Tuesday, February 3, 2009


In light of great reader response to my ramblings on the Stoner Plate, I thought I'd regale you with a few of its building blocks a la Krissie.

Note that this method is not only a boon for modern parents (you can pull together dinner in 10 minutes - no matter the fussiness of the kid - while doing homework simultaneously), but also works wonders for the starving uni student (given how many inexpensive and delicious options one can combine).

For young people beginning to learn about cooking - and about what they like - it's a great lesson in food preparation. It also teaches about combining nutritional building blocks (fats, carbs and protein in customized ratios that work for each individual) and about portion size - something many junk-crazed adolescents and adults really should be considering.

So, without further ado, and in no particular order, why not try a meal composed of 3 - 6 of these:
  • 4 mini celery stalks with tbsp almond butter
  • 8 baby carrots with 2 tbsp. hummus or dip
  • Rice crackers (one serving size)
  • Brie or any cheese in the known universe, 1 oz
  • Moderate bowl of soup (preferably previously homemade or freshly purchased)
  • V8 - vodka optional
  • 5 mini meatballs with sauce (aim for organic or "faux" i.e. vegetable based protein version)
  • 5 chicken nuggets with sauce (aim for organic or "faux" i.e. vegetable based protein version)
  • Hard boiled egg
  • Olives - 6
  • Pickle - 1 unless mini cornichons
  • 2 oz Smoked salmon on one slice flax toast (2 tsp. butter or cream cheese optional)
  • Apple or pear wedges with chutney
  • 2 sectioned and peeled oranges with tbsp olive oil, sundried olives and chili flakes - a bit finicky but great when you have a few extra minutes and you need a jolt of beautiful colour.
  • Banana with 2 tbsp cream and dash vanilla
  • Asparagus spears (you can even microwave these - carefully)
  • Nuts and seeds (1 -2 tbsp)
  • Smoked almonds (12 - 20)
  • Small serving organic potato chips in saucy flavour - don't overdo portion size.
  • 4-5 slices thinly sliced salami rolled up artfully
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Tomatoes and feta (1 big tomato, 1 oz feta, 1 tbsp olive oil, salt and pepper)
  • Cucumber slices
  • 2 squares of EXCELLENT chocolate
  • 2 organic or homemade / fancy cookies - forgo the crap, it's not worth it
  • Baked apple with some butter, 2 tbsp oats a tbsp flour and a tbsp brown sugar. Add some vanilla.
  • Plain yogurt with frozen blueberries and tsp. maple syrup. You can thaw the bbs in microwave. Mmmmm
  • Protein shake - with hemp protein (raw food), plain yogurt, ice, fruit
Seriously, I could go on - and I'm sure you can suggest a dozen great alternatives, so please do.

A Word About the Stoner Plate as Spa Plate:

Now, if you're a growing person, it's important to make your SP choices healthy and never count calories.

However, if you have been an adult for the last 20 years, for example, and you've had a baby or three and you work full time, or have been stressed out of your mind lately and have struggled to fit in exercise, and you're looking to maintain or - as part as a series of other healthful lifestyle measures - even diminish your current weight slightly, I suggest you cap the meal at about 400 calories (in 3 to 6 of the savory options above - some, obviously, are more calorie dense than others). Plus, if it's your thing, add a small glass of wine (aka a unit) and a small dessert option. Then voila, you have your evening eating all planned out.

Naturally, weight loss / maintenance - not something I profess to be an expert on in any way, in light of its complex and individual emotional and physiological factors - depends to some extent on:
  • Stable metabolism - it doesn't need to be fast, but it helps when it's functioning well for your own body chemistry
  • Moderation in consumption and exercise
  • Adequate sleep
  • Managing stress to mitigate thyroid, adrenal and other stress-induced weight affectors. Please see my Health and Lifestyle Theme Week posts for an endless, multi-post discussion of these... and
  • Healthful eating
I suspect that, more than anything, it depends on developing (or having by nature) an attitude of acceptance in the moment. Each meal is its own thing. The next meal is the next thing. Each moment of exercise - or simple movement - is a chance to discover joy in one's physical abilities, each day of slothfulness an opportunity to chill and gain relaxation through inertia.

When one intuits, not merely intellectualizes, that a piece of cake (or an entire pie) is simply food - delicious and lovely to be sure - but not a substitute for anything (except maybe equally yummy cookies :-)), not a path out of darkness, not a friend to confide in - well, then... it starts to occupy its rightful place.

A conflation of (dull and yet personal) occurrences led me from my most destructive time of food abuse. However, a key awareness I developed, is that every meal begins and ends. And a few hours later, there's another one. I don't need to derive everything from this bout of consumption. If I want chocolate, but I've already had a cookie, well can't I wait for the next meal? And, by extrapolation, when I get comfortable with that concept, can't I wait for the next day if it assists me in achieving a goal of weight moderation or maintenance or health?

I'm not sharing this to contribute to a pantheon of "weight discussions" which support controlling one's appetite for ill effect. Look at yourself. If you like what you see, and you're healthy, then stop worrying about it and enjoy that liberty.

If you look at yourself, and you recognize that your habits are undermining your health, happiness and appearance, then be moderate. Be nutritious. Support the you which you want to see emerge by supporting the you you happen to be at this moment. They are one and the same. So stop with the hate. Stop with its by-product, the excuses.

Wow, I feel I should get some kind of Oprah-sanctioned book deal for this. Or a kick upside the head.

Of course, feel free to share your thoughts and feelings.


  1. You put this very well. You should be on Oprah.

  2. I had escargo on puff pastry followed by a filet with foi gras, mashed potatoes and asparagus last night at the club last night. With the obligatory bourbon up front and the pinot grigio during. Let's hope it doesn't eventually kill me.


  3. I am printing this list and taking it with me to the market. As good as this all sounds I want what D. Debil had for dinner.

  4. (My usual preference is for things similar to what is on our hostess's list)

  5. I'm with you on quality over quantity!
    I always keep good chocolate in the house.

  6. This comes at the perfect time: I'm bored with everything I'm eating, so now I print this list out, and do the "Take 3-6 Cafeteria Plan!"

  7. Can you just pop over to my place and make me a plate or two? So many delicious options!

    Reminds me, got to get something out of the freezer to eat for dinner.

  8. K-Line, I hope you don't mind but I want to keep this, and bookmark this very post (perhaps copy and paste into my journal), what you said, is very true, and something I need to read when I am feel out of sorts.... UM... have you thought about a degree in psychology?

    I don't need therapy I tell ya, K-line blog is my therapy.

  9. Oh yeah, you could totally get a book deal.

    Meanwhile, I have really good eating habits, a great healthy diet and am generally a painfully annoying person in that department. I don't even like chocolate for christ's sake! However when left to my own devices I never cook dinner for the little dude and I - we have what I call a salad plate, which sounds exactly like a stoner plate to me!

  10. Lavender: Thanks! In really life I'm a bit of a pain in the ass - so you might want to keep the other (kick) alternative on the table :-)

    D.: That meal sounds sooooo worthy. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger!

    Bel: I love that. Secretly, I want what D. had for dinner too...

    Janet: That is a must. Good choc, good wine.

    E: Let me know how you enjoy the lifestyle :-)

    Imogen: I'd LOVE to pop over to Aus right now. Give me 2 days :-)

    GJ: You are too kind. Really. I think, were I a therapist, I'd be the mean kind that makes people cry. Not on purpose of course :-) Thanks for enjoying this post. I love all of your delicious food posts.

    Andrea: Coming from you this is high praise! :-)

    Skye: Salad Plate - just the thing. And I still have mixed feelings about your aversion to chocolate. I don't understand! :-)