Rain = Soup

April 28, 2008

Despite the inevitable boredom from a few hours of studying the endocrine system, breakfast kept hunger at bay until 12:30!

The rainy weather had me craving soup, so I pulled out a frozen serving of ED&BV’s Cocoa-Coconut Chili to thaw for lunch. I topped it with fresh lime and a sprinkle of unsweet coconut :)

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On the side I had leftover zucchini and squash with basil -

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A smashed black bean ball sandwich with spinach and cilantro pesto on a TJ’s Whole Wheat Bun. Pesto adds SO much flavor to a sandwich!

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And fresh strawberries -

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Dessert :) A stale ginger snap with 4 dark chocolate chips

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This lunch was about 500 kcal, 23 grams fiber and 23 grams protein. However, it wasn’t very filling and here I am an hour later with a gnawing hunger in my stomach. But my stomach isn’t growling, so I bet it’s “hunger” = thirst. I better go chug some H2O before I go hunting for an early snack.

A Word About Freezing Soups

I am no expert at freezing things and have lots of trouble with freezer burn (and with my super-tasting tongue, that means I have to throw it out at the slightest bit of it because I can taste freezer burn a mile away). However, I’m pretty good at freezing soups! We fill freezer-safe quart bags with the soup once it’s cool, label them with the type and some hint at how big the portion is in calories, and then lay them flat on a cookie sheet to freeze flat. Perfect stackable soups!

But the one thing I have never been able to master is getting the soup back out of the bag easily. Today I figured it out!! I put it in the microwave on auto-defrost until it was no longer solid, then I snipped the bottom of the bag and squeezed out every last drop piping bag style. Messy problem solved!

(I realize this photo looks pretty gross, but I thought the visual would be helpful!)

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Tonight

After a morning TORNADO WARNING, we’re starting to see some sun poke through the clouds! In about an hour I am headed Uptown to hear Hillary Clinton speak. Then the husband and I are going out to dinner at Sonoma Modern Kitchen! Anyone want to give me menu suggestions again!? :mrgreen:

I’m going to try to eat light and healthy since I ate away from home a lot this weekend and have a big beach trip coming up the second half of this week.

Good Advice

And I’ll leave you with some good advice on dealing with cravings from SELF Magazine’s May issue.

I often think the thought of eating something is more fun than actually eating it. This realization has helped me wait out my cravings. These researchers seem to agree:

A study published in Behavior and Research Therapy revealed that women who accept that they lust after Hershey’s Kisses found it easier to resist the urge to unwrap them. Researchers taught the women in the study to recognize their limited ability to control their thoughts about certain foods. Then they encouraged them to give themselves permission to have those thoughts and let them go rather than acting on them. “Thing of cravings like any other tic in your body, like hiccups and itches,” Forman says. “Tell yourself, ‘My mind is having a craving right now.’ Pretty soon, you’ll see that the impulse to order something fattening is not the same as actually ordering it.”

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{ 62 comments… read them below or add one }

1 alex April 28, 2008 at 2:32 pm

I am so jealous you get to go hear Hillary Clinton speak! Please brief us on what she talks about!
Thanks!! :-)

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2 Katers April 28, 2008 at 2:35 pm

Looks delicious, Kath! I’m really surprised that it wasn’t filling – it looks like a ton of food! Gotta love volume eating!

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3 caitlin (in FL) April 28, 2008 at 2:35 pm

is it safe to microwave ziploc bags? i didn’t think it was! doesn’t it go all melty?

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4 BethT April 28, 2008 at 2:42 pm

Wow, that menu looks so good – literally like something out of Sonoma County :D I would want to investigate the Scallop “Sliders” – sounds so interesting, and maybe healthier than burger sliders (?). Whatever you get, enjoy dinner AND Hillary!

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5 Sarah C April 28, 2008 at 2:42 pm

I found for frozen soups that boiling the bag in a big pot of water works well, kind of like bagged rice.

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6 rhodeygirl April 28, 2008 at 2:45 pm

you have to have the hummus and baba ghanoush share plate! i bet it is delish- have you ever had zahtar? it is SO amazing.. it is a bunch of spices together and has a really nice thyme flavor!! yum and the arugula salad!

btw- i love the college pic of you two. so cute! you both have grown up so much ay?

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7 Ann April 28, 2008 at 2:51 pm

I found this posting on Harvard’s website…I think the key is that the bags should say on the box that they are “microwave safe.”

http://www.health.harvard.edu/fhg/updates/update0706a.shtml
———–
Here are some things to keep in mind when using the microwave:

* Most takeout containers, water bottles, and plastic tubs or jars made to hold margarine, yogurt, whipped topping, and foods such as cream cheese, mayonnaise, and mustard are not microwave-safe.
* Microwavable takeout dinner trays are formulated for one-time use only and will say so on the package.
* Don’t microwave plastic storage bags or plastic bags from the grocery store.
* Before microwaving food, be sure to vent the container: Leave the lid ajar, or lift the edge of the cover.
* Don’t allow plastic wrap to touch food during microwaving because it may melt. Wax paper, kitchen parchment paper, or white paper towels are alternatives.
* If you’re concerned about plastic wraps or containers in the microwave, transfer food to glass or ceramic containers labeled for microwave oven use.

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8 Kath April 28, 2008 at 2:53 pm

Re. Bags,
I don’t microwave them hot – just until the food is defrosted then pour into bowl to reheat to hot. Do you think it’s still dangerous if it’s not getting hot??

Thanks for the info guys!

Kath

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9 Betsy April 28, 2008 at 2:54 pm

that is such a good idea for freezing soups. my freezer is currently occupied with old yogurt containers full of frozen (and freezer burn laden) soups.

very jealous, by the way, that you get to see hilary speak. i met her when i was 9 when bill clinton was first running for president and i still remember it!!

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10 Alex B April 28, 2008 at 2:59 pm

I don’t know about the microwaving safely, but I do the same thing as Sarah C. With all of my self-frozen soup/single-portion dinners, I just plop the bag or tupperware container in a big bowl of HOT water and leave it there until it’s heated through. I find it preserves the taste much better! For some reason microwaving most things makes them taste funny to me… but I am strange, so who knows what that’s all about.

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11 Katharine April 28, 2008 at 2:59 pm

Are the smashed black bean balls just made of black beans, or are there other ingredients in them? Thanks!

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12 Betsy in Pittsburgh April 28, 2008 at 3:03 pm

I met Hillary too 10 years ago, back in upstate NY when she was running for Senator. She came to my fam’s company and we took a nice pic… I had HUGE glasses, and was 13, enough said.

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13 Kiala April 28, 2008 at 3:06 pm

I never get to meet famous politicos.

But I do get to meet famous rock stars. Tonight I get to have dinner with Cut Copy…whee!

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14 Emily April 28, 2008 at 3:15 pm

I wish i lived where you do, you have so many good restaurants… The arugala salad sounds delish, and the pumpkin cheesecake…Oh and the hummus share plate…and i bet the 150$ wine tasting is good too :)

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15 Emily April 28, 2008 at 3:20 pm

The flounder and the pork chops sound good too. Darnit, now i’m hungry….Need to stop looking over the menu….

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16 Another Kelly April 28, 2008 at 3:21 pm

If you find yourself freezing lots of things I would HIGHLY recommend investing in a Foodsaver. I’ve had mine for a little over a year and absolutely love it. The biggest headache can be the expense of the bags, but an eBay seller has generic ones you can purchase in bulk that work just as well. I use it for everything from soups to meats to cookie dough to sauces and everything keeps so well. I just pulled out some cookie dough from christmas to make crumbs for a pie crust the other day and it still tasted fresh.

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17 Another Kelly April 28, 2008 at 3:23 pm

Alex B – I do something similar. I put my heat safe bags in a big pot of simmering water until they defrost. I agree that I like the texture better as it seems to be a gentler method of cooking for soups. I got this idea because when I used to buy frozen pouches of soup from a gourmet grocery store that was what the instructions told you to do.

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18 Jennifer April 28, 2008 at 3:33 pm

I waited in line outside a bookstore for 8 hours in July heat to meet Bill Clinton – had I known he’d be speaking at my college graduation a few years later I might have had second thoughts!

Needless to say, I love the Clintons and I’m sooo jealous of you!

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19 Teddy April 28, 2008 at 3:38 pm

wow getting to see hilary… amazing!!

Roasted Vegetable & Feta Cheese Beggar’s Purse with sugar snap peas, spring onions, & wild mushrooms

that’s my choice :)

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20 Romina April 28, 2008 at 3:42 pm

Freezing in bags is such a great idea. My mom’s done it for as long as I can remember, and it makes life so much easier when you make a huge batch of something like soup.

Do you think it’s safe to microwave those bags though? I’ve read that freezer bags aren’t meant to be microwaved, we usually defrost ours overnight in the fridge and then take it out when we need it.

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21 magpie April 28, 2008 at 3:52 pm

That sounds like a great way to conquer cravings… thanks for the tip :)

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22 VeggieGirl April 28, 2008 at 3:52 pm

Perfect meal for a rainy day – yum!

Unfortunately, I can’t make any true recommendations for your dinner (since there’s nothing that I personally could eat) – so just order what sounds good, and enjoy! Can’t wait to see what you choose :0)

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23 Cassie April 28, 2008 at 4:21 pm

Hi Kath!

The Toe Crab and Avacado Dip sounds yummy and for the main course I would love to try the Roasted Vegetable and Feta Cheese Beggers Purse!

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24 Justy2003 April 28, 2008 at 4:26 pm

I’m all for the Roasted Veggie and Feta Cheese Beggars Purse as well…yum!
And for dessert (because I LOVE my sweets), I would definitely choose the baked to order molten lava cake…YUMMMMM!!!
Can I come too??

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25 Kate April 28, 2008 at 4:40 pm

That lunch looks delish! I’m a big fan of bean soups/chilis.

Just a note on the plastic bags: everything I’ve read about plastic and food storage makes me think “stay away.” We’re finding out more and more about the “safety” (or lack of) of plastics and from what I can tell, there’s a lot we don’t know. What we do know, however, is pretty scary. If you google “Plastic Ocean” the first link should be a great article in Best Life magazine. It’s definitely worth the read!

If nothing else, consider the amount of oil used to make plastic products (I once heard that every plastic bottle uses 1/2 c. of oil just to make, not considering to transport, etc.), and that every plastic product we use will take thousands of years to break down.

Sorry for the rant…this is just something I’m pretty passionate about. Just for the record, I store my food stuffs in mason jars. Cheap and they last a really long time!

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26 angelcubbie April 28, 2008 at 5:36 pm

I have a question on here for those of you who are not trying to lose weight, but just want to maintain and are happy where you are. Do you count calories? If so what is your reasoning, why or why not? Did any of you used to count calories and then stopped, did you find that you were happier after you stopped? What helps makes the transition without worrying about gaining weight? I’m not looking to lose weight, but I use calorieking.com and recently have been considering stopping counting calories and am trying to determine the pros and cons of making this switch. I really appreciate everyone’s input thanks!

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27 Kelly T April 28, 2008 at 5:42 pm

Hey Kath- we have the same birthday, Oct. 26. Guess what Hilary Clinton’s birthday is? The same. Spooky.

Pat Sajack also shares our birthday but there is nothing exciting about the wheel of fortune.

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28 babycakes April 28, 2008 at 5:50 pm

Kath, I’ve been studying the endocrine system all day as well (along with micro)….finals week is killing me!

Those strawberries look absolutely divine!

Sounds like you have an exciting night ahead of you. Have fun! :)

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29 rachel k April 28, 2008 at 5:55 pm

hey everyone and kath,

i recently adopted a vegetarian diet.

i have a question re: imitation meat products.
i made some “beef” tacos w/morningstar “ground beef”. my husband really liked the flavor and texture, but questioned how much better they are than say grass fed, hormone free beef in terms of health benefits (note: i realize that eating beef every day is definitely NOT good for you–but he would eat it at most once a month). are the ground veg “beef” and similar products truly healthy, considering they are processed and contain a long list of ingredients? or are they just designer “healthy” foods that are just as processed as your typical
grocery item.

Thanks for insight and advice!

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30 Ally April 28, 2008 at 5:56 pm

What a delicious spread!! That soup looks fantastic!

My school had to stay in the hallway for 40 minutes until the Tornado watch was over. It was pretty crazy!

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31 Nick April 28, 2008 at 6:01 pm

I never saw that chili before, sounds amazing. I’ll have to take a look at that book. The strawberries look incredibly vibrant! I need to go out and buy some!

The Peanut Butter Boy

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32 BethT April 28, 2008 at 6:29 pm

Kelly T – them’s fighting words!!

I love Wheel of Fortune!!

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33 Becky in MD April 28, 2008 at 6:43 pm

Kelly T.- I have to disagree..I love the Wheel as well! And if that’s not your style, he’s also a Washington Capitals fan, and goes to every home game! Hockey’s pretty exciting!

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34 Sidi April 28, 2008 at 6:46 pm

The sun is on your side. We have a lot of rain and cold temps… :( Enjoy the good weather for me too…

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35 emily April 28, 2008 at 6:56 pm

I love the Clintons! When I was little and they visited St. Thomas (where I’m from) we all stood out on our street when we found out they’d be driving by. I didn’t get to meet Bill or Hillary, but the motercade almost hit my puppy and I got to shake hands with a secret service agent! ahh, the excitment :)

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36 emily April 28, 2008 at 6:57 pm

excitEment….I’m an English teacher for gosh sakes!

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37 kim April 28, 2008 at 7:07 pm

I met Bill Clinton as he came out of the elevator when I was on a family trip to Hawaii. Same hotel! Have fun. I love that recipe too from ED&BV. A definite keeper.

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38 Nicole April 28, 2008 at 7:20 pm

abgelcubbie, just thought I’d throw my story out there. Until just recently, I counted calories religiously. Then, I decided to take the whole month of April to “test” my trust…in myself! haha. I vowed not to count daily calories anymore. (I was really obsessive about it, though!) After a significant weight loss, I realized that I apparently KNOW how to eat and how much. I have a general idea of how many calories I’ve eaten at each meal or at the end of the day since I’m so used to the counting, but I feel 10000000x’s better now that I’m not couting every single, little calorie. Like if I have the urge to pop 10 Cheerios in my mouth, I don’t have to worry about what they amount to in calories for the sake of all the counting (ok..that’s a little exaggerated, but you get the idea). Basically, I feel a lot happier just trusting my instincts. If I see that I’m gaining weight, I may go back to tracking my calories more closely, but for now, I’ve very content just focusing on getting in all the “groups” :) It’s definitely worth the try to switch, especially if it interferes with daily living (like it did for me … booo) Hope this helps!

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39 Nicole April 28, 2008 at 7:21 pm

ooooooo angelcubbie* SORRY!

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40 brit April 28, 2008 at 7:44 pm

i thought i would chime in as well……i don’t count calories (although through labels i often have a general idea of what i am consuming)….but then again i never have, so that might make a difference……i am so busy that i have never felt like i had the time to figure out calories, particularly when i am cooking, and when i get hungry and want a snack, i know my body needs nourishment, and i don’t take the time to figure out what fits into my remaining caloric needs for the day….what i do concentrate on is making sure i get five or more (usually more!) servings of fruits and veggies and three servings of dairy….i find if i am concentrating on getting these in, the rest pretty much takes care of itself!
sorry so long! hope this helps!

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41 greenpeeps April 28, 2008 at 7:55 pm

Hi Kath (& readers), does anyone know if leftover portions of the Trader Joe’s whole wheat pizza dough can be frozen? Or if not, how long can they be kept in the refrigerator?

Thanks in advance!

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42 Laura April 28, 2008 at 8:06 pm

greenpeeps,

I’ve frozen the TJ’s ww pizza dough plenty of times, and it’s fine. Just defrost it in the fridge, and then let it warm up on the counter for 20 min before you use it!

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43 polly April 28, 2008 at 8:08 pm

Nicole,
Just wanted to say I loved your post about counting. I think that it’s awesome you gave yourself a month to “test” yourself. As one who has always wanted to do that, you have inspired me! I love eating healthy and all, but sometimes I feel silly measuring my cereal or like you said… worrying about 10 cheerios. :) I think that is “intuitive eating” and it sounds wonderful. I think that I will go for it. Since I am a yoga nut, you’d think I’d be all about intuitive eating, eh? I do love Kath’s blog so much and she has a GREAT attitude about food, and I too love the food scale and all to get an idea of what a certain amount looks like, too.

hmmm Maybe the month of May should be my no count month! Did you catch yourself still adding up in your head?

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44 lexi April 28, 2008 at 8:13 pm

kath,
i needed help with my bingeing. >:(
i have a problem with it, i end up having anywhere from 1,800-2,800 calories EACH DAY!! im not really “fat” right now but i KNOW it will catch up to me, and im miserable doing it. i have trouble with basicly bingeing on anything “healthy” and chocolate (weakness)!! ive been working on fit from within AND intuitive eating but they just seen SO hard! any advice is appreciated! :D

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45 Ashley H April 28, 2008 at 8:18 pm

It is totally all about the scallops or the vegetable feta purse thing! No question about it thats what I’d order.

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46 Ashley H April 28, 2008 at 8:29 pm

hi Lexi I know you directed your post towards Kath but I would love to help. I think you should look at what you are eating the rest of the day and slowly adjust to eating most of your intake in the mornings. Oh and make sure you dont miss meals!! Another thing that could help is write down everything that you eat when you eat it at night it will hold you responsible and keep you aware of what you eat. I hope it helps…

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47 mags April 28, 2008 at 8:34 pm

polly,

sounds like we are in the same boat. i am at a happy weight and want to get away from counting calories (because lets be honest, its a little annoying/embarassing/silly to be measuring my cereal every morning in fear of eating 6 too many cheerios). problem is that i don’t trust myself to eat intuitively…perhaps we could try this together for the month of may! just a thought!

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48 polly April 28, 2008 at 8:48 pm

Mags, let’s do it! :)

I am a super happy, grounded, healthy girl who encourages friends all the time to eat and enjoy real, fresh, healthy food… no need to be perfect! So… pouring our cereal right into the bowl is going to be great! :) Listening to our bodies and relaxing a bit is all part of being truly healthy, don’t ya think? We are just so blessed to have a body that is healthy to take care of in the first place.

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49 Nicole April 28, 2008 at 8:50 pm

Polly, wow I think your response just made my whole “no count month” totally worth it! I will admit that I still measure some things that I’m not totally comfortable eyeballing, but that’s mostly because I have a serious problem guesstimating anything -volume, distance, space, anything!- by eye alone. But that only counts for the things that are very caloric (sp?) per portion. Some things you can eat a million of or a million and a half of and there not be a big difference. On the other hand, there are some foods that the different between one and two means 100 or 200 calories. Maybe that makes sense?? The big change I made was tracking. I used to keep a running tab every day, so to speak (that, in reality, probably wasn’t very accurate at all since not EVERY calorie can be accounted for..it was more for my comfort), and I wasn’t allowing myself a small nibble to tide me over for “fear” of it not fitting into my numbers for the day. I WAS NOT listening to my body…not in tune at all (which has to be the main goal in order to be fit AND happy). But, yes, I definitely do find myself kind of adding things up (and I’m finally ok with “rough estimates”!!) but the key for me is to do it AFTER I’ve fixed my meal/plate. It’s just another way for me to learn what a meal should look like. If, when I have everything I want to eat, I see that WHOA I’m significantly over…I’ll put back 1/3 of the one thing that’s adding up to be a whole lot of nothing. OR if it’s what I’m really wanting, I’ll eat, be content, and compensate later in the day. There’s a level of accountability and a level of obsessiveness to be considered. I’ve had to work to, at the end of the day, be able to look back and generally remember all that I ate (which means avoiding mindless munching! yikes!) and know if it was too much or too little, etc. I, too, really enjoy Kath’s blog and outlook on nutrition. Sorry this is sooo long, but I’ve just become really passionate about this whole subject!! Good luck!! And just know that if you DO inch up a half a pound then a pound…trust that you know what you have to do to get back on track and don’t let a minor weight loss scare you from “letting go” and just living!! In the big scheme of things, fear of gaining weight is not worth missing out on the opportunity to really get in tune with your body and what it needs, but you guys know that already :)

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50 lexi April 28, 2008 at 8:51 pm

mags and polly,
id love to get away from my calorie obsession too! maybe i could work on it with you?

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51 Nicole April 28, 2008 at 8:53 pm

oh and Mags, 6 too many Cheerios?! HILARIOUS! sounds all too familiar!

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52 Kath April 28, 2008 at 8:54 pm

I really want to chime in on this conversation – I’m considering doing the same with calorie counting – but I’m too tired. I’ll be back in the morning!!

Kath

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53 Becca April 28, 2008 at 8:55 pm

I wish I could just pour cereal into the bowl! It’s just something I haven’t been able to do without worrying. I’ve gotten better when it comes to not measuring things like grapes or strawberries and things like that, but cereal is so hard!

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54 Yoon April 28, 2008 at 9:24 pm

I’d like to join in in with the non-counting as well! I too use my scale religiously to measure EVERYTHING I eat, but I feel that it’s becoming a little too obsessive. Any tips on getting over the anxiety of not counting?

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55 Breakfast Queen!!! April 29, 2008 at 12:09 am

That’s mt birthday too! How funny! =) I’m also interested in quitting calorie counting. Keep me posted on how it goes!

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56 Twinks April 29, 2008 at 1:17 am

Oh please quit the counting, you’ll be so much happier. You will be more in tune. If you count so rigidly, I think it is INCREDIBLY difficult to hear hunger and satiety cues.

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57 CourtneyS April 29, 2008 at 6:09 am

I think counting serves the important purpose of helping you figure out what a portion LOOKS like. Before I started measuring and watching my calories, my portions were much bigger than I really thought. But once you get the hang of it, and your brain knows what half a cup of something looks like, then by all means, trust yourself!

For me, it’s helpful now since I’m trying to lose weight, but I certainly don’t plan on doing it forever. Given how huge portions are (and how easy it is to dish up a big plate at home, too) it can be a helpful tool. But I plan on moving on when it’s no longer helpful.

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58 Kelly T April 29, 2008 at 8:59 am

you will be so much happier if you quit counting calories. if you guys already eat healthy, then you should be able to tell if you have had too much or too little food. just make sure you eat every meal, cause if you skip and over compensate its easy to be thrown off. Just eat balanced and you will be fine. Other than that, its so nice to have those numbers off your mind!

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59 Katers April 29, 2008 at 9:14 am

I was an intern at the Senate, and Hillary Clinton and I rode in an elevator alone once. She asked me what floor, I said 3, she pushed the button. There wasn’t any diplomatic conversations, but I felt like there was a connection.

:P

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60 Kath April 29, 2008 at 1:32 pm

Katharine ,
The bean balls had corn and other spices in them too. They were from a leftover corn + bean dip we made. But they weren’t that great – I need to fiddle with the recipe before I post it. It was based on Veganomicon’s recipe.

lexi ,
I think you would benefit from talking to a professional about the binging – perhaps a counselor or an R.D. ? I’m not sure any advice we can give you would be that helpful since it’s so personal.

Nicole ,
Thanks for sharing your story!

Katers,
Love your comment about connections. That’s totally something I would say :)

Kath

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61 Melissa (the other one) April 29, 2008 at 1:39 pm

All this talk is so inspiring! Count me in too…..I announced on my blog last week that I’m going to try this too. It is a huge commitment for me, as I’ve counted for 5 years!

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62 Katers April 29, 2008 at 1:59 pm

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