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What is your relationship with food?

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Old 04-09-2007, 06:19 PM   #1
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Default What is your relationship with food?

Mine is an entirely all or nothing mentality… not meaning that I eat it all or eat nothing.. but that I have to either LOVE food.. all the nuances of it.. cook wonderful (huge) multi course meals, elaborate, interesting foods, (I have been told I truly am a gourmet cook), raising my own herbs and going to three different stores at a time just for the “right” ingredients. (I have over 40 cook books), I would even order an ingredient on line if I couldn’t find it in a store.

I either have to go all out and subsequently STAY fat (was over 100 pounds over weight) or I have to focus on food as nothing at all but nourishment alone and derive almost no pleasure from it (this is my “nothing” mentality)…

It’s sad and not a fun way to live (food wise-but food is not our lives right?) but I really had to get out of that food is so wonderful mentality-and stop celebrating each day with it.. you know bake those cakes, roasts those expensive cuts of meat.. the entire aspect of it is just SO hard for me..

It's ingrained in us.. we celebrate with it, mourn with it, nourish and love with it..

Now I just try to see food as needing to be eaten to live.. that is what it is for.. right? at least that is where I am now.. some day I would love to switch that thinking.. but not right now... it’s too hard.. one wonderful meal and I am off and running again.. I even had to stop watching my VERY fav. FoodTV..

I am almost afraid to "enjoy" the taste of food anymore because I just want to continue to eat it.. If the food is "boring" or portion controlled (as the frozen entrees) I do alot better..

I do miss the way the house smells at dinner time.. and the fond look on my husband’s face when he comes home from a hard day at work.. and yes I feel guilty feeding him boring frozen meals (Healthy Choice, Lean Cuisine, etc.. ) and SF jello desserts, yet ANOTHER salad (how many ways can you TRULY) make a salad and it still be healthy? and micro-popcorn (fills you up!) but he is overweight too.. and seems to be ok with it.. it’s sad.. I feel like a huge aspect of me has died..

I tried cooking "more healthy" and I am sure many of you cook and do wonderful meals that are low fat/low cal.. I have LOTS of recipes and many, many cookbooks.. I just can’t seem to get enthused enough to cook something that seems “less than” to me.. you know what I mean? I guess right now I am just going to have to deal with it.. and keep telling myself “eat to live, not live to eat”…
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Old 04-09-2007, 06:30 PM   #2
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I really enjoy the food I eat. I can't say there is something I eat that I don't enjoy. I also understand that I don't have to eat huge portions of it to enjoy it. Last week, DH brought home a bakery item that one of his coworkers had made. I'd never tasted it before. DH was given one for me and one for himself. I ate half of mine and gave the other half to DH. I can't tell you how much I enjoyed it and I didn't feel guilty even though it wasn't something on my plan.

I think it'd be tough for someone to try to lose weight without taking pleasure from food at least in some part. It is a balancing act between calories, portions and all that but it can be achieved.
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Old 04-09-2007, 06:32 PM   #3
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Have you checked out Cooking Light? They have amazing recipes that will allow you to go back to enjoying yourself while cooking AND being able to eat a healthy meal. Often the recipes are tailored to 4 servings, but if you cut it in half, you'll still enjoy everything without the temptation to overeat. Frankly, I get terribly bored just doing the heat and eat thing with frozen meals. I, too, love cooking and I have so much fun planning my meals. And the bonus is, my kids are really enjoying all the new flavors I've been cooking up!
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Old 04-09-2007, 06:42 PM   #4
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I have a stupid problem. When I cook I eat like there is no tomorrow. I eat all that I have cooked and sometimes that is for 5 people! I dont have discipline in enything.
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Old 04-09-2007, 06:59 PM   #5
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I think it is fear.. I know how to cook lighter foods.. but they don't seem "worth it" because I find them not interesting.. I am so used to rich, elaborate food. I am also like funnygirl.. I tend to eat all I cook..

Hi Allison!
I actually have LOTS of Cooking Light magazines and a couple of their year end compilation cookbooks.. I have cooked a few of their recipes.. what is your favorite?

I guess for me right now I am just afraid.. it didn't work before, (the cooking lighter meals).. it always would lead to overeating..

Nelie,
Of course you are absolutely right.. I miss the joy.. and I know I can't do this "forever".. I think that is what started me on this topic.. I have to change some of this.. maybe one meal a week to start!

Thanks ladies!
Cary
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Old 04-09-2007, 07:03 PM   #6
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Past relationship was not good because I used to eat like a zombie. I was not paying attention at all as to what I was putting into my mouth. I fell into a "food coma" so often that I sometimes lost track or time. No kidding, it's that bad.
New relationship is wonderful. I watch what I eat and savor every bite. When I eat, I turn off the tv.
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Old 04-09-2007, 07:13 PM   #7
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It was fun to overeat, and to overeat really good food.

I'm still carrying a lot of that really good food around with me all the time, just under my skin.

I still enjoy food now, but having followed my program for months, I find I no longer can overeat like I used to. For one thing, I no longer have the capacity. And I am very aware now of what I am eating and what its "calorie cost" is, having had a lot of practice. (I'm a calorie counter.)

I don't keep eating until the food's all gone anymore. Even a single bite of something really good is a complete experience all in itself, and I no longer have to keep going. In fact, I can be happy just smelling good food, without feeling like I "have" to eat it.

Jay
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Old 04-09-2007, 07:19 PM   #8
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Jay,
you are living my dream..
but to be able to smell food and not feel like you have to eat it (some type of food I love) is beyond me.. I think it would actually be physically painful!

Cary
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Old 04-09-2007, 07:23 PM   #9
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I'm getting to be a calorie counter too, JayEll!

As for my relationship with food, I used to be embarrassed to eat (high weight from an early age), but now I can control my portions and have identified the time of day that I am the hungriest and when I make the worst food choices, really. I am still working on cooking/making foods available that are not that high calorie but I can eat enough of not to feel hungry again before dinner. The only recipe I know of right now is 3 bean salad. It's totally yum and almost fat free, really. Need some more...

Anyway, yay to all of us who love to cook and love to eat! I would love to bake all the cakes and make all the dishes I want to, but I have the same problem. Can't make it without eating it and I can't afford the possibility of ending up with a disease later on in life. I hope I can control myself enough to recognize "normal" portions. That's my goal for now.
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Old 04-09-2007, 07:32 PM   #10
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I definitely love to eat too. In my family, food is everything: we all are great cooks and we make the most of it! Food = comfort, food = love, food = an excuse to get together, etc. and that's a hard habit to break. I live far from home now, but even so every weekend I'd order Chinese or pizza and eat until I felt very physically uncomfortable; I guess a full stomach can make you feel like you're "complete" sometimes.

I'm a calorie counter too, which means that I can still have those great meals so long as I make sure the total calories still even out to a healthy level over the week. If I know I'll be eating a lot one day, I plan ahead and cut back for a while.
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Old 04-09-2007, 09:10 PM   #11
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I also love to cook and spend a lot of time looking for recipes. I spend almost one entire day per week planning meals and shopping for groceries, including an early morning trip to the farmers' market. I still spend as much time researching recipes, planning, and preparing food as I did before I was controlling my calories (possibly even more), it's just that now my energy goes into finding healthy alternatives. I feel like this has been a really important part of my growth; it's taught me to make healthy choices that I like to eat, which is critical to long-term maintenance.

And I agree with Alinnell that Cooking Light is fantastic. I cancelled my subscription to Everyday Foods and replaced it with Cooking Light and I've been thrilled with the decision (I do still have my subscriptions to MS Living and Sunset Magazine, though). It's pretty rare that a recipe I make from Cooking Light tastes low calorie to me. My SO has commented to me that one advantage to my new diet has been all these new recipes I've found that he really likes. He doesn't even realize they are low calorie.

Today for lunch I had a salmon stuffed with dill, cheese, and bay shrimp from Trader Joe's, fresh roasted asparagus and leeks from the farmers' market, and a baby spinach and strawberry salad (also from the farmers' market). Tonight for dinner we are having chicken in Adobo sauce with leeks (a recipe I got from Sunset Magazine) and wild rice. Last night, we had fresh tilapia with mint chutney (both from the farmers' market), and baked sweet potatoes, also from the farmers market. All of this food tastes divine; nothing seems low calorie or like I am giving up anything. It's food I would choose to eat even if I weren't trying to control my calories. And there's no reason why low calorie food can't be elaborate; I tend to look for things that are easy to prepare, but I have made more elaborate dishes that have come out great.

As far as portions go, if I make something that is four servings (the chicken in Adobo sauce, for example), as soon as I am done making it, I divide it in half and put half of that (1/4 of the total dish) on my plate and the other half on my SO's plate. The remaining half goes in a tupperware container so we can eat it tomorrow. Everything is portioned out so I don't have to worry about eating more than one serving. If that doesn't work for you, then make dishes that are just one serving (if it is just you) or two servings (if it is you and your SO--you wouldn't eat your SO's dinner, would you?) For example, I bought enough of the farmers' market tilapia for two nights but fish doesn't reheat so well (and it's super easy to cook, anyway), so I just cooked two servings of it last night. That was two fillets: one went on my plate and one went on my SO's plate--there was no question of eating more because there wasn't anymore.
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Old 04-09-2007, 10:12 PM   #12
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Cary,
I know how you feel. I live in South Louisiana, Cajun Country, and I am accustomed to cooking and eating rich flavorful cajun foods, which are very fattening. We are people whose whole lives pretty much revolve around food, and we take pride in our unique dishes. We also have alot of really fat people here.

I find myself, these days, altering the dishes that I was accustomed to cooking before, to make them more healthy in any way that I can. Like, for example, using a low fat margarine instead of regular margarine or butter, using a leaner cut of meat, cooking alot more dishes with chicken, which is a very lean meat with hundreds of possibilities, rather than beef and pork, which are more fattening and calorie rich meats. Now, I cook brown rice rather than white, eat wheat bread instead of white, and wheat pasta instead of regular. I cut corners whenever and wherever I can, but I still use the same spices and things to add as much flavor as the dishes had before alteration. I like to experiment with different foods, and man, you can play around with food forever.... You can totally change a recipe to make it healthy, and have it taste the same or better than it originally did, or turn it into something completely different, just use your imagination. The possibilities are endless.

Also, if you cook something rich, it doesn't mean you can't have any. Just eat it in moderation and work it into your daily calorie count. Thats what I do.

You seem like a person who is passionate and creative with food, yet you say you cannot cook heathy, and I don't understand why you can't? You love food and you love to cook, you have an open interest and creativity where cooking is concerned, yet you are willing to settle (and make your DH settle) for disgusting TV dinners and Lean Cuisines? This makes no sense to me. You can love food, love to eat food, and still eat healthy without losing flavor, as spices usually have little to no calories... Why should you have to sacrifice something you really love in an effort to lose weight? Alteration and moderation is the key....
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Old 04-09-2007, 10:15 PM   #13
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I love food; it's something I really enjoy. Having that said, I never overdo it because too much spoils a good thing. I used to stuff myself silly, now I eat just enough to feel "not-hungry" any more; many times I will be hungry later and I will feed myself then, as well! I basically eat whenever I need to, enjoy whenever I can, am wise to eat things that make me feel better, moderate things that my be bad in large quantities, and have goodies whenever I feel I should.
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Old 04-09-2007, 10:17 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cajungal328 View Post
Cary,
I know how you feel. I live in South Louisiana, Cajun Country, and I am accustomed to cooking and eating rich flavorful cajun foods, which are very fattening. We are people whose whole lives pretty much revolve around food, and we take pride in our unique dishes. We also have alot of really fat people here.
I've tried some really fattening southern louisiana traditionals. I must say, you guys really know how to work an appetie- I love the foods. So much that I only have a tiny helping of the richness!
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Old 04-09-2007, 11:02 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Runundefined View Post
Jay,
you are living my dream..
but to be able to smell food and not feel like you have to eat it (some type of food I love) is beyond me.. I think it would actually be physically painful!

Cary
It was a realization one day--I think I was out for a walk and someone was cooking bacon and the smell was on the air--and of course I thought about how I couldn't just run into their house and steal their bacon!!!!!! But seriously, it was a sudden shift in attitude--to enjoying just the smell--and letting it go at that, knowing I could smell it all I wanted... It makes a big difference...

Sort of like perfume or flower scents... You don't want to go and bite a carnation just because it smells lovely...

Jay
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