Jan. 17: What I Ate. Going for the Orange. Plus: My Appetite Is Back!

Outrageous experiments in sensible eating.
Jan. 17 2011 9:05 PM

Jan. 17: What I Ate. Going for the Orange. Plus: My Appetite Is Back!

At 1 a.m., my appetite came by for a late-night rendezvouz. This is Bear Naked Fit All Natural Whole Grain Granola, Triple Berry Crunch, one of my attempts to find a better breakfast cereal. Time spent eating: 4:35. I suspect if I were in my normal speed-eating mode, I would have eaten it in about a minute or no more than two. Luckily this stuff is crunchy and chewy. I notice I have to make myself put the spoon down while chewing. I start to assemble my next spoonful before swallowing the previous one: always thinking about the next bite instead of enjoying the current one.

Ellen Tarlin Ellen Tarlin

Ellen Tarlin is a former Slate copy chief and writer of the "Clean Plate" blog. Her essays have appeared in the Boston Globe, the Boston PhoenixBrooklyn Bridge, Bark, and  the RISK storytelling podcast. Follow her on Twitter.


For breakfast, Bob's Red Mill Old Country Style Muesli, another of the new breakfast cereals I'm trying, topped with fresh fruit. Time spent eating: 8:05. That's fairly amazing for me. Having all that fruit to deal with helped, I think. I also had a tea and coffee this morning. When I drank the tea, I was online because I'd already forgotten I was supposed to be eating mindfully. The iced coffee I drank in about a minute--I had to go get the laundry and I guess I was thirsty.

Both cereals were still more sugary than I would like, but I guess a decent-tasting nonsugary cereal is hard to find.


Lunch was delightful. I at last made a frittata, served with half a whole-wheat pita and orange juice. My focus was on packing it with lots of vegetables and getting all the colors in, which I succeeded in doing: white mushrooms, garlic, and onion; yellow, red, and purple potatoes; green spinach, kale, and broccoli rabe; orange sweet potato; red tomatoes and peppers. It was difficult to eat this slowly and to eat only one serving. Fortunately, the bread slowed me down. Happily, I've got five more servings ready for this week. Time spent eating: 6:05.


Iced coffee after doing the laundry. Untimed.


After-nap snack. I was hungry and didn't want to start cooking hungry. Time spent eating: 5:17. (No, I did NOT eat ALL that peanut butter.)


Dinner was late because it took much longer to make than I'd anticipated. This is kale, kidney bean, and butternut squash stew. I decided I need to get more seasonal vegetables into my diet. I like winter squashes but I hate cooking them myself. Untimed.


Overall, a good eating day, though it was a LOT of work. Chopping butternut squash is HARD. The good news is I've got a lot prepared for the coming week.

I went for orange today because I analyzed a few of my eating days with MyPyramid's diet analysis tool and I see that I am routinely low on vitamin A, which can be found in the orange fruits and vegetables.

Eating meditation is going to be hard. For someone who ostensibly likes to eat, I certainly don't spend a lot of time on the actual act of eating itself. I still feel the urge to bolt my food and to do other things while I'm eating. This is going to be a real challenge. Nonetheless, eating my breakfast slowly calmed me down and made me more aware for several hours, which is the point.

I was planning to eat a chocolate mindfully this evening, but it's late and I've still got to walk the dog. Maybe tomorrow.



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