As you may have seen, the New York Times recently published an article about caloric intake. We are told that depending on gender and age, we need to eat between 1,600 and 2,400 calories a day. But how many of us actually know what 2,000 calories look like? Despite how arbitrary it may sound, paying a little more attention to calories may actually do you some good, especially when you’re eating out. The article goes on to show how difficult it is to eat 2,000 calories a day if you’re eating at a restaurant. Shockingly, there are meals at many different restaurants that are around 2,000 calories themselves: Louisiana Chicken Pasta from Cheesecake Factory, one Peanut Butter Caramel Pie Milkshake from Sonic, or a Carnitas Burrito, Chips and Guacamole and a Coke from Chipotle. The whole point of the article is not to terrify or guilt trip you, but to point out that when you cook at home you are in control of your calories. They end the article with a whole day’s worth of home cooked meals all of which equal, you guessed it, about 2,000 calories. This begs the question: what are those restaurants putting in their meals to make them 2,000 calories? I wish I knew the answer to that.
So what does 2,000 calories look like at Papa Spud’s? I’ve compiled a day’s worth of meals for one person with food that is available through Papa Spud’s. I used calorieking.com to estimate calories for each food item.
-1 cup of coffee 2 calories
-Breakfast sandwich: 2 slices of La Farm Bread 200 calories, ¼ of an avocado 69 calories, tomato 4 calories, 1 fried egg 78 calories
-1 pear 103 calories
–Butternut Squash Soup (one bowl) 203 calories
-Roasted Scallions and Arugula Salad Recipe Kit (1 serving) 225.5
–Grilled Cilantro Lime Chicken (1 serving) 465 calories
-Grilled Peppers and Onions 71 calories
-Wild Rice (1/4 cup) 41 calories
-1 Beer 155 calories
Strawberry Shortcake Recipe Kit (1 serving) 334 calories
Total Daily Calories: 1,950.5 Calories
Since I’ve started eating more vegetables and unprocessed food, I have realized among what true abundance we live. One onion, one bunch of kale, a bag of carrots all go a long way—and there is so much you can do with them. Eating at home does not mean not eating adventurously or deliciously. There are plenty of recipes for quick and delicious meals; it just takes practice and a little willingness to be creative and soon you’ll be cooking up a storm! None of this is to say that you should never eat out—treat yourself sometimes! It is just important to not make it a frequent habit. I have become a fan of eating whole foods and avoiding processed foods, as Michael Pollen famously suggests: “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” If you haven’t read In Defense of Food, I highly suggest it. This book made me rethink everything I was eating and helped me to shape a more healthful diet—and it turned out that eating at home was also a lot cheaper. There are plenty of resources out there to help transition from a quick and convenient lifestyle of eating to one of relationships and intentional time in the kitchen. Something tells me, though, if you’re reading this blog you’ve already begun that journey.
If you have any tips or recipes for quick and delicious meals that you have come across, please send them to us and we will share them on Facebook or the blog!