Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The best 830 calories I ever ate

Who knew eating a McChicken combo could trigger a game-changing revelation.

It happened on an overcast September afternoon when I ditched my leafy lunch for 830 calories, 44 grams of fat and 1,090 mg of sodium, also known as a McChicken combo. After eating all those calories and grams of fat, I noticed that I was still hungry. At the same time, I realized eating my brown bag lunch consisting of a salad, toast and chicken, always satisfied my hunger.

At the time I didn't know that this relevation was the start of a fundamental change in how I thought about food.

In that moment, food quality became more important than the taste of food. Instead of craving junk food, I wanted to eat better food, nutritious foods. Because I realized that the nutritious food would satisfy my hunger, and food that was manufactured in a factory would not.

I've always thought that Geneen Roth's "eat what your body wants" was the most difficult intuitive eating to understand and follow. Now, I understand and know the freedom from the relentess food thoughts when your brain prefers to the healthy foods that your body wants to eat:
  • I have completely lost interest in eating highly processed food. It's weird, I see it everywhere now; its not just fast food, it's in restaurants, coffee shops, health food restaurants, grocery stores, convenience store, gas stations. I admit, I still like the taste of many processed foods, but I understand that if I eat processed food, it will not necessarily satify my hunger, or provide my body with the nutrients I need. I also realize that there is a fair possibility that I will overeat processed food.
  • I prefer to eat food prepared and cooked at home. The main reason is that there are so few food options now that I've completely lost interest in eating highly processed food.
  • I save money since I bring all the food that I'm going eat during the workday (breakfast, lunch, snacks).
  • I'm no longer waiting for the next break from eating "healthy" food, because I don't want to fill my body with empty calories. I don't want to eat junk, I want to eat foods that my body needs and wants. 
For full disclosure, if need be, I'll eat processed food, I haven't eliminated processed foods completely from my diet. I buy mayonaise rather than make my own and occassionaly we'll pick up a roasted chicken at the grocery store for dinner because its convenient.

However, I'm not concerned with eating perfectly all of the time, but I do want to make healthy choices most of the time. And it is a whole lot easier to making those healthier choices when you are no longer interested in eating processed food.

How about you, have you had any food revelations in your journey?


  1. I really thought I'd be terribly unhappy by not eating the foods I see at fast food places & restaurants. I thought I'd be terribly unhappy eating small quantities. I thought I'd be terribly unhappy cutting out meat little by little.

    Turns out I was wrong. :) I totally agree with your post!

  2. I've had that very same revelation (although it wasn't from a specific meal, but over time). I realized that poor-quality processed food was DESIGNED to not satisfy me, so I'd eat more. And THAT made me angry so now I wouldn't eat that crap if it were the last thing on earth. See? Resistant Karen does serve me ;-)

  3. I always feel thirsty after eating fast food. A little signal that you have gone wrong in the choice making. I want and prefer my own food. I feel safer and more sure of what i eat when I make it myself. I find eating out sometimes leaves me feeling fussy because I am not entirely sure my healthy choice is healthy and I sometimes want what is not good for me. That is less likely to happen at home.

    I don't have wild cravings for processed food if I do not let it cross my threshold. Seeing it in the grocery does not generally make me want (except for salted and flavored nuts the other day. I stood at the display eyeing them and wanting them until I was able to get over it and go find my cocktail rye (the reason for entering the store).

  4. I'm in a similar place you are in... I've moved away a lot from fast food and I'm working on cooking more. Fast food has so many chemicals/processed items that cause us to become almost addicted to them. They alter our taste buds it seems!


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