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How to Stop a Grazer in Her Tracks

by Marissa on April 20, 2011

In a previous lifetime, I was prone to grazing and while I’ve done a lot of work to overcome this tendency, inevitably, I relapse from time to time. Maybe it was yesterday’s gloomy weather or the fact I was recovering from a minor eye procedure or maybe it was the lack of food in my apartment at the time, but I found myself getting my graze on.

So, you may ask …

What’s so wrong with grazing?
Well, a few things. On the surface, grazing doesn’t seem so bad but let’s dig deeper and look at what’s really going on. First, in essence, grazing is mindless eating and it can lead to weight gain. When you graze all day, by the end of the day, you may end up eating more  than you would have had you just sat down to eat three meals (or several smaller ones if that’s what works for you), mindfully, throughout the day. Also, grazing doesn’t necessarily result in feeling satisfied, hence the need to constantly try to find something else to eat. Finally, grazing has an emotional element to it and is actually not really driven by physical hunger but rather emotional hunger resulting from stress, boredom or sadness.

What’s a girl to do?
First, recognize and acknowledge the grazing behavior and tell yourself it’s okay. Next, dig deep to understand what’s really going on. What are you really feeling? Boredom? Mopey? Low on energy? All of the above? For me, I knew that I just wasn’t feeling all that hot and my eyes were feeling itchy so I wanted some comfort and a balanced meal.

What should I eat when I don’t know what to eat?
Once I got a handle on the situation, I took charge of it. I knew if I ate something hearty and satisfying, I would zap the urge to graze. I didn’t have much food around, but I did have a few staples:

  •  Extra virgin olive oil
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Kale
  • Can of cannelini beans
  • Leftover brown rice
  • sea salt and black pepper
  • red pepper flakes

I heated the olive oil on medium low and added a small chopped onion and a chopped clove of garlic.

Then I drained and rinsed my can of beans and threw those in the pan with the brown rice to saute. After a few minutes, I added chopped kale leaves (stems removed) from 6-7 stalks of kale. Added my seasonings, stirred it all around, covered the pan until the leaves became bright green and TA DAAA!

Satisfaction accomplished and no more grazing.

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