Sunday, March 1, 2009

When I Feel Full

I just made some smoked paprika almonds this afternoon. When they are hot they remind me of really good popcorn--hot, oily, salty and crunchy. Yummmmm. 

They hit the spot this afternoon. 

What I love about eating really good food is the feeling of fullness. Feeling full is a great feeling. Feeling full and not bloated is a spectacular feeling. I almost didn't know the two could go together. 

The feeling of fullness has been such an elusive experience in my life that I remember at times believing that I had a stomach of iron, a stomach that wouldn't quit, a stomach that could put up with any abuse that I sent its way. 

Now I know I do not have the kind of stomach. 

What I did have was high blood sugar, constant cravings and nearly unmitigated hunger that seemed to go on and on and on. What I ate was mostly carbs in the form of bread, cereal, pasta and crackers with some dairy, protein and lots of treats thrown in. Periodically, I upped my intake of fruits and veggies and while I liked this (or at least grew to like it) what I didn't like was the feeling that no matter what I ate I might never get full. At least not a pleasant, mild kind of fullness. The fullness I experienced most often was of the I'm-about-to-burst quality. And no middle ground seemed to exist. I was either famished or I felt like I was going to pop. 

What I've learned about my body in the last few years is really kind of magical when I consider that it took me nearly 30 years to figure it out. I learned that eating every 2 or 3 hours helps especially when it is small amounts of protein with fruit or veggies. I learned to eat breakfast. I learned to stay on top of my hunger early in the day and to front load my meals at the beginning of the day instead of loading up on food at the end of the day. I learned to limit the bread and flour products I consume. I learned to drink lots and lots of water (at least half your weight in ounces). And eat fresh, gorgeous, delectable food. All of that helps me conquer the hunger beast. 

And finally, I'm learning to feel full in a pleasant, mild way. And it is lovely. 

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