Random Diet Thoughts

Just some random things I’ve heard or thought about since I started my lifestyle change. I hate that term… more on that later this week. 

Ok just so we’re clear I’m not going to become anorexic and for what it’s worth, I’ve whipped anorexia’s ass . That being said, eating is a tremendous pain in my ass. It’s like hanging out with the guy that kicked the living hell out of you in a bar fight…three to four times a day. I know what you’re thinking, “it’s not the food that made you gain weight Pav, it’s you.” You’re absolutely right, but that doesn’t make it any less painful shoving food down the same cakehole “I” shoved too much or the wrong kinds of food down for years. Eating is a daily reminder of my sins. Well one sin, the other sins will remain in Tijuana.

Ok so eating is a pain in the ass, but the upside to the equation is I love the cooking process. I don’t mean I love getting out the pots and pans for play time although I like that too, I mean the whole process. I go to the grocery store with zero plans and wing it. I enjoy picking out everything from vegetables to protein and in the process have thrown together some pretty damned good plates. I know, I sound perkier than an eighteen year old girl in a freezer factory but I can’t help myself. It’s challenging to go to a store filled with more junk food than a McDonald’s distribution center, and come out making something that’s not trying to kill me. I love a challenge, but then of course… I’ve got to eat it.

Someone suggested “it might help to weigh or measure your food.” I’ve been on those diets and I’ve cheated every last one of them. Oh so I can have a cup of chicken, well there’s a good amount of space in between those cubes so it must mean two cups of chicken. This recipe calls for three ounces of beef, but I see it was written by a woman who obviously needs fewer calories than me. I do physical labor,  just yesterday I typed eight hundred words, bought a bag of ice then walked halfway across the parking lot to the liquor store because all the good spaces were taken…I need sustenance! Thanks anyway, I’ll stick to throwing my stuff together and when I’ve put enough on the plate… that’s enough. I’ve lied to myself long enough to know I’m not a very good liar, and I should learn to trust me.

“Wouldn’t it be easier to do the points diet?” I’ve done the point thing and I always found it amazing how I could justify needing extra points, lying about how many I used and lying about how many I banked. I once figured thirty two ounces of frozen mudslide complete with booze and chocolate around the inside of the glass to be (For those keeping track of points) about five points because it’s mostly ice and it’s not like I can lick the chocolate from the inside of the glass…right?! If I want points I’ll take my money down to a local bookie and put it all on me minus the points because I’m just flat out gonna beat this weight thing’s ass. Anybody putting money on Pavlov getting points should know, that is a sucker bet.  I’d probably just take the points and apply them to a bowl of seven layered dip and a bag of tortilla chips. Happy eating! 

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Cajun spiced shrimp sized 8-12’s, (jumbo doesn’t mean anything) Roasted tomato, red and green bell pepper, tomato paste well browned, worcestershire sauce, green onion, celery, flat leafed parsley, capers, jasmine rice and sriracha. (I had mine without rice)

Variety in Diet

“Variety is the spice of life” I’m not sure if it was Hugh Hefner or Pee Wee Herman who said that but I believe it holds true with diet and women. I’m sure you wives wouldn’t agree with the latter, so let’s concentrate on the former and go biblical with this. Four weeks ago before I started my new outlook on food I realized I had all the variety God gave Adam and Eve, and what was I doing with it?! I was knocking down all the apples from the damned forbidden tree and making hard cider…with Eve’s help of course.

OK they weren’t apples, and unless “The Cat” is just a disguise it wasn’t Eve either… but there was most certainly forbidden fruit. If Apples were what Adam was tempted by, it’s only because Benton Farm hadn’t started making bacon yet. I was eating things people on vacation eat because they say “screw it, it’s vacation!”, and I was saying “screw it, it’s Tuesday!” Tuesday should never be an acceptable excuse to eat a pint of Ben & Jerry’s wrapped in bacon and washed down with a quart of Egg Nog… unless you have a death wish, trouble gaining weight or that Tuesday happens to fall on the apocalypse. So what can I eat?

Salad! Hell yeah I’ll have salad and that’ll be easy too. I’ll have lots of salad and really change it up. One day I’ll put beets in, the next day spring mix, goat cheese, top them with protein and hell maybe I’ll add a few nuts or fruit for fun! Barely a week or so later I decided salads are “fun” to eat when you’re going to have a Porterhouse somewhere in the second course, but as an every single night main meal, no thank you.  I think the only people that find salads fun to eat every night, are people who wear yoga pants and run marathons for fun. I like salads, just not every day.

Vegetables are great and I love the variety. I grill, steam and broil them. I find that when I broil and grill them they get sweeter and have good flavor that doesn’t require adding anything. I used to look at vegetables as the food my food ate, but now we have made peace with each other and I have come to accept them as a valuable part of my eating strategy which is to say,  I’m trying to eat every one of those sons a bitches as I can…in moderation.  

I’ve increased the spice level on my proteins about three times what I normally would and shrunk the portion size by about two-thirds. I love meat at much as the next person who eats a ton of meat, but truth be told our bodies don’t need as much as we eat. When I was a younger man I was quantity over quality guy preferring to ride my steak out of the store. Now I find I’m perfectly happy with a petite filet mignon or roughly three to four ounces of whatever can’t outrun a bullet…just make it flavorful.

 I’m incorporating legumes and starchy vegetables like peas and corn in small amounts to add a little substance and interest. I’m also making a lot of salsas, reductions and purees to increase the flavor component and keep the dishes interesting so “OH CHICKEN!” doesn’t become “Really?… FUCKING CHICKEN?!” You’d be surprised how a little salsa of roasted tomato, squeeze of lime juice, red onion, harrisa or Sriracha, cilantro and (calm down you bastard cilantro haters, you can add parsley or basil too!) pineapple or mango can really elevate a plate.

I’ve increased the amount of Fruit lying around the house so when I am hungry I have no problem justifying a healthy snack rather than dancing with the devil spawn some call Nutella. That shit leads to standing naked in front of the sink at three am with an empty container, a Nutella mustache and wondering what the hell happened. Have I cheated? You mean by eating more than I should? No. As for fat and carbs yes I have them, but in healthy amounts. I mean hell, water is the healthiest thing you can drink on the planet but it’ll kill you via dilutional hyponytremia if you drink too much of it. Everything in moderation except death and cobra venom is what I say.

Four weeks and I’m down 23 pounds. (That’s 10.3 kilos or half a Bassett Hound) To all the Pav groupies out there (I believe there was 1 female in Idaho named…uh… Tim?!… who had some nice things to say about me)  this is going to hurt but, no picture of me this week, maybe next week. Instead I give to you, what a portion of dinner now looks like now. 

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Beef, Broccoli, Red and Green Peppers, Green Onion and Cilantro with a splash of Oyster Sauce, and Tsp of Sesame Oil to saute the meat in plus flavor… Srirach was added after the picture was taken.

Bathing Suit Season Started When?!

Week 2…no that wasn’t a gravy stain on my shirt, but yes those were bags under my eyes.

Most people hear the call for bathing suit season in January, just as the last New Year’s confetti hits the floor. I hear the call for bathing suit season about the time you can’t find bathing suits in the store anymore. This year was no exception except this year I want to do something more than chuckle and grab a sandwich with extra mayo, this year I want to lose some weight.

I have a knee that has seen better days so the thought of running would only occur to me if I were on fire, plus I’ve never seen a runner smile. I have two bad shoulders so lifting weights can only be done in moderation and it looks like what we used to call “girl push-ups” will be in my repertoire. I’ll be doing plenty of sit-ups and crunches as I never minded either, although the end result was never a six pack but rather a well shaped keg. I’ll also be utilizing other forms of static and resistance training to round out the program so my body doesn’t know what the hell’s going on. It shouldn’t be that hard to confuse my body as I don’t believe it’s all that smart in the first place.

Ok so ole Pav plans on some basic exercise, is that it? No of course not, if losing weight were that easy I would have done it already, or at least had The Cat do it for me. I also plan on getting some walking/hiking in the equation and if I take my truck it’ll take about a third the time. Yeah alright so no truck, although I may get a bike and mix it up a bit but there’s no way in hell I’m wearing padded bike shorts, the last thing my ass needs is spandex…or padding for that matter.

I’m a cook who loves cooking and over the years I’ve tasted a goodly amount of my food and I have to say, I’m a fan… a big fan. That said I need to pack in lots of flavor, so how do I do that? I plan on still using real fats, just less of them. I’ll utilize natural sweeteners like maple syrup, fruits and raw sugar. I don’t like artificial sweeteners although I’ve probably consumed enough to have a tumor the size of a head of cauliflower that has replaced my brain, which would explain a lot with regard to my writing. How about leaner meat, you bet. I’ll also be utilizing spices, ramping up the heat, use a wide range of vegetables, legumes and tiny amounts of pasta/potato. 

Here’s a big one for me, portion control. The first girlfriend I brought home to meet my folks was given half a grilled chicken and on the table sat a dozen ears of corn and mixing bowl filled with mashed potato, for four people. The first time I met her parents I remembered thinking I could eat everything on their table and go for a cheeseburger. I need to seriously cut back to the amount I would normally get when going for thirds.

Lastly, I think honesty plays a big part in a person’s weight loss. It’s easy for me to rationalize “Let’s see I had a Caesar salad for lunch so eating a key lime pie is fine, I mean… there’s friggin lime in it!” I’m too much of a sneak thief to be honest with myself so I’ll be honest with you…the three people that read these posts on a regular basis. In just over two weeks I am down fifteen pounds. I’m hoping to lose maybe 30-40 more depending on how much new clothes are going for. I’ll let you know how it goes. Any encouragement, comments, jeers or generally calling bullshit on me will be appreciated even if it isn’t liked.