Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Carbs, the Scale, and Coffee

April 4th, 2012

Hey! It's been awhile! I had to put off posting for awhile because diet and exercise are apparently only part of life - for me there's also the wife and four kids, A JOB that my boss appreciates me paying some attention to, a baby on the way that's going to need some medical attention/surgery, a used car purchase, television...probably some other stuff too that I can't think of right now.

Previously I mentioned that I would continue eating bushels of carbs and see if I lost weight, since the popular opinion seems to be that carbs are the enemy of weight loss. I'm happy to report that though I've been going through the carbs like Willie Nelson goes through dime bags and hair bands, I'm down 15 pounds  (week 1: 4 lbs, week 2: 3 lbs, week 3: 5 lbs, week 4: 3 lbs) from when I started this little venture. Have I been working out like a maniac like they do on Biggest Loser? In a word, oh heck no (okay that was three words). I've averaged three gym visits per week, and some other incidental activity like helping at my kid's baseball practice, a walk or two, assisting in the management of a four year old, failing to get a good parking spot, etc. So in my case, weight loss has been more kitchen work than gym work. I really am trying to get to the gym more, but if I don't, then I'm glad that I'm achieving my weight loss goals while maintaining an activity level that can also accommodate the rest of life. On April 10th I'll have my blood drained again to see if my cholesterol levels have dropped along with my poundage.

I'm not keeping track of my meals anymore on the excel sheet. Why? Well, by now it's like documenting my breathing - it's my new normal. I'm paying attention to what I eat every day so that I don't overdue the fats and such, just not keeping the daily journal. I'm QUITE sure you don't miss it. I will say though, that my daily food intake is just real life scenarios, no diet deprivation or insane amounts of celery or anything. I get treats and everything! The other day my lovely bride brought home half of vegan orange/chocolate scone and it was fantastic! My taste buds have changed enough that the scone was as good as donuts used to be, for real!

Coffee, and the abundant availability thereof, has long been a big part of life here in Weir, TX. It's been especially abundant in one of the micro-systems here, namely me. Initially I figured my diet could change aplenty, but my coffee consumption would be gloriously unabated. Then one day at the gym I had a revelation so startling it must have been Jesus tapping my shoulder - I was working out hard, but NOT SWEATING. So...kinda figuring I've been chronically dehydrated since I first picked up a cup at age 14. Now if you know me, don't be alarmed at this, but...I'm down to2 to 3 cups of leaded a day, and some unleaded after dinner.

In lieu of a recipe, I'll share some about what and how I've been eating instead of meat and dairy; really, you can take a lot of your favorite meals and make some simple changes to make them plant based instead of animal based.

  • Pasta - make it a wheat pasta, go with an organic red sauce, skip the sausage or chicken, and add lots of grilled veggies or veggies sauteed in lemon juice and/or balsamic vinegar.
  • Salad with Ranch or other crap salad dressings - hummus or avocado, plus vinegar or hot sauce if you like a zip.
  • All manner of sandwiches - find more veggies to love, like pickles, olives, chives, red and yellow peppers, jalapenos, greens, avocado, and hummus. Turn it into a panini and it's even better!
  • Burgers - top them with some or all of the veggies listed above, then slide the burger out and toss it to Fido. Or, make it a black bean patty - taste fantastic without making orange grease run down your arm.
  • Tacos and burritos - really just skip the meat and cheese. If you have enough of the other stuff and good salsa, you'll find that you can adapt quite quickly.
Okay, that's all for now - thanks for reading!

Oh wait, one more thing - to those of you that have said, "oh but Marck we'll miss your BBQ!" I have two things to say; 1) at some point I'll BBQ again for company and special occasions, and 2) what would you miss more, my BBQ or ME. Less BBQ means me around longer!


  1. We are eating plant strong at our house too and I wanted to let you in on something as far as your tacos and burritos go. We use whats called TVP (texturized vegitable protein) and season it with taco seasoning. The kid tested firefighter approved blog has a great recipe for taco seasoning:
    Its so easy to use and has a fantastic texture similar to meat. Hope this helps!

  2. I have been meat- and dairy- free for about three months now, though I am still using some oils and I will NEVER give up honey, so I'll never qualify as a vegan... I too stuck with carbs, but the "baked" goods I used to eat have been replaced by Ezekiel sprouted bread and simple corn tortillas (I never even entertained the thought of giving up the supposedly "high-g.i." plant foods low-carb diets advocate).

    I have lost over 15 pounds, without a lot of exercise either, though I feel so much more energetic that I enjoy commuting by bike and don't skip yoga class like I used to.

    I suspect the carbs these "experts" call fattening ARE fattening--because they are made with refined sugar and flour (or more and more these days, HFCS) and junk oils. There is no nutritional value in most of what most people eat, just paste and calories. OF COURSE those carbs are fattening. OF COURSE they raise your g.i. But I'm certain the effects of a white, processed, disgusting slice of Wonder "bread" and the effects of a banana are not the same.

    These "experts" don't bother to look any deeper than the surface. Three months ago my blood sugar was borderline-diabetic. Today it's normal. And I haven't counted a single carb. Take that, carb-haters.