July 17, 2012 · 1 comment


I always tell myself this when I start getting anxious about food, like when my tummy is grumbling on the subway home from work and I feel like I could eat everything in my fridge, or when I catch myself eating so fast that I’m inhaling—not actually tasting—my food. Yes, it’s true. I say: Ellen, slow your roll. And it just helps remind me that I need to slow down and take my time so that I can make a healthy choice that will also leave me feeling happy.

I ESPECIALLY have to remind myself of this at lunchtime. Three or four days out of the week, I bring my lunch, so usually it’s a no-brainer. However, on the other days, I go to the office cafeteria which can potentially create quite the predicament. Why? Because there are so many OPTIONS. You’ve got the Mexican station, the grill (veggie burger with sweet potato fries, anyone?), the salad bar, the sandwich counter, the soup selection, three different pastas to choose from and last, but not least…the “health-conscious” station.

The majority of the time it’s easy, if not automatic, to put my blinders on and head straight to the salad bar and feel good about my choice. Other times, I get so overwhelmed with smells and colors and flavors that I think it will be impossible to leave without a sampling of everything! I can feel my mind race and my heart beat just a bit faster, and that’s when I have to tell myself—yep, you guessed it—Ellen, slow your roll. When I intervene on my thoughts like that, it’s a lot easier to make a calm, clear decision, which usually is a healthy choice. (Greasy fries and heavy pastas rarely seem worth it when you stop and think about it!)

Today though, was a different kind of SYR day. I knew straight off the bat that I didn’t want the salad bar or anything greasy, and went straight for the health-conscious station, where you can get your choice of grain+protein+2 veggies. I couldn’t decide between the sweet potato, snap peas and carrots, and even though the pork tenderloin looked good, I didn’t really want it. Just as I was about to unenthusiastically order the pork, peas and potato, I asked the guy behind the counter if it was possible to sub a veggie for the meat. And much to my delight, it was! Instead of ordering partially what I wanted, I got it all—simply because I asked. It seems like a simple enough thing to do, but if I had let my panties get in a twist about making this decision, the outcome would have been different.

And occasionally, I’ll bring my lunch and really not be in the mood for it. That’s what I have to decide: a.) Is there something I can do to make the meal more appealing? or b.) Will it be worth it to skip my packed lunch and opt for something else I’m more in the mood for?

And while we’re on the topic of rolls, I’d like to give a shout out to my high school buddy, David, and his new restaurant, ICONIC Hand Rolls. If you’re ever strolling through the East Village in NYC—check it out!

I got the Red Crab California hand roll with corn on the side—it was tasty! The rolls were surprisingly neat and easy to eat, and it was just the right amount of food. Sometimes two sushi rolls (12 pieces) seems like too much!

Tell me: What types of foods do you usually eat for lunch? Do you bring your lunch or buy it?

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