Thursday, August 24, 2017

Moving Forward: BMI = 32

Up to this point I have been writing about things that happened months ago and how they changed my perspective. From this point forward, I'll be posting my BMI in the title of each post. I will be posting integers only, no decimals. So far I've gone from 43 to 32. Over the duration of that descent I've gone from a horrifyingly bland diet to one that I am able to enjoy and I have almost no cravings for fatty or sugary food. I'm currently in full control of what I eat.

This week I had a corn-dog because one was offered to me and so I decided that would be my 'indulgence' meal. It tasted sweet, a little salty, and I enjoyed it with a roasted garlic/lime/sriracha aioli.

That corn-dog probably constituted 75% of the added-sugars I consumed this week. It also constituted 100% of the processed meats I ate this week. Most days I have almost zero added-sugars or processed meats. Obviously I don't eat the sort of prepared foods you can toss in the microwave or toaster oven.

So what am I eating? Breakfast has been the same for a long time - hot cereal with half cup of fruit and some 1% milk. Coffee with 1% milk. A 3 ounce glass of orange juice. One to one and a half ounces of lean protein; that could be roast beef, roast pork, or roast chicken. Once in a while I have a soft boiled egg as my protein.

For lunch I try for some rice, steamed veggies, and 2 or 3 ounces lean protein. I've not been getting enough veggies and so that is one area where I need some work.

My evening meals have been quite savoury this week. I've been eating the same thing every night because I don't feel like cooking after I get home from cooking for 8 hours so I prepared this week's evening meal in bulk on my last day off. I've been having coleslaw, potato salad, and, you guessed it, 3 ounces of lean protein.

I will admit that the coleslaw could benefit from a little sugar or honey. None the less, I've added none. I used a mandoline to shred green cabbage, red cabbage, carrot, and red onion. Salt and pepper, safflower oil and apple cider vinegar - probably 3 parts oil to 2 parts vinegar. I didn't want to cover the slaw in oil and vinegar because I wanted the veggies to give up some juice as they softened up in the marinade. As the marinade took hold, I found I wanted some other flavour in there so I added some processed horseradish; and, yes, I checked to get a brand with no added sugar.

I made the mayo for the potato salad in order to have non-sugared mayo. Because I planned to keep this salad on hand for the full work week, I opted for an egg-free mayo. I took 50 grams of the juice from a can of chick peas, 25 grams lemon juice (half a lemon), 25 grams dijon mustard, and blended that while drizzling in 160 grams of safflower oil. It needed some salt and pepper. I grated a few olives into the mix, and added a bit of the brine from the olives (one ounce, if I were to take a guess) to give it a savoury flavour. The mayo got a little liquidy, so I mashed some of the cubed, boiled potatoes into it to make a thick, creamy, tater salad dressing.

In my potato salad I use an equal mass of potato to other veggies. Those other veggies were minced or finely julienned (on a mandoline) carrot, celery, radish, and red onion. I decided to add the chick peas, fully drained, from whence I had lifted 50 g of "chick pea" juice. If you want to sound like a gastronaut, call your chick pea juice "Aquafaba."

My diet is getting close to matching the Canada Food Guides, but I'm still too low on veggies and really took in too much oil with those salads. I'm thinking about getting a countertop steam oven. The main reason I eat rice at work is because I can toss a small portion into the steam oven and just set a timer. With a little salt and pepper, a slice of lemon, and some sriracha, it's very flavourful. Do add the seasonings before cooking the rice.

I'm thinking that if I steam my veggies, I can afford a little butter on them and still come out eating less fat than I did in those salads this week. With the right little steam-cooker appliance I can start the rice, add in the veggies at the right time, and both will be ready together. As far as protein goes, I do intend to stick with lean roasted meats. At this point they mostly represent histidine and vitamin b12 to me.

In the future I might start roasting my lean proteins myself because all to often they are seasoned with sugars. I've only found one place where I can get roast pork and beef that doesn't have a lot of added sugars. The amounts of those sugars are so low, though, that my main reason for roasting the meat myself would be to save a few dollars. Considering that I eat only about a kilogram of meat a week at this point, that saving wouldn't be very much.

Perhaps in my next blog I should talk about a trip to the grocery store and how I evaluate the foods I buy.

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