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, January 30, 2005

Very Skinny Mom Is Sick!

My poor mom is so sick she can't talk! Her cat is most annoyed, as he doesn't understand why she isn't speaking to him. I brought her over some very nutritious soup, free range organic chicken broth with broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, mushrooms, and brewers' yeast, to which we added a can of whole peeled tomatoes and some Tiger sauce (very spicy chili sauce.) Delicious! We also ate some grape tomatoes, some asparagi, and a few dill pickle slices, as well as a small glass of wine.

Other than that, I have had today: 80 cals cottage cheese, 140 eggwhites, 200 hazelnuts. Definitely coming in at or around calorie target today. Longing for the days of being with someone who counts calories better than I do, so that I can be lazy and still be perfect. For all of you who found my blog by searching yahoo for "Lazy Princess," there you go.

Am tired, and must get lots of good sleep tomorrow as am setting off to raise millions for the mouse tomorrow. Y'all go donate, now: www.mprize.org.

I'll Meet You Anytime You Want In Our Italian Restaurant

Well, actually it was a Mexican restaurant that I went out to last night with one of my oldest friends. We don't get to hang out nearly enough anymore, but her fiance was out of town (Las Vegas bachelor party) so we had a girls' night out. We keep trying to figure out what to do for her bachelorette party, and we keep running up against the fact that we weren't all that wild in our young, single days. I mean, my idea of a good time is searching the CR Society archives. Her hobbies are rock climbing and interior decorating. Neither of us like to stay up late, and we hate clubbing. So what can we do on one of her last nights out as a single girl? Watch the Home and Garden channel? I think we'll at least manage to get the girls together and go out to dinner.

On the way home I heard Billy Joel's "Scenes from an Italian Restaurant" and it seemed more appropriate than ever. "Things are okay with me these days..."

It's been a weird weekend... frantically putting together my new "office" (which is a corner of my bedroom, walled off by a screen, only to be used for business purposes as per my accountant's advice... I live in a tiny one bedroom apartment) working on fundraising plans for the week, chatting with my favorite CR/Three Hundred brother about how we can convince people that curing aging is a) possible b) good c) something they can, should, and must give money to... NOW!

Yesterday was a good CR day until dinner: eggwhites for breakfast, 80 cals cottage cheese and a can of tunafish for lunch (I know, mercury, but I hadn't eaten canned tuna since September and I don't plan to have children in the next five years.) Then I met my friend who is planning a wedding (FWIPaW) for dinner in Center City Philly (which is our way of saying downtown Philly.) We had a margarita and ordered shrimp dishes and tortilla soup. The soup was amazing, we ate a few bites of chips with salsa (junkie carbs... predictable results... sometimes I really do need to be saved from myself and my carb thing) and then by the time the entrees came we were stuffed, so we ate a bite and then boxed up the rest to go. I was going to give my leftovers to my mom, who is at home sick, but I got stuck in the train station waiting for a train and gave the leftovers to a homeless man instead.

Today has been a good CR day so far. 80 calories of cottage cheese for breakfast. I think I will make eggwhites for lunch. Then tonight I am cooking a nice piping hot brewers yeast and free range organic chicken vegetable soup for my mom, who had to stand outside in the cold waiting for a train for an hour on Friday, and is now very sick. I'm also bringing her the NY Times and the Philly Inquirer, some grapefruits, and some throat spray. Everyone send get well thoughts to Very Skinny Mom, okay?

More philosophy soon.

Friday, January 28, 2005

I'd Trade It All

Yes, it's a line from that most excellent song that P Diddy wrote for J Lo, performed by Fabulous (am I misspelling? will any of my blog readers know if I am?) on the Barbershop II soundtrack. Great song, one of my all time favorites, ends with a hysterically funny dig at Ben Affleck that goes something like this, as the song is trailing off:

I'd trade it all baby... and that's a lot... but you worth it... stop playing... with college boy.

It's a fine tradition of putting something particularly funny or profound at the very end of the song... raise your hand if you *don't* hang on until the end of "Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic," hoping that the radio station won't go to the next song before the part when Sting sings, "It's a big enough umbrella, but it's always me that ends up getting wet." I once titled a mix tape that I made for a good friend "Big Enough Umbrella."

So today was my last day on my old job, and the co-workers took me out to lunch. I had a grilled pear salad, which was delicious. It had greens, grilled pears (they grill pears too?) tomatoes, toasted pecans, and little pieces of cheese. I also had a few bites of the banana rum creme brulee that one co-worker ordered, and the cinnamon apple ice cream that another had, as well as a slice of the brie appetizer that was ordered for the table. We had red wine with lunch and toasted my leaving with a bottle of champagne that a co-worker had given the office at Christmas but that had been sitting in the fridge for ages. I didn't have either breakfast or dinner, so while it was a giant high calorie lunch, I probably didn't go that much over my calories for the day.

It was very sad to leave my job, but I know I'll be seeing all my work friends frequently as I live only a mile or so away from the office.

You know that old poster that says, "Today is the first day of the rest of your life..."

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Did Hell Freeze Over While I Was in Pilates Class?

I got an email last night from an old friend I hadn't heard from since way before the recent events... she had checked out the blog, found out I'm leaving my job, and the headline was her reaction.

I also went out for dinner last night with a friend whom I hadn't seen since before Thanksgiving. Explaining my new job to him gave me a great opportunity to practice answering questions about the M Prize, the possibility of reversing aging, etc.

I've been informed that I need to get back to the food info... my friend who provided today's headline was looking for info on what to eat in the blog.

Here's yesterday:

breakfast: eggwhite scramble

lunch: giant salad from the produce stand salad bar with lettuce, cucumbers, tomato, asparagus, green beans, mushroom salad with some seseme dressing on it, pint of grape tomatoes

afternoon snack: cottage cheese, latte with skim

dinner: baby greens and arugula salad with stilton, pecans, wine poached pears, tomato basil dressing, glass of pinot noir

Sorry for the lack of specific nutrition info... Lots of eating out this week, as it's the last week on my old job. Big party scheduled for Friday. Tonight I have an out of town event, and am staying over to avoid driving home on the icy roads. The deer are suicidal around here... the other morning three ran right in front of my car.

Off to work... well, off to feed my cat first. I was out of cat food this morning, and ran over to my mother's house to get some. Sometimes I wonder if my twenty pound cat could eat me alive if he got tired of waiting for his breakfast.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

A Place That Has To Be Believed To Be Seen

[For this blog entry, you will need one copy of U2's "Walk On," which you may think is called "All That You Can't Leave Behind" because that's what it sounds like. You may also need a quick refresher on Greek myths, but most likely not.]

Back in September, I wrote a blog entry you can find here http://aprilcr.blogspot.com/2004/09/youre-packing-suitcase-for-place-none.html
referring to U2's "Walk On." In that entry, I briefly touched on the fact that those of us who do CR are engaged in an experiment whose results are uncertain, but which we believe will get us more years of life and health than living the way those around us live.

Last night as I was leaving my second to last public meeting with nurses (the last one will be Thursday, complete with a vegetable tray that no one other than VLC and I will touch) the song floated through my mind again. I am now leaving a life I've loved for a very long time in the belief that I'm heading for a place that has to be believed to be seen: a world where we no longer view aging and death as inevitable.

I think I started to hear the song in my head because an online discussion with one of my anti-aging superheroes got me thinking about how I would literally pack a suitcase for my first trip in my official capacity. I have a very large book to bring to said anti-aging superhero, and I'm trying to figure out how it will co-exist with the very warm sweaters I have to bring to Calgary so that I don't freeze to death. I have this rule about packing: I never, ever check a bag. Never, ever ever. Was traumatized by loss of luggage during a blizzard in Boston in 1994. So in the process of figuring out how to pack this book, my sweaters, dried cranberries for another one of my anti-aging superheroes, and other necessary items, I started to play the U2 song in my head. (Don't worry, anti-aging superhero -- the book will arrive safely in Calgary. I am very good at packing.)

I felt a stab of sadness leaving the nurses' meeting last night... while I have no doubt in my mind that I've made the right decision, it's always hard to say goodbye. This line from the U2 song jumped out at me:

And if your glass heart should crack
And for a second you turn back
Oh no, be strong
Walk on...

Then I remembered one of my favorite stories of someone who looked back: the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice. Here's the short version:

When Orpheus' wife, Eurydice, was killed by the bite of a serpent, he went down to the underworld to bring her back. His songs were so beautiful that Hades finally agreed to allow Eurydice to return to the world of the living. However, Orpheus had to meet one condition: he must not look back as he was conducting her to the surface. Just before the pair reached the upper world, Orpheus looked back, and Eurydice slipped back into the netherworld once again.
[by James Hunter, available here: http://www.pantheon.org/articles/o/orpheus.html]

A fitting story for those who have decided to dedicate their lives to cheating death.

Orpheus lost his wife, even after he had rescued her from the land of the dead, because he looked back.

I feel like those of us who are working to develop real anti-aging medicine are taking a slow-motion walk up from the world of the dead. Getting ourselves, and more importantly, the people we love, to the surface, depends on our belief that we will be successful. If we pause to look back, if we get distracted by the millions of other things we could be doing, we will watch our loved ones slip back into the netherworld. Not today, perhaps not for many years, but eventually.

Today I'll let Jean Cocteau have the last line, from _Orphee_:

"La femme Eurydice reviendra de la morte."

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Yes yes yes, but what did you eat?

I know, you tune in to the blog for food, not for philosophy.

So here you go:

breakfast: eggwhites (140)

mid-morning snack: half the cottage cheese carton (140)

lunch: salad with lettuce, beets, onions, a few little black olive slices, a spoonfull of chickpeas, fat free dressing, the crust from a co-workers' pizza

mid-afternoon snack: the rest of the cottage cheese and a skim milk latte (hello calcium!) (140)

dinner: salad with lettuce, tomato, capers, crabmeat, shrimp, regular dressing

after work event: glass of pinot noir with co-workers

Not sure on the calories on the salads, but it was obviously a good day for protein, calcium, there was some olive oil in salad dressing 2, and the only junkie carb was the pizza crust, which is pretty minor. It looks like between 1000-1100 to me. Really nailed that calcium, which I haven't done lately, so felt good about that. And the high protein days are always the best for mental function, alertness, etc.

It's 10:40 pm and I'm back at the office attempting to get a few things done before going to bed.

Great pop music fest on the radio driving back from the work event tonight... "Born to Run," followed by that Gordon Lightfoot song about the ghost from the wishing well, followed by the Cars' "Best Friend's Girl," followed by that sad song about the father and the daughter... you've heard it if you've ever somehow tripped over the Delilah show on a soft rock station.

Guess you had to be there, or be a pop music junkie.

Anyway, exhausted, much philosophy jumping around in my head, but more soon.

Monday, January 24, 2005

Why Should CR People Support the M Prize?

It's an age-old question, like "What is art?" "Do you believe in love at first sight?" "Should redheads wear pink?" "Should redheads wear red?"

No one should wear orange.

But anyway, it's a question that's come up for me a lot lately because in my new role as fundraiser working in support of the M Prize (that's www.mprize.org for those of you who are new bloggiefriends or have been hiding under a rock for the last two months) I've been talking with some of my CR friends about their thoughts on the issue. My biases are clear: I believe strongly in the power of the M Prize to mobilize scientists to find a way to not just slow but also reverse aging. I've decided to leave a very successful nine year organizing career in order to put all my time and energy into mobilizing funds and public support for the Prize. So you know where I'm coming from.

The issue of why CR folks in particular should support the M Prize was floating around in my head as I began my day, at 2 am, with my extremely soft cat lounging against the side of my face. I can come up with one very simple reason: We may be the only ones around to benefit from the results.

The other day when I was drinking coffee with one of my non-CR'd Three Hundred brothers, he said that he didn't expect to be alive to see the fruition of the project. I thought to myself: I do! Not that my commitment would change if I didn't (aren't you guys wondering how it is that Aubrey de Grey taught me how to spell commitment? He was editing a press release I wrote about a month ago and that was one of many speeling errors!). For some people, CR isn't worth the effort, or they're not convinced it will bring significant lifespan increases in humans. However, I'd hate to miss the dawn of radical life-extending biomedicine by a decade or so. If CR works, and some of us think it does, it might just buy us enough time.

For those of us who already invest a substantial amount of our time and energy into the only known way to slow aging down, it only makes sense that we invest some amount of our money into a prize that can motivate scientists and the public at large to focus on finding a real solution, one that does not just hold off the inevitable for a few years, but that repairs the damage so that we can keep on going, just like the Energizer Bunny fresh from a battery change.

Oh dear, my 4 am explanations of rather complex scientific concepts leave something to be desired. I don't really sleep much, and I'm working on that, but this morning my cat woke me up for a two am cuddle and I never went back to sleep. I used to refer to myself as the Organizer Bunny... it just keeps going and going. CR has helped me function without sleep, but there are limits to what even CR can do, as evidenced by above silly paragraph.

Speaking of limits to what CR can do... come on guys, we love CR, we really really believe in it, we spend a lot of time chopping vegetables and stuff. So why are two of your favorite CR Society personalities throwing their entire lives into SENS and the M Prize?

Cause CR just isn't enough. You're doing CR because you want to slow your own aging process down. You want to live longer, healthier. Maybe you like the side effects, maybe you don't. But you definitely want what you believe CR will give you: more years of life and health.

Is there going to be a point when you don't want that anymore? Are you going to hit 107 years old (gotta clarify, as some of us hit 107 pounds awhile back!) and think to yourself, "Wow, I really enjoyed living to be 107 instead of 87, but I'm done now, it's really boring to be alive and healthy and watching my great grandchildren play Little League or fly spaceships around or whatever it is kids are doing these days. I think I'd rather just get sick and die." Not to channel Alicia Silverstone in Clueless or anything, but AS IF!!!!

If you're already doing CR, you're already doing something that is much, much harder than just throwing some cash at a problem. The great thing about the M Prize is that it doesn't require you to go out there, do research, figure out what you think scientists should be working on, or touch any mice. You don't have to back one horse or another -- you're able to fund the entire race. As more and more regular, ordinary people like us join on as donors, and preferably as Three Hundred members, we send a powerful message to the research community and to the decision makers at places like the NIA and the NIMH. We're regular folks who are willing to make sacrifices in our every day lives to put an end to suffering that we think is pointless.

You're in this thing with me for the long haul, you know, all you bloggiefriends who tune in every day, sometimes twice a day, sometimes eight times a day. You've already doing the thing that's really hard: cutting your calories, disciplining yourself to live a life in which you may be hungry, freakishly skinny, have social struggles, lose... yeah, whatever. If you've already decided to do CR, you've already decided that your health, for the long term, is worth some amount of sacrifice in the short term. So go to www.mprize.org and cough up some cash. You can do it. Write me that you did and I'll send you a recipe. Or a refrigerator magnet, if you'd prefer.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

A Couple of Skinny Girls Shoveling Snow with a Broom

Yeah, it looked pretty silly.

My mother and I figured we'd better try to dig out our cars while it was relatively warm and sunny here, so we went out to do the best we could. We had one snow shovel and a broom. So we took turns shoveling the snow, and batting at it with the wide end of the broom. A woman with a serious snow shovel came by and helped us get my car out, and my mom's car is one of those giant old American made tanks that can roll over almost anything, so it was able to extricate itself with relatively little digging.

Wow, it's cold! That bitter, wet cold of the northeast. People think that Philadelphia is a cold part of the world. It's actually not that cold here most of the time. I think it's more like DC than like New York or Boston. So when we get snow, it's an event. The schools close, the shops close, and no one has any idea what to do with themselves. Everyone seems to run out to buy milk and bread, which I find perplexing. The last thing I'd want to be snowed in with is a bunch of bread. Eggwhites, sure... in some cultures, it's considered a delicacy to eat eggwhites that are covered with a layer of snow, left outside overnight.

Back to the Mouse...

Another CR Perfect Snow Day

Yes, we are buried, snowed in, covered in white fluffy wet powdery stuff.

Very very cold.

My mom and I walked up to the corner shopping center to have coffee and buy cat food. We also picked up some more veggies for tonight.

One thing about being snowed in at home (well, I'm at my mom's house, but it's walking distance down the block) is that it's very easy to eat CR perfect! This morning: eggwhites. Lunch: about half a carton of cottage cheese, that's 140 calories and tons of calcium. This afternoon: hazelnuts, maybe the rest of the cottage cheese. Dinner tonight: fancy veggie dinner! I'm going to sautee the mushrooms and the red peppers in a dry red wine with minced garlic and then stir in lightly steamed brocolini. My mom is coming over for the second night in a row, since there's nowhere else we can really go and we had planned to have dinner together tonight anyway.

In other CR friendly cooking news, I've just received confirmation that my CR brother from south Jersey and his wife are coming for dinner the first week in Feb. Fun! I think I will make one of my shrimp and scallop dishes... that tends to work for CR friendly company.

I have no idea how I'm going to get to work tomorrow... the snow is so high that our cars are packed in. The roads themselves are fairly clear, but they'll ice over night. Luckily I am only five miles from my office, but it doesn't take much to skid, and the roads near my house can be some of the worst. I have always been a super-careful driver, since long before I became a life-extensionist... as I said to one of my CR brothers the other day, explaining why I never, ever drive in Manhattan: You don't have to be a life-extensionist to not want to die *right now*.

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Any Thought of Moderation Would Soon Disappear

That's a pop music line I've been waiting to use for a long, long time. It's from "Nothing At All" by Heart, that female duo that also gave us "Magic Man." It was overplayed on the radio and thus not one of my favorites, but when I heard it not too long ago, I thought, wow, a pop music line that is destined to jump out of this blog someday!

The entire line goes:

From our first communication it was clear
Any thought of moderation would soon disappear

Any of you who read CR Community are now aware that in addition to a new career, I have some other wonderful developments in my life! I've always been of the "Life is so wonderful, why wouldn't I want as much of it as I can get?" brand of life-extensionism, but now I feel even more motivated than ever to do everything I can to take care of myself. I'm having so much fun now... why would I let aging take one minute of this incredible happiness away from me?

We all know I've been flirting with the idea of dropping my calorie levels a bit for quite some time now. Until now, I've been averaging 1100 - 1200, mostly because while I have quite a few days that come in at around 1000, I have at least one day in any given week when I go out and eat much more, sending my weekly averages higher.

Lately I've noticed that I feel dramatically better on the days when I stick to the 1000 range, and especially the days when I eat almost no junkie carbs and lots of protein. The difference in my mood and mental function is so remarkable that I think I would try to eat this way even if I knew there were no life-extension benefits whatsoever. A recent conversation with my salad eating CR brother Dean has caused me to remember how much CR is, for me, very much about the here and now. There are just so many immediate benefits for me... the side effects are good enough to justify my CR practice no matter what. I'd like to point out that I'm not calling my new relationship a "side effect" of CR... though these days I do feel like a bit of an advertisement for the CR Society. It goes like this:

"Join the CR Society! Get the body you've always wanted, your dream job, and the most amazing man in the universe! All for just $35, and a dramatic decrease in your calorie intake!"*

* results not typical

I too am in the "Am I living in a science fiction fairy tale?" phase.

The point being, the short term benefits of the reduced calorie intake are so positive for me, and the long term benefits seem likely enough to pay off, that I'm planning on taking my calories down to 1000 every day, unless I see my weight dropping too quickly.

This means a few things:

1. No more junkie carbs! I think this may be my final farewell to bread. But who needs bread when you know that a Sherm's megamuffin is waiting for you in some extremely cold part of the world?

2. More attention to detail! Lately I've been going out to eat too much, and not really knowing what's in my food.

3. Stop worrying so much about what other people think! The people I eat out with aren't there because they care what I eat, they're there because they enjoy my company! It doesn't matter if I just eat a salad. They'll still like me. And if they don't, you have to really wonder about them.

4. There will be some social occasions (I can see Lisa's wedding as one of these) where I'll eat too much and not beat myself up about it, but I know from past experience that every time I overeat, my anxiety spikes and it takes away from my peace, well-being, and optimal mental function. So why bother?

It's a little easier to contemplate this course of action because I've learned some tricks from a CR brother who gets quoted a lot that will make it easier for me to take my CR on the road when I travel. For instance: the magic megamuffin. So much good stuff, so easy to pack, so yummy! Did I tell you bloggiefriends about the morning I woke up from a dream about eating tons of megamuffins? I must email Sherm himself to say thank you. They rock my world.

Also, volume. One thing I noticed when CR bro who gets quoted a lot (CRBWGQAL? that's too long... he needs another name) was cooking for me... my food at home is pretty low volume. When I am eating higher volume food, I get stuffed before I even reach 1000! I can learn to cook a little higher volume low calorie at home. Of course, it's harder to pack everything into 1000 than 2000, but I've been doing pretty well so far.

So I'm going to give it a try, and watch my weight carefully to make sure the pounds aren't falling off too quickly. I look so very normal (anyone who has actually seen me is welcome to comment affirming this... no doubt we're in for another round of "are you anorexic?" comments) that if I lose a little weight I'll still be in the "I'm so lucky to be a naturally curvy girl!" phase. I'm also straightening out my supplement situation, which in addition to the pretty good nutrition I get from my food will calm any fears that I'm somehow killing myself. Got a chewable calcium supplement today... more on that later.

In case you're wondering, I didn't go to the NYC CR Society meeting because it got snowed out! The snow started pounding us at 11 am, and it came down solid until just a few minutes ago. I think that there is at least a foot on the ground right now. The city is shut down. I was going to have my mom over for dinner tomorrow (Sunday) night, but we decided to do dinner tonight since I was unexpectedly in town. We bundled ourselves up and walked to the grocery store, trudging through knee-high snow. Two short women and a pushcart, surrounded by mountains of snow. A funny scene no doubt. We had coffee at the corner coffee shop, then we bought veggies for Fancy Vegetable Dinner. I steamed brussels sprouts, sauteed a chopped leek in calorie-free butter spray (go ahead and tell me why I have to throw this out, I know it's coming so go ahead) and added a pint of mushrooms, plus the sprouts, plus some "magic mushroom" seasoning that I bought in a grinder over Thanksgiving. Dash of salt. Delicious! We split a pint of grape tomatoes with it. Very yummy. That was it for dinner, except for my one glass of red wine.

For breakfast I ate my usual eggwhite scramble, and then for lunch a can of stewed tomatoes and 200 cals of walnuts. I know, flax people, I need to get some flax oil, but I can't drive to the corner, much less to the Whole Foods store in this weather. Last week two separate CR brothers and a sister told me that I need to solve my omega 3 vs 6 problem with some flax oil. I considered writing a blog entry entitled: "Attack of the Flax People." Once I can drive again (in case you're wondering, I'm blogging from my mother's house, which is in walking distance, while she entertains my cat... I did not drive to the office in this blizzard!) I will get some and probably give up my nuts in favor of flax oil. I also ate a green apple. I just really felt like eating a green apple. I love tart things. I used to make a great cranberry apricot pie... my college roommate Samantha and I would make it, and we called it Samberry Aprilcot pie.

Today is definitely coming in at around 1000, though my DWIDP is on my office computer so I'm not sure about the nutritients. I'll figure it out tomorrow. I picked up some broccolini to make for tomorrow's fancy vegetable dinner (we're just going to have fancy veggies twice in a row... my mom and I haven't gotten a chance to hang out much lately, so it's nice to catch up) along with red peppers and more mushrooms. I love the taste of sauteed mushrooms. Not as much of the megamuffins (what do I expect to happen? If I keep talking about how much I miss the megamuffins, they will magically appear on my doorstep?) but still, mushrooms are good.

I was sad that I didn't get to go to NYC to hang out with my CR brothers and sisters and some college friends, but it's probably just as well because I have so much work that I need to do for my new job. Only another week until I can devote every moment of my existence to fighting aging full-time! Hard to believe... it's all such a miracle... but here we go.

Monday, January 17, 2005

Order One For The Road

I looked up at the sign above the door in the diner today, where I knew I would be doing my last ever diner meeting with nurses. That was the slogan. Seemed appropriate.

Is it hard to say goodbye? I suppose so. I've always been a "make a decision and never look back" kind of person, so perhaps I find this transition less difficult than others would. But it is a big change after nine years of doing one task -- organizing workers -- to contemplate spending all my time and energy doing another.

I'm ready though. In so many ways this is a dream come true. I've always thought that I wanted my contribution to the world to be something involving health, and the health care reform aspects of nurse organizing were always the most exciting to me. Now that I know that we can, if we try hard enough, find a way to reverse aging, I have started to see everyone around me as a ticking time bomb. How quickly I can raise the funds to mobilize the scientists to hunt down aging and death like an outlaw is the main determiner of whether or not those around me will live or die. Talk about motivation!

But you're wondering what I ate today. Today was a testament to the virtues of quick and easy CR, as I was on the road almost all day. Breakfast: cup of eggwhites, scrambled, plus one pint of grape tomatoes. Lunch-ish: iced latte with skim milk. Dinner: stopped at the TGIFriday's in the town where I'm staying and ordered off the (gasp!) Atkins menu! Grilled grouper with some kind of lime sauce and steamed vegetables, salad with vinegar. I am frightened of the olive oil in restaurants, as it is almost certainly sitting out for days before it reaches me, so I just get vinegar when I'm out. Glass of Sterling cabernet -- they didn't have pinot noir. All in all very satisfying, though I wondered if the grouper was a fatty fish and made a mental note to look it up. At least it wasn't salmon.

Now I have much work to do so bye, more later.

Dish Towels for Inappropriate Holidays

This morning as I was putting away laundry I decided that it's silly to put away my holiday dish towels until next year, so I put out my Christmas and Halloween dish towels even though it's January. Radical rebellion, I know.

Am moving the project of getting my supplement situation straightened out to the top of my list. It has been pointed out to me that it's rather absurd that I can spend hours and hours fine tuning the calorie and nutrient balance in my diet, and yet I have not dragged myself to the store to buy the rest of my tier one supplements even though they have been spelled out for me in no uncertain terms that most people on the CR list would probably pay tons of money for. Most people interested in life extension, it seems, are perfectly content to take pills and continue eating junk. I suppose this might be easier, but my long term interest in food combined with a deeply ingrained fear of swallowing pills makes it seem quite the opposite to me. Still, it's silly that I'm not doing absolutely everything I can with the information I have available to me. At least I'm taking my Essential Mix aka Cake Mix. (I do not work for a supplement company so I can plug my new treat all I want!) It's easy to do because I don't eat candy things anymore, but I still miss things like sweet tarts and fun dip, and the new AOR powdered multi tastes exactly like a sweet tart in cake mix form. You can eat it with a spoon. VLC tried it and loved it. I'm not sure if it's available in the US yet, but if you have a problem with swallowing pills, this is a good thing to have. www.aor.ca if you want some of your very own.

I'm driving out to Pittsburgh again today, taking the entire tin of Essential Mix with me because I haven't yet figured out a good way to carry small bits of it on the road. It's a beautiful day, perfect for driving the PA Turpike. Meeting in the diner with the catchy slogans on the wall, then into the hotel with the wireless internet connection to write most of the night.

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Relaxation Attack

When I get my chemical balance just exactly precisely right, and add onto it some fabulously happy life events, I sometimes find that I have these bizarre episodes that I call "relaxation attacks" because they are the polar opposite of a panic attack.

That's weird, isn't it?

I had my first one the first Sunday after I moved back to the Philly area following nine extremely difficult months of living in Vermont. I was popping into the wine store after church to buy some wine for a small dinner party I was throwing that night, and I suddenly felt so relaxed and happy that I almost feared to drive.

Today I must be getting my chemicals just right because I came into the office, checked my email, drank a cup of green tea (decaf this time, don't die of shock that I sometimes drink decaffeinated beverages ;) and got a call from my friend who works as a medical writer confirming that she wants to have dinner tonight (with me, not just in general.) Then I returned to my desk and was suddenly overcome with such a feeling of happiness and well-being that I almost couldn't get up.

I ate eggwhites for breakfast and 3/4 cup of cottage cheese for lunch (that's 30% RDA of calcium in 120 calories, wicked awesome if you ask me) and nothing else... so tonight I'll have plenty of calories to play with. We decided to meet at an Italian restaurant near The Mall (that's the King of Prussia Mall, for those of you who don't live around here) and I already checked out the menu to see what I'm going to eat. Looks like they have a very good vegetable filled salad, and they also have asparagus, spinach and broccoli sauteed in olive oil served with lemon, which sounds like a fabulous dish to me. So that takes care of nice friendly veggies and some fat (though I still must go buy flax oil to deal with my little omega 3 issue which has been brought to my attention) but I will need a bit more protein. I wonder if they'll throw a couple of steamed shrimp onto the salad if I ask very nicely. I'm not eating salmon anymore because a) I hate it b) it smells like cat food c) MR says fatty fish are bad and same for fish oil. Besides, salmon really really smells like very bad cat breath to me, and I get enough of that when my cat licks my face in the middle of the night in what I'm sure is a gesture of affection but which for obvious reasons is sometimes less than pleasant.

So I am very excited that I am meeting science girl for dinner... she is way cool and tons of fun to hang out with.

Tomorrow I'm off to Pittsburgh again, and this time VLC might come with me, though it's unclear as of yet if she will return from a trip to Boston in time. You guys know how much I love that trip across PA. And free wireless internet from my hotel room!

Lower Carb Experiment

I've noticed lately that anytime I eat a lot of junkie carbs (like bread, crackers, etc.) I shortly thereafter feel an anxiety spike. I've never been on anything that would be called a low carb diet for more than a day (that was a very bad day -- I thought I'd try a vegetarian version of Atkins, eating mostly eggs and cheese... after a day of this, I felt like I had the flu.) I don't think that I want to do a complete Atkins induction type low carb experiment, since as you know I still don't eat meat much and I don't want to eat truckloads of saturated fat. But I'm wondering how much I can lower my carbs, especially the high glycemic index ones that seem to cause the most damage, and then measure the effects on my ambient anxiousness.

I once read a book called _The Good Calorie Diet_ (well, I read it about fifty times, as I do with books I really like, so I can't say "I once read...") and its sequel, _Naturally Slim and Powerful_. I think both are out of print at this point, and they're both definitely "diet" books. They focused on low glycemic index eating, and I've read a lot of things that say that doesn't matter, but I guess it depends on what your goal is. I'm not concerned about losing weight... if anything, I am starting to realize that the fun parts of losing weight are over and now it will only be annoying if I get any thinner. However, I am very concerned about creating a diet that is optimal for my mental functioning. The second book talked about how the author had discovered after the publication of the first book that women who tried the diet not only lost weight, they achieved a level of calm and mental focus that they had never had before. He had some weird explanations for this, and I'm sure that if I re-read the book today I would disagree with a lot of what he has to say, but my experience of anxiety reduction on the diet (and it was not a low calorie diet, it was more of a high-volume low glycemic index vegan diet -- I ate brown rice and beans for breakfast everyday) definitely corresponded to what the author said other women experienced.

I actually suspect that my low calorie day of my Two Representative Days will work just fine, and I may stick to it religiously for a few days just to test this. The giant shot of eggwhite protein in the morning, the very light dinner with low calorie veggies soaked in chicken broth with brewers yeast, and the friendly calcium sources in milk and yogurt. Since I'm not trying to induce ketosis (even though one of my CR brothers initially thought that might be the explanation for the anti-anxiety effects the CR seems to have for me) I'm not worried about the carbs in milk and yogurt.

So the question is this: are the Zen effects that I seem to experience from CR purely a function of total number of calories per day, or does it matter what those calories are?

Saturday, January 15, 2005

So What's Your Favorite Version of "Personal Jesus?"

Driving home from my best friend's bridal shower on I-76 (that road I used to have to take everyday, in traffic, for hours) I was listening to the radio and heard the Marilyn Manson version. Blasted it really loud... it's been a week that inspires the loud blasting of any version of "Personal Jesus." Back in December I bought the Depeche Mode version on "Violator," one of the greatest albums of the 80's. That plus "Enjoy the Silence" is worth the price of a CD: add "Policy of Truth" and it's a wonder I didn't buy it back in high school.

Sorry I haven't written... Thursday there was something wrong with Blogspot, Friday I was out of town, and today was taken up with bridal shower preparation. It's so bizarre to do these normal girl things in the midst of being an anti-aging warrior.

Thursday I ate:

Lunch = eggwhites, two pints of grape tomatoes (was hungry as had not eaten breakfast) lettuce, onion, green pepper, mushrooms in a touch of seseme oil and vinegar, iced latte

Dinner = about 3 oz free range organic turkey


lunch = shrimp over arugula with red peppers

dinner = cottage cheese, carrots with seafood cocktail sauce (that was a late night snack but still post lunch so therefore counts as dinner?), brewers yeast, broccoli, cauliflower and free range organice chicken broth soup, glass of cabernet

Not sure on the total calories. Really need to go back to careful tracking. The last few days have been a mess, mosty due to eating out and travel. Hopefully next week will be calm and I can carefully track to 1000.

Very excited re: New York CR Society meeting next Saturday. I am taking the train up with one of my CR brothers from south Jersey, and possibly his wife. Then after the meeting I'm catching up with my college roommate Samantha who is now a lawyer in NYC and staying over at her place. Even though it will be horribly cold, I am looking forward to a trip to the big city.

More soon.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Grand Theft Salad

Today I had a long meeting that had lunch included, and I had brought some food along, but there actually turned out to be fairly good food there. For example, there was a giant salad. I ate a big plate of salad topped with artichoke hearts, roasted red peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, green peppers, balsamic vinegarette, and olives. They also had pickles and pickled tomatoes. That was all fine, but unfortunately I ate a cup of the carrot soup which turned out to be cream-based. It made me feel rather sick... I can eat dairy now, but creamy things are bad bad bad! I really felt stupid for eating the soup. I should know better.

At the end of the meeting there was tons of food left over, so I went on a quest for take out containers, all the while wishing that one of those people who always carries bags around was there. The conference hotel staff refused to give me a container, but one of the nurses at the meeting infiltrated a job fair in the next meeting room and got a bunch of free plastic bags. I ended up filling an American Heart Association bag with a giant amount of leftover salad. That seemed appropriate. So now I have salad for a couple of days, and free!

Went out after the meeting with two friends, had glass of wine. Am now at the office and tired... not a particularly long day, but tons of sitting in traffic. Not sure on the calories because of the stupid carrot soup -- why why why did I eat that? Oh well, the world won't end. I suppose it's good to see me do stupid things from time to time. I had one cup of eggwhites for breakfast, and should probably eat brewers yeast soup for dinner. At least I got a fair amount of veggies and olive oil at lunch.

Thanks to all for the wonderful comments! Dani, the brewers yeast seems to agree with me fine, I'm sorry it's not working for you! And new commenter, welcome! Glad to hear that you find the blog helpful! I just love comments like that, it makes me so happy! We do have fun, don't we?

Running the Clock Until the Coffee Shop Opens

Good morning bloggiefriends... not much has happened to me since I last wrote, and you've already heard yesterday's food in detail, but I'm at work checking email and getting a few things done before the coffee shop opens so I thought I'd say hi.


I have to go get eggwhites this morning at the store and pack something for lunch. I'm in a day long strategic planning meeting at a hotel, and lunch is provided but I think it's one of those cold cut trays where the only thing I can eat is the garnish. VLC is planning to bring her lunch. I have no idea what I'm going to bring... will a package of cottage cheese hold up okay if not in the fridge all morning? I think it should be fine, the room will be cold. Maybe there will be salad. Salad and cottage cheese is a perfectly respectable lunch, and if I have my eggwhites at 6:15 ish I shouldn't be absolutely starving.

Eggwhites... just a half hour till the store opens and I get my eggwhites. My protein cravings are rather urgent this morning. I feel like I could eat two cups of eggwhites. Imagine that!

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

It's Hard To Come Down From the Mountaintop

Wow, after last weekend, my own food seems really, really boring. But as Fruitgirl says, if you wanted drama, you'd rent a video.

Today's entry will be boring and non-philosophical because I'm trying to get ready for a big meeting with a lot of nurses tomorrow and doing a zillion other things at once.

Pure food-related content today:

Ran out of eggwhites, so ate 3 cottage cheese snack packs for a total of 240 calories, 33 g protein, and tons of calcium.

salad of romaine lettuce and baby carrots

small serving of black bean soup (leftover from yesterday's lunch)

coffee, as always

tons of water

tonight for dinner: brewers yeast soup with broccoli and cauiliflower

200 calories of hazelnuts

glass of red wine

total: 1051 calories
P:F:C = 30:23:47
72% Iron, 60% Zinc, the rest is all over 100%

I am now taking a brand new powdered multi vitamin from AOR called Essential Mix. It tastes like a sweet tart candy in cake mix form, and I seem to be able to make a teaspoon of it into an entire dessert. I do not work for a supplement company, so I don't have to put any disclaimers at all into this product placement.

Monday, January 10, 2005

And I Could Not Ask For More

The other day I was writing to one of my CR brothers and I quoted the Edwin McCain song that goes, "I have all I've waited for, and I could not ask for more."

Negative commenter's comment came at a particularly amusing time because I spent much of this weekend reflecting on how I am probably the happiest person on earth. Not that it's some kind of competition, but I think you'd have a hard time finding anyone who is happier. And the world would be a much better place if you could find a lot of people who were equally happy.

Thanks to Dani, one of my most loyal readers who has been with me from the beginning of my journey, for your nice comment! I do love the support from my readers... you guys are great!

I'll reproduce Negative One's comments so that you can all see what I am talking about:

I know many people with eating disorders and this is a major problem right now. DO you honestly feel good about yourself for promoting restrictive eating and the idea that food is the enemy? I used to be super skinny. Now I'm regular weight and happier than ever. AND I eat carbs! AND I'm totally healthy, in love, have a great job, and good relationships with family and friends. How we feed ourselves is a completely psychological matter. Do you write in your blog about what's missing EMOTIONALLY in your life? For someone who's so socially conscious, seeing food as the enemy is a major socio-cultural issue. I wish you would think about all of the people in the world getting into eating disorders and stop preaching to the masses about seeing food as the problem. Why are you so compelled to control your food intake and have your life revolve around this to this degree? Are there things missing in your life and you're convinced that controlling food is the solution? Do you really want your close relationships to revolve around how much you eat? CRON may be a great community, but how much do you let people get to know you, really? Will you post this or will you delete this?

Well, let's see. I am glad that Negative One is so happy with her or his life. I would actually describe my life similarly. Perhaps we could just be happy for each other's success?

I would have to point out that how we feed ourselves in not a completely psychological matter. How we feed ourselves directly effects our health. The way I feed myself has made me incredibly healthy, and my health improves with every passing day. I never get sick, I have tons of engergy, I need less sleep, and I've achieved almost total relief from the mood swings and anxiety that used to plague me.

Food is not the enemy at all... I never said it was. However, over-consumption of calories is not healthy, and would shorten my life. I'm having so much fun here on this planet that I want to live as long as possible, in a youthful, healthy, vigorous body. By practicing CR, I give my body exactly what it needs to stay as healthy as possible as long as possible. Instead of using food to eradicate boredom or lubricate social situations that are otherwise boring or block out emotional pain, I use food to give my body the nutrients it needs! Radical concept, I know, but when you try it, it really works.

Saying that something is missing in my emotional life because I pay attention to my calorie and nutrient intake is like saying that someting is missing in your emotional life because you spend time cultivating a garden. Perhaps the landscape of my lawn is not important to me, so I don't spend time on a garden. However, I don't go accusing gardeners of having emotional problems. We all have our priorities. For me, practicing CR not only gives me the possibility of a longer, healthier life -- it also gives me many benefits in the here and now. So it's more than worth the effort I put into it. It has been remarked by some of my CR brothers that I accomplish excellent nutrition at an incredibly low calorie level with very little time and effort. I enjoy every aspect of my CR practice... from educating myself by reading The List to creating new dishes to playing with my nutritional software.

It's pretty absurd for people who have never met me to speculate on what might be missing in my emotional life, but I'd think that even from just reading the blog, you'd see that I have almost an excessively full life. The dinner parties thrown and attended, the satisfying work (and especially my new work!) the wonderful relationships with people who are close to me, who make life worth living... and worth living indefinitely.

Eating disorders are NOT rampant. Obesity is! Heart disease and diabetes are problems for many, many people. I write this blog because I want to show others how easy it is to take control of your health, life life to its fullest right now, and look forward to many, many decades of doing the same.

So back to what I've been eating:

On Saturday, my friend whom I was visiting over the weekend made me his CR friendly Zoned pizza on low-carb tortillas, and it was excellent! We also had some wheat bran (I think?) on the side and I had a Walford sized glass of pinot noir. I was floating in 0 gravity all weekend, with someone else paying attention to my calories and nutrition for me, so I know I was better off than I ever am but I don't know exactly what was in everything. (Before you dismiss me as a horribly lazy princess who spent the entire weekend making some poor fellow take care of her, I'll have you know that I chopped vegetables and did dishes.) Sunday morning we had high protein pancakes and and eggwhite scramble with vegetables for breakfast, along with some more whey powder in kefir. I had a cup of coffee and some green tea too. Then he packed me a lunch for the plane of 120 calories of hazlenuts, a 200 calorie megamuffin, 60 calories of a Chinese green vegetable whose name I don't know how to spell, and some whey powder. I ate the greens in the airport next to a guy who was eating French fries in gravy. The muffin was also gone before my first flight... the nuts I ate later during a long layover when my flight was delayed. I'm saving the whey powder to mix into an iced latte this afternoon.

My flight didn't get in until 1 am, so I slept a bit late this morning (which for me is anything past 4 am!) and then was running around to do lots of errands before work. Didn't eat breakfast, but ate a great lunch of black bean soup, hummus and carrots.

Feeling very stuffed after the rather big lunch, and will probably eat brewers yeast and broth tonight. Off to go get an iced latte for my whey powder soon.

Saturday, January 08, 2005

It Doesn't Get Much More CR Friendly Than This

Sorry for the delay in writing, bloggiefriends. I decided to visit a friend over the weekend, and I spent a lot of time in transit.

Yesterday I didn't eat much during the day because I spent a lot of time in airports. I did have a massive protein craving between flight one and flight two, and I ate an egg and cheese thing on one of those low carb Atkins wraps at Subway. Wished that I had some whey powder to just mix into an iced latte from the Starbucks next door to the airport and be done with it, without the saturated fat, but I didn't. I am told that the whey powder issue will resolve itself shortly.

Last night for dinner my friend made an awesome CR friendly stir fry with about a zillion vegetables, Quorn, and eggwhites. My giant plate was 250 calories, amazing for that volume of food. I couldn't even finish it, there was so much!

This morning I had kefir with a whey protein that is much, much better than that one I used to drink fast with a straw (I somehow got over the fact that I'm drinking something that has the same name as my cat, Kieffer) and a salad with tons of green things, tomatoes, green pepper, olive oil, flax oil and balsamic vinegar and some chipotle chili sauce stuff that had a great smoky flavor, which added to the smoky flavor of the arugula. How you get arugula this time of year is beyond me, but as great mysteries go, that's a minor one. Apparently I have a problem with Omega 3's, so when I get home I need to drag myself to the health food store and get some flax oil.

I also had half of a baked object that is a modified version of Sherm's megamuffins, and it was so good that I kept reminding myself that it was CR friendly. It really tasted like something you'd get out of the pastry shelf at Starbucks. I kept saying to the person who made it, "I trust you, so I'll believe that this is really what you say it is, but it tastes too good to be true."

Not sure how many calories I'm up to for today yet, but since the person cooking it is figuring it out as we go, based on scaling back how much he eats to fit into my calorie requirements, I don't have to worry about it.

It's a bizarre and wonderful experience to have someone cook for me. I almost always do all the cooking (though Very Skinny Mom does some great cooking for me too!) and it's a nice feeling to just sit on the floor and watch someone else do all the work. Also, usually when I do have someone cook for me, I experience that uncomfortable feeling of not knowing what exactly I'm eating, and having to roughly guestimate the calories. To both have someone cook for me and be absolutely sure that I'm eating exactly the right number of calories and a much better balance of nutrients than I even make for myself is just way cool.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

"You Know Your Public Is Missing You"

That was my mother. She doesn't like it when I don't write.

I'm sorry bloggiefriends, I've been absolutely distracted. I have, however, been eating very well: all the usuals: eggwhites, cottage cheese, yogurt, lots of veggies. Last night my mom and I went out to dinner and I almost collapsed into hysterical giggles when two different waiters tried to give us a bread basket and both times we asked them to please just give it to someone else. It's amazing -- you turn down bread, and people look at you as though you've just suggested that the earth is flat. This, in the day of Atkins! We ate a shrimp thing over arugula, and I had a seafood stew that I have some dim memory has something in it that Michael Rae once said has zinc. You remember the post, the one where he talked about no longer being a vegetarian. Come on, archive searchers, go find it. If you find it and give me the exact quote, I'll give you a refrigerator magnet.

The last time I offered a magnet as a prize it was for a task that I later realized was mathematically impossible. Remember that one, Willie and Fruitgirl? That was really funny. That was back when we were on the Quest for the Protein Source That I Actually Like And Want To Eat. Remember how I used to make the eggwhite scramble and put it in a tupperware to take to work whilst drinking an entire whey protein shake in one uninterrupted slurp from a straw? The other day I was making myself a new mix tape (yes, that was me blasting Liz Phair at 4:30 am) and an eggwhite scramble at the same time, and I almost burned the eggwhites while running over to stop the CD at the end of that Jesse McCartney song from the Cinderella soundtrack. I ran back just in time. Even I have trouble making a mix tape and breakfast at the same time. I did manage to get through the morning without setting anything on fire. Remember how I was scared of my gas stove when I first moved into the new apartment? I'm still a little frightened of it... like it's going to jump out and set my hair on fire or something. It hasn't shown any murderous impulses yet.

If I'm going to do stream of consciousness, I ought to just do foodlists. Breakfast eggwhites midmorning snack cottage cheese (80 cals) lunch vegetable soup afternoon snack iced latte with skim dinner vegetable soup that my mom made with tomatoes spinach beans artichokes piece of cheese leftover from NYE party small glass of wine in little German wineglass that my mom brought home from a trip Yesterday eggwhites for breakfast didn't skip breakfast so there! salad with cottage cheese lettuce tomato green pepper beets olives vinegar dinner at this really cool place down the street where they kept trying to give us bread which we definitely didn't want.

More soon, OK?

Monday, January 03, 2005

This Looks Gross, But Is Actually Quite Delicious

One of my co-workers expressed concern when she saw me eating my newest calcium-delivery vehicle, plain yogurt with Trader Joe's salsa verde. It does look rather disgusting, but it's really, really yummy! The problem is, the salsa verde turns the yogurt a rather unappetizing shade of green. I definitely won't be serving it at any dinner parties, but considering that it delivers 30% of the RDA of calcium and 12 g protein all in 130 calories, it's well worth it. And I really like the taste.

Today's other nutrition-delivery vehicles included:

1 cup eggwhites, just a little salt and pepper on top -- 140
leftover vegetable tray soup -- right around 200
latte with skim -- 80

550 so far for today. 49 g protein.

I'm starting to be convinced that the protein drug is the ultimate mood fixer for me. It's truly incredible... it really doesn't matter what is actually happening around me: if I eat lots of protein, I'm happy. If I eat too little, I'm not. It's a simple formula. Does anyone else feel that way? Maybe Mrs. Atkins would give us a grant to study this?

Not sure what I'll have for dinner... tonight may be a much needed quiet evening at home, great for catching up on my reading. I bought a copy of Ray Kurzweil's new book, _Fantastic Voyage_. Not only is he a fellow contributor to the M Prize (that's www.mprize.org for those of you who have been living under a rock for the last month) he is also the person who first informed me about CR, via his old book _The 10% Solution_.

Speaking of the M Prize, congratulations to the two newest CR members of the Three Hundred, Kenton and Khurram! Yea!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This Looks Gross, But Is Actually Quite Delicious

One of my co-workers expressed concern when she saw me eating my newest calcium-delivery vehicle, plain yogurt with Trader Joe's salsa verde. It does look rather disgusting, but it's really, really yummy! The problem is, the salsa verde turns the yogurt a rather unappetizing shade of green. I definitely won't be serving it at any dinner parties, but considering that it delivers 30% of the RDA of calcium and 12 g protein all in 130 calories, it's well worth it. And I really like the taste.

Today's other nutrition-delivery vehicles included:

1 cup eggwhites, just a little salt and pepper on top -- 140
leftover vegetable tray soup -- right around 200
latte with skim -- 80

550 so far for today.

Not sure what I'll have for dinner... tonight may be a much needed quiet evening at home, great for catching up on my reading. I bought a copy of Ray Kurzweil's new book, _Fantastic Voyage_. Not only is he a fellow contributor to the M Prize (that's www.mprize.org for those of you who have been living under a rock for the last month) he is also the person who first informed me about CR, via his old book _The 10% Solution_.

Speaking of the M Prize, congratulations to the two newest CR members of the Three Hundred, Kenton and Khurram! Yea!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, January 02, 2005

Vegetable Tray Soup

Ah, leftovers. I have leftover vegetables from the New Year's Eve vegetable tray, so tonight I'm going to chop them all up and put them into my brewers yeast soup. In answer to the brewers yeast question: I love comments and questions, keep them coming! It's nice to know people are reading. I use brewers yeast because it does this magic thing when I enter it into my DWIDP -- it pushes almost all my RDA's up above 100%. And I really like it in soups. It also has a lot of protein and is very low calorie for all you get from it.

Okay, I still have a ton of work to do and tomorrow I have to go back to work at my current, soon to be former job, so I'd better go get as much done on other stuff as I can.

Don't Eat Chocolate Before Bed

I was having a very good, if on the lower calorie end, day yesterday. I had eggwhites for brunch along with about 30 calories of grape tomatoes, for a total of 170. Then I wasn't really hungry again until just before dinner, when I went over to my mom's house for New Year's Day good luck food dinner: black eyed peas and collard greens. Mom made this amazing black eyed pea soup with tomato, spicy mustard, barbeque sauce, and some ginger. Then she cooked the collards with mustard greens and put some vidalia onion relish on top. We also ate red pepper sliced topped with vidalia onion relish. We drank some of the wine that had been left in the freezer during my New Year's Eve party... the cork had popped off, but it was still quite drinkable. I was very proud that I had emerged from the High Carb Castle having eaten no crackers nor any ju ju bees. Not sure how many calories, but I had very little, probably about 1/3 cup of beans in some broth, and a few tablespoons of greens, so I'm fairly sure I was well under 1000 at that point for the day.

Earlier in the day, a friend had called and asked if I wanted to go to a 7:15 movie, but I said no since I was working on a big project and already had plans to eat dinner at my mom's. I told him he could stop by for a glass of wine after the movie, though, so I went home at about 8:30 and thought I'd just read for awhile. Sure enough, I fell asleep while reading, and didn't wake up until my friend arrived at my door. He poured himself a glass of wine, I got out a bottle of water, and I proceeded to set out some leftover chocolates from the party so that I could be a relatively good hostess, in spite of the fact that I was actually asleep when the guest arrived.

Then I realized I was hungry, and as often/always happens when I fall asleep during the day, or for just a short nap, I was absolutely craving carbs. So I got out some veggies leftover from the vegetable tray and ate a few baby carrots with hummus. I also had a few spoonfulls of leftover tabouleh (never know how to spell that for sure) and then... I actually ate one of the pieces of chocolate from the party.

Now I am not a chocolate person. It's not that I don't like it, it's just that I don't like it all that much. I'd always go for a bagel with cream cheese before a piece of chocolate.

I suspect that I was so low calorie for the whole day that even with the chocolate, I didn't go over target, or at least not by much. But here's the thing about me and junkie carbs: when I eat lots of sugar before bed, I invariably have horrible nightmares.

Does this happen to anyone else? It's like the old saying, "Don't eat cookies before bed." In my case, it's very true.

So I had a series of horrible nightmares. One was the classic "it's the end of senior year in college, I don't have a job, and I have no idea how I'll pay off my crushing student loans." The second was a particularly wretched dream about living in a group house with a bunch of friends in West Philly (I've never lived there, but I've visited the group houses a lot and have many friends there) and discovering that they were organizing against me behind my back to get me kicked out of the house.

Then I had what is probably a classic nightmare for some, the "Reply All" when you meant to "Reply to Sender" email nightmare. I would really like to know if other people have this dream, because I'd never had it before, but I can see how it would become a recurring nightmare. It wasn't even particularly sensitive email: in the dream, I just accidentally cc'd a bunch of university professors on an email to Kevin (of the M Prize) about some difficulties I was having setting up my M Prize email accounts (Kevin, if you're out there, I'm working on figuring it out myself before I bother you with more silly questions!). So it wasn't exactly a disaster, I'm sure we've all had much worse, but it made me wonder if other people who use email for many important things might have the same kind of dream.

The moral of the story is: Don't eat chocolate before bed! Don't eat junkie carbs at all! It's not worth it. Even after the biotech rapture, when we no longer need CR, I am still not allowed to eat chocolate before bed! Though I suppose if we could cure aging, we could cure chocolate induced nightmares. But I can't really imagine convincing researchers to work on that. "The problem is, people really *need* to eat chocolate before bed..." No, not a good pitch. Forget it, no chocolate for me.

The other interesting thing about the story is that it made me aware that I've started to dream in email. It's actually been happening for about a month, but I never quite noticed before this morning. I see the words on the page, formatted just like they would be in my yahoo mail. Most of my email dreams have been rather boring, like most of my dreams are, mundane work type stuff. Like, "Got the press release. Looks good." But isn't it interesting that I'm dreaming in email now? It's like how I used to dream in phone conversations when so much of my work was tied up in talking with nurses on the phone. I guess our brains adapt to our circumstances. Do those of you who spend tons of time emailing also dream in email? Do you actually see the words on the page in the dream?

Today I have a lot to do to get ready for the week, but I'll be around home so I should be able to eat well. I may also go for a walk... I went for a long walk yesterday, as it was over 60 degrees here and beautifully sunny. Doesn't that make you Canadians jealous? Sure, you have health care, but we have warm days in January!

Saturday, January 01, 2005

Happy New Year -- In Iceland

No, I'm not in Iceland! I'm in Conshohocken, PA, a lovely little suburb right outside Philly where I live and work! Anyway, one of my CR brothers pointed out to me that I would be on exactly the right time schedule if I lived in Iceland. So while I have no immediate plans to move, it's nice to know that there's some place where I would fit in!

After a lovely New Year's Eve party, I went to sleep by 10 and was up as usual at 4 am. I still have some cleaning to do to get the apartment back to normal, but I think everyone had a good time. It was nice to be able to dress up and wear some new jewelery that I got for Christmas... my father and step-mother bought me this beautiful bracelet, a braided chain made of finest silver, no clue where it's from but it has tiny little diamonds and is very sparkly. My mom found a necklace on e-bay that is also sparkly and has little purple things in it, so I wore that too... way more jewelery than I usually wear, but hey, it was my party!

I was concerned that the party would be a set up for overeating on junkie carbs, since my mother had purchased quite a few different kinds of crackers to serve with cheeses (it was a wine and cheese party, for the most part.) I ate some leftover free range organic turkey just before the party so that I wouldn't be starving, and at the party I ate mostly from the vegetable tray (provided by the local produce market) and quite a few pieces of cheese but no crackers. I figured that by observing the "not one cracker rule," I was unlikely to have that "You can't eat just one" response that has been so common with me and junkie carbs. I am not sure how many calories I ate, between veggies dipped in hummus and cheese, but I doubt that I went much over target if at all since all I had eaten during the day was the turkey and an iced latte with skim. Not a good day nutritionally, but for New Year's Eve it's definitely much better than usual.

Today I need to get back on track with my normal foods. That shouldn't be hard, since I'm just working on some projects and doing laundry and such.