Comfort Food

Comfort Food

Snow Window Open

Note to self … Close car window during winter!

Who doesn’t love comfort food?

We need it even more when winter drags on & on. I was looking at green grass for most of winter but now, suddenly, I’ve got snow mountains on the sidewalk. And we have a polar vortex that’s chillin’ things down for a day or two. What on earth is a polar vortex!?! Never mind, I don’t really want to know. Just bring on spring. Please!

I’ve segued from one cold or flu to another for the past month or six weeks. Now I have a sore throat that just won’t go away. Combine all that with some winter blues & I’m pretty close to forgetting all about diets & weight loss. Almost!

I don’t think I’ve ever been sick enough to not want to eat. I’m not sure if there’s any truth to the old saw about feeding a cold & starving a fever, but I was never motivated to starve myself in either circumstance. Quite the opposite.

Feeling as I do, it would have been easy to give up on the diet. I didn’t (well, not completely anyway), but I still needed comfort. Lots of comfort. Instead, I made a huge pot of silly-hot beef curry, adding all those ingredients that I thought might carry some natural curative properties. Chilli powder, turmeric-laden curry powder, tons of hot peppers, garlic, onion, cilantro. And, towards the end of cooking, three big thumb-sized pieces of fresh ginger. Adding a topping of melting Jarlsberg cheese to my big bowl of “medicine” gave great texture, along with a Vitamin K2 boost.

Cure a fever!?! This stuff is hot enough to give you a fever! Wonder if my strep throat bugs are the curry-resistant variety!!!

I also went into free-fall on fresh & frozen fruit, bananas, raspberries & blueberries. All accompanied by chocolate & cream. Sadly, it wasn’t always the dark chocolate.

Has it cured me? … Not at all.

Do I feel better? … You bet! Especially while I’m stuffing my face!

I’ll worry about what the scale feels next week! šŸ™‚


THINK Yourself Thin … Maybe?

THINK Yourself Thin … Maybe?


Couple of guys thinking themselves thin at Mission Hill Winery, in BC. Looks like it’s working! šŸ™‚

Yesterday’s post on the Glycemic Index, the Glycemic Load Index, and the Insulin & Satiety Indices triggered a few questions. I wasn’t suggesting that any particular index was the right way to build a weight-loss diet. Nor was I saying that the indices were worthless for doing that. I was trying to explain the confusion went through, leading up to my decision to eat potatoes as part of my diet. The potato was a good example of that decision making process when measured against the four indices we talked about.

Despite the amount of science behind many of the diets out there, there still isn’t enough information to create one, clear, simple, diverse & satisfying diet that will work for everyone. No matter the diet we choose to follow, we will all tinker with it. We’ll add a little of this & a touch more of that, to suit our own taste. I think that’s okay. The greater the variety, the better the chances that we’ll stick with it.

To simplify yesterday’s thought process. The Glycemic Index, the Glycemic Load Index and the Insulin Index ALL suggest that I shouldn’t eat potatoes. The Satiety Index suggested otherwise so I tried it periodically, sometimes for 2 or 3 days at a time, over several weeks. It worked on most attempts, I ate potatoes, felt very satisfied, & I lost weight. That’s a good result but it’s not the end of the confusion.

Imagine being on a very low-carb keto diet. With this, I’m trying to stay in ketosis by reducing the carbs. Some keto regimens recommend carb days periodically but still require longer periods of very low-carb eating. While I totally believe in the weight loss potential of the keto regimens, I just don’t want to eat that way all the time. I think it works. But that doesn’t mean I have to like it. And it’s okay to experiment with alternatives. It probably won’t be a ketogenic diet any more but if we lose the weight, do we really care?

Sometimes, I think Grandma maybe had it right … everything in moderation.

EXCEPT those things that we know do us damage. And we should probably eat more of the stuff that doesn’t. Even if it isn’t keto-friendly!

PS … Wine is an essential component of a healthy diet too, isn’t it!?!

Madama Butterfly & Weight-loss

Madama Butterfly & Weight-loss

I have no idea why, but I’m suddenly overcome with the desire to see an opera. It’s not like I’m an opera buff, not even close. I’m more an occasional top twenty opera fan guy. Nor do I really know anything about opera, I’ve only ever been to one performance in my life, Madama Butterfly. My eyes are filling up just remembering it! I didn’t even understand the words but it was so moving that I couldn’t help it. Naturally, at the time, I totally denied suffering such an emotional response … but I did.

I’m constantly amazed by the emotions that come with listening to opera. Un Bel Di Vedremo makes me tear up. Carmina Burana makes the hair on the back of my neck rise, every time. Nessun Dorma does both. I loveĀ Vesti La Giubba & Habanera, & so many more. This stuff has the power to move. It doesn’t matter if the music & words are of today, or yesterday. It doesn’t matter the language. It’s just wonderful to be moved.

Now that I’ve mentioned Habanera, it reminds me of the hotĀ habaƱeros that are growing on my back deck. And that this is a diet & weight loss blog!

Yesterday was a one of those over-the-top all-you-can-eat days. I’m not sure I meant it to be at the start of the day but I know that I’d switched gears by lunchtime. Today should probably be a fast day. Or at least a partial fast day? Oh, I just can’t make up my mind, I’m off to blubber in the corner for a bit, while I decide!

Maybe I’ll listen to some opera today. It has the power to generate a different body chemistry. And it might be one that can overcome other temptations!

Bucket of Spuds!

Bucket of Spuds!Bucket of Potatoes

I had intended to leave potatoes alone for a while but I’ve been shamed into doing one more post for now. I was chatting with someone who follows these posts during the week, & I was accused of not being real! I kept talking about my “bucket” but I’d never shown it. So here it is. I hope I’m now absolved!

I do like to eat a lot. And while they are probably not the best food for my glucose response, nor for my insulin response, potatoes are a great way to get stuffed! The pic shows a predominantly potato “dish” that is flavoured by one medium red onion, one medium yellow onion, some sliced jalapeƱo, & about 4 or 5 cloves of garlic. All fried in olive oil. I later added a big dollop of my favouriteĀ jalapeƱo lime aoili. Which is store bought & probably not the best thing I could do. I’ll have to check up on some recipes for doing my own.

Every now & again, I want to feel like I gorged. And I want that feeling to last ’til bedtime. Though there’s always room for dessert, of course. You know you’ve done it right when you come awake in the middle of the night & you still feel stuffed! I could have used cabbage, cauliflower & a host of other veggies, all with a lower glycemic load, & lower on the insulin index, but sometimes … only a bucket of spuds will do it. And doing that, without doing too much damage to the weight loss goal, sometimes makes potatoes a pretty good choice. Though you can get a decent result mixing other veggies with the potatoes too.

Generally, I mostly like my food to look good. Presentation is important. You need to satisfy the eye as much as the stomach. So a little sprig of herbs to finish off the look, even when I’m eating alone, is worth the effort. Spuds seem to just look right all on their own though. And in a bucket!

I should have put something in the pic for perspective but the bucket measuresĀ 6Ā¾ā€ across by 3Ā¾ā€ tall.

Now, whenever I refer to the “bucket”. This is it!

The First Month’s Results

The First Month’s Results
Down 11lbs

This has been the shoddiest first month of dieting I’ve ever done. Usually, I would have a shiny new spreadsheet ready in advance of starting a new diet. Okay, I admit it, I did make a new spreadsheet but I only entered one weight, after 8 days, up until today.Ā I’m typically obsessed with logging weight every day. My usual dietary strategy is to obsess over everything, especially food. Studying recipes & watching cooking shows makes for a hard journey so, instead, I try to force myself to focus on weights, dates, charts, graphs & making myself look skinnier with software programs!

Working on plans, schedules & lists before, & during, a diet is the usual for me. You know the old saying: plan the work & work the plan. But not this time. It was all very loose. In general, I ate more whole foods. More pastured & grass-fed meat. More vegetables & fruit than might be the norm. I made some half-hearted efforts at fasting for a few days here & there. Most of these turned into partial day fasts when I decided to eat dinner. Always with seconds. And often with dessert. All in all, this whole month was just not my usual aggressive, committed, enthusiastic start to a new diet. It was, as I said at the outset, shoddy.

The good thing about the past month is that I didn’t feel like I was on a diet for the most part. I probably should have paid a little more attention to the few rules I gave myself at the start but that’s how it goes sometimes. I’ll try to do a little better this month. It may help that I have used up one or two “bad” dessert choices. Hopefully, I won’t go out & & buy more!

In anticipation of the big “end-of-month weigh-in” this morning, I obsessed about “being good” last night. That’s the kiss of death, isn’t it! Not only did I have two very large dinner servings, but I found myself having a dessert that I never intended to have. I popped 8 of those dried fruit balls in a bowl. And covered them in heavy (35%) cream. While I wasn’t logging weight regularly, I was on the scale every day, so I had a general idea of where I was at. Ah well, it’s supposed to be a flexible program.

Today, I was pleasantly surprised …

At the end of the first month, I am … Down 11 lbs.

I’ll take it!