of visiting and living in Thailand and it's almost like being there.

Last edited by kaplods; 05-08-2008 at 12:01 PM.
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Old 05-08-2008, 12:17 PM   #5  
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Mmmmmm. Pho.

I'm addicted to Pho, especially in the winter or if I have a cold. Mmmmm.
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