Do clutter and food go hand in hand?
That may not be exactly the right question, but I’m beginning to think that might, indeed, be true.
I mentioned earlier this week that I’ve been reading “The End of Overeating.” I’m about 80 pages in, and its focus so far has been on how the sugar, salt and fat in foods — especially highly processed foods — makes us seek them out even if we’re not hungry.
The author cites study after study in which animals (rats, mostly) eat more when they’re presented with sweeter options. In one study, after getting chocolate-flavored treats, they lay off the chocolate, but keep eating more treats when presented with a new, banana-flavored pellet.
The takeaway? Well, for me, I think it’s that variety isn’t always helpful. Food “clutter” — in the form of endless choices — leads me to overeat.
And that brings me to what Jenn and I talked about in our last session: “Crowding out” the processed foods in favor of more protein, veggies and fruits.
The idea? If I focus on getting more meat, veggies and fruits, there won’t be room for the junk. It’s a good thought.
I actually like the idea of centering meals on meat and veggies (the way I did while doing Atkins). I also love the thought of not completely giving up whole grains. I’m considering a diet lower in carbs, but not completely devoid of them … more like the Atkins lifetime maintenance phase.
Haven’t completely committed to that yet, though. You can see it in my after-work snack: A grilled veggie sandwich.
That’s right. I grilled zucchini, onion and mushrooms on George, then layered them up on honey-wheat bread smeared with a little FF Miracle Whip.
It wasn’t my usual after-work fare — and that’s a good thing. (I made the same thing, minus mushrooms, Wednesday night.) A veggie sandwich has to have fewer calories than some of my late-night snacks, for sure.
And it was delicious. The ingredients were simple — just mushrooms, zucchini and onion, drizzled with EVOO before I threw them on the grill, along with some really good, homemade bread (from Frank’s Deli & Catering here in Flagstaff. So much better than the stuff you get at the store!)
Hmm. That provides more fodder for the “simpler is better” school of thought. Reducing food clutter doesn’t necessarily mean reduced enjoyment of what I’m eating.
For those of you who’ve asked, here are a few more pictures of my decluttering progress. You can now see the tops of one of my dressers and both bookcases. I still have another dresser to clear, and then it’ll be time to tackle the closet.
Now that’s a truly frightening undertaking! 😉