I’m not being hyperbolic when I say this, but the BMI has ruined me. And by ruined I mean it’s put me on a perpetual diet. A constant internal struggle to pick and choose between healthy and not-so-healthy bite-sized morsels as if I were a mother forced to love her smart kids over the dumber, yet funnier, ones.
And since I’m pretty much always on one diet or the next, a genuinely painful hunger follows me around like an abandoned puppy everywhere I go. You know what I’m talking about, right? The sense a shouldering little Devil is yanking on your esophagus from the back of your throat, creating the impression that there’s an enormous void back there that only copious amounts of food can fill. Then the gnawing sensation spreads quickly down to your stomach causing your Pavlovian-trained brain to binge on whatever you can get your hands on, because you’ve starved yourself for a few hours. Oh the joys of dieting!
I can remember when I first came face to face with the BMI too. I was working in film and used my lunch break to visit my frumpy middle-aged Eastern European doctor in Beverly Hills for a routine checkup. She’d just asked me to lie down on the bench lined with a crinkled sheet of parchment paper so she could press on my stomach below my ribs and around my pelvis. Her hands pulled my gown aside, and she fondled my mini-me, all the while, her neon pink lipstick was smeared all over her teeth, and I could see the remains of a bagel and cream cheese lodged between her teeth. Then we walked over to the scale, and she tapped the weights across the slide with her chipped cherry red manicured finger until suddenly she stopped, wrote something on her chart, and then gave me that look, a glare of disapproval where she lowered her chin so she could see me over the bridge of her tortoise shell glasses.
“We,” she said, as if this was some collaborative effort, “need to do something about your weight.” Before I could respond to the accusation, she’d started fumbling in one of her drawers overflowing with Rx pads and outdated materials, riffling through piles of laminated flyers, only stopping once she found that dreaded chart. It was the Body Mass Index (aka Bullshit Measuring Indicator). A simple grid of numbers created with the sole purpose of slashing any hopes and dreams I had of getting a gruyere grilled cheese on my way home. “According to the BMI,” she said, pausing for effect, “you’re obese.”
Suddenly all the confidence I had going into the appointment having watched the Ralph Macchio E! True Hollywood Story the night before was gone. I felt as if I’d taken a karate chop to the jugular.
“That thing is like ten years old,” I said, catching my breath, “what can that possible know about my lifestyle?”
“It’s just a standard we use,” she started to say before I interrupted her again.
“Besides, I’m built like my father,” I said, knowing very well that she’d have to account for my stocky stature.
“You’re absolutely right,” she said, giving me a ten pound allowance for my obviously overabundant muscle mass. And for a brief moment, a Hanson mmmbop if you will, I felt like it was all just one big misunderstanding. Like I’d successfully circumvented the minefield of insecurities I’d been wrestling with my entire life. Phewww
And with a Grinch-like grin she showed me the revised BMI prophecy with the ten-pound handicap factored in.
“Shit!” I said under my breath. I was still obese.
The point is this, the BMI is wrong and it has been for centuries. I can still see my toes when I look down…sure I have to lean back a little, but that’s besides the point. I don’t have a FUPA (fat upper penis area); at least not one that would qualify as carryon luggage, or worse, one so large a flight attendent would ask me to slide it under the seat in front of me before takeoff and landing.
But if I’m being honest with myself (which is rare), what I’m most upset about is not the vagueness of the BMI, but the fact that on whatever weight measuring spectrum I do choose to use, I am a little overweight. It just sucks that obese is the hyper stigmatized word it uses. In reality many of us do need to eat healthier. That’s why Jonathan and I have started incorporating healthier “low point” (if you’re on Weight Watcher) meals into our weekly regimen. So I guess I got a little carried away, and “ruined” is a bit of an exaggeration. The BMI, as horribly outdated it may be, still works as a kick in the pants to many of us who have been living in denial about our eating habits. I guess I’ve learned to accept it’s purpose, and finally this foodie is learning what it means to live and eat healthy. Now comes the bigger problem….doing it!
These mini vegetable frittatas were inspired by several recipes we found online. We changed it slightly by adding the cottage cheese which really added a richness and fluffiness to the frittatas that we couldn’t stop eating them. Enjoy
Mini Vegetable Frittatas
Makes 12 mini vegetable frittatas, each 2 Weight Watchers points.
- 1 ¼ cup of mushrooms – diced (0 pts)
- ½ medium onion – diced (0 pts)
- Head of broccoli – steamed and then roughly chopped (0 pts)
- 4 whole eggs (7 pts)
- 1 cup egg whites (2 pts)
- ½ cup low fat (2% milkfat) cottage cheese (2 pts)
- ¼ cup shredded low fat cheddar (2 pts)
- ¼ cup shredded pecorino romano (2 pts)
- 1 tsp garlic powder (0 pts)
- ¼ tsp red pepper flakes (0 pts)
- ¼ cup fresh parsley (0 pts)
- salt and pepper to taste (0 pts)
- Pam Cooking spray (0 pts)
Steam your head of broccoli until slightly tender in a steamer basket placed in a large covered pot with ½ inch of water on the bottom. You’re going to sauté it later so it will cook some more and you don’t want it to be mushy so make sure to shorten the steaming process accordingly.
Once the broccoli is semi-soft, let it cool and then roughly chop it into small pieces and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 375°
In a large bowl combine the whole eggs, egg whites, cottage cheese, pecorino cheese, salt and pepper and set aside.
In a skillet sprayed with nonstick cooking spray on medium high, sauté your mushrooms, onions with the garlic powder, red pepper flakes, and salt & pepper for about 3-5 mins and then add the steamed broccoli cook for another 2 mins before removing from the heat. Once off the heat, mix in your chopped fresh parsley.
Spray your 12-cup cupcake tin with non-stick spray and place about 2 tblsp of the vegetable mixture into each cup. If you have any left over mixture, go around again and try to evenly disperse the rest of the veggie mixture into each cup.
Then pour the egg and cheese mixture into the cupcake molds filling each one about ¾ of the way to the top. If you have any left over, do the same as you did with the veggies and evenly distribute it across the tin.
Evenly sprinkle the grated cheddar cheese on top of each uncooked frittata, and place the entire tray in the oven and bake for about 20 mins or until they’re set in the middle, and slightly golden on the top.
Let them cool for about five minutes in the cupcake sheet on a cooling rack before removing them from. This will allow them to pull away from the edges of the pan and settle.
Store the mini frittatas in the fridge and just pop them in the microwave or toaster oven to heat just before eating!
- There are ways to steam vegetables in your microwave if you’d prefer not to use a pot on the stove, but every microwave is different and…well, Google it.
- You can add whatever vegetables you want to this dish. We’ve made it with asparagus and zucchini before and that was delicious. Red bell peppers and cauliflower would work too.
- If you’ve got extra egg mixture and veggies, fill a ramekin or whatever you’ve got and bake the rest in the oven. Yum!