Monday, February 28, 2011

Size DOES matter

Welcome to Eat. Live. Be. For a Better 2011, week 8. The topic this week is portions size, which is definitely one of my fave things to expound upon and what I think is the key to a healthy lifestyle.

Thatboy and I grew up in very different households. He grew up in a household where he would come home from school, his father and he would each take a pint of ice cream, sit on the couch and eat it.

I grew up in a household where all our cookies and boxes of chocolates had slivers cut out of them so everyone could have "just a bite."

One of the first habits I had to break was teaching Thatboy to not eat out of a package - cracker boxes, ice cream pints, the list goes on. Which brings me to my first tip of portion control:

1) Measure out your portions ahead of time. It's easy to finish an entire bag of chips if you're mindless reaching into the bag while watching television. But chances are, you'll be less tempted to overindulge if you measure out your serving of chips, and remove the bag from eyesight. This is how we've gotten a box of wheat thins to last a whole week in Thathouse.

2) Load up on the healthy stuff. If you follow rule #1, you'll notice that a serving of chips isn't really all that much, and not necessarily very satisfying. However, a serving of grapes will get you a lot farther in terms of filling you up. Pile on the lean proteins, fruits, and vegetables and even with larger portions, you'll still be consuming less calories.

And the rule that comes directly from the slivers of cookies and chocolates in my house growing up:

3) It's okay to have something naughty every now and again, but keep your portions of these smaller than an actual "portion size." It's okay to have a brownie, you don't need to beat yourself up. But it's not okay to eat an entire pan of brownies. Split that dessert with a friend, everyone gets a taste, but do you really NEED all of it? Giving yourself a little bit makes you less tempted to go out and eat an entire cheesecake.

And now a recipe that puts portion control into action. Sandwiches are great for portion control because they have everything you want in a compact, hand held, mouthwatering vehicle. This one is filled with lean turkey and loads of dark green spinach. Of course there's some garlic goat cheese in there, which I much prefer to mayonnaise. Instead of fries, I serve our sandwiches with a salad, because it's filling without the heaviness. It's a meal you can feel good about. Even if you eat the whole thing!

Turkey and Goat Cheese Baguette
2 oz garlic goat cheese
1 baguette, cut in half and sliced
8 slices of turkey
baby spinach

1. Spread 1 oz of garlic goat cheese on each of the baguette halves.
2. Top cheese with four slices of turkey per baguette half.
3. Top turkey with as much spinach as you can and still close your sandwich.

Next week we're going to recommend books and resources that help on the healthy journey.

And here are a list of the other bloggers participating:


  1. Love this advice! When I first attempted to lose weight, about four years ago now, I counted calories religiously and definitely would always rather have an apple over three potato chips for the same number of categories. Volume eating all the way!

  2. Love these tips. I am also a big believer in loading up on fruits and veggies. I never count when it comes to produce.