Eating with Purpose

Loved hearing all your goals for November!! I was already successful with one of my goals last night and slept for 8 hours. That’s two nights it a row! I can’t remember the last time that happened! It helps I was in bed at a ludicrously early hour :)

Which led to a very dark morning for me. Enter, mysterious bowl of oats…


Ooohh, so dark and shadow-y :P

  • 1/2 cup oat bran
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 scoop chocolate whey powder
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp marshmallow fluff

I’m also super excited that my recipe for mocha oats made with Starbucks Via instant coffee is on the Starbucks website!! Ch-ch-check it out!

A couple hours of digesting and internet-ing later, I went to another stellar step class. This was my fourth time there and I really felt like I had all the moves down this time. It’s true when they say it takes 3-5 classes! I think one of the reasons why I love this class so much (besides the high energy of it) is that it occurs at the perfect time of day for me. I get my best workouts mid-morning. I have a good breakfast and some coffee in me. Early morning can be a little rough, and I tend to drag a little any later in the day.

Came home and refuelled with smoothie made with chocolate Amazing grass, almond milk, 1/2 a banana, scoop cottage cheese and ice.


It’s even growing plants out the top! :P The Amazing Grass has actually grown on me. Most of all, it surprisingly keeps my hunger at bay!

Lunch was a Janetha inspired cottage cheese-garbanzo-ranch mix.


  • < 1 cup cottage cheese
  • <1 cup garbanzo beans
  • 1 tbsp ranch seasoning
  • cherry tomatoes
  • red onion
  • red pepper
  • spinach


Don’t let my reused plastic container dishware fool you. This was delicious!

Dinner was incredibly simple, and also incredibly tasty.


The pita had hummus, grilled chicken breast and sweet potato. I usually stuff my pitas silly with a whack of veggies, but tonight I got to enjoy every flavour. It was wonderful :)


Now, I know I’m not the only one out there over the internets who feels like their eating has gotten away from them lately. I don’t know if it’s the time of year, or if we’re all just going through things that are causing us to relax on our food intake, but something is going on! :P

I think it’s easy to make a list of goals like “I’m going to stop the mindless munching,” or “no treats after dinner.” But getting to the bottom of why we’re doing these things is a lot more difficult.

I would never say I ever had a “food binge.” However, pre-weight loss, I often consumed food without taking any notice of it. If my roommate brought home cookies, I’d throw back three without even thinking about it. After dinner, I would get a piece of chocolate, then immediately get up and go for more without an ounce of pre-meditation.

This is why I made one of November’s goals to be less complacent with food. Lately, these old habits have been creeping back into my life. Not nearly as bad. I am much better at being present when I eat a meal, or being conscious of choosing snacks. However, I still find that my hand reaches into the cereal box without my noticing. Or I’ll grab a few chocolate chips thinking “what does it matter?”

Really, it’s maybe only an extra 100 calories a day and isn’t the end of the world. But I also don’t think it’s the right way to approach food. Especially when it’s so frighteningly close to my old thoughtless approach.

Complacency: self-satisfaction especially when accompanied by unawareness of actual dangers or deficiencies

I think I need to do more than just hide the cereal box on the top shelf, or not allow crackers in my house. I really need to focus on being aware and present when I eat food. I need to sit down to a meal and enjoy every bite. I need to decide that I want to eat that date, instead of just reaching for it because it’s there. Maybe I’ll even still have those chocolate chips, but they won’t be as I run out the door. I’ll take the time to treasure every sweet bite :)

So when I say I’m going to be less complacent with food, that is what I mean. For those of you who struggle with mindless munching, fast eating, and boredom snacking, I encourage you to do the same!

This isn’t just something we can put on a list of goals and forget about. It’s a lifetime thing, just as exercising and eating vegetables are. It’s just another commitment I need (and want) to make to ensure I have a healthy relationship with my body.

So there ya go! I’ll let you know on Sunday how this is coming along. For me, it’s going to take a while to shift the thought process behind the complacency that’s been happening lately. But I think even just taking a second to stop and ask myself “Why am I eating these raisins? Am I bored? Hungry? Searching for something else?” will get the ball rolling.


Question of the day: What’s one food that always finds its way to your mouth? Mine is peanuts. Put me in front of a bowl of peanuts and they don’t stand a chance :P

Posted on November 2, 2009, in Challenges, Health, Workouts and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 30 Comments.

  1. I’m so glad you wrote this! I have such a hard time being present when I eat. I eat too fast and sometimes don’t even taste my food, especially when I’m just randomly snacking on chocolate chips or ice cream. I am going to try really hard to do be present this week and enjoy every bite of food.

  2. That pita sounds fantastic! Sometimes the simple combos are the best! Did you bake the sweet potato first?

    And I’m jealous of your step skills! I don’t think I’m that coordinated! haha.

    My food that doesn’t stand a chance in front of me is kind of odd.. beets!! and roasted squash..those suckers go fast!

  3. anything with the word “pumpkin” or “dates” or “figs” in it will find itself in my mouth.

  4. Being complacent with food is how so many people end up regaining weight. It’s exactly how you said with the little bit here, the little bit there. While our minds don’t think it counts, our bodies tally it all up for us!

    Yay for the Starbies website!

    As you know, I snack on cereal! I also can have problems with cashews or other ‘little’ items (like chocolate chips). I have put cereal off limits now and it is out of the house until I feel I can let it back in LOL

  5. Great post, very well said. I also need to improve my mindful eating– after all I think it’s not only healthier, but helps one to both appreciate and enjoy food more. On another note, that pita looks fantastic! I would have never thought to mix those ingredients :)

  6. Chocolate. Every. Single. Day.

  7. I am a “cereal reacher” too ;) Nut butters, particularly Naturally More, always find their way onto my butter knife and into my belly as well.

  8. I could have typed this whole blog about complacency myself. One thing I am doing to help combat this issue is making myself slow down and take the time to really enjoy the food I am eating. Not just shoving five peanuts at a time in my mouth, but eating a peanut at a time and enjoying the way they taste and their texture… I think it is helping a little bit.

    • One thing that’s helped me a lot when eating meals is putting my fork down between each bite. It’s amazing how fast I can shovel food in there if I’m not paying attention :P

  9. My goal is kind of the opposite… When I eat, it’s a huge deal. No music, no computer, no reading. Just me, focusing 100% on the food. It’s a great exercise for mindfullness- to focus entirely on one small thing. Ie, a raisin, Look at it, describe every single detail from how it looks to how it feels to touch to how it tastes. Though focusing TOO much on food, for me, leads to overthiking the food…so yes, actually, doing a 180 on myself and saying I want to join this challenge and get back to the mindful aspect of eating instead of focusing on calories/numbers.

    Umm…holy long rambly comment :P

  10. Hi Susan!
    I couldn’t believe it when I checked my reader and had 11 posts from you! I am so, so behind. Forgive me! I love your posts and I have missed them in my life! We are the two old ladies :)
    I just tried Amazing Meal for the first time this morning. I wasn’t sure if I should mix it into a full smoothie, or sort of just mix it with some milk to make more of a shake. Do you tend to blend it in with full-on smoothies?

    • Lara, to be honest, I’m kind of lost with the Amazing Meal too! So far I’ve just been using it in smoothies like I would a protein powder. It’s not too hot just with milk or water. But I have the “Super Food” stuff that’s 30 calories a scoop and just all grass. I have NO idea what to do with that! :P

  11. WOOHOO for the Starbeezy’s recipe submission! Congrats :)

    Sweet potatoes in the pita sandwich? That sounds fantastic! My one food? Baby carrots. Whenever I assemble my lunch or dinner, I just keep crunching on them until I leave the kitchen. It may not sound that bad but baby carrots and my stomach don’t get along very well!

  12. your breakfast does look spooky, are you sure it is not still halloween?? and that is awesome they made the website! jeeeaaah girl. dude, i had that combo yesterday too but was lacking any veggies. yours looks so perfect and colorful! and actually a tad christmasy,. and i am digging your pita stuffings! i love your new challenge. it is something that everyone should be mindful of! my one food is cereallllll!

  13. I’m a weird eater. I will go months and not eat something and then one day randomly eat like 3 bowls of cereal in a row or something crazy. Though if I had to pick a food I couldn’t be trusted around I’d have to say homemade cookies. Especially if they have chocolate or butterscotch chips in them.

    • One treat I will NEVER turn down when offered is a homemade chocolate chip cookie. Probably of all the sugary sweets in the world, they are my favourite!!!

  14. Peanuts and peanut butter should not be anywhere near me! :P
    I eat them just like that…
    I’ve been good for a while and not in a control freak way, but just respectful to my body. Because I used to think that if i “didn’t” eat something, I was depriving myself.. but sometimes “not eating” is the right choice.
    Mindless eating is also a goal I’m striving for.. so well, it’s going great. I found that usually for me, mindless eating stemmed from being emotional or bored or not having eaten enough in a previous meal but mostly: STRESS. So I decided to chill out and that problem has gone bybye…
    Good post ;)

    • My mindless eating tooootally stems from stress too! It actually started creeping up on me again when I moved a few months ago (super stressful time!) and hasn’t really gone away. Definitely working on the stress thing too :)

  15. Ahh, I just wrote out a challenge post last night :) We are all thinking the same thing. I’ll join you in being less complacent!

  16. I love your thoughts on mindful eating, etc. This is basically the EXACT thing I struggle with, and I don’t know why?? Thank you for addressing this topic. Also- kudos on the mocha oats on the starbucks site! so cool!

    p.s. i watched your breakfast cookie video post yesterday, after putting off making one for about a month or two, i am finally going to make one today! probably gonna have a go at your macaroon recipe. i can’t wait! :)

  17. That lunch looks DEEEELICIOUS! I want it. I loved your thoughts about being more present, too. I have been workign a lot on REMEMBERING my food after I eat it. Like, do i even remember what that tasted like, or was I too distracted, eat too fast, etc. It’s learning…

  18. such a fabulous post. first of all, who had the guts to thumbs down your mocha oat bran recipe? i will kick their arse for you.

    second, your cottage cheese mix looks epic. you are certainly giving janetha a run for her money.

    third, that pita looks amazing.

    fourth, i completely agree with your complacency. we need to appreciate, savor and enjoy food!

    love youuuuu

  19. Agree 100%. I need to do this too…be mindful and smart about the choices I’m making. That doesn’t mean turning down every treat, but really making an effort to be aware of what I’m eating and the effect that food has on my body and mind. I want to eat foods that make me feel GOOD, not like crap.

    I’m learning that it’s all a journey and a process, and that’s OK.

  20. smart and mindful, very well said! getting to that place is the best because then you dont have to hid your cereal or restrict anything! i tend to make it a lil too complicated for myself tho. i definitely have my moments when days and weeks and months are just easy and the eats are enjoyable and that always happens when im NOT thinking about it LOL.

    yummy pita BTW! sweet potato is good in everything :)

  1. Pingback: Home Cookin’ « The Great Balancing Act

  2. Pingback: A slave to the numbers « Chasing the Now

  3. Pingback: Monthly Goal Check-In! « The Great Balancing Act

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: