Home Court Habits: Lunch & Dinner
Weekday lunch so we've talked about this a little bit let's go in a little bit more detail this is ah this is could be tricky. So this is again twenty four percent of your week daniel's lunch is a really tough one for people we are busy at work right? And it's like the last thing actually I'd love to hear you like how you guys what your guys is experience heart like mid day eating how does that go? I'll share them probably bad things um I tend to eat out at lunch it's a break from from the office it gets me out it gets me a short walk down the street or maybe a longer walk but um you know, I can tell you the best choices at all the places that are close to my office right? That's good. So having a good knowledge about the geography of where you're going to be is actually a really good strategy. Um we got stuff to eat typically do you go by yourself? Where'd you go with a friend or calling varies I would say probably three days by myself in two days with with colleagues in fronts um yea...
h, and actually it is it is so getting up and getting out of the office and taking a walk is actually a very, very healthy habit, so right, so my strategy for for that, if I did want to go out more is definitely to find super, you know, healthy things when you're going because it's it's hard because you want to eat the tasty things that's a problem going out is you're tempted by the other things on the menu, but if you could manage to get at least three days a week, the healthy things or four days a week even better and save that the mac and cheese of the lasagna or whatever you're your own little special treat is for more special occasions or for those really tough days or for friday's or whatever that's how I would handle it anyone else work experiences? Yeah, I work from home, so I have leftovers for lunch no ginger that yeah, because I really don't want to take time to cook it on because that will just like, do you really my day, right? But I've done things like when I make a big batch of super ljust freeze portions and then I just take the frozen portions, stick it in a pot with a lid on it and like ten minutes later, it's it's heated I love it working at home could be hard tio everybody thinks it's going to be easier, but it's hard because you can do whatever you want on also you can sort of one of your board you can sort of meander to the kitchen and snack a little bit and no one's watching so that could be tough. I worked at home. I I have ah usually make eggs actually for lunch. I have this cabbage and eggs recipe that's really good. I think I mentioned that the other day. Um, again, it takes three whopping minutes. Toe chop up a quarter of a cabbage cook in japan with a little bit of soy sauce and then scram. Throw some scrambled eggs on there and start around it's. Delicious. Anyone else have a different work experience? Yeah, I eat. Uh, depends if my personal chef has cooked anything for lunch, but I like having rice cakes and peanut butter, and I'll throw some fruit on it. And it's. Easy, it's fast. It's. Actually, the rice cakes aren't that bad? Well, if they're covered in peanut butter and fruit, of course. Yeah, but that would get me through for a few hours. Pretty good. I had an experience that before I worked at home, I worked in a lab over over here at ucsf. Actually, and we had the one benefit of working there was that several labs shared a kitchen, and so they were sort of required, you know, in twenty plus, people were using the same kitchen. They were sort of necessary to have a nice big fridge and a pretty decently stocked pantry played sink, microwave things like that toaster oven. And what I would do is I would go teo the groceries or the farmer's market on monday or sometimes even on in the middle of the week they would actually be one on campus, which was we're spoiled rotten, but I would buy all this stuff for salads. I could get some really good lettuce, get some great tomatoes. I just bring in some oil and vinegar and, uh, you know, cucumbers, radishes, whatever was in season and I go to the kitchen and just chop all this stuff up and threw it in a plate and dress it. And so it's smell really good cause addressing always smells really good and the fresh produce always smells really good. And what was really interesting is people were jealous because they would see this like these beautiful tomatoes, like red and yellow and like all this food and they feel like that looks so good. Looks amazing. Oh, smells so good. You're so lucky. Like lucky ok, you're jealous of my fallon voss um um the other thing I wanted to point out is that work is definitely not a special occasion and when you're tempted to have things like mac and she's like the deli down the street for work those air some really great places to sort of remember we're talking about the the impulsive goals versus the higher goals work is one of those places where is really worth calling on those higher goals and saying, you know, I really do want to be part of my grand kids lives you know? I really d'oh wants to feel lighter feel feel good about my body and I'm going to save the mac and cheese for a special event with my family and while I'm at work maybe the salad doesn't taste quite as good or maybe I could make it taste better by asking him to put an avocado on it or some bacon on it or something but you know, finding strategies to talk yourself out of indulging in an atmosphere that's not worth it because chances are if you're inclined to get something like pizza or something that's really no isn't good for you during the work day it's something else it's a stress issue you know it's ah it's ah it's ah exhaustion issue where you're either you aren't in the state to make a good decision or you're so stressed out you need comfort and those are the types of problems that can be addressed before right does it like you can create stress management techniques you can uh plan out what you're going to get ahead of times that you are it's easier to make that better decision so is this resonating with people at all yeah I think it's a really good time to practice mindfulness what you're talking about earlier and also um you know what you taught us about dopamine and serotonin it seems like especially when we're trying when we want to indulge and we want that mac and cheese it's we're looking either for that comfort from the stressful work or we just want to blow off some steam so let's get this stuff that makes us feel good but if we can be mindful of that feeling and then go okay what activity or change in pattern could I do right now um also including you don't planning ahead to avoid going down that road? Excellent point exactly and another thing I would add is personally as I have developed my own health style strategies over the years. One thing I've really noticed is that as I become more selective about real food the the and we'll talk about this in a bit but the value of like a mac and cheese that like a grocery store deli or at any deli or is just not that as appealing as it would be like I would rather skip the the whole foods mac and cheese like costco packages and go home and make the best mac and cheese on earth you know that because you have your grandma's recipe or or go to like a really great southern restaurant where they like know what they're doing and it's just like worth every bite you know it's like there's a certain point where it's like nothing at the deli is going to be mind blowing so you might as well choose the slightly healthier option and spruce it up in a way that makes it palate bold enough to eat every day then sort of throw your health out the window for something that really isn't worth it. So think about that in terms of values so weak day dinner again a solid twenty percent of your meals I'm not counting friday I'm not pretending friday's a weekday um dinner is tough because dinner is the hardest meal because it e I feel like we all have this expectation that dinner is going to be a big meal for the day but also dinner is when we're wiped out right? We talked about will power we talked about decision fatigue and, you know five p m you're hungry, you're tired, you're probably a little grumpy if you're anything like me and so that is when that is one of those moments when your likelihood of doing and falling into the impulsive goal versus the higher goal is very, very high is this true? You guys find this to be true yes sometimes if you have a strong habit of making dinner it's not as true because you're just like oh it's easy for me to just cook a dinner where as if you're in the habit of going out if you're in the habit of getting take out fast food ordering in it's going to be a lot more difficult to be like how am I gonna continue like I mean it's just sounds impossible so it could be really tough so just quick show of hands how many people cook dinner on most weeknights and online I want to hear from you guys to cook dinner I mean it's one two just recently I checked out your food really you're doing awesome that zimmerman doesn't last month I'm patio only two people okay you don't cook you dinner and I help you in general yeah well made dinner of course from scratch in her home so really good at this until I started working here because there's just too much food during the day I never used to week that substantial lunch but because it's provided here I've now gotten very very lazy at home so what you d'oh I tend to just snack now or I don't eat a tall because I'm just not hungry oh interesting so you're not making bad decisions you're just not making decisions I still shop I stood by the food and I look at it thinking I just I'm not hungry sounds like he could potentially save a lot of money. Yeah, well, this is it. This is the good side. Well, that's interesting and that's it that's actually a good foresight and that you're you're recognizing that it's because you're eating earlier and it's? Not necessarily a choice you're making for dinner. So your question? Yeah. So I have a similar issue, but I work from home. So a half lunch, I usually make melinda at home on my family home, but then in the afternoon ice next so much that by dinner I'm like, I don't know. Should I eat something on that? And sometimes I don't know anything, and sometimes I realized at nine p m that maybe I should eat something so that's kind of messed up your sort of putting off the decision, because so so your issues that your stockings you want? Yeah, and so, you know, I'm pretty hungry, but I do kind of start something healthier than just, you know, pretzels or something. Uh, s o s o s o the way to address that issue is to work on snacking, yeah, strategies, but that's, the reason why I most of the time don't really cooked in a while, I'll have leftovers from lunch. Got it and how about people online and they're there they come cook sir yes most people seem to be fifteen eight five says yes eleven ninety says yes but really just said yes and phillips says he always makes a salad but they haven't had anybody here said no that they don't good job guys you've learned a lot in the last two days now a lot of people say that they microwave a lot of food now less is that's so I guess they're doing sort of the convenience thing though I agree at some of the same what does microwave in the food actually harm the food you lose nutrients great question and no microwaving is not bad for your food if anything actually it's shown to increase the bio available availability of certain nutrients all that radiation rumors are rumors what was the one who said to me right before for that about, uh, little people you think microwaving in general just whether or not they it's good idea I'm assuming these air frozen meals or they could be warming up leftovers. So if you're one thing I've leftovers, I think you're in good shape if you're eating like ling cuisines every night, we we should work on that we should work on that habit that is a highly highly, highly processed food and if you're if you are trying to optimize your habits and you're trying to get twenty five percent of your meals healthier and my going dinner's not getting in there it's amazing the marketing on that people really believed that lean cuisine and somewhere healthier they are not let that must be busted, but they're not good for you on your nickname is saying they do actually make dinner every night for their family, but he's so boring in their family really don't like it. Oh, sorry to hear that maybe find some new recipes that sounds exactly like what you should do or maybe find a farmer's market where you can get really good ingredients and actually garlic really goes a long way, but maybe that I'm going to guess the overcooking and under salting is the issue here? Um, yeah, so dinner is tough, you know, people, we we we have a snack, we do things beforehand that sabotage her dinner efforts, we we're tired, we made bad decisions, we just would rather microwave something or go through the drive through or go through the deli in the store and a lot of people that just go to the deli at the grocery store and get some stuff and take it home. It's better than nothing that's my version of fast food too, but I try not to do that very often and then what my challenge would be tio is too figure out ways that you could nudge yourself toward a healthier dinner a couple of nights a week I'm not gonna I'm not going to tell you you have to go five days a week from the beginning that's really hard it's really exhausting I can't even do that I like if I if I had three nights a week where I cook at home and pretty darn proud of myself it's good, you know? So start with one you know? Can I cook dinner one night a week? You know, start your shopping habit, go to the groceries, go to the grocery story, we go to the farmer's won't get some ingredients just for one meal and, you know, start with like a vegetable and a protein you know, start really small start with one day a week and see how it feels, build the habit and then build from there makes sense because of you it's going to wonder if I could toss out a challenge to you? Yeah, so when you mention about not wanting breakfast and I started thinking, I do it kind of late, but this is a vicious circle of I'm triggered at three o'clock every afternoon because all the kids getting out of school, I hear the rodeo, the parents coming to pick him up there shouting the food trucks coming so I'm hungry right so elite then but then I'm not hunger against like nine o'clock so what do you eat then? Well that's the dilemma of I sometimes just power through and just go to bed dhoni but then I'm nibbling on other you know, leftovers that I've made and so it's it's a lot of nibbling because I'm not I can't quite find the thing to satisfy I mean what's this neck it could be nuts and dark chocolate it could be soups it could be when I was doing the frozen males something because I was just really hungry or I've got on the street and get a burrito for luck for a snack yeah because I was hungry it wasn't just a little I was really is like meals I'm hungry okay and so then it's just like ok not o'clock I'm hungry again right? Because it's so late yeah right so this so I get hungry around three o'clock so I think a lot of us dio I actually go to a ten to go to the gym around that time and I come home and I am famished like one after I work out I will like it like my arm I'm so hungry and uh I have found I just I've become very, very good and knowing exactly how much I need to eat tio award it off adding water could be huge so for instance I I am now I used to eat half a bag of nuts I'm now capable of eating ten or eleven almonds I true them really, really slowly I drink to big glasses of water and I'm not like now I mean that sounds neurotic but now it's not for me now that's natural because I've developed the habit of mindful eating, I know that if I eat more than that I'm in a over under you later I won't be ready for dinner early to late and so I've developed strategies around that another thing I do is I I rely a lot on fruit because food is bulky and really it's got that sweetness so it's sort of satisfies a lot of different cravings sometimes I need you know, a little bit more like fruit and some nuts, but for the most part, you know you can work on the types of snacks you're eating and try we'll talk about cravings and a bit on how to get through some of those when they hit. But there might be some strategies you can do to actually just be very specific about the snack you know don't graze through some some pretzels or chips or not because I imagine if you're actually eating enough nuts to ruin your dinner, you're probably doing quite a bit of nuts because it's just you put him in a bowl and just keep yeah I think what I did about nuts and that whole grazing thing uh similarly almonds I lead the bag but walnuts they're not super delicious but they're not terrible having more than five so yes, but so that's worked for me you just have, you know, grab a handful in that's a walkaway, walnuts, pecans or whatever that was amazing, yes, but but but but you can you can designate a specific time. So for instance when I'm in my office I don't eat in my office you know I will go down to the kitchen, eat a certain number of nots, eat a piece of fruit, drink some water and go back to my office and try to like wait it out typically after twenty minutes of waiting I forget about it because I actually did satisfy that gets under the dining room not everywhere around the house yeah, we'll talk about that ok? And again, like we were mentioning thinking ahead and thinking, what can I do on weekends toe actually make it easier on the weekday because it's it's really it's a big challenge for pretty much all of us so don't and if you don't nail dinner right away remember we talked about doing one or two habits at a time it's ok like this one's hard so maybe start somewhere easier like breakfast all right, now let's get into the snacking who hear snacks too much everybody almost everybody I know is next to much there they think they d'oh she's quite good about my smacking I do it's a lot of fruits and vegetables as a snack I don't do things like this so but I do snack experience you've come up with a strategy to be able to snack without and having a very detrimental effect. I hope so. It seems like I mean doing well um for ninety six look a day over eighty it may be very touched on this briefly earlier, but um like I said, s o remember that I mean what we talked about earlier so certain snacks are much, much better choices than other snacks we talked on day one about the cookie experiment the guy who is the charles do hig, the new york times writer who is going in having a bit one of those big cafeteria could gauge another like four, five hundred calories and he was getting one of those every day and he cut that out. He lost twelve pounds from that one stupid habit. Can you believe that? I mean, I it's like it makes sense you're cutting out two thousand calories a week when you cut that potentially twenty, five hundred of their five hundred calorie cookie one side and then on and then you just get rid of that and you can have this huge impact so what I challenge everyone to do who has a snacking issue is tried to identify one of those you know, trying to identify one habit that is literally adding thousands of calories a week. Lenny I was I mean, is it the cookie that is it is the cookie the cooking may not be those twelve pounds, but what might the cookie be triggering that's fostering mohr eating right so maybe you might have to cookies, but do you get hungry? You're sooner because you might be crashing or yeah, so that's a great point so one of the problems with eating sugar and for highly processed carbs is you're giving yourself blood sugar spikes and then you're giving yourself insulin spikes and then when the insulin spike comes, it takes all that blood sugar jams of the near fat cells which is lovely that's just calories going right into your fat and then and then you're low on blocher again and then you get hungry again. So there is definitely something there when you're not eating whole foods, you're putting yourself on this like blood sugar insulin roller coaster that can cause overheating and eventually leads to diabetes, but you mean when you're talking about a four, five hundred calorie cookie, you're actually losing twelve pounds from the extra day of food reading you know the actual two thousand calories a week that you're eating so there's yeah great point like there's a lot of factors here and there was a lot of reasons why you shouldn't be eating tons of cookies um and another question ask is why you're habitually snacking like we talked about if it's a habit there's a really good chance that it's not necessarily hunger based it can be it certainly can be but there there might be a stress factor there might be something else and it's worth doing a little soul searching and remember we talked about brutal honesty you know being very honest about what we're feeling when were triggered to snack what we need what are what are reward is when we're tired when we're snacking all the time and getting to the bottom of those things because sometimes I can help you you can figure out a way to satisfy the craving without actually cooling your whole health goal collapsing you know and like and it's so amazing that you could literally lose ten pounds by cutting out one thing it's really really powerful yeah and so and how can you satisfy your craving in a healthier way and I'm gonna give you a really quick a strategy for uh dealing with cravings anybody get cravings pretty regularly yeah I want to see hands used tio not so much anymore they're new diet okay but you guys getting pretty regular um how does it feel when you have a queen it when a craving hence sorry minutes and the thing I want to eat and already like imagine like it's going to be taste good everything into is done right and then like what does it affect how you're the rest of your life is going well when you work when they don't know is always like see that admission to a finish it and what do you try to do? Do you just do you just give in or do you try to push it down? I talked to rationalize it very honest, uh yeah um you know, normally I create for good ice cream and I was like, it's not good, but it was like I have that tomorrow effect like I'll do better tomorrow he rationalizes yes, yeah, yeah, but it's really tough? Anybody else have a craving story? Cheryl well, um yeah it's cyclical thing and I know when the chocolate craving is coming and I try to distract myself try to eat something else, then I don't have it in the house, so I'm going to have to figure out how can I go get it and not disrupt my schedule too much? And someone said, why use waited out I said it was gonna be like, three, four days, can I really a strong arm myself into three or four days of trying to avoid it, and so then I'll say, well, I'm going to get the very best I can, which is going to cost me so then it's, I better make that last if I'm really going to spend the money, so and strategies were actually spending the more money on the better quality thing actually does work, but if I go down the, you know, sorry hershey's, but if I go down that route, it's just no good, excellent observation that works for me too going high end typically works cause more satisfying. Um, so this strategy that we're going to talk about is called surfing the urge, and this was discovered through addiction research um, but essentially what we typically dio when we feel a craving coming on as we try to do everything in our power to suppress it, we were like, you know, like, I'm not eating cookies today, I'm gonna be good, I'm gonna be good, I'm gonna I'm gonna go on facebook and do something else. And, you know, maybe I'll go drink diet coke or something that, like, fill that sweetness void in my mouth, and we'll do everything we can to distract ourselves andan fortunately, all that really does is delay it and it keeps putting it off and it stretches it out you know so that it feels like it never goes away you're never actually dealing with it and you're never actually satisfying it until you break down and then you break down so it was surfing the urge is a different technique that is going to sound a little counterproductive and you might think I'm crazy and if you do please tell me but let me explain how it works and then we can talk through it so essentially this is another form of mindful practice uh it's remember I talked we talked on day one about how feeling when you're when you're being mindful about your eating is to sit back and observe the present moment without judgment without saying this is good or this is bad without saying I'm good I'm bad without saying I shouldn't feel this way I should feel this way it's just like this is how I feel I'm just gonna observe it I'm not going to act on it I'm just going to feel it like feeling that itch and you can do this with a craving you know you can step even if you have a craving instead of just sitting at your computer and trying to distract yourself you know take step away go to a couch sit down you know sit comfortably and and you know close your eyes take a deep breath, breathe out and and just feel the craving and feel what it feels like and what happens in that moment is you realize that you can tolerate it and when you and and the way a craving typically comes on is it it's like a wave that's why we use the surfing analogy you know it starts and it sort of builds a crescendo and then it peaks which is when we normally break down and then it subsides and the idea is that when you can sit there and be mindful and just be an experience the craving you can actually go through this with it and then actually let it dissipate instead of just putting it off and letting it continue to torture you for the next several hours or even days so one of what's essential here is understanding that it actually is a temporary thing you can get through a craving and it will subside eventually but but putting it off doesn't let it doesn't let you do that you don't hit the level of satisfaction and you don't let it dissipate so it could be really frustrating. So this technique a lot of people have reported great success and granted remember we talked about you're going to mess up sometimes sometimes you're going to try this is not gonna work but keep practicing and it gets easier and it gets better and it gets more effective and ultimately cravings actually start to decrease and while you're trying to sit there and do your urge surfing, whenever you're you feel like you're going a little crazy, you know, focus on the craving feel it, but also you can always go back to focusing on your breath, you know, just feeling your body sometimes cravings like make your shoulders tense up or make your jaw tense up or some other part of your body, you can feel it in a a certain place and just pay attention and be aware and don't judge it and just let it be and again don't feel failure, you know or don't fear failure just it's okay, if you if you give in to a craving santa is europe buddhist, we're building other habits you know? This is one habit we're going to be working on on there's, lots of room for improvement, there's a lot of other places to work so and cravings one of the hardest things to break ever so expects it to not be perfect every time, but it is something you can work on, and you don't have to be at the mercy of this sort of like demon and overtakes your body that wants you to like it really bad that it was the chocolate monster e thirty it's chocolate monster doesn't necessarily have to rule your life you do have some control over this