Big Fat Queer

May 31, 2010

Smoked Pig

Filed under: Eat Less; Move More — bigfatqueer @ 4:26 pm
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For lunch today we picked up some barbecued pulled pork. In the south folks take barbecue seriously and various locales can be very competetive. My favorite place here is called Bucky’s, about a mile from my Mother’s house. It is in a cheap aluminum building with a few picnic tables with oilcloth tablecloths, no frills. But the barbecue is great, smokey and tender. I had pork with mustard base sauce and coleslaw. No bread or chips. The only carbs I’ve had other than a little in the sauce and slaw were some fresh cherries. I will probably have some more pork with a salad for dinner.

May 30, 2010

Second Day of Vacay

I have been reasonably good since I left NY. On Saturday at the airport I had Greek yogurt and dried cherries. On the plane I had a dried cranberry and nut snack. Altogether about 400 calories. When I reached my destination my brother had grilled hamburgers and hot dogs. I had some meat with salad, no bun, no chips, so not too shabby. There was cheesecake and lemon cake and I had a very small sliver of each. That put me between 1800 and 2000 calories for the day. Acceptable for vacation. The only walking I did was in airports, but that was probably a little over half a mile.

Today I didn’t walk much at all. We had tacos for lunch. I did not eat any tortilla, just taco meat (chili) and salad. For dinner my sister and I went to Whole Foods and bought some rotisserie chickens and fresh broccoli, corn and salad material. For a family gathering we ate pretty healthy tonight. I did have some banana pudding and another sliver of lemon cake this evening. I’m at about 2000 calories for today, which wouldn’t be so bad if I had moved more.

Tomorrow most of the crowd disperses and I plan to eat healthy most of the week. There will be some temptation, but I will do the best I can. I certainly intend to do some serious walking this week. I just want to get back to NY without gaining anything.

Some of you may have seen my short video about my visit to the famous “Peachoid” of Gaffney SC. This was on my drive from the airport to my Mother’s house. It is a water tower. The Gaffney area produces a lot of peaches (they claim more than the state of Georgia, but I don’t know how true that is, but a lot). They made their water tower in the shape of a peach, although the joke for years has been that it looks like a giant butt crack. Here is a picture I took:

Click picture for Wikipedia article about the Peachoid.

May 28, 2010

Last Performance Prior to National Tour!!!!

Many decades ago that was the advertising tag for closing Broadway shows. It no longer applies. Producers realized they could make so much more money by running the national tour and keep running the Broadway show. They feed off each other. But I digress. Tomorrow I am going on vacation. I don’t know whether it is much-deserved as the cliche goes, but it is much-needed. I was so stressed yesterday that last night I was calculating how long I could live if I quit my job and cashed in my retirement account. Unfortunately it wouldn’t be long enough. Then I thought I could kill myself when it runs out (in jest folks; don’t get all weird on me). I just need to get out of here. I will try to blog from the road, but no promises.

I enjoyed my cheeseburger last night. Today I had some roast beef and a spinach salad for lunch. Tonight I had sashimi and a spicy tuna roll. The roll had a little rice, but that was pretty much the only carbs I had so far today. I will have fresh fruit as a snack tonight. This will put me between 1500 and 1600 calories for today.

I walked three quarters of a mile today. This has been a difficult week for walking with the combination of weather and work. I look forward to not only a relaxing vacation, but a healthy one with good food and lots of interesting walks. I’m all packed and ready.

I just need a good night’s sleep and I’m on the road.

May 27, 2010

I’m Going to Have a Cheeseburger, Dammit!

Filed under: Eat Less; Move More — bigfatqueer @ 7:10 pm
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This week has been a mixture of good and bad. Monday I was sleep deprived and I didn’t eat well at all. Tuesday and Wednesday I felt pretty good and stayed healthy. However by Wednesday late afternoon things at work started going downhill and today just sucked ass out loud. I won’t go into details, but days like today make me hate my life. It will pass and things will get better. I have been through ups and downs before and I don’t stay down too long, but right now I feel like dog shit under somebody’s shoe. So I’m going to have a cheeseburger and I will not regret it. I had chicken and snow peas for lunch, which was reasonably healthy – no rice. There was a little corn starch in the sauce, but I didn’t eat much sauce. I have only walked about a half mile today since we are having thunderstorms, but I took the subway so I did climb a bunch of stairs.

I’m going to enjoy my cheeseburger. After all, tomorrow is another day.

May 26, 2010

Busily Preparing for Vacation

The thing about vacations is that for a week or two before I am extremely busy trying to catch up enough so that I don’t work during my vacation. Then when I get back, I have to work hard to catch up for the week I took off. It would be nice to have a real vacation. Now it’s just a reallocation of time. Anyway I am tired, but I have been productive. Hence, for the last couple of days I have not blogged.

Today I had lentil soup and a salad for lunch. For dinner I had some rotisserie chicken, corn on the cob, steamed spinach and a glass of V8. I am at about 1400 calories for the day.

I walked a mile and a half. It was majorly hot today. I’m not sure how high the temperature got, but it was forecast to go as high as 95. I had some equipment rollouts at work today, so I did a lot of physical labor. I usually sit on my ass at work, but a couple of days this week I have done manual labor. I hate it, but it is exercise.

I finished my Montauk video Sunday. You can view it here. It looks nice full screen (click the four outward pointing arrows between the volume control and the Vimeo logo.)

May 23, 2010

Spaghetti Tomato and Basil and 368

While the rest of the world watches the finale of Lost, I shall blog.

First off, I weighed in this morning at 368, so I have lost my five pound yo-yo and an additional five. Altogether I have lost upwards of 35 pounds since mid March (my scales only went to 400, so I don’t know how much over I was).

Not to bore you, but for breakfast I had a repeat of yesterday: scrambled eggs, pumpernickel bread with organic peanut butter. The only difference is today I didn’t have a banana. For dinner I cooked. I mean really cooked, not just heating stuff up.

Among foodies some recipes become legend, like Julia Child’s Beef Bourguignon or Thomas Keller’s roast chicken (which I have made a few times – delicious!). Another rising star on the recipes-from-celebrity-chefs is Scott Conant’s Spaghetti with Fresh Tomato Sauce and Basil. Conant is a frequent judge on Chopped on the Food Network. He seems to be a bit of a jerk, but that doesn’t mean he can’t be a good chef. In fact I think it is quite common 🙂

I made it tonight from fresh plum tomatoes, which I blanched, peeled and seeded and cooked down to a delicious sauce. I had Dreamfield’s spaghetti, which I have written about before. Only 5 grams of carbs per serving are absorbed, so it does not raise blood sugar. The recipe is labor intensive, but very simple. It was quite good, though if I had some really fresh local organic tomatoes available to me I am sure it would be better. I made a tomato water from the seeds and peels and cooked Brussels sprouts in that. I’m at about 2000 calories for the day. Above target, but not obscene. I did not walk today.

Spaghetti With Fresh Tomato Sauce and Basil

Recipe from “New Italian Cooking,” courtesy of chef Scott Conant of Scarpetta

Total Prep: Roughly 40 minutes, 4 servings

This is a straightforward, traditional, fresh tomato sauce in which ripe tomatoes — and little else — get cooked quickly to retain their vibrant flavor. Why then is it such a hit? The key is in the finish. Here’s how I put the dish together at the restaurant: I take a single portion of pasta cooked just shy of al dente and add it to a sauté pan that holds a single portion of hot, bubbling tomato sauce. To toss the pasta and sauce together I use that pan-jerking method we chefs are so fond of. I do this to look cool. Just kidding. The real reason is that this technique not only coats the pasta evenly with the sauce, but it also introduces a little air into the process making the dish feel lighter and brighter. To accomplish this aeration with larger portions and without fancy wrist work, cook the sauce in a pan with a lot of surface area. When you add the pasta to the sauce, gently toss the pasta with a couple of wooden spoons (tongs can bruise and break the strands), lifting the pasta high above the bottom of the pot. Finish the dish with some butter, some cheese, and some basil.

Ingredients

About 20 ripe plum tomatoes

About 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more to finish the dish

Pinch of crushed red pepper

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 tbs. unsalted butter 1 oz. freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (about half a cup)

6 to 8 fresh basil leaves well washed and dried, stacked and rolled into a cylinder and cut thinly crosswise into a chiffonade

1 lb. spaghetti, either high-quality dry or homemade

To peel the tomatoes: Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Have a large bowl of ice water nearby. Cut a small X on the bottom of each tomato. Ease about 5 tomatoes in the pot and cook. Let boil for about 15 seconds and then promptly move them to the waiting ice water (do this with the remaining tomatoes). Pull off the skin with the tip of a paring knife. If the skin sticks, try a vegetable peeler using a gentle sawing motion. Cut the tomatoes in half and use your finger to flick out the seeds.

To cook the tomatoes: In a wide pan, heat the 1/3 cup of olive oil over medium-high heat until hot. Add the tomatoes, red pepper flakes, and season lightly with the salt and pepper (I always start with a light hand with the salt and pepper because as the tomatoes reduce, the salt will become concentrated).

Let the tomatoes cook for a few minutes to soften. Then, using a potato masher, chop the tomatoes finely. Cook the tomatoes for 20 to 25 minutes, until the tomatoes are tender and the sauce has thickened. Refrigerate for up to 2 days or freeze it for longer storage.

To serve: Bring a large pot of amply salted water to a boil. Cook the spaghetti until just shy of al dente. Reserve a little of the pasta cooking water. Add the pasta to the sauce and cook over medium-high heat, gently tossing the pasta and the sauce together with a couple of wooden spoons and a lot of exaggerated movement (you can even shake the pan) until the pasta is just tender and the sauce, if any oil had separated from it, now looks cohesive (If the sauce seems too thick, add a little pasta liquid to adjust it). Take the pan off the heat and toss the butter, basil and cheese with the pasta in the same manner (the pasta should take on an orange hue) and serve immediately.

May 22, 2010

Three Mile Walk

I set out this afternoon with the intention of walking a mile or a mile and a half. When I got home and plotted it out on Google Maps I was surprised to see I had walked three miles. It felt good.

For brunch I had scrambled eggs and two slices of pumpernickel bread with a smear (a rounded teaspoon) of organic peanut butter on each. I also had a banana. Tonight I had some diced chicken and baby shrimp with vegetables. I also had an egg roll, but I scooped the insides out of it and discarded the skin. I’m at about 1200 calories for the day.

I am going to watch Avatar – finally. I think I am the only person who didn’t see it in the theater. I will have a mixed berry smoothie during the movie.

I have rarely coughed today. I think my bug is dead and gone.

Here is a picture from my walk today:

More Energy, More Movement

Filed under: Eat Less; Move More — bigfatqueer @ 10:14 am
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I felt better today than I have in over two weeks. Part of that is due, I’m sure, to the fact that it is Friday, but I am coughing less and less stuffy in the sinuses. I worked very hard today, walked two and a half miles and when I got home did housework so I don’t have anything that I must do over the weekend. Only what I want to do, which is nice. One thing I know I will do is finish editing my video homage to Montauk, which is about 75% done. If you watch it, I think you will understand why I love it.

I had a peanut butter granola bar this morning. For lunch I had about 4 ounces of sesame chicken and two spare ribs with a salad. For dinner I had six hot wings and 12 ounces of V8 juice. I know V8 is not as good as fresh vegetables, but there was a time factor. We make choices in life and this was a conscious one. Later I will have a blueberry smoothie.

I’m happy that my energy is coming back. I am always a busy person. There are so many things I want to do and never enough time, but I am able to do much more now. It’s not only getting over my illness, but it is the weight loss, the activity and the drastic reduction of simple carbohydrates from my diet

May 20, 2010

Too much to do; Too little time

Filed under: Eat Less; Move More — bigfatqueer @ 9:32 pm
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A quick update. I worked late tonight and I’m dog tired. An old dog at that.

Walked a mile today. Lunch was 3 oz of roast beef, 3 oz of chicken, salad (500 cal). Afternoon snack of dried fruit and cashews (300 cal). Dinner was 2 tbsp organic peanut butter on a slice of pumpernickel with banana and a small bottle of V8 juice (500 cal).

I’m going to bed soon; I need to get in to work earlier tomorrow. Too much to do, to little time. Good night all.

May 19, 2010

Yo-Yo No Mo’

I have lost the five pound yo-yo of the last two and a half weeks and I’m back to where I was before Montauk and illness. Now it’s onward and downward. I am going on vacation in about a week and a half, but I am committed to staying healthy during that week. I will be in South Carolina, staying mostly at my Mother’s house, which is filled with temptation. But there is a refrigerator and a kitchen and I’ll have a car and access to Whole Foods and Fresh Market within an easy drive. So I have no excuse not to stay healthy. Hold me to it. I will do my best to blog during my vacation too. I find it keeps me honest.

I did do something today to add to things to occupy my walking time. I often take my camera and shoot pictures during walks (mostly on weekends). Often I just think. I find walking to be conducive to thinking. It is like the opposite of meditation where I try to empty my head of thoughts. Rather, while walking, I engage in conversations with myself, silent – usually, but very wordy. Often I argue with myself. More often I argue with others, you know, those people who live inside my head and are often made of straw. I find if I argue with straw men in my head then I argue with them less on the internet. I usually win.

But the other option I have added for those times I don’t wish to shoot pictures or shoot the breeze with phantoms is radio. I subscribed to Sirius online which has an iPhone app that works very nicely. I know there are free options for music like Pandora, but there are so many options aggregated at Sirius it is convenient. Also, when I pay attention to television news it is usually MSNBC (damn commie I am!) and they feed their audio in real-time to Sirius. I got off the bus three quarters of a mile early tonight and as I walked I listened to Hard Ball. In the mornings I watch Morning Joe (I don’t agree with much of Scarborough or Buchanan, but they have a good assortment of points of view and it’s usually civil, except when Joe and Lawrence O’Donnell tangle). Now, if I want to leave a little earlier and walk a bit more in my morning commute, I won’t miss anything. When a show consists of talking heads it’s amazing how little you need the picture. Also, Bloomberg streams on Sirius and I can listen to Charlie Rose. If I start listening to Oprah, shoot me.

Lunch was tuna salad and shrimp salad (about 3 oz of each) and raw veggies. I had my emergency candy bar in the afternoon. My blood sugar starting dipping, but I caught it before I crashed. For dinner I am going to have a steak and a salad, no potato.

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