aspergers, autism, culture, health, ideas, living abroad, psychology, travel

Eating Routines of an Aspie

The Asian Equation

Myriad things I do as an Aspie are abnormal to the average person. Not all entail my clothing and grooming. Some involve eating. I always consume one thing at a time in a sequential order. Most times I ingest the heavier food followed by the lighter. The first thing I place in my mouth is the meat ensued by a starch or grain. The fruit or vegetables I’ll have last as a digestive aid. Usually, I cut my meat and other food into small bits before anything to use the knife only once. That way I’ll be preoccupied with the fork the rest of the time. As peculiar as some Asian customs seem, there are facets that make perfect sense. I like how Asian cuisine is decimated into bite sizes so that one can use the chopsticks and not rely on silverware. I appreciate how they eat lean meat, and fresh veggies with either noodles or rice. None of their food to my knowledge entails white flower. Another thing I love about Asian food is they have no bones in their meat. I’m a stickler in that regard. Mostly I admire how Asian food is served in smaller portions as it should be. That explains why you almost never see any overweight Asians.

The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Aspies

However, that’s changing now that fast food made its way to this continent. Were it up to me, all restaurants by law would have restrictions on portion sizes. All societies would have six small meals a day in lieu of three large ones. In order, they’d be breakfast, brunch, lunch, dessert, dinner, and supper. Each one I’d spread two or three hours apart. Perhaps I’d include snack time or teatime in the afternoon if necessary. I’d even adopt this during Thanksgiving. The turkey, mashed potatoes, and green bean casserole I’d serve for dinner maybe. The holiday ham, cranberry sauce, and sweet corn would be for lunch. Pumpkin pie and other desserts I’d serve mid-afternoon. Either that or they can serve soup for one of the meals. Moreover, I’d have three meals unique to the holidays. There’s no reason in my book it should be confined to one large banquet in the evening when it can be an all-day affair. Similar things I’d engender for Christmas, Halloween, New Year’s, Fourth of July, and so forth.

My Divine Ideation

If I were king, I’d have all schools public and private do the same. Kids would be allowed to have dessert only during the mid-afternoon on my watch. Most nutritionists recommend eating sweets sometime between the morning and afternoon to burn off all sugar one has consumed throughout the day. In all cases, I’d serve portions the size of one’s fist and no larger. This I’m certain would cut down on obesity in America and the rest of the world. That said, I intend to adopt this technique over time to keep myself healthy as I’m getting older. The ingestion of things in sequential order is just an Aspie quirk. Most Americans are too accustomed to having salad served before dinner when it should be part of the meal. For the longest time, I wondered what Asians for breakfast. I learned in Thailand they have soup, rice, noodles, or whatever they eat the rest of the day. It’s no more different than using chopsticks. Breakfast food like pancakes, waffles, omelets, and cereal are social constructs in the West. If you think long and hard enough, it’s not that ridiculous to have for breakfast what you’d have any other meal. How can over 3 billion Asians be wrong?

Fifty Bites in Fifty Sips

That said, I’ve started to eat how the Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh suggested in his book Anger. On the one hand, it’s recommended that one chews at least twenty times before swallowing. On the other hand, I try to chomp at least fifty times. Hanh stated the more you do that, the more your food is broken down thereby making it easier to digest. Another thing I do is sip my drink in smaller doses while eating to liquefy it. When I drink something, I might take a large gulp but swallow it in smaller increments. These I’ve read decrease flatulence, indigestion, and whatnot. None of those are preventable, but I’m convinced they can be minimized through these techniques. They should teach children to eat this way from the time they’re in nursery school in my humble opinion. Sadly, Americans have a tendency to stuff their faces like they’re in a rush. I had a bad habit of doing that myself when I was in the service. From the time I was in boot camp to when I was discharged, I was expected to shovel in my food and scarf it down because everyone was in a big damn hurry to go nowhere. It took me a long time to break that habit, and I still have to think about what I’m doing while practicing the Hanh maneuver.

The Best for the West

The former I suspect is another reason why the obesity pandemic is in record numbers in America. Studies have shown the faster you eat, the hungrier you stay because you’re not giving your body enough time to digest. Buffets should be outlawed across the board I feel. I’m debating what’s a worse dilemma in America and the rest of the Western countries; obesity or hunger. Both I’m certain can be nixed if we adopt these principles. Six or seven small meals a day also speeds up one’s metabolism. Bodybuilders and athletes eat that way, so it’s beyond me why everybody else doesn’t. That’s what I find most mind-boggling. How in the world does everyone have time to get on Facebook, watch TV, surf the Internet, and play with their smartphone, but nobody has any inclination to consume six or seven small portions a day which should take no more than 15 or 20 minutes. Hereon, I say that’s how it should be done. In the workplace, people shouldn’t have hour-long lunches but 20-minute snack breaks every two to three hours.

My Last Meal in Kuala Lumpur
This is a picture of my last meal I had in Kuala Lumpur at a Moroccan restaurant.
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