I Watch What I Eat!

Dara LevanBlogLeave a Comment

I had planned to write about my summer adventures today. There are wacky, wild moments and unforgettable ones, too! But every time I carved quiet time to compose the travel blog, somebody or something unexpectedly interrupted and required immediate attention. My personal itinerary modified itself hourly.

I won’t bore you with the details. The lesson here? We must pivot and be ready for life to change in seconds. It does. It has. And it always will. Just as this past week became a winding road rather than a straight route, I am switching directions to adjust. Let’s lighten the mood and discuss a topic to which we can all relate: Food!

Regardless of where or how you live, eating is a basic human need. In my home, it’s an event! For instance, my husband will often ask (as he’s eating his first bite of breakfast), “What are we eating for dinner tonight?” This happened all summer during our travels, too. (More on that next week!)

Food is love in several cultures and religions. It is also a legal drug, especially salty and sugary snacks. I am proud that our pantry and fridge are filled with organic produce. We rarely have gluten, dairy, or corn syrup in our home. The only time we bring in the contraband is a birthday or holiday. My daughter and I have food sensitivies and allergies so I am careful what ingredients I keep in our home.

This is not information I share to boast or judge those of you who make different choices. We are just trying our best to live a balanced life. I know that what we consume affects our attention, learning, emotions, and physical health. This is not just in the research, but I am referring to personal life experiences.

And now it’s time for candor and confessions. I am a certifiable, discerning chocoholic. In our home, chocolate is a food group! It comes from a plant, it has fiber, and anti-oxidant benefits.

I wasn’t allowed to have sweets as a kid; I actually had my first chocolate bar (80 percent dark, in case you’re wondering) just a few years ago! I didn’t even know what Dairy Queen was until my first pregnancy. My mouth hummed blissfully after tasting the hard-shell topping!! Thanks to a few of my girlfriends, who introduced me to mind-blowing blizzards. I especially love our local South Florida sweet shop, Hoffman’s Chocolates. The handmade, stunning treats are scrumptious.

Lately I have found that mini M and Ms lure me with their vibrant colors. I usually resist, but I will occasionally cave, and they literally melt in my mouth. The only time they remain solid is when I use them as a topping for Hoffman’s ice cream.

Ironically, I also salivate when presented with finely chopped kale or a perfectly ripe avocado. I am not joking. I positively adore vegetables and fruit. And oh how I love sushi! My family often teases me that I say things like “What a beautiful presentation.”

Culinary cuisine is an art form, too. One of my passions, in addition to writing, is photography. In between bites, I often snap photos of a succulent steak or creative, cripsy salad. I love the contrasting hues of freshly harvested veggies or a layered, loaded slice of pizza.

There are several food-centered phrases I’ve frequently heard and used. I am sure you can relate! How about this one:

“I watch what I eat.” Oh how I love this expression! A friend proclaimed she had weight to lose so she’s “watching what she eats.” I said, “Me, too! I watch what is on my plate. I watch it go into my mouth. I watch myself chew and swallow.” We both laughed.

Here’s another favorite:

“Do you eat to live or live to eat?” Well. . .I guess I do both! Quite frankly it depends on the day and the cuisine.

I do not own a scale. I have seen many people become obsessed with the daily digits. I know it’s time to cut back when my pants are uncomfortable. (By the way, thank you to the genius that invented spandex!) I truly feel that attaching yourself to a number or specific weight is unhealthy.

Boredom or emotional eating is still sometimes a battle. Permanently breaking old patterns is no easy feat. As I’ve gotten older, I am increasingly more conscious of quality and quantity. Are there days in which I munch too much or keep eating although I am full? Absolutely. In fact, as I bit into a third cookie, I caught myself justifying the glutinous action because I baked them with organic almond butter and coconut flour. Insert eye roll. Hello! It still has sugar, and one serving is sufficient.

Food is fuel; it is not a bandaid for weeping wounds. I’ve learned phrases like “Walk away from the buffet” and “If you bite it you write it.” I honestly don’t feel guilty about the moments I choose to overindulge such as vacations or holidays.

I am mindful on most days. Balance is essential. Sometimes balance means a dark chocolate truffle in each hand. Other days it’s incorporating extra exercise into my day. An all or nothing mentality, at least for me, rarely becomes a continual lifestyle. So I do watch what I eat! And I enjoy every morsel with gratitude, joy, and certainly humor.

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