Greetings to all of you and I hope you are well and safe.
I am quarantining with a friend in a small town in Southern Oregon, where I’m practicing all the hygiene and physical separation to keep us safe. I hope you are doing the same.
Meanwhile, I’m cooking, hiking, taking long walks, reading –
making the most of it!
I’m still in touch with my clients via Zoom, hearing reports about mindless eating and out-of-control snacking.
If you’re having this issue, I suggest you start by reviewing the Smart Eating episode, The Problem with Grazing.
Clearly, one way to limit impulse eating is to get organized and do the best you can to keep a variety of fresh food on hand. It can be a challenge with certain items scarce at the market, but I’ve found fresh produce to be quite bountiful, even if it was more difficult to find eggs, tuna and canned beans.
Here’s what I’ve been eating this past week:
Sliced banana with really good peanut or almond butter and a latte.
Cottage cheese with grapes, blackberries, ground flax, and a slice of toast
with peanut butter and Oregon pear preserves.
Note: I usually get my flax in a morning smoothie, but somehow I wasn’t inclined, maybe because I’m in less of a rush in the morning to get out of the house and the sit down meal was more appealing. Loved every bite!
Eggs over easy on toast with an orange, and more pear preserves on the toast. Yum!
Lunches: I’m generally eating leftovers for lunch.
This is a throw-back from a recipe collection I published 30 years ago, called Fast Food at Home - Chicken Parmesan – grill chicken thighs or breast (bone in, no skin, my preference). Once the chicken is browned, top with your favorite jar of pasta sauce, stir in some parmesan cheese and a splash of wine. I served mine with a side of sliced, sautéed Brussels sprouts, but you can serve it with pasta as well.
The next night, I had leftover pasta sauce with the parmesan, so I sliced up an eggplant, grilled it with olive oil, and added the heated sauce, and served it with a salad.
I had a hankering for a pork chop, a comfort food for me, going back to my
childhood on the farm in Iowa. I grilled it in a cast iron skillet with olive oil, salt and pepper and served it with a salad of sliced radishes and oranges with a bit of mint, a recipe from my Simply Gourmet diabetes cookbook. (It’s 20 years old and needs to be updated, but the recipes are the best ever!)
The next night I turned my leftover pork chops into tacos, on corn tortillas, topped with guacamole and a poblano pepper which I roasted over the flame on my gas stove. I didn’t have any tomatoes, or salsa, but the lesson of the times is that we need to ratchet up the importance of meal structure and ratchet down the importance of the perfect meal. My tacos without salsa were just fine!
I found a can of mackerel in the cupboard, a cousin of tuna which I NEVER eat, but I’m going to start because it was delicious served on toast with a bit of lemon and black pepper, very high in Omega three fatty acids.
Served it with a big salad:
greens, red cabbage, red onion, and corn, another throw-back from my Iowa days.
I made a salad dressing out of some fresh ginger, oil and lemon.
If I have a hankering for something sweet after dinner, I have a small bowl of trail mix with chocolate bits. I also found a bag of chocolate covered peanuts at the market, which reminded me of my grandmother, another comfort. I’ll enjoy them with my herb tea to end the day.
I realize what works for me may not be what works for you, but whether you’re vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian or a meat eater, the best way to avoid impulse eating is to skip the snacky junk food and rely on meals. Use this time to get creative in the kitchen and dine in style. That's Smart Eating!
Mary Donkersloot, RDN
Beverly Hills, CA
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