Project Alicia

Thursday, March 25, 2010

As luck would have it the very same day I slacked on my wifely duties hubby comes home from work and announces that he has a coupon and wants to go to Texas Roadhouse for dinner. Score.

(I hadn't exactly thought much of dinner and it was going to be something thrown together and less than stellar.)

After snacking on peanuts for 20 minutes we were served a basket of yummy rolls. You know, the ones with the cinnamon butter. Then came an appetizer. By the time the waitress took our order I was nearly stuffed, so I opted for a salad, against my husband's recommendation. Ok, so maybe you should get what that restaurant is best known for, i.e. steakhouse=steak, italian=pasta, pancake house=pancakes (it's sorta our secret understanding after some not so great restaurant food flops), but I wasn't all that hungry. A salad sounded perfect and light.

Drum roll please...

My mouth dropped and my eyes about bulged out of my head as I took a gander at the heaping amount of food placed before me. I only wanted a salad and this... this was a mountain of food. It could easily feed me for days, if only it saved well or I did left overs.

After just a few bites... my stomach was rebelling and it was time to quit. I was about to burst at the seams.

I boxed up the remains, knowing full well it will probably not be appetizing enough tomorrow as left overs, only because there was so much left. (See below- taken with iphone.)

This has really got me thinking... WHAT has happened in our country? WHY are the portions so huge? And better yet WHEN did this happen?

And I'm not just saying this because I have a stomach the size of a peanut, for any of you who know me and may be thinking this. It can't be healthy for anyone!

Almost every single time we do a drive through they ask if we want to SUPER-SIZE our meal. The kicker is it's just pennies more. (Wishing so much I would have watched that movie now.)

Even the regular sized sodas come in HUGE containers. Maybe I have been more keen to this insight merely because my husband's Acura MDX is dated pre-large containers and the fast food sodas never fit right. Super annoying at best.

Did you know that in 1916 when coke first came out it was 1/2 the size it is today? (More here.)

And in 1955 McDonald's had only one size of hamburger. Quarter pounders, double quarter pounders, and big macs weren't even options.

Even snacks in vending machines and grocery stores seem to be swelling in size. According to the CDC the recommended serving sizes are almost impossible to find now.

There was a documentary on tv last night depicting the last supper and the ever changing renditions of the painting over the last 1000 years. Their study conducted at Cornell University showed that the portion sizes had increased over the last millenium from 23% to 69%. (Read more here.) So, even the famous Last Supper has been super-sized.

Restaurants seem to be in competiton with each other, the bigger the better. Wendy's now has a baconator, while Hardees has developed the "monument to decadence". Seriously.

And let us not forget McDonald's World Cup Burger that was available in 2006 for 6 weeks that was 40% larger than the big mac at an additional 667 calories, or 9 fun size snicker bars. (

FOOD CHALLENGES of all kinds seem to be the growing trend; contests for the sole purpose of watching people eat until they think they are going to burst or regurgitate. Man vs. Food comes to mind, as it is one of hubby's favorite programs to watch.

I may sound a bit like the grim reaper... and sorry Adam Richman, but if you continue at this rate you will have a very short-lived life. (I actually predicted Chris Farley's death just days before he died.) Morbid, I know.

According to data from the U.N. Food and Agricultural Organization, Americans have the highest per capita daily consumption in the world, eating 3,770 calories a day, more than a Canadian at 3,590 calories or an Indian at 2,440.

The other disturbing finding based on personal experience is that in my quest to eat healthy not only are the better for you foods harder to find, but they are much more expensive than the pre-packaged or fast food options. Is it any wonder why Americans eat unhealthy?

Am I alone in my wonder and amazement of this phenomenon?

I'm not really sure I've answered any of my questions or that there are answers to these questions, but I for one am going to pay better attention.

My eyes have been opened and I'm not sure I like what I see.


  1. totally agreed....jay also loves "man vs. food".....and we watched "super size me" not to long ago, you should rent it! the doulble wammy to all this is we came from a generation where you were supposed to finish your plate, and now the plates are huge!

    and yes....had a sidebar before, just took it out, i like it like this with just pics and info (for now anyways)

    done painting thank goodness! the house goes up tomorrow for we go again, but afraid this time is for real.....but if i know you, you are not holding your breathe til the u-haul is moving....and i many false alarms to count.....pain in my ass!

    like the new look of your blog, nice and bright! you will have to teach me how to put fun fonts for the titles like you did....i have been downloading some new ones.
    feel like it's been forever, we will have to do a target trip when your me (you never called back the other night you ding-dong!)

  2. I just watched Food Inc. and it touches on A LOT of food issues. Many more than I ever thought of. Many more than are brought up in Supersize Me. (although did you know that after that movie came out, McDonalds vowed to no longer say, "Would you like to supersize that?")

    I think it's interesting that long ago, fat women were revered and looked at as beautiful because their size showed their wealth. The more money you had, the more you could eat. Today fat women are looked at as low-class because foods that make you fat are cheap. i.e. mcdonalds, fast food, pop, etc.... Expensive food is the healthy stuff. That is what really pisses me off. That the foods we should be eating are the foods that are the most expensive.

    As far as portions go: some restaurants just have their niche. Over here it's "Claim Jumper" that has giant portions. It's just what they do.

    I've been watching Dr. Oz and everyday it's about weight and diabetes. It's so sad how many people have diabetes. Especially sad for me right now because some people close to me have it and are letting it kill them.-relatively slowly, but surely.

    It's reasons like this that have contributed to my effort to get healthy. I don't want to be a statistic, I don't want to get diabetes, I don't want to be looked at as lazy, etc.....

    It seems like you did a lot of research for this blog. A lot more than I'd ever do. lol. But I challenge you to watch not only Supersize me, but Food Inc. Keep up the good work sis!

  3. I agree totally! We watched the Supersize me movie--made me sick and McDs has never been the same in my eyes. Not much of fast food has at any rate. French fries are not my favoritest food anymore. (with an exception--Sweet Potato fries are my most favorite) Anyway, I know what you mean...with Kason's issue, I've been trying to get more fresh into our diets...and well it's hard because fresh is expensive. And I've been working on portion control for me--which is been a problem for me for awhile...hopefully I've got it all figured out.

    SOrry its' been awhile. I knew if I started reading blogs, I'd put off my as you can tell, I'm in the catch up mood (if you get lots of comments from me) :) haha I like your new layout! So simple but cool!!!! :)

  4. Thanks for reading my blog, by the way :) and thank you for all of your comments :) You always have good insight :)

  5. Homework: Watch Super Size Me, Food Inc, and Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution on ABC.

    Thanks for all the comments and additional info.

    It is a definite, real problem in our society today.