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Quality over quantity

I’ve started really looking forward to my morning bowl of oatmeal, thinking about how nice it will be to wake up to before I go to bed. Cinnamon roll was my favorite flavor for awhile, but it’s now been supplanted by baked apple. I don’t recall looking forward this much to eating before, mostly because I never waited to eat before. Most of my life I just ate whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted, consuming all the natural resources in the refrigerator like an evil, corporate mining operation. Only I was digging for ice cream instead of coal.

Now I try to eat less calories than I burn and to eat only when I’m hungry. This means I don’t get to eat that much. I’m envious of big burly guys who get to consume over 2000 calories a day, whereas I’m stuck in the mid-1000 calorie range. Every meal counts. Anticipating meals becomes like a session of foreplay where I’m kept in sweet anticipation of my climax of flavor.

I had a coupon for the hippie, organic store, so I decided to try some veggie burgers to have for lunch. I heated up the perfectly disc-shaped “burger” and plopped it on a slice of whole-wheat bread with a slice of American cheese. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t that great either. When I was done picking melted cheese off the roof of my mouth, I thought “Man, I wasted a lunch on this?” It was similar to regretting shaving my legs for a bad date. Now that the quantity of what I eat has decreased, I put a lot more value in the quality of what I stick in my mouth. I want every meal to be enjoyable. It makes food more precious than it ever was before.

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Rachel • February 8, 2007 at 10:00 am

I am so the same way. I have found myself turning down COOKIES because they just weren’t that good. What?! A cookie that isn’t that good? Hard to believe it exists, but it does. If you only get about 1200 calories a day there’s no sense in wasting it on crap. You have to enjoy every morsel.


Kalyn • February 8, 2007 at 10:44 am

You have got to try the recipe for Peanut Butter Oatmeal that I have on my blog. I got it from one of my best food blogger friends, and it’s just fantastic. It makes oatmeal into a whole new taste sensation.

I know what you mean about something not being worth eating. I feel that way sometimes too.


Les • February 8, 2007 at 10:53 am

I love apple oatmeal. Maybe I’ll try the peanut butter like kalyn suggested.


Bree • February 8, 2007 at 11:13 am

I know what you mean! Although I’m only doing so so on my eating right now I’m the same way. If something is not good I’ll find myself thinking “…hey I’m wasting my calories on this crap” and will usually not eat anymore.

My hubby sometimes gets frustrated at me when we go out to eat. I’m a coke addict, I will admit. I’m clean now for 2 yrs (I think ..may be 3). Anyway, I don’t drink it. But over time I replaced it with Dr. Pepper. I love Dr. Pepper. When I’m stressed I can’t get enough. But when we go out to eat as badly as I want to order it and enjoy the sweet, fizzy burn (and get a refill or two) I will order water w/lemon. I don’t want water w/lemon but I know I’m cutting some cals that way. Now if I could just quit going out to eat I’d do even better. lol


hopefulloser • February 8, 2007 at 11:27 am

I just think it’s funny that your description of cat food stuck to the roof of your mouth seemed less unpleasant than having to pick the veggie burger from there! Try Morning Star Veggie Bacon. I assure you, you won’t be disappointed.



Smissy • February 8, 2007 at 12:00 pm

This post hit the nail on the head! Now if I don’t like a meal after 2 bites I throw it out and find something else. Before I would have eaten the bad meal, and then eaten something that tasted good to make up for it. I’ve also gotten into the habit of just sticking with what I KNOW I like and is good for me. I’m not “wasting” my points/calories on food that isn’t worth it.


psychsarah • February 8, 2007 at 1:28 pm

As usual Pasta Queen, you have aptly described feelings I’ve had for a while but never articulated!

Rachel-You hit the nail on the head about the cookies! I was shocked the first time the thought crossed my mind that I didn’t want fries (my absolute biggest weakness) because they weren’t great fries. Once upon a time anything that resembled a fried potato was down my throat before I gave it a moment’s consideration!


Elizabeth • February 8, 2007 at 1:50 pm

The only “veggie” burgers I’ve ever liked have been the Boca brand – cheeseburger flavor…and they are also better piled high with lots of veggies – lettuce, tomato, etc. I thought I hated Veggie burgers till I tried these, so you never know.

I know just what you mean about quantity versus quality and I had the same revelation a while back – who knew I could get so excited about oatmeal and yogurt and fruit? That was all “boring” food to me before. But when it’s all you get and you’re hungry, it tastes pretty darn good!

Congrats on the book deal by the way, that is super cool news.


Tonya • February 8, 2007 at 2:04 pm

I so understand what your saying. I get mad when I eat something that it’s my range but messes up a good meal!!! This has really changed the way I shop, cook, everything. Instead of thinking of food as the enemy like when I first started my healthy lifestyle, now I looking for good foods, recipes and getting excited all over again. Feels great to know I can feel this good over food that is good for me. Oatmeal ROCKS btw, *smile*-Tonya


coraspartan • February 8, 2007 at 2:15 pm

Yummm…the peanut butter oatmeal sounds delicious, and it’s something I never thought of trying. I will be trying it tomorrow morning for breakfast!

I wish I could get in the mindset of, if something doesn’t taste good, throw it away and eat something else. I really need to try that. I feel like I’m wasting food though.


bitchwhoblogs • February 8, 2007 at 2:17 pm

I feel like I am on a tight food budget… So, if its not fabulous its not worth eating.. that said, I ate total crap the past two days – lots of not worth it and hating it afterwards…

I am moving and haven’t figured out where the food budget friendly places are to eat in my new city.. I actually enjoy eating more now than when I was basically a mouth with arms…

I actually look at things like chips (my trigger food of all time) and think – huh, eleven chips or an egg white omelet with a ton of yummy veggies… I end up with the omelet. A croissant just isn’t worth it when I can eat a low cal grilled cheese and bowl of yummy soup for the same calorie cost…


Debbie • February 8, 2007 at 4:54 pm

I liked your analogy of shaving your legs for a bad date. Good one.


thg • February 8, 2007 at 7:23 pm

frozen blueberries will melt w/ your oatmeal and taste yum as well…


v'ron • February 9, 2007 at 11:10 am

I actually like the gardenburger ones myself.

Part of going into substitute food is to accept right then and there, that’s its not a substitute for whatever it was “trying” to be. I learned this from, of all people, Mollie Katzen, who talks aobut carob. “Carob is Carob. Chocolate is Chocolate.” In other words, if you went into carob thinking it would satisfy your want for chocolate, you’ll be disappointed. But if you went into carob for the smoky, nuttly flavor of carob, you’d enjoy it. Same thing with “veggie” burgers. Get “burger” out of your head, because if you’re craving “burger”, you want beef, and beef fat, and you’re better off having and enjoying that beef. But I loooovvve “GardenBurger”, especially the mushroom flavor. When I crave Gardenburger, its because I like the taste of the rice and the veggies and that’s what I’m craving. (and its only 3 points!)


Miz Booshay • February 9, 2007 at 12:56 pm

I have actually stopped eating something or spit it out while thinking…

“I am not wasting my calories on THIS!”


G.G. • February 9, 2007 at 12:56 pm

Have you tried turkey burgers? Not veggie, of course, but a much lighter alternative to a regular burger.

I’m a gunk adict, myself. What’s a burger without mustard, lite mayo, and/or ketchup (plus all the other stuff like tomatoes, lettuce & onion)? As long as I have my gunk, what makes up the burger doesn’t matter as much.


mickey • February 9, 2007 at 4:32 pm

i eat oatmeal every day for breakfast too. i buy the country choice multigrain stuff from trader joe’s. i highly recommend it, if you have one in your area. on monday, i might replace the protein shake i usually drink along with it with some PB.

(yes, i actually LIKE protein shakes and am not just drinking them to get enough protein. weird, i know, but they are really tasty to me.)


Chris H • February 9, 2007 at 10:52 pm

Sad but true, I have gotten to the point where food is not even enjoyable anymore! I can never think of anything yummy to eat that is point friendly.. or that I want. Everything I love is too high in points… and I am so over dieting, but know that I cannot slip back into old habits or I will gain back all my lost weight. Life sucks.


jen • February 10, 2007 at 3:18 pm

I’m glad I’m not the only one who feels totally gypped if my food isn’t great. You’re right, it means more when it’s scarcer.


Annie • February 13, 2007 at 11:00 am

It could be the type of veggie burger you had. Some are better than others. I like them from time to time but I fix them a little different. I cook the patty and then put ff cheese on it, top it was a course veggie salsa. Then I have a side of stir fried veggies and brown rice (veggies and rice cooked together using Pam and lots of spices).


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Jennette Fulda tells stories to the Internet about her life as a smartass, writer, weight-loss inspiration, chronic headache sufferer, and overall nice person (who is silently judging you). She does this at JennetteFulda.com now, but you can still have fun perusing her past here.

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