Eat like the Spanish: Lessons from a week of travels
I went into the trip with an open mind. I knew that there was going to be amazing wine produced just miles from where I was sitting. I knew that the jamon was going to be fresh and delicious. I knew that I wanted to appreciate the culture and indulge in the local way of eating, even if it wasn’t my typical approach.
This reason is related to number 2, but it’s an important one. Because the meals we were consuming were more calorie dense, we ate a smaller amount. Instead of me feeling deprived, I felt lighter and happier after my meals.
In our diet culture, we’ve been taught to seek out the lowest calorie foods we can find and then eat a TON of it. Spain taught me that there is beauty in making something super delicious (and maybe more calorie dense), and not needing to stuff yourself.
Definitely pay attention to this one if you often feel a heaviness in your body after you eat, or think your digestion moves slowly. It may be the case that you need to reduce your portions.
My takeaway: Sam, you’re pretty active, but you’re not an endurance runner. Eat something delicious, and eat a little less of it.
Reason 4: Eating slowly
My friends and I were laughing – here we were on vacation, and we STILL were at each restaurant for less time than the rest of the patrons.
In Spain, we took out time. We ate a bite here, a bite there, dinner went on for 3 hours. And the beautiful thing about that was that it gave us time for our bodies to recognize when they were full.
Have you ever had the experience that you’re super hungry, gobble down food, and then you get up for seconds, and maybe thirds, and then after a while…you realize you’re way too full?
That happened to me…yesterday. And I couldn’t help but think that if I had slowed down a bit, I probably would have realized that course 3, and maybe even course 2 wasn’t all that necessary.
My takeaway: When you finish eating what’s on your plate, take a minute (or two) before getting up again. How does your body feel? Do you really need more?
Also: there is joy in eating with others. It slows you down and it makes the meal better. Do it as much as possible.
I love how travels can teach you so much about yourself and your body. I’m grateful to this eating experience, and I can already tell that the lessons I’ve learned there are making me feel better in my body.
Now I’d love to hear from you: Which of these lessons resonates with you most? Do you think you’ll apply it to your life? Leave your reactions in the comments below.