Perfectionism and Food for Thought

I’m such a perfectionist. Arg. I tend to have a love-hate relationship with my perfectionism. Sometimes it really helps me out and I reap the rewards. Other times, I find myself enduring high opportunity costs as a result of my tedious and time-consuming perfectionism.  For example, today I spent all day on a paper that is only a fraction of my grade. Drafting, editing, redrafting…over and over. Ironically, I found out after I turned it in that I could have NOT DONE the paper and still gotten an A in the class, based on all of my other accumulated grades. Sheesh. Time wasted?? Hmmm. Although I am appreciating each and every part of my education, I would have much rather spent my time making a batch of this delicious looking carrot cake loaf, inspired by Angela at Oh She Glows. I even saved my carrot pulp after juicing this afternoon in anticipation of this recipe. But alas, the pulp remains in the fridge, and I spent my time working on a silly paper, for economics class of all things ;)

And I drank three glasses of carrot juice today to make that darn pulp. Sheesh!

But my perfectionism creeps up in other ways too. Like with food. Ahem. Sometimes I get so wrapped up in the nutrients I’m consuming, and making sure that each and every meal is well-balanced and nutritious, that I forget to relax and enjoy it. Food is supposed to be enjoyable, isn’t it? Yes it is. In fact, our appetites are enhanced and diminished by lots of little pleasure sensors in our brains, not to mentioned our senses of taste, smell, touch and site. Food should look good, smell good, and taste good for our bodies to thoroughly maximize the enjoyment.

I’ve learned some tips over the years for maximizing my enjoyment in food. I think these tips are also good for portion control, weight loss and improving intuitive eating habits.

Make your meal appealing to the eyeUse lots of bright colors (easy to do when using veggies!) and arrange them so that your immediate visual response is positive. Height can add a lot to a dish, such as stacking foods on top of each other or making things in layers. Also texture plays an important roll. 

– Stimulate your sense of smell. This can be as easy as adding fresh herbs, roasted garlic, or sauces that enhance the aroma of your foods. Also reheating food (stovetop please, no microwaves!) will bring out its aroma. 

– Sit down when you eat.Experts say you are more likely to consume a higher quantity of food if you stand up while ingesting. This can lead to overeating. Sitting down when you eat allows the stomach to send signals to the brain when it is full. 

– Chew your food. A lot. I’m sure most of you have heard this, but digestion actually BEGINS in the mouth. Saliva contains digestive enzymes that contribute to the chemical process of digestion, and allow the maximum amount of nutrients to be extracted from the food. The more you chew your food the less strenuous it is on the rest of the digestive system. Saliva has an essential role to play! Don’t allow it to slack on it’s job ;)

Learn portion size. A lot of people think they know how much a portion is, but many are surprised to find out the answer when they go digging for the facts. For example, one serving of nut butter or hummus is two tablespoons. If you are a meat-eater, one serving of meat should be no bigger than your fist. Hmmm…

Add a little fat. Yep, I said it, the F-word. Adding a little bit of good-for-you fats to your meals will improve satiety (keep you full for longer) and overall enjoyment in eating. Also, fats play an important roll in digestion and are essential components at the cellular level. But not all fats are created equal, so read more here.

With all of that said, here are some visually stimulating foodie pics for your enjoyment :)
Teriyaki Bean Stuffed Acorn Squash

Grilled Summer Vegetables

I’m in the process of indexing all of my recipes through this awesome hosting site called ReciPage. I’m really excited about this because it will help me keep better track of all my recipes and make it easier to direct people to specific ones. My dad calls me all the time for recipe info and it’s hard to remember how I tag some of my posts (I’m sure other food bloggers can relate). So if you are a foodie blogger go check this company out! I don’t have my current recipage running live on my blog because it’s still under construction, but if you want a good look at ending results check out Mama Pea’s recipage here. <— love her!

~*~Peace, Love & Veggies, xo

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