Take it slow and don’t despair. Befriending your food is a learning process, one that no one does perfectly. Good news is that you’re alive, right? And if all goes according to plan, you’ll still be alive 2 weeks, 2 months, 2 years from now, whether you’ve become food friendly or not. Might as well be better off for it. Any amount of trying on your part will mark improvement between the you of now and the you of then. So persevere, and most of all, enjoy the ride.
- 1/2 bag baby greens, or small bowl of spinach or other lettuce torn into small pieces (other than iceberg, if you have it)
- 1 oz goat cheese or feta cheese crumbled (about 80 cals)
- 1 large egg, fried well in 1 tsp of extra virgin olive oil (about 90 cals)
- 3 strips of turkey bacon, fried until slightly crisp (I prefer Butterball brand for taste) (75 cals)
- 1 baby cucumber, peeled and julienned (15 cals)
- 1/4 cup fresh blueberries (21 cals), or other favorite summer fruit*
- 1 tbsp honey (60 cals)
- 2 tbsp lime juice, or juice of one whole lime (11 cals)
When cooking the egg, be sure to press down and flatten the yolk so that its fried well done, not runny as some like it for breakfast. Chop the egg into long, thin strips. Tear the turkey bacon into bite-sized pieces. Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Sprinkle with a little bit of salt (1/4 tsp) and toss.
In a small bowl, mix honey and lime juice. Drizzle over contents of bowl. Toss again. Enjoy!
Total: 352 calories (I did not count the lettuce, because that would just be ludicrous.) That’s only 175 as a side dish for two.
- 1/8 cup pecans or almonds (about 90 cals, for 442 total)
- grilled chicken breast (280, for 632 total).
*Strawberry slices, fresh (not canned) peaches, blackberries, raspberries, etc. Feel free to omit any of the other ingredients.
1 cup of blueberries = excellent snack, high in antioxidants, vitamin C, and fiber; they’re also the right size and shape to fool your mouth into thinking you’re being very naughty indeed.
Blueberry Replacement Therapy
Never had been much of a blueberry addict until I bought two pints last year at the beginning of June. Once I opened that container, it was nonstop hand-to-mouth. I felt like a cartoon, two-fisting it on the kitchen counter.
This was truly an “Aha!” moment for me. You see, I am a habitual muncher while seated at the computer (I like to tell myself that it helps me think…), so I took the second carton to help me tackle some work.
Quick Facts: 1 cup blueberries (148 grams, or 1/2 pint)
- 84 calories (30 less than the antioxidant-deficient CocoPuffs and (800 calories!!!) less than the equivalent 1 cup of the M&Ms I would have downed.
- 24% daily vitamin C intake
- 4 grams of fill-you-up fiber
- bite sized: keep the hands, mouth, and stomach busy for the same amount of time, with a similar sensation as other small snacks
That last point is incredibly important when you’re talking about mindless munching–it’s as much about the activity as it is the taste. They also won’t spike your blood sugar like traditional “candy,” causing more cravings within the next hour or two.
Chocolate to the Rescue?
What about the chocolate uRgE, you say? Indulge. Yes, I mean it. Cardinal rule of being food friendly is not to OVER indulge, but indulging itself is an important piece of your relationship with your diet. Don’t hold out on yourself. You’ll end up giving in. Just figure out how to indulge in more constructive ways.
Get a few squares of dark chocolate (if you can’t stand the stuff, get a small amount of milk chocolate) to nibble with your blueberries. The combination will slow you down, ensuring you don’t overdo it. (Dark chocolate, unlike milk chocolate or chocolate eaten with milk is also known for its antioxidant properties, by the way.)
At the end of your snack, you will have satisfied your sweet or snack craving by taking in lots of antioxidants, vitamin C, and fiber, all of which contribute to your mental, emotional, and love-handle health.
http://www.webmd.com/diet/news/20030827/dark-chocolate-is-healthy-chocolate / http://www.fatsecret.com/calories-nutrition/food/dark-chocolate / http://www.nutritiondata.com/facts/fruits-and-fruit-juices/1851/2
Take a moment to think about what being “friendly” with food might look like.
Picture yourself at a party. Milling around, drink in hand, you stop to chat with random people–some you’ve seen before, some you don’t know at all. It’s the party of your life and you want to have fun–look good, enjoy yourself, network, maybe meet somebody special. But do do that, you’ve got to know how to navigate. It’s all about balance, right?
In social situations, there are degrees of friendliness: too friendly, and you risk being labeled a perve, or at best, just annoying. Not friendly enough and you come off cold, unsociable, awkward. Obviously, neither of those will do when you’re trying to make “people” friends. The same goes for your food. You have to strike a compromise between overdoing and underdoing it in order to build a relationships with food – the old golden rule, but it works. I promise. Give it a try. Once you’ve mastered it, you’ll find your happier than you ever could have been under either of the other extremes. Envision it: you’ll like how you look, like how you feel, and because the process includes finding food “friends” that are just right for you, you’ll like what you’re eating. The war with food is not one you need to be waging. Give it up!