Big Fat Queer

March 31, 2010

My Best Day So Far

I think today is my best day so far in terms of eating right and moving more. I had mentioned earlier I had a taste for salmon and after I got home from work I started walking to the market that sells very fresh fish, but on the way I passed my favorite Sushi place. I didn’t really feel like cooking. Actually, it wasn’t the cooking I minded so much. I didn’t feel like cleaning up. So I went in and had a green salad, four slices of salmon sashimi and a king crab avocado roll. That was about 400 calories. Added to what I ate earlier (I had 170 calories of raw cashews in the afternoon), that put me at around 1100 calories for the day. For my tv snack later, I will have some part skim ricotta cheese with a tablespoon of agave nectar and some blueberries. That will bring my day to between 1400 and 1500 calories: on target.

I have started logging my food and activity on the site http://caloriecount.about.com/, which is free and gives me an analysis of the nutritional values of the food for the day compared against recommended, and it estimates calories burned and shows the difference. It is a worthwhile site, even if tilted a bit too much towards commercial and processed foods. They say I was deficient in carbohydrates today. Well fuck them. I thought my carbs were just fine.

After I left the restaurant I walked a mile. Measuring walking distance is very easy in Manhattan using Google Maps. You can enter as many destinations as you like to get directions and mileage by car, walking, public transit or cycling.

One interesting thing about the caloriecount site: I had not used it in about a year, but my last recorded weight there was April 4, 2009 – 381. This Sunday, my weigh-in day is April 4 and I will be within a few pounds of that weight. I know I have gained over the last year, but I have lost whatever I gained and I am back where I was a year ago. I found that an interesting coincidence.

Stevia – Feh!

I tried Stevia in some tea. That was over two hours ago and I still have a metallic bitter taste in my mouth. I don’t know if I will even try it again. I think once is enough for me to know I don’t like it. It tasted pretty much like artificial sweetener, just more bitter. And not that sweet. And the bitterness continues. In fact it gave me craving for real sugar. Feh! Feh! Feh!

I should have bought the smaller package. Anyone want some leftover stevia?

Coconut Milk – Meh

Filed under: Eat Less; Move More — bigfatqueer @ 1:19 pm
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I tried the coconut milk smoothie last night and it was ok, but it wasn’t great. I’ve never loved the flavor of coconut, but it’s not bad when it is fresh. Maybe the combination of coconut and strawberry wasn’t good. Maybe the strawberries weren’t good. I added a dash of vanilla extract, maybe that was a mistake. I won’t give up yet. I will try some other combinations of flavors to see if there is something I like that can become part of the variety of my food intake. We’ll see, but so far… meh.

On the way to work I bought some stevia powder. Stevia is a natural, calorie-free sweetener. I will try it in some tea after lunch and report back how it tasted.

I had a talk with my friend Jeff last night. Jeff is a few months younger than me and we have known each other for over 40 years. I don’t think he has ever had an extra pound and when we eat together, he always makes healthy choices. We were discussing exercise and how neither of us could ever stick to some arbitrary program of working out or going to a gym or walking on a treadmill like the iPod zombies I see through the window of the New York Sports Club near me. I have to integrate exercise into my life. It has to be part of what I do normally, not some activity appendage that I have to schedule.

So here’s what I try to do. I walk to at least one bus stop or subway stop further than the closest. I get off at least one further from my destination. In the morning, that adds about a half mile of walking. When the weather permits I go out and walk around two “avenue blocks” (New Yorkers know what I mean) to pick up lunch, even though it might be less than a block away. This adds about half a mile of walking. Today the weather is decent, so before lunch I have already walked a mile. It’s in installments, but it is a mile and it’s what I can do. For those who suggest this is not enough, that I should commit to some kind of program that is separate from my daily activities, it’s not going to happen. I cannot live a meta-life. After living almost six decades and having tried a lot of things and considered a lot of things (I am endlessly curious), I know certain things about myself. This is what I can do.

Lunch today was about a cup of chick peas and salad vegetables. Later I will have a banana. That’s about 400 calories. I’m thinking about some salmon for dinner. Good, fresh (maybe wild) salmon.

March 30, 2010

I’ve Got A Lovely Bunch of Coconuts

Merv Griffin Sings:

Why coconuts? I’ll get to that later. First a recap of the day. This morning I could feel my blood sugar sliding a bit, so I had a Kashi bar, 140 calories and 14 g net carbs. That kept me in good energy until lunch. I ordered chicken and sour Chinese cabbage and bean sprouts, steamed with the sauce on the side, no rice. I only used about two tablespoons of the sauce (white sauce with scallions). That was about 400 calories, very few carbs. It was delicious and filled me until dinner, when I had a 6 oz lean sirloin patty on rye bread with a slice of Swiss cheese with some raw cauliflower and red pepper. Thats about 600 calories, so almost 1200 calories so far today and not very heavy on the carbs, reasonable on the fat.

Now, the coconuts. I have gotten a lot of advice from readers here and on YouTube, Twitter and Facebook. All of it is appreciated and I look at everything people send. Most of it I am aware of on some level. I’ve always said if you want to know about nutrition ask a fat person. We have read it all and tried most of it. I don’t think I can ever follow any one regimented program, but I have to take what makes sense for me and what I can integrate into my life and stick with it for the rest of my life.

Someone mentioned that soy milk may not be as healthy as it is cracked up to be, and I have read about some of the health concerns – for men the phytoestrogens and their relationship with lower testosterone levels. I never believe in magic bullets in any aspect of life, including food. I think you have to mix it up and not rely on any so-called “superfood”. Soy is part of my diet, but not a major part. I don’t see enough reason to worry as long as I am not consuming mass quantities of soy. It does provide a complete protein and I like it. I frequently will have a smoothie for a snack with liquid (soy, almond milk or skim cow’s milk) blended with frozen fruits to make a tasty cold goo. In the interest of mixing it up a bit, tonight I am trying something different.

Someone wrote me about the beneficial properties of coconut oil. I had heard that before in a video on YouTube by Urgelt, who used to post often about healthy eating. He tells the story of how in the 1950s (I think) pig farmers tried to fatten their pigs by mixing coconut oil in their food. But the pigs got lean and muscular instead. Now apparently they use unsaturated vegetable oils mixed in the food to make them fat. I have read enough to think that there may be something to the benefits of coconut products, including the oil. So tonight I bought some organic coconut milk to mix with frozen strawberries for my smoothie. It isn’t coconut oil, but it contains some of the oil in it. I will let you know how it works out.

Urgelt’s video is not enabled for embedding, but you can see it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U48s_UJ0gio

Pasta Follow-up

Filed under: Eat Less; Move More — bigfatqueer @ 8:37 am
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This morning my fasting blood glucose was 114, which for me is outstanding. This seems to verify that Dreamfields pasta has not only a low glycemic index (the amount that it spikes glucose soon after eating), but a low glycemic load (the total amount that it raises glucose over the full period of digestion). I am happy when I can get my morning reading under 150. To measure 114 the morning after having two cups of pasta is very, very good.

March 29, 2010

Pasta and Data

Filed under: Eat Less; Move More — bigfatqueer @ 10:27 pm
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Over many years I have frequently visited a site by David Mendosa, www.mendosa.com for information about diabetes. A while back  on his site I learned about Dreamfields brand of Pasta, which as made so as to reduce the amount of digestible carbs significantly. How they sequester the carbs is a mystery to me, but the label doesn’t seem to have anything mysterious or dangerous listed. I love pasta so I decided to try it. I bought some about a year ago at a supermarket nearby, but I looked for it recently and they didn’t have it. So I ordered some from Amazon.com. The shipment arrived today, so tonight I decided to collect some data. Those of you who know me know that I love empirical data.

I used an amount of pasta that, according to the box, was about 380 calories. Let’s round it to 400. The box indicated that while the total carbs were 82 grams, the digestible carbs were 10g. Hard to believe. While I boiled the water I sautéed some onions and mushrooms in about a tablespoon of olive oil (120 calories). I added half a cup of Muir Glen organic Cabernet marinara sauce, 60 calories and 9 grams net carbs (11g-2g of fiber). Altogether dinner totaled about 600 calories and 30g of carbs. My blood glucose level before eating was 231, a bit high. I didn’t take my meter to work today and I didn’t inject any insulin at work. I had a light carb load for lunch, but I didn’t know my baseline and I didn’t want to risk a crash. I injected 40 units of insulin before dinner. For two cups of normal pasta, with a baseline of 231, I would usually inject 60 units (my insulin resistance is pretty high).

Dinner was delicious. Here is a picture of the actual dish:

An hour after eating my glucose reading was 198. Remarkable. Usually pasta would put me in the high 200s or even over 300. Two hours after eating it was 177. Starting at 231, eating 2 cups of pasta and two hours afterwards at 177 is stunning, in my experience.  In fact, I probably over estimated the insulin, which usually continues acting 3 to 4 hours for me. I will have some fruit before bed. I am a little low on the daily calorie target anyway.

Like all things results will vary. This is just anecdotal and large as I am, I’m not a large enough sample to have any statistical meaning. But for me, it was pasta, it was good and it was guilt free.

Holy Cow! I can reach my ass!

Filed under: Eat Less; Move More — bigfatqueer @ 12:33 pm
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I have briefly alluded to certain issues with activities of daily living that personal enormity brings about in the blog and on vlogs. There is one issue that helped push me past the brink and motivated me to do something. Not only is it inconvenient, but it is embarrassing, but in starting this blog I have rejected embarrassment in favor of full disclosure.

Some very large people reach a point where they can no longer reach their ass. This creates an enormous inconvenience when you want to scratch your ass, pat yourself on the ass when nobody else will or… well it doesn’t require much imagination to apprehend the indignities one encounters on the dark side of the moon. After losing one stone (as my friend Robb in London informs me), I am proud to say the Eagle has landed and Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin (I have named my digits) are walking on the moon!

You may wonder (or not) how I solved certain hygiene problems when the landing module lost communications with my ass. Let’s just say that necessity is the mother of invention (R.I.P. Frank Zappa). In my research on how others might approach the issue, I found (but never actually purchased) a device called the Bottom Buddy on a site called LivingXL.

Description: An award-winning, ergonomically designed bathroom aid that’s hygienic and easy to use. 11″ long with a curved handle, it has a soft, flexible head with three tulip-petal sections that securely grip any tissue or pre-moistened wipe. Once inserted, tissue covers the rounded head, and can be released using a push button on the handle. Includes a carry pouch for travel and storage.

Who knew?

No breakfast today. For lunch I am having a turkey on rye sandwich with a small bowl of romaine lettuce with sesame ginger dressing. Altogether between 500-600 calories.

March 28, 2010

387

Filed under: Eat Less; Move More — bigfatqueer @ 8:15 pm
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I weighed in this morning at 387, down 13 lbs in two weeks. Probably more than 13 lbs, but I don’t know what my starting weight was because my scales would not go that high, but 400 is high enough, so I will stick with 13. That is the rate of about a pound a day.

I think I have gotten my insulin adjusted fairly well. I can still fine tune it, but I haven’t had any hypoglycemic moments since my crash earlier this week and I haven’t been so high that I was sleepy. Today, though, I have felt a little light headed, so just before dinner I checked my blood pressure. It was 110/70, which is not too low, but low for me. Today may be a fluke. It isn’t dangerous, but I will monitor it closely. I take three different meds for bp. Two of them have other salutary effects for diabetes and heart rhythm. The third is a diuretic and it was the most recent addition to compensate for the extra weight. It may be time to eliminate that one, pardon the pun.

Brunch today was an onion and cheddar omelet. I used two whole eggs and one egg white. I also had some rye toast. This was about 550 calories. For dinner I had two Boca burger patties and two slices of rye toast with some home-made vegetable-ginger soup. This was about 750 calories. Later I will have a smoothie of soy milk and frozen blueberries.

No walking today. I was exhausted from a seven-day work week and needed a rest.

March 27, 2010

Two Weeks In: Jamie Oliver and Jeff Garlin

Filed under: Eat Less; Move More — bigfatqueer @ 9:46 pm
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The end of today marks two weeks I have been working, successfully so far, to change my life. A couple of shows on tv last night dealt with some of what I am dealing with. There is Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, which is a reality show and has all of the deficits of tv reality shows (the conflicts are exaggerated; reality is edited and somewhat staged, etc.) but the idea has merit. He is trying to change the eating habits of a town, Huntington, WV, which was rated the most unhealthy city in the US by government statistics. What is most alarming to me is that the crap that the schools feed children is in accordance with USDA guidelines, but it is all processed high fat, refined carbohydrate, low fiber, high sugar crap with lots of food coloring (hot pink milk poured over sugar-coated cereal). This is what the USDA recommends?

I really enjoyed Jeff Garlin’s segment on Real Time With Bill Maher. I like Jeff Garlin very much anyway. He is so likeable and naturally funny. If you don’t know him, he is a stand up comedian and a regular on Curb Your Enthusiasm. He has a book out about changes he has made in his life in two areas: changing his eating and exercise habits (he has been a fat guy most of his adult life) and making more environmentally responsible choices in his life. I liked his honesty and humor as he discussed the difficulty of the change, but the great payoff. Here is a clip:

Apparently HBO took the video down and I can’t find another clip of that interview so here is another clip of Jeff talking about the same thing. I hate that it is Fox News and Huckabee, but Jeff is great.

I worked today, and as usual on Saturday the break room was filled with the Mountain o’ Carbs – bagels, muffins and Danish. I resisted, though I would have really enjoyed a muffin smeared with some butter. I felt better in the long run not having it. I had a chef salad for lunch. The dressing was crap (how do you ruin balsamic vinaigrette?). I had about a half-dozen yogurt almonds and half an apple. All totaled about 600 calories. Dinner was about 8 ounces of spare ribs and some home-made vegetable soup, another 500-600 calories. I will have a soy milk and fruit smoothie later on, so I will be around my 1500 calorie target for the day. I walked about a mile and a quarter. I really wanted to walk more but it was very cold today. It was 29 degrees when I got up and didn’t get much warmer all day.

I weigh myself tomorrow morning. I will report it here.

March 26, 2010

New Shirts for Free

Filed under: Eat Less; Move More — bigfatqueer @ 7:45 pm
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Not exactly new, but I have several shirts I have not been able to button for a long time that I can now wear. It’s like getting new clothes. Some of them I had forgotten about. It’s Friday, but I still have to work tomorrow, however, there are only three more Saturdays until this tax season is over and I will have two-day weekends again. It has turned cold again in NY. I wore a winter coat today and still felt quite cold. I walked a mile, which two weeks ago would seem like a lot, but today it felt like loafing. It was getting to where my hips ached when I walked, but that is diminishing to the point that I don’t really notice so much. I’m not going to run any marathons or run up the steps or anything like that, but I can get around better with less pain and more speed.

Food today was ok. I had about eight ounces of roast chicken and some raw vegetables, about 450 calories. Later I had an apple and a few yogurt almonds, about 250 calories. For dinner I had the same as last night, less one shrimp, about 600 calories. That puts me at 1300 so far. Later I will have some ricotta cheese with berries about 300 calories worth. I’ll be about 100 calories over my target, but what the hell. I ain’t perfect.

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