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.

Sunday, October 31, 2004

Be Born Again, My Friend

Great line from the Steely Dan song "Sign In Stranger" that I'm listening to on my walkman. Of course it is the title of this entry because it makes me think of how very much I have changed since starting CR.

Let's list the changes in two columns: ones I expected, ones I didn't.

Expected changes:

-- Lost a lot of weight
-- Skin looks dramatically better
-- Enjoy my food more
-- Feel better about my body
-- Fight off illness much better

Unexpected changes:

-- Almost total eradication of anxiety that had plagued me my entire life
-- Bizarre reactions of others to both what I eat and how I look, from the extremely approving to the disapproving (people accusing me of being anorexic)
-- Complete change in the composition of my diet, not just the amount, and not in the direction I thought. Higher fat, much much higher protein, lower carb, minimal grains
-- Changes in world view based on expecting to be healthy longer
-- Improved ability to focus, concentrate, etc.
-- No longer taking things so personally. Too many examples to name
-- I think I am a nicer person now.

Things that CR hasn't done for me:

-- I am not taller. I could have sworn someone promised me that I'd be six feet tall by now.
At least 5'10."

It's been such an exciting journey so far, and I can't wait to see what lies ahead!

Yesterday I ate my eggwhites for breakfast but ate nothing else all day, saving myself for MR's CR Zoned pizza at dinner. Wow, it was so worth it. It was so yummy. My mom ate one, I actually ate two. That's a lot of calories for a tiny person, but I was really hungry and have been losing weight (this was brought to my attention by the fact that I weighed 108 when I gave that interview for the Bergen Record and I weigh 106 now.) There's nothing wrong with losing weight, but I have lost too fast in the past and I have to watch it. And if you're going to pig out, this pizza thing is so good. I also drank two glasses of wine, which since I ate two pizzas, I am hoping doesn't throw off the Zone ratios. I could DWIDP it, but why, when MR has already done the work for us? I fell asleep re-reading the nutrient info on the recipe, and when I woke up in the middle of the night, my cat was sleeping prettily on the print out. Not, I note, eating the print out. This is progress, for a cat who has taken a bite out of most of Michael Rae's work.

I wasn't able to find the brand of low-carb tortilla that he mentioned, but I did find another brand that was quite good. I actually ate the second pizza in burrito form, scooping the toppings and sauce into the tortilla and rolling it up. Since the food I really miss is a Taco Bell bean burrito, it had a good psychological effect to eat it that way.

I was thinking that one of my old favorite pizza recipes could be adapted using MR's tricks. I used to love to make a pizza where you'd bake the crust with sauce and cheese and then take it out of the oven and top it with tomatoes, garlic, onion, and arugula, marinated all day in balsamic vinegar at room temp. This is so good! I also like to make my own tomato sauce out of just fresh tomatoes, garlic, basil, and red wine. I could fix it so the cals and carbs didn't exceed that of the tomato paste, which I usually do not use but which is included in MR's recipe. Back when I was a lowfat vegan, I cooked with a lot of wine. I had hardly ever owned oil unti this year. So you've got to sautee, sizzle, in something. I always had a cooking white and a cooking red in the fridge.

I'm leaving tonight for Wilkes-Barre, and I won't be back till Tuesday. I doubt that I'll have time to breathe tomorrow, much less blog, but I'll check in on Tuesday. Then flying away to Charleston early Wednesday morning!!!

Saturday, October 30, 2004

Very Nutty Lunch with Very Little Co-Worker

VLC is really a gift to my CR practice. She fixed us up the nicest lunch at my house yesterday! We had fat free cottage cheese, doctored up with a nut and seed mix that she made that included ground flax seeds, almonds, toasted pumpkin seeds, and just a dash of sunflower seed. It was so yummy! I might make it myself and leave out the pumpkin but add in hazelnuts. I ate my cottage cheese with Texas Pete (which is produced in Winston-Salem, NC, in case any of my Texan readers are wondering why they've never heard of it.) VLC mixed hers in with the fruit salad she brought: pineapple, watermelon, red grapes, and canteloupe, all fresh cut that morning and purchased from a fruit cart in Center City. I love the fruit cart! I ate my fruit as dessert. The meal was pretty high calorie, between how much cottage cheese I ate (280 calories worth!) and the nuts/seeds, but it was delicious and satisfying.

Last night, I got a call from my mom that she was feeling sick, so I ran out and bought her some cold medicine. While I was at the store, I picked up a salad with just spinach, romaine, a few grape tomatoes, some green peppers, and vinegar. When I came home I ate the salad and heated up some of my chicken broth and brewers yeast soup, without any added veggies. That plus my night time glass of red wine put me over target, at 1112 according to DWIDP, but the ON rocked, even now that I know that brewers yeast is not as perfect as I thought. Not quite 100% of everything, but very close, even on iron and calcium (that's the cottage cheese talking.) Good on protein. Without the brewers yeast, I would have been at target but missing out on a lot of nutrition. And check out these P:F:C ratios: 31:32:37. I feel so cool.

My college roommate commented last night that she never thought she'd see the day when I started eating meat products again. She was my roommate the year that I went vegetarian in the first place. We had a great off-campus apartment where we used to throw huge parties and make tons of food. We were famous for our dessert parties. Halfway through my senior year, I started dating this guy who was a vegetarian (Hi JZ!) and I converted to impress him. Later on, though, I read more about the health benefits of eating less meat, and converted for real. And then there was nine years of Ornish worshipping, until I discovered THE LIST. But I won't rehash my protein: fat: carb ratio identity crisis yet again here... for anyone who hasn't been following the blog for long, go back to July 27 and read "Priestess of the High Carb Darkness" and you'll have your daily dose of nutritional angst.

Today I'm at work, of course, where else would I be? But tonight I am having Very Skinny Mom over for dinner, and I am going to attempt to make Michael Rae's Zoned CR Friendly Pizza. I may have to make some modifications based on availability of ingredients, but it sounds so good!!! I love pizza, and I'd like to have some I could eat without compromising the whole rest of the day. I may serve it with a side order of broccoli though...

Meanwhile, have I mentioned that none of my clothes fit? The problem continues... I stopped by the DSW Shoe Warehouse last night to try to find a pair of high heeled boots to wear with pants, because unless I wear pretty significant heels, my pants all now drag the floor. Ick! Having lost so much weight, pants that used to sit near my waist are now looking like those low rise jeans that all the teenagers are wearing. Lucky for me that's the style, I guess, but of course they're that much longer. I couldn't find anything I liked, which was frustrating. Oh well, for now, I'm wearing an ancient pair of microfiber stiletto heel knee high boots that need to be taken to the shoe repair for a heel job. I must buy some new clothes before the conference, not that anyone there will really notice what I'm wearing, but I feel like if I'm always saying that we should be proud of how healthy we are and not hide being skinny in baggy clothes, I'd better model the behavior and show up in outfits that fit!

Gotta get back to work... I probably won't be able to blog on Monday, but I'll blog tomorrow before I leave.

Friday, October 29, 2004

I've Been Sailing Long Time on This Ocean

That's a line from Billy Joel's "Stormfront," a song I find myself listening to more and more as the week of Nov. 1 approaches... on Monday, I have an important election at work. On Tuesday, of course, the US presidential election. On Wednesday, I fly away to Charleston. Everything will be very stressful until then. I think the total package of stress made me overreact just a touch to the Brewers Yeast incident of yesterday, but I felt better after Very Supportive CR Brother talked me through how to use the DWIDP to find good sources of iron and zinc. As I've said many times, the support from my CR brothers and sisters really keeps me going.

Last night, I was kinda mad at the brewers yeast, and I also wanted to keep the salt low in an effort to see if that weight gain was water weight. (Sure enough it was... back down to 106 this morning.) My free range organic chicken broth is low sodium, but still has some salt in it. On my way home from the office I stopped at the produce store and before me was a vision of great beauty: bunches of tall, skinny asparagui, for $2.99. And we're talking a very generous bunch of very skinny asparagi. Very green little heads too. So I took them home, steamed them, and ate them with lemon herb olive oil (Williams Sonoma) and some fresh squeezed lemon juice. No salt, just a dash of salt-free garlic powder. That lemon evoo and fresh lemon and garlic asparagus dressing is so good... a great way to get my MUFA's without totally freaking out. I was still craving protein, having skipped the eggwhites at breakfast, so I scrambled up another cup, topped with a dash of salt-free tomato basil flavored Mrs. Dash instead of my usual mountains of salty spicy hot sauce. Then I checked the label on my almonds, and sure enough, there's no salt in them. So I ate my 175 calories worth of them (that's what the label says is 1/4 cup, though to be honest, I mentally count that much as 200 cals since 175 is lower than what I've read in other calorie counters.) I haven't done the meal yet on DWIDP... this morning is so busy that it's a miracle I am blogging at all... but I am wondering if I managed to have a Zone dinner. I had my glass of red, Walford sized, so the asparagus and wine are carbs, the eggwhites are 29 g protein, and then the nuts and olive oil for fat. I may have come out high on fat, actually. It was one of the most satisfying dinners I think I have ever had, and I felt happy and calm again, so much so that I got out my brewers yeast and reassured it that we would be back together tomorrow night. It's really not its fault that I misentered it in DWIDP.

I was on the phone with work calls until about 9 pm, and then went to bed, but woke up at 1 and stayed awake till 4:30 -- an unusually long insomnia attack, even for me. Of course, the cat loves it, because insomnia = petting. Lots of purring. Very good. I think with all the excitement of a very tough project at work, getting ready for the conference, and the ambient stress of everyone freaking out about the presidential election, it's a miracle that I am not much more stressed out. That's the CR Zen, working for me.

Today VLC and I are going to have lunch at my house. She picked up fruit salads at a Center City fruit stand this morning, and I have fat free cottage cheese. She is bringing some of her favorite nuts and seed mixtures, so now I can worry about Omega 6's. It will be nice to have a short break in what has already been a crazy day of running hither and thither.

Off to the hospital.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Brewers Yeast Angst

Not to send everyone into a panic, but I am starting to have some questions about my brewers yeast. I am fairly certain that when I first bought the Lewis Labs kind that I like so much, I took the cannister into the office and did "modify" on my nutritional software to make all the nutrients in the program match what's on the label. They were actually better than Walford's example. But now I'm worried that I somehow screwed up the serving size so that it's coming out looking better than it is. Of course, I choose to worry about this when I am nowhere near the label so I can't find out. I do remember 16 g protein, and that's what's showing on my software for one 116 calorie serving. So I think I'm okay. I really hope so... I will be so heartbroken if my brewers yeast is not as good as I think it is. Now it's going to bug me the rest of the day.

Lunch was delicious... I popped by home for lunch (it's only three minutes away) and made up an eggwhite scramble. I stopped by the salad bar at the produce store and picked up a salad of romaine, tomatoes, cucumber, celery, and a beet. Topped that with vinegar and olive oil. Rather zonish meal, actually. Cool. For dessert I got a latte with skim at the Panera Bread Company, taking care this time to specify NO FOAM. If you don't do that, you get a drink that is all foam, then you're likely to walk around the rest of the day with foam on your nose.

It is now really bugging me that I was right there with the breweres yeast cannister and I did not grab it to re-check the nutrition info. Can someone out there please look at their brewers yeast and tell me if I have been in delusion land for the last few weeks? Or maybe my brewers yeast is just better than yours? Lewis Labs brand. Maybe I can find the info online. However, I need to get back to work!!!

There's Nothing Inherently Good About Moderation

That's what I said yesterday at lunch with the co-workers when, after I announced that I was planning to buy one of the super warm soft cashmere sweaters for $38 in every color, one of my co-workers said, "You're not really into moderation, are you?"

I agreed that I am not, and my "Moderation: Not a Fan" status has been well-discussed on the blog. You definitely set yourself up for taking a lot of flak from others when you do anything that's considered "extreme," from working really hard to eating really well to buying a lot of sweaters.

The last few weeks have been the roughest yet of my CRON journey, not because I'm finding it difficult to stay near my calorie target or because I'm having trouble with my nutrition... in fact, both of those, especially the ON part, are going better than ever. It's the social struggles that have been getting to me, and while for the most part I have stood my ground, I've definitely had days when I made food choices based on fear of others, not based on what I wanted or what my body needed.

The support from my CR brothers and sisters has been a life-saver... literally! (And I know how to use that word.) If you consider that every calorie may be aging us just that much faster, every time I stick to my plan and eat the right foods instead of giving into social pressure, I'm adding just that much to my life. So I owe you guys a lot of minutes!!!

Yesterday was pretty good: you already heard about lunch's salad and cottage cheese with tabasco. On the way home I stopped at the Asian produce store and picked up a pint of grape tomatoes, which I ate on the spot, plus a pint of brussels sprouts and three stalks of broccoli. They stalks were the tall and not too fluffy kind, very different from the giant fluffy green crowns on the broccoli at the corner grocery store. I took them home and threw them into the brewers yeast and free range organic chicken broth soup, along with a dash of garlic powder. The soup was so delicious that I ate all the veggies! I didn't eat all the broth, so I have about two cups leftover for whenever (I made four cups worth at once, but I adjusted the brewers yeast amount to two servings instead of one so that the nutrition would still come out right.) Walford sized glass of Italian red with dinner.

I also broke into the bag of almonds I bought, and I love them! In fact, I think I ate too many of them. Instead of carefully measuring like a sane person, I just kept chomping on them as I cooked dinner. Then I ate more right before bed. This morning my weight as up two pounds, which is obviously water, but I think between the tabasco, the cottage cheese, the chicken broth, and the almonds, I had more salt than usual. And I am not a low salt person to begin with. I'm planning to cut down the salt today to see if the water falls off.

DWIDP is showing that my RDAs for yesterday absolutely rocked. Over 100% in everything, except 90% of Zinc. Wow! A little over target I suspect with about 200 cals of nuts, and still only 23% fat (36% protein, 41% carb) but only up to 1025 which is not exactly a crisis, and that's being very generous in the estimates of how much of the vegetables I ate. Wow, I'm happy about yesterday's nutrition. No wonder I feel really good, if a bit puffy from too much salt.

I am completely freaking out with excitement about the CRS conference... but work is such a crazy marathon until then that I barely have time to think about it. It's the big light at the end of the tunnel in what has been an extraordinarily stressful fall. However, my CR inspired Zen has made me much less stressed, in spite of the external factors.

If I had a shrine to the CR phenomenon, which I'll have you know, I do *not*, I would spend extra time this week worshipping there. I am so much calmer, healthier, better able to withstand all challenges, than I was pre-CR. And with the never ending crises at work, social struggles, and in general stress of life, I need it!

Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

An Excellent Day, Brought to You By Brewers Yeast

Yesterday was a good day. I find it so entertaining to add my brewers yeast in on DWIDP and watch my RDA %'s jump! Fun fun fun! Okay, so it's not everyone's idea of a good time, but it really makes me happy. And when I see Zone like P:F:C ratios jumping out at me from the bottom of the DWIDP screen, I get really really excited.

Yesterday was a touch low on protein and calcium, (58 g protein and 58% RDA of calcium) but overall quite good, and instead of filling in with carbs, I appeared to have filled in with fat. That's the nuts talking... both pecans and walnuts yesterday. So not quite Zoned, but a far cry from the days of the high carb darkness.

I skipped breakfast on my way back to the office yesterday morning ... wasn't feeling very hungry and didn't want to take the time to stop into the Woodlands restaurant for an eggwhite omlet, even though it's free. By lunch, I was hungry, so I went up to the grocery store on the corner and made a salad from their lovey salad bar, with romaine, spinach, tomatoes, peppers, onions, about 120 of cottage cheese, about 100 of olives, and just a sprinkling of walnuts. Very satisfying lunch. Skipped the olive oil and just had fat free dressing since there was fat in the olives and walnuts.

Then I got home and drank a glass and a half of red wine with VLC, who had come over to visit the cat. Kieffer sat in his basket (he has his own basket) while VLC and I read the label on my brewers yeast and chatted about food. She was craving nuts and seeds, and was planning to make a strawberry and sunflower seed dish for dinner. I'm always telling VLC that she's such a comfort to me in my old age (as an organizer whose been doing this work for almost ten years, I am ancient!)... she loves red wine, brewers yeast, and talking about food.

I did a couple more hours worth of work calls, and ate a few pecans between calls. Then my mom came over for dinner. I made free range chicken broth soup with brewers yeast, to which I added a half bag of broccoli, cauliflower and carrots, followed by a can of diced tomatoes and a bag of fresh spinach that my mom had brought over. It was a wonderful soup for a chilly night, very comforting. I was exhausted from my travels so I went to bed early.

This morning I was late getting up, so I ran out the door without breakfast. However, I did bring one of those giant packs of fat free cottage cheese for lunch, so that was 42 grams of protein and 70% of the RDA of calcium at lunch in 280 calories. With tabasco, of course. I also ate a salad of spinach, romaine, celery, tomatoes, and red onions with a dab of fat free dressing. I bought almonds at the store this morning but left them in the car, so I'll have to eat those later.

Tonight, as is rapidly becoming traditional, I plan to mix up some brewers yeast in free range organic chicken broth and stir in whatever vegetables I happen to fancy. I may stop at the Asian produce store on my way home... I've been avoiding it because I fear it may become an addiction... I can get a little crazy in a produce store, and if I spend all my money on exotic produce, I'll have none left to buy the entirely new wardrobe that I now need.

Speaking of new clothes... I know what you mean Mary, it's a jungle out there! Banana Republic has a great size 0, and an Ann Taylor size 2 often fits me. All my old clothes are falling off me, even my "thin" clothes from times in the past when I had been thin but not as thin as I am now. Even my feet are shrinking. My rings are loose on my fingers. I did discover an amazing sale on cashmere sweaters at Target... $38 each, I kid you not. Amazing! Very soft and so so warm! I bought one and wore it yesterday, in a dark purple, but now I may go back and buy them in all the colors because when I wore the sweater, it was the first time in awhile that I hadn't been cold all day. I didn't even need to borrow VLC's office space heater! And they're soooo soft. Cashmere... the perfect gift for the CR'd in your life.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Bergen Record Article!

This is so neat... I was interviewed for an article in the Bergen Record, a very well-circulated North Jersey paper. Check it out!


Monday, October 25, 2004

Is It Good Luck If the Heel Falls Off Your Shoe?

For some reason, I think it is. I hope so because I just lost a heel. That's okay, I'd worn this pair for months and they were $10 secondhand.

I haven't eaten since I last wrote, I just felt like saying hi. I'm still at work, but not needed at the moment. I did drink a cup of herbal tea and a glass of seltzer water with lime. I love limes. I could swim in lime juice. I'm sure you can find a spa where they charge you $200 to do that. "April Seviche" it would be called... pickling oneself in lime juice. I have heard of a margarita facial... when you give yourself a facial with lime juice, salt and tequilla. I assure you, I have not done it. I left off with those food on the face fads back in high school when my best friend and I steamed our faced with teabags before the prom. Here's a scary thought... I bet I could fit into the dress I wore to the high school prom!

Hey... great to hear from Fruitgirl again! I was just wondering the other day if you were out there! You noticed the lack of walking reported... the move hit just at the change of seasons, and threw off my routine. I no longer have the beautiful four mile trek into town and back, and it's cold anyway. So I am now forced to take the walk inside. Luckily, the apartment complex has a gym, so I'll be treadmilling there. I usually do thirty mins a day. This morning I treadmilled at the hotel where I'm staying... it's so nice that these days most hotels have work out rooms. I don't exercise that much... just walking, which makes me feel good both mentally and physically. I don't want to burn to many calories when I could be eating less instead, and for serious life extension, exercise isn't of particular benefit. In fact, it's a negative if it makes you eat more. So I just walk!

I'll have to ask Mom's permission before posting her info, but she eats basically what I do, only with a few more grains and beans and no dairy because she can't do milk. She can eat a little cheese. She is also okay with eating free range meat. She travels a lot for her job and encounters all kinds of interesting food. Recently, she went to Germany and brought us back some great German wine. She has been doing Weight Watchers for a long time, so sometimes for convenience she'll eat a Weight Watchers nutrition bar or something like that. When I was a kid, I used to love their Ice Cream sandwiches! Yum! I could eat a WW Ice cream sandwich right now! WW pizza too... though the CR Zone pizza MR posted the other day sounds great! I want to make it myself, as soon as I have more than half an hour at home at a time! Work is all-consuming, as I frequently state.

I'm both sleepy and hungry. Hoping to get out of work early enough to get something decent to eat.

Work will be a marathon until Nov. 1, when a very important campaign will be completed. Then one day off, then to the conference! I am practically holding my breath, I am so excited.

Creative Eating on the Road

On the road, running from hither to thither and back. Breakfast at the Woodlands is free, and I had an eggwhite scramble, just like home! They make it to order for you an will make it with cooking spray instead of the loads of butter they put in the pan for regular people, if you ask. The omlet man was very helpful. Also had about three ounces of tomato juice and four small melon balls from the fruit bowl.

After running around all morning, I was starving for lunch but with no good options in sight. Finally, giving up on finding a Subway, I stopped in at the Kings China Buffet, hoping for at least a salad bar and maybe some steamed shrimp. No steamed shrimp, but they had sushi! So I had some avocado rolls as well as a California roll and a couple of seaweed rolls. Quite good. A little higher on cals that I usually would have for lunch, considering the rice, but not too bad for on the road. I also had a big plate of steamed broccoli with nothing on it and some interesting Chinese fruits that I couldn't name. Some were orange and some were white. They had the texture of melon but were served in little hollowed out balls, like they had at one point perhaps had pits. Very interesting. I thought some fruit variety might do me good. As I was leaving, I got some hot tea to go. I know it's unbecoming to complain about the weather in Northeast PA when lots of CR people live in colder places, but it's really cold here and I want to carry a cup of hot water with me at all times. I am starting to wear layers all the time, which is made easier by the fact that all my clothes are too big. I'm wearing a sweater under my dress right now, and it makes the dress almost look like it fits. I NEED TO GO SHOPPING! But no time... work is all-consuming.

Gotta run...

Sunday, October 24, 2004

I Did Not Eat That Bug, I Did Not Carry A Watermelon

Hello bloggiefriends, including bugs I did not eat,

I'm back in Wilkes-Barre at the Woodlands, where I've been spending a lot of time on work assignment. Today was a busy day of errands, work, taking care of cats, and then a drive into the mountains for a meeting. I'm staying up here tonight since it's way too late for me to drive home and I have work here tomorrow.

Today was good foodwise... no doubt undereating in an attempt to balance from yesterday's dinner. I had my mother over for a fancy brunch of eggwhites scrambled with red pepper and tomatoes sauteed in garlic olive oil with Texas Pete on top. Yum! I had a latte with skim with breakfast. Later on I made my brewers yeast soup with broccoli, cauliflower and carrots. Then I had my yogurt concoction. Now it's late and I'm going to go get a tossed salad with olive oil and vinegar and my little glass of cabernet before heading to bed. Almost picture perfect day... I had my little 100 calories of nuts too! Pecans almost gone... time to buy hazelnuts, as per Dean's suggestion.

In response to some off-blog questions re: the eighties movie reference of the last entry: it's from Dirty Dancing. At the end, the Patrick Swayzee (sp?) character, who has been banished from the rich people's resort for sleeping with the Jennifer Grey character, comes back to take over the final dance party (which would have been really lame without him.) The Jennifer Grey character (whose name is Frances but everyone calls her Baby) is sitting sadly in the corner with her family looking lovely but despairing, when out of nowhere, Patrick Swayzee comes up behind her chair and says, "No one puts Baby in a corner." It's an incredibly stupid, cheesy moment, but I saw it when I was in the sixth grade (double feature with "The Princess Bride") and it imprinted on my brain. I find myself quoting it at the most absurd moments.

"I carried a watermelon" is when she first meets the Patrick Swayzee character (I am now certain that I misspell that actor's name) at the club where all the staff kids hang out and dance. She is overwhelmed by the utter coolness of the gathering, so far removed from her sheltered upbringing, and when she is introduced to the super cool, extremely hot (though not my type) Patrick Swayzee character, she says, in explanation of why she is there, "I carried a watermelon." She had helped his cousin carry fruit up to the clubhouse, you see. He looks at her like she's an idiot and walks away, at which point she says aloud to herself, in perfect eighties Valley Girl tone, "I carried a watermelon?" Like, dude, what a dumb thing to say.

Saturday, October 23, 2004

Bizarre Protein Cravings

The moral of this story is, eat your eggwhites, little ones! Else, all hell will break lose!

I didn't have breakfast in an effort to conserve calories for the nice lunch out. And lunch out was nice... crab soup, baked brie that I shared with the other two co-workers, and a roasted peach with grilled shrimp that I ordered with dressing on the side but they put the dressing on it anyway and I didn't have the heart to send it back. The meal was delicious and I was very full, so I wasn't planning to eat much of anything at night. When I got home, I drank my brewers yeast and broth soup in an attempt to just fill in any nutrients I might have missed. Then after cuddling a cat for awhile, I sat down to read the New Yorker (which is the only periodical my cat does not seem to want to eat) and I fell asleep for a little while, no doubt due to the accumulated exhaustion of the last few weeks.

When I woke up about half an hour later, I was starving! And I wanted protein! Like wild, crazy protein craving, the kind I used to have for carbs. I tell you, if an entire order of french fries had danced by me, I would have passed it up in favor of protein food. So I made an eggwhite scramble, the one I guess I should have had for breakfast. Still hungry. Searching around the house, I had very few strong protein sources, so in desperation I turned to a can of tuna I had really purchased for the cat. I opened it, and of course had to give the cat some, else I would have been clawed to death, so I probably ate about 120 calories worth of tuna, with the cat eating about 20, mostly in the juice. I put mustard on it, which is how my mom used to make it when I was little, with mustard and hot dog relish. It's quite good really. Not too terribly high calorie and good protein, but canned tuna is not supposed to be good for one so I'd better not do that often! The entire day was no doubt drastically over target because I had 400+ after I got home and I'm sure the lunch was scary in numbers of calories. I've been hungry lately! I think now that all the extra weight has come off my body is starting to deal with the difference between being a normal person eating a healthy diet and CR. I always suspected that I would be hungrier once I had used up my stored fat. This may make no sense, but it's how I feel.

Today is the bridesmaids dress shopping event, and I would not dare leave the house without my eggwhites!!!

Friday, October 22, 2004

Varying My Protein Sources, Getting My Calcium

Good morning little bloggie friends!

This morning I did a few things differently because I am going out for a lunch meeting to a restaurant where I've never eaten before. Judging from the menu, they have some amazing seafood dishes, so I figure I'll stock up on protein then. I did, however, drink a latte with skim this morning, to be heading in the direction of hitting my calcium goal. Tonight, I may eat a salad and my yogurt concoction to fill in the greens and finish out the calcium. That won't quite hit the calcium target though... blergh. Still, even on a "perfect" day, I'm hitting 81% of calcium. Last night, my mom and I discussed over dinner how we're going to start taking calcium supplements.

Speaking of dinner, I made a great dinner last night! I used the free range organic chicken broth and threw into it one red pepper, some "flavorino" tomatoes (they're larger than cherry but smaller than regular), and half a bag of frozen broccoli, cauliflower and carrots (75 cals worth). I added a touch of garlic powder and the juice of one lemon, plus two tablespoons of brewers yeast. It was a fantastic feast! I hadn't wanted to use four tablespoons of brewers yeast, which would mean one whole serving for each of us, since my mom had never had it before and I didn't want to overwhelm the dish with it in case she decided it wasn't to her taste. But she loved it, and even took home some in the empty (and washed) carton from the cottage cheese I had eaten earlier in the day. We drank our glasses of wine, pinot noir for me, riesling for her, and we mixed a little cranberry juice into them for added entertainment and flavor! Yummy! The riesling with cranberry tastes a lot like a Kir -- you know, white wine with creme de cassis. My college roommate and I used to make that for parties when we had just turned 21 and were marvelling at all the ways we could use liquor store products. (A lot of grasshopper pie was made in those days as well... creme de menthe. It's green.)

I also ate a few nuts while cooking, but only a bite, not more than 50 cals worth.

So totals: half of the soup = 167.5
glass and a half of pinot noir + 1 cup light cranberry = 167.5
nuts = 50
total: 385

Add that to the 600 from earlier, plus the 130ish romaine + dressing and you have 1115.

A little high, but super ON and perfectly reasonable.

One thing I'm noticing... over time, my "big" meals out are becoming smaller... I just can't pig out in one sitting like I used to be able to. While it's very hard for me to be certain of calories on restaurant food, I am definitely eating fewer cals when I go out than I used to. I wonder if that's a contributing factor in my eating a little more than before on regular days. My "regular day" total has been hovering just above 1000 many days, but if I'm taking a little less food on my going out days, it might be averaging. That would explain why my weight loss has slowed a lot, which I think is a healthy sign. If my metabolism is slowing and I'm holding 106- 107 ish on an *average* of 1100 - 1200, that's good. As time goes on, and depending on how I feel and the QOL issues of social struggles and how well my shopping for little clothes goes, I may take the cals down a little further. But for now, I think I'm adjusting well, and I feel great! Last night's dinner was really a masterpiece, and classic April cooking: easy, fast, comforting to eat (nothing like hot soup on a cold night). I used to joke that I am a "working mom" cook -- the food is good, but it's gotta be fast or it isn't going to happen. This is funny because as you know, I have no children. Unless you count Kieffer, who certainly would count himself.

This weekend will be interesting. Tomorrow, I have an all day bridesmaids' dress shopping event for my friend who is getting married in March. All the bridesmaids (five) are coming into town to spend the day finding our dress. It starts with lunch, followed by appointments at several bridal stores to try on dresses, followed by champagne and dinner at a great Italian restaurant. I was really excited about it, especially since one of my close friends whom I haven't seen in ages is driving up from Baltimore for the event, but in light of recent social struggles, I'm a little nervous about both trying on dresses (the sample size is size 10... how's that going to look on my size two frame?) and eating out for two meals with a large group of normal people. I may pursue the seafood strategy at dinner, but I have no idea where lunch is going to be. At least out of town friend is supportive, being very health conscious (as well as tall, thin and beautiful... sorry, guys, she's already engaged!) herself, so hopefully if there are any awkard moments, she can help me change the subject. I really don't look all that skinny, so I'm hoping that the bridesmaids I've never met before won't even notice. Unless you knew me when I weighed 30 pounds more, you wouldn't necessarily peg me as a CR person. Just like how the ob/ob mice look like normal mice when they're CR'd. And we live longer than normal CR'd mice too! Haha! Long live the formerly fat mouse!

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Your Office Smells Like Italian Dressing

So one of my co-workers said when poking her head in to deliver a flyer. That's cause I was eating my salad with my fat free Italian dressing that I mix with olive oil to improve the taste. I knew that today was heading in the direction of being a virtually non-fat day, and I know I am not supposed to do that, so I was a good girl and ate my lettuce with olive oil and dressing. 100 of olive oil (just under 1 tablespoon) and 10 of fat free dressing, for just under two tablespoons total of volume (teaspoon olive, tablespoon fat free). Just romaine lettuce, about 10 cals on that.

I'm off soon to cook some dinner for my mom. I eagerly await my broccoli and brewers yeast!

Very Big Lunch

Wow, I was hungry today! Not surprising, as my weight was down to 106.5 this morning. I notice that sometimes I am a little hungrier when I am losing weight. This could be all in my head though.

I ate my eggwhites for breakfast, (140 cals, 29 g protein) and was feeling super hungry at lunch time, so when one of my co-workers said she was grabbing Subway for lunch, I ordered my favorite 180 calorie item, an Atkins veggie wrap. The wrap is low carb, has some fiber, and contains a ton of veggies. I ate that, along with the cottage cheese I brought into work today. I got a different brand, Light and Lively Fat Free, which has 12 g protein per 80 calorie serving, and 20% of the RDA of calcium. I actually ate the entire 3.5 servings in the container, with some Tabasco on top, so it was a total of 280 calories, 36 g protein (already at protein target for today -- 65 g!) and 70% of the RDA of calcium. Pretty good! So far for today I am at 600 calories, and I feel very satisfied.

Tonight I'm having my mother over for dinner and I think I'll just cook up a veggie feast. Since I'm already at protein target and almost there on calcium, I can focus on the cruciferous creatures that I didn't get at lunch.

I am feeling much better about the social struggles, mostly thanks to all the supportive email I've gotten. Thanks guys!!!

Monday, October 18, 2004

No Time To Blog

Sorry to short change you again... work is so crazy these days!

Yesterday was okay but slightly over target (about 100 cals) due to sampling the pumpkin muffins I made in a bizarre fit of stress induced domesticity.

So much to tell you, but no time!

So far today: eggwhites, yogurt concotion, salad with 120 olive oil, 20 fat free dressing, and 1 chopped red pepper.

On way out of town now... hopefully will stop home fast to pick up a few things, including some steamed broccoli and brewers yeast. Maybe I'll throw it all into a tupperware for later microwaving at the office where I'm headed.

More tomorrow!

Sunday, October 17, 2004

Writing Will Save Your Life

[If you're just tuning in, go back and read "The Finer Points of Ark Engineering" from Friday, Oct. 15. It's the best in awhile, and would go on my Best of The Blog list.]

Now for a brief philosophical tangent:

Last November, almost a year ago, my step-grandmother passed away. She was a very kind, sweet woman who always thought of others first and never failed to send a cute little card with money to me on all holidays, even though I was a step-grandaughter and she had many real grandchildren of her own. My step-mother is an absolute angel, and it was so sad when she lost her mom.

The funeral service in Tennessee was beautiful, and my father did the eulogy. We all cried a lot, and the one bright spot was that my sister in law had recently found out she was expecting my step-mother's first grandchild.

I had to stay overnight before catching a flight back to Philly, and I drove back from the small town where my step-grandmother had lived to Nashville so I could be close to the airport in the morning. I stayed the night in a Holiday Inn Express that had a rather active country western karaoke bar just off the lobby.

I went downstairs to have a drink and brought a book with me... I don't remember what I was reading. The bartender came up to me and asked what I was reading, and I told her. Then she said, "You write, don't you?"

"No, not really," I said. "I used to, but I don't anymore."

"You will again."

I thought that was kinda funny... but when you grow up in the South, you come to expect bartenders in country western bars to utter enegmatic prophesies.

That night I woke up at 3 am with my regularly scheduled insomnia attack and a very clear sentence in my head that had no doubt jumped out of my latest dream:

"Writing will save your life."

When I got home, while doing some research on another topic, I came across the CR Society web page. It was then that I first began thinking of doing CR, though I didn't really start until that magic March 26.

Now that I've been blogging for months, I've come to think that my dream of last November could be interpreted literally. Writing this blog, CR'ing, and the way they reinforce each other, is literally saving my life. Not in a dramatic rescue from a burning building way, but in an everyday, every minute process that I barely understand but that I can feel working.

It's almost impossible to describe to anyone who hasn't done it what it feels like to CR. People tend to think we must be hungry all the time, or obsessed with self-denial, or desperately craving creme brulee. My experience has been nothing like that. I don't feel like I engage in much self-denial, and my occasional adventure with ju-ju bees illustrates that I sometimes lack reason and self-discipline, especially when confronted with cute little chewy fruit flavored candies. I am definitely in the early stages of my CR journey, and the older, more experienced practitioners might find my insistence that CR can do everything from file your taxes to mow your lawn a bit silly at times.

All I can say is that I can feel this process working. CR has made me a much happier person, and not just because being thin is our society's ideal for women. There's something chemical at work here that makes me more resilliant, both physically and mentally. I am amazed at how I bounce back from any kind of environmental insult, from cold germs and lack of sleep to stress at work.

And yes, I want to tell the world about it. I am an evangelical person about everything except for religion... when I know something works, and I know that something can alleviate some of the suffering that people have in their lives, I want to tell them about it. If my mistakes and silliness and working CR into a crazy busy work and social schedule can convince others to give it a try in spite of whatever limitations they may have in their lives, then I'm happy to recount every close encounter of the ju-ju bee kind.

Even if veteran CR practitioners out there may be laughing at/with/near me everytime I substitute ju-ju bees for yogurt.

That Is Just So Typically Me

Yes, it's a Brittney reference.

And those of you who have been following my CR progress for awhile can guess what I did that is just so typically me...

You guessed it! Useless carbs! The worst kind! The evil ju-ju bee strikes!!!

And the day was going so well... eggwhites at breakfast followed by brewers yeast soup (meaning 116 cals of brewers yeast dissolved in 2 cups of veggie broth (30 cals) at around noon. It does incredible things to my nutrient totals for the day, and also tastes like salty comfort food that I love.

Then I went out to do some errands... dropped by Target to pick up some stuff... somehow avoided buying either Hello Kitty stuff or Halloween decorations. Got out with my self-respect and my budget in tact. Went to Petsmart to buy some Science Diet Hairball Control Light for Mr. Giant Cuddles, aka Kieffer Andrew Smith, my cat. Somehow emerged from Petsmart without taking home any of the adoreable stray cats in the no-kill shelter that they house for free. I am a sucker for a sad cat story, but I have a small apartment ruled by a very jealous god in the form of 20 pounds of gray tabbiness.

Came home, did a few more hours of work, then decided to pop to my mother's house to check my email, as the office was on power shutdown all day.

Should have eaten my yougurt first. Big mistake, entering the Carb Castle on an empty stomach.

Now my mom is a very healthy eater, just starting CR herself, very cute and skinny with a southern accent that she hasn't lost in years of living outside the South. She can live in the same house with ju-ju bees and eat only a few every once in awhile. I, it seems, am not so strong.

Before I had even copy pasted the first 2 in my email ID onto the screen (remember, I toasted the 2/@ on my mom's keyboard a few days ago by spilling some fine German wine on it) I had eaten a handfull of the little devils. Then another and another! I fear that I consumed a "serving" of ju ju bees -- 120 calories. Ugh! Amazingly enough, I did not lose a tooth in the chewing process. Those things are really hard.

[Listening to Star Wars soundtrack... brief mental tangent re: how I have lived my life secretly believing that I am the one female character in a science fiction epic. First Princess Leia, later, Molly in Neuromancer by William Gibson, a book that is actually about a different kind of life extension. Great book, must re-read asap. And no, I do not have razors under my fingernails, though I think it would be cool if I did, and would aid in ripping off those annoying plastic covers on CDs]

Then, no doubt on a sugar rush, I ate two slices of matzoh with hummus and vidalia onion relish. That's 180 in the matzoh (whole wheat) and 50 in the hummus, 20 in the relish. That's a lot of cals with little nutrition.

Now this is where the hardcore CR folks who read this and the friends/family/people who just want to be healthy will perhaps part company. For a normal healthy person, eating ju-ju bees and matzoh when you weigh 107 pounds is not exactly a crisis.

But for a girl who wants to jam all the nutrients she needs (including those orange things that we all know redheads require) into a tiny number of calories, it's not a good choice.

I kinda made up for it later with a healthy dinner of purple broccoli, zuchinni, tomatoes, a little tomato sauce, and scallions, followed by dessert of apples and pecans simmered with a little cinnamon. I am falling madly in love with nuts... they are so crunchy and can be kept in the freezer with all my walkperson's batteries.

Glass of Italian red from my favorite wine store with dinner, and a small glass of a dash of white sweet wine that my mom likes mixed with unsweetened cranberry juice for a funny kind of kir. And when I say unsweetened cran, I mean it... not "no sugar added," I mean so sour you can hardly drink it straight unsweetened cran that the "Fat Flush Diet" fad made popular.

All in all, I was right around target though perhaps a touch over... I am sometimes not sure how to count my veggies and tend to overcount them. But I can do better than this on days when I have total control of my food. Hopefully today will be better.

Story of my life... too many carbs. At least I do better on protein and I've found a nut I really like.

Saturday, October 16, 2004

Friday Night Date With A Nut

In my younger days, this title would have referred to the status of my social life. But at the ripe old age of 30, and way too buried in work to even think about dating, I mean it somewhat more literally.

After yesterday's philosophical blog entry, I'd better catch you up on what I've actually been eating. So here goes (and btw, if you're just tuning in, go read the previous entry, "The Finer Points of Ark Engineering" -- it's probably my favorite entry yet.)

Thursday: I had suspected that I would go out to dinner after a late night of work meetings, and I did. So that day's total was high, and it will be my "going out to eat" over target day for the week. During the day, I ate eggwhites, yogurt concotion, and a bunch of lettuce with fat free salad dressing, followed by a fruit salad of red grapes, honeydew, and watermelon.

Dinner out was at the last place open in the town where I was when I finally got out of work, and it had some very good sounding seafood dishes on the menu. Having a vague memory of MR writing something good about oysters in his post about how he now eats meat occasionally, I thought I'd try one. I'd never eaten one before. So I ordered seafood bruchetta (I didn't eat all the bread but I did eat some) that had shrimp on it, and a scallop and oyster stew. It was really good.

I'm sure you're thinking that if MR said that to live a really long time, one should eat Timberland boots, my response would not be, "That's absurd!" but rather, "How should one prepare them, and do they need to be stored in the freezer?" Even devout followers of the list have pointed out to me that the best way to judge scientific evidence is not by whose writing you like best. But in my nutritional world, which is a sea of darkness punctuated by small tunnels of light, I find that a distant memory of something MR wrote is better than nothing. And I'm not alone in this... lots of other CR folks say they do the same thing.

Of course, MR is also always saying that we should not eat fish and I keep eating fish. But more on that later.

So I had my over target meal (I also drank one glass of red wine and ate some of the bread... wow, bread is so intoxicating if you haven't had it for awhile.)

The next day I wasn't hungry for breakfast, so I didn't eat until I went out to a very late lunch with VLC to have a brief staff meeting and catch up. We tried a new place in the town where we work, and it was great! I had pan seared salmon over garlic spinach topped with a tomato marmalade. Glass of chardonnay on the side. VLC ate a spinach salad and a glass of cabernet... she had dinner plans so was eating light. I figured I'd get my protein in for the day at lunch (I know, bad protein absorption strategy) and eat a very small dinner. The only plans I have for this weekend are working, so I won't be eating out at all, and I was lookingn forward to a quite evening of work calls at home after so much travelling lately.

When I got home from work (which seems silly to say because I just continued working) I ate a salad of mixed greens with fat free dressing and salsa, followed by about 100 calories of pecans. I really like nuts now! How weird is that? I used to despise them.

I invited my mom to come over after her class (she teaches at night) and made her a dinner of fresh Farmers' Market veggies. I wasn't hungry but I drank a glass of red with her while she ate dinner. It's nice after living on opposite ends of the country for twelve years to live close together. And of course Kieffer enjoys visits from his grandmother.

This weekend I am mostly working, though the power is shut off at the office all day today so I will probably work from home, and maybe try to get some more unpacking done. With how crazy work has been, I haven't even come close to unpacking all my stuff since the move.

For breakfast I ate eggwhites with a little hot sauce (do they have Texas Pete where you live?), and later on I'm going to eat my yogurt probably without veggies, as I want to save veggie cals for tonight's dinner. I'm making fancy dinner for my mom tonight, with fancy veggies (including purple broccoli!) and a locally grown apple and pecan dessert. Maybe I'll entertain myself by attempting to Zone dinner. That will be difficult but amusing.

I doubt that I'll get an actual day off from work until November 2, so I'll be needing all my CR inspired Zen... send me happy thoughts, bloggie friends!

Friday, October 15, 2004

The Finer Points of Ark Engineering

I was listening to my new ultra cheesy mix tape this morning as I was driving the two hour drive back from where I had last night's meetings, and one of the lines in one of the songs is,

"We could be the last two on earth to start a new world."

And that got me thinking about people who really did start a new world, that is, the people on Noah's Ark.

Now, a brief disclaimer: I do not take Bible stories, or anything really, as the literal truth. You don't grow up with both parents being New Testament PhD's and take anything about religion literally. However, the stories from the Bible are often good metaphors, so allow me to use this one as a metaphor now:

So there's this crazy guy who is working really hard on building an ark because he believes, for whatever reason, that a giant flood is about to wash all of humanity away.

Most people think he's nuts and make fun of him and are total jerks about the entire thing, but a few people also believe that there's a serious danger of life-obliterating flood, and that with the right boat, some humans might be able to survive. So they start working on different kinds of boats. Some of these people are professional boat builders: they've made fast ships that win prizes, they've made big cruise ships that hold a lot of people. But no one has, as of yet, made a boat that could protect the human race from the oncoming flood (which most people don't even believe is coming).

Then one day this girl hears about this crazy guy in a far away land who is making a big ark. It makes sense to her: for a long time, she's suspected that God is about to send a flood that will wipe out most of humaninty. So she gets in touch with these ark building folk, and here's what she says,

"Look, guys: I don't know the first thing about building boats -- in fact, I have a hard time getting a rubber ducky to float in a bathtub -- but I'm very good at teaching people how to do things that are very difficult but in the end will drastically improve their lives. That's kinda what I do for a living right now. So here's the deal: I can convince a bunch of people that we need an ark to protect us from the upcoming flood. If I have enough time, I can probably convince some people to fund the building of the ark... I might even be able to convince entire nations' governments that they can lower healthcare costs by putting their people on the Ark instead of providing lots of post-drowning care. But I'll only do it on one condition: When you finally get this thing built, you're giving me a free ticket."

If you look around you, the flood is already here, and it's everywhere. People are aging and dying, whether it's of heart disease, cancer, strokes, or diabetes, people are drowning in the by-products of our affluent Western lifestyle. We haven't yet built the Ark... the CR mimetic drug that will break down the walls of maximum lifespan, but we have found this little rowboat called CRON. It takes a lot of effort to row, but if you keep at it, you might live long enough to be there when the ark engineers finally finish the Ark. Then we can all jump on and start a new world.

I was thinking about this as I recently had a conversation with a friend about CR, and I realized how odd it seems to those who aren't doing CR that we spend so much time thinking and talking about what nutrients we need to maximize lifespan. We seem just as nutty as Noah must have seemed when he was studying ark plans. But in the end... who stayed dry?

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Nut Eating Seventh Day Adventists

Last night went fairly well... actually, it was very pleasant. I finished up with work, went home, poured a nice 4 ounce glass of red (85 calories), got out the CR article I'd been carrying around all day (in case I were to run into someone who had questions about CR or was harassing me about what I was eating... then I could just hand them the article), and I curled up in bed and re-read the article. It was even better the second time. Then I pulled Walford off the shelf for some comforting re-reading of old book to go with my new favorite article. I read some of the chapter about how you should monitor your weight loss, and then I dropped off to sleep.

I woke to the familliar sound of my cat eating a page of the book. I don't know why my cat loves paper. My copy of Walford is really chewed up at this point. So I got up, rescued the book, put it back on the bookshelf, and by this time I was really, really, really hungry. No wonder... I had only eaten 800 calories all day, with almost all of them consumed before 2 pm. No doubt under the influence of a Michael Rae article and recalling Dean's post of earlier in the day about Seventh Day Adventists who eat nuts living longer than those who don't, I set out in search of nuts.

I thought I had walnuts in the house, but apparently I had either already used them all in my last batch of pesto, or else they were too far back in the top shelf for me to reach them (the joys of being under 5'2"... yes, it's great that you can survive on fewer calories. but it's bad that you can't use high shelf space. and it's a silly feeling when you have to ask a tall person to reach things for you. tall people often feel entitled to pet short people on the head, which is only okay if you really like the tall person in question.)

But I did have pecans. While I know the danger of eating something before researching it in the archives, I was really hungry, and it seemed like nuts would be a good thing to eat, especially in the relatively lowfat context of my recent diet. I ate quite a few pecans, about 1/4 cup which the bag says is 210 calories. Maybe a few fewer, but hard to tell when they're whole not squished. So I ended the day right around 1000, which is not too bad. I think eating nuts as my dinner might be a good idea, though perhaps not in such great numbers. They're very satisfying and make me feel vaguely successful in my attempt to eat fat. Easier to eat than oil anyway.

Oh, in case you're wondering what happened to the flax oil, remember that post I made awhile back where I wondered if the archives would come back so I could get an answer to my question about flax oil storage? Well, they did, and my answer made me think that I had killed the bottle by leaving it in the hot car too long while doing errands on the way back from the store. So I threw it out and now have to buy another bottle, which I will keep in the freezer.

This morning I woke up feeling good, except for the fact that my cat woke me up three times in the night to howl incomprehensible cat noises at me. I'm sure this is somehow my fault. I weighed myself, and hello 107.5. I still don't feel all that skinny, and everyone says I don't look anorexic or anything. I think it's because a) I hold my curves, thanks be to god(s) b) the ON part of CRON makes me look so healthy that there's no confusing me with a waifish fashion model c) I'm still wearing a lot of clothes that are too big.

More later... big day of running around, I don't know when I'll have time to write again... am planning to get an eggwhite vegetable omlet from the cafeteria today as did not have time to get eggwhites this am.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

This Is What It Takes

Line from a song on my new mix tape... the song is "I Don't Wanna Wait Anymore" by the Tubes. I am coming to terms with the fact that my new mix tape is almost unbearably cheesy, and I love it, but I would be really mortified if anyone else ever listened to it. In addition to two songs by Chicago and two songs by Amy Grant, it contains the Throne Room march song from Star Wars, yes, the one where Princess Leia awards Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, and Chewie their medals.

The title of the post is chosen because I'm trying the not eating at night thing now, and I'm actually hungry! If you've been following the blog for long, you know that usually when I'm hungry, I eat, and I usually manage to stay at or just over target, as long as I focus on my Optimal Nutrition. But now I'm hungry! And that's okay! I'm experimenting tonight because I may end up going out for dinner tomorrow night so I don't want to try it then, and if I go a little under target today it will be good in case I go a little over tomorrow. I'm just back from a long journey for work in which I listened to my new tape over and over again, and I'm also finding it helpful to replay Paul's speech re: 18 hour a day fasting in my head, the part where he says, "I'm hungry now! And that's okay!"

I'm not really doing the 18 hour fasting, though, I'm mostly trying to get a handle on the late night eating silliness that has plagued me off and on. I think I will sleep better and feel better tomorrow if I go under target today and have awhile to let my stomach empty out. I may still have my glass of wine before bed... it was so extraordinarily pleasant last night to cuddle up in bed with a great CR article and a nice glass of red wine, I may just have to do it again. That would ruin the fasting effect, but I'm not necessarily going for that, I'm just going for not having actual food at night.

Today I already said that I ate eggwhites for breakfast (140), then I ended up grabbing a big salad before leaving for my meetings. About 120 of cottage cheese on the salad, along with about 100 of olives, about 50 of tomatoes, about 20 of lettuce, about 50 of broccoli, about 20 of beets, about 50 of grated romano cheese, and about 150 of mixed fruits including a little pineapple, strawberry and honeydew. Add to that olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and you've got about 720. If I drink a Walford pour of wine, I'll be at 800.

Don't worry that I'm eating only 800, just go back and look at the last week and see how many times I went over target, sometimes significantly. I am also most likely having a big dinner tomorrow, so it will all average out. I was up a pound today, if I go down too fast I'll eat more. I will feel better once I get a handle on the late night eating thing, and this I think will help me do that.

Meanwhile, Kenton just turned 38! Happy birthday Kenton!!! I guess your twin brother is also 38 now... happy birthday to him too!

I gotta go home and get some rest before heading back to the races tomorrow. Run run run... the organizer bunny... it just keeps going and going and going and going...

You Can Look Inside Another World

Line from one of my favorite songs of all time, "She's A Beauty" by the great 1980's band The Tubes. I made myself a new mix tape last night to take with me when I'm driving all over creation over the next few weeks, and that's the second song. I also put a lot of the songs I've referred to in the blog on the tape.

Last night after I wrote I accidentally spilled a small portion of a glass of wine on my mother's keyboard, and now her computer is fine except that it won't type a 2. That's a bit of an issue... how much can you write when you can't write a 2? All of my email IDs include 2's, so I now can't do anything on my mom's computer. She's going to get it fixed, but of course I felt terrible about hurting her little computer. I think it liked the wine though... a German wine that she brought back from her recent trip. Rather dry. Yum.

While at my mom's I ate two matzoh pieces (90 each) with hummus and vidalia onion relish (another 100 if one is slightly overestimating just to be on the safe side.) So that was about a 300 calorie meal, plus about 75 in the wine I actually drank as opposed to pouring on the computer. Not the greatest investment of calories, but not terrible considering how light my day had been.

It does make me think however that this experiment of refusing to eat at all at night might really work for me. It seems like all my problematic eating occurs at night. If I jam my calories into the earlier part of the day, then I am usually satisfied later. What happens all too often though is that I eat little during the day and then by night am ravenous. I sleep so much better when I don't eat at night and I feel energetic and well, light, when I wake up. I think I might try it tonight. I am driving a long way for a meeting then driving a long way back, so I won't be in social eating situations. I ate eggwhites for breakfast as usual, though of course I was feeling full from last night so I wasn't as hungry as I would like to be.

I want to write about why it is that I chose the headline I chose, but I don't have time.


Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Read Great Article, Ate Great Broccoli

Ate a half bag of frozen broccoli and cauliflower with brewers yeast on top and a little South Jersey Roadkill Hot Sauce for dinner. Yes, I cooked the broccoli and cauliflower, I did not eat them frozen. Then immediately got back on the phone and did two more hours of work calls.

Very tired now... visiting Mom's house to check out her new high speed internet. Wow, it's nice to escape from dialup. Her connection here is faster than mine at the office.

Today I have eaten:

-- eggwhite scramble 140
-- tomato juice (small glass) 70
-- banana -- 100
-- plate of steamed veggies with broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, bok choi, onions, peppers at Thai place ? maybe 100?
-- half bag of broccoli and cauliflower with tablespoon Brewers yeast 75 + 58

Can someone add that up? I don't have my calculator. Gotta enter into Walford tomorrow. Now I want Nutribase because Paul and Meredith made it sound so cool.

I just read this great article in an old AOR magazine (for anyone who does not know what I am talking about, go to www.aor.ca and educate yourself) that has one of the best explanations of CR and how it works that I have ever read. I am sending around copies to all my friends and family.

Here's the link: http://www.aor.ca/mags/Holistic_Lifestyle_2001_Issue_5_March_CRON.pdf

Go read it now. That means you.

I Don't Even Like Desserts

I hate to short change you, darling blog, but I have only minutes to write because work is just so crazy right now. Still, I'll do my best to update you as quickly as possible.

Yesterday was shaping up to be a great day for food. Eggwhites for breakfast, 120 calories of steamed broccoli, cauliflower and carrots (formerly frozen so I'm sure on the count) with 116 of brewers yeast sprinkled on top for lunch, a handfull of wasabi green peas (which I think I can't eat anymore since someone told me they're fried), yougurt and red pepper concoction, skim latte. That was all before going to my out of town meeting, and I was thinking of eating nothing for the rest of the day to try to be more like Paul and Meredith. But I got to my meeting and a co-worker had baked homemade cookies, of which I ate two. I know, I could have just eaten one to be polite but I ate two. Then after the meeting at about 8 pm VLC and I went to dinner at the hotel where we were staying and we decided to split a shrimp cocktail (2 shrimp each) and a crabmeat cocktail. That would have been fine... a little protein, along with my little glass of cabernet. But no. The waiter tells us that the dessert buffet is included. We decide to look at it. I regret to report that I ate a slice of key lime pie.

It was actually pretty good, but I was sad to have ruined an otherwise good day with two cookies and a slice of pie. I am normally not a sugar person, preferring bagels and fries to desserts when pressed on what to eat for junk. I don't know if it was the unbelievably stressful work situation, the still exhausted state I'm in from never having caught up on sleep after my last project, or what, but I ate a slice of pie. Ugh.

I hope that my occasional and not so occasional screw ups provide both amusement and comfort to any readers out there who may also slip up on their road to long living eternal joy and bliss. The road to hell is paved with free food.

Today I have been making up for it. Good eggwhite scramble at the hotel this morning (free breakfast buffet with eggwhites, made to order!!!) and a small glass of tomato juice. Mid morning snack of a small banana. For lunch the office decided to go out to a Thai place after VLC found bugs in the broccoli at the office cafeteria (ick!!!), but at the Thai place while others were eating fried pot stickers and noodle dishes with tofu, I asked for a heaping plate of steamed vegetables and completely enjoyed it. Tonight on the way home from work I'm going to stop at the Asian grocery next door and grab a big low cal salad. Hoping to go under target for the next couple of days, both to fix the recent calorie freak out and to preserve my zen in the face of a very stressful workload.

I keep having long philosophical thoughts that will make a great long post as soon as I get some time... till then, eat your protein and send me happy thoughts.

Monday, October 11, 2004

If You're Just Joining Us

Greetings to all returning visitors and an especially warm welcome to all my new readers.

If you're just joining our regularly scheduled program already in progress, a few notes to catch you up:

1) Don't just read the last few days... I've had a rough week or so and it's not a great example of how I usually eat.

2) Feel free to laugh at me when I do silly things... I'm not a scientist, I'm a union organizer, and while I'm learning a lot fast, my knowledge of nutrition is still very limited.

3) There's a lot of CR Society e-mail list inside baseball in my blog. Meaning, I make a lot of little references and jokes that you'll only get if you read the list. So read the list. It will change your life. I don't understand anywhere near all of the posts, but I always laugh at the funny parts.

4) When I started CR, I was 137 pounds and felt terrible. Now I'm 108 and feel great. My rising temp is down to 97.7 (I used to run high) and as long as I stay at or about my calorie target, I have bizarre calming effects from CR that I refer to as my "Zen". It's my favorite side effect so far. I continue to be 5 feet, 1.75 inches tall. CRON hasn't changed that.

5) I struggle daily with the ON part of CRON, and eating less is easier for me than eating right. I have in particular struggled with eating more protein (I target 60 - 70 grams a day now) and more fat, in MUFA form. Protein I'm doing well on, fat is a fight. I was an Ornish worshipping low fat vegan for five years, and an Ornish worshiping lowfat vegetarian for two years before that, so it's been quite a shift. My ideas of what I should eat have been largely influenced by what I read on the List.

6) My favorite entries:

"Priestess of the High Carb Darkness" (JULY)
"Archive Junkie Gets Her Fix, Or: CR Rants" (AUGUST)
"You're Packing a Suitcase for a Place None of Us Has Been" (SEPT)
"And With The Power of Conviction, There is No Sacrifice" (Late SEPT)

Those are some of my favorites... some days I'm really philosophical, others I just say what I ate.

7) I use Dr. Walford's Interactive Diet Planner, a piece of nutritional software, to plan my diet and make sure I'm getting all the RDAs. I highly recommend that anyone trying to do this get software and use it constantly. I was shocked at how bad my nutrition was when I first started, and I've always been a "healthy" eater. You never know until you plug it into the program.

Okay, enough for now. Gotta do some more stuff before work.

Sunday, October 10, 2004

You Girls Are Flawless!

"I'd go straight for any one of you!"

So said a guy who was handing out leaflets at the Philly Outfest, as VLC, Sister of VLC, and I walked by. We wandered through the festival as we were walking from the restaurant where we met for brunch to the train. I guess it's pretty obvious that we're straight, but it was a very nice compliment.

If I ever needed a reason for doing CR, it is this: to keep guys saying this to me until I am way over 100.

The last two days have been incredibly exciting, and I am nowhere near caught up on rest, so I have been going through everything in a bit of a blur. I went up to NYC tomorrow to meet with the NY chapter of the CR Society. It was great to meet everyone, especially Paul McGlothlin and Meredith Averill. They had some fascinating things to say, and they are very cute together. I'd have to admit to a moment of being jealous of Meredith when I watched Paul quiz the waitress about how the vegetables were cooked. It's not easy to find a man who wants his vegetables steamed, not fried! Of course, they're both so beautiful and fabulous that they're just perfect for each other. I learned a lot about the 18 hour a day fasting that they've been doing, and I'm contemplating trying it for myself. I can't wait to see Paul's presentation at the conference.

Yesterday I ate very little: just some steamed veggies and a steamed basil roll at Zen Palate, where we met for the CR society meeting, followed by an almond oat bar for 200 calories at Penn Station as I was waiting for my train home. At least it had 11 grams of protein. When I got home I was starving, so I ate a salad of leftover greens with olive oil dressing, totaling about 200 cals, plus the rest of the olive oil tapenade for approx 200 (but I'm not sure on that number). I had a glass of red wine at a bar in NYC on my way back to the train for about 100. So the day's total was probably around 900 - 1000. My weight held steady at 108 this morning. I finally unpacked my scale a few days ago... I hadn't weighed myself in awhile and wasn't sure what to expect. I think it's good that I am holding steady. During the move, I burned a lot of extra cals through exercise, but I also ate a little more with all those over target days. This last week, I've eaten crazy bad food, but I've stayed roughly within my target range. I think it's probably healthier if I stay at or about the same weight, not fluctuating wildly, so I am feeling pretty good about staying at 108.

And if Paul and Meredith are any indication of what long term CR does for a person, I am in for the long term! They both looked great, and had this incredibly magnetic energy that just makes you want to be around them. I am so glad they live so close to me!

Today I slept in a bit... till 7:30, which is very late for me. I didn't get home last night until about 1 am. I met up with VLC and her sister who is visiting from DC. We had brunch at this great Spanish restaurant, and I ate about half of a shrimp soup and about half of a tossed salad with avocados. I ate the oil based dressing, and I drank a Bloody Mary, so it was a pretty high calorie meal, though low on volume. I figure the shrimp were good for protein. I also drank a cafe au lait with skim, yielding 8 grams of protein at 80 calories and 30% of the RDA for calcium. I've really let calcium go over the last week, and I need to pay more attention to it.

Tonight I am cooking a CR meal for my mom, and I can't wait to get back to my wok and my veggies and my brewers yeast. Then off for a week of travel, crazy work, etc. Will my life ever calm down?

Possible, but I doubt it.