Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Or Not

These taste bad, but they must be healthy, because Adventists made them.
I'm done with wine. I don't like it. I was only drinking it because Sardinians do. The Loma Linda Adventists don't drink any alcohol at all and they're old too. I've decided to be more selective in how I pick and choose Blue Zone cultures to emulate in my daily life. To learn more about Blue Zones: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_Zone. Better yet, read the book I've been reading the past several days: http://www.amazon.com/Blue-Zones-Lessons-Living-Longest/dp/1426202741. I've been saying I'm going to post my notes, but I have yet to do so. Maybe I will on some odd day off work when I'm feeling...odd.

I actually ate 1585 calories yesterday because I didn't drink wine before bed. Today I ate closer to 1200, even though I said I was going to stop doing that. I'm kind of hooked on unsafely rapid weight-loss now. With that said, I gained a pound at some point during the past 24 hours. That was probably a fluke though. Water weight and what not.

OK, so I posted the food I ate yesterday, but I haven't posted anything for today and tomorrow. I will do that now. This is boring, isn't it? Writing everything I eat. By the way, I haven't done P90X since Saturday. It's looking like I'm only going to be able to do it two or three times a week. Oh well. It's better than nothing. Maybe once I get my life on a better schedule I can start exercising more often.

Also, I'm switching from the Zone-recommended 40 carb - 30 protein - 30 fat to 40 carb - 40 protein - 20 fat. I had stomach discomfort today after eating the nuts, and looking back, the times I've had discomfort on the diet are from having too much fat at once. This doesn't mean I couldn't plan better and spread the fat around, but I know me, and I'm bad at that sort of thing. And I've felt really good on low-fat diets in the past, so, this is what I am doing. Additionally, I will be dropping caffeine. And I'm going to avoid protein shakes. I think they might upset my stomach too.

I could write an entire blog on my finicky food problems, but I'll spare you for now. Hopefully forever.

And another rule: 7 hours of sleep. Ideally, closer to nine, but 7 at an absolute minimum.

I ate this:
This is the kitchen where the magic happens.

June 28
  • 1 soy protein shake - 200 calories, 39 grams of protein, 5 grams of carbs, 2 grams of fat
  • 1/2 cup curry cashews - 390 cal, 10 P, 22 C, 32 F
  • 6 oz. carrots - 80 cal, 2 P, 18 C, 0 F
  • 1 cup Hi Lo Cereal - 180 cal, 24 P, 26 C, 4 F
  • 1 cup soymilk - 70 cal, 9 P, 5 C, 1 F
  • 1/2 cup soymilk (last swig from the bottle) - 35 cal, 4.5 P, 2.5 C, .5 F
  • 1 individual size bag of Rold Gold pretzels - 230 cal, 4 P, 47 C, 2 F
  • 1 banana - 105 cal, 1.5 P, 27 C, .5 F
Total calories: 1290; total protein: 94 grams; total carbs: 152.5 grams; total fat: 42 grams

So, I lied. I'm too tired to post my meal plan for tomorrow. I have a few precious minutes before I must retire if I am going to salvage my dream of 7+ hours of sleep. Damn the torpedoes; I'm going to bed.

Monday, June 27, 2011

1700 calories?

After adding a protein bar before bowling tonight, I ate the most food in one day that I've had in quite a while. My caloric load was still low enough to lose weight, and I still fit into the "Zone." So, yeah. If I'm getting hungry, it makes me feel like I might be doing something wrong, so I'm going to up the calories going forward. Especially since I walk for exercise every day, and I burn a lot of calories from P90X, more calories is definitely more sustainable.

With that said, I had cereal and pie early in the day. It's not that surprising that such foods would not fill me up. So, who knows? I don't.

I don't have a lot to say today. I'm tired, and I have to get up early tomorrow. I weighed in at 151.4 this morning, meaning I've lost 8.6 pounds this month, and 13 pounds since I started this blog. I might as well start posting my weight regularly, since that's a metric I'm very concerned with.

June 27
My home-prepped food that I ate today. Yes, that's wine in a food container.
  • 1 slice of homemade blueberry pie - 360 calories, 4 grams of protein, 49 grams of carbs, 18 grams of fat
  • 1.5 cups spaghetti sauce - 240 cal, 6 P, 39 C, 7.5 F
  • 16 oz. tofu - 450 cal, 50 P, 15 C, 20 F
  • 1/2 cup Hi-Lo Cereal - 90 cal, 12 P, 13 C, 2 F
  • 1/2 cup soymilk - 35 cal, 4.5 P, 2.5 C, .5 F
  • 1 soy protein shake - 200 cal, 39 P, 5 C, 2 F
  • Odwalla protein bar - 210 cal, 14 P, 30 C, 4.5 F
  • 6 oz. red wine - 120 cal, 0 P, 4 C, 0 F
Tub of soymilk plus tub of cereal, mixed together, equals breakfast at work.

Total calories: 1705, total protein: 129.5 grams, total carbs: 157.5 grams, total fat: 54.5 grams

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Today is June 26th

I did another semi-raw meal plan today. I have a banana and mango left to go. I almost bought some greens and sprouts to mix things up yesterday, but I decided they aren't cheap enough. Instead, I opted for two pounds of peaches for $1.03, and a mango and cantaloupe for 88 cents each. Oh, and a $5.97 bottle of red wine...

I did P90X again yesterday, and I may try to do it again today. I'm thinking I might be too tired though. If I go to sleep early I could do it in the morning, but after that I probably won't have time again until Wednesday.

I'm really loving the protein shakes. I'm going to do a soy entree with either tofu, tempeh, or TVP tomorrow, so I'll have to cut down to just one shake. I'm just mixing Twinlabs Vegefuel soy protein with some cheap, green soymilk from the Asian market nearby, but I think it tastes great. It was especially good when I mixed it and left in the fridge overnight. Very creamy.

I was planning to do another semi-raw day tomorrow, but watching my son Sam eat bread today made me jealous (I snuck a few bites when he wasn't looking), so I decided I want to add in some more cooked/processed food.

I haven't figured out my food completely yet for tomorrow, but here's what I had today:

June 26
  • 1/2 cup curry cashews - 390 calories, 10 grams of protein, 22 grams of carbohydrates, 32 grams of fat
  • 2 soy protein shakes - 400 cal, 78 P, 10 C, 4 F
  • 5 small peaches - 154 cal, 4 P, 39 C, 1 F
  • 1 banana - 105 cal, 1 P, 27 C, 0 F
  • 1 mango - 135 cal, 1 P, 35 C, 1 F
  • 6 oz. Yellow Tail Cabernet Savignon - 120 cal, 0 P, 4 C, 0 F
 Total calories: 1304, total protein: 94, total carbs: 137, total fat: 38


This is my soymilk.

These are the little tubs I put my food in. Two cups each. I have nine of them. They come in packs of three.

This is the food I ate yesterday, June 25th.

My home gym!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

I know it's late.

But I feel like if I don't post an entry right now I'm going to lose track of my food notes and then all my meticulous lists and computations will be for naught. I have way too much to write about to not be posting daily.

I did P90X yesterday: Kenpo. I went ahead and only ate about 1200 calories that day too, but I broke down and ate about 400 calories worth of cashews before I went to sleep that night. Wait, it was Thursday. When this publishes this should say it's Saturday, so that would be two days ago.

Anyway, it's a cardio exercise and I'm pretty sure I burned a fair amount of calories. So, that made things tough. Also, I'm officially off Slow Carb. I know it's lame to quit a few days before my goal date, but I've really started doubting the fruit avoidance, among other things. More than that, I'm just bored with it. It's not nearly complicated enough to keep my attention.

I took some notes on Buettner's The Blue Zone I want to share, but it could get lengthy so I'll save it for another post when I feel I have the time, space, and energy. I'm going to skip to all the food now before I forget.

First, I'll make a note about June 21. That was the best meal plan I've put together so far. I bought five cans of spaghetti sauce on clearance from HEB for 50 cents, so I'm hoping to do a similar meal plan to that one again soon.

In order to continue delaying the inane food stats, I will also mention that I am challenging myself to create both a "shelf-stable" meal plan and a raw meal plan. Both of them would be at 1200-1300 calories and follow the Zone recommendations. I created a "semi-raw" meal plan for tomorrow as a start. Only the bananas and blueberries are actually raw, but I think the other foods could be easily substituted for raw versions. Like I said, it's a start.

The purpose behind doing the raw plan is to impress my raw vegan friend. I want to do a "no refrigeration necessary" (or any prep at all, for that matter) one for when I'm traveling or something. I was imagining packing a bag with a few bottles of water and having my little snack containers to carry around and munch from. Zone-friendly trail mix, crackers, jerky, I suppose.

That reminds me. I haven't been posting pictures. I'm really falling down on the job here. And now, for real this time, the food.

June 22
  • Tofu scramble - 320 calories, 32 grams protein, 4 grams carbs, 16 grams fat
  • Broccoli - 150 cal, 5 P, 20 C, 0 F
  • 4 Boca patties - 280 cal, 52 P, 24 C, 2 F
  • 2 slices of Whole Foods pizza - 427.6 cal, 9.2 P, 56.4 C, 19.2 F
Total calories: 1177.6; Total protein: 98.2; Total carbs: 104.4; Total fat: 37.2

June 23
  • Peanut butter and jelly sandwich - 325 calories, 11 grams of protein, 36 grams of carbs, 16 grams of fat
  • Tofu, TVP, mixed vegetables - 867 calories, 76 grams of protein, 58 grams of carbs, 27 grams of fat
  • 6 oz. container of blueberries - 97 calories, 1.3 P, 24.7 C, 0.5 F
Total calories: 1289; Total protein: 88.3; Total carbs: 118.7; Total fat: 43.5

(Note: I actually consumed something I calculated to be over 1600 calories due to my cashew splurge before bed.)

June 24
  • Tempeh, black beans, mustard greens - 603 calories, 46 P, 49 C, 12 F
  • 1 serving cashews (about 14 nuts) - 163 cal, 4 P, 9 C, 13 F
  • Boca sandwich with ketchup - 185 cal, 17 P, 30 C, .5 F
Total calories: 951 cal, 67 P, 88 C, 25.5 F

(Note: I screwed up by not eating my last serving of the tempeh, bean, green mix. I may eat it tomorrow to make up for it. I didn't want to eat it late at night, because I've been trying to avoid eating after 7pm. Also, I had a few ounces of wine before bed. I'm going to possibly make that a staple in my meal planning in the future.)

June 25 (bridge to raw plan)
  • 2 servings soy protein with 16 oz. soymilk - 400 cal, 78 P, 10 C, 4 F
  • 1/2 cup mixed nuts - 440 cal, 16 P, 12 C, 38 F
  • 2 bananas - 210 cal, 3 P, 54 C, 1 F
  • 12 oz. blueberries - 194 cal, 2.5 P, 49 C, 1 F
Total calories: 1244; Total protein: 99.5; Total carbs: 125; Total fat: 44

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Zoning Out

It is so much harder to blog when I have to go to work every day. I also haven't been managing much sleep, and P90X is on the back burner at the moment. I got 7 hours of sleep last night, so I'm doing better.

I actually ate what I said I was going to on June 20th. I forgot until just now that I started counting calories on the 19th, so this is the fourth day of that now. It's weird to eat all day and never get full. It's what Okinawan centenarians recommend though (people on the island of Okinawa who live to 100 or older, in case there was any confusion). I'm over halfway through Dan Buettner's Blue Zone and I'm loving every minute of it. I'll try to start incorporating some of the health recommendations from the book once I reach stasis with my current lifestyle change.

So, I'm finding myself capable of subsisting on 1200 calories for now. If I recall, it's the lowest caloric intake recommended by the P90X nutrition guide to avoid the body going into "starvation mode." That's not as dire as it might sound. It just means that the body does not significantly lower metabolism.

I'm reading Barry Sears' The Zone as of yesterday, since I realized I need some more convincing if I'm going to continue to stick with 40 carb - 30 protein - 30 fat in the long-term. This is a guy who played competitive volleyball, has a PhD, created AZT (the AIDS drug), and several anti-cancer drugs. I don't know about the scientific merits of the diet yet, but the guy himself seems like a winner.

OK, I don't have a lot of time before work, so I'll break down my food for yesterday and today. By the way, I'm only incidentally following Slow Carb at this point. I'm eating pizza today, but this also happens to coincide with the same day of my "cheat" last week, so as far as I can tell I still haven't broken my Slow Carb edge.

Sorry, one more thing before the food. I've lost 10.2 pounds since I started this blog. As some of you might have seen, I started this blog with a challenge to lose 10 pounds in 2 weeks. How does 10 pounds in a little over 2 months work for you? I actually hit the goal weight of 154.4 yesterday and I'm at 154.2 today. With the calorie restriction, I'm hoping to hit 150 by the beginning of July, but I'm not making any promises.

The Food:

June 21
  • 1.5 cups spaghetti sauce - 175 calories, 5 grams protein, 27.5 grams carbs, 6.25 grams fat
  • 8 oz. angelhair shirataki - 40 calories, 2 P, 6 C, 1 F
  • 1 cup TVP - 320 cal, 48 P, 28 C, 0 F
  • 2 T hummus and carrots - 60 cal, 2 P, 5 C, 4 F
  • 1/4 cup mixed nuts - 220 cal, 8 P, 6 C, 19 F
  • 15 oz. can of corn - 210 cal, 7 P, 31.5 C, 5.25 F
  • 2 Boca patties - 140 cal, 26 P, 12 C, 1 F
Totals: 1165 calories, 98 grams of protein, 116 grams of carbs, 36.5 grams of fat

Sorry if that's hard to read with the abbreviations. I'm in a hurry. I'll post about my food for today later.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Perfecting My Eating Disorder

It's past midnight right now. I know that by the time I publish this, Blogger will say it's still Sunday, but that's because it thinks I live on the West Coast. All my settings say Central Time Zone. There's a note right now at the bottom of my screen that reads, "Draft saved at 12:42 AM." But no. It's all a lie. I know that when I hit 'PUBLISH POST' my blog post will transport back in time two hours. Such is its way.

Speaking of time travel, I watched Meet the Robinsons with my son today. I highly recommend it.

So, back to my masochism blog. I made it pretty close to my goals for the day on food intake, thanks in part to staying up late Saturday and napping a lot today. It's easy to eat less when you're sleeping. However, it also means I didn't do P90X. I'm still debating whether to try to do it in these early morning hours, but I don't know if I can handle it. My calves are really sore from "Legs and Back," and "Kenpo" looks like it requires functioning legs. After my fail on "Yoga" I'm a little more hesitant to work out when I feel this sore. Doing an hour tomorrow would be better than doing twenty minutes today, right? Tomorrow is supposed to be my rest day, so I could just call today my day of rest...

In addition to an accounting of my food for the day, I will also include a meal plan for my food for tomorrow. I'd like to start cooking the night before and putting my food into five small, convenient plastic storage containers. Wouldn't that be cute! I don't really see how I could achieve Zone/P90X/Slow Carb perfection without such a routine.

Food I Ate
June 18
  • 60 oz. of water
  • handful of mixed nuts
  • soy yogurt/stevia/cinnamon/vanilla
  • 1 package of 20 wasabi seaweed sheets
  • almond milk/stevia/rice protein
  • entire pack of spinach with tofu scramble
  • 20 oz. of tropical green tea
  • curry cashews (Way too expensive, delicious, and calorically dense for me to have sitting in my pantry. I need to budget some in for the week.)
  • more mixed nuts
  • Supplements (Fine, I'll finally list them. I've actually taken them two or three days in a row now)
    • B12 (500 mcg)
    • B-2 (100 mg)
    • D2 (4000 i.u.)
    • Acetyl L-Carnitine (500 mg)
    • K2 (45 mcg)
    • Cal/Mag/Zinc complex (333 mg/200 mg/15 mg) - Also has D2 (233 i.u.), Copper (.33 mg), Bamboo (10 mg), Boron (33 mcg), and Glutamic Acid HCI (33 mg)
    • Vegetarian DHA (240 mg)
  • 24 oz. of mint/jasmine/something or other tea

 June 19
  • 48 oz. of water
  • tempeh "sausage" and chili beans with broccoli (I ate it spaced out over morning to late afternoon)
    • 1065 calories, 61 grams of protein, 113 grams of carbohydrates, 32.5 grams of fat
  • 1 oz. of almonds
    • 180 calories, 7 grams of protein, 6 grams of carbohydrates, 14 grams of fat
  • 2 packs of sugar-free cherry gel
  • 12 oz. of constant comment tea
June 19 Totals: 1245 calories, 68 grams of protein, 119 grams of carbohydrates, 46.5 grams of fat

This is my meal plan for tomorrow. I'm going to try to cook it right now, store it, and then wake up early and buy some small food containers in the morning.

June 20 Meal Plan Breakdown
  • tempeh sausage (no oil) - 450 calories, 39 grams of protein, 39 grams of carbs, 15 grams of fat
  • tofu scramble (no oil) - 320 calories, 32 grams of protein, 4 grams of carbs, 16 grams of fat
  • broccoli (16 oz.) - 150 calories, 5 grams of protein, 20 grams of carbs, 0 grams of fat
  • black beans (15 oz. with balsamic vinegar and garlic powder) - 330 calories, 21 grams of protein, 57 grams of carbs, 3 grams of fat
  • Totals: 1250 calories, 97 grams of protein, 120 grams of carbs, 34 grams of fat

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Research, Speculation, and New Ideas

Under the circumstances, I'm afraid this is going to be an excessively long post. At the very least, I'm going to include more pictures than usual. I've been taking pages of notes today, but I'm not going to include all of my thoughts. Oh well. I'll see what happens.

First, I will resolve a couple of issues. I am planning on continuing both Slow Carb and P90X at least until the beginning of July. I ate a lot yesterday, and I performed well doing the P90X Legs and Back DVD today, so whether or not there's a connection, I know that I am both capable of consuming as much food as I need and I am also capable of continuing to handle P90X. Whether there's causation, at least both are true on their own, which is all that matters to me at this point.

I now have a giant container full of mixed nuts and a freezer full of vegetables per Jon's recommendation. Thanks to formerly chubby guy from the P90X infomercial I watched today, I also know that he "couldn't do 20 percent of what those guys on the videos were doing when [he] first started" so I can now feel better about my 50 to 75 percent success rate. (Fine, I admit it. I've been closer to 20 percent on a couple of them.)

I changed my mind about writing a lot. Instead, look at this picture to the left. I checked these books out from the library. As I read them, I will include information I have gained. For now, all I can say is I'm looking forward to finishing The Blue Zone after reading the preface and introduction, and I may never again pick up Barry Sears' The Zone. Seriously, it's the most complicated and confusing math textbook/sci-fi novel I've ever opened.

The main reason I got it was to see what ratio he recommended for the "Zone." It turns out that's a diet with calories that come from 40 percent carbohydrates, 30 percent protein, and 30 percent fat. That's all I really wanted to know, and I found it by flipping through the book for a few minutes and finding a pie chart in Chapter 7. I then went to Scooby's "Free Fat Loss Calorie Calculator" and plugged in those numbers. It told me how many carbs, fat, and protein I should have at every meal if I want to follow the Barry Sears recommendations. I'm sure Sears has more nuanced advice written in whatever language he writes in, but I've learned everything I want to based on my ten minutes of research and calculation.

I somehow managed to take five or six pages of notes based around my crazy idea of going on a 1200 calories-a-day diet (because that's how much some of the world's oldest Asian mountain people consume) and making it consistent with P90X, Slow Carb, and Sears' Zone all at the same time. I think it was largely a logic and logistics puzzle, to see if it was even possible. I haven't researched it enough yet to realize how stupid and impossible it is, but for now here's what I have:

I would consume 240-calorie meals 5 times a day. Each meal would contain foods that are both Slow Carb-friendly and are present in the top 2 tiers of Michi's Ladder (per Beach Body/P90X recommendations). Each meal would also contain 18 grams of protein, 24 grams of carbohydrates, and 8 grams of fat.

I also have The South Beach Diet, McDougall Program, The Abs Diet, and Atkins, but I haven't had the chance to look at them in much detail. Well, I've looked at Abs a good bit actually, but it's not very specific in its recommendations. My assumption is that I've probably been following that one by accident already, and whatever diet I choose will be more or less consistent with it. It's basically the "eat reasonably healthy foods and lots of protein" diet.

Fine, that was more than enough for one post. Here's what I ate yesterday:

June 17
  • 2 Boca patties with Daiya and pickle relish
  • refried black beans
  • 44 oz. of water
  • 2 sticks of Double Mint gum
  • a few small handfuls of sunflower seeds
  • refried black beans with Daiya and sour cream
  • High Country Kombucha - goji berry tea (I know. Liquid calories. I'm sorry. Only 80 at least.)
  • handful of mixed nuts
  • stevia-sweetened soy yogurt with vanilla and cinnamon
  • mesquite-lime flavored seitan Primal Strip
  • spoonful of peanut butter
  • unsweetened chocolate almond milk with stevia added
  • handful of mixed nuts
  • wine and diet tonic water
  • sugar-free cherry gel

Friday, June 17, 2011


Twenty minutes through P90X Yoga this morning I gave up and laid face down on the floor for ten to fifteen minutes, thinking about my life and where it went wrong. I have been constantly tired the past two days. To be fair, I did not disclose in my most recent entries that I took the last of my Adderall on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. I took it regularly a year or two ago to combat my ADHD, but I have been off it for a while. I happened to have three capsules left, and I decided to take some to be more productive during my week off work, and it worked well while I still had it, but now I'm crashing.

I don't think I can maintain doing P90X while on a low-calorie diet, especially while limited to the options of Slow Carb. If I got back on the Adderall it seems possible, but I don't know if I want to, because I think it would give me unrealistic results. I was so sore from the first two days of P90X that I had trouble lifting my arms. Also note that I started P90X one day after taking Adderall again for the first time in several months. I think I worked myself too hard, harder than my body was actually prepared for. Now I'm having to deal with the disappointment of not being able to match what I was capable of with amphetamine pumping through my veins.

Because I just started P90X and I've been doing Slow Carb for 17 days, I feel obligated to finish out Slow Carb and try P90X again in July. I just really don't think it's reasonable to do high-intensity workouts burning a lot of calories while not taking in many calories or carbs. I just physically can't do it. And I can't physically stomach eating the requisite beans to make up the difference for what I'm burning.

In conclusion, here's the list of food I ate yesterday:

June 16
  • 2 Boca patties with mustard
  • 80 oz. of water
  • spoonful of almond butter
  • a few spoonfuls of unsweetened soy yogurt
  • orange gel
  • strawberry gel
  • 2 Boca patties with Tofutti sour cream and Daiya
  • 2 Boca patties with melted Daiya and mustard
  • wine with diet tonic water
Yes, I ate no beans yesterday. It's the first day I've done that on a non-binge day. I don't know how much that has to do with my current physical state. I also forgot to mention that I walked in the sun for two and a half hours yesterday and got pretty red.

I took my supplement regimen again for the first time in weeks. I have been taking my B12 supplement most days recently, but I hadn't reintroduced the other supplements I have. I'm too tired to type them out right now. Maybe tomorrow.

Thursday, June 16, 2011


Yesterday was my second "cheat" or "binge" day on the Slow Carb Diet, and it was much more tame than the last one. I had actually managed to avoid making myself sick until just before bed last night, when I ate a third of a bag of chocolate chips. Other than that my food choices were no worse than the "standard American." Or so.

Also, I started P90X on Tuesday. My success in the program may depend in part on whether I injured my shoulder yesterday. Of course, today's workout happens to be "Shoulders and Arms," so I should figure out pretty quickly how bad it is. If it's anything serious it could be a "rotator cuff" injury, but I could have also just strained it since I was stiff. I did a back-flip while hanging from a pull-up bar. That's why my shoulder hurts. It was dumb.

I don't think I got enough sleep last night. Instead of going to sleep soon after 10:30 when I was ready, I played Angry Birds for an inordinate amount of time. I don't know how long it was precisely, but the battery died on my phone, and that's the reason I quit playing. I hope it wasn't more than a couple of hours, but it's hard to tell with those things.

My writing doesn't seem to be very inspired right now, so I'm going to jump to food.

June 13
  • 3 sticks of Double Mint gum
  • tofu scramble, black beans, and broccoli
  • 68 oz. of water
  • 12 oz. of yerba mate tea
  • B12 supplement
  • swig of wine and diet tonic water

June 14
  • 2 Boca patties
  • 104 oz. water
  • tofu, lentil, broccoli
  • 1 stick Stride peppermint gum
  • 8 oz. almond milk with 1.5 tablespoons of brown rice protein (post-workout)
  • 2 Boca patties, this time with mustard

June 15
  • 3 Keebler fudge sticks - 480 calories
  • 2 Boca patties with mustard - 140
  • 8 oz. almond milk with 1.5 T brown rice protein - 110
  • 52 oz. water
  • B12 supplement
  • 2 servings mashed potatoes with 1 T Earth Balance margarine - 240
  • 2 servings whole wheat macaroni with "cheese" sauce - 650
  • 2 Boca patties with about a tablespoon of olive oil - 260
  • 4 tablespoons of cayenne-curry ketchup to dip broken up patties in - 80
  • 16 oz. jade green tea
  • 16 oz. yerba mate tea
  • 16 oz. honeydew melon kombucha tea - 100
  • A little piece of bread and 19 french fries (Arbitrarily decided each item was about 35 calories. I don't know. The fries were big and oily.) - 700
  • Lots of chocolate chips - 500
  • Swig of wine and diet tonic water - 50 (uneducated guess)
Calorie total: 3,310

Like I said, the binge wasn't nearly as extreme as the last. In fact, I probably ate more food on my days off work before I was dieting than I did yesterday. Even on my cheat days going forward, I think I'm going to cut out the fried foods, sweets, and most of the added oil. It makes me sick, and I don't like being sick. It's supposed to be a pleasurable care-free day and it isn't if my intestines are dysfunctional.

Happy eating!

God, what a boring food picture. I need to start eating more interesting food. I could have taken pictures of my food from yesterday, but I did not. (Sigh.)

Monday, June 13, 2011

"It feels like leaping into heaven."

Fine, before I get started, yes. I am a compulsive person. Only on a few occasions have I ever happened upon a new idea or a new set of information and carried it with me for the rest of my life. I only remember two of them right now, but they are two of the most important precepts I live my life by: 1) Violence is wrong. Killing animals is violent. I do not participate in the killing of animals. 2) I own myself. The products of my labor are an extension of myself. The State is an inherently immoral institution.

These are ideas that have never left me. I have clarified, moderated, and tweaked my positions on these ideas, but my feelings remain fundamentally the same.

I am off work this week, and I have settled on using this time to improve myself and my life situation. Some of my goals for the next few days, at least as I conjured them initially, were to do all my laundry, go to the doctor/dentist, eliminate excess "stuff" from my apartment, organize the things I keep, get a handle on my finances, and perfect my diet and exercise regimen.

Then I watched this TED Talk, and I feel different. Watching it hasn't really changed my plans for the week too much. But it may have changed my plans for the rest of my life. Something I don't acknowledge enough is that I have a profound fear of death that I carry with me every day of my life. I don't know how common this level of fear is, as I don't speak with people about it often, but I get the impression it weighs on me heavier than most.

First, here's the video. It's about 20 minutes long:

Dan Buettner labels places with people who live the longest as "Blue Zones." People in these Blue Zones walk more often, eat lots of tofu (in the Asian zone) and mostly plants in every case (especially beans, nuts, and seeds), have more close friends, don't do "intentional" exercise, have gardens, engage in regular prayer/meditation, have a sense of purpose throughout life, drink wine daily, and seem to do everything in moderation.

"They set up their lives so they are constantly engaged in physical activity." They do their own yardwork, cook foods from scratch, sit down and get back up often, and get their exercise in other practical ways.

The focus of my health goals tend to revolve around losing weight, lowering body fat, and having visible abs. That's really my point in this. Any other goals I might claim to have pale in comparison to those three. I want to be more physically attractive. That's it. But seriously... I won't care how I look when I'm dead.

So, here's a thought: 3) I am afraid of dying. There are things I can do to be healthier physically, mentally, and spiritually that will delay that eventuality and improve the quality of my living days. I will do those things.

A very appropriate talk followed that video: 

I make no promises as to what will appear next in this blog. I have no definite expectation. I need to chew on this.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Oops, I think

Whether or not this is the ideal diet, I could at least do a better job of following it. I re-read both chapters on "slow carb" in Ferriss' Four Hour Body last night and I decided two things: 1) I have strayed too far from the specifics of the diet and 2) this diet can be done by a vegan.

With regard to straying, I am consuming far too many artificial sweeteners. I have been consistently going above Ferriss' recommended 16 oz. of diet sodas' worth. Splenda is bad. Aspartame is bad. I shouldn't be eating them. TF actually seems to suggest that Splenda is worse when it comes to blocking fat-loss than aspartame, but both can have that same effect. If I have nothing to gain from eating this crap, then I shouldn't be doing it. I keep eating these unnaturally sweet things because of cravings, and I realize that has a lot to do with not preparing plenty of diet-friendly, healthy food to eat throughout the day. When I'm scavenging, the first place I head is toward the sweet.

Although exercise is not required on the diet, most of the testimonials from people with long-term success had some sort of exercise regimen. I mentioned early on when I started the diet that I had an exercise routine ready for this month, but I never followed through on it. My only official exercise this month has been walking on most of my breaks at work during the day. But, now that I've developed a certain comfort level with the diet, and I have the energy to be doing a lot more than I'm doing right now, I have decided to toss in serious physical activity. Specifically, I am strongly considering P90X. It seems like an appropriate complement to slow carb. I mean, both are very popular and promise impressive results. Together it must be dynamite, right?

Also, I am starting a meal plan. For now, all I have figured out is breakfast: tofu scramble, black beans, and something green. I will provide my tofu scramble recipe below. I haven't really thought through my bean and vegetable prep very much. This morning I boiled edamame and didn't bother to heat the canned beans. I mixed them together and seasoned them with nothing but garlic salt. I can do better.

Tofu Scramble

  • 1 14-16oz. package (I can never remember which most of them are) of hard/extra firm/super firm/etc. tofu (the firmer it is the easier to cook with and the more protein per ounce)
  • a couple chunks of margarine (I use Earth Balance, and I use it liberally)
  • handful of nutritional yeast
  • 2 tsp garlic powder (I don't actually measure anything for this recipe, so these are all estimates)
  • 1 T parsley flakes
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Melt a chunk of margarine in a pan on a burner at medium to medium-high heat
  • Plop tofu hunk onto pan and thoughtlessly break down into small pieces with spatula/spoon
  • This next part takes the longest. You'll want to poke and prod your tofu mush for a good ten minutes or more. Flip it over. Push it around. If it seems like it's about to stick to the pan, throw in some more margarine and/or lower the heat. For me, the more crisp tofu bits and golden-brown sides to my soy specimens the better, so I usually don't stop this part until there's enough water-loss that it becomes annoyingly difficult to avoid stickage.
  • Next I dust the tofu with a hefty helping of nutritional yeast powder, my garlic and parsley, and salt and pepper. Lower the heat and mix the tofu up to make sure you get a decent coating throughout.
  • Eat it.
Servings: 1 (for me, probably more like 4 for normal people)

TF recommends truffle sea salt and tarragon for eggs, so I may try that soon with my tofu. I know Whole Foods has that sea salt, but I'm concerned it might be expensive. If it doesn't seem too exorbitant I'll probably buy some later this week.

And now for the rundown...

June 11
  • tofu scramble
  • Hunt's sugar-free cherry gel
  • mixed nuts: salted peanuts, raw pecans, raw almonds; about a cup in total
  • 8 oz. water
  • 48 oz. Splenda-sweetened tea
  • And this plate to the right: spicy black beans, yummy cubed zucchini, and beet-tahini-sesame seed-romaine lettuce-magic tacos (My friend Lily's uncle made it when I came over Saturday. I think it's part of what inspired me to start cooking more. It made me think, "Oh, that's right. Food should taste good." Because it was amazing. I'll post the beets recipe later if I can.)

June 12
  • tofu scramble, black beans, and edamame
  • 32 oz. of water
  • 36 oz. of Hansen's diet cola
  • 2 cherry gels
  • carrots and hummus

I need to eat better. I need to eat more. Goodnight.

Saturday, June 11, 2011


This is the first day of my nine-day weekend, and I'm feeling better about everything, including my diet. I made some delicious tofu scramble this morning, and I'm looking forward to not being chained to a desk for 25 percent of my next five weekdays. It's quite liberating.

Here's my scramble!

So, Timothy Ferriss doesn't like soy. I do. I love me some tofu. Ooo. I just looked at the Soy Zone diet, and it looks like a good idea. I mean, it looks like I could eat a lot of tofu and feel OK about it. It's along the same lines in being anti-grain and pro-protein. I think it might make a better choice for my next 30 days, but I'm going to keep my options open.

Fine, I'll just give you a list of what I ate yesterday and we can both move on with our lives.

June 10

  • 2 Boca patties
  • 1 sugar-free, orange-flavored "Snack Pack" (It has a bunch of weird ingredients, but no gelatin! Oh, and no beetles either. Yea for Red 40!)
  • plate of baby carrots with fat-free hummus (probably close to a pound of carrots...)
  • 32 oz. of water (at least I drank a decent amount of tea also; oh, and wine)
  • 2 more Boca patties, but this time with a little packet of ketchup from Burger King (Oh no! Sugar! High fructose corn syrup! Dude, chill out. I deserve a tablespoon worth of binge for postponing a day's worth.)
  • 3/4 pound Asian tofu and broccoli from Whole Foods
  • 1 can of Blue Sky diet root beer
  • 16 oz. green tea
  • strawberry Snack Pack
  • 1/2 square of unsweetened baking chocolate (It was actually worse than you might think. Oh, wait, no. Maybe a little better. That's right. You're not a fan of bitter, difficult-to-chew food items, are you?)
  • A few handfuls of cheddar-flavored Daiya cheese (I don't know why I think this is acceptable behavior. Because no one has told me to stop yet?)
  • Diet tonic water mixed with wine in a plastic bottle (No comment.)
  • Leftover basil-flavored refried black beans and collards (and lots of mozzarella Daiya cheese)

This is my life.


Friday, June 10, 2011

Day 10?

It's the tenth of the month, so I guess I'm calling this Day 10, right? Is that how this works? My mind is a hazy fog of beans.

I'm getting worse at tracking my food, at least the quantities. If anyone has any advice on other slow-carb friendly things I should be eating, or what I might be doing wrong, please don't hesitate to tell me. If it wasn't for this blog I think I would have quit this yesterday, but I'm plowing through for the sake of posterity. I've been stressed out the past couple of days, and it culminated last night with me consuming over nine servings of refried black beans covered in Daiya cheese, a decent amount of wine, and most of a bag of sugar-free Chick-O-Sticks. I just ate the last two "sticks" as I wrote that sentence.

I intended to take supplements while on the diet, as well as exercising, but I quit my exercise routine not long before I started the diet, and I have only taken my supplement regimen once this month. I don't think I'm "slow-carbing" for any reason beyond pure will now.

One positive thing is I'll be off work next week, so I'll have time to be more creative in the kitchen. One thing I've noticed about Timothy Ferriss' slow-carb, David Zinczenko's "abs diet," and the recipes on Scooby's workshop is that they all assume those interested in the diet either can't cook or don't want to cook. While doing slow-carb, I have found myself really frustrated trying to come up with things to make. On a somewhat related note, I'm starting to think this diet is just not good for vegans. I'm already not following it to a "T" since Tim-Tim is anti-soy and apparently anti-gluten. His position on those might be more nuanced than that, but I am in the later stages of black-bean poisoning, so I do not have the physical or cognitive energy to pick up a book and read about the finer points of T-Ferr's mystical views on plant proteins.

In case you were curious, this package of bean flakes I made mine from last night says nine servings is about 30 ounces of beans. Wait, so, like, two pounds?

And now for the food:

(Should I be drinking more water? I think so. With all this f---ing fiber. Should this blog be "G-rated?" The verdict is still out for me. I'm inclined to say 'no.')

June 6
  • 40 oz. water
  • 2 Boca patties with spaghetti sauce and mozzarella Daiya cheese
  • 1 spoon of almond butter
  • 1 cup goji tea
  • 1 cup ginger tea
  • handful of carrots
  • tempeh with canned spinach concoction (Canned spinach makes me sad.)
  • 1 cup of coffee
  • 1 cup ginger/green tea (I put one bag of each in a cup.)
  • 1/2 caffeine pill (This isn't food, but I think it's important to include. I woke up at 2am and stayed up for the following 24 hours that day/those days.)
  • 1/2 package of Tofurky pepperoni
  • 32 oz. of Diet Dr. Pepper
  • 1 oz. almonds
June 7
  • 44 oz. water
  • The other half of that package of pepperoni
  • 1/2 caffeine pill
  • can of black beans with fresh salsa and a Boca patty on top
  • cup of green tea
  • 1 oz. almonds
  • Leftover tempeh/spinach with fresh salsa and two Boca patties
  • 2 stuffed mushrooms, filled with some kind of soy/gluten sausage -- no bread crumbs or anything else grainy
  • carrots, celery, and broccoli dipped alternatively in ranch dip or hummus
  • the equivalent of one can of Hansen's diet cola with about three shots of vodka
June 8
  • broccoli and hummus
  • 2 oz. bag of Planter's peanuts
  • 4 plain Boca patties microwaved (2 each at the beginning and end of day)
  • 32 oz. of water (I hope it was more than that. I don't think I'm doing a good job tracking water intake.)
  • sweet and sour tofu, broccoli, mushrooms (So, I ate sugar. I don't think it was too much though. I'm pretty sure it was the best option at Whole Foods at the time.)
  • 16 oz. of black tea
  • refried black beans with diced tomatoes, jalapenos, cheddar Daiya, and Tofutti sour cream
  • carrots and hummus
June 9
  • refried black bean stew leftovers with fresh salsa and Daiya
  • 32 oz. water
  • 1 oz. almonds
  • can of black beans, pack of tempeh, salsa, Daiya
  • 16 oz. of green/cranberry tea
  • an obscene amount of refried black beans -- which is to say, over one and a half packages of Santa Fe Bean Company "Instant Fat Free, Black Refried Beans" -- with mozzarella Daiya and collard greens (I accidentally put a lot of basil in my beans. I didn't read the label and thought it was oregano. I do not recommend.)
  • 8 oz. of red wine with 8 oz. of diet tonic water
  • at least a dozen bite-size, sugar-free Chick-O-Sticks
This doesn't seem healthy to me. It looks and feels heavy, artificial, and dull. After I finish slow-carb, I think I may try the McDougall diet. It's a vegan diet, probably similar to Engine 2, in terms of promoting whole foods and eliminating added fat.  Or maybe I should do Engine 2. My sister and her husband did it a while back and I remember them having a lot of success.

Maybe this is exactly how I should be feeling since it's been six days in a row, and this should be the eve of my cheat day. However, since I'm off next week, I wanted to share a cheat day with my friend Brian, who does his on Wednesday. Also, by cheating on a weekday, I can go to the Thai House all-you-can-eat lunch buffet. Yea noodles! Emily the Raw Vegan is doing her cheats on Saturdays I think, but I don't know if she's actually doing the diet still. As far as I know, all she eats are bean sprouts and raw rice protein.

Sorry for the delay in this post. I hope it was worth it.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Post-Binge and Thoughts on Life

It won't take very long to cover what I ate yesterday. 32 ounces of water, a plain Boca patty, and a Boca patty mashed up with a cup and a half of refried black beans with Daiya cheese. That is all I consumed. I'm imagining that's less than 500 calories.

I did go to sleep pretty early. Actually, it might have been before 6pm. But I wasn't hungry yesterday, and I'm still not very hungry. All I feel like eating is Boca patties, refried beans, and carrots.

This diet stuff is boring me though. I'll still post all the food I eat each day; I'm actually finding it really easy to keep a piece of a scratch paper and a pen on me and write down what I'm eating. But I'm not very excited about this project right now. That will change. I'm temperamental. But for now I'm bored.

So, yeah, enough of this food business. I started this blog to serve as a record of my contentious relationship with my body, and to broadcast my sense of futility to the world, because I think a lot of people can relate to those feelings. And I realize now more than ever how much every aspect of my life is interconnected. My room has been a wreck since I moved into my new apartment in January. It has actually gotten worse over the past month since I finally finished bringing stuff over from my previous residence. I also have credit card debt, awkward interpersonal relationships, job-related stress, and a number of other unresolved issues in my life. Eating the right foods and exercising the right amount at the right times won't solve those problems.

Or so it might seem. But just as I have managed at many times in my life to follow strict dietary regimens, and for brief periods to follow exercise routines, I should be able to develop systems for dealing with other problem areas. This morning I have actually managed to further consolidate my book collection, round up items I've been meaning to take to Goodwill for months, and organize my room somewhat. I don't think I would have been as likely to do those things if I hadn't started to take responsibility for my health.

I have a number of other personal projects it might do me well to publish here. I was really tempted to eat some of the leftover chocolate wafers in my fridge this morning, but because I'm broadcasting everything I eat on my blog, I decided against it. My fear of public shame is a powerful motivator. There's a good possibility I may be posting a new project soon that will run concurrently with the "slow-carb" diet. I just need to figure out what it's going to be first.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Day 4 - The Binge

Ugh, so today was binge day. I think I'm done now. I'm going to try to count my calories right now to make sure I've had enough. How many is that? Enough to disturb me.

  • Bolthouse Farms vanilla chai tea (32 oz.) - 680 calories
  • 1 box Keebler chocolate-peanut butter wafers (6 count) - 1,020 calories; 2 of the chocolate cream wafers - 320 calories
  • Whole Foods breakfast taco - about 200 calories (tortilla is at least 100 and it had potatoes, beans, and tofu scramble in it)
  • 6 Randall's cinnamon rolls - According to calorieking.com, 1,338 calories

Giant sandwich (1,558 calories):
  • 1 pound loaf of Whole Foods ciabatta bread - According to caloriecount.about.com, 928 calories
  • 2 packs of Yve's salami - 450 calories
  • About 4 tablespoons of reduced fat Vegenaise - 180 calories
  • 2 peaches - supposedly 62 calories, says calorieking.com
  • 16 oz. Shiner Bock - Livestrong.com says about 192 calories
  • 8 oz. of HEB almond milk - 60 calories
  • Whole Foods ginger ale - 140 calories
  • Whole Foods root beer - 170 calories
  • 1 bag of Veggie booty - 520 calories
  • Tofurky pizza with sausage, peppers, etc. and an extra cup of Daiya cheese - 1,170 calories
  • 1/2 pint of Tempt chocolate fudge hemp ice cream - 400 calories
Calorie total: 7,830

Friday, June 3, 2011

Day 3

I'm actually going to cover three days worth of food here since I'm done eating for today, and I haven't posted since Wednesday morning.

  • 2 packages of Westsoy 5-grain tempeh (Got it at Natural Grocers for $1.55 each on sale!)
  • 1 can of black lentils with two scoops of salsa
  • 1 diet root beer, 1 diet gingerale
  • 1 ounce of almonds (23 nuts)
  • About 64 ounces of water
Comment: This was my most boring day of eating, and I did not get enough calories. I felt weak all evening. So I decided to get more creative the next two days.

  • 1 nine ounce bag of fresh broccoli florets with about nine ounces of hummus
  • 1 diet root beer
  • 2 cups of green tea
  • black lentils with salsa
  • 3 ounces of almonds (Too many. I'm not going to do more than one serving a day going forward.)
  • About 75 ounces of water
  • 1 two ounce package of Planter's salted peanuts (15 grams of protein: more than I expected)
  • 1 twenty ounce bottle of Coke Zero (Gross. I know. As I get better with the diet I think I'm going to get better at fighting off the sweetness cravings.)
  • Half a block of medium tofu, half a bag of broccoli florets, a quarter of a white onion (diced), and some garlic, soy sauce, ginger, basil, and maybe a couple of other herbs and spices; I also tossed in some raw sunflower seeds to give it some texture and crunch
  • Too much wine (I'm going to say it was about 12 ounces, but I wasn't keeping very good track. I know TF says wine before bed is cool, but I don't think I have the appropriate will-power. And I don't even like wine that much. It was Yellow Tail Cabernet Savignon, a dry and vegan-approved wine, but I have to think even that stuff has a fair amount of sugar.)

  • 1 Primal Jerky, Texas Barbecue flavored
  • Baby carrots with fat-free hummus (Don't buy this stuff. It's new at Whole Foods apparently. Hummus is not the same without tahini.)
  • 1 can black beans with salsa and a handful of "spring mix" greens
  • 1 cup of green tea
  • 80 ounces of water
  • 1 stick of Double Mint gum
  • Salad of greens, baby carrots, almonds, and hummus, dusted with ground pepper
  • Happy hour - Whiskey with Diet Coke and a gin and soda with lime (So TF advises against alcohol and liquid calories of any kind, but I think the total calorie content of these two drinks together was under 150)
  • Refried black beans covered in cheddar Daiya cheese, a Boca patty, and a glop of Tofutti sour cream

Cooking my dinner the past two nights was excellent. If I put some time and thought into it, I will be far more happy and satisfied. When I just eat beans with salsa and nuts with the occasional vegetable, I just can't seem to get full in the kind of way I would like to. I'm not entirely sure how "4-Hour Body"-friendly Daiya cheese and Tofutti sour cream are, but I don't see any problems with them. I know TF doesn't like soy, but he can shove it when it comes to that.

Because I was semi-slow carb for a couple of days before officially going on the diet, I have decided to make tomorrow my first binge day. I've been craving bread like crazy, so I'm sure I'll be eating a lot of that. I'm thinking about Taco Bell, Red Rabbit doughnuts, and Randall's cinnamon rolls. Oh, and french fries, maybe some of the Boca chicken nuggets, almond ice cream from Sprouts (on sale for $2 right now), and I think I might drink a jug of fruit juice too. Pudding, pie... I'm feeling kind of excited. I'll try to be sure to keep notes on my food tomorrow and possibly take some pictures.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Day 1

Today is the first official day of slow-carb. I started by accident yesterday, because I forgot how many days were in the month of May. Below is what I ate on Tuesday. We can call it my pre-diet practice day.

· 2 packages of Westsoy tempeh

· 1 15 oz. can of black beans

· 1 15 oz. can of lentils

· 4 tablespoons of fresh salsa (two to go with each can of beans)

· 1 can of Amy’s “Light on Sodium” Lentil Vegetable Soup

· 1 Hansen’s diet root beer

That’s all I remember eating. Also, my starting weight is an even 160.0. I just weighed myself.

I need to get ready for work. I’ll try to do a nutritional analysis of those foods listed and try to record everything I eat today and going forward. I need to plan out my food for while I’m at work now.