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Arm Candy

When you are so hungry you want to chew off your arm, what do you do? First, I have to ask, when is the last time you ate, and how satisfying was it?

I am a snacker which is much different from being a slacker! When my mom visits, she is amazed at the amount of food I eat. A good food day looks something like this:

5:30 – 6 a.m. coffee

6:30 a.m. Breakfast – a cup of shredded wheat and Fiber One or oatmeal, old fashioned not instant, and a cup of skim milk

10 a.m. yogurt or some other lean protein and a big dish of raw veggies (about 2 cups)

12:15 p.m. Lunch – 3-4 oz. lean protein (sometimes on a sandwich), big salad, olive oil & vinegar, piece of fruit

3:00 p.m. piece of fresh fruit, couple pieces of low-fat string cheese

5:00 p.m. another piece of fresh fruit, maybe a little low-fat cottage cheese

6:30 or 7:00 p.m. Dinner – lean protein – chicken, beef, or pork about 4 oz., fish about 6 oz., cooked veggie and complex carbohydrate (brown rice, whole wheat couscous, bulgar, etc.), salad with olive oil and vinegar (or the dressing in the recipe section under categories). Essentially, I fill half my plate with veggies, add a quarter each of a protein and a carb, and serve a side salad.

8:00-8:30 p.m. One snack – FF popcorn, low-fat ice cream, cereal, yogurt, or equivalent

9:00 p.m. – Kitchen closed. Stay the hell out!

Several times a week I plan “treats” to keep me from feeling deprived. It helps to practice delayed gratification and keeps me motivated. Most of the time I try to eat foods in their natural state. I find them intensely more filling, thus I feel satisfied longer. Notice that I eat something every couple of hours. I plan it this way. If I wing it too often or wait too long, I run the risk of making poor choices. This plan may not work for everyone, but it is sustainable for me.

We celebrated a birthday at the office the other day, and I indulged in a piece of cake. It was 3:00 p.m. which fit perfectly into my afternoon preschool snack schedule. I enjoyed the cake, and I really didn’t want any more, but by 3:30 I wanted to gnaw my arm off. I probably consumed at least 400 calories in the cake, but I was still hungry. What the hell? Talk about not being fair! For the same calories, I could have eaten six pieces of fruit, or I could have feasted on a scrambled egg, light English muffin with a slice of Canadian bacon AND a cup of skim milk – an entire freaking meal!

I don’t begrudge the cake. I like to eat it once in a while, but I find more satisfaction from healthy alternatives. It takes a while to learn this because I really think sugar has an intense hold on most of us, increasing our appetite which has the potential of setting a vicious cycle in motion.

A little prevention and planning go a long way. When I keep my head screwed on tight with a little exercise and healthy food, I can usually withstand the momentary urges to eat entire villages.

When I mindfully practice life, it progresses fairly smoothly.

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