|A big medjool date can be three times as many calories as a small deglet|
I'm not willing to increase by throwing in a bunch of empty calories. I'm even inclined to count staples of mine like nettles, spirulina, chlorella, as worth double the amount of calories they actually measure, because they're so very nutrient dense.
Here are some other examples of how not to do it, and some alternatives that might be betterI'm a sucker for goodies that are marked down, like this "22 days" bar.
I'd never buy it at the full price, but a buck and a half? Sure thing. True, they then tend to sit in my pantry uneaten for months. And look at the nutrition information (below)! Those four fifths of the bar (yes, I did eat one fifth--bad budgeting of calories) pictured above each represents more than 46 calories!
A fifth of the bar, 46 calories. Look how small the pieces are! The whole bar is not very big, and most people would eat the whole thing, I guess. The first ingredient in there is almond butter; the second is agave nectar. I never eat agave nectar, so in some ways I almost can't believe I bought it. Mark-down-induced blindness, I guess.
Having almond butter and agave in addition to the traditional almonds and dates seems to me to be totally unnecessary fat-and-sugar-loading. Yes, those four remaining fifths of the bar, reasonable portions in my mind, have sat around in the pantry for weeks.
But when these mint-choc Jocalats were marked down to less than a dollar a few days ago, I still bought a couple. (What was I thinking? Oh yes, chocolate-mint is a siren song.)
Nutrition info is a bit better than for the 22 Days bar--a quarter of this bar (which is slightly smaller) would be close to 50 calories. This one is more of an honest-to-goodness almond-date bar without the additional almond butter/agave. But I can't imagine opening it anytime soon.
Instead, I've dug into the freezer and been eating these lovely carob-raisin balls I made almost a year ago. I make myself good stuff--why don't I eat it, then? I guess I gave up snacking. A hard habit to resume at the moment.
I have to guesstimate the calories in these, because I didn't calculate them when I made them all those months ago. (I should also reconstruct what I did and post it here.) But these are basically just raisins and carob powder, with a little shredded coconut on the outside--plenty sugary from the raisins, for sure, but much less fatty with the carob.
Another bad idea purchased because it was marked down:
Oh my goodness. 90 calories in a half cup??? And most of that is sugar. I would never have more than an eighth-cup at a time. Also, even more caffeine when I'm supposed to be getting off of it.
That said, liquid calories are one very smart way to increase calories, as they're often easier to digest and easier to consume. I've been buying unsweetened nut milk, 25-45 calories per cup depending on the variety, and having 1/3 to 1/2-cup servings in smoothies, making up the difference with water. Now, there's no way I'm going to buy the "sweetened" regular nut milks--per the principle at the beginning, why would I want to add in empty calories? On the other hand, if I had a whole cup of unsweetened nut milk rather than watering it down, that wouldn't kill me, and might be a very painless way to increase!
Or, why don't I make my own, like I used to, and then I'd have the pulp for making goodies?
The truth is, I've always had trouble with homemade nut milk, because I've never known how to calculate the nutrition value. How much of the nut nutrition is in the milk and how much is in the pulp? I can't count the pulp as zero calorie, and it's not fair to count the milk as representing all the calories and nutrition either! If anyone has the answer for that, I'd be enormously grateful.
The other truth is, I've been too busy generally, and although I'm sure I could work nut-milk-making into my schedule, I haven't done so, and if I shop sales (as I do), the unsweetened, calorie-declared, store-bought milks are often cheaper than making my own!
As the schedule starts to get less overloaded (I turn in final grades tonight), if I can find out how to calculate the nutrition in nut milks, I might add that back in as a way to increase calories that is also a self-nurturing use of time. There's more and more talk of making me go away for treatment; meanwhile, I'm convinced I'll turn this train around as the schedule calms down.
Keep your fingers crossed for me, and hit me with all your advice!