Bit in a Bucket!

Bit in a Bucket!Beef & Cabbage Chilurri

Whenever anyone asked my mother if her child would eat such & such a food for dinner, my mother’s standard response was …

“Just give him a bit in a bucket & he’ll eat it.”

Dismissive though it sounds, it was pretty accurate. I would eat anything. Indeed, I would probably prefer to have my meal served in a bucket because it held so much more than a plate or a bowl could. That proved all too prophetic as the years went by. Today, & I can’t believe I’m admitting this out loud, but when no one’s around, my preferred serving dish is a large, round, plastic storage container! Not only can this baby hold an amazing amount of food, but as you get towards the end, you can tilt it on its side to get every last morsel into the bottom “corner” to scoop it out. To make matters worse, it’s the best way to eat in front of the TV!

I try to justify this as being a hangover from my student days. It was really just a time saving techniques, wasn’t it? I only prepared meals in one pot, or on one pan, in order to reduce clean-up time. Dumping everything into a large bowl did the same. I would stir my tea with a dessert spoon & then use that to eat my dinner from the large bowl. Besides, forks might leave a morsel in the bottom! Efficiency was everything. Back then, there were too many pubs to visit. And life was too short to waste any of it washing dishes. And as children, we were encouraged to clean our plates so I was really just adhering to my childhood training.

Much though I hate skinny people telling me that “it’s all about portion control”, I know I’m a little beyond the pale with this particular one-bowl strategy. That said, it is what it is, & I do really enjoy my alone-time occasionally. With my favourite bowl.

When I’m paying more attention though, I do try to fill my big bowl with better choices. It’s an unbelievable way to eat massive amounts of poutine, for example. And if you don’t know what that is, you just have to pause & look it up. Okay so that’s NOT one of the better choices for weight loss! 🙂

Last night, as I’m trying to change things, I chose a “normal” bowl. And I filled it with a one-pot grass-fed beef roast & cabbage chilurry. Chilurry is my own special blend of chili & curry. I sometimes can’t make up my mind what I want so I combine the flavours. And grass-fed beef chilurri sounds so much more sophisticated than boiled beef & cabbage, doesn’t it!

How does it rate as a good dietary choice though? The essential fats balance of the grass-fed beef choice is probably understandable. Cabbage is a fantastic no-penalty volume veggie so it’s a no-brainer ingredient. Garlic & onions are essential, they’ve got miraculous super-food powers & stuff, & they taste so good. Add 2 litres of organic bone broth, thickened only by three (okay, it was five) potatoes, & it’s a dish fit for a king. Or for a fat guy trying to get thin!

Full disclosure … I had three of those piddly little bowls before I was happy. And the 2nd & 3rd weren’t like the one in the pic, they were filled to overflowing! 🙂

It does look nice though, doesn’t it!

Lay Off the Fat Guy in NJ!

Lay Off the Fat Guy in NJ!Coffee & Stainless Steel

I listened silently as Canada & Montenegro were identified as potentially threatening warring nations. I felt like all the NATO leaders could, themselves, push back against outbursts that might undermine the solidarity of the alliance. I can almost see why Vlad the Lad might have some appeal to some people. Perhaps if you imagine him as a bad boy villain in a Hollywood movie script. But … I draw the line when you blame hacking on the 400 lb fat guy in a basement in New Jersey. Why wasn’t it the skinny, nerdy guy? Maybe with glasses? It could have been a totally buff athlete! That was also smart. Equally, it might have been a woman. In any of those guises.

Why did you pick on the fat guy?

That was just …. well …. wrong!

Nobody is more critical of our being fat than we, our own fat selves, are. We know exactly what we look like. And what we feel like. We also know what we look like on the inside. And that isn’t always the person we see looking back at us from the mirror. We don’t need to be told by anyone else. Those that love us hurt us sometimes too. Many overweight people probably know more about diet, nutrition and health than most folk who have never had to worry about such things. The kind exhortations to get in a little walk, and to try portion control, are worthless. Skinny people … go pet a puppy instead. Please!

I get the modern movement to get us fat people healthy. Even if we are to remain fat. I totally understand that it would be nice if we could all accept each other as we are. It would be even better if we could love ourselves, regardless, added fat & all. It just doesn’t work for me! Despite how nice some people are about it, I don’t think it really works for them either. There is no slim person I know who looks at me & wishes they had my shape. And personally, even on a day where I’m at one with myself & the Universe, I would still rather be slim too.

Or is that … I wouldn’t rather still not be slim too. That’s your double negative, right there! 🙂

There are so many challenges. So many failed dieters. Is it even possible?

Down 6.2

Dancing With a Broken Knee

Dancing With a Broken KneeSalsa

It can’t be done at my weight! I have no clear recollection of where it comes from but I love Latin dance. Salsa, bachata & merengue, I love them all. After years of sporadic attendance at class, I’m still a beginner but I love it anyway. It just feels so good. I’ve also come to love the music. Though, as a fat older white guy, I’m sometimes a little self-conscious as I drive around; windows down & Enrique Iglesias or Romeo Santos blasting out at levels where I’m old enough to know better. I remember slow dancing at the disco to some of Enrique’s Dad’s songs! LOL

About a month ago, I blew out my knee. It’s not right yet & I am hopping around favouring the good one, so no dancing at the moment. Evening time is one of my greatest challenges when I try to lose weight. Lying on the couch, watching TV, is a recipe for failure. It’s one I keep on testing & it works every time: I snack & get fat! During most weight loss attempts, & when my legs worked, I’d pop on my headphones, head to the deck, & bop around for the duration of a song or two. Sometimes, the music would get to me & I’d abandon the TV, in favour of an hour of music listening.

Music has a lot to offer towards weight loss. Not only can it stave off a snack-attack, it gets us up & moving. I don’t think the calories burned make much of a contribution. Rather it’s the stress reduction that comes along with moving to, & listening to, the music.

I’d like to do more of this. And I’d really like my knee to get on with repairing itself. Dancing on two legs is challenging enough! 🙂

Let Them Eat Plastic!

Steel Water Bottle

Let Them Eat Plastic!

I watched a CBC Marketplace show the other day. It might have been a rerun of an older one, but it was all about plastic water bottles. We’ve all heard the horrible stories about plastic in the ocean impacting fish, whales, and so on but this one was about their potential impact on us. The show folk ran around buying brand name water from four cities across Canada and they brought them all to McGill University, in Montreal. Here, they ran tests on them to see if there were tiny plastic particles in the water we like to drink.

There were! It turned out these particles, though to a lesser extent, were in some glass bottled waters too.

For the most part, I choose to drink tap water. It runs through the filter on my fridge. Though I often hit the reset button on the change light when it comes up, rather than change the filter right away. As it turns out, some of these commercial water bottles are filled with tap water too. Sure, it’s filtered while being bottle but, sometimes, we’re just paying a silly price for tap water. And the environmentally unfriendly plastic bottle comes along for the ride. Who knew!

It seems that there’s so much of this stuff going around these days, & not just from water bottles, that it shows up in our oceans, lakes and rivers. And they can detect them in the fish we eat. So are we now eating and drinking micro-plastic particles?

Now nobody really knew if these plastic particles were doing us any harm. But that’s sometimes the case with such things, often for years, and then all hell breaks lose. While they figure all that out, we might be better off not drinking water coming in plastic bottles. It’s not that I have 100% faith in the water quality coming from our municipalities either. But if the bottled water is coming from the same source, but with added plastic particles, I think I’ll stick with the regular tap water for the most part.

I guess I’m a bit of a closet tree-hugger. I’m far too macho to be going around openly trying to save the planet. I want to pillage it and get rich! But while I do that, I’m going to dig out my stainless steel water bottle to remain hydrated! 🙂

Now I’m worried about the poor folk at the water bottling plant being out of work. Modern living is way too complex sometimes.

Note from yesterday’s post … the debreceni sausage wasn’t to my taste. I’ve had really good debreceni before, it’s just this one that I didn’t like. The recipe, however, was good so I’ll try it again with another sausage. Regardless, and in retribution, I behaved really badly afterwards. I ate lots of sea salt & caramel chocolate bark with my cherry ice cream. Twice! Oops!!!

World Cup Diet!

France Hotel de Ville

World Cup Diet!

I love soccer! And today is the biggest futbol day on the planet. I fasted yesterday so that I could feast today. I have too many connections with France not to support Les Bleus but I am blown away by the success of little Croatia making it to the final. And who knows what will happen come match time.

Typically here, we do wings, pizza and beer for game day. This might not be a good idea while I’m getting my head around losing some weight. And while I love French cuisine, I had no idea what foods were popular in Croatia so I thought I’d give that a go instead. I found an ajvar that I’m told is a typical condiment for sausage in the region. I couldn’t find any Croatian sausage so I went with a pack of debreceni. This is Hungarian, but it’s as close to Croatia as I could get on short notice. To give my almost-Croatian meal an Irish accent, I have to figure out how to add spuds and cabbage to the plate. I’m really looking forward to the game, and the food, today!

It’s far too early in the morning to be thinking about this, I’m hungry already! So let’s get back to yesterday’s fast instead. Intermittent fasting is a bit tougher to do when you call it that. I typically don’t eat breakfast. And it’s really easy to skip lunch when I’m busy. The downside, when I’m not trying to lose weight, is that I’m inclined to start my one meal shortly after 6:00pm. And not stop eating ’til I go to bed. I know how to overcompensate. In the past, when I have dieted to lose weight, I occasionally found myself missing breakfast and lunch. At evening time, I sometimes took advantage of that and would skip dinner too. It never bothered me. It was easy to do. And the number on the scale next morning always rewarded me. Now that I know it’s an “official” form of weight loss dieting … it’s excruciating!

Alone, or blended with any other dietary regimen, fasting can help with weight loss. And it may even contribute other health benefits. Not every time, but most days, I find it reasonably easy to fast for one complete wake cycle. Sometimes I’ll make it to the evening meal next day before eating. Unfortunately, it seems like a lot of the additional health benefits only come with fasts that run from 3 to 5 days.

I’m not there yet but watch this space!

Allez Les Bleus!!!