Which do you prefer: eating a full portion of one thing or eating small portions of several things? Or are you like me and it depends on what day it is, how creative you’re feeling, and what foods you must use up in the fridge before they grow legs and walk away?
This morning for breakfast, in keeping with my “veggies for breakfast” pledge, I “fried” up the last of my shredded butternut squash (ala Hungry Girl’s recipe, sans the cumin and with minced garlic and a side of ketchup and mustard – you know me and my condiment love), threw the remaining half-cup of strawberries with the remaining half a small container of Greek yogurt, and sliced half a small banana into ¼ cup light vanilla soy milk and 20 grams of Shredded Wheat n’ Bran.
Looking back at my food journals, I see this as a growing pattern. Except for my big salad, I eat several little things all day. (And really, isn’t a salad just a conglomeration of a bunch of little things?) When I learn a serving of something has in excess of three Points, I get a little nervous. Four or more Points is a lot to spend on one thing. I mean, I like spinach manicotti very much, but one tube is four Points. One little tube! And it’s made with fat-free ricotta and everything! It’s not much food for the Points.
When I think of food I think of time. I like to eat slowly and in volume. How long will it take me to eat that soup or salad or to drink that latte? It takes me two minutes at most to eat a tube of manicotti, and that’s savoring it. It takes me 15 to 20 minutes to eat my big salad. Same number of Points and much more time playing Scrabble with the computer (I confess, I like to play when I eat).
When people ask why I became a vegetarian, I tell them it’s because I get to eat more. I’ve also cut way back on my starch consumption lately, which I did for several reasons. But near the top of the reasons list is because I don’t get as much food/Points time with an English muffin as I do with a big ass bowl of fruit and yogurt and a side of zucchini. And at the end of the day, by eating more I’ve eaten less and I feel better.
After four years of weight loss and maintenance, you’d think I’d have this food thing down to a science. But yet, I’m still a newbie, still learning, still messing around to see what works. It sometimes depends on what’s in the fridge, but if it doesn’t have staying power, it’s not making its way on to my plate these days. I prefer a little of a lot to a lot of a little. Say that three times real fast.