Daily Archives: January 10, 2011

Random Meals and Awesome Finds

My meals were pretty random today. I went on a shopping trip to Target yesterday and bought a whole bunch of goodies off my food shopping wish list to play with so they will be making apperances. Breakfast was the usual. For lunch I had left over pea soup (mmm mmm good), but I knew that it wouldn’t keep me satisfied on its own, so I paired it with some dried cranberries.

Why do dried cranberries look so scary up close?

After work, I decided to take advantage of some NYC shopping. I am thankful that I have a pretty small closet, because it keeps me from shopping past my limits (Chris would argue this statement). I’m also a pretty amazing deal shopper. I’m not cheap, I’m frugal. I’m pretty sure there is a difference. These are my two finds of the day:

Self high-five mittens! $5 I'll try to take a clearer picture later.

Literally, awesome. $3 at Old Navy.

Great shopping success! When I came home, I weighed in and lost .6lb this week. Not a great amount, but since I can’t work out until I am given the go ahead by my PT  any loss is appreciated.

For dinner, I was feeling experimental. I wanted mac ‘n cheese, but I knew that I needed to stick to the 1 cup serving size, which would likely leave me hungry soon after. So I decided to bulk up my mac ‘n cheese. I served it on a bed of wilted spinach mixed with chickpeas and topped with a little feta. It satisfied my craving and left me so full that I couldn’t finish my bowl.

After dinner I got to work making Pumpkin Oat Muffins. They came out very moist (why do so many people hate that word?), and I may have already downed one. I promise to share this yummy recipe soon!

What are your most recent awesome shopping finds?

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Imaginary Dieting

In college, I used to make fun of people who obsessively spent time reading and quoting newspapers. I’m pretty sure it was a backlash to living in DC and being surrounded by people much more CNN-obsessed then I could ever be. In fact, my freshman year of college, I actually witnessed a fist fight between two students at a party based on the 2004 presidential candidates. It was that ridiculous.

After leaving the hyper-political atmosphere behind, I am now one of those people who like to devour the New York Times and say nerdy things, such as “I read in the Times” or “This article in the Times said.” I don’t really like to use these catch phrases – I mentally kick myself every time I do – but I find myself wanting to talk about the articles and using that very phrase. So forgive me for the nerdish behavior I am about to exhibit. I’ll kick myself for you.

I read this article in the Times called Real Evidence that Diets are Just Imaginary. Basically, it puts forth the theory of habituation, which in reference to eating, is becoming adjusted to what you are eating until your body no longer responds to to desiring it. It’s like how you really enjoy that first slice of pizza and often the second but the very idea of slice three makes you disgusted by the very food you just enjoyed inhaling.

In the experiment described in the article, people were to imagine what it would be like to eat 30 M&M’s or 30 cubes of cheese one by one. After this mental exercise, people didn’t feel any fuller, but they were less inclined to want a lot of the M&M’s or cheese. It helped people refrain from eating past the point of hunger. Scientists (or whoever it is that studies this stuff) are still only beginnings to look into this effect and how it may change the idea of dieting, but it’s pretty interesting stuff.

Hadley dreaming about Milkbones. It doesn't seem to stop his cravings.

Personally, I think there is something to the idea. Sometimes when I am craving something that my body either knows is bad for me or doesn’t actually have room for (but there’s always room for dessert, it says) I will picture what it is I am craving. If it is something that I know how it tastes then I think about what it would be like to eat it. For instance, last night I went to sushi with friends who were talking about Crumbs. I was currently stuff to the gills with sushi (get it – because sushi is fish? Oh, man), but suddenly the idea of a Red Velvet cupcake from Crumbs seemed excellent. I then thought about what it would be like to eat the cupcake – I knew how it tasted, how the eating experience would go down – and since I just experienced it in my mind and also because I wasn’t actually hungry, I was able to dismiss the craving. This wouldn’t work if my friend was talking about a dessert I never had before. I couldn’t picture the experience and that would only probably make me want to taste the food more. It also wouldn’t have worked for me if I was actually hungry – picturing the sensation of eating the food would also probably make me run to the closest Crumbs. So maybe scientists (once again, I have no clue if you call people who study this scientists, but I would guess they study the science of something) are on to something.

What do you think? Would you give an “imaginary diet” a try?