10 Tips To Feel Full – Yes, Really! (Because Hangry Is Horrible!)

Feeling hungry – or getting to the point of “hangry” – is terrible for everyone. There ARE ways – yes, really! – to maximize fullness and avoid the pitfalls of poor-choice snacking.  It does take some commitment, but it isn’t so difficult that it can’t be achieved (with minimal, if any, pain, I promise.)

I struggle with snacking too – I’ve always liked eating a lot of food, so I’ve learned some tricks to keep me on track, without the starving feeling of a “diet” (I don’t actually believe in the “D word” to begin with.)  The point is to set yourself up for success, not disaster.  Binges?  been there.

#1. . . H2O

Water is essential for SO many reasons, and I guarantee that most of us aren’t getting as much as we need. When you feel thirsty, it’s usually too late.  Incidentally, in effort to get the hydration it needs, sometimes you’re sent a “hungry signal” when in fact it’s the body and brain’s way of saying “need fluid asap!”

How to make it work: Always drink water before you eat.  You WILL get a stronger feeling of fullness.  In some cases, too much water at once might make you feel sick…so go easy and give your body a chance to adjust.  Sip your water first and you’ll likely notice you don’t need to eat that whole, huge portion.

#2. . . SLOW DOWN!

Eating too quickly is a surefire way to A.) eat more than you need and, B.) leave you feeling overly full.  Stomach aches are NEVER good! Slowing the pace can make a huge difference – you will feel that “fullness” when it’s time to stop.  The body has been designed to work like a highly-tuned machine – it knows before the brain does sometimes.  Trust it.

How to make it work: Take a bite and put your utensil down.  Sound basic? It is.  But try its because it helps.  Eat a little, put your fork down, and give yourself a chance to chew and enjoy the food.  

Feeling full!?

#3. . . Fruits and Veggies

Portions M A T T E R.  These nature-made goodies are easily found, not expensive, and are one of the best ways to add bulk to your meals (not to yourself!), while also adding a dose of H2o goodness and nutrients.  Veggies in particular are my go-to for making meals a lot BIGGER than they really are without adding a ton of calories (e.g. . .or to my waistline, which can happen when I’m not careful.  Thanks, meso-endo body type!)

How to make it work: Add an extra serving of steamed vegetables as a side for your meal, or add them to it (for example, soup or pasta) to make a larger, and more filling portion. Fresh fruits are also great (and a better choice than their deliciously dried counterparts) to add to things like yogurt, cereal, or even frozen yogurt for a treat.

#4. . . Distract yourself and stay mindful

Are you *really* hungry?  Or just bored?  I have a habit of wanting to eat when I’m not busy (working on the computer, watching something on tv etc.)  Bad news, because then I look for more food to snack on…

How to make it work: It’s okay to snack here and there but if you are not mindful of what you are doing, you’ll probably go overboard (it’s easy – portions aren’t really that big!) If you absolutely *must* snack while doing something else, portion it out and remind yourself to (#2) slow down. If you are simply eating because you are bored, find another way to distract yourself to get that “I’m not hungry but I want to eat” out of your mind.

#6. . . Pre-Portion

Having some options at the ready is always a great idea, especially when they are portioned out already.  You dont’ need to buy crappy snack packs, you can make your own (hummus with veggies, popcorn in portioned bags, fruit salad etc.)

How to make it work: Have some pre-portioned items in your pantry or fridge for when you need them.  Stay mindful and remember they are portioned for a reason.  If you savor what you are having, you don’t need to eat three portions of it.  Often we do that because it’s an oral fixation – the act of just munching – vs our body really needs the sustenance.  I’m super guilty of this one.

#7. . .  Don’t BUY it!

This is a go-to for me also.  Sometimes I know I really want something…but if I buy it, I’m not going to be able to control the amount I have.  So…I don’t buy it.  It isn’t worth it to me to then be kicking myself in the butt – if I don’t have it at home, I can’t eat it.  I CAN, however, buy other options.

How to make it work: Don’t get sh*t you know you can’t handle!  I’m serious! You know your weaknesses.  Do buy things you can have instead that you won’t beat yourself up over.  You deserve to feel great ALL around.

#8. . . Get moving!

Exercise is a nice distraction technique (see #4.) It’s great for  you, but it also gets your metabolism moving along as well.

How to make it work: Maybe you don’t have a gym membership, or you are having a tough time motivating…try doing a few little things during commercials when you are watching your favorite show, or in between stirs while you’re cooking dinner (e.g. pushups, jumping jacks, setups etc.) Baby steps are OKAY.  In fact, they are MORE than okay.  It might help get your mind off the need to munch, and give your furnace a boost while you’re at it.

#9. . .  Chopsticks

Yep.  Chopsticks are not as easy to eat with and they force you to follow rule #2 whether you want to or not.  Sneaky, yes.  Genius, also yes.

How to make it work: Pick up a pair and start pinching!  If you have trouble, there are modified ones that are joint at the top (not as good, but still slower than a fork or spoon.)

#10. . . (Worse comes to worse, and ps, I’m NOT a dentist!) Have some peppermint, or try a piece of gum

I am NOT recommending chewing gum as much as I do (it is sugar-free, but I’m sure it’s not the best habit.) There are plenty of healthy ways to avoid overeating but sometimes a quick piece of gum can keep me from eating something I don’t really want or need.  A dose of peppermint tea, or a mint can also help. Again, not trying to suggest this is should be a default – I’m slapping my own hands given that I love my Bubblemint.  But…if all else fails, it can help in a pinch.

How to make it work: Have some peppermint tea, suck on a mint, or even have a piece of sugar-free gum.  As a last resort, this can actually help.  Some folks recommend smelling fragrant oils – you can try that too, though the physical act of chewing, or having the taste on your tongue, might have a stronger result.

Once again, not a doc, and not a dietician..but these are a few tricks that might help when the munchies hit.  As someone who LOVES volume (e.g. LOTS of food) I can say honestly that these tricks CAN work.

Save

Save

Save

Natural Sugar

Sometimes after a workout…and sometimes before…I need a jolt of sugar.  I don’t do well with sugar in general – too much fruit is as much a problem for me as processed foods depending on the quantity!  But when I do need something sweet, I reach for fresh fruit as much as possible.  Red grapes are a favorite, as is pineapple – when they are ripe, the sweetness can completely override the need to have something far less healthy!

IMG_0766

That said, I often crave salt after lifting or working out. Well, let’s be honest, I crave it ALL the time!  I tend towards low blood pressure, not uncommon with really active females, so salt can be a good thing in my case.  But the other day all I wanted was sweet, and this bowl of grapes did the trick!   

I find that my body will let me know what I need – my cravings are an indication (typically) that something is in lower supply. Not only did my natural, grape-ity bonbons satisfy my sweet tooth, they helped in the recovery process, as well as with my energy level – happy muscles = happy me! 🙂

IMG_0930

Listen to your body, and don’t be afraid to have some fresh fruit around the house – the natural sweetness, fiber and water content can help you stay on track with your nutritional needs and goals, as well as give your body a boost when it needs it!  (Not to mention healthy natural enzymes and nutrients!)

Ingredients…the Book

I came across this book – Ingredients: A Visual Exploration of 75 Additives & 25 Food Products, by Dwight Eschilman and Steve Ettlinger – rather by accident…but it’s something that I am interested in, for sure.  I recently realized I am lactose intolerant…and for the last two or so years, I’ve come to the conclusion that I have new food allergies – yes, 35 years into Life, they reared their (frankly, inconvenient) heads.

I eat incredibly clean but I have my areas – I use Sucrolose, for one.  As I’ve mentioned before, sugar does not sit well with me…and Stevia caused a whole plethora of allergies.  But before you judge, please recognize we ALL slip somewhere!  Many of my friends are health-conscious-crazed…and even they have a few intruders. (It’s possible I’m interjecting this point because it makes me feel better.  At least I admit it, right?  Right? 😉 ) 

Pick your poison, is almost what it comes down to.  I think THE cleanest eater I know is my brother.  It’s a challenge to be free of all things non-natural, but it can be done.  One of my issues is that honey doesn’t work as a sweetener for me, nor some of the purported “better-for-you-than-sugar-but-basically-the-same-thing” products.  Especially for my coffee…I need a little bit!

That aside, I also take an amino supplement…one I haven’t found a comparable, ultra-clean version of.  So I worry about dyes and other “stuff” that lurks in the formulation.  It makes me a wee bit nervous but I think sometimes I let it go because the bulk of what I do ingest is relatively healthy…and DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) can really get the best of me.

“Relatively.”  

It is ALL relative, isn’t it?

I saw one of the food photography images from the book, and I was intrigued.  It looks akin to a chemistry experiment.  I kind of feel like I need to pull out my Bunsen burner, some glass slides, and a microscope…

(C) - Doritos. Photo by Dwight Eschliman, from Ingredients (Regan Arts, September 2015)

(C) – Doritos. Photo by Dwight Eschliman, from Ingredients (Regan Arts, September 2015)

I mean…sure, some salt, or spices…  But what’s up with the colored bits!?  Why ARE there so many powders?  

It’s a tiny bit creepy, don’t you think?  Doritos taste good, I know (at least our buds say they do)…but they DO leave our hands bright enough to paint road stripes.  Um…eeek.  

*puzzled face*

(C) - Photo by Dwight Eschliman, from Ingredients (Regan Arts, September 2015)

(C) – Photo by Dwight Eschliman, from Ingredients (Regan Arts, September 2015)

 

(C) - Photo by Dwight Eschliman, from Ingredients (Regan Arts, September 2015)

(C) – Photo by Dwight Eschliman, from Ingredients (Regan Arts, September 2015)

I can’t say that I am particularly keen on chem… Or maybe I should say “adept at” – I thought class was cool, but I was more interested in sports…or the next experiment, or…”oh hey! Are those ghost crystals?!” (my attention span is, sadly, that of a Gemini.  We get incredibly excited and entranced, only to lose interest and want a new challenge about three seconds later.)  

Sigh.

I’d like to say I am solidly knowledgable about EVERY ingredient in my supplements, and in my food…but the assurance would be unjust.  I DEFINITELY check my labels more than the average person, and I know for certain, I eat “cleaner” and “less processed” on the whole.  But I need to be better versed, and I like that this book has a visual element to it.  

I haven’t read the book – I only just came across its “Doritos” ingredient layout.  It may be more suited for someone who likes looking at molecular structures, or understands the interplay between hexagons and linked lines.  But it may also be a help for those of us with a need and desire to delve a bit deeper.  I’m hoping it’s the latter case, as opposed to the former maningful-shapes scenario.  I’m going to look into it myself…

 

 

Farmer’s Markets!

My hunnie and I are always trying to come up with activities for Sundays.  We love to be outside and be active and farmers markets are a great way to do that in a low key way.  It happens that they aren’t often under direct sun, so you can get a nice dose of vitamin D without scorching your skin!

(Three letters for you – S. P. F.!)

We love fresh produce and good-for-you foods, so it’s always exciting to see what vendors have. The scents of herbs, wild flowers, and fresh vegetables permeates the breeze – it reminds me of gardening with my parents growing up…and we had quite the garden, if I do say so myself! 😀

Our zucchini grew to a foot and half but miraculously managed to maintain flavor…  I feel like no matter how many zucchini breads and muffins we made, there were yet more zucc’s to be had!

And then there were cucumbers, equally gargantuan, and eggplants.  The white “Ghostbusters” were my favorite, basking in the sun in all their glorious pallor! 

Home!

Home!

We grew potatoes – fingerlings, yukon gold, and peruvian blue, along with yams and more traditional spuds…and we’d hold a “Potato Fest” for our friends in Fall, making enough potato dishes to sink a ship.  We even had a chocolate grave-garden cake with sugar “potatoes” dressed in Halloween costumes one autumn.  Yes…my parents, the jokesters.  The cake was a huge hit.

We had countless varieties of tomatoes – yellow, green, purple, red, sungold… They were most delicious right off the vine…or tossed in our fresh lettuce…or sliced with mozzarella, with oil and basil. ❤  The stems had the most “green-and-earth”y fragrance, and the basil drifted up from the bottoms of the plants making a casual jaunt by heavenly.

Home!

Home!

Screen Shot 2015-08-14 at 6.54.42 PM

Home!

Home!

Home!

Then there were the snap peas, green beans, wax beans…the former which I would pluck with complete abandon.  Sadly, my stuffed cheeks always gave me away. “BUNNY!  You’re going to eat them ALL!!!!”  (Yeah. It was worth it.) 

We grew cabbages and radishes, squashes and pumpkins…and all sorts of funny lil’ gourds.

We had watermelons, and kohlrabi that was AMAZING sautéed…

There were onions, habeneros, and peppers of all hues…

The carrots…those always came out curiously… Twisted and not always with just one shoot! *?* But…they were the most flavorful carrots I have, sincerely, ever had.  

Sadly, when I went off to school and had Ballroom competitions that took me on the road, and my parents were traveling in summer…the garden tapered off.  The veggies were replaced by ENORMOUS burgundy sunflowers, with faces the size of my own…

The herb garden, however, is still going strong…  I can smell the parsley and mint and oregano from here… 🙂

So farmer’s markets...I can REALLY appreciate those.  The hard work and love that goes into growing all the goodness I am thankful to enjoy every day is genuinely valued.

My man passed one while running out for coffee the other day, and he brought me back this “adorbacchini.”  That’s my word for it – It’s the cutest, most precious ball-of-a-cchini that I have ever seen! ❤

Screen Shot 2015-08-11 at 6.52.39 PM

And then there was the one we went to on a Sunday…  It was enormous – surrounded by gorgeous fruits, vegetables, herbs, meats…and even a fresh donut station!

Screen Shot 2015-08-11 at 6.52.51 PM

But it isn’t just edibles… The flowers are out to further brighten the day, and for shoppers to bring some sun home for later…  I made wreathes from grasses and wild flowers for my mother’s hair when I was a little girl, so these are also a true joy to see. 

Screen Shot 2015-08-11 at 6.53.01 PM

After walking around a bit, I bought a little snack!  It was actually a full mini tub of Honey Bunch Yellow tomatoes. and I just about ate every single one before we got to the car! Nature’s candy, the way I see… Deliciously, sunny-sweet yumminess!

Screen Shot 2015-08-11 at 6.53.09 PM

 

For us, a Farmer’s Market is a great way to spend a morning, or afternoon…especially on a restful, weekend day.  With Autumn around the corner, I can’t WAIT for the squash and pumpkins to crop up!!! ❤

Hope Foods

I only recently discovered this brand – as, fortunately, a local Whole Foods started to carry it!  I stumbled upon it looking for hummus, and was pleasantly excited by the options!  I have to avoid a lot of hummus brands because they contain safflower and / or sunflower oil (part of a plant family to which I am apparently allergic.)  

I also care that whatever hummus I get isn’t exorbitantly loaded with calories (which typically comes from unnecessary sources) – hummus is easy to overdo, particularly give the rate at which I DEVOUR my veggies.  But then it’s down to flavors…and while I LOVE roasted red pepper, I sometimes feel like something dashing and new.

Enter HOPE.  

The brand began in a backyard at the Boulder Farmers Market – I LOVE that! ❤ Hope was born out of a curiosity to create a new twist on hummus, while also maintaining a healthy profile with high quality, organic, and sustainable ingredients.  I don’t proselytize about what is, and isn’t right in the food industry – not my place, nor my profession (plus, everyone is different!)  But when it comes to what I eat personally, I prefer C L E A N.  

I don’t do sugar (which my body abhors!), and I do get results from a high amino supplement – in those cases, sucralose is probably my worst offender.  I am therefore far from perfect, but I do my best.  HOPE leaves junk and fillers to the waist side – the ingredients are clean…AND pronounceable!  I took one look at the label and brought the goodness home!

I love the dark chocolate spread, and I am currently using the curry lentil dip on my steamed veggies – DELISH!  The curry lentil tastes exactly as you would expect it to – both flavors come through, remarkably (we all know that doesn’t happen with overly processed goodies!)

 

The dark chocolate spread, I find, to be quite good.  I don’t drink but I did have chocolate liqueur when I was much younger – it reminds me of that, for some reason.  It’s worth a whirl if you love healthy foods (and I say that for all the obvious reasons, but also because “health foods” often taste more like the REAL thing.  If you eat clean, you are used to that – many folks are used to filler and processed, so they likely don’t have the same gustatory perception. Yep. I said it!)

My brother and his wife love healthy options also and found a different variety at their market than I saw here.  I’m hoping we get more of the flavors as well, though it seems our Whole Foods has a solid assortment (happy they introduced it at all!)  Definitely worth checking out if you are into dipping veggies or healthy crisps of some kind or another!

NYC Jaunt

For whatever reason I felt like I hadn’t been to the City (New York City, that is!) in a while, and it was time I went in.  

I used to haunt the streets of Soho and, quite conversely, the Upper East Side, back in my Fashion days – most people thought the sound of shopping for work was a blast…but they often forgot the part about being correct when it came to the trends (which we were spending a fortune on!)!  Being “on trend” was really the whole point – we needed to see what was in-store and being asked for on the floor…and we needed to bring some of it home to decipher!  

All that aside, the people watching gave us a whole lot of insight as well – what you see in the street, you know is working.

I didn’t, however, go in to analyze trends, or to stare at the feet of passersby – I just went in to take a long walk, on a beautiful day, and snoop around the stores (I’m more ninja-like, or so I prefer to believe! 😉 I slink in and out of shops without really engaging much – the traffic down there is always jamming so you learn to maneuver through the crowds.  That said, I was wearing my white snake cowboy boots…which did not go unnoticed.

IMG_6927

I ran into Ricky’s NYC when I got down there – it’s probably a 6 or so mile round trip that I do, and takes about 50 minutes to get from Grand Central to Soho on foot.  Ricky’s is literally a MECCA for any hairstylist, makeup artist, product junkie, OR product snob.  They have EVERYTHING.  From hard-to-find products, to accessories, to tools of the trade…it’s all accounted for in spades.  One of my favorite stores for performance makeup, and worth checking out if you perform at all.

IMG_6930

IMG_6914

After running around for a while, I needed to grab a snack – Dean & Deluca is DIVINE, so in I went.  I couldn’t really take photos because there were a lot of staff around (and no one really likes that)…but the tomatoes and peppers look stellar! 😀 

IMG_6929

I grabbed a fruit salad, because that always works in a pinch for me!  I ended up waiting to have it on the train, and by then I was so hungry I added to my colorful nutrients, a Health Warrior Chia bar – I’m not sure it would be for people who love snickers, but honestly, I thought it was great.  The chocolate peanut butter is by no means overwhelming, as far as those flavors go…but they’re there.  I was reminded of a Doctor Radio segment in pediatrics this week and thought “yeah…I can totally picture loving this as a kid!”  It definitely aired on the “heath-food-person” side, but it was sweet and delish.

IMG_6932

 

IMG_6923

Screen Shot 2015-05-23 at 9.51.02 PM