Mindful Eating, Conscious Decisions

Over the weekend I realized something. I wanted nutrient dense foods, I craved some good ol' fruit and vegetables. The past few months I have been working hard to liberalize certain foods in my diet such as chocolate, maple syrup, and donuts. I used to feel guilty about eating them and now it's just another food. I wake up and ask myself if I want maple syrup in my oatmeal. At night, I ask myself if I want some chocolate or something else to end the meal. Sure, some days I still struggle with a twinge of guilt, but most days it's just a question. It's no longer an internal struggle.

Maple syrup in my oatmeal and maple water in my mason jar!

Over the weekend I ate a lot of french fries, movie theatre popcorn, ice cream, donuts, and drank quite a bit of wine. That usually happens when I spend the weekend with my twin sister. We also ran a half marathon and crushed it so clearly we wanted all the food! I also tend to eat fewer fruit and vegetables when I am traveling. There is only so much you can do and you know what? One meal or one day or even one week is not going to make or break you.

One part of mindful eating is accepting that sometimes you need to eat what is available. 

When I was in Portland I ended up having an atrocious time finding parking and a restaurant to eat at. I wanted something nutritious, but knew that I didn't have a lot of time to spend looking for a restaurant and likely didn't have time for a sit down restaurant. I likely should have eaten where my meeting was, but I had to pick up donuts before they sold out (priorities, right?). Then after driving around in circles for close to a half hour I finally found somewhere to park and proceeded to walk around looking for a place to eat. So many people were out and about eating that I finally settled on this fast-food-esque burger place which had no line. I wasn't thrilled about the choice because my body wanted something a bit more nutritious, but I knew I needed food. Therefore, I made it as nutritious as I could by getting the chicken sandwich wrapped in lettuce for extra veggies!

There is a Cabot annex store in Portland, Maine!

Where I wanted to eat but didn't have time...look at the cobblestone!!!

One part of mindful eating is being aware when you are eating for reasons other than hunger. 

After my meeting in Portland I was feeling a bit frazzled. By the time I got back to Julie's I was ready to put on my sweat pants and open a bottle of wine. Being the lucky girl that I am Julie shared a delicious bottle of wine that she had shipped from Napa. It actually tasted like graham crackers! So yummy. Greg also shared some ciders that he bought and grilled up a storm while I prepared a salad. I knew I wanted some vegetables so a massaged kale salad it was. But after dinner I chose to wallow a bit more and enjoy another donut (I had one earlier in the day and I did get 24...) Dark chocolate sea salt blew my mind...even if it was gluten free.

Soaking up those rays.

Could live my whole life in this backyard and be content.

One part of mindful eating is listening to your hunger and fullness cues. 

I struggle with this on a day to day basis. Growing up in a clean-plate-club household dulled my hunger and fullness cues. I also value sustainability and hate to waste food. When things go bad in my refrigerator before I can eat them it's a true moral dilemma. Do I eat the bad food or dispose of it?! Anyways, when I am sick or overly emotional it's that much harder for me to listen to my cues. I basically just tell myself to eat because I know that I need to. Marathon training also has thrown me for a completely new loop.

One part of mindful eating is being non-judgmental. 

Food is food. It fuels our body so that we can do the things that we love on a day to day basis. Food helps me to succeed in school. Food gives me the energy to run my training runs so that I can crush PRs. Some days I eat more nutritious foods or more balanced. Other days I indulge on donuts or have fries multiple days in a row. Some days I listen to my hunger to tell me when to eat. Other days I eat according to a schedule or eat when I am not hungry. Every eating moment is an opportunity. And just like with life, some opportunities are better than others. Just learn from it and move on :)

Now that the weather is getting nicer I am excited to incorporate more salads and fresh fruit and vegetables. I think I've managed to eat all of the Dairy too! Overnight oats are on the horizon!