This week my husband and I went to a churrascaria restaurant. This is one of those Brazilian dining places where they bring around meat on skewers and you take it bits at a time, all you want, while you also
feast on sample the many items at the salad and sides buffet. I don't want anyone, including me, to dribble saliva on the keyboard so I will not name each and every dish they offer at this place where we dined. Let's just say this about it: the quality of the food and the quality of the service is worth the $45+ a person price (this is without drinks, wine or dessert). The variety of choices makes it even more enjoyable . . . . or so you might think.
I enjoyed my meal. I had meats, salmon, shrimp, soup, salads and vegetables. I ate nothing from my alcoholic-foods list. I was careful with items from my caution list yet I left feeling stuffed. Not sick stuffed, just comfortably full. I skipped the rices, beans, creamed starches and most of the breads. I skipped the cured meats, most cheeses and all sausages. When I have my protein at lunch or dinner it is usually chicken, fish, lamb, pork or beef, never all five, like I did here. When I have vegetables at my meals it is usually two or three, not seven. I usually do not have soup with everything else. I had an ounce or more of each of the meats. Sometimes a bite, sometimes a 2 oz piece. I enjoyed the soup enough to eat the whole bowl.
Six hours later I am still not hungry but it is dinner time so I ate a protein bar (oh yeah, like I needed more protein) and had a diet soda. My mind is thinking about tomorrow's food and I am having trouble narrowing down the selection of what to have for my meals. My taste buds are alive with the flavors of all the many things I tried today. They have been awaken from their slumber and they want more. Still not really hungry, my mouth has started watering for something sweet. I realize what is going on. I know this will pass.
My past experience has taught me that not every meal has to be a party in my mouth. I can just repeat the day's meals I ate two days ago and I will be fine; the taste buds will quiet back down again. Even though I ate nothing that I cannot eat sanely, I did have so many different flavors it activated the abnormal behavior in my head to start wanting for the sake of wanting. Not needing - just wanting.
It is good to recognize this reaction to the food. It is good to equate this with the marketing-reasoning behind all the glutamates Doritos puts in their nacho chops. Their many, many flavor enhancers cause people's taste buds to want more, more, more.
It makes me happy that I have identified for myself yet another eating/food behavior that wants to work against keeping the pounds off. It will help me make sense of my cravings and reactions anytime we go out to eat at such places. This will come in handy on our next cruise because cruises are places where buffets are a daily thing. You know what is funny? On cruises I always want to eat at the sit down restaurants and my husband wants the buffets. It is good to know that my natural instinct is trying to direct me to the safer dining room. I think I will listen it that natural instinct a little more.