My Crazy Mind and Eating Without Inhaling

My Crazy Mind and Eating Without Inhaling.What if there was a way to slow down and enjoy what we eat? I would love that. Sometimes, when I’m hungry, I inhale my food. I look at my empty plate and think, “When did that happen?”

You might have heard about mindful eating. It means savoring each bite by setting down your fork to chew your food and really taste it. That would be swell, but when I think about what I eat, it hardly deserves the time.

  • A piece of toast with coffee.
  • Granola, fruit and yogurt between 9:00 and 10:00.
  • A half sandwich and soup for lunch.
  • Something cooked quickly for dinner or leftovers. I love using the crock pot and made enough beef stew last night for a family of eight. 

So this morning, I ate a bowl of cereal – I have no idea what kind – and had an AHA moment.

This is how my crazy mind works. See if you can follow along…

I had been dinking around on Pinterest and they recommended several boards filled with everything French. One woman in a goofy pose reminded me of Me!

While on our two trips to France, I always looked forward to mealtimes and eating at sidewalk cafes and restaurants. Chefs use fresh ingredients, lots of butter, dairy without preservatives, and nothing GMO’d. Yum.

On my last trip to Los Angeles my son, Kelly, and I went to Aroma Coffee and Tea in Studio City, one of my favorite restaurants. It reminds me of France. It’s a converted home filled with windows. They have a breakfast salmon stack that is so delicious, my mouth waters while recalling its tastiness. The flavor explodes in my mouth. Their secret? A twist on an eggs Benedict built on two potato pancakes instead of a boring old English muffin. It is so good!

I never finish it and take half of it home. Why?

Because I savor every bite.

This photo is from Aroma Coffee and Tea’s Instagram account.

Aroma Coffee and Tea

I thought about French food and how rich it can be. Flavorful cheeses. Chocolate that melts in your mouth. Strong coffee. Savory dishes. When I eat grilled cheese, my taste buds snooze because I’m used to cheddar. A couple gulps and it’s gone. But if I made my sandwich with an unfamiliar cheese, my they might wake up, right?

Wouldn’t that slow down my inhaling process? Maybe I would taste my food and experience a meal. I might actually remember what I ate. Wow.

I asked my husband, Danny, about it and he said, “We could eat different colored jello every day!” He always takes me so seriously.

With only two of us at home, I make too much and throw it out. I enjoy cooking, but I don’t plan our meals ahead of time. Dinner has become a yawnfest.

2017 is the Year of the Big Chill. I vowed to work hard, but play harder. So far I’ve seen huge results. Taking breaks has kept me from entering the Internet free-time death spiral. When I fill out my planner, I add playtime just like work. What if I added cooking to the schedule? It wouldn’t take that much longer to make a gourmet dinner.

Years ago, when I first read A Year in Provence, I loved the idea of going to the market and buying fresh ingredients to make a brilliant meal each night. I fantasized about a life in the future when Danny and I would bike to the market. We would select their freshest fish, vegetables, and herbs, then bike home to make a fabulous meal together.

*insert needle scratching record here* We live on a big hill. It’s winter. The larger supermarkets require driving on the highway.

Instead, Danny comes home at night and finds me with my head bent over my laptop. I look up and say, “Wow. You’re home already?” My mind races to the limp broccoli in the bin, the huge bag of carrots I bought weeks ago, and what might possibly be hidden under thick frost in the freezer.

With a little planning, we could eat like kings. Why not queens? Okay, now I’m thinking off topic.

I mentioned dusting off my cookbooks and Danny said, “I like the idea of buying fresh food from the market every day and then making dinner.” I think he’s excited about eating dinner.

Going gourmet and making an effort is worth a try. I wonder if one of those French Pinterest boards contains recipes. Hmm. Maybe that goofy girl, who looked like me, cooks.

So what’s on the menu?

I’ll go to the store as soon as we eat all the leftover beef stew.

What’s for dinner at your house? Are you in a food rut? Do you inhale or savor every bite?

Related posts:

My Resolution Failures and the Year of the Big Chill

How to Unplug 4 Hours – It works!

Telltale Signs You Need a Break

A response to the Daily Post – Ruminate

81 thoughts on “My Crazy Mind and Eating Without Inhaling

  1. I lived in France for years and we did just that.. buying fresh and cooking together every day. Food is taken seriously and though these days I seldom really cook, being just me and the dog, I still pay attention to food.

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    • That’s so great, Sue! I would love to have that experience.
      We live in the land of mindless eating; power bars and fast food. It’s hard for people to make the time or so I thought. Last night I made an orzo risotto with spinach and grape tomatoes, cod with lemon pepper and herbs. Green beans on the side. It was so good! I’m still making too much. Good thing for Danny since I’m going out for a talk tonight. Ha!
      Thanks for the comment!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. High-five, Danny!

    I’m what I call a “functional eater.” I eat for fuel. To live. Yet…I can and do appreciate the so-called “finer foods.” How you say…”Haute cuisine,” sil vous plait? And there are many locales to which I’ve visited–and fed–that also remind me of France. Were I to have been there. And making Coq au vin every night at home? Dang, I hear ya, girl! Not très amusant. Were I THAT guy. Wife can tell ya, I: open it, inhale it, repeat. Repeat again. Yet I savor each and every (usually one looong and uninterrupted…) inhale. So, yeah, I’m Maria Brink “in the moment”…functional. I inhale and savor. I own it.

    OWN it, Susie!

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    • Ha! I guess I did! I totally understand the fuel thing and started eating protein shakes with fruit and yogurt for lunch. I’d guzzle them down and would go back to work. But did I enjoy it?
      I’m not that big and can’t eat HUGE quantities anyway. I was amazed at how I got into this strange habit of being in a hurry when I ate. After making a much better meal last night, I realize it really doesn’t have to take that much time in cooking, just in planning.
      Merci, Frank!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. One of the odd effects of being in the military, is that eating becomes a ‘chore’. Something you have to do, but don’t have time for. So, we all develop the habit of wolfing down an entire meal in 3 to 5 minutes. It took me a couple of years to break that habit. Even now, I have to remind myself not to eat too fast in nice restaurants or at family gatherings…lol

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  4. LOL.. just like me.. fresh food market in the dead of winter in Canada? Begone I say. I am a writer therefore I am a crock pot gal.. Make some Crock Pot Beef Bourguignon

    SERVINGS
    4-6
    UNITS
    US
    6 slices bacon
    3 lbs beef round steak, cut into cubes
    1 large onion, peeled and sliced
    1 carrot, peeled and sliced
    3 tablespoons flour
    1 (10 ounce) can beef broth
    1 tablespoon tomato paste
    2 garlic cloves, minced
    1⁄2-1 teaspoon thyme
    1 whole bay leaf
    1⁄2 lb white pearl onion, peeled
    1 lb fresh mushrooms, sliced
    1⁄2 cup Burgundy wine I have used a cup LOL
    Cook bacon in large skillet until crisp.
    Remove from pan and drain.
    Add beef cubes to the same pan and brown well.
    Place browned beef cubes in crock pot.
    Add onion slices and carrot slices to skillet.
    Add tomato paste, thyme and minced garlic.
    Season to taste with salt and pepper; stir in flour.
    Add broth and mix well.
    Add this mixture to the crock pot over the beef.
    Add bay leaf and pearl onions.
    Crumble cooked bacon and add to crock pot.
    Cover and cook on LOW for 8-10 hours.
    Saute mushrooms and add to crock pot with wine about 1 hour before serving.

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  5. My husband and I are foodies, so I plan about a week’s worth of dinners at a time on the blank side of a piece of 8 1/2 x 11″ paper, with my pre-printed grocery items (regular things I buy at the grocery store) on the other, and I circle the items I’ll need for our dinners. While planning our menus for the week, I flip through a big blue binder that I keep my favorite recipes in, in categories such as casseroles, curries, bean dishes, soups, cold summer salads, grain dishes, etc., so I select from a balanced range of ingredients. It saves a lot of time. I almost always make twice as much for a dinner as we need, and freeze the rest for another night a couple of weeks later. We also love the hot food bars at Whole Paycheck (!) and bring home dinner from there about once a week, and go out at least one other night. A friend of mine told me that every woman has only about 25 years of cooking in her, but this system keeps me going past that by making the few nights I actually cook easy.

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    • Ha! I’d never heard that one about 25 years of cooking. That’s when I burned out and I used to be pretty gourmet! My friends called me Susie Homemaker. I made everything including bread. That explains my burnout. For me, it’s about taking the time to plan. I started yesterday. The meal I made took the same amount of time, but it tasted so much better!!!
      Thanks for the tips and tricks, Gail!
      Always great to “see” you!

      Liked by 2 people

  6. I think so much of how we eat is connected to our lifestyle. In North America, it seems we are always in such a hurry, rarely taking time to sit down & enjoy a meal. I have been to various parts of Europe a few times, France included & I have to say, they appear to spend much more time slowing life down a bit, enjoying food & family time.

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    • I LOVE that, Lynn! You are so right. Since it’s the Year of the Big Chill, I thought I’d add mealtime to the list. I’m always racing through the day. I have to consciously make myself slow down. It takes practice!
      Great to “see” you!

      Liked by 1 person

      • It does take practice Susie, particularly in our society where we are all in such a hurry!

        I just remember when we were renting a gite in a beautiful home in France, we often saw the owner & his family sitting around sipping on wine, or sharing a meal. Our first thought was, don’t they need to go to work? After spending some time there, we recognised that they seem to make spending time together as much of a priority as getting to work!

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  7. I enjoy food and really good food I want to savor, especially if it is something I treat myself too (i.e. dessert, a good piece of meat, garlic mashed potatoes, etc.). I do a lot of prep for the week on Sundays and use my crockpot, rice cooker and Vitamix to help me save time with the cooking throughout the week too. Lately I have been putting together to go containers for my lunches so I can pack my lunches a little more quickly in the mornings so I can savor my cup of joe and get in some me time 🙂 Happy Day – Enjoy!

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    • Great ideas, Renee! Thanks for sharing.
      My daughter is a beast at meal prep. I need to start planning out my week instead of staring into the refrigerator while perusing my meager selection.

      Like

  8. I live alone and plan a weeks menu at a time. I love to cook but it’s not quite so nice eating for one. Tomorrow my sister is calling for afternoon tea and I have made a triple layered pavlova and will bake fresh scones in the morning. 😊

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    • Awww! What time should I be there? Ha! Sounds lovely. You’re right about motivating for ourselves. I often just eat a boring old salad when Danny is out. I should take care of myself better!
      Thanks for stopping by!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Exactly! I think I’ll get less stomach aches too. I hardly chew sometimes! The plan is to PLAN! So far I made one somewhat gourmet meal. We’ll see how it goes….
      Thanks so much, Lucy!

      Like

  9. I grew up with foodie parents who made every meal an event, and sometimes I revert to my childhood and make a big dinner. But over the years my husband & I have become more relaxed about meals and have taken to salads and sandwiches and crockpot stews for dinner. This works for us considering how we both are trying to be less food-centric as we age. The thing about food is: if it’s there, we’ll eat it.

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    • I’ll eat just about anything too!
      Your background sounds familiar. My mom is 87 and still cooks up a storm. Every day! Her eye sight is going so it’s the one thing she can still do, with aplomb, I might add. She hates leftovers. Ha!
      She’s an inspiration. 🙂

      Like

  10. My wife and I are alone as well. We plan the menu each week and buy what we need once a week after a thirty-mile round trip. We try new dishes and enjoy the experience. Generally, we spend no more than an hour on dinner prep and then sit back and enjoy the meal and conversation. Leftovers are future lunches so it is like two birds with one stone.

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    • Yep! I used up the veggies. I like to make soup too!
      But like the stew, most of the meals I make these days are routine. It’s time to cook something new!
      Thanks, Peg! Always great to “see” you!

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  11. Many years ago a Taoist teacher talked about eating fast and that it usually means not chewing your food thoroughly and how hard that is on the digestive system. It really struck me and got me to be mindful about chewing everything thoroughly before swallowing which slowed down my meals and got me to enjoy — and led to being more insistent about eating things I savor.
    I generally cook things that take a long time and have lots of layers of flavor but with up and down health, I can’t do it every day, so I make recipes that give a lot of servings and make boxes for the freezer that have one meal’s worth of everything. I especially love making big pots of soups or casseroles with several veggies already in the mix. One I love is a ribollita recipe I’ve modified and honed into an easy process. I always have containers in the freezer. https://notjustsassyontheinside.wordpress.com/2012/07/29/americanized-ribollita-healthy-can-too-taste-good/
    Hope you find lots of joy in your new food path!

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    • OOOooo! Thanks for the recipe, Yogaleigh!
      That’s a great idea. The only thing that has kept me from taking the time to cook and meal prep along with freezing leftovers, is LAZINESS! I’m very hopeful. We’ll see how long my rekindled interest lasts!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. This is actually what I wrote my first blog about! Well, not mindful eating, but inhaling when I eat. Too funny!

    I will admit the one time I was rendered incapable of devouring what was set before me, it was the work of a French cheesecake.

    Still to this day the most amazing thing I have ever tasted.

    Thanks for writing!

    Like

    • Thanks so much for reading! Great minds, I always say!
      I can see why the cheesecake slowed you down. French! Ha!
      I’m going out to dinner with friends tonight. Now you’ve got me craving cheesecake…. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  13. A lot of times, food is just fuel as we have other things to do.
    But they always say the reason French women are thin is that they eat slowly and eat small amount of exquisitely prepare food that looks elegant.
    So I guess eating ice cream out to the carton – even if you enjoy every bite, doesn’t fit that concept.
    (Did your mom ever nag you to chew your food so many times before swallowing? How annoying)

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    • That’s what I think too. The French have gotten right all along. The spend time in the right way. Now if they could just quit smoking….
      My mom was too busy heaping seconds on our plates for her to notice. Ha!

      Liked by 1 person

  14. One of my househusbanding duties I take seriously is preparing meals. I say preparing meals rather than cooking because we’ve been on a no-cook (or limited cooking) kick recently. I love playing with knives so the chopping, dicing, and slicing is relaxing. And it’s something I can do while my wife sits in the kitchen unwinding after a busy day.

    But the every-other-day trips to the market are a bit of a drag. If I could talk a few vendors into making deliveries here, life would be perfect.

    But that will mean improving my Romanian speaking skills significantly…

    Enjoy the beef stew Susie!

    Like

    • It sounds like you’re missing an opportunity to hone your sign language skills. That’s what I do when I’m in a foreign country. Ha!
      Love the idea of chopped veggies. Sounds like a good salad!

      Like

    • Thank you!
      We do, me included. It takes time and who has extra time for something as mundane as eating? But of course I’ve gotten the light bulb and am trying to relax more and actually look at and taste what I am eating. On second thought, maybe I should close my eyes!

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Since I retired I have been cooking at lunchtime. I used to find that I was too tired to cook when I got in from work, or that it was too late and would eat quick snacks. Now I’ve dug out some of my old recipe books and I’m really enjoying my food. I even made a souffle last week.

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  16. I eat very slowly. Mind numbingly so. It came as the result of a bout with acid reflux I had about fifteen years ago where the doctor put me on the purple pill. I thought to myself, “The hell with that, I’ll just change things up”, and I did so. No more purple pill.

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  17. I can really relate to this post, especially the memory loss as to what I ate or how my plate is suddenly empty. In other countries it seems that people enjoy everything so much more than Americans. They prioritize what is important. Family, food, rest are on the top of the list. Slowing down is easier said than done, but I’m up for the challenge.
    I LOVE the idea of buying fresh. It’s better for us on so many levels.
    Bon Appetite!!!

    Like

  18. I’ve tried mindful eating. I made a point to stop doing anything else while eating. No TV. No reading. No Internet. I just payed attention to each bite. And I learned so much from the experience, like how everything I eat is terrible. I’m not a good cook.

    I do try and make one mindful meal a week. I get better at preparing the same meals and differentiating changes in ingredient quality.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I love it! One day a week is a great start! We used to have Sunday dinners growing up. My mom always complained that it took all day to cook and five minutes to eat. Back then we ate seconds to make the meal last longer. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  19. For me the trick is to not multi-task while I eat. It dishonours all the energy I put into creating what I’m eating even, if it’s a sammich. A trick I learned many years ago during a prolonged stay in hospital and barely having the energy to breathe, was to close my eyes as I chewed. Id you can’t see, you can’t be distracted.
    Good luck with your gastronomic adventures. 😀

    Like

    • I love the idea of closing my eyes. I am a multi-tasker. That’s my biggest problem. We grew up eating at a dining room table with no phones or TV. It was so much more relaxing. I’m hoping to achieve that again!

      Liked by 1 person

  20. I love that you had an A-HA moment with your food. I constantly have to tell my kids to close their eyes and taste their dessert. Regular meals they eat and savor each bite, but when it comes to the sweets it a race for the stomach. So glad you’re inspired to bring out the Culinary Wild Ride. Can’t wait to read about your first meal. Plus! Isn’t Aroma Cafe awesome?! I love going there with pals. It’s cozy and super tasty.

    Like

    • Your are the best teacher, Guat! I love the idea of closing my eyes. The real trick for me is not entertaining myself while I eat when I’m alone. That’s a tough one, but I’m working on it!
      Love Aroma! I’m back in Wisconsin and surprised my mom for her 87th! We’re going out for brunch in the town of Oregon soon. My stomach is growling. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  21. Good post Susie! My plan is to cook twice a week, eat the leftovers twice a week, then a night or two out and frozen or whatever the other day. This will be in my semi retirement, coming soon, as the kids go to college! I need to go to a French restaurant and try it.

    Like

    • I love that you have a plan! I’ve never been a meal planner, really. I’m a wingin’ it kind of girl. Now I can see the benefits and want to give it a try!
      French food anywhere is probably still better in France. Aroma is American with French decor and definitely worth a visit. Thanks Caroline!

      Liked by 1 person

  22. I’ve been diagnosed with IBS, Susie; I need to adopt a new food regiment but I’m too depressed about the whole thing to be bothered at the moment.
    But tomorrow’s another day, right?

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  23. This post made my mouth drool for my most favoritest ever dessert in the whole wide entire world…..pudding on a cloud. Chocolate pudding heaped on top of a generous portion of real whipped cream. Thanks for reminding me about this, Susie. I love you.

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  24. Yes, mindful eating is something I strive to do. I usually sit at the table with no TV and no phone and just enjoy my meal. Lately I’m getting back into cooking and I love the process of making things from scratch and impressing the family with new recipes. But even drinking a simple cup of tea is a mindful moment for me. It keeps me sane!

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  25. I didn’t use to be, but now I am an inhaler. My palette and He-Who’s is so different that I have found I yield to his rather bland (and unhealthy choices). When we first got together I thought perhaps my habits would influence him into eating healthier and with more flavour. Well, that backfired on me big time. I go through phases of actually cooking two meals one for him and one for me that I can enjoy. Then I get busy, run out of time or just get fed up and end up cooking for him and eating it too. I think your plan is a good one and will let you start to savour your food again. I’m off to inhale some breakfast.

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  26. I’m definitely an inhaler!! My nephew one time asked me why I chew so fast and I told him I have too many other things to do than take my time eating. I’ve had some issues with indigestion lately, so I’m trying to slow down. I know it’s not healthy!

    Like

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