Apologies to Kermit:)
So I have a bit of a dilemma that I never expected. Do I stop eating green beans?
Here’s the thing… almost every afternoon I roast myself a big batch of “green bean fries.” I thought it was a good thing. Increasing my veggie intake. Being healthy. Doing that instead of something I’d typically fall back on (and prefer) like crackers or junk food. I was giving myself a pat on the back for this habit that seems pretty ingrained by now.
Until I started my online tracking. And started paying attention to calories. Hello! Almost 200 calories for green beans!! I knew I was eating a lot. But my past “diet” conditioning comes from Weight Watchers, where veggies have zero points, and South Beach Diet, where we strive for over four cups of veggies a day. Veggies = good. Mega-calories = bad.
I had already made changes to how I prepare them. Months back I had stopped coating them in olive oil and now just give a little mist to the pan and beans. And not long ago I stopped adding a sprinkle of salt, as I make strides towards lowering my sodium intake. It’s just a small bowl of beans. What could be bad about that?!
I guess it is all about quantity here rather than quality. Since this time of year the stores don’t have nice fresh green beans for me to roast, I’ve taken to tossing a whole bag of frozen beans onto the pan. Didn’t pay attention to the nutritional information or the number of servings per bag. It was beans! It fit in one smallish bowl! Beans! Green!
So I started paying closer attention to the calorie count for other veggies I was eating. I hear people say that the count is so low you could eat as many veggies as you want. Not! But I did see that some do have many fewer calories. Asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower… for example. ABC. Not nearly as tasty as green bean fries. But maybe the time has come to make a sacrifice to get myself where I want to be. I did the math. My green bean fries were about 2.5 cups and 175 calories (The later based on the bag’s nutritional information and the former based on my rough post-cooking measuring. It’s hard to get those long suckers into a measuring cup.) If I switch to cauliflower I’d be saving somewhere near 100 calories a day. That’s 10 pounds a year just from making that one small switch (if I eat the veggies every day). TEN pounds without cutting or changing anything else! Wowza. On me, 10 pounds is two sizes!
Never did I imagine having to give up my afternoon veggie fix. Green beans. Who’d have thunk it? I know… in the scheme of things it really doesn’t amount to a hill of beans. But, then again, 10 pounds is a pretty big hill of beans!
What’s your approach to eating veggies? Eat any and all without counting calories?