Thursday, November 15, 2007

Half Full Is Too Much?

I've been eating semolina for breakfast this week. Weird stuff this semolina. You put a little bit in a bowl, add hot water and it greedily sucks the water up and grows to fill half a large bowl. I'm completely stymied over how to properly portion this stuff. I think I've been over-eating it. It doesn't seem to upset my digestion like other wheat things do, such as wholegrain breads or crackers. Doesn't seem to be gluteney and sticky. It becomes more jelly-like when cold. Anyways, I'm having fun playing with my food.

This issue over portions is becoming an obsession with me: what is a portion of something. It's hard to say. One cup of this, a fist size of that, mls, grams, ozs? I discovered, much to my embarrassment and horror that I've been overeating rice for ages. It says almost everywhere half a cup of rice is a portion. They left out the important word: cooked. Half a cup of COOKED rice is a portion. Why can't the portion information people get easy shit like that straight for dumb, greedy folks like me who just want to eat? Some places say to eat all the fruit and veg you want. Never say that to someone like me. You really need to be concise and direct with folks like me. Eat as many fruits and vegetables as your stomach capacity can comfortably handle. Otherwise...all day grazing of peas and carrots and hummus filled lettuce leaves will see me gain weight.

Today I bunked the gym due to fatigue. Again. Yesterday I forced myself to the gym through the fatigue and it was awful. So this isn't my body being lazy, there's something going on. I'm fighting a bug or something and it's making me really tired. I even went to bed early last night. I still have all my walking to do today, so it's not like I'm idle, and then to work tonight.

I still took Shorty to the creche and read and did some homework in the lobby of the sport center, but I got so tired I was yawning and my eyes were closing. I went out and walked down to the local garage to grab a coffee and a snack (They have a cafe there) I got a large black coffee and (naughty, I know) a chocolate croissant. I got the croissant as I was hungry, and it was the smallest thing there. I say smallest, but it was the biggest damned croissant I've ever seen. It was longer than the full length of my hand and as wide. It got me thinking, no fucking wonder I'm messed up over portion sizes when this kind of thing is being present to me. Am I to assume this is a portion for one? No way!

The sandwiches would've have fed my family of four. They were huge sarnies, I can't even imagine what the bread was baked in as the slices were about six inches square. All of the food seemed monstrously out of proportion as a meal for one person. And they were promoting meal deals! Buy one sandwich meal (huge sarnie, large soda and crisps) and get another half price. Scary stuff.

you go to the movie theatre and the portion sizes are huge - the big bucket of popcorn, the big bag of M&Ms the double fill your bladder drinks. Madness. I want to see a movie, not listen to a dozens of people crinkle wrappers, chew and slurp in the dark. Plus after all those big drinks, they have to get up halfway through the movie to pee and end up missing the flick! the whole point of being there is to see a movie not wait in queue to pee.

Anyways, the thing that started to set me off on this annoyance is I saw an advert last night for Marks and Spencer food over Christmas with LuLu wandering about the shops talking about the Big Meal. I just know, don't you know, they don't eat a big meal. Those celebrity types don't have big meals, ever. They know portion sizes. It's been ingrained into them since Drama school, but they must know that the more we eat and the fatter we get and they stay slim and pick...oh it starts to make me bitter. Cannibals will pass me up, I'm so bitter.

I was watching a show about a woman who was miserable, fat and struggling to overcome her eating troubles. She'd had a gastric band put in a few years ago, lost weight. But she'd never changed how much she ate and the behavior of over-eating so she manages to re-stretch her stomach to a larger size. That takes some determined eating to manage. Why was she never told a new diet was how she was supposed to live with this smaller stomach? Why didn't she get counseling to learn to manage her detrimental behaviors? Did she try and learn about portions and like me, has been four portions of rice? Did she assume, like a lot of us that companies would, of course - sell us a portion for one? Did you know a bagel is two portions? Yeah - half a bagel is one portion. Why don't they sell single portioned bagels?

So anyways, this portioning stuff is weird. Portion of meat = Deck of cards? Weird. One cup of broccoli - but what about the airspaces? Why not a weighted portion instead? One liter of water or three per day? I may need more as I sweat a lot (Two hours in the gym, folks.) How do I know if I'm low in salt? How do I know if it's too much sugar? What if after my 5-6 carrot sticks, I'm still hungry? And I mean actual growling stomach hunger not cravings.

Is it any wonder people just give up and eat mindlessly? the thing is, I'm beginning to become paranoid that those companies out there want us to overeat all that stuff. They want us to, of course so we'll buy more. Eat more, get giant stomachs that need filled up. So what if it's killing us? We are being encouraged to force feed ourselves - to death. For profit. Do you ever wonder what a Foie Gras goose feels like - eat a super-sized anything, then you'll know. The only thing is, the goose doesn't have a choice. You do. I do too.

I found this great website that talks more about reducing waste and paying attention to portions. It also talks about controlling the impulse to overbuy food, "Buy one get one free!" "Three for the price of two!" and so on. It's called Love Food Hate Waste Scotland. It makes sense about hitting the wallet, reducing the amount of wasted food each house tosses out - and I hate wasting food. I bought that! I cooked that! I don't want to throw it away.

anyways, It's a mad mad mad mad world.


RoxRocks said...

It is a mad world.

When we are at home, I serve everyone's portion. We have big plates and I serve what I think is about right. Compared to restaurants where they serve heaping plates, ours look sparse. I don't serve hubby's and he heaps his. It makes me want to buy smaller plates.

trinity67 said...

Oh they totally want you to eat more!

Lightning Bug's Butt said...

I know only one portion: satisfying.

Anything less is an eating blunder. If it doesn't satisfy, it's a waste of calories.

Lightning Bug's Butt said...

Hey, tell me if this poem works:

You don't stop poking 'til you bust a nut; So don't stop eating 'til you bust your gut.

Damn. That does work, doesn't it.

Sylvana said...

I find that thinking about the cost of the calories helps me to reduce my eating -- of at least not so great tasting stuff.
I figure I only have so many calories to spend on food in one day. If that food doesn't taste great, I won't eat it. Why should I waste my calories on bad food?

As far as portions go, I'm with you on that. They should package for portion. But I also think that a lot of companies actually reduce the "portion" size so that it looks like their food has less calories and less fat.

Maja said...

Well I don't care what a portion is. I'm just going to eat what I want. *folds arms*

Lyn Cash said...

I walked 1/2 mile this morning and picked up a frozen cappuccino and a Bismarck - and must've left my guilt at home, because I truly didn't give a damn.

That bit about food - you are so right. It's a conspiracy, I think. I should measure and don't. I just go for the veggies and ignore anything white (sort of a reverse discrimination - if it's white, it's usually bad for me...rice, potatoes, flour, sugar, just about everything except cauliflower).

*smile* Have a great weekend, Lyvvie.