It’s a matter of perspective

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how my mindset impacts the outcome (or my perception of the outcome) of the exact same situation. I should credit this food for thought to the Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff book by Richard Carlson, which I’m currently reading.

After a day full of delicious and pretty healthy meals, I found myself snacking on some fresh bread with sundried tomato pesto, which went undocumented. And then of course there were too many almonds. I didn’t feel great afterwards physically but this is where my mindset about this situation could make or break my night, or even the next day. I had 2 choices: understand that some days we are just hungrier than others and also that I have a weakness for roasted almonds which can only be controlled by portioning them out before hand. This is the reasonable approach and if taken, could let me move on with my life… like a normal person. My other choice was to view this as a failed attempt at eating reasonably and mindfully. I am no longer counting calories so listening to my hunger cues is key to maintaining my weight. The problem with the second approach is that of course it’s negative and not constructive. This kind of mindset would only bring me down and make me question other things in my life because that’s exactly what happens when I’m in “that” kind of mood. How many of you believe that the first approach is the right one? How many of you can’t help but take on the second one? The same situation can take on a really different life, depending on your perspective. I’m happy to report that I let this little incident slide. I just brushed it off and ate like I would (read: healthy + yummy eats) the next day (see below). Your perspective can make a big difference. I am questioning my own ways of viewing things and mindfully trying to take the right approach. As a result, I’ve been much happier lately. I think the sunshine may have helped a little too. ;)

Now let’s talk food + fitness :)

BREAKFAST

Green monster: 1/4 block of silken tofu, 1/2 cup milk, 1/2 cup water, 1/2 frozen banana, frozen spinach, frozen organic wild blueberries, 1/4t xantham gum, 1/8t guar gum

Toppings: Zoe’s granola + dried bing cherries

I love the crunchy cereal in every few “bites.” This was a delicious combo :)

MID-AFTERNOON/PRE-WORKOUT SNACK

I actually ate only 1/2 of this banana. This is definitely one of my favorite snacks, although a big messy. :)

WORKOUT

We have summer weather here in Boston (like 80*!!) and I’ve been taking full advantage of it by incorporating more outdoor runs. Yesterday I ran for 5.25 miles (taking a short walk in the mega sun at some point for maybe 2 minutes). Warm up + cool down walks also amounted to about a mile. I was a giant sweaty mess at the end. It was a tough run. I’m trying to work up to 6+ miles over this week and maybe even attempt some double digits soon. Man, taking time off from running is really making it difficult for me to come back. I’m determined though. :D

LUNCH

This next picture is lame but this lunch was delicious!

Ww Tuscane pane, edamame spread, grilled asparagus + grilled peppers, feta cheese

Fantastic sandwich! I just love eating fresh foods like that. It makes me feel so good, knowing how well I’m feeding my body. And seriously, just the thought of this sandwich makes me a little more excited. It was the perfect lunch!

MID-AFTERNOON SNACK

I shared another one of these little packets with Adam at night.

DINNER

Yes, go ahead, start drooling now. :lol:

Manchego-stuffed pork chops with roasted red-pepper pepita sauce (recipe can be found here).

+ fiddleheads! I steamed these guys for 7 minutes then quickly sauteed them with garlic and 1tsp of EVOO on a hot skillet. They were so yummy – reminded me of a cross between sauteed spinach and snap peas with a texture of tender asparagus. Yummy.

The manchego stuffed pork chops were of course the stars, though. This recipe was so simple and produced such flavorful results. I forgot how much I love manchego cheese (I nibbled on a little square while prepping this meal). The roasted red pepper-pepita sauce also freshens up the indulgent, cheesy pork chop.

I think it’s going on my favorites list! [PS. I only ate 1/2 of what you see here. 1/2 of a pork chop just doesn't photograph well so I took a picture of the whole thing and saved what I left on the plate for lunch the next day.]

MID-EVENING SNACK (at photography class)

Chocolate white chocolate chip cookie

And once again, I’m running late for work. Story of my life. Peace. :cool:

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21 comments to It’s a matter of perspective

  • sister inna

    omg that sandwich… i’m drooling

  • sister inna

    o and in your situation… i would probably just not keep any almonds in the house — but that is not the “healthy and rational” way of dealing with the problem, huh

  • that’s pretty warm for may in mass isn’t it? i lived there till i was 13 and i know it doesn’t get too hot! i’m in SC now and oh baby it’s past 80 already here. haha

  • I have a hard time balancing the two perspectives too. It’s usually one way or the other..no where in the middle. That sandwich looks killer.

  • I definitely think the first perspective is the right one, and yet I often fall victim to the second perspective. My biggest problem is that when I overeat a little bit, I tend to feel guilty and obsess over it so much that it leads to MORE overeating. Completely counter-productive! When I do manage to just let it go and go with the flow – and accept that as a normal person there will be days when I overeat a little bit, and it’s not the end of the world – then I’m more likely to get right back to my healthy habits, just like you did in this situation! :)

  • Manchego stuffed ANYTHING?? YES!! that looks amazing….

    I’ve never added silken tofu to anything but i’m curious to try it!

  • Elina

    Innz – yeah, just separating them into little baggies helps but I was out for a while and finally bought a bag so I think I went slightly overboard. Nothing too major but definitely more than I *should* have had.

    Beth – the silken tofu blends right in and adds a little more protein to breakfast. I like to use it or almond butter for some staying power. :)

  • I should get that book–I’ve heard a lot of about it. Hey, so when I try to click on the RSS feed subscribe button at the top right, I get a weird page with a bunch of computer writing. I’d love to subscribe to your site but can’t :(
    I’ll keep clicking back through Google though :)

  • I was just having this debate last night. I was SOOOO hungry, but I kep thinking i’d already eaten enough for the day. eventually I decided it was just silly not to feed my hunger, but it took awhile

  • Yum. Those pork chops look gorgeous. I have a few in the freezer and this may be just the thing. I would say that I used ot fall much more into the second camp, but I’ve come over to the first. It is SO relaxing to be here. I’m definitely not at my skinniest, but I still look great in my clothes. I think part of it was a realization that maybe I didn’t have to be the skinnest and just being relatively thin and fit could be okay.

  • Elina

    RuntoFinish – glad you honored your hunger after all. :D

    Kelly – amen! I am almost 20lbs above what I thought was my goal weight but I just don’t care anymore. I am happy at where I am and that’s what’s important. :)

  • great question! wow.. i think i usually try to stick with my first instinct.. but yes if i think about it too long or sit on the thought.. i end up going for the second..which usually is the wrong choice.

    im absolutely loving that sandwich and the cookie. are u kidding! ur amazingggg

  • Oh boy, do I know exactly the struggle you just described! SOME days I can shrug off those extra nibbles as added hunger and other days I just can’t shake it. I’ve been having less of those “can’t shake it off” moments lately but still, the negative thoughts are usually not that far off in my brain, sadly. It’s so frustrating – logic should prevail but irrationality usually wins. Why are we women so complicated??

  • Great run! I love running out in the heat. There’s something so primal about it with all the sweat. Awesome.

    Your meals look soooo tasty! Even if you felt there were a few too many snacks involved you’re eating very healthy and should give yourself some credit!

  • I would try to trust you body and feel good about listening to it. Almonds are a healthy snack! Unless you ate a huge amount, you probably did no damage, but rather gave your body what it wanted!

  • manchego is one of my FAVORITE cheeses!!!

    yesterday was PERFECT! i didn’t start work until 1130, so in the morning I took a big walk around the BC resoivor…I live right around there and it was PERFECT!!!! I was smiling the whole time!!

    those fiddleheads are the funniest looking veggie! i want to try them!

  • great run! and the perspective issue is one i’ve been struggling with too as you know ;) definitely the right idea to let it go, it helps immensely!!

  • Liz

    That pork looks amazing! I’m not sure I could eat fiddleheads… they remind me of curled up snakes. Yes, I have a paralyzing snake phobia. But, they sound good and interesting – never hear of them before!

  • Thanks for your concern about the RSS button. So, I clicked it on my home computer (not my work computer) and it automatically subscribed me to MSN reader and didn’t give me the option of choosing Google reader. So then I just searched for you within Google reader and found you that way. Long story short, I’m subscribed! Thanks!

  • [...] It’s a matter of perspective [...]

  • I should have known that was an Elly recipe, she makes such good stuff! I have never had fiddleheads, now you’ve got me intrigued.

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