“Normal eating is going to the table hungry and eating until you are satisfied. It is being able to choose food you like and eat it and truly get enough of it—not just stop eating because you think you should. Normal eating is being able to give some thought to your food selection so you get nutritious food, but not being so wary and restrictive that you miss out on enjoyable food. Normal eating is giving yourself permission to eat sometimes because you are happy, sad or bored, or just because it feels good. Normal eating is mostly three meals a day, or four or five, or it can be choosing to munch along the way. It is leaving some cookies on the plate because you know you can have some again tomorrow, or it is eating more now because they taste so wonderful. Normal eating is overeating at times, feeling stuffed and uncomfortable. And it can be undereating at times and wishing you had more. Normal eating is trusting your body to make up for your mistakes in eating. Normal eating takes up some of your time and attention, but keeps its place as only one important area of your life.
In short, normal eating is flexible. It varies in response to your hunger, your schedule, your proximity to food and your feelings.”
I thought this was a pretty great way to explain a healthy attitude towards food. While I never really recommend eating cookies (unless they are the paleo kind!), I do appreciate the carefree attitude that it takes to understand that sometimes your body wants more, and sometimes it wants less. The trick is to not hate or overly congratulate yourself for your food choices. Food is food. We need to eat it. But the way we respond to our food choices is really what can really make us spiral into depression and self-loathing, rigidity and obsession, self-righteousness and judgement.
As I discover more about my own personal relationship with food, eating, and overall wellness, I’m seeing some areas in which I could definitely improve upon this “normal eating” attitude. Some days I feel like anything other than a “normal eater”. Oftentimes, being a girl comes with some pretty hefty pressure (internal or external) to look and eat a certain way. And that “way” is usually nothing like the above description. I like the flexibility outlined in Satter’s definition and I think that it probably resonates with a lot of healthy eaters, non-healthy eaters, disordered eaters, and emotional eaters.
Speaking of healthy AND comforting… here’s an amazing meatloaf that’s sure to satisfy your emotional and nutritional sustenance needs.
Chicken Herb Meatloaf with Balsamic Glaze
1 1/2 lb. ground chicken
5-6 small mushrooms, diced
1/2 c. almond flour
1/2 c. diced celery
1/2 c. diced red onion
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbsp. minced basil
1 Tbsp. minced rosemary
1 Tbsp. minced parsley
2 tsp salt
1 tsp. black pepper
1 bottle of balsamic vinegar
- Preheat oven to 375
- Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. (best done with hands)
- Place the mixture in a standard loaf pan and spread evenly.
- Bake for 30 mins or so. It’s done when the juices run clear or you could check internal temperature (150-160).
- For the glaze, pour the vinegar into a small sauce pan.
- Heat over medium-high and let the vinegar simmer until the bubbles slow down from their “rapid” pace. Don’t simmer too long, the bubbles will look “labored” (like they’re trying really hard to form)… that means you’ve basically turned your vinegar into hard candy. Not cool.
- Drizzle the glaze on your sliced meatloaf!