The herb flatbread was delicious. I made it myself. I revelled in the earthy feel as I kneaded the fresh oregano, olives and rosemary into the dough. I enjoyed seeing it take shape under my rolling pin. By the time I rubbed olive oil, sea salt and more fresh herbs on top of the unbaked bread I thought to myself “wow, I am practically a chef!” The smell as it baked in the oven was intoxicating. By the time lunch was served the stage was set for a bit of bready over-indulgence.
Bread is a rare treat for me these days. I have it once or twice a week at the most and only one slice when I do. Even then it is homemade, slow rising, with stone ground whole grain flour that I get from Eureka Mills. Let me save you the trouble: no bread that you can buy in a supermarket can be trusted. Don’t kid yourself with “Low GI”, “High Fiber,” “Seed Loaf” etc. They are all made with white flour with a bit of bran added back in. As much as I love good bread, I try to eat more of my grains completely whole (not ground at all) such as whole oats, quinoa, amaranth etc.
But where there is soup, there must be bread and we were having mushroom soup for lunch. Hence the herb bread experiment. I dished up 2 slices to go with my soup whereas these days I normally try to stick to one (in the bad old days I could have eaten the entire flatbread without thinking anything of it) However, the smell of the bread had messed with my head, and hence 2 slices made their way to my plate.
Let me tell you something a bit embarrassing about myself. On occasion I might manage to resist going for seconds. But I have a strict “leave no carb behind” policy for whatever is already on my plate! Once the food is dished up, I have claimed it in the name of my kingdom. It will be mine, oh yes, it will be mine! When it is in front of me I am not one to worry my pretty little head with the annoying thought that maybe I shouldn’t eat the whole thing.
As good as the bread was, the mushroom soup was pretty darned incredible as well, thanks to Jamie Oliver’s easy recipe. He had this brilliant suggestion of topping the soup with a bit of lemon juice and lemon zest, which made for a fascinating flavor combination. I was having my fill of surprising and complimentary tastes and textures, which always raises my level of satisfaction with the meal.
There I was cheerfully eating my bread and soup, well pleased with myself for having produced this meal in my very own kitchen, when I reached for that second piece. Suddenly I had a very strong, but very unfamiliar message from my brain. Translated into English the message said: “No thanks, I’ve had enough.” Whaaaat??? This was a piece of freshly baked, fragrant herb bread we were talking about! I had already decided to eat it. I hadn’t exactly gorged myself either. Just one bowl of soup and one slice of bread. What nonsense was this of having had enough? I regarded the piece of bread. It looked utterly delicious as before, but suddenly the thought of eating it seemed completely illogical to me. It ended up in the fridge in a Ziploc bag for future consumption.
I am sure normal people have no idea what I am talking about. I bet they have this impulse every day and can’t see how it can possibly merit a blog post. But maybe there is someone else out there who gets it. Sure, I do stop eating when I am full. It’s just that this usually well past the point of what I should be eating. Especially when it comes to “cravable” foods like bread. The reason that this is remarkable to me is that I stopped eating, not because I was over-full, nor was it because I was exercising restraint or “will power.” I had already decided to have that second slice. But some other, here-to-fore unfamiliar intelligence, decided otherwise.
Is it possible that my brain is starting to “see” leptin? That magical hormone that tells normal people when they have had enough, making them behave, well, like normal people. The one that many overweight people appear to be resistant to. If so this is a great relief! For the past few months I have been free of hunger pangs and cravings, but feeling full enough to stop before finishing what is on my plate is a new experience to me. My mission is to eat food so delicious that I never crave junk food, so satisfying that I never get hungry, so nutritious that my body gets everything it needs and low enough in calories to steadily and naturally lose weight. If this bread incident is anything to go by, then score one for The Bold Experiment!