Waiting for my neighbor to deliver a plate of Thanksgiving day food, I pictured myself as a hungry baby bird, waiting with my mouth open and crying piteously.
Unfortunately, she was, at the same time, experiencing utter oven failure. With a house full of guests, doing their annual Thanksgiving day potluck, her oven had crapped out, and calling to tell me she would be late was, understandably, the last thing on her mind.
As I waited for her, I spiraled emotionally down, finally landing at full-on self-pity. I felt helpless, useless, needy, and ashamed.
When she finally arrived, flustered and apologetic, I muttered my abbreviated sob-story, burst into tears, and greedily ate the food she brought.
The moral of this story is that letting hunger overcome you is one recipe for the blues: you get weak, which leads to frustration, anger, and tears.
What I should’ve done, for her and for me, is have a regular eating schedule, which includes well-planned snacks!
I don’t know if this is relevant to all MSers, but I tend to not think about food until I am hangry. Those around me can tell when I’m overdue for food.
The National Center on Health, Physical Activity and Disability (NCHPAD) has some great articles on eating (as well as on wheelchair exercise, and mental health, among others).
This is what I gleaned this time:
- Eat every four hours, even at this holiday season, and snacks should always include one protein and one carbohydrate to keep up your energy.
- Watch portions. Snacks are smaller than meal portions. They shouldn’t “fill you up” but rather help you to be “not hungry.”
- Choose your snacks to contribute to your calorie and nutrient needs, rather than considering them as “extras.
- Limit yourself to a 100 calorie snack if your meal is in one hour or so (one hour = one hundred calories); two hours, have a 200-calorie snack.
- Don’t mix snacking with other activities. Snacking absentmindedly while multi-tasking can lead to overeating.
- Keep snacks on-hand at all times. Carry two tasty, nutritious, ready-to-eat snacks in your bag so you don’t run out. Always be prepared!
I could’ve just had some Cheerios with Almond milk in a bowl and sated myself. Sigh.
Some other quick, two-food snacks include peanut butter or cheese with apple slices, raw veggies and cottage cheese, or 10-12 baked tortilla chips and salsa.
I know this already, but still I hadn’t planned ahead. Once I hit famished, I could think of nothing helpful.
Lesson re-learned. 🙂
Like you need to be urged to eat snacks!
Other things I’ve learned this week