Diet tips and tricks — Grate your own cheese if you’re gonna have cheese

Oh, cold weather. How I loathe thee. Not only do you force me to wear ugly, warm coats and hair-flattening, static-inducing hats, you also make me crave Italian, Italian, Italian.

Breaking that down, Italian, Italian, Italian means cheese, carbs and tomatoes. Two-thirds of those ingredients are toxic to a low-carb, no dairy diet, but alas, sometimes you just need the comfort of three bowls of spaghetti and meatballs with a snow shovel full of Parmesan cheese.

What to do in this case? Minimize intake (to three bowls and a fist full) and find new ways to burn calories.

Last week, DG decided to make baked ziti with sausage and peppers. Woohoo! Italian!

We make one dish every Sunday to last us the work week, so baked ziti for a whole week meant we needed a whole lotta cheese. Nervooouuus.

Thankfully, when we got to the dairy section at Whole Foods, he made a wonderful discovery. “A half pound block of mozzarella is two dollars less than a half pound of grated mozzarella,” he said. “Which one should I get?”

Which one should he get? Which one should he get!?

“The one we have to grate! Less net calories! Less money!”

I “did” the math*. Grating cheese for two minutes burned about 5.17 calories. Excellent. Those 5.17 calories excludes the calories I burned when I climbed up to get the grater on the top shelf, nor the calories burned washing the grater. Nor the calories burned looking up how to do the calorie burning math.

All in all, choosing to grate my own cheese probably used up about 25 calories. Or an additional 1/19 serving of cheese. Bring it on, winter.

*I equated grating to “playing guitar (standing)”.

Image: Boston Discovery Guide


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