potato soup & portion size

i had the potato rosemary soup last night.
you can find the super easy recipe here

a lot of you have been asking about portion size.
i don't really know what to say about that.
i eat what i eat.
i don't feel my portions are so small.
sometimes i have seconds and sometimes i don't.

but here is the key for me...

i have slowed my eating way down.
i remember one of my culinary teachers telling me that american's don't know how to eat,
that we eat too fast.  in school we made an 8 course dinner once and the biggest complaint we got was that it took too long between courses.  i think we tend to wolf our food down.
so i've purposefully slowed down and that allows my eyes and my stomach to catch up with each other.  i put my fork down between bites and i sip water in between bites.
eating really becomes so much more pleasurable when you take the time to really enjoy each bite.
mind you, not every meal i eat is eaten this way.
but i try to.

next, we use smaller 8" dinner plates.  i've talked about this before somewhere but i also think that is key.
my plate looks super full as opposed to looking skimpy.
the look of abundance makes me think...wow, i don't know if i can even finish all of this.
haha, but i always do.:)

i also eat a salad on the side or before the entree.

does this help?


one more day.


  1. You are so right about using smaller plates. I use a lot of vintage plates and bowls. The difference in size of a 1950's dinner plate or cereal bowl is amazing.

  2. This is so true! My family and I are from England, one of my parents biggest complaints, and that of visitors who come from England, is that they feel rushed in restaurants. My husband and I prefer sitting at the bar when we eat out, just so we can avoid the constant "Are you ready to order? May I take your plate?".

  3. Janet, I have loved this month's posts...the recipes, yes...but just the frequency too. You have things to say but I admire the simple and concise way in which you communicate your ideas. I'm gonna hate to see November go! ~Lina

  4. I remember being astounded by the portion sizes and speed of restaurant service when I first went to the US, but I think we could all do with a bit of slowing down and watching portions. It is my downfall rather than eating unhealthily. I'm all about not rushing at the moment.x

  5. You are very savvy Janet.
    Your tricks are worth noting...
    when we visit the US both my husband and I are astounded by the portions and I hate wasting food so I feel I should eat it all.
    Perhaps others feel this way and over eat.

    I'll miss your daily posts...

  6. Hi Janet!
    Miss you over at Wordpress- I guess they wanted to break us up!
    I have always been a verrrrrry slow eater. Annoyingly slow for some people's taste (no pun intended)
    My husband calls me "The Contemplative Masticator" That being said, I have a big appetite and probably eat more than he does. Eating slowly is not intentional on my part, it's just my natural pace, but I think it is the biggest and best secret to helping your body digest in a more efficient manner. Plus, what's more enjoyable than eating??! (the answer to this of course varies according to age :-) ) Why RUSH it?!
    xx SP

  7. That link is a little screwy but the soup is way down on the page.

    I made this soup with my leftover mashed potatoes last night. Celery, onion and my leftover stuffing herbs made it taste like Thanksgiving all over again.

  8. Great ideas, Janet. A size 2 doesn`t just happen, right?

    I'll miss our daily visits.


  9. Thanks for sharing your portion size information. Much of what you do has been touted in "French Women Don't Get Fat" and elsewhere. It's just about taking that first step to reworking your approach to food and eating, isn't it?

    I think that first step (in almost anything) is usually the biggest hurdle.

    1. I remember reading/hearing several times about how after the book came out, (which is an excellent book,btw) many women complained that they did NOT lose weight on this "wine and dark chocolate" diet. Naturally, portion control was reminded, but the author's "3 bite rule" for desserts was scoffed and poo-poo'ed because that was soooo unrealistic.
      Gina, I agree that the first step is the biggest hurdle. Once again I read/heard somewhere (poor citing of sources from me!) that any habit generally takes 3 weeks to break. I know the few times I actually went on a diet that it was indeed around 3 weeks that sugar cravings subsided, and I became at ease with it. Well, somewhat at ease because obviously that diet did not last.
      Biggest thing that has always helped me is to sit and enjoy my food as Janet explained below. Savoring the food does slow down eating, and as Shelley pointed out below, the feeling of fullness takes 20 minutes. Lots of good things to consider with this post! I am making potato soup tomorrow, too!
      _Suzanne in Illinois

  10. Hi Janet - I love your blog especially when you show us your house and now your food! can you tell me what you love to snack on?

    Thanks! Jennifer

    1. thanks jennifer.

      here are some of my favorites.


  11. Oh, yes, I remember when I was studying in the US: Restaurant visits were horrible! All this rush, you put down the fork and the invoice is already on the table... Here we go to restaurants to meet friends and family and sit there for hours - and eat and drink and talk for hours. Good American friends visited us this summer and we made a trip to Italy. They couldn't believe we sat in a restaurant for 4 hours to eat a 4 course menue. But this is what eating really is - enjoying your food!

  12. This is going to be my 'december resolution'.

  13. I never finish my meals in restaurants. I purposely only eat half of the meal so I can bring the rest home and have leftovers.

  14. The soup looks amazing.... very delish... I have to say since I embarked on my healthier eating regime (way back in June) the main thing I noticed was how my portion sizes were way too large before hand... Now I keep an eye on them always and like you, slow down too. Feel far better too. x


  15. Most Americans eat WAY too fast, and, as a result, they take in too many calories before they realize they've eaten enough. It takes approximately 20 minutes from the time you start eating for your brain to send out signals of fullness. Leisurely eating allows ample time to trigger the signal from your brain that you are full. And feeling full translates into eating less.

    look here:

    1. Excellent information, Shell, as always.
      -Suzanne in Illinois

  16. Thanks for sharing all the great tips and recipes!

  17. I'm behind on reading the blogs but had to comment. Many years ago when I worked an evening shift, I remember a co-worker telling me that her husband had threatened to quit taking her out to eat because she inhaled her food. The culprit is those 30 minute lunch breaks we peons get!


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