I mentioned my husband and I have begun seeing a nutritionist. Hooray! It’s another opportunity to invent a pseudonym! So, I’m going to calling her Dr. Organic. She’s not a doctor, but she’s wicked smart, and I like the way the name sounds.
So. Dr. Organic is a foodie like us! She gets it when we enjoy tasting, eating, and cooking. She understands that we live in such a great restaurant city how could we not go out all the time? She understands that food isn’t just sustenance: it’s a sensual, emotional experience. She appreciates our love of cheese, local foods, and gourmet experimentation in the kitchen. She appreciates the value of shallots. That says a lot to me.
In our first appointment with her, we realized what our biggest problem was: our eating habits and schedule were so chaotic. Our bigger problem? We never go grocery shopping. I come home from work, we play the “What’s for dinner game?” and in our laziness either go out or order in because it’s easier than going to the store, getting all the ingredients, coming home, and cooking. And we weren’t making good choices about the places we’d go out to eat.
Dr. Organic’s suggestion was so simple: plan your meals for the week. We spent a session just planning out what we’d eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner each day. We made a grocery list. We went shopping at the start of that week. It felt revolutionary to Larry and I, but it was the easiest solution staring us in the face the whole time.
By planning breakfasts, it reminded me there was food in the fridge or fruit in the bowl that needed to get eaten or it would go to waste. Our other problem was not eating breakfast. I never put it together, but when you have dinner at 8pm, go to bed at midnight, and don’t eat again until noon, you’re going almost 15 hours without eating. Your body goes into feast or famine mode, so it holds onto EVERYTHING in an effort to compensate for the fact that your body thinks it’s not going to eat again, so it better start storing up all that fat. Who knew? So now I eat breakfast. It started small: a cup of yogurt here, a piece of fruit there. Now Dr. Organic is pushing us to have a little bit of something from each food group: maybe yogurt with berries and granola, or a quiche cup that we make in batches and freeze until we’re ready to eat them. We’ve learned to make use of our freezer, to cook in advance, and adjust when our moods change and we suddenly don’t feel like Tacos on Tuesday. (But I mean, how could you not, it’s Taco Tuesday?!)
All this planning has helped bring a sense of structure to our somewhat chaotic schedules. We don’t homecook every night; we plan nights and meals out, but we’re putting so much more thought into what we eat. We’re learning to compromise. If I had some cookies after lunch, do I really need dessert after dinner? If I’m ordering noodles at my favorite Japanese place, do I need the sushi or can I just get the sashimi? I really just want the fish, so why have all that extra rice with my noodles?
Larry and I don’t do diets. And Dr. Organic doesn’t weigh us, doesn’t make us count calories. She’s helping to create a lifestyle change, a cultural shift in our culinary pursuits. She’s challenging us to engage our minds, not just our tastebuds. And we’re losing weight- nothing dramatic, but it’s happening at a natural pace in step with our lifestyle changes.
And change is delicious.