mmm food like products

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I was doing some research on portion control and the sizing of dinner plates over the years. I was so shocked at seeing the size difference! In the 60’s the average dinner plate was on average 21.5 cm’s in diameter, to give you some comparison the average dinner plate has grown to a whopping 30.5 cm! That’s a foot! Dinner plates have even turned into a more bowl shape so we can pile more on to it, but it’s not just dinner plates that have grown. Standing drinking glasses and cutlery have also grown. Why has this been happening?

The general consumer is always look for more food for less money and the manufacturers are more than willing to give this to us. So over time as we continue to look for more, companies have been increasing the size of food for less money. Do you know what else is increasing, our waistlines. How can food prices go down when they’re increasing the size, well it usually means nutrition is going down too. So now not only are we getting bigger, but now our food is giving us less nutrients. Companies have to modify the food we eat with chemicals, processing, additives and preservers to bulk out our food and to make it last longer. This is something we all know by now and yet, which I find quite funny, we still consume them because they’re cheap, the problem being is now we’re not consuming food any more but food like products. So while we are stuck in the cycle our food size is going to continue to grow along with our waists.

By now you should get the gist of why things have increased. We also eat with our eyes, our appetite is easily stimulated by looking at delicious tasty food with lots of colour and freshness and by filling our plate we feel compelled to eat it and finish it. Did you know that using a smaller plate you’d feel just as satisfied and you’d also put less on your plate.

The correct portion size is pretty easy to remember. A piece of protein should be about the size of a deck of cards, starchy vegetables and food likes pasta and rice should be about the size of a tennis ball. I’ve been using The Waitplate Systems which includes the perfect size portion templates. It has a protein template, bread, pizza, cake, starchy carbs and dressing, fats and oils. This has been helping me to take the guess work out and giving me back control of the amount of food I’m eating.

The templates along with the portion control plate and cutlery, which have also been made smaller, give you complete control. The portion control all works in conjunction with the unique chew timer which aims to slow down your eating and how quickly you chew.

I was going through a few forums online where people were talking about the changes in size on crockery and I came across and excellent saying, “To be a 1960’s size you must use 1960’s crockery!” I love it and I personally plan to adapt this! It finally means I can use all my antique china that I have collected. Another person made an excellent point, special occasion meals were served on larger plates, so at one point in time we’ve adapted special occasion portions for every day. Finally food was never piled to the edge of the plate, the rim of the plate is supposed to clear of food; this is why chefs wipe the edges clean.  However, I agree with what one woman posted saying that in days gone by, it was probably because the masters of the house didn’t want their servant’s fingers in their food!

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Quick get me a coffee… STAT!

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One thing we seem to be trying to get in our lives is more energy; we talk supplements, drink coffee, have energy drinks and are constantly looking for ways to get more.  I thought we’d look at a few different ways to get some energy with having to resort to calorie, sugar laden energy supplements. As I was researching for this I came across a website that was talking about an energy boost called “sugar rush” It was simply 18 Jelly Belly Jelly Beans blended together! Oh my goodness! That is certainly not the way to get long lasting energy!

Sometimes 8 hours of solid sleep is not enough to keep us going all day as we lead hectic fast paced lives, rushing from one to the next. Then we get worn out and look for something to give us a boost. Without thinking a lot of us will reach for coffee, energy drinks and snacks high in calories, sugar and carbohydrates. While tired you’re more likely to snack and look for these foods than choose something like fresh produce or nuts. Sugar and carbs, although these provide energy and fast, it is often very short lived, causing you to consume even more.

If you find yourself reaching for that snack why not try a banana or an apple with some peanut butter. The fructose takes longer to metabolise in our bodies than processed sugar and the peanut butter provides a longer lasting form of energy.

Not all carbs are bad; some complex carbohydrates like whole grains and beans are some of the best long lasting energy boosters out there that make you feel full at the same time. Try some whole grain crackers with some hummus.

If lacking energy leads to crave sweet things, avoid the sugar which gives you a short time high but an awful sugar crash and swap it for something like Greek yoghurt, muesli and berries. A small serving of this will cure those sweet cravings and supply you with long lasting energy and leaving you feel satisfied.

Eggs are fantastic! A boiled egg in the afternoon help you stay awake is a good idea! Eggs are packed full of protein and offer nearly the same benefits as lean meat, including B vitamins, iron and protein

Sometimes all you need is to move. A brisk walk outside will give you a boost in energy and a fresh air to blow away the cobwebs that start forming in your head when you get tired. Finally, try a glass of cool water with a slice of lemon. Dehydration can lower your metabolism and your energy levels. The lemon provides some vitamin c, or you  can try coconut water which has extra electrolytes and potassium.

So next time you’re looking for an energy boost, why not swap the energy drink for something more substantial and sustaining!

I quit! Sort of….

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Hi, my name is Danielle and I’m addict. My poison… refined sugar… You probably are as well but just may not know it. More and more research is coming out about the dangers of refined sugar. The damage it does to your body is quite scary. So I set myself a challenge, to quit sugar, being typical me I went in to it with all guns blazing. This didn’t work as sugar is in pretty much everything. I sat down for a few minutes to figure a few things out, I came to the conclusion that before quitting it all together I need to cut down and then phase it out over the following weeks.

The first thing to go was soft drink from the fridge and then the sugar from the cupboards. I threw them both in the bin. It probably took about 2 weeks to completely rid the house of sugar and replace it all. I also banned any artificial sweeteners from the house, anything that contains aspartame. We use stevia for a sweetener which is a natural plant derived sweetener.

Sugar is a real addiction. I can honestly say that I suffered withdrawals from it and it’s not pleasant the first few days because I was irritable, I had a headache and I was tired. I wasn’t the best person to be around. I knew though, that I had to see it through at least 2 weeks.

I did make it 2 weeks and felt amazing at the end of it. My skin looked great, the dark circles under my eyes were gone and I have never felt more positive about life than after those 2 weeks. However, it’s really hard to eliminate sugar 100% from your diet 100% of the time.

I decided to talk it out with Mum on the phone as she was doing the same thing as I. (I must add we were super inspired at this stage after attending a lecture by Dr Gabriel Cousens) In the end it came down to just doing the best I can.

The only bit of sugar I keep in the house is individual sachets of sugar for guests, otherwise Cameron now uses stevia in his tea and coffee and I don’t add anything to mine.  When I wanted to drink soft drink I found I could trick myself into thinking I was by drinking soda water. I think it’s the bubbles, whatever it was, it worked. Whenever I have a craving for something sweet, I eat a teaspoon of raw, organic honey. This is just enough to satisfy my taste buds, and it’s not a refined sugar, in fact honey has fantastic benefits for our bodies. The juice from lemons and limes in water was another way that helped to get rid of sugar.

If I go out to eat, I won’t deny myself but I try to choose the best option and if I have any sugar then I don’t have any for the rest of day.

What I have found is that if I binge on sugar for a few days I definitely notice. All of a sudden I’ll be tired again and lacking in motivation.

Give it a go, you won’t be disappointed. Do a little research and find out the truth about refined sugars. If you decide to cut back or quit sugar, find a way that works for you. Good Luck!