Last week I was waking up so hungry that I felt as though my stomach may choose to eat itself if I didn’t grab a piece of a banana or something while I made my cup of coffee and got breakfast ready in a flash.
Yet this week, I am waking up but my appetite is still sleeping for another 45 minutes.
Sometimes I think we try to assume we can eat the same foods and amounts of food day in and day out and expect to have the same satiated result.
Just not the case. We aren’t machines.
In fact, I like to think that us grown-ups (am I really a grown up? I still haven’t accepted that) are more like babies than we realize.
I always use this example when this topic comes up in discussion:
Nursing moms produce milk for their babies. The nutrients and level of each nutrient in the milk supply naturally changes and adapts every so often to accommodate the needs of the baby at different stages of development.
Too bad we can’t figure out how to naturally regulate this on our own as adults because like babies, our requirements vary from day-to-day too.
Or can we?
Like, if we stop saying we must involve a salad at lunch and eat what we planned because that plan worked last week, realize that we cannot expect to be satisfied each and every day on the same amounts of food, and just remember to keep eating more when we run more, maybe we can adapt our meals to meet our needs.
We go through phases and growth spurts like babies, just in different ways, which may require adaptations in our diet.
Early morning (unpretty) pre-run breakfast – oatmeal with mashed banana, blueberries, cinnamon and drop of peanut butter.
Like, one day I am hungry every twenty minutes, the next day I am good for at least three hours.
So similar to those baby growth spurts where they go from barely being awake for a feeding to eating ALL OF THE TIME, especially at those dreaded three-week, six-week, three-month and six-month growth spurt markers.
What worked yesterday in terms of your choices and amounts of food may not work for you today.
I do not track calories or even know what I burn when I run but I do know that the more miles I run, the more food I need.
Not just because I am hungry, but because my muscles need fuel to rebuild, recover and get stronger.
My body also requires more food (and sometimes more food more often), in order to keep the rest of me functioning beyond just being able to run.
Like hello, organs and hormones need to function too, not just your leg muscles.
I am super diligent when it comes to refueling within thirty minutes following my run and make sure to throw in more of every ingredient when I up my mileage or feel extra hungry.
The usual post-run oatmeal in a jar with plain greek yogurt, berries and peanut butter with a side of clementine.
Over time I have noticed that long runs and hard runs (like races or speedwork) create a stronger craving in me for sweet, simple and easy to digest meals, specifically oatmeal and peanut butter.
When lunch rolls around and I am in one of those moods, as was the case over the weekend, I don’t care at all that I am missing vegetables or that I already had oatmeal and peanut butter before and after my run.
I just see no point in forcing down a salad or chick pea concoction if my body and mind are asking for something else.
I took a portion of cold (precooked and stored in the refrigerator) oatmeal and mixed it together with lots of berries, one organic egg plus two whites and then heated it all up in the microwave for two minutes.
It turns out like a baked oatmeal but more on the mushier side since the oats are cooked and not baked in an oven.
I topped it off with every kind of peanut butter I had in the pantry and the Off The Farm Superfood Energy Cereal for some more texture, crunch and nutrients.
I was so satisfied and happy, I can’t begin to tell you. Had I made myself a salad or something silly savory, I know I wouldn’t have felt so satisfied at that particular moment.
That’s not to say that yesterday I didn’t want my plant-based power bowl for lunch because I did.
My mom always says that I am a lot like I was as a baby in terms of my appetite – needing to eat every two hours, cranky if I am hungry yet it always seemed as though she just finished feeding me when I was ready to eat again.
But that’s okay. They say that a good metabolism will leave you hungry and looking for food every few hours.
I get hungry often and need to eat often and I don’t care what time it is or when I last ate, if I am hungry just feed me.
I never kept my son on a nursing schedule. If he was fussy and nothing else settled him down, I fed him. Who was I decide he had enough or that he was full? How was I to know how much milk he really got and even if I did know—who was I to assume that the “six ounces” was sufficient to meet his needs at the time?
And, like babies, sometimes things upset our tummies. Sometimes food makes us, dare I say, gassy, uncomfortable and bloated.
Sometimes what sat just fine in our belly yesterday just isn’t going to work today.
Like fresh produce lately.
I need a break. Roasting fresh broccoli or even a combo of fresh vegetables have been bothering my stomach and leaving me uncomfortable.
Fresh vegetables are tough to digest, require a lot of energy to break down. The digestion process has been leaving me uncomfortable and slowing me down after dinner.
I have switched to cooking with frozen vegetables this week and it makes a huge difference on my digestion. Frozen vegetables are softer and easier to digest. They may not taste the same as fresh roasted but they can be good in their own way.
Stiry-fry with brown rice, chick peas and avocado.
My first word as a baby was “yum yum” after having a cookie.
I will always want dessert and will forever emotionally eat my holidays and celebrations in the form of something sweet.
Sometimes I go days without deviating from my favorite peanut butter cup apples at night but then there’s that craving for a sundae.
Like babies, we like to assume our last meal for the night will suffice until morning. Sometimes it does, but sometimes it doesn’t.
Each day is different.
Be sure to check out what everyone else is eating today!
Do you always wake up super hungry?
If you are/were a nursing mom, did you keep your baby on a schedule or did you feed on demand?
What have you been eating for lunch lately?