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Measuring Cups: Friend or Foe?

Posted Mar 01 2010 4:29pm

Gaahhhhh!!! I am so frickin’ frustrated with Ecto! It totally ruined my day today. I spent hours and hours messing with it, and it’s still not working properly! :evil:

So, after publishing my breakfast post, everything seemed fine and dandy with Ecto, so I canceled my appointment with the Genuis Bar and went along with my day. I had lots to do, so I was happy that I didn’t need to take a trip to the Apple store.

Mid-morning, I snacked on a No-Bake Bar , an apple, and a refill of iced coffee.

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Then, I headed out to run some errands around town. First, I visited a local consignment shop to see if I could make a little money off some of my old clothing. The shop ended up taking 3 pairs of pants and a cute top, so hopefully, they will sell.

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Then, I stopped by the bank, dry cleaners, CVS, Good Health , and finally the gym. I’m so used to taking public transportation or walking to run my errands, but I think this driving thing might work out for me. ;-)

At the gym, I ran 3.53 miles in 30 minutes (8:29 pace). I really pushed myself and varied my speeds from 6.5 – 7.5 mph, so I felt like I was hauling-ass at times! After my run, I jumped on the elliptical for 30 minutes and caught up with my magazine reading. I’m so behind, especially with my celebrity gossip! (I didn’t know JT and Jessica Biel were back together!?!)

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Lunch was something special this afternoon! :-D

Inspired by Rose’s Cheesy Sweet Potato Stew with Kale , I threw together my own creation: Pumpkin-Butternut Squash Soup with Kale. I wanted to add cheese to the recipe like Rose, but we were all out! 8-O We are never, ever out of cheese!?! I was bummed, but my soup still turned out yummy.

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Makes 1 serving

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup frozen butternut squash
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup non-fat milk
  • 1/4 cup low-fat ricotta
  • Handful of chopped kale
  • Cinnamon
  • Nutmeg
  • S & P

Directions:

  • Combine all ingredients in a saucepan
  • Cook over medium-high heat
  • Top with raisins and walnuts (optional)
  • Enjoy!

This was a good bowl of soup and it was so, so, so filling! I was actually sort of surprised that it satisfied me like it did. This recipe is definitely a keeper!

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After lunch, I enjoyed a couple of Date Nut Rolls that I purchased at Good Health .

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These things are so delicious! I could have easily eaten a bunch more!

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After lunch, I tried to blog, but Ecto blew up again. I made another appointment with the Genius Bar and drove down, but after spending almost 2 hours at Apple, the Geniuses had no luck fixing it. (I might try a different Apple store tomorrow.)

When I first lost weight , reducing my portion sizes was key to losing the pounds. I wasn’t eating unhealthy foods; I was just eating too much of them.

Even today, I still use measuring cups and spoons to portion high-calorie foods, like peanut butter, or ones that are easy to overestimate, like cereal or oats. In fact, I leave a 1/2 cup measuring cup in my oats to remind me of a “proper” portion size each morning when I make my oatmeal.

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Last week, the folks at OpenSky sent me a food scale to test out, so I did a little experiment to see how accurate I am with my oat measurements. It turns out that I overestimate quite a bit! What can I say, I really like oatmeal! ;-)

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After zeroing the scale with the measuring cup on top, my usual scoop of oats weighed 53 grams, which was 13 grams more than a 1/2 cup is supposed to be (1/2 cup = 40 grams).

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When I leveled off the measuring cup, I was still 4 grams over.

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I finally removed enough oats to weigh 40 grams.

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If you look closely, the oats are actually below the lip of the 1/2 cup measuring cup. I guess this is why food scales are much more accurate!

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So, the reason that I did this little experiment was not to obsess about grams or calories. Instead, I wanted to see how accurate I am with my trusty measurement cups. Apparently, I have a heavy hand with the oats! Even still, I don’t plan to measure my oats every morning, but this food scale was a great reminder of portion size. It’s a really great tool to own, especially if you’re looking to lose weight.

Do you use a food scale? If so, what has your experience been with it?

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