Thursday, April 30, 2015

Diet of Nope, Part V

Woohoo! 112 pounds down!
I am at my target weight which is the good news. The bad news is that I should probably lose a few more pounds to be where I should really be at.
The Dr. Gann’s Diet of Hope group only counts weight that you have lost since you started their program so this means that their log shows an 87 pound loss. The other weight was lost prior to starting this program. It would be a shame not to go for another 13 pounds because then they could get all excited about having another person with a 100 pound loss and the BIG GOLD STAR to put up on the bulletin board with your initials on it. I phrase it that way as they do get excited about it and I go, meh. I love the weight loss and the program but a gold star, even a BIG one, does not represent anything to me. This additional loss would put me at 250 pounds. Keep in mind that I am 6’7” so this is a good weight.

I will then be able to start bringing in some carbs and other foods that I like. It also means that weighing yourself every day is still mandatory to ensure that you stay at a stable weight. I had a cold frosty beer the other night to celebrate and it really tasted good! I will save the other Lone Star in the fridge for final weight. Yes, I said Lone Star. You know, “The National Beer of Texas”. I will pick up some more when visiting daughter #1 in San Angelo.

Now for some food comments……

Salad Dressings
Salads are a big part of your diet and I like salads. However, only being allowed 1-2 tablespoons of light type dressings per 4 quart mixing bowl of salad does not hardly wet the lettuce. I am kidding as to the size as my lunch is only a one quart bowl. Ranch dressing is out while on the diet along with Thousand Island and most of the “thick” stuff. I found some dressings by Walden Farms that are zero calorie so that you can actually put enough on to wet all the pieces!
·       Balsamic Vinaigrette – Good
·       Asian – Good
·       Zesty Italian – Good
·       Bacon Ranch – How could you screw up something with bacon? Apparently easily, as you can’t taste any bacon and the white part is water thin with very little flavor. What flavor that is there bears no resemblance to ranch dressing.
·       Blue Cheese – See above. That was the end of trying anything that was “white or creamy”.
There are a couple I would try if I find them at the store. One would think that the Raspberry Vinaigrette and the Italian Sun Dried Tomato would be suitable. The rest of the so called low cal are not as advertised. Look at the labels and they are only marginally better than their regular counterpart.

White flour is considered a no-no (white poison) while on the diet and there is no bread that I have found that qualifies. By law, bread advertised as “whole grain” must be 50% whole grain. Guess what the other 50% is, white flour of course. Bread made without white flour becomes quite dense. I made some bread one time for backpacking that was 100% whole grains. They were made like the shape of a large cookie to make them easier to pack away. You could face-off on the ice a couple of times with one of these before it broke! JK, you could actually break them up alright. The taste was OK but the texture was like sticking your head in a grain bag and having a bite. Don’t ask how I know this but it does involve horses and older siblings/relatives. None of the breads I have seen are qualified during the diet. Bread will wait until final weight and then only as a treat.

Regular tortillas are off the diet but there are some of the lo-carb smart ones I tried as a Sunday treat. It doesn’t matter if you are looking at Mission or La Tortilla as they are equally bad.
·       Carb Smart Tortilla – Plasticized texture with no taste. They even feel like plastic. I was going to throw the bunch of them away after one bite but my better half insisted that they might be OK and she would try them. She threw them away after her taste test.
·       Carb Smart Multi-Grain Tortilla – Slightly better than the above ones. You’ve got to have something to dip in your Huevos Rancheros on Sunday morning. They still suck.
I will look forward to a real hand made one from St. Mary’s Tortilla Factory as a treat. You can’t beat a large tortilla that you can see through made with all the traditional ingredients.

Same as bread in that this is off the diet. I have found that I do like having spaghetti made with spaghetti squash instead of pasta. This is on the diet once in a while. This is about the only squash aside from zucchini and summer squash that is allowed. I do not like zucchini. This is just a prolific overproducing weed that I learned to dislike growing up in MI. In peak season you had to lock your car doors so that someone didn’t fill up the back seat of your car trying to unload this stuff. We did not have much money growing up so my folks would view this as free food and we would be fed a steady diet while in season. I have had it prepared every way possible, I think, and do not care for this tasteless veggie. Did I mention that I don’t buy zucchini?

I make a spinach lasagna that actually turns out quite good. Substitute heavy layers of spinach for the lasagna and use about half the ricotta normally used and use a low fat one. Layer the spinach, ricotta, meat/sauce, and reduced fat mozzarella as you normally would. Drain that spinach as much as you can as you don’t need any added water. The spinach brings enough moisture on its own. Also make your meat sauce thick for the same reasons. If you do not do this, it will taste ok but it will be sloppy.

You are out of luck. Potatoes are off the diet. An occasion (once a week) portion of yam can be OK but that is as close as you will get.

Regular sugar is considered another white poison on this diet and SF substitutes are to be used in moderation. I learned to tolerate the yellow SF packets of sweetener but have never liked the pink and blue. Splenda (Sucralose) was an accidental discovery that took place while trying to find a new pesticide so the molecular structure looks more like bug poison than sugar. I try to use it in moderation as I believe that all of it is rat poison. I tried the all-natural one Stevia. It is only so-so but still better than the pink stuff.

Watch out for sugar alcohol in the ingredients list of so called sugar free foods. It is not listed in the nutritional data so you actually have to look at the ingredients. If you are diabetic, this stuff can still cause a blood sugar swing. Overuse of these can lead to bloating, diarrhea and GAS because they are not absorbed in the small intestine. Let you give you a tip. You really don’t need anything promoting diarrhea and crepitating while on this diet as you already can never trust a fart to be just gaseous. TMI?
Examples of sugar alcohol include Erythritol, Glycerol (also known as glycerin or glycerine), hydrogenated starch hydrolysates, isomalt, lactitol, maltitol, mannitol, sorbitol, and xylitol.

I like black coffee but not all the time. It is sometimes nice with some of those flavored creamers. The good tasting ones have way too many calories in carbs.
·       Coffee–Mate Powdered Creamy Chocolate SF – Good but can only be used once in a while when still on the diet. Contains erthritol.
·       Coffee–Mate Powdered Vanilla SF – Good but same as above without the sugar alcohol.
·       Coffee–Mate Powdered Hazelnut SF - Ick.
·       Coffee–Mate Powdered Vanilla Caramel SF – Ick.
·       International Delight Liquid SF and FF Vanilla – I like it but my wife doesn’t like any of the International creamers.
·       International Delight Liquid SF and FF everything else – not so good.
·       Heavy Cream - Good but can only be used once in a while when still on the diet.

There is no substitute for real butter. I don’t normally like oleo and other petroleum distillates. The only thing that even approached the taste is the I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter. This is OK once in a while for some petroleum distillate.

Just don’t use so much of the real butter and enjoy the flavor.

I can have a couple of slices of turkey bacon once a week. This I do not understand as turkey bacon has no dietary benefits above real bacon. You should go ahead and compare the two items for nutritional data. They are basically the same except that the data for turkey is two slices and for pork is four slices. I just have the regular bacon in moderation. Nope! You can’t have a ½ pound.

Another item to modify. All salt substitutes taste awful with most having a distinctly metallic taste. I suppose that you could get used to it but why? Unless you have a medical condition that says no salt, I would suggest that you severely limit your use of regular salt and at least get to enjoy a bit of the taste of the real thing.

I do not receive any remuneration, compensation or anything else from any company mentioned above. I doubt they would retain me after reading any of my evaluations anyways! Bon appetit! 

Monday, April 06, 2015

I Like Old 22s

I found another piece of history, or so I tell myself, to pick up and play with. A High Standard Sentinel R-103 is now mine. This is a double action 9 shot 22lr. It is calling me from the safe saying that we need to go out and shoot!

Happy Easter

I hope everyone had a nice Easter. My wife and I went to Tempe for the Western States Eastern Observance which was hosted by the Grand Commandery of Arizona and is a program promoted by the Grand Encampment of Knights Templar, USA.

The banquet on Saturday night was nice as we enjoyed visiting with everyone. The meal was typical banquet food, overpriced and so-so.

We mustered outside so that we could march into the service that was being done in the open courtyard. As you can see in the photos, some were in Class A uniforms while other were in Caps & Mantles. Arizona has the Cap & Mantle as the official uniform since the Class A suit is a bit hot to wear here.
The service was nicely done but it did have a few distractions. Tempe Mission Palms is close to the airport and we were right in the path. It was hard to hear when the jets went overhead every few minutes. There were some birds flying around and I was wondering what prevented them from swooping in and picking off a few ostrich feathers for their nests!

A good time was had by all!