A journey in words...

Welcome to my journey in words! A story about health, exercise, weight loss, food addiction, humor, size discrimination, sarcasm, social commentary and all the rest that’s rattling around inside my head...

I now twit, er... or tweet. Anyway, you can follow me on twitter @Aeon1202

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Cooking Like It's 1943

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

I bought another vintage cookbook. This time it's a February, 1943 issue of a magazine called The Health For Victory Meal Planning Guide. It's a wartime publication that was produced monthly by the Home Economics Institute, Westinghouse Electric & Manufacturing Company. I bought this from an antique book and print vendor at a fair, but this same issue and others are easily found on eBay.

Look at that cover! Look at the interior photos! It was only $3! How could I resist?

I would love to eventually find more information on the Health For Victory Clubs, but from the publication, it looks as though it was a national health and cooking club focused on teaching people how to create healthy meals in a time of austerity and hard-work. Of course, considering the time, the club and publication are written for women and absolutely packed with patriotism.
"Wives, mothers, [and] landladies learn plenty about packing husky, healthful mid-shift meals at H for V meetings." (page 2)
"So eat a well-balanced lunch from now on. We're all in this war to win. And upon the health of our production soldiers, depends the strength of the nation." (page 3)
The first third of the publication is instructional. Topics such as what constitutes a healthy lunch, what to pack for different types of workers, how to time meals for shift workers, tips for organizing meal preparation equipment, the best ways to cook vegetables so the least amount of vitamins and minerals are lost, are discussed.

Once you get past the instructional portion of the magazine, to the recipes, the difference from current day cooking isn't too significant. There are ingredients listed that are out of fashion such as corn syrup and lard. But happily, some of the recipes featuring corn syrup have instructions for replacing sugar for the corn syrup.

Actually, I think there are a few surprising similarities.
  • There is is a section of  Jiffy Dinners, Ready in 35 minutes! 
  • There is a focus on cooking with seasonal vegetables. This issue was from February, so root vegetables, cabbage and dried beans are ingredients in many of the recipes.  
  • There is also a mention of hiding healthy ingredients in 'tastier' dishes. 
    “The best lunch in the world, packed full of vitamins and minerals and energy-producing foods, won't do much good, if it isn't eaten. So in planning lunches, give them what they like, but don't stop there. And don't forget – many a time it's possible to fool them! If they don't like carrots, for example – try the Carrot Honey Cookies on page 30 of this Meal-Planning Guide. And sandwiches made of the Liver Loaf on page 44, for those who 'hate liver'.” (page 4)
I think I'll pass on the Liver Loaf for now, but look for a recipe review of the Carrot Honey Cookies next week. (It's just too hot to bake this week)

Friday, June 15, 2012

Yes, you CAN have Peanut Butter!

Guilt-free peanut butter.  I have my friend Gloria to thank for this one (THANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOU).  This is a same girl who introduced me to Arctic Zero and Amy’s organic frozen foods – both very tasty, very healthy, foodie revelations.

This is the best one yet.

PB2 is literally powdered peanut butter.  Roasted peanuts get pressed until almost all the fat and oil squishes away.  You then take the remaining fluffy powder and add water, watching as it magically reconstitutes into the exact same creamy consistency as normal peanut butter.  It has a great roasted peanut flavor and is lightly sweet.  It’s a little bit texturally grainy but not in a bad way, it just tastes like it’s got tiny peanut pieces in it – which, it does.  Think of crunchy PB with a very fine grain.

Allow me to point out the important differences though, comparing it to the brand I normally buy: Jif Reduced Fat Creamy PB.

Jif Serving Size:   Two tablespoons
PB2 Serving Size:   Two tablespoons

Jif Calories Per Serving:   190
PB2 Calories Per Serving:   45

Jif Fat Per Serving:   12 grams
PB2 Fat Per Serving:   1.5 grams

Jif Sugar Per Serving:   4 grams
PB2 Sugar Per Serving:   1 gram

Jif Sodium Per Serving:   220 mg.
PB2 Sodium Per Serving:   94 mg.

Jif Protein Per Serving:   7 grams
PB2 Protein Per Serving:   5 grams

The only place where you lose something good is the protein factor, it’s slightly less than what’s in normal peanut butter – other than that this stuff is made of win on every level.

There’s also the ingredient list: roasted peanuts, sugar and salt.  Three ingredients.  Done.  Regular peanut butter contains things like corn syrup solids, magnesium oxide, nicinamide, ferric orthophosphate, zinc oxide, copper sulfate… should I go on?  That stuff we all love from childhood is basically a chem lab experiment.

I haven’t located a local store carrying it yet, I ordered it from Amazon here.  It seems like the sort of thing that Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods would pick up, but I haven’t had the chance to check so far.  Here’s hoping because paying shipping is the only down side.

I’ve always loved peanut butter, but recently I’ve been barely brushing the tiniest taste of it over my bread because I knew what a fatty disaster it was.  Today, I whipped up an entire serving of this stuff and smeared it decadently all over my toast.  I felt not even the slightest twinge of hesitation in eating it, I simply enjoyed.


Recipe For the Day (Courtesy of Weight Watchers and my friend Jen):

Frozen Peanut Butter Cups

1/4 cup peanut butter
1-8oz. tub fat free cool whip
chocolate syrup to drizzle

Thaw cool whip half way. Mix peanut butter and cool whip together and place in muffin cups. Drizzle with chocolate syrup and freeze 6-8 hours to harden. Enjoy!

Number of Servings: 8
WW Points: 1 per cup

Assuming you substitute regular peanut butter in this recipe with BP2, the point value will probably drop to around ½ each.

Friday, June 8, 2012

A Bad Day

***Disclaimer: Author currently in poor mental state.  You were warned.***

I continue to be a drain on society.

Apparently the last fat shaming, you-are-costing-your-country-too-much-money-FATSO article posted by a public news agency wasn’t effective, so today here’s a new one.

Maybe this one will finally make me thin up.  Heck knows I haven’t been trying and having soul crushing failures for over twenty years.  And it’s not as though I’ve utterly destroyed correct metabolic processes within my body by repeatedly starvation dieting so that now if I exercise five to seven times per week I might (if I’m lucky) loose a pound.  Well, except for the week where I have my period.  I could fast that whole week and nothings coming off, so just forget that one right there.

No, apparently all I needed was the CDC to tell me that on top of uglifying the world and taking up too much space on airplanes I’m also costing them way too much money as well.  Thank heck they told me, that should solve my problem posthaste.  I can’t be allowed to wallow in a state of blind self acceptance now, can I?  That wouldn’t be right.

Okay, yeah I’m bitter.  I’m not always bitter, but today is just a bitter day.  Today I feel like giving up and throwing in the towel and telling everyone to shove off.

Maybe it’s because last week I sat there listening to a someone complain to me about a size 16 woman, who had the audacity to be happy with herself and not realize she’s overweight.  How dare that fatty be happy with herself?  Doesn’t she know how BIG she is?  As always during these encounters I sit there in a dumbfounded state, unable to figure out why people think its okay to say hateful things to a fat person about other people who are smaller than the person they are speaking to.

I swear I’m taking crazy pills.

I shouldn’t read these articles, I know that.  I particularly shouldn’t read the comments.  The articles themselves are really just dry diagrams of the ways in which fatties make everybody’s life bad financially as well as propagation of the ever so ineffective BMI as a tool for determining just how much people need to be shamed.  The articles aren’t overall very emotional though.

The commenters however, are downright evil.  Some of them talking about how fat people need to be charged extra “fat taxes” since we’re a drain on everybody, some of them talking about how smokers live to a ripe old age but you can’t possibly find a 70 year old fatty, since we die off early – which conversely is a good thing because when we croak we finally stop costing SO MUCH MONEY.

I’ve actually heard that “can’t find a fat old person” trope twice this week.  Since one of my grandmothers was significantly overweight and lived past 90, I admit that one confuses me.

I know I should not look at this crap, but still I do, knowing full well that these people want me look and to feel as bad as possible.  It’s like that bizarre impulse that makes you check in your ex, either hoping that they’re miserable without you or just needing to hear from them in some way.  Why do we torture ourselves like this?

Part of me also suspects that the people who say such things don’t actually want everyone to be thin at all.  If everyone was thin, who would they bully?  Who would they be superior to?  They’d be left alone with their own blind hatred and no easy target.  They might self combust.

Heck with everybody.  See ya later, I’ve gotta go exercise.  Again.