April's CR Diary

A diary of a 30 year old woman following CRON, or Caloric Restriction with Optimal Nutrition, for health and life extension.

Friday, July 30, 2004

Weekend Away

I may not be able to write to you this weekend.

I might not be able to restrain myself from popping into a Kinko's, but it's possible that with out of town company, 30th birthday celebrations, and all sorts of such silliness, I won't be able to get to a computer until Monday.

I'll miss you.

Have a great weekend.

Really, who am I kidding? I think we both know that I'll be at Kinko's before sunrise tomorrow blogging again.

Like Lambs to the Slaughter

After lunch today my co-workers noted that there was an Ice Cream Social our office building... an ice cream truck pulled up to the front door and everyone was getting free treats.  Needless to say, I politely declined.  The men ate Dove bars, VLC ate a little rainbow 90 calorie fruit bar.

I was thinking... perhaps my house warming party when I move in should be called an "Anti-Ice Cream Social." 

Lunch was good... about a cup of lettuce (10) with a few slices of beets, about 1/2 cup worth-- 30ish cals.  Steamed broccoli, about 50 cals worth, fat free salad dressing for 20, and my 100 calorie measured portion of olives and olive jar juice.  Very yummy!  It may seem odd to eat olives and fat free salad dressing, but the salad dressing choices in the cafeteria have suspicious looking oil in them, and until I make my own salad dressing based on olive or canola oil, I don't want to use the full fat ones.  I like olives... maybe I'll make an olive salad dressing.  Like my tapenade that I wrote about yesterday, but with some red wine vinegar and some more olive oil and caper juice.  That would be really good.  210 calories for lunch, and finally the cruciferous veggie I'd been craving.  My online calorie counter is telling me that the beets had just over 1 gram of protein and the broccoli had 5.  So now I'm up to 53 grams.  Wow.  This is just not that hard, when my day starts with a whey protein shake.   A search of the archives... it may cause your food world to come crashing down, but it can also yield some helpful recipes.  Right around 600 so far today, and completely restored from last night's fish inspired mildly ill feeling. 

Don't Put the Whey Powder in the Broccoli Soup


How a search of the archives can help you solve your immediate problem, while drawing your attention ten or twelve other problems you didn't know you had.

So I decided to search the CR Society archives for "breakfast."  And guess what I found?

You guessed it.  Breakfast is probably a good thing.  There are two schools of thought: one that breakfast is a good thing, the other that "the more fasting the better," one meal a day, etc. folks.  While all agree that meal spacing is not that important in the context of overall calorie reduction, there does seem to be an argument for at least trying eating breakfast.

So I thought I'd try it.  Now onto the small problem that this archive search solved for me. 

I found an idea for what to do with the whey powder.  That's good, because it has a lot of protein, I have a lot of it, and my attempt to mask its flavor by putting it into broccoli soup night before last turned out terribly.  Very high Ick factor on that one.
Some innocent broccoli had to die.

So here's what I tried this morning.  80 calories worth of whey powder (that's one scoop) for 20 grams of protein, blended in the blender with 1 cup of skim milk and 3/8 cup of Trader Joe's frozen berry mix, 40 calories.  Total of 200 calories even, 28 grams or protein (80 cals and 8 grams of protein in the skim milk itself), and it tasted okay!  It was even a kinda pretty color.  I feel a little anxious about having 200 calories gone so early in the day (I think one of the reasons why I haven't had much trouble with hunger is that I start eating so late in the day that I get hungry at 11am, I eat, and I have plenty of calories left for the rest of the day.) but we'll see how it makes me feel.  I felt a tremendous sense of accomplishment having gotten 28 grams of protein before 6 am.  (I may have never mentioned it, but I'm an extremely early riser.  Like, before 5 am on a normal day.  Mostly an adaptation to the requirements of my job.) 

I was very hungry when I got to the office (took a train in today... on the rare occasions when I don't need to have my car during the day for work, I take public transport) so I ate both an egg (70, 7 grams of protein) and a cottage cheese (110, 11 grams of protein), bringing my protein total for the day up to 47 so far.  It's a little nerve racking to be close to 400 calories before the technical lunch, but I think that the hunger was more a result of not eating much last night, not of eating early in the morning.  I hope so.  If eating early seems to make me hungrier throughout the day, I may dispense with it, since total calories matters so much more than when or what.  (Dare I say, "Absolute Calories?"  Am I the only one who thinks of vodka ads everytime someone starts saying "Absolute Calories" over and over again?  Granted, CR folks are the last people who would be doing vodka promotions (well, aside from the Women's Temperance Union) but Absolut has so ingrained their ad campaign into my head.) 

Last night I felt a little sick.  I think I may have tried too much, too fast on the giant dead fish.  I enjoyed it at the time, but in the afternoon I started to feel a little queasy.  After sitting in traffic for an hour and dealing with a minor work crisis on my cell phone, I was feeling distinctly green.  So I couldn't face eating, drank a coke instead, which is totally meaningless calories but always, without fail, settles my stomach.  So total for yesterday, throwing in the Emergen-C powder for 30 that I drank after lunch (probably did not help the fish digestion problem) was at or around 830.  Since I ate almost all of that before 2 pm, it's no wonder I'm hungry this morning.  I'll just have to take it easy on the fish... I don't think my long term vegetarian body really knows what to do with dead animals yet.  And once I get my software and figure out a long term protein strategy, I suspect I'll dispense with the fish all together.  See latest MR quotes on fish and radical life extension (thanks, Kenton!)

Meanwhile, the 30th birthday celebrations begin tomorrow.  Thought they were going to start today, but arrival of college roommate has been delayed by a day, so tonight I will probably just go out with VLC (Very Little Co-Worker) after work, and then go home and get some rest.  Maybe even do laundry.  Drop by the dry cleaner?  My life is really so exciting. 

I am certain that my calorie levels will be high over the weekend, so don't worry too much about yesterday being low.  I am going to stick with my whey shake for breakfast, try to get as much protein and veggies as I can at the celebratory events, and in general remind myself that these people are here to celebrate with me and what I eat really should not be an issue.  To clarify, I mean that I should not feel pressure to eat any particular food or quantity of food "because it's my birthday."  It doesn't matter to the people who come to the celebrations what I eat, and if it does, they're the ones with the problem.  Besides, my friends are generally very tolerant of "April's Little Hobby," as CRON has come to be known in my circles.  The place where we're going on Saturday night has great veggies and soups.  I had an amazing roasted root vegetable soup there over the winter that was almost identical in color to the berry whey shake I had this morning. 

I'll write again before evening.


Thursday, July 29, 2004

Ye Gods and Little Fishes!

Or big fishes. 

It was determined that in celebration of Very Little Co-Worker's return from vacation, we, meaning VLC, plus co-worker who eats a lot but burns it off through sports (henceforth known as Sportsburner) and I would go out to lunch at The Mexican Place.  (again, not its real name, but I'm trying not to use real names in my blog, since no one but me wants what they ate to be discussed with the entire world.) 

So I abandoned my intended lunch of soy dogs with broccoli and lettuce and ordered instead:

a salmon salad, which turned out to have a giant piece of dead fish, grilled (apparently no oil), I'd say about 8 ounces for 373 calories and 56 grams of protein.
Add to that the cottage cheese I ate at 10 am for 110 cals and 11 grams of protein and you get:


It came on a bed of greens with a couple of slices of mandarin orange and avocado and tomato, plus a little vinegarette dressing (GOOD FATS = DONE!)

Probably about 150 cals in the rest of the salad: only three small slices of avocado and I didn't use the rest of the dressing, but it was all high fat stuff. 

633ish so far today, maybe even 650, and I feel like I am done with food.  I actually enjoyed the fish, which could be entirely psychological, or could be a function of getting more protein makes you like protein more.  None to take home to the cat. 

Tonight, perhaps I will eat a salad of lettuce and steamed broccoli and cauliflower.  I haven't had my cruciferous vegetables yet today, and I should try to get them in before the day is through. 

I prefer to have my largest meal in the middle of the day.  I am not a breakfast person (and have yet to be presented with evidence as to why we should eat breakfast, though I'm sure that another search of the archives will bring my world crashing down upon my head... again!) and I don't sleep well if I eat a lot before bed.  So I'm happy with just a few steamed veggies or a salad at night, with the bulk of my protein eaten at lunch.

Fifty Ways To Get Your Protein

She said it's really not my habit to intrude
Furthermore I hope my meaning won't be lost or misconstrued
But I'll repeat myself
At the risk of being crude
There must be fifty ways to get your protein

With apologies to Paul Simon.

On my 1.25 hour commute into work this am (this is why I'm moving in September!) I tuned into the classic rock station and heard this old song... made me think of my quest for protein. 

Anyway, today is going to be a protein day because yesterday I fell short and I'm also cleaning out some stuff I had in the fridge in preparation for a weekend when I will be going out more than cooking.  I have packed: egg, cottage cheese, veggie dogs (may as well eat them as they're there, I think right now protein deficiency is a bigger problem for me than the negative effects of soy) and the rest of my bizarre protein shake that I couldn't quite get down yesterday.  I've also packed 100 calories worth of olives to add to my lunch salad.  I love olives!  It might be easier for me to get good fats from olives than from olive oil.  This might be a good time to share one of my all time favorite recipes, vegan olive tapenade:

pitted kalamata olives
several cloves of garlic
olive oil
a couple of grinds fresh pepper

Food process.  Eat with a spoon.  Serve with bread if you are serving to non-CR folk.  If you are serving it to CR folk, I am so jealous of you for having CR friends you can cook for! 

I think that between my walnut or hazelnut pesto, tapenade and olives, I will be able to get good fats by eating foods I actually like. 

Protein is another question.  Am going to seriously investigate the eggwhite option.  For my 30th birthday on Monday, people keep asking me what I want.  I keep telling them that I already have everything I want:  great friends, great family, a job worth living for in which I've been very successful, a really cute cat, and a horrifying collection of pop music on tapes.  But what I really want is a good protein source!  Something that doesn't totally gross me out, that doesn't come packed with calories or saturated fat.  So comment away, friends.  And this weekend, I will be making an eggwhite omlet with a cup of eggwhites.  Thank you, Fruitgirl!

Spent my nightly insomnia hour (actually, I've been sleeping through the night from time to time lately, which is odd for me) considering the bin packing problem of my diet.  I think I am going to become one of those people like Kenton and Dean who designs a diet and sticks with it most days.  All this freaking out about am I getting this or that is getting old, and once my weight stabilizes, I will probably want to push my calorie level down as far as I can take it.  I think I may not end up in the moderate CR camp.  My own research and constant search of the archives leads me to believe that intense CR is possible for me, and is the only way to really maximize life span.  But I've been doing things in the wrong order: trying to lower calories at the same time as making a drastic change in the composition of my diet.  My diet was already rather Walford-esque, even at 800 calories, in its low fat, high carb composition (and I might point out that in lots of Walford's sample menus he has a four ounce glass of red wine.)  But if I'm heading in the direction of a more Zonish protein fat carb ratio, it makes sense to re-design my diet (or design it in the first place, because though I was always very conscious,  I was not nearly careful enough) before I drop my cals so dramatically.  And of course I must prevent overly quick weight loss.  I must also enjoy this unique moment in history when I weigh exactly the same as two of my CRON idols, who need not be named but who have the same initials.

So onward with the quest! 

My software, by they way, has not been mailed yet.  The company finally called me back yesterday and said that they only process orders twice a month!  So my order will be processed on Friday.  Hopefully I will get my software early next week. 

Last night wasn't bad.  I drank about half of my green protein shake, so 11.5 grams of protein for 100 calories.  It was odd but not horrible.  Would have been better if mixed in a blender, but that would require me to be somewhere near my blender at the time of consumption.  So up to 810 with that.  Add on a Subway garden salad, 60 cals, with (are you sitting down?) vinegar and OLIVE OIL!  Yes, that's 45 calories worth of olive oil, something I would not normally eat but have been convinced that I should.  Bringing my total up to 915.  Then I went out for a glass of red wine with a friend after work bringing my total up to just over 1000.  While it would have been better to have finished the strange green shake instead of the wine, I don't feel bad about yesterday's choices.  It's a process!  If I were to just eat a diet that sprung fully formed from the head of the best minds in CR, we wouldn't have the entertainment of the quest.  Perhaps it will be more meaningful if I take this year to figure this stuff out for myself.  I know that I am enjoying the process. 

I worship the Subway salad.  Though I'd have to say, I miss the old shreaded lettuce ones.  Sure, it's better now with the spinich and the carrots and the grape tomatoes instead of the limp sliced ones, but for so many years the shredded lettuce salad in the square plastic container with red wine vinegar (not the sugary vinegarette) and a dash of pepper was one of my favorite foods.  Do you guys miss it as much as I do?  Subway is one of the only places where I can get edible food on the road.  In my low fat high carb days, I used to eat the bread and tell them to hold the olives!  Let's have a good laugh at my expense, shall we?

Okay, gotta get some stuff done.  More soon.




Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Oil -- It's not just for your car anymore!

I know what you mean about olive oil and light switches... before I joined the CR Society and started reading the list, I felt the same way about oil.  Like, oil, that's something I get changed in my car every 3000 miles, right? 

But now I firmly believe that if we're in it for the long haul, we've got to get our fats and not just any fats, but the right kinds of fats.  Now for us long term fat-phobes, we're okay with leaving the saturated fat to the Big Mac and fries crowd.  But we've got to totally re-train ourselves to get our good fats.  Same with protein.  If we don't, we won't live as long or nearly as healthy as we can.  And if I could train myself to avoid almost all fat back in the day, then I can certainly learn to eat the right ratios of fat, carb and protein and the right kinds of fats, right?  Or so I tell myself... as you can see, it's a daily struggle.  I just drank some of my green protein shake.  It was... interesting.

Thanks for all your comments!  It's great to hear from you!


Upping my Calorie Target

I've gotten quite a few concerned and persuasive emails that have convinced me to up my calorie target, at least for now.  I continue to be confused about ultimate calorie targets.  There definitely seems to be a school of thought that it's absolute calories, within reason, that determines how long you will live and how healthy you will be, and that within that, everything else is tweaking.  It seems like the question of "within reason" is where people disagree.  I am persuaded by the argument that weight loss should not be too fast, otherwise you end up a dead rat, so I am upping my calories to slow my weight loss, which has as of late been too rapid.  I think upping my calories will also give me some room in which to experiment with the big changes in my diet I'm attempting: raising protein and fat levels.  And it will help me deal with some major social eating occasions that are about to occur due to my 30th birthday celebrations which apparently will last all weekend.  I need to do more research to determine what I think is an essential nutrient level (and I need my software!  I am about to fly to California to get it from the factory myself!), and then to determine what calorie level is best for me. 
As always, suggestions are welcome! 

All this talk of upping my calories made me hungry.  For lunch I ate:
2 cups of lettuce -- 20 (so expensive at salad bar!  but so fresh!)
Three small tomatoes, taken together about the size of one regular -- 40
4 tbsps Trader Joes' hot and smoky chipotle salsa -- 20
Most of my 220 calorie harvest hodgepodge and "cream" of broccoli soup -- let's call it 220 for now because I will eat the rest before the day is over
Little fruit salad -- 150
Tofu, tomato and green pepper thing (contains 1 tbsp of seseme oil, divided among four portions) -- 80
That's 530 just at lunch (though I will actually finish the soup later, so it's not really all at lunch, but I can't figure out what to call the divided portion.)  Add to that the 180 from earlier in the day and I'm at 710 so far today. 
Of course I feel stuffed, but I will no doubt be hungry again by later tonight.  I'd better be because I still have a long way to go on protein (the tofu portion had not much protein as the entire four serving dish of which I ate one serving was only a half a block of tofu.)  I actually made a bizarre protein shake (it's green, I'm going to drink it alone to avoid grossing out co-workers) with some of the stuff I bought last night, and that will give me 23 grams of protein for 200 cals.  With four for the tofu, that's 27 plus 17 from earlier today in the egg and cottage cheese, that's at least 44 today.  I forgot to check the harvest hodgepodge for protein because I assumed it would be minimal, but it has snap peas so who knows?  I'll have to dig the package out of the trash to look.  This getting enough protein is hard!  Bring on the eggwhites!  At least they're not green... unless you carefully noted earlier reference to green eggs and ham.
Going to be low on fat today, probably no matter what I do, unless I dissolve a protein powder in oil and eat it whole, which seems unlikely and like it would not taste as good as olive oil and balsamic vinegar on celery.  With a dash of dried oregano, that tastes like a fancy appetizer you would get at an Italian restaurant. 


Yes, it would be impossible to win that refrigerator magnet.

On my way home, sitting in traffic, I did the calculation myself (which I should have done before offering a magnet) and sure enough, the zonish ratios can not be done with that much protein on a diet of less than 1300ish calories.  Aha! 

And since calories calories calories are more important than anything else, I am not going to eat so much protein! 

Now I'll actually read the comments to see who figured that one out first. 

Just read the comments... Thanks, Willie and Fruitgirl!  I'll send you both refrigerator magnets!

Yeah, Willie got the calculation that 100 grams would be 400 calories from protein, which would be way too much to fit into such a low calorie diet.  It would also make Zonish ratios impossible. 

Fruitgirl, you're awesome!  What an amazing set of calculations.  Are you sure on the protein on the fruits and veggies, though?  They look high to me, but I haven't looked them up yet.  Still, how cool!  34 grams of protein from 1 cup of eggwhites? And eggwhites are really yummy.  Your ratios aren't as high fat as the Zone would ask for, but you're right on the protein number.  If I go down a touch on the protein, I could add in some MUFAs.  And total calories under 1000!  Have you run it through some nutritional software to check on the RDAs of everything else?  I am still waiting on my nutritional software.  Called the company... no answer. 

Here's what I think I'll try to aim for in the next little while:

850 calories seems do-able for me.  To hit Zonish protein numbers in percentage, it would be 30% of 850 = 255.  That's about 64 grams of protein.  I think I'm going to shoot for 65ish grams of protein per day.  That leaves me with room for MUFAs (30% fat would be 28 grams of fat, right?) and the rest carbs, pretty much all nutrient dense vegetables.  Let's see how that works out.  I am really enjoying designing my own diet here, though I am being driven mad by the absence of my long awaited software.

Last night went pretty well.  I decided at the last minute to have company for dinner, but dinnerguest was one of my CR friendly dinner guests, so I made a pretty CR friendly meal with just what was in the house.  I stir-steamed a bag of Trader Joes' Harvest Hodgepodge (red pepper, broccoli, onion, baby corn, waterchestnut, snap peas) in the wok in one tablespoon of seseme oil, added to it 50 calories worth of Trader Joes' Seseme, Lemon, Ginger dressing (made with some canola oil), poured in a few drops of soy sauce, and mixed two Morningstar Farms breakfast links into it.  Divided in half, it was 200 calories each.  And it was really, really good.  I commented "I would even serve this to normal people!" 

Then I went out to Fresh Fields to continue the search for more sources of protein.  I picked up another brand of cage free vegetarian fed eggs.  These have only 70 calories each and 6 grams of protein.  I also picked up two kinds of whey protein powder.  My search of the archives terminated at a pro-whey point, and it was on sale and seemed to give pretty good protein for your cals, so I just bought it.  Now I know that there's some evidence that whey makes you lose weight, but since I'm upping my fat, maintaining steady calories, and weight loss is not a QOL issue yet (though I may have to revisit the issue the day I have to abandon the aisles of Ann Taylor and Banana Republic and head on over to the Macy's Children's Dept.), I figured I'd give it a shot.  We'll see how this goes.  Am also thinking, after reading Fruitgirl's suggestions, that I should eat a lot of eggwhites.  I like eggwhites.  Makes me want to run out to the nearest diner and order and eggwhite omlet, though you never know what they cook those in.  Do eggwhites make you crazy?  Any crazier than the search for the perfect protein source? 

At Fresh Fields, I made the mistake of eating a sample of keifer cheese (did I spell that right?  My cat's name is Kieffer and I always get them confused) on a cracker.  I had never tasted above misspelled food product, so I wanted to try it.  Then I read the label.  I figure I blew 100 calories on that sample alone.  What a waste.  No more sampling!

I also had a glass of wine after dinner, four ounces, red, 85 cals.  So with 385 from the time I got home added to my 440 from before I left work, I was right on target at 825.  And feeling great!  Wish I had had more veggies instead of the sample, or even more wine (would have lasted longer) but I wasn't too hungry when I went to bed. 

This morning, I boiled up some 70 cal cage free eggs and ate one, 70 cals, 6 grams of protein.  When I got to work I ate a cottage cheese (110 cals, 11 grams of protein) so I am at 180 cals and 17 grams of protein so far today.  I have some good things in my lunch bag today, and I may supplement with some overpriced lettuce from the salad bar at the office cafeteria. 

When, oh when, will my software get here?  When it does, you will be the first to know about it. 

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Priestess of the High Carb Darkness

I give myself exactly fifteen minutes to write this. After that, no more obsessing re: my Albatross-inspired identity crisis.

So here is a good way to describe the mental shift that I am currently experiencing (Not presently... presently means "soon", currently means "currently." People mis-use that all the time, and I hate it. But the clock is ticking...)

The contents of my bedside table, top to bottom:

-- _The Soy Zone_ by Barry Sears
-- The Zone Albatross, by Michael Rae (it's a print out from Kinkos so it needs the Sears book to be a paperweight)
-- _The Beyond 120 Year Diet_, by Roy Walford
-- a couple of articles that I printed off of Aubrey deGrey's website (thanks, Mr./Dr./Professor deGrey!)
-- __McDougall's Program for Maximum Weight Loss_ by John McDougall
-- __Diet for a New America__ by John Robbins

You see the problem? I read nutrition books for fun, always have, and I like to read them in bed before I go to sleep, so I keep a little collection right there. I also like to re-read the same ones over and over again, until I basically have them memorized. For example, I can pretty much recite Dean Ornish's _Reversing Heart Disease_. (I can also recite "Green Eggs and Ham," but that book offered questionable nutrition advice. I can pretty much recite all three Star Wars movies, too. Stupid talent for memorization, served me well in school.) I first bought the McDougall and the Robbins books back in maybe 1997, and they've spent most of their lives on my bedside table where I can pick then up whenever I want to read something comforting and familliar. (I read the Atkins book too, of course, but it never made it to the bedroom, it has always lived on my living room shelf.) So now right beside my bed I have these two documents that advocate a much higher level of protein and fat than the ones I've been living with for eight years. No wonder I have trouble sleeping!

I was an evangelical high carb low fat girl. I told everyone to treat all oil as poison. When I moved to Philly in October of 2002 and took the job I have now, I began to gradually fall off the low fat vegan wagon, supplementing my low fat diet with dinners of pasta with oil and trips to the Mexican restaurant for nachos, but I always considered this a slip, not an ideological shift. I felt guilty about it, and I didn't feel healthy. But now that I'm starting to consciously up my fat and protein, I am beginning to realize just how much being a low fat person was a part of who I was. Is that weird? Probably not to anyone who is doing CRON. You probably understand how what you eat can become part of your identity. I find it much easier to just cut calories (who can argue with that?) than to actively change the kinds of foods I eat. It wasn't that hard to cut way back on bread, pasta, rice, and beans. But when I reach for the olive oil or think about getting more protein, I feel... I don't know, weird!

And it's not like I just decided out of the blue to do this. I've been reading the list for months, searching the archives, reading other books, and I've decided this is the right thing to do.

I initially learned about CR from a book called _The 10% Solution_, that advocated cutting your dietary fat to 10% of total calories. I read that in 1997, and I thought at the time that eventually I would take up CR. But it wasn't until this November when I realized just how much I wanted to do with my life and just how long that might take that I began researching CR in earnest. Then I discovered the list, and I guess I expected to find a whole lot of low fat vegans. But no, there was all this hellfire and brimstone railing against low fat diets! One of the first threads I really followed was called "My Very Low Fat Diet Disaster." I kept trying to click on the Albatross, but first the archives were down and then the link was broken. Assuming I was doing something wrong, I just waited, until finally some prodding from a CR practitioner who follows a Zone-like diet got me thinking that I had to investigate this for real. So I emailed the webmaster (in a failed attempt to avoid bothering Michael Rae himself, who no doubt has more important things to do than worry about whether or not I am getting enough protein) and got the document and now I am obsessed by the search for a protein source that works for me. And the struggle to EAT FAT.

It's a good thing I have this blog. It may be a narcissistic exercise in self-indulgence, but it keeps my innocent family and friends from having to hear about the quest for the right macronutrients.

And besides, those of us who write narrative, chronological, somewhat easy to read accounts of what happened in the early days of CR (like the first hundred years or so), even if we disagree and get it wrong and incorrectly quote or misinterpret the original prophet(s), will be the ones whose accounts people read two thousand years from now.

But there I go with my delusions of grandeur again. Maybe I just like to hear myself type.

The Search for the Right Source of Protein

First, I'd like to say thanks to all who have sent comments.  It's really nice to know that I'm not just talking to the air!  You guys are awesome! 

Second, I am feeling much, much better today.  I consumed another cottage cheese (110) before leaving the office last night, mostly because I was suddenly really hungry and had nothing else.  Then I drank another Emergen-C (30 cals) because I was feeling a bit of a cold coming on.  Then I got home and ate two veggie dogs (90 calories total, 18 grams of protein total) and then I chopped up some celery and ate it with about a teaspoon of olive oil with a little vinegar mixed in to cut down on the "ick" factor.  Look at me, trying to get more fat!  More on my fat/carb identity crisis later.  I love celery, so it worked out fine.  By my count I should have been somewhere between 850 and 900 for the day.  I felt much, much better after finally getting to bed early and getting a decent night's sleep. 

All told, yesterday I ate more protein yesterday than I ever have in like eight years.  But it's nowhere near enough.  18 grams in the veggie dogs, 10 in each of the cottage cheeses, right around 23 in the tofu that was in my tofu, tomato and pepper stew, and at most 7 in the tofu that I blended into my green soup.  67.  I need 100, according to veteran CR folk/the archives/my extrapolation based on my lean body mass plus some figures in some old posts.  I have got to find a good protein source.  If I eat too much soy I'll go nuts (to summarize a long search of the archives,) and I can't eat meat.  So... I know there are a lot of vegetarians/vegans in the CR society who get enough protein, and they're boys, so they probably need more than I do.  I'm doing a search for various ways they get protein.  I keep coming up with conflicting ideas, but I'm still working on it. 

What if we paid Dean enough that he could quit his job and spend all his time making salads for the rest of us?  I'd consider moving to Pittsburgh.  I'd even babysit his adoreable children so he could devote his full attention to mixing protein into the salad dressing. 

Today, I ate for lunch:

my tofu, tomato, and green pepper with seseme oil thing: 80 cals
little fruit salad, less than yesterday though the same mix (apricots, cherries, plums and strawberries): only about 150 because I spilled some of it and had to throw it away
1/3 cup of chickpeas: 90 cals
1tomato from a co-worker's garden (thanks, Jerry!): 40
a few sticks of celery with a little Trader Joes' salsa:  max 20, the stuff was all spicy air

440 so far.  I made a yummy soup for 220 with Trader Joe's Harvest Hodgepodge, which include broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, red peppers, mushrooms, onions and waterchestnuts covered with 1 cup of Imagine "Cream" of broccoli soup, but I left it in the fridge.  Dinner, I guess. 

You know, I used to be really tough on people who said they couldn't get used to cooking without fat/oil, but now that I'm trying to cook with fat/oil, I'm realizing how hard it is to break long standing habits.  I just automatically avoid fat, and I have no idea what to do with oil.  I'm making progress, but it's a process. 

Where is my software???  It is still not here.  On Thursday it will be two weeks since I ordered it.  No reply to my email to
sales@walford.com.  I just left a message on their phone.  I am getting desperate.

If you were to design a lacto-ovo vegetarian diet with at least 100 grams of protein a day (but soy no more than twice a week) that got all the RDA's of everything important and had a protein-carb-fat ratio that was Zonish, for a little tiny girl (I am only 5' 1.75") who was perfectly happy at 850 - 950 calories a day, what would you do? 

The first person to answer this question will win a refrigerator magnet!




Monday, July 26, 2004

A Search of the Archives -- Or, A Fun Time with Tofu Ruined

So now I'm reading all this horrible stuff about tofu.  I wonder how long it would take me to learn how to make Dean's meal (if you haven't checked out Dean's site, you really must.)  I am really frustrated by what I thought was a good idea turning out to be perhaps a bad one. 

Of course, there are conflicting opinions on soy as on everything.  But when there are conflicts of opinion, I tend to go with the one that appears to have the most evidence supporting it. 

Yikes.  If you didn't really, really like this nutra-obsessing stuff, this blog would be really, really boring. 

Maybe I'll eat an egg.  

I have to get away from the archives for at least twenty-four hours.  This is making me crazy.  Also, some of the old posts are so funny that they cause me to laugh loudly, which makes everyone in the Kinkos turn around and glare. 

Fun with Tofu

I'm glad I had my fun with tofu last night because this morning I did some more searching of the CR Society archives and came up with some distinctly negative things about soy.  Oh well, I'll deal with that later. 

For now: made some very good food over the weekend, packed it up into tiny little containers (12 oz each) to take to work, and have been enjoying it all day.  So far for today:   1 cottage cheese (110), 12 oz of my tofu, tomato, green pepper stew that is 80 calories for each of the containers I packed (I have ones for today through Wednesday).  It includes seseme oil, which Sears said to eat, plus a little soy sauce and a little vegan vegetable broth.  I also created a funky green soup with a bunch of asparagus, a half a block of tofu, a little fresh dill, and some Imagine soy based broccoli soup, plus some garlic, all mixed up in the food processor.  It's very green and quite good.  I ate most of it (shared some with co-workers) and the total was 240 on the entire batch, so I think I ate around 200 calories of that.  Then I ate a 12 oz fruit salad of cherries, plums, strawberries and apricots.  Fruit is very calorie dense, so without my software (which I finally just sent email about because I ordered it almost two weeks agon and it's still not here!) I'm going to guess at 200.  So 585 so far for today?  I'm feeling rather stuffed, but I'm sure I'll be hungry again by tonight.

On Sunday I wasn't feeling quite well, so I didn't eat much.  I had a glass of tomato juice (100), about three bites of an eggwhite omlet with tomato, broccoli and onion (50 max, I barely ate any of it), four veggie dogs (180 total, 36 grams of protein, look, I had missed veggie dogs a lot, it was like a reunion), and 1/4 cup of my hazelnut pesto (right around 250 if I'm dividing the total by the portion right.)  Just about 580 total there, and I took an Emergen-C drink at 30 to see if it would make me feel better.  610 total.  I stayed out too late on Saturday night, ate nothing but a green salad, but shared in the pitcher of beer that the gang was drinking.  Though I stayed at target for that day, I felt really sick, no doubt as a result of a) drinking beer at all  b) replacing good nutrients with useless junk.  Lesson, again, learned.  Bear with me, I am going to make mistakes as I strive for perfection.  And if I were already doing everything right, the blog would be kinda boring, wouldn't it? 

On Saturday, before the going out disaster, I made a delicious tomato recipe that I want to share:

lots of yellow and red tomatoes
1/4 cup red onion
1 jalepeno pepper
the juice of one lime
salt to taste
1 tbsp olive oil

I sauteed the onion until translucent, then stirred in the jalepeno and let that sit awhile boiling, then added the tomatoes, which made a nice broth.  I let them simmer for quite awhile, then removed from heat and stirred in the lime juice.  It was very spicy but delicious!  And I got some good fats. 

I think my calorie drop has been too abrupt, and post reading The Albatross and _The Soy Zone_, I've decided to try going up to 900ish for a few days by adding more protein food and a spoonful of olive oil.  The olive oil itself is 120 if you eat the whole spoon full.  I don't particularly like it in salad dressing, so I might just down the whole spoon at once.  (note to Sam, who I know is reading this -- can you imagine in 1996 if someone had told me that I would someday eat a spoon full of olive oil?  All I got to say is that eating 800 cals a day is a hell of a lot easier than CS 201!)  I can also get good fats by eating any of my nut pestos, which are the most delicious food that a human being has ever made.  I think the feelings I'm having of tiredness plus a tiny touch of lightheadedness, combined with the quick weight drop, indicate that I'm pushing the calorie level too far down too fast.  This has to be gradual or else it won't work.  I don't want to be one of those dead rats who lost weight too fast. 

Oh, I've been drinking organic green tea every weekday afternoon, at first with a touch of Sweet and Low, now with nothing.  It keeps me warm in my over air-conditioned office.  I don't drink it as much at home because I can't seem to get it to turn out right iced, and my house is not over air-conditioned enough to make me drink hot tea in ninety degree heat.

I hope to have my software tomorrow.  My search of the archives led me to some disturbing posts that made me once again remember Walford's line, "You may eating better now than you ever have, but it may not be enough."  I don't want to continue making stupid mistakes, especially when so many people have already figured out the right way to do this (if only they could agree on anything!)  How funny that I have much less trouble staying at a low calorie level without much hunger (if you had as little lean body mass as I do you'd understand why) than getting the optimal nutrition.  I think it's because I am used to counting calories, and I can always just stop eating and do something else if I hit whatever my set target is.  But there's so much to learn and think about with getting all the right nutrients, and it's a major switch for me to try to get more protein and fat after years, I mean years, of serious intense fat phobia. 

I'm sorry to everyone I ever yelled at for putting olive oil in the collard greens, or tofu in the vegan sushi.  You were right.  I was wrong. 

Saturday, July 24, 2004

Asparagus, or lack thereof

It just occurred to me that the last line of my earlier post made no sense, as I was referring to a shortage of asparagus that I had mentioned only in an off-blog discussion.  Not that anyone is paying attention to this level of detail in my blog (that would be insane) but it is a good story about recipe adaptation.

So last night as it turned out I had company for dinner, so I hopped to the store to get the ingredients for Mary's asparagus soup.  But we're having all these floods here and I didn't want to get out too far into traffic to go to the really good store.  So I went to the not so good store.  And the asparagus was just pathetic.  Not the pretty, skinny, light green kind (no doubt someone reading this has something to say about me equating thinness with beauty, but whatever, you eat fat asparagus and tell me which is better!) but the icky giant tough green kind.  Not even white asparagus, which can be pretty decent.  So short of time and craving green veggies, I got broccoli and made almost an identical recipe substituting steamed broccoli for asparagus.  And it was great!  But I really want to get some asparagus so I'm headed to the good grocery store now. 

Did that really need an explanation?  Probably not. 

I can eat soy again!

Just read _The Soy Zone_.  I think I can read popular nutrition books faster than I can eat their weight in food.  Years of practice.  Anyway, I am about to go to the grocery store and buy every soy product I have wanted for the last oh eight years or so but felt was too high fat to eat. 

My mind is awash in images of new recipes I can try... tofu pesto... tomato tofu... little vegan hot dogs... yippie! 

I've got to go now, more soon, I promise I will explain all this CR insider stuff early in the week for those of you who are not CR folk but who have the patience to read this anyway.

I imagine a conversation with Sears... it would go a lot like Dorothy talking to Glenda the good witch at the end of the movie,  immediately after being instructed to click her heels three times:

ME:  Why didn't you tell me?
SEARS: I could have told you, but you wouldn't have believed me.



Read it last night and again this morning.  I ended up having company for dinner, so it wasn't until nine that I finally got started.  Answered a lot of my questions, but created other, new questions.  I think I will go buy _The Soy Zone_ today. 

It's funny to think that back in 2000 when Michael Rae originally wrote it, I was the low fat, high carb, "I don't even own a bottle of oil and I'm scared of the fat in tofu" favorite potluck chef of the West Philly vegan establishment. 

More later...

I'm back, but just for a minute.  Things I have to deal with:

1)  Just bought _The Soy Zone_ after an agonizing discussion with a bookstore employee who tried to inform  me that it was out of print.   Will read it probably later today or tonight, depending on how long the going out event goes tonight.

2)  None of my clothes fit.  Must shop!  Happened upon a scale a few days ago and discovered that my weight may be dropping faster than it should.  To be honest, I don't weigh myself much.  I don't have a scale at home so I don't really weigh myself unless I happen upon one.  I feel like if it's calories, calories, calories, then my weight on the scale isn't a very useful number.  But I happened upon the same scale two weeks in a row at a friend's house and discovered that I had lost five pounds.  That's a little too fast for two weeks so I may up my calorie count a bit.  I still feel great and have tons of energy, but you read so many warnings about losing weight too fast that I should probably watch out.  I'm sure Sears will  have some high fat but not saturated fat suggestions for how I can throw in another 100 calories.  I may have cut down too far too fast in an attempt to become Liza May.  It's a month name solidarity thing.  Anyway, I thought my frequent episodes of eating too much when going out would balance off the lower target, but perhaps not. 

3)  My mental conversation about how much work I still have to do to get anywhere near the ON part of the CRON equation continues.  I almost feel like I have been playing around with CR up until now.  Sure, I've lost 25 pounds, I feel great, I look great, and I've learned a lot.  I've cut out bread, cut way back on grains, never ate that much sugar anyway (except for the red wine which I need to cut back on) and cut my calorie levels, but I still have a long, long way to go.  It's a process.  

4)  I'm going out tonight with a group of friends, one of whom has a brother visiting from out of town.  Apparently, the out of town brother doesn't like anything other than greasy American food.  My friend who is coordinating the event pointed out that this might be a problem for me, so I said "With as little as I eat now, I'm fine most anywhere."  To which she replied, "Well, then it's a hamburger for him, a tossed salad for you, and everybody's happy."  Not a bad way to look at it. 

Oh, and in addition to re-reading the Albatross, walking four miles, buying The Soy Zone, and purchasing every vegetable and fruit known to New Jersey at the Farmers' Market, I also whipped up a delicious vegetable creation of diced leeks and two bunches of fresh spinich sauteed in 1 tablespoon of olive oil with a dash of pepper, a pinch of salt, and a couple of squeezes from a fresh lemon.  It was delicious! 

Now if only I could find some skinny asparagus... or is it asparagi? 


Friday, July 23, 2004

Road Trip to 1200

Hi there...

I just want you to know that I am writing this at Kinko's for 20 cents a minute, and if that's not a dedicated blogger, than I don't know what is.

My road trip went okay, but I went up closer to my old target level of 1200, or at least I think I did.  Dinner on Wednesday was not bad... Applebee's was the only place we could find, but as it turns out they have a Weight Watchers' menu with the calorie counts listed.  If I had left it at just the Weight Watcher menu dish for 260 (shrimp, grilled veggies, brown rice) I would have been under 800 for the day.  But I had shared a veggie patch pizza appetizer with a co-worker.  That no doubt put me up in the 1000s for the day or more.  Thursday I got a decent lunch at a place called Eat-n-Park which believe it or not had a salad bar.  Salad of lettuce, tomatoes, green peppers with vinegar and a scoop of cottage cheese, then a small pate of steamed cauliflower, broccoli and carrots.  That night we finally went to the Italian restaurant I had been angsting about for days, so in I went, prepared to order what Mary Robinson suggested in her blog, and sure enough, it's not on the menu!  Imagine my confusion as I stare at the menu, visions of pasta dancing in my head, looking for something I can eat.  Even the salads were out of the question due to pasta and chicken which I can't bring myself to eat.  I coudn't exactly get up from the table, call Mary Robinson and ask what to do, so I finally got a side salad and a shrimp over pasta dish.  It wasn't too bad except that the salad had feta and olives and I should have ordered the shrimp and said hold the pasta but I didn't so I ate two bites of the pasta.  Still not bad for the day... with two glasses of red wine I probably went not more than 1200 for the day.  But still, way more than I really needed.  Today is going to be light... just ate a spinich salad with onions and a little scoop of chickpeas, and may not need to eat again today as it's already close to four and I'm taking the  night off from going out.  (Since I've barely been home at all this week I need a night to hang out and read... for reading plan, see next paragraph.)   I used to fast quite often when my average calorie level was 1100 ish... if I went over on Saturday night, for example, I'd fast on Sunday or skip lunch (I never eat breakfast) and just eat a salad for dinner, or a hard boiled egg.  I haven't done that since I dropped lower because that would just drop my averages too low,  but since I was up the last two days, if today is low and I'm still feeling good, I think it will be for the best.

Tomorrow is the Farmers' Market.  Yea!  I love to play with vegetables.  I may also  make Mary Robinson's asparagus soup that she posted on her blog yesterday... it looks like a great way to worship the asparagus.  My co-workers are already asking me to bring it in for Monday's lunch.  I may also have people over for dinner tomorrow night, though that is unclear and may turn into a going out in Center City Philly event.  I've always enjoyed cooking for groups of people, but now that I'm doing CR I like it even more because I can control and count my calories, while trying out interesting vegetable dishes on unsuspecting victims.  Everyone loved the hazelnut pesto last weekend. 

Meanwhile, I am currently holding a print out of The Albatross, the now famous post by Michael Rae some time ago that is frequently quoted and referenced by CRON folks.  I had wanted to read it for a long time, but when I first started CR was right around the time of the archive disaster, and then the link was broken.  Now MR has re-posted it (if you're out there, MR, thanks!) and I'm going to read it tonight.  I figured it would be cheaper to print it out and read it in the comfort of my own home than to sit here at Kinkos freezing (why do they over air-condition these places?) reading it.  I had started to doubt that the Albatross was a real post... with all that it's quoted, I thought it might be a mythical source invented by modern day scholars to explain the seeming consistency in later writings.  But now I have it, direct from MR himself, so it must be real.  Supposedly, this will make me eat more protein.  I'm glad I can read it myself because I have discovered that different people quote MR differently to prove different, sometimes opposing, points.  For example: MR says we should eat fish.  MR says we should not eat fish.  Someone, somewhere, has probably quoted MR to prove that we should lie on the beach drinking margaritas and eating Krispy Kremes.  In any case, I'll read it tonight and I'll no doubt spend 20 cents per minute tomorrow to tell you what I learn. 

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Jesus and Wine

Title of one of the chapters in my father's most recent book.  It's called Jesus and the Pleasures and has three sections: Jesus and wine, Jesus and women, and Jesus and song.  Perhaps you recognize the Martin Luther reference.  Anyway, he's a New Testament professor but this one is written for a more general audience, and you can order it now on amazon.com, just search author = J. Christian Wilson.

And why am I telling you this in a blog that's supposed to be about CR?  One, because it's my blog and I can plug my father's book if I want to.  But more importantly because drinking good wine has always been a tradition among my  family and friends, and one of the big adaptations I'm making to CR is cutting back on my wine consumption.  I've for quite some time been a "one little glass of wine at night with my bedtime reading" person, and my friends tend to drink quite a bit when we go out.  When I first started back in March, I cut out mixed drinks in favor of red wine (see resveratrol in yesterday's post), started measuring my night time glass to make sure it was no more than four ounces, and stopped trying to keep up with my friends when we were out, splicing in seltzer water between glasses of wine and just plain sipping slower.  But as I'm cutting down from 1200 to 800 (there was a lot of 1100 and 900 in between, as I've covered in previous posts), I'm realizing that I just don't have the spare calories.  However, I don't want to give up wine entirely or stop going out with my friends.  So I'm dropping my little glass at night with my bedtime reading, switching in a cup of iced green tea (it's very hot here, I'll drink the tea hot again in the winter), and limiting my wine drinking to social occasions that specifically call for it. 

Last night I popped to the store after work and met up with some gorgeous skinny asparagus.  I adore asparagus, so I steamed it up and added just a dash of lemon pepper.  That plus a tiny ripe tomato from a friend's garden made a delicious dinner, and easily kept me under 800 for yesterday.  No little glass of wine, just a lot of water to make up for the dehydration I seem to experience when it gets over 90 here (how did I ever grow up in the South?  I hate heat!!!  Though my heat tolerance has greatly improved with CR, and now I can walk my four mile course in 90 degree heat without minding too much.) 

Today I was hungry, so I ate a hard boiled egg (100), a cottage cheese (110), about 40 of steamed broccoli, and a tiny salad of romaine, green pepper, and tomato with a droplet of lemon vinegarette on top for lunch.  Can't have been more than 300 total, so I have 500 to play with tonight at dinner.  That's good because I'm going to be on the road with a co-worker who is a big fan of red wine and Italian food, so I know we'll go out to dinner.  I was having angst re: Italian restaurant dining, when I tuned into Mary Robinson's blog at www.crdiary.blogspot.com.  Sure enough, she ate at an Italian restaurant last night!  The ability of CRON folk to be thinking the exact same thing at the exact same time is amazing to me.  So now I know what to order because she figured it out... clams with red sauce!  No pasta (at 800 I can't afford it) and a green salad on the side.  She eats hers without dressing but I'll have a touch of vinegar, no oil.  That way I'll get some protein without having too many unnecessary calories in the form of pasta. 

I'm not sure when I'll be able to blog again since email access is sporadic while on the road.  But I'll catch up once I'm home.


Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Resveratrol, my very little co-worker, and the Woodlands

Yesterday after I ate my kale and swiss chard "collards," I got in the car and drove just over two hours to do a series of meetings in a far away city.  My very little co-worker rode with me, along with our delicious fruit salad.  When we got to the hotel where we were doing the meetings, we noticed a large bowl of free fruit!  So we descended with vigor upon it, and I ate a large banana.  Myfoodbuddy.com says that's 105 calories.  Then we had a break between meetings, and we found a Ruby Tuesday's, home of the excellent salad bar.  I ate a salad of lettuce, tomatoes, red onions, hot cherry peppers (I love hot peppers), green peppers, and cucumbers, topped with salad vinegar.  The entire two plates of salad can't have been more than 100 calories, if that.  But as anyone knows who consumes giant salads, it was very filling.  I could eat vinegar covered lettuce at every meal.  However, in about three hours, after the second meeting, I was hungry again so I ate a banana I had hidden in my purse.  So that's 210 calories from bananas yesterday.  No more bananas for the week for me.  So by about nine thirty pm, I had eaten no more than 500 calories, including the salad earlier and the kale soup. 

We checked into our rooms at the hotel where we were staying overnight, which is this crazy ski resort called the Woodlands, where they give our organization very cheap deals on rooms on weeknights.  Urban legend has it that the Woodlands sells more liquor than any other Pennsylvania establishment, and I believe it.  They have about five bars in the hotel, and they give you a coupon for one free drink when you check in.  So we decided to go to the bar, get a glass of wine, and do some people watching.  Very little co-worker (VLC) brought the fruit salad we had packed, but neglected to pack a fork, so we picked at a few blueberries while we drank our glasses of red wine (restaurant pour, probably 110 - 120 calories).  We sat by the window overlooking the outdoor bar, she ate most of the fruit, and I drank a second glass of red wine.  So with 210 calories coming from bananas, and 220 calories coming from red wine, you could call yesterday the "Red Wine Banana Diet" day.  Not perfect, but I'm sure I stayed under 800 and I felt fine.  No little glass of wine for me tonight though.  I've got to devote my calories to catching up on the dark green and yellow and orange veggies that I missed out on yesterday. 

Got some great advice from a veteran CR practitioner today, and am looking for ways to up my protein.  I'm such a long term vegetarian that I don't think I can eat meat, but I might try some of the protein sources that Dean and Kenton use.  They're both vegan, and they have designed diets that work really well for them.  Thoughts, anyone out there in blogland? 

Today, I ate an eggwhite omlet for breakfast at the free Woodlands breakfast buffet with omlet station.  I was so happy to see the eggwhites.  I also drank about four ounces of tomato juice.  40 calories on the juice, about 100 (based on VLC's estimate, and she's a veteran egg white calorie counter.  She's also the only living human who actually enjoys reading the calorie counts on the Ruby Tuesday's menu with me.)  At lunch, I ate 110 in cottage cheese, a lettuce salad that was at most 10 on the lettuce and 20 on the fat free salad dressing (where's my vinegar?) and about 50 calories worth of yummy broccoli that I dropped into the leftover kale broth from yesterday.  I was excited to see that two threads on the CR list picked up things I had been thinking about: first, nutrients in cooked veggies creeping out into the broth (hence, my broth recycling), and second, the longevity benefits of resveratrol, the chemical found in the skins of red grapes that some think gives red wine its benefits.  Was thinking: I drink a lot of red wine, so I love it when I hear about resveratrol's benefits.  However, I'm getting too many of my calories from it in a little calorie diet, so I'm going to start spacing out my red wine drinking days so that I can still go out with my friends and drink wine with them without disrupting my weekly calorie averages.  A little resveratrol, a lot of fun, more protein, more iron, more green vegetables... sounds like a plan. 

And if you're ever in PA, you've got to go to the Woodlands.  The people watching is more interesting than a fast paced nature show, and the mountains are beautiful. 

Later in the afternoon... was hungry and had limited food choices as in office.  Ate another cottage cheese.  That's 110, bringing today's total so far to 440.  I have a big salad at home waiting for me.  I want to get some asparagus or something green like that.  Perhaps will hit the store on the way home. 

Ooops, forgot to mention a half of a sweet potato, 55 calories, make that 495.  Only 300 left for the day.  It will most likely be all vegetable matter. 

All this talk of protein is making me crave it.  Just ate a hard boiled egg.  100 cals.  200 left for the day. 


Monday, July 19, 2004

Kale/Swiss Chard "Collard Greens"

Just ate more of it for lunch, along with a romaine salad.  Wow, it is so good.  I am about to hit the road and be gone until tomorrow.  I'm travelling with my co-worker who is little and health-conscious, so we are taking with us: a fruit salad, a sweet potato that we'll split, and a couple of hard boiled eggs.  She's almost like one of us, just without the stated intention of CR. 
That was about 100 calories, if you include the tiny driplet of olive oil in the spoon of very light vinegarette I made.  I hate to admit it, but I liked my salad dressings better without the oil.  But then again, I like to eat straight vinegar. 
More tomorrow. 

Hazelnut pesto appears on the world stage!

Can't write much now... this week will be more like my normal life, with tons of travel, hours and hours of work, and not much time to write.  So to make a long story short:
Saturday: stayed at 800, but ate too much bread.
Sunday: went over 800 at a party, decided afterwards that I can't eat bread anymore because it is too calorie dense, nutrition poor, and I eat too much of it when I start. 
Good news: made hazelnut pesto and it's amazing!  I read somewhere on the list that we should eat hazelnuts, but I had never had one outside of chocolate, so I got some, toasted them in the wok, and ground them up with a bunch of fresh basil, some good olive oil, two cloves of garlic, and the juice of two lemons.  It was amazing!  Very calorie dense, but you don't need much.  For my CR friends, I would serve it on celery sticks or cucumber slices.  For non-CR people, I would serve it on bread or crackers.  It's one of the most delicious things I've ever made.
I also had a great trip to the Farmers' Market where I had to make four trips to my car with all of my food.  On Saturday I made a very good kale and swiss chard leaf soup with low-sodium veggie broth, garlic, cider vinegar and cabernet vinegar.  It tasted like Southern collard greens, and as I am from North Carolina (yes, to quote Jessica Simpson, "The real me is a Southern girl," those have a special place in my heart.  I am getting to love kale.  I also simmered the swiss chard stems finely diced with some leeks in olive oil with just a little salt and pepper, and that was quite good, though very field greeny tasting.  I made a big fruit salad with pineapple, blueberries, strawberries and apricots, which I am eating just a little at a time because fruit is rather high calorie.  I also made a romaine, tomato, cucumber and green pepper salad with a great vinegarette made of white wine tarragon vinegar, the juice of a couple of fresh lemons, some dried dill, a few shakes of salt and pepper, and extra virgin olive oil. 
This week I think I will end up low on calories because I am travelling so the options will be limited, but I ate about 1500 on Sunday, so just throw another hundred onto my averages for every day this week.
I can't wait till my Walford software gets here... any day now!  I'm trying to emotionally prepare for the shock I know I'll get when I find out how deficient my diet has probably been.  I definitely have room for improvement! 
More as soon as I can... I'm on the road tonight so it might not be till tomorrow.

Friday, July 16, 2004

I know this much is true.

Eighties song I am listening to on my walkman. 
But also the title of this post because I've been meaning for awhile to write a little more about why I am writing this blog, aside from the fact that it is a thoroughly enjoyable exercise in self-indulgent narcissism.  That's the main reason, but there's another too.
Why am I keeping an up to the minute diary of my experiences as I transition to CR and hopefully live this way until our friends the researchers come up with a better idea?  Why am I discussing what I ate, when I ate it, how I felt about it, why it was great and why it was hard, and all the stupid mistakes I make with the entire world? 
Because I feel like if we are ever going to turn CRON from something that a few brilliant, self-disciplined people do into something that is accessible to anyone who wants to try, we have to have some examples of people who do it.  Dean Pomerleau, a long term CR person, does a great job of showing others what it's like in his webpage, which you can find at
http://deanpomerleau.tripod.com/.  He's amazing, clearly one of the smartest people out there and also one of the nicest if his posts to the list are any indication of what he's like in real life.  He gets interviewed a lot in the popular press, and his lifestyle of eating the same meal twice a day, everyday, is something of a curiosity to the mass media.  But I worry that if the perception that the rest of the world has about CR is that it can only be practiced by people with iron self-discipline and a PhD, we won't get the rest of the world to take us seriously.  And why should we care?  Because I strongly suspect that the more people we can get to take us seriously and try our way of life, the more funding and support we'll get for the kind of research that can take us to higher levels of life extension.  I can't do the research, but I can convince people that they should fund it.  And I can convince people that they should give it a try.  I am, after all, an organizer.  I've spent my entire adult life trying to convince people to do things that are very, very hard, but are the one thing that will truly help them achieve the life they want to live. 
As a young woman who works hard, plays hard, and does all kinds of silly things, I am living proof that anyone can do this.  If I can do it, so can you.  Why allow the food industry to tell us how long we will live and how healthy we will be when our food choices are entirely within our own control?  Why be satisfied with less health, less happiness, and less life?  CRON isn't perfect, and neither is my attempt to practice it.  But if we all work together, we will learn more, get better, and I believe we'll all have a whole lot of fun. 
Thanks for reading, whoever you are. 
I guess I should eat dinner now. 

Friday Feeding

Just back from lunch.  Had a delicious lunch outside on the patio at the Mexican place... same one where they once forced me to order an entree.  Anyway, at lunch they let you order salads, so I had this fantastic salad of spring mix greens (what does that mean anyway?  just an excuse to charge more?) with pineapple chunks, apple wedges, a few toasted pecans, topped with fresh tomato salsa (no oil).  A little dressing on the side, into which I dipped the apples.  The entire thing was maybe 250, between the fruit, salsa, and dabs of dressing.  I ate a hard boiled egg this morning for 100.  I also drank a glass of wine for 100 (slightly more than 4 oz) with lunch, which I can only defend by saying that everyone around me was drinking a 300 or so calorie margarita.  It was beautiful outside and I ate with my two favorite co-workers.  CR doesn't mean giving up your social eating occasions.  It just means eating differently!  Even Dean goes out to eat with his family.  He recently told a story on the list of how he orders a tossed salad when they go out, and the wait staff invariably bring his wife the salad and him the steak. 

Don't Feed the Mice!

Finally back to my little blog! Hello out there, whoever you are!

Yesterday, after my late spinich salad following my not having time to eat catastrophe, I had a meeting then went out for dinner with a co-worker. I definitely went over 800 for yesterday's total because I ate a piece of bread with olive oil, followed by an appetizer portion of spaghetti with tomato sauce, along with two restaurant pours of red wine. A lot less than I would have eaten in my pre-CR days, and my averages have been staying solidly around 800, so I'm not too worried about one day of going quite high on the calories.

That brings me to the thoughts I've been having over the last few days. My regularly scheduled insomnia attack (2:30 am, like clockwork) has lately been devoted to thoughts of CR. On Wednesday night, I spent a lot of time thinking about how I have to get more serious about both my CR and my ON. I'm still to some extent allowing my social life to dicate what I eat. Case in point: Wednesday evening, I went out with a co-worker for a drink after work. She's not doing CR, but she's a very healthy eater and extremely supportive of me. So we went to the place where we usually have margaritas, and instead of a margarita of unknown calorie content and much sugar, I had a glass of wine (I know some of you are thinking that I should give up wine too, but I'm not there yet and there seems to be no consensus about the benefits/costs of small amounts of wine.) Alex, the bartender there who we're friendly with, usually hooks us up with a bunch of free happy hour appetizers, unless we specifically tell him not to. (Remember that post early on in my blog explaining how I gained weight when I took this job and stopped being vegan, eating a lot of nachos and margaritas? Most of those were consumed at Alex's restaurant.) This time we forgot to ask him to hold the appetizers, and I felt weird about not even taking a bite when the nachos he brought us were sitting right in front of me. We told him not to bring anymore (he almost came over with some cheese things, but we saved ourselves.) So he asked if we were dieting, and we said no, we just had dinner plans later (a lie for both of us.) I had about four nacho chips, not exactly a crisis, but an example of food that didn't do my body any good that I didn't even want, I just ate it for social reasons. When I started to de-construct this in the middle of the night (I am so productive during my insomnia hour) I thought about how when most people see an already thin, obviously fashion conscious young woman in her early twenties (I am actually going to be 30 in August, but I have always looked younger than my age and got carded twice last month) eating sparingly or turning down the yummy appetizers, they think "anorexia." They say things like, "Oh, honey, you're so thin, you don't need to be dieting. Just try one." I know they mean well, but it's so annoying! Now I recognize that my problems with what people think of what I eat are very minor in comparison to those who have to deal with hunger on a daily basis (I am not excessively hungry, even at 800) and I'm lucky to be a woman in a time when the fashion ideal for women is a very low BMI. However, I have to get past this need to fit in with what I eat if I am going to hit ON at 800. It's not that I can't keep to 800 calories... for the most part, that's not that hard (I know this sounds odd to any guys reading this who have to eat a lot more just to survive, but I am a very, very little mouse.) Of course there are some days like last night when I go over, but that's getting cut to about once a week, without me really trying or experiencing hunger. If anything, I feel great all the time except for those occasions when I go over my target, then I feel a little less energetic, a little more like my old pre-CR self. Still, I have to focus to get the right nutrients. On that score, you'll be pleased to see this:

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Now we're onto some serious CR inside baseball. For those of you who are not into CR (first, I am impressed that you're reading this at all since non-stop chat about what I ate must be boring for you!), this is the processing of me ordering Dr. Walford's Interactive Diet Planner. This is long, long overdue. I still don't have my own laptop but I'm just going to load it onto someone else's for a little while if I have to. I can't take digital pics like Mary Robinson, but I hope to figure out a way to post my nutritional analysis. If you're not a CR person, please go to Dr. Walford's website and read up about it... it's an excellent website, full of easy to read information.

But back to my issues about being perceived as an anorexic. When people ask me if I'm dieting or express offense that I won't eat whatever they're offering, it makes me very uncomfortable! It's not that I'm unaccustomed to odd discussions in social situations... after all, I'm a union organizer (which is a radical, weird thing to do in this country, the kind of thing that makes people ask if you're a Communist.) But there's something much more unpleasant about having to deal with people who think you're anorexic. From women, it's a combination of jealousy and pity. From men, it's that "She's weird, probably won't eat hot dogs with me at the ballpark" kind of vibe. Luckily, my good friends and colleagues are very supportive and have been educated about CR (more than they would like!) so they understand. And anyone who has been around knows that it wasn't long ago that I weighed twenty pounds more. I still look quite normal, not even all that thin, with a BMI of 21 and falling. But in a world where most people are obese and pigging out is a social ritual, CRON makes you different.

I wonder if I could get a note from the CR human study people that I could put on business card sized pieces of paper and hand out to anyone who seems offended by my food choices. Something like:

"We are certain that whatever you are offering is delicious. However, April is one of our mice. So please do not feed her. She is not anorexic or in any way unhealthy. In fact, she is much healthier than you are."

Okay, so I'm joking about the note. But I'm seriously considering printing up a little card, complete with the CR Society's web address and Dr. Walford's, that explains in brief what we're doing. Then I could turn down food that I don't need without feeling rude, and maybe do some educating in the process!

To live in a world where you frequently found yourself saying at social occasions, "You're such a cauliflower pusher!" as people passed the vegetable tray.

You know, I feel better just writing about this. Which, I suppose is the point of this blog.

More thoughts on the point of the blog later.

Thursday, July 15, 2004

Quick Update -- More Later

Been running non-stop for work... back to the usual schedule! 
Quick update now, with more to come tomorrow.
Wednesday went pretty well, especially considering that I had to eat every meal out.  Breakfast: egg white omlet with tomatoes, mushrooms, onions and green peppers.  Took a friend out for breakfast to celebrate his birthday.  Probably about 300 calories.  Needless to say, I did not eat either the homefries or the toast.  In fact, I asked the waitress to hold both, but she brought homefries.  I let them sit quietly and ignored them.  Had a great late lunch/dinner between meetings at Ruby Tuesday's, which has an excellent salad bar.  Loaded up on every kind of veggie they had, topped with vinegar only, and a couple of chick peas and about .25 cup of cottage cheese.  Couldn't have been more than 200 or 250.  The low point of the day was 1/3 of a slice of pizza at a meeting, but even with that and the one little glass of red wine I drank at a bar between meetings with a co-worker, I stayed in at less than 800.
Today was crazy, and I'll write more about it later.  Due to a crisis of traffic followed by a crisis at work, I didn't have time to eat.  Usually, this would be no big deal... I've always been able to go for about 24 hours without eating and be fine.  Not so, apparently, at my new low calorie level.  I was feeling kinda stupid... and accidentally sent a post to the CR list that I meant as a reply to one person!  It wasn't personal or anything, just a question about the times of the conference so I can book my plane ticket, but I really didn't want it to go to 3000 people and annoy every single one!  Luckily, some great folks rescued me by emailing my desperate plea to the moderator.  Further proof that CR folks are the nicest people on earth!  Good thing, because if we're right about all this, we're going to know each other for a long, long time.
I finally ate a wonderful spinich salad at four, with a hard boiled egg, mushrooms, and a non-fat dressing.  I feel non-stupid again now.
More soon... gotta run to a meeting... but I have lots to tell all of you out there in blogland about, so I'll write a lot tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

What happened to careful tracking?

Though I have been lax about posting my food and calories for the last few days, I have been keeping track of them. Haven't yet had time to catalog the weekend on this site, but let me catch up on Monday and today while I have just a moment.

Monday: wasn't very hungry, no doubt due to eating more calories than usual over the weekend trip. So no breakfast, as usual, lunch was a cottage cheese (110 calories), five grape tomatoes (the tiny ones, 20 calories max), and the leftover cauliflower marinara, 100 max since there wasn't much of it left. At night I ate a lettuce salad with balsamic vinegar that had some shredded cheese on top, about six spear of broccoli, and five bites of mashed cauliflower, plus one 4 - 5 ounce glass of red wine. The veggies could not have gone over 200, even if you assume some butter was in the cauliflower. The wine was about 105, since it was a restaurant pour and probably 5 oz rather than 4. Coming in just over 500 for yesterday, but since I ate about 2000 on Saturday, I'm not worried about it.

Tuesday: Hungry day, no doubt due to not eating much yesterday. No breakfast, but for lunch a co-worker brought in his homemade black bean burritos, which are fabulous. Black beans, basmati rice, red and yellow peppers, tomatoes, and onions in a flour tortilla. I would give it about 400 calories, since a slightly smaller bean burrito from Taco Bell is 370. Then I ate a chocolate chip cookie. Not too big, about 75 on that. So today's total at 1:30 is already up to 475. If I go a touch over 800 today I'm not going to worry about it, since yesterday was so light. But no more cookies!

Tons of work to do so I should get back to it. If I'm very good and accomplish a lot, I'm going to reward myself by taking home the two papers written for non-specialists that I just discovered on de Grey's website at http://www.gen.cam.ac.uk/sens/AdGpubs.htm#intro. For those of you who don't follow the CR list, de Grey is this researcher at Cambridge who is often referred to on the CR list and who occasionally posts. It says, "Start here if you're new to the field, especially if you're not a biologist." That would be me. Fun treat! I learned long ago that when I have to survive very long days into nights of phone calls, it's important to plan little treats for the end of the day.

Okay, I am cheating. I am making a large round of phone calls that mostly involves leaving messages, and I am reading one of de Grey's papers whilst I do it. If I get a live person, I stop reading. This is fascinating... and I think it's going to leave me with more questions than answers. I'm just getting to the part where he talks about not being interested in antioxidants.

Finished the de Grey article, finished one round of calls, ate a cottage cheese (110) and drank a decaf green tea (0). Definitely more questions than answers. Wishing I had taken biochemistry in college, instead of fulfilling all my science requirements with computer science classes. Lots of fun though, and I have another article in my bag to read tonight before bed.

Gotta get back to work. More tomorrow. I'll be in a marathon of four meetings, 11 am, 1 pm, 5:00 pm and 7:30pm, so if I don't make it to blogging tomorrow, be assured that I am counting my calories, bugging my office administrator for a new laptop that I can load Walford's software onto, and sneaking time to read my articles when I can take a five minute break from work.

Absolute Calories

Just happily starting the day by reading the tons of CR list posts that came in over night. "Absolute calories" refers to the fact that CR's benefits come from absolute calories, not from weight, percentage of body fat, etc. During my weekend of educating about CR (also known as a trip to Vermont for a friend's wedding), I found the most difficult thing to get across to people was this concept. In our weight obsessed society, people have trouble understanding anything other than weight or body fat percentages. It's like I'm telling them that their equation is backwards: instead of determining what you want to weigh and adjusting your calories and your exercise to fit it, keep dropping your calories as long as you can take it (with ON of course but what I'm hearing is that CR is much more important than ON, as long as you're not actively malnourished, which if most people in the US aren't on the junk they eat, then we CR people definitely won't be) and stop thinking about weight. It's so funny how difficult this is to explain. For example, if I were just looking to live up to society's idea of how a woman should look, I would increase my calories a little to maintain my current weight. However, I am continuing to experiment with lower calorie levels, which incidentally cause weight loss, in order to hopefully achieve the anti-aging benefits of CR. I'm glad I'm starting as a young adult mouse.

Okay, I'll write more after I finish reading the day's posts. I'm a little worried that this blog is turning into too much CR inside baseball, but I'm hoping that will lead the people who are confused to check out the website and maybe lurk on the list. It's amazing what you can learn.

Later in the day... it's becoming clear that work is going to eat me alive this week. However, the good news is that I'll be at the office super later tonight and be able to write more once it gets too late to call normal people on the phone (a lot of my job is talking to people on the phone, which is why I work basically every weekday evening and more weekends than not.)

Made my hotel reservations for the conference. Am getting a free plane ticket... story later in the day.

Sunday, July 11, 2004

Stop Aging Now! Ask Me How!

Have you seen people with the bumper sticker that says: Lose weight now! Ask me how!

Well, this weekend, so many people asked me about CR that I thought I must have been wearing a button that said, "Stop Aging Now! Ask me how!"

I went to a wedding in Vermont, where I lived for nine months on a work assignment in 2002, and saw lots of people I hadn't seen in almost two years. As we were catching up, I mentioned that I had started doing CR, and the interest was overwhelming! I pointed a bunch of people to the CR Society website, www.crsociety.org. One thing I found interesting was that people have a hard time understanding that CR is not a diet, weight loss is only a side effect, not the purpose. Also difficult to grasp was the idea that there is no one way to eat and no foods you have to give up. I hope interested parties will check out the CR society website, as it's very informative and answers pretty much every question you could think of. I still consult it almost daily, especially to search the archives.

Meanwhile, my plans to come in early and fill you in on the weekend's adventures was thwarted by rain, which caused my drive to work to take almost two hours (people on I - 76 feel like they have to slow down to 2 miles an hour to stare at the rain if it even starts to sprinkle here.) So I'll have to come in early tomorrow to catch up. In short, I had a pretty good eating weekend, though I went over 800 on the day of the wedding. More first thing tomorrow!

Thursday, July 08, 2004

Eventually, you'll get hungry.

At work yesterday I wasn't very hungry, in spite of the light day on Tuesday. I think the heat is getting to me... it's about 90 degrees here, yet my office is so cold that I've had a space heater on, so the combination is just zapping my appetite. I only ate an egg (100), a cottage cheese (110), and broccoli, tomato, and green pepper salad, for a total of maybe 50 - 75. I was definitely under 300 by the time I got home from work/errands. And I was finally hungry! Very, very hungry. Like, do not want to wait to steam the cauliflower hungry. Luckily, I had some steamed eggplant and yellow squash in Trader Joe's marinara (I don't usually eat that because I make my own marinara that's delicious with lots of red wine and garlic, but it's pretty good stuff). To that I added some soy "meatballs" (120 for the four I ate) and ate 10 cherries for dessert (50). The steamed veggie/marinara concoction was about 250, since I ate a whole lot of it, and I had 6 ounces of red wine, so the total for the day yesterday was right around 882. Averaging that out with the day before, I'm staying very satisfied and full and happy, at right around 800. I still felt quite full this morning and slept as well as I ever do (which is not well but at least not worse than usual.)

800 isn't much, but it's really making me focus. When I look back at my old food records from when I first started tapering down, I see a lot of things that my body just doesn't need. A bagel here, a slice of pizza here... lots of attempts to fit in with what other people are eating. Like the times we had phone banks in the office at night and ordered pizza for the phone bankers. One time, back in April, everyone was on the phone when someone screeched, "I saw a mouse!" A discussion began about what to do about the mouse. I suggested we catch it, feed it less than it would usually eat, and see how long it lives. No one laughed. The mouse got away.

This weekend I'm going to a wedding in Vermont. I'll be away from my blog till Monday. I am, however, going to visit my favorite tomato, the sungold, grown on Full Moon Farm just outside of Burlington, VT, by some friends of mine. The sungold is a tiny, yellow, cherry like tomato, and it is so bursting with flavor that you've never had a tomato till you've eaten it. I used to make gazpachzo to die for (poor choice of words, considering my LE aims here) from sungolds during the nine months I was in Vermont. I actually have a deal with David and Rachel, who grow the sungolds on their farm, that if I die before they do, I want my ashes scattered among the sungold fields, so I can come back as a tomato.

Also, I turned on comments so anyone can comment, whether you're a registered user or not.

Have a great weekend, whoever you may be.

Here's a nice summer weekend recipe:

Red Wine Tomato Sauce

fresh tomatoes, really good ones,chopped
fresh garlic, minced
dryish red wine
basil, if you like
olive oil, if you're over the whole anti-fat thing

Do not cook the garlic in the olive oil.

Mince and simmer the garlic in the red wine. This will make your kitchen smell delicious. Simmer for about ten minutes, then stir in the chopped tomatoes. Add more red wine and a little dash of salt and pepper. Add more red wine if you want, adjust it to your taste. Turn off the heat (Do you have a gas stove? I've only done this on electric, where there's a cooling off period no matter what. My new place has a gas stove though, and I am kinda scared of the fire.) and allow to stop bubbling. Stir in some olive oil to taste if you're eating fat (I designed this recipe when I was fat phobic, but I've since added the oil and it's wonderful.) and stir in the chopped minced basil if you like, though be away the the basil changes the taste.

In my pre-CR days, I would serve this over pasta. Now, I eat it over small French cut green beans or just straight, more as a soup. It takes about ten minutes and seems fancy if you suddenly have company you weren't expecting. It's a great way to worship the tomato.

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Bizarre Cauliflower Craving

That sounds like magnetic poetry.

Yesterday (Tuesday) was pretty good. I think I was still full from the day before because I wasn't very hungry all day. I seem to be getting hungry after a few days at 800, going over 800, then being happy at 800 for a few more days. Yesterday I had an egg (100) at about 11 am, followed by a lunch at about 12:30 of lettuce topped with fat free dressing (10 on the lettuce, 20 on the dressing), a salad of fresh tomatoes and green bell peppers marinated in this delicious key lime, kiwi, tangerine marinade (fat free... I'm working on it but I'm still drawn to fat free marinades) that was 30 calories a tablespoon. I put two tablespoons in a large salad of which I ate half, so I imagine it was 30 calories on the marinade and maybe 50 total on the tomato and peppers. I also ate my cottage cheese: 90 this time, it was the lowfat kind.

I stayed at work until about seven (still rather early for me but things have been slow lately) and then drove home... which takes an hour. The good news is I put a deposit down on an apartment! Five minutes from the office, gorgeous balcony, huge living area and nice big kitchen, also large dining area. Perfect for having friends over for dinner. A cute little open window from the kitchen into the living room on which I could proudly display my vinegar collection and I guess my (gasp!) new olive oils! It's on hold till Thursday so I still have time if I decide I'd rather live somewhere else. It's right on a lake and has a fitness center that's open at 6 am and did I mention that it's less than five minutes from the office? Traffic has ruled my life for so long that it will be confusing to have so much more time. What will I do? Chop more vegetables?

When I got home I ate more of the swiss chard, leek and broccoli soup. It was a bit salty and would have been better with lemon but it was still delicious. I had cherries for dessert and a 4 ounce glass of red wine. Let's see... about 200 on the soup because it had a full tablespoon of oil in it plus the veggies which are very low calorie. Then cherries were probably about 75 -- my online calorie counter says 50 for ten raw and I ate fifteen. 85 on the wine... yes, I measured it. So the total for the day was: 700. That's too low, I know, but I was making up for an excess the day before and I just wasn't any hungrier. I had plenty of food around if I needed to eat more, but I don't want to eat when I'm not hungry. My body seems to adjust naturally, being hungrier sometimes and less hungry at others. I'm sure today I'll either hit or slightly exceed 800. I already ate my egg and it's not even 11 am yet.

Which brings me to my bizarre cauliflower cravings. On my long drive home, I started to think about cauliflower. I was wondering what kinds of foods might be available at the CR conference in November. With the extreme variety of dietary habits, what could everyone agree on? Cauliflower sprung to mind, and I spent the rest of the drive considering cauliflower. I even got some, but I was too sleepy to steam it last night so I have a gorgeous head of cauliflower waiting for me when I get home tonight. Suggestions on what I should do with it? I'll probably just steam it with a squeeze of lemon and a few dashes of lemon pepper, but if anyone has any ideas, please comment. Perhaps I'll.. gasp...put a tiny bit of olive oil on it. Do people put olive oil on cauliflower?

I also read a Sears book over the weekend, _The Omega Rx Zone_. Funny that in the hundreds of pop nutrition books I've read in the last eight years, I'd never read one of his. It actually helped explain a lot of what I read on the CR list.
I think he's a little more dismissive of Ornish than is strictly necessary to prove his point, but that could just be my lowfat vegan -> CR with eggs and olive oil identity crisis talking. It's so odd to completely change my attitude towards fat. I had known the blood sugar/insulin response stuff forever, but I had eaten vegan on the low end of the glycemic index. Anybody ever read _The Good Calorie Diet_? It's all about insulin control and it suggests avoiding all animal protein. I used to eat brown rice for breakfast. For awhile, I ate spinich noodles for breakfast. Now I eat no breakfast at all, and I am a much happier person. Sears would not approve of the long spaces between my meals. I am wondering if I should change that. I just really like eating the way I do right now. "Calories, calories, calories" is such a frequent refrain on the list that it makes me think that if I can eat 800 or so happily the way I'm doing it, there's no need to worry about meal spacing. Sears seemed to present the meal spacing as a tactic for controlling insulin and by extension appetite so that a normal person *could* practice CR (I love the way he actually uses the term calorie restriction! It just warms my little heart!) without undue discomfort. If I like the way I feel now, I can keep doing what I'm doing re: meal spacing, right?

I definitely need to get my nutritional software, and I assure you, I'm on it. I spilled water on my laptop last week and a new one has been ordered for me (it made a terrible sizzling noise!) so I'm a computer nomad right now, but hopefully this will all get straightened out by next week. In the meantime, on some advice from a long term CR practitioner, I'm cutting back on fruit and upping the veggie consumption. For a long time in my vegan life (I sound like a born-again, don't I?) I tried to hit three fruits a day, one of them citrus, as well as a red, green, and yellow vegetable once a day. I was eating so many calories and staying a nice weight on the low end of normal, but as I mentioned yesterday, it was a lot of work. And while it had obesity avoidance and (I believe... but I'm willing to listen to other views) heart disease avoidance benefits, it wasn't slowing aging. I think that I should try to hit the fruits on different days, instead of trying to pack so many calorie dense fruits into every single day. The vegetables are easy since they are not as calorie dense.

Enough for now... more soon.