Monday, January 13, 2014

Monday breakdown

Breakie: Low-cal full-meal shake (chocolate). A bottle of water.

Loonch, the looniest of the meals: a leftover steak tip with Montreal seasoning. Zucchini slices cooked in butter. Some mashed potatoes (known locally as "mashies") made preternaturally smoove with the addition of what I think was ranch dressing. A Pillsbury crescent roll. A scooped of sauteed onions and green peppers. An iced coffee with sweet powder from a pink packet, and some soy milk.

A glass of water in the afternoon.

A snack!Some whole wheat Tostitos chips (maybe 6) and a dab of salsa. WHY OH WHY don't they give you a jar of salsa with enough salsa for the bag of chips? Make the bag smaller or the jar larger, guys. This isn't the Goldbach conjecture we're talking about.

Dinner: a "Caesarus" salad (small, not large) at Sunset after el workout at el gym, consisting of shaved cheese and shredded cheese (cheese is healthy right?), lettuce (as in, lettuce eat more cheese), roasted/marinated red pepper strips, and croutons (which could have been safely replaced by more cheese without any complaint from me). Several diet colas. Several.

At North Station: a small vanilla "ice cream" cone from McDonald's (note the dubitative quotation marks) and a medium diet.

At home: I was hankering. I found ham in the fridge, and had a piece as large as half a playing card in area (though a bit thicker depth-wise). I found a tiny container with shredded lettuce (as in, lettuce see if we can find more cheese), marinated in juices and spices, leftover from Thai-ish food night Saturday. I ate that too. Then up in the Room, Jenna saw what I had pilfered -- pig meat, wet lettuce -- and said, oh no no that doesn't look delicious enough. SHE pattered downstairs and came back before too long with a big boy slice of triple layer chocolate cake. Vanilla frosting.

Did I say triple? Well by the time it made it up the stairs, one of the layers had mysteriously vanished. We shared what remained, but I can't help but think she knows more than she is letting on about the case of the missing chocolate cake.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014


Bottle of water on the train. Shake at work for breakie. Lunch: two slices of roast beef; green beans with butter and garlic; roasted potatoes. Iced coffee to drink, with sweetener and soy milk. On the train ride home, a medium diet coke from McDo's and a small vanilla cone. Dinner: chicken and rice with a cream of mushroom sauce; roasted brussels sprouts; a slice of bread with oleo. Diet Dew to drink. No snacks; good job, self. Was at the gym before the train ride home; drank water in large volumes.

Bottle of water on the train. Shake at work, and a fresh grapefruit. Lunch: Rice and corn with salsa; some chips with more salsa. A diet Dew. Another soda on the train. Dinner: baked frozen fries; cheeseburger with Zak's Own pickle relish and mayo. A cup of mixed veggies. One selection from the box of See's chocolates on the counter. Dessert was a bag of Boy Scout microwave kettle corn, 250 cals, and a can of diet Dew. I have succumbed to temptation! There will be hell to be in the next life for this weakness, these transgressions. Was planning to go the gym, but J. had other plans for me. Tomorrow I will go. Did squats in the elevator when I had an errand on the fifth floor; ain't I clevah.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Annals of culinary history: the famed Olivier Salad

The original version of Salad Olivier (Салат Оливье) was invented in the 1860s by Belgian Lucien Olivier, the chef of the Hermitage, one of Moscow's most celebrated restaurants. Olivier's salad quickly became immensely popular with Hermitage regulars, and became the restaurant's signature dish. It is known that the salad contained grouse, veal tongue, caviar, lettuce, crayfish tails, capers, and smoked duck, but the exact recipe — particularly that of the dressing — was a jealously guarded secret.

At the turn of the 20th century, one of Olivier's sous-chefs, Ivan Ivanov, attempted to steal the recipe. While preparing the dressing one evening in solitude, as was his custom, Olivier was suddenly called away on some emergency. Taking advantage of the opportunity, Ivanov sneaked into Olivier's private kitchen and observed his mise en place, which allowed him to make reasonable assumptions about the recipe of Olivier's famed dressing. Ivanov then left Olivier's employ and went to work as a chef for Moskva, a somewhat inferior restaurant, where he began to serve a suspiciously similar salad under the name "Capital Salad," (Столичный, "Stolichny").

It was reported by the gourmands of the time, however, that the dressing on the Stolichny salad was of a lower quality than Olivier's, meaning that it was missing some ingredient or other present in the original.


This post adapted from Wikipedia.


Coda, from an article on "Russian Salad" from the webpage of The School of Russian and Asian Studies:
Салат «Оливье» was originally called «Майонез из дичи», “Game Bird Mayonnaise”. It was made with a series of gourmet ingredients including black caviar and capers, layered together with steamed game hen, and bound in layers of jellied broth. Boiled crayfish tails and pieces of tongue were arranged around the edges of the dish and it was served covered with a small amount of fresh Provencal Sauce made from olive oil, egg yolks, French vinegar, mustard, and spices. A potato skin with gherkins and slices of boiled eggs decorated the center of the dish. 
However, most Russian customers, Olivier noticed, would immediately mix the layers and garnish together and eat the mush this created with a spoon. Shocked, but willing to accommodate, the enterprising chef started serving his salad mixed together and bound in sauce rather than covered in it. This is also when the name changed to Салат «Оливье».
Cross posted to The Wonder Reflex. 

I think my overeating is a kind of hoarding

Hoarder's home, Sussex. From The Art of Keeping.
This article at Slate features a photographer's collection of images of the homes of hoarders. While reading it, and the reader comments that follow, I had a realization. There is a great deal of similarity between the justifications used by hoarders and the feelings I have toward food.

On the matrimonial resolution

Here we go again. I'm getting back into the swing of edia blogging, since the wedding is about a month away and I'm keen to look as trim and healthy as possible on the day of blessed occasion. So: healthy lunches consisting of leftovers, light on carbs. A handful of nuts in the morning on the train will keep my eyes open and start the day with a tang of salt. After the gym, breakfasts of low-cal full-nutrition shakes, pre-packaged (oh what an indulgent expense!) but hard to find excuses not to use (ESPECIALLY after I've already paid the money for them). Dinner: one plate and one plate only at the family meal. No snacking, Mr. Bos. No cheating, savvy?

And, in what looks like a capitulation to dangerous urges, milk of magnesia once a week. Not because I think it is some kind of smart strategy for rapid weight loss, but for health reasons. Explanation: My immune suppression makes me much more susceptible than most to respiratory infection; indeed, I'm constantly trying to shake bronchitis. Since my upper lungs are always inflamed, I am always coughing up foamy sputum. The magnesium salts, er, reduce the fluid in my body, leaving less available to cough up. In other words, low-level hydration makes it easier to breath. It's a hassle to balance these concerns. And further, while I'm fighting off the urge to "be responsible" and make use of the food in my environment, and not let it go to waste. I'm not HUNGRY. Indeed, most days I want very much NOT to be eating, not because of any high-minded goal to Get Fit (though that's there), but because eating makes me feel gross.

(And what's that all about, Zak?)

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Keeping up

When you get behind in such things, it can be discouraging -- not only do you need to attend to the new work of the day, but you need to bite the bullet and swallow the frog (and so on with other useful metaphors) and catch up on all the work you didn't do, the work that is already late. It's a debt of work, with interest compounding.

As I try to shake off the pathological need to do things perfectly (natch) or not at all, here's this: instead of NOT doing posts for the days I missed this week, I'll just move on ahead, with the numbers I do have, without going through the bother of trying to remember all the food I took into my system.

When I weighed myself yesterday morning (in the dark dark bathroom -- the sun is no longer up when I am; winter comes...), the scale read 252.4.

This morning, it weight 252.6.

Some data is better than none at all. Pressing on.

PS: Without breaking any mental sweat, I can recall the pop-tart-type breakfast pastry that Jenna and I shared on the way to the train yesterday morning. Just a moment ago, she texted me to tell me what she's just learned: that each (each!) of the two pastries in each packet has 200 calories. Mon dieu. No more breakfast pastries for me, thank you all very much. I'm glad I skipped this morning.

Monday, August 26, 2013

A monday

I weighed 254.8 pounds this morning when I stepped on the scale. Breakfast was a piece of wheat bread with peanut butter and prunes, and a can of diet Mountain Dew. Lunch was a half a cob of corn, and a cup and a half or so of summer salad (feta, blueberries, sliced onion, tomato and cucumber, in a vinaigrette) and yellow rice with sauteed diced onion and peppers from the garden. I had an iced coffee and two glasses of water during the work day. Dinner was a foot-long Subway sandwich, oat bread with buffalo chicken and American cheese, light mayo, lettuce, onions, olives, and tomato. I also had a bag of Lay's popped chips, some sort of newfangled diet food. And a cup of diet cola. Dessert, at home, was a slice of strawberry shortcakish cake, with ladyfinger cookies and whipped cream.