Saturday, 7 December 2013

Right Amount

Something highly unusual has happened.  I'll set the stage:

Every morning I have a smoothie for breakfast.  I'm a proud initiate of the Magic Bullet cult.

I love the creative ritual of assembling the ingredients* in the evening.  Then, in the morning, all I have to do is whiz it up and gulp it down!

In the summer, I would sit on my deck and enjoy looking at my garden whilst gulping (slowly). With colder weather I've been sucking back my breakfast smoothie while getting dressed and blow-drying my hair.  I've been telling myself that it's OK to have breakfast in a non-mindful way because I'm on a timeline and I can eat supper mindfully later.

A few Saturdays ago it was warm enough to sit outside - a rare treat for late fall in Ontario.  So I decided to enjoy my smoothie while sitting on my deck and looking at bare soil and leaves I needed to rake.

That's when it happened.  About halfway through my regular smoothie, I noticed I was getting full.  This triggered an internal debate.  I knew, because of all my good mindful eating research, that I should stop and put the smoothie away.  But it was so yummy!  So I decided to have 3 more sips.  And then I put the rest in the fridge.  Baby steps to liberation - that's what I'm talking about.

Dr. Jan Chozen Bays is a Zen teacher, and a wise and engaging writer.  She describes the concept of  right amount in her book "Mindful Eating - A Guide to Rediscovering a Healthy and Joyful Relationship with Food".  She explains the connections to Buddhist teachings and Zen traditions, and teaches us how we can become familiar with what is "just enough".  There are many reasons why we keep eating after we've had just enough.  All of them constitute overeating.

Since I've learned about "right amount", I'm much more conscious of the physical cues that my body is sending to my brain, telling me that I'm starting to get full.  Seems like an obvious concept, but it's been quite surprising to find out how often I think about eating something when my belly is actually full.

*Coco's Breakfast Smoothie Ingredients*
I'm one of those people who is hungriest in the morning.  This usually lasts me until lunchtime.

The basics
- 1/4 cup of instant rolled oats, kamut or spelt flakes, or quick-cooking steel-cut oats (all these things need to soak - that's why you make it the night before)
- 1 tsp. raw cacao powder (forget Fry's processed cocoa - enjoy life AND actually get some of chocolate's benefits)
- about 1/2 cup of organic cow milk, sunflower milk, coconut milk, or quinoa milk
- about 1/3 cup of Ceres brand natural fruit juice
- about 1/2 cup kefir or local organic yoghurt
- 1 tsp. organic nut butter - sunflower or almond/cashew is nice

- a few drops of stevia and sometimes some local honey
- Floradix iron supplement (foul-tasting to me - hence the honey)
- hulled hemp seeds
- fresh or frozen fruit (I have a freezer full of organic strawberries I picked this summer!)
- beet seedlings (only during garden-thinning season, of course)

I should warn you: a friend tried this recipe and said it made her nauseous.  I have this every single day and I feel great.  Maybe she did something wrong?

No comments:

Post a Comment

Tell me about your experience with mindful eating