Chocolate Chip Cookies and “Weights and Measures”

Boy wasn’t my last post juicy!

Before I ramble, I wanted to thank you all for your comments on yesterday’s post. Even if you read it but kept silent because perhaps even you are silently struggling with this demon, I hope that at least, as Melie said,  it “struck a nerve” with you. I didn’t mean to say I hate people with eating disorders or that its a “choice”. I think its a disease. My mom had cancer. I didn’t hate my mom, but I hated her cancer. The disorder is not part of the individual.

It would be a little unclassy of me to write about funny pickup lines or what makes me feel stupid after such a heavy post.

So instead, I would like to address some of the comments I received.

Ashley wrote:

“I wanted to ask you how you actually got over the counting/measuring? I tossed both my food scale and other one the other day and have been doing ok without them. It was a big step for me. Any tips as to how to stop the mental tallying? It’s cumbersome, but I feel if I could stop that, I’d be so much further along…”

I think thats an excellent question that even pertains to people without eating disorders. But I will warn you, this is my opinion, everyone is different and somethings work for some and not others but I respect everyone even if they dont agree.

In treatment, I had to measure my cereals and rice, weigh my meats. Its a good step for anyone who needs to gain or loose weight, but lets face it, it makes life suck a little bit. I was always weirded out about putting food on a scale. In culinary school, you MUST use a scale when in the baking courses because an oz of flour is cant be measured by teaspoons or whatever. And baking is a science so you must be exact in that.

But personally (again, some of you may choose to disagree and thats fine too), I dont want my eating habits to be a science. Maybe being obsessed with it so long has made me bored to death of it by now.

SO lets do this is a sort of “step format”:

Step 1: Self assessment

Take a good hard look at your physical health. Are you at a “healthy” weight? I know that question itself is subjective but are you getting your period? Is your hair staying intact (and I don’t mean male pattern balding)? I hate to use the “BMI” scale, but seriously, are you at a very low bmi? My point is, you have to be a stable enough weight to give yourself the “room” to ditch the measuring cups. Because from what I’ve seen, many people loose weight when they try to be intuitive or stop counting. Get yourself to a good weight for you and then consider ditching the counting. In the beginning when I first started treatment, I didn’t have that room. I had to eat a lot to restore the weight and it was only after a few months and with some cleavage that I got the luxury of leaving the measuring cups in the drawer.

Step 2: Cover your bases:

What I mean by this is make sure you have all the components to your meals or snack. Instead of counting calories, I just thought of “bases” I need to cover. Do I have a protein, fat, and carb source in this meal/snack? No need to get anal. If you didn’t have a hunk of protein with dinner, have a protein heavier snack. If you missed a carb, have dessert later. Just keep your day overall balanced. When I first left treatment, I found it weird to not have a “fat source” at breakfast this one time. But I just had a handful of almonds a little later in the day….and speaking of handful…..

Step 3: Get Good at “Eyeballing”

ugh! I hate using the term “eyeball” because its SO Rachel Ray and she annoys me, but what I mean to convey is to get good at estimating a serving of a food. It’s not rocket science and a few extra or more calories that you may or may not consume from the “eyeball” shouldn’t make a significant dent in your weight. So relax! Remember, you should not be at too low or even too high of weight to begin the “no measuring” adventure. So even if you gain or lose a pound, it wont hurt you. I know my bowls that I use at home, and I know how much cereal, yogurt, salad, rice, quinoa, etc fills them when I eat it. I know that a “handful” (I have small hands, mind you) is only about 10 almonds. I think from counting and measuring for so long, I’ve know how much “1 cup” is.

Step 4: Have Set Meals/Snacks: I think if you stick to your meal and snacks, you will have a much easier time ditching the counting. I know, its not exactly intuitive, but it helps. For example, on Tuesdays, I eat my lunch very early because i know I wont be about to eat again until around five. Am I “hungry” for lunch. Not exactly, but I try to stick to a solid eating schedule so I don’t let myself get too hungry. But, even if you have the ability to eat whenever you want, having a stable meal schedule (like a solid sleep schedule) helps!

Step 5. Start eating more things that dont have labels:

Start buying your foods from the farmers market where the only label you see is a price! I think this is the biggest step I’ve taken in the effort to stop counting and even for my overall health. When I was really into my ED, for some reason, things with labels felt “safer” because I knew exactly what was in them. But you want to know the truth, I think the best foods dont have labels and you shouldn’t care whats in them. I don’t count my strawberries or potatoes. I don’t weigh my chicken or fish. I serve myself some, if I want more, I get more. But I’m not scared of eating too many asparagus or eggs (yes, I know eggs actually have labels, but you know what I mean…). I used to eat balance bars but I’ve even ditched those. I make some pretty damn fine homemade cookies that are way better than any bar.

Step 6: Know Thyself:

I know there are some things that I’m terrible with portion controlling. Ice cream being on of them. I can eat it until days end. So what I do is, I go out for ice cream, get a cone or whatever, and thats that. Or I make my own (and its totally more fun to make your own). My point is, know your weak points. Even if you tend to “under-portion”, recognize that. Own it.

Step 7: Cut yourself some slack!

Like I said, its not rocket science. I’m sometime fascinated when I see people act completely nonchalant about food, food intake, calorie, and whatnot. But when you get down to it, its really not all that complicated. Our minds complicate things. Sometimes, ignorance is bliss. So although it can be intimidating to eat a piece of un-presliced bread or ordering steak at a restaurant, I kind of like that “not knowing”. It reminds me of when I was a kid and I thought calories was a disease or something. And don’t beat yourself up if you arent ready to ditch your counting and measuring. It takes time, practice, and patience. And if you aren’t ready to stop counting, no biggie. There are worse things in life. I’ll let you in on a little secret though…its not really all about the food.

So lets here it from you! Have you got any tips on how to ditch measuring/counting/weighing? Do you even want to ditch if you are currently doing all those things?

And note: I DO measure indgredients for when I bake or cook certain things (ie, cookies, waffles, pancakes, etc) beause trust me, you can end up with a big mess if you dont sometimes ;

And speaking of cookies…..incase those thin mints turned you off, I got a chocolate chip recipe to turn you on!

  • 1 1/3 c all purpose flour (I did half coconut flour but you can use all coconut flour for a gluten free version)
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) of butter, room temp
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • two eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Combing the butter and sugar together in a mixing bowl and cream it until it looks like this:

Add the eggs and vanilla and then gradually add the dry ingredients in increments until its all incorporated. Lastly, fold in the chocolate chips. Roll into balls and place about two inches apart on your baking sheet (they grow quite wide!). Bake for 10-15 min or until golden and delicious looking.

Mmmmmm……

O wait, lets balance this snack out

I see a mustache in the future....

thats better 😉

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32 thoughts on “Chocolate Chip Cookies and “Weights and Measures”

  1. I remember one trip to McDonald’s with my friends in 8th grade. My friend and I both got the double cheeseburger meal with a milkshake instead of soda. Our other friend looed at us like we were crazy. She asked us if we knew how many calories were in the meal. I had no idea what she meant. I knew that calories meant energy. Besides that, I didn’t care. I ate what I liked and that was it.
    These days, I do enjoy the not knownig factor. But it is hard to be compeltely okay with it. I sometimes have to stop myself from going to a company’s website to look up the calories. Or if I am cooking something I bought from a bulk bin, I want to make sure that I don’t have more than a serving. Because, surely, the world will explode if I eat more than a serving. It’s so silly really. Food is food. Calories are calories. A surplus or deficit isn’t going to magically kill me or make me into a supermodel. So why agonize?

  2. Rachel Ray….oh gosh….don’t get me started…. 🙂

    but seriously, Eden, i think it’s so great that you wrote this. i’m sure your tips will help and inspire many other who are struggling. step #5 is really bang-on, the healthiest and cleanest foods don’t even have labels!

  3. the cookies look PERFECT!! wow!

    And i loved your comment to me re Skylar/colleges/In Cali…that you’d have her back if she was up in LA. That was so sweet 🙂

    Counting,measuring, never really been into it. I just know that if i am going to go hog wild on a dessert that I should probably be mindful of the other things I eat/ate that day. But I really don’t over think it too much. I just try to keep things in perspective and cut myself slack. Love that one of yours, too!

  4. Aaaaah!! I only just caught up with your last post….at 2:30 a.m. in the morning. Sorry my days have just been crazy as of late…well it will be until this semester ends at least.

    But haha I hardly even need to comment…everyone has pretty much echoed my sentiments. And I’d love to discuss the issue with you in person more, if that’s okay. 🙂

    I think #5 is the key here. My calorie counting just kind of stopped when I went back to Singapore for 5 months. Because the calorie label is not as…established as America’s. And that was also when I started to cook and branch out in my food options, instead of turning to the few foods I can “trust.” Or another way…is to simply let someone else make your meals for you. It really takes off the stress, until you are able to start figuring out your own meals for yourself.

  5. I read your last post and had to step back and think before I could comment. I know that anger. I still have that anger. I have a close relative who I’m compared to that is very, very thin and who will talk about weight/eating too much all of the time. It has gotten to the point where I have trouble seeing her because it makes me so angry. It makes me angry when priorities are skewed (as mine have been any times) and health is given the backseat.

    Anyways…there’s a lot of emotions being dealt with lately and I’m happy for that.

    As for measuring- buying from markets and bulk bins was a great way for me to re-introduce foods I may have feared. To this day, if I’m buying nuts, chocolate ect. I love to buy from bulk bins and get whatever amount I crave without thinking twice about the calories or serving size. It gives me a little freedom to enjoy it more!

  6. I calorie counted way into my recovery and ironically enough, what made me stop was medical school. because I’m in a special program, we were given free lunch twice a week and there were so many social things that I had/wanted to do that involved food…so counting just stopped being practical. Being more social or eating with other people definitely helped me because the last thing you want is for all of your new classmates to classify you as the weird girl with the food scale!

    Great tips Eden!

  7. You are so right – it’s the mind that complicates things, not the fact that a food has calories and we know the amount. For example, when I eat a banana, I do know that it has around 100 calories and the thought DOES cross my mind, but I also think about how ripe it is, how it tastes, what it’s doing to nourish my body, etc. I don’t think we can “erase” the knowledge from our minds, just learn to not give it too much power.

  8. amen to the slack cutting! everyone should give themselves a break it’s just too stressful and annoying to have to measure scoop and think about every second of every food!

  9. I love this post! Great tips for so many girls who likely will benefit tremendously from you:) Your cookies look so good-YUM! Do you use Ghiradelli chocolate chips btw? They look so similar to them and I use them…all the time:)

  10. Coming from a non-disordered eating person who is on a mission to help people who need to lose weight (and there are A LOT of them) lose weight. I think weighing and measuring has it place. Personally, I see measuring as a tool. Just like the scale. A tool. A hammer has it’s place. I don’t get emotional over a hammer so I don’t get emotional over a scale. Easier said than done for some people but with regular practice, I think most people can use them to gather helpful data when needed with success.

  11. I didn’t comment yesterday because I was too busy pulling myself together…it made me really emotional. (I know, I’m a sensitive person…and I’m not ashamed…anymore)
    Anyway, I had just been trying to explain to someone else earlier in the day about why people in recovery from eating disorders are often really annoyed by people who have the disorder, or they have no patience for them or are angered by them or whatever. People tend to think that is extremely hypocritical or unsympathetic, and I couldn’t articulate exactly why it angers me to see someone with an anorexic mindset. Especially since- like you said- I’m admittedly not totally cool with food and exercise quite yet. Anyway, you helped to explain what I couldn’t, so I forwarded the post to my friend. I am so sorry to hear about your friend, but thanks for writing the post because it is just too important not to talk about.

    Re: calorie counting- avoiding food with labels is a big thing for me. I don’t want to know! I just want to eat and let it just be food without having a million numbers associated with it. Making things home made and using whole foods that don’t come in a package really helps with this.

  12. I dislike prepacked things sometimes because who is some random company to tell me how much a serving is? What if I don’t want exactly six oz of yogurt? What if I want more or less than a stupid hundred calories of chips? (and by the way, a hundred calories of chips or cookies from the vending machine is apparently like 6 chips, and its still the same price as a whole bag of pretzels… stupid).
    I like bulk! Always buy in bulk! Then you can eat exactly how many of something you want without having to finish something you don’t want or waste a lot of stupid packaging.

    I do like prepackaged protein/ energy bars though, in case I go somewhere and don’t like the food, at least I won’t get hungry. Or when shopping so I don’t buy m & ms instead…

    I get so tired of hearing people talk about calories and “trying to eat healthy” and then watch them not do it. Just eat your damn vegetables, and if you do that then eat the stupid cookie and stop talking about it.

    Happy Sunday! Hope it’s a lot warmer there than it is here in this den of ice…

  13. I used to measure and weigh, etc. and it got way too hard to keep it up. I am so much happier just eating like a regular person without concerning myself with calorie counts, etc. It is so freeing. I only wish I didn’t take so long to get here!

    Great post Eden – the cookies and your words. They are equally awesome.

  14. thanks for the post but in the opposite sense. i have recently thought it WAS time to ditch scales and go with whole intiuitive eating thing but never really myself the question AM I HEALTHY at this point to start. consequently have gone and dropped a wee amount. thanks for making me see that the time will come and tthat when it does i have some really useful methods to help me. by the way i am sorry for my bei ng a total tool in lat comment and my apologies go out again to April.

    • yea, again, like Jenn said, its a tool. Sometimes you need a hammer and some times you dont. But if counting and measuring works for you and prevents you from being under/over weight, there is no shame in using it.

  15. Thanks for the shoutout! 🙂 This is great advice! I also think that doing the majority of my food shopping at the farmers market was a huge shift! I cannot say that I am completely done with measuring, but I’m not obsessing so all is good I guess. As you said, measuring by itself is not necessarily bad and can be a really valuable tool in certain cases as long as it’s not taken too far.

  16. I’ve been stalking your blog for a long time. (Stalking? Is that what I should call it? You never can tell with these things…)

    I just wanted you to know that your honesty in matters concerning your ED is truly inspiring. You don’t deny it exists or try to run from it and that’s one of the biggest issues I’m always having. It’s so easy to say, “I’m fine,” especially when you’re at a higher weight but I think we all need to recognize weighing grams of lettuce isn’t “fine”.

    So, yeah, thanks.

    P.S. You really are beautiful

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