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Ready, Bachelor, Diet!

Posted by johnliu (My Page) on
Tue, Jun 19, 12 at 22:35

I've decided to keep a thread-diary of my dinners during the next three weeks of bachelor-hood.

This is not "WFD, Bachelor edition". None of these "meals" will be anything you will want to make for your society friends. I'm not even posting this in the actual "cooking" side of CF. Still, seeing my grist and gruel should make you feel pretty good about your own dinners! I'm glad to be of service.

In addition to avoiding any complicated cooking, my goal is to eat zero, or darn close to zero, of the evil grains. "Grains", in my not-strictly-correct usage, means pasta, tortillas, bread, bagels, rice, chips, potatoes - stuff that is calorie-dense and used as bulk filler in most meals. So I guess I'm sort of doing a paleo thing, though I suppose cavemen might have enjoyed the occasional potato-thingy, but certainly never fettuccine alfredo or chocolate eclairs.

My hope is that after three weeks of living on meat, vegetables, and fruit - and the occasional beer, as required by the rules of bachelor-hood - I will actually lose some weight.

It's not quite going to be Slimming World, where mme corbel is enjoying moules mariniere every night. This will be more like Can Opener World. But maybe I will shift a kg too.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Ready, Bachelor, Diet!

Here we go. The main course, a staple of bachelor life, the classic Casserole De Canned Tuna Et Canned Corn. Dressed with some interesting Japanese almond vinegar dressing that SWMBO made a while ago. I recall it involved bonito flakes, kelp, rice vinegar, pureed almonds, and sugar. Very yummy.

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And, to make this a two course repast, brussel sprouts, boiled and roasted. They are red because I boiled some beets for my brown bag lunch, and re-used the bright red beet water. Yeah, mixing colors and whites causes stains. This is exactly what will happen to the laundry around here.

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RE: Ready, Bachelor, Diet!

Today: 1520 calories in, 2380 calories burned, according to my handy calorie count app. Today's weight is the baseline.


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RE: Ready, Bachelor, Diet!

This is a very interesting and useful topic to many members.

Should have been posted on the "Discussion" side.

Cooking healthy and delicious for one is how I got started in cooking.

Very nice dishes. Thanks for sharing.

dcarch


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RE: Ready, Bachelor, Diet!

Wow, you're good. I am a "bachelor" all the time and I really can't get motivated to cook for myself. Just in the last couple of days I've been thinking that I need to pay more attention to healthy eating. I'll be following your bachelor journey with interest.

I love roasted brussels sprouts. I buy them at the local gourmet takeout market. Do they have to be boiled before roasting?


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RE: Ready, Bachelor, Diet!

Good luck, John. Looks like you're doing well so far.

Sally


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RE: Ready, Bachelor, Diet!

I don't usually boil Brussell sprouts before roasting. But it seems to speed things up a bit. The halved sprouts are only in the boiling water for a few minutes - par-cooking - remove while still bright green and spritely, not boiled to gray and soft. Then toss in oil and salt, and spread on the roasting pan which, preheated at 450F, is hot enough to brown the "down" side of the sprout. Turn once during roasting. Might take 20-30 min in the oven (?), I just look every now and then.


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RE: Ready, Bachelor, Diet!

Those sprouts look fabulous!

Must say your version of bachelor cooking and my DH are light years apart!


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RE: Ready, Bachelor, Diet!

The other part of this is, SWMBO has gone off to California, taking our only working car. My van needs work and my sports car has still not been de-hibernated from the winter.

So, without meaning to, I am experimenting with a "car-free" lifestyle for three weeks.

The daily commute is only 8 miles total and I do most of my shopping in the neighborhood. But sometimes - for example, today I need to bring Dear Daughter's first roll of film, from her new-used birthday present camera, to the only shop in Portland that develops 110 film (remember that?), which is out in the St John's neighborhood - that's a 16 mile trip. In theory, dropping off that film will burn up 600-700 bp.


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RE: Ready, Bachelor, Diet!

I mean "cal" not "bp". Wish GW had an edit feature.


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RE: Ready, Bachelor, Diet!

"---Dear Daughter's first roll of film, ---"

What's a roll of film? :-)

Just this weekend, I was cleaning up and was thinking of disposing my enlarger.

So I looked on eBay to see how much I could sell it for.

I input search for "Enlarger"

A few came up. $1,400. Enlarger for men's certain body parts. LOL!

dcarch


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RE: Ready, Bachelor, Diet!

Or it could mean "butt" pork. Yours. :-)


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RE: Ready, Bachelor, Diet!

Or it could mean "butt" pork. Yours. :-)

That is the folorn hope . . .

. . . Film is not dead! Interestingly, this particular camera store is doing great. In the early 2000s, they made a bet that film photography would survive as an "art" medium, and they've built a nice business. Dear Daughter goes to the darkroom every week and is becoming a capable photographer. It is fun to see her discovering retro stuff like analog lightmeters and rangefinder cameras. Next, I will introduce her to the slide rule . . .


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RE: Ready, Bachelor, Diet!

John, I should have packaged up those old 35MM cameras that stepmom "sold" at the yard sale, I think she had three of them, all unused. No one bought them and I donated them to the Humane Society's fundraiser rummage sale. No where around here even sells film. Good for your DD, I hope she masters the slide rule too, which would be more than I ever did!

The sprouts actually look very interesting after being dyed in beet water. I love brussels sprouts and I love beets, so I think I'd like that.

My "bachelor" meals consist mostly of cold cereal, eggs and Diet Coke, definitely not WFD material, so you're doing better than I am too...

Annie


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RE: Ready, Bachelor, Diet!

Day 2.

Salad. Spinach from the garden, almonds, nectarine, feta cheese, the indispensable canned tuna (what are the early signs of mercury poisoning again? I don't seem to be remembering too good), olive oil and red wine vinegar.

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Half of this steak. I'm portioning and logging what I eat before I eat it, rather than chowing down and only then realizing just how many calories that was!?

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Ate 2020 cal, burned 3060 - supposedly. I think these calorie counting apps are off (too high) in their estimate of calories burned by different activities. I'm going to get a heart rate monitor, in hopes of improving the accuracy a bit.

To get to the camera store, I rode up Highway 30. There is a bike path, it is basically 24 inches of asphalt at the side of the road, from where the 18 wheelers try to suck you with their slipstream. Then I rode over the St John's bridge. This is the prettiest bridge in Portland. It crosses the Willamette about 7 miles north of downtown, and takes you into the funky older neighborhood of St. John's.

Bicyclists are allowed on the bridge roadway, but it was rush hour and I didn't feel like being scalped by some angry driver, so I rode on the walkway at the edge of the roadway. The walkway is narrow, about three feet in width, with a four foot high railing to prevent pedestrians from falling. About a third of the way over, I realized that with me perched on my bicycle, that railing was hardly higher than my hips. If I were to, say, veer into that railing, the collision would send me sailing over the railing to the water 230 feet below.

The walkway suddenly shrank to three inches wide, a nasty crosswind started, and every passing car shook the bridge and lurched the railing closer. I started losing my coordination and balance. By the two-thirds point, I decided I was about to have a panic attack, and that enough was enough. I walked the rest of the way, across the rock steady bridge on a windless day. Ignoble, but so be it.

On my way home, I took a different route along the east side of the river. At one intersection, I saw a new ghost bike. Ghost bikes are old bicycles, painted white, and chained to the spot where a cyclist has died. They look like the photo below. You get to know the ghost bikes in your neighborhood. Sometimes they have been freshened up, with flowers and photographs, and I will stop and look at the clues to a life. When a new ghost bike appears, I always think - a cyclist died here, not long ago.

Bicycling is a pretty safe activity. Nationally, the death rate "per trip" is about the same for cyclists as for drivers. In Portland, we have a big network of bike lanes and bike routes, and the drivers and cyclists are remarkably cooperative with each other. Still, about 7 riders are killed each year here. 7 new ghost bikes.


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RE: Ready, Bachelor, Diet!

Film now has a cult following. Don't ask how I know.

I cycle all the time but have yet to lose weight from my daily errands. You will need to add weight training to your program.

E


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RE: Ready, Bachelor, Diet!

jl, are you eating any carbs and protein for breakfast ? I'm asking that since you are cycling a lot, how do you curb cravings during the day ? or get enough fuel in you to keep you going. I find that when I cut out carbs dramatically, I am starving most of the day.


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RE: Ready, Bachelor, Diet!

mitchdesj are you eating any carbs and protein for breakfast

Normally, breakfast is 40 oz coffee, occasionally + bagel/cream cheese. Right now, since I'm being good, it is some fruit (banana, plums, etc) and 3-4 egg whites.

barnmom I cycle all the time but have yet to lose weight from my daily errands. You will need to add weight training to your program

I can't say that cycling has taken much weight off me either, it has arguably redistributed things a little bit. Can you talk more about weight training?


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RE: Ready, Bachelor, Diet!

A Facebook friend in the process of getting back in shape posted this simplification:

"Today's fitness post is all about the myth of exercise and its relation to fat loss, specifically the KIND of exercise you should be doing. I've been hunting all over the internet for an article I read when I was 19. It pitted aerobic exercise against anaerobic (or weight training). Many a fitness trainer will tout the importance of aerobics (running, jumping jacks, that sort of thing) as it is the most efficient way to burn fat. That's true, but it's not the entire story.

During an aerobic routine you burn fat ONLY while you're exercising, once you stop, your metabolism resets in something like an hour. When you factor in your at rest calorie burn (the amount of calories you'd burn just sitting on the couch) it turns out that you burn surprising little while doing something like jogging. Maybe between 100 and 150 calories per mile. That's basically a doughnut. This hints at the fact that the most important thing that you can do to lose weight is change your diet because what's easier, running a mile or passing on the doughnut?

When we look at weight training we find a surprising difference. While calorie for calorie aerobics may burn more fat during the workout, after strength training we find that a person's metabolism remains higher for a great deal longer. In the linked article they note it as remaining higher for a full 38 hours. That's a much better return on investment if you ask me. Not only that, but weight training grows your metabolism exponentially because the more muscle you put on, the more calories it burns even at rest.

And here's one more thought, it is estimated that for every 1 pound of muscle a person gains, their body burns an additional 10 pounds of fat per year... while doing NOTHING. It's like getting a car with a bigger engine, even when it idles it sucks more gas. Now, this isn't to say that you should skip cardio, but I'd say that if you're limited on time, your focus should be on strength followed by cardio on off days."

He also linked to this article which I haven't fully read.

Two weeks ago I decided to join a fitness studio with a personal trainer a few blocks from me. I have some free weights at home but in spite of good intentions I was not using them. I have been going every day minus a few days I spent with my daughter away from home. I can't see any difference in my body and probably haven't lost any weight. But I am definitely already stronger and soreness has been minimal because of his method of circuit training.

I still cycle an average of 5 miles a day. I wish I had time for more.

Here is a link that might be useful: Fat loss.


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Inspiration.

My trainer (and studio owner) showed me before and after pics of a woman who is 54. She trained with him for a year with the goal of entering a recent fitness/bodybuilding competition. What a transformation. She looked like a different woman. I haven't seen her at the studio yet.

I'm 56 and my goal is more modest. I'd like not to be embarrassed by my upper thighs in a one piece swimsuit. Her photos in my mind keep me going.

Eileen

Here is a link that might be useful: And there is this guy...


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RE: Ready, Bachelor, Diet!

Eileen, that sounds great.

I have some equipment at home - rings, dumbbells - and was using them a lot last year. For some reason I got out of the groove and can see the difference. I'm trying to get back into that.

I'm also thinking about trying out a local gym or two. Ideally I'd join with SWMBO, and have access to a lap pool.

Are you doing anything special with diet?


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RE: Ready, Bachelor, Diet!

I'm starting to focus on refining my diet. It isn't terrible but it isn't a weight loss diet, either. I eat mostly healthy food but I eat too much! The trainer gave me a meal plan which is pretty standard and rather boring. I haven't begun it yet. Right now I am keeping a diary of what I eat and counting calories so that I am paying more attention. Also using up what's in the refrigerator before I go shopping again.

E


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RE: Ready, Bachelor, Diet!

Well, Eileen, here is a picture of my dinner tonight, in hopes that it inspires you to refine your diet.

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There was some food too, I guess. From cans. I didn't quite spoon it cold from the can, but pretty close.

Eaten: 1910 cal. Burnt: 2200. Kind of backsliding.

The house is starting to look all comfy-like. Dining table strewn with the week's papers. Clothes carpeting the bedroom. Cats hungry. Ah, bachelorhood.


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RE: Ready, Bachelor, Diet!

You can have the cigar all to yourself but you can pour me a drink to match. Include the view, please.

I went to my a** kicking at the fitness studio today. Some weights went up. Reps, no. No time for a long bike ride. 2 miles. :( I have hopes for the weekend.

E


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RE: Ready, Bachelor, Diet!

Keep going, you are inspiring us, or at least me. Talk more about ass-kicking, play some "Eye Of The Tiger", and I may suddenly feel motivated to. Do. A. Pushup.

Are you doing free weights? What lifts?

For a brief and very fun period, I went to an excellent trainer. He believed in building core strength with simple, heavy lifts. Squats, deadlifts, kettlebells. He also used bodyweight. Ring planks, L sits. And simple cardio. Skipping rope, rowing machine. I was always exhausted after the hour. It was amazing how quickly those exercises change your body. Especially the squats' effect on one's thighs.

Well, I'm going out with a buddy to see an unpromising movie - it is a documentary about the life of Vaclav Haval. In Czech. I'm hoping Haval had a little known passion for belly dancing or something. The last time I went to a movie with my friend, I fell asleep. The seats in the art museum's film center are pretty comfortable. Anyway I know I'll be tempted to reward myself post-doze with a greasy burger or something, so I removed the excuse by eating dinner early. Yes, it was more lunchtime than dinnertime. Call it linner, or dunch.

Still being a good boy. Cauliflower, par boiled, brushed with melted butter and garlic, broiled until it just starts to blacken, sprinkled with feta cheese, broiled until that just starts to blacken, served with pico de gallo.

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Also some cubed and vinegared beets.

This is getting to be too much cooking, and I'm running out of cans. Thinking about some raw meat or fish this weekend. More Zombie Apocalypse training.


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RE: Ready, Bachelor, Diet!

P.S.: ride this weekend! Expecting a full report - but no pressure :-)


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RE: Ready, Bachelor, Diet!

Your cauliflower and feta dish looks and sounds delicious.

Lee


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RE: Ready, Bachelor, Diet!

Life has changed suddenly here. I passed on a workout today and bathed a rescued foster Great Dane instead. I will be back to workout tomorrow when the foster dog is settled in. She is still very much a velcro dog.

Not much in the way of free weights yet for me. Mostly machines. 2-3 sets of 14-20 so far. I'm sure that will change. Some free weights. Each person gets a different workout. I get more upper body and core work I've noticed. I get less cardio because I cycle. Another woman with saddle bag chubbiness got more hip work. The men get different attention. Age makes another difference. The workout is an intense 40 minutes so it is very do-able. It will change as I get stronger.

Sorry about the sleepy movie. Almost all movies put me to sleep after dinner.

I will do at least 10 miles a day this weekend. I hope for more. That's really not so much but I am riding a mountain bike so it counts more. ;)

The cauliflower looks yummy.


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RE: Ready, Bachelor, Diet!

I wish this fourm had a like button.

Eileen and Johnliu, I wish you both the best in your journey of tightening and losing. I'm doing the same. Good luck to you and I'll go buy a bicycle Monday morning. I really mean it! We have a Schwin shop where I live.


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RE: Ready, Bachelor, Diet!

The movie was indeed a snoozer. It was actually written and directed by Vaclav Haval, after he left office, as a satirical parody of a retired politician who looks and talks a lot like Haval, but is a hypocrite and philanderer. The politician's lady companion is played by Haval's actual long time companion, Dagmar somebody-or-other. This might sound promising, but just like the main character, the movie doesn't keep its promises.

I stuck to my "no grains, no potatoes" plan during the week, but for the weekend it seemed like more carbs would be a good thing. During my commute this past week, I've been feeling slow and a bit weak. Now, on Friday I did discover that my rear wheel had gotten misaligned in the dropouts, so that my rear tire had been rubbing on the chain stays, a constant dragging, maybe that was making me slow, eh? But even so . . . time to fill the tank a little.

Breakfast was cereal with strawberries from the garden. Lunch was potatoes and meat (only half of this steak). Dinner was that time-honored bachelor meal: a burrito from the funky Mexican cart. Burritos, Top Ramen, and canned soup. Those used to be my diet when SWMBO and the kids were away, until I started trying to eat better.

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Went for a couple hour mountain bike ride. It was a vintage - okay, I should explain.

Every year in June, we have PedalPaLooza here in Portland. For three weeks, there are hundreds of bike rides and bike-related events. Goofy theme rides, wearing Star Wars costumes, competing in Dr. Who trivia, the Michael Jackson riders vs the David Bowie riders. Riding tours of local sights, parks, brewpubs, food carts. Off-beat races, of loaded cargo bikes, mini-bikes, unicycles. Random rides that someone decided would be fun - there was a Red Head ride, a MILF ride, a ride with a locally famous (I don't know why) 80 y/o drag queen. Statement rides like the LBGTQ ride. A local mayoral candidate led a ride. The World Naked Bike Ride, which starts at 10 PM and draws 10,000 naked and mostly naked riders. The "World" part is literal. About this time in cities all over the world, there are organized naked bike rides, many quite large, but we have the largest, because, well, Portland is just that kind of place. I wanted to go on it but SWMBO vetoed that idea. I did go on the "Lit And Loud" ride after the snoozy movie. This was basically a few hundred people, bikes festooned with lights and glow cord and disco balls, carrying elaborate mobile sound systems for the urban pop soundtrack, gathering in a local park, riding a short loop through the city, and ending up in a vacant lot under the freeway to, presumably, party all night - I wouldn't know, being rather bored by then, I went home. Yeah, I'm an old fart and my "party 'till morning" days are over.

Anyhow, one of the rides was the vintage mountain bike ride. So a small and motley group of us rode some local trails on old and semi-old mountain bikes, got muddy, stopped for the afore-mentioned burrito, then saw a movie, "Klunkers", about the birth of the mountain bike in 1970s Marin County. It was fun, I kept up, didn't feel weak at all, and I owe that to the potatoes.


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RE: Ready, Bachelor, Diet!

Went grocery shopping today, with SWMBO's bike which is our "cargo bike". It looks like this

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And carries all this

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Kind of hard to tell from the picture, but that is a week of groceries, when it's just me trying to lose weight. A pound of beef; some chicken; a four pound salmon; several each of tomatoes, peaches, and plums; a cauliflower head; a couple onions; garlic; some cucumbers; mushrooms; ten little yogurts; bananas; grapes; a pound of coffee; 18 eggs; brussel sprouts; a couple artichokes; a 1/2 gal of milk; and next to the milk, a few things I'm bringing to stock the office kitchen, since I'm brown-bagging lunch now.

Basically it will carry four full paper bags of groceries plus a couple juice or milk cartons or, today, a sizeable fish. Google "Xtracycle" for a kit that will convert most mountain or hybrid bikes.

I'm thinking Eileen will be needing to carry 25 lb bags of dog food now.


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RE: Ready, Bachelor, Diet!

That's very cool! I don't have a bike rack and panniers and I really should. I shop every few days and use a backpack.

Nice haul!

I got on the scale this morning. I've lost 2 pounds in spite of my wine habit. :)

Eileen


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RE: Ready, Bachelor, Diet!

Congratulations!

You know who knows a lot about getting in shape, is triciae. I believe she trained for body building at one point. Got to some crazy low body fat. I bet she looked like Wonder Woman.

I'll check my weight tomorrow. Yesterday 3200 burned, 2200 eaten. Today 2100 burned 1400 eaten. According to Calorie Count, anyway.

Spent the evening making and packing stuff to take to work for lunch during the week. Broiled chicken wings, fried salmon skin and collar, brussel sprouts browned in butter and sugar, vinegared cucumber. My routine now is to bring some cooked stuff, some egg whites, various fruit, and basically graze all day. I seem to be bringing a lot of food each day, but it all amounts to fewer calories than my previous routine of morning bagel/cream cheese and lunchtime food cart takeaway.

Riverat, let us know what the bike shop recommends. I'd be interested in knowing the model and size they suggest. Correct fit is important.


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RE: Ready, Bachelor, Diet!

This "no grains" thing is interesting. �Grains are so calorie dense. �A plate of pasta is enough calories for most of the day. Fresh foods are, for the most part, not calorie dense. You have to eat a lot of fruit and veggies to replace a bowl of rice or a loaf of bread. �So nowadays I feel like I am always eating. �

Today, for instance. �I had:
- Before going to work: small bowl of cereal (like 1/2 cup), 1% milk, and strawberries. Cereal, I know, I'm doing "very few grains" not actually "no grains". Just have to have something before getting on the bike.
- At the office, for breakfast: a banana, two apples, a plum, a peach, a small light yoghurt, four egg whites with olive oil, salt and pepper. �I call it "breakfast" but actually I'm sort of eating all morning.
- At the office, for lunch: 6 oz of pan-fried salmon with fresh salsa on little thin toast crisp things.
- For dinner: �4 oz of steak, two small potatoes (cubed and fried with the steak), a cucumber sliced and vinegared, some cashews, a handful of tortilla chips, some grapes.

That was 1,800 calories. Basically a normal day's intake. �I feel like I've been doing nothing but eating. �It is kind of fun, I guess. �But time-consuming.

2250 cal burned. 1800 consumed. Down about 2 lb from last Tuesday.


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RE: Ready, Bachelor, Diet!

I understand. My salads are a lot of chopping but no cooking. And fill a large bowl with not many calories. And I'm very full.


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RE: Ready, Bachelor, Diet!

Gosh, I'm no better at writing regularly in this diary than I ever was as a kid.

Today I left my house early (7:30 AM on Saturday is early for me) in hopes of completing my bike ride before the forecasted thunderstorms. I rode a loop around Portland, mostly on bike paths, almost empty in the early morning, with the last 15 miles on city roads. Ran across a park I'd never seen. Met a young chow chow who looked just like my old dog. Stopped for a flat tire, and stopped again for a bratwurst at a farmers' market. Home by noon, a bit over three hours of actual riding.

50 miles at 15.3 mph average, including lights, stop signs, dawdling through the market, and poking around the park, but not the stop for the flat and the second stop for the edible dog. Well, chows are edible, historically that was one of their functions, but we don't talk about that in front of them.

No dogs on my menu this week, but some okay stuff. My original "no-cooking" vow didn't hold up, because the contents of cans aren't compatible with my attempt to diet. Instead I've been cooking as simply and briefly as possible, with minimal grains as before.

My lunches have been something like this. Salmon, salted then cured for a few days (kind of a lox-like thing, minus the spices), then hardly seared and submerged in pico de gallo and all that lime juice.

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Meat, o meat. Here with mushrooms, is there a less nutritionally relevant food? I think this is about 1 calorie of shrooms. I bring brown mushrooms home and leave them out for a week, to dry and wrinkle them up a bit. I find they brown up better with less moisture.

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Speaking of calories. I've been tracking those rather obsessively.
Wed 2260 out 1900 in
Thu 2360 out 1900 in
Fri 2260 out 2160 in
Sat 4560 out 1950 in, so far

There is a box of VooDoo donuts in front of me. (I'm in a bar watching the Tour de France prologue.). I'm thinking about having one.


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RE: Ready, Bachelor, Diet!

FYI. I will be in Portland July 15-18 or so.


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RE: Ready, Bachelor, Diet!

Up for dinner here? I'm doing a ride Jul 14-15, but free the rest of that period, and I doubt SWMBO has made any plans for us.


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RE: Ready, Bachelor, Diet!

John,

You're getting quite a bit of exercise with that bike of yours. Seems like more than two pounds worth? Are you checking your body fat? I'd bet you've lost a lot more than you realize. Muscle weighs more than fat. When I was body-building my weight actually went up - from about 117 to 131. But my body fat went from 19% to 11%. I wore size 6 jeans & a size 12 top (some of that's because I have arms so long it looks like I'm only a few years out of the jungle but also 'cause I'm a bit busty). Anyway, I'd bet you've lost quite a bit of body fat.

/tricia (who still questions the fried potatoes though - big grin)


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RE: Ready, Bachelor, Diet!

It is hard for me to tell what my weight is really doing, over short periods like a couple of weeks.. The scale jumps around by up to 2 lb from day to day, and I think a lot of the initial loss is just water, so the daily reading is often misleading. It is one of those body composition scales but all the body fat, muscle percent, etc measures also jump around a lot.

While the scale says I am down a bit over 5 lb from the start of this thread, I figure that means I'm actually down 2 to 3 lb.

Most of that is probably just pining over my absent family .


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RE: Ready, Bachelor, Diet!

John, I emailed you through GW.

Eileen


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RE: Ready, Bachelor, Diet!

Here's something yuo all will find funny. A 16 y/o girl, of the iPhone generation, is learning how to write "letters" and use a "payphone" and a "calling card".

Dear daughter is at a camp in Yosemite, working for the summer. She applied for, and got, a kitchen job. She wanted to learn about cooking (and dishwashing, I'm thinking happily) and it pays more because the work is harder than, say, lifeguarding. Well, she's had a rough start so far. She flew to the Bay Area, a family friend picked her up and drove her to camp way up in the Sierras. On the journey, she got second-degree burns on the balls of her feet from hot asphalt - kind of a freak accident - so she had to go back down to Berkeley to recuperate for a week. When she arrived back at camp, still with big, puffy, painful blisters on her soles, she launched into working 8 hours a day, 6 days a week, having missed the initial training sessions. She also started living in her tent cabin among the other teenaged staffers, having missed the week of initial bonding and team-building. So she was feeling pretty unhappy. And then she caught her cabin mate's cold, and the camp nurse has kept her off work for three days now - no coughing staffers permitted in food prep. In fact, they've asked her to stay in her cabin as much as possible, and people bring her meals. (The camp is pretty paranoid about illness, because a couple years ago they actually shut down for a weekend due to some intestinal bug.)

The icing on her sorry cake? There is no internet access! Up there in the Sierras, there is no cellphone signal. There was supposed to be a wireless system for staff, but everyone told her it was terrible.

So this girl, who has grown up with WiFi and Facebook, texting and emails, Skype and YouTube, streaming music, on-demand Internet television, an iPhone in her pocket, never more than a text away from her parents and friends, was stuck in a tent cabin with only a stack of blank postcards, a couple of calling cards, and the single pay phone that all the staffers share. I'm quite sure she'd never used a payphone before. Come to think of it, I haven't used one for many years myself.

So, dearest daughter started writing postcards and learned to use the pay phone and calling card. She learned to count the days until the next letter from home arrived. And she read one of her books - she brought thirty, a whole library.

I've been having fun writing letters myself. I use aerogrammes - remember those? They don't get a special rate anymore, you have to stamp them just like a letter, but they're still cool. I've been mailing her parcels of stuff she forgot, long industrial strength dish gloves (for some reason, the staff just uses latex gloves to do dishes), my famous homemade beef jerky. I'm even using a fountain pen. How retro, how fun.

Well, its all over. She figured out how to get onto the wireless network, and learned that it is adequate for texting and emails, even if incapable of video calling or streaming movies. She's been sending me texts. I'm sad. I'm hoping to keep the letter-writing going.


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RE: Ready, Bachelor, Diet!

Eileen, your message didn't come through. You can just email me directly. My GW username at earthlink which is a ".net" domain.


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RE: Ready, Bachelor, Diet!

Save those postcards from camp. They are priceless. I have every card and letter from camp and my oldest son turns 46 today. What a rough start she has had. Blisters on the bottom of your feet and a cold to boot. Reminds me of the time at age 16 I took bus to a beach town, thinking I was the coolest thing ever in my cutoff jeans and bare feet. Stepped off the bus and onto a burning cigarette butt. Not so cool. I spent the day limping.

Glad for her that she is back on the virtual grid. Do you save her emails?

I have an old Fisher Price toy record player with plastic records. My grandniece wanted to where was the slot to insert the DVDs. Sigh. I long for the olden days.

I do remember aerogrammes. Is that what they call onion paper?


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RE: Ready, Bachelor, Diet!

Kind of. Aerogrammes are sheets of thin paper that you write on, then they fold up and stick together to make their own envelopes. Usually with red and blue borders and marked "Airmail". They date from a time when most international letters went by sea, and only special letters on extra light paper went by air. We used these when I was a kid. I think they are romantic.


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RE: Ready, Bachelor, Diet!

Oh yes, I do remember those. Did you have them in the back of a drawer somewhere? I wonder if you can still buy them.

I was looking through an old scrapbook and found a form used to fill out your message for a Western Union telegram. I picked it up from a hotel in New York when I was a kid

How's DD's foot coming along. Is camp improving beyond connecting via wireless?


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RE: Ready, Bachelor, Diet!

You can buy pads of lightweight paper that look just like aerogrammes and have the adhesive edges, in stationery or novelty stores. They are not true aerogrammes in that they don't get any special postage rate, nor are they pre-posted as most aerogrammes were. You just treat them like letters and stick on a stamp.

Her feet are pretty much healed, the old blisters need to slough off but all the liquid has been reabsorbed and there's strong new skin underneath. Her cold and especially her uncontrollable cough, however, is stubbornly continuing, the camp nurse still won't let her return to work, and she's still supposed to stay in her cabin. So she's written 12 postcards and letters and thinks the nurse is a "poopbutt". I, personally, am just as well with not having some 16 y/o coughing into the food prep. I think we can tolerate the loss of family income . . .


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RE: Ready, Bachelor, Diet!

This is a fun thread I just caught up with.

I do a combination of weight training and aerobics. I walk every other day and do free weights every other day. I eat too much, so I'm certainly not skin and bones, but I do feel good when I haven't over done it. I have a bad hip which has greatly slowed my aerobics, and disappoints me.

John, I feel for your daughter. I hope camp is getting better for her and she's managed to make some friends. I'm impressed with her bothering to write. I was pretty lazy about writing my parents when I was at camp.

I'm surprised you're ditching all grains. White rice isn't supposed to be all that good for a diet, but there's other options, such as brown rice, and quinoa.

Sally


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RE: Ready, Bachelor, Diet!

I'm not anti-grain in general, but cutting them out or cutting them back is the quickest way for me to reduce my calories for when I'm trying to lose weight. I seem to get the nutrition I need from other stuff. However, I did just have a big bowl of cereal, because I'm headed out on a 50 mile ride!

Since starting this thread, the scale - which I don't trust, but let's go with it for second - is down 6.6 lbs and is right on a weight that has been a barrier for months - I've only been able to get below it for one day, several months ago - so this week I am hoping to Break On Through To The Other Side. Yes, I secretly want to look like Jim Morrison. You know, before he became a drunkard, got fat, and visited Pere Lachaise.


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RE: Ready, Bachelor, Diet!

2:46 ride time
46.88 miles
2620 calories
I'm hungry.

Think this calls for some buttermilk fried chicken for dinner. Just re-read the "fried chicken" thread for tips. If it turns out well, I'll bring some to the bike shop for the 5 pm viewing of stage 4 of the Tour de France. I'm already bringing a big bowl of salsa fresca and a couple bags of chips. This is supposed to earn me free beer.

Last Sunday I went to the 5 am viewing of stage 1. The shop is showing every stage live at 5 am and replay at 5 pm, that being the broadcast schedule on the NBC sports cable feed. The night before, I made a big batch of sausages and two kinds of breakfast potatoes, rosemary-dill and cayenne-wasabi. On the morning, I got up at 3 am and made a batch of scrambled eggs and mushrooms while reheating the sausages and potatoes.

Brought it all to the shop and the fifteen or so of us early birds all had breakfast with fresh orange juice and bike shop coffee.

This being Portland, the bike shop coffee is Stumptown's dark roast, measured to the gram, with an exacting pour-over using a precise amount of 205 F water. It is silly and pretentious but, you know, we have 10.3 months per year of rain so people have to find things to care about, else we'd all blow our brains out.


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RE: Ready, Bachelor, Diet!

Jim did not just visit Pere Lachaise, he moved in.

Glad daughter's feet are improving. Poopbutt. Hmmm. Aren't all butts... oh, never mind.

This thread confirms my belief that the average person (say, those who drive to work), can;t even put a dent in their caloric intake through some extra exercise. Firm muscles? Yes. Improve heart? Yes. Put color in your cheeks? Yes. Lose weight? Not a lot. An hour in the gym works off about one cookie.

Sound like I am trying to rationalize my couch potato lifestyle? yes.


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RE: Ready, Bachelor, Diet!

I agree. If the goal is purely to shed pounds, eating less is far more effective than exercising more. It is way easier to not eat a bagel, than to burn off the bagel's 350 calories.

However, if one simply diets, then much of the weight lost is muscle. Around one-third. Eventually one becomes "skinny-fat". Slender but jiggly, soft, floppy, etc. That person can actually have a pretty high body fat percentage, even though they look slender.

If one combines diet and resistance exercise (weights), it is possible to lose fat while keeping almost all the muscle.

Interestingly, combining diet and aerobic exercise doesn't change the proportion of fat loss to muscle loss all that much, compared to diet alone.

There are lots of studies on this, when I was geeking out on weight loss I read them.

Thus the ideal way to "lose weight" is what triciae did. Gained muscle, lost fat, shrank waist/hips, became Wonder Woman. The long arms were probably good for twirling the glowy lasso.

I'm not on the ideal program at all, but in addition to trying to lose weight, I'm trying to get ready for a bike ride in mid-July so for now, all my effort is going into cycling. Great for the legs but a recipe for skinny-fat elsewhere.

Check out pics of bike racers, you'll see. The sprinters and track riders are muscular all over, upper body and lower. But the other riders usually have pretty scrawny arms. Like Tyranosaurus Rex, their arms have devolved into little appendages that just reach the handlebars. Those arms don't jiggle, though, because they have very low body fat.

E.g. Linked pic of Bradley Wiggins, the favorite to win this year's TdF.

Here is a link that might be useful: Bradley Wiggins picture


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RE: Ready, Bachelor, Diet!

Oh yeah, I see what you mean. Both my sons are avid mt. bikers, esp #2. He works out every day at the gym and therefore is not skinnyfat, nor does he have handlebar appendages. There is a muscle right over his knees that is huge, I presume from biking.

Maybe for someone of Wiggins caliber, it is helpful to have less body weight to pedal around. BTW, I think it is so odd that spectators are allowed to jump into the roadway and all around the bikers. They're not allowed to do that at the Phila. Cycling championship race.

Anyhoo, you have my admiration as does triciae and all you other disciplined people.


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RE: Ready, Bachelor, Diet!

dedtired,

Nope, I don't deserve any "admiration". When I started bodybuilding it was 'cause I'd been going to the Denver Athletic Club with now DH & was pissed that the guys laughed at my efforts to lift weights. I decided I would show them a thing, or three, about a woman's determination. That group of guys along with more than a few of the Denver Broncos watched me for months lift, struggle, lift again, then go do 30-45 minutes on the Stair Master, stumble back to the locker room & return the next night. They watched my body transform. They quit snickering at me. When I started using the 35 lb. dumbbells to do my curls they started actually talking to me like I was one of the guys. It was very validating. Had nothing to do with anything except my pride. After a few weeks of training I discovered I loved it & decided to compete. I just couldn't get my body fat below 11%. Jay (my trainer) said I'd never be competitve. I kept lifting at the DAC for another 3 years until we moved to NH. It really does take diet, varied aerobics, & lifting to lose weight & reshape one's body in a healthy manner.

/tricia


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RE: Ready, Bachelor, Diet!

John, I hope DDs cold gets better soon. I agree, the nurse is a poopybutt. Ashley believes she is also a doodoo head.

Annie


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RE: Ready, Bachelor, Diet!

Just for fun. Contrasting cyclist physiques.

Chris Hoy, the great British track sprinter. 200 lb, built for power, full of fast-twitch muscle fibers, he puts out enormous wattage for under a minute. He is a Knight of the Empire and has a closetful of Olympic gold.

Marco Pantani, the great and tragic climber. Light as a bird (guessing 130 lb), with the heart and lungs of a racehorse, he flew up the steepest roads in the Alps, a hundred miles in a day. Admittedly he was doping, but that was practically required in his era. He died of a drug overdose.


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RE: Ready, Bachelor, Diet!

When I first opened this thread, I scrolled to the bottom as I usually do to then scroll up to where I last left off. I saw you comparing the bodies of the cyclists, and immediately thought that your wife better hurry home! Of course, then I scrolled up and read the context of the pictures, and understood.

You see the same disproportioned bodies on speed skaters - skinny upper bodies and arms, humongous thighs.

I bet the bicycle shop people love to have you come visit!

Sally


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RE: Ready, Bachelor, Diet!

OMG, did some reading:

The world's best track sprinter, Sir Chris Hoy, can put out 2,300 watts for a bit less that 1 minute. That is about 25 watt/kg body weight.

A top stage racer like Marco Pantini (was) can put out 400-500 watts for an hour, about 6 watt/kg, and can sustain 300 watts for several hours.

The average recreational cyclist can put out maybe 200 watts for less than a minute. That's, umm, maybe 2 watt/kg.

Thus, in the TdF and similar top-level stage racing, a solo rider can maintain 25-27 mph for hours. Thanks to aerodynamics, the peleton can ride 35-40 mph for hours, can hit 45 mph when pressing hard, and a top road sprinter like Mark Cavendish can hit 48 mph in the last 100 meters of a sprint stage. Chris Hoy has hit 49 mph on the track. The difference is Hoy is riding solo, while Cavendish is slipstreaming behind a leadout rider then pulling out and accelerating for the line. Also that Cavendish is sprinting at the end of a 80-100 mile stage.

Back to that average recreational cyclist. He can barely maintain 15 mph for an hour or two.

Sorry for the geekery. This is just incredible speed and power from these athletes.


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RE: Ready, Bachelor, Diet!

Report from the camp front.

Dear daughter's feet are healed. She has returned to work, and reports that everyone is glad to see her. The kitchen is short-staffed, they always get out later than they are supposed to. I keep reminding her to curl her fingers and thumb, I really don't want her to cut herself.

She has been bombarding me with "please send me this" and "I really need that". A cap to keep her head warm at night, more beef jerky, more envelopes and stamps. The latest is that she wishes she had more music etc to listen to. I am copying hundreds of GBs of music files, movies, and TV episodes to a portable hard drive and will mail that off to her. Apparently it's just not camp if you can't watch Rocky Horror Picture Show or listen to a Harry Potter book on tape as you're falling asleep.

This is not how I grew up. I recall having a stick and a stone, or something like that. Well, such is progress.


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RE: Ready, Bachelor, Diet!

Life is tough for the younger generation, isn't it! lol

Sally


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RE: Ready, Bachelor, Diet!

Only send the requested items if she asks by snail mail. Keep those cards and letters coming.

Back in the stone age when I went to camp you couldn't get in the dining hall one day per week if you didn't put a letter home in the basket.

I can do 10 minutes on a stationary bike.


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RE: Ready, Bachelor, Diet!

Well, my bachelor interlude is ending. This morning I'm flying to the Bay Area to join SWMBO and dear son who have been gallivanting around NorCal and SoCal, visiting friends, Universal Studios, museums, whatnot. I'll hang out in Berkeley for a couple days before driving home with them on Thursday. Hopefully I'll find a place to watch the Tour de France as it is about to move into the mountain stages. I'll also be working some - "have laptop will travel" you know. Maybe someone will loan me a bike to take a ride or two.

When I get back, it's straight to Seattle for the Seattle-To-Portland ride next Saturday and Sunday. That should be fun, or painful, or both. I've neglected to make any lodging arrangements at the overnight stop in Centralia, but am figuring I can camp somewhere. I've alerted the office that I am play-it-by-ear as far as coming in on the following Monday goes.

It has been a bit less than three weeks of a diet of minimal grains, lots of fruit and meat, and the occasional vegetable. Missed my usual bachelor fare of ramen and burritos, never had time to make myself a plate of boeuf hache, but I haven't starved. I've ridden about 200 miles, lost a couple of pounds, made two batches of beef jerky, and sent dear daughter several parcels and multiple letters.

Hey, Eileen, I didn't get your email. If you're still coming through Portland, let me know. johnliu@earthlink.net.

Cab's here. Gotta go!


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RE: Ready, Bachelor, Diet!

Welcome back, SWMBO and son. I hope John cleaned the house for you!

Sally


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RE: Ready, Bachelor, Diet!

The Seattle to Portland ride is on my bucket list. I am so envious. Sally2 and I will be in Portland later this month and I am hoping to do a little cycling in your bailywick. Have fun and be safe. It will be spectacular!


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