Confessions of an Unintentional Domestic Goddess

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Lifestyle changes: Day 1 – Plate Geometry

on January 9, 2012

My last post got some positive comments so, I’ll continue along the vein of changing lifestyle yield a new you! Not that the you you are right now isn’t great or anything, but if you’re tired of being tired, tired of the dryer gnomes shrinking your clothing when you’re not looking, tired of maybe feeling guilty for some habits that may not be the healthiest for you, let’s go! Let’s do it!

There are some simple changes you can make that will easily shave calories off your daily intake. And I feel I must tell you, small changes can yield great results, so if you’re not interested in making changes for a healthier life, come back in a few months and we’ll be over the hump.

The first thing you need to do doesn’t even involve buying food at all. It has everything to do with your dishes. The dishes you eat on specifically. Here’s a question for ya. When you have a big plate, what do you do? Load it up, right? I mean you’ve got all that space for food, there should be something on every inch of your plate, right? Right? Well, wrong actually. Now what I want you to do is use kid’s plates or salad plates. You’re about to use the Jedi mind trick on your own brain! It’s true, studies have shown that when you use a smaller plate, you will get smaller portions, but because of the proportions needed to make a smaller plate look full, you’re tricking your brain into thinking you’ve got this great big plate of food!

Next up, mentally divide your plate in to fourths. On half of the plate, you should have your veggies. Yes, HALF of the plate and I’ll explain it in a minute, just go with me here. In the remaining half, half goes a starch or a fruit, and half is your protein. Got that? One fourth protein, one fourth starch/fruit, and half veggies. When you are considering a portion size for protein, your lean protein (boneless/skinless chicken, lean red meat, fish) should only be 2-4 oz, approximately the size of the palm of your hand or a deck of cards, not the size of your own head or a football/basketball.

When you combine fiber and protein, as in fruits/veggies and your lean protein source, you feel fuller longer because it takes longer to digest them together. Which means you get the benefit of the fiber in your digestive tract to enhance, ahem, movement, as well as helping you feel full.

The second thing you need to do is turn it off… the tv I mean. Another question for you. How many times have you been on the couch watching a movie, munching on potato chips or something in a bag, and before you even have a clue what’s going on, you’re suddenly at the bottom of the bag and going ‘oh crap. I so didn’t mean to eat all of that!’? When you are sitting in front of the tv eating, it’s a mindless kind of thing, you don’t pay attention to what you’re doing or eating. So, here’s my next suggestion: turn off the tv while you are eating, and eat *gasp* at the dining table! I know, I know. Back in my single girl days, the dining tabel was for folding clothes, or catching stuff, not eating. No way, eating was done on the couch, in front of the tv. If you are paying attention to what you are eating and savoring it and actually tasting what’s going into your mouth, you will eat it slower. Got that? Turn off the tv while you’re eating, but you should also not be reading or doing anything else while you’re eating, it’s no different than the tv thing. If you have a signficant other, or children, have a nice meal and talk about your day or current events, or what Susie Jackson wore to school. If there are children involved, not only will it give you good time together without distractions, it will help them learn healthy eating habits as well, since you are their greatest role model.

Next, this one is really tough. My friend whom I’m doing this with has a real habit to work on. She said when she eats, it’s like she’s on a deadline and she has to get it done as fast as possible. My hubby is the same way. He sits down to eat and there are times when I think he hasn’t chewed at all and it’s gone. It’s almost a race sometimes w/him and our son. Well, my son isn’t racing, but hubby is done with his second helping before son is done with his first. I remind my boy that he is the normal one! Here’s what I want you to do: put the fork down and no one will get hurt. Seriously, lay the fork down between bites. Take your time chewing your food. this will help in a couple of ways. The more you chew your food, the better digestion will be, as the food will be broken down even farther in your mouth from the action of your teeth and the digestive enzymes in your saliva. And you will eat slower. Eating slower gives your stomach the time it needs to get the message to your brain. Even though it’s a short distance between your stomach and your brain, it takes nearly 20 minutes to get from tummy to brain. How many times have you finished your first helping, still felt hungry and gotten a second, only to feel overfull when you’re done? That’s because the first round happened too fast to let the message make it’s long trek.

Ok, my friends, what do you think? Is that enough to get you started on your way to the lifestyle changes? Ok great! I’ll save the rest for my following posts. We can do it!

Here’s what I did today:

Breakfast: coffee x2, two cranberry walnut scones that I made, 1/2C kashi Go Lean cereal w/1/2C almond milk.

Lunch: Healthy Request chicken noodle soup, whole wheat crackers & water.

Snack: two clementine oranges, a handful of pistachios and hot herbal tea.

dinner tonite is at Fuddrucker’s, but I”m going to have a grilled chicken sandwich.

I also walked 1.8 miles with my friend.

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