By LMQC Battle of the Bulge blogger Alan Sivell, St. Ambrose communications professor, RAGBRAI-er, pizza lover and longtime weight watcher.
“Think of the starving Armenians,” my mother used to say.
I didn’t know who she was talking about. (The Armenians were starving about 50 years before my dinner time.)
But still, I felt vaguely guilty and would put another 2 or 3 peas in my mouth until my plate was clean.
The lesson I learned as a child: Don’t waste food.
So as an adult, I continued to clean my plate. (And my kids’ plates.)
As I moved into middle age with 2 total knee replacements, I realized I couldn’t run myself into shape as I used to. I had to be smarter about my diet.
If I was going to keep cleaning my plate, I had to put less on it. It finally dawned on me: not putting it on my plate in the first place was a much better means of not wasting it.
If this change was going to work for me, I had to carefully plan each meal. And I hated the idea of carefully planning each meal, especially in the morning.
I have read many diet books over the years and they have many wonderful breakfasts that all consist of a ¼ cup of this and ½ cup of that and a medium sized piece of fruit and 8 oz. of some liquid.
These books – illustrated with photos of food you will never be able to recreate – don’t want you to get bored with your diet.
The problem is, a book full of recipes and food photos has you thinking about food and your diet ALL DAY LONG.
My idea was to spend as little time thinking and preparing food as possible. And to stay the heck out of the kitchen.
The breakfast that works for me is a 100-calorie, whole-wheat breakfast round with about a tablespoon of peanut butter on each side. I sometimes add a couple of drops of honey so I don’t choke.
I have this every morning with a cup of coffee. Every morning. I take small bites and put the round down after each one. Since I know it is the only thing I am going to eat until lunch, I stretch it as long as I can.
And because I haven’t eaten since 8 the night before and I don’t eat until 8 a.m. (this, my wife tells me, is a great way to maintain healthy weight), I am hungry and it tastes so good. And I am never bored.
The breakfast food issue was solved fairly easily. Next month: Trying to control the rest of the day, including eating only between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.