I’m All About The Numbers

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.

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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.