When It Matters Most

Calories.
Paying your bills.
One-on-one time with kids.
Saying sorry.

There is one similarity between these things: they all matter. Sure, we can delay these things, but sometimes timing is everything. If your kid comes crying home from school, stopping to listen and comfort her is crucial at that very moment, when it matters most. If you wait 15 minutes the moment would pass, and she may change her mind about sharing her feelings.

Let’s apply this to food. What I eat for lunch during the week is what I call a “non-eventful meal”.  This usually consists of eating with my kids, which means making sandwiches….but without the crust…unless it is for Leanne…then it is with the crust…but without the cheese. LOTS of distractions. You get the picture 😉 I choose to eat salad, a protein shake, or something light, so I can utilize my “extra” calories for moments that matter more, such as later in the evening when my husband decides to cook one of his savory meals. Saving my calories for a meal I am anticipating–good food, relaxing atmosphere, cherishing every bite, fun conversation–that matters most to me.

There are numerous decisions and actions we need to accomplish each day. Many of them can be more meaningful if we are strategic about the value and time we place on them. What moments matter most to you?

Is it being fully present when your loved one comes home from work?
Is it putting your phone in the trunk of the car so you can be free from distraction when driving?
Is it exercising first thing in the morning so you feel better about yourself all day long?
Is it setting the DVR to record your favorite show so you can fast-forward through the advertisements, utilizing that extra time with family?

What moments matter most to you? How are you utilizing those moments? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Your Lara

Want to read more? Here’s another recent post. Click here!

Want to know my secret?

shhhToday I’m letting you be a fly on the wall for a typical nightly routine in our household. The obvious is the nagging of the kids to clean up the living room, get ready for bed, and brush their teeth. This usually drags out for 30 minutes to an hour. Need I say, I am usually not very intentional about my time at this time of day? 😉

But after they are snug in their bed, books are read, and kisses are given, I head down the hallway to the kitchen. At this moment my holiday begins…

One frozen cookie dough ball from the freezer and one glass of milk. I carry them to the living room and set the stage.
First things first–low lighting. I turn off the lights and turn on my white Christmas lights (yes…I have them up all year round…)
I put all of my favorite pillows on the couch, grab a quilt, and I get snuggled in.
Shoot! I forgot the t.v. remote so I have to get up and do this all over again. Grr…
Ah…finally. The house is quiet, the kids are sleeping, I can feel the tingling of my legs after a hard day of work. So…relaxing…
I turn on the t.v. and take my first bite of my cookie dough. Y-U-M.
I savor every bite.

I kid you not, this event is like a broken record because I do this pretty much EVERY day. I savor this time so much because it is me time. During the day I am tempted to turn to food when I am stressed, but I remember that my event is later that night and I hold off eating because I know how much I will be able to appreciate and enjoy the food and relaxation I will give myself.

I know it sounds crazy, but if I am going to spend my calories on an indulgence, I want everything about it to be perfect. For example, I don’t want to be standing, have a full bladder, or hear a kid screaming the entire time I am eating. If so, I will be distracted, causing me to quickly or mindlessly eat! If I have to eat out of necessity in those moments, I might as well be eating something healthy because I can’t fully enjoy and savor the taste anyway.

Do you have a love-it food that you eat every day? What are your thoughts about making it an event? What would that event look like? For some, it is eating in the car while driving. For others it is enjoying popcorn at the movies. What is yours???

Your Lara

Bite #1 vs. Bite #21

A glass full of Chocolate Milk. Warm Maple Syrup. Buttery Homemade Pancakes. These are three things that describe the flavors I had anticipated for weeks. My son’s birthday had finally arrived and we were going to celebrate it at our favorite breakfast joint. That’s right, my taste buds were so enthralled that I began salivating just thinking about it as we pulled out of our driveway and headed into town.

The moment came and I reached for my fork…
Bite #1: AWESOME.
Bite #2: YUM…need I say more?
Bite #4: Still, really good.
Bite #10: Wow, I can’t believe I’ve only eaten ¼ of this enormous short stack! Need to add more syrup.
Bite #15: *Sigh* Perhaps I am getting full. But wait, I dreamed about this meal for days—I owe this to myself to keep eating.
Bite #21: Why…why did I do this to myself? I am so stuffed that all I want to do is go home and go to bed.Bite #1

Take a look at those series of bites. That first bite—wow—kind of hard to beat! Even at bite #4 it still tasted really good. But do you notice that by bite #10 I wasn’t even thinking about how good it tasted? In fact, I was already in the mindset of persevering to finish it.

As kids we were taught to always clean our plate. This meant forcing ourselves to finish even though it didn’t bring peace or satisfaction. So if bite #14 doesn’t taste as good as bite #1, don’t feel obligated to finish your meal. Yes, wasting food is not ideal, but managing your weight is more important. Plus, the more you learn which bite the food looses it’s charm, you’ll learn to adjust your portion size accordingly.

Those first few bites are simply hard to beat. So why not savor them and leave the rest? Utilize the calories you consume by making sure they get the appreciation they deserve.

Something to think about…

Lara Take Home Message:
Bite #1 does not taste as good as Bite #21.