emilyelowe

Suggestions for Lame Meals

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Hi team,

I'm on my 7th? Whole30 and have gotten pretty good at finding and making compliant meals. Thus, my expectations are pretty high for every delicious, nutritious bite. So, when a recipe just totally tanks, I end up feeling really disappointed after my meal time. This immediately triggers me to want something else, which (1) is probably not necessary caloric-ly (?) and (2) is almost always a craving for something sweet and (3) might be more of a psychological response to disappointment than a physical response to satiety or hunger. (I don't particularly want steamed chicken and broccoli, either, though I do think I would like it more than what I just ate).  It just reminds me of that feeling I used to get when I ate junk where I was full but never satisfied. 

How do you typically handle a meal or recipe that doesn't meet your expectations? Do you finish it? Trash it and start over? It just seems like, when you're only eating meals 3 times a day, it should be precious and delicious and wonderful and it's like I just wasted my lunch-time chance. :( Today I was home for lunch so I could have just decided to eat something else after the first bite was lame, but that feels wasteful. So I powered through and finished it but now I'm sitting here thinking about all the delicious food I have in the fridge and could be eating. And it's not like I only want something sweet - I kind of want a sweet potato and BBQ'ed chicken, :lol:

Would love to hear others thoughts and experiences with this, and confirmation that I am not ridiculously dramatic. ^_^

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I finish it, if only because trashing it would not honor the time I took to prepare and cook the meal or the money I spent on ingredients. But afterwards I definitely feel unsatisfied and I think that goes back to tying emotions to food. I've tried to follow the whole "food is fuel for your body so you should remove emotions from it" thing, and it doesn't work for me - I love food! I love eating good food, I love cooking, I love socializing with friends and family around food, and I love trying new foods especially when I travel. So when I prepare or eat a meal that ends up being not as good as I was expecting, it's hard for me to not feel disappointed.

The only time I wouldn't soldier on and finish a bad meal and its leftovers is if it's so bad that it triggers a gagging response. At that point it's a lost cause so into the trash it goes and I move on. 

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Haha.........that does suck. Or when lunch is some leftover in the fridge you know won't be satisfying. I'll  just eat it and move on, make a nice cup of tea or sparkling water etc. or make something else easy like scrambled eggs. I find that once you eat it and you're technically full, you can just talk yourself through it like any other craving and know that you get to eat again in 4-5 hours. :) 

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3 minutes ago, trexmafia said:

I finish it, if only because trashing it would not honor the time I took to prepare and cook the meal or the money I spent on ingredients. But afterwards I definitely feel unsatisfied and I think that goes back to tying emotions to food. I've tried to follow the whole "food is fuel for your body so you should remove emotions from it" thing, and it doesn't work for me - I love food! I love eating good food, I love cooking, I love socializing with friends and family around food, and I love trying new foods especially when I travel. So when I prepare or eat a meal that ends up being not as good as I was expecting, it's hard for me to not feel disappointed.

The only time I wouldn't soldier on and finish a bad meal and its leftovers is if it's so bad that it triggers a gagging response. At that point it's a lost cause so into the trash it goes and I move on. 

 

3 minutes ago, ladyshanny said:

Haha.........that does suck. Or when lunch is some leftover in the fridge you know won't be satisfying. I'll  just eat it and move on, make a nice cup of tea or sparkling water etc. or make something else easy like scrambled eggs. I find that once you eat it and you're technically full, you can just talk yourself through it like any other craving and know that you get to eat again in 4-5 hours. :) 

 

Thanks for making me feel less crazy and dramatic, guys! Agreed that after waiting a bit for the full feeling to really set in and distracting myself (like I would with any other craving), it became easier to just move on. I may just treat myself to a sparkling water for powering through, though! Haha. :) 

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9 minutes ago, AnitaC said:

I cover it in hot sauce and maybe I'll add a sunnyside up egg (or two) to the dish.

^This. Or Primal Kitchen's ranch or chipotle lime mayo.

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6 hours ago, trexmafia said:

I finish it, if only because trashing it would not honor the time I took to prepare and cook the meal or the money I spent on ingredients. But afterwards I definitely feel unsatisfied and I think that goes back to tying emotions to food. I've tried to follow the whole "food is fuel for your body so you should remove emotions from it" thing, and it doesn't work for me - I love food! I love eating good food, I love cooking, I love socializing with friends and family around food, and I love trying new foods especially when I travel. So when I prepare or eat a meal that ends up being not as good as I was expecting, it's hard for me to not feel disappointed.

The only time I wouldn't soldier on and finish a bad meal and its leftovers is if it's so bad that it triggers a gagging response. At that point it's a lost cause so into the trash it goes and I move on. 

I do the same... just grin and bear it and like @ladyshanny says (and I'm surprised she didn't say so here), I just wish myself 'better luck next time' and move on.  I NEVER throw food away for the reasons that you list above and if it's legitimately edible, I eat it.  Sometimes I also say that old dad joke 'if that was lunch, I had it' and that solidifies in my mind that the meal is over and then I move on. 

I do get the expectation tho that you do @emilyelowe where you expect everything that you cook to be damn good because you're a damn good cook so it's disappointing to have a flop :(  but as I say daily to a friend of mine 'lunch happens every day'. So you always have tomorrow to try again ;) 

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Depends on what it is. Veggies or proteins that were kind of boring can be turned into a frittata or a scramble or a hash. 

Something like a soup or chili, I'll try to figure out what went wrong and add spices/hot sauce/herbs/roasted garlic. If it's a chili and all else really fails, I'll freeze it until after a Whole30 when I can hide some of the "bleh" with cheese. Not even going to try to lie about it. ;);) 

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15 hours ago, AnitaC said:

I'll add a sunnyside up egg (or two) to the dish.

Another vote for the humble egg here. Or mayo. Sometimes both.

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I am in the same boat as most of you - grin and bear it! Especially because many or most of the dinners I slaved over were intended to be leftover for the next few lunches and tossing it would require a new plan for those days. However, and it maybe only happened once or twice in my 30 days, I did have some dinners that I almost dreaded as leftovers the next day. Like most people, I reinvented it some way.  I had made a really unsatisfying chicken dish one night and ended up chopping up the chicken and throwing it on top of a salad and then tossing it all in a little Primal Kitchen ranch and it was actually super yummy. Lunch saved!

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These are all super helpful, everyone! Thank you! I've got a couple options with my situation yesterday - parts getting hocked off to the hubby, part can be used for another recipe, and another part can probably be thrown into a hash with eggs. You are the best! :)

My next question is: If I'm CONSTANTLY looking forward to my next meal does that mean (a) I'm still hungry?, (b) I'm a food addict :mellow:, or (c) I'm just a really good cook? :lol: I think I'm struggling a bit with portion sizes because a lot of what I make are one pot/slow cooker meals so I have more trouble following the meal template. I will probably need to poke around and see if there are some other posts about that, too.

Thanks, all!

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2 hours ago, emilyelowe said:

These are all super helpful, everyone! Thank you! I've got a couple options with my situation yesterday - parts getting hocked off to the hubby, part can be used for another recipe, and another part can probably be thrown into a hash with eggs. You are the best! :)

My next question is: If I'm CONSTANTLY looking forward to my next meal does that mean (a) I'm still hungry?, (b) I'm a food addict :mellow:, or (c) I'm just a really good cook? :lol: I think I'm struggling a bit with portion sizes because a lot of what I make are one pot/slow cooker meals so I have more trouble following the meal template. I will probably need to poke around and see if there are some other posts about that, too.

Thanks, all!

I find with one pot or slow cooker recipes, I'm missing fat. I add an avocado or olives on the side and I'm fine until the next meal. It took me a couple of weeks to really figure out the template - now I'm just struggling to ensure I am eating enough vegetables.

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