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Small Talk

Supersizing may be out—at least at McDonald's—but portion sizes in this country continue to grow, and Americans continue to gain weight. Since the 1980s, restaurant chefs have been serving food on ever-larger plates, bakers are using ever-expanding muffin tins and car manufacturers are even making bigger and bigger cup holders, according to a 2002 New York University study. The study also shows that how much people eat often bears little relation to the USDA's serving guidelines. For instance, packaged chocolate chip cookies are generally eight times the size of the USDA norm, and restaurant pasta portions are almost six times larger than the recommended half-cup serving. The following recipes all meet USDA guidelines—a useful reality check in these bigger-is-better times.
—Carla Ranicki

Eat Less By Design

"Mesü," a set of six bowls designed by Studio Penipento, is a stylish way to keep portion size in check. The pretty pastel dots on the bottoms and sides clearly indicate food amounts—from 1/2 to 2 cups ($45 from Intuition; 877-310-8442). Also, new from Vessel, "Fusionware," a series of everyday white plates and bowls, has a low ridge in the style of TV-dinner plates, to help control portions. ($58 for two place settings; 877-805-1801 or
—Lauren Fister

A Chef's Quasi Diet

Josiah Citrin (an F&W Best New Chef 1997), the chef at Los Angeles's Mélisse and author of the recipes here, has been on a million diets. But in the last year he's lost 45 pounds. His secret: He eats whatever he wants, but only half the normal portion. At the new café he co-owns, Lemon Moon, he fosters portion control by offering a selection of small plates, with such choices as half a cucumber sandwich and cauliflower-sorrel soup, plus a list of small salads. Citrin's quasi diet even lets him eat a burger: "I just share it with a buddy."

A Dose of Beauty

These products are packaged in single-use amounts to keep them fresh and easy to pack.

Algotherm Gentle Eye Make-Up Remover vials are filled with preservative-free and pH-balanced cleansers ($15 for 10; 800-705-ALGO).

Dermalogica Multivitamin Power Concentrate capsules for the skin contain antioxidant-rich vitamins C and E, firming vitamin A and soothing essential oils of orange and lime ($50 for 45; 800-345-2767).

Lather Pink Clay and Rose At-Home Facial System comes with sachets of cleanser and exfoliating pink-clay crystals, which you combine and use to smooth skin ($40 for 24 packets of cleanser and 12 packets of crystals; 877-6-LATHER).

Talika Eye Decompress consists of a paper tablet that, when dropped into an accompanying solution, becomes an eye mask that reduces puffiness ($25 for nine; 866-727-4737).

Umberto Giannini Dazzling Shine Gloss Cloths are infused with silicone; when smoothed over hair, they control frizz and flyaways ($2 from; 800-DRUGSTORE).
—Jennifer Laing

Published July 2004


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