I used to talk all the time here about what I ate, why I ate, what I was thinking about what I ate. For several years, I even posted my food every day. That seems completely nuts now, but it occurred to me that not talking about my food or thought process at all is nuts too. We are here to discuss such things.
I wake up in the morning looking forward to eating. It's not the gnawing hunger I used to experience when I was restricting, and it's not the still-full-from-last-night, food-sounds-awful I used to get after an enormous dinner. BTW, I would eat enormous dinners specifically so I could stretch out my fasting window as long as possible the next day. So silly. Anyway, now my eyes open, I smile and shuffle toward the refrigerator. This is about 6:15 am. I start pretty much every day with a super thick super food smoothie.
This thing currently contains:
banana, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, carrots, pineapple, mango, peaches, chia seeds, hemp seeds, flaxseeds, walnuts, wheat bran, cinnamon, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, spinach, collard greens, kale, peas, green tea, beet root powder, turmeric, crushed red pepper flakes, apple cider vinegar
Quite the combo. I understand if you just threw up in your mouth a little. I crave this. It's very filling with the nuts and seeds, sweet from all the fruit and then a little hot from the ginger and red pepper. It's 32ish ounces or half the Nutribullet pitcher. Most mornings, I have the smoothie, another handful of blueberries, and a big bowl of oatmeal with a mountain of peanut butter, a lot of honey, a handful of granola, and a sliced banana. Now, diet me would have read a description of such a breakfast and been horrified by all the carbs, fat, added sugar, and apparently total lack of a legitimate protein source. In fact, it has about 30 grams of protein and nearly a thousand calories. I know, because I tracked three random days a few months ago to make sure I wasn't wildly underfeeding myself. No problem there!
So, back to our story... I had the giant smoothie and a handful of blueberries for first breakfast this morning. I didn't eat the oatmeal today because I knew second breakfast was coming soon. I walked the dog (we almost got eaten by owls!!! 🦉), fetched the dog, did a quick 12ish minute strength workout I made up on the fly, and mid-morning I ate again. For second breakfast, I had most of an Amy's Roasted Vegetable pizza and about a third of a pint of Ben & Jerry's PB & Cookies. It's made out of almond milk, but has giant chunks of Oreo cookies in it and ribbons of peanut butter crispies. Yes, please.
Then, early afternoon, I ate the rest of the pizza, a big salad with edamame and quinoa and whatnot, and a 3 Musketeers bar.
For dinner tonight around 6:00pm, we're having tacos (I usually have three), chips & salsa, and probably some more ice cream. I have some So Delicious Snickerdoodle. It's cinnamon ice cream. It reminds me of Ben & Jerry's Cinnamon Buns. We have experimented with all kinds of plant-based taco filling. The Beyond Beef was weird, taco seasoned lentils were weird. Plain beans are kind of boring. Refried beans are really good, but a little messy to smear into a crunchy shell without smashing it. Our favorite filling lately is crumbled and seasoned black bean burgers. I break them up in a skillet with a little taco spice and taco sauce. My taco layers go like - crunchy corn tortilla, Frank's Red Hot sauce, black bean burger, guacamole, onion, lettuce, tomato, red bell pepper. Then I like blue corn tortilla chips dipped in salsa. I eat almost as much of the chips and salsa as I do the tacos. Then I cool down my face with ice cream. It's a perfect meal.
This is very different from how I have approached plant-based eating in the past when it was driven by fear and weight, trying to eat clean, trying to do it right, scouring labels for all traces of animal ingredients, afraid of fat. No to all of that. Fat is yummy. I don't care if there are egg whites in the veggie burgers. I don't care if I eat milk chocolate. I don't care how many calories that turns out to be, or whether I'm eating dessert too often. I don't fret about how my choices will affect my weight because I'm not worried about my weight. I feel great, I love what I eat, and I finish every meal totally satisfied. I feel liberated from that nutso protein focus I had for so many years. If I get enough food, I get enough protein. There's no need to add chicken to everything. And I should add, I'm not worried about my weight because I trust my body to regulate it. I eat to appetite and it does the rest. When I've had enough, I'm less hungry. When I need more, I'm more hungry. It amazes me how simple that is, and how long I mistrusted and manipulated it, inevitably making things worse for myself. I've also mentioned how important it has been for me to front load my food. This makes a huge difference in my mood and metabolism and how the whole day goes. I wake up and I eat something substantial, every day without fail, and I keep eating, taking in the majority of my food before midday. Sure, I still hear all the chatter about the wonders of intermittent fasting. I do that at night when I'm asleep, not when I'm kicking off the busiest part of the day, not when I need the most energy and brain power.
I welcome thoughts and questions. I hesitate to share full days of eating anymore, one because I don't form a lot of thoughts around it, but also because I don't want to invite comparison or imitation. You do you. If you hate vegetables, don't eat breakfast, love chicken and cheese, or eat a lot more or less than I do, that's totally fine. Maybe that's my biggest learning experience to date, that I can't base how I eat on how other people eat, or how the internet says I should eat. It's better to enthusiastically do my own thing. 🙃
Hi, @lindsayinpittsburgh. Welcome back! It took me years to get to this point. I started Happy Eaters ten years ago still very weight-focused but realizing that diets and meal plans weren’t doing anything good for me. Quite the opposite! The more actively I restricted what and how much I ate, the more miserable, food-obsessed, and binge-prone I became. This is not conducive to weight loss, or weight maintenance, or sanity. I could see that dieting was taking me full speed in the wrong direction. If I wanted to be healthy, happy, and fit, casual around food, comfortable in my skin, I needed to stop that pendulum of restriction and overindulgence from swinging so wildly. I did this by choosing the moderate middle way over and over again and avoiding extremes. I did it by learning to recognize and honor hunger and fullness again. I did it by prioritizing genuine satisfaction when I ate instead of using all kinds of external rules to determine food and portions. I’ve posted dozens and dozens of my old journal entries and comments here as individual posts if you want to read my thoughts on letting go of restriction. I hope you find some of it helpful. Feel free to comment, ask questions, or even start a journal here if you like. There are plenty of us here on the same journey.