Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Dealing with food pushers - insight from a thin person

A former manager is one of those naturally thin people who does not have to work at staying thin. She has a naturally low appetite. I swear she can nurse a muffin all day long. One day when we were chatting after a meeting, she told me about a particular pair of pants that must go in the dryer before wearing as the material needs to be shrunk in order for it to fit. I replied with a laugh and told her that is not a problem that I've experienced.

During a more recent conversation we talked about the massive amount of food at our new workplace (the company we worked for was bought and merged with another financial services company). I was shocked by all the food at work: pizza, burrito day, breakfast day, ice cream, cake, cupcakes, continental breakfast, popcorn, candy. Some brought in by colleagues, but most of it provided by management as a way to motivate and thank employees. 

So my naturally thin manager shares this interesting tidbit of information: if you say no to offers for food, eventually food pushers will get the message and stop offering food.

And she is right. Now that I've said no thank you enough times, no one tries to push food on me and I'm also finding it easier to say no thank you when the offer for food comes up.
I kept this in mind when a group of new employees started last week and a truly very lovely lady offered (enthusiastically) a basket of valentine's day chocolate to her neighbouring colleagues (including me).
"Please, have some chocolate, help me to not get fat by eating all this chocolate!" she said. "Look, have some of this chocolate, this chocolate is healthy!"
Nice. She doesn't want to get fat with chocolate, but it's ok to push chocolate onto colleagues and make them fat?
I wasn't interested in her chocolate; I kept my steely resolve with a cheery, "no thank you" and "perhaps later, but I don't want any right now thanks." She got the picture that I just wasn't interested and moved on to more interested colleagues.
So the next time a food pusher approaches you with a plate of cookies or a basket of chocolate, remember the words from a naturally thin person; if you say no enough, food pushers will go find a new target.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Choosing fresh fruit instead of chocolate cake

Chocolate cake with a thick layer of icing piped along the edges; apple crisp with a lovely gooey filling topped with a crisp oatmeal and brown sugar topping; mint chip ice cream with chocolate syrup and sprinkles. Mmmm, so sweet, so good.

If I'm supplying a dessert for a dinner party, I can guarantee that I will bring something along the lines of cake, crisp/pie or ice cream. After all, who doesn't love to eat tasty baked foods or cold and creamy ice cream. Convenient too, it's so easy to pick up dessert, the bakery department and the freezer is always stocked at the grocery store.

However, something changed this week; I decided to do something different. I decided that any occasion when I'm tasked to bringing food, I'm going to bring food that works for me; I'm going to bring healthy food.

Tonight we went to my brother and sister-in-law's house for dinner. The plans came together quickly, so SIL suggested ordering pizza; I offered to supply the rest.

There wasn't going to be much time before dinner for appetizers, so I bought a small container of Japanese Rice Crackers. To help fill up my stomach with food other than pizza, I made a salad. For dessert, I put together a platter of fresh fruit (orange slices, grapes and strawberries) with vanilla flavoured Greek yogurt for dipping. To break the fruit platter ice, I brought frozen cookie dough that happened to be in our freezer.

Japanese Rice Crackers- can't overeat on these

Source: google.com via Karen on Pinterest

I know many of us are uncomfortable with the idea of serving healthy "diet" food to friends and family.Why is that? Why do we put ourselves in the position of deciding between sabotaging our own effort or missing out? Why do we assume that no one else would want to eat a healthier dessert? Why do we assume that fresh fruit won't taste good enough?

I don't have all the answers, but this is what I know: I don't want to sabotage my eating or miss out. No longer will I assume that a lighter, fresher option will not be appreciated. And I know that fresh fruit with Greek yogurt will be devoured just a quickly as an ice cream sundae and I figured, if dinner guests don't want to eat the fruit - they can always eat a fresh baked cookie.

How about you? Do you serve "healthy food" to your dinner party guests?