As regular readers are probably sick of hearing, one thing I tend to suck at is portion control.
Sometimes I just don't know when enough is enough!
Coincidentally, part of my recent blogging angst is an inability to just say a little bit about something and not keep going and going and going and going, exploring at length all conceivably related topics.
So after last week's heavy-ass navel-gazing whine-fest, this is a light, fluffy and hopefully petite-sized post about a snacking experiment.
Wanna hear a trick I figured out that allows me to keep eating a tasty sweet treat all day long, virtually guilt free?
Well, I'll tell ya! But it's also an experiment in blog self-discipline. Can I put this puppy to bed in less than 500 words? Especially if there are compelling tangential issues?
The Trick in Brief:
I permit myself 1/4 cup kettlecorn any time I travel across the house and downstairs to the kitchen. Just one per visit, but unlimited visits per day.
Some further explanation and rationalizations:
1. Air-popped Popcorn is a Healthy, Low Calorie Snack.
You may have seen the study that came out a while back that said, wowza, popcorn is good for you and even has a crapload of antioxidants. Plus it's got fiber and it's low cal and it's technically a whole grain.
But seriously, naked dry air-popped popcorn? What a lame snack! It's like eating raw oatmeal or fistfuls of broccoli florets or pencil shavings.
2. But Kettlecorn Can Taste Mighty Delicious Without Adding Too Much Evilness.
Does this look suspiciously like I'm pimping a product for financial gain?
Well I'm not! The BoomChickaPop people have no idea who I am, and are not paying me anything or even ponying up free popcorn. (Though I believe they may have contacted me after Natural Products Expo West but I was too lazy to follow up).
Anyway, the beauty of their kettle corn: a minimal amount of sugar and safflower oil still yields a Relatively Virtuous but still Delicious Snack. Each quarter cup serving is less than 10 calories.
Even if I were to visit the kitchen 13 times during the course of the day, I'd be at One Serving. Which is 120 calories and 5 grams of sugar.
The ingredient list is pretty short: Popcorn, Fair Trade Organic Dried Cane Sugar, Sunflower Oil, Sea Salt.
3. But Wait: Kettlecorn is High Carb!
At least relative to snacking on meat or vegetables. The aforementioned day-long serving size has 21 grams.
And here we encounter a major Tangential Danger Zone: Lately I've been re-thinking my usual high protein, low carb approach to eating.
I'm adding in a few more carbs, and eating a slightly less insane amount of protein. I got a bit spooked by a scary study suggesting there are health risks to high protein diets in middle age, and I have a lot of heart disease and cancer in my gene pool.
(Even as another study just came out saying that high-protein diets can lower blood pressure.)
Color me "still confused" on the carb/protein question, but if my confusion sneaks a bit more sweet potatoes, popcorn, quinoa, oats, brown rice etc in my diet and it turns out the study was wrong? Well, screw it. I like carbs!
4. Aren't Popcorn and Kettlecorn insanely addictive?
Yes! I have had to swear off Kettlecorn before because of my enormous serving sizes.
That Looks About Right
photo: wikipedia commons
But here's the thing. Sticking to 1/4 cup at a time is easier than I thought--because I know another serving is available pretty much whenever I feel like it!
It helps that our kitchen is on a different floor from my office, and that once I go back upstairs and get immersed in something I often forget about coming back down again for another handful.
And even a measley quarter cup yields 4 mini-handfuls of 3 kernels a piece. Again, this is less than 10 calories!
Try it sometime: it actually feels big enough to "count" as having eaten something. And I feel exactly the same when I've finished a 1/4 cup as I do when I'm finished an entire bag: Like, damn, I could still eat more.
And yes, a year or so ago in a moment (or more accurately, many many moments) of weakness I did indeed eat an entire bag all by myself in a single evening. Which apparently makes for SIXTY-FIVE quarter cup servings.
As I said, portion control is not my strong suit. (Wordcount: 773! But whatever.)
Anyone else got any portion control or healthy snacking thoughts or tips?