Passive vs. Attentive Eating


I counseled a patient last night at our student-run clinic and our conversation was one of those talks that sticks with you and stays in your thoughts and has you all like yessssssss. We were discussing weight management and easy ways to make small, meaningful changes that will create big results but not cause a feeling of deprivation.

If you’re an RD, RD in training, or even just a human in general you probably know that weight reduction can be an extremely emotional journey, and it’s never as simple of a checklist of things to do/not do - BUT it can lead to conversations and new ideas that I think are healthy for anyone. I’ve found during the internship that I when I counsel, I prefer to start with 1-2 small steps/goals to take, then build on that progress and success with more changes, reevaluating as necessary (read more about that here). So, in my session with this particular patient, he mentioned wanting to reduce the amount of sweets he eats in a day. We talked about amount, what that would look like, how he felt about the change, etc. Then we got into a talk about ways to really enjoy his food and not feel like he was cutting back, restricting too much too soon, etc. and together, we worked out a strategy: to fully pay attention to what he was eating and to not allow eating to become a passive process.


Obviously, this is not a new concept. I didn’t come up with it on my own and it’s been talked about before - but probably not enough. We are so, so, so busy. I can’t even tell you the last time I ate without scrolling through my phone with my other hand. During my clinical rotations, I ate exactly 2 lunches in 16 weeks not in front of my computer, charting, or in a meeting. When I picture the kind of relationship I want to have with food, this isn’t what it looks like. Food is meant to be enjoyed and experienced because dang is it good, and so good for you. I don’t think every single meal is supposed to be super fancy and an experience in and of itself (I’m usually eating oatmeal or veggie burgers these days) but that doesn’t mean we can’t commit to paying attention when we eat, taking a little time for ourselves, and cutting out the distractions. It is so worth it.


By paying attention to food, we also pay more attention to our bodies and we're more likely to stop when we're full, and fully process mealtime in our brains to help prevent emotional/mental hunger later on. It helps us become more intuitive because we're now listening to what our body's telling us, which is a win-win-win all around. Plus, you'll enjoy your food more and who wouldn't want that?

Now for some WIAW/eats in general because I haven’t been on top of food pics lately...


Theeee best taco soup of my life from a fundraiser at work with taro root chips (also theee best). It was spicy but creamy and full of green and black olives which is basically my love language. Also, the chips are Terra and I usually buy the mixed root vegetable bag but I realized I always go for the taro ones first and Whole Foods has a bag of just those so...heaven.


Annie's GF (sensitive tummy over here) white cheddar shells with a little leftover Superbowl queso (yes, you heard me) and handfuls of kale thrown in. Hit the spot for a warm carb craving, let me tell ya.


You may have seen this on my Instagram (because #obsessed) but I'm super into both these bites and PB lately. Like, I bought a jar 4 days ago and it's halfway gone.


Helped at a heart healthy food demonstration yesterday for Valentine's Day and snuck away some of this salsa (homemade and delish) with carrots/peas and of course some dessert (melt 1 large dark chocolate Hershey's bar and toss in one small can of unsalted nuts and a handful of dried cherries, then toss to coat and spoon out onto a pan for the fridge)


PBJ overnight oats (told you I was into that PB) that I paired with coffee because of course. 1/2 cup oats + 1/4 cup almond milk + 1 container TJ's French vanilla Greek yogurt + chia + berries + PB + love.

Go put away your phone and eat something good and party because we're 3/5 of the way through the week!