Monday, November 07, 2011

Peanut Butter and ...

I am going to list some foods.  Now, finish the phrase by saying out loud the first food that pops into your head.
For example:  Peanut Butter and… (Jelly)

Hamburger and ...      Soup and ...     Salad and ...    Cake and ...     Nachos and…
Bacon and ...               Cereal and…   Steak and ...     Ham and ...

Here are my answers.  

Peanut Butter and Jelly, Soup and Salad,  Salad and Breadsticks, Cake and Ice-Cream, Cereal and Milk, Bacon and Eggs, Nachos and Cheese, Steak and Eggs, Ham and Cheese

The purpose of this exercise is to examine how we have been trained to eat certain foods together.  Maybe you even feel like you can’t eat one without the other.  I know that these associations have affected my eating habits, and it took me a long time to become aware of it.  Other examples of food habits that have somehow been ingrained into my head include eating an entree with two sides, the famous “three egg” omelet, and finally soup or salad before the main meal.  

One of my biggest challenges was feeling that I needed to eat a certain combination of foods at a meal for it to be considered healthy and balanced.  For instance, even though a bowl of soup can be hearty and nutritious all on its own, I felt obligated to eat an additional carbohydrate and protein even if I wasn’t really hungry for it.  

I have read a lot of diet plans that tell you to start each meal with a soup or salad in order to fill you up so you will eat less during the rest of the meal.  This is a great theory, but if you are like me, reality kicks in and you end up eating a lot of soup or salad, as well as all of the rest of the food! 

Since beginning the Running Without a Watch plan, I have really gained some incredible insights into how I eat and think about food.  I am finally breaking down these harmful food associations that have been drilled into my head since I was a kid.  What an amazing experience!

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