“I am starving! I feel like I could eat a horse!” Many of us have sympathized with this feeling at one point or another. It’s that feeling of hunger that grows uncontrollably until you are able to find something to eat. Your metabolism is so low on energy that you are unable to concentrate; your stomach is growling, and all you can do is focus on where your next meal will come from. That is the description of physical hunger. This type of hunger is influenced by your brain, liver, fat tissue and hormones. True physical hunger usually happens when you haven’t eaten for at least five hours.
It is not however to be confused with psychological hunger. This type of hunger is when your inner voices convinces you that you’re hungry even though your body doesn’t need energy at that particular time. Different circumstances can trigger psychological hunger; one example is the availability of food. Consider this: you’re at work, and only after your lunch, someone offers you a piece of cake. Maybe you may turn it down at first, but the smell and the fact that it is on the table next to you slowly triggers your mind to convince you that you are indeed hungry, and that piece of cake will hit the spot! Habit is another culprit in psychological hunger. You always eat at ten o’clock in the morning since it is your designated snack time. It doesn’t matter if you’ve had a larger than usual breakfast that day and didn’t have time to get to the gym as you normally do at six am prior to work. One last example, although there are many others, for psychological hunger trigger is the emotional eating. It is perhaps the most common one of all. You may use food to counterbalance negative things that happen during your day, or you eat to celebrate an event. Unfortunately, those instances are usually times when your body doesn’t need energy, but your mind tells you it’s time to eat!
Balancing those two types of hunger entails a learning process. It is something that takes lifelong commitment and patience. It is part of mindful eating. Mindful eating means being aware of the food you eat, how your body feels when you eat, and when you choose to eat it. It is the difference between “eating to live” and “living to eat.”
There are ways to slowly work on yourself to recognize cues that distinguish between both types of hunger and allow you to achieve balance and mindful eating. One of them is to plan your meals for the day. Structure helps you better adhere to a plan. Pause before eating and ask yourself if you are eating because you are hungry or because it is what you always do at that time. Routinely identifying patterns will allow you to come up with a better game plan.. That’s a mixed metaphor.
This is not to say you shouldn’t enjoy some of life’s pleasures in the form of delicious treats! Just be aware of when you’ll be eating them, and make them a part of a meal. And always, watch your portions. The problem is not the chocolate cake but the size of the slice, and usually the extra scoop of ice cream that goes along with it!
Making your favorite treats part of the meal allows you to truly enjoy them without any guilt! They become a part of your meal plan. These Breakfast Banana Peanut Butter Muffins have many of the making of a healthy breakfast. They have a dose of fruit, protein, healthy fats and a touch of sweetness. Make them in a large muffin pan or a smaller mini-muffin pan for even better portion control. It is much easier to practice balance and mindful eating when you add Once Again Nut Butters to your routine. Protein and healthy fat create satiety, and that is exactly what you are looking for in your food. You want your food to work for you rather than you working for your food!
Breakfast Banana Peanut Butter Muffins
4 large over- ripened bananas mashed (about 1 ½ cups)
¼ cup of Once Again Killer Bee Honey
¼ cup of coconut oil
2 cups of whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon of baking powder
½ teaspoon of baking soda
¼ teaspoon of cinnamon
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1/3 cup milk of your choice
½ cup of Once Again Creamy Peanut Butter
Combine mashed bananas and Once Again Peanut Butter in a large bowl. Once well mixed, add in milk, coconut oil, honey, egg and vanilla extract. In separate bowl, mix wheat flour, baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon powder. Now slowly add in dry ingredient mix with bananas mixture and slowly mix just until well combined. Fill muffin tins three quarters of the way full and place in an oven pre-heated to t 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes or until golden on top. Serve them warm or store in airtight container for up to five days.