I don’t think there’s any better feeling in the world than waking up absolutely ready to start the day. Not tired in the least or wanting to hit snooze. That’s how I was this morning…though I’m not sure why.

I mean, it’s not like I caught up on sleep this weekend or went to bed extra early. But, I won’t argue. And to keep my morning up-to-par, I had a lovely bowl of Project KISS oats; Β banana-fig oats with the addition of mas honey-roasted peanuts. And, all was right in the world. Now, if only we could get a move on with that oil spill.

The Base:

Topped with:

  • chia-flax icing
  • honey roasted peanuts
  • Naturally Nutty Mocha PB
  • and a mix of the rest of the banana and fig, chopped and simmered in some almond milk and maple syrup.

Does anyone remember Project KISS from grade school?! Of course, looking back at that now I think it’s a little condescending to tell a sixth grader to “keep it simple, stupid.” but…at least it’s stuck with me through life? Actually, that’s a lie – I’m always making things more difficult than they need to be. But lately, I’ve been telling myself to keep it simple. Except, leaving off the stupid part. What’s a random grade-school memory of yours?

I enjoyed thisΒ lovely, as always, bowl of oats with some Green Mountain Southern Pecan. Pecans are a little pricey, so I opt for them in coffee-form, I guess. Unless I’m feeling splurgy; lately I’ve only felt splurgy enough to buy peanuts, though.

For this morning’s snack, I KIS(s)ed again, and sipped on a Tera’s Whey Bourbon Vanilla protein shake, made with almond milk and a probably not quite half a scoop of powder. Anyone noticing how I really do forget about muffins/baked goods when I freeze them?! No fear – as I realized this, I think I’ll have one for dessert πŸ™‚ Instead I paired the shake with a date and fig ball.

Lunch was a tricky choice today; I’ve got so much to choose from all of a sudden, it seems! Seitan, tempeh & jam, fig & goat cheese spread, roasted red pepper & hummus sammie, leftover black bean burger…what to have?! I was going to go for a leftover black-bean wrap, but decided that would make for a quick but delicious dinner, instead. Okay, that and when I remembered the fig & cheese spread I made yesterday, I decided I had to have it.Β So, I went for a fig & goat cheese spread on dakota loaf. I panini’d it at work and it turned out heavenly.

I grabbed a caramel oikos and a Gala to round out the meal. Perfect lunch! I should add that some of the apple slices made it onto the panini. It was a match made in heaven.

Work stayed pretty consistent today, so I was busy for the most part. I was relieved, let me tell you! hah. I sent through some 8x10s for my portfolio, too So, I should be all set for my Photo final – unfortunately, though, my World Regions final is at 8am tomorrow!

I was interested to see if I would be hungry for an afternoon bar, or if Friday would be a repeat and the hunger would never come. I packed an apple pie Larabar, and luckily, I was more than ready for her today.

…and I tell you what – it definitely made me HUMM! I honestly wasn’t sure I’d care for this bar – apple pie is just an okay flavor for me, for the most part. (except, surprisingly, is my favorite Clif C Bar flavor) I wouldn’t have gotten it had it not been for the 10 for $10 sale, but figured heck, why not try it? Glad I did! My beef with most apple flavored things is that they always seem to taste artificial. Same goes for cherry. I knew that wouldn’t be the case here, since there’s obviously nothing artificial about a Larabar, but since I’ve steered clear of apple and cherry for so long, it was still odd to be buying it! My worries were eased at first taste, however. Tastes better than an apple pie! Of course, take that for what it’s worth since the only apple pie I like is my mom’s.

My idea of having a leftover black bean burger in a wrap for dinner abandoned ship about mid-day. I forgot to say yesterday that from that recipe, I ended up with seven perfectly sized burgers. They were perfectly filling, too – we each were fine with one! So, I froze one for a future quick meal, and my mom took one for lunch today. I may freeze another one. So much better than pre-made veggie burgers! (Which – speaking of that, my sister came down for a quick visit Saturday night and I was able to pawn off some food to her. Boca burgers, Q’uorn chik’n tenders from my obsessed days, a frozen homemade sweet potato-quinoa burger, some morningstar farms meal starter crumbles, chocolate brownie Clif bars, a BearNaked bar, Kashi GoLean…and of course half the cream puff my mom made. with how she made out, she’ll be down every weekend!!)

i make ugly seitan.

Anyways – I began thinking of ways to finally get to try my seitan, and after seeing a recipe for a seitan and apple salad last night, I thought to just utilize the flavors in lunch for dinner. Has anyone noticed that all of my dinners are starting to look the same? Lo siento. Anyways, I fed my bulghur obsession with another grain salad type deal:

  • kale
  • red pepper
  • bulghur wheat
  • fresh chives
  • chopped gala

and added in some of the goat cheese spread, too. I seriously hate the smell of goat cheese, and melted goat cheese is even worse – but luckily it tastes amazee. And I loved the seitan! It reminds me a lot of turkey, no joking.

Off to study! Later, ‘gater πŸ™‚


On Portion Distortion

Is it weird that one thing that really interests me is portion sizes, and how often people distort them? Or, maybe I should re-phrase that to say how people don’t pay attention to them, or understand them, or are led to believe something is better for them than it is. I feel that if people were made more aware of nutrition labels and serving sizes, the phrase “everything in mdoeration” would be a bit more widely used. It’s so easy to overestimate what a real portion size is – and on the other end of the spectrum, to underestimate! I used to always underestimate when it came to stuff like tablespoons, teaspoons, etc. But did you know that typically, only half a bagel is a full serving? 3/4s of a cup of dry cereal? 1 cup of milk? That your cut of meat should be about the size of a deck of playing cards, and sliced lunch meat (1 oz) about the size of a CD? That a fruit serving is only about the size of a baseball? I don’t know about you all – but I’ve seen some honkin’ big apples and oranges lately. Stuff like granola – easy to go overboard on – is typically only a 1/4 c. serving! And a slice of cake should be about the size of a deck of cards as well. Peanut butter? A golf ball. A serving of nuts is typically about a quarter of a cup, even though ounces are usually listed.

I think around the healthy living community, this information is pretty well known. While I don’t measure stuff constantly unless it’s stuff like grains, oats, etc – I do every so often to make sure my “eyeballing” isn’t getting out of hand. I also measure peanut butter, because otherwise – I won’t give myself enough! Just goes to show that it can work both ways. However – among the general public, I think these portion sizes would be scoffed at if they were served a normal portion size in a restaraunt or the like. Why? Look at the portions people are served in restaraunts. They’re huge! Steak is enough for 2-3 meals, and dressings are multiplied. Drinks are also exploding. I see people pouring on granola constantly, since it’s “a healthy food,” when often times, that can also be misconstrued.

I am not saying that if you use more than a serving size, you are going to become obese. Nor am I saying that no one should live by nutrition labels and become slaves to meaasuring cups. So, what am I saying? I think it should be made more universal as to what a serving is. And make realistic sense! I hate seeing “halves” of things listed. I also hate seeing unrealistic portions. Just give the nutritional info based on what someone will actually eat. People aren’t going to eat a half of a personal TV dinner. And for the love of Pete, get rid of the Big Gulp. Obviously, as portions have gotten larger, so has America’s waistline – and people expect more. Yet, when that nutrition label is read and based off oh, maybe half of what they’re really eating – everything seems at least a little healthier now, doesn’t it?

There’s my rant. Like I said – I’m not directing this at anybody. I’m not saying you should become a slave to the measuring cup or food scale. I’m simply saying I wish the knowledge was made a bit more public, to open up people’s eyes. What’s your thought? Do you tend to eyeball, or do you think serving sizes should be taken more seriously?



Filed under breakfast, cooking, dinner, foodblog, health, health food, healthy living, lunch, oatmeal, recipe, Uncategorized

33 responses to “KISS

  1. I usually definitely measure nutbutters, nuts+seeds cereals and grains, beans + proteins. Don’t weigh or measure fruit and veggies really…..who has become obese from too many apples?! I also try not to be so obsessive bc I used to be with my ed. I am good with portion control and eyeballing. I just try and be balanced….because sometimes on vacation or other places you can’t measure things! I think sometimes people can get to obsessed with measuring and it can lead to an eating disorder.

    and OH MY GOSH the homemade nutbutter is even better today…if that is even possible!!

    I got my mini keurig today so excited..but i had to order the unsweetened black k-cups online 😦 I also ordered french toast coffee…skepticle because i dont really like coffee….but maybe trying flavored coffee will change that :\

  2. Kiss! Oh my gosh, I completely forgot about that!!
    I’m sure i’ll again realize that sometimes the more simple (wraps, for example…) taste way better when made with just a few ingredients! I always get way too excited at home and try to cram everything possible into each little meal…but sometimes the simpler ones taste that much better πŸ™‚

    The sound of banana-figs, maple syrup and oatmeal are definitely making my mouth water–so I’m going to have to try and concoct something similar in just a few short days–once i’m home (!!!!!!)

    And agreed–the apple pie larabar is one of my least favorite flavors. I’ve grown to love the peanut butter cookie, cashew cookie, cinnamon roll and gingersnap lately πŸ™‚

    But for me, serving sizes are commonly underestimated (since I generally know what serving sizes look like)…so I think its important to know HOW much one should have, but to also eat more if they want/need it to feel satisfied you know?

  3. ahh i just read something about portions today and it got me thinking, too.

    it’s so crazy how most people get mad when they pay for a meal and they don’t think it’s enough food, and i get so excited that when i go out, i pay for one meal and it ends up being 3!

    i love being a cheap date, and healthier to boot πŸ™‚
    thanks for bringing up an important point!

  4. I try really hard to determine a proper serving size by my body, rather than by what the package says. Because honestly, a proper serving for me is very different from a proper serving for my husband, you know? And obviously the package can’t know that. Also, a proper serving for me is different on a day when I ran 10 miles than on a day that I didn’t. So I have to trust my body, while still using my brain to make sure I don’t go totally overboard. It’s a balance, I suppose.

    I definitely agree with you that some package labels are absolutely ridiculous. Like you said, who actually eats 1/2 of a frozen tv dinner? NO ONE. They mess with those labels knowing that some people won’t look closely enough, so they’ll think it’s “healthier” than it really is. Ugh.

  5. Oh my, everytime I see you write ‘mocha PB’ I get alittle stab of sadness that they don’t sell such a thing in England – how sad is that!!??
    Gah, I’m SO envious you woke up refreshed – it’s 12.45am here and I can’r sleep…I know I ain’t goin to be feeling it in the morning!
    Sweet potato quinoa burger – WHY would you give that away!? It sounds amaze!
    I tend to use cups and tbsps etc to help me serve – cos I know I’d probably underserve if I didn’t. But when it comes to veggies…I can go waaay overboard with them, the sky is the limit! In general though, I think it does need to be more publicised. So often, you see people who think they’re being ‘healthy’ or ‘low cal’ by having (for eg) yogurt and granola for breakfast – but then they’ll have a maaasssive serving of both, and it defeats the point a bit…but at the same time, active people NEED big portions, and sometimes the portions listed are just way too small. Like you say, it works both ways!

  6. awee little larabar in the flowers hehe nice touch. oh this morning i SPRUNG out of bed too! such a great feeling. im used to the whole “one leg out… then one arm.. then one eye.. then BAM! on the floor. *ouch* ” lol.

    honestly im agreeing with u in so many way on ur portion size views. for the greater good of the population, portion sizes need to be monitored. when it comes to fruits and vegetables i think it doesnt matter.. or at least to a degree. like if someone wanted a whole plate of broccoli, go for it uno? hmm but when it comes to protein, fats, and carbs i think its SO important to watch portions. the only time i would say dont worry is if u genetically are super slim and cant put on weight.. then just eat whatever and how mcuh u like.. well it should be healthy too (not advocating fast food per se). but at times we will all be quilty of portion distortion.. liek with alcohol, caffiene, and sugars. i think we need to be much more honest and more aware at least.. and then if we find we want more.. see if we really need more uno. hmmmm fabulous question. by far my fav to answer so far.

  7. I’m so with you on the portion sizes and getting rid of the big gulp. I think the biggest big gulp is actually 2 liters. and the sad part is you really see people walking around with them. I don’t pay attention to portions of fruits and veges which is def what I eat most of, but the portions on packaged foods are out of control!

  8. I for SURE think that portion sizes are way, way off. Especially in restaurants. It seems so crazy that hey.. you can eat ANYTHING, in moderation and in correct portion sizes and you can be healthy. What a crazy notion?! Haha. I don’t generally measure anything but cereal and grains because it’s SO easy to go overboard, you know? And well, sometimes you have to measure things to be able to cook them correctly. But I generally eye-ball things like nut butter and whatnot.
    KISS – haha I so thought you meant the band KISS and I was like what the crap.. makes much more sense now. I actually remember that from school too.
    Have a great night love!

  9. Hey Jessica.

    I think serving sizes should be taken seriously in reference to developing heart disease and diabetes. What I mean by this is basically your first paragraph-a small piece of organic meat accompanied by a high fiber side and an organic veggie or two. Not in the sense of watching portion sizes so that one can eat unhealthy foods and not gain weight, which is what I believe most people think of when one talks about ‘portions and meal size’.

    I don’t know if anything I said above is coming off how I want it to, but basically I think I agree with you, Mamita…

  10. This was a really interesting post. I don’t think it’s weird to think about portion sizes at all! Today I thought how odd it was that most restaurant burgers are 8 oz (2 good servings), but if one only ate half of their burger during a meal, people would assume they were dieting, when really that’s a fine serving. It’s interesting that you measure sometimes to make sure you’re getting enough. Once again, great post!

  11. Dee

    OH YUM. Your pictures are to die for!

    I totally agree with you on portion sizes. I hate that a bottle of Snapple is actually two serving sizes… I mean, really? Just give me the nutritional info for it all, don’t make me have to break out the calculator yo.

  12. Let’s start with your oats! OMG YUM! Also, I have not tried many bars before, but that one was given to me by my mom and I thought it was really good too! I was impressed! Now, portions, my husband and I just had that conversation. I have gone full circle on this. I have always watched what I eat. Meaning I have eaten healthy my entire life and always exercised. Not obsessively, I have just been aware. Now, that being said, after I had my second child, I lost A LOT of weight. Not on purpose, but I was nursing and working out and busy with a 2 1/2 year old. Also, my dairy problems kicked into high gear and let’s just say it wasn’t pretty. So, I found out what weight I needed to be and how many calories I needed (and figured out the dairy issues) to get there. I do measure the high calorie foods (nut butters and oils), but I refuse to measure lettuce and other stuff like that. I eat so many fresh fruits and vegetables that I need to make sure I hit my calories. I have also become very aware of nutrients I need, not so much the grain, fruit, veggie thing. I think the dietary guidelines are so screwed up and they are for government (and who it is in with in the agriculture industry), not for our health. Seriously, I eat way over the fruit and veggie quota for the day, but I also get what I need in the way of protein and grains. People don’t understand portions any more. Just because it is cereal, does not make it healthy, but I am ok with that. As long as you know how to balance it. We don’t all need to eat nuts and berries all the time, but we need to understand how everything works together. Also, we train ourselves to eat a certain way. If you like things super sweet, cut back on the sugar for a couple of weeks and by the end…you won’t miss it. You do the same thing with portions. You can train your body not to need as much. Ugh, I am writing a novel to you…you got me going. Anyway, I completely agree with you! I hope you have a great night!

  13. How have I never heard of project kiss?! One random memory I have is doodling those “s” things. Do you know what I’m talking about?? Anyway, I must admit I am a measurer. Not with everything, but oatmeal/oatbran I always measure and sometimes I even measure nut butters but for the opposite reason from you (I would slather on 3 tablespoons and call it 1!).

  14. The only thing I measure is my oats. I make them in the microwave (unless I’m making steel cut) and I HATE when they’re too watery… and then explode and make a mess. When it comes to nut butter, I just take a big ole scoop and plop it in! Mostly, I just eat what I’m hungry for. I know my body, what it needs, and if I’m a little hungrier one day, I roll with it.

  15. i usually measure out my tbsps of peanut butter but today i was psychotic.. i’m pretty sure i ate 4-5 tbsps…haha. but it was so good.

  16. Your chia-icing looks awesome! I measure out quite a few of my foods, ie for oatmeal to get the right consistency as well as smoothies. I also measure out nut butters as otherwise I’d go crazy and end up with half a cup on my oats! I know it may seem too much for some people, but I am a scientist at heart anyways πŸ˜‰ and love being precise!

  17. I used to obsessively measure…I was the opposite direction! I was all TOO mindful about the portion sizes, and it really only made me crave more and more. But ah….some serving sizes really are a joke…1/4 cup granola? Not sure I can manage that, lol.

  18. Love the figs! I measure out things like cereal and peanut butter. I find with cereal I will either eat WAY too much or too little depending on the variety so measuring is helpful so I know I’m getting the right amount. I measure peanut butter for the opposite reason… I tend to go over board on the stuff. Even when I measure it I tend to take a little extra over the spoon and a few finger swipes and bites. Granola is tricky because 1/4 cu serving is so minuscule but it is also calorie packed. I only really eat granola with something substantial like a cup of yogurt and fruit or to sprinkle on a smoothie because otherwise I wouldn’t be satisfied (and have been known to eat WAY too much taking handfuls from a bag.

  19. I totally agree. The portion sizes these days make it so hard for people to not go overboard with their eating! People wonder why our parents’ generation could eat fast food and not be obese, but it’s because their burgers were 1/4 of the size of ours today!

    Also I was just watching Food Inc last night and I was shocked how much larger chicken breasts are now compared to 30 years ago because of all the hormones they pump into the chickens.

    I used to measure obsessively, but that really contributed to my disordered eating problems. So now I only measure things that have to be measured, like oats and rice. I find I’ve gotten pretty good at eyeballing how much food I need.

  20. I think portion sizes are a double-edged sword. They’re difficult for people at both ends of the spectrum to reckon with, both ED and obesity. I’d love to see some of the massive portion sizes at fast food reduced, but I’d also like to see some of the smaller, low cal portions of things like cereal be increased.

    Apple Pie Larabars are delish, aren’t they?

  21. Mo

    KISS was an actual thing?! I thought it was from The Office… I’m glad the seitan turned out nice! And nooo yours looks like chicken. Or turkey. πŸ˜›

    Oh, god, I completely agree about proportion distortion (nice rhyme, haha). It especially annoys me when people look at something healthy like all-natural granola and roasted, salted nuts. My mom is really overweight, even after losing quite a bit of weight, and she’ll eat a whole tin of peanuts or an entire bag of those True North Pistachio Crisps in a sitting. I’m not all about counting calories and eating nuts is good, but there is too much of a good-for-you thing sometimes, especially when it gets you to eat more than half of the calories you’re supposed to eat in a day in 20 minutes (as well as things like sodium and fat amounts). And you’re right, the TV dinners are total BS. No one really expects there to be 2 servings in something so blatantly marketed to look like one serving. I rarely eat frozen dinners but I do like Amy’s sometimes, and they’re pretty good about listing it as one serving.
    I used to be able to eat really big meals, and now I can’t even imagine eating the amounts they serve in restaurants. I actually can’t remember what the last thing I ate in a restaurant was because it’s been so long since I’ve been to one. But no wonder everyone thinks going out is so expensive – they’re paying for like, 3 meals per person! And I agree with Stella, and she made me think of another point — foods usually aren’t accompanied by high-fiber sides and lots of veggies when you go to a restaurant. If it’s not filling, of course someone’s going to eat three times what they should be eating. 😦

    Great post!

  22. YUM…banana fig oats sounds like a lil bit of heaven. I wish I had some figs to recreate this. I am also not usually an apple pie fan and was really surprised when I found out that I loved the Apple Pie Larabar. It is so tasty!

    Portion sizes- I just read everyones responses and to the most point, agree with them all. I think that American restaurants have skewed the typical Americans view of what is a normal amount of food to consume at one meal. When traveling abroad I saw significant differences. In italy, they definitely give you what is considered a “half portion” is US restaurants. I feel pretty lucky that my parents were aware of this growing up, and that we ate what nutritionists give as guidelines. I also don’t measure too often except for my oats, occasionally with nut butters, and milk and water when making morning oats. Sometimes I will with salad dressings if I am packing lunch as well.

  23. yes, I completely agree that portion distortion is ridiculous and out of control. All I have to do is watch my Dad eat. I always try to tell people about moderation but how can they “moderate” when they don’t even know how to read a food label? It’s tough.

  24. I hate the smell of goat cheese too. It’s just not appetizing. But it tastes so good!

    I used to measure everything I eat but it takes up too much time! Sometimes I’ll still measure a cup of rice or something like that but most of the time I just eyeball it. The problem is I’m not very good at eyeballing. I need to buy those bowls that have the measurements on the side. You don’t have to clean a measuring cup but it’s easy to give yourself a perfect serving!

  25. I’m pretty religious about portion sizes…I tend to measure my cereal, my peanut butter ect…I’m trying to move away from that though because I want to be more relaxed about my eating. It is a hard balance to strike.
    I love looking at your meals because you introduce me to so many different combinations of flavors and food products. Your photos, of course, are stunning, and you write with such honesty. Just love it!
    And Apple Pie Larabars are my favorite…I buy them by the boxful.

  26. Portion distortion drove me the craziest in college- the person serving in the cafeteria (often male) would give me like 12 ounces of meat and half a cup of vegetables and I’d be like “ARGH SWAP THAT!”

  27. My breakfast just got a lot better after reading this blog..

  28. Chia flax frosting?! I measure out things that are easy for me to overdue it on – nut butters, dressings, ice cream!

  29. I LOVE the apple pie lara bar too, it is actually my very favorite flavor so far. I measure out things that are higher in calories, but things like fruits and veggies I would not spend the time.

  30. I mostly eyeball now- but that’s after learning more about portion size and listening to my body when it’s hungry/full. I was completely oblivious for the longest time! Then I actually read the side of a cereal box once… and then looked down at my bowl of cereal… which was closer to 4 servings than just one… ugh!

  31. Love your blog! Come follow and check out mine πŸ™‚

  32. tangerinesandmarmalade

    I think serving sizes are subjective. We should eat what amount it takes for us to be satisfied! Everyone is different. I never measure my nut butters so I have no idea if it is “appropriate” or not – and I couldn’t care less!

    And I’m totes with you on the apple pie lara. A real apple or a banana bread lara owns that flavor, no question!

  33. First off I am totally in love with apple pie larabars, they are my favorite! Although pb cookies does pull a close second…. πŸ˜‰

    And girl i totally agree with you! I think that they need to simplify the whole portions thing. They are making it much more complicated that it needs to be, and people can easily get confused or misunderstand. I measure things out sometimes, although I really should a little more to get a better idea of what my body needs.

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