Why I Ate Wednesday: The I Ate Fancy Food All Day Edition

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. This post is about WHY I ate the food I ate, not WHAT I ate. I hope that in reading these posts, you see that "healthy" eating can look really different from day to day. 

When I looked back at what I ate over the course of the day, there was definitely a "fancy" food theme! I love to cook, and when I have time for it, I love to break out recipes that might be a little more time consuming. Definitely, there is nothing wrong with throwing together something quick or heating up a frozen meal when you just need to get fed. But slowing down and spending time cooking a really pleasurable meals can also be a form of self care too. Since the day I'm sharing this WIAW for was a Sunday, I had the time to do that. 

For some reason, I woke up really early for a weekend - 7 am!! I didn't feel like getting up, so I just lingered in bed reading a book for an hour before I fell back asleep until 9:30. I've been finishing up Witches, a book my landlord lent to me after I found out that one of my ancestors was involved in the Salem witch trials as an accuser - not the proudest Wallace legacy. 

When I got out of bed, I was feeling pretty ready to eat. I love savory breakfasts in the morning, especially eggs, so I made a really yummy omelette filled with steamed asparagus, arugula, and topped with a 3 year aged parmesan cheese the hubs brought back from his recent work trip to Italy. I paired it with a piece of Ezekiel toast topped with butter and strawberry jam. Even though I had been eating the same breakfast almost all week, it tasted SO much better because I was able to slow down and enjoy it mindfully, not shovel it in as I was packing up my lunch and snacks before running out to my office. Real life means I'm not always able to eat mindfully, but food is so much more enjoyable when I do, so I try to work in mindful meals when I can. 

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While that meal kept me physically satisfied, an hour or so later I was a little taste hungry for something sweet. Taste hunger is just as valid as physical hunger. I find when you're tuning in and paying attention to what you eat, taste hunger is pretty easily satisfied too. I had a small handful of these chocolate wafer cookies. I hadn't had them in years! I forgot how good they were! I love layered, wafer-y sweets - probably why Kit Kats are basically the only candy I like. 

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For lunch, I had the ingredients on hand to make stuffed poblanos with pinto beans, corn and green tomatillo sauce. It was a recipe I had planned to make during the week, but we ended up going out to eat more than anticipated. The recipe was from Martha Stewart's Meatless cookbook, which is one of my favorites for easy, weeknight cooking with lots of fresh flavors. I just switched the recipe up a bit, adding more cilantro (I looooove cilantro), a little yogurt to the tomatillo sauce to make it creamier, and using the feta cheese I had on hand instead of goat. I paired it with leftovers of a watermelon, cucumber and jicama salad with a herb and pickled jalapeno dressing I made during the week. Sounds fancy, but you basically just blend herbs (I used cilantro, basil and mint) with lemon juice, a few pickled jalapeno slices, and olive oil. 

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I spent most of the rest of the afternoon cleaning the house and shopping. My friend Jessica (a fellow dietitian, new neighbor, and official pup-sitter) was wearing the cutest cami from LOFT when we went out to dinner the night before, so I swung by there pick it up. Of course, then I found out everything was 40% off and sale items were 60% off. Since I was basically saving money, I ended up trying on the whole store. Ended up picking up that cami in a couple colors, some khaki shorts for our trip to South Africa this December (have I told y'all about that? Please send any recommendations!), and a cute work skirt and dress that were on clearance. 

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From there I ran to Target and World Market to get some house decorations. I got the bright idea to reorganize our two built in shelving units and ladder bookcase, and it turned into the worlds most confusing rubix cube! We have a lot of pieces from our travels that don't necessarily "match," so trying to put it all together cohesively was a lot! I ended up picking up lots of neutral decorations to bring everything together. 

Anyway, I ended up being out a lot longer than I planned for, partially because I got stuck in a massive rainstorm. As I was leaving World Market around 5, I realized I was RAVENOUS! While I could have waited till I got home and snacked on something, I really wanted something more satisfying. The hungrier I get, the more I want "meal" food vs snack food, so I swung through the Starbucks drive through and got their chicken chorizo and tortilla egg sous vide bites and an iced latte with coconut milk. When I first finished the egg bites, I was wishing I ordered a breakfast sandwich because I still felt hungry, but after waiting 10 minutes I felt perfectly satisfied. I've noticed this happens a lot when I eat when I'm really hungry - it takes a little bit of time for my brain to catch up to my body. As I've gotten more intuitive with my eating, hunger doesn't feel so scary anymore. I don't actively try to suppress hunger, but I also know it won't kill me, so I don't feel like I can still slow down, even when I'm ravenous. 

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I've been trying to get into the habit of cooking a Sunday supper for Scott and I. We don't always do it, but I like the idea of having a nice meal to cap off the weekend. This Sunday, I cooked pork chops served with a homemade apricot mustard, and a gnocchi, swiss chard and garlic chip saute from Smoke. It was a lot easier than it sounds! I bought the pork chops from New York Butcher Shop (if you live in Columbia, check them out! They're our neighborhood butcher, super nice, and sell a great selection of wines and gourmet foods). I pan fried them in a cast iron skillet and served them with an apricot mustard I made by blending soaked apricots and grainy mustard - it was sweet and tangy, kinda like honey mustard. To make the gnocchi saute, I fried garlic chips in olive oil, removed them from the skillet and saved for garnish, then added cooked gnocchi and swiss chard and sauteed until the greens were wilted and the gnocchi was a little browned. Since it was a kinda fancy Sunday meal, we paired it with a bottle of Flanagan viognier we picked up in Sonoma last year. 

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This was a day that I spent a lot more time in the kitchen than normal, but I do usually cook at least one meal a day, mostly because it is something I really enjoy and find to be a soothing transition into the evening. I lost that joy in cooking for awhile when I felt like I HAD to cook at home and I HAD to cook healthy meals. Now when I cook, I like to center pleasure first. Then, I might incorporate some gentle nutrition second, like swapping whole grains, adding more veggies, or reducing the amount of meat. If you enjoy cooking too, I think you may find it more pleasurable too when you start thinking about what you want to eat over what you think you should eat. 

 Cooking becomes more enjoyable when you center pleasure first, and health second.