Sunday, May 8, 2011

The Day I Didn't Use My Teeth

It's no secret, I love food, but sometimes I just feel sort of blah when it comes to my ideas about what I want to eat on a given day. Nothing really sounds awesome, I end up bored with my meals, and sometimes that turns into overeating - because I'm a boredom eater as well as an emotional eater.

In fact, it was food boredom in part that led me to try being vegan. I just thought it would be a good challenge for a month or so. Of course I didn't expect to love it so much, and now it's become a much bigger, more important part of my life.

In the spirit of keeping my food fun, sometimes I'll eat in a "theme" for a day. Maybe I'll eat something at each meal influenced by a certain world cuisine, or put a certain color in every meal. (Actually this happens by accident, we know how I love orange.)

Disclaimer: I know picking "themes" or colors for a day is also a common pattern in restrictive eating I try to be cautious not to restrict my food amounts as I'm choosing my meals. If this is something you have struggled with and it may trigger you, stop reading. Protect yourselves friends. 

So today, wondering how on earth I could top the awesomeness of yesterday's cinnamon rolls, I felt a little boredom coming on and decided, "It's a great day not to use my teeth."

This is an interesting challenge, because liquids take up lots of volume, so I have to be even more intentional than usual in getting enough food.

Also, we talked in our Preventative Medicine lecture on obesity about how drinking things doesn't mentally register the same satiety signals as chewing in our brains. That's (part of) the reason that for most people, me for sure, a sandwich is more satisfying than a smoothie, even though that boosted Jamba Juice usually has more calories than your veggies and hummus on wheat bread.

So I undertook this little experiment also to see if I would actually feel mentally hungrier today.

Breakfast: Banana Berry Smoothie with Coconut Butter. This was originally going to be a SIAWG, but it got a little too big.

In the mix
1/2 frozen banana
3/4 cup frozen blueberries
5 fresh strawberries
1/4 cup plain yogurt
1/2 cup almond milk
pinch guar gum (optional - to thicken)

Topping: Coconut butter. 
Note: Adding coconut butter to something cold = rock hard coconut butter. Kind of counter to my intention not to use my teeth. Therefore, lesson learned, if you're adding coconut butter to a smoothie, blend it in. However, if you're adding it to something hot, like microwave banana cake, it's just perfect.

Lunch: Jamba Juice Apples n Greens, Original size with added soy protein. 

Jamba started offering three fruit and veggie smoothies around the middle of March, but this morning when I went to check out the menu was the first I'd heard of them. That basically doubles the vegan offerings, yay!

This was awesome. I love greens in my smoothies, and I guess it shouldn't surprise me that I couldn't taste the veggies, but really it just tasted like a brilliant fruit blend.

Snack: Starbucks Mocha Coconut Latte

I'm a Starbucks gold member, mostly because I study there a lot. A great deal has been learned there, and when I'm distracted it's always interesting: Observations of a Coffee Shop Studier

As a vegan, it's pretty nice not to be charged extra for modifications. At gold level, I also get a free drink every 15. That's a lot of drinks, so I don't benefit that much from it, but today for the first time, I had earned a free drink postcard this way. What better way to make sure I get enough calories than a tricked out Starbucks creation?

I thought that new mocha coconut frappuccino looked good, but it was a little cold today, so I customized a flavored soy latte to mimic it. 

Order: Grande soy latte with 2 pumps mocha and 2 pumps coconut, no whip. Delicious.

Enjoyed while studying outside, with my bike locked to the table, because (seriously?) there's no bike rack at this branch. 

Dinner: Trader Joe's Carrot Ginger Soup with Peas and Almond Butter

Because I live with Katie, my life is awesome. Not only because she's a wonderful friend, but because she owns almost every kitchen appliance ever. Those she doesn't have, Gennaya, who also makes my life awesome, probably owns. So, point being, we own an immersion blender. I've never actually used it until today, but it's a handy appliance. I used it to blend in the peas and 2 tbsp of melty almond butter as I heated this combination up over the stove.

I couldn't conceive of a less appetizing color, but this was delicious.

Dessert: Ice Cold Almond Milk

The Verdict: I'm glad I have teeth. 

Nutritionally this turned out like a pretty normal day for me, but only because I planned it pretty carefully that way.

Hunger-wise I was actually pretty happy. I didn't feel so much hungry as just sort of restlessly snacky. We'll never know though if that's a placebo effect though because I expected to feel less satisfied.

A surprise was how much I didn't miss gum. I usually chew several pieces a day, but didn't today on principle, and it wasn't as hard as I thought it would be.

Overall I had a fun day eating everything blended, it was a great excuse to try a couple new drinks, but I've had years of painful and expensive orthodontic care to have these teeth, and I definitely don't want to get rid of them soon. That and now I'm even more excited for the delicious things I have planned for tomorrow. 

What about you, do smoothies leave you hungry?

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