Live and Love to Eat

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Volumetric Eating

Volumetric eating is the idea of eating the greatest amount of food possible with a low impact on calories.  For example, you can eat 3 ounces of baby carrots for 30 calories or a 2 ounce Oreo-Cakester for 250 calories.  Similarly, you can eat a cup of grapes for 105 calories vs. a snack pack of raisins for 130. 

Increasing foods that are higher in fiber and water content (along with some protein and a little fat) will make you feel fuller longer than something that is composed purely of carbohydrates. 

I took some photos of my breakfast on Tuesday thinking I would do a “what I ate” post again, but that didn’t really happen.  But I did want to tell you all that I learned my lesson and I’m sticking to my official Rubbermaid containers for my travelling oatmeal.  See, no oat shoes!


As much as I love the simplicity and convenience of overnight oats, they are pretty calorie-dense for the 1-1.5 cup serving I usually end up with.

Overnight oats at work

I get the privilege (read: have to) work one late shift per week, from noon-8pm.  On that day I like to get up early and get my workout in, but need something to put in my belly first thing.  Yesterday morning I had a slice of this incredible whole grain craisin/pecan bread, toasted with some almond butter.  It’s from a bakery called Mediterra and worth every calorie and carb it contains – there are no added sugars or fats, just wheat flour, water, cranberries, pecans, and sea salt.  Plus, I can slice it pretty thin and not feel too guilty.  I just learned from their website that they are available in most Market District and Whole Foods stores near the Pittsburgh area, as well as some other stores and farmers markets.


After my workout I had a little bit of time to spare before I had to get ready for work, so I wanted to make a batch of whipped banana oats.  I’d purchased some bulk steel-cut oats and didn’t have the 30+ minutes it usually takes to make them, so I tossed them in the MB (Magic Bullet) for a few seconds before cooking, yielding a more Scottish Oat version.  They also absorb more liquid while cooking, so I used an entire cup of water to the 1/4 cup of steel-cut oats that I started with.  With the addition of the slivered half banana, scoop of protein powder, a tablespoon of toasted almond slivers, and cinnamon and nutmeg, I had a HUGE bowl of oats to eat.


I wish I would have taken the time to measure the yield, but this bowl is quite large – at least TWICE the capacity of the Rubbermaid container above (which was only half full when starting with 1/2 cup of oats).  My guess is this ended up being about 2.5 cups of deliciousness.  And for 260 calories?  Not bad at all. 

Approximate nutrition: 260 calories, 6g fat, 30g carbs, 23g protein

What are your favorite whipped oats add-ins?


5 responses to “Volumetric Eating

  1. Shanna, like Banana April 7, 2011 at 3:44 pm

    I’m all about getting the most bang for my buck. I often use cabbage slaw as my base for stir fry (instead of rice or grains) and I can eat a HUGE amount for around 400 rocks!

  2. Can You Stay for Dinner April 7, 2011 at 3:44 pm

    I think there’s something really helpful about eating a large volume of fresh, fibrous foods. I do this with vegetables and fruit all the time and really think it helped me to lose all of my weight. I love adding peanut butter to whipped oats 🙂

  3. Jess (In My Healthy Opinion) April 7, 2011 at 4:24 pm

    I definitely like volume foods! Although sometimes I have to have a smaller amount of the “real thing” if it’s a decadent dessert or something like that. And OH my gosh, that bread looks fantastic! I wish I had seen this before my WF trip last week. 😦

  4. Donna April 8, 2011 at 2:32 pm

    What a smart trick, i’m going to have to try that next time with my Oats! Super cute blog, i love your banner at the top!

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