Day 17 & 18: Tiny Bites – You're Killin' Me Smalls!

Oh no! Beowulf is playing at my favourite theater, The Rio! What do I do?

So has everyone gone to see No Country for Old Men yet?

“They” have these 140 calorie ice cream sandwiches which are great. But I learned today that the freezer at work doesn’t get cold enough to keep them in a suitably solid state so I conveniently had to pig out on them today. Normally I wouldn’t eat 3 servings of ice cream (well, not on this diet anyway).

Part of this diet that I haven’t addressed is the frequency strategy. You’ll notice that as I catalogue what I’ve been eating (at the bottom of these posts) it’s all in chunks of about 200 calories or less. The strategy is to eat about 100-200 calories every 2 hours or so. This in some way is supposed to trick your body into losing weight somehow, I’m not really sure what the theory is. But apparently it’s working. On Medifast it was 5 packs of their powdery food, which would be shakes or soup or chili or some such, then a more normal meal of some lean meat and green vegetables, and also they had these delicious bars, basically candy bars, that I think were about 200 calories – you could have one of those a day as well and boy howdy I looked forward to that. Presently I buy Quaker Chewy granola bars (but just the Rocky Road, S’mores and Chocolate Chip ones because they’re the lowest calorie bars and also they have 8 in a box whereas the yogurt ones only have 5 for the same price – also in a strange twist the fruity bars are way more calories that the candyish bars, but I digress). A further strategy I employ is to really slow down and savour these treats. Tonight while I was enjoying a granola bar I picked at it like a bird; it probably took me about 20 minutes to eat the one g-bar. If that’s something you can pull off, it helps under any circumstance because it takes a while for your body to tell your brain that it’s full, and sometimes we overeat because we don’t get that signal in time.

Tomorrow: Crock Pottery Experiment #3

Apropos of nothing, I finally got through Tenacious D’s “The Metal” on Guitar Hero III. Tres dificile!

Day 17: granoli 110 orange 100 creamsicle 25 crockery 200 Goodies 150 granoli 130 crockery 200 creamsicle 25 granoli 140 = 1080 calories

Day 18: ice cream 140 granoli 110 ice cream 140 ice cream 140 chicken 200 granoli 110 peas 100 granoli = 1140 calories

Day 15 & 16: Saving Up Is Hard To Do

Well I’m down to 186 lbs, says Joe’s scale. That’s about 10 lbs in two weeks, which is consistent with what I was doing when I was on MediFast, only instead of eating those powdery packets of food I’m eating real food like oranges and apples and…ice cream bars? If you call that real food. Hey, I’m getting my calcium that I wouldn’t be getting anywhere else. At Safeway they have creamsicle bars that are 25 calories each. Hard to believe, and delicious.

Tonight I went a little overboard, strayed from my regime. I went to Joe’s Rock Band (video game) party and there were vegetables, which I ate, but also cheese & crackers and chips & 7 layer dip, which I also ate. If I wasn’t on this hella restrictive diet nobody would accuse me of making a pig of myself, but on a diet where I’m trying to keep each sitting to 200 calories or less, well, that’s not something I did tonight.

On the MediFast diet one of the pieces of advice is to stay out of social situations where bad food is present. Makes sense, but if I did that, I wouldn’t be playing D&D or even seeing my friends that often. So my solution to that is just to plan for it. I knew that I’d be going to Joe’s tonight so I just was extra conservative on the calories leading up to it.

Day 15: ice cream 70 granoli 110 ice cream 100 apple 100 ice cream 140 turkey 180 green beans 60 granoli 130 ice cream 25 = 915 calories

Day 16: granoli 110 ice cream 25 grape tomatoes 150 Rock Band party snackables 350 crock pot experiment two 200 ice cream 25 = 900 calories

Day 13 & 14: Grill of My Dreams

So it’s already been two crazy weeks on this diet and I have no idea how much weight I’ve lost. All I can tell you is I really want some licorice allsorts and some pumpkin pie.

Okay, is this weird? I sometimes have dreams about eating. Not just cooking a meal and eating the meal, or being at a restaurant, but vast quantities of food laid out before me. I recall one where I was in a 7-11 or similar gas station food mart and just buying candy after snack food. Or the one where I stumbled into the wrong room at a hotel and there was this huge banquet going on, so I just started picking things off of various tables. Or the one where I was at the mall food fair and again, picking things from various vendors for to eat right away. And rarely shopping, usually swiping food that I shouldn’t be eating.

Anyone else have dreams like these? I don’t have them constantly, but I think it does say something about how very much I love to eat bad food. Consciously bad in health, subconsciously bad in ethics (…and health).

Day 13: orange 100 breyersicle 70 crockpot experiment one 200 D&D snackables 300 crockiness 200 breyersicle 70 = 940 calories

Day 14: granoli bar 110 apple 100 icy creamy 100 granular bar 110 chicken 200 breyersicle 70 banana 200 + vegetable chili 200 = 1100 calories

Day 12: On the Subject of Temperature

Well today was exciting if your idea of excitement is other people’s kitchen stories and meetings with financial planners.

I was keen to try out my new crock pot so I picked up some vegetables and spices. I figured instead of getting a whole chicken, as suggested, I’d get a pack of chicken breasts. That way it would be both healthier and easier, as they’re all pre-cut and whatnot; I don’t have to pick anything off of bones, skin the thing, or otherwise “process” the meat. I got free range chicken from the butcher on Granville & 11th. I put it on a bed of tiny potatoes, onions, garlic, lemon, carrots, mushrooms and cranberries, and put some typical spices on top like rosemary and oregano, plus a couple of different mustards. As I type this it’s been in there cooking for over 6 hours so before I go to bed (my bedtime is somewhere between 1am and 3am) I’m gonna see how it all turns out. All I know is that right now it smells great!

As you may guess, I’m not used to cooking things. I am a lazy, lazy man and perhaps just as significantly, my palate is so easy to please that I’m perfectly happy eating my presliced turkey cold, right out of the bag, and I do the same with corn, green beans and other canned vegetables, chili, et al. Normally heating food up is, to me, a superfluous step that doesn’t notably improve the eating experience, and it just takes valuable time standing in front of a stove or microwave when I could be shoving something in my mouth during that time. Obviously there are exceptions. I don’t like cold refried beans, for example. And conversely there are some things that I prefer cold over reheating, like pizza or most takeout, especially Chinese food. Reheated potatoes are practically inedible.

UPDATE: Stuffed! Well my first crock attempt went over pretty well. The carrots & potatotes weren’t as soft or moist as I thought they would be. The cranberries and lemon and mustard were tops, however. I put in a whole bulb of garlic and I think next time I’ll use two. Really I could eat a meal of just roasted or stewed garlic. Well maybe not, but I like to have a clove with each bite of whateverelse. The meal as a whole was not as good as say buying a roasted chicken from Max’s, but it was only my first attempt. The biggest downfall is that unlike everything else I’ve been eating, I know exactly how many calories I’m taking in, because for the most part it’s prepackaged, except the fruits & vegetables. Figuring out how much to eat to fit within my current regime is really just guesstimation, to use the parlance of our times. This may be the first day I’ve cheated on my diet, and if so it’s out of ignorance.

In financial news I invested in mutual funds today. I was just going to take the two old, lame investments I had and fold them into my checking account but the financial planner was such a cool guy that he convinced me to…do what I just said I did above. I explained to him that I don’t care for money, I don’t like thinking about or dealing with money, that more or less I didn’t want to be there and I wouldn’t have if I didn’t have to decide what to do with my maturing GIC, and most importantly I don’t understand 99.99999% of what goes on in a bank. So he talked slow and used small words with lots of diagrams in crayon and to sum up: maybe in five years I’ll have more money than what I invested. And if not, boo schmoo hoo. He did make a point of making part of my investment part of the “Global Sustainability Fund” so with luck my investments aren’t going into Zyklon B factories and suchlike. It made me think that probably the most useful Slackademics class for me would be money management/investments.

Day 12: Leftover slackademics apple cranberry pie 220 (all carbs) smallest banana I could get with cocoa & Splenda + Thinsations 300 grilled turkey avec mustard 180 crock pot experiment ???probably 300-500 calories??? = 1000-1200 calories???

Day 10 & 11: What A Crock

I went to a callback this morning after a fitful sleep and for some inexplicable reason I didn’t feel like riding my bike downtown, so I took the bus. I think it was because subconsciously I knew it would give me the opportunity to pick up a $30 slow cooker at London Drugs, which I did.

Day 10: orange 100 candy 200 cookie 70 orange 100 turkey 200 can of green beans 50 vegetable chili 180 = 900 calories

Day 11: apple 100 granola bar 110 ice cream 100 ukulelology pie 200 more ukelelology pie (not looking good here) 200 Breyers fudgy bar 70 carrots 120 = 900 calories

Day 9: Pizza Party!

Pizza is like sex. When it’s good, it’s great, and when it’s bad, it’s still pretty good.

Heat Miser, the boss and I talked about the mother of all pizza parties at work on Friday. Here’s the scheme – I think you’re gonna love it, because I do.

– get a bunch of pizza fans together
– decide on a pizza – ham & pineapple or pepperoni or vegetarian: something that all pizza places would have but nobody really specializes in. Let’s say for the sake of discussion that it’s pepperoni (though I prefer H&P)
– order delivery from all of the pizza places that will deliver to us for one small pepperoni pizza.
– make a note of how long it takes to arrive, and the cost of each
– critique each pizza based on such criteria as crust, sauce, cheese, pepperoni (taste and generosity)
– get really sick of pizza, if that’s even possible.
– blog about results

Who’s in? I can’t think of a more fun way to spend an evening. Maybe it’s because I’m on a diet.

Day 9: granola bar 130 apple 100 granola bar 130 apple 100 turkey 180 green beans 60 banana 200 cocoa 15 Thinsations 100 = 1015 calories

Day 8: I Eat When I'm Bored, But I Never Get Bored of Eating

I covered some of this stuff in this post from April, but let’s review some more Fat Facts. This is important setup for some of my points later on, so slog through it. This I ordain.

90% VEGETARIAN

I don’t eat fish or really any seafood. I rarely eat pork (I’ll have ham on a sandwich or pizza occasionally) and beef even less. I do eat turkey and chicken. They’re the healthiest meat (minus fish which I can gloat about not eating for environmental reasons but really I despise the taste) and poultry is delicious. However, I only eat the white meat, and avoid the skin.

POINTLESS FOODS

There are certain foods I call pointless foods. Rice, pasta/noodles (of the Orient or otherwise) and bread are pointless foods. They’re pointless because they’re starchy carbs, so they’re off diet, and I don’t find them satisfying. When I order Indian or Thai I skip the rice, but will take naan instead (I know I just said I don’t enjoy bread but naan’s an exception). At Thanksgiving dinner there may be rolls right next to the stuffing, I’ll skip the roll but take extra stuffing. The problem with pointless foods is that if they’re still around after I’ve eaten everything else, oh, I’ll eat them, just like anything else that’s put in front of me. So I make a point not to get them in front of me. Simply put, these foods are not worth it to eat, as far as I’m concerned.

THE CUPBOARD IS BARE, THANK YOG

Another aspect of what I’d like to call my eating disorder is that I eat when I’m not hungry. This happens for two reasons: a) I’m really craving a specific food, usually instant-gratification junk foods such as cheddar beer chips, taro bubble tea or a tub of Ben & Jerry’s Vermonty Python ice cream (which I can’t find anywhere anymore – was it a limited edition or something? Not that I should have access to this anyway); 2) I’m bored or procrastinating, like for azzample when I draw, I’ll make some weak passes at a difficult bit (and starting a drawing is always a difficult bit) and then take a break which may involve a video game or eating or both. As a result of the Cravy Craverson Effect and the Bore Me To Munchies Effect (especially the latter) I’ve learned that a successful strategy is not to keep any food in the house. This has the extra bonus insofar as when I really do have to eat something, I have to get on my bike and exercise in order to fetch it. That’s one of the boons of having been evicted actually – I am no longer two short blocks from butter tarts and eccles cakes at 11:45pm.

zdepth says:

Get a crockpot. You can usually find them at thrift stores. Here’s what you do: [explains how to cook a chicken & vegetables with ease] When its done cooking eat it. Or some of it anyway. The rest put in a container for later. Except, leave the fluid in the crockpot. You should remove the meat from the bones. Put the bones back in the crockpot. Cook it for another hour or two. Strain all the non-fluid stuff and as much of the chicken fat as you can get. You now have chicken broth. You can make soup or you could use it to cook rice (and you can use the crockpot for that) and have yummy rice. In total, this should take maybe twenty minutes of your time (prep, finish, etc). It’s healthy and yummy and easy.

Okay, I’m listening to what you’re saying. This is intriguing. Permit me to respond, and don’t take this as naysaying or dismissal, because I am actually considering the benefits of this and trying to fairly weigh the idea vs reality. Additionally, I don’t want to pooh-pooh feedback because I do like the ideas and suggestions all y’all are providing in the comments.

Alpha Phase: Get a crockpot. This is probably something to put on my Christmas wish list because I don’t envision this as something I can ride home with in my backpack. I guess I could take the bus. I’ll contemplate this on the Tree of Woe.

Beta Phase: Buy a whole chicken. This is an intriguing notion. I never buy raw meat so going into this area of the supermarket will be a new adventure! Normally when I want poultry I do one of three things:

1) Buy one of the roasted whole chickens from Safeway or Max’s Deli. It’s been a while since I did the Safeway thing but the chickens at Max’s are stuffed with oranges and onions and seasoned with rosemary. Good stuff.
2) Buy a package of precooked grilled turkey strips and crack a bottle of Grey Poupon.
3) Buy peppercorn or sundried tomato or flavour de jour sliced turkey in the deli section of Safeway and do as 2 or occasionally make a sandwich with it.

Gamma Phase (optional): Storing the chicken. I’d pretty much have to get the chicken on the same day that I’d cook it. There is no room in the 2 fridges here. No problem if I plan properly.

Delta Phase: Eat the chicken. Yum.

Epsilon Phase: Leftovers. See CUPBOARD IS BARE DILEMMA listed above. This is probably the biggest drawback to the idea.

Zeta Phase: Broth benefit. I of course would have nothing to do with broth because I don’t make soup or rice (again, having no pots or pans or a strainer for that matter, and generally not being a fan of soup or rice!). I guess Kodos would be a fan of this phase though.

Eta Phase: Washing the dishes. I think we all know my feelings on this matter. If I had to choose only one reason not to cook, this would be it.

All of that said, this sounds like an interesting project and I’d like to do it just to see how it turns out. A fun and delicious experiment! Would I do it on a regular basis? Depends on initial success. Certainly not as convenient as just buying cooked chicken. Is there any difference in how healthy a roasted chicken is vs a slow-cooked one? Or in taste?

Next exciting issue: Pizza Party

Day 8: granola bar 130 + apple 100 + granola bar 110 + orange 100 + ice cream 100 + granola bar 110 + turkey in a can! 200 + misc party snacks (about a 6-10 chips some with bean dip, a chocolate covered espresso bean, 3 grape tomatoes and a couple carrot sticks) 100 = 940 calories.

Did anyone notice that I used a) and 2)? If you did, you win. Maybe there’s a puzzle in every blog entry here on thickets.net/toren – think about it!

Day 7: Cooking Leads To Dish Washing

Here are the people who live in the house in which I also live: Casey, French-Canadian Guy, Boozy Breath Guy, Too Much Aftershave Guy, Scowly Silent Guy, and Never Seen Guy. I think that’s everyone. I was told when I moved in that there is only one suite with its own kitchen. Everyone else shares the kitchen in the basement, right next to my suite.

Here’s a few interesting facts about me: cooking – not a fan. Occupying the same room as other people I don’t know – not a fan. The guy I see the most is probably Too Much Aftershave Guy, who cooks real meals like roasts ‘n’ suchlike, leaving the kitchen smelling great. Everyone else seems to come down to make toast or something equally prosaic.

Additionally, I don’t own any pots and pans or other cooking utensils–they never made it through the move. So I can’t boil an egg. Not to mention I’m afraid of the semi-antique industrial size gas stove. So, for the time being, the dream of Toren cooking healthy things for himself is dead. Let’s leave that for when I’m married (insert belly laugh here). Luckily there is a microwave at my disposal. And by a microwave, I mean a microwave oven, not an electromagnetic wave inbetween infrared and radio waves.

That said, I am learning to be clever with food in ways that would put most people off it. For example, today I was eating a banana and got about half way through when I thought “baby Jesus this is a boring banana.” So I took said half-banana, mushed it up real good with one of my co-tenants’ forks because I can’t find my own one metal one (I blame my co-tenants), sprinkled on a heaping teaspoon of cocoa powder (which I bought to make low calorie chocolate milk but even skim milk is in the neighborhood of 300 calories for a decent size glass), a heaping tablespoon of Splenda, and a teaspoon or so of skim milk so I could mix the other bits together into a brown goo. “Hey that’s pretty good, I’m some kind of fucking genius” I whispered in an ultrahigh frequency so only dogs could hear, but my genius did not stop there – OH NO! I had a half of a granola bar left in my coat so I smashed it up inside it’s individually wrapped package on my computer desk and then added the oaty particles to the concoction. It was like some kind of delicious crunchy pudding for less than 200 calories. I win.

Day 7: Thinsations (100) orange (100) granola bar (110) ice cream (100) tomatoes (100) granola bar (130) banana (200) salad (150) = 1000 calories

Day 5 + 6: Mustard Eases the Pain

Kelly’s scale says I’m at 191.0 lbs. Twelve lbs to go.

The single greatest thing about mustard is that I love it and it’s very low calorie. The two greatest things about mustard is that I love it, it’s very low calorie, and it comes in many varieties. Amongst the greatest things about mustard are such diverse elements as: I love it; it’s very low calorie; it comes in many varieties….

Day 5: orange (100) caramels (400 damn you Kelly!) chicken & salad (300) Thinsations (100) Banana (150) = 1050 calories

Day 6: salad (100) apple (100) chocolate covered candied orange peels (200 damn you Kelly!) apple (100) chicken (180) + carrots (100) = 800 calories

D-Day 4: 36 Days to Go

Well, good news. Joyce’s scale says I’m at 192, which means I only have 13 lbs to lose.

Mike says:

There is the problem. You are not changing your life style to one of living and eating in a manner conducive to long, healthy life. Before the ’60’s diet meant whole life style, not some obsessive corporately created weight loss madness. Eat wholesome foods in moderate amounts, have the occasional treats like a slice of pizza, a little ice cream, maybe a small piece of cake at a party. These are ok, if you are living a rounded, healthy life style where you eat from around the outside of the supermarket, keep physical activity part of your daily routine, maintain a regular sleep schedule and you’ll be great. Lose the “I must be skinny by” idea and say, “I want to be happy with good food, good activities and good friends.” But remember, have fun or you’ll never, ever succeed.

Any advice on how to eat wholesome foods in moderate amounts? Keeping physical activity a part of my daily routine and maintaining a regular sleep schedule are not problems. Stopping myself from eating (for example) a chocolate cookie for breakfast, a shawarma for lunch and two small pizzas for dinner is a very real problem, and one that I’ve struggled with all my life. I don’t want to be skinny, I want to be average. The human senses have been designed over millions of years to crave and enjoy sugar and fat. How do you make denying yourself those pleasures fun? I hate the fact that if pizza or pastries or chips or ice cream is put in front of me in a social situation, all I can think about is how I can eat as much as possible without drawing attention to it, and that if it’s in front of me when no one else is around, I will eat until I feel sick. And then as soon as I don’t feel sick anymore, I will eat some more. This is why I don’t buy groceries – why I don’t store food for the long term. Food in my cupboard and fridge doesn’t make it to the long term, unless it’s something I don’t care for – something healthy I’ve strategically bought with the best of intentions. Then it’s 3 in the morning, it’s the only thing to eat, and I’m forced to eat canned corn or fresh celery. Unless of course I’m willing to get dressed, get on my bike, and ride to 7-11 or Max’s for some Miss Vickies and a butter tart, which also happens.

Day four: On the menu today: Thinsations (100) + banana (200) + orange (100) + low fat cream of chicken soup (200) + Cadbury Thins (orange & chocolate) (100) + misc (say 100 at most) + sugar-free milkshake (100) + Thinsations! (100) = 1000