Crowding, it's rude! A few weeks ago, my wife related disturbing news to me about some members of our community. We know them well, and they are generally great people to be around. But it turns out that sometimes they're polite only if it's convenient. While she was waiting in line to purchase some local honey, they decided to form their own express lane and essentially crowded in front of her. To make matters worse, more late arrivals followed their examples and ultimately cut in front of several elderly individuals. After a delay of roughly thirty minutes, she and others finally summoned the courage to speak out.
Little stories like these make me think, and sometimes my mind wanders in unrelated, curious directions. After giving some serious thought to the subject of crowding, I've discovered something redeemable about it, a healthy way to do it. If you follow my blog, you know that I am completing a one-year health challenge. The primary goal of my plan is to let go of unhealthy habits and replace them with good ones. An issue I didn't fully address in my 12-Step program is a tendency I have to overeat. The fault here is the too much of a good thing, which even applies to eating healthy foods.
Admittedly, I hadn't addressed my tendency to overeat because I couldn't find a way around the problem. Thank goodness I can see more clearly now. The solution is crowding. Before each meal or snack, I am now committed to drink a glass of water. I have observed that with proper hydration before a meal I eat way less food. But I just don't drink before I eat. If, after a serving, I'm still hungry, I'll have another glass. Amazingly, I experience satiety with less food in my belly; moreover, I'm also highly energized after a meal because I'm fully hydrated. (No post meal food coma for me.)
You might also know by reading what I post that I adhere to a plant-based, mostly vegan diet. However, I continue to struggle with temptations to indulge in standard American fare from time to time. There are a lot of tasty but unhealthy vegan food options available today. Some of them are new (vegan buffalo wings and mac-n-cheese). Others have been around for a while and are on the highly processed side of things. One food item I still struggle to let go of is standard tortilla chips. To reduce my cravings for these salty, oily bites of unhealthy pleasure, I plan on turning to crowding yet again. Carrot and red pepper sticks are what intend to I dip in my humus first. I have observed that if I use healthier, whole-food snacks, I crave the bad stuff less because I simply don't have room.
At the moment, I cannot do justice to the topic of this important nutrient. I know just enough about the subject of hydration to understand the importance of giving it a high priority in my wellness program. I recommend that you do your own digging for now and start addressing it right away. (The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine determined that an adequate daily fluid intake is about 15.5 cups of fluids for men and 11.5 cups of fluids a day for women.)
Mango Chipotle Hummus
I love dipping. It's my favorite way to snack, and this hummus is my go to food item for it. If I'm hungry before a meal, I plan to start snacking on hummus with veggie sticks to avoid the temptation to chip out. Keepin carrot and pepper sticks on hand at all times in my fridge will hopefully prepare me for unanticipated cravings when I want to chip and dip.
-3 cups of cooked and drained garbanzo beans (I make my own from dried beans, but you can buy them canned.)
-1 cup of cubed ripe mangoes
-2 cloves of minced garlic
-1/4 - 1/2 cups (depending on how hot you want it) of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
-1/2 cup of tahini
-Juice of one lemon
-1 Tbsp of honey
-1 Tbsp of turmeric
-2 tsp of cumin
-1 tsp of sea salt
Add all ingredients to a food processor and blend until the hummus is creamy and smooth (usually a couple of minutes), adding more liquid if needed.
I keep a lot of fruit on hand. Whenever I'm craving sweets, I crowd out any desires for unhealthy sugary treats by eating fruits first. Mostly, I buy whatever fruit is in season. In the summer and fall, I buy watermelon, cube it, and refrigerate it in tubs. Berries and grapes are less expensive and a good option in the summertime too when they're in season. Pears go on sale in the early fall, oranges in the winter. Just look at prices, as fruits are usually less expensive in season and at the peak of their perfection and sweetness. Don't just go with my suggestions, find nature's sweets that will work best for you.