Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Fuller-bodied, Strong and Intense.

Truly the only way.

I like my coffee roasted medium-dark, French press or espresso-machine made. Dunkin Donuts will never do, not even when traveling. I’ll take tea instead, if coffee at friends’ is sub par. Just don’t microwave the water. Yuck!

I like my red wine fruity and flavorful. Full bodied, from any region. Just don’t serve it with fish! For that, a selection of whites will satisfy, thank you.
Dark and intense is my passion for chocolate. Milk and white varieties will get left behind, Lindt or otherwise. Checkout-line varieties will never do, although in my past I loved Peppermint Patties, (although those hardly count as chocolates).

Okay, call me a food snob. I’m the first to admit it.

But it’s like this. If I’m going to eat something, and eat it mindfully, I’m going to taste it. And if I taste my food, I surely want to love what I’m eating. I want to savor the flavors and the textures. 
Every bite should be a pleasure.

A quick fix for dark chocolate, Petit Ecolier, LU France

For me, there is no compromising. I’d rather not eat out, unless the food is superb. Superb generally comes at a price, so I don’t eat out all that often. My husband and I tend to enjoy our own cooking more than the food at most places.

That said, my all time favorite restaurant in the Boston area is Oleana and I would gladly accept an invitation or a gift certificate there any day of the week! Their food is aromatic, texturally interesting, and full of flavorful blends of spices.  The experience is so satisfying, that even if the meals are more substantial (calorie-wise) than I usually prepare, a little goes a long way. Yes, in spite of a multi course meal there Sunday (including a shared Baked Alaska to die for), I was able to comfortably walk out, feeling quite good, I might add.

I believe we have a right to have foods taste the way we want them to. Trying to lose weight? Assuming you need to, ask for modifications to meet your goals—but only if they will also please your palate. If the resulting dish is bland, it will fail to satisfy. And if you only order what you think you should eat, you’ll do fine while out. But once you return home, you’ll be seeking out what you truly yearn for. At a local Chinese food restaurant our family orders everything “light on the oil”. Such cuisines don’t suffer with lower fat modification, given their rich flavor from ginger, garlic, soy sauce, to name a few.
Recipe for the greatest carrot and spice appetizer inside!

But at Oleana, I’d rather have a richer prep of an exotic entrée, eat it mindfully, and stop when I’ve had just enough. Then I get to enjoy the leftovers another day. (This does require asking for a second plate when ordering your food. Otherwise, the delicious meal before you will be consumed in no time, before you’ve thought to put some aside.)

If you are struggling with anorexia, just eating out may be a great accomplishment. Order foods however you need to, to be able to enjoy the meal and not be anxious. Regardless of what others may think. Just be sure to meet your nutritional needs when you get home, if necessary. Ultimately, though, wouldn’t it be nice to be flexible and have foods without analyzing their content?

Look closely. It's made of roses! MFA, Boston, MA.
The message here? Be assertive. Ask for what you need, and what you want. Not just regarding dining, but in life, I might add. And work on choosing foods you really enjoy, not simply foods you think you should be eating. You can't simply cross your fingers and hope all will go well.

I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Hope you enjoy whatever you’re eating tonight.

Note: if you are following a special diet for medical reasons follow the recommendations of your medical team. 


  1. Hi Lori,

    Strangely, eating out recently has been easier for me than making food to eat at home. I think it has to do with the calming ambiance and the celebration of the food. In a restaurant, I feel like I am not alone in the whole eating thing because everyone around me is eating. Also, I always am with my husband when I go out to eat, and he makes me feel calm too. Of course, we choose restaurants that have fresh, simple menu options, and that makes it easier as well.

    I guess my biggest trouble is day-to-day eating that needs to happen when my husband isn't around. I like how you know what foods you want. I hope to get there too.


  2. I really like to read about what you think about when you eat and how you decide what to eat ... it is such a foreign concept to me. Being at a place in recovery where I am just getting hunger signals back and still having a few food fears to conquer, I hope to someday get to the place with eating that you talk about.
    This may not be a question that you can actually answer, but how do you learn to recognize what foods you are craving and what foods you actually LOVE? My RD and therapist ask me all the time how I know that I don't like certain foods, and I can answer that ... but hen they ask me how I know I like something or even if there are foods I like, I am at a loss. I have no idea.

  3. A helpful starting point is to go through a mental checklist. (Geneen Roth had a printed version in an old book of hers, called Why Weight?) Basically, you go through a list of foods, with varying tastes and textures. You ask yourself: do I feel like sweet, or salty? Something cold? or warm? Crunchy or smooth and creamy? Etc. And it starts to become clearer.

    Also, if you find yourself bingeing or overeating on certain foods, those may be items you like the taste of, but don't give yourself permission to eat. If that's the case, work needs to be done on "legalizing" these foods.

    Also think about what foods you used to enjoy eating, pre EDz, before the rules. That may tell you something.

    Good luck, and hope that helps!

  4. Ahhh, see this is why I made my *own* birthday cake - if I'm going to eat something with lots (and lots and lots) of calories, it better be EXACTLY what I want :-)

  5. I love dark chocolate. I hated it when I was younger and then just assumed I still hated it. But, I need something sweet, um, everyday. So I decided to get some dark Hershey's kisses thinking oh! antioxidants, so healthy! and that I wouldn't be tempted to eat them all. Turns out, dark chocolate is amazing and I do want to eat them all! oops. But hey, antioxidants!

  6. I really appreciate this post. I've met with an RD on a few occasions who helped design a plan I could follow to become leaner and fitter. I keep a food diary and like being able to track what I eat, which is pretty simple when I make my own breakfast, pack lunch for work, and cook dinner at home. Of course, when I go out to eat, that all goes out the window and I find it difficult to enjoy going out because I'm wondering about how many calories are in everything on the menu. So the tips in this particular post are really helpful and I will absolutely keep them in mind next time I eat dinner out. Thank you!!

    Also, I live very close to Oleana and after your recommendation, I'm going to have to check it out ...

  7. Yes, it is worth the visit to Oleana!

    As for dark chocolate (or any "indulgences"):
    Make sure you are truly legalizing them, really allowing yourself to eat and enjoy them. Yes, even every day is fine.
    And keep them out of sight. Make sure there is intent in your choosing the chocolates, so keep them off the counter, etc.
    Pick the best chocolates. Make sure it is great tasting and satisfying.
    Check out the mindfulness post with the raisin experiment.
    You may, at first overeat on chocolates simply because it is a novelty. But don't be scared! Once you realize you really can still have them you'll start to do better around them.
    Good luck, and be sure to let us know how it goes-witht he chocolates, and with the meals out!

  8. Lori you are so amazing! I know I have said this before, but you have such an admirable and interesting way of viewing things! Your blogs always make me smile and laugh out loud because they are so cute! Thanks for always making me happy! :)

  9. I'm always on the lookout for blogs such as yours. I love the fact that you encourage the enjoyment of food - while losing weight it had to be about the calorie count for me - the most food for the fewest calories. But like you said, when dinner was over, I'd be full but left unsatisfied and then I'd eat what I wanted anyway - totally counterproductive. I've finally learned to manage that (mostly) in a positive manner but I still have my days....truly enjoy your blog :)

  10. Thanks for reading and for your comment. Certainly sounds like you are moving in a positive direction--toward fully accepting chocolate!Hope you'll find value in future posts and join as a follower!