Moving meal plans, and being gentle with myself

The packing process is really testing my commitment to eating whole foods, and not eating out. I decided -- ahead of time! knowing this would happen! Yay forethought! -- to do the best I can, and not to beat myself up over my food choices between this past week and this next one. Also any time we are away from wherever our kitchen is set up. Once moved completely and not bouncing back and forth between Portland and Seattle, I will make an effort to do better.

In the meantime, I think I've been doing very well. We have a meal plan set up and all the dry ingredients necessary for the next few days' meals. The kitchen being trashed on Wednesday so that I couldn't even make myself lunch, I went to Chipotle--besides being a not-so-guilty pleasure, at least most of what they have there is natural and organic. The ingredients are identifiable, at the very least.

But we got back on the home-eating bandwagon as soon as that evening and have been doing very well since. I'm proud of us. As much as I feel like we're eating out OMG ALL THE TIME right now, the fact that it's still less than 1/3 our meals is a testament to the good habits we have formed over the last year or so.

I still struggle with a low appetite and maybe that's going to be something with which I struggle my entire life. At the very least, I'm developing good coping mechanisms. I eat better when I don't eat alone, so if I focus on feeding other people, I can eat with them and be OK. The meals where my partner is at work/away I try to keep it super simple, and super easy. Anything dippable is pretty much my focal point: Hummus and artichoke tapenade with pita and carrots, nacho toppings in a bowl (what we call "lazy nachos", using tortilla chips), mushroom & liver paté with crackers and veggies.

Sandwiches seem to be a weak point for me--they seem like they should be easy, but more often than not are just overwhelming. Possibly because it's shoving my entire meal into my face with every bite, and my lack-of-appetite wiggs out. I need to eat HOW much?? Dips&Dippers I can stop eating as often as I need to take a break, and when I'm done I can just put it all away. Or portion out tiny portions and go back for seconds as needed. What I call "pickle plate" has been a fan favorite for a while, when we have good cheeses and when I still had my sister-in-law's awesome spicy pickles around. Pickles, olives, cheese, pickled/smoked fish stuff, smoked sausage maybe... Whatever you have in your house that you'd throw on a veggies/cheese/pickle plate for a party, just make a smallish one. Delicious.

Do you struggle with a lack of appetite when you eat alone? Just forget to eat? Have blood sugar problems or small children that often need quick and easy or small, frequent meals? What strategies have you developed for managing?

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