Chicken of the Sea is 100 this year

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In 1914, “a small California company called Van Camp launched…and started canning fish, particularly tuna, for sale in markets far from the sea. Tuna was quite exotic then, and it wasn’t easy to convince people to eat the stuff. But eventually the company hit on the idea of connecting tuna to a far more popular food: chicken. And Chicken of the Sea was born.” – fooddive.com

Without this fish company and their too-clever-for-some marketing campaign, Jessica Simpson would have never created one of the best reality TV moments.

Happy birthday, canned tuna.

Other things are 100 this year too.

Skinny chocolate

Before my trip to Vegas, I decided to go on a strict diet so I could compete with all the beautiful people at the pool – people aren’t always so beautiful even in Vegas. In any case, I cut out fattening food 100% for 2 months. I stopped eating any kind of junk food, potatoes, bread except for whole wheat pita, pasta, cheese, you name it. My only treat was a small square of dark chocolate a day.

Mmm, dinner

When I got back from Vegas I reintroduced all the good stuff, but I did it a little too eagerly. So I’m back on my health food diet with a few more allowances than before – a cookie here and there….late night Chinese food (woops). But I just can’t get by on one small square of chocolate a day, so I’ve been trying out some of the gimmicky diet brands like Skinny Cow. I’m usually skeptical of these kinds of foods, but I’ve found some good ones.

Skinny Cow candy: I’ve bought the “Heavenly Crisp” bar a few times when I’m out running errands after work and feel like I’m going to faint from starvation. It’s just a chocolate coated wafer cookie and it doesn’t taste like a diet food at all. The “Dreamy Clusters” are like a turtle chocolate, and they taste a little more diet-y. But they’re more satisfying if you’re really craving candy.

Frozen Yogurt bars: The first kind I tried was Jala and it was really good. It taste’s just like a regular fudge pop. The next time I bought them I went for the TCBY brand because it has less calories, but I didn’t like them very much. They are too tangy-tasting for chocolate, but I bet they would be good in a fruit flavor.

Finally, I tried Skinny Cow fudge pops, and they’re okay. They aren’t frozen yogurt; they’re some sort of whipped faux-ice cream made from a ton of ingredients. I probably won’t buy them anymore because I’d rather know that I am eating yogurt instead of artificial ice cream. The Weight Watchers brand is similar – same calories but chewier and more filling, almost too filling.

Anyway, I’ll let you know if I get fat eating this stuff.

Woof city food

I recently talked about the horrendous amount of calories in the food at Cheesecake Factory, but at least they just serve extra-fatty versions of normal food. Recently, it seems that fast food chains are going out of their way to make the grossest, most unhealthy food they can think of.

First, there’s the Doritos taco from Taco Bell – an oversized Dorito filled with questionable meat. I’m not going to lie, this actually did intrigue me and I may or may not have tried one at 2am this weekend. And it may or may not have been pretty good. But I’m not proud of it, and it won’t happen again!

But today I heard about two more similar junk-food hybrids that I definitely have no desire to try ever.

I guess with the whole “Americans are too fat” thing going on, Pizza Hut decided to take its experiments abroad by introducing the “Hot Dog Stuffed Crust” pizza in England. I’m really having a hard time coming up with something I’d like to eat less than that – but a bacon ice cream sundae from Burger King comes close.

I don’t get it. Fast food chains have been going to great lengths to try and convince people that their food isn’t THAT bad for you. Did they give up and decide to go to the opposite extreme? I guess that’s more honest of them; it’s like they’re saying, “if you’re going to order a salad from our restaurant, you might as well be eating bacon on top of ice cream. So why don’t you just go for it.”

Things of importance

This week has been pretty dull, but there are still some pressing matters to address:

Cheesecake Factory makes you fat

Ally and I ate at a Cheesecake Factory in New York state last night where they list all the calories on the menu. I literally could not bring myself to order anything. Thank God for the “skinnylicious” menu or I would have had to resort to a satisfying meal of lemon water and the 30-calorie broccoli side dish. Let’s go through some things – appetizer hummus: 900 cals; fish tacos; 1,600 cals; chicken marsala; 2,000 cals; a slice of cheesecake: 700 – 1,600 cals.

Not okay

First of all, are they trying to kill us? Second of all, what are they putting in this food? I ordered chicken tacos off the skinny menu and they were only around 400 calories. How much extra stuff could they possibly be putting in the 1,600-calorie fish tacos? Granted the portions are massive, but they must be injecting the food with fat. I don’t know how anyone could consciously order something that fattening. I oppose putting calories on menus – it takes all the fun out of eating out! I guess I should just stay home and gnaw on some parsley or something.

Give this to someone you hate.

I’m warming up to purple

My nails are notoriously pink, but I’ve been experimenting in purple. I had some time to kill before my calorie extravaganza last night so I went to get my nails done, which I seldom do because it’s pointless since they are already chipping. Anyway, the pushy Asian lady was pressuring me to pick a color so I said “fine” when she suggested the “very popular” lilac color. I thought it made my hands look dead at first, but I really like it now. I also started doing a purple color for the winter last year. I’m still a pink lady at heart though.

"To Buy or Not to Buy" - Essie

Winter color, "Island Hopping" - Essie

Why is Jason Mraz stuck in my head all day?

When I first heard Jason Mraz’s new song, “I Won’t Give Up,” I thought it was kind of cheesy. It’s a little bit country (a little bit rock and roll) and it sounds a lot like Band of Horses, but it has been in my head for the past two weeks now. I’ve even found myself looking it up because I want to listen to it, but i still can’t decide if I like it – the magic of pop music.

What were you doing when you were 8?

Westport News

I came across an article about the cutest kid ever. He’s 8 years old and he wants to be a chef and a hotelier so he created (with help I’m assuming) a very professional website all about cooking and food. He lists his favorite restaurants, has a recipe submission section and even an instructional video in napkin folding. He reminds me of that ManCans kid.

“With a name like Bernstein, people might assume a young Westport boy might have a musical heritage and would be more comfortable with a conductor’s wand or violin bow in his hand.

Harrison Bernstein, 8, prefers a whisk, spatula and paring knife.

Harrison, who has cooked and baked since he was 4 years old, takes his interest so seriously that he has his own website — www.HarrisonsKitchen.com — where he posts recipes, writes a food blog, offers video how-to napkin-folding lessons, and sells cookbooks and related items through Amazon.com. Proceeds go to Save the Children, an international organization based in Westport.” – Westport News

I didn’t eat meat and it was easy etc.

- I'm going to make an outfit out of all the meat I didn't eat this week -

This week was vegetarian week and it’s barely even worth mentioning because I really didn’t alter my diet at all. I don’t eat a lot of meat to being with and I allowed myself fish, so really I would have to do this for an extended period of time before I actually started craving a burger.

On Monday night I went to a Lebanese restaurant and ordered a pasta dish with shrimp and basically a week’s worth of vegetables, and the leftovers gave me lunch for the next two days. For dinner I had things like spinach lasagna and fish and vegetables.

So seeing as there’s not much else to say, I will talk about my calorie counting hobby instead. I have never believed in calorie counting as a diet method because it’s not the healthiest way to eat. You can stay under your calorie goal but be eating crap or maybe you just eat one big meal and starve yourself the rest of the day. I’ve always believed that the only good diet is just eating natural, healthy food and cutting out junk food (I’m not saying I do that; I’m just saying you should). So why am I countinig calories then? Because it’s fun.

Maybe I am a control freak as someone pointed out last week, but it’s become my new favorite hobby. I’m not letting it run my life, but it is forcing me to eat a little healthier. It makes you realize how many empty calories you eat without noticing. The second I eat a donut or have 2 glasses of wine, I might as well eat peas for the rest of the day (but I don’t because I hate peas). I find myself planning my days out – if I know I’m going to eat an awesome unicake after dinner, I eat super healthy for breakfast and lunch.

- The unicake -

And on the weekends when I know I’ll be drinking a third of my calorie allowance in vodka-soda-crans, I just give up because I know I won’t be staying under my limit – especially when I try to be good and buy a lean cuisine panini as a drunk snack and it’s still over 300 calories. Lean my ass.

- Why does this photo exist? -