This past weekend I spent the weekend away from Green Mountain visiting friends in Massachusetts. Being away for the weekend in that situation inevitably meant I had to eat most my meals at restaurants.
After relying on my properly portioned meals and snacks at Green Mountain for a month this experience was a bit of a shock. As you might expect, it is a lot easier to eat right when your food is expertly chosen and prepared. But that doesn’t mean you can’t make similar good choices on your own. In fact, I did quite a good job on my own.
Following some of the take home methods they teach at Green Mountain at Fox Run, I managed to eat healthy and properly portioned meals. I used the plate model, which means half my plate should be veggies and the other half divided by protein and starchy carbs, to determine my food choices. As I suspected getting my meals to always follow this model took a bit of work. Sometimes I ordered a meal selection that didn’t come with a vegetable. Solution to that minor problem? Asking for a side of fresh vegetables. Most restaurants are happy to provide them as a side dish or a substitute for a another item.
Another very helpful tip learned at Green Mountain that I used over the weekend was the idea of mindful eating. At every meal I savored the food and experienced it fully, enjoying every bite. I ate slowly and tasted everything and thought about the flavors in my mouth.
Also part of mindful eating, I rated my hunger often. Before meals I tried to check in with my body and see how hungry I was. This assessment often changed my food choices for the meal. As I ate I tried to continue rating my hunger and fullness. It was the continual process of assessing my hunger that helped me realize when I was full and could stop eating. This process helped keep me from overeating even the most delicious of foods and often had me eating only half of the portion served because the portion size was not right. If I had eaten everything the restaurant gave me I would have stuffed myself and turned a positive experience into a miserable one. Eating the right amount of food only enhanced the dining experience.
Learning how to eat properly is a lot of work. It takes being present and able to assess how your body feels in relation to the food you are consuming. After a month at Green Mountain I have learned how to do this and feel confident in my new abilities.