Wednesday, April 14, 2010

We Have Now Achieved Normality

Back to the grind.  Other than some minor discomfort on the extraction sites (it really just feels weird) and the propensity to tire a bit easier things are back to normal for me.  It happened a  couple of weeks later than I wanted, but since weigh in on April 3 I have lost 10 pounds, or 10 pounds in 11 days, which I was trying to do to hit 50 pounds a while back.  Nice to know that it is possible.

I have been thinking about how my eating habits have changed in the past two and a half months and I am really pleased with the changes.  Before this process began I never ate that many vegetables and would only even tolerate a few.  Now there are several I like, many more that I think are OK or tolerable, and only a few I still don't like at all.  I am fine having a couple of veggies I just don't like now that I have at least given many of them a chance.  I think the key for me was preparation.  My favorite TV chef, Alton Brown, focuses a lot of energy on techniques that highlight a certain set of ingredients rather than one recipe.  The philosophy of the show, Good Eats, seems to be about building a tool bag for the home cook and allowing that cook to master an culinary technique or idea and then branch out.  Thinking about cooking that way has allowed me to be flexible and adventurous.  Knowing that despite appearances broccoli and Brussels sprouts are a lot more alike than they are different has allowed me to take techniques from one item and apply them to the other .  With only some minor tweaks I have been largely successful as well. 

Another factor in my veggie success has been learning what I like.  I have learned that with few exceptions I like my veggies crisp, so crisp some folks would consider them underdone.  I like them browned, so I typically use at least a little oil when cooking.  I don't have a problem with that in my diet for several reasons.  I use heart healthy and flavorful oils and I am careful to drain the food properly.  That minimizes the amount of oil put in the food and maximizes caramelization, so I get the best bang for my buck calorically speaking.  This also lets me cook fast, so I am more likely to keep fresh vegetables in my diet.  The last thing I do regularly is make sure I include a smart, flavorful addition to the veggies.  With the sprouts a while back it was red pepper flake, which is calorie free, and parmigiano reggiano.  The cheese is not calorie free by any stretch of the imagination, but I am using the best cheese I can get and I am using a micro-grater to apply it.  This gives me more surface area to taste the cheese with less on the food and allows me to use less because it is just better than that stuff in the green can.

The Amazing Shrinking Stomach?

A couple of days before I had my teeth pulled I started to experience pain in my chest and gut immediately after eating, and sometimes after drinking, even water.  It took me a while to find a pattern and take stock of what I was doing that was causing the pain, and after the surgery I wasn't eating much for a few days, but I think I have an idea what it was.  Even if it started as a minor stomach bug or gas or some other ailment I think my stomach really is smaller now, and since the surgery the pain has only come after eating what I would consider a "full" meal or large portion and goes away fairly fast.  I have also found that I have not been very hungry lately, even after resuming my day to day activities.  Perhaps it is that I am not as active as I was before the week off and don't need as much energy to keep me going, but the past few days, even with a full work schedule I have only eaten about 1300-1400 calories.  I don't quite know how to feel about that.  Almost all of the research I have read recommends eating at least 1200 calories a day, and I am well above that.  I also don't feel deprived at all, but the number seems too low for some reason.  I am not going to worry about it too much for the time being.  I think once I get back into my normal schedule and activities for a period of time my body will adjust back closer to where it was before.  I do like feeling full sooner for obvious reasons so I will not complain about that, and as long as I keep up with my nutrition I think I'll be fine.  I'm interested to see what effect this has on my weight loss and energy, so Saturday should be intriguing.  See you then.


  1. I'm so proud of you, Chase! You're doing great and I really enjoy getting to follow you on your journey. You're a rock star.

  2. Chase, you've always been interested in cooking and you are learning how to make flavor and satisfaction a priority. Boy, what a concept!! We can't wait to spend some time with you in the kitchen. By the way, brusselsprouts are like cabbage, they taste differently according to the cutting (or not) of the veggie. Love. M&P