June 20, 2011

Mamavation Monday: Is it Quantity or Quality?


sushi imageimage credit: public domain

Years ago my Weight Watchers leader as if we were quantity eaters or quality eaters. It seemed like a loaded question. Hello!, we’re at Weight Watchers so obviously there is an issue with quantity. But that’s not really what she was getting at.

It was summer and she was asking us to think about ice cream. She said ice cream would be the first indicator of the quality or quantity mindset. She went around the room and asked if we could have one serving of ice cream what brand would we choose. All kinds of brands were mentioned and when it was my turn I hesitated.

No one had said Haagen-Dazs. Out of a room of nearly 30 women, no one mentioned the ultra premium, high fat, super creamy deliciousness that is Haagen-Dazs. The room fell silent. All eyes were on me. I dared to say it.

But it’s true. If I’m going to eat ice cream I want it to be the best I can find. And from that the message began to form. Some of us are quantity eaters and others are quality. See, while the other ladies in the group would be getting nearly 1 cup of their ice cream of choice, my serving size would be 1/2 a cup. A teen tiny 1/2 cup of Haagen-Dazs.

It helped me to see that sometimes the visual needs to change. Grab your ice cream bowl and put a measly serving of Haagen-Dazs in it. It seems lonely and sad. It looks pitiful. And if you’re a quantity person then you’re more apt to fill up the bowl. Even though you know it’s more than a serving.

But it goes for other things too. Would you rather have a giant low fat muffin or a small pastry or cookie? Do you want a huge bowl of pasta with a low fat or fat free marinara or would you rather have a small plate of ravioli in a sage butter sauce? If they were the same calories and all that, what would you choose.

Knowing that I was a quality over quantity eater helped me a lot. Rather than thinking I’m eating a small portion I better understood that I had to be more diligent about what exactly I was eating because I needed to make sure I was getting all my nutrition and was going to be satisfied with less volume.

I’ve found certain foods over the years that I can improve upon and reduce the fat and calories without messing up the taste. Those are my go-to recipes because I kind of get the best of both world – my need for quality but a larger serving size.

But for some things I’m not willing to sacrifice taste and texture just to have a larger serving. I won’t eat fat free cheese unless it’s an accident and likely hidden in something. I’d much rather have a small piece of excellent cheese than a hunk of something that is not natural. Same with chocolate. Give me a 1/4oz piece of Tcho Chocolate any day over a full size Hershey bar. Now don’t get me wrong. Hershey’s has a time and a place. But when I’m craving chocolate I want the best I can get.

If you could have one serving of ice cream what kind woud it be?


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