Saturday, March 17, 2007

Day 42: The Love Of Food

Update: 231.0 lbs, 27.2 lbs so far, 10.8 left to reach goal.

I was teaching about love in the mid-high class a couple years ago, when I asked the question, "how do we use the word love...what are some things we love?" One of my favorite kids Kent said, "I love General Tsao's Chicken." He got a good laugh, but I know what he means...there are a good lot of foods I have a deep, deep fondness for as well....dare I say, even a true love for. I realized this even more this morning as I listened to Paula Dean cooking some artery clogging crock pot mac and cheese thinking 'if I was a tiny, tiny person, I'd just dive into that crock pot, and swim around a while.'

I love pizza. There are no two ways about it -- I could eat it several nights a week and not get tired of it. I could take leftovers for lunch and even have a slice or two for breakfast. In Salem, Paddingtons just rules for pizza. Not their customer service mind friends are getting tired of hearing me tell the story of when the manager wanted to charge me for the mistake her teenage worker made in placing my order, but I digress. I can overlook the shotty service because there is nothing on earth like a Paddingtons Humdinger; all the meaty goodness, olives, mushrooms, cheese, on a crispy thin crust, topped off with a shot of taco sauce. It's pretty much perfection on a platter. I've determined that if I hit my goal by my birthday, I may just be sitting down to one as a celebration.

But not just pizza, I really enjoy eating most food, and it shows. I love how warm cookies and cold milk make you feel. A big helping of hot lasagna when the meat, cheese and noodles have all reached a trinity of goodness is amazing. A smoked brisket cures all pains, especially when spruced up with some Sweet Baby Rays, and an Original vegetarian omelette with that sharp swiss cheese is only outdone by a plate of FortyNiner ultra thin pancakes. All these foods and more, I love.

I love the preparation, I love the plating, I love the partaking. I love the social aspect of enjoying really good food together as well. And it was this love of food that I worried about as I began the calorie cutback. Would I enjoy eating a bunch of low calorie food, or would I just be miserable all the time, wishing I had my old eating habits back? Would I watch others eating whatever they wanted and think 'that used to be me...oh the good days?' Well, I can tell you, at first the reality was that I did not enjoy food for a while, and some low cal or low carb options I picked up just flat out stunk. (Again I say, don't go for the low carb, low cal tortillas...they should call them El Stinkos.)

However, now I can say, I'm back to enjoying most of the things we eat. I've really learned to savor the food we make, especially when there is less of it to enjoy. Instead of shovelling in food by the forkful, I'm enjoying each bite, when we're not in a rush to get somewhere. Someone said to try to make each meal a 20 minute event, since you don't often realize you're full until 20 minutes later. How many times have we said, "oh man, I ate way too much," because we were hammering the meal and got through the first course before the 5 minute mark?

I've also enjoyed putting together meals that will get the biggest bang for the buck calorically, while being flavorful and satisfying. And when the occasion comes that we're going to go out (the Mrs. wants to hit Burgerville tonight in fact,) then I plan accordingly in the morning, and get to enjoy some of those things that I really used to love before, while still hitting the target calorie zone.

So yes, I still love food, I'm just learning to love less of it at each meal, and to love those healthier items I didn't always incorporate before, and to not be tempted by the caloric mistresses of my yesteryears quite as much!


PS - it's beautiful out today in the old Pacific NW, get out and move! And look for some fun pictures on Monday's post!

Friday, March 16, 2007

Day 41: Krispy Kreme Burger

Update: 231.8 lbs, 26.4 lbs so far, 11.6 left to reach goal.

I was watching Rachel Ray's talk show the other day...yeah, there you go, I said it...and they had this segment that was called something like "Are They Real Foods Or Not" with several wacky items on the table. Next to the Rice Krispies Pizza and Mint Popcorn was the Krispy Kreme Burger...and apparently, it's real.

If it's not obvious by the photo, this 1000 calorie baby is a bacon cheeseburger slapped in between a Krispy Kreme donut. Doesn't really sound appetizing to me, but apparently it's a big hit at the minor league ballpark mentioned in the article above.

Surprisingly, a regular old KK donut is only 200 calories -- I expected way more considering what most pastries have been turning out to be. In fact, I could pull my own Juan Carlos-Cruz and cut this baby down to 500 calories by using only one KK donut, a turkey burger, shredded light mozarella, half the bacon, and no mayo. If you've seen Calorie Commando, you know I mean business.

Well, it's amazing what we put into our's amazing what I've been putting into mine that I'm just now realizing. And anyway, I prefer my donuts and burgers separate.


Thursday, March 15, 2007

Day 40: Ode To Trader Joes

Update: 232.6 lbs, 25.6 lbs so far, 12.4 left to reach goal.

Before ever trying any products from Trader Joe's, I always imagined them to be items brought back from all corners of the world -- something like a sack of trinkets tossed on the counter by J. Peterman before he unfolds the spicy details of his most recent adventure on an episode of Seinfeld. Turns out it's just a grocery store.

I still don't really know what IS exactly inside a Trader Joe's store, there's not one in our town -- it's about 30 miles up the road -- and so far, only my wife has brought back goodies from there for us. But I've got to say, some of my favorite snacks and food items in the process are TJ nor particular order, here are some of the things I like having in the house.

Nonfat Vanilla Yogurt - this one is much sweeter compared to the other brands I've tried...which end up being tart to me. Only 140 calories per cup too.
Savory Thin Mini Crackers - these are really tasty, and get this - 37 crackers in a 130 calorie serving. I could easily put down a bag in a sitting, but having a handfull is a great treat.
Cat Cookies (for people) - I love that the carton says 'for people' on them. These either have ginger in them, or cinnamon, or both, but have a great little taste and go good with an evening cup of coffee. 15 little cookies for 130 calories is a decent portion too.
Meatless Meatballs - I call them dirt balls, but they are actually pretty good for me. Either with some teriyaki sauce, or in spagetti. 6 of them for 140 calories are pretty filling too.

So if you've got a TJ's by you, hop on in and grab some goodies. You'll never find yourself saying: "Elaine, up until a few minutes ago, I was convinced I was on the receiving end of the oldest baker's grift in the books - The Enterman's Shim Sham." - J. Peterman.


Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Day 39: And The Boat Becomes A Roller Coaster

Update: 233.2 lbs, 25.0 lbs so far, 13.0 left to reach goal.

I was really hoping I'd hop off that plateau I'd been on, and start moving again, and today I hit another mini-goal, I've lost 25 lbs total. My daughter even made some cookies last night that smelled amazing, but I resisted them, and they fled. Wanted to come into today's weigh in as purely as I could...but it could be time for a butterscotch chip cookie breakfast now! I kid, I kid...

Gotta run out of town to a seminar this morning, but one little tid-bit for all of you giving it the old college try. The biggest snack bang for the buck that I've been able to find is the Dairy Queen Fudge Bar (or Orange Vanilla Bar) for $1.29, and only 50 calories (or 60 for the OV version.) Since it's cold, I can't eat it very fast, so it lasts much longer than one of those 100 calorie granola bars, or cookie packs. Yes, it does have aspartame, so if you're opposed to putting that in your body (don't drink diet Coke, or Crystal Light, or sugar free anything from Starbucks) then you won't want to partake of this little gem.

So if you're in the mood for something sweet and don't want fruit or yogurt, head on down the DQ and get some low-cal ice cream lovin'!


Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Day 38: Slow Boat to China

Update: 234.6 lbs, 23.6 lbs so far, 14.4 left to reach goal.

Well, finally back to where I was on Friday...what a weird long weekend. Of course I'm still happy that I'm down 23+ lbs. Of course I'm happy to be on the downward side again. Of course I'm happy that my clothes are fitting better, and generally I feel really good. I just like it better when I'm cruising down the weightloss freeway, rather than being stuck on the Lancaster Drive of Losing Weight.

Do you ever wonder where certain phrases come from? I do. My first thought this morning was of being on this 'slow boat to China' in my progress lately. Perhaps it's just having had John's Chinese this weekend, or perhaps it's that my buddy Sam is now working remotely from China for a few months, or perhaps it's just that I'm really an old-guy trapped in, well, pretty much an older guys body that drives me to pull out these old-guy statements. My kids often hear me say "hey, we got the catbird seat," when pulling into a decent parking spot, or "that's more fun than you can shake a stick at," or "close only counts in horseshoes and handgrenades." Ok, that last one was actually probably my dad, not me.

Anyway, turns out 'Slow Boat To China' was a song written by Broadway composer Frank Loesser, sometime around 1945. He wrote several songs, but you will probably most likely know him by his Academy Award winning song "Baby, It's Cold Outside," which is one of my favorite song moments in one of my favorite Christmas movies, Elf. According to his daughter, this is where the phrase came from:

"I'd like to get you on a slow boat to China" was a well-known phrase among poker players, referring to a person who lost steadily and handsomely. My father turned it into a romantic song, placing the title in the mainstream of catch-phrases in 1947.

As The Straight Dope writes: "The song was very popular in its time (and has been revived and sung from time to time over the years by such notables as Kay Kyser, Bing Crosby, Jimmy Buffett, and Frank Sinatra, among others). The phrase then moved into general parlance to mean anything that takes a lonnnnnnng time."

Lets hope I can slap on a 250hp Evinrude to this baby and get it mooooving again.


PS - if you'd like to incorporate some old-guy sayings into your daily routine, I found this fairly comprehensive list you might enjoy browsing through.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Day 37: The Wall

Update: 235.0 lbs, 23.2 lbs so far, 14.8 left to reach goal.

I feel like I've been hovering around this 235 lb mark now for the past 4-5 days, without making much progress. It's crazy too, because I've stayed under my 1500 calories (net on a couple days, but still...), exercised every day for at least 2o minutes, drank water, and haven't really been eating after dinner. Still not discouraged -- this would be a typical place for me to give up and go drown my sorrows in a personal sized Humdinger -- gotta keep pushing through because I believe the long term results are still there to be had. I may have to track down a Jensen Lime or Tommy Ale to for a quick pick me up though...

On another note, spending a day At The Zoo is sure a great way to get in some exercise. Saturday we took up about 30 mid high friends and staff to soak up the Oregon sunshine and watch some animals watch us walking around in rain gear and umbrellas. It actually wasn't that bad, really only getting us a little towards the end. I threw on a pedometer and was surprised to find out that we walked 4.75 miles, spent almost 2 hrs of pure walking time, took over 14,000 steps, and burned 550+ calories. I don't think I could do that every day, but not bad exercise for a day away.

That's all I got to say, hasta.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Day 36: Crazy Sunday, Super Short Post

Update: 235.0 lbs, 23.2 lbs so far, 14.8 left to reach goal.

I've determined that Sunday mornings are just too crazy to really do any blogging. I did weigh in this morning though, just couldn't sit down long enough to post before running off to church. Anyway, I may post an evening wrap up, but probably not going to get up here in the mornings on Sundays. Still hovering around the same weight for the past few days...hoping to see a good dip in the morning. We'll see.