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Still Under Tall (Put that fork DOWN!)

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Saturday, July 11, 2015

This week's challenge is to spend 20 minutes or more eating each main meal. I think the concept behind the challenge is spot-on, and in the last 6 months or so I've really made an effort to slow down and enjoy my food.

I realize if I'm to earn points for my team with this week's challenge, I'm going to need to time my meals more carefully. I have a very bad habit of waiting too long between meals. I don't eat breakfast within an hour of getting up and if 5 hours or less pass between the meals that's good. Sometimes I will have a snack, but that's not a common occurrence. My husband's work schedule is very erratic, so every day is different. I have fibromyalgia and sometimes (well, often times) the pain interferes with my sleep, so I have no regular bedtime/wake time schedule.

I obviously have a lot of work to do with scheduling! I weigh/measure and track everything I eat and drink, so I've got that habit down pat. Because I'm diabetic I really need to do better with scheduling meal times! I've been doing quite well with exercise and weight loss, so I can continue those good habits.

Today I managed to spend 20 minutes eating breakfast; not easy considering it was 1/2 of a smoothie I made (I'll have the remainder as a snack), one slice of toast and coffee. I am alone for probably 90% of my meals, and I find eating alone boring so I read or watch tv (I know, I know...not good!). I've been making progress with being more aware of the texture/taste/aromas and really being "present" while I eat. I also put my fork or spoon down between bites, and sip water so that helps.

A major problem I have is with eating foods that are supposed to remain hot during the meal. If I take 20 minutes to eat one scrambled egg, you know that egg is going to be stone cold well before the 20 minutes is up. Perhaps this week I need to stick with cold breakfast choices! Ditto for lunch.

I think I've come up with a good solution that will work for lunch and dinner: SALAD. A nice big tossed salad (with minimal dressing) can easily take 10 minutes or more to eat, and if eaten before the dinner entree stretches the meal to 20 plus minutes. If the entree is salad, with protein in it, then the 20 minute meal is no problem. Just keep all the veggies really crunchy! And, be sure to thoroughly chew your food! Remember that digestion begins in your mouth with your saliva (a handy little fact I recently learned). Here's a link to an interesting article: kidshealth.org/PageManag

For breakfast, eating some sort of fresh fruit that requires time to eat it (i.e. grapefruit, unpeeled apple slices, usually some fresh in-season fruit) helps stretch out the meal. Eat the fruit before you pour the milk on your cereal so you're not eating soggy flakes (unless you LIKE soggy cereal). Overnight oatmeal is really yummy and can be eaten cold...plus it does require chewing.

Bottom line, I think the trick to this challenge is to take a good look at the meal components, and add in some healthy crunch! Suddenly, this challenge doesn't look as difficult!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • SHARON10002
    These are great suggestions! I'm still working on this, too but here are a couple of things that seem to be working for me:

    First, I try to remember to put my fork down between bites.

    I take a sip of water after each bite of food, and it gets my mouth ready for the next bite.

    I make breakfast smoothies too, and try to drink them slowly. Not using a straw makes it easier to do that. Conversely, to drink more water, I use a straw which helps me to drink more.

    You are doing well at finding out what works for you.
    2194 days ago
  • MAYIE53
    2207 days ago
  • no profile photo CD13915474
    i am a slow eater so cold food is a way of life for me. Good blog!
    2208 days ago
  • ELSCO55
    Eating slowly is one of my challenges too.
    2211 days ago
    2211 days ago
    emoticon Good thinking! Isn't it funny how much time and effort we spend (well, I spend at least) on figuring out how to execute the basic moves?

    I'm still working on everything but here are some ideas that seem to be working for me.

    emoticon Taking a sip of water between bites makes 20 minutes easy to achieve.

    emoticon Have breakfast ready to go the night before... or mostly ready to go. (I struggled with the "remembering" breakfast, too. Just too easy to get swept away by the day.)

    emoticon Have your eggs in something you can reheat, like egg flower soup. OR have them with veggies. Eat the egg while it's hot, then linger over the veggies. I've worked my way into a "veggie with every meal." It's not so bad, especially if you like to start with soup.

    emoticon emoticon You are getting the basics down and that is emoticon

    2213 days ago
    Keep up that hard work!
    2213 days ago
  • BARBIE176
    emoticon blog! Thank you for sharing.
    2214 days ago
    Great blog . . . Making a couple pieces of toast for breakfast last 20 minutes is really challenging. I bought a huge watermelon this week and look forward to slicing and cubing it well to aid me. I'm looking forward to being 6 for 6 when the evening meal is complete.
    2215 days ago
    I love your recommendations on the challenge!
    I am not a fan of soggy cereal and was also trying to plan some strategy.

    One other thing about salad - I think it's even better to eat salad last in the meal, since it helps your digestion.
    2215 days ago
    These are some great thoughts on eating slower! Sounds like you have some challenges against you in accomplishing this but also have some good plans in place! Have a great week!
    2215 days ago
    I had to laugh when I got to the part about the one scrambled egg! I definitely like my eggs hot as well!
    2216 days ago
    2216 days ago
    emoticon idea!! emoticon

    Update/input: I think some adjustments could be made for 20 m for a small meal is way too much. Just my personal opinion on these days of trial. I would include since you start preparing yourself for your breakfast till you finish. Making every meal more like a rite. Enjoying every step. Just my personal opinion.
    2216 days ago

    Comment edited on: 7/13/2015 10:38:43 AM
    emoticon I also like to eat my meals hot, thank you for your suggestions. Good luck with the challenge.
    2216 days ago
    emoticon ideas. Happy Spotlight day.
    2216 days ago
    bright ideas
    2216 days ago
    Great advice! Thanks!
    2216 days ago
    This is a very important thing and I too have some problems stretching meals to 20 minutes
    2216 days ago
  • CAROL_31649731
    Wonderful, informative blog! Love the idea of eating food slowly. Good luck with your Challenge. Sounds like you well on your way! emoticon Thanks for the tip . . . a great one!!!
    2216 days ago
  • KURTZIE1998
    Thank you for tips, breakfast, was oatmal berries, sausage, coffee, I did spread it out but only 10 minutes for me that is good. Did do 20 for lunch, your right is isn't easy but can be done --it will just take time, paticence, and finding ways to enjoy your food. Again thanks that was a great blog.
    2216 days ago
    Thank you for the tips. I too struggle with this.
    2216 days ago
    2216 days ago
  • no profile photo CD15506819
    Happy Spotlight Day!
    2216 days ago
  • MAWMAW101
    Great tips, thank you! emoticon
    2216 days ago
    Great tips! Thanks for taking the time to share them!!
    2216 days ago
    emoticon Blog! your commitment is showing! Thank you for sharing these great ideas! It is extremely difficult for me to eat slow. I know I should and have tried in the past with little success. Old habits die hard.

    I did well today. a smoothie with lots of ice for breakfast so became a SSS. emoticon Slow Smoothie Sipper. I thought about the ingredients and the nutritional value. I did do my sipping at the computer so I could look up the ingredients.

    Lunch was with my Mom so we talked a lot and made sure it took the 20 minutes.

    Good Luck everyone!
    2216 days ago
  • MOGAL1946
    Great tips. I,too, tend to wait too long to eat and then gobble the meal down because I' m hungry. I timed myself at breakfast & lunch and made myself slow down a couple of times. It takes concentration but it can be done. Let's rock this challenge.
    2216 days ago
    I agree that timing is important. Not only to make sure you have time to enjoy the meal, but also to make sure you start eating before you are soooo hungry that you are in "gobble mode".
    2216 days ago
  • YICHE12
    I did manage to take 20 mins in the morning and also at lunch time. What I did is chew my food for a longer period of time. It worked for me.
    2216 days ago
    I eat small portions and often find myself eating half of my breakfast with my first cup of coffee then the other half a hour or so later...example 1 eggo, 1 tbsp of Pb and 1/2 banana then the rest of it later in the morning...usually because I am too full to eat it all at once...but this also keeps my calories spread out throughout the day so I don't get hungry...I do this with sandwiches too...eat half then a hour or 90 minutes later eat the other half...and a lot of the times i find myself packing calories into smoothies when I know I won't have time to get calories in later...protein, healthy fat, greens and fruit in a convenient on the go meal
    2216 days ago
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