Okay, this seemed really cool one night when I stayed up too long after taking Ambien. :-) I’ve made some interesting, medicated purchases before – including the time I bid on 52 different eBay auctions at 2 am. I finally got the chance to use it this weekend and, once I had it in my hand and was actually using it…I felt a little embarrassed that I spent money on it.
This “portion control tool” popped up on Amazon on that little “Customers who bought this also bought THIS” box:
Hot Mess Hubby says I’m part raccoon…anything shiny will get my attention…and he’s right. Just don’t tell him I said so.
The Meal Measure portion control tool is dinner plate sized and pre-measured – so you’re supposed to slap this bad boy on your empty plate, then fill the open spots with the corresponding food. You can’t see it in the photo, but the bottom pocket is for protein and the others are labeled “fruit”, “veggie”, and “starch”.
Wow, what a neat idea, right? Instead of messing around with kitchen scales and measuring cups, here’s one piece that does it all for you right on your plate! Well, that’s what I thought – but there are many ways in which this device fails miserably.
What I didn’t think about during my Ambien stupor…before I hit that wonderful “Buy With 1-Click!” button on Amazon.com was…my grilled chipotle chicken tacos…or my spicy blackened turkey burger…or my beloved, almighty kickasserole. I mean, I don’t see a taco shaped hole on this thing…do you? Where does the tortilla go? Starch, I suppose? What about my kickasserole? It contains proteins and starches…now what? Do I pick out all the potatoes out and put them in the starch hole, the chicken in the protein hole…etc?
In my opinion, this gadget works best if you’re eating a stand alone protein, some kind of rice, a separate veggie, and fruit – but not for much more. I know the serving size and calorie content of all my recipes…so an extra piece of plastic isn’t going to help me.
Just for shits & giggles, here’s a picture of how it stacks up against the blackened turkey burger & baked french fries I had for lunch today.
I know, right! That whole grain bun looks ridiculous shoved into the starch hole. And the bun is really a grain, not a starch – but there is no hole for grain. Are we not supposed to eat grains in this scenario? I didn’t have an apple to stick in the fruit hole either. For my purposes, it just seems silly to me. I prefer the old fashioned way: my trusty kitchen scale and my measuring cups.
There were other portion control devices on Amazon.com including this one:
This plate seems like a much better investment for those who are trying to keep an eye on their portions. I’m not going to buy this one either, don’t worry. My Ambien shopping days are over. For a while. LOL
I’ll feel much better about my lame-o impulse purchase if any of you feel like you want to try it. Really. Let’s have a raffle. I’m hoping at least one of y’all think it’s cool or useful in some way. If you’re interested in winning this, please comment and say so. The winner will be chosen by random drawing on random.com and posted on Monday night by 8 pm.
If there are no takers, I guess I’ll toss it or donate it. So…who wants it?
When it comes to eating naughty, calorie-laden foods, I think it’s safe to say that I shed my amateur status years ago. Most obese people have a love/hate relationship with food…and the only people I know who have ever successfully wrestled this tiger to the ground are the ones who made peace with their demons. I think I’ve been successful for so long this time because I’m looking the demons right in their angry little green faces…and then clubbing the shit out of them with my weapon of choice: common sense.
My first common sense victory happened when I decided to stop force feeding myself “diet” food and really spent some time & energy finding healthy food that I actually enjoyed. I knew I wasn’t going to see any long term success if I stuffed my freezer with diet entrees and forced brown rice down my throat every night. I really enjoy finding and testing recipes that are tasty and healthy – and I refuse to settle for anything less.
I love it when someone comes out with a lighter/leaner version of something and it’s absolutely delicious. However, some of these lighter/leaner recipes make me wonder if the creator didn’t eat a big bowl ‘o stupid when they thought them up.
For example, I once saw a lighter/leaner recipe for Starbucks cake pops. A single Starbucks cake pop has 180 calories. This website published their lighter recipe, which made 24 cake pops that were 118 calories each. Are you kidding me?
First of all, that’s only 62 calories less for all the trouble you’re going through to make them. Second, I’m an eater. I need 24 cake pops in my house like the world needs another Snooki. Those cake pops would be whispering to me from the kitchen until they were all gone…which would take about as much time as it does to watch the evening news and a couple episodes of “Friends”. Trying to save those 62 ridiculous calories would have given me a 2,832 calorie binge and a hell of a guilt trip. No, thank you!
I also found a lighter recipe for Jamba Juice’s “Orange Dream Machine”. The lighter recipe was 164 calories (compared to Jamba’s 350 calories) and contained fat free powdered non-dairy creamer and a packet of no calorie sweetener. Jamba Juice’s recipe contains fruit, soy milk, and all natural ingredients.
It’s a no brainer for me…in favor of the original, higher calorie recipe. I don’t go to Jamba Juice very often - so if I go, I’m prepared to spend a little extra time on the treadmill. And I really don’t want to eat chemicals, ok? Seriously. Fat free powdered non-dairy creamer and a packet o’ chemicals just so we can say we had half the calories? What about the value of those calories?
If I’m really that hung up about the 350 calories in the 16 oz Orange Dream Machine, I’ll drink half of it and save half of it for tomorrow. There! I just cut it in half AND got to enjoy the other half the next day…voila! Common sense.
I also have an issue with some of the recipes that appear in magazines like Cooking Light and Clean Eating. I love these magazines…but there comes a point when I just want to roll my eyes and smack the crap out of the people in their test kitchens. Clean Eating magazine once featured a recipe for coconut cream pie on their cover and I was so excited I nearly peed my pants right there in Barnes & Noble…right in front of the bridal magazine section where all the skinny girls stand, too. How embarrassing!
I feverishly flipped through the magazine to see what the calorie damage was on the coconut cream pie and found a list of ingredients I’d never heard of before – including “organic evaporated cane juice”. Whaaaat?
Oh, organic evaporated cane juice? Yes, of course I have some of that in my pantry…right next to the jar where I keep Batman’s left testicle. They’re both equally difficult to get a hold of. Where do these ingredients come from?
Maybe the summer issue of Better Homes and Gardens will feature a super low-cal star spangled blueberry pie with just a few simple ingredients:
evaporated non-dry, whole-grain unbleached bleached white flour
apple flavored single malt gelatin granules
36.2 packets of calorie-free, sugar-free sugar substitute with bacon extract
the bark from the north facing side of a willow tree
and 1/2 of a banana
Jesus! Sometimes it’s easier (and healthier) to just eat the original recipe, calories and all…and work it off the old fashioned way.
I’ve lost 27 pounds in 3 months – and that includes a trip to my favorite Texas buffalo wing bar and 2 nights of “we have no clean dishes, let’s just order pizza”. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t all be trying to eat lighter as a whole, but sometimes it just doesn’t work. Case in point: buffalo wings. I have never found a healthier, baked recipe that I enjoy. EVER. As far as I’m concerned, the extra calories are worth it. However, I never need to buy a bag of oily chips again…because I enjoy my lighter, leaner potato chip recipe every bit as much as those oily chips. More, actually.
Sometimes it’s okay to just eat naughty. Get in touch with where you are emotionally. Are you in a good place or a bad place? Deep down, you know…and if you really don’t know, then don’t eat naughty until you do know. Once you determine that you aren’t trying to medicate yourself with naughty food…go ahead and (gasp) eat it. The trick is to actually take a little time and come up with a plan for yourself. If you don’t have a plan, feel free to use mine…I can share.
Here are my 10 Common Sense Steps to Eating Naughty:
1. Figure out the caloric content & serving size you’re going to eat. (Lying to yourself TRIPLES the calories…you’ve been warned.)
2. Figure out how much extra cardio you’re going to have to do to work it off.
3. Re-evaluate whether it’s really worth it to you to eat those calories. Sometimes it is…and there’s nothing wrong with that. If it’s worth it, commit to that extra cardio (and I mean set a time for it on the same day you’re eating naughty).
4. Make adjustments to your other meals for that day. This is especially helpful if you’re eating something that’s very high in calories. For example, if you’re eating something that’s 700 calories, then remove 350 calories from your other meals that day and burn 350 extra calories in cardio. Do not skip meals!
5. If you’re cooking the naughty/unhealthy food and you know there will be leftovers, package it up IMMEDIATELY and send Johnny Jr. next door to give it to the neighbors…or the dog…I don’t care, just get it the hell out of your house. You know you’ll go back for more if it’s still there before bed.
6. If you’re going out to a restaurant, are you eating the entire entree or will there be leftovers? If there will be leftovers, ask the server to bring you a take-out container BEFORE your food.
7. Serve yourself the pre-determined serving amount.
8. Thoroughly enjoy it…guilt free. If anyone makes any snarky comments, kick ‘em in the Precious!
9. Get up off your ass and honor your cardio commitment before you talk yourself out of it.
10. Don’t visit Mr. Scale the next day…just in case he pisses you off or makes you feel guilty.
My best advice to you is this: listen to yourself. You know what’s really in your heart and your head. If you can handle it and be honest with yourself, it doesn’t hurt to eat naughty once in a while. If you’re not sure, either don’t do it…or start shopping for evaporated yak saliva and reconstituted cow hooves. Yum!
Tomorrow…Wednesday, March 14th, is National Potato Chip Day. :-)
It looks to me like this holiday was conjured up by the corporations that bring you highly processed, super fatty snacky chips…which we’ve all enjoyed at some point in our lives, right? I certainly have!
Potato chips were one of the vices that I didn’t want to completely do without, so I set about trying to find a healthier way to enjoy them. I never thought I would find the answer in my microwave, but I did. Baked potato chips always came out squishy and chewy in the oven. Oil would have to be involved on the stove top. So my last ditch effort was the microwave…and it paid off.
I now make crispy, crunch potato chips in my microwave whenever I want…and I can make any flavor I want. In celebration of National Potato Chip Day, I’d like to share a couple of my seasoning tricks with you.
The recipe for making these chips is already posted here on the blog on the “Recipes” tab – click here to find it. Simply substitute these seasoning blends for salt and you’ve got a completely different chip!
Rosemary Garlic Chips
Light sprinkle equal amounts of dried rosemary, garlic powder, and fine ground sea salt across your chips before putting them in the microwave.
Garlic & Onion Chips
Lightly sprinkle equal amounts of garlic and onion powder over chips. Top with fine ground sea salt and put in microwave
Bleu Cheese Garlic Chips
Lightly sprinkle equal amounts of garlic powder and fine ground sea salt on chips, then crisp up in microwave. Immediately remove warm crispy chips from microwave and place on serving dish. Sprinkle 3 – 4 table spoons of crumbled bleu cheese across chips. (You can also crisp up 2 slices of bacon, crumble it, and dump that on top as well…but you’ll spend a longer time on the treadmill if you do it!)
I fully intend on posting some pictures of these for you at a later time, but with my thumb bandaged up from the knife incident yesterday I was a bit skittish about being near any cutting devices today. LOL.
You absolutely can have tasty, crispy potato chips without any oil. All you’re getting are the calories from the actual potato. And one potato makes a crap load of chips, my peeps. Crunchy, yummy goodness!
Once you’re done making your chips, grab a single serving size of non-fat, plain Greek yogurt from the fridge and a packet of your favorite dip mix. Mix in just enough and you’ve got a super healthy alternative to chips and dip that won’t take it’s vengeance on your hips. :-) You’re welcome!
You don’t need to guzzle the processed crap coming from the chip manufacturers, trust me. These are just as tasty and infinitely more healthy. Give it a shot. In honor of National Potato Chip Day…live a little. :-)
If you follow my Facebook Fan Page, you know I had a big Pampered Chef party at my house on Saturday night. Traditionally, a selection of yummy, creative food is prepared and served at these parties and I had decided to serve a new Pampered Chef recipe: Chicago-Style Hot Dog Bites. This solved the nibble problem for me, since the recipe contains pickles. Nothing tickles my gag reflex faster than pickles (except maybe a Kardashian). The Chicago Style Hot Dog bites looked very pretty – thanks to pals Brenda & Lauren, who did the bulk of the work – but there was no way I was going to eat one! Pickles are the devil!!
To get ready for the big shindig, I schlepped my four butts to the grocery store Saturday morning for recipe supplies and general party hoo-hah. My plan was to get in and out as quickly as possible, so that I could get home and focus on the party prep stuff. In the produce section, there was a woman blocking the aisle with her cart. Do we all hate it when someone does this or is it just me? It always amazes me when someone is so unaware of themselves that they just stop their shit in the middle of an aisle, blocking anyone from passing in either direction. Highway rules should always apply when it comes to aisles, hallways, sidewalks, or escalators: pass on the left, slower traffic keep right, and pull over to the damn side if you’re going to stop…moron!
This particular idjit with bad shopping cart etiquette was wearing yoga pants, which she definitely had the body for, but I always think of this thing from someecards.com when I see a chick running errands in yoga pants:
Whether this is true for her or not, I’ll never know and I certainly wasn’t going to judge – however, she was perfectly coiffed and her make-up was spotless – so I doubt she was just stopping at the store after 30 minutes of “northbound facing rainbow stance”. (Sorry, I don’t know yoga-speak!) I didn’t really care what her deal was, I just needed her to move her yoga pants out of my way. She was so engrossed in her search for the perfect bulb of garlic that she was oblivious to the fact that anyone was close by, so I followed my own standard procedure that I use whenever I meet up with an aisle hog.
“Excuse me,” I said very sweetly, making sure I was smiling at the poor oblivious creature. “Can I just squeeze by you real quick?”
Most of the time the offending aisle hog moves over and mutters an apology of some sort, to which I reply “Oh, it’s no problem – have a great day!” (And no, I don’t really mean it’s no problem, but I can’t bring myself to say “Nice aisle manners! Do you stop your Escalade in the middle of the road to answer your cell phone, butt munch???”)
They probably do. Don’t get me started.
But Yoga Pants was different. Yoga Pants did not respond by moving over and muttering an apology. Noooo. Yoga Pants looked up and made no secret that she was 100% disgusted at the fat person who was…alarmingly close. She looked like she was afraid she would get the fat cooties if I came any closer. She was appalled. Silly me, here I was miffed that she was hogging up the aisle and apparently she was the one who should be pissed at the fatty trying to shop in her produce section. Or perhaps my obese-ness was so alarming that she thought I was there to eat her. She looked afraid. Perhaps I should have assured her that she looked far too crunchy for my taste. Her collar bone was way pointy.
As if the awkward, horrified reaction wasn’t enough, she did something I really hate: she looked me up and down as she moved her cart over. I hate the up and down look. It’s just effing rude. I could feel her watching me as I moved past her and grabbed some green onions, then moved on to the herbs. I could see her out of the corner of my eye – still watching me as I moved around the produce section. Was it that shocking to see a fat person shopping for produce? I probably really freaked her out. Perhaps she thought I was lost and needed directions to the snack cakes…and here I blew her mind by going right for the green veggies. Poor thing!
The problem with idjits in the grocery store, however, is that once you find them you have 15 more aisles in which to encounter them…because every time you turn the corner, there they are again. Yoga Pants was slinking up the chips aisle when I saw her next. I tossed two bags of tortilla chips in my cart and she looked almost relieved, as if she was thinking “Everything makes sense in the world again, the fatty went for the chips!”
We met up again on the coffee/breakfast aisle. As she passed, she looked into my cart to see what I had. As if in slow motion, I watched her eyes dart over the veggies, the non-fat milk, the tortilla chips, and the box of Special K Vanilla Almond cereal in my cart. Seriously, I was liking her less and less with every aisle that came along. Keep your eyeballs out of my cart, bitch.
I’ve lost count of the number of times some nosy-ass has sneaked a peek into my cart – or stolen a glance at my plate in a restaurant. It always infuriates me. If you think I’m kidding, then I encourage you to don a fat suit that packs an extra 200 pounds on your body and try to go about your normal day. You’d be surprised as hell at the gumption some people have just because you’re a fatty for a day. Something snapped…and as she rounded the corner and came up the canned goods aisle, I decided to stoop to her level.
She approached me and I peeked when she peeked – and I’ll tell you what: it was an eye opener. The first thing I saw: Pop Tarts. Not just one little box…two huge value packs of Pop Tarts. And then there were the cheese poofies that she obviously picked up on the chips aisle while she was glaring at my tortilla chips.
I had to make a detour to the dairy case, lest my Chicago Style Hot Dog bites not be cheesy. Yoga Pants and I met up again as I started down the pasta aisle. She peeked at my sharp cheddar, so I peeked and discovered at least 15 boxes of crap-in-a-box (aka Hamburger Helper). Whaaaat?
Hey, Yoga Pants! You’re going to partially hydrogenate yourself to an early grave. But, by all means, please keep giving us fatties the stink eye when we invade the produce section. Kiss my rapidly reducing ass.
I have a real beef with folks who judge a book by its cover – and some of you may think I’m doing the same with Yoga Pants here, but I assure you…when you’ve spent 20+ years on the fat end of the scale you understand how the world works when it comes to pecking order. Many of you have encouraged me to write a book (which I’m doing) and perhaps the chapter on fatties versus fitties will convince you. Till then, you’ll just have to trust me – unless you live the same experience I do, and I know some of you do! I can tell the different between a fleeting glance and the nosy stare of some ass-hat who’s got nothing better to do than judge a hottie-in-training like me.
By the time we were steering towards the check-out lanes, I was as equally disgusted with her as she was with me & my four asses. Every kind of pre-packaged, processed food was in her cart - not to mention those heavenly Circus Animal cookies. Jesus, that was a bit hard to take. One look at that pink & purple packaging and I could feel the sugar rushing to my ovaries just like the good old days! Someone give me a turkey burger…STAT!
I shook off the experience and went on with the rest of my day, but I knew that when the Pampered Chef fun was over I was going to come back around and have to write about this. I actually intended to post this yesterday, but Hemi the cat needed something warm for her belly and decided that my laptop was the perfect resting place. In about 5 seconds, her belly deleted a day’s worth of work (sometimes my auto-save is a lying bitch). So here I am today… a little late, but still full of piss & vinegar when it comes to Yoga Pants and her Pop Tart guzzling brood. To make matters worse, I intended to post this hours ago…but I sliced through the tip of my thumb while making dinner (pics of the big bandage are on my Facebook Fan Page. LOL). Thank God for that tetanus shot I had in 2010 when I sliced another fingertip off while making chips in the microwave. Damn carbs!
In other news, Mr. Scale has not yet budged. I’m hoping to get him to move a little more before my uterus starts setting up for the 7 Dwarfs of the Apocalypse. Perhaps he needs another visit to the table saw.
The party is over, my mother-in-law has just gone home…and my newly bandaged thumb is throbbing less, so I’m on my way to bed. I am loving the comments, the Facebook messages, and the emails y’all are sending…you have no idea how much you keep me going. :-)
I’ve received some emails lately from readers who ask when I weigh, how often I weigh, what time of day do I weigh, etc. :-) My responses have probably left them thinking “She’s not kidding: she really is a Hot Mess.” Let me explain…
I get on the scale almost every day. I’m the kind of person who needs to know what’s going on at the start of every day. It’s a jumping off point for me and it keeps me honest with myself. If I get on the scale and it shows my current weight, then I’m good. If it shows an extra pound or two, I make note of it…but I don’t let it bother me. I’m a woman and the scale naturally fluctuates. Whether you believe in God, evolution, Mother Nature, or some other power of creation…whoever or whatever it was that created the female body sure had a hell of a sense of humor. The joke is on us, ladies…especially with that whole water retention thang.
Fitness gurus and doctors galore will tell you not to get on the scale more than once a week. Some say once a month. As always, I’m here to shout “BULLSHIT!” at the top of my lungs. I say do what you need to do and ignore the experts – in this instance, anyway. I have never understood why I should only get on the scale once a week. Getting on the scale every day (again, with a healthy outlook about it) makes me look the devil in the face every day. It keeps me honest with the extra helping of chips & salsa I had…or the fact that I didn’t eat a proper dinner because I munched out all night. Why would I want to wait until scale day to find out that the extra time I did on the treadmill wasn’t enough to turn that around?
I do recommend, however, if you get on the scale every day…or if you’re thinking of getting on the scale every day…that you do some soul searching as to what your true relationship is with Mr. Scale .
Here it is, quick & dirty: if you can’t handle the number on the scale, don’t get on it. If you’re the kind of person (and I was, too) who will do everything right and then beat themselves up because the scale doesn’t move…don’t get on it.
The biggest reason to avoid Mr. Scale: If you are going to end up feeling worse about yourself than you already do, don’t get on it. DON’T!!! It’s not worth it. Think about it: you’re embarking on a major life change, trying to live a healthy life, making sacrifices and forcing yourself out of your comfort zone…why on Earth would you want to make yourself feel bad right before you take on such an enormous task? There’s always time to get on the scale later…don’t set yourself up to fail.
Now, there are some situations where you need to get on it. If you’re just starting out, you need to find out where you are. You need to weigh and measure and then lock that shit up somewhere if you can’t handle it. If you had a midnight snack of cake batter ice cream & cheerios, get your butt on it. You know what you did and you know it’s not gonna be pretty. Put your big girl panties on and get on the scale. Look that number hard in the fact. Know it. Feel it. Understand that you own full responsibility for putting that number on that scale. Promise yourself you will not do it again. Tell yourself you’re sorry. Do not attack yourself or play head games with yourself.
Grab the reigns and don’t let go. It takes balls to face up to something unpleasant. Give yourself credit. Face it, know it, understand it, and then put it away. Don’t let it control you – you control it. Sit down and make a plan. Think back to all the mistakes you’ve made in the past and find ways around them. Don’t make those mistakes again. Once you’ve dealt with the bad behavior that got you here, kick it to the curb. It has no business here anymore. In fact, one of my favorite sayings is perfect here:
Deal with it and keep on stepping. We all know what happens when we throw out hands up and give up. We reach for the Reeses and it’s all over. Just one time…don’t do it. Just one time, keep moving ahead. Keep going. Don’t take a break…just keep moving.
If you’re going to face the scale, do it with a level head and a solid plan to protect yourself from negativity or stay away from it. As a general rule, we place way too much importance on what the scale says. We end up feeling terrible about ourselves and we keep going back for more. This is crazy behavior! There was a time not too long ago when I asked Hot Mess Hubby to hide it from me because I knew I couldn’t resist the impulse to get on it and I played such horrible head games with myself when weighed myself. I was so crazy in my head that even after a solid week of eating super healthy and working out, if I got on the scale and it didn’t budge I would immediately question all my hard work.
I only did 20 minutes on the treadmill on Tuesday instead of 30. I’m so weak!
I knew I should have had 8 glasses of water yesterday…I only had 4. This is all my fault.
Am I sure I worked out yesterday? I wasn’t really pushing the envelope…
It seems unfair, but sometimes even if you are eating less, eating healthy, and moving more…the scale doesn’t budge. Your only real choice is to just keep going. Trust in the fact that science is not going to fail you. Keep doing what you’re doing. It will move.
The scale is a tool for you to use. It doesn’t own you, it doesn’t have super powers. So if you allow it to have an effect on your mood, you need to just kick it under the bed and leave it there until you come to your senses.
Make sure you’re making the decision to weigh or not to weigh based on your needs alone. Don’t listen to what anyone else things you should do. Listen to your gut.
The day will come when you have the courage to deal with what Mr. Scale says. You’ll know when that is – and when you do come out to confront him, Mr. Scale will be your bitch. Don’t shy away from this. Grab this bull by the horns and ride him out…it’s cardio. :-)