Thought for Food

I mentioned my husband and I have begun seeing a nutritionist. Hooray! It’s another opportunity to invent a pseudonym! So, I’m going to calling her Dr. Organic. She’s not a doctor, but she’s wicked smart, and I like the way the name sounds.

So. Dr. Organic is a foodie like us! She gets it when we enjoy tasting, eating, and cooking. She understands that we live in such a great restaurant city how could we not go out all the time? She understands that food isn’t just sustenance: it’s a sensual, emotional experience. She appreciates our love of cheese, local foods, and gourmet experimentation in the kitchen. She appreciates the value of shallots. That says a lot to me.

In our first appointment with her, we realized what our biggest problem was: our eating habits and schedule were so chaotic. Our bigger problem? We never go grocery shopping. I come home from work, we play the “What’s for dinner game?” and in our laziness either go out or order in because it’s easier than going to the store, getting all the ingredients, coming home, and cooking. And we weren’t making good choices about the places we’d go out to eat.

Dr. Organic’s suggestion was so simple: plan your meals for the week. We spent a session just planning out what we’d eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner each day. We made a grocery list. We went shopping at the start of that week. It felt revolutionary to Larry and I, but it was the easiest solution staring us in the face the whole time.

By planning breakfasts, it reminded me there was food in the fridge or fruit in the bowl that needed to get eaten or it would go to waste. Our other problem was not eating breakfast. I never put it together, but when you have dinner at 8pm, go to bed at midnight, and don’t eat again until noon, you’re going almost 15 hours without eating. Your body goes into feast or famine mode, so it holds onto EVERYTHING in an effort to compensate for the fact that your body thinks it’s not going to eat again, so it better start storing up all that fat. Who knew? So now I eat breakfast. It started small: a cup of yogurt here, a piece of fruit there. Now Dr. Organic is pushing us to have a little bit of something from each food group: maybe yogurt with berries and granola, or a quiche cup that we make in batches and freeze until we’re ready to eat them. We’ve learned to make use of our freezer, to cook in advance, and adjust when our moods change and we suddenly don’t feel like Tacos on Tuesday. (But I mean, how could you not, it’s Taco Tuesday?!)

All this planning has helped bring a sense of structure to our somewhat chaotic schedules. We don’t homecook every night; we plan nights and meals out, but we’re putting so much more thought into what we eat. We’re learning to compromise. If I had some cookies after lunch, do I really need dessert after dinner? If I’m ordering noodles at my favorite Japanese place, do I need the sushi or can I just get the sashimi? I really just want the fish, so why have all that extra rice with my noodles?

Larry and I don’t do diets. And Dr. Organic doesn’t weigh us, doesn’t make us count calories. She’s helping to create a lifestyle change, a cultural shift in our culinary pursuits. She’s challenging us to engage our minds, not just our tastebuds. And we’re losing weight- nothing dramatic, but it’s happening at a natural pace in step with our lifestyle changes.

And change is delicious.

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Comments

  1. WiseGuy says

    Am so glad Dr. Organic breezed into your life.

    Enjoy your food and the new lifestyle!

  2. Melissa G says

    Wow, sounds like you've found a fantastic source for nutrition info. And her plan sounds extremely reasonable. Funny how planning things out makes such a tremendous impact, huh?

    Good for you guys for getting out there and taking the first step. Hope it continues to go well and yummy.

  3. Patience says

    What a great post. It's been several years since I saw a nutritionist and your post has peaked my interest again. We also have crazy schedules and don't do the grocery store. Thanks for the inspiration!

  4. Jaime says

    I have always been interested in seeing a nutritionist.
    Glad Dr. Organic is a good fit and that you are able to embrace the changes she is suggesting!

    Planning out meals really helps in coordinating schedules and being prepared so you don't take the easy way out!

    ICLW #165

  5. Kakunaa says

    I adore your photo!!! And I completely understand the difficulty in planning meals. My schedule tends to be weird, and I adore cooking, but I've been unable to cope with it. However, what I tend to do is cook 2 enormous meals on one of my days off and we feast off of that for the rest of the week.

  6. Stickles McQueen says

    I'm glad that you found such a compatible nutritionist. I don't think I could handle having a nutritionist that didn't understand the foodie side of things.

    Good luck with all the meal planning – DH and I are a little forced to do it since we live almost a half hour from the nearest grocery store or restaurant. And yes! Eat breakfast! Glad you're making such a positive change in your lives.

  7. Alex says

    This sounds great! Sounds like she fits you guys perfectly! Nutritionists have always scare me – thinking they're going to make me completely change everything, and eat things that I've never even heard of, but it sounds like there are some real type people out there! Gives me hope!

  8. Sonja says

    That sounds awesome! My bro is an exercise science major and just learning about food choices and the well if I have this now means I shouldn't have that later.

    Idk why we're not taught this in school…

  9. justine says

    Awesome! Sometimes mindful eating makes you appreciate food even more … I'm a foodie, I should know!

    And hey, how did I miss the fact that you work in higher education? Me, too … in NJ. I'm also having a change of heart about career … or at least, about my current situation. It's just not offering me a place to thrive any more.

    Good luck with the journey!

  10. Jessa says

    I'm glad you found someone you like! I would also like to add that planning meals is really nice for the wallet. We spend so much less money when I plan out our meals in advance and get all the necessary items in one fell swoop at the grocery store. Breakfast, on the other hand, still isn't a habit of mine. Perhaps I need to take Dr. Organic's advice and start working on that one.

  11. Life Happens says

    I think we need to do meal planning too! We both work and always come home and play the what's for dinner game too!

    I'm glad you have Dr. Organic to help you out!