Disclosure: This post is not meant to be an eat-like-me kinda post. My goal is to give you a behind the scenes on intuitive eating, sharing what guides my decision making about food and how that plays out on the plate. I hope that in reading these posts, you see that "healthy" eating can look really different from day to day.
I've gotten some really good feedback from these posts that they've been helpful for y'all, so I'll continue sharing. I know for those of you who are new to your Intuitive Eating journey, it's hard to imagine how the principles you're learning translate to your plate. I hope these posts help you examine the intentions behind your eating choices by giving a behind the scenes look at what's driving mine.
The day of eats I'm sharing is from this Tuesday, which was a very FULL day. I've been trying to say full instead of busy, which invokes negativity and stress, and sometimes comes off as "busy-bragging." Full makes me think abundance, which is a much better descriptor for a day full of things I was truly excited and happy to be doing.
I woke up at 6 am so I could go for a quick run before morning clients. I just ran for 15 minutes because I wanted to be in the office by 8 - a workout doesn't have to go longer than 30 minutes to "count." However long you move your body is beneficial! Most of my runs these days are 15ish minutes because it's so HOT down here! Normally before a morning run I eat something, but since it was just 15ish minutes, I brushed my teeth, threw on some shorts and ran. If you struggle with finding something to eat in the morning before working out, I like to have something light that contains carbohydrate - juice, fruit, a Lara bar, or dates stuffed with nut butter give me a little fuel without making me want to barf mid-run.
Before showering, I mixed up some "overnight" oats to soften while I got ready. Fun fact: overnight oats don't actually have to sit overnight. I mixed a bag of Nature's Path instant oatmeal with a scoop of Qi'a, plain yogurt, and coconut water (I ran out of almond milk). Before eating, I topped it with a fresh peach and a drizzle of honey. I've been really digging overnight oats in the morning, especially with juicy fresh fruit!
Because I had back to back clients in the morning, I didn't have a chance to eat my snack until 11, and was feeling pretty ready to eat at that point. I had a Luvo green curry noodles with chicken frozen meal that I had warmed up the day before to take pictures for a sponsored instagram post. Frozen meals are one of my favorite snacks, especially in the afternoon when it's a longer time between meals. I tend to crave "meal food" vs snack food, and the amount of food in a frozen meal is just right.
Since I had a late and pretty satisfying snack, I didn't eat lunch until about 2. Who says you have to eat lunch at noon? If your schedule is flexible, eat when you feel hungry. Plus, I don't think my 1 pm virtual meeting would have appreciated me munching away! For lunch, I had leftovers of one of my favorite pantry meals - my pasta puttanesca with sauteed frozen spinach and onions. Pantry meals are meals you can throw together with all pantry ingredients. I use vegetable juice doctored up with garlic, olive oil, olives, capers and canned tuna for the sauce, then served it with frozen spinach I simply sauteed with onions and olive oil. I usually keep ingredients for a few different pantry meals on hand for when I don't feel like doing heavy cooking or haven't made it to the grocery store. Some other pantry meals I love are canned chili stuffed in a baked sweet or white potato with cheddar cheese, store-bought Indian curry over microwavable brown rice stir fried with frozen cauliflower rice, and egg fried rice made with frozen vegetables. Would you guys like to see a whole post dedicated to pantry meals? Let me know and I'll add it to my list!
I had plans with my friend Rebecca that night and I didn't know if we were going to go out for mocktails (she's uber preggo right now) or dinner, so when I started to feel hungry for a snack again around 4-ish, I didn't want to spoil my appetite, so I had a mini KIND bar and Bhakti iced chai. I love theirs because it's nice and gingery and not too sweet! I used to be really afraid of drinking things that had calories/sugar in it, but what I've realized is that juice or sweetened coffee/tea drinks with some sugar and fat actually make good tide-you-over snacks. Since they're liquid, they fill my stomach, but don't fill me up too long, and the sugar helps keep my blood sugar up. Unfortunately I only got to drink half my iced chai because when I was opening my KIND bar, I managed to knock it over my table and soak my planner, favorite pen, and computer. Way to go Rach...
When I went to meet my friend at Publico, I still didn't know if we were going to split appetizers or order dinner. I was around a 4 on the hunger scale, and it was only 5:45/6ish, so I could have gone either way. That's what's great about Intuitive Eating - the flexibility! If we had decided that appetizers sounded good, I had some more food at home I could heat up if I needed more later, and there aren't any "don't eat after 8 rules" there to stop me. We ended up ordering dinner and I got a Westbrook White Thai (my favorite beer to pair with Thai/Vietnamese food) and a spicy peanut shrimp poke bowl over rice noodles. Plus a few of my friend's nachos!
My meal was a little disappointing. It tasted like the noodles were still wet when they mixed it all up, so it watered down the spicy peanut sauce. The pickled vegetables were really good, especially the kimchi cucumbers, but there wasn't enough shrimp. I finished my bowl and I was full, but I wasn't satisfied. When I came home, I thought about eating something else to get that satisfaction I was craving, but nothing I had in the house sounded good. Years ago I would have munched on tons of random things trying to get that satisfaction, but since then I've learned that if I'm hungry for something and I'm not sure what, I can pause and imagine what that food will taste like to see if it will hit the spot. When I did that, I knew that nothing in the house would really get me that satisfaction factor I was looking for, so I just went on living my life! I walked the dogs, made some sleepy tea and got in bed. There will be more satisfying meals in the future, and enjoying time with a friend I hadn't seen in awhile was satisfaction enough!
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