Hello, Home/New Things Thursday: Mindful Eating

Yay, I made it home! And, was greeted upon arrival with a jury summons. Thanks for the “Welcome Back!” gift, government!

Since I’m going to be working at a broadcasting company right next to my hometown, my mom was kind enough to let me move back home for a bit and live rent free while I get on my feet/save some money. My mom and I get along really well, and we’ve been through a lot together—my dad left when I was a few months old, so it’s always been just her and me. Anyway, it’s great to be home. I am going to celebrate having access to a kitchen again by making Parmesan risotto from Cook’s Illustrated’s “The Best Light Recipe” cookbook. If I’m not too lazy, afterwards, this may mean you’ll get your first recipe review, soon. LUCKY YOU.

Also, I did not binge yesterday (hooray!), though I did go a little overboard. Ultimately, I only ended up using 120 more calories than was officially allotted to me*, but I definitely ate more sweets than I should have; I started with some Tim Tams and ice cream, which was fine, but then at the grocery store I impulsively snagged a bakery cookie and a candy bar. If I hadn’t chomped those, I’d have 660 extra calories today rather than negative 120!** Blergh! But, lesson learned; don’t eat treats on the run and try to keep it to one indulgence a day. I’m going to try and compensate for the extra calories I ate yesterday by eating that much less today, but—in the spirit of eating intuitively—I’m not going to not eat if I get hungry. It’s only 120 calories, after all, and that’s part of the glory of maintenance: Some days you eat a little more, some days you eat a little less. Usually, it all balances out.

Anyway, today marks the return of New Things Thursday! Hooray! Today’s new thing (Mindful Eating) is actually brought to you by Maria over at Chasing the Now (which you should start reading if you don’t already do so; it’s a great “healthy living” blog and also a really interesting look at life in Japan, where Maria lives with her husband. Personally, I’d love to visit Japan … so I can visit the Nintendo store. What?), who recently instituted the “Make Time to Dine” challenge.

When she did so, I realized I hardly ever just eat. When I eat, I’m also usually reading, watching TV or doing something else ridiculous that could probably wait until later, all of which are bad things to do while eating, especially since Maria says that studies have shown that more calories are taken in when we’re distracted while chomping. THAT’S BAD. Anyway, I pledged to take part once I got home, since when she introduced the challenge I needed every waking (and some sleeping) moment to write essays.

So, when I sat down for breakfast today, I said, “It is mindful eating time!”, especially since I’m trying intuitive eating, and part of that is paying attention to your hunger level while eating. But, how can you notice if you’re full if you’re to too busy reading a book while throwing back your breakfast?

Mindful eating was … weird. Honestly, the whole time I was eating, I wanted to reach for a book, or something. I didn’t realize how much of a habit multitasking while eating had become. But, while breakfast this morning meant I spent my meal taking a really hard look at my kitchen rather than a piece of reading material, it also meant that I savored my meal, more (it took me twenty minutes to eat a bowl of cereal, since I purposefully put my utensil down between bites). NEAT. Give it a try, dudes; you my find that when you actually pay attention to your plate, you don’t want everything that is on it.

*I’m trying to eat intuitively, but I’m still tallying calories at the end of the day just to see where doing so puts me with my intake.

** I’m still doing the “bonus calories” system at the moment, too, but any caloric allowances are really more of a guideline now that I’m doing maintenance rather than a hard and fast rule, especially since I don’t know how much I’ve eaten until I’ve added all my calorie values up at the end of the day.

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5 Comments

  1. Quix said,

    May 15, 2010 at 12:35 AM

    Congrats on graduation! We had houseguests for a while and ate at the table and talked and I noticed I ate slower and less. Wish I could have kept that up, but it’s just so much more convenient after a long day to eat in front of the tv – and our table is a mess. However, I don’t miss their dinner nights – full fat beef tacos and carrot cake. Ugh.

    • May 15, 2010 at 10:38 AM

      Man, carrot cake is delicious, but not when eaten on a daily basis. I kind of feel like if I ate carrot cake more than one day in a row, I would develop a lifelong aversion to cream cheese. Also, I’ve definitely slipped into some TV viewing/reading-while-eating habits, again. I just get kind of bored only eating my food. Like, “Dang, is my meal over yet, ’cause I have a book I want to read.”
      And, thanks for the congratulations!

  2. sophia said,

    May 15, 2010 at 1:21 AM

    120 kcal is nothing. Really, all you need is to walk about a mile to negate it.

    About mindful eating…I can’t do that! I am ALWAYS doing something while eating, too. Even while I’m typing this, I’m downing down a bowl of pumpkin cream soup. I think part of the reason is that I get bored if I’m just eating…and the food seems to disappear faster when I’m just eating?

    • May 15, 2010 at 10:41 AM

      Oh, you’re absolutely right, 120 calories is a drop in the big ol’ bucket, and I probably came off as really obsessive in this post, but I’m just overly cautious right now because I’ve hit my maintenance weight so many times and just ended up regaining within the next few weeks, and I really don’t want to have to “diet” again. Also, that was a run-on sentence, but I’m too lazy edit it.
      And I definitely ate breakfast this morning without doing anything else, and I ended up wolfing down my food; I think I was bored so I tried to eat faster so I could go do something else. Counterproductive much?

  3. May 15, 2010 at 10:44 AM

    […] note: I totally made/reviewed that Parmesan risotto, dudes, but I forgot to take a picture for the entry! I’m going to make it again this week, […]


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