Uno Chicago Grill… alignment: LE?

Uno’s nutritional info looks like they are gaming the system to make the numbers seem good…

For example, the chili looks like it’s 260 calories…
until you notice it is 1.62 servings. 1.62 ???

In other words, it’s 421.2 calories.
A bowl of chili is not more than one serving, bastards!

Someone needs to officially redefine $servings as INT instead of FLOAT.

“There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.”

Drink this, not that

Found a good alternative to a favorite drink of mine, though I’m not sure about its availability, I found it in a health food store in Northampton, MA…

Starbucks Vanilla Frappuccino

Serving size: 1 bottle (9.6oz)
Calories: 200
Fat: 3g
Sat. Fat: 2g
Cholesterol: 15mg
Sodium: 100mg
Total Carbs: 37g
Fiber: 0
Sugar: 31g
Protein: 6g
Calcium: 200mg


Adina Sumatran Iced Vanilla Latte

Serving size: 1 bottle (8.5oz)
Calories: 110
Fat: 2g
Sat. Fat: 1.5g
Cholesterol: 10mg
Sodium: 120mg
Total Carbs: 20g
Fiber: 0
Sugar: 19g
Protein: 3g
Calcium: 150mg
Potassium: 5% DV
Vitamin A: 4% DV
Iron: 6% DV

The Adina kind tastes just as good, and is lower in calories, fat, and sugar, and made with organic fair trade ingredients.

a health rebuttal

I’ve had several people criticize me lately, saying I don’t eat well enough or that I don’t take my health seriously enough. Now I grant you, I should get more exercise than I do currently, but I think overall, I take my health pretty seriously.

In my defense, from CalorieKing, here is my average daily food intake for the past year.
Now granted, I didn’t enter what I ate every single day, but I did do it fairly regularly for several months, and very honestly. Although I haven’t entered it as religiously lately, I did enter what I ate for the past few days, and it’s in line with the averages.

As you can see, it’s a fairly high-fiber, low-fat, low-sugar, low-sodium diet, while still maintaining plenty of calories and a healthy proportion of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.

I am also within 5 pounds of my ideal weight.

Of course, none of that seems to matter, since I have developed gall bladder issues, I’m viewed as a failure. It’s always the negative things people point out, never the positives.

It’s one of the things I don’t like about doctors – they are quick to point out faults and problems, but seldom do they mention the things you are doing *right* – they always focus on the negative, because healthy people don’t interest them.

More Breakfasty

One piece of health advice I keep hearing is that one should eat a large breakfast, moderate lunch, and small dinner. Also, stop eating around 9pm.

So I’m going to try it. I started off this morning with what I thought was a large breakfast, but in fact it was only around 300 calories.

About 300-350 calories of food.

One possible distribution of calories would be:

Breakfast: 500
Lunch: 400
Dinner: 300
Snacks: 200
Total: 1400

Currently, I aim for 1200 calories a day, but I’m not very good at hitting it, so realistically I eat around 1500 a day.

I don’t know how well it will work, but worth trying for a while.

The Self-Improvement of Salvatore Ross

Things have been going well, lately I’ve been strangely focused and *gasp* doing things I set out to do.
The year’s only just begun, and here’s what I’ve accomplished so far:

* Lowered my sugar intake to under 50g per day
* Eliminated caffeine from my diet
* Stopped using “snooze” on my alarm
* Changed the time I get up from 8:00am to 6:30am
* Going to yoga class once a week
* Going to the gym for an hour every other day
* Scanning and filing paper as it arrives
* Registered with national junk mail blocking
* Consolidated two computers down to one (ok, I’m still working on this one, but I’ll be done this weekend)
* Replaced my cellphone with one that is reliable (my Razr had bad battery life and a habit of turning itself off)
* Scanned hundreds of slides for my mom (though I still need to mail her the CD)

What’s next?


* Scan bazillions of photos, slides and negatives from Papa’s house
* Sort/scan/toss 10+ years of paper (I have boxes and boxes just full of paper)
* General cleanup, give away or sell stuff I don’t need
* Produce at least one creative project a week
* Learn to play keyboard
* Learn to program Cocoa (and possibly iPhone when SDK comes out)
* Fix the damn MAME machine
And many more…

Hastings Cakes

I had an idea for a recipe, so I tried it out the other day. Sarah was over and she liked it too.

So I thought tonight I’d cook some up, and this time take pictures. Here is the recipe:

Hastings Cakes

(French toast meets English muffins – Battle of Hastings, get it?)


  • 1 Lite English Muffin
  • 1/4 cup eggbeaters
  • 1/8 cup skim milk
  • cinnamon
  • cooking spray

Mix the eggbeaters, milk and cinnamon.
Pull the English muffin in half.
Heat a frying pan to Med-Low heat.
Spray the pan with cooking spray.
Dunk each half in the egg mixture and then put it in the pan.
Cook until golden brown on both sides.

Can be topped with maple syrup, jam, or whipped cream if desired.

Nutritional Information
Servings: 1
Serving size: 2 Hasting Cakes
Calories: 130
Fat: 0g
Saturated Fat: 0g
Cholesterol: <1mg Sodium: 130mg Carbohydrates: 26g Fiber: 5g Sugar: 3g Protein: 11g Calcium: 100mg If you do Weight Watchers, that works out to 2 points. Not bad for a quick breakfast. (yes, I burned them a little in the last photo, I didn't follow my own directions and had the burner on high. Whoops. They still came out ok.)

How labelling works

I did some reading on how nutritional labels are done, it’s pretty interesting.

The Elements of Food

Let’s start out with the elements that make up food. No, I don’t mean carbon and such, I mean Fat, Protein, and Carbohydrates. Like the Greek idea of the 4 elements, those 3 elements are what are mainly considered for the labeling of food. There are other minor things, like vitamins, but Fat, Protein, and Carbohydrates are the big 3.

Presence by Subtraction

So when a food is analyzed in the lab, they usually determine chemically the fat and protein content. Anything left over is considered carbohydrates.

Probable Calories

Kilocalories (as they are referred to in the lab, or Calories, on packaging) are usually calculated by approximation. This means rather than measure the specific caloric content of a food, the previous data about Fat, Protein, and Carbohydrates (which was calculated by subtraction) is used. Take the protein and carbs and multiply them by 4, and take the fat and multiply it by 9. Add that up and you have your total Calories.
4*carbs + 4*protein + 9*fat = Calories.

A few months ago I made a simple JavaScript calculator to play with those numbers.

Round it Off

Numbers on the label are usually rounded, for ease-of-use.
Foods under 50 calories are rounded to the nearest 5-calorie increment, foods over 50 calories are rounded to the nearest 10-calorie increment.
For other nutritional info, it is usually rounded to the nearest whole number. Values under .5 can be shown as 0, and values between .5 and 1 can be shown as “<1”.

This is interesting because by rounding, a package with .49 grams of fat per serving and 10 servings would have 4.9 grams of fat in the package, even though the fat is listed as 0 on the label.

I’m not clear on if rounding occurs before or after calories are calculated, if it is before, than that package would contain 44.1 more calories than that shown on the label, since the fat was rounded off.

Some interesting information, anyway.

Oh, and if alcoholic products were labeled (which, sadly, they aren’t) in addition to Fat, Protein, and Carbohydrates, Alcohol would be included in caloric calculations, which is 7 Calories per gram.

nutrition rant

One thing I noticed (which I mentioned below when talking about sugar) is that the more I try to understand and nutrition and adapt it to my own diet, the more critical other people are.

People initially criticized me for using Weight Watchers, since it’s an oversimplification. Now I use my own measurements, and they tell me that I’m not doing it right, because I’m not incorporating glycemic indexes into my dietary calculations. They criticize me for relying on the nutritional label for data, saying that the “sugar” line is meaningless. They tell me that you shouldn’t bother tracking your sodium intake, because it has no effect on health unless you are sensitive to it.

I’m trying to be positive, to feel good about myself, but I have to say, it’s damn hard sometimes when everyone is overwhelmingly negative with their feedback.

It’s very tempting just to tell them all to fuck off. Of course, that’s not right either, since they are *trying* to be helpful, even if the only way they know how is to point out all the weaknesses in my calculations.

I *KNOW* they aren’t perfect. I am dealing with spotty data, imprecise measurements, approximations, and estimates. But it is the best I can do, unless I want to devote most of the day calculating before I can eat anything. I like the system I have. Yes, it is flawed, but it’s easy to track, and gives me a fair amount of information.

So if you have helpful suggestions, things that you use yourself, of course I’m interested.

But if all you want to do is point out the flaws in my system, or espouse theoretical practices which you have never tried yourself, then I have to ask you, in the politest terms possible, to please fuck off consider your words.

sugar funk

I’m feeling kind of bummed…

I’ve been tracking my daily nutritional intake, trying to eat better, and one of the goals I set for myself (which I have stuck to pretty well) is to have less than 50g of sugar a day. For this, I go by the printed nutritional labels, which list sugar content as a line item.

I was feeling pretty good that I’d managed to cut most of the sugar out of my diet.

However, my girlfriend was pointing out the other night that me thinking this is an accomplishment is stupid, because ALL carbohydrates are sugars, so reducing the amount of “sugar” as shown on the label is meaningless, since the overall carbohydrate number is all sugar.

I feel helpless now, I mean, I don’t have the lab equipment to do my own food analysis (the lab guidelines book alone is $500), so all I can do is go by the labels…

Sigh… just when I thought I was starting to learn something about nutritional guidelines.

I’m thinking what I need is better literature…