Makin’ Bacon!

Bacon in a Big Pot

This is silly but it might be my best cooking discovery during lockdown. I just found a new way to cook bacon. A way that is so good, so controlled. And there is absolutely no mess afterwards! No kidding. This is so simple I can’t believe it took me this long to figure it out. And if you already knew, don’t go sending me a message to make me feel any more stupid than I already do!

The secret? Use a big pot!

Offhand, I can’t think what the name of this type of pot is? Is it a stockpot? Anyway it’s the bloody big one that you’d pull out to cook a massive chili when you’ve got the whole family coming over.

Don’t get the bacon that is layered so the pack is flat. Get the big one, with thick-sliced bacon, not splayed out, so that it’s like a brick of meat in the vacuum pack. Heat up the pot up to a medium heat & toss the brick in, fat side down. You’ll want to give a little crispness to the outer edge of fat on each slice. Don’t overdo it or you’ll make the pot bottom sticky. After that, there will already be some rendered fat coating the bottom of the pot. Turn down the heat. Now you can start peeling off the slices & distributing them around the bottom of the pot. You don’t have to be careful here, any old way will do, doesn’t matter that they’re on top of each other. Come back periodically & give the whole mess a little stir to swap out the slices on the bottom. The slower pace of cooking will allow the fat to render clean & you’ll wind up almost deep frying the bacon at slow speed. Only one or two bits tried to stick to the pot & a quick scrape of the spatula took care of it. Remove the bacon slices when they get to where you like them. I prefer bacon a little rubbery myself, but many prefer it crispy. Your choice.

The lower temperature required for the slower pace of cooking gives you a lot of nice clear fat. Drain this off into a glass container & stick it in the fridge. That’s for cooking home fried potatoes later! Okay get the pasture raised bacon if you want to be really healthy.

This last step is really important to ensure the easiest, non-drain-clogging clean-up. Sautรฉe some onion & garlic in the residual fat at the bottom of the pot. Then deglase with a little stock. From here you can make whatever you like (I made a potato bacon curry, with cilantro for a green vegetable! ๐Ÿ˜œ) but now, all the fat is gone somewhere useful, & the pot is far, far easier to clean.

The big kicker is this … no fat splatter on the stove top & backsplash! None, not one spot. Thanks to the high sides on that big pot.

You’re welcome! ๐Ÿ˜œ๐Ÿ˜

Results … Month #14

Results … Month #14.
Oops!!!

I was going to lie my way through last month’s results, in the hope that I could correct things this month! But what would be the point of that? Sometimes, shit happens. And shit really happened, big time, this month!

I thought I had oodles of excuses but I really can’t come up with anything that justifies what I did. Other than I’m human. And, sometimes, humans suck when it comes to adherence. And I just couldn’t adhere to the plan I had in place for when I couldn’t adhere to a good weight-loss strategy.
What!?!
Yeah, there’s a strategy for eating bad stuff. For those times when you just have had enough of eating good stuff all the time. For those times when you just need to be wicked. But I couldn’t even do that.

August felt like the last-of-the-summer-fling kind of month. I was drinking beer, cider & wine. I was eating fish, flesh & foul. There were some green choices in there too, lots of plant based stuff. Unfortunately, too many that had their origins with grain & starchy veggies! I sampled some excellent desserts throughout the month too.
All in all, I probably ate more wheat during the past month, than I had in the past year. I ate more sugar in the past month, than I consumed in the six previous months. I definitely went on a potato binge.
And now, as I write this, I can’t believe that I didn’t take advantage of the opportunity to squeeze in a slice or two of pizza along the way. Okay, now that I think on that one, I really should have wolfed back a whole pizza or two, eh!?!
OMG … I might have to continue this nasty streak into September!

The summary of August is this … I was out of control. And I have no idea why. I read all my little tips & tricks for such occurrences. And then totally ignored the advice they offered.

Again … why!?!

Could it be that I kinda quit smoking!!!

Almost half way through the month, one morning I awakened to a bright & beautiful sunny welcome. Leaves & plants were all more effusively green. Birds were twittering with an extra zest of joy. The air was somehow cleaner & sweeter. It was one of those days where you are just glad to be alive. And you feel more alive because of it all.
Have you felt that joy before? Do you know what I mean?
I thought I’d like to have more days like that & I decided it was time to quit smoking. Again. I immediately made up my mind that I’d finish my pack today, & try quitting the following day.

I did. And then I immediately wanted a cigarette. I wondered if I could treat smoking like diet? Despite my “all or nothing” approach to many things, I think abandoning the requirement for perfection made things more bearable for my weight loss efforts. And, up until this month, it generally seemed to work well as a dietary approach. I was “kinda” dieting & it was “kinda” working. Could I “kinda” quit smoking too?

I kinda am.
But it’s killing my diet!

Seems like I have to stuff something in my mouth, in lieu of cigarettes, & food is the go-to alternative. I could be screwed here.
I wonder if a pacifier would work!?! (Tried later, it doesn’t!)

I will always be a smoker. I may occasionally manage to not smoke for a while but I will always want to smoke. And I will probably go back to smoking again, somewhere along the way. As I have so many times in the past.
Or am I just making excuses to abandon my diet?
Or to just go buy a pack of cigarettes?

I’ll muddle along through September & see what happens. I deliberately avoided the scale on the first of the month … I just didn’t want to know what damage I had done last month … but I need to get my act together & decide what I’m doing now. If I were forced to choose only one, I think I feel better at a lighter weight, than I do as a non-smoker. I know, I know, both should be done but what if I could only choose one!?!

Pity this isn’t following some Hollywood script guidelines & I’d already be skinny, blissfully smoke-free & loving it, while also running marathons!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

Rice is a Killer Carb!

Rice is a Killer Carb!

Sunrise Zen Moment

But only in a good way! And now that I’ve now figured out how to eat it.

When I was a little kid, my Mom often told me that my eyes were bigger than my belly! She was right, I always went for the biggest piece. The biggest cup, bowl or plate. The largest slice of anything I thought was nice. Oh boy, if only I’d listened to my Mom!

I have the same problem today. When I filled that tiny pot with just a small serving of rice a few days back, little did I realize that, when cooked, the stuff would grow into three days worth of heavy-duty glycemic load. Though only very occasionally threatened by blood glucose numbers that might suggested I was heading towards prediabetes, I’ve always changed my eating pattern to, hopefully, avoid any consequence. Nowadays, I use a glucose meter to monitor the varying effects of the foods I eat while testing dietary patterns.

The Glycemic Index ranks foods, all with an equivalent glucose content, in order of their impact on blood sugar levels. The Glycemic Load goes one step further, ranking foods by more realistic serving size. The Index, for example, might suggest that we ought not eat carrots. While the Load, recognizing that there is far less sugar in a reasonable serving size, suggests we can.

Except in my case!

Because, sometimes, I have no concept of serving size.

Now, the Glucose Meter helps me see the impact of my eating. Today, my finger tips look like pincushions. After three days of monitoring things, while I was gorging on rice. I couldn’t help but prick my finger every time I sat down, just to see how things stood. It was fascinating.

My blood sugar never went into dangerous territory over the course of the past three days. But it did stay at a higher level than I would like. I don’t buy the theory that says older people should have more relaxed guidelines. I want my blood sugar at or below 5.4 mmol/L (97 mg/dL) most of the time. It’s been above that for most of the past three days, and today. After eating “well”, and with a lot of variety, since July 1st, I think my body is generally handling the glycemic load better. And remember, I had that bread too when I kicked off this carb-loading binge!

My weight over the course of these four days? Stable!

I think this means that I can safely include some rice, & even some bread, in my long term diet. With the odd binge, of course. If you’ve been following this story for any length of time, you know I’ve already “qualified” potatoes as a health food! But it’s really good news that I can now add these additional, almost forbidden, carbs to my regimen too. Not in these crazy quantities, and maybe not on a daily basis, but I can have them. Now that’s starting to feel a little bit like some kind of dietary freedom! ๐Ÿ™‚

I think I need a Zen moment, by the water, to contemplate the sheer magnificence of it all!

Why Do I Eat Cheesecake?

Why Do I Eat Cheesecake?Cheesecakes

Because my daughter makes the best cheesecake. And I mean the best cheesecake. She reduces the sugar content in her recipe, just to appease me. But then she adds white chocolate chips (those little blobs of synthetic whiteness are probably about 90% sugar!) & the base is made from those very famous cookies. You know the ones, the two dark biscuits with that creamy white center. Some folk like to dunk them in milk. I don’t want to say the name in case I trigger a snack-attack for anyone!

Anyhoo, these single-serve (hah!) cheesecakes are to die for. And when my daughter makes ’em … I eat ’em!

Knowing I wouldn’t be able to resist, I decided, well before the olfactory symphony came wafting from the kitchen, to limit myself to just two. I had been eating really well prior to this latest round of baking. I was at a point where I was losing weight gradually. I was not feeling hungry. I was enjoying a designer binge here & there. The very occasional intermittent fast, mostly just skipping breakfast & lunch, was easy. Everything was puttering along beautifully. And then came the cheesecakes. I didn’t have just two, I had three. What can I say, you can barely pack three into a bowl but they look so nice fighting for space there. Naturally, I poured about half a cup of heavy cream over them. Maybe a little more than that. But it’s only to blunt the insulin response, you know!

That was three days ago. And it’s only today that I’m getting back to feeling as safe & as well as I know I can feel on my new diet. During that time, I had to cram a bunch of safe starch (potatoes!) into my face. Along with cream-covered fruit & nut desserts. Anything to avoid the potential of eating something worse. Needless to say, the scale doesn’t hide the truth from me.

On the bright side, though, I am developing some really good strategies for avoiding falling off the dietary cliff. You know, like the times when you have just one cookie. Followed by the rest of the pack. And then you’re suddenly calling for pizza delivery. And yes, please, I’ll take the two bonus one-liter bottles of pop for a dollar! We need strategies for handling such urges & mine seem to be working well at the moment.

In real life, there will always be those times when we will consciously, deliberately, eat something not quite right for us. And if that’s the case, we need to know how to survive those occasions.

So why did I really eat the cheesecake?

While I really love my daughter’s cheesecake … I love my daughter even more!

 

What to Eat in a Diner!

What to Eat in a Diner!Healthy Diner Food

The other day I was passing through a small town that I know has one of the best diners & I couldn’t resist stopping by for lunch. Sure they serve salads. But they probably use really unhealthy ingredients in the dressing. It’ll mostly be that cheap Omega 6 laden inflammatory oil, won’t it? And maybe it’s loaded with croutons. Who knows what kind of scary stuff could be in it! They do an awesome burger here too but it’s such a work of art that it just doesn’t look right without the bun. And I was on a low-carb day so no burger buns allowed. The all-day breakfast seemed like the only option.

Eggs are natures vitamin pill. And they come with protein to boot. Bacon, probably not pasture raised, but still a pretty good choice for a low carb day. And plenty of fat so no fear of overdoing the lean protein & triggering a big insulin release. I skipped the toast but stuck with the home fries. They’re precooked & cooled before they toss ’em on the grill so all that bad starch is the wonderful probiotic resistant type, right? The slice of tomato is pretty harmless so I decided to go with that. ๐Ÿ™‚

And that’s how you do the diet at the diner!