I had a lesson on Saturday with a great client. Her dog responds well, and she is really good about observing her dog on a regular basis. That's not why I'm mentioning her, though. On Saturday, somehow we got on the topic of healthy living. We were talking about cutting processed foods and choosing the best food to fuel your body. Somewhere in the conversation she mentioned that she used to ride a bike on a regular basis (100+ miles / week), and one thing in particular she said struck me.
"I would look at a cookie or cake and think, 'Do I really want to have to carry that up a hill?'"
It seems so simple, but for some reason I hadn't though of it. Basically, she didn't look at a cookie as one, harmless cookie. She looked at a cookie as an additional weight on her butt, something that would make her less comfortable, slower, and heavier. When she really wanted a cookie, she thought about biking up a hill, and that was generally enough to stop her from eating the cookie.
I'm not saying this is the way to be ALL the time, but I think it's a great trick for the most part, so yesterday I tried it. Hans was working all day yesterday, so Dad took me out for lunch after church. The restaurant that we went to is one of my favorites. They're dishes are delicious, and they're servings are huge. I had already decided that I would not get my absolute favorite dish there, the French Toast Foster (basically think candied bread for breakfast with fruit added to make it seem healthy), but other than that I had no idea what I wanted. I looked at the menu, and many things popped out at me: A chicken salad wrap (not nutritiously terrible, but could be better), the sailor sandwich (terrible nutrition), the eggs Benedict (that Hollandaise is to die for), but I took a moment to think it over. I thought, "Do you really want to have to carry that up the hill (or through the water)?" Next thing I knew, I was turning my attention to the salads.
I'm generally not a fan of salads. I find them boring and tedious to eat, and if all the salads at this restaurant had been made with iceberg lettuce I wouldn't have given them a second glance (I like iceberg, but again it's boring). Instead, I was quite pleased to see that all the salads were made with mixed greens...pretty good nutritionally and a little bit of zest. So, after some deliberation I ended up ordering the Asian Chicken Salad.
with teriyaki chicken, water chesnuts, mandarin oranges, wonton noodles, cucumber and tomato over mixed greens dressedwith sesame ginger vinaigrette
It was just what the doctor ordered. It was lovely, but I didn't finish it all. It was huge and filling, and I just didn't have the space in my belly. Oh, and the only thing I would change about it next time? I'd order the dressing on the side!
By using that little trick, by taking a moment to consider what I really wanted for my body instead of what looked good, I chose a healthier decision. Sure, the salad probably could have been more nutritious (less dressing, no noodles, etc), but at least I left the restaurant knowing I got all my veggies in for the meal. I didn't feel guilty for eating a fat-laden meal with absolutely no nutritional value, and that feeling can't be beat. So, on that note, it's off to the pool with me!