Quality Not Quantity
February 13th, 2015
Lovely Husband is a firm believer in “quality not quantity”. This is most evident in the choice of “toilet tissue” that we have in the smallest room here at Hudson HQ.
LH is particularly particular and so we have the extra soft quilted variety. Don’t get me wrong, LH has very good “green” credentials, but having tried the “recycled paper” options has decided they are not for him. At first glance the “packet with the puppies on” looks like an extravagance. If you look at the cost per sheet information it looks a lot more pricey, but the fact is that we use two-thirds less of the posh paper than we did when we briefly switched to “economy mode” and so, price wise, it actually balances out – but the bonus is LH has a happy bottom – which, in my view, is a big bonus.
I’ve discovered something similar on my weight loss journey. One of my favourite foods is cheese. In the past I have not exercised restraint when it came to portion control and my cheese on toast would actually be a piece of bread at near collapse due to the sheer weight of cheddar that I have managed to pile high on my sliced white. At the start of my WLR journey I did make the switch to half-fat cheddar and also became a fan of soft white cheese as a filling for my jacket spuds. I still buy the half-fat varieties and it is a useful ingredient in my WLR meal plans.
But now I allow myself the indulgence of buying a small piece of full-fat-extra-flavoured cheese. I don’t go mad. It is just a small block… sometimes flavoured with chilli; sometimes a mass of blue veins; or livened up with a slosh of port and a clove of garlic.
On the WLR-database, if I check it on a weight-for-weight basis against its half-fat cousin, then it fairs badly. It looks like the “work of the devil” in terms of being a weight-loss saboteur. However, I don’t eat it on a weight-for-weight basis. It is so flavoursome that I only need the tiniest amount to perk up a potato; I only need a few grated slivers to liven up my salad sandwich; it only takes a few small cubes to properly pack a punch in a ploughman’s.
My other indulgence is sun-dried tomatoes. I use these sparingly (and I think I drive other shoppers mad in my local supermarket when I’m filling my pot. It is a time consuming business for me. I put a few tomatoes in and then squash them down to get rid of most (if not all) of the oil in which they are sitting; I add a few more and drain again; and I repeat the slow process until the pot is full. When I use them at home I take them out and rinse them under the tap and blot them on kitchen paper to remove even more of the oil. I no longer have spread of any variety with my food, and I know that fats are an essential nutritional requirement and so the tomatoes, as well as being really tasty in a wrap or a pitta, provide me with the small amount of dietary fat that I need as well as tempting my tastebuds. And, as with the toilet tissue, I only use to need a very small amount to change something that might be bland and (dare I say it) boring, to something that is a real treat to eat.
I’ve said it before and will no doubt repeat it often here at the Headspace, but part of why WLR works is because nothing is “off limits”. Nothing is “banned”; no-one will tut and sigh at my “I love chilli-cheddar” confession.
It is the same with my sweet tooth tendencies. I can’t do “sugar free” sweets or drinks… (let’s just say the toilet tissue bill increases in direct proportion to the amount of “sugar free” I eat… my body just doesn’t like it and makes strenuous efforts to expel it from my system as quickly and as vigorously as possible - enough said). So I tend to stick to tried and trusted recipes when it comes to all things “pudding”. The WLR apple crumble (recipe on the database) is perfect for cold winter evenings. It is comforting and sweet and delicious. However, I can’t eat crumble without custard but am not a fan of the half-fat varieties and so, instead of drowning my crumble in that, I prefer instead to have “full fat custard” but limit myself to just a few tablespoons. The quantity may not be there but the quality means that it is a really delicious desert, which doesn’t do too much damage, and allows me to be decadent (by way of “rich-not-runny” custard).
When it comes to eating out… I apply the same principle. I never have a starter and now will select a starter as my main course. Baked camembert with Italian salad is a particular favourite – not what you instantly think would be a good choice in terms of shedding inches, but because it is starter the serving size is very small; the salad is naked (i.e. undressed!) but it is really tasty (and so hot when it arrives that it takes a good while to eat – so I rarely finish before the other diners). When it comes to the matter of desert – more often than not I will say “no” and opt instead for a really lovely cup of coffee to round off my evening – but sometimes my tastebuds are tickled by the menu and my strategy here is to eat half of what is served to me. I cut it into two when it arrives and eat it slowly and really savour the taste. By doing this my stomach gets the “full” signal so I am never tempted to start “the second half” and I am never short of volunteers when I make my “I can’t manage this can anyone help me”… announcement.
We are so lucky nowadays to have a wide range of healthy options available to us… whether these are home cooked or picked up at the supermarket. We can have full-fat/half-fat/no-fat versions of every dairy product known to man. Our choice of meat ranges from “hearty” to “lean” right down to “extra lean”. We have endless means of reducing the fat and calorie intake of our food without having to compromise too much on taste and texture. But sometimes… just sometimes, it’s okay to go all out; sometimes “ a little of what you fancy” really does do you good. Sometimes quality not quantity really can turn a meal into a feast and a little of what you fancy really can do you good.
Have a great weekend and I hope your tastebuds are well and truly tickled.
With a hug