Today, we went out for the noon meal at the Jewel of India in the U district, one of our favorite restaurants. Back in my “off-and-on” diet days, I would have loaded up on all my favorite dishes if I was “off”, and would have carefully allowed myself the predetermined number of calories/carbs/fat, etc, if I were “on.” Today, however, I thought about how hungry I was (very-my stomach was growling) and put small portions of three or four dishes that appealed the most on my plate and savored the wonderful flavors, including garlic naan, as I ate. When I checked my hunger status afterwards, I felt great, i.e. content but not stuffed.
When we got home, I served apple pie and ice cream for my husband’s birthday (by his request.) During the afternoon, we painted and carved pumpkins. When my daughter asked if we happened to have any Halloween candy around, I was reminded that I had bought chocolate covered cranberries from PCC (Natural Market) specifically for today. So I put them in a dish on the table and also a dish of homemade trail mix (from cashews, chocolate chips, and raisins.) Unlike the old days when I would have stuffed myself rather mindlessly, today I was satisfied with a handful of the cranberries and a couple cashews. Delicious.
Usually I put out sandwich fixings for the evening meal if we’ve eaten out earlier in the day, but being only marginally hungry, I announced that we were going to have leftover pie and ice cream for dinner and if anyone was still hungry, we’d have sandwiches and fruit for dessert. My little grandsons thought I was kidding until they saw me dishing up pie. Several people had a sandwich, too, but I wasn’t hungry for anything else except a piece of cheese. It was such fun to serve the food in that order that I think we’ll have to do it again some time.
Taking into account my level of hunger before eating may seem obvious to those who have never dieted, but for those of us who are trying to learn to eat when we’re hungry and stop when we’re full, it’s progress. Hooray!