I'm a Costco girl. Not a little, a lot. I love Costco, I've always loved it since I was a little kid and it was still called Price Club. Dedicated love for my favorite warehouse store. I love that I get bang for my grocery buck, and I can get deals on just about anything. Also, the people watching there is absolutely astounding it's so good. The only place better is an airport. Yesterday I watched a little girl of about 5 dislodge a giant teddy bear (about 5' tall) and drag it over to her parent's cart. Hilarious. Her mom didn't think so, so I apologized for laughing. It was so darn cute! I also watched one man purchase 12, 5lb cans of green beans and nothing else. So many questions that you don't dare ask a stranger. That's a lot of green bean casserole for one. On the upside, he's ready for Thanksgiving in July. But that brings me to one of the pitfalls that strike me often as I fight the good fight against over eating and weight loss. Portion control.
There are certain things that I buy there very often. Boneless skinless chicken breasts, organic baby spinach, roasted turkey breast, organic eggs, organic broccoli, organic butter (seeing a trend here?), nuts, etc., and in order to make it work I have to divide and conquer. Literally. Yesterday I purchased string cheese and almonds for snacks because I am little burned out on the protein shakes. I can tell I'm burning out on a snack when I bring them to work and prefer to go hungry and let them sit on my desk. There are three of them on my desk as of Friday. So when I went to Costco, I picked up some dry roasted almonds in a 2.5 lbs container. It may surprise you to find out that that 2.5lbs is approximately 40 servings! That's crazy! But one serving of almonds is one ounce and that goes by quicker than you'd imagine if all you do is sit down with an open container. So I sat down with the open container, a digital kitchen scale, and a box of snack size storage bags. Took me about fifteen minutes or so and I got them all divided up, and now they are ready to pack into lunch boxes as a healthy snack alternative.
The divide and conquer is something that I learned a few years back from Weight Watchers. They preach portion control, and it's so very true. So many people, me included, do not know what would be an appropriate portion of food anymore, particularly with the way food is being pushed and peddled by restaurant, fast food chains, and food manufacturers. Since I learned that technique, I have been dividing up food as soon as I am able to when I get home from shopping. Today I cooked about 4 pounds of broccoli, and then put 1cup servings into individual storage bags, and them popped them into the freezer. Now they are ready to pull out and microwave for dinner or lunches! Boom! done! All you really need is a digital kitchen scale. I am not partial to any particular brand, I've had a Chefmate scale for years that I picked up at Target. You can pay anywhere from $10 to $50 easily, but somewhere in the middle will probably be fine. I think mine may have been in the $25-$40. It's been so long I honestly don't remember. My bias is against dial scales, I like the precision of digital. I also own an extraordinary amount of storage bags and Rubbermaid BPU free containers. Also purchased at Costco. And no, they don't pay me. Not yet...
Breakfast: One coconut pancake, whipped heavy cream (with Splenda) and strawberries, 2 slices lean ham, coffee with H&H and Splenda
Lunch: Steak, 1 cup broccoli, 1/2 cup steamed yam. butter.
Dinner: I am just going to have a light snack, maybe some of the almonds or cheese. It's a little late now though.
It takes a little bit of time to put things into individual servings, but I find it's most cost effective and healthy if I do it myself instead of buying prepacked foods. This may be helpful for moms as the school year is about to begin for many in the next few weeks here in Arizona. If you are ever in need to check your portions while you're away from your kitchen you can always use these basic rules to eyeball your portions:
1 cup is about the size of your fist
1, 3-4 oz serving of protein is about the size of your palm or a deck of cards
1/2 cup is about the size of a computer mouse. (not the gigantic ergonomic ones, c'mon now.)
1 tablespoon is about the size of your first joint on your thumb. Unless your hands are tiny or huge.
Hope this is helpful for you all, and I look forward to hearing any of your ideas on this. Also looking forward to more consistent writing this week! So happy about that!