Thursday, July 2, 2009

Mindless Eating

Do you remember Cookie Monster? What a silly question, of course you do! Everyone knows Cookie Monster and his insatiable appetite for cookies.

The scene I remember most is of Cookie Monster singing, "C is for cookie, that's good enough for me..." and then chomping the cookies so fast and hard that styrofoam cookie bits fly all over the place (of course, this is also due to the fact that he's a puppet and can't swallow, but the impact is the same).

Today, Cookie Monster doesn't sing this song anymore. Cookies are promoted on Sesame Street as a "Sometimes Snack." Doesn't quite have the same ring to it, does it? This is also one of the reasons for when the 70's TV show series was released on DVD there was a disclaimer saying it's "not appropriate for today's preschooler."

Should we blame Cookie Monster for our insatiable appetites? Who knows. I do know that he has presented us with a very interesting way of thinking about our food habits. The cookies on Sesame Street always looked like standard chocolate chip, but no one ever discussed the flavor or type. Did Cookie Monster prefer peanut butter? Oatmeal? Snickerdoodles? He seemed to just have a general lust for ingesting lots of

Do you ever feel like you do this? This is sort of like mindless eating---we think, "FOOD, I like FOOD (insert whatever type you like)". Then we proceed to eat large quantities of food, often too quickly. We have decided we like picnics and parties--so when we go to one, we eat too much of everything.

Do you ever stop and take a minute to even determine if there's something you don't really want today? Take 4th of July picnics for example. You go to a picnic, and there's a huge spread of picnic foods. Do you look at the food, think about what you're really in the mood for, and eat that? Or do you just eat everything on the table that you like in general? Believe me, there will always be more potato salad, pasta salad, baked beans, hot dogs, hamburgers...whatever. If you were to look at the food before digging in, and then check in with your body and mind to see what is really going to be fulfilling to you today, what would happen? Would you miss out on something? Maybe. But will there be more of that something another time? Yes.

Be discriminatory when it comes to food. If you like chocolate chip cookies, but today you're really craving brownies, pass on the cookie and have a brownie!

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