Lesson 619 – Feeding the Flock

I know I’ve fallen behind a little on this blog. Trust me, it’s not for lack of love but rather for lack of time. Flock members have gotten sick and chicks have returned to college. There just hasn’t been time to reflect on life lessons learned from the flock (but to be a little more accurate, there’s been time to reflect, there just hasn’t been time to record.) If the truth be known, I haven’t even had time to make that pie (but I swear I will this week, and you’ll all hear about it.)

So I’m working on a schedule to avoid disruptions like this in the future, maybe I’ll write the posts at night, maybe on the weekends, or maybe just really, really early in the mornings. But they will get done.

In the meantime, I’d like to talk about flock nutrition. I’ve talked about chicken nutrition in the past (and will again now that the weather is changing and so are biological needs) but this time I’d like to talk about nutrition for our flock of kids (and anyone who has been reading this blog knows that there are great similarities between fowl chicks and human chicks.)

It started innocently enough. I shared a photo on my facebook page of how dinner plate size has increased in the US over the years from 9 inches in 1950 to up to 12 inches in 2012. It thought it was an interesting statistic.

Then one of my friends told me, that if I thought that was interesting I should read “Mindless Eating” which then led me to a book called “The 9 inch “Diet”” which blew me away.

You know those funny pictures that can either be a rabbit or an old man depending on how you look at it, but once you see the rabbit you can never undo seeing the rabbit? That’s how I felt when I read “The 9 inch “Diet”” Over the years I’ve been so careful to teach my kids portion control, it’s a huge part of how I control our food budget and how I try to keep them healthy. Then along came the portion plate guidelines that made it even easier for us. 1/2 of the plate should be vegetables, ¼ carbs, and the last ¼ of the plate should be protein.

Sounds pretty good until you realize that when you are using HUGE plates, ¼ of that plate is a lot of food (even though you think you are eating within guidelines.) This explains so much. It explains why people can never seem to lose weight even when they are following healthy eating standards. It also explains why my kids put on weight once they go off to college (well that and the late night pizzas) Many colleges dispense with dishes all together and just use trays. It’s a losing battle to maintain or lose weight when you are serving meals on plates the size of Nebraska.

This is our ex-standard dinner plate. It measures 11 inches across.

This is our new dinner plate. It measures 9 inches across.

This is our old plate with our new plate. See the difference? Yup, that’s how much Americans have increased our plate size over the years. Pretty disturbing isn’t it?

For the next month, this family is going to use only 9 inch plates (I’ve already removed all the larger plates.) We all weighed ourselves and I’ll be reporting any changes in weight (not any actual weights, my daughters can relax about that one.) But not that weight is the most important thing. I’m also going to keep an eye on whether we as a family, eat less overall (which could mean that I might get to buy less which means cost savings.)

It’s important to note that I’m not expecting the kids to lose weight, all of them are at a healthy weight. I will be interested to see if Marc and I lose weight (because both of us are not at the ideal healthy weight.) There will be no restrictions on food, if anyone want seconds or even thirds have at it, it’s just that they all have to use our new 9 inch plates to put those helpings on.

I’ll let you know how it goes.


Filed under Inspiration, Life Lessons, Mama Hen, Points to ponder

7 responses to “Lesson 619 – Feeding the Flock

  1. Great article Wendy!
    Here’s how adding backyard chickens helped me shed some pounds just for “good maintenance”. I am active but I could lose a few just so I dont have to change pant size:
    2 boiled eggs every AM and a portion of Yougurt
    Lunch is light but I adpot the “half” strategy: take HALF of what you think you would have in terms of carbs (bread, pasta, rice, etc.)
    DInner: use that 9 inch plate and no repeats.
    These are things that I consider “manageable” and something one will not quit after a while (which is typical of weight loss programs, don’t fall into that trap :-))

    A good walk helps too but I confess just keeping that regime above on food intake has helped me shed some pounds.

  2. Rosemarie Rung

    I remember a couple of years ago, some friends of ours from Switzerland were visiting and we picked them up at the airport and went to the North End for lunch. When we were served they looked shockingly at each other and then one of them remembered and said, “Oh, that’s right, we are in the US now.” That has always stuck with me as a reminder of American overeating. Good luck, Flock, and after a few weeks, eating on a larger plate will seem obscene.

  3. We lived in Germany for the academic year 2004-05, and picked up some household items from a family that was returning to the States, including their dinnerware. When I unpacked I showed my husband the dishes, and asked him why we had so many salad plates, but only one dinner plate? Yep, what we took for a dinner plate was their serving plate, and the salad plates were dinner plates.

  4. We gave a friend of ours (someone who is a fabulous cook and hostess) a little set of tasting plates that I picked out a present recently. They hold about 2 ozs of a soup or a mousse or any other little nosh. A guy in our crowd earnestly was confused and took me aside later. Couldn’t understand the concept, that there was just this little taste of food
    “I love what this woman cooks, and would want more”
    “Well that’s all you’d get; it’s a tasting not an entree”
    “No, as good a hostess as she is, I would expect that she’d have more in the kitchen, and she’d spend a lot of time going back for more for everyone. Not an efficient use of her time.”
    Time to start with the smaller dinner plates….

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