Meal Planning and the Art of Eating

fried eggs and panceta, with agave nectar instead of maple syrup

After the smashing success of the Lenten Byzantium fast, I ate gluttonously for about a week-and-a-half, slid back into regular eating habits (which weren't that bad to begin with), minus dairy, and found I'd gained back all the weight I'd lost in three weeks.  Areyoukiddingme?  Well.  Some of that has a lot to do with my lack of activity (did I mention I loath running?) mixed with a fateful cocktail of Bad Genes and Slow Metabolism, but some is also probably due to a lifetime-built bad relationship with food and eating.  For me, food is a necessary poison.  And that whole concept is so tiring in and of itself, it's enough to make me throw out all concern for health and eat the first thing that crosses my path (lock up your cats--kidding!).

I need an eating makeover, and it's not going to happen unless something drastic changes about my approach to meals and eating.  My hope is that if I make mealtimes deliberate and expressive, I'll find the joy of an art in it, which will yield more satisfaction apart from the eating itself.  If I have courses planned out, then I'll be less likely to overeat, and less food will go to waste.  Buying only what I need for two or three days will help on the financial and health fronts, as well as bring the natural high of a deliberately lived and well-ordered day.

. . . Right?

We'll see how it goes.  Today I'm motivated, but tomorrow I might just open the refrigerator, groan, and pack the Squirt into the car for some Taco Bell.  And the exercise?  Well . . . one step at a time.



  1. This is exactly my line of thinking right now!!! I love the whole joy and art of eating thing! least, most of the time, when I'm not being uber lazy and just doing whatever for meals.

    Deliberate and expressive is so much more satisfying!! Well displayed food delights on so many levels..and it totally satisfies in smaller does taking time for focus fully on the meal..the whole sitting down to eat (always!) with no distractions (reading and the internet at my main ones during the day..and it's so different to sit with only my mind and God, or Yarrow, or whatever at lunch than to type away while shoveling food in my mouth - which is Always how it feels to me when I eat a distracted meal)..I'm just now getting back into it again after post-Lenten disgustingness, along with organizing, and running, and reading things I haven't read before, get the picture. I'm over committing my mind..but keeping the eating ritual is making the rest of it easier - because my mind is more at peace and my day has..umm..bookends, kind of, to give it shape. Do we know other people who want to make their days beautifully formed by meals that nourish?? We should start a group or something, some sort of weekly update? Something to keep us focused, but nothing with our weights or measurements on it, 'cause I hate that sort of thing. ;)And because the focus shouldn't be on weight or measurements, but on a sense of delight in the relationship to food and how that feeds the day! Right? What do you think?

    1. It's against-the-modern-grain, but I'm fond of this approach because it discourages snacking. I know that's _supposed_ to be healthier and keep the metabolism going and the appetite down, but it's not good as far as making three, deliberate, looking-forward-to meals throughout the day, in which I can delight and enjoy and savor.

      I'm heavily influenced by the Italian style; at least the older generations went out daily or every other day to shop for the day's meals. It was so . . . deliberate. And having lived in Rome, gosh, being around fresh food like that and knowing that you were going to have your hands on it and the smells and sounds of cooking was such a simple human pleasure. You would have loved the morning markets. The best pears I've ever tasted in my life.

      Yes, we should have a little motivation club!

  2. Italy is Amazing - I snuck about 6 huge, juicy peaches back with me on my first trip..they were so good. And so..I've never had peaches like that since! Yeah, snacking is all the rage, I know, but I can't do it well..I'm better off making meals, and sitting down to them than trying eat well in so many mini-meals..Sometimes I add a late-afternoon tea in, which is nice for Seth especially right after work, and it's kind of a mini-meal. Fresh food is so perfect! Our Arugula is almost ready to pick!!! But until then...I'm off the the store for greens ;)

    Motivation club on the blogs?? Once a week? every couple??? With photos of food???

    1. Yes, tea is a mini-meal, isn't it?

      Right now, with all the work I've been doing, I don't know if I can commit to anything regular, but I'm all for sharing artful, healthful meals when I am able to make them.

  3. That's probably best..I mean..I haven't exactly been a consistent presence online recently either. ;) But I'll probably get something up this week..I've been thinking about it a lot since my parents visited - they are the sort that continually push ice-cream and cookies and give disapproving looks when I don't eat meat ;p

    Cheers to you for managing to post anything At All with your work schedule!! And prayers for lots of energy to make it thought the busy weeks!! <3


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