Finding Balance ~ Portions and how we learn them…

My Moose was home for a visit last week. We made many scrumptious items…her Moose Quinoa Fiesta Salad, quesadillas, white pizza, and others. We also enjoyed a trip to the Bluestone Grill. Mmmm…

Me and MooMomma & Moose

When she and I were shopping one day, we were doing the comparison thing. Barry asked me to pick up Oreos. I had bought a package for the Valentine’s dinner dessert and he enjoyed munching on the rest of the package, so he asked me to pick up more. Moose grabbed for a generic called something like “twists and dips” or some silliness like that. Anyway, I said, NOPE. Some things you do not buy generics. And I told her a story…

When I was a little girl, my mother bought generic everything. Money was tight and there were many mouths to feed. Four kids on a tight budget was a chore at times, I am sure. When it came to creme sandwich cookies, we never got the Oreos. I told Moose about Hydrox cookies… Now no slight to the brand, but they are a poor man’s Oreo, for my taste. And mom counted out four cookies each. I mean every time… four cookies. At some point, I suppose mom counted the number that came in the package and did the math on how long they had to last and divided it by four kids… and got four. Moose thought this was funny enough…

In 1981, I graduated college, got my first teaching job, and moved into my first apartment. I remember one of the silly things I did was go to the store and bought Oreos… not a generic creme sandwich cookie…. Oreos. Then I went home and ate FIVE. Not FOUR, I ate FIVE. Another night I ate SEVEN. It felt rebellious! I had Moose laughing. Then I asked her about cookies when she was little…

There was a package of cookies and they ate one. Or none. Then if they wanted a second, they could have it. She had no recollection of me counting cookies. And most times she would choose an apple instead. I told her that the sad lesson learned was not just that I should limit myself to four cookies, but that I ate all of them, whether I wanted them or not. The portions were strict and there was no extra if you got hungry later.

Now, there are two lessons here…
One: Some things are not worth eating if they are not the ones you really like. So there are some things I will not buy generic. Balancing that, they are things I buy as a treat, not often.
Two: There are lessons learned in how we ate as children. Note that in my story I ate 5 or 7 once I controlled my own intake. I never said I ate only 2. And I never did.

I grew up in a household where tight control was put on food. It was a concern when you had your plate and that was it. If you were hungrier, there was no extra. If you weren’t hungry for it, you cleaned your plate anyway. There were no choices. How did I handle this as a mom? I did the opposite. There were always choices on the table. And we always ate family style. The plates were out and the girls were taught to take what they wanted but eat what they took. They always started small, knowing they could always go back for more. One rule was that they had to have a balanced plate. So a little protein, a little starch, and something from the veggie/fruit category. Did I say fruit? Yes. I often put out fruit as a choice. for the meal. And there were always two veggies because I spent way too much time at the dinner table as a child, waiting out my parents and stubbornly going to bed rather than eat peas.

What do you think is the result? I was a terrible eater. I became a carb addict, and until recently I was a BIG girl… 😦   No more, I am on a good journey now… LOL 😀

My girls? They are slender and lovely… and smart eaters. They actually stop eating if they aren’t hungry (imagine that!) ~ a practice I had to train myself to do.

Pretty girls
Photo courtesy Moose: (L to R) Moose, Kenz, Tammy, and Jamie (cousin extraordinaire!) at Lyon Hall, Clarendon, VA

Consider your memories about food and how they affect your eating habits now. With thoughtfulness, and good planning, your habits can be tweaked and your eating become healthier!  I subscribe to a mantra learned from my doctor’s team… “Nothing tastes as good as thin feels!” So I plan my meals carefully, I make sure they are DELICIOUS, and then I ENJOY!! ❤



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