"But it's not just time - it's more the creativity. When I cook, I need to act spontaneously. I can't measure things out or it ruins the whole process."
You put the ingredients in a bowl or dish or pan to mix them, don't you?
Set the mixing container on the scale. Toss in ingredient. Look at weight, write on paper. Problem solved. Creativity intact.
Besides health, the other advantage is that if something turns out fantastic, you can share the recipe with others, or reproduce it yourself. It can be kind of uncomfortable to take something delicious to a potluck, have someone ask for the recipe, and have to say, "Oh, I just tossed things together." People think you're lying because you don't want to share.
Fitness Minutes: (33,026)
1,805 9/23/13 4:17 P
I like to try new recipes fairly often, so sometimes it can be a pain in the tush to keep track of all of them. I, too, use the recipe tracker on Spark but I usually estimate how many servings there are in a recipe.
If I have a written recipe that says 3 servings but was split between 2 people it's fairly easy for me to do the math. Sometimes it gets tricky if the recipe has 6 servings and there were 4 people who all ate different sized servings. Typically I just 'eyeball' it. Estimating CAN work, especially if you've had some experience measuring out your food in the past. There are also some helpful visuals: www.sparkpeople.com/resource/slideshow.asp ?show=12
Honestly, I do have better things to do than measure. I tend to go for higher estimates when I eyeball things, to be safe. So I add on a bit to my initial guess.
But it's not just time - it's more the creativity. When I cook, I need to act spontaneously. I can't measure things out or it ruins the whole process. I would probably eat less healthily if I tried to measure because I wouldn't be interested in cooking anymore.
One thing I do, not when cooking, but just when putting something together really quickly, is measure things just to refresh my sense of how much the measurements are. Eyeballing isn't terrible if you're careful, and the consequences of measuring for me are much worse.
The way I look at it-- everything I always did "before", got me to where I was. Overweight, unfit, and unhappy with myself. In order to make a change, I had to do things differently. And part of that meant tracking the calories I eat. Yes it can be a pain in the butt to do all that weighing and measuring and then put all that info in the nutrtition tracker. But eyeballing and guessing and flying by the seat of my pants-- only got me a bigger butt anyway. How much time do I spend watching tv every night? I could be entering recipes into the recipe calculator. How many times do I say, I'm bored. Or how many times am I looking for something to do. Or have 10 minutes to kill, before leaving the house for an appointment. Or if I've been busy around the house and throw down for a little break.... I could put a recipe in there. Really.... is it *that* big a deal, or am I looking for an excuse not to count the calories?
Fitness Minutes: (34,370)
22,460 9/23/13 5:20 A
I keep a pen/paper and my kitchen scales on my bench. Anything that I eat gets weighed and noted down. Where it comes to cooking meals or baking, I still weight and record, and then divide by the number of servings (a calculator helps :-) and enter THAT figure into the appropriate meal/snack. I then save it to my Groupings (dated with calorie count for easy identification) if there is more than one serve. I seldom EVER use a formal recipe - I am one of those who chucks in this, and chucks in that, but still comes up with a fantastic result :-)
IF I want to re-use a particular grouping, I multiply it by the number of serves I want to make and use that!
It may seem like it takes for ever, to do it, but it only takes a couple minutes all up.
If you make a similar recipe later, you can just edit the first one instead of re-entering the whole thing.
Now, if you want an accurate count, you do have to measure your ingredients. There's no getting around that; it's one of the sacrifices you make if you're committed. But the uneven portion-size sharing is no problem. Weigh the cooking dish empty and write down the weight. Then weigh the finished product and subtract the weight of the dish, so you know how many ounces the recipe made. Use that as your number of servings in the calculator. Weigh the food you serve yourself, and when you enter the recipe in your nutrition tracker, say you had that many servings.
In other words, say you made a mini-lasagna, and it comes out weighing 19 ounces. You edit your recipe to say that it makes 19 servings. The calculator will tell you it has, say, 37 calories per one-ounce "serving." Then you put a small slice on your plate and it weighs 7 ounces. You don't even have to do any division of multiplication; you just call the recipe up in your nutrition tracker and type in that you had 7 servings. It will do the math for you and tell you that you had 259 calories. All of this will take you 10 minutes extra the first few times you do it, but before long you'll get so used to it that it literally won't take a minute.
I have this same problem ... I don't use recipes so anything is just a guess. Even if I were to measure out the ingredients, guessing number and size of portions is impossible, especially as my husband's portions are larger than mine ...
Usually I just try to eye my plate and guess how much of each ingredient ... It's far from exact, but at least it gives some sort of idea. Doesn't work with everything, though.
Fitness Minutes: (29,134)
464 9/22/13 9:15 P
So many times I cook dinner and recipes have no nutritional info, so it is hard to track unless I spend time I don't always have trying to calculate it. I enjoy cooking and don't always make the same recipes. Any suggestions what you do.
SparkPeople, SparkCoach, SparkPages, SparkPoints, SparkDiet, SparkAmerica, SparkRecipes, DailySpark, and other marks are trademarks of SparkPeople, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
SPARKPEOPLE is a registered trademark of SparkPeople, Inc. in the United States, European Union, Canada, and Australia. All rights reserved.