One Bowl Eating is... method of serving healthy, delicious, balanced, single-serving meals in one bowl per person.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

One Bowl Eating: What & Why?

One Bowl Eating is my made-up method of serving healthy, delicious, balanced, single-serving meals in one bowl per person per meal. Here's why.

In July 2008 I realized I wanted to change the way I ate. I'd been regularly exercising and sleeping for 6 months but my body was still way out of shape. I often ate my young kids' leftovers because I was too tired to cook "real" dinners for myself. I ate for comfort and to numb myself from the pain I was feeling as my marriage deteriorated. I frequently had stomach aches. On the outside, I was visibly overweight, but I was also competent, productive and professionally successful. On the inside, I felt uncomfortable and ashamed.

I sought help. The story of the help I received may be a story for another rainy day. But a key component of the help was to consistently follow a plan of weighed and measured eating, with no flour or sugar. I doubted I could keep this up for 2 meals in a row. But I decided I was willing to try, one meal at a time.

The first time I tried to prepare a meal that included 12 ounces of vegetables I almost panicked. I was sure this would be too time consuming and unpleasant tasting. I had to create a system that worked for my palate and for my limited availability. With two young kids at home and a requirement to be main bread winner I had little time for cooking.

Over time I created ways to create healthy, balanced meals in five minutes or less. At every meal I prepared food for everyone else and then my own separately. I learned what foods to stock in the house and what to cook in bulk a few times each week. I learned how to dirty as few dishes as possible. I learned what tasted delicious and what tasted bland to me. I learned I can eat well without eating flour and sugar! Between late July and December, 60 pounds seemingly dropped off my body.

I continue to eat this way. Throughout, friends and relatives have been curious about my way of eating. To my surprise, people often asked about my system because it seemed fresh, easy and healthy to them. So I started collecting the "recipes" I'd made up. And today, on this rainy Saturday while my kids are out with my soon-to-be-ex, I thought I'd start sharing them in this form.

There are days as a single mom that I feel so tired that I just wish someone would turn up to take care of *me*. Do others feel this way? If they do, and if they find me here, perhaps they will feel less alone in the struggle.

By going public here, I am in no way suggesting that if you follow my meal plan you will lose 60 pounds, or that you need to lose 60 pounds, or that I am any sort of food expert. It would be fun if we could share recipes and talk about how challenging it can be to serve healthy, delicious, quick meals to ourselves and our families. Frankly, I would benefit from the support too.

Here's my first recipe for you. It's my favorite breakfast. I call it Oatmeal Goup.

Pour 8 oz of skim milk into a glass.

Combine in 1 bowl: 1 oz dry oatmeal (I use McCain's from Trader Joe's), a third to a half of the milk, and 1 T natural peanut butter. Microwave for 60 seconds. While it's cooking, slice 1 banana. Remove the bowl from the microwave, add the banana slices and 4 oz of European yogurt (plain, no sugar, I buy it at Trader Joe's). Stir and enjoy with the rest of your glass of milk!

I look forward to hearing your thoughts!


  1. is a great site for those who are too busy or too tired to spend time cooking. It is also great for someone who wants to be efficient at meal time. I cannot wait to see more recipe ideas.

  2. Debra- thank you for sharing this. Recipes and systems will be great for people- I know I was searching for years. This will be inspirational!

  3. Thanks to everyone who has been sending me such positive feedback via Facebook, email, and phone calls!

  4. Hi Debra,
    This is a fun blog! As I'm working on losing 3 years' worth of pregnancy weight, a few things have helped me:

    walking long distances every day (pushing a stroller)
    really stopping eating when I'm not enjoying it any more
    drinking lots of water in between meals
    writing down what I eat
    checking in weekly with a friend
    speaking my goals once a day in prayer form

    Your one-bowl strategy fits in nicely with this! I'm now a subscriber:-)


  5. Debra, Love the new blog & can't wait to read more!