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.

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.


  • At 10:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Where can we purchase the M Prize mugs please ?

  • At 11:47 AM, Blogger cookingdani said…

    You spoiled little Princess! Aaah, to live vicariously through you...

    Anyway, did you order your AOR products on-line or did you find them retail? I seem to recall it was "Essential Mix"-tasting like cake batter (yumm!).


  • At 12:38 PM, Blogger fruitgirl said…

    wait. if other cr folk don't measure how do they know the calorie count? i assumed everyone measures.

    is it perhaps a measurement of complusion?

  • At 1:09 PM, Anonymous Reason said…

    Yes, the link to the M Prize store is a bit buried; must fix that in the next site redesign. Here:


    You might like these too:


  • At 1:40 PM, Blogger Mary Robinson said…

    Fruitgirl, most CR folk have a deep personal relationship with their scale. Mine died last week and I ordered 2 of them to replace it. I am sure I wore it out over the last 4 years.

    April - this sounds like you are in the same good stressful state I am in trying to adjust to my allergies. I am sure a week with MR would whip us all into shape. I suspect 2 weeks of no salt and unsalted food would taste just fine to you. It is amazing how quickly your palate adjusts. I don't eat no salt, but we eat low to moderate salt. I often find prepared foods too salty. Edible, but not optimal.

  • At 3:50 PM, Blogger Marti Smith said…


    How can we make this clickable?

  • At 4:13 PM, Anonymous Reason said…

    It seems to say you can use html tags, so let's give it a try here:



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