Archive for November, 2012

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I Survived The Zombie Apocalypse…er I Mean Thanksgiving

November 27, 2012

Thanksgiving is over that blessed of all “food” holidays we’re obsessed with here in the US and I for one am happy about it. I was pretty worried about it because I didn’t think there was any way I wouldn’t overeat. It was tough, with all the cakes, cupcakes, pies and high carb dishes staring me in the face with every turn in the kitchen but I did it. My official weigh-in this morning had me down 6 pounds from last week so I not only survived but I punched Thanksgiving right in the throat. Here’s how:

This is going to sound cliched but basically it all boils down to will power. I’m all for the low-carb thing but I think most of my weight loss success has been caused primarily by caloric restriction, basically not eating more calories than I burn in a given day, sounds simple but it eludes a lot of people. The low carb count is great for my blood sugar but I don’t think that is really causing the weight-burn I’m seeing, I could be wrong and am not a doctor but I know how to read so there you go. At any rate I won at Thanksgiving very simply, at dinner I had some carbs but less than a full serving. I had a tablespoon of potatoes, a tablespoon of macaroni and cheese plus a normal serving of roasted turkey with roasted cabbage and green beans. This was plenty of food for me without feeling too stuffed and didn’t leave me craving any additional food, it just worked. Here’s where it gets tricky.

My wife loves sweets, cakes, pies, cookies, all of them. Normally it doesn’t bother me too much but this was Thanksgiving, I had to eat some sweets right? It was expected! Guess what? I didn’t, not even a small slice of pumpkin pie. It might sound horrible or even like torture but it really wasn’t bad. I simply didn’t crave that stuff anymore. I had eaten a sufficient enough dinner so I wasn’t hungry anymore and didn’t really want anything additional. This strategy was primarily driven by the fact that if you are hungry you are more likely to crave sweets, at least I am so I simply made sure I wasn’t hungry. Watching other people eat the sweet stuff didn’t bother me either despite them all telling me how good it was, creeps. 🙂

Basically as I’ve said in this blog all along, nothing is easy and it all comes down to discipline and self-control. This is not what the diet commercials sell you of course, they tell you its all easy but it isn’t. It does get easier as you progress though, it really does. My survival of Thanksgiving is a testament to that fact.

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What Is The Value Of Healthy Food?

November 18, 2012

My Great Uncle used to tell me all the time that there was a big difference between price and value, it was something that he really tried to meld into my moral fabric. Just because something was cheap didn’t mean it was not valuable and just because it was expensive, well that didn’t mean it was really valuable. Basically the moral of his stories were always that price does not determine value, this is especially true when it comes to food. I used to love submarine sandwiches because they were quick, cheap and mostly delicious, I never thought about their value and what I mean by value is that sure, I save some money and time but what did the sub sandwich do for me? Well the ones I liked had upwards of 600 calories with a lot of those from fat not to mention around 40 carbs with almost no fiber or vitamin nutrition. The meat used on it was always heavily processed cold cuts and the condiments were a-plenty. All of that before I added the chips and soda that I just had to have. Basically a whole day’s worth of fat, carbs and sugar in one “meal” plus probably a couple of days worth of sodium. Cheap? Yes. Valuable? No.

As I continue my journey to getting healthier, losing weight and kicking diabetes in the teeth I notice this kind of stuff all the time. While I’m grocery shopping I notice that fresh produce is rarely on any sort of convincing sale. The junk food is always on sale, today I could’ve gotten 4, yes FOUR packages of Oreo cookies (basically about the lowest food possible on a nutritional scale) for $5.00, that is CHEAP! I suspect they were old or something because it was in the clearance section, anyway, no one should ever need four packages of Oreos, maybe in an entire lifetime but there it was. In the produce section meanwhile, the baby spinach was $3.59 for a pretty small container (pre-washed stuff). For about the same price I can get FOUR packages of old Oreos which is about 60 servings of 3 cookies (recommended serving size) or about two servings of healthy spinach… does that make any sense to anyone? Looking at that, is it any wonder why people (including me) are so confused about their health and what they should be eating? Eating healthy while looking at that sort of scale you could go broke eating healthy. It is cheaper to eat non-nutritional crap than it is to eat anything healthy, this is sad.

The conspiracy theorist in me thinks this is just a way to keep the populace too fat and lazy to care about anything else but eating. Eat some sugar, you usually need/want more so the trend just enforces itself. Eat a carrot? Not so much unless you really like carrots. It is great that our country’s food companies have found a product (sugar) that basically makes sure their customers keep coming back for more over and over. It seems like any industry that is truly bad for you (tobacco anyone?) has similar products that do this. Essentially get them hooked young and the product does all the work for you. Like I said though, that’s the conspiracy theorist in me and I don’t listen to him much. I’ve heard reasonable-sounding arguments that we couldn’t feed our population with just healthy food that is grown out there here, that we have to use created foods that don’t really rely on food but chemistry for manufacturing. I hope that’s not really true.

Anyway I don’t have a point to all this other than eating healthy can be more expensive but doesn’t have to be. If you cut out the restaurant trips (like I’ve done) and learn to grocery shop (like I’m trying to do) you can do it. It is tricky but it can be done. If I were smarter I’d start a service that shows people how to do it after I learn how first of course. The economics are against you but I think that with a little effort and focus you can cut through the confusion and eat better. I’m not perfect at it yet but I can tell you from what I’ve learned so far, it is completely worth it. Speaking of economics, check this out:

 

SPECIALS!

SPECIALS!

 

Look at those prices! Two horrendously bad for you energy drinks for $3.00, that’s only $1.50/piece! What is the real cost though? I suspect a few hundred calories and probably very sugar loaded. You then get to have two bags of combos (I didn’t know those existed anymore) for $4.00 so a little more expensive but you get a bunch of pieces so I suppose that counts for something. Finally, my personal favorite, buy one bottle of Nesquik chocolate milk (340 calories, 58 grams of carbs) and, get this, you get a DONUT for free! A glazed donut has around 400 calories with half from fat and about 40 carbs, at least according to Dunkin’ Donuts . I was never a big donut fan but wow did I enjoy my chocolate milk. Chocolate milk and pop tarts was my favorite “breakfast” when I was in high school, wow do I wish I knew then what I know now and I wish I cared as much as I do now. I ask you now dear readers, how valuable do you think those junk food deals are?

 

 

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Evernote: The Myth, The Legend

November 14, 2012

Let me be clear up front I am an Evernote fanboy and I have been really since it has existed. I can take notes in a meeting, or jot down some work ideas at the doctor’s office on my iPad and it is all available everywhere on any device. I can’t sell this point enough for me, it is really important for it to not be locked up in some proprietary mess of an application but I digress away from the technical and will save that for my other blog. I mean I literally use Evernote all the time, that and Dropbox are definitely my two favorite “cloud” services ever. This takes us to this morning…

I was sitting in my doctor’s waiting room like every Wednesday jotting some notes down and noticed there were some updates for my Android device. While I was updating I surfed around Google’s Play Store and then I saw it, right there staring me in the face, I didn’t know how long it had been there and I didn’t care, it had to be mine. The “it” in this case was Evernote Food which is basically Evernote all prettied up to be a food journal. It allows you to upload pictures of the food and caption/tag them for posterity and sharing later. This is fantastic if you want to keep a food journal (like I want to) but are too lazy to write down everything you eat. Also, I really like them branching off their core technology to offer niche services.

I haven’t messed with it too much because I just found it this morning but I am looking forward to exploring it quite a bit. Hopefully it won’t sour on me like most shiny new things I like but we’ll see.  Again to sum up, Evernote is awesome, you should be using it, no they don’t pay me and Evernote Food seems like a great idea.

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These Are The Times That Try Mens’ (okay my) Souls…Infections Suck

November 14, 2012

It is pretty well documented that I have really annoying/wicked illness that leaves me with little defense against random infections and other fun things. A couple of weeks ago I had to go to urgent care because of a massive earache, now I get ear infections a lot so I wasn’t terribly concerned because it is the one thing I typically get over quickly. Of course…not this time.

This particular ear infection had moved from my middle ear to the space between my jaw and ear (I might be describing that wrong) and was causing all sorts of nasty problems that I won’t go into detail here. Needless to say its been a trying couple of weeks and I’m finally starting to feel better after lots of antibiotics and shots. The best part is (okay not even close to being a best part of anything) I have about 70% hearing loss as a result in my right ear. They’re not sure if its going to return or not and can’t say what the long term effects will be even if I do recover some of the loss. I love doctors, I guess that’s why they call it practice. :-/

 

 

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Well Rock My World And Tell Me More About How Small I Am

November 14, 2012

I used to get really annoyed when people were constantly commenting on how small I was getting. At first it was because I didn’t or couldn’t believe them but now I think I might be becoming an attention hound, a trait I really don’t have. I have actually been enjoying folks telling me how small I’m getting and how amazed they are that I’ve lost so much weight. You know what? That has to be healthy to a degree, no? I mean I’m now down 178 pounds (as of this morning) and only have about 25 more to go so I should be excited an proud, right? Like I said, I am to a degree but getting attention for that sort of thing makes me really uncomfortable but it is getting better.

 

Some stats update so everyone (including me) can see what a drastic difference this is for me:

Starting waist size: 54     Now: 38

Starting ring size: 11.5     Now: 9 (Lost and recovered my wedding ring three times before I finally went tonight to get it sized down)

Starting neck size: 22.5   Now: 16

Starting sport coat size: 60  Now: 44L

 

Those are some really big differences and I’m pretty excited about them. 🙂

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Low Carb AND Baked Goods? Yes Please

November 10, 2012

Lately I’ve been looking for some variety in my diet. Not that I’m weakening or anything just that I’ve been pretty regimented in what I’ve been eating for so long that it has gotten a little boring so I started branching out a little. Enter The Julian Bakery  . I ordered some of their bread and brownies just for something a bit different, expecting it to be horrible, you know what? It wasn’t. It was different, anyone who tells you that you can have low carb bread and low carb brownies and they’re “just as good” or “just like” regular stuff is lying. The bread is pretty good when toasted but I don’t think I would use it for just a sandwich or anything, I’m planning on trying the cinnamon bread in a sugar-free French Toast (recipe forthcoming when I get to making it). The brownies were pretty great, they are not, I repeat not like regular brownies. They’re not terribly sweet but since I’ve been doing this sort of diet that’s okay, my sweet tooth, such as it was seems to have completely reversed itself. I would recommend this place to anyone that just can’t put down the bread or chocolate. My only complaint about them was that it took weeks for them to deliver even though I paid for overnight shipping to get the stuff sooner so I thought that was weird. Anyone ever get stuff from them? What are your thoughts?