Posts Tagged ‘dining in’

November 10, 2011

The pleasure principle

10:30 am - Posted by Gregg

Let’s dish – literally!

Seriously… Think back to your last meal (whether breakfast, lunch or dinner – depending on when you’re reading this) and think about what kind of occasion you made it out to be. Were you in a rush? Were you eating leftovers out of a plastic container? Were you standing at the kitchen counter, gulping down food while texting? Were you seated in front of the TV, trying to balance a plate and not really even thinking about what you were consuming?

Or – perhaps – were you seated at a table (either alone or with someone), with food placed on a nicely designed plate, which was on a seasonal placemat accompanied by nice utensils and a cloth napkin?

Now, before you start rolling your eyes, keep in mind – I’ve been there, done that.

I’ve rushed through meals and I certainly acknowledge that in today’s fasterquickersooner way of doing things, sometimes we’ve got no choice but to dine n’ dash. But for times when we have a spare 20 minutes or so, it really does serve our psyches – and our waistlines – to add some formality to mealtime.

The reason? It’s just as important to “fill” our brains when we’re eating, as it is to fill our tummies. If we’re watching TV, staring blankly at a kitchen cabinet or checking emails on our smart phones, we’re not connecting with the eating experience. And let’s face it – as a community that has wanted to – or wants to – take off some excess weight, we’ve made a point of enjoying eating over the years. So why rob ourselves of that eating pleasure when we’re eating healthier foods in more appropriate portion sizes?

Fact is, many of us rush through our “diet meals” and then wonder why we’re not satisfied. That’s where taking a few extra minutes to prepare a nice table setting and to take a beat to enjoy the moment while dining (not just eating) can really help with the positive mindset we yearn to develop in regard to healthier behaviors overall.

This doesn’t have to cost us an arm or a leg either. Check out discount stores like Marshall’s, T.J. Maxx, Ross, etc., and visit their home décor sections. (And no, this is not a paid endorsement – LOL!)

You can find really cute plates, glasses, placemats, serving dishes and utensils for a lot less than you’d find them at a typical department store or designer boutique. Why not channel your inner Martha Stewart and create a dining experience that looks good and feels good – even when quickly eating breakfast before dashing off to work?

You’ll be surprised at the difference creating dining rituals will make in your life – and the difference they make in regard to your goals of looking better and feeling healthier. Small changes like this can affect your success as much as the foods and portions you’re choosing for your meals. It’s all about taking time for you… Time that you deserve.

I try to do this as often as possible – even as I rationalize that I don’t have enough time to pull out a nice dish when the food is already in the plastic container I just pulled out of the refrigerator. But I know when I take a few extra minutes to make mealtime a little more formal (and a little more special) my “satisfaction meter” reaches a new high. This helps me realize that I’m not being robbed of any certain foods or eating experiences – even if I am having a broiled chicken thigh and steamed green beans instead of a slab or ribs and a pile of mashed potatoes. And once I’ve pleased my brain, my belly follows suit.

So tell me… How do you eat? In a rush? Or with pleasure? And what exactly transpired during your last meal? Dining? Or dashing?

P.S. For my delicious – and easy – Beer’d Chicken Recipe (as seen in the pictures above), Click Here

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