My stomach has rolled over, waved the white flag, and admitted defeat. Thank goodness those 2 days of gluttony are finished. I quickly re-evaluated my saint-like idea of only eating lots of shrimp when, upon my arrival home, I found a Tupperware container brimming with peanut butter fudge; touché Christmas, touché. No one ever said eating 30 shrimp, 4 cinnamon rolls, various other goodies, and 6 glasses of wine would be a good idea, but it was ohhhhh so delicious. Thankfully everyone else was so knee deep in a food coma that they couldn’t muster the energy to take a picture of me passed out in front of the heater. Oh Christmas. But Christmas is over, and I’m excited to get back to my usual diet, as this food baby I’ve been totting around is unsightly!
As the New Year approaches we are all probably thinking of resolutions and most are diet related. Instead of grasping for goals that we only have so much control over—like losing 10 pounds, because maybe that just isn’t going to happen for you—lets discuss realistic ways to overhaul the way we eat. This year (and for the rest of our lives) we are going to eat more food and feel lighter at the same time! How is the possible, Jocellyn, you might ask? Simple! We are going to ditch the idea of 3 square meals a day.
Imagine your digestive system is a furnace. Your furnace is going to work a lot harder if you feed it wood, wait for it to burn out completely, and then start the process all over again. Your body is the same way. Only feeding ourselves a breakfast, lunch, and dinner leaves us susceptible to low blood sugar. This can lead to irritability, painful headaches, and other maladies. Digesting is also one of the most energy consuming tasks our body can undertake and if we wait till we are starving we run the risk of over loading our stomach. So instead we throw away this silly, old notion and look to a more efficient way of eating: mini meals.
Several magazines will touch upon this idea, but the term mini meal can be a bit misleading. Instead it is three meals with two or three snacks strategically placed throughout the day. Eating every two-three hours will keep the “furnace” burning and curb any hunger-related anger. It also allows us to digest smaller amounts of food which is much more manageable. For my snacks I’ll usually have some fruit, a granola bar, chopped veggies, or some “healthier” crackers or chips. I’m able to eat a diverse amount of food and stay sharp throughout the day.
Surprisingly, eating so much food can take some getting used to. People may not eat a lot of food, but many unhealthy snacks and goodies that are calorie dense and nutrient deficient. Fruits and vegetables are nutrient dense, but don’t have a lot of calories so feel free to fill up. Plus they are also packed with water, which is great for the body. Instead of feeling hungry or disgustingly full, you’ll feel satisfied throughout the entire day. So how do we tackle this? Start checking produce sales at your local grocery store. They change weekly and you’ll get to try new foods on a regular basis. Get lots of containers to transport your snacks. Set aside an extra 10 minutes each morning (or the night before) to prepare your food so the next day you’ll be out the door on time. Relish in your new, efficient way of eating as your friends have grumbling tummies. Okay, at least give them a few bites of food!