Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Apparently I actually could live on air

It looked better after it was roasted, but not much.
I'm not screwing around with this diet and it's interfering with my blog. I haven't been cooking anything except tedious low-calorie foods like the turkey breast pictured above. The recipe comes from Best of the Best from California and involves making a paste of parsley, garlic, and dried herbs into which you dip thin slices of orange. Then you stuff the coated orange slices under the skin of the turkey and put the turkey in the oven. As far as I could tell, the orange slices did nothing for the flavor of the meat, just made the skin bulge in an ungainly fashion. That said, it was a tasty and juicy turkey breast and 1.3 ounces of the leftover meat made a great lunch today when mixed with 1 chopped celery stick and 1 teaspoon of vinaigrette.

I've been on the diet for 20 days now and have lost 4.5 pounds. The weight is not exactly melting off. What excellent survivalist genes I must have! There have been a few slips, like the night at Animal and New Year's Eve, but mostly abstinence. No alcohol. No baking. Do I have to rename the blog? 

Last night, after a 140 calorie chicken sausage and a spinach salad with 1 tablespoon of vinaigrette (that was before I weighed myself this morning and cut back to a teaspoon), I went to the gym and walked very fast on the treadmill for 90 minutes. I like the treadmill because you can read the newspaper while you exercise. It's remarkable how many newspaper stories deal with having too much or too little to eat.

I read about anorexics.

I read Tara Parker Pope's depressing story about how hard it is to lose weight and keep it off. (You probably should not read this unless you are naturally slim.)

I read about kids in Congo who are so poor that they only eat every other day, a problem that puts my own "problem" in perspective.

I read a lot of other stories, too. It was my New Year's resolution to read the newspaper cover to cover every day, like the Italian mother in The Imperfectionists. Sadly, I'm going to have to modify this very enjoyable resolution because it turns out I don't have three hours a day to read the newspaper which is what the task seems to require, at least when the paper is the New York Times. The obvious solution would be to cut back to reading just the stories that interest me. Except that's what I've always done and means I end up reading mostly stories like this and this. Thoughts? How do other people filter the news so you get enough, but not too much?

Today is my husband's birthday. We are having a festive dinner tonight, including a mocha torte from Best of the Best which means tomorrow I will have something  to write about, even if I won't be able to tell you what it tastes like.


  1. Four and a half pounds in less than three weeks is actually terrific. When you lose a lot of weight right away, it's usually water and muscle mass instead of actual fat.

    I'd be happy to read about your diet food. I'd be happy to read anything you write, in fact. Your writing is funny and charming.


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  2. Wasn't the Italian grandma in "The Imperfectionists" hopelessly behind on her newspapers? Don't worry, not even she can keep up!

  3. I rely on Google headlines and my husband to keep me informed. Yes, it might be lame, but it keeps me sane. I don't think any paper is worth reading cover to cover. Too many books out there to be enjoyed!

    Sorry about diet. I will probably be soon following in your footsteps, but what I do to keep from being totally out of hand is try to walk as much as I can instead of taking car, got a bike, which I love, and go to yoga, which is good for my anxious monkey mind. Finding exercise I didn't hate has helped a lot. But I'd still rather be on the couch, reading a book, drinking coffee and eating a pastry.

  4. I've been Weight Watchers-ing but modified to exclude most carbohydrates while also cutting way down on fat. So pretty much chicken, turkey and vegetables. Because Weight Watchers alone stopped working for me. So far the scale hasn't budged--well, perhaps it has gone up a little. Sigh. And I'm not thrilled with my family's attempts to mollify my frustration with comments like, "It's probably just your age." I'm also using the exercise program on the X-Box Kinect, a Christmas gift, and started riding my bike again. But nothing. I'm envious of your 4.5 lbs. I would be chuffed.

    Also, you are right about the news stories. I complained the other day that since I've cut out bread, I don't know what to eat with my freshly laid egg for breakfast, and I had to laugh. First World problem.

  5. Well, I agree with the other person who commented s/he would be happy to read anything you write. Ditto! I will give you something to investigate for your consideration. I have been intermittently fasting for 5 weeks, and it is the easiest "diet" I have ever done. I eat 2 meals a day, then only consume unsweetened liquids the rest of the time. I started this after I read about the Fast 5 Diet, but I went on it for reasons other than weight loss. Now, I don't think about what I can eat and how many calories I can eat. I just eat reasonably during my "eating interval", and eat what I like. I have lost 6 lbs. in 5 weeks, and I feel good. It has many health benefits other than weight loss, but weight loss is definitely part of it. Highly recommended.

  6. I know this is completley unrelated to your post but I just wanted to tell you that I got your book for Christmas and I love it! I made the bagels and they were a huge hit. I loved reading the personal stories you included in the cookbook as well. I cannot wait for your next cookbook!

  7. Write about anything. Misery or pleasure. Food or starvation. Your words are all wonderful.

  8. I loved the "Imperfectionists"! And congratulations on your weight loss. I received your book for Christmas and read it over break. Great job!

  9. Measuring food like that is no way to live. Looking through my old food diaries makes me shudder. I was always someone who thought that I would rather control the diet part, because the last thing I wanted to do was work out. I have recently discovered that finding a way to exercise that I love is much better. For me, it's spin class. I started going in November and I'm absolutely hooked. I have always HATED all forms of cardio - but it turns out that I love the bike. It's also that I love feeling myself getting stronger and more capable - where dieting just makes me focus on weakness and failure.

    I'm not saying that as a ploy to get drinking and baking back into your blog, either. I have yet to be bored by anything you have to say.

  10. We do "Detox January" every year and I usually wind up losing a couple of pounds simply by not drinking -- damned empty calories!! You are doing great and, as Tori said, please be careful with all the minimalism and measuring or I'm afraid you will just lose your mind and fall of the wagon one day. But do write about your diet food! I can highly recommend Eating Well magazine for ideas (they have tons of recipes on their site, too).

    You go, Tips!!!

  11. Tori -- I love spinning too! I always thought I would hate it, but when I first did it about 5 years ago, I loved it. I've done it off and on ever since, though pretty much off since last summer. I was going to go to a class today. No, measuring food is no way to live, but in the short term I need to stick to it. I put on a lot of weight in the last 18 months and my attempts to free style diet haven't worked.

  12. spinning is awesome, especially with an instructor who has a good playlist..good luck with the jump start, sounds like you are the right track. Your readership will not suffer-we don't need cupcakes when we have your literary skilz to enjoy!

  13. Do you have an email address? I can't find contact information on this site or an email link.

  14. Rather than read the paper cover to cover every day, try doing just the Sunday times.

  15. Thanks for your comments about your diet. I'm on one as well and have added tap dancing as one of my preferred exercises. It is really fun to take a tap class and laugh with other women making lots of noise with their tap shoes too.

  16. That is one very frightening turkey breast. LOL

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