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Weigh your steak before or after grilling?

Friday, June 25, 2010

Different cuts of meat vary in how much they shrink during cooking - chicken breasts, pork chops, various cuts of steak, ground beef patties, etc.

When you enter the number of ounces of your chicken, pork or beef into your nutrition tracker, are you entering the pre-cooked weight or the cooked weight?

You can easily see when you grill that water and fat are dripping out of your food.

How much does that alter the "total ounces" of the food that actually enters your mouth?

Which is the PROPER and MOST ACCURATE weight to use when you're counting calories or fat?

What do you think?

Have you found any info on Spark People that addresses this?

Inquiring minds want to know, lol.



Ok. As suggested I checked the nurtrition message board in the FAQ I found this:

How do I know if the recommended serving size is cooked or uncooked when I look at it in the food database?

Cooked vs. uncooked…that is the question. However, standard serving sizes are always listed in a ready to eat state. When you are dishing the food item onto your plate, this is when the measuring and weighing begins. These standard portions are perfect examples:

Meat: 3 ounces, cooked
Vegetables: 1 cup, raw
Vegetables: ˝ cup cooked
Pasta, Noodles, Rice, Oatmeal: ˝ cup cooked
But, many times recipes do not use these standard portion sizes. Here are a few tips to help determine how much is being used:

Meat contains 7 grams of protein per cooked ounce.
Example: If the nutrient analysis for a pork chop recipe indicates 35 grams of protein/serving, you can estimate that approximately 5 ounces of cooked meat is used for the serving.

THANK YOU ALL for responding! I learned some valuable information today. Isn't Spark People a great place!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KAYYVAUGHN 6/27/2010 12:35PM


Thanks for all that information. You are a wealth of knowledge. Kay

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ACIMPEGGY 6/25/2010 7:29PM

    I'm glad you found the information. When I started to read I was thinking it should be after.

What I have trouble with is 'ounces.' I have looked for one of those little scales in a few stores. Maybe I'll find one yet.

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JENNY888 6/25/2010 11:04AM

    I have always thought weigh it before cooking but now I don't know. I would suggest putting the questions on the nutritional message board. I am sure Dietitian Becky will chime in with the correct answer. I have found that to always be the case. She is great.

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KOOCH4 6/25/2010 10:52AM

    I am going to try it both ways and see if there's much of a difference.
Thanks for addressing this.

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FISHINGLADY66 6/25/2010 10:27AM

    I always weigh my food in the cooked stage. Since you do lose some water and fat in cooking you are not eating it. I don't know the politically correct answer, but that is what I do.

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MORTICIAADDAMS 6/25/2010 10:22AM

    Some calorie counters specify that the meat is cooked. I cook all my meat well done so a lot of the fat is rendered out. I purchase leaner cuts too as I prefer them. I always track in cooked ounces.

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LIZZY63 6/25/2010 8:21AM

    All food should be weighed after cooking/in the ready to eat state, unless other wise stated in the tracker.

As foods lose water/fat/shrink etc then you need to weigh what you are actually eating, not what it was raw/prior to cooking as that is not the same.

Hope that helps

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PJSTIME 6/25/2010 8:08AM

    Good question. I'm not sure either.

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KAYYVAUGHN 6/25/2010 8:04AM

    The food tracker often asks for ounces, but I have no idea. I can see the ounces on the packages of a steak or another meat, but is it the same when cooked?

Please someone address this question. I'm sure many are wondering and would appreciate an answer.

Thanks Karen for bringing this issue to our attention.


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LEOSMIMI 6/25/2010 8:03AM

  I have often thought about this. I believe meat is weighed prior to cooking to determine calories. I could be wrong and would be interested to know what is correct.

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What's YOUR best Smoothie?

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

I'm looking for a tasty, LOW calorie smoothie recipe.

I did look on Spark recipes, but I'd like some of YOUR personal faves!

I'm wondering what's a good mixer besides yogurt and/or soymilk/milk?

Care to share?



  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DARLENEK04 6/23/2010 10:51PM

  I cant drink soy milk because of thyroid problems, so I have
Unsweetened almond milk by Blue Diamond at Walmart. One cup
is only 40 calories, has 1 gr. protein and 1 of fiber, low
carb too.
You can have 1 or 1.5 cups, with blueberries or banana or
any fruit, pineapple is good too. Pop in a few ice cubes. I
put cinnamon in, some flax seed and wheat germ.

I love the smoothie with strawberries also.


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FISHINGLADY66 6/23/2010 10:12PM

    I buy the WW smoothies that comes in a powder form. You can make them with milk or water. I love the Chocolate for only 50 calories. I put a Tbls spoon of low fat peanut butter, a hand full of ice, and a packet of Sweet n Low. Yum Yum .

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--KREN 6/22/2010 6:33PM

    Ok, my FIRST smoothie! 1 small banana, 1/2 cup vanilla soy milk and 1/2 cup frozen sliced strawberries with a one serving small packet of Sweet-N-Low. I added a handful of ice cubes and Wow! It was GOOOOD! This had about 170 calories.

I'll try the cantaloupe another day. Sounds wonderful.



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READINGDOC 6/22/2010 6:28PM

    Try 1/2 a ripe canteloupecut up in chunks. Mix with 8oz of crushed ice and 2 packets of splenda and blend until smooth. This is really smooth and refreshing, especially on a hot day.
I hope that you enjoy this one.

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PJSTIME 6/22/2010 11:22AM

    I do soy milk, frozen berries (prefer strawberries), sweetener (if you want) and ice cubes put in blender. YUM the ice makes it thicker and cold.

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JENNY888 6/22/2010 11:15AM

    I like a half banana, non-fat soy, rice, or almond milk, 1/4 cup non fat yogurt, a little vanilla, and a shake of Cinnamon along with any fresh fruit I have on hand. I freeze fresh fruit in cut up pieces on a cookie sheet and then package it in zip lock bags so I can add what I feel like that day.

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MORTICIAADDAMS 6/22/2010 11:12AM

    I've never had a smoothie but I like unsweetened almond milk. It might be good to try of Hood Calorie Countdown Dairy Beverage. The chocolate is delicious and great on calories.

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Romance with a Smile!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

They strolled down the lane together,
The sky was studded with stars.
They reached the gate in silence
And he lifted down the bars.
She neither smiled nor thanked him,
Because she knew not how.
For he was just a farmer's boy,
And SHE was a Jersey cow!

A rhyme from my childhood. . .

I once knew a Jersey cow personally and bought a gallon of milk from her about 3 times a week. The cream was so thick, almost 50% of the jar was creme. Made wonderful butter and still had really thick, creamy milk.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GOALIEGRANDMA3 6/22/2010 2:59PM

    You had me going...

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ACIMPEGGY 6/22/2010 2:07PM

    I love it! I remember that one. How about, "I never saw a purple cow. I never hope to see one. But one thing I can tell you sure: I'd rather see than be one!"


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Might as well be HAPPY!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Now and then people comment on my HAPPY Spark Page.

I figured out when I was in my late twenties that Happiness is a decision. We make it ourselves. Or NOT.

I was having a lot of difficulty with someone in my life and with a great deal of effort I managed to change my approach and things really got better. Wow, I really affected her. Or so I thought.

Then I heard several other people complaining about her. They had the same complaints as I did before I "changed her". That was when I realized that SHE hadn't changed at all. I had. And the next thought that came thundering in was, "We really do make our own hell."

So the opposite must be true too.

Synchronistically, (Don't you love the way the Universe works?) I found this poem, loved it, memorized it. Forty something years later, it's still with me. The last line sums up the philosophy of life I began to adopt way back then.

The Penitent

I had a little Sorrow,
Born of a little Sin,
I found a room all damp with gloom
And shut us all within;
And, "Little Sorrow, weep," said I,
"And, Little Sin, pray God to die,
And I upon the floor will lie
And think how bad I've been!"

Alas for pious planning - -
It mattered not a whit!
As far as gloom went in that room,
The lamp might have been lit!
My little Sorrow would not weep,
My little Sin would go to sleep --
To save my soul I could not keep
My graceless mind on it!

So I got up in anger,
And took a book I had,
And put a ribbon on my my hair
To please a passing lad,
And, "One thing there's no getting by --
I've been a wicked girl," said I:
"But if I can't be sorry, why,
I might as well be glad!"

Edna St. Vincent Millay

Happiness is an inside job!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ACIMPEGGY 6/22/2010 2:09PM

    All 'feelings' are a decision! Happiness, joy, satisfaction in what we have. I prefer those to the so-called 'negative ones.'


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SUPREME5 6/19/2010 8:42PM

    great blog

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NANCY- 6/19/2010 10:17AM

    It is so true that "We really do make our own hell."
Attitude is everything.

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JUSTJO66 6/19/2010 8:00AM

    So true. Love the poem and the attitude.
Happy people always act like magnets....they just draw others in. It's as if they have this special glow/light that everyone wants to share.

Thanks for sharing your light with us Karen. :o)

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HAPPY-DESTINY 6/18/2010 10:51PM

    Might as well!! emoticon

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FISHINGLADY66 6/18/2010 10:07PM

    I have never heard this poem before, but I love it. I will copy it and read it when I need a little lift. Your the emoticon emoticon

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    We share the same philosophy and a love of Edna. LOL.

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JEANNE229 6/18/2010 10:20AM

    Karen, I've missed talking with you lately. LOVE LOVE LOVE this outlook. My blog this last Monday is right along these lines.


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KAYYVAUGHN 6/18/2010 8:57AM

    Thanks for the positive email. The poem is so true.

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PJSTIME 6/18/2010 8:57AM

    I have never read this poem before. Love the last line. "I might as well be glad" does say it all let's all be glad.

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BOYfriend, GIRLfriend OR . . . ?

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Are you over 40?

Keep reading.

Are you NOT married?

Read on.

If you are over 40 and not married, WHAT do you call your partner, your romantic interest? You know, the person who would have been called your boyfriend or girlfriend when you were 20?

It feels pretty silly to be over 40, over 50, over 60, etc. etc. and still introduce the love in your life as my boyfriend or my girlfriend, doesn't it?

SURELY, the mature, single people of the world can coin a word or phrase that expresses this more properly, more pleasantly, in a word or phrase that isn't awkward!

Do you really want to say "significant other"? Nope.

I've heard some men say this is "my lady". Don't think a woman wants to introduce someone as "my man". sigh

Can't we come up with something that's as universally accepted as boyfriend and girlfriend but more suited to older singles?

What is YOUR idea?


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CAROLEE1945 7/4/2010 10:20AM

    I enjoyed reading this because I had totally forgotten the terms "old man" and "old lady" that were used in the 60's. Isn't it hilarious to think we were all in our 20's and those were the terms being used???? Also, isn't it funny that we are over 60 and the period of the 60's had a huge influence on all of us, no matter what part of the country we lived in??? This would make a good topic for a blog.

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SOPHIEMAE2007 6/13/2010 8:23PM

    Good question! I've often wondered about it too. I am not dating right now and I am over 40. I probably would still call the guy my boyfriend, but no it doesn't sound "mature" for someone over 40.

I've heard "ladyfriend" use by my brother when he was dating and over 40. I've heard partner used, but I don't care for that myself. Beau sounds southern and I am not southern, but I like it.

So again good question, maybe it would depend on the person you are with and what they want to be called.

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    I like the term "life partner" or "male companion" or "soul mate". But "romantic partner" or "love interest" or "sweetheart" or "date" would be okay depending on the level of commitment.

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ACIMPEGGY 6/10/2010 2:16PM

    Life partner, if that's what he/she is...otherwise just 'friend.' (The person to which you're introducing he/she can certainly see their gender)

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OLDMAMA4 6/10/2010 2:05PM


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GOALIEGRANDMA3 6/10/2010 1:51PM

    lady friend, gentleman friend???

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JURI62 6/10/2010 1:26PM

    I talked to my older sister about this awhile back. I too thought boyfriend seemed silly at mid 40s...she told me to introduce him as my sex monkey!!!...lol...needless to say that didn't work for me, but it did make boyfriend seem more appealing...finally I married him..end of problem

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RONIE11 6/10/2010 12:57PM

    well I remember a time when people referred to each other as either 'old man' or 'old lady' thats still used today but not very popular.. i never liked introducing my now hubby as my fiance.. that sounded pretentious to me.. but thats just me.. my better half is always out there... my sweety,, my honey. hmmm definately food for thought... I think just a name would surfice.. is it important to introduce him as something other than his first name??? I know we all do it.. Main squeeze might get a chuckle out of some.. If you were old enough I would think beau would work... I kinda like that one best.... and he could call you his lady...

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BAILEYS7OF9 6/10/2010 11:20AM

    emoticon I am over 40, I am not married. I am living w/ my soul mate! emoticon

I still say boy friend and ocassionally my SO, as in 'SO', not significant other. Depending on who I am talking to, he is MY MAN.

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NANCY- 6/10/2010 10:25AM

    Recently on CNN Anderson Cooper humorous exchange with Donna Brazile was on this very topic.
Apparently the new term is "boo" for boyfriend or girlfriend

According to the Urban Dictionary boo is a term that is derived from the French word "beau"

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TAZZYM150 6/10/2010 10:10AM

    I am 46 and my bf is 57 he calls me his girlfriend and i call him my bf works for us.

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BELTONWALKER67 6/10/2010 9:42AM

    I like Friend! My former husband & I meet several times a year at different functions and it just didn't sound right to be introduced as ex-husband or ex-wife, so we decided to start introducing each other as the father of my children and the mother of his children.

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KOOCH4 6/10/2010 9:37AM

    What food for thought...

Don,t really know , maybe "MY HONEY"would suffice .

Boyfriend ,does sound silly ,at an older age.

Thanks for the giggle emoticon

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FISHINGLADY66 6/10/2010 9:34AM

    Hubby and I met a guy at the gym. He is there at the same time we are every day. We always say hi and talk a minute or two. Yesterday my DH was finished with his workout before me and went to the lounge to have coffee while I was still working out. The friend came up to me and said "Where's your boyfriend?" He knows we are married. I thought it was cute that he put it that way. I understand what you are saying about this and I don't have an answer for you.

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JENNYMOMMA3 6/10/2010 9:09AM

    I was married once to my high school sweetheart for several years and it was a disaster. Currently my significant other and I have been together for close to 6 years. We have no plans to get married anytime soon. Sometimes I refer to him as my SO if I am talking to someone new but generally he's my boyfriend. He often calls me his "woman".....whatever, it all works!! LOL!! emoticon

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KAYYVAUGHN 6/10/2010 9:01AM

    This is my "special friend."


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MMLEIKAM 6/10/2010 8:57AM

    I'm almost 30 and I'm not married but have been with someone for 4 years. We also have a child together. I feel really weird calling him my boyfriend because it just seems so...juvenile, I guess. Anyway, I just call him my husband and he calls me his wife, even though we aren't married. Seems weird to some people, but I'm more comfortable with it.

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