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Archive for October, 2008

Don’t bother

There’s that piece of leftover brioche. Why don’t I make it into a cheesecake with oranges and cranberries? Sounds good. Tastes bad. Here’s the picture, but I won’t bother giving you the recipe. Hubby and I shared one small piece and I composted the rest today.

When I went shopping for chocolate at the nearby Ritter Sport chocolate factory today, I first discovered an historic museum in the nearby castle. It was so wonderful, I didn’t make it to the factory outlet until a crowd was already there. I thought, let’s go eat a light lunch, then have a decadent dessert. But when I walked around the cafe, I wasn’t really interested in either lunch or dessert. So I didn’t bother.

I didn’t bother to put the chocolate away when I got it home. I didn’t bother to finish the bar that was tempting hours earlier.

I DID bother to have a great day, relax, and enjoy my family.

It’s worth bothering to not bother with things that burden you.

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I’ve realized that in order to become a person who mostly eats only when she is hungry, I have to identify and change the thought patterns that induce mindless eating.

Today was a nice example of mindless eating. I ate a big dinner last night, but this morning ate preventively, since the house cleaner was coming at 9 and I didn’t feel comfortable eating in front of her while she worked. When she left four hours later, I ate again without being particularly hungry, just because it was lunchtime.

It was even a large lunch, after a large breakfast, after a large dinner the previous evening. As I looked at my plate, I ntoiced that my half-eaten sandwich had mold on the bread. Unbelieveably, it was hard to not continue eating it. FInally I got the gumption to toss it out.

Tonight, I made a single-egg tiramisu, because DH had accidentally bought some mascarpone. We are leaving it until tomorrow, because tiramisu is supposed to let the flavors meld. So I ate a peanut butter sandwich for dinner. Again, not particularly hungry. What really bugs me about this is that I must be close to a breakthrough, but I can’t figure out what I don’t know, so I can fix it.

As I relax this evening, I’m watching the German State Symphony Orchestra. Everyone in this frigging orchestra is skinnier than heck. I bet THEY don’t spend Saturday evening eating peanut butter sandwiches, waiting for tiramisu to meld. Here they are, in all their skinny glory.

Just for contrast, here’s the Boston Symphony. They have a good 20 pounds on the Germans. Sadly, I wouldn’t mind being a member of either group, weight-wise.

Anyway, here’s the tiramisu recipe. I’m still on my kick of cooking without using measuring cups, so feel free to experiment.

 

1 egg Tiramisu with biscotti

Put one egg yolk into a pan. Add a couple of teaspoons of sugar (I use sugar stored with vanilla bean).

Heat slowly over low heat, stirring almost constantly. When it starts bubbling, cook and stir constantly for about 3 minutes, until, the custard coats the back of a spoon. Remove from heat and put the pan in a cool water bath.

When the custard is cool, stir a couple of tablespoonfuls of mascarpone into the custard. Stir til smooth.

Take the egg white and beat it with a couple of spoons of sugar until the whites are stiff. Fold into the cooled custard.

Put a couple of tablespoons of brandy or rum into a bowl. Add about a half cup of strong coffee and a couple of spoons of sugar. Stir well.

Take two small bowls or pudding dishes.

Soak a couple of biscotti in the coffee mixture just long enough so you know it’s absorbing the liquid. Move the biscotti to the dishes.

Spoon some of the custard over the biscotti. Shake some cocoa over the custard. Repeat with another layer of biscotti and custard and cocoa.

Refrigerate for at least 6 hours. My husband says he wants me to wake him at 2 a.m. Sunday morning, so he can have some.

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I used the recipe in the first post, but made the following changes:

  • didn’t use a mixer, so I could get the physical experience of beating the dough
  • eyeballed all measures by not using a measuring cup
  • added half a cup of quick oats
  • added almost an extra cup of flour
  • added a good tablespoonful of honey
  • stirred in a cup of chocolate chips just for fun

I baked 8 cookies, ate one, then craved a salad. Weird.

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More and more often I feel not hungry, but eat anyway. Yet I eat meals on a schedule, even though I could wait without consequences. I also eat between meals without a significant hunger. What the heck is that about?

Some possible reasons include:

  • the habit of eating at regular times makes me feel comforted and secure
  • chewing is a pleasurable activity (this is also a good reason that it’s hard to stop eating once you’ve started)
  • what would I do if I didn’t eat?
  • cravings. peanut butter cookies sound really good right now, and I would certainly put in some effort, in spite of the other fun things to do in my life.
  • Eating to prevent future hunger
  • Cooking one a way to relieve stress in other areas of my life.

Some things that are NOT reasons:

  • boredom – there are more things to do in my life than I have time for
  • social – we’ve pretty much separated our mealtimes as a family, and we only do communal cooking on weekends

I can’t even figure out if I’m getting any particular comfort from the activity. I do know that it sometimes makes me feel bad to eat, and I’m starting to sense when I punish myself with food.

Oh well, this is one of those classic times in which I’ve given myself a mental block to prevent myself from learning the real reason. Now to just let that all sink in, and see what the real reason is.

Off to make those cookies. I think I’ll use the recipe below. Only add a little honey and maybe some chopped nuts.

Hmmm. Maybe I eat/cook because it’s a creative activity and that’s a good change from my engineer’s life.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cups flour, sift or stir before measuring
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 egg

Preparation:

Sift together flour, salt, and baking powder; set aside. Cream shortening, peanut butter, and sugars; beat in vanilla and egg. Stir in flour mixture, blending well. Shape mixture into 3/4-inch balls; place on greased baking sheets. Flatten each cookie with the tines of a fork; dip fork in flour periodically to keep it from sticking to the peanut butter cookie dough.
Bake peanut butter cookies at 375° for about 10 to 12 minutes.

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Good tips from the Life Learning Today blog. Go read the whole post on this woman’s blog, but here is the cheat sheet:

  1. Become aware of your emotional state.
  2. Identify your trigger emotions and events
  3. Journal (especially in a blog!!!)
  4. Come up with your own relaxing alternatives to eating
  5. Forgive yourself. Often. For everything.

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… I was ready to blog again.

What happened in September? Normal life, mostly. A long weekend with family, plenty of work, and normal eating as well. Very intuitive, very natural. I’ve been eating without binging, doing a lot of normal self-correcting, and being quite successful. I’m not experiencing any strong “need-to-diet” feelings, and my clothes all fit well, maybe I’ve lost a bit.

I’ll be getting on an airplane in early November, and since it’s a trip to the States, I expect to eat rather more than average wheile I’m there. So I’m self-correcting now, and it’s not so hard. Most days for lunch I eat either the light meal in the cafeteria, or have a soup or salad.

The idea of stopping the blog did occur to me, and I stopped adding to all of my (4) blogs in the last month. This was the one that gives me something back, more than the others.

Intuitive eating is, as ever, a question of the mind. My blogging is healthy food for my mind, so it’s here to stay.

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