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Handling Portion Size

     It’s all about portion size, they say. That and the color. If you get those two right, you’ll live to be a hundred ’n one – or thereabouts. Plus you’ll be the most slim, attractive person around.

     It was the color that caught my eye as I turned the drab, mostly black and white newspaper pages. The brilliantly blue blueberries dancing across the page hollered to me, “Come here! Come here!”

     So I did. The next thing that caught my eye was the bold print next to the berries. It had a bunch of equal signs and said it was easy to measure Proper Portion Size. All you need is a half-cup measuring cup or half a baseball or a cupped hand.

     A cupped hand – how neat! I don’t generally have a half baseball in my pocket and the measuring cups are always home in the cupboard, but a cupped hand – I ’most always have one of those. I guess you just fill it up and any food that falls out is way more than you’re s’posed to eat. So you gotta let go of it. Now!

     According to the article, we’ve been eating way too much and so have our kids and our neighbors and it’s all because we don’t know how to estimate Proper Portion Size.

     Well, we all have hands, so no more excuses for taking those overly generous portions. Just hold out that cupped hand, fill it up with salad or ravioli or curly fries and there’s your correct portion size. Put the food back on your plate, pick up your fork and spoon and dig in. Won’t be much to dig into, but…

     It occurs to me that your hands might be bigger than mine. Do you think I could borrow them next time we go to dinner? Portion size is relative, you know, and we should all eat equal portions if we’re sharing a meal and since your hands are bigger than mine and of course we wouldn’t want to waste any of that food, would we?

     You know, this sounds tough. One handful does not a decent serving make. One handful of barbecued ribs? One handful of a burrito? How are we going to tell our stomachs that’s all they get? They’ll scream and growl and that will be oh so embarrassing. Maybe they’ll get used to it. Maybe they’ll all growl at the same time. Then we can look at each other and say, “It isn’t me.”

     The other thing is the color. The article says the brighter the color of our food, the healthier we’ll be. Passionately purple grapes, ruby red tomatoes and gutsy green garden peas – all so good for us. If they’re so good for us, how come we can’t eat two fistfuls?

     And then there’s the food pyramid. You know we’re s’posed to eat one of those every day and now that we know how to measure Proper Portion Size, we can build that pyramid first thing in the morning. With our own hands.

     I always wondered how I could eat three servings of this and four servings of that and two of this and three of that and not get fat. Now I know. I had the serving sizes all wrong. What I thought was one serving was actually ten. Now that I’m using Proper Portion Size, I’ll be able to eat my daily food pyramid in three bites and I’ll be healthy, wealthy and skinny - as long as I don’t stray from my pyramid over to yours or to Jack in the Box or…

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