Thursday, March 5, 2015


I am writing this post from a phone. I've never done that before. I'm not even sure if this is actually the correct text field.

I mostly just wanted to record a slaw recipe I just made, but I realized I'd like to compile all the improvised recipes I've been making lately. My diet has become very particular as of late, and I can't really find recipes that meet my needs without heavy modifications.

When I weighed myself for the first time in quite a while on New Year's Eve I was at 190 pounds. That's the heaviest I've been since Sam was born. So, I decided to make a resolution to get down to 140 pounds by the end of the year (a number slightly below my lightest weight as an adult). During the month of January I lost about 10 pounds, doing a combination of loosely following Fuhrman's "Eat to Live" with some inspiration from Timothy Ferriss' "Slow Carb Diet" and Sears' "Zone" for good measure. I lost my steam after that month, and gained all the weight back by the end of February.

Then something happened. I stayed home from work while my son Sam was sick last Friday and it gave me some time to reflect. I realized that my stress from work, my infant daughter, and all the other noise of daily life was the biggest reason I couldn't lose weight. Even though I had been making good-faith efforts to improve my health, they were disorganized and piecemeal. Instead of worrying about eating better along with everything else, I decided to invest the time and energy to make food my priority.

Following a variety of diets on a conceptual level hadn't worked, so I went with a clearly defined, more radical version of the "Eat to Live" diet (a food plan already deemed very strict by most standards).

In addition to eating only whole foods, I wanted to eliminate all those foods that contain relatively high calories. Any foods Fuhrman recommends eating in moderation (grains, nuts, seeds, starchy vegetables) I have eliminated completely, as well as eating no refined products (aside from calorie-free vinegar, herbs, spices, and salt-free broth).

I've already lost the 10 pounds again in about a week and I don't intend on letting up for a while. For the most part I'm not a very disciplined person, so having a set of rules that (if followed) will lead to guaranteed weight-loss success, I feel exceedingly more confident about the future. Moderation has never been and probably never will be a strong suit of mine.

This might be the strictest I've ever been, but I've been similarly strict with my diet in various ways over the years (see most of my previous entries on this blog). One big problem I have is getting bored with the food. That's why I'm making the enjoyment of food more of a priority, while still following my rules.

Which brings me to this: slaw recipe!

This Asian slaw doesn't offer the same satisfaction one could expect from the typically high-fat, high-salt, carb-infused varieties, but after a week of mostly fresh fruit and bland bean soups, it's not that bad!

Speaking of, I wonder how many people don't do well on fad diets because they believe the claims of gurus that they can make only slight modifications to their food choices and achieve delicious success. I know eating healthier, lower calorie options is not going to give me the same kind of food-high I crave, but at least creating foods with superficially similar flavor profiles helps me make it through the day.

Can't Run Good (CRG) Asian Slaw

1 bag shredded cabbage (about 14 ounces)
1/2 cup rice vinegar
Onion powder
Garlic powder
Black pepper
Ground ginger


If you aren't as lazy as me, this would be a lot better with freshly minced onions, garlic, and ginger root. And freshly ground pepper, which I actually have, but I'm trying to use up the shitty pre-powdered stuff I have first.

Mix the vinegar in with the dry spices (or minced goodness) in a medium bowl. Put the cabbage in a large plastic or glass storage container that has a lid. Pour the liquid over the cabbage. Mix it up. Taste it and adjust flavor ratios as needed. Put the top on and stick it in the fridge for at least an hour, maybe longer.

For full disclosure, I haven't actually tried this yet. Mine's marinating in the fridge. It would probably be better with more ingredients, but I haven't figured out what those are yet.

Good luck!