Nothing helps remind me more about the importance of being familiar with serving sizes and what they look like than being on the road for a few days. Meals away from the comfort and familiarity of my kitchen make for some guesswork, and these last few days have shown me that I could use a refresher on serving sizes. Here’s a look back at a post from 2012 about keeping your eye trained as to how “half a cup” really shapes up.
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A deck of cards. A baseball. A pair of dice and you only look at one of them. (Sorry for the clumsiness; I think it’s weird to write “A die.” as a sentence. Looks odd.) A tennis ball. A hockey puck.
The things that health-related articles use as “visual cues” for portion sizes and serving sizes makes me wish I was more athletic, because then I’d have a really strong feel for the size of these different balls, etc. (Sidenote: Hey. Ever write something you want to immediately delete but then you keep it and just wish your brain was less daft?) But these visual cue things are helpful for me, because if I don’t take note of just how big “one small apple” really is, it’s easy to lose track of how much I’m eating. I need to constantly refresh my eyes on serving sizes, which in turn helps me better estimate carbs when I’m SWAG (aka Scientific, Wild-Ass Guessing)’ing it.
(Second sidenote: The hamburger pictured here looks exactly like a fudge-drizzled chocolate cookie, which is making my brain very confused.)
Which is what I spent part of my morning doing today: busting out the measuring cups in my house and reminding myself what certain foods look like when properly measured out. I’m not shooting for serving sizes or anything FDA official. I needed to do this purely for carb assessment reasons. What does 35 grams worth of Rice Chex measure out to look like? How much salad dressing is 10 grams of carbs? Brain, be reminded of what 28 carbs-worth of banana goodness looks like!!
Birdy thought I was a basketcase this morning, measuring things out and then putting them back. “No eat banana, Mama?” “No more cereal and milk, Mama?” “That chicken is very good, right, Mama?” By the time I started eye-balling the lunch meat and measuring it on our kitchen scale, she threw her hands up in disgust and went to find her Thomas trains. (Tertiary sidenote: Spencer, the silver, streamlined diesel train, is the same size as 15 grams worth of banana, dagnabit.)
But now my brain is brought back to reality. Less guesstimating and more true and proper estimating, which should help me fine-tune my boluses a touch. Reminders like this are helpful in keeping me from sliding down that slippery slope of eating 18 lb apples and bathtubs full of Golden Grahams.
(Last sidenote: I’m sorry that only 2/3 of this post made sense.)