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"The First Bite is the Banquet"

Sunday, April 21, 2013

That's a quotation from Michael Pollan (of "Eat plants" fame) in Saturday's National Post.

Full quote:

"The first bite is the banquet. That's a Chinese rule. Every subsequent bite will be less good. It's never going to get better than that first bite, and once you realize that this is going downhill, you don't need to have the sixth or seventh bite."

DH has always lived by this, eating the "best part" of whatever's on his plate first . . . of two fried eggs, the perfect one; the most delectable looking bit of rare roast beef; the crispiest and most perfectly browned roast potato, and so on.

And, (like our DS, so it's gotta be hereditary!) he can and does stop eating in mid-bite, when he's full, putting down his fork and leaving whatever's uneaten on his plate. The rest of his steak, for example, set aside for a Philly cheese melt the next day.

That's probably why DH can make himself his famous scrambled eggs breakfast with two big eggs and lots of grated cheddar cheese and lashings of butter; stirred continuously in a double boiler; creamy and outrageously good. And slurped down with two slices of buttered toast for breakfast. Which he did this morning. Estimated calorie count 800+. Unless he has two more slices of buttered toast with marmalade and sometimes more cheese (yes, really) which he frequently will do, but not today. Then well over 1000 calories of course. And sugar (1.5 tsp) in each cup of coffee. (Cream generally only at work . . . . )

My breakfast this morning? Greek omelette. And my calorie count for my egg white/reduced fat whole Omega egg Greek omelette with light feta and spinach and mushrooms and salsa on the side? About 180. No toast, of course. No sugar or cream in my coffee.

Mine was good, sure. Just not AS good as those incredible scrambled eggs!! More nutritious, sure. So I'm virtuous. But . . . . . . . sigh.

The first bite is the banquet. I'm going to be adding this one to my arsenal of weight loss motivation techniques. And stopping when that return on investment (calories for taste satisfaction) is starting to go downhill . . . .
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I wish I could do this. It must take practice if it doesn't come naturally.
    1882 days ago
    I believe the quotation because, in my few sane moments, I've been sated by small portions of amazingly wonderful food. Half a dozen fresh, briny oysters with lemon and pepper are enough. It's bad or mediocre food that sets my mouth for more, seeking another, emotional satisfaction.

    1883 days ago
    GREAT strategy! I've thought this often before, but not thought of USING it.
    emoticon emoticon
    1883 days ago
  • CANNIE50
    emoticon Well stated, as usual.
    1883 days ago
    That's a great one! I also like,"Enough is as good as a feast!" -Marsha
    1885 days ago
    Here's to considering ROI and savoring that first bite!
    1886 days ago
    I've had that thought now & then regarding food, reminding myself how satiated I can be with a "taste" or a "bite." Good point!

    1886 days ago
    A very apt quote to keep in mind. I will use that one often. Thanks!
    1886 days ago
  • KANOE10
    Nice tool to use. However, there are times when the first bite, might taste the best, but lead to to many more bites!

    Good for you eating a healthy feta cheese omelette. I like the omega 3 eggs also.

    1886 days ago
  • NANCY-
    It is always the first that is the most seductive.
    Morning coffee, second cup is never as good as the first.
    Crisp toast
    Creamy egg
    whiff of a fragrant flower
    the first time you drive alone

    All the firsts are new and exciting, then the newness wears off. Being mindful does help us realize when the seduction is over.
    1886 days ago
  • _LINDA
    Great quote!! And something every last one of us needs to work on -mindful eating! Your DH & DS are lucky to have it down! I am afraid I have not yet mastered that feat. Big reason why is I, like the rest of my family, are gulpers, rush, run, got to gobble up our meals at the speed of light. I still have that, trying to cram everything in with my life such as it is now. I never sit down and relax and think about my food, I am multitasking, thinking about what I need to get done, never ends, all the bad habits. When you think of it, its darn lucky I am still maintaining. You, on the other hand are being very careful and have great planning to help you. But just thinking how good that first bite is. Food for thought -something to chew on, yes indeed :)
    1886 days ago
    Sometimes I can convince myself of that - especially with ice cream, when I'll order the child-sized scoop - because I've eventually realized that my mouth gets so cold the taste buds don't even register the chocolateyness of the flavor.

    But other food? Hmmmmm - doesn't always lose the flavor.

    Or maybe I just need to focus better.
    1886 days ago
    Very very helpful. Thanks!
    1886 days ago
  • DALID414
    That is SO brilliant! I read the quote to the boyfriend so he'll understand why I take a couple of chips or a few spoonfuls of ice cream then put it away. He thinks I'm grazing, but its really all I need.
    1887 days ago
    So true. Never done eggs in a double boiler. Sounds delicious...but so is my smoothie. More than 180 but far less than 800. I'm good, at least for today.
    1887 days ago
    Build that arsenal. Sometimes this "battle" requires an entire arsenal, doesn't it? Enjoy that first bite!
    1887 days ago
    I've noticed the extra goodness of the first bite but never really thought it through. That first bite, when I'm hungry, tastes Soooo good.

    I, too, usually "saved the best for last." I'll have to rethink this. It might make stopping easier. Thanks for the thought!
    1887 days ago
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