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Health

5 Tricks to Stop Eating When You’re Full

It’s really easy to eat your feelings. Whether in glorious celebration or furious wrath (or just by the lovely-loathsome accident of snacking), you can wind up with more in your stomach than you planned. Food’s just too good to not indulge sometimes, so we have to trick ourselves into not eating ourselves into oblivion. To help you doze off without regret, here’s a few ways to slow or stop yourself from partying down with your all-time favorite (and such delicious) guest.

1. Just start with less.

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You’re a go-getter, so you hate leaving tasks unfinished. I totally hear ya, and nothing screams immediate failure louder than food leftover on a plate. It means you semi-literally bit off more than you could chew. But, honestly, if you only have enough energy for a scrimmage, don’t make it to the Super Bowl (no, I have no idea how football works). I mean, you could always just put away half the meal before you even start. Just kick that business out of your eyeline right from the get-go. Out of sight, out of mind, out of gut.

2. Use smaller tableware.

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Sure, smaller plates, dishes, and glasses initially sounds like you’re dining with dolls, but just that optical illusion will fool yourself into plating less, which means eating less. You’re likely going to devour what you serve yourself and you’re unlikely to do up a presentation that looks like a special in some five-star eatery in Manhattan with a bite or two in the middle of an otherwise empty plate, save for the plant branch and balsamic drizzle. Even when you make yourself a meal, you want it to look nice, so you’ll fill the plate with a colorful spread. Just make it easier to reach the edges.

3. Don’t make expensive food a habit.

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Yes, treat yo’self! But don’t always treat yo’self! I mean, come on, if you see your meal as a big deal, whether making it or ordering it, you’re going to finish the masterpiece, because you don’t just throw away jewels. Hell no, you eat jewels (no, I have no idea how fashion works either). The problem here is perception. If you see the meal as epic, grand, or upper-crust quality, then you’re less likely to shy away, even when you feel like a sludge-stuffed balloon. You’ll want to get your money’s worth and finish it while it’s hot, which is totally fine as a special occasion, not a regular occurrence.

4. Stop think of TV time as eating time.

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You just straight up need to quit this (and I’m partially addressing my guilty ass here). Television will be good to your eyes and bad for your brain, regardless of whatever the hell your mouth’s doing. If it’s just a hand thing, do something better with that curious spidery ten-pack, like holding your head during sit-ups or gripping the handlebars of a stationary bike. If it’s an oral fixation, take up a mellower TV diet, one that doesn’t barge your acidic promised land like some parade that feels too long (which is all of them, by the way). If you have to eat while watching TV, make it fruits and vegetables. Otherwise, break that whack association, because you’re better than Pavlov’s Dog. For starters, that dude was a dog. You’re a human. Probably. I don’t know. Foodbeast doesn’t have these kind of metrics.

5. Make it more of a process to eat.

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If you’re fast with a fork, use chopsticks, so it takes longer to eat. If you’re fast regardless, make smaller batches, so you have to make it again. By slowing yourself down, you allow the food to settle. Otherwise, when you eat a delicious meal quickly, there’s the chance you think, hot damn, that was good, grand, and you need that again. But if simply waiting to see if you’re still hungry is too much (try 10-15 minutes), simply make the actual process of dining a slower one. Your body will thank you (just say aloud, “Thanks for not making me feel like a barfy volcano, ______,” as that totally counts).

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Hit-Or-Miss

How to Exercise Self-Control at Any Holiday Feast

You used to wait for this all year long: Holiday feasting. You’d stay off the naughty list all year long so you wouldn’t have to feel guilty about gorging yourself with turkey, ham, and pie twice in a one month span. But, lately, you just can’t put away the trimmings and trappings like you did in years past—at least not without feeling stuffed like the Thanksgiving turkey.

Now you’re thinking it might be time to consider some alternatives to your usual eat-first-ask-questions-later tactics. And maybe (just maybe) these tips about self-control will help you leave the Christmas feast with a little dignity for once in your life.

Don’t Skip Meals

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As part of your pre-gauntlet game plan, you might have skipped a meal thinking you were leaving more space for the feast. This is both unhealthy and wrong. If you wait until the evening to eat, you’re likely to gorge yourself on everything in sight, filling yourself past capacity as you inhale feast foods. A light breakfast (protein shake) and lunch (salad) will put you in a much better place to avoid overeating.

Healthy Appetizers

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Many holiday events are “grazing” occasions where snacks and appetizers are left out for people to pick on all day. Do yourself a favor and avoid heavier things like cheese and dips, especially since you’ll get plenty of rich and savory stuff once you get to the dinner table. Instead, stick to healthier treats like fruits and veggies. Also, make yourself a small plate instead of hovering (and Hoovering) over the dishes.

Portion Control

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Speaking of making your plate, portion control can also be an effective and easy way to avoid eating too much in one sitting. While diehards would want to use measuring cups, you can get by with a simple visualization: just imagine your plate as a pie chart. Put the appropriate amount of proteins, grains, and veggies that you want (usually 25/25/50% if you’re trying to be strict). But it is a holiday, so you can slide those numbers around—just so long as you limit yourself to one plate.

Slow Your Roll(s)

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As mentioned above, eating fast is a very real pitfall of the holiday feast-er. Since it takes time for your stomach to send the message that it’s full (roughly half an hour), you can cram more food than you want or need if you’re going at it like a ravenous wolf. One simple thing you can do to avoid over-doing it is chatting a lot during your meal. Actively engaging in conversations allows you enjoy your family’s company, savor your food, and avoid overeating all at once. Or it can be the only opportunity you’ll have to awkwardly come out in front of your entire family and then say, “Pass the yams?”

Watch the Sauce

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If you’re watching your calories, then you know that boozing can add up quickly. In addition to adding to your calorie bottom line, alcohol tends to sit heavier than water, meaning you’ll get that lethargic tummy feeling you’re probably trying to avoid. In worse cases, you’re inhibitions might go completely out the window, along with your diet.

The Leftover Mentality

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Again, the game plan is just plain flawed: we assume we have to eat as much as we can in this one sitting, or else we’re just a non-festive/un-thankful scrooge. But we leave out that the best part of holidays like Thanksgiving is the week of leftovers that we’ll get to enjoy after the initial meal. Just bring some tupperware and enjoy an average sized dinner.

Just Desserts

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No monster would tell you to skip dessert. But there are a couple of ways to avoid over-desserting after you over-eat. If you know what your favorite dessert is, just limit yourself to a single slice and stick to it. If you want to taste them all, make yourself some sliver-sized samples instead of having a full slice of each. Also, think about leaving pies in the kitchen instead of on the table; having them in a separate room makes it more of a conscious decision and less of an easy indulgence.

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Cravings Health

7 Surprisingly Dangerous Foods For Pregnant Women And Babies

Sushi and alcohol may be the obvious culprits, but you’d be shocked to learn there’s a much broader list of foods and drink to avoid when you’re expecting or feeding a baby. Keep those cravings in check with this guide.

1. Caesar Salad

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This classic dish contains one potentially harmful ingredient in its dressing: raw egg. Consumption of undercooked yolk may result in that familiar bacterial strain known as Salmonella.  Often associated with raw chicken, avoiding infection means cooking eggs above 160-degrees. Too bad cooked dressing isn’t trending.

2. Parsley

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A seemingly harmless herb, this infamous garnish is not recommended. Ingesting an abundance may encourage uterine contractions. In layman’s terms, it’ll lend itself to an early delivery. While consuming an excess of anything is never recommended, it’s easier to avoid this green altogether than wonder how much is in that batch of pesto.

3. Deli Meat

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Cold cuts, bologna, and we might as well throw charcuterie in the mix– sandwiching these slices can be a cause for concern. It’s not so much the mom-to-be as much as it endangers the unborn child. The chances of acquiring Listeria are generally low, but expectant mothers are more at risk and may pass it along to baby. Complications may occur, leaving the child with complications. Or worse, resulting in death.

4. Water

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Odorless, colorless, and without taste; babes in arms should not be drinking tap water. Newborns aren’t known for their immune systems, and receiving infections from drinking water would likely spread throughout their bodies and affect multiple areas of their already fragile body. In addition, for every time they pee, they’re losing sodium. Sodium loss causes seizures and brain swelling. Seriously.

5. Cinnamon

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We know, we know. That fun stick in our spiced cider can’t possibly be bad for you. For all the benefits it seemingly promotes (fights off colds, acts as a bug repellent, cures athletes foot, etc.), excessive use results in premature labor.

6. Juice

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Specifically, unpasteurized juices are not baby’s preferred beverage. You won’t always know if what’s being offered has gone through the process, so just avoid the option altogether. Need a good reason? Diarrhea. Yeah, we knew that would shut you up.

7. Eggs Benedict

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Before you diss poached eggs over ham and English muffins, remember what this brunch staple is dressed in. Hollandaise is the enemy, so get irked because of that. That’s just bananas, if you ask us. See Caesar salad if you’re seeking more justification.

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Hit-Or-Miss

Everything You Need To Know About Your Kitchen Knives

Love the knife life? No? Well, here’s a starter’s guide to everything you need to get chopping. We’ll talk about basic designs, uses, technique, and maintenance that will save you from a bad meal or a trip to the emergency room. Speaking of which, let’s start with how to keep all those phalanges intact.

Don’t Get the Point?

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Your whole life you’ve enjoyed everything from hitchhiking to Rubix cubes thanks to your talented, flexible fingers and thumbs. So, do them a favor and point your finger tips AWAY from the blade. You can use the flat of your second digit as a plane that guides the knife by resting the broad, non-sharp part of a chef’s knife to direct your downward motion.

Sharpen Your Skills

One of the most common tips of awesome knife skill proponents is using the sharpest blade possible. Even though sharper knives cut off fingers more easily, they also cut through food with less effort, making your life easier and making an accident less likely. More on sharpening later.

Three’s Company

Another common tips from some very famous chefs (i.e. Gordon Ramsay and Jamie Oliver) is that the most a decent home chef needs is three basic knives: a chef’s or chopping knife, a paring knife, and serrated bread knife.

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But you can also throw in a katana if you run a Samurai Delicatessen.

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Making the Cut

The chef’s knife is going to be your go-to tool, perfect for chopping and dicing most things that you’ll use in your recipes. Like we said above, there are a number of techniques you can use to prevent injury and eventually get to the point where you’re doing that cool, superspeed chop like on the cooking shows.

Paring knives basically come into play when you’re working on very tiny things where a large and heavy kitchen knife is no longer practical. Examples include peeling fruits like mangos, de-veining shrimps, or removing the seeds from jalapenos.

The bread knife is obviously used to cut bread, but it’ll also come into play when you need to cut tomatoes, giving you the toothy blades to make easy work of their thick skins without pushing out their tender guts. Also, here’s a Bread-y Vet-er to show you how to slice that loaf.

Heavy Metal

Having a heavy knife handle will give you more control over your chop, as well as giving you a little extra inertia where it counts. But if you get a knife that won’t balance in your hand, it can eventually lead to wrist fatigue, and then how are you going to jerk off to pictures of the meal you just cooked?

Can You Handle It?

After considering the heaviness and balance of the knife, the next thing you’ll want to consider is the way it feels in your hands. There are tons of varieties of different grips, ranging from circular, oblong, to “D-shaped”, as well as one’s that imitate katanas. Then, there are plastic, metal, and wooden handles, in addition to a number of tactile patterns that will make the blade less likely to slip in your hand. The only right answer is the one that best fits your hands.

Come Correct

How often do chef’s sharpen their knives? Well, if they’re high quality knives, not as often as you’d think. “But I see them do it every time they go to cook on Hell’s Kitchen???” What their actually doing, dumbo, is honing the blade. Essential, the blade bends when it hits harder surfaces from time to time—chicken bones, avocado pits, etc. The honing rod is just correcting the edge of the blade so that it will continue to cut effortlessly and avoid accidents. If you actually sharpened a knife every time you picked it up, you’d wear down the material of the knife way faster than necessary.

Be Sharp

So, how often should you sharpen your knives? The honing described above is actually the most important aspect, and should allow you to forego sharpening for years. With a regularly honed blade, the most you will need to sharpen it is once every year or two, and that’s with heavy daily use. It’s also worth noting that many people suggest taking your knife to a professional cutlery for sharpening instead of trying to do it yourself or getting one of those ridiculous home sharpeners.

Bonus Tip

Once you’re at the dinner table, only use the serrated side of a table knife to cut bread. Spread buttery goodness with the flat side of the knife because the only bread that should have holes in it is sourdough.

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Hit-Or-Miss

12 Unexpected Foods You Can Eat Raw And How To Do So Without Dying

While many health-conscious folks are into their raw and juice diets, others choose to incorporate uncooked foods without thinking twice. We’re down either way. Although chowing on any food that’s normally cooked will always pose some risk. Here are a few common (and some unusual) eats you’ll want to think twice about.

Chicken

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In Japan, chicken sashimi isn’t a big deal. So, why do Americans freak out over uncooked poultry? The issue has to do with how large quantities are farmed and butchered under less than ideal conditions. Because of this, reports of salmonella poisoning are higher domestically. Restaurants that source chickens from farms with organic, free-range and exceptionally sanitary practices when processing are a safer bet.

Nutmeg

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This PSL spice base shows no signs of danger, so long as it’s eaten in moderation. Taking in extreme quantities may end in myristicin poisoning, which can result in memory loss and visual distortions.

Fesikh

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This fermented, Egyptian fish is fine to dine on. Of course, that’s assuming you dry it in the sun or ferment in salt for a whole year. Bad things (Botulism, anyone?) will come to those who don’t wait.

Ackee 

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It looks harmless enough, right? Wrong! Ensure it’s ripe before consuming. And avoid the black seeds at all costs, unless you desire something called Jamaican vomiting sickness. Ew.

Steak

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Many people still believe having steak that isn’t cooked to “no pink” status is dangerous. It’s one hell of a misconception. Tasty examples of raw cow include beef carpaccio and steak tartare. Like most things you pay good money for, leave it to a well-seasoned chef to prepare this. They’ll serve those dishes using higher quality meat.

See: We Ate The 12 Most Bizarre Things You Could Find In LA, Silkworms And Crickets Included

Potato 

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Raw potatoes are about as exciting as gnawing on celery. But if you’re as desperate as Matt Damon in The Martian, go right ahead. Be sure to avoid any green ones, though. Glycoalkaloids found in these can cause diarrhea or put you in a coma.

Fugu (aka Puffer) Fish 

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If you’ve got an expert fish monger, you’re good to go. Just have them discard the liver and internal organs before they make you ill. Cyanide has nothing on fugu poison: it’s 1,200 times more deadly.

Rhubarb 

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Normally pickled or baked into pies, this leafy plant contains a poison known as oxalic acid. This only becomes a concern, however, when had in large amounts. I don’t know anybody who goes crazy eating this vegetable, so don’t be the first.

Sushi

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A general guideline sushi purists have (besides never, ever ordering rolls) has to do with cleanliness. If they think for a second that an establishment is less than spotless, they won’t dine there. Same goes for the seafood. Busy sushi bars go through fish quicker, meaning fresher seafood in rotation. On a medical note, the Food and Drug Administration dictates that sushi grade fish be kept at freezing temperatures to ward off parasites.

Starfruit  

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As pretty as it sounds, you should probably only try starfruit if you have strong kidneys. Impaired kidneys can’t filter out neurotoxins, making starfruit and its oxalic acid bad news for weak systems. Side effects include vomiting, convulsions, and mental confusion.

Elderberries 

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This Harry Potter-esque item should be consumed fully ripened, minus the leaves, twigs, seeds and roots. Ingesting them too soon could mean cyanide poisoning.

Sannakji 

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I’d advise you to cover this raw Korean dish with extra sesame oil and chew like crazy. Remember: they’re served alive. If they fight back and attach themselves to your insides, you’ll choke! But man, would that make for a great story.

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Hit-Or-Miss

Everything I Learned By Gutting My Own Sardines

America: land of the free and home of the red meat. My parents grew up on an island in the Caribbean and passed their love of seafood down to me, a love often misunderstood by my young peers. Rolling into the cafeteria with a tuna fish sandwich or sardine pâté was a recipe for scrunched noses and table abandonment. Luckily, I, much like Janice from accounting, didn’t give a fuck and kept on loving my smelly lunches.

Cut to adulthood. As it turns out, a lot of people like fish so much that they’ll eat it raw and pay top dollar for it too. I could finally relax and enjoy my canned sardines in peace…well, almost. College J. quickly realized that mommy wasn’t gonna be around to expertly gut and debone their fish anymore.

Gross.

Yup, There’s Still Guts In There

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Most people who eat canned sardines just plop the suckers on some crackers or pizza as is because the cooking/steaming process at most canneries softens the bones to the point where they’re edible. I, naturally, am one of the few people who has choked on sardine spine and I’m not at all down for a repeat performance.

I’ve Choked On Sardine Spine

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Okay, yes, they already gut sardines at most canneries, but they don’t always do such a great job. Every time I slice open one of these bad boys, there’s at least a little bit of intestine left, but there can also be surprising things like eggs or a somewhat digested smaller fish. The bitterness of sardine intestines is enjoyable to some, but I’m not really interested in eating fish poop.

It’s Disgusting And Relaxing, Simultaneously

I’ve only caught a fish once in my life, but it was with my bare hands, so that’s pretty badass for a 4-year-old. I immediately let it go because 1) Ewwwwww and 2) fish are really slippery when they’re alive. This is the only time in my life where I’ve been remotely close to actually killing something for my consumption, despite a considerable amount of my family members knowing how to butcher everything from chickens to goats.

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So, I’m not gonna lie, the first time I laterally sliced open the tail-end of a sardine to reveal a plethora of fish eggs, I gagged throughout the whole process. I got through it because there’s something about gutting a fish that melts away the modern luxuries of my apartment. There’s an unusually rustic appeal to getting fish scales on a manicure that I can’t find while preparing other foods.

I don’t think I’ll ever fully get used to it, and I often feel a momentary spur to give up meat all together as I dissect these once living creatures. But then, I make a pâté and spread it on some water crackers.

And that shit is delicious.