Ok, so, some people reading this blog have known me for a very long time, and could probably attest to the fact that I am NOT good at math. I never picked up anything in math class very easily, and when I couldn’t understand something, I usually just let my brain do its thing… and wander some where else. Like, ‘oh, you can’t do this? Ok. Let’s go on a swirly whirly ride into a daydream’. This is why I failed at all my math classes.
So, now knowing this about me, I bet you’d be surprised to know that I have become focused- err… obsessed with numbers. ‘What numbers could she possibly be talking about?’ you may ask. That would be a very good question! Nutrition Facts.
I’m not here to bore you with how I carefully read each label, which I do. I’m also not here to tell you about how I surprise myself with learning how bad the foods are that I previously thought were healthy, which I also do. No, I’m here to tell you how I sit, sometimes for hours, adding nutrition labels, measuring portions, and analyzing meals that I make at home.
This all started with Turkey Chili. I made a huge batch. Enough to feed me probably 10 meals. While I cooked, I kept a notebook to the side, and jotted down the N.F.’s (this is how we will refer to Nutrition Facts, from here on out) for each and every ingredient. If I used the whole can of tomatoes, I figured out the facts for the whole can, and wrote that down. Calories, Fat, Carbohydrates, Sugar, Protein. Once I had the entire list of ingredients and their N.T.’s, I added them all up. This gave me the total numbers for my massive batch of Turkey Chili. When the chili was done cooking, I carefully measured it out by serving size, and then divided those totals by the number of servings that it made.
Since then, I have done this for every single meal I make. Turkey Chili, Turkey Meatballs, Bean Salad, Chocolate Protein Balls, Cloud Bread, Cauliflower Pizza, Cauliflower ‘Fried Rice’, Overnight Oats, etc. etc.
Here’s where the obsession begins. When I figure out the N.F.’s, I immediately start thinking about how I can cut down the calories/fat/carbohydrates… or whatever, by using different ingredients. That’s when research happens. My best example is Overnight Oats.
I thought Overnight Oats would be a good breakfast for me to have, and would be a nice change of pace from a protein shake or eggs. I used a recipe, adjusted certain things (like not using sugar, and instead, using Truvia), and made the stuff. When I was finished, I added up the N.P.’s, and realized that it was an INSANE amount of carbohydrates and calories for a 4oz. portion. Like I didn’t want to waste my time eating this! Thus began two hours of researching how I could adjust the recipe. I was adding, scribbling, and crossing things out in my notebook, and ultimately purchasing new food products off of Amazon.
Two days later (what up, Amazon Prime!), I was making my Overnight Oats again. This time, however, I had managed to cut the calories by half, and the carbohydrates by a third. Proud of myself doesn’t do this justice. I was like a kid in a tasty oatmeal shop!
Since then, after I have perfected my recipes, I write down ingredients, brand names of products, and then finally- N.F.’s for each serving on a small index card. I store these in a little box, tucked away, and I can pull them out anytime, and make the meal, without worrying about doing my math. Perfection.
So, I’d like to take a moment to give a big shout out to all my math teachers- from Kindergarten to Senior Year. You did it. I like my math… just don’t ask me to start doing any algebra.
This was my latest creation. My take on Texas Caviar. This is one of the neatest written logs I have EVER done. And yes, that’s one of three, of my handy dandy notebooks.