I think about food a lot, but eat mindlessly. It's like a non-identifiable eating disorder. Case in point, yesterday I had my snack (carrot, hummus, and wholegrain crackers). Finished it, drank a bottle of water, and then prepared the kids' snack. While cleaning up, I ate one of their crackers (Ritz-esque), before closing the packet and popping it into the drawer. I didn't even realise I'd done it until I swallowed, and then thought - hang on, did I just eat that??? I didn't even want it, I wasn't hungry - I wasn't even stressed. I just ate it because it was there.
Armed with that observation, I thought about how growing up in the United States, the concept of morning and afternoon tea was foreign to me. We ate three meals a day, and that was it. Here though, it's a done thing, and I like the idea. It prevents me from getting hangry, which is also a real thing, but only if I eat the right foods.
I struggle with meal planning. Well, not exactly the planning, but the execution of those plans. You see, the children don't eat the things I like to eat, and planning what to feed them leaves me with zero energy to execute things I've planned for myself. I could perhaps cook and freeze meals on the weekend, but my problem is that during the week, I'm cooking for just one. Most recipes are tailored for four serves. I don't want to eat the same thing four times in a row, and it all just gets to be too much, which brings me to my next tactic.
Instead of planning three meals and two snacks, I want to spread out my fuel (food intake) over five evenly spaced meals. If I have appropriate supplies on hand, and they are prepared in advance, then my need to make decisions is reduced. This reduction in decision-making requirements increases exponentially the likelihood that I will follow through with mindful eating, and eliminate any Snackcidents.
Things like single serve hommus tubs, cut vegetables, seed crackers, peanut butter, fresh fruit, roasted chickpeas and lentils, tinned tuna, and for a slightly more substantial offering, salad with tofu, or a wrap with salad and falafel.
I love cooking, creating - and this approach doesn't mean that I won't do that at all. On the contrary, it means that when I do create a meal, or experiment in the kitchen, it feels less like a chore, and something that I get to do for fun.
Until next time,