DAY # 6
SLOW THE FORK DOWN CHECK-IN
Darling, If you’re a fast eater, it’s a good idea to learn how to slow-the-fork-down. Like the chewing challenge, this will help with digestion ‘cuz your slowing down. Take a look at the amount of food you eat and imagine that inside your stomach in 5-10 minutes versus taking more like 20+ minutes to have a meal. You deserve to slow down to explore and savor the flavors, texture, and consistency of your meal.
It’s more gentle and kind to your belly AND can help your belly catch up with the brain to signal when you’re content or full. And then this can help to stack other mindful eating skills which help you find your sweet spot with ALL foods.
This challenge can be a struggle for all of us when we feel rushed so make a conscious effort to slow down and chew your food well!
Last night I dined out with my bestie at “our” restaurant, Watchmans at Krog Street (affiliated with Kimball House in Decatur). I was excited to go because
However, I’ve been experiencing a bit of a post holiday food hangover with a diminished appetite. Partly influenced by a hectic work schedule (January is my super busy month) and not having a big focus on food right now.
I had to check my thoughts to make sure I wasn’t intentionally restricting after rich meals on vacation (diet culture thoughts, right? I overate on vacation now it’s time to restrict) and recognized that no, I was listening to my intuitive true hunger/fullness signals.
I ordered the same appetizer as last time because OMG the Creamed Kale is to die for. I debated between the Grouper & Red Snapper but the snapper was a heavier, richer dish and I wasn’t in the mood for double heavy. As it turns out the portion size was truly a bit too generous.
Regardless, I truly savored each bite, paying attention to the sizes of my bites, chewing eat bite well, putting my fork down and enjoying conversation. We had a little over about 80-90 minutes before an event we went to down the street so we didn’t feel rushed.
Can I just say that as we were walking in, my bestie states that she’s doing a dry January. I was SO EXCITED because after drinking at most meals over the holidays, my digestive system asked for a rest from booze for awhile. I’ll let my body decide when it’s time for a celebratory glass of champagne, glass or red wine, or tequila drink. Right now I’m not interested (again, it’s based on how I want to FEEL not because I’m trying to shake off “vacation weight” which is 100% diet culture).
So anyway, we’re dining and sharing our appetizers. I stopped when the kale started to taste too salty and heavy which was interesting to notice that shift in taste. In hindsight, I could have been happy with JUST that as my dinner (again, generous portion compared to what was served in early December). But I was in the mood for fish after feeling protein deficient from a really hectic week. There are just times when my body says “I need animal protein” and I honor it.
So where’s the fork challenge comes into play.
Appetizers are done.
Entrees arrive: gees, another generous portion of food. AND we don’t have much time before we have to leave.
What to do?
Do you eat slowly and leave the rest? Do you eat fast and wipe the plate clean? Do you box it up and take it with you? What do you do?
You do what feels right for you in the moment.
I ate slowly but not as slowly as I did with the appetizer. I ate more than I intended because I really didn’t eat much during the day and felt a bit depleted from the lack of nutrition. And then tomorrow I will eat based on my hunger/fullness cues instead of trying to cut back and eat less because I might have eaten a larger meal the night before. Did you catch the mindful & intuitive reframe?
AND I will likely keep practicing SLOW THE FORK DOWN today because it’s one of those eating skills that I can easily let go of, wind up eating too fast, and overeat.
Ultimately the goal is to feel better AFTER your meal than BEFORE your meal.
If you’re hungry and uncomfortable before you eat, and then you overeat, and consequently feel uncomfortable because you ate too much food, then you missed the mark somewhere. Your goal is to find your Goldilocks spot – not too little, not too much.
Or perhaps I should say HNAT too little, HNAT too much!
And placing your fork or utensil down between bites can really help you find that Goldilocks spot! Make mindful eating a marathon – slow and steady wins the race towards healthier habits and nourishing your amazing body!