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, November 12, 2004

There's More Butter Where That Came From

or: "CRON on the Road"

The headline was a slogan posted above the dining area in the diner where I met with nurses from 2 pm - 6 pm yesterday. Needless to say, it wasn't CRON heaven.

Luckily, after nearly ten years of organizing, I'm used to this kind of thing. Even before I started CRON, I was a somewhat "healthy" eater. For instance, you wouldn't catch me dead eating that weird Philly creation called scrapple. Some of the ways that CRON, or rather, the influence of my CR brothers and sisters, most notably the two MR's (hi Mary!), has changed my diet (that was a gramatically complex sentence, I apologize) has made it easier to eat in diners. For instance:

Yesterday, after eating eggwhites and a glass of skim milk for breakfast at 5:30 am, I was feeling pretty hungry by the time I landed at my diner on the other end of the state at 1 pm. I felt like I needed some protein, so I ordered an eggwhite omlet with tomatoes, green peppers, onions and mushrooms. I asked that they please not put butter in the pan, but judging from the slogan quoted in my headline, I can't be too sure. After eating that, I was still hungry, and I knew I wouldn't get much food later, so I ordered a tossed salad with just vinegar (never trust the oil in a diner) and an order of cottage cheese. The small dish of cottage cheese was no doubt full fat, but it's still not a terrible calorie hit for just a small cup, about 120 - 150. A bit of calcium. The salad was just iceberg lettuce with a few tomato wedges, yellow onions, and croutons, which I regret to report I ate. Just a few though... not enough to plunge me back into the depths of high carb darkness. I drank a cup of tea and a ton of water.

After doing four hours of meetings, I was ready to curl up in my hotel room with a nice glass of resveratrol, but I had stupidly forgotten to pack any for the trip. So I popped by a wine store, only to discover that it was closed for Veteran's Day! The wine stores are all state run here in PA. So there I was, corkscrew (having learned my lesson about not packing a corkscrew in Charleston) but no wine! Oh well. I went back to my hotel room, ate an apple from the free fruit display, and curled up with the book that I'm reading for my lefty book club, which is meeting at my house on Sunday night.

Yesterday's total calories were rather low: eggwhites, skim milk, eggwhite omlet, cottage cheese, lettuce and croutons, apple. 700-800 I would guess, judging from the calorie totals I know on things like eggwhites but throwing in some extra for the possibilities of butter in the pan, etc.

I woke up this morning very, very hungry, and went downstairs hoping to find something edible at the free breakfast bar. There were these weird flat egg patties, of which I ate two... rather rubbery, but no doubt contained some protein. My old arch nemisis called out to me from the bagel bin, and I regret to report that I ate one tiny Lenders' sized bagel with cream cheese... about 150 on the bagel, 200 on the serving of cream cheese. A nutty waste of 350 calories that I will no doubt regret later in the day, but not exactly a crisis considering how low I was yesterday and that tonight I'll be home for dinner with veggies. I really wanted another bagel. but in a great example of how writing the blog keeps me relatively on track, I decided that I couldn't face telling you that I ate two bagels, so I just poured myself some coffee and left the dining area. Yea! Accountability works! I made a rule very early on that there was no point in writing the darned blog if I didn't tell you about all my mistakes, so perhaps you can learn from them. But I've found over time that knowing that I'll tell the world about them makes me less likely to make the mistakes in the first place! And knowing that you'll be out there somewhere feeling good when I make some progress makes the quest for ON, even with all its detours, much more fun.

I also ate a small dish of cut citrus fruit: grapefruit, oranges. So a giant breakfast for me, but since I won't get any food for quite awhile, probably not terrible.

It's easier for me to adhere to my CRON principles on the road than it was to eat lowfat vegan in middle America. Now, in my CRON life, I can happily eat eggwhite omlets and cottage cheese at a diner, knowing that I'll get real veggies later at home. Much easier than being a lowfat vegan, where the only things I could eat were salad and fruit cup. No wonder I was shaky all the time! Can you imagine... being on the road, eating only salad and fruit? No protein anywhere in sight? Maybe I'd eat a baked potato with nothing on it if I was really hungry. Maybe I'd throw some ketchup on the baked potato if I was feeling wild and crazy. No wonder I was a nutcase! This is why for me, CRON is actually easier than what I was trying to do before. The p:f:c ratios make all the difference. I am still a little fat phobic, but look at where I started!

So yesterday was good on protein, good on calcium, low on veggies (never trust the "vegetable of the day" in a diner) and bad on fat (there was some fat, it just wasn't a particularly good kind.) I'll have a good salad with my own evoo this evening, and a brewers yeast and steamed vegetable soup. I hear cruciferous creatures calling my name...

So much more still to tell you about the conference but I'm borrowing the hotel computer at the Hampton Inn and I have to hit the road for another five hour drive. More soon.


  • At 5:53 PM, Blogger Mary Robinson said…

    Having abandoned low fat 5 years ago, I've made a pretty serious study of fats. If you have not read them, be sure to read The Omega Diet and Fats That Heal, Fats That Kill.

    The only totally bad fat is transfat. This is unfortunately in almost all factory and store made baked goods - including chips and crackers. No other oil is really BAD, unless it is oxidized. If not oxidized by overcooking, too much of some oils are bad, but little amounts are not really a problem. Most bottled dressings are soybean oil, a slightly bad oil, but better than corn oil. Canola oil is okay - though expeller pressed is required to make it kind of good. Frankly, milk fats, including butter, are also good in small quantities. Milk fat is a little high in saturated fat, but has good Omega6/3 ratios. There is a study this month in the Journal of Clinical Nutrition that showed that saturated fat was actually associated with lower rates of CHD for women! There is some question about whether the stearic form of saturated fat is really bad for you. So, same thing with eggs - okay fat if not consumed in excess. Of course, virgin olive oil is good.

    Some people have the APOE4 gene and can't eat cholesterol. I do not have this. I eat eggs, cheese, and red meats - and my cholesterol at WUSTL was 122.


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