November 14, 2013

Fun with Portion Control!

Portion control is easy when your dishes are this pleasing!

Portion control is key when you have digestive issues.   We should all be eating more slowly, chewing each bite longer, and serving ourselves smaller portions for healthy motility.  In my case, these simple acts make a huge difference in reducing GERD (or eliminating it altogether).   Lately, I've been catching myself eating quickly, and eating beyond feeling full -- often, as I'm putting food away I eat a few extra bites, or I decide I want "just a little spoonful" more after finishing my plate.   Those few extra bites make an impact -- how many times have I felt great at the end of my meal, but then "bloated" and uncomfortable after not listening to my body?  (And, I seem to never learn!)

It is never too late to take a breath and re-train yourself to eat more slowly and mindfully.  Don't fret about past days or weeks.   Focus on today.   


I have been using 1 or 2 cup sized Pyrex glass containers for my lunches -- and the occasional mason jar.   A few months ago, my portable lunch container world shifted when I discovered these Japanese bowls at the inimitable NYC store, Pearl River:

Fantastic lidded bowls from Pearl River, NYC.

Microwavable, with lids, they are made from ceramic -- not lightweight to haul around, but I long gave up plastics, so I'm used to my lunch sack containing sturdy containers.   And, eating lunch in one of these is an aesthetic joy!   The craftsmanship of these bowls inspires me to take my time, enjoy my food, eat mindfully.


Often, eating out with GERD -- or any digestive/diet related concern -- is an ordeal.   J. and I usually dine out at "healthy" vegan or macrobiotic restaurants because we can choose most everything on the menu (a pleasure!), and the dishes are not overly spiced or too salty (though since our home cooking is mostly salt-free, anything remotely salted can be "too" salty for us). 

Restaurant portions are still too large, even in most vegan/macro places.   I wind up taking half home for lunch (not that bad an end).   One recent meal, however, was perfect.   At Blossom, a vegan bistro in Chelsea, NYC, I did not feel overwhelmed at the table by the portion size, and could simply enjoy and focus on the food, completely.  (Another effect of "too-large portions" in restaurants -- I get overwhelmed by the idea of having to finish it all, or the logistics of now having to take half home -- what if I don't feel like schlepping my half-eaten food across town?   Large portions become an emotional burden!)

At Blossom, we had the "tofu benedict" and an order of French toast with fruit.  We split each plate, and the amount was ideal:  about "two fistfuls" of food each.  (Maybe a bit more -- but we did not have busting guts and I had no nausea, regurgitation or other GERD calamities afterward.)   Here is what our breakfast looked like when it arrived:

Brunch at Blossom.

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