Monday, February 1, 2016

Snacking @#$%tips

It was a sad sad day in December or so, I remember. I had turned 25.

I was watching some TV and stuffing my face with a giant bag of cheddar and sour cream chips (newly discovered since I had only a few months ago moved to the US). They were crunchy, ridged and just the best thing ever. I was also washing them down with coke or some other (vile, I know, but delicious) soda.

For some reason I happened to look at myself in the mirror not long after and it seemed that this single binge had caused me to gain quite a few unwanted pounds in all the wrong places. I am not tall and I am small boned. Even a few unwanted pounds show and how!

It struck me then, the horror of it. Now that I was getting older, those days of yore, those sweet years when I could polish off bags and bags of salty, spicy snacks when the only side effects were waves of nausea and little weight gain were behind me. The days that lay ahead were ones of portion control, calorie counting and such horrific activities that can only cause one to lose faith in living and eating.

It is especially hard for ones such as myself (and I figure all other sensible people in the world) who love to eat.

This is not a vain boast. In school, classmates refused to share lunches with me because I ate too much of theirs. Even in university, one of my classmates with her ever so tiny lunchbox said she could no longer share food with me because I took two bites of her lunch and it was gone.

Only my future husband shared with great selflessness. He would merely hand over his scrumptious lunchbox to me and take whatever it was that I had on offer. Of course I only took advantage of this selflessness if I didn't care for whatever it was that my mother had packed for me that day. I wasn't a total loss.

More tragedy. I saw a documentary about sugar not long ago. The ideal number of teaspoons to consume of sugar a day is 6-7. I was ready to heave, people!

I drink two cups of tea a day. At least. That is two teaspoons. I require something sweet after lunch. I try and be good and eat a piece or two of chocolate or if nothing is available, a spoonful of honey and sometimes just a spoonful of sugar (sue me if you dare). That's four teaspoons.

I also require snacks at tea time. Something salty accompanying my chai and then to balance it, something sweet. Again, I am happy to partake of a spoonful of honey if nothing else is available. I am easy that way. That's what five, six, maybe eight? Now I am not even counting the sugar that might exist in lunch and dinner.

There is also a requirement for dessert post dinner. I am flexible this time too. Sugar or honey wise.

You see 7 teaspoons is easy to consume in a heartbeat and I consider myself a healthy eating person. Meals home cooked. Snacks in moderation and such. No longer do I dare bags-full. I eat out of minuscule cups, slowly so it lasts and I watch with envy at my sons who put away reams of potato chips without skipping a beat then burning them off by jumping and running like mad.

But this post is not about my lament. It is about my solution to it.

Seaweed. Wasabi seaweed. This satisfies the need for salt and spicy and is very low cal. Also if you eat too much, you don't feel so great in that it is self limiting in a good way. Unlike chips there is no nicotine like urge to keep shoving more into your face.

I also discovered a new thing. I bought these puffs for my little son. He loves plain puffed rice which is like eating air so I thought I'd give him a similar consistency but healthier alternative. Vile stuff man. Kale and spinach. Like 20 calories a cup or something. I dare anyone to eat a cup full of that stuff. Anyway he rejected them in a minute and I was left with a bottle full so I ate some. And like I said, it was vile.

I had a thing of peanuts close by.


In my minuscule bowl I took a bunch of the puffs and added some spicy peanuts. Lo and behold. Yummy snack. The spices of the peanuts made the puffs actually tasty while providing crunch and salt and spice all at once making a reasonably healthy and actually enjoyable snack.

The urge to make the mix tilt towards a higher ratio of peanuts persists but I am resisting it. Why? Cause I am not liking what I see in photographs and the mirror. A gut, muffin top, jeans that don't fit and the like (dangerous for the heart, yeah) accompanying an aging face. Not a great combination.

That's it then. Snacking tips. Seaweed and toddler puffs (snuck with peanuts).  I plan to buy the whole line of the stuff.

Oh and the sugar police notwithstanding, I still think a spoonful of sugar as a dessert substitute is pretty darn smart eating.