[The original post on this topic stated what I am planning to do: 70% fat and that's it. I've been busy and haven't posted, but this is kinda long...you might want to skip this one.]
Day 7, Saturday, August 10, 2013 – 203.6
I am now 13.7 pounds from my goal.
Blood glucose is a bit high at 119, no doubt because dinner was 52 grams of mainlined, processed, zero-fiber carbs.
Being Saturday, with a long and stressful week behind me and a certain stressful week ahead of me (2 days of all-day phone calls: awful) I decided to endeavor to indulge in my favorite pastime as best I could: nothing.
I love to veg – it is such a battery-charging time for me. My list of things does not get any shorter, but giving myself the time to ignore that list with impunity does make it easier to face that list.
I woke up at 5am without the alarm – my usual time – and made myself a pot of decaf. I had a large mug with some milk as there was no cream and – again – it only matters in this experiment that I keep to 70% plus fat. Some carbs are ok.
I read an obscure satirical novel from 30 years ago called ‘The Great Leap Forward’ – it was a free download for my Kindle and though my reading has been almost 100% nonfiction for years, I felt the need for a little escapism. I enjoyed the book – and the expanse of time I carved out to read it.
Late-morning I was hungry and raided the fridge for something to eat. Being the weekend, there were forgotten treasures in the fridge, soon for the garbage that might be worth saving. I found some unused ground pork as well as some tofu and cucumbers. I like tofu though I don’t eat it much: my understanding is that the unfermented types, unlike miso, for example, contain phytoestrogens – compounds similar to female hormones, which is why it is sometimes used as a natural hormone replacement for menopausal women. Being a guy, I’m not sure it would be all that great to live on the stuff – but the occasional indulgence I think is OK.
I had 7 ounces of the cooked ground pork along with maybe 1/2 cup of tofu and 1/2 a cucumber.
Then I took a nap. What a luxury, a nap. Sorry if I’ve let the cat out of the bag on just how dull I am, but an afternoon nap is the kind of excitement I crave these days.
When I woke around 3pm, I made real coffee – my allotted amount. Soon after the mind woke and began to whirr – the machinery now thinking and planning and plotting.
I have done awful my first week, though at this point I’ve lost weight. Now I needed to do some prep for the next week. I put together a shopping list and felt ambitious enough to carry through on it. I also began to be able to bear the thought of tackling some of my weekend chores like laundry.
It has been 25 days of a radical 75% reduction in coffee. There’s benefits to the reduction, assuredly, but there’s also a benefit to a hot steaming mug of caffeine. It is ambition in a cup.
That ambition found me hitting 3 grocery stores and back at the house 45 minutes after I left. I did my laundry, cleaned the kitchen, began a backup of my wife’s computer before I installed more memory, and prepared a big batch of my Cauliflower ‘Potato Salad’. For those too lazy to click thru to the link, here it is again:
The recipe is simple and doesn’t really count as ‘cooking’:
On a flat plate, I placed the washed cauliflower head whole and the kielbasa. I Set the timer for 15 minutes and took the kielbasa out when I started to hear popping – it was 10 minutes or so. At 15 minutes, the cauliflower head was soft.
In the meantime, I made 6 hard-boiled eggs. I do NOT know how to make an easy to peel hard-boiled egg (anyone help me here?) so you are left to your own devices on this one.
I then chopped everything up into bite-sized pieces, added together, mixed in the cup of mayo add a little salt – the kielbasa is salty already so I didn’t want to overdo it – and pepper.
I put this into 6 – 2 cup containers and then did the math. If I did the calculations right each container is:
47 grams of fat
This went in the fridge to let the flavors meld.
It might be time to reflect on the goals I set and what went well and what didn’t.
1. Technically, I succeeded for the most part. I kept my fat at 70% – or nearly 70%. Along the way I had pizza and high carb chocolate, but butter, mayo and sour cream are great at getting you to that 70% mark fast.
2. No particular suffering was involved. I didn’t go hungry. I enjoyed what I ate – and I think that is a right – diet or no diet.
3. I ate less frequently but took in greater calories when I did eat. I think this is better than grazing, which might be the diet version of Chinese water torture.
4. I have been avoiding the myriad of oral fixations that dieters use to supposedly ‘help’ in dieting that I think are self-defeating. No mints (perhaps to the chagrin of my coworkers), no gum, no sipping water obsessively. I think the mouth needs to learn it doesn’t need to be in constant motion, munching and sipping. I think it might HURT diet goals. Instead, I ate fewer times a day, but larger portions.
5. I succeeded at going from 20.5 pounds away from my 30-day goal to 13.7 pounds away from my goal as of this day. I’m not calculating the weight lost – even in my head – I’m focusing on the goal – not the weight loss.
6. I could be eating better. Dave Brown was right to say that it DOES matter what that 30% of calories come from, and no, it hasn’t been Twinkies or snickers bars. Some has been good stuff – others crap. I should work to make the mix better and with shopping today I took a step in the right direction.
7. Evenings are my nemesis. I think I am much more stupid in the evenings than in the mornings – I am a natural morning person. I need to do something about the evenings to prevent the ‘search and destroy’ food mentality that arises from my zombie-like brain in the evenings.
Alas, this was another evening where this occurred. The family had been gone for the day and hit a dim sum restaurant. Dim sum, for those not in the know, are a variety of small dishes, usually dumplings of some sort, though chicken feet are usually available if you’d like to try them (tasty, but too many small bones to deal with in my opinion).
I must have had 4 or 5 of the dumplings, which I counted in my calorie counting app the best I could. I also had a hamburger and hotdog and looked at my tally: I was way too low on fat. What to do?
I played around with what I could eat go get the fat back up to 70% and wondered if I would be better off just stopping or literally eating fat to get me to 70%. It would pump up the calories – but I’m not counting calories – I’m counting fat.
In retrospect, what might have been a hare-brained move, I decided to have 4 tablespoons of butter. I sliced them and rolled them in granulated Splenda. My older daughter, no neophyte to my eating habits, shook her head and said: “Dad, you are a strange person.”
I said nothing.
I would have been OK if I stopped there, but it usually falls to me to clean the kitchen before bed and I had to put away some other leftovers – one was rice.
A half-cup was consumed before it hit the fridge. I also went with 2/3rds cup of sour cream. I added some of the Watermelon-Strawberry MiO to it and it was quite good – reminded me of the kid’s over-flavored yogurts. My younger daughter dug it, too.
To make matters worse, I ended up coming down from bed and having 2 hot dogs on 2 buns.
I had totally screwed the pooch on this day – and as always – at the last moment.
This is where my work lies next week – the evenings.
Day 8, Sunday, August 11, 2013 – 206.4
It a new week and the focus is not so much on the food but on the evenings. I am going to approach it as if this loss of control in the evenings is the result of accumulated stress from the day and simple fatigue that’s got me simply less able to cope.
So what’s there to do about it? Here’s one simple idea: meal planning. We don’t do much of that in my household. Mealtimes are an interwoven web of chaos as everyone seems to want something different as well as because everyone’s busy and most times we can’t manage to have meals together – chalk it up to ‘modern family syndrome’ or whatever else you’d like to consider it.
While I see no way I could enforce unified family meals except on occasion, at least I can focus on my own food choices – and there’s no reason why the cauliflower ‘potato’ salad can’t be pressed into service as part of this planning.
I also had the idea of making more of my homemade mayonnaise. I made the salad with the store-bought type and have been trying to use it up. Oddly, my knees have been bothering me – is there a relationship between me using soybean oil mayo the last few weeks and the knee issue? We’ve got to be very careful when making these cause-and-effect assertions. I haven’t had soybean oil in the quantity I have as of late – and I don’t plan on having it again after I finish up my mock potato salad. If my knees stop bothering me, it STILL does not prove causation – it could be a coincidence.
Anyway, I got too cocky making the mayonnaise and put in too much oil. Like a cake going flat, it went from a thick, creamy, luscious emulsion to a speckly goo in almost an instant. I tried adding another egg yolk but it did no good. Lesson learned: respect the emulsion.
I suppose that I can use it as a dressing of sorts – I am not going to throw away all that great olive oil. I’ll find some way to eat it. I’ll shake it up and hopefully it will be a nice dressing for my artichoke hearts.
I tasted the stuff and it still tasted good, it just had lost it’s creaminess. Perhaps I can use it up anyway in the next two weeks – that’s how long I have been able to successfully keep it and eat it without food poisoning from raw eggs.
By noon, with a combination of tasting the broken mayo and the cream in my coffee I had taken in a stunning amount of fat – my totals at noon were: 800 calories and 97% of them from fat.
About this time my wife and I cleaned the fridge of the abandoned leftovers to make room for this week’s groceries and she spied the fake potato salad I made and had placed in 6 2-cup containers?
“Can I have some?” She asked.
“Of course! Nothing makes me happier than seeing people eat the food I cook. Help yourself.”
She ate the entire container while we cleaned. When finished, I asked her what she thought.
“Not bad, though I would have preferred potatoes to cauliflower.”
Wouldn’t we all.
So anyway – let’s return to the night-time eating issue, shall we? If you read my original post I have utterly failed. There was supposed to be a certain ‘intensity’ to these 30 days and yet I have loped through the first week in my usual haphazard, indolent way. I know myself too well to expect me to ‘Just Do It’ – that’s just a vapid sneaker slogan and not a motivator for me.
No: there’s a big, dumb Me that emerges as the sun goes down and this dimwit needs to be guided through the evening and steered around the rocky shores of carbs and other goodies that surround him – the same issues that present no issues during the day. It has been a long time since I went out to lunch and indulged a carb craving during the day, but the notion of the accumulation of stress and fatigue during the day taking its toll in the evening – on my diet – resonates for me. At least it is a plausible working hypothesis.
It is such a mindless eating. So unremarkable, really. It’s driven by something outside of actual hunger as I rarely suffer from a ravenous hunger unless set off by certain carbs.
So now – during the afternoon when I still am lucid, let’s decide what we’re going to have for my meals during the week, shall we? I will attempt to stick to the script as close as possible.
The good news – for me – is that I am quite content to eat the same thing over and over – most of the time. That makes the coming week’s meals rather straightforward.
For the coming evening I can have a hamburger covered in melted cheese. If I can manage that, today would be a success – let’s see. Now – the coming week.
I decided that simply writing this here is not sufficient. No – I am going to EMAIL the above list to myself at every day about the time I arrive home to remind the stressed, overwhelmed, overstimulated, fatigued, stupid, imbecilic evening me that when not out of my mind I am normally on a diet and despite me forgetting this due to my daily senility period (which I will be experiencing and not know it when I receive this email), the lucid me that resides in my cranium the rest of the day would like to elicit my cooperation – and here’s a handy list so I don’t have to think too hard.
This whole ‘morning me and evening me’ is not a new revelation: I wrote a post about it years ago – though I’ll be damned if I can find it in this mess of 500+ posts.
Day 9, Monday, August 12, 2013 – 206.4
Very busy on this day so not time for self-indulgent navel-gazing.
I had my allotted coffee – and more than my allotment – I was on the phone from 11am to 8pm. During that time I had my cauliflower ‘potato’ salad. At home – amazingly – I remembered that I was on a diet and that I had to control my eating. To that end I had 10 slices of peppered salami with 4 ounces of raw cheese melted on top. I throw oregano on it and eat it with a knife and fork – it’s so good. Also a hot dog with a slice of American cheese.
For dessert I had 3/4 cup of sour cream with 2 squirts of the MiO drink mix – actually, it’s quite good that way.
Fat: 137g (77%)
Day 10, Tuesday, August 13, 2013 – 204.8
Blood pressure at noon was 124/71 with a pulse of 78. This was after my 2 cups of coffee finished maybe 3 hours ago. About the same time I ate perhaps 5 ounces of raw milk cheese. I get this at Trader Joes’ at a decent price and this has become my favorite cheese as of late.
In the evening, seemingly more aware than last week, I had 2 avocados with sour cream and salsa. A bit later I ate half a hamburger wrapped in cheese with low carb ketchup – and except for a fruit leather, that was it.
Fat: 163g (76%)
Day 11, Wednesday, August 14, 2013 – 203.2
For the past 2 days I had more coffee than my allotted amount. On this day I intend to get back to my standard amounts. I finished my caffeinated version by 9am and had a cup of decaf with a tablespoon of cream by 9:30am.
The day was more of the mock potato salad as well as 3/4 cup of sour cream – again with MiO – this time the lemonade flavor. Again, not thrilled eating the artificial crap, but enjoying it.
At home in the evening I had 2 hot dogs with 2.75 ounces of cheese (yes – I weighed it). I also picked a bit. 1/4 of a Trader Joe’s savory tart (think small slice of cheese pizza no tomato) with 2 tablespoons of butter. I also was helping my daughter stir a new jar of almond butter and had 2 tablespoons of that – I haven’t had nut butters in a while – it was tasty. I needed a glass of milk after that, though, so I had maybe 3/4 cup.
There was also a small bit of leftover Greek salad from Panera and I had that as well. The remains of a McDonald’s Crispy Chicken Club sandwich also got eaten – maybe a little less than a quarter of a whole sandwich.
I finished up with 4 pieces of Lindt 90% Dark Chocolate and maybe 1.5 ounces of the wife’s fruit leathers.
Fat: 218g (72%)
Day 12, Thursday, August 15, 2013 – 203.0
Despite the eating the day before, I actually am a bit closer to my goal: 13.1 pounds.