I have a confession to make. I count calories. Every single teensy, little calorie. And I've done so for years.
I'm not trying to lose weight (well, maybe a pound or two gained in Portland this past August ... damn Voodoo Donut binges), but I am trying not to gain weight. I'd like to stay this size for the rest of my life, so I work hard to keep my calories within the amount allotted by the Lose It app on my iPhone.
It's also a control issue. I'm a bit of a food addict, and this keeps me from overindulging. When I'm not counting (say, on vacation or a holiday), I eat until I'm miserable. Plus, I'm type A to the max, and I've probably got a hint of OCD. Nearly every hour of my life is planned. I don't do spontaneity. Counting calories falls into my overall anal retentiveness. And this is gonna sound super-nerdy, but I think counting calories is fun! Especially when I get to erase consumed calories by recording my daily workouts.
But as y'all know, this Southern girl loves her junk food and fried goodness. I just portion it out and enjoy it in moderation. However, sometimes, it's really nice to have a naturally low-cal meal so I can eat more of it (and save those extra calories for a beer or two later in the day). That was the case with this French Country Stew from Dr. Neal Barnard's Get Healthy, Go Vegan Cookbook:
At only 212 calories for a two-cup serving, this dish is filling and guilt-free. It's got butternut squash for some seasonal goodness, plus cabbage, diced tomatoes, and white beans. I enjoyed it with a slice of Harvest Grain bread from Kroger schmeared with a little Earth Balance and Marmite.
This is the first recipe I've made from Dr. Neal's cookbook, but as you would expect from the good doctor, all of his recipes are based on whole foods. Calorie counts are included, and most meals are less than 300 calories per serving. I love it when cookbooks include calories so I don't have to do the math myself. Anyway, I'll be exploring this book more soon. I've got my eyes on the All-American Scramble Bagel, the Italian Chickpea Nibbles, the Tempeh Burgers, and the Hummus Pizza.
Do you count calories? Or do you have another method of regulating your food intake?