Every once in a while I have That Kind of Day, one of those days where I want to eat everything in sight, spend a lot of time distracted by food, and find myself thinking about recipes I haven’t made in a while, wanting to drop everything I’m doing to immediately make them. Monday was one of those days for me. I was disappointed when I looked at the week’s menu only to find there was no way I could fit in three more entrées I really wanted to have.
Even though I baked a dinner dessert (Berry Crumble; recipe forthcoming someday) and a lunch dessert (Almond Joy Bars; ditto), and made a batch of Peanut Butter Cup Bars the previous day I wanted to make cookies. I also wanted to make pimento cheese spread. And goulash. And ratatouille. And Thai curry soup. Everything sounded so good. What got into me?!?
So what did I do? I ran through my usual go-to strategies that I talked about in Grazing is for Animals , trying to sort out what was behind these urges, but to no avail. I fought the urge by trying to distract and bribe myself. I had wanted to make something to go with my lunchtime vegetable soup, since my default option is Boca burgers (Think protein-packed hockey pucks. Alright, they’re not so bad, but when food cravings hit, they’re nothing to write home about.), so I compromised and made herb bread. I make it every once in a while, only to remember why I don’t regularly make it. I’ve tried altering the original many times, but I’m still not crazy about it.
I wanted to eat some cashew cheese I made the day before, but instead opted for cold roasted Brussels sprouts (which were awesome). Veggies are always my first go-to when cravings and grazing hits, as I discussed in Make Veggies your Best Friend.
I drank some iced tea. I might have done some quick movement stuff, but I tweaked my ankle (I’ve had notoriously weak ankles since I was 5, despite regular strengthening exercises), so I stretched instead. Ordinarily I’d rely on jogging in place for a minute or two, doing jumping jacks, or running the stairs.
I sat working at my desk and wanted to eat chocolate, but I wasn’t actually hungry.
I drank more water. (I say more, because I already down like a gallon a day. It’s unlikely that I’d croak from dehydration, unless stuck on an arid desert island.)
I spun the lazy Susans (yes, that’s plural) full of nuts and seeds in the pantry, but managed not to graze by reminding myself again that I wasn’t hungry, just craving everything.
And on it went, until it was finally dinner time.
A few times during the day I bided my time by thinking about the Buffalo “chicken” casserole that was on the menu for dinner. I was happy I’d planned this because it is the perfect occasional comfort food, spicy and cheesy. Even my spouse, Michael, loves the vegan version. Years ago, I found this recipe for a baked dip and it was great on rye toast squares.
Now, we just eat it as a really rich casserole with vegetables, which is great for our low-carbohydrate regimen. I’ve changed up the recipe a bit (added mayo, decreased the sour cream and cheese, bake it until the top is crispy, etc.) but it’s essentially the same recipe. It’s also possible to substitute chicken or other faux meat chicken (like Beyond Chicken strips at the local store) if you can’t find the soy curls, though they’re quite versatile and nutritious.
I’m grateful that I’ve reached a point in my lifestyle change where That Kind of Day happens far less frequently, but when it does, at least I’ve developed some strategies to combat the nagging urge to eat, eat, eat.