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Forgetting to eat

March 2, 2008 - Kathie Evanoff
My husband often tells me that he forgot to eat. I tell him that I have forgotten plenty of things in my life, but eating is not one of them.

Well, it turns out that I am not as immune to food forgetfulness as I thought, because I did forget to eat dinner Saturday night. How could that happen? I certainly don’t remember it ever happening before this.

The funny thing about eating healthy foods, or “eating clean” as some would call it, is that whole grains and vegetables tend to keep us satisfied longer than refined carbohydrates, like white bread, white pasta and sugar-laden desserts. These foods are digested quickly and what isn’t used by the body is stored as fat.

Whole grains and complex carbohydrates; however, move slowly through the digestive process, leaving us feeling full and satisfied much longer. I have found that when I consume more unprocessed, whole foods, that it could be well past the usual time I would start thinking about my next meal, and sometimes I eat whether I feel hungry or not because I don’t want to go too long or it will ruin dinner.

That is exactly what happened Saturday. I started my day with my usual big bowl of oatmeal with walnuts and banana, but this morning I also added about a teaspoon of ground cinnamon for a bit extra flavor. I also substituted the Splenda with real sugar, in place of that second cup of tea I sometimes have.

It held me over quite well and although I had breakfast well before 9 a.m., by noon, I still wasn’t ready for lunch. I finally made my lunch around 1:30 p.m. It consisted of a three ounce turkey burger on a whole wheat roll with grilled red onion, provolone cheese; lettuce leaves, Roma tomato slices and a teaspoon of low-fat mayonnaise. With a half cup of low-fat cottage cheese as a side dish, I was ready to keep going throughout the day without thinking about food.

By 4 p.m.; however, I started to get hungry again. It was too early for dinner, but I knew if I didn’t satisfy my hunger, it could mean disaster at dinnertime. Instead, I opted for a container of Greek yogurt with one tablespoon of raspberry fruit spread. I mixed the fruit spread into the yogurt and used it as a dip for apple slices.

The fat in the yogurt and the fiber in the apple kept my hunger at bay the rest of the evening. By 9 p.m Saturday night, I realized I hadn’t had dinner. I had totally forgotten about dinner and certainly didn’t plan to go back to the kitchen to cook that late in the evening. Instead, I poured myself a tall glass of ice water and took a book to bed. Even then, I wasn’t all that hungry. I expected to be ready for breakfast come Sunday morning.

I don’t recommend anyone skip meals, but I think it is important to listen to our bodies and our hunger signals. I could have eaten another snack at 9 p.m., but it wasn’t important enough to take me into the kitchen.

 
 

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Breakfast: 1 ½ ounces grains; 1 cup fruit; 1 ounce meat; 1 ½ cups milk; 1 ½ tsps. oils, 60 discretionary calories (sugar)