Slow Food, Good Food, NO DIETS

Posted on December 7, 2020

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Mindful Eating

I wrote “Don’t Cave to Cravings” last week, and it got a good response, so I thought I’d follow up with some more ideas on how to eat less, if one is in place where they need to do such a thing.

First, some thoughts on food. I LOVE food. I only eat food I enjoy. I’ve become fat and needed to lose weight at times; I lose the weight without diets.

We need food to live. Beyond survival, it is one of the primary sensory pleasures of life, and I refuse to give up what I like to eat or take on some out-of-the-ordinary way of eating for a diet. For two reasons: life is short, and it’s not sustainable.

I don’t need to replace food with weird, expensive, shakes or prepackaged, expensive “food plans;” I need to learn how to eat the right foods, in the right amounts, for good health, for a lifetime. That’s sustainable.

Along with eating only between the hours of 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. (intermittent fasting), I also eat real, slow food. The only prepared food in the house is Tortilla Chips; other than that, it’s slow food, all the time.

By making, baking, and preparing all my own food, I get ALL the sensory pleasures that a food can provide, and I am required to spend energy to eat it. I can’t just rip open a package and chow down on a bunch of empty calories.

Before retirement, I cultivated the habit of making food on weekends, so that I’d have ready-made meals during the week. I’d make a batch of soup, freeze it in single servings, and have hot, homemade soup after five minutes in the microwave. Paired with a muffin, it makes a great meal. I’ve continued the habit in retirement, and I currently have five different soups to choose from in the freezer.

The freezer is my partner in my slow food scheme. I LOVE my freezer. It is what allows me to have dozens of ingredients, meals, and other foods at the ready in an instant. It is what allows slow food to become fast food and allows me to avoid packaged, low-quality food. If I’m going to eat less, I want all the pleasure and all the nutrition my food can deliver. Slow food tastes better. Homemade tastes better.

Slow Bread

I don’t eat store-bought bread. If I want bread, I make no-knead bread: white, whole wheat, or oatmeal. It takes about 10 minutes to mix, 6-18 hours for the first rise (depending on the recipe), 1-2 hours for the second rise, and about 45 minutes to bake. If I don’t think I can eat the entire loaf before it gets stale or moldy, I slice it, put wax paper between slices, and freeze it. It keeps nicely for up to 3 months.

Quick Bread

I make muffins w/ fruit (raspberry, blueberry, pumpkin, zucchini, banana), tortillas, & naan. All of these freeze well & reheat in seconds. I also make a lot of biscuits, but I don’t freeze them.

Sauces & Toppings

I make things like strawberry freezer jam, stewed apples, raspberry sauce, ground cherry compote, & marinara sauce ahead of time and freeze in serving sizes appropriate for future use. I use the fruit toppings for biscuits, pancakes, and waffles.

Desserts

Yes, desserts. I make cookies, brownies, and other treats, but the freezer helps me avoid a binge. If I want cookies, I make cookies, but I don’t bake the whole batch. I can bake a half dozen and freeze the rest of the dough in bake-ready scoops. I bake a batch of brownies, but cut them and freeze most.

Like I said, I don’t diet, and I’m not giving up foods I enjoy. I do occasionally over-do it on the sweets, especially under stress, but I have the strategies I need to get back on track–without a diet. I just keep in mind that eating sugar will trigger cravings, so if I want to live without cravings, I need to keep the treats to a minimum. It’s an ongoing task to seek the balance.

One my favorite desserts is “fake chocolate ice cream,” made from frozen banana chunks, cocoa, and milk. Keeping frozen, chopped bananas in the freezer allows me to have “ice cream” or a “shake” any time, without inviting the Sugar Demon to the party. This simple pleasure is my “secret weapon,” because it’s delicious, and because it’s cold, it takes a longer time to eat. I stave off a lot of cravings for sugary treats with this simple delight, but when it gets down to it, if I REALLY want something, I eat it. It’s all about balance.

I love food. I need to carry a healthy weight. Slow food and my friend, the freezer, help me eat high-quality, home-cooked foods I enjoy–between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m.–just not too much!


lisa eddy is a writer-for-hire, researcher, educator-for-hire, youth advocate,  musician, and gardener.

On Twitter: @lisa_eddy


On email: lisagay.eddy1@gmail.com

Posted in: Mindfulness, Wellness