"Mindless" in Minnesota, Part I: A Full-Feeling Book Discussion

Friday, March 6, 2009 42 comments

Small serving, big flavor

This is the first in a 4-part discussion of the book Mindless Eating by Dr. Brian Wansink, in collaboration with fellow blogger, Joie de Vivre:
"It would be too hard to discuss ALL the studies without endangering myself of copyright infringement, so I will pick one or two from the section we are discussing that I find most relevant to my own weight loss efforts and discuss that. Today, I'll be discussing the studies, "Stale Popcorn and the Frail Willpower", "The Prison Pounds Mystery", and "Big Plates, Big Spoons, Big Servings." Come join me at my little sidewalk cafe! "

Tangled on Mindless Eating

During a discussion in a "Politics of Eating" class a few semesters back, I was carrying on about the deep personal meanings underlying my food choices when another student raised his hand to interject. Regarding me with equal parts pity and amused contempt - a look young adults generally reserve for theme park mascots, old men in black knee socks and sandals, and now, middle-aged classmates who apparently transferred from Clown College - this fresh-faced lad stated unequivocably, "I really don't think anyone thinks about their food that much. I just eat what I like when I'm hungry." Out of the mouths of babes . . . 

(photo from Amazon.com)
This belief that our food choices are determined simply by hunger, taste preferences and mood is not only widespread but also explains many of our poor eating habits, according to consumer psychologist Brian Wansink, PhD. Although most of us would like to think that we're too savvy to be gulled by unseen forces, he reveals that our own senses and perceptions are the main culprits in overeating. Wansink, a former marketing professor and founder of the Food and Brand Lab at Cornell University, has made it his life's work to figure out why people eat the way they do and he shares his fascinating research in the book Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think. The following are my thoughts on specific topics covered in each of the first three chapters.

Chapter 1: The Mindless Margin - 'As Fine as North Dakota Wine' (pp. 19-25)

In his introduction, Wansink refers to 'hidden persuaders'  - the unconscious yet powerful cues that influence our consumption, from the size of our food containers to the physical environment surrounding us as we eat. But they can also be as intangible as our personal opinions and pool of knowledge. In this chapter, Wansink describes how two sets of diners were given complimentary glasses of the same wine (the venerable Charles Shaw, a.k.a. 'Two-Buck Chuck') before they were served the exact same meals. However, half the patrons were told they were drinking a California vintage while the other half believed they were sipping North Dakota's finest.

At the end of the evening, the diners who drank from bottles with a California winery label ate 11% more food than their counterparts who drank the same, albeit North Dakotan, vino. Why? It seems that the positive connotation of the West Coast's reputation for world-class vineyards was transferred onto the meal and gave diners the green light to indulge themselves in a fine dining experience. The California imbibers therefore succumbed to the cues of their own perceptions and ate mindlessly, says Wansink.

"[O]nce they were given a free glass of 'California' wine, they said to themselves, "This is going to be good." Once they concluded it was going to be good, their experience lined up to confirm their expectations. They no longer had to stop and think . . . [t]hey had already decided."
(Wansink, 22)

The same kind of influence shows up in the 'health halo' phenomenon described by Wansink's colleague and collaborator, Pierre Chandon, a marketing professor at INSEAD in France, who found that people justified eating more of certain foods because the fat-free, no-trans-fats, and low-calorie labels cast them as 'healthy' meals. Whether it's a perception of health or the assumption of fine cuisine, we can easily be persuaded to eat more than we need.

Chapter 2: The Forgotten Food - 'We Believe Our Eyes, Not Our Stomach' (pp. 43-5)

They say that the eyes don't lie but when it comes to food, they don't quite tell the whole truth. In this section, Wansink cites Barbara Rolls, author of The Volumetrics Eating Plan, whose research revealed that many people determine satiety - the point at which one is satisfied - not by how full they feel but rather by how much food they are used to eating. 

"Scores of studies have shown that we typically eat about the same amount or volume of food each day, and even at each meal. Rolls' work emphasizes that if a person thinks he [or she] ate less than that typical volume, [he or she will] think [they're] still hungry." 
(Wansink, 45)
Only 55 calories . . .
This struck close to home. I usually have a daily, late-afternoon snack of little pretzel crackers 
topped with cashew butter and creamed honey. As an incorrigible calorie-counter, I've measured out exactly how many crackers (11) and how much topping (2 tablespoons) constitute my allotted calories. But I never realized that my perfect little system of snacking depended on a specific brand of crackers - Trader Joe's Pretzel Slims - until I ran out and had to buy another kind at the local grocery. Although they were the same shape, texture and flavor as my standby, they differed in a big way, literally. Double the size of the TJ crackers, I needed only 5 of these new crisps for the same amount of calories; that's when the trouble began.
. . . but also 55 calories
As Rolls observed in her studies, I equated satiety with the number of crackers on my plate; I ended up consuming more calories because I didn't feel satisfied until I had eaten 11 crackers as I normally did. Thankfully, I came to my senses but this is a common pitfall for many people. Wansink, however, considers this skewed perception of proportion as a possible, powerful tool to alleviate overeating: by making a small portion appear to be as big as a usual serving, it may actually make a diner feel just as full. How, you might ask, can this be achieved?

Chapter 3: Surveying the Tablescape - 'Big Plates, Big Spoons, Big Servings' (pp. 65-8)

The examples cited by Wansink from Rolls' research include pumping air into smoothies and adding copious amounts of lettuce and tomatoes to a hamburger. As tempting as it may be, subsisting on smoothies and burgers alone is counterproductive to mindful eating. Instead, we can find the tools we need in our cupboards.  

Referring to the size-contrast illusion (formally known as the Ebbinghaus Illusion), Wansink notes that the perceived amount of food correlates to the size of its background or surrounding (i.e. the plate). To demonstrate this, Wansink and his team gave unwitting participants at an ice cream social either large or small bowls and spoons with which to dish out dessert for themselves. By now, it should be no surprise to learn that those with larger vessels and utensils scooped up 57% more than their counterparts. In short, when a container makes the amount of food look small, a diner may think that they're eating less than normal (see Chapter 2 above).

Of all the points and strategies discussed in the first three chapters of Mindless Eating, I found the idea of making meal portions appear larger by serving it on smaller plates was the easiest eat-less/feel-full strategy to implement because it doesn't involve counting calories, changing recipes or excluding certain foods. 

So to test it out, I made a favorite dish, curry laksa, whose ingredients, such as thick udon noodles and creamy coconut milk, make it both hard to resist and rather high in calories. Keeping in mind the book's theory that size really does matter, I served it in a way that visually increased the volume without increasing the calories (Wansink, 45).

Please join me and Joie de Vivre again next Friday as we continue our discussion of this fascinating book!

Curry Laksa
This is a shortcut recipe, using Dragonfly brand laksa paste that I found at a local Asian grocery. For other brands, please follow the directions given on the label. For the more skilled and adventurous, check out this recipe for Curry Mee by Rasa Malaysia.

A full bowl = a sated appetite

Makes 2 servings


4 cups water
1/2 cup curry laksa paste
1 cup coconut milk
1/2 lb fresh shrimp, shelled and deveined OR 1/2 lb white fish (such as haddock)
2-3 plum tomatoes
10-12 oz fresh udon noodles (found in the refrigerated cases at Asian markets)
green onions, sliced thinly on the diagonal 

Optional: 1 cup bok choy or napa cabbage, sliced into strips

To make:

1. Bring water to a boil and add curry laksa paste;
2. Reduce heat to medium and add coconut milk, allowing soup to simmer;
3. Add shrimp or fish and cook until just done; if opting for cabbage leaves, add them at this point;
4. Add udon noodles and allow to heat through;
5. Add tomatoes last and cook only for a minute or two before serving;
6. Serve in your smallest cereal bowls, ideally no more than 5.5" in diameter, and top with cilantro and green onions.
7. Enjoy your bountiful feast!

Lovin' laksa


  • Cris said...

    Oh my gosh......... this looks terribly goood!!!! These pictures are to die for this dish.... My kids believe their noses when it comes to trying new foods, they always have to smell first and they say it tastes like it smells, funny approach...

  • Anonymous said...

    We definitely subscribe to the philosophy of small portions and what an interesting idea of visually increasing the size of the portion. So, did your experiment work with the curry laksa? It looks wonderful!

  • Dewi said...

    Oh dear, you make me homesick... I miss this laksa so bad. I was just talking about it with my sister. We both drool like dogs..

  • Joie de vivre said...

    Tangled! I LOVE your discussion! The comment from your classmate where he looked at you with pity made me smile. The older I get, the more I look at "young people" as being extremely short sited. My dad used to tell me, "You just know everything don't you?" and I didn't really see the irony in his statements then. The 55 calorie photos were wonderful! I think you did a better job than me! I can't wait for our discussion next week!

  • Maria Verivaki said...

    i envy you being able to talk in public about food choices - i;ve enjoyed the discussion so far

    eating what you want when you feel hungry cannot possibly hold true in a world where we are bombarded with bad food that looks tempting and is served in large portions - we are being tempted into feeling hungry...

  • Chef E said...

    Both of you- Thanks for this, I recently if you notice in my photos only use small plates for our portions...I also got this training from my years working for a petite Indian client who eats like a bird, but it helps me stay on track!

    That dish is on my list!!!

  • Anonymous said...

    Without a doubt the discussion was great, I just had breakfast but seeing the recipe might head straight for lunch, but the photo of the dish caused me to chuckle as the bowl showed a portion size that brought new meaning to jumbo shrimp - they look huge!

  • Sippity Sup said...

    I almost hesitate to comment. But I think I have something to add to the discussion. Though I have plenty of eating issues. Calories are just not one of them. I am naturally thin. Don't throw things at me! As a youth it was a constant struggle to put a few pounds on. I was the 98 pound weakling of the comics strips come to life. Now, as an older person, my weight stays very constant just under 150 lbs on my 5-9" frame. Still a bit too thin for the insecure adolescent who still resides inside my brain. He wants us to be taller and brawnier. But alas is is not to be. My point is body image helps define your food choices. Certain choices become comforting over time and take on more complex meanings. Taste and experience are everything to me. I just do not eat if it is not a taste or experience that makes me happy. Which means I often skip meals. Or find I have not eaten all day. Which triggers the skinny kid inside me to start the "I told you so stuff". My food issues come in here. Should food make me happy? What does that mean. Shouldn't I be happy no matter what I eat? GREG

  • Kiezie said...

    Great post, definitely food for thought. It's so interesting to hear peoples take on this. Step-D is like your classmate in thought, eats what she wants, no regard to nutrition, prefers processed foods. It's hard to watch when they don't see the consequence of their actions, but keep wondering why they suffer. OK, that's my tangent...... Well written and well thought out!! Thank you.

  • Scate said...

    I heard about the North Dakota wine experiement on MPR long ago - it is very telling on how we can choose to feel or taste or experience different feelings. For me - I am "hungry" when it's snowy and cold. One winter in Florida showed me that I could make it through a winter without gaining weight!

  • Anonymous said...

    Great picture, great post. We eat what we crave...physically and emotionally. It's a soother!

  • Sam Hoffer / My Carolina Kitchen said...

    I'm so glad you've joined Joie de Vivre for her Friday discussions and thanks for suggestions this wonderful little book. I'm trying to train myself not to eat somthing unless it taste good but mindless eating sometimes takes over before you know it.

    This is my fist visit to your beautiful blog but believe me, I'll be back. Your photography is outstanding - the shrimp and tomatoes jump out of the screen. See you next Friday.

  • Anonymous said...

    What you wrote is so true. It's one reason why there is such an obesity problem in the United States. With so many places super-sizing their portions, and with American always taught to clean their plates, well, you have a recipe for over-eating big-time. I believe in doggie bags. Eat till you're comfortably full, then take the rest home. You'll be glad you did when you enjoy a nice lunch the next day of your leftovers.

  • Mediterranean Turkish Cook said...

    Hello, I read about your discussion on Joie de Vivre's blog and wanted to check it out. I like the idea of making the food you eat look bigger by serving it on a smaller plate. The connection between food and psychology cannot be denied. Tricking our mind a little may actually help.

  • Heather said...

    interesting debate. i am definitely always struggling with what i eat, and how much. i'm trying to makeover my tastes with more healthy things, but i agree a lot of it is portion. i'm just used to a certain sized meal - but today, at lunch, i ate less and i was fine... not at all hungry before dinner. it's weird what our mind convinces us of...

  • Tangled Noodle said...

    Cris - Thank you! I sometimes go with my nose, too, but what smells funny to me might smell great to another (and vice versa). It's funny how our senses sometimes work together and sometimes work so differently. For instance, I heard that durian fruit is absolutely horrible but that the taste is like custard or flan! I don't have enough nerve to try . . .

    Chitra - My husband could barely wait for me to take the picture. I finally let him have his bowl while I finished photographing mine.

    5 Star - We usually end up using what we call 'bowl-plates' which are shallow soup bowls. They appear as large as dinner plates but actually hold less. This experiment did work but not quite in the manner intended: what really made a single serving satisfying was trying to eat the wiggly noodles w/o splattering soup all over! I had to eat more slowly to make sure I didn't make a mess which gave me time to register that I was full.

    Girlichef - Thank you and I do hope you'll join in on the discussion with your own thoughts!

    Elra - Thank you although I'm sorry to make you feel homesick! I sometimes feel that way with Filipino food which is why I've had to learn to make it myself. I don't know how authentic-tasting this was but it was pretty good!

    Joie - Thank you so much! I was admiring how you managed to get the salient points so clearly - I thought I was being too wordy! As soon as I saw that part of the book, I knew I had to take pictures of my crackers. It was as if the book was talking about me! As for these young whippersnappers, like you said, you just have to smile. I'm looking forward to next week, too!

    Maria - You are so right about being tempted into feeling hungry. One example in the book was how people ate old, stale, unpalatable food not because of actual need but simply because it was there! I think it's easy to talk about choice so publicly because we (rather, "I") take it for granted that it will always be available.

    Chef E - I've finally learned to cook in appropriate proportion for two people. In the past, I loyally prepared recipes meant to feed 4-8 people and the end result was overeating because there's so much, facing leftovers for 3 days straight or throwing out good food. Now, I hope I'm serving two purposes: avoiding a lot of waste and even more waist!

    Oysterculture - And how about the tomatoes! That was the idea, I suppose. As I mentioned to 5 Star, trying to keep all those noodles and toppings in that tiny bowl forced me to eat slowly so in the end, it was a good thing!

    Greg - Thank you so much for these comments. I have nearly the polar opposite experience as you: I've always been a bit plump (which is perfectly fine at age 5 but was confidence-crushing at 15, 25 and even 35) so calorie-counting has been my measure of control. I do recognize, however, that I sometimes lose the ability to experience happiness from taste and experience, as you do. Instead, eating is about negotiation and calculation. My goal is not having food to make me happy but rather to have food happily. Does that make any sense?

    ChefBliss - Thank you! I'm sure that when we were younger, our 'elders' wanted to shake us, too! The only thing we can do is what you are already doing - setting a great example.

    Scate - Right about now, I envy your winter in Florida! But seriously, I agree with you - outside cues can influence us but a lot of sabotaging is done by our own perceptions. It's the same thing when people refuse to eat a different cuisine, not because the flavors or ingredients are objectionable but because they hold some negative opinion or perception about that culture that has nothing to do with food.

    DuoDishes - That is definitely true! My problem is I don't know when to stop!

    Sam - Thank you and welcome! As a former North Carolina resident (Raleigh and Charlotte - unfortunately, not long enough to earn a 'Tarheel' designation), I'm so happy to meet you. I just popped into your site and can't wait to read more, both there and on your Abaco blog.

    Carolyn - Personal economics are such huge factors in food choices. Whether we buy in bulk at 'food clubs' or opt for the combo meal, we pat ourselves on the back for getting the most 'bang for our buck'. Unfortunately, we feel compelled to finish every bite lest the bargain becomes a bust.

    Mediterranean Turkish Cook - Thank for coming by! If our minds play tricks on us, then it's only fair that we return the favor. Aside from making food look bigger by using smaller plates, I also try not to make too much so that it doesn't look like there is more to eat.

    Heather - I agree! One of my weight-control strategies has recently started to backfire on me. Eating mini-meals has become such a habit that I sometimes eat even if I'm not hungry just because I always eat at that time of day!

    FrenchKitchen - Thank you for stopping by and I hope you'll enjoy next week's post!

  • Lori said...

    Great post! As I mentioned over at Joie, I am so happy to see you all covering this book. I have read so much of his research, but have never read the actual book. It really is eye-opening.

    It makes me think about the por kilo buffets they have around here. I've seen a few in the States, but typically they are all por kilo here. I've found I really watch what I put on my plate, both because I don't want to spend too much and b/c I don't want to embarass myself by weighing in at a kilo of food. Ha, ha!

    Love this recipe!

  • Sapuche said...

    This is a great discussion you’ve started, and I can’t wait for the next three parts. In the meantime, I’ll be interested to see where your testing of portions and presentation takes you. I wonder: if you’re cognizant that you’re trying to outwit your hunger, can you still succeed? Or is it enough just to develop this mindset (i.e., to eat mindfully) in order to feel sated with less than you’re accustomed to? Btw, great laksa photos and recipe!

  • Anonymous said...

    These are so much related to advertisement tricks. They say that you'll be beautiful with that shampoo and you decide to buy it when you see a beautiful lady with volumed hair.

    And here in this post(and book) is the food version, food psychology. So tricky. We are generally unaware of these things about food. I'm absolutely curious about the book. Thank you for sahring these with us.

  • Tangled Noodle said...

    Hungry Gal - Believe me, I much prefer the larger bowls! But as I mentioned to 5 Star Foodie, the smaller container actually helped me to eat more slowly and really taste the flavors. Normally, I'd be slurping down the noodles as quickly as I could!

    Sophie - Thank you! I'm learning to start with smaller portions, telling myself that if I want more when I'm done, I can always get seconds. It works well but not always - sometimes, I can't help myself and have seconds even if I'm a little full already. 8-(

    Sapuche - Thanks! We've made changes to be more aware of portion sizes (for instance, we use those shallow soup bowls rather than dinner plates) but I must admit that being conscious of the effort often meant negotiating with myself ("If you eat small, you can have such and such later"). It's much easier now because using smaller dishes has become more of a habit. It's become automatic to reach for the 5" cereal bowl! Another thing I try to do is to cook only as much as we can comfortably eat so instead of making a whole 1lb pkg of pasta, I'll cook up only half the box - no leftovers but also no temptation to go back for seconds.

    Zerrin - Isn't it amazing how much we can be swayed by advertisements. I admit it still works on me: I read my fashion magazines and see beautiful clothes on beautiful women and imagine that, if only I had that purse or those shoes, I'd look the same!

    I hope you'll come back for the other parts - I believe that the book will discuss these advertising strategies that play on our feelings and emotions to convince us to buy certain foods!

    Joie - You're welcome! The potage looks so delicious, especially that swirl of olive oil on top - such a nice touch.

  • Anonymous said...

    The finding about container size and the perception of whether one has "enough" are interesting and not hugely surprising to me.

    I would do well to start using smaller plates myself, because I have a deep-seated must-clear-my-plate approach to eating which goes hand-in-hand with my waste-not-want-not mentality. If I could get myself to eat more slowly that would help too. Sometimes I think that I'm in some kind of perverse race against the fullness receptors in my brain, must-eat-more-before-my-brain-realises-its-full. It takes real concious effort for me not to do that!

  • Anonymous said...

    I'm dumbstruck and, as usual, I have a zillion questions. I also wish, with so much sincerity, that I could live in your country and meet people like the Americans I read here. The articles are outstanding, the research exactly what I would expect from a site of this calibre and the writing excellent.

    I have only one complaint.
    The articles (or posts, if you like) are far too short.

    About the smaller portions - so true. We were brought up in an era where you were not permitted to leave food on a plate too.

    Thanks again.
    As my kids would say - Tangled Noodle rocks!

  • Tangled Noodle said...

    Spud - It's the same for me and unfortunately, my stomach far outpaces my brain! Whatever strategy we decide to use, I believe the lessons of this book are about re-training ourselves so that if we eat on 'autopilot', then at least we do it in such a way that doesn't promote overeating and bad choices.

    Jacoa - Thank you so much! Your kind words are great appreciated. I'm rather brutal about editing/cutting my posts because I do have a tendency to run on and on! I'm so happy that you enjoy the information provided.

    What is striking about the culture of eating, at least in the U.S., is the need to have bigger and more, simply because it is so abundant. With the current economic conditions, however, when eating out or buying groceries is harder on the wallet, I wonder if we might see a change in consumption behavior to something less excessive.

  • Anonymous said...

    That laksa looks so good. I admit I skipped the post part to get to the recipe and then went back to read the post! Very interesting discussion. You know I must admit I'm guilty of all these things. When at a fancy restaurant that gets rave reviews I'm afraid to say, "um, I actually don't think its that good."
    I am also guilty of letting my eyes always determine my portion sizes and I always have to clean my plate. This last part I've come to realize so I do use the smaller plates and bowls trick.
    Back to the laksa - so loving it! Looks so fresh and yummy!

  • The Beancounter said...

    i've never used udon for laksa before but i can see how it would work...i should say though, my home made laksa (using store bought pastes) always seem to be a bit short of my expectations. Always looks the part but the taste is still not at par with take-away laksa... might have to try to make it from scratch...

    interesting topic. i'm looking forward to more "mindless" discussions...

  • Brenda said...

    You're a girl after my heart with those shrimp...or prawns as the Brits say. :)

    I'm afraid I still have a long way to go in terms of not feeling compelled to clean my (usually large-ish) plate every time, but I think it's worth working at, if nothing else to learn what real satisfaction and enjoyment feels like!

  • Tangled Noodle said...

    Gastroanthropologist - Happy to hear that the laksa pic lured you in! I'm too intimidated to cook from scratch these 'spice' cuisines, such as Indian and Thai, because of the intricate mix of spices, so these jarred pastes are invaluable. So far, many of the comments here have mentioned the 'Clean-Plate Club' mentality; the key seems to be about how much we put on our plates at the start. But, as you mention, my eyes are definitely way bigger than my stomach!

    MaryBeth - Thank you! Laska is a spicy (but not always flaming) noodle soup from Malyasia/Singapore; some have coconut milk (like this one) while others have a more sour broth. It's really quite delicious - if you don't have a Malaysian restaurant nearby to try it, perhaps a Thai restaurant might offer it.

    Beancounter -I have to guess that there are some great Malaysian/Singaporean food places near you in Australia! I'm jealous. The pastes are a good alternative for me although I sometimes add extras like a little patis or some more red pepper flakes. Let me know if you find and try a 'from-scratch' recipe. I want to make the one from Rasa Malaysia that I linked to in the post!

    Brenda - Whenever I see "prawns" here, they are huge, like mini-lobsters! I can only afford the shrimpy shrimps. 8-)

    I wholeheartedly agree with you with regard to learning about real satisfaction and enjoyment - whether I'm so hungry that I inhale my dinner or I'm particularly obsessed with calories that day, I forget to actually taste my food. Daily Spud above put it best when she said she feels like she's in a race to keep her stomach from realizing it's full. But realizing this is, I suppose, a step forward!

  • Anonymous said...

    I've been that older student in a classroom, fixed by an indulgent smile and an offhand comment from one of the young pups:) I am with you; I often think about why I eat what I eat--and it spreads to the marketing as well. I'm fascinated by commercials and who their demographic is and how they attempt to reach them. Sounds like a book I should get my hands on. Thanks for bringing it to my attention!

  • Tangled Noodle said...

    OPC - I remember the first time official University forms referred to me as a "non-traditional age" student (at NC State)!

    The next installment of this deals with a lot of the marketing strategies being used by the food industry today. It's such fascinating stuff - I hope you do get a chance to read the book!

  • Spring Girl said...

    Thanks! Just like your classmate, my husband is equally mystified by how much I can think about food.

    I like the discussion on how we expect to eat the same amount or feel deprived. Although, I find that when I put my meals on smaller plates I'm still not content.

    I'm finding that putting way too much and then eating consciously has been the only way to reduce my portion sizes. It's all about mind games isn't it!?!

  • Tangled Noodle said...

    Spring Girl - One of the reasons that I constantly think about food is because I have a tumultuous relationship with it: I love it but I sometimes feel it betrays me. I decided to study it because food never seems to just be about eating to live. We have so much invested in it: our cultural identities, our memories, our physical self-esteem, others' opinions, and the list goes on! One thing I have realized is that each person has to come to terms with food on their own (although outside factors can help) because each of us has a unique set of experiences unduplicated by anyone else. So your way of reducing portion size differs from mine or Joie's or anyone else's but the important thing is that it works for us!

    I stopped in at your blog and really appreciate your candor over your endeavors. I hope you'll join us again for the rest of the book discussion and I look forward to reading about your progress!


    Okies so I think that it's obvious that what, how and when we eat isn't simply to do with "I feel hungry" or "Me want food" but a whole host of stuff: I could argue that where in the world you live affects you (which is why when people around me go on hoiday they stick to what they know)

    This was a really insightful and well-thought-out post! I enjoyed reading it!


  • Tangled Noodle said...

    JamJarSuperstar - Thank you for stopping by! Speaking of holidays, it ties in with the idea of feeling 'special' about the eating situation: "I'm on vacation so I'm supposed to enjoy (read: eat) as much as possible!" Many resorts or cruise lines offer so much food for what seems like free that we come to think of chowing down as another activity!

    I enjoyed visiting your sites and hope you'll check out the next chapters of this book.

  • Lory said...

    That is so interesting with regards to proportions we eat as we are used to in the past.
    I know I am at an age now that I should eat less because my metabolism is slower...but I am used to eating a certain amount and I should eat a much smaller portion, but I can't seem to get satisfied until I have had my usual portions...

    BTW, my older son saw the photo of this laksa curry and asked me to make it, so we looked at the ingredients. i am afraid i have yet to travel to the Asian stores to get udon noodles. Also, where can I find Laksa paste? This really looks so good and we are (my sons and I) are big fans of shrimps.

  • Tangled Noodle said...

    Manang - I'm the same way! I know that I should cut down on portions but I already feel like they are already so small! I'm just trying to cut down slowly so that it's not a drastic change.

    As for the curry laksa, I think the flavor focus is entirely on the soup that any noodle would work - maybe linguine? I found the curry paste only at the Asian grocery but I added a link to a "Curry Mee" recipe from Rasa Malaysia above the ingredients list which makes it from scratch. I hope this helps but if I find out more I'll let you know!


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