DAY # 27
DELETING THE CLEAN PLATE CLUB.
Today I will officially work towards deleting my Clean Plate Club Membership!
There is no doubt, this request can be VERY challenging for many people. For those of us who grew up as part of the clean plate club, leaving food on your plate can resurface feelings from childhood. I remember one evening my mom made this vinegary 3-bean salad. It was horrendous.
I can’t remember everything around the evening leading up to the situation where my baby sister was forced to sit at the table for well over an hour with my stepfather who said she couldn’t leave the table until she ate it. And then when he finally forced her to eat it, she vomited on her plate. Ugh. No wonder my mother divorced him. To this day if I bring up the word “3-bean” anything, my sister turns green. Food memories can run deep.
In Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual, author Michael Pollan suggested to leave some food on your plate, about 2 bites. In an interview on Epicurious, Pollan explains that this guideline was a sort of self-discipline and gentle reminder to help people to stop eating when we’re full versus when the plate is clean.
We’re not going for the self-discipline vibe, we’re tuning in to see if the amount of food we eat is less or more than we emotionally or physically need. The goal is to avoid having an external force dictate when we finish our meal.
If you’ve been raised to finish everything on your plate in order to get dessert or for financial reasons, those external cues are guiding your satiety levels, not your inner wisdom.
This can be a paradigm shift for a lot of people and so we are challenging old beliefs and creating new ones that are aligned with feeling better in your skin.
If you experience food guilt and can’t bear to scrape the last bit of your meal into the garbage can, then just wrap it up and eat it later or the next day. The average American family wastes $1500 of food! So if you can reduce food waste, you are actually stretching your hard earned money. Then you can spend it on better quality foods or treating yourself out more frequently.
Food waste is a tremendous modern world problem, there is so much food waste in this country I can’t bear to throw things away. I compost as much as I possibly can and really focus on repurposing leftovers into the next meal to prevent it from happening.
As a big animal lover, I have a hard time seeing animal products being wasted. It’s a tragedy to throw out any animal that was sacrificed for food and then have it wind up in the garbage. We can consciously shift to being less wasteful.
Let me know how this challenge makes you feel. Tune into your feelings around food and your eating habits. Pay attention to the dialogue going on in your head or the things you say during your day. Remember, no judgment. Think about where your current beliefs came from and if you want to evolve them. Take it day by day, meal by meal, bite by bite.
Strive for progress, not perfection!