Following this weekend’s breakfast buffet disaster, I got to thinking about all of the different options that I would offer if I owned my own breakfast nook.
protein shakes, Greek Yogurt, fluffy egg white omelets, oatmeal with a variety of toppings, colorful fruit bowls, and delicious pancakes made from whole wheat flour..just to name a few.
Not everyone wants a plate full of bacon grease, a side of cholesterol, and a tall glass of High Fructose corn syrup.
Then it dawned on me, the one pet peeve that I have in regards to going out to breakfast.
Hear me out..
Think of all the questions we’re asked while ordering our meal;
- “How would you like your eggs cooked?”
- “How do you take your coffee?”
- “Would you like bacon or home fries or pancakes? Or all 3?” etc. etc. etc.
But why do they never ask the most important question of all…“How would you like your toast?”
Toast is the main component to most breakfast combinations. We dip it into our eggs, layer it with fruit spread, use it to make delicious breakfast sandwich’s, or eat it plain with our coffee.
Some like it doughy, some like it extra crispy (me!), and some would rather have an English muffin instead. Just like red meat or pizza, there is a variety of options when it comes to preparing your morning bread. So why are we not asked how we prefer to take it?
Imagine reaching for your preferred carb of choice, ready to dive into breakfast bliss, only to lift a limp and soggy mess.
I guess it’s the consumers responsibility to be more specific about their toast preferences, but with all the other questions being thrown our way, we sometimes forget to address the obvious.
Why must all toast be served soft and covered in butter unless told otherwise? Why can’t it be a blank canvas and left to the consumer to color it with whatever they please?
When a customer orders a veggie egg white omelet with a bit of Feta, most likely they would prefer their toast to be dry and not sitting in a puddle of saturated fat. But whose to say that only goes for the health conscious individuals? I’m sure there are others who would love piling their corned beef hash and sunny side up eggs onto a crunchy carb as well!
Why can’t restaurants just ask the simple question, “How would you like your toast?”
Then I realized how truly picky I am when it comes to my bread in general. I set the fire alarm off at least once a week in order to reach my degree of toasty perfection. I might scare the neighbors for a brief moment, and fill the hallway with a scent of burnt sprouted whole grains, but it’s worth it.
A few examples of my spazztic ways:
- When I order pizza: “Well done”
- Burnt pizza crust: Heaven on Earth
- Pita pocket with hummus: Only if it’s toasted
- Soggy croutons in my salad: Never
- Middle part of a dinner roll: I prefer the outer crusty layer.
I guess maybe it’s just me, but I’m hoping others can understand my frustration about this matter when it comes to such an important subject.
So…How do you like your Toast?
I decided to purchase the book “Naturally Thin” by Bethenny Frankel.
Although some may not like her way of thinking, or not like her in general, I find her to be a hilarious and genuinely real individual who like us all, has (or had) food issues.
She instills the thought that food should not be the center of your universe, and you do not need to seclude yourself from the world due to the temptations you may face when it comes to eating. Just seeing the words “you are not on a diet” instantly makes you feel in control of your life.
The one quote that stuck with me was: “If I’m hungry, I eat. If I’m not, I don’t eat. And when I’m not eating, I live my life”
We need to realize that food does not run our lives.
If you’re not hungry for lunch, then don’t eat lunch. Don’t eat because some diet tells you to eat every 3 hours. Your body and your “Food Voice” (the voice in your head that tells you when you are truly hungry, full, satisfied, or craving a certain type of food) is all you need to guide you.
If you’re hungry eat, if you’re not, don’t. But if you are that person who skips a meal and finds themselves ravenous come dinner time, packing healthy snacks may be something you should stick with.
Once you become in control of your eating habits, instead of letting a magazine or diet plan tell you what to eat, your life will change forever.
I am going to do an overview of how Bethenny suggests you live, which by the way is a lot more fun and satisfying that any diet I’ve ever tried. Reason being, YOU ARE NO LONGER ON A DIET.
Her way of thinking may be for you, or it may not. It may work in some aspects, and not in others. However, she makes many valid points in regards to choosing, preparing, and eating foods to helps keep up satisfied without feeling deprived.
And if you slip up, tomorrow is a new day to get right back on track.
She has 10 Rules, all of which make perfect sense, and all coexist with each other.
Here is a brief overview.
1. Your Diet is a bank account:
-Balance your food choices throughout the day and do not eat too much of one thing (carb, protein, fruit etc) Base your next meal on what you ate previously. If your breakfast was carb focused ( whole grain toast, oatmeal, pancake, muffin), Then your next snack or meal should be protein based (Yogurt, eggs, chicken or fish). Balance.
2. You can have it all, Just not all at once
- There are many meals throughout your day. If you are craving pizza, make sure to have a small salad or cup of soup beforehand. That way, the one slice of pizza, or couple of bites, will fill you. Add veggie topping for added bonus and to help fill you up. This will prevent you from reaching for slice number 2-3. Eating high volume, low calorie food before your meal will help you to not overeat the foods that hurt you. Again Balance it.
3. Taste everything, eat nothing
- If you are somewhere with a variety of food options (Buffet, party, out to dinner) this can be very challenging. Scope out your options before you fill up your plate. Instead of eating a large entrée as a meal, order a few appetizers to split with a friend and get a salad as your main course. Get a taste of everything without feeling as if you ate a ton, or were deprived of what you really wanted. Having a taste will not push your belt buckle up a notch.
4. Pay attention
- Never eat until you are ready to give your food your undivided attention. Pay attention to what you’re eating, how it tastes, and how it makes you feel. It helps your body register the meal, instead of suddenly looking at your plate and realizing its empty. Try not to eat while standing up, working, driving, watching tv etc. Understandably, this may not be realistic for everybody’s lifestyle, but try to make meal time, “You time”. Taste your food, feel the crunch, savor it.
5. Downsize now
-Eat on smaller plates, bowls, and glasses. It helps you eat less and stay in control of portion size. Did you ever notice when you use large plates, you want to fill up the whole thing? Well, we’re using small plates now, so filler up!
6. Cancel membership to Clean Plate Club (Mostly on the weekends when we go to dinner)
- You do not need to finish everything on your plate. Leave two bites, Share your food with your friends, save it for another meal, or throw it away if it is not worth keeping. Stop using the excuse of “getting your money’s worth” or “it’s just so good I can’t stop” You are in control of yourself now. So you can STOP!!
7. Check yourself before you wreck yourself (Another important weekend reminder)
-Stop the binge before it happens. You can have any type of food you desire as long as you stay in control. Take your time, and give your food voice the chance to speak. Do you really want the extra bite of cake, 3rd Mai Tai, rest of the pasta dish? Check back on what you ate today. Did you not have any sweets or fat? Low on carbs? If so, eat or drink the extra portion. However, be aware of how much your eating and how you may feel after you take the plunge. Is it going to be worth it?
- Customize the way you eat to fit who you are. Know what triggers a binge and what keeps you on track. Listen to what your body is telling you. If you know that eating a bite of chocolate will set you up for disaster, then steer clear until you are able to control yourself. If you are a very active person, you can eat more than someone who may be more sedated. Learn who you are and what your body responds to. This will help you in every aspect of your life.
9. Get Real
- Try to eat real organic foods vs processed whenever possible. Farmers markets are a great place to get your fruits and vegetables. Also, most supermarkets have an organic section. It may cost a little more money, but it may be a splurge that could ultimately save your life. Stick to frozen vs canned, fresh vs packaged, and 100%natural vs high fructose corn syrup.
10. Good for you
-Changing your eating habits, or any habit for that matter, should be done out of love for your own self. “Let yourself be guided by what is good for you” You decide what goes into your body. Learn to be in control and do not let food take charge. It’s food. Don’t fear the bread bowl. Don’t fear the dessert menu. Be confident that you can stop when you tell yourself to stop.
There also TWO KEY CONCEPTS to keep in mind
1. The Differential.
- This is the difference between two choices, be in healthy or unhealthy.
EX: You are choosing between Low fat, Reduced Sugar, fro-yo vs your favorite Chocolate Chip cookie dough ice cream. If the frozen yogurt tastes just as good to you as the real thing, then eat that. If not, have the chocolate chip cookie dough, but only a small taste (small bowl). There is no reason to go overboard. Most of the time, a small taste of decadence is just what you need.
2. The Point of Diminishing Returns.
-This is the point after which a food starts to not taste as amazing as the bite before. The first few bites of French fries are very enjoyable, but after the 5th bite, it may start to lose its excitement. As soon as this happens, as soon as the bite is a bit less exciting that the bite before..it’s time to stop. Put down the fork.