Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Eat This. . . am I being PUNKED?

For a while now I have been a fan of the Eat This, Not That series of books by David  Zinczenco. I love when he's on the Today show stumping the ancors. And I love it when he brings props like this deep fried mozzerella stick has as much fat as a stick of butter or that small order of fast food fries has as much sodium as a whole box of slatines. But now they've come out with a newbie, and I must say it's my favorite. Cook This, Not That. It offers tasty recipes you can cook at home to cure your cravings for high fat and calorie restaraunt foods.
See I'm one of these people that doesn't do well with deprivation. I try to stay positive and focus on what I can have and how healthy my body is, but all I can do is zero in on all the things that I can't have. I have dreams of greasy pizza, and heaping plates of pasta, and full fat ice cream. And I don't even particularily care for ice cream in the regular order of things. So when a book comes out (with big glossy pictures, I might add) that compares different foods, I'm always crazily surprised.
For instance, on page 276 there is a recipe for Chicken Parmesan for 340 calories and 11g of fat. Are you kidding me? 340 calories! And as a bonus it rings across the checkout counter as $3.79/ serving. Crazy!
On the flip-side you could go to Romano's Macaroni Grill and order their Chicken Parmigiana for $13.25 and a whopping 850 calories. Now, I'm sure there are healthier options at Macaroni Grill, but come on.
Another thing about me is that I am a big weekend breakfast person. I like something sweet and starchy. And I even have a favorite. Big shout out to The Freight House in beautiful Phillips, Wisconsin. These people make the absolute best French Toast on the face of the planet. They bake their own bread and they slice it thick. I kid you not, it is like there was never French Toast before the Freight House. They are a mom and pop operation and they don't exactly offer nutritional information but I could immagine. Thought I'd rather not.
Luckily, I only vacation in Phillips, so I can't have their French Toast every Sunday. But there are other options. Aren't there always?
Cook This, Not That offers an alternative. They have a recipe for French Toast with Vanilla Bourbon Sauce and Carmelized Bananas. No, I'm not making this up. I have made it and it is unbelievably good. I'm talking eyes rolling back in your head, tounge lolling out the side of your mouth good. And, drumroll please, it's only 490 calories and 18g of fat. Yes, I know that's still a lot. But we're talking special occasion Sunday brunch here. Definately not every day. As much as I love it, I've only made it once in two months. And compare it to Bob Evans Stacked & Stuffed Caramel Banana Pecan Hotcakes for 1,493 calories and 70g of fat and we're taling a caloric bargain here.
There are even delicious dessert recipies that manage to satidfy even my wicked big sweet tooth. Right now I'm liking the Crispy Apple Turnover which uses puff pastry and clocks in at 200 calories each and 8g of fat. Seriously - a 200 calorie dessert that doesn't taste like artificially sweetened air. The book compares it to the Cheesecake Factory's Warm Apple Crisp. While I have never actually had this dessert, I have set at the same table as someone who has and the smell alone is intoxicating. YUM. However, had I known (and I feel pretty secure speaking on the eaters behalf) what the damage was I would have run as fast as I could in the opposite direction. Are you ready? 1,355 calories and 28g of saturated fat. Seriously. That is almost a full days worth of calories for me. For dessert. That is crazy.
After reading all these books it is not hard to understand why Americans are so overweight. Calories and fat are insane and portions are out of control. These simple substitutions offer easy solutions without leaving you feeling deprived of anything. Perfect for people like me who grudge all those skinny bitches out there who chant gleefully, "Oh I can just eat anything I want. I guess I just have a naturally high metabolism." every Carl's Jr Thick Burger they consume.
And by the way, I don't by that naturally high metabolism bull shit for a minute. Tell the truth, you skinny bitches. We know its cigarettes and Red Bull. Naturally high metabolism, my ass.

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