Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Hungry hump day

So I've been strongly encouraged to lose 30 pounds this year, as a start. If I can drop that weight, I'll be eligible for a different class of drug dosage, one that will help me considerably in arguing with my insurance provider that this medication should be covered.

In the past thirteen days, I've lost ten pounds and gained back five. Not that I'm doing anything reckless, starving myself: that's just the magnitude of the kinds of change I have historically seen when I'm focusing on losing weight. The number on the scale this morning was 254.4.

Today is Wednesday, so that's a fast day. Not for dietary reasons, but as a kind of moral practice. On Wednesdays I try not to eat during the day, as a way of sharpening my attention on matters that grow my moral conviction. Today, I'm going to be thinking about race -- for when I got to work, there were racist flyers posted on the sidewalk outside the office. Every time my body reminds me that I haven't eaten, that'll be the thing I remember. The disciplined hunger is the red string around my finger, reminding me not to forget something. 

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Post #101

Weight at wake-up: 251.7.

Quick breakfast at 6 o'clock, of a small bowl of peanut butter and cocoa spheres (a Market Basket store brand cereal) and skim milk.

Brunch with the church folks, at State Park (since the wait at The Friendly Toast was too long for any sensible person): three cups of coffee with half-and-half and Splenda; a glass of grapefruit juice with Campari; and the Urban Lumberjack breakfast plate, consisting of "porkchop pancakes" (two flat pounded porkchops, dipped in pancake batter and cooked on the griddle) with butter and maple syrup, topped with two fried eggs over-easy. Really scrumptious.

Back at home for the afternoon. Snack: two wedges of Laughing Cow Creamy Queso Fresco Chipotle cheese. Or, "cheese." On Italian bread. Also finished off the leftover pasta from last night, which didn't amount to more than a cup of food. Diet Mountain Dew was dranked.

For the evening, we decided to get out in the world. We went to the movies and saw Pitch Perfect 2, and laughed and cried in the way emotionally manipulable people do. Relevant to the purpose of this record, we got concessions: shared a slice of buffalo chicken pizza and an order of pretzel bites with nacho sauce ("cheese"), and each had a medium diet cola.

Got home around 9, and it wasn't more than an hour before we were once again peckish. For dinner, we finished the leftover veggie lasagna from Friday night -- a normal portion for each of us, no vegetable binge. And then we finished the sugar-free chocolate cake.

But for the cake massacre that closed out the day, I regard the day's intake as being respectable human and normal. Some indulgence, some moderation. I may be zeroing in on a sustainable dietary lifestyle. We shall see.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Turkey twice

A glass of water with lime before heading out for some errands.

After coming home with the groceries I set about making the breakfast: toast, on which grilled tomato and a smear of the refried beans from last weekend's taco dinner (which I could hardly enjoy as much as I normally would have, being in the throes of dental crisis); and a slice of deli-case turkey; and a scoop of scrambled eggs; and a slice of American cheese. Hotted up in a skillet. Diet Dew.

Lunch was a sandwich of the same bread; the same sort of turkey; more tomato and more cheese, once again hotted up in the skillet, but this time cooked in butter in the manner of a grilled cheese. Also a small cup (1/2 C) of PB & C, the Market Basket store brand cereal consisting of peanut butter- and cocoa-flavored spheres. Nothing more than transmogrified corn, of course.

Afternoon snack during worktime was celery with avocado-flavored hummus. And, alright I confess, more PB&C.

Dinner was a turkey burger steam-grilled on the stovetop, with American cheese and a slice of Vidalia onion, on a toasted bun with mayo and ketchup. Alongside, egg noodles with broccoli, diced tomato, grated pasta cheese, olive oil, garlic, and S&P. Also a bit of leftover tomato and cucumber salad in a vinaigrette. A slice of sugar-free chocolate cake after.

I drank Pepsi Max and Diet Dew throughout the day. Morning weigh-in was 256.1; egad that's a jump from yesterday. I fear there's been some GI issue related to an overabundance of ibruprofen all week...

Friday, May 29, 2015

Summer restart

The number on the scale after my morning shower was 254.

I skipped breakfast, in anticipation of my dentist appointment later that morning.

Lunch, between appointments, was an indulgence: foot-long Subway sandwich on Italian bread -- buffalo-style chicken stripes, lettuce and tomato and black olive, with light mayo and salt and pepper. Plus a bag of LAY'S® Kettle Cooked Lattice Cut Aged Cheddar & Black Pepper Flavored Potato Chips. PLUS (what, another plus?) three chocolate chip cookies; all downed with a bottle of diet Mountain Dew. Why so indulgent? It was just such a pleasure to eat without pain, and I wanted to enjoy the sensation before the morning's anesthetic wore off.

Dinner at home was my duty for the evening, after a good long recovery nap. I made a salad of iceberg lettuce, brie, and diced apple, in a light honey-mustard dressing. I made a kind of vegetable bake by layering thin slices of tomato, summer squash, and zucchini, with a paste made of sauteed chopped mushrooms and onions and ricotta, spiced with a blend of Indian flavors: curry, garam masala, really earthy stuff. Topped off with a sprinkle of bread crumbs and feta crumbles, it was really rather hearty and tasty. Also baked up some flaky biscuits, and a package of quick-cooking spiral noodles in a cheese and broccoli sauce. I dined with a bottle of diet Coke. Afterward: a slice of sugar-free chocolate cake, with NOT sugar-free chocolate frosting. (Note the replacement of the oil in the recipe with applesauce, and the substitution of one of the three eggs called for with a tablespoon of mayo, since, alack, we had only the two eggs.)

I brushed very carefully dessert.

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.