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Day 39 - Flavor or texture?

Shari (CE)

Do you like sweets and desserts or do you tend to reach for salty foods such as potato chips? Would you rather eat a crunchy oatmeal cookie or a gooey caramel roll? Do you love the pungent flavor of blue cheese dressing? Or might you favor the zing of a spicy burrito or a bowl of green chili?

Each of your answers reveals another aspect of what you love about food. Often it's not the flavor but the texture of foods that keeps you reaching for more. When you can't seem to stop eating a favorite food, it's possible you simply love how it feels in your mouth.

Flavor may not matter
As you pay attention to the foods you love, you may discover a lot of them appeal to you only because of their texture. In fact, some foods don't have very much flavor at all, but their texture keeps you coming back for more.

Think about which types of food textures you enjoy most. Do you tend to prefer crunchy and chewy or soft and smooth? What about harsh, slippery, or tingly? Consider the mouth feel of the foods you like best. When you bite into a thick, juicy cheeseburger, what sensations do you get with that first bite?

Mentally feel the contrast between eating a strip of beef jerky and an ice-cream cone. Picture eating cashews, then switch to peanut butter. What do you think makes the difference in why specific textures appeal to you? You may discover your "love" of some foods is based entirely on the way they feel in your mouth.

Emotions behind the textures
When you start eating something and you can't seem to stop, think about what the texture might be doing for you. Does it give you a way to chew hard and fast, the way you'd like to "chew on" your boss? Maybe it feels soothing or comforting, causing you to eat more so you can feel these emotions again and again.

If you recognize you're eating for texture, try to identify what you might be needing emotionally. Once you figure this out, address those needs in some other way instead of using food to take care of them.

Have a great Day!!!!

  Gwen Replied:

I am working towards a treat of a small piece of dairy free brownie, the texture of which will be vitally important to me. I have postponed this and look forward to it on Valentine's day. The flavour will also be important but I am now challenged to really work out what I am looking forward to. A good piece of brownie will be succulent, melt in the mouth, strong chocolate flavour with a moist consistency I don't even know if such a brownie exists. Perhaps I can find a more healthful alternative that would give me the same pleasure.

  Sharon VA Replied:

When I am stressed and falling behind on tasks, I want crunchy things during the crunchtime of the stressful situation. Later in the evening, I seem to want creamy, warm, comforting foods. I can't always remove the source of irritation, but I can try to lessen it by preparing ahead of time whenever possible. I am also trying to provide myself with healthier substitutes, like air popped popcorn and carrot sticks for crunching, or herbal tea for warm, smooth comforting.

  Shari (CE) Replied:

If I am feeling stressed I will crave chewy pizza, crunchy potato chips, pretzels etc. If I am feeling happy I want ice cream or sweets.
Now that I know I am an emotional eater I question my cravings and focus on my true feelings. Sometimes this helps and sometimes I give in but at least I acknowledge that it is not true hunger so I am not fooling myself. I count the calories and move on.

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  Anonymous Replied:

For snacking feelings I crave popcorn. Pretzels can do it, too, and I ration those a bit better. Salty, crunchy, one-at-a-time items.

When I'm mellow or even a bit blue, I want warm spicy - so it's a pepper marinara sauce for pasta....any pasta. And the pasta should be done; not al dente or mushy; just done.

Instead of having something orally to fix my occasional blues, I should concentrate on activity. Walking the dogs, play a sonata, vacuum.

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  Anonymous Replied:

My weakness when I am stressed is Chipotle....yum. I'm more of a savory kind of girl, but I also know those are my triggers, so I try to stay away when I am stressed out.

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  Anonymous Replied:

The foods I crave are: cheese, chocolate, mashed potatoes, when I am stressed these are the types of food I reach for.

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