Dieting and Dining Out

beef broccoli

Dieting and dining don’t usually mix too well because let’s face it, restaurant food is fattening and high in calories.  Chinese food is especially bad because of all the salt that goes into the sauces they pour over the food.

Last night my partner decided that he wanted to go to Rice Bowl because he was hungry for some Chinese food.  It caught me off guard because I was just about to put a Weight Watchers Smart Ones meal in the microwave.  He isn’t really trying as hard as I am to lose weight, so to him going out to eat isn’t that big of a deal, but I’m really focused on it and don’t want to do anything to sabotage myself.  I did agree and we went.

I looked through their huge menu for something that I thought might be low cal and practically everything they had was bad for you.  I usually always get something with chicken, but even their chicken is high in calories because of the sauce and because of how it was cooked, so no matter what I got, it was going to be bad.  I did get steamed rice and Beef Broccoli.

I had my phone with me with the Noom app loaded so that I would be able to find out how many calories everything had and to see whether it was red or yellow (let’s face it, nothing is going to be green lol).  I did find that the steamed rice and the beef broccoli were both yellow so I knew they were okay.

As we were waiting for our food, I saw a waiter bring another table their food.  My jaw was nearly on the floor because of how high the food was piled on each plate.  I was thinking that it’s no wonder people are so fat.  I mean, you don’t need that much food.  Your stomach is the size (or should be) of your fist, so you really shouldn’t need any more than that.  Peoples stomachs are maybe 4 times the size of their fist from being stretched over time, so they can consume that much food and probably still be hungry.

I was happy that my plate wasn’t as high.  I probably only ate a quarter of my food before I started to feel full, and that is how it should be.  Thanks to eating smaller portions, my stomach has shrunk so it is indeed now the size of my fist so I can be satisfied with a normal amount of food.  I felt uncomfortable just sitting there watching my partner eating, so I nibbled on more of my food just so it didn’t look like I was rushing him.  We took the leftovers home and I had half of what was in the box for lunch and I will eat the rest for dinner tonight.

It’s nice to be able to go out once in awhile, but my goodness, that’s a lot of food.  I wish they had a diet menu for people who are trying to watch their calories and portions.  Not everyone wants to eat 4 times of what they should be eating.

When I was a kid, my mother would guilt me into eating everything that was on my plate, that’s not a good thing to do in this day and age when everyone is so heavy.  People need to be responsible for their own health and limit their portions to what their stomach should be able to handle and take the rest home instead of cleaning their plate.  You can’t just blame people for being so heavy when the restaurants are serving such big portions.  People are responsible for their own actions, but restaurants have to take on some of that responsibility as well.

People are so focused on blaming McDonald’s for obesity when they are forgetting that fast food is just a tiny part of the problem, they should also be focusing on casual dining restaurants as well.  A Big Mac and Large Fries are tiny compared to the amount of food that was being consumed in that restaurant last night by each person.

I am just happy to know that I have the sense enough to know my limit now and am taking responsibility for my body instead of doing what other people expect me to do.

Banana Ice Cream

banana ice cream

How many calories are in 1 serving of ice cream?  I looked up Häagen Dazs® Banana Split ice cream and it has 270 calories for 1/2 a cup.  HALF A CUP has 270 calories?  Well, how would you feel if I told you that 1 cup of banana ice cream only has 116 calories if you make it yourself?

It’s really simple.  I found this recipe on Facebook of all places.  All you do is slice up 1 banana, freeze it for about 2 or 3 hours, put it in a food processor or a blender with a dash of non-fat milk until it’s the consistency of ice cream, scoop it into a bowl and viola, banana ice cream.  It’s more like soft serve, and technically it’s not ice cream, it’s just pureed frozen fruit, but still, it’s like ice cream.

What makes this healthy is that you are eating fruit not ice cream, but it tastes and looks like ice cream so you are fooling your brain into thinking you are being bad, but really you are just eating a banana.

Say you don’t like bananas, well you could try this with a cantaloupe or honeydew melon, I have even read that you could make this with watermelon, but I haven’t tried it yet.  I’m going to when they are at the grocery store though, so stay tuned for that.

The Noom app that I am using says that any green fruit like banana, cantaloupe and watermelon is 25 calories for 1/3 of a cup, 50 calories for 2/3 of a cup, 100 calories for 1 1/4 cup and 150 calories for 2 cups.  The SparkPeople recipe page says it’s 116 calories for 1 medium banana.  I’d rather go with Noom’s calories because 100 calories is better lol.  Any way you slice it, it’s better for you than ice cream that you buy at the grocery store and you can eat more of it, guilt free.

Eat healthier at Subway

subway app

I have been going to Subway since I was a teenager when they first came to California.  I even remember my very first subway sandwich.  It was a footlong cold cut combo on white (they only had wheat and white back then) without cheese and with lettuce, pickles, tomatoes and actually I don’t remember what else.  I do remember it had oil and vinegar which I did not like and I haven’t gotten it that way since.  As they added more breads, my order has slightly changed since then, but it has always been a cold cut combo.  I think one time in the last 23 years I ordered the meatball sub, and I think one time I ordered the tuna, but those were the only two times I ever ordered something different.

Their slogan is “Eat Fresh” and they have always had a list of their sandwiches with calories, but you never really knew how many calories you were getting with all of the extras you add-on.  I mean, who wants to get out their calculator to see how many calories they are eating?  You just assume that whatever you are getting is low cal.

We went there tonight and I was looking at the receipt and noticed they had an app for ordering your sub with your smart phone.  Naturally I had to download it.  The Subway closest to us does not have the feature available where I can place my order from my phone, but I asked to be informed when they do.  It would be cool if I could just place my order from my phone and then just go pick them up.  In the meantime, I can see how many calories I am eating.  This is tonight’s sub.

12 inch cold cut combo

Tonight I got a 12” Honey Oat Cold Cut Combo with Provolone toasted with lettuce, light mayo, cucumbers and olives.  That’s it.  That sandwich is 1040 calories.  Keep in mind we buy the footlong and only eat half of it for our meal and the other half for the next meal, so whatever calories it has, divide that by 2.  So 520 calories isn’t that much right?  Well, wrong actually.  Check it out,

12 inch 9 grain wheat turkey

If I changed my order to a 12” Turkey Breast and Black Forest Ham on 9-grain Wheat, no cheese, no mayo, with lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber and olives, it goes down to 580 calories.  Now, I can split this up into 2 meals like I typically do and my calories will be cut in half.

I have been eating the cold cut combo for 23 years.  I think it’s time for a change, don’t you?

Light Strawberry Jam – Ball Recipe

strawberries

I have been on a canning kick lately.  I’ve made my own homemade peanut butter and homemade applesauce and those were a success.  But now for the hard part, sugar-free or low sugar strawberry jam.  As I was Googling the recipe, the first thing in the results was from the Ball website.  It only has 3 ingredients.  Strawberries, Unsweetened White Grape Juice and Ball® RealFruit™ Low or No-Sugar Needed Pectin.  That’s it?  Oh well besides 6-8 oz preserving jars of course, which I have.

light sugar strawberry jam nutrition facts SparkPeople has a wonderful recipe calculator which you could use to find out how many calories go into any recipe.  I went there, added all 3 ingredients.  I figured out with an app on my phone that 8 oz is equal to 16 tbsp.  So I went to my calculator and multiplied 16 tbsp by 6 jars and I got 96 servings.  I went back to SparkPeople and typed 96 servings and my jaw nearly hit the floor when it said that each 1 tbsp serving of this jam is only 2.3 calories.  How?

I wanted to make my own sugar-free Strawberry Jam because of how expensive it is in the stores.  Have you seen those prices?  People who are diabetic can’t get a break anywhere.  If you have a special diet, you are going to have to pay a heavy price, and I just won’t do it.  I can’t recall the exact price, but a little 8 oz jar of sugar-free strawberry jam must be like $5 or $6, somewhere around there.  With this recipe, all I need are 2-1 lb baskets of strawberries which is basically what the recipe calls for, 4 cups worth, and right now they are 2 for $4.  So right there I’ve already saved money with just that.  Basically, I bought 1 jar and I am getting the other 5 for free.  Of course I am not counting the pectin which I already have, but that is only 3 tbsp and I’ll need 1 cup of the white grape juice.  If you think about it, the 3 tbsp of pectin and the 8 oz of white grape juice makes up and maybe another 50 cents for that 1 jar.

Why didn’t I ever think of doing this before?  I mean, how can I ever buy strawberry jam again for the rest of my life knowing it is this easy and basically has no calories?  All your calories in a regular jar of Strawberry Jam is from the sugar and high fructose corn syrup or whatever the heck is in your jam.  All my calories are basically from the strawberries and the grape juice and that’s it.

Do I even need to convince anyone besides the price and very extremely low calories?  I can’t wait to make this.

Spark Peoples Mobile Makeover

Spark People has finally given their mobile site a long overdue makeover. I was having trouble with my slow computer so I turned my PSP on to log my dinner through their mobile site and found a cool new look.

As you can see they have added the ability to track your weight and water as well as being able to browse Restaurant foods. That is a nice addition for those on their mobile phones when they are out at the local Burger King so as they are eating their “salad” (yeah right) they can look up how many calories they are eating then track it.

Here are some more pictures.

Even though I’m not technically a huge mobile user, I do appreciate that they are finally working on their mobile version. I do use it occasionally because it loads much faster than it does in the browser on my slow computer.

My Interesting Ride Today

I went on my ride this morning but I found that I had a few problems.

  • As I was riding the bike I got to where Kaiser Permanente hospital is and their lights were shining on me and I went to look at the computer to see what time it was and to see how fast I was going with my new tires and seat but the screen was blank.  So I pulled over to find out what the issue was.  When I put the wheel back on the front fork I put it on backwards so my magnet was on the wrong side of the wheel lol.  So I put it on the correct side and spun the wheel but it still didn’t work.  It’s because of what my pimpled front tire did to the computer wire, it stripped it so there are wires that are exposed so it doesn’t work now.  So today I have no reference of how fast I was going or how many calories I burned.
  • When I left the house I didn’t notice that my back wheel had a bump to it.  As I was riding on the bike trail I could feel the bump and I wasn’t sure what I was supposed to do about it because it’s a brand spanking new tire.  When Darrin bought me the new tires he also bought me new tubes that had the presta valves.  My front wheel is brand new (26×2.00) but my back wheel (26×1.95) is the original wheel on the bike so since they are both different sizes they both won’t accept presta valve because the presta valve tubes have this big ring under the valve.  The regular tubes that you buy don’t so I just had to change the tube on the bike trail then all was good.
  • And now my new seat lol.  Yesterday when I first put the new seat on I rode it down the street then had to come back to adjust it.  Then I rode around a bit and had to make an adjustment here and there and I thought I had it all worked out but I guess I didn’t.  So on my bike ride this morning I think I pulled over 3 times to make adjustments.  I finally got it to a comfortable position.  I had to raise my handlebars though because even though the instructions are to lower the seat by 1 inch I did that yesterday and my legs were bending too much so I put it back so today all I had to do was raise the handlebars and that fixed that issue.

Since my computer didn’t work today I’m going to have to write down an old time when I used to go 16 miles so I can at least have something to write down.  I’ll have to fix that wire today so that I can use it tomorrow.

“The Bicycle Seat” website that I got the new seat from say to give it at least 3 weeks and considering I’ve already given my old seat and the gel cover to a neighbor I have no choice but to give it 3 weeks lol.  I can’t ride any other way.  But I do want to give it some time to get used to because I’m not numb today in the naughty parts but my butt is killing me lol.  My arms are killing me too ugh.

Cyclo-Computer

Well I bought a Cyclo-computer today at Target with 20 functions.  Some of the functions are Odometer, speedometer, how many calories I’m burning, how much fat I’m burning, timer and many more.  The way it works is I put a magnet on one of the spokes on the front wheel and I attach a sensor to the fork then the wire goes up to the computer.  The computer is also removable so nobody will steal it when I go to the store.

I also bought a new lock while we were there.  It’s a much better lock and it came with a bracket that attaches to the frame.  This new lock has a key so I don’t have to worry about a combination and the spare key is in a drawer just in case I lose my first key.  If I lose both keys then I will probably lose my bike forever because this is the type of lock that you cannot open easily.