Okay, I admit it. I eat like a man. No, seriously, I do. I chew big bites, eat really fast, rarely chew my food thoroughly, and almost always clean my plate minutes before my husband. I like to eat with my fingers…even when you should be using a utensil. I love to taste test what I make…with a finger dip. Okay, maybe I eat worse than a man…I eat like a monster! Eeek!
Why? Well I suppose part of it could be from the 15 minute lunches I took as a teacher. Part of it is probably due to the influence of my fast eating dad (sorry dad, but it’s true). And part of it comes from being a mom who knows that at any moment my meal time will be over and I’ll need to go feed a crying baby so everyone else can finish their meal in peace. The compilation…one fast eating and therefore overeating momma.
I know I need to change…not only for me and my weight but also for the sake of my children who mimic much of what I do. I don’t want them growing up eating like me. If I’m going to be a domestic diva then that’s going to have to include acting like a diva even at the dinner table.
My goal: to eat like a lady.
So how exactly does one eat more like a lady? I’ve done some research from across the web and here’s a few things I’ve discovered.
- Sit down to eat. Okay, I usually start out doing this but often finish chewing my last few bites while getting up to change a dirty diaper or finish a chore I remembered after sitting down. I need to stay calmly seated until completely done.
- Cut your food into half-inch squares or smaller. Have you seen how small a half inch is? Here, let me give you an example. Does that look tiny to anyone else?
- Chew your bites 25 to 50 times. Really? I think I chew each of my bites 12 times max. Pairing this with my half-inch squares—I will be eating forever!
- Wait 5 seconds before getting the next forkful.
- When eating meat, cut one piece off and eat it thoroughly before cutting another. No more checkerboard cutting like I do for my toddler. Oh bother.
- Put your fork down between bites…this one probably goes with #4. This one will be really hard, especially when I’m really hungry.
- Don’t talk with your mouth full. This one I knew, but I still fall into the trap sometimes. “Please wait hubby, I’m still chewing….”
- Chew with your mouth closed. Again, knew this one but it’s always a good reminder.
- Break your bread, don’t bite into your bread. Then, butter your bread one…piece…at…a…time…not the whole roll.
- Sit up. Wrists and forearms may rest on the table but that’s it. Absolutely no elbows. I tried catching myself at this today and when you are tired this one is a hard one.
- Always scoop food away from you onto the proper utensil.
- Don’t blow on your food. If it’s too hot, take the hint and wait. And what have we been teaching Peanut when food is hot? To blow. We’re already doomed!
A few other tidbits I just found interesting
- A napkin should never be used as a handkerchief. If you need to sneeze or blow your nose quickly excuse yourself from the table.
- Dab your mouth with a napkin. Don’t smear it across.
- Dishes are to be passed counter-clockwise.
- Exercise not only increases your calorie burn, it also speeds up your digestive system.
- Your stomach is originally the size of your fist…eat more food than that and it stretches. God designed for us to eat small amounts at a time so we should therefore stop super-sizing.
- The brain needs about 20 minutes to obtain that satisfied feeling after eating. So, when I scarf food down, I have to eat a whole lot more of it to fill the 20 minutes whereas if I’d just eat slower, I’d save a ton of calories.
- All in all it sounds like I’m going to be spending a lot more time just sitting at the table as opposed to eating. That will definitely take some to get used to, but I’m willing to try. Move over Eliza DoLittle, I’m coming through.