Use a MIRA digital kitchen scale for portion control (Review)

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.

I was sent two MIRA kitchen scales to review -one glass and one stainless steel. My plan was to give one to my sister-in-law, an avid baker, so she and I could give different perspectives about the scales. She lives two hours away, and getting up there just has not worked out. First we all had norovirus, then she had the flu, and we had a winter storm. Now everyone is well, but an even bigger storm is hitting the area, as I’m typing this. So I’ll be reviewing both scales in two separate posts with different angles…just to show you that there is more than one reason to own a kitchen scale!

A couple of days ago, I had a conversation with a friend about portion sizes. We came to the conclusion that the portions you eat (and serve your family) affect two things- your wallet and your waistline.

It’s no secret that America has a weight problem. More than half the US population is overweight. According to the CDC, more than one-third of adults are obese. Shockingly, almost 17 percent of adolescents are also obese. Some of the leading causes of preventable death -heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and certain cancers- are often conditions related to obesity.

Sure, many foods Americans eat are nutritionally deficient, genetically modified, and full of artificial ingredients and preservatives. And probably a lot of people don’t get enough exercise, either. I know these factors all affect our health. But it’s still obvious that we eat too much as a country.

I was shocked (and really depressed) when I used my MIRA scale to measure out 4 ounces of raw ground beef. I had no idea a proper serving was so small! (It definitely puts a 16 ounce steak into perspective.) Keep reading to see the photos.

Weighing your food to determine portions is a great idea whether you’re trying to lose weight, gain weight, or maintain. Keeping the proper serving sizes also ensures you’re getting the right amount of nutrition- it’s not all about calories!

Finally, if you’re eating less on a regular basis*, you’ll buy less; therefore, you should end up spending less on food. Simple math!

*I want to make it clear that¬†I’m not advocating starving yourself to save money! I’m just pointing out that when I started eating recommended serving sizes, I ended up spending less money on food.

The MIRA scale I’m reviewing today is their stainless steel model -ST 125. It’s sleek, thin, and takes up very little drawer space in my tiny apartment kitchen. I used a tape measure, and the platform is about 8.75 inches long and 6 inches wide.¬†Amazingly, the scale can weigh up to 11 pounds. I tried putting one of my cats on it to test that claim, but she wasn’t very cooperative.¬†It has a 2-year manufacturer warranty and takes lithium batteries (they’re included). The tare function is awesome, as I’m about to explain.

In a nutshell, the tare function allows you to zero out whatever bowl or container you have on the scale, so the scale won’t take that container’s weight into account when you start putting food in it- the scale will only weigh the food.

You can turn on the scale, place your container on the platform, and hit the power button one more time. This enables the tare function, and you should see the scale go back to “0.” The other way to do it is to put the container on the platform, and then turn the scale on. It’ll immediately revert back to “0.”

To adjust the units, just click the “unit” button. The scale weighs grams, millilitres, ounces/pounds, and fluid ounces. In the photo above and below, I have it set at pounds and ounces, so I can weigh ground beef.

A serving size of ground beef for an adult is 3 to 4 ounces. I went with 4, since I’m trying to build more muscle. I’m going to admit; I’m really depressed at how TINY an actual portion of meat is. If I hadn’t weighed the beef, I would’ve ended up eating at least two servings.

Measuring cups and spoons are not as accurate as scales. You can read about it here on this PBS food blog, but basically, particles of food are all different sizes and weights. That will even changed from raw to cooked, and there’s air around many pieces of food. The 4 ounces of ground beef that I’d measured turned into about 3.4 ounces after I cooked it.

I read online that a serving of cooked quinoa is 185 grams or about 1 cup, so I used the scale to weigh 185 grams. Then I took the 185 grams that I’d weighed and put it into the measuring cup. Look at how much I had still left in the bowl! So if I’d gone by a measuring cup I would have eaten less than the proper serving of quinoa.

I’m surprised scales aren’t more prevalent in American kitchens, especially when baking (more about that in the next post). It’s also coming in incredibly handy for portion-control, and I think it will really help me in my goal to trim up and build more muscle.

(Affiliate link>) The MIRA stainless steel digital kitchen scale is on sale right now at Amazon for $29.99.

So what do you think? Do you have a kitchen scale? Would you use one?

Note: I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

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Review: Armpocket Ultimate Armband

Armpocket The Ultimate Armband- Read about it on My Life: A Work in Progress

I’m incredibly excited about today’s review! The folks at Armpocket agreed to send me one of their armbands (model i-25 in “Splash”) to review.

In the past, I’ve used a few different armbands, some better than others. None of them, however, were as comfortable as the Armpocket and there was never room for any storage once my phone or iPod was in these other armbands.

The Armpocket was designed by runners who understand that people and their cell phones are not one-size fits all. Not only are there several models of the Armpocket available, you can even choose the strap size to fit your arm! And the multiple colors and patterns are awesome. No generic colors here!

Parts of the Armpocket are even made from recycled plastic bottles, which is really cool. =D The back mesh fabric and strap edges are from a sustainable bamboo rayon that is moisture-wicking and resistant to bacteria and mildew. A layer of memory foam is in between the mesh fabric and outer water-resistant fabric, making the Armpocket truly comfortable to wear.

There are little slits at the bottom (or top, depending on how you wear it) of the Armpocket for you to feed headphone wires through too.

Depending on the model, there are little storage compartments inside the Armpocket, so you can carry your essentials all together in one place.

Armpocket Inside
Courtesy Photo showing inside an Armpocket

I love the storage idea for several reasons. When I had a gym membership, I used to carry my keys, small wallet, and my phone w/ headphones. Add to that my water bottle and sometimes a hand towel, and my hands were always full. It was awkward placing my stuff on the floor or in that little bottle holder on a machine.

Now that I run outside, it’s nice to carry essentials with me, in one spot. I’ve never felt comfortable leaving my wallet or IDs in the car. And as a busy mom, I often go from the track or trail, straight to the grocery store or elsewhere. In my Armpocket, I can fit my house key, car key with remote, mailbox key, several ID/debit/credit cards, a couple bills of cash, ChapStick, a pack of face blotters, and of course my iPhone 4s in its Lifeproof case.

It’s surprisingly comfortable to wear thanks to the memory foam. I figured that because of the Armpocket’s size, it would be a little heavy, but after a few minutes, I don’t notice it. In fact, last night I wore it for a run and forgot it was on! I had a moment of panic in the car when I couldn’t remember where my wallet or phone was; then I realized I was wearing my Armpocket! It’s definitely something I plan to wear during races, especially since I can even fit a gel pack in there.

The only thing I don’t like about the Armpocket is that between my Lifeproof case screen and the screen on the Armpocket, it’s almost impossible to see a text message, etc., on my phone. My phone screen is just really dark at that point. I don’t usually run while listening to music, because either I’m running with a friend and chatting or I’m running alone and paranoid about my situational awareness, BUT…if I were planning on listening to music, I’d have to set my phone to shuffle through a playlist and then just let it be. Manually selecting and skipping songs won’t be an option, since I can’t see the screen that well. The other option would be to forego the Lifeproof case and just put my caseless phone in the Armpocket, because then I can see the phone screen fine.

By the way, I can operate my phone through both the Armpocket and Lifeproof screens at the same time, so the touch-capability is still functional.

Overall, I love my Armpocket and can’t imagine there’s a better case out there!¬†If you’re a gym rat, runner, cyclist, walker, or anything in between, I recommend checking the Armpocket out at the links below:

Armpocket.com | Armpocket on Facebook | Armpocket on Twitter

Armpocket small button

And remember, right now you can win your own Armpocket! Click HERE to find the giveaway.

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Giveaway: Bowflex Boost #fitness tracker, 1/16-1/30

Sponsored by:  Bowflex Boost 
Hosted by: ¬†Momma Lew’s Blog¬†
Co-Hosted by:  Natural Hair Latina , WEMAKE7 and Mom Elite
As the new year is in full swing, Bowflex wants to help you to stay on track with their resolutions to lose weight and get fit this year! ¬†The new Bowflex Boost makes it easier than ever to stay motivated and active. Read Momma Lew’s full review here to find out all about this great new fitness product.

 

This is such an awesome giveaway! I don’t have a fitness tracker, but I’ve wanted one for a while now. It’s a great way to stay motivated when you’re getting out there and being active, since you can actually see what you’re accomplishing. By the way, if being more active, weight loss, or overall fitness are any of your goals this year, check out Fitness Friday. -Elisebet

 

How would you like to win your own Bowflex Boost?  One reader will win their own, ARV: $49.99 + free app.  To enter, follow the steps in the Rafflecopter widget below. Giveaway is open to US Residents, 18+, one entry per household.  Ends 1/30 at 11:59pm EST.  
Good luck & thank you for entering!
Momma Lew and My Life: A Work in Progress are not responsible for prize shipment.  This blog received no compensation for this review and giveaway. 
 
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