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KERF Recaps, Day 742: A Guest Shows What 100 Calories of Sadness Looks Like and Kathy Takes Another Beach Vacation

On Wednesday, Kathy has guest blogger Michelle Remkus, a Registered Dietitian (like Kathy) who earned a master’s (unlike Kathy) visit the Kath Buys Real Things blog for a talk about what 100 calories worth of various foods looks like.

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Remkus writes at “Live…Don’t Diet,” and, Kathy writes,

did a cool visual collage of 100 calories 24 different ways to give you an idea of how calorie density varies. Pretty cool! I’ll take the blackberries please!

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So, almonds are equal to gummy bears? Thank you for the diet advice, Guest RD. You are really helping people make awesome diet choices.

This is a totally innovative idea that nobody’s ever done before, not in 1930, an age where eating a pound of tomatoes and “loaf sugar” sounded delicious, I guess —

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— and certainly not in recent years, when people have obviously used the base 10 number system to base their calorie-counting on, since it makes so much sense and has thusly prodded people in totally healthy directions:

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Sure, FitSugar has done its own look at what 100 calories in vegetables looks like (answer: if you’re throwing spinach and carrots and cucumbers and radishes into a bowl and feel like you need to count calories there, you are doing it wrong),

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as has Greatist (with its hilarious recipe for a “Mexican Potato), as has Hungry Girl (who makes shirataki noodles sound more delicious than any of Kathy’s essays on cake) as has Women’s DayFood NetworkLadies’ Home JournalWebMD,  and so on and so on.

But the world totally needed another reminder of this astounding research into Figuring Out Portion Size Of What Will Probably Be 5% of a Day’s Restricted Diet. Remkus uses her years of advanced studies to clue in us hapless fats that some foods take up more room than others, and yet provide the same amount of calories, but you probably don’t know that because your brain is kind of stupid:

Something called “mindless” eating can take over and without you being conscious of it you may devour 500 calories of a snack food. For example only having 13 gummy bears can be difficult when you have a whole bag in front of you.

The piece takes a weird hairpin turn into gambling problem PSA at this point.

If you’ve ever over-indulged and ate a whole bag of potato chips, you aren’t alone. In fact millions fall victim to this unconscious eating. Unfortunately, this mindless eating habit can be the answer to many people’s weight gain.

She talks about

Food psychologist Brain Wansink, PhD

who obviously knows what he’s talking about. HIS NAME IS BRAIN. Dr. Brain used his years of schooling to discover that people ate more if they ate out of “ginormous” buckets and stuff, which is why Kathy switched to eating things out of tiny bowls with tiny decorative souvenir spoons, which has clearly kept her weight at a dainty 26 pounds with no additional effort. Tell us more about this, Remkus, because it all sounds so healthy:

The best approach is to keep the candies, chips, and soda out of view and instead keep healthier foods at eye level.  By filling your refrigerator and pantry with fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy, and whole grains you are more likely to snack on these healthier, lower calorie foods. Another change is to swap out your large bowls, cups, and plates for smaller ones. The smaller our plates are, the less food we can fit on them, and the less food we will eat overall. Lastly, don’t eat in front of the TV or computer.

Remkus then cites an article about how people who were given macaroni and cheese with squash and cauliflower blended in ended up eating fewer calories.  Those people are obviously better at making their health and diet a priority, and I’m sure that has nothing to do with the fact that anyone who could eat that meal would have squash and cauliflower, the time to prepare them, the time to blend them in with macaroni and cheese, and the time to clean those additional dishes. As we all know, people who eat things that come three boxes for a dollar have lots of extra time, and simply make the easy dish because they would rather devote their time to eating food-stamp bonbons in a bubble bath while watching “Long Island Medium.”

In conclusion, she says that you should just learn

to eat mindfully and follow portion control …. Reach for fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy, lean meats, and whole grains.

And ends with a really crappy attempt at good writing:

by eating these healthy foods you get more bang for your buck…or I guess I should say more bang for your calorie.

Especially since this is what she’s actually saying: Eat stuff like spinach and fruit and nuts and lean protein. The lower calorie density will satisfy you more than if you ate a Dollar Menu serving of fries, because they will have more nutrients. And it’s just that easy, isn’t it?

Because we all know that humans are capable of being satisfied just as easily by five gallons of spinach instead of a slice of pizza, right? Because it’s not like anyone has already used up their stores of willpower by the time they get around to making a five-second decision of what food they have the time to eat and the money to purchase.

It’s simple, guys. Just reach for the blackberries and bell peppers that are obviously at your disposal, and if you don’t, just know that you’re getting the judging, pitying glances of everyone with a blog and an RD certification, because they know better.

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Kathy ended the week with posts on Thursday and Friday where she just posted about the “short week” of beach vacation she took with Toddler Carbz and her parents, calling it “Summer’s Last Hurrah.”

This place is just so beautiful. We are lucky to be able to be here! We have also been very lucky with the weather. It has been flawless!

….

We are soaking up every last drop of summer fun! We don’t often get to come to Bald Head in the prime season, but we’re renting a family friend’s 3 bedroom house, and it was the perfect late summer getaway.

Kathy illustrates this with a picture of the wake behind the ferry you have to take to get to Male Pattern Baldness Island, one from the water’s edge of the beach house where they’re staying, one of a fake fish hanging under a “WELCOME” sign on the side of who knows what, this butt-dial of a photo —

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— one of her child running all alone down a boardwalk, and some pictures of her parents actually looking like they’re experiencing joy in the presence of Toddler Carbz

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I hope Buzz knows how spontaneously beautiful and happy she looks in this one.

From the comments:

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But Saint Kathy reminds us that she and her family haven’t been to the island since OMGlast summer, missing out on so many days of doing things you simply can’t do in dumb Charlottesville, like go for walks, eat fakery bread, read “Orange Is the New Black” and drink wine.

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Plus, there’s all that awesome island culture, like visor bans for dudes, “dress denim” and croquet-mandatory “white attire,” available to people who are guests of island property-owners:

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Even though her “precious DSLR” is broken and she has “had to” take photos with her cell phone, she still bravely manages to show her audience how much everything has changed in an entire year. They got to their beach house, cracked some wine, let Toddler Carbz have a nap, and, uh, went to a pool snack bar for nachos, “summery” MillerCoors beers, and a “So cheesy!” pizza. Or, I guess if you’re describing it like Kathy, they

dressed up for dinner and headed to the Peli for pizzas!

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Via Yelp.

They consented to a trip to “some playground fun” for her child, after which they retired to something rather “Motel Hell”-ishly called “family ice cream bowls!”

The next day, Kathy

woke up and went for a quick run

It’s a good thing she specified that, since two-mile runs are so frequent in one’s sleep.

She then selflessly threw herself into the Thanksgiving-scale task of making egg sandwiches for three adults and one small child and dumping blueberries out of a container

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before going to the “Shoal’s [sic] Club,” the private club their home-owning pals got to be members of after passing a credit and criminal background check, paying a $12,000 initiation fee, and $150 a month, so that Kathy could take lots of photos of the back of her son’s and her dad’s heads as they stood on the beach and her interesting decisions about her child’s safety, whether on a golf cart

{I sit next to him so he’s sandwiched between us and act as his safety seat.}

or far, far, far, far away at the Shoals Club pool,

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something so dumb and preposterous it made it to the front page of Smugnom mothership GetOffMyInternets for flouting the American Academy of Pediatrics’ number two pool safety rule:

Whenever infants or toddlers are in or around water, an adult – preferably one who knows how to swim and perform CPR – should be within arm’s length, providing “touch supervision.”

Luckily, Kathy’s pals are there to chime in about how mean it is to care about children’s safety, and, what, do you, like, buckle your kid in, too, like a dick?

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As Kathy would say, do you guys remember when they put 4-Days-Old Carbz in the Boba Wrap and didn’t have him upright or exposed and Kathy similarly dismissed people who expressed concern —

katheats He was OK… We were watching him and fixed shortly after

katheats Face was still up

— but then scrubbed the image from Instagram?!?!

Anyway, after solitary hour at the pool, Kathy amazingly managed to set out a single toaster-pastry’s worth of crumb-scattering fakery shortbread,

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a big bowl O chips

and bowls of mixed greens, tuna, and cheese for her dad and recovering-from-cancer-surgery mom

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before collapsing into a nap from the exhaustion, awaking finally for dinner out at the Rogaine Island Society’s Grillllllle.

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Mom and Dad are taking ME out to DINNER!

Mom and Dad are taking ME out to DINNER!

The family shared six baked oysters “topped with breadcrumbs and pico” for $13, Kathy ordered the $12 fish tacos

which came with a black bean cake on the side.

and coyly consumed some omgalcohol:

And I had an epic glass of wine. Or two…

They ate Breyers ice cream, the brand that so bedevils the New York Times, back at their rented home, and Kathy squealed that it was

my fav!

The next day, they ate fakery bread, eggs, and watermelon, had a “family walk” on the beach, and

spent our mid-morning time by the pool to keep things simple. 

You know, since this family totally over-extends themselves during typically complicated days of eating and activities you do in the dentist’s waiting room when your phone is dead. When they finally needed “a break from the sun,” Kathy revved up her hostess skills to whip up

a tuna salad with red pepper, tomato, capers and pickle, plus mayo and mustard. Served with wheat thins (best crackers!) and two drinks: a little beer and sparkling water.

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She read her child stories, put him to sleep, read, and

I did a little work (this time with no wine)

before what Kathy describes as “a night on the town!” — a free wine tasting that just thrilled Kathy, as

The nice gentleman pouring gave us pretty heavy-handed pours

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But, as usual, the family was forced to retreat to at “the Peli” when Toddler Carbz ruined his mom’s buzz:

We attempted to go to one restaurant in the harbor and had a complete meltdown.

Saying she was “thankful” for the “casual atmosphere,” Kathy drank another MillerCoors beer and ate an “Asian arugula salad” and pizza before “Family ice cream time” back at the rental house in front of the moonlit and softly crashing waves. No, just kidding. They turned on the television for

a little So You Think You Can Dance watching. I just bought tickets for the tour in Richmond and am so excited!!

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For her last day of vacation (before what would surely be a grueling Friday and then, hey, the weekend!) Kathy went for a 30-minute run, using it as the perfect way to prime a day of complaints.

• About her child and her body:

It’s a real struggle for me to run first thing in the morning these days. One because I don’t have a babysitter and Mazen wants to eat and play rather than get in a stroller, but two because my body just feels more tired and stiff than it used to.

• About the ocean’s behavior when they went there after breakfast:

the tide was now very far in and kept us smushed up on the dunes

• About the not-boozy-enough drinks at the Bald Head Island Club:

where mom and I split a pre-lunch pina colada! Not sure they added more than a dash of rum – we didn’t taste or feel a thing!

• About her unbearably smothering family, who, after a lunch of potato chip-topped salads and melted cheese on bread,

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allowed her out shopping so she could buy a new hat and some glass Lily and Laura bracelets for $10 each, to match her new calorie-counter strap.

First time on the golf cart all alone!

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• And about her destructive child:

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They supposedly “dressed up to go out” to “an art reception” at All About Art where there was seemingly free wine and snacks and metal pig sculptures for Kathy’s child to kiss. Deciding that buying fresh fish to cook was too expensive, Kathy et famille returned to the BHI club.

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There, they positioned Toddler Carbz’s toys in frame and had wine, fondue, fish, fries, and “sweet potato fries” for their last meal,

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and Kathy was really upset that she had to go home to her not-at-all-beach-vacation-like life where she can drink wine, read fluff, eat ice cream, and, um, plan for her second-child-postponing vacation to Napa and her trip to see dancers from a TV show in Richmond in a few months.

We finished the trip with more ice cream at the house. We are sad to say goodbye to this beautiful island!

I mean, jeez, Kathy. You have a gold-painted crab and an ornamental oar. If your life were any more littoral, you’d be shaking sand out of your shoes.

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