by Emma Hammond 0 comments
Daily scenario: Open up lunch bag to find your plain salad greens with the usual combo of cucumbers, carrots, tomato, grilled chicken & the healthy vinaigrette everyone tells you to eat. Day in day out same standard meal. You are determined to eat healthy & this is what healthy means right?
The problem with the squeaky “clean” approach is that it often leaves us feeling dissatisfied after a meal. There was nothing exciting in each bite or that one special ingredient that makes you say “ok I can eat this everyday”, without building up those feelings of deprivation. Until you deem healthy eating bland & boring before going back to the foods that made you gain weight to begin with.
I have gone through that cycle time & time again of chicken + broccoli on repeat. Come Friday I am ready to throw in the weekday eating towel & dive head first into anything that screams flavor. Until I feel like crap by Sunday in which of course I repeat on Monday. That’s why I am a fan of finding adding ingredients in daily meals that REALLY satisfies. Yes sometimes it may not even be the healthiest ingredient BUT if it keeps you consistent, I find it’s a BIG win for a sustainable lifestyle.
What do I mean by foods that satisfy? Ok well for me, I LOVE some cheese in my salad. The perfect eating Emma would say skip the cheese for the lowest calorie option. BUT i’d get bored with that super quickly. I can eat the same salad every day that isn’t the most exciting BUT if I feel allowed to add in my sprinkle of feta or goat cheese, I’m good with it. For you that may be ranch or croutons, aka the dreaded salad killers!! No I am not saying smother your salad in cheese, croutons & ranch. BUT if ranch is your thing, make an overall healthy salad with veg & protein, then add a little ranch dressing to make it satisfying. Still a lot better than a crappy sandwich plus bag of chips you might have otherwise chosen. And if it keeps you from eating a bottle of ranch on Saturday bc you “aren’t allowed to have it”, totally worth it!
Other examples? If you love eggs, stop ordering egg white omelets you HATE! Does that mean ok screw it, i’ll eat the bacon cheese omelet..NO! I’m not saying go all or nothing, as that’s what gets us in a bad thought cycle. Instead get the whole egg & vegetable omelet but ditch the cheese. Pick which leaves you feeling satisfied, not deprived but still working towards your goals.My rules for using this “satisfying foods” on a daily basis?
- Portion control: no I don’t add a pound of cheese or 1/4c of peanut butter to meals. Stick with a reasonable serving & enjoy every bite.
- Avoid trigger foods: I do still have foods that I just can’t practice portion control with. Example ice cream doesn’t come in my house & I accept that no amount is “satisfying” to me at this point.
- Skip the cheat or treat mentality: I SO frequently hear people referring to these items as a cheat or a treat bc they deserved it. That’s giving a lot of emotion & power to food that doesn’t deserve it.
- Slow down & enjoy it: no matter how many satisfying foods we include, if we don’t pause to put our fork down in between bites it’s useless. Step away from the busy down to actually chew & enjoy your food.
A few of my favorite foods which I sprinkle into meals throughout the week:
- peanut butter
- cheese (goat, feta & gorgonzola)
- whole eggs
- wine (a mid-week small glass can keep me from overdoing during the week)
- steak or a burger
- potatoes (yes some people seem to categorize these as “bad”)
What are your feel good foods you have been cutting out to be “clean” but miss?
balanced eating, breaking the cycle, diet, diet food, egg whites, feel good food, nutrition tips, satisfying, sustainable