Wednesday, July 13, 2011

What a Girl Wants is What a Girl Needs

Sometimes, when I feel like nothing is going my way and people don’t treat me right, I decide to treat myself right. I was feeling this way earlier in the spring, and that’s when I decided if I wanted something I was going to give it to myself. I wasn't going to hold off. I was just going to get it.

Sounds pretty self indulgent, I know. But if you know me, you know I deny myself all sorts of things. I’m disciplined. I’m disciplined with my diet, I’m disciplined with my purchases…I was going to say I’m disciplined with my time and with my exercise but that couldn’t be further from the truth. So let’s stick with diet and purchases. Well…I’m still a cautious consumer. I've needed the following for months now: new shoes, new glasses, new contacts and windshield wiper fluid. I did get some shoes. Let's stick with diet.

What I eat and what I buy go hand in hand much of the time because I like groceries -- and restaurants. I hate wasting food. Just last week I was making a smoothie, using the last of my almond milk, the last of my spinach and I was so satisfied with not wasting this food I actually said out loud, “There’s something so satisfying about using the last of my food.” What I’m saying is if I want a hamburger, but I have stuff at home to make a sandwich, I make a sandwich. If I want some ice cream (which is rare) I usually think, nah, I don’t need that. And sometimes, if I’m craving fresh vegetables – yes that happens – I’ll eat frozen ones because I already bought them and they’re in the freezer. 99.9% of the time it ends in disappointment.

So the past few months I’ve been answering my cravings when they hit. And it has been awesome. I don’t drink a lot of soda, but when I think, “I want a Dr. Pepper” I give myself one (it’s maybe twice a month). And when I drink it, it brings me so much joy I can’t even begin to explain.

Last week this little practice was most evident. I don’t crave things a lot, but last week I had all sorts of cravings. On Tuesday, all I could think of that morning was how I wanted a margherita pizza. Sette Bello was a couple blocks away and that’s all I thought about for two hours. When lunch time came, I hopped in the car, picked up a pizza, came back to my office and ate the ENTIRE thing – and I’m a little person. I’ve downed a whole pizza before, but I remember feeling sick afterwards. After I ate all 1000 calories or whatever I felt great. So satisfied – not full, but done. The difference? Before I wasn't craving it. I just ate it.

That's when I decided if my body is craving something it probably means I need it. So. That afternoon, I was craving ice cream. I didn’t want frozen yogurt, I wanted ice cream. On my way home, I took a detour through the Arctic Circle Drive-Thru. The cashier tried to tempt me into getting a large ice cream, but I just needed a small. She also tried to tempt me into ordering some onion rings or fries, but I was craving one thing and one thing only: ice cream. And that’s what I got. And it was delightful.

On Friday I was walking around downtown. I felt hungry and thought about what I wanted and BAM! My brain came up with a French Dip sandwich from Robins Nest. That thought at that time was like the best idea I’ve ever heard. Unfortunately Robins Nest closed 20 minutes before I got there. Next best thing was a bratwurst from Siegfrieds which was on the walk home. Don't worry, the next night I scored a French Dip at Normandie Cafe. Craving cured.

Aside: Ever since I started being a weekday vegetarian (about 3 months ago), I’ve been content eating salads, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, dairy, fish (I don’t count that as meat, criticize me later) etc. I don’t want meat that much. But when I do want meat, I want beef. Chicken or turkey? Boo. No, I want roast beef or steak. Interesting huh? Maybe I’ll post my thoughts about that diet in the future.

You know what, forget about that being an aside, I think it is totally related. This is what I believe. I believe if you are eating healthy, and you are eating good, whole foods, cravings are good because you crave good things. I haven’t craved candy, or chocolate (ok, soda) fried food or anything like that (that doesn't mean I never eat it though).What I'm saying is you should give your body what it wants because it’s probably telling you that's what it needs.

There. That’s all I have to say.


Lisa Marie Trent said...

I miss the french dip from Tasty's. Is there a good replacement?

Laura Lee said...

Yes, the French Dip from Robins Nest.

Ilene said...

As a mom of picky kids, I feel sometimes that all I do is waste food. And it seems the only times that they actually consume an entire meal is on Sunday afternoons when Dan makes them Top Ramen for lunch. Such an empty triumph.

Thomas said...

You sound pregnant--congratulations.