Mindful eating quest (part 2)

It has been about 2 weeks since my quest to turn myself back into a mindful eater. As I mentioned in my previous post, I realized I spend half my days eating haphazardly while standing in my kitchen. The first few days proved to be challenging as I realized that it takes me great effort not to grab a piece of food every time I walked by the kitchen counter or stove. I would have a piece of food in midair before realizing that 1. I was not standing up and needed to sit down before I could eat or 2. I truly was not hungry. The biggest challenge for me has been making the time to prepare meals & snacks so that I do not grab the first thing in sight (which is usually chocolate). Some of my saving graces this past 2 weeks have been:

  1. Fresh baby spinach from the farmer’s market which I wash as soon as I purchase and then store in the salad spinner. I make a quick salad with lemon juice, a spritz of olive oil & balsamic vinegar. If I am in need of a protein I throw in some salmon or eggs.
  2. Cooked quinoa (or other grain of choice, I really like faro too). I cook up a batch of grains and store them in individual containers in the freezer. When I want to throw a quick meal together, I defrost a glass container and thrown in my toppings of choice (I like feta and lemon juice).
  3. Granola. My husband whips up a big batch of granola and this is a great snack for me paired with plain Greek yogurt. Normally I am not a fan of yogurt, especially the presweetened varieties, but I do like the plain Greek variety (also good with popcorn).
  4. Still allowing myself to have some chocolate during the day. Rather than mindlessly eating chocolate in front of the computer, I allow myself a dark chocolate square that I will only eat in the kitchen (remember I am being mindful).
  5. Not eating in front of the computer!

Here is our go to recipe for Crunchy Granola, adapted from Mark Bittman.

Ingredients

  • 6 cups rolled oats (not quick-cooking or instant)
  • 2 cups mixed nuts and seeds: sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, chopped walnuts, pecans, almonds or cashews (I use less)
  • 1 cup dried unsweetened shredded coconut, optional
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, or to taste
  • Dash salt
  • 1/2 to 1 cup molasses
  • 1 cup raisins or chopped dried fruit, optional (I omit, personal preference)

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, combine oats, nuts and seeds, coconut, cinnamon, salt and sweetener. Place on a sheet pan and put in oven. Bake for 30 minutes or a little longer, stirring occasionally. Mixture should brown evenly; the browner it gets without burning, the crunchier the granola will be.
  2. Remove pan from oven and add raisins or dried fruit. Cool on a rack, stirring once in a while until granola reaches room temperature. Transfer to a sealed container and store in refrigerator; it will keep indefinitely.

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