3 Steps to Intuitive Eating – Marriage and Food Intuition

Intuitive Eating and Marriage. That sounds like a rather odd combination? Surprisingly, it’s not. I just got back from my 2-week long honeymoon (it was absolutely amazing) and I am pretty sure I have discovered what might just be the ticket (or at least my ticket) to being an intuitive eater for good.

How I Got Married and Became an Intuitive Eater

I married an intuitive eater.

When we first started going out, I mostly ate just like Bobby (my husband) – but it can be hard to keep up with a 19-year-old boy, not to mention the fact that it’s not that good for your waistline.

For the next few years I tried to eat intuitively, and eventually something stuck. Creating good new habits takes work. But sometimes you can get a kick in the pants, or find motivation that will get your butt in gear. Here are the three steps that helped me (finally!) truly embrace eating intuitively:

  1. Name your flaw: I have an odd relationship with food. I knew that I did not eat intuitively. Lots of oatmeal does not a dinner make. For years I berated myself for not being able to “just snap out of it”, which many people seemed to think was good advice.
  2. Reframe the flaw: I have two glorious weeks to be completely free around food. Before I left for my honeymoon, I decided that it didn’t matter how much weight I gained while I was gone; I wanted to enjoy myself and I wanted to have fun on my honeymoon! (It turns out that I didn’t gain a pound – in fact, I lost 1-2.) Maybe your reframe could be, “I have a chance to completely change the way I eat,” or “I love eating locally and organically,” or “I am a great role model for my children,” and so on. This should be a positive statement about YOU that has at least a remote connection to that initial flaw you named above.
  3. Own it! I am an intuitive eater. This one is all about the power of positive thinking. “Fake it ‘til you make it.” Focus on your successes. Keep going. Push through. Pretend. If you can’t be an intuitive eater just yet, pretend you are anyway. Just don’t give up.

Why did it work for me this time? Because I keep trying. And because I followed all three steps, not just the first one. I’d named the flaw before (over and over again) but I never turned it into something positive. I think (hope) that everyone who tries to quit something fails the first few times (if they don’t fail, they are either lying or superhuman). If you quit smoking successfully, you probably “quit” several times before you succeeded. (Note: I do not smoke, but this is a good common example.) It’s the same with food – if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again!

An Intuitive Eating Dinner

Open-faced tuna melts. Mine (2 slices of whole wheat bread, tuna salad, tomatoes, and melted cheese):

Bobby’s (sesame seed bagel, tuna salad, cheddar cheese):

My easy tuna salad recipe. Dessert was tart frozen yogurt (shared) from Trader Joe’s. Then wine – a mix of Trader Joe’s wine (Dr. Beckermann Auslese Rheinhessen – it’s a white wine and it’s fantastic – sweet and refreshing) mixed with seltzer:

Are you an intuitive eater? Why or why not?

What’s Up Saturday – 8.7.10

Here are my picks for the week (I had a lot of favorites). They are a bit late – we just arrived back to our apartment from our honeymoon and are trying to accept the fact that we have to start real life again 😉

Blogosphere

Books

  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, by Stieg Larsson – I read this ~500 page book in under a day. And then I had to get the next one! If you like crime drama you will definitely be hooked. This is a thriller not to be missed.
  • The Girl Who Played with Fire, by Stieg Larsson – I picked this up in the airport just a few hours after finishing the first book (above). It’s great so far – I have been pretty tired so I did not finish it in a day. But I will finish it within a day or two, I think. It’s a continuation of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, but I think you could pick it up without having read the first. Larsson does a good job summarizing what you need to know.
  • Sphere, by Michael Crichton – Another page-turner. Sphere is a science-fiction novel about a team of scientists (including a psychologist, the main character) that goes down to the bottom of the Pacific to explore a UFO that is 300 years old. I enjoyed it very much – I couldn’t put it down.

Fun!

  • Summer Streets began today! For 3 Saturdays (today, next week, and the week after) Park Avenue is closed to motor vehicles from Central Park to the Brooklyn Bridge – bikers, pedestrians, dog walkers, etc… can enjoy a strolling with no traffic. It’s car-free between 7AM and 1PM.

Whew. I am going to bed now! What are your finds this week?

Andrea: The Power of Two

We are getting back today! I can’t believe the honeymoon is over. Back to reality 😉 Not quite – I’m probably somewhere over the Pacific right now. Wrapping up the honeymoon guest posts is Andrea, one of the first bloggers I ever discovered. Here she is…

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Hi guys! My name is Andrea and I live over at Off Her Cork! Maggie is off doing fabulous newlywed things and she asked for guest posts related to weddings and food. My husband, Scott, and I just celebrated our 5 year wedding anniversary earlier this month. We’ve been together for ages though, over 10 years! We’ve learned a lot along the way and the best advice we have to offer is to make sure that you take the time to celebrate being a couple as often as possible.

Impromptu date nights! Who says dates have to be reserved for just the weekend? And who says you have to go someplace? Light some candles, open a bottle of wine, and make one of your favorite dishes on a random Wednesday evening. Not only does this give you something to look forward to but you get a chance to sit down and focus on each other.

Eat a meal that reminds you of something you did together. Maybe creating a special mahi-mahi dish reminds you of that time when you visited the islands. Perhaps going out to get sushi reminds you of the first time you met? Maybe eating Jello brings up memories of meeting the entire family for the first time! It doesn’t have to be fancy and it doesn’t have to cost a ton but sharing a meal that invokes a memory will help strengthen the connection that you have together.

Have fun in the kitchen together! Scott doesn’t cook at all but he can help me with tasks. He’ll peel carrots or shred some cheese while I’m prepping other ingredients. He can put stuff away once I’m done with it. He can help with the dishes! 😉 The important part isn’t the task but that we’re doing it together and can share that moment.

Lastly, always plan a super special meal for your anniversary! We like to have lobster tails on our anniversary. They are indulgent and help us feel tres chic as we sit at our little dining room table or on our deck gazing out into the back yard. They make us feel special and since we only cook them for our anniversary, it has become a lovely tradition shared by the two of us.

Creating a meal, a date, or a tradition helps you remember what is important, each other!

Congrats to Maggie and Bobby! Enjoy your new journey together!

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Thanks for the thoughtful and fun advice Andrea – I can’t wait to see where this journey takes us 🙂  “See” you all again soon!

Brittany: How to Avoid the Love Layer

It is currently 2:30am Maui time so I am asleep. But today is the last day of our honeymoon – we head to the airport for our flight tonight at 8pm (overnighter – yuck). We hope to spend the morning on the beach and the rest of the day exploring and hitting up a few food joints that we haven’t gone to yet.

Today’s guest blogger was the first food blogger I ever met up withBrittany has an awesome blog and is awesome in person. I hope you enjoy her post!

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Hi, I’m Brittany from Eating Bird Food and I am thrilled to be guest posting for Maggie while she enjoys her wedding and honeymoon. She holds a special place in my heart, as she was first food blogger I met in person, way back when. I actually met Bobby, her fiancé, as well and know that they are and will continue to be very happy together. Congrats again on getting married you two – I can’t wait to see the pictures.

So, we’ve all heard that moving in with a significant other (before or after getting married) can lead to weight gain, right? Well it’s not just an urban legend, according to a study published in 2009, getting married (or cohabiting) doubles the odds of weight gain!

I’ve even seen it with myself. I’ve been living with my boyfriend, Isaac, for over 2 years now and whether it’s the living situation, my desk job or a combination of the two, I’ve definitely noticed a few pounds trying to creep on since my college days. The good news is that I realize it and try to make an effort not to let the layer of love build on. 🙂

So why does this happen and why does it seem more prevalent with women? Who knows- but some speculate that it may be due to a decrease in activity (snuggling on the couch anyone), indulging in rich, flavorful meals together, eating the same amount as your man even though men naturally require more calories, eating “guy foods” like beer, nachos, frozen pizza and hot dogs; skipping the gym to hang out with your honey, or even paying less attention to your weight because you’re no longer on the prowl.

Whatever the reason is, it happens. I know for me there are a couple things that have me eating late at night or indulging. For one, Isaac buys cereals and snack foods that I would never dream of buying but once they’re in the house they tempt me and I end up indulging. Then there’s peer-pressure where he’ll want me to try a bite of this or have another beer/glass of wine. (sound familiar?)

Here’s the culprit in action:

With all that said, here are a few tips on how to avoid the extra “layer of love”:

  • Get physical. Make time to workout. If you all can find something you both enjoy, than do it together (like hiking), and if not go your separate ways, just make sure to stay active. For us, Isaac hates the gym and I love it so, I workout at the gym and he plays ultimate Frisbee, runs outside, or works in the yard.
  • Cook at home more often, choose healthy foods, and watch your portion sizes at mealtime. Your portion probably shouldn’t be as big as his – unless you are working out like a mad-woman or need the extra calories.
  • Communicate! If your man is like mine and often tries to convince you to indulge or brings home lots of sweet treats, tell him up front your goals and that you’re trying to be more conscious about what you eat. He’ll respect you for telling him and will most likely be more thoughtful about it.
  • Have separate meals occasionally. Isaac and I do this often because he eats meat and I don’t. We cook together and eat together, just eat different things.
  • Lighten up on the alcohol. One glass of wine is fine, but alcohol is empty calories and can really add up. Get out of the habit of unwinding with a drink everyday and do yoga or go on a walk together instead.

What do you do to make sure both you and your love stay healthy?

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Thanks so much Brittany! Have you all ever noticed that love layer sneaking up on you?

Mara: Food Blogging and Marriage

Aloha! My sweet friend Mara wrote a great guest post for me specifically about food blogging, marriage, and honeymooning! I will let her tell the story…

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Hi Salad Girl readers! I’m Mara, and I write a little food and cooking blog called “What’s For Dinner?” where I chronicle my adventures in cooking, and more recently, baking.

When Maggie asked me to do a guest post on weddings/marriage and how they relate to food and food blogging, I jumped at the chance! See, I got married to the love of my life this past November, and our wedding coincided nicely with the anniversary of my blog.

Not only has blogging my dinners made for more interesting meals in our house, it’s also helped to teach my husband, Adam, about various flavors that exist in the world, as well as the importance of having food that looks as good as it tastes.

But that’s not going to be what I write about. Oh no. Adam and I were put to the test mighty early in our marriage when we had a travel nightmare when trying to get to Jamaica on our honeymoon. How, you might be asking, does this relate to food blogging?

If you don’t want to click over, the nightmare in a nutshell was:

  • Flew out of Chicago into Philadelphia just as the first Noreaster snowstorm hit.
  • Got stuck in Philadelphia and missed our connecting flight
  • Waited 8 hours at PHL for our bags, which, in turn, were sent without us to Jamaica.
  • Spent the first night of our honeymoon in a crappy motel
  • Spent the 2nd night of our honeymoon in a less crappy hotel
  • Rearranged resort accommodations (Thanks Sandals!) and got put back on a flight to Chicago to wait for our new Jamaica flight
  • PHL to Chicago flight got cancelled minutes before we arrived at the airport.
  • Adam and I drove the 14 hours back to Chicago to wait for the Jamaica flight
  • We never received one cent back from US Airways for extra expenses incurred.

Well, for one, without my food blog, I would not be able to remember that the first
night of our honeymoon’s dinner was:

And Adam’s was:

Thanks to my food blog, I was able to chronicle every moment of the nightmare that occurred between leaving Chicago (home) and finally leaving home again for Jamaica, and have it on a public and much-read forum. Thanks to my blog, Adam and I are able to relive exactly how remarkable it is that we made it through our ordeal without killing each other, and came out of it stronger in the long run.

Because of my food blog, we were able to recall small details of our trip that ordinarily would’ve been forgotten, and thanks to more technology, we were able to chronicle our road trip via Facebook! We are reminded every day exactly how well-deserved our honeymoon was once we actually made it there… and we enjoyed every moment.

Congratulations Maggie! I hope you enjoy every moment of your wedding and honeymoon! My advice? Remember to be tolerant! You never know when a difficult time can turn into the adventure of a lifetime!

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Thanks again, Mara! Thankfully our honeymoon has been almost snag-free so far (there was a glitch with Expedia and our rental car… I’ll update after it is resolved).

Have you ever had an issue with an airline? I’ve had lots of delayed flights, and one time Bobby and I were stuck in the Las Vegas airport overnight because a delay out of Philly (apparently PHL really stinks) on our way to California (SFO) – we ended up missing the last flight out because of the delay.

P.S. If you have been enjoying these marriage/food-related guest posts and want to do one yourself, send me what you got – magpie707 (at) gmail (dot) com. I am going to keep on posting them periodically after I’m back 🙂