Surviving Mom’s Kitchen!!

A Basic Calorie Counting Tool
A Basic Calorie Counting Tool

Mom and Dad’s kitchen has been the source of my undoing for many years.  I would be ok at home, or almost anywhere else, but go to their house and I get a major attack of the munchies.  I guess it’s partly due to habit, and it’s partly a comfort thing too.  For most people this might not be too much of a problem, but I go there 3 times a day!  And during the noon visit, I fix them lunch, so I’m right there in the kitchen for a good length of time.  Not making excuses, just stating the facts.

It’s been a battle!  Over and over, I tried just saying that I will not allow myself to eat at their house, but that does not work!!  I tried saying “only healthy foods”, no.  I tried saying “only during family gatherings”, no.  Well I have finally come up with a simple solution that works perfectly!

When I first started selling premium quality Norpro kitchen gadgets, I ordered a lot of items to try out and test, because I don’t want to sell anything that is not really good!  One of the first items I bought was an electronic food scale.  I used it to weigh my letters for postage for awhile, then I began counting calories and since then, I have really put it to work.  I tried to order more, because I thought that would be a good item to offer for sale, but it was discontinued.  They have another one now, totally different.  Mine is larger, this one is about as flat as an iPad, but a bit smaller.  So I bought one to test.  I don’t need one here though because of the nice one I already have, so this one ended up down at Mom’s.  And that’s the greatest thing that could have ever happened!

Most items come with a nutrition label, so now, if I want to eat something down at Mom and Dad’s house, I have a way of knowing exactly what I am getting into.  It’s normally really hard to figure out a serving of potato chips, but it is as easy as pie with a good digital food scale.  Get out a small bowl, set it on the scale then turn it on.  Even with the bowl on it, the scale sets to 0.  Then just pour out an ounce (or 28 grams) of chips, and you’ve got it.  Then, look on the nutrition label and get your count.  Great for cereal too.  It’s great for lots of things, I use the digital food scale daily.  I even weigh my coffee creamer with it.

The other night, we had some really nice salads for supper.  I put them in my favorite, big pasta bowls with chickens painted on them :) .  What follows, is my method for assembling my salad:

  • Put the baby spinach, tomatoes, and onions in the individual serving salad bowl. (I don’t count the calories on basic vegetables such as these).
  • Put the bowl on the scale and turn it on. The scale will set to 0.
  • While the salad is right there on the scale, add the teriyaki chicken and quickly write down the weight that displays on the scale. Tare the scale.  This sets it back to 0.
  • With the same salad still on the scale, add the cheese. Write down the weight that displays on the scale, and again tare the scale.
  • Same salad, now add the olives and write down the displayed weight.

It all works real fast.  And now, using only one bowl,  I have my complete salad fixed up really pretty and fast, and my notes for how to count that salad.  And I can get the package nutrition label or go to Google to figure out my calories.  I measured the ranch dressing in a little bowl on the side.  (Expert tip:  My beautiful daughter, tells me that the best way to add dressing to your salad is to order it on the side and then just dip the tines of your fork in the dressing while eating your salad.)  This works great!!  It adds light flavor to your salad, and the salad dressing goes a long way,..  forget diet salad dressing, I just use the good stuff, now!

Ever since I took that digital scale down to Mom and Dad’s house, I have had no problem dealing with their kitchen, it’s as simple as that.  And I love the fact that I can still eat down there and I don’t have a thing to worry about.  The new model is very easy to clean, which I like.  I consider the digital food scale to be one of the most basic necessities there is for counting calories.  It is also teaching me what a healthy serving looks like.  So if I am caught away from home, and I eat something without being able to measure it, chances are I will have a good idea about the amount that I need to estimate.  That’s calorie counting 101!

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