Sunday, April 22, 2012

My Intuitive Eating Experience at Gyu-Kaku

I'm lucky that even though we have 4 1/2 year old twins, my wife and I get to have a regular date nights.  This past weekend we went out to Gyu-Kaku.  We have been there before but not in quite some time so we were excited to try it again.  As we sat down my wife and I began to look at the menu.  We realized quickly that there are a lot of different options when it comes to ordering and for me this very overwhelming.  They have an a la carte menu as well as an all you can eat menu.  As I continued to look at the menu an unexpected thing happened that helped me focus. Our server came by to explain some of the nuances of the menu but before she started, she asked us one very simple question, "How hungry are you?"  

Her goal was to try to assess if we should order the "All You Can Eat" option with a minimum 25 different food items delivered (way for food that either of us really needed).  My first thought was not about my hunger but rather, how do most people answer that question?  Do most of our server's customers really know how much food it will take to fill them up or do they just try to order the most food for the value?   As I thought about it more, I began to really ask myself, "How hungry am I?"  I was hungry but not starving and so was my wife. If I were to put a number to it, my hunger was at about a 6 out of 10. We don't really eat beef or chicken when eating out (that's another post) so we decided to order some fish and veggie entrees. 

If you have never been to Gyu-Kaku, it is essentially a place where you BBQ your entrees at your table. Think Korean BBQ but with tapas-style portions.  As the food was delivered we started to cook. As an Intuitive Eater, I loved how the grill was only small enough to make a small portion of food.  Things were done one at a time and it allowed me time to eat, check in with my hunger after each portion and make sure I was not overeating.  By the time the meal was over (including S'mores for dessert), I checked in one last time and I asked myself, "How full am I?"  I rated my fullness a 5 out of 10.  I was comfortable, not stuff but there were no signs of hunger.  

"How hungry are you?"  It was a simple question but I'm so thankful that she asked us.  It set the whole tone of the meal for me.  It helped me stay focused on my hunger, check in with my feelings and not overeat, which is one thing that can happen when I eat out.  

If you are struggling with Intuitive Eating, a great place to start at each meal is to start to ask yourself, "How hungry am I?"  You'll notice the awareness you develop will help you make choices that are not based on your emotions or your food rules.

Enjoy some of the pictures from my meal and as always I welcome your comments.

Grilling corn, zucchini, salmon and mushrooms

Asparagus and butter fish
Corn, zucchini, mushrooms and salmon
Making smokes at the table

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