This is the time of the year where the traffic to my site skyrockets as folks decide that they want to make a change for the better in the new year and have decided to try a low carb diet to lose some weight.
Unfortunately, I have over 500 posts here, and it’s a bit harrowing to try to navigate all this – even for me. Really – at 500+ posts, I might want to begin to pare down some of the less useful posts (ie: crap) so that people don’t get lost in all this.
If you eat a diet consisting of 140 grams of fat, twenty-five of protein and fifteen of carbohydrate, you can increase the germ-killing ability of your body, researchers at the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn., have just discovered. Dr. A. E. Osterberg, of the clinic, reported at a meeting of the American Chemical Society that such a diet has been found to increase the production of ketones, or bacteria-destroying acids which are normally manufactured from the fat of the body in the process of digestion.
Interesting that the article calls such a diet ‘balanced’ – perhaps science was smarter then about nutrition than we are now? This is a ketogenic low carb diet the researcher was discussing.
It is also interesting that I have never heard the notion that ketones might act as an internal natural bacterial-fighting mechanism. If that is indeed true, it is another benefit of a low carb diet I was unaware of.
You can check out the article yourself at this link:
Before we left on vacation, my wife stocked up on some frozen stuff from Trader Joe’s so that we wouldn’t come home on Christmas day to an empty fridge. On a whim, she bought this ‘Hake En Papillote’. I had no idea what the hell this was and had no plans to go near it – one of my rules of eating is: don’t eat it if a picture of the item with the words ‘serving suggestion’ appear on the box. To me, this is short-hand for ‘I contain crap’.
My wife had put in one box for me, however, and I was the guy who took them out of the oven. They were still in their boxes in the oven – which I didn’t get at first. Curious, I read the label:
“En Papillote” which translates as “in parchment,” is a microwave and oven friendly package for steaming foods but can sometimes be unwieldy to open once cooked. Trader Joe’s Hake en Papillote is presented in a slick little parchment origami box which steams the fish and vegetables and is easy to open: just remove the paper lid. Hake is a mild white fish with a solid texture which we’ve combined with grilled zucchini, cherry tomatoes and pesto sauce for a super easy and flavorful entrée.
Me and the donut
(or the donut and I)
I caught it out of the corner of my eye
it was by the coffee pot
in the ‘free goodies’ spot
I coveted it – I cannot lie
I got my coffee
and went back to my work
But the donut kept calling
I felt like a jerk
It was blueberry
I was really half crazed
as I noshed a zucchini instead
I went for more joe
the donut still there
it called soft and low
I went back to my office
had yogurt although
My alimentary orifice
wanted to ‘know’
that blueberry donut
in an intimate way
though now stale, its appeal
still held much sway
I checked on it again
in late afternoon
still untouched, still virgin
I imagined a balloon
where my stomach now is
He is now mine; I am now his
I found this picture in a box of old family photographs I came across as I attempted to put a dent in the mess that is my basement. A half-century of existence, a decade and a half of marriage and 13 years of offspring and the effluvia that is discarded as the children mature all leave copious amounts of crap to sort through when one gets up the courage to do so.
Looking at the picture I would date it from the 1920s. The only things I can tell you about this picture are: these are relatives of mine, and every single one of them is without a doubt dead.
I spend every December reviewing my life and my past, looking at what went well in the past year and what didn’t. I like to reinvent myself from time to time – to become a more perfect imperfect me. Sometimes I just do it to shake a rut, while other times my life has depended on it. Continue reading “Waiting for Oblivion”→
A fridge clean-out inspired me to swing for the fences in terms of mixing together leftovers and forgottens to make an edible and low carb meal for myself one evening. I needed to cook up some ground beef I had bought last weekend – but how? I decided to make ‘Whatevs’ – whatever I found in the fridge with ground beef. Because of what I found, I decided to do a scary experiment: just how far can I go out-of-bounds of what foods go with what? My ingredients were as follows:
1 pound ground beef, browned in 3 tablespoons of olive oil
1.5 cups of chopped tomatoes loitering in the fridge
1 can of black olives
1 cup of bok choy
2 jalapeno peppers with seeds left in for heat
1 slice chopped Virginia ham
2 slices cooked bacon, crumbled
1 cup fresh Asian-style mushrooms, chopped
4 ageing cherry tomatoes
1 large onion
Despite the odd inclusion of bok choy and jalapeno, I seasoned it with oregano, parsley and basil. I let this simmer for a half hour after browning the beef then putting in the rest of the ingredients.
The verdict? Pretty damn good if you ask me. I had a quarter-pan of the stuff. I used the Loseit! calorie-counting app on my iPhone to determine the calories for the entire pot, called it ‘1 serving’, then had a 1/4 of the pot, for a total of 543 calories. I added freshly grated parm cheese and enjoyed every bite. There are 3 servings left that I assure you I will eat, though I might not detail to coworkers and causal acquaintances just what is in my lunch.
While I ate it I was reminded of how our food prejudices prevent low carbers from eating perfectly acceptable foods simply because the combinations are unusual. Why!?! Is it really all that bad to put bok choy, asian-style mushrooms, ham, bacon and jalapeno peppers in a dish together with Italian seasonings? Somebody had to be the first to think that a lemon – a tropical fruit, went well with sea creatures. We don’t question this just because we’re used to it.
Fact of the matter is: if you enjoy the combination, you can eat anything paired with anything else, and if you are willing to experiment, you can come up with plenty of variety for health and enjoyment that might fall out of the mainstream, but can make your life more enjoyable while on low carb.
I omitted a detailed nutrient profile for this stuff – forgive me:
Net carbs: 10g
[This is #2 in a series I call ‘Scenes from a Low Carb Life’ that I originally wrote for my book but removed as I have decided to take a different approach. Think of it as an excerpt from a book that will never exist. There *will* be a book – this just won’t be in it.]
There are certain foods that I have such a weakness for that I am wary of even being in their presence. Like Superman could be made weak by kryptonite, I could be made into an uncontrolled eating machine by pizza. It was my final test, the true test that the ketogenic low carb was working rather than willpower and it was body chemistry and new habits and routines practiced over 18 days that I hoped would allow me to fend off an assault by pizza when that fateful day where pizza was thrust in front of me would come.