Home > Uncategorized > Where I’m Starting From:

Where I’m Starting From:

I’m starting from a pretty good point.  I don’t eat a lot of processed food, aside from some oils, snack bars, and the occasional cereal.  I drink all soda infrequently, except for club soda.  I stopped eating candy bars a few years ago.

About four years ago I eliminated all high fructose corn syrup and hydrogenated fat from my diet.  That meant, no more M&Ms, Kit Kat Bars, or Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups from Hudson News in Grand Central.  Most Ice Cream, including Haagen-daz, was eliminated.  No sodas or sports drinks.  If I had a candybar, it was most likely some Swiss or Dutch bittersweet bar; and if it was a drink, it would be Honest Tea or Kombucha.

Sometimes I would pick one up .  But when I did occasionally try a Reeses Peanut Butter cup, it just tasted waxy and … cheap.   And if I do buy a diet Coke, it’s for the feeling of cold carbonation on the back of my throat.

Here are my major challenges:

1) Alcohol.

I’m a heavy drinker.  I go to the Lazy Boy saloon a lot.  I enjoy the ritual.  Although I’m not the type who generally waits for a drink at the end of the day, I like the taste, the company of drinkers, the ritual of pouring and celebration.  I want to interrogate and change that habit so that it is more infrequent, less central, and a less important reward.  Last night, I said goodbye to the Lazy Boy until April 8th.  And unlike other years, I’m not using Sunday or St. Patrick’s day as an excuse to “cheat.”

2) Rice

I’m half Indian, so rice is my grain of choice.  I could easily eat 2 cups with a rich Dahl.   I make rice with butter, lemon, chicken broth and tumeric, making it quite tasty.

I’ve tried adding Quinoa, but even that is off limits.  Rice is part of my stress routine.  When I’m frustrated at work, I order a big plate of Vindaloo at a local Indian place.   If I have time, I make a whole bunch at home.

The chicken isn’t a problem.  It’s the rice.

3) Half and Half, milk and dairy

I usually use milk as a sweetener.  Although this will be the easiest part for me to cut out, I add half and half to my coffee, cook oatmeal in whole milk, serve fancy cheese when I have guests, and occasionally enjoy the pleasures of Greek Yogurt.   I don’t do any of these with frequency, but enough so that I’ll have to be more deliberate.   I’ve already started having my coffee black, and will limit this to two cups a day.

Furthermore, Butter is actually French for “Love.”   I’ll need to find another word.  Coconut oil?

4) French Fries

Who doesn’t have an addiction to these?  It’s elementary comfort food.  I like ot all, from the large slices of pommes frites to the shoestring fries of the Spotted Pig.

5) Lentils

I generally think of lentils as healthy, but according to Paleo, beans are not all that.

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. January 24, 2010 at 8:55 pm

    Padre I read through your posts here and I am very impressed. You are getting great information from good sources. Melissa and Dallas are famous!

    It is good to identify your challenges.

    I too have finally (!) given up dairy completely. It is now on the list of “cheat” foods, meaning, if I eat it or drink it, it’s a sign I’m cheating. I have discovered that I like coffee black. I have also discovered that the only tolerable coffee in the world is french pressed. And like Good Eats star Alton Brown teaches, its even better with just a tiny pinch (LESS than 1/8 tsp) of kosher salt in the grounds before pouring in the water. Wow. Who knew? I don’t need dairy in my coffee! Yes I know that salt isn’t considered paleo.

    I would caution you about cooking too many things in Coconut Milk. It’s a calorie dense food that will put you immediately into the 3x to 4x fat camp. 3x to 4x fat will be necessary for you when you are 138 lbs and back squatting 250. But between now and then, 2x – 3x fat is better.

    Also, read on my blog all the posts about cheating, about quantity and quality, and about the Zone diet. I have a beef with the CrossFit “quality is king” mentality. People like yourself (…I include myself in that group…) who want to lose weight — you want to lose about 47 pounds, which is 1/4 of your body weight — and who are now (GASP!) “metabolically on the other side of 35,” ahem! yes… need the help of dietary technologies that are more powerful than certain of our genes (like the genes that cause us to binge eat in the presence of surplus, and to store fat “for winter”). That technology is “the Zone.”

    Don’t panic. Do your 30 days and then, let’s talk Zone. On the phone. Or better yet, in person.

    On ditching rice, and putting meat in its place: I build my meals around two to three veggies. I shoot for 2 cooked and 1 raw veggie on the table. I shoot for three colors on my plate. E.g. purple cabbage sauteed in olive oil and dressed with lemon juice, sliced raw red peppers with pepper and salt, and steamed broccoli with a dab of coconut oil on top, salt, and lemon juice. The meat sits in one quarter of the plate. Olive oil goes on the table for when my body says: you need more fat. That doesn’t mean I don’t consider the meat first, buying it or thawing it out before I select the veggies. It means that when I am planning the meal I deliberately say: how will I get my veggies and my colors. I consider it a failed meal when I don’t get my colors.

    Check out http://marksdailyapple.com/ if you haven’t.

  2. January 24, 2010 at 11:06 pm

    Cool blog. I will definitely be following. I am used to using pastured butter myself, which I don’t plan to stop, but maybe use less of. I figure, since I don’t drink coffee, it’s a fair trade.

    Good replacements for foundation-carbs (rice, pasta) is zucchini. With a spiralizer, you can make it into all sorts of shapes that kind of are reminiscent of a bed of something carby. Spaghetti squash is similar in that respect. Maybe that’ll help cutting rice out. That was a big one for me too.

  3. Rita Santos
    January 25, 2010 at 11:06 am

    Hi Gawain. This is a great blog! I’ll be following it as well. I’m hoping to find some of the more exotic ingredients at Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, or Stew Leonard’s.
    Khaled- I agree about spaghetti squash. With some simple easoning, its really tasty. Where do you find the pastured butter?

  4. padremambo
    January 25, 2010 at 1:47 pm

    I’m going to try the spaghetti squash. Today I purchased some Zucchini. I think that after 30 days I will probably add butter again. But by adding coconut oil, I’ll be using it less.

    Matt, I’ll probably being with some kind of zone in 30 days. Right now I’m simply going “clean.” I think my large alcohol intake will have an immediate impact as it constitutes about 3500 calories, conservatively, of my diet.

    The overall issue, as you correctly illustrate, is diligence, or mindfulness. Thoughtfulness is crucial. The problem is when and where. I find it hard to be thoughtful while I’m eating. It’s easier for me to set up some strict rules. Portion sizes are difficult unless I have already said, “I’m only eating half” beforehand.

    Melissa and Dallas instructions were simple: eat when you’re hungry; stop when you’re full. Of course, the challenge is to sense when one is truly satiated.

    Say, if you have special dishes, please share!

  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: