Tag Archives: food

Doctor’s Update

So, the nurse practitioner I saw yesterday was saying that what I experienced was just low blood sugar fainting. She asked me all about my diet and even said that I should start eating breads and peanut butter. They said I might need more protein (which I don’t think I do because I eat a TON of protein) and that I need to eat foods that have a low glycemic index (which I already do in the form of berries and vegetables).

I’m not entirely pleased with the answer I got as after looking at what I eat, my blood sugar should NOT have been that low that day. I’m thinking about getting a blood sugar monitor to check myself.

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Healthy Lifestyle Choices for the whole family

Short update today. My wife has written a fantastic article about getting your whole family (including the kids) on a more healthy directions. Read it here:

http://mummathehealer.blogspot.com/2013/01/ask-mumma-making-big-change-in-dietary.html

Coming soon – the 225lbs update with photos (still recouperating from the Flu)

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Bloomberg is Anti-Choice – The New York Large Soda Ban

I don’t want a Large Farva, I want a GOD DAMNED LITRE O’ COLA!

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg got his way this week. They passed a law that banned sugary drinks larger than 16oz in New York City. This applies to restaurants, fast food service, movie theatres, food carts, etc…

I am not a fan of Bloomberg. I find that he’s the kind of Democrat that people hate. The ones that want to tax everything, reduce the choice of people by having the government intervene whenever necessary and I’m incensed by how he overturned term limitations for himself… only to re-institute them before he leaves office. I don’t want this to turn into a political rant (I am an independent, neither Republican nor Democrat), but I find that this ban is simply ridiculous. This won’t stop people with a soda addiction from drinking soda. It will just make them buy MORE 16oz bottles or 12oz cans. It will hurt the consumer in the wallet as well. Instead of going to the movie and buying one large soda to share with your significant other, you’ll end up buying two 16oz ones that will probably still cost the same as one large one… except now you’ll buy TWO.

I would love for this nation to get in shape, but restricting consumer choice through the government is a HORRIBLE idea. If you want to kill yourself with cigarettes, sugar, drugs, more power to you… it should NEVER be the governments decision to limit you. All they’re doing it reducing the single serving size… they don’t limit the quantity of those single serving sizes, so that does NOTHING but increase plastic use and waste. One thing that is unfortunately true in some instances is that what New York does, the country follows… Let’s hope this isn’t the case.

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Conquering the Whole30 and the first day cheat

The Whole30 is done. I lost 13lbs on it and I felt pretty good about the whole thing. It was a little stressful to be so disciplined about EVERY thing I ate, but I’m pretty sure I did it to the letter. They advise that you slowly introduce some of the foods back to see how you handle them. I think the phrase SLOW might have needed more clarification… well, probably not. I’ll explain.

This is what it FELT like I ate… also what it felt like I paid for, mind you.

So yesterday marked the end of our 3 day, 2 night Primal Camping trip experiment (which I’ll discuss next time). My son was rather well behaved and so I promised to take him out for ice cream to celebrate the end of summer. So, off to the local OrangeLeaf Frozen Yogurt store. If you’ve never been to an OrangeLeaf let me explain what they do here. First, they take about 18 different kinds of frozen yogurt and stick them in their machine in a wall for self dispensing (this is the first mistake). Second, they give you two sizes: large and tub (this is their second mistake). Third, let you mix and match and then put your own toppings on. Finally, you take your 15lb tub of deliciousness over to a scale and they weigh it and charge you per ounce (and this is the business model that keeps them afloat). Of course, human hands aren’t precision instruments and I don’t exactly know where the price per ounce is POSTED in the store… so it’s kind of a crapshoot when you get to the counter as you can’t really put frozen yogurt back into the machine from whence it came.

So I went with my kid and decided that we’ll just share one bowl. I explain all the flavors and some are put in the same machine so you can mix them. He (meaning, we… meaning mostly I) decides on some Strawberry, Vanilla Chocolate Swirl, Cookies and Cream and Banana. It’s a pretty big bowl so you can put them in their own areas side by side instead of piling it on. So I ask if he wants any toppings and he initially says no, but I convince him to put some fruit on it… you know, to make it healthier. As a final straw, I ask if he wants any jimmies or sprinkles… to which he obviously says yes. I apply a small spoonful so not to look a glutton. I pass on the fudge and butterscotch and peanut butter and head over to the scale where I am shown my destiny of failure. $12 exchange hands and my son and I sit down to enjoy our bowl of debauchery. 10 minutes later and the two of us are scraping the bowl down to liquid. I figure he’s probably going to barf from so much FroYo (he doesn’t… he takes it like a pro) and I’m satiated.

Now, they say after ingesting something unfamiliar, you need to see how you feel afterwards. At first I feel fine. I’m actually surprised. I figured I’d have blown up or something after eating like that. Though a few minutes pass and I notice that my throat is starting to feel sore as if my glands are swelling.  It doesn’t go beyond that, but it has maintained that feeling since yesterday. It’s uncomfortable, but not drastic. I’m fine without dairy and this was simply a treat. I do think that I will try to avoid dairy as much as possible without driving myself mental. One of the most difficult things was having salad at work that was either covered in cheese or covered in croutons. I was trying to stick to the plan so much that if one grain of either touched the salad, I wouldn’t eat it. Going forward I’ll be fine just shaking the bits off and not freaking out if I ingest a tiny bit.

In the end, I think I need to re-learn the Primal/Paleo tenets because I’ve mentally mixed the Primal with the Whole30 and now I can’t remember what’s on and what’s off (beyond the obvious). I’ll continue to err on the side of caution and I might continue to bring my own backup lunches to work. I’m two pounds from the magic 50lb loss. I’m still amazed where one summer got me.

Daily Weigh In – 252lbs (-48lbs since start, -73lbs since heaviest)

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Leftovers

I’ve never been in such a need for leftovers… or potentially pots of food that I can use at my disposal. So right now I’m looking for recipes of things that meet the following requirements:

  1. I can make a LOT of it at once on a Sunday
  2. Will not go rancid before Friday
  3. Can be packaged into nice little containers that can be brought to work to keep in the fridge
  4. is delicious…

I’m thinking chili for a first start. This post here led me to some good ideas. Specifically THIS CHILI. I do love chili… and all meat, no hat sounds great to me. I’m also stockpiling ‘good food’ at work where I can so that I can have leftovers provided by work that are on plan. I did have a sit down with HR about dietary requirements and the end result is that without a doctor’s note, I just have to make due. Totally understandable and acceptable. Luckily, we have a lot of things like cans of tuna and chicken and chopped vegetables and fruit that I can use.

On a another note, I would really like to know how much I weigh… but Whole 30 says NO. I have to say, I feel that the majority of my posts here are about progress and progress for me is determined by how much I weigh and how I look. I think this Whole30 has been doing pretty well. I feel slimmer through the sides and back recently. It’d be nice to get through these 30 days at the bottom of my 260s and it would be wonderful to be in the 250s.

My appetite has receded quite a bit recently. Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner are holding me through a day without issue or snack. Identifying hunger vs craving helps a LOT. I spoke about this with a friend (Hunger vs craving) and he had no idea that there was a difference (physical vs mental). Either way, understanding the difference is really important for me.

No funny pictures today… actually not much funny at all here.

oh wait, I got one:

Here’s Barth…

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The greatest mistake I’ve made OR Whole 30: Take 2.

My wife and I.

A challenge was laid early into my Whole30: I was the best man at my best friend’s wedding. This isn’t just any best friend, this is a lifelong friend of the most accurate description. We met mere weeks after I was born in July of 1981. He truly is like a brother (my actual brother not withstanding) as he has always been around to stick up for me, travel with my family on vacations and practically live at my house when he wasn’t sleeping at his own. The challenge was twofold: stick to the plan on both the rehearsal dinner (Day 2) and the wedding (Day 4).

The rehearsal dinner went great. We stuck to the plan, bothered our waitress with our dietary restrictions and generally felt like “those people”… I made a rather epic speech and all was well. The wedding, on the other hand…

Earlier in the day my wife and I agreed that this is the last wedding we need to go to in our group of friends and this being my best friend, we would enjoy ourselves and drink. However, we agreed that we would stick to the plan when it came to food. We also agreed that we would restart Whole30 on Sunday at Day 1. It was the greatest ‘mistake’ we could have made. We had a wonderful time. Shenanigans were had, dances were danced, cigars were smoked and libations were downed. The final tally for myself was somewhere around 6 beers, 2 vodka cocktails (watered down), a small glass of champagne and a small glass of wine.

In the end, my wife and I accepted our choices and enjoyed them to the fullest. We have no regrets and despite any potential hit to our waistline or health, we felt wonderful. Throughout the night people were commenting on how much weight we’ve lost and how great we looked and we knew that this was simply a one time thing.

This is a pretty good indication of where we were at…

We’re lucky that this wedding was only on Day 4 and not Day 10 or 20… Restarting on Sunday was no problem at all. I felt a lot better that we didn’t EAT anything bad for us…

At least as far as I can remember.

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What’s up, Jerky OR More Sriracha!

I love jerky. I’ve always loved it. My wife has not been a fan of my obsession with it. She always said there’s too much salt, too many bad things involved… While this is true of most store bought, cheap jerky… making your own would allow me to determine what goes into it.

Your food, dried… for your play-zhurrrr

So, with that, I put a food dehydrator into my amazon wish list (which is basically the “Buy me this for birthdays/father’s day/Christmas” list). I chose the Nesco FD-80 square dehydrator. I’d read a lot of reviews and this seemed to be the best. I also put the Jumbo Jerky Gun Kit into my list as well. These both arrived in time for Father’s Day, which was lovely.

It sat for a few weeks because I didn’t have any meat that was low enough in fat to use. After some cursory reading of jerky making, I found that leaner meat makes better jerky. It also makes jerky that’s less likely to go rancid. The dehydrator and jerky gun kit came with spices, but the spices contain nitrites and I wasn’t about to use those right away. Eventually, I found my way to the grocery store where I bought some cheap, lean ground beef. My wife was not happy with my choice as it wasn’t grass fed, organic beef. She told me that if I bought that I’d be eating it myself as she wouldn’t have it. I told her I wasn’t going to blow a big chunk of change on my first batch in the great odds that I screwed it up. So, a pound and a bit of jerky all for me then… or so I thought.

When I got home, I seasoned a bowl with some salt, pepper, Tabasco chipotle sauce and Sriracha sauce then dumped the meat in and started blending it together by hand, occasionally adding more of the above seasoning to it. In my head I was thinking “more seasoning than I need because it’s going to burn off…” THIS is incorrect. You need to use slightly LESS because dehydrating makes the season MORE potent. I loaded my jerky gun (which is basically a huge extruder and started working it onto the tray. I tried doing it in a circular pattern (don’t do this, you waste a LOT of space). The gun is kinda weird. It doesn’t come out as smooth as the above picture. It kinda burps a bit. Also, have a knife on hand to cut the strips off when you get to the end of the tray. Lay your strips out as the above picture, in straight lines. The other problem is when you get to the end of the gun, you’re left with this little hockey puck of perfectly good meat. Don’t do this: don’t slap it on the dehydrator and expect it to dry properly (or at least at the same length of time). It’s too thick. Either press it down a bit and put it on the dehydrator or cut it up a bit. I ended up just drying it as is. I set it on high and let it go for 4 hours. After 4 hours, I had a piece… it was good, but over-seasoned. I ate the hockey puck… it wasn’t quite cooked all the way through. I didn’t get sick, so there’s that…

I offered my wife a piece. At first she turned it down. Then, a few minutes later she tried a piece… and another… and then a few more exclaiming, “This is the best thing I’ve ever eaten…”

Thursday Weigh-In – 274lbs

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Cooking

Not exactly the kind of Bad Cook I was looking for, but I’ll take it.

I am not a good cook. I get VERY frustrated with the complexity of putting together meals. I can tear a PC apart, rip into a car’s engine and electronics, wire a building for phone and network… but putting a meal together is not my strong suit. Luckily, my wife does about 99% of the cooking. It’s nearly overwhelming because I’m making food for my wife and son as well as myself. It’s one of the few things that REALLY stresses me out. There are certain things with food prep that I’m not used to… like the proper way to handle meat and keeping your area clean and having all the stuff you need out before you start. And then there’s making sure that everything finishes cooking at the same time so I don’t have cold food that needs to be reheated.

As for people who LOVE to cook… what the hell is the matter with you!? Seriously, how do people do this for a living? That being said, I’m not bad at cooking meat. However, my grille hates it. I have this piece of crap that someone left at my house for storage and then they eventually went out and bought a new one leaving me with this garbage (Sorry Kris…). It’s got nasty hot spots, tons of cold spots and is almost impossible to keep at an even temp. It’s an open flame propane grille so when grease comes off the meat, it starts little fires here and there.

To quote Arthur Dent: “What the HELL is THAT!?”

My kitchen, on the other hand, is all new equipment (thanks to me selling my old Audi S6) but is VERY narrow. It’s not the place for two people to work. There’s not a lot of counter space either so prepping food requires it to be nearly spotless prior to work and even then it’s still tight. My wife is able to work around it… I am not. We also have a lot of gadgets too: a stand mixer (no idea how that works), a dehydrator (just got it, haven’t played with it yet), a really nice blender (ooo, I know how to use that one) and a few other things in which I have no idea how to use them or what they’re for. The meals I tend to make are simple. I like simple though, so that works for me. I THINK my wife likes simple. If she doesn’t she never complains about it. I’m lucky that my wife either really likes my cooking (when I do it right) or she’s just a fantastic liar. I tend to be more critical of my own creations than she does. One thing she does correct me on (thankfully) is proper and safe food handling.

The final problem we tend to have as a family is thawing our dinner ahead of time. We have had more than a few ‘fast nights’ simply because we forgot to thaw the meat in time…

One thing this program has done for us is cut down our restaurant visits. We had a HUGE budget for restaurants. We were well into a thoousand dollars a month on food with about half or more of that going to restaurants. Right now, as we try to find the best way to get the food we need for the best price, we’re still up in the near thousand range for groceries. I’m hoping that with some better preparation and more research we can stick to a $500-600/mo budget for food.

Today’s questions:

How do you stick to your budget?
Where do you shop for budget meals and supplies?
Were you a good cook before going Paleo?
If not, how did you cope with prepping your own food and what simple meals did you initially rely on?

Thursday weigh in – 277lbs.

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When life sucks, add bacon AND god damnit… Pizza Day

There’s a salad under there, I swear.

I love bacon. I have a shirt that says
BaconStrips&
BaconStrips&
BaconStrips&
BaconStrips& 
BaconStrips&

This isn’t some sort of sudden meme bacon addiction, I have ALWAYS loved bacon. When I got onto this diet I was alerted that I could eat bacon. I could also eat jerky (as long as it was pure jerky). I have a thing for crunchy meat. My wife shares my love of bacon, but is working on her love of jerky. She decidedly doesn’t like crappy jerky (Slim Jims, Matador, Oberto…) but lately she’s been getting into the more pure jerky that’s available. I’m eyeballing a nice dehydrator and jerky gun right now, with the hopes that I can start making my own strips.

My son ALSO loves bacon. His ideal meal is bacon and broccoli. Now this was even before we went primal. He wanted that stuff whenever we’d do it for him. Unfortunately, GOOD bacon isn’t cheap. We’ve convinces him that jerky is also bacon. That kid plowed through a really nice stick of jerky last night just like I would. My one problem with eating jerky is that I want MORE JERKY. I blame this on my tendency to demolish food. Chewing’s for suckers, I want that stuff in my mouth then in my gullet in as minimal time as possible… This is stupid. I have always raced my food down. I tend to take like 3 to 4 good chews and then try to swallow any foods. This leads to some rather humourous moments involving me casually choking to death on meat once in a while. I end up looking a bit like a cat hacking a hairball, except the end result ends up being a puddle of expensive steak. I’ve always been reprimanded for eating the way I do. My wife, my mom, my dad… they all have told me to “Slow down and enjoy it”. But, there’s just something in my brain that goes “FOOOD!?” NOM NOM NOM SWALLOW CHOKE BURP!* Even just this second, I totally INHALED a nice piece of Vermont Jerky (on sale at Whole Foods this week!). I think a lot of this has to do with my attention span while eating. I find it difficult to relax and enjoy the moment and live in the now. I’m always onto the next thing. I’ve always got 18 things going on at any one time. I’ve heard some people mention that this diet has helped their collective concentration so maybe this will help me relax and enjoy my food.

Today at work is Pizza Day. What once was a wonderful day full of about 4 slices of pizza and 2 pieces of calzone is now… a salad. Luckily, we had some bacon left over from yesterday but ultimately, I’m unprepared in terms of having enough meat. God damnit Pizza Day. I hope you die. I shall be going back for seconds of salad for sure. I hope the dinner at our event is a bit more friendly.

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The first plateau and the long work week

My plan was to start the Primal Blueprint 21-Day Total Body Transformation this week. I hate excuses, but I’m gonna make one anyway. This week I’ve been working from 5am to 8pm and I forgot the challenge pages. Due to having to get into work so early, I have to drive instead of walk which has killed my exercise goals for the week. Luckily, the work I’m doing is a lot of heavy lifting (picking up 50lb Workstations)

Yesterday, I tried to sneak in some of the exercises on a break. I figured the only thing I can’t do at home is pull ups, so I went to our gym and tried to bang some out. I’ve NEVER been able to do a pull up (unassisted). Today reminded me that I still can’t… unfortunately, with 120lbs of assist weight, the most I could eke out was 5. I figured I’d do the rest of the exercises at home, but I fell asleep before I did it. I’m hoping to make it up this morning. I ate in the plan though. I had to desecrate a lovely sandwich for it’s meat and veg, but I added it to a great salad and it was wonderful. It was sad to toss the bread into the bin. The place we got sandwiches from makes a lovely flat bread.

I was able to leave yesterday around 715pm and get home around 815pm to a wonderful dinner. My wife had made chicken nuggets (with almond meal), mashed potatoes (made out of cauliflower) and steamed broccoli. If someone had told me that you can make a reasonable amalgamation of mashed potatoes by pureeing cauliflower I’d have called you a god damned liar and told you to start running for even suggesting it. I’ll tell you this right now… it’s GOOOOOOD. It’s a bit like whipped potatoes with a hint of squash flavor. I could have eaten a few pounds of it.

Speaking of pounds, the lack of exercise is showing. I’ve plateaued at about 288lbs for the time being. Today is my first ‘honor hunger’ day. For this we’re not supposed to eat until we are actually hungry. I’ve been up since 4:40am… I’m getting reasonably hungry. Another challenge for today is that it’s sushi day at work. Now, I’m not sure how I’m going to handle this one. I can’t have the rice (even though it’s a TINY TINY bit) so I’ll need to figure this one out when I see the selection. Might end up recycling yesterdays salad.

Tomorrow I see my doctor to see if my current medication (2.5mg Lisinopril) is working to control my blood pressure. It’s the lowest dose that can be prescribed. Hopefully my blood work will be in by tomorrow as well.

If I don’t get started on the 21 day challenge correctly by today, I’m going to start on Monday, or roll next Monday’s events into the first Monday’s events and do them double duty. I need to figure this out. Luckily the stormy weather is breaking so hopefully I can get out and walk during my lunch break.

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