Sunday, October 15, 2006

Food tips

No, not beef tips in wine sauce. C'mon – this is a weight-loss blog!

Let me start off by saying I really like the eDiets program. I give them a lot of credit for helping me lose 43 pounds this year. In addition to all the help one gets from the paid services, they offer a variety of free e-mailed newsletters, one of which includes daily tips for eating and fitness. Today's healthy eating tip is, to me, a big 'duh':
Shop smarter. When you return home from the supermarket with a fresh stash of goodies, are you tempted to rip open every bag and have a taste? Keep just one or two snack options, say, fat-free cookies and pretzel twists, in the pantry and you won’t rack up calories from sampling each one. If there are snacks you have a hard time resisting, leave them in the store.
I may not be the brightest bulb in the chandelier, but even I know not to bring 'goodies' home from the store. [What a stupid and inappropriate word 'goodies' is. We need to come up with a more accurate description of those processed, packaged, self-destructive aids to poorer health than 'goodies.']

There are, however, exceptions to every rule, and Mr. Shrinking Knitter's recent birthday was one of them.

A little background here: I've always loved cooking, and have always kind of prided myself on cooking from scratch. My mother took advantage of all the convenient new products that came her way in the mid-20th century [don't I sound old?], things like cake mix, boxed lasagna and even those TV dinners in divided foil trays. But I kind of steered away from that when I became chief cook and bottle-washer.

My first job, other than mowing lawns or baby-sitting, was working for a caterer. I was 15, and learned so much from her about preparing, presenting and serving delicious and beautiful food. Healthy? Not so much, but no one hired a caterer to serve healthy food.

Fast-forward to last week, when I was thinking about what to do about the birthday dinner. His mother wanted to take us out Friday night. He picked Chinese, and I did very well: a cup of egg drop soup, stir-fried chicken and vegetables and a spoonful of rice. We ate at a buffet, and I only went through the line once! Well, twice, if you count the soup as one trip and the plate as a second.

Dessert at a Chinese restaurant isn't so great, as a rule, so I had bought a cake for us to share when we took my mother-in-law home. It was a single layer of chocolate cake with peanut-butter icing – my husband's two favorite food groups. I ate a polite, sociable sliver of it and we left the remains with her.

All in all, this was a great strategy. I wouldn't routinely buy a cake at the grocery to display on our kitchen counter. But purchasing a cake for An Event worked out well. My husband isn't a gourmand, and he thought it was delicious. I, on the other hand, find store-bought cake isn't so great to eat, and is easier to leave behind – or even throw away – than the Martha Stewart recipe I might have spent all afternoon creating from scratch.

So there you have it. The Shrinking Knitter's healthy eating tip of the day is to give up making special-occasion 'goodies' and be content with the fact that even though you do know how to make a flourless chocolate torte or Derby pie, why should you? No one will think less of you. And if they do? Well, in AA we sometimes say:
'what you think of me is none of my business.'
Which should have been my Friday quote, eh?

1 comment:

Jonathan said...

"cake mix, boxed lasagna and even those TV dinners in divided foil trays" .. I grew up on that stuff. Plus mashed potatoes from a mix, frozen fish sticks, and "tater tots."
Guess that's why I pretty much only know how to heat things up!
-J