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Day 65: Eating With Your Senses

Posted Apr 07 2010 5:27am

I have not had a BINGE FEST since I re-started my healthy quest two months ago. I have not even felt the desire to binge. More than half of the batch of peanut butter brownies is still there. Is it self-control? Maybe a little.

But I believe it’s because my method of eating has changed. I no longer shovel food down my throat or eat everything in sight. I have started to fully appreciate and enjoy every meal, making the most of every bite. How? By eating with my senses.


Smell your food. Did you know that the human tongue can only distinguish between five distinct qualities of taste while the nose can distinguish hundreds? Your nose is better than your tongue. So use it. Close your eyes and REALLY, truly smell your food.

What do you smell? Can you smell the onions? What about the garlic? How about the basil? Or thyme? Can you catch that faint wisp of honey? What does baked potato smell like? How about a baked potato topped with bacon and cheese? Can you smell the difference?

Now open your eyes.

Look at your food. I mean, REALLY look at your food. What colors are there? Do you see the bright red of the cherry tomatoes? Do you see the melted chocolate chips on your cookie? Are the edges of your pizza burnt? Is the spinach bright green and wilted? What color is your alfredo sauce? Is it pure white, or is there a hint of brown in it because of mushrooms? Do you see the smoke still steaming off your chicken? Do you see how your cheese melts (or how it doesn’t)? Do you see how the salt coats your pretzels? How creamy does your peanut butter look?

Now hold your food.

Touch your food. Cradle it like a newborn baby. Feel the textures. Feel how ripe the banana is. Feel how moist the cupcake is. Feel how crunchy the pizza crust is. Feel how hot the soup is! What does your bagel feel like? Is it smooth? Or are there sesame seeds on it?

If you can’t touch your food, use your fork or spoon (or chopsticks!) to pick it up. What do you think it would feel like? Is the beef tender? Is that clam chowder creamy? What about that salad? Are the vegetables crispy and fresh?

Now listen to your food.

You heard me. Listen to your food. Your pizza is calling your name. But it’s also telling you to eat it very slowly, so you can taste the pepperoni and the cheese, both at the same time. Your ice cream is begging you to take a bite. But it’s also telling you to put one spoonful in your mouth and let it melt so you can taste that lovely chocolate chip vanilla flavor. Your french fries are hollering at you. But they are also telling you to eat them one at a time so you can feel how crunchy or soft they are in your mouth, so you can taste how salty, sweet, cheesy, or garlicky they are.

Now put a bite into your mouth. Close your eyes.

Taste your food. What does it taste like? Is it sweet, spicy, salty, bitter, or sour? Do the cherry tomatoes pop in your mouth? Does that chocolate chip melt away like heaven? Does that peanut butter and jelly combination mix together to provide the perfect mouth orgasm? Does that chicken noodle soup taste like childhood comfort? Does that spaghetti with marinara sauce fill your mouth and make you want to eat nothing else ever again?

If you answered no, put it down. Ditch it. You deserve better.

If you answered yes, continue chewing. Relish in that amazing feeling. Take another bite. Repeat.



Smell it. It smells like what I imagine heaven would smell like. I can smell the melted chocolate, oozing inside. I can smell the peanut butter but only faintly.

See it. It looks like what I imagine heaven would look like. I can see that it’s puffy on the top layer, but gooey in the middle. I can see the brown peanut butter swirls. Yum. I see the melted chocolate now. Yum times two. I can see the imperfect cut. It’s crooked. Damn. I can’t cut straight.

Touch it. It feels like what I imagine heaven would feel like. I can feel how soft and gooey the brownie is. I can feel the slightly harder outer edges. I can feel how warm and melty it is.

Hear it. It sounds like what I imagine heaven would sound like. Dear Jess, eat me! But remember to taste how the peanut butter mixes with the chocolate to create the ultimate sensation of perfection.

Eat it. It tastes like what I imagine heaven would taste like. The gooey center melts in my mouth. The peanut butter is a bit sweet, but so good because it gives the chocolate a perfect, nutty taste. Mmm. Win.

By the last bite, the brownie is still delicious but nowhere near as heavenly as the first bite.


So eat with your senses. You’ve got five of them. Make them all matter, and you’ll find yourself eating slower and recognizing when you’re full. You’ll connect with your food. You’ll indulge with a purpose. Most importantly, you’ll learn. You’ll learn what broccoli tastes like with teriyaki sauce, with chili peppers, in soups, in mashed potatoes, baked, broiled, stir-fried. You’ll learn what spaghetti sauce tastes like with basil, with carrots, with onions, with garlic, with rosemary, with oregano. You’ll learn to love and appreciate your food, finding happiness in the littlest of things. Now go eat!

What did your dinner taste like? What was your favorite part? Your least favorite? What was the saltiest thing? What was the sweetest thing?



Pumpkin Butter and Apricot Jam Sandwich – Breakfast: Oroweat sandwich roll topped with pumpkin butter, cream cheese and apricot jam.

Roasted Ham-wrapped Asparagus – Dinner: roasted asparagus wrapped with ham topped with a homemade honey lemon sauce.

Homemade Garlic Bread – Dinner: French bread topped with roasted garlic, parsley and freshly ground black pepper.

Meat Lover’s Pizza – Dinner: Lavash topped with homemade marinara sauce, basil, thyme, grilled yellow and red onions, mushrooms, red bell peppers, ground beef, turkey bacon, turkey pepperoni, mozzarella and Parmesan cheese.


Consumption: 1700 calories, 19.6g of fat. Total steps: 15,456

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Workout: Treadmill. Upper back. Chest. Biceps.

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I drank ten 17-ounce bottles of water. Potty training success!

How much did you drink?

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