Eating to be Satisfied

We habitually say "are you full yet?" "Did that fill ya up?" "Did you get enough to eat honey?" and the seemingly inevitable... "ugh I'm sooo stuffed."



In actuality, you should never feel full. Hey, I'll be the first to admit that I have had those moments. The "Oh my God, I don't think that I can ever eat again" moments. They happen. But, I will tell you they rarely happen to me now.

Get out of your routine! Don't just eat an apple at 11AM because you always eat an apple at 11AM. If you can sense yourself getting hungry- hey, eat the apple. But if you can sit back and feel whether you are hungry or not and you are not- then try waiting. Not to the point of stomach growling hungry or feeling faint but wait until you feel that your body is hungry. There is somewhat of a scale here.

Here's how I see it:

Hunger Scale Pre-Eating

1 - I'm comfortable, not hungry
2 - I'm getting hungry but it's not urgent
3 - I'm really hungry and need to eat
4 - I'm so hungry I feel like I could faint (this may include 'the shakes,' hot flashes or inability to focus)
5 - I'm past the point of hungry and now I'm nauseous

I am not a doctor or even a dietitian and I imagine that everyone's scale is different but that is about how mine is. That being said, I feel there is scale for how hungry you are while you are eating.

Here's how I see it:

Hunger Scale Throughout Eating

1 - I can feel that I am still hungry
2 - I can feel that I am enjoying my food but I'm not hungry anymore
3 - I  can feel that I am getting filled up but I am going to eat more
4 - I can feel that I am really full but I want to eat more (likely because it's tasty)
5 - I feel so full I'm regretting eating all of my meal (and possibly more)

Now, this may even be more difficult to gauge than feeling how hungry you are initially. There are couple different reasons why this can be so difficult.

1). You reached 4 or 5 on the 'Hunger Scale Pre-eating' and you cannot determine if you have eaten enough food yet because you are still feeling 'faint'

2). You're food is so tasty that your tastebuds are telling your gut that you are still hungry :)

Those are both hard battles to be in. Ideally, you (and I) want to prevent ourselves from being past level 3 on the Hunger Scale Pre-Eating. And even more, about a 2.5, in between getting hungry and need to eat. This is when I find that I can use my best judgment on when to stop eating. You'll see that these scales go hand-in-hand. Similar to the HSPE (I'm getting lazy in typing my lengthy scale names), you'll want to hover around a 2 with HSTE. Once you can feel that your body is satisfied- no more food should be consumed. Satisfied is the operative word here. Caution lies around 4 on the HSTE and 5 should be avoided.

Yes, I know it's not always easy to leave food on your plate- especially when there are starving people in 'fill in the blank here,' but when it comes to what you put into your body, leave the thinking about starving children to your personal charity efforts (i.e. donate to your local food bank or write a check to the Red Cross etc. ;)). Your body and mind will thank you.

When you're satisfied, stop. Eat to be satisfied. This takes practice, but it is possible. And even realistic.




It's hard enough to gauge your own hunger. When it comes to children- maybe accept that they aren't hungry anymore when they have said "I'm not hungry." Now, that's a fine line I'm sure and sometimes they do not know what is best for them just yet. But, if they've ate even a portion of a well balanced meal and say they are not hungry anymore. Hey, maybe they really are not hungry anymore.

Well, that's my rant for the day. 

Looking to make some coconut flour brownies tonight, stay tuned ;) 

This has whaaat?...

Ingredients, ingredients, ingredients...

So, I use to eat Morning Star breakfast patties just about every day of my life. From the time they came out on the market until about a year ago. I thought they were amazing and so very satisfying.

Whilst doing my shopping a couple of weeks ago, I thought why not pick some again? I quit eating them because of the soy content. Not only does soy not sit will with me anymore, I don't eat it because it is high in isoflavons; which can cause an imbalance of estrogen for women because it mimics estrogen. Despite the soy craze the past few years, there are actually several reasons to not eat soy or- limit your intake. And if you do eat it, remember that fermented soy is ideal; which is not always easy to find. There is quite the debate about it these days. Mark Sisson talks about here.

Anyway,  I had two patties one morning the other day with breakfast (and did the same one morning last week). Throughout the day I started noticing some of my symptoms (let's just say... things were irritated). I had already thrown the box away so looked up the ingredients online and... yes. Sure enough, every single thing that I do not eat are in those little patties. Wheat. Dairy. Yeast.


What? What? How? What? Why? Why didn't I look at the ingredients like I ALWAYS do. And why for the love of lahdflh would they put all that in there?

It was like reading that I had inadvertently taken a drug. I felt like I needed detox.

Instead of thinking about the many side-effects that could spur because of what I ate- I took a deep breath, called my sister and came to the conclusion that despite my best efforts, there will indeed be more times in my life where I eat something that contains something that I have a sensitivity to. And although I may endure some discomfort (for sometimes days), it will be OK. I will be OK.

Food.

Food.

The joy of food. The joy of cooking. Things that just melt in your mouth.

When you have forcing functions that have caused you eliminate things from you're diet, food can become an intimidating part of your life. A nightmare at times. The joy, can be stripped out. The melt can seem to go away. No butter? No bread? No...brie?

Finding out that I cannot have certain foods was bit of trial-and-error for me. I did not get a conclusive: "You have X and so therefore, you cannot have Y." Unfortunately this is not how many gastrointestinal problems are treated. It is typically: "You have IBS or IBD and you cannot have certain foods- I suggest you try a few diets and see what triggers your symptoms. Stick to a diet that works for you."

OK, great, thanks doc.

Dairy was relatively easy, I had eliminated it out of my diet (for the most part) in '09. Gluten was a bit trickier and at one point I thought- I use to be able to eat gluten and I was fine, I'm just going to start eating it again. I remember the day that I made that decision. It felt like the best decision I ever made. I was in Maine on vacation with myself, took myself out to dinner and enjoyed an amazing meal with glutenous bread (and wine). It was as if I was flirting with my food- one bite at a time.

Two weeks in and I felt awful. Alright, guess that didn't work. Trying new diets can really test your patience and their are A LOT out there. Not only did I need a diet that eased my GI issues, I have had run-ins with several other internal issues as well that I needed to learn how to manage.

The IC diet, the Endometriosis diet, the Blood Type diet, the Paleo diet and the list goes on. The search for the 'perfect diet' lead to a food obsession. Actually, it was more of a fear. Food phobia.

Will that make me sick? Can I eat that? I wonder how long that's been sitting out? What's the expiration date? If eat I this, will I be OK to sit in my next meeting? There was a time where I would suffer through the afternoon hours of a day in so much pain that I could hardly focus. Finding myself flat on the floor in agony when I came home from work. I would spend hours of my day worrying about food. Planning out my meals so that I wouldn't eat something that could potentially make me sick. When you don't know exactly what ails you, it can be a slow and frustrating process.

I had to stop obsessing. Relax. And know that I can only do what I know is best for my body. Not what a website, book or even a doctor says. Really listen to my body. And know that not every stomach upset is a setback. Living in food fear lead me to be in a state of physical and emotional turmoil. One of the biggest obstacles I had to overcome was being OK with my new way of living (I prefer this over the word diet). Not in the sense that I wasn't OK with it with myself but going out was a challenge because I had the sense that people thought that I was eating the I was to lose weight, being pretentious etc. and I constantly felt that I had to defend myself.

Nonsense. I came to the conclusion that I will not eat something out of respect for people. I'm sorry, I can't eat your brownie, your homemade bread, your wildly delicious cheese dip. And that's OK. And you know what? It was OK, no one ever really takes offense ( at least no the people I surround myself with ) because they love me and accept it. It was just something I had to concur within myself.

I've found that diets can be a nice 'guideline.' We have heard it a thousand times over but everyone truly is different. There are elements of almost every diet that I have tried that work very well for me. If I fell under one, it would be the Paleo Diet. I have a few items that I eat that are non-paleo that I have found work well for my body. (These items are: Chickpeas, potatoes, oats and brown rice- in moderation of course). So, I do about 85/15 paleo.

I do have my theories of way the Paleo diet is probably the best choice and why dairy should be eliminated or very limited in everyone's diet but I will leave those for a later post ;)

This time last year I was in a much different space (emotionally), now I have become excited about food again. No-Bake's with almond butter? Yes, please. Coconut banana bread? Yum! My pallet has changed. I crave different things. And, different things melt in my mouth. Like Coconut Macaroons...


Thoughts to be continued...

So...

So, I have been told from time-to-time that I should start a blog. "Why?" I ask. I don't consider myself unusually interesting and it doesn't seem as though my life is particularly unique. Though, I love to write and wish to document my experiences more.

So, why not share with others what I so desperately want to document for myself? I will attempt to make may thoughts streamlined for an easy read but I make no promises. I read an amazing quote the other day by Audrey Hepburn: "Living is like tearing through a museum. Not until later that you really start absorbing what you saw, thinking about it, looking it up in a book, and remembering - because you can't take it in all at once." Oh how very true this is. I find myself struggling to recall places that I have been, the importance of things and how I felt. My mind has a way of remembering things as happy...good times... even when they were not.

The past two years has perhaps been the most trying two years of my life when it comes to relationships. And not just romantic relationships but famille as well. With that have come countless battles of emotions and physical as well as mental health.

One thing (among many others in which you will learn) has helped ease the natural stress of life the past few months. Cooking and baking. And not only cooking and baking but researching (usually for...sometimes hours... on my oh-so-handy iPad) cooking and baking. AND to make things a bit more interesting, due to my new dietary restrictions- cooking and baking Gluten and Dairy free. Allow me to correct myself by saying that these are not dietary restrictions but rather lifestyle changes - while these changes once consumed my thoughts so negatively that I found myself growing cynical (and I am generally a happy person) - they now consume my thoughts in a very positive way. I look forward to new recipes that I come upon, new creations that I make up by throwing various ingredients together and new memories. Not to say that I don't relapse to negative thinking every once in awhile when I pass a frozen yogurt shop or smell an incredible fresh loaf of delicious glutenous bread... and I'll admit there are those times when I just can't handle it and indulge... oh how I love a good brie. Alas, I will pay the price soon after ;)

While cooking for one is not always an easy task, I have enjoyed it thoroughly. My next post will be on one of my favorite recipes.

Peace,

-Ashley