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.

Monday, February 28, 2005

Longing For Taco Bell

Last night, MR and I had a long talk about Taco Bell. Taco Bell bean burritos and seven layer burritos were one of my favorite things pre-CR. Now I still long for them, and could eat them of course as there are no forbidden foods on CR, it's only a matter of how many calories you wish to use. So last night MR looked at the Taco Bell nutrition info he had downloaded prior to leaving for Charleston, and we found two things that are low-cal, high protein: Chicken gordidita, Fiesta style, and steak something or other, fiesta style.

I was all excited about finding these things in the food court today at Union Station in DC, where I was for a meeting. And there was no Taco Bell.

Imagine my sadness. There I am, all ready to eat Taco Bell for the first time in months. With the blessing of MR. With caloric content memorized, and protein grams too! And no Taco Bell.

Well, by this time, as you can imagine, I wanted a burrito. I hadn't had breakfast (much to the shock and horror of MR whom I spoke to while drinking coffee -- at least I was letting my strontium dissolve!) so I was hungry! It was about ten am, I had been up since four. So I got a low carb tortilla with a chicken burrito. Chicken, pinto beans, cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion. Not terrible. Put lots of good salsa on it.

Got home in the middle of a snowstorm... it's still coming down out there. DC got hit pretty bad from what I hear, it was definitely coming down when I left. I ate for dinner two cups of cottage cheese and a bowl of broccoli, carrots and cauliflower with tomatoes. Needed to get a little calcium and some good veggies.

Not a perfect CR day, but not bad for on the road and in a snow storm. Eggwhites tomorrow!

Sunday, February 27, 2005

I Am Zoning My Breakfast After All!

Just figured out this morning that I have been Zoning my breakfast, but I've been forgetting about because I've been drinking 50 cals of cranberry grape juice upon rising with my creatine. MR gave me creatine to take first thing in the morning with something that has sugar in it... apparently that helps with absorption. I also take my Strontium Support bone building stuff... gave you the link on that a few weeks ago. I have to let all that dissolve for an hour before I eat breakfast, so I guess that's not exactly Zoned, but MR said it's okay, so I'm allowed.

I forgot to count my grape juice when I blogged yesterday, but I also failed to eat my entire vegetable soup and had to tupperware it up, so the calories come out about the same. My mom and I sat down to dinner, which was chicken that she had roasted covered with mangos, grapes, and pineapple (I didn't actually eat the fruits because I had already counted up my calories and done my nutrition) plus a big salad of kale (for me -- mom dislikes raw kale) arugula, and bell pepper. Then we had a big bowl of vegetable soup on the side! We discussed how sometimes the hardest thing about CR is figuring out how to eat all the food!

Last night I took some melatonin, which MR had suggested might help me sleep. It did, until 2:30 am when the people next door apparently invited a herd of elephants over to their apartment (which shares a wall with mine). The elephants ran back and forth across the floor and rattled the closet doors. Then a toddler sounding creature started to scream! Then a car alarm went off outside! GRRRR! And I was doing so well. I took another melatonin which MR says not to do cause it's going to confuse my circadian rhythms. I finally went back to sleep, until 4 am when Kieffer rattled my door to come feed him. He's used to breakfast at about four, so I feed him even if I go back to bed. I went back to bed for a little while, as I had, as usual, been up for a lot of the night. Sigh.

Back to work... writing up results to the MMP donor survey so far.

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Who You Calling Nutritionally Marginal?

Last night on the phone, MR was expressing concern re: how I'm eating so high protein on so few calories that I might be missing some important nutrients. "You're already nutritionally marginal," he said, "And not because you're eating badly, but because there just aren't that many calories there."

Well, I took that as a challenge. Check out today:

991 calories. P:F:C = 42:28:29 107 g protein.

62.5 cals eggwhites
20 cals flax oil
10 cals salsa
5 cals coffee

140 g skinless breast of chicken (baked in chardonnay, drained, topped with garlic powder and pepper)
salad of 100 g kale, 100 g romaine, arugula (not much, and it's very low calorie) 20 cals flax oil, 20 cals red pepper fat free salad dressing, red wine vinegar

Afternoon snack:
cafe au lait with skim (80 cals)

140 g chicken (free range organic again)
salad of 100 g kale and some arugula, with 119 cals olive oil (look at me, eating my oil like I'm supposed to!), 100 g bell pepper, red wine vinegar

interesting new drink, modeled on Mary's vodka and lime drink without the vodka:

Gin-less Gin and Tonic:
Diet tonic water (no calories) with juice of lime (5 cals) served cold over ice.

Over 100% of the RDA on everything, except:
85% calcium
75% copper
82% iron
93% thiamine
66% selenium
52% zinc

If I weren't out of brewers yeast, and were to replace some chicken with brewers yeast, you would get: 100% of everything, except
91% calcium
82% B12
80% zinc

VLC is picking up some brewers yeast for me to solve this problem.

Most of the RDA's are way, way over 100%, especially C and A which are about 700 - 800%.

So who you calling nutritionally marginal, eh?

At least this little incident inspired me to load my DWIDP onto my new computer. I dare any of you out there who think you are healthy eaters to turn in what you really ate today to me and I'll crunch it on my DWIDP (that's nutritional software, Dr. Walford's Interactive Diet Planner, available at
www.walford.com) We'll see who is nutritionally marginal. I get great nutrition on few calories cause guess what -- I don't eat junk!

Well, every once in awhile I do, because I still believe in having a nice treat at a good restaurant from time to time. But my basic everyday is pretty darned healthy.

And I'm taking my supplements at all the right time, which is easier now that I've posted my list, carefully constructed by MR, on my fridge held up by a magnet of the Calgary skyline that I picked up in the airport.

MR also suggested that I find some sweet potato leaves and amarynth (sp?) greens, as they are very nutrient dense veggies. He is the king of interesting vegetables. These lime leaf things he has are just delicious. Wow, I miss MR food.

Hi MR's mom! I think it's great that MR is commenting on my mom's blog and MR's mom is commenting on my blog.

Today I decided that I absolutely had to get out of my house, as I had been chained to my computer for so long that I was starting to think that we are one being. So I went to walk around the King of Prussia Mall. The spring fashions are uninspiring, but it was nice to be out and about.

Now back to work.

Friday, February 25, 2005

Mommy Blog! and a dinner party recipe plan

My mommy has a blog! You can check it out at www.infoethicist.blogspot.com. Isn't that cute???

I'm so glad that my mom is writing her own blog. She's a great writer, thinker, and philosopher. She also has a really adoreable Southern accent.

Here's a recipe I thought of recently:

I used to make a stuffed pepper dish made with goat cheese. Yum! Here's a CR friendly version:

Take green peppers. Cut their little heads off and reserve. Mix fat free cottage cheese with chopped fresh basil or dried basil, garlic powder, and half-salt (yes, MR, I am using half-salt -- are you happy now?) and pepper. Chop several plum tomatoes, and some fresh basil. Stuff the peppers with lots of the cottage cheese mix plus fresh basil and tomatoes. Drizzle inside: tarragon vinegar, some chardonnay. Put heads back on peppers, place carefully, standing, into a baking dish. Fill the bottom of the baking dish with chardonnay. Bake at 350 for 45 mins, or until the peppers are slightly wrinkly but not limp. Serve hot.

This should be good. On the side, I think I would steam some zucchini and yellow squash and drizzle with very good olive oil, fresh squeezed lemon juice, and fresh pepper.

If you're doing a very fancy dinner, serve with a clear seafood soup as a first course. Try this:

Make a broth out of a couple of tomatoes, processed in the food processor until liquid. You may use canned tomatoes if you prefer. Add a bunch of cooked shrimp, tails removed. Drop in some garlic powder and a few drips of tabasco or whatever Louisiana hot sauce you like. Want more seafood? Find some fresh crab meat, put it in. Simmer, stir. Throw in a bit of fresh dill if you like that.

Dessert? You must be throwing a fancy dinner party. I think that MR's mom's hazelnut crust yogurt pie would be excellent to cool off this very hot meal. I'll ask her for the recipe.

There's your Saturday night dinner, already planned for you. Enjoy!

Chicken. Weird.

I've really been in a quandry as of late re: my protein sources, and I've been craving protein in a big way. Today I thought it would be a good idea to check out some actual meat -- free range, organic, no antibiotics, of course. So I picked up some chicken breasts at the store this morning (I have a great grocery store, filled with lots of organic products) and baked them in a baking pan covered by chardonnay and topped with garlic powder and fresh ground pepper. Baked for an hour. They turned out very juicy and delicious... and my cat thought so as well. Kieffer practically jumped into my lap as I ate. He thinks that's cute.

I hadn't cooked chicken since 1995. All those years as a vegetarian. I feel weird about eating meat, and definitely prefer to eat free range organic. Not sure I'll eat it often, but I'm learning that the more protein I get, the better I feel, and at my low calorie level, beans just aren't an economical protein source. Woman can not live by eggwhites alone.

Breakfast was eggwhites: 125 + flax oil: 40 + salsa:10 = 175

Lunch: 140 g chicken breast: 231 + 100 g arugula: 10ish + flax oil: 40 + olive oil: 40 + salsa: 20 = 341

Mid-morning snack: misto (cafe au lait) 100 with skim milk

Afternoon snack: misto (cafe au lait) 100 with skim

Dinner: 140 g chicken breast: 231 + salad of 100 g kale: 50 + 100 g arugula: 10 ish + 100 g romaine: 17 + olive oil: 80 + salsa: 20

Glass of cabernet: 100

Calcium chewy: 20


Not terrible. Very, very high protein. Perhaps too high. I am craving protein, and I am not sure why.

Festival of Eggplant

Not sure on the totals from yesterday, since I went out and I am learning that almost no one can correctly estimate their calories when they go out, unless they bring a scale with them (except I think Mary can!) For dinner, my mom the computer specialist came over to fix some stuff with my various M Prize files, and this time she brought the dinner fixins: a bag of veggies (broccoli, cauliflower, carrots), a red pepper, and a giant eggplant. We stirred them all up in the wok and added tomato sauce. Each had a glass of her favorite Riesling.

It occurs to me that this meal was rather a disaster Zone-wise, though fairly low calorie. Basically no protein and no fat. I was barely hungry, as I'd eaten a bit, protein filled lunch, so I guess I just wasn't thinking. Very healthy veggies, though. Will get more protein and fat today, I promise!

Thursday, February 24, 2005

I Don't Like Cake Mix Either

I guess there's someone who doesn't like Essential Mix.

I just fed my mom some. It didn't go over so well. Perhaps AOR will come out with a good multi in pill form?

Oh well... you can't please everybody.

I still love my cake mix. And now we will have our calcium chewy. Yum!

The most important thing about a calcium supplement is "that you take it."

Eggplant "Lasagna"

Hi bloggiefriends...

Sorry for the delay, lots of M Prize goings-on, very busy!

Yesterday came in at an excellent 1125, if I added correctly (I know, I simply must download DWIDP onto my new computer!!!)

For dinner I made a variation of MR's breakfast salad: 50 g kale, 100 g romaine, 50 g arugula, 1 teaspoon flax oil, 1 teaspoon olive oil, 25 cals of red pepper dressing plus 10 cals of salsa verde. Delicious!

Then I made eggplant "lasagna." Lately, I've been into the pasta-less lasagna. Since I learned how to make fake ricotta out of cottage cheese mixed with garlic powder, basil and oregano, I've been going crazy with the baking pan full of lasagna-esque items. Here's last night's recipe:

400 g eggplant: 96
2 cups cottage cheese (light and lively brand, lowfat) 320
tomato sauce 360
cooking red wine 40
200 g red peppers 54

Slice the eggplant thin and layer as though it were pasta. Cover with layers of cottage cheese mix and red peppers. If you want to be really fancy, roast the red peppers beforehand. Cover each layer with tomato sauce (tomato sauce mixed with cooking red, garlic and oregano).

If you wanted to Zone this recipe, you could add oil or perhaps part skim mozerella?

I totaled up my half of the lasagna (made a pan and divided it into two pieces, one for me, and one for VLC) as 313, and my half of the salad as 122. Add a glass of red wine, and you've got a great meal!

Today was okay -- made my mom eggwhites for breakfast. She came over to help me put subcutaneous fluids into my cat who had kidney disease, and she revealed that all she had eaten that morning was apples with a tablespoon of peanut butter. So I made her 135 cals of eggwhites with some salsa verde. I ate eggwhites with flax oil.

For lunch, I met a friend and ate a greens salad with roasted pears, pecans, and grilled chicken. Balsamic vinegar on the side.

More philosophy soon... sorry for the food-only content, but have been super busy as of late!

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

April Posted by Hello

Tuesday, February 22, 2005


The year the Normans invaded England, and my calorie intake for the day.

At least, that's what I am fairly sure it was.

Let's see:

When I got back from running errands (I'm getting to be good friends with the people at Kinko's where I send and receive faxes!) I was at 560.

Then I ate:

30 free range organic chicken broth
150 bag of broccoli, carrots and cauliflower (in the broth)
116 brewers yeast (also in the soup)
100 glass of red wine
110 green apple

Somebody else do the math, but that sounds right to me.

Ugh... I should have had fat at dinner. I am still in the bad habit of feeling like I'm "done for the day" with fat if I've had my flax oil. Must re-capture the magic of those Zone-like ratios popping up on my DWIDP.

I miss the megamuffin already. At least I have kale to keep me company.

This Is A Bring Your Own Vinegar Establishment

You remember a few months ago when I blogged about showing up at Panera Bread and ordering a salad with just vinegar, only to be told that they don't carry vinegar? You can imagine my outrage.

Well today I met a friend for lunch at Panera, and having decided to avoid this whole problem, I brought a big bottle of red wine vinegar. But the line was huge and my friend had already ordered, so I decided to just skip the whole thing. I had already eaten at home anyway: 1 cup of cottage cheese (160 cals) and 100 g of kale (50) with a teaspoon of flax oil and a teaspoon of olive oil, (total 80) and some of my red pepper dressing (25 for two tablespoons). Breakfast was a cup of eggwhites (125) and a teaspoon of flax oil (40). Wheat bran (negligible number of cals) After hanging out with my friend while she ate lunch (I did pick an onion and a pepperocini off her plate -- yum!) and I picked up a cafe au lait with skim at Starbucks (80).

Fruitgirl asked me the other day if I had given up skinny lattes. I have not, but MR suggested that I replace the latte which is unfiltered coffee (espresso) with a filtered coffee drink, such as a cafe au lait. I actually like the taste of the cafe au lait better, so this is a good trade. I can't remember why he said to drink filtered coffee instead of unfiltered, but if he says it, that's good enough for me.

Yea S! I'll pressure MR to get that megamuffin recipe up online, and I'll post it to the blog once he does. I'm also thinking of asking Sherm, The Great Muffin Man Himself, what I can do to add more protein to the mix. I think both S and I are twins... we're the same age, and we seem to have the same calorie experiences. I too may just stick with a consistent 1150 -- after last night's brownie event, I'm scared of going too low for fear of setting off too much hunger. High protein, high nutrients, and eating three times a day seems to win the race for me.

Sigh... it was so easy to eat so well at the All Inclusive CR Spa and Resort.

I really need to get my DWIDP onto this computer. It's on the list of things to do.

Note that I Zoned lunch, and had fat with breakfast. Pet me on the head!

Now back to work.

Someone Actually Got It! I think.

Last Friday night, I went to dinner with some friends, two of whom I know well, the other three of whom I've only met a few times. Of course the subject of my new job came up, and as always, someone said, "I wouldn't want to live that long."

You'll be pleased to know that I refrained from saying, "Then please die now and save us all the irritation."

However, I did engage the person on her statement. "Why wouldn't you want to live that long?" I asked.

I expected to hear the typical, "I wouldn't want to be old that long" answer, which requires communicating to people that we're not talking about extending the time you spend in a nursing home, we're talking about extending youth and health, perhaps indefinitely. That usually takes some work (communicating the concept that is) and an entry on trying to describe the difference between changes in lifestyle and the SENS approach has been brewing in my head for weeks and is about to get written. But this person's issue was not the typical, "I don't want to be sick that long."

She answered, "I just don't think I would want to live past our natural lifespan."

Aha! I knew I had an opening to turn that one around.

"But chances are, you've already lived way past your natural lifespan," said I. "First, you didn't die in childhood of infectious diseases because you were immunized against most of them and any you got, you took antibiotics for and got better."

"Second, you're in your early thirties. Therefore, it's extremely unlikely that at any point in human history before the last fifty years or so you would have survived outside of a convent without getting pregnant and probably having multiple babies. Due to medical advances, you can both prevent pregnancy and most likely avoid dying in childbirth, or due to complications of having a baby every year."

So you've already far outlived your "natural" lifespan... if by natural you mean what you could live without technological advances that have prolonged your lifespan.

Why were those medical advances okay, but it becomes "not okay" to live beyond, say, 90?

Monday, February 21, 2005

Mary's Right

I should be Zoning at home.

I am a little scared to do so at breakfast, because Tall MR and I observed that any carbs at all in my breakfast seem to set off an anxiety spike.

Dinner actually has 16 g protein in the brewers' yeast, and 2 in the chicken broth. So that's 18 total g protein -- not all that low. What dinner needs is fat, and now that I am bingeing on a Sherm's bingeing brownie (or is it spelled 'binging?') I am probably getting some fat.

Was just whining to MR on the phone. Tall MR, that is. Took a break from my M Prize calls to tell MR that I met an M Prize donor in Calgary. Nice fellow. Doesn't do CR though. So I was whining to Tall MR... something to the effect of, "Why do I have to remember when to take my supplements? Why don't you just appear and feed them to me?"

The princess strikes again.

The rest of my CR day wasn't bad -- ate a brewers yeast and veggie soup, for a total of 216. Then a glass of red wine.

Of course, once the Sherm's binging brownie for 200 was consumed, all bets were off.

There's a reason why them call them "binging brownies" you know.

Wow, they are so good.

Sherm -- you are an angel and a devil in one! You create and destroy -- there are so many nutrients, yet for us tiny girls, so many calories! And soooo delicious! Angel of temptation, packed with nuts, endive, cranberries, guava seeds! So alluring... yet so dangerous.

The brownie is a delight. But the megamuffin. I worship the megamuffin. If I had to choose between MR and the megamuffins, I would choose MR. But if I had to chose between most anyone else and the megamuffins, I would pick the megamuffins.

MR packed me off with some megamuffins to share with my mom and VLC. He also gave an autographed container of Essential Mix to VLC, which she was very excited about.

Oh, the megamuffin. Ordering sucralose so I can make them at home.

So today's calories:

825 + 200 + 216 + 84 + 20 (calcium supplement) = 1335


In my defense, I have been avoiding my giant restaurant eating extravaganzas. And I tend to fluctuate a lot in weight and hunger depending on where I am in the month. This is one of the hungrier times.

But still. 1335. At least it was all super healthy food. Cottage cheese, eggwhites, salads, black beans, tomatoes, Sherm baked goods, brewers yeast, etc.

For a normal person, this would be an insanely good day!

Not going to worry about it -- may stick to 1000 tomorrow though.

Philosophy later... no doubt eating the brownie, however nutritious and sweetened with sucralose, so late at night will trigger an insomnia attack. Then I'll be up and writing. Spend last night's insomnia writing to my M Prize brothers. Tonight you bloggiefriends will get the text.

Now I have to return to work...

I Love Microsoft Access

And what does that have to do with CR? Nothing.

Except that The Brother from Denmark, who converted a mass of data into a beautiful Access database for me that I am now happily updating, is thinking of converting to CR, and I hope he does, because the Promised Land of the Biotech Rapture will be so much more fun if he makes it there with us! Aubrey de Grey may not believe that CR will work, but I'm not taking any chances!

So here's my CR day so far:

upon rising:

crangrape juice: 50 calories (for creatine -- I think)

breakfast (1 hour later)
125 eggwhite scramble
40 cals flax oil (battle with freezer that wants to kill said flax oil)
80 cals cottage cheese

mid-morning snack
160 cals cottage cheese

romaine salad with flax oil and red pepper dressing: 75
100 g green pepper 20
black bean and tomato soup with jalepenos: 325

855 already today... was hungry this morning. Lots of calcium and protein!

Tonight I'm planning to have my nice brewers yeast and broth soup with broccoli, cauliflower and carrots. I've missed that favorite, simple, easy feast. It's so soothing for a cold winter's night of calling M Prize donors.

Hey S!

I just asked MR to post his new megamuffin recipe. It's been modified since the last Sherm version.

They are soooooooo good!

And you should try Sherm's binging brownies!

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Almost Perfect CR Day

Pre-breakfast (upon rising)
30 ml crangrape to take with creatine and strontium: 30


1 cup eggwhites, scrambled: 125
1 teaspoon flax oil, on a leaf of kale: 48
wheat bran: ???


1 cup cottage cheese: 160
100 g kale, 100 g romaine lettuce: 60
1 teaspoon flax oil, 1 teaspoon olive oil: 80

Afternoon snack:

Sherm's megamuffin: 200
grocery store sample of small piece of cheese: 50


200 g scallops: 212
100 g broccoli: 28
100 g tomato: 21
cooking wine: 20
large glass of red wine: 120
calcium chewy: 20

Total: 1073

That's if I added right.

Tons of calcium and protein. That's 46 g protein in scallops alone. 24 in the cottage cheese, 29 in the eggwhites, 16 in the megamuffin. No wonder I feel so darned good. I'm swimming in protein.

MR points out that I should lay off the dead sources of protein for awhile, so I'll go back to eggwhites, brewers yeast, etc. for a bit. Am madly loving that breakfast salad... my mom is not so sure about raw kale, but I think it's delicious and so satisfying. That's a serious veggie.

Flax oil continues to rock my world... who knew! This Omega 3 thing is for real.

I've decided to try to hit 1100 consistently, every day, so as to avoid the anxiety spikes that seem to accompany the larger meals. We'll see if this works. 1000 tends to leave me hungry after ten or so days, but I'm hoping that at just around 1100 on a regular basis, especially with high protein and good Omega 3/6 balance, I'll be happy and satisfied.

More soon.

Breakfast Salad for Dinner, or "Mommy, why is the computer talking?"

Sometimes in the midst of love letters to MR, rambling thoughts about Aubrey de Grey and the cure for aging, and moderately amusing accounts of my attempts to pay for things with Canadian money, what I actually ate gets lost. And I feel bad for that, because this is supposed to be a blog about CR, and there's a large sector of my readership who are here for the eggwhites. So here you go, yesterday:


100 g turkey, probably about 200 calories, not sure re the categories of turkey on nutritiondata.com (Still haven't loaded DWIDP onto new computer)
40 calories of flax oil
wheat bran (MR doesn't know how many calories that has... we need to find out, but it's all fiber)

breakfast total: 250 ish


1 cup cottage cheese, lowfat: 160
1 box frozen okra: 90
1 pint grape tomatoes: 60
70 calories worth of Laughing Cow garlic and herb cheese

lunch total: 380


MR's breakfast salad with April's variations.
Now here's where it gets confusing. My mom came over to fix the computer so that I could chat with my M Prize brothers and anyone who has questions about the Prize via Skype. She was also trying to fix some other software problems I was having (Mom is my resident computer geek.) I cooked dinner while she fixed things, but it was pretty crazy with talking to my Three Hundred brothers on the computer and me trying to explain to my cat why it was that the computer was talking, so I didn't weigh the greens. Yes, I made MR's breakfast salad and didn't weigh it. That's rather silly, but he forgot to pack my breakfast last Tuesday so there.

Salad contained:
Chopped kale, romaine, arugula, one green pepper, and sliced cherry tomatoes. Flax oil mixed with olive oil, and it's supposed to have balsamic vinegar which I realized I was out of, so I put some Williams Sonoma chili lime sauce on it instead. Topped both salads with steamed shrimp for protein. Delicious, easy, and very pretty meal.

Mom and I polished off some Riesling that she'd had lying around and ate our 20 calorie calcium supplements. Yikes, I forgot to take my Essential Mix! And MR even autographed it for me!

All in all, pretty good day. Not sure on the totals, but looks pretty good, and the protein was excellent. Getting all my good Omega 3's now in flax oil. My mom tried to fix the problem with the freezer so my flax oil won't be frozen solid all the time... we'll see if it worked.

Woke up at four, feeling great. Checked my email (yes, I'm still infatuated with my cable modem) and took my morning supplements: creatine washed down with cranberry grape juice (MR says you have to do this because it has to have something sugary to activate it. And if MR says to eat something sugary, who am I to argue? I only drink 30 mls though, just enough to make the creatine work.) and strontium. That's for bones. MR seems to feed me a lot of supplements that are all about bone health, including one that sounds like metronome and always makes me think I'm going to start ticking. It's tiny and yellow and cute. Yes, I identify my supplements by their relative cuteness. And you were expecting what exactly? Some sort of complex analysis? If you want that, go to


There's an underscore between Strontium, Winter, and 03, if that doesn't show up. I read that article while we were waiting for Aubrey's plane... and yes, it's a little weird to read MR's articles while he's sitting right next to me. But in the grand scale of weird things that have happened in my fairy tale life as of late, that's pretty un-weird.

Today will be another quiet day of working on M Prize stuff. Dr. J's book, _Citizen Cyborg_ got here while I was in Canada. (Remember Dr. J of http://www.changesurfer.com?) I am so excited about reading it! The question must be asked: Will my cat eat _Citizen Cyborg_? She's eaten the complete works of MR, large portions of A DNJ d G, and a few bites of Kurzweil's _Fantastic Voyage_ too. Can Hughes escape the kitty claws, the loud chewing that wakes me in the middle of the night? Tune in next time to find out.

It's just after six now, and I've taken my supplements, allowed an hour for the strontium to do whatever it is it does (You're supposed to wait an hour before eating after you take it. Don't ask me why.) Now it's time for eggwhites...

Happy now?

Take Me To the Water When My Well Runs Dry

Today I found a tape that I made back in 2000 entitled "The Zamsky Effect." It was made in 2000 but referred to 1994 and the events the preceeded my entry into computer work at Yale... a subtopic that could be called "Life is what happens while you're busy making other plans." Funny that I should find it now.

The title of this post is taken from Bonnie Rait's "Shake A Little." Great song, go listen to it if you don't have it. I've got it on "Road Tested," a concert album, two tapes in one box. And I thought of it tonight because it so encapsulates my experience of spending time with MR and A DNJ d G.

MR is my intellectual inspiration, my CR guru, and my living proof that CR can get you carded well into your thirties. Aubrey is a walking party, an ongoing celebration of what is fun about being alive. In a cab on the way to the airport, I said to Aubrey, "It's good that you don't do CR, because we have to communicate to people that no matter how you've lived, rejuvenation medicine can save you." Aubrey is redemption walking... being with him makes you believe that hope is more than a waste of time. It's hard to describe what it is about Aubrey that makes you believe, but it's real, and I felt it the first time I clicked on www.gen.cam.ac.uk/sens, and so much more so when I met him in person. The calculation is simple: Are you having fun now? If yes, then why would you want to stop having fun at some point in the future? Of course you wouldn't! So join me and make the party go on indefinitely!

MR changed my life the moment I ran across him on the List... I changed my diet, I lost about a third of my body weight, I became a different person... a smaller, healthier, happier person. I started to dream of a world in which we didn't take disability and death for granted. As he kissed me goodbye yesterday in the airport, I said, "There's only one goodbye that really matters, and neither of us plan to have that anytime soon." We both plan to use CR as a bridge to the radical life-extending biomedicine of which Aubrey de Grey is the prophet.

Aubrey doesn't do CR, and he doesn't think it will work, or at least not much. He says he'd do CR if someone else would cook, but the fact is, he'll eat anything that's put in front of him, so that doesn't mean much. Being with Aubrey is just plain fun... hard to explain, but if you remember what it felt like to be in college hanging out with your friends, and then fast-forward and put the faces of your crazy college friends onto the Prophet of Immortality, you've got A DNJ d G. MR's exactness is a thing of beauty, it thrills me to watch him plan his life so carefully that nothing gets in his way. I love his routines and carefulness, and I miss both him and his food now that I'm home. As we all know, I'm not nearly as exacting as MR, though I'd like to be. Like me, Aubrey is uninterested in jet lag, in insomnia, in lack of food, in whatever. Being with MR is like an all inclusive spa and resort... being with Aubrey is like being back in school. Both of them are tons of fun. Both of them remind me that there's a reason to keep being alive. And watching them work together, arguing about things I don't understand and don't need to understand... well, bloggiefriends, you know how much I must love that. It's magic, and my life has turned into a fairytale.

Why give this up? If you're having a good time now, why would you want to stop? Why get old and sick one minute before you have to?

Some more quotes from songs on "The Zamsky Effect."

There's no one to hear
You might as well scream
They never woke up
From the American Dream
And they don't understand
What they don't see
When they look through you and they look past me
You and I dancing slow
We've got nowhere to go
Melissa Etheridge "Nowhere to Go"

For you I would crawl
Through the darkest dungeon
Climb a castle wall
If you're my Rapunzel
Let your hair down...
Dave Matthews, "Rapunzel"

Saturday, February 19, 2005

This Is His and Hers Celery

Or: Everything I Ever Needed to Know About CR I Learned From MR.

Now don't whine that this entire blog is becoming one long love letter to MR. You too learned almost everything you know about CR from him, and if you've been watching the blog with a careful eye from Day 1, you'll notice that nothing has really changed.

So I want to share with you some things I learned about CR from spending 11 magical days with the most serious of hard core CR practitioners. And some funny stories.

You're probably wondering, "Do they really sit around talking about CR?" The answer is yes, we do. We sit at the kitchen table eating our perfectly balanced, calorie counted meals and talking about macronutrient ratios. Yeah, we really do. And we really, really like it. I mean, who else is going to put up with us?

So I learned a ton from just being with MR. And from having unlimited questions to put to my CR guru. You are so jealous, aren't you? If you donate, say, $50 to the M Prize, I'll ask MR your CR question. How's that for a genie in a bottle? If you join the Three Hundred, I'll ask him as many questions as you want.

Here are some things I learned:

a) This whole Zone thing is for real. The difference in my mood when I Zone my meals (or when MR does it for me) is amazing!

b) Protein is a massive anxiety fighter for me. Protein shots at breakfast, in the form of eggwhites, and I'm set for the day. Hey RK -- what do you think about _The Anti-Anxiety Diet_ by RK and AS? Can we get a grant for that?

c) Here's how you get your fiber: wheat bran. Soak it overnight, on the stove, or anywhere in my house (as in somewhere warm) Then drain off the liquid and eat.

d) Flax oil rocks my world. RK is right about those Omega 3's -- I've never felt better, and it's not *just* being in love.

e) Weighing everything really is eaiser.

Yeah, it really is. It was hard at first. But as I got used to it, I realized that the entire mental acrobatics routine of guessing and rounding and estimating was gone. It's just plain easier to know what it is you're eating. So what if people think it's weird that you weigh all your food? You're in good company! After about three days it just clicked in my head and it was easy... and even fun! Me yelling "Yea!" when I got exactly 100 grams of tomatoes on the scale, MR asking what I was so happy about as he wrote something brilliant for Aubrey at the computer in the living room. Whether it's recruiting a new Three Hundred member or weighing out vegetables, I'm nothing if not enthusiastic.

I got a ton of supplements, most of them AOR, and I'm learning how to give myself the pills. I'd have to say, it was easier when MR would just feed me my supplements at the appropriate hour. Sorta like a zoo keeper feeding the lions. But I am a smart girl and can certainly learn to take my supplements. I brought back a tin of Essential Mix for VLC, autographed with an inscription from the creator himself, and she was thrilled. I also gave her and my mom megamuffins... we worship the megamuffin. We also worship Christine, who made them for her newly CR'd husband Aaron for Valentine's Day. Now all you CR boys out there who don't have a CR spouse, you know you are so jealous of Aaron now. Not only is his wife beautiful and smart and articulate and gets it re: curing aging, she bakes him megamuffins! I really hope that MR and I can go back to Edmonton to hang with Aaron, Christine and Kevin next time I'm in Canada.

Funny moments with MR:

When we were laying out our veggies for chopping, and he said to me, "Now this is his and hers celery."

When we were waiting for the bus at the food Co-op and a random homeless man walked up to us, looked at the cottage cheese MR was holding, and said, "Don't eat that, it's bad for you." Yes, I watched a random homeless man argue with MR about nutrition. I thought to myself, "I would pay admission to see this," and sure enough, I gave the guy two dollar. Well, I thought it was a quarter... I don't quite get the whole Canadian money thing yet. Still, worth it.

Seconds later, we got on the bus and the bus drive glanced at the cottage cheese and free range eggs in MR's hands and said, "That's a good breakfast."

That'll teach you to take nutrition advice from strangers.


My cat's name is Kieffer.

The love of my life drinks a whey powder and kefir drink for breakfast.

This has led to some interesting confusion.

For example, tonight after we had finished our MR salad with shrimp, my mother and I were discussing MR's breakfast. My cat was convinced we were talking about him.

Now my mom needs the computer... she's going to fix my skype button.

More soon.

Re-Entry Shock

Oh bloggiefriends, I owe you so much text, and I'm sorry I've been such a bad bloggergirl lately.

Starting a new job, starting a new relationship, and meeting the most brilliant, visionary men on earth has kept me rather busy.

I flew back to Philly on Thursday, and flying Calgary to Philly is an all day event. MR packed me a delicious lunch: one of his stews and a the leftovers of my tomato and artichoke heart salad. He forgot, however, to pack my hazelnuts, so I ended up lowfat. I think it's funny how the two things he's forgotten to pack me so far have been a) breakfast b) fat source. Bloggiefriends who have not just crawled out from under a breakfast-skipping high carb darkness rock should know why this is amusing to me.

I ended up being pretty hungry in the airport, so I ate a salad with a glass of pinot noir. I got carded to order the pinot noir! CR working? MR later figured out that he had cheated me of hazelnuts, and that's no doubt why I was hungry.

Yesterday went okay... had a salad of arugula, romaine, tomatoes, green peppers, cucumbers and grilled chicken at lunch. For dinner I went out with a bunch of my friends at a great Italian place in Center City Philly. I split eggplant rolls that had asparagus, eggplant, goat cheese, and basil with the rest of the table, and then I ordered the scallop appetizer as my entree -- three sea scallops drizzled with balsamic vinegar. It would have been a great CR dinner except that I ate a few bites of the mocha creme brulee (hello Roderick) and the canollis. Between that and a couple of glasses of wine, I was way over-carbed, and sure enough, I felt crappy this morning. Gotta get back to the Zone perfect high protein low calorie nutrient dense MR inspired lifestyle that makes me so happy.

This morning I ate some free range organic turkey that I found in my fridge (I'm fairly sure my mom left it there) for breakfast, along with a tiny spoonful of flax oil. Just shot the flax oil... didn't bother putting it on anything.

Tonight my mom is coming over for dinner and to make Skype, this thing that will allow me to receive calls on my computer, to work. I'm making MR's breakfast salad for dinner, with some shrimp in the middle for protein. Flax and olive oil with balsamic vinegar and salsa for dressing. Last night MR made one of my shrimp recipes at his house... if we just eat each others' recipes when we're apart, it will be like we're together all the time, right?

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

The Greater Alberta Life Extensionists' Intentional Community

Or, "Philadelphia is just a suburb of Edmonton!"

In addition to the excitement of watching a packed house of students and townspeople respond enthusiastically to Aubrey de Grey's message that curing aging is possible, I tremendously enjoyed the experience of hanging out with other people who have somehow removed themselves from the global pro-aging trance. In addition to TNGOE, who was swamped with ferrying Aubrey from one media interview to another, MR and I met up with Aaron, aka The Newest M Prize CR Brother, and his wife, Christine. Aaron just started CR a few weeks ago and is doing very well -- you can check out his blog at www.spaz.ca. We had a CR potluck after the talk, during which we ate Sherm's megamuffins, Sherm's binging brownies, carrots, fruit, a grape tomato and artichoke heart in balsamic vinegar with capers salad that I had made (40 calories/100 grams -- am I being assimilated by the Canadians?). It was tremendous fun to hang with Aaron and Christine. Aaron has been a long term life extensionist and an M Prize volunteer from practically day one. As it turns out, he started reading my blog when the first flurry of bloggiefriend M Prize donations came in (thanks, bloggiefriends!) and decided to do CR! His wife Christine is a dance teacher pursuing a degree in psychology. MR and I worried a little bit over Aaron's protein intake and apologized a couple of times for acting like his mom. It reminds me of my early days when Little MR (that's Mary, at www.crdiary.blogspot.com) would point out problems with my diet and send me on searches for the source of what I was missing. Guess I found what I was missing, eh?

Meanwhile, I can't wait to hang out with Aaron, Christine, and Kevin again. Hopefully we can come up to Edmonton again when I'm visiting MR in Calgary. It's not too terribly far by bus, just about 3.5 hours, and MR and I got some fabulous work done during the ride. It's amazing how much I learn just from chatting with MR. You can imagine how mindblowingly awesome it was to spend two days with both MR and A DNJ d G. And then Kevin showed up, and the other Canadian M Prize brother named Michael... genius overload! I'm going to have to hang out with some stupid people just to achieve a balance after all this!

I'm thinking that the Greater Alberta Life Extensionist Club has some serious potential, as long as no one minds counting Philly as part of Greater Alberta.

On the road is never an easy time for CR folk to eat, but thanks to MR's careful preparation, we were set. Well, except for the fact that he forgot to pack my breakfast. Something funny about that, seeing as the reason why I eat breakfast now is that he's ranted so much on the List about how important it is. Well, he forgot my breakfast so we stopped at a Subway and grabbed the highest protein, lowest carb/calorie thing we could find to stuff into me: a turkey sandwich on an Atkins wrap. 180 cals. Yes, that's right bloggiefriends, I ate some meat. I haven't technically been a vegetarian since I started eating fish, and I'm still profoundly disturbed by factory farming, but I'm thinking that nutritionally it makes a ton of sense for me to occasionally eat meat. However, I plan to only buy free range organic at home. We also had Subway on the bus on the way back, and I was under calories so I had two glasses of pinot noir when we got home, before completely collapsing with exhaustion.

I've been consistently right on 1000 for ten days now, and I'm finally starting to get hungry. As you'll recall, I've been hitting 1000 most days and then on the fifth or so day going out and eating close to 1500 or more, so that I average 1100. Well, after ten days of 1000, it's starting to catch up with me. I think I'll try to keep it up though. I have tons of energy, my mood is great, and the decrease in anxiety when I stay at a consistent low calorie level is so remarkable that I don't want to give it up. MR and I have talked a lot about how I can Zone my meals to take maximum advantage of whatever that's doing for me, and we've also figured out how to throw tons of protein at me early in the day (yea eggwhites) so I have optimal mental focus. It's nice having the CR guru right next to me.

Tonight I'm cooking dinner. I'm making my lasagna with greens, and using a lot of the same measurements as MR uses in his CR friendly Zoned pizzas. I hope he likes it!

By the way, today is the one year anniversary of the day I bought and read Dr. Walford's "The Beyond 120 Year Diet."

I've come a long way, baby.

Shouldn't They Have the Right To Choose?

That's what Aubrey de Grey said to a standing room only audience in Edmonton, Alberta, when a student at the University of Alberta asked how future societies would deal with the potential problems created by radical life-extending biomedicine. You can find an excellent description of the talk by one of the M Prize brothers (aka TNGOE) at:
De Grey didn't try to deny that longer, healthy lifespans might cause changes in the way people live. Nor did he offer simple answers. Instead, he pointed out that future socities may face challenges as people begin to live much much longer, but that they should have the choice to face those challenges head on and find their own solutions. If we refuse to work toward curing aging, we deny them the choice. Our inaction condemns them to death.

The enthusiasm of the crowd in the packed auditorium at the University of Alberta was overwhelming. Students, faculty, townspeople of all ages listened with rapt attention as de Grey outlined his common sense approach to conquering the greatest killer of all time. By the time questions were raised, it was clear that most in the audience had accepted de Grey's premise that curing aging is possible. That's why the questions revolved mostly on the potential problems that could be created by the success of the project. "What about overpopulation?" "What would people do with their lives?"

When people begin to ask questions about the consequences of curing aging as we know it, it signals to me that they can't refute de Grey's arguments about the *possibility* of curing aging, so they turn to arguing about the *desirability.* It is indeed hard to refute the basic premise that if we could repair the damage caused by being alive, there's no reason to believe that we can't continue being alive indefinitely (or until we get squashed by a truck on the New Jersey Turnpike.)

The problem with arguing about the *desiribility* of curing aging is that it requires one to argue that people have the moral obligation to die. We would never say to a representative of the American Heart Association that curing heart disease is bad because it would cause lots of people to live longer. We would never tell a nurse who works in the neonatal ICU that it would be better for those palm of the hand-sized babies to die instead of growing into healthy, productive adults. So why should we argue that just because someone is 80, or 90, or 100, or 110, or 150, they should make the planet less crowded by going off somewhere to die?

When people say to me, "I wouldn't want to live that long," and I haven't had my coffee yet and am not in a patient mood, I am tempted to say, "Well then could you just die now and save us all the irritation?" Arguing that someone should cease to exist just because they've made one comment that I happen to find annoying is no more absurd than arguing that the same person should relieve the rest of us of their company because they reach an arbitrary birthday. As Aubrey said in his talk at U of Alberta, it's the ultimate form of ageism.

I am extremely encouraged to see a group of enthusiastic young people grasping the logic of curing aging, and I hope that one of the students we met yesterday will go on to do the scientific research to save all of our lives. It's the least they could do, in exchange for the lovely M Prize buttons we gave out for free.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Are You Travelling as a Student?

So said the ticket taker to MR as he bought our bus tickets to Edmonton for Aubrey's lecture. MR is 34. CR really works. I told you he looks like a college student.

Much to talk about and I have been insanely busy, so sorry I haven't written, bloggiefriends. Had a wonderful time with MR's parents. All four of them were tons of fun, and his brother is cool and works at Starbucks, which means he scored me some coffee! MR's parents remind me a lot of my dad and step-mother. My dad definitely would have approved of the meal MR's mom cooked -- especially the squash. MR brought our food and made us stir fry with eggwhites but I did eat a little bite of the yogurt pie with a hazlenut crust that MR's mom made -- she gave us these adoreable little tiny slices of it to taste! I need to get that recipe... I would love to make it for my dinner guests at home. Thanks for the lovely evening, Mother of MR! Will write a proper thank-you note from home. Surely I have not reached the point where I am writing thank-you notes in the blog?

Busy busy busy with trying to make plans with Aubrey, working on M Prize projects, etc. Made dinner for me and MR last night -- shrimp again in white wine with artichokes, capers, garlic, grape tomatoes. Olive and flax oil stirred in for fat, all over spaghetti squash. I had dinner ready early -- I'm really getting the hang of this -- but it took him awhile to figure out the spaghetti squash.

Last night I picked up A DNJ d G from the airport and he spent the night at MR's house again before we all got up to leave the house at 5 am -- A d G to the airport and us to the bus station. Now I'm in an internet cafe in Edmonton frantically checking the email to make sure I don't miss anything from M Prize world. And of course I had to say hi to bloggiefriends.

Thanks to all my wonderful commenters -- great to know that someone out there has read _Neuromancer_! You're right about the sunglasses -- that might be a bit painful. Did you read the entry in which I remarked that razornails would be helpful for opening those annoying CD packages? I also noticed recently that Razorgirl rhymes with Fundraisergirl. Thoughts? Dani -- you can find a retailer for AOR supplements at www.aor.ca. MR says that you click on the horribly ungrammatical "From Where To Buy" button. He says he tried to correct it but the web designer had left the country or something. Fruitgirl... I must make it out to CA to visit you now that I've read your menu! Without you, I might never have discovered the joys of eggwhites and plain yogurt.

There's this gorgeous guy next to me in the internet cafe... I asked him if he comes here often, but as it turns out he's from Calgary. He's rather thin... I wonder if there's any chance that he's on some sort of freaky diet that might help you stay alive until the dawn of radical life-extending biomedicine?

Saturday, February 12, 2005

You've Miraculously Made the Perfect Dinner!

So said MR to me when we realized that I had somehow made a mistake in calorie adding and therefore was 100 calories under where I thought I would be. I was about to give up on ever fixing the dinner correctly when he came in and saved me from myself.

MR is letting me cook for him some, which is both exciting and a bit frightening for me. As we know, I love to cook, so I'm glad I get to do some of the cooking while I'm here... it would be unbecoming for me to spend all my time doing work while MR slaves away in the kitchen. So last night I decided to make the cauliflower soup that you read about a couple of weeks ago. I neglected to observe that MR doesn't put salt in anything, and that the soup with absolutely no salt tastes a little funny. So I spent a fair amount of time trying to make the soup taste good without salt. In the process, I added a can of tomato sauce and turned it pink, which looked a bit like dog barf, so I experienced a moment of panic (during which I told MR that he was under no circumstance to enter the kitchen until I had fixed the problem) and then I added a bit more tomato paste to try to make it at least cream of tomato colored. I finally got so mad at my inability to make it taste good that I pourded in the onions simmered in red wine that Ihad been planning to use as a sauce for veggies over eggwhites, like I often do at home. That really helped, so I added another glass of wine to the soup (we discovered that 60 cals of wine cooks down to 40 cals in 30 mins). Then I said loudly to MR who was working on the computer in the living room, "I guess you don't want to have a soup that is mostly wine, do you?" He said something about it being Calories, Calories, Calories (meaning for those of you who are not list fanatics that it's not nearly as important what the calories are composed of as the number of them) and I found that rather funny since I've now seen firsthand how much attention he pays to getting exactly the right nutrients and exactly the right Zone ratios, etc.

By this time I was pouring 2 oz of the cooking wine into my brand new M Prize mug (thanks TNGOE!) and saying to myself, "Well, people love Bridget Jones more when she fails than when she succeeds, so if this dinner turns out to be a goopy pink mess, at least it'll make a good blog entry."

Here's what finally ended up in the soup:

-- head of cauliflower, a can of broth, 4 cals of garlic, 1 can tomato sauce, 3 tablespoons tomato paste, dried basil, garlic powder, onions, tons of red wine (measured perfectly but I can't remember how much it was now and the piece of paper I was doing my calculations on is in the kitchen) and no salt. That's not "No Salt," as in a salt substitute. That's no salt whatsoever. It's making me a bit nuts.

We had eggwhites on the side for protein and added oil to the soup for fat, which actually tasted really good, even to a reformed Priestess of the High Carb Darkness. MR said that he liked the soup and didn't find the color alarming. It wasn't nearly as good as the first time I made it, but it was okay. He's cooking tonight, and I'll help chop vegetables so I won't feel like a lazy princess. This cooking with NO SALT thing is very hard for me, and makes me realize how much I rely on cheap tricks like a dash of salt in my own cooking. It's much harder for me to cook without salt than to weigh everything to MR specifications. I'm glad he's okay with cooking with wine, since I would be lost without that staple of my lowfat cooking. Weighing the food really isn't hard to get used to at all, and doesn't take much time now that I've gotten the hang of the scale. It's changing the way I construct meals and recipes to accomodate his different calorie needs (believe it or not, I have much more trouble making *enough* food than keeping calories down) and his Zone stuff, plus some restrictions on ingredients, that's making me work. It's a challenge though and I enjoy it... I'm fairly sure that all this extra brain work is good for me.

For breakfast I had an MR breakfast salad, eggwhites and a little portion of megamuffin. He has me taking all my supplements at the right time, and I'm wondering how I'll manage to do it all on my own when I have to go home. The all-inclusive CR spa and resort makes everything so easy. He could charge a lot to CR list folks for something like 24 hours with MR: food, supplement consultation, and unlimited questions. Fundraising op? Hmmm... I could take care of the social chit chat and even the cooking, if given very specific instructions, and he could just answer technical questions. Everything is a fundraising scheme to me these days...

Today we're just working again, and I'm hoping that Saturday will be a good day to catch M Prize donors on the phone. I had some very productive exchanges with A DNJ d G that I spent much of yesterday doing follow-up research on, and I think we're figuring out some good ways to get him out there in front of people who will be both influential and good donors. Tons to do... still so much of my creative energy going into the fundraising so little left over to do giant philosophical blog entries. However, I'm working on some stuff in my head, and no doubt an insomnia attack will hit soon during which I'll have time to write something long and involved.

In the meanwhile, hi to all my Philly friends out there! And hello to Mother of MR... glad you're liking the blog! Looking forward to meeting you and all the other parents of MR. I guess you'd know, so if you say he's 34 I believe it. He just *looks* like he just turned 22. Do you like olives? I'm thinking of making an olive tapenade that's really yummy and easy to transport, but is only good if you like olives. MR says I can't toast walnuts anymore, so that kinda messes up my pesto recipe. There's always something, isn't there? I might make it anyway, since it's quite good and would probably be about the same with untoasted walnuts. In any case, they're both good Zone fat sources, so all will be happy with that.

More soon, bloggiefriends... time to get to work.

Friday, February 11, 2005

The Life-Extensionist Dinner Party

What an amazing two days it's been. First, hanging out with Aubrey de Grey is so much fun. He is exactly how you'd think he would be: the kind of guy you can have a beer with. He's tons of fun, has great hair, is simultaneously obviously brilliant and easy to be with. I can easily imagine him hanging out with the Hello Kitty Clique back in Philly. After spending says he'd do CR if someone else would cook for him. Of course, he also said he'd do just about any diet if someone else would cook for him... don't worry, scientists, he hasn't changed his position on CR. But I think he could now put it this way: "I don't believe in CR, but some of my best friends do..."

MR and I picked Aubrey up at the airport on Tuesday afternoon. Whisked him home to beer and a brief re-counting of the events of the last three months. Then I went off to make dinner, which you heard about. It took a long time, much longer than it ever takes me to cook, since I was weighing out MR's food and having trouble making all the puzzle pieces fit. I enjoyed the challenge, though, and dinner was late but they loved it. The next day I sent press release reminders to local media and reminder emails to U Calgary professors about Aubrey's Thursday talk while Aubrey and MR discussed M's work in detail at the kitchen table. Then we all sat down in the living room to talk fundraising. Got some great ideas, asked a bunch of questions. Eventually I had to run out to the store to get more groceries for the dinner party for six we were hosting that night. I called MR from the store to ask if he remembered where to find the basil, and discovered that I interrupted him and Aubrey in the middle of a heated argument on a scientific point that I would no doubt fail to understand. By the time I got home things had cooled off quite a bit, which disappointed me because I think it would be very exciting to watch the two genius boys argue. Perhaps they will be so kind as to provide me with this kind of entertainment when Aubrey returns?

I set about cooking for the giant party, and here's what I made:

shrimp in tons of white wine with garlic, grape tomatoes and artichoke hearts
pumpkin soup: pumpkin, soy milk, garlic, salt, the juice of a lemon or two, curry powder
spinach lasagna: zuchinni and red pepper spliced between layers of spinach with cottage cheese mixed with basil and garlic as the "ricotta" and mozarella in the middle. No pasta.
dessert: apples baked in Captain Morgan's Spiced Rum with cinnamon on top

The dinner went over very well. Aubrey really liked the lasagna, Kevin, who doesn't usually like shrimp, asked for seconds of the shrimp.

Kevin had flown down from Edmonton for the event, and it was great to meet him. He's the Outreach Coordinator for the M Prize, and has been extraordinarily friendly and welcoming and explained a zillion things to me that I didn't understand. I can now say from firsthand experience that he is The Nicest Guy On Earth. From the moment he walked in, he proved over and over again that he has a friendly, cheerful way about him that puts everyone at ease and makes errands like making copies at the university library fun. He also brought his cousin, who had some fascinating things to say and made me happy by asking for seconds of the lasagna!

Another of our M Prize brothers flew in from Vancouver, so we had a full table. Everyone enjoyed the food, and I drank two glasses of pinot noir and then shared quite a bit of beer with Aubrey afterwards. I may be CR girl, but I wasn't going to turn down the opportunity to drink beer with A DNJ d G. The conversation was amazing, and I was struck by how easy it is to hang out with M Prize brothers, as though we've been friends for years. We took a moment to wish that some of our other Three Hundred brothers were there... hello out there, DG, Reason, and the Brother from Denmark! We even vaguely tossed around the concept of starting an intentional community of life extension folks in Alberta, since MR, The Newest CR'd M Prize Brother, TNGOE, and apparently another brother I wasn't aware of are already here. CR would have the majority, and The Nicest Guy on Earth said he'd convert if we'd cook. If you can't argue with 'em, feed 'em!

This morning we fed TNGOE MR's eggwhite and vegetable scramble with Thai chili sauce, and he agreed with me that when you eat MR's food, you feel so stuffed that it's hard to believe it's CR. MR is so good at getting maximum volume out of low calorie, nutrient dense food. His recipes really are masterpieces... oddly enough, he doesn't actually enjoy cooking. A DNJ d G has coffee only for breakfast. I ate kefir with whey powder, and decided I can't stand it anymore. It's the only thing MR makes that I don't like. I fell into his arms limp with relief and gratitude when he told me that he had picked me up some cottage cheese... I need calcium and protein, but at the end of my long journey, I am finally deciding that whey and I must part ways.

I also had a breakfast salad, which is this delicious green monument to yummy vegetables that MR eats basically every morning. Then we all set out for U Calgary, where A DNJ d G did an interview while TNGOE and I found a place to make copies of our M Prize flyers.

The talk went well, about 30 people, mostly academics but some townspeople who had heard about it through the press releases that we sent out to AOR customers, heatlh food stores, etc.

It was exciting to see A DNJ d G do the talk I had read about... I once accidentally printed out the entire power point, so I have half the slides sitting next to my bed. The house one, the "Let's Roll..." all safely hidden from my de Grey eating cat. These academic talks aren't great fundraising ops, but we did get a few small donations, a list of everyone's contact info, and one potential Three Hundred member... more about that when I seal the deal!

Walking around U Calgary with A DNJ d G, MR, and TNGOE was a lot like being in Star Wars. For one thing, everyone is just so darned cool looking. TNGOE looks much younger than he is and is a dark-haired, brown-eyed anti-aging superhero, complete with mirrored sunglasses that he borrowed from MR. A DNJ d G looks like he's going to defeat the forces of evil with one wave of his wizardly magic wand. MR is of course my CR superhero, and just gets more beautiful every day. I think he may be aging in reverse... I'm afraid that I'll find out that he really is 22. I haven't asked for proof of age, and I'm considering doing so.

I assure you, it was a Princess Leia day, or rather a composite of all my sci-fi heroines, all packed into one real day.
Princess Leia, Molly, Trinity, the empathy of Deanna Troy without the annoying wimpy girlishness or the catsuit. You get the idea.

MR and I are exhausted now and just finished dinner... he cooked for us, which is an ongoing miracle to me. We had his "Supper Stew" which you may have read about in the archives, along with hazlenuts and our glass of pinot noir. He has the most interesting vegetables... I find myself saying, "What is this veggie?" over and over again.

I have more thoughts about all of this but I'm tired, I need to take out the trash, and we have to go to sleep. I just figured I'd better update you guys since a) my friends are all checking the blog to see if I've dropped off the face of the earth or have just been rendered speechless by the combined amazingness of MR and A DNJ d G b) my own mother communicates with me mostly through my blog c) my significant other's mother is now following his life through my blog.

It's an awesome responsibility, but somebody's got to do it.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Yes, I Cooked Dinner for MR and Aubrey de Grey

Okay, bloggiefriends, sorry for the silence but I've been buried under preparations for Aubrey's Alberta tour, fundraising, and cooking CR friendly food.

Last night I made dinner! WOW! Here's what I made, and yes, they liked it:

scallops cooked in white wine with cilantro, chili powder, fresh lime juice, red peppers and grape tomatoes

asparagi with flax/olive oil mix drizzled on top and fresh lemon squeezed on that

Breakfast: eggwhites with salsa. I'm reverting to egg-white city.

More soon my friends... must go chase after more 300 members and send out more reminders for tomorrow's A DNJ d G lecture.

I promise I'll tell you the whole story later.

Monday, February 07, 2005

CR Heaven

Hello, bloggiefriends.

I am in CR heaven. All-Inclusive CR Spa and Resort. Cue Stevie Wonder's "Don't You Worry Bout a Thing." All calorie counts done, all meals perfectly Zoned, my AOR supplements handed to me at exactly the right moment... all I have to do is raise millions of dollars for the M Prize (that's www.mprize.org) and figure out what to cook for dinner for Aubrey de Grey.

Life has never been so good.

Here's what I've been eating:

Yesterday: nothing until I got here but two cups of coffee. I flew for 11 hours, okay! It's really a long way from Philly to Calgary. I didn't feel like eating before I left, didn't want to eat airport food, and would have sooner stuck needles in my hands than eaten the "snack" they had on the plane (salami slices, cheese, crackers, and oreo cookies? I ask you!) But when I got here a magical CR feast appeared (well, I helped weigh the food and chop vegetables.) My favorite: MR's CR Zoned pizzas on low carb tortillas. Y'all knew where I was when I mentioned that before, didn't you? Can't pull one over on my faithful bloggiefriends... not that I would want to! Wheat bran for fiber on the side, glass of pinot noir, orange slice (eat the peel!).

breakfast: kefir (yes, it sounds like I am drinking my cat), whey powder, berries, salad with yu choi, mustard greens, kale, romaine lettuce, gailan, flax oil, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salsa, green peppers, tomatoes. Oh my God it is so good! Coffee... we're okay with coffee.

Lunch: Sherm's binging brownie! SOOOO yummy! Further proof that I could live a very happy life hanging out with only CR'd M Prize donors named Michael.

Dinner... I don't know... MR has started working on cooking but I've been here communicating with M Prize donors while he does that so I'm not sure what he's cooking.

Aubrey is flying in tomorrow! Yes, everyone, tomorrow I am going to meet anti-aging superhero Aubrey de Grey. What will I say when I first meet him? Will I throw my arms around him and say "I feel like I know you! I've read everything you've ever written!" That's what I did when I met MR, though it's not technically true that I've read everything Aubrey's ever written. My cat has eaten a large number of his articles, though. Will I jump up and down and scream like a fourteen year old at a Backstreet Boys concert? Will I demand an autograph? My CR sister from the UK warns me that the British are not so emotional as those of us from the former colonies in North America, so maybe I should attempt to restrain myself from jumping up and down and screeching. At the very least I can hold off on asking for an autograph until he's had time to recover from the journey.

I am such a geeky fangirl. And yes, that's a paraphrase of an MR post to the list re: David Sinclair. A refrigerator magnet to the first archive-searching bloggie friend to run down the reference.

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Consider Me a Widow, Boys, And I Will Tell You Why

[This entry has been kicking around in my head since last Sunday, but I had to focus all my creative energies on actual fundraising, so it had to wait.]

One of my Three Hundred brothers suggested that I read a book called _Longitude_ by Dava Sobel, so that I could educate myself about the power of prizes. I immediately ordered the book and read it, finishing last weekend. It is about the prize that was offered for the scientist who could discover the secret of longitude, or how to tell where you are when you are at sea. There are obvious problems with being lost at sea: you could wander forever, or you could apruptly beach yourself on rocks because you didn't know you were so close to the shore. Many sailors died because there was no reliable way to tell longitude at sea. So after a major disaster in which thousands of sailors died in one day, a prize was offered for the discovery of longitude.

A humble watchmaker found the secret at last... while astronomers got all the hefty grants from the crowned heads of Europe.

I joked with my Three Hundred brother that he had given me nightmares about scurvy... reading about all these sailors becoming black and blue as through bruised as they floated aimlessly at sea, dying from a lack of vitamin C, did indeed give nightmares. But in the most vivid of these dreams, I had a clear vision of walking out along the shore, on the high platform called the Widow's Walk, looking out to sea for the ship that I had long ago lost hope of ever seeing again.

I can imagine how the wives of those thousands of sailors who died for lack of longitude felt... they lost the people whom they loved most for sheer lack of knowledge. Not to war, or famine, or disease, but to simple ignorance. We don't know where we are, and we don't know how to find out, so innocent people will die.

I woke up the next morning and grabbed my copy of Suzanne Vega's CD "Songs in Red and Gray." The song "Widow's Walk" had grabbed me from the first time I ever heard it, driving my car to my office in Vermont in 2002. But for the first time I found myself listening to the song over and over again, as I relived the vision of walking the widow's walk and cursing the lack of knowledge that had most certainly taken someone I loved away from me, forever.

Then today I did a radio interview with one of my brother life-extensionists, Dr. J Hughes, who hosts a Saturday radio show -- check it out at www.changesurfer.com. Dr. J asked me on the air why I thought there were so few women involved in life-extension, and we discussed how life-extensionism has been considered a selfish pursuit: you want to live forever. But what of everyone else?

I told Dr. J that I think of my life-extension work as not so much for me, but for those I love. Those in whom I can see the molecular processes that took generations before me visibly erupting in before my eyes.

One of my close friends, who has known me since way before I got into CR of life-extension or anything of the sort, said to me the other day that I have always been far more motivated by relationships than by ideology. Perhaps that's true. I see the world as a series of relationships, in which we are all dependent on each other. I see my work at fighting aging as an immediate, urgent attempt to save the people I love from death and decay. I hear the clock ticking. I see the seas rising and threatening to take the people I care about away from me. And I'm not going to stand back and watch it happen. Like I imagine those sailors' widows before longitude, I'm going to walk right up to the crowned heads and demand that something be done, before someone else's husband is sacrificed on the altar of our ignorance.

The headline of this post is taken from Suzanne Vega's "Widow's Walk," and I'll close with more:

So consider me a widow, boys
And I have told you why
Does the weather say a better day
Is nearing?
And I'll set my house in order now
And wait upon the Will
Cause it's clear that I need
Better skill in steering.

That light is the horizon.