Eating with a Little Self-Respect

Over the long Labor Day weekend we headed up to the Ozarks to see Donna's brother and sister in law. For decades they've been great eaters -- purposeful, careful eaters who take the job of fueling their bodies pretty seriously. Of course, they have their own organic garden (I'd call it a *farm* given the effort it appears to take) -- and amenities (new bread machine, small tractors, dirt roads, acres and acres of trees) that would make a D-I-Y city dweller drool.

What struck me as worth mentioning is two quick lessons I learned at their table. One: remember your portion sizes. As the short-order chef in our household, I find that I inevitably make entirely too much food for the two of us... with good intentions, I make a full packet of rice or 3/4 of a package of pasta and end up with a meal that, quite frankly, could easily feed four. Yes, we put a fair bit in the fridge for lunch the next day, but not before I've often had at least two solid helpings.

In the Ozarks, I was reminded that if you'd like to keep eating what you love to eat and still stay on the healthy side of things, consider the portions you put on your plate. After eating three fistfuls or so, you will feel satiated -- particularly if you grab a cup of tea and repair to the patio to watch for owls. Plus, you'll have room for home-made pound cake later that evening!

Second, there's nothing smarter than slowing down a bit and giving real thought to the ingredients you use in your meal preparation. Think of it as taking personal responsibility for your health. Donna's sister-in-law had been experimenting with the new bread machine to the point where she could make a good, hearty whole-grain, whole wheat loaf of bread that not only tasted great smeared with blackberry preserves or a small pat of butter, but that brought out the flavor in the vine-ripe tomatoes and freshly harvested lettuce that made up a mid-afternoon sandwich. (Said sandwich went nicely with a brisk cup of coffee and September mountain breeze.)

Eating this way you realize that you're not only "doing the right thing" by way of health (and, perhaps, environment, etc.) but that you're also eat with a bit more self-respect. The more seriously you take the items you put in your body, the better you'll feel!


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