Jan. 18: What I Ate. And How Long It Took Me.

Jan. 18: What I Ate. And How Long It Took Me.

Jan. 18: What I Ate. And How Long It Took Me.

Outrageous experiments in sensible eating.
Jan. 18 2011 7:56 PM

Jan. 18: What I Ate. And How Long It Took Me.

I'm really not very good at this eating meditation thing. I haven't relaxed into it yet. Another bad habit: I pick up my dishes and take them to the kitchen the second after I put the last bite in my mouth. I seem to have confused eating with cleaning. I sort of clench my stomach when I eat, and I have terrible posture at the table. I feel weird doing nothing but eating.

Breakfast: a combo of Bear Naked granola and Bob's Red Mill Muesli with skim milk. Time spent eating: 6:40. I really didn't want to eat this at this hour. I felt kind of nauseated, but I ate it anyway. Later, I was glad I did.

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.

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Coffee: untimed. I drank half of it, then had to leave for an appointment, so I stuck the other half in the fridge.

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Snack: a banana. Yeah, that's in my car. I know, I'm supposed to eat every meal at a table this week. I brought it in case I got hungry after my appointment, which I did. I practiced eating meditation in my car (while parked), which worked out well because I didn't feel like I should be doing something else and I didn't feel stupid closing my eyes while eating. In fact, eating this banana was incredibly pleasurable. Doing eating meditation with fruit is particularly effective because fruits have so many layers of flavors and textures. Approximate time spent eating: 2 minutes.

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Lunch: There's that frittata again, with a side of kale, kidney bean, and butternut squash stew, and a glass of apple cider (YES, SUGAR! I KNOW). The frittata was again difficult to eat one bite at a time, slowly. Fortunately the whole-wheat pita slowed me down. The stew I am ready to admit is a failed recipe. Bummer. Time spent eating: 11:49. Unprecedented for me. As I was carrying this food to the table I actually thought, "Wow, this is going to take forever to eat." I felt guilty, because I shouldn't have taken a lunch break because I came in late.

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Tangelo snack. Time spent eating: 3:02. Again, eating fruit slowly and mindfully is totally pleasurable.

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But it wasn't enough. So here's my next snack: cottage cheese with Grape-Nuts (as recommended by commenter Megan Jacobs) and berries. Holy bovine this was delicious. Time spent eating: 4 minutes. It was hard to go slow! Again I felt guilty stepping away from my desk. My job really requires being on e-mail vigilantly all day.

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I wasn't hungry for dinner but it was the first time my husband and I ate together since we both got sick, so I had  PB&J. (He had something else.) Yeah, it's a fatty-two-shoes PB&J, but remember, this is the week I get to eat whatever I want. Time spent eating, and talking: 11:55. The TV was off. It felt much calmer and less chaotic.

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Finally, I took a chocolate out of the freezer to defrost, but I'm really full, so, once again, maybe tomorrow. I did smell it a few times--which reminds me: Smelling your food before you eat it has a weirdly relaxing effect, especially fruit. But don't do it around other people. It just looks weird.