For years, my weight was rising, and all my subtle attempts to reverse the trend seemed fruitless. My husband’s low carb dieting plan would result in him dropping twenty pounds by Friday. Not so for me. He suggested I do a calorie counting plan, which I resisted. It’s too hard. It’s too inconvenient. It’s not really sustainable. I had plenty of excuses. Eventually, I gave in, and this is what I discovered.
Everything I love is high in calories. Everything. Seriously, this is tragic.
See, I knew fried foods and fatty foods would be high in calories. What I mistakenly thought, was that carbs were low in calories. I thought meats being high in protein would be high in calories, where as basic white rice would be low in calories. So not true. And so not fair.
I could have guessed the sweet fried donuts would be high in calories, but I hadn’t realized that eating two donuts for breakfast was nearly half of my allotted calories for an entire day. (about 300-350 calories each). WHAT? And my favorite, a single orange scone from Panera- 540 calories. Basically, if I ate one scone at each of my three meals in a day and nothing else, I would exceed my daily calorie intake by over 100 calories. Just steal all of my joy would you.
Here is a list of the most basic carb staples, not even the best:
a cup of white rice- 242 calories
a cup of pasta- 221 calories
a plain bagel -290 calories
People this is what I eat for joy. Give me chicken baked in cream of chicken soup, served over rice and hold the chicken. I just want the high calorie cream sauce over my mound of rice.
French bread, Italian bread, naan, tortillas, cornbread, Hawaiian rolls, chapati, soft pretzels, johnny cakes: I’m an equal opportunity lover of the breads of the world. Some of these I will make from scratch. I have a tortilla press. Sometimes I even make tortilla chips from scratch. I don’t even want to know how many calories they are.
Let’s talk a minute about fried dough. I have made my own Native American/Navajo Fried bread, and it’s amazing. Grandmom’s mashed potato doughnuts are a Fat Tuesday tradition. I’ve made funnel cakes and once burned my hand something awful while making mandazi. And while we’re frying things, can we discuss fried Oreos and cannolis? I’ve not personally made either, but they are the foods dreams are made of.
And if we’re looking more at a solid dinner food, we have empanadas and Samosas. Potatoes in all their fried glory could have their own entry. (French fries, potato chips, home fries, tater tots, potato pancakes need I go on?)
OH! Why can you take a tasty food and cook it in the essence of a vegetable (okay, the oil, but same thing) and suddenly you get an even more delicious food that is suddenly magically bad for you? This seems like black magic.
And sugar. Sugar is a vegetable. What’s with all the calories? Green beans aren’t high in calories. Why not. Because they are’t delicious. This is so unfair.
Let me share with you one of the best high carbs, high fat foods. It makes life worth living. This recipe was passed down from my grandmother to my father to me. It came someone incomplete, so I added a few words to make it more readable.
Anita Bloodgood Wagg’s Mashed Potato Doughnuts
5 cups sifted flour
7 tsp. baking powder
1 ½ cups warm mashed potatoes
1 tsp. salt
3 eggs well beaten
2 cups granulated sugar
1 ½ Tbs. melted butter
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 cup milk
Sift flour with baking powder. (set aside) In a mixing bowl, beat together the potatoes, salt, eggs, sugar, and butter. Add nutmeg. Add milk and stir. Slowly add flour and stir just until blended. Chill. Place about 1/3 of the dough on a lightly floured board. Sprinkle lightly with flour and roll to 3/8 on an inch thick. Dough should be stiff enough to handle. Cut into doughnut shape. Fry in 375 degree oil. Drain on paper towels.
Optional: Put either powder sugar or cinnamon sugar in a paper bag. Drop doughnuts in one at a time, fold bag down and shake to coat.
Go in peace and eat the tasty foods that make life worth living.