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Archive for February, 2007

Volumetrics

Saturday, February 24th, 2007

I have been without a kitchen scale for a while now, but a new one is on the way, having just been shipped yesterday. I got the same model again, hoping it was just a fluke. This time, I’ll be sure to keep the warranty card though!

It’s been a challenge. The temptation to purposeful sloppiness in measurement is even greater, and certainly easier, than when there is a digital readout indicting your indiscretion. Furthermore, even with due diligence, studies show we tend to underestimate our caloric intake. For example, this one from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. I do, however, have a lot of practice and a fairly consistent meal plan, so that helps.

Having been relegated to measure by volume and count alone, I had to devise ingenious tricks and somewhat shift my usual foods to those more easily quantified. One favorable creation emerging from these tactics was these bean muffins.

Each muffin represents 1/4 cup of cooked beans. I left them relatively plain in order to vary their flavors with spreads or to simply add water and make into a soup. One of my favorite toppings was the dessert-like addition of sliced banana and peanut butter. (I’m categorizing this post under chess as well because this idea could be a useful addition to my travel and snacking repertoire for tournaments.)

Speaking of doing things by volume, I wanted to mention the excellent book The Volumetrics Weight-Control Plan: Feel Full on Fewer Calories, which I have added to my recommendations page. Like CRON and E2L, it also espouses high nutrient – low calorie dense foods and explains how, by volume, they are a much better bargain than nutrient poor – energy dense foods. You can eat so much more and feel fuller on the former. The author, a researcher at the Food Lab at Penn State, has also written an accompanying cookbook, The Volumetrics Eating Plan: Techniques and Recipes for Feeling Full on Fewer Calories, but I caution, it is definitely not vegan.

The following pictorial brings home the point of her books by answering the question, What does 200 calories look like?

weightless

Monday, February 19th, 2007

Ack! My food scale, a KD-7000, only a month old, just broke. The on/off button collapsed into the display and is no longer functional. I feel so adrift. And doesn’t it just figure, it had to happen on a National Holiday?

This means I have free reign to pig out, right? LOL (kinda). But still. :(

a tale of two weekends

Sunday, February 11th, 2007

It somehow feels like the holiday season has not ended here yet, as far as food is concerned. For example, last weekend, I hosted another UFC fight night (actually afternoon, as we now watch it the next day via the internet). Lots of our standards: hummus, homemade tortilla chips and salsa, veggies, and baba ganoush. Of course, we made them all healthy and low-fat (no tahini in the hummus and no olive oil in the baba), but it sure wasn’t a CR day. I finished off the salsa in a “pasta” dish the next day, adding roasted vegetables and porcini mushrooms.

Oh yeah, I also offered up a plate of my still-under-development chocolate fudge brownies. (Scott, no giving away the secrets.) They were so good everyone had seconds, and one even had thirds! To top it all off, they’re gluten free.

Speaking of which, that experiment continues. I was so pleased to receive confirmation from Lewis Labs that their Brewer’s Yeast, which I use daily, is gluten free. And Anheuser-Busch has introduced a sorghum beer, Redbridge, across the country. Of course, GF beers already existed, but availability is limited.


My favorite “Gluten Freedom Fighters”

This weekend I competed in a chess tournament. I’ve mentioned before how I always allow myself several hundred extra calories in snacks to provide additional fuel for the demands of the games. Lunch and dinner during the tourney consisted of a yellow split pea soup made the night before in the slow cooker with half an onion, a habanero pepper, and an ounce of Just Hot Veggies. I don’t gain weight from these indulgences; it turns out chess burns a lot of calories! Well, my nutrition software says it’s only 33 calories per hour, but I don’t believe it. Besides, each game is at least two to four hours long. So, if you’re ever laid up in bed and unable to exercise, just grab a book of mate-in-three problems. LOL.

When will the gluttony end? Give me until after Valentine’s Day. I don’t have a special someone with whom to share chocolate decadence, but that won’t stop me. Coworkers beware! ;)


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