Thursday, November 14, 2013

A Picture Can Be Worth 1000 Calories

This morning I open up Facebook to check on my friends and there is a recipe for some scrumptious, easy to make, hard on the waistline concoction and just for a minute, I hate Facebook.

I'm practically drooling as I write this.

When you're trying to lose weight, watch your weight, or simply eat healthy, being bombarded with images of lip-smacking desserts and zipper breaking casseroles, all of which you can make in a flash, aren't what you need pouring into your news feed. In other words, no one needs them. And I've got a feeling that most of us aren't making the taste-tempting recipes we share, we're just passing on our pain.

And then again, sometimes we do hit the print button and prepare the concoction. So far, I've succumbed a couple of times on desserts. But really, I don't care what the Chunky Monkey cookies promised, they were nasty. The Cinnamon Bun Cake has been a hit the two times I've made it, but luckily for me I don't really like it. Now there's a dessert I can live with. Something I can take to a church dinner and not be tempted by later is about as close to perfection as it gets.

Of course, Facebook isn't to blame and our friends aren't the only culprits.

Television and its advertising are way worse. There's nothing quite as bad as watching television in the evening and knowing you've been eating healthy and suddenly there's a restaurant commercial. Pizza is the worst for me, not only does it do a number calorie wise and scale wise, but they can make it look so darn good. Something about the image of cheese stretching from slice to pie gets my stomach to dreaming every time.

Using the DVR for most of my television viewing has helped with that, but it makes watching football on the weekends that much worse because whatever tolerance I may have developed for the commercials is pretty much gone. By Sunday evening I think I'd tackle a quarterback for some really good pizza. Luckily, I don't live where really good pizza is conveniently located or quickly obtained, so I've been able to fight that feeling. But if someone wandered into my yard carrying a hot pizza, well, all bets would be off.

Then there are ads that do the exact opposite, most notably Hardees, which seems to be into food porn. Seriously, no one that looks like those people do eats a burger the size of the one they're biting into and they're not fooling me with the commercial. Those actors probably spit the food out and then make themselves throw up just to be sure they'e not actually consumed any of that food.

Couple that constant barrage of images with the size of portions when we do go out to eat, and it's no wonder a lot of people struggle with their weight, or simply give up and decide that it's unnatural to go against the flow, kind of like a lemming who decides maybe it is a good idea to run for the cliff edge.

But back to Facebook and why it isn't a total nightmare.

All those wonderful recipes say "share to add to your timeline so you can easily find it later." Well, unless you don't post anything but recipes and don't mind wading through them all to find it later, then that's a baldfaced lie. I've shared recipes that are so far gone into my timeline by the time I want to try them that they are never recovered. It was something with cabbage and bacon, in case you're wondering.

Just as there is no option to ban recipes from your timeline, there is also no way to search the recipes you have wanted to try.

And Facebook does bring me links to healthy bloggers, slow cooker chefs, and other people struggling to feed children who have provided me with a few winning recipes already this fall. But I've learned the only way to really save the recipe is to be on my computer and copy/paste or pursue the links and print it when I see it. Sharing will only spread the pain.

So I'll just keep skimming over those chocolate chip skillet recipes and looking for those that share their calorie content or sound like something the children should be eating that can be prepared without standing over the stove for more than the time it takes to dump the ingredients in a pot.

I'll let you know how that works out.

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