Sex, Lies, + the Magic Tablespoon

Okay, that’s not true. This isn’t about sex; but, it is about lies and tablespoons. And peanut butter.

When I was 13 or 14, I was on yet another diet with my mother. This one was some kind of Ski Team monstrosity that involved eating a lot of eggs, grapefruit and chicken. You had to drink a ton of water and/or tea. You couldn’t eat any oils or drink any sodas. Truly, it was awful. I’ve found recent copies of the diet which always start with the admonition “The diet is for two weeks only! Do not exceed!!!” I guess if you go over two weeks, you lose too much weight since the diet is so effective. Or maybe you’re just clogging your arteries too quickly. I don’t know.

I do know that if a diet isn’t healthy for you in the long-term, you should probably avoid it in the short-term, as well. We shouldn’t be striving to lose weight to fit in a dress. We should be striving to be healthy. But that’s all kind of beside the point.

Looking at this diet’s menu, I don’t see peanut butter; so, maybe it was a different diet that allowed me to eat a between meal snack of a tablespoon of peanut butter which my mother told me contained about 100 calories. Like many of you, I’ve been on a jillion diets. They all run together after awhile, right? Anyway, on whatever diet it was, I was allowed a tablespoon of peanut butter as a snack. Bear in mind that I was an early teen, I was hungry, and, to me, a tablespoon was less a unit of measurement and more a surface to stack food on. So, in my hungry pubescent mind, anything I could fit on that utensil counted as a tablespoon and, magically, had 100 calories in it.

Yeah, so. About that. My tablespoons looked more like the horse-choking wad of peanut butter on the right in the photo above than the actual tablespoon on the left. Little bit different, eh?

In my current eating plan, I can have as many fruits and vegetables as I want – no measuring, no counting. Because they are also plant products, I am tempted to lump legumes, nuts, and whole grains into that same category, which is not really allowed. Whole grains and many legumes have more carbohydrates than fruits and vegetables do, while some legumes and all nuts have a great deal of oil I have to watch. And nut butters are a whole thing unto themselves. I really shouldn’t eat them at all.

While they do contain some protein, they also contain a whole bunch of fat. I can get the protein from other sources and I need to be skipping that fat altogether. However, as I may have mentioned at some point, George Washington Carver is my hero. I love peanut butter. I like to have a little of it on an apple, or on crackers or on a spoon from time to time. In fact, I had some last night, which is what brought all of this to mind.

My serving looked more like the ~400 calorie blob on the right than the reasonable treat on the left. I didn’t even consider my calorie and fat intake as I sat there watching British mysteries. I’m thinking about it now, though, and am really sorry that I didn’t use an actual measuring utensil to make my snack rather than using a serving spoon.

Those serving spoons are still not magic and excess calories don’t fall off the sides.

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