More Seemingly Pointless Food Journaling: 11-28 to 12-01


I wasn’t hungry this morning – I had a stomach ache and this effectively reduced my hunger until mid-afternoon, when I had two teaspoonfuls of crushed ginger to settle my stomach. Ginger is an incredibly effective stomach-settling agent, and I have a jar of Trader Joes crushed ginger that gets used mostly for this purpose. I swallow the teaspoon of the stuff without mastication as it’s pretty brutal to eat the stuff straight like this – but damn, does it help to settle an unhappy stomach once it’s down there.

This morning I took the carcass from yesterday’s turkey and boiled it up in a pot with an onion, an bay leaf, parsley and peppercorns. I used the soup from this with a little chicken meat still hanging out in the fridge before Turkey Day to make a small bowl of the stuff around 2pm. With a little salt, this was pretty good – not great, but good. My wife was at first dubious of this, but she eventually had a big bowl of the stuff with rice in the evening.

My wife and I went out for the day, and arrived back close to 9:30pm, when I had 2 slices Greek toast, a few slices of the Camembert, a glass of wine, some turkey with mayo, and some of the pumpkin cheesecake filling.

The scale this morning reported 208.0. I set a goal for under 200 by December 1, so I have today and tomorrow to do it. 

Seems like I’ll have to cut off my head to achieve this goal.


A friend reading this blog noticed that I am quite addicted to mayonnaise, and reminded me of the fact that the stuff, at least what you can buy, is mostly soybean oil. I have a lot of concerns about soy, and do not believe the current thinking that soy – at least the unfermented varieties – is in any way healthy. I also believe that too much omega 6 oils might not be all that great for you. Here’s an excerpt from an article on omega-6 from the University of Maryland Medical Center website:

Omega-6 fatty acids are considered essential fatty acids (EFAs), which means that they are essential to human health but cannot be made in the body. For this reason, they must be obtained from food. Omega-3 fatty acids are another important group of essential fatty acids. Together, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids play a crucial role in brain function as well as normal growth and development. EFAs belong to the class of fatty acids called polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs). They are generally necessary for stimulating skin and hair growth, maintaining bone health, regulating metabolism, and maintaining reproductive capability.

Deficiencies in EFAs can lead to reduced growth, a scaly rash called dermatitis, infertility, and lack of ability to fight infection and heal wounds. Lack of omega-6 fatty acids, however, is extremely rare in diets of those living in certain Western countries, particularly the United States, as well as Israel. In fact, North American and Israeli diets tend to have too much omega-6, particularly in relation to omega-3 fatty acids. This imbalance contributes to long-term diseases such as heart disease, cancer, asthma, arthritis, and depression. A healthy diet should consist of roughly one omega-3 fatty acids to four omega-6 fatty acids. A typical American diet, however, tends to contain 11 to 30 times more omega-6 than omega-3 fatty acids.

So they believe that omega-6 is essential – it’s just that Americans get too much.

Some might believe that their recommendation of omega-6 is too excessive – I’ve seen others recommend a  1:1 ratio – the point here is to show that mainstream research points to heart disease, cancer, asthma, arthritis, and depression as possible from omega-6.

The recommendation I was given: substitute sour cream for the mayo. I tried this on my morning turkey sandwich and it was better than I expected. Yes – it’s still a substitute for a beloved favorite, but I’m going to try and wean myself from the stuff and see if I can do this long term. 

I was hungry for more, but resisted the urge, and the hunger subsided after 20 minutes. I have to remember this. Part of my problem, I think, are two factors that work against me: I forget some important basics about managing my weight – things I’ve mentioned in this blog – I’d be well-served to read some of my own advice. 

Another problem is I need to adjust my expectations to a new reality: 5+ years living low carb, as well as an additional 5 years of getting older have changed me, and low carb weight loss is, by necessity, a different animal for me. My metabolism is slower and used to under 100 grams of carbs per day – it won’t react the same way it did when I started low carb and my intake might have been over 500 grams per day.

I didn’t eat until evening when I had a very nice salad with some commercially-made salad dressing – so I got my fill of omega-6 from the soybean oil. The University of Maryland would have been proud.

The cheating began when I was looking for something that wasn’t turkey or chicken and I came across the stuffing from Thanksgiving. Ugh – I had some – on a leftover piece of regular bread and butter. My younger daughter also wanted Goldfish (the snack that smiles back) and I had some with her.

I also had some of the pumpkin cheesecake filling, as well as some cheddar cheese.

The damage for the day was minimal – the scale reported 208.4 – but nothing to crow about, certainly.


Another attempt at portion control – and a more detailed food journaling. Got up at 5am and had 2 large coffees with cream. Didn’t eat until 12 noon when I had a small cup of chicken meat mixed with sour cream – as opposed to mayo (thanks, David). I also had my daily fiber therapy right after.

At about 1:30 I had most of a piece of Greek toast – my 2-year old daughter jumped in my lap and relieved me of perhaps a quarter of it. I think the kid is a natural low carber.

Around 6:30 I mixed up some ‘turkey salad’ – chopped up leftover turkey, parsley, and sour cream. I had a cup of this then with some wine and went to bed.

The scale was at 207.2


Back to the daily grind – and Atkins bars. I had one in the morning, then I had my portion-controlled Thanksgiving leftovers (turkey, mashed cauliflower, cranberry sauce) at about 2pm. On the way home my daughter called and asked me to bring home McDonalds. When I got home, they had McD’s and I had more of the turkey salad I made the day before as well as some more of that greek toast, some brie, and some wine. 

When putting away the kid’s food, I had a few bites of the Big Mac I got her.

Not a totally bad day, but the scale went up slightly, to 207.6.

I am beginning to suspect that even a small amount of junk carbs – like the part of the Big Mac I had – can have an enormous impact on me. Call it carb sensitivity – after years of living pretty low carb, I can handle less and less of it.

I have also reviewed some notes I have going back to the summer, and despite what I do it seems, my weight hovers at slightly over 205. I’ve tried this, and that, and the other, but getting and staying under 200 seems to be a herculean task at present. 

Yeah, yeah – I know – willpower – effort – exercise – grit.

The problem with all of these is sustainability. They can get you there, but can’t keep you there because we live awash in cycles of events that challenge our will and drain our energies at times.

Living a monk-like existence, cloistered and shut off from the chaos of the world is nice work, if you can get it. Isolation can make a lot of things easy.

For the rest of us schmucks, sometimes the best we can do is just make it to the end of the day. 

It’s the poker game metaphor – something I am trying to convey to my daughter. We’re dealt cards each day. We need to play out the hand, whether the cards are good or bad – can’t get all whiny because you got dealt a lousy hand this time. Maybe you bluff, maybe you fold, maybe you lose a hand. 

The game goes on, new cards are dealt, and you’re given another chance. 

Take it.

8 thoughts on “More Seemingly Pointless Food Journaling: 11-28 to 12-01

  1. If you go through a lot of mayo, it would be easy to make your own. With something like regular olive oil instead of the extra virgin. Something not soybean. I don’t go through it fast enough to make it much anymore. I do worry about all the soybean oil in salad dressing. I’ve experimented with making my own.

  2. I thought about it, Joe – and if I’m really jonesing for it, I might give it a try.

    It seems the sour cream ain’t a bad substitute. Brighten the flavor with a little vinegar and it works out – at least in turkey salad.

    Anyone have any good recipes for mayo that they’ve had success with?

  3. i’ve been following your blog for a while and really appreciate your willingness to share your struggles (wish you didn’t have them, but glad you share), as i try to travel my own lo-carb path. Spectrum Naturals makes mayo’s with canola oil or olive oil. should be widely available.

  4. Hi Jenny,

    I checked out the website – would you believe that the first ingredient in their olive oil mayo is…soybean oil?


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