Big Fat Queer

September 2, 2010

Falafel (Not the Bill O’Reilly kind)

I made falafel tonight from a mix. I added some pumpkin seeds, onions and garlic for a little extra flavor. It was tasty. On the side I had some organic corn mixed with pigeon peas, which is similar to what we called crowder peas in the south. They are nutty flavored legumes and mix well with corn.

For lunch yesterday and today I had some chicken and roast pork with assorted vegetables. Last night I roasted chicken thighs and made a slaw of cabbage, cucumber and red pepper dressed with the juice from some bread and butter pickles, a little olive oil and sriracha. Crisp and spicy.

Tonight begins a four day weekend for me, and I am celebrating with a cocktail I call a cachaca collada. I mix cachaca (Brazilian distilled beverage made from sugar cane), pineapple and coconut milk, blended with some crushed ice.

Both yesterday and today I walked about a mile and a half. It was quite hot, so most of it was on the way home so I could shower as soon as I got here. The video below looks like a great natural workout, and something I could never do. But these British boys are amazingly agile, strong and not afraid to take risks.

August 30, 2010

Maybe I Need to Drink More

In my 20s and 30s I used to be a heavy drinker. I mean heavy. On some days I might drink the equivalent of two six packs of beer or the better part of a fifth of liquor. Most days I drank some. For a couple of years after that I stopped drinking altogether. In the last 20 years I would describe myself as a light drinker. I don’t drink every day and sometimes a couple of weeks go by without a drop of alcohol. On rare occasions (like a couple of Fridays ago when I went out with friends – I blogged about it here) I drink a lot – for me. But nothing like the old days.

Time magazine just posted a study that says that heavy drinkers outlive non-drinkers. Moderate drinkers live longer than heavier drinkers though. I’m not even a moderate drinker. I guess I should step it up.

Yesterday I recovered from my Saturday at Montauk by watching tv and not much else. I had an onion omelet at midday with high protein, high fiber, low carb toast. For dinner I had two chicken thighs with a coconut milk curry sauce, steamed broccoli, and carrot/mango soup. Note to self: next time try a 2:1 ratio of carrots to mango. I did an even amount this time and probably too much mango.

Today I had a salad for lunch and some mixed nuts in the afternoon. Tonight I will have some low carb pasta with pesto sauce. I had basil left over from when I made Eggs in Purgatory, so last night I made a pesto. I usually like pine nuts with it, but I couldn’t find a small amount and the large amount was very costly. So I used almonds and it tasted fine. I will toss it with angel hair pasta tonight and some protein on the side. I haven’t decided which. Also I’ll have a salad.

Before the day is done I expect I will have walked a mile and a half.

August 25, 2010

Fat is Good

Well, some fat. The conventional wisdom that so much of the health-care and food industry perpetuates is that low fat diets are good for everybody. They probably are, for some people, for example people who have normal blood sugar levels and high blood fat levels. They probably should eat less fat and more complex carbs.

But I am the opposite. My blood sugar is elevated and my blood fats are extremely low. Thus I think it makes sense for me to eat more fat and less carbs. But mostly the good fats from nuts, olive oil, avocado and for me it seems coconut fat is good. I went back to having some coconut oil and/or milk every day this week and I can tell a difference in my appetite. From what I read, medium-chain triglycerides (like coconut oil) are metabolized into energy almost as directly as carbs, and not immediately stored. But they don’t raise blood sugar, at least not for me.

I will monitor the levels because as a diabetic, I don’t want to risk any elevation of blood fats above normal, but as long as I can tolerate the good fats, I am less hungry. I learned that earlier in this project, but I drifted away from it.

Today for lunch I had a ham sandwich on pumpernickel, half an avocado and a tomato. For an afternoon snack I had a Golden Delicious apple. For dinner I had another of the same sandwich and a vegetable puree of yellow squash, onions, carrots and lima beans with some coconut milk and sriracha.

Before bed I will have a small frozen berry and coconut milk and coconut water smoothie.

I walked a mile and a half today.

I have a three day weekend coming up. My energy levels have improved this week. I don’t know how much of that is diet and how much is the demise of infection agents. I have some ideas of things I want to video since the weather is supposed to be really nice. It involves a little travel around bodies of water.

August 23, 2010

Life is Just a Bowl of Cherries

Earlier this evening I pitted a large bowl of fresh cherries by hand with only a paring knife and my fingers, which are now quite red. I put them in the freezer (the cherries, not my fingers) with some fresh pineapple chunks. I will be using some of this cold fruit to make a smoothie with coconut milk in few minutes.

I am feeling even better today than yesterday after a busy day at work. For lunch I had some roast chicken thigh and some raw vegetables. I had no breakfast or snacks during the day. For dinner I had organic peanut butter on Finn Crisps and the last bowl of home made vegetable soup from this weekend. Later I will haz my smoothie.

Though it was rainy and dank all day, I walked about a mile and a quarter.

I feel like I am more on track like the early days of this blog. I don’t know if feeling better is the cause or the effect.

August 22, 2010

I’m Feeling Better

Rest is a wonderful thing. Not just rest from physical activity, but rest from stress.

One of the reasons I am so looking forward to retirement is that I always have so many projects and ideas in the works that I can’t keep up. The ideas come much faster than my ability to execute them. Time is the most precious thing in my life right now. Because of that my weekends are often spent working harder than I do during the week. I feel guilty when I just relax, but as I mentioned earlier this week I have not felt in top form. So this weekend I slept late, took naps, didn’t feel pressed to work. During waking hours I watched movies and read. Light reading, which is rare for me. I usually read nonfiction and usually pretty dense with ideas. This weekend I am almost finished with Band Fags, a novel about growing up gay in the 80s. Although the protagonist is about 20 years younger than I, I identify with a lot of the situations he faced being gay in high school in middle America. The discovery, confusion and humor are expressed wittily (as a gay author should!) and they ring true for the most part.

So I have relaxed and tonight I don’t feel the fatigue and I have a normal temperature. So that is good.

I have read some of my older posts and compared then to now as far as what I am eating. I have let my portion sizes creep up and I need to watch that. Another thing that I did pretty consistently then was include coconut oil or coconut milk in my diet most days. I haven’t been doing that lately. I will return to that tomorrow. I think the fat from coconut quickened my metabolism (and there is some research to support this). I also think it reduced cravings. And I happen to like it. So tomorrow the coconut returns, and I should step up the exercise now that I am feeling better.

I am taking the next two Fridays off work, so I will have three four-day work weeks around a three day weekend and a four day weekend at Labor Day. The rest will do me good. The fall is going to be quite busy at my job.

August 10, 2010

Chicken Oysters are Delicious

As many of you probably know, the oysters on a chicken are the two roundish pieces located on the chicken back next to the thigh. I tried to find a picture to illustrate them, but no luck. Many, myself included, consider the oysters to be the tastiest part of the chicken. They have the flavor and moisture of dark meat with the tigher musculature of white meat. And they are so tasty. I would like to have a whole bowl of just chicken oysters. I have never seen them sold separately. The French call them “m├ędaillons du poulet”.

Last night I had half a rotisserie chicken. Tonight I cut up the other half and made a stew with sauteed onions, diced tomatoes, mixed vegetables, coconut milk and Sriracha. It was creamy and spicy. I had a salad with it.

Yesterday and today, granola for breakfast. Peanut butter on Finn Crisps with bananas for lunch.

It has been mucho caliente the last couple of days so I’ve only walked about a mile a day. I have not been able to use my resistance bands for a few weeks. I have had an injury in my shoulder, but it is much improved, though not 100%. I have iced it and taken Advil. The passing of time has also helped.

July 29, 2010

Less Than a Year to Go. Why Bother?

End of the World, originally uploaded by FantasticBabblings.

Since the world is ending May 21, 2011 should I even bother to get healthy? I think I can eat chicken McNuggets for a year and maybe survive until the apocalypse.

But anyhoo… Tonight I had a very nice meal. I stir-fried an assortment of vegetables (onions, tomatoes, yellow and green squash, peppers, corn, lima beans, carrots) in a mixture of olive oil and coconut oil and pureed them with some coconut milk and sriracha and made a lovely creamy soup. Then I sauteed some finely minced onions, threw in eight ounces of shrimp and at the end tossed in some rosemary and lemon zest. It was all very tasty.

Lunch was nothing unusual, about four ounces of chicken and a salad.

For breakfast I had some granola with skim milk and a banana. No snacks during the day today. Tonight I have some fresh cherries.

I walked a mile and a half today.

I am searching for something to read relating to food. Has anyone read “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” by Michael Pollan? I am considering reading it and I just wondered if anyone has any thoughts or suggestions.

July 13, 2010

If you want it done right you have to do it yourself.

The difficult thing about making really healthy food satisfying is that it requires preparation and a bit of work. You really can’t get the food I have eaten for the last two days at a restaurant, at least not affordably. I am a pretty good cook for a home cook and I try to be creative. The thing about a diet based mostly in vegetables, in order to get enough nutrition you have to eat a fair amount of them and the only way to do that consistently is with a lot of variety. So there is balance and variety, but it takes work.

I remember when Oprah dropped a lot of weight reading about her private chef who prepared all of her healthy meals. And yet she still yo-yo’s. It isn’t easy. The times when I slip are usually when I don’t have the energy or motivation or time to really put in the work. So I order in or eat out or buy some processed food easy to heat and serve.

Today I had home made tuna salad for lunch once again with some Finn Crisps. They are very thin, very crisp, and have a lot of fiber. For dinner I made egg salad (pictured above). It looks like a lot but it is mostly vegetables with just two boiled eggs. I finely chopped onions, garlic and celery and put some sweet pickle relish and sliced grape tomatoes in it. I scooped it up with green bell pepper. Along with it I had a soup made of pureed steamed onions with yellow and green squash and coconut milk, seasoned with a bit of Sriracha (a Thai condiment made of ground red chili peppers, vinegar, sugar and salt). It was even more delicious than the carrot soup I made last night.

The target blood sugar for a diabetic two hours after eating is 180. After two days of this good stuff and no insulin, my reading one hour after dinner was 175. And yet I am satisfied. Very satisfied with the flavor and amount of food.

But it is hard work.

July 12, 2010

Back After a Few Days Break

I took a long weekend away from blogging, during which time I ate a cheeseburger and some ice cream among healthier things. Today I am behaving again.

I walked a mile and a quarter. For lunch I had some home made tuna salad with Finn Crisp crackers. I had an apple for a snack. Tonight I had grilled zucchini and onions with a soup made from a puree of carrots and sauteed onions mixed with some coconut milk (pictured above). It was delicious. I also had about a tablespoon of peanut butter on some Finn Crisps.

Over the weekend I did a vlog about various attacks targeting gay people around the world in the last couple of weeks:

June 28, 2010

Untitled June Post

I was just discussing with someone that the difficult part of writing a blog every day (or most days, at least) is coming up with a title. Hence the untitle of this post.

As is the case for many of you in the US and other parts of the northern hemisphere, it is damn hot. At one point today I checked the weather channel website and it was 92. Whenever it is 92 I think of Floyd the Barber on Andy Griffith in one episode sitting in his chair outside the shop fanning himself and telling everyone who passed by that it’s ninety-twoooooooo. ConEd (the NY power company) is requesting that residents in Brooklyn and on the Upper West Side of Manhattan turn off all electrical appliances except the refrigerator. That includes the air conditioner. I don’t know how many will comply, but they are trying to avoid a brownout.

The heat notwithstanding, I managed to walk a mile today. I will do some resistance tube exercises before bed. For lunch today I had some scallops and raw vegetables. That was my intent anyway. It turns out what I thought were scallops on the hot bar were really some kind of seafood fritter shaped like scallops. Tasty, but a bit more breading than I would have liked. However, that’s about the only carbs I had today. For dinner I had the remainder of the peanut butter soup I made yesterday, some Brussels sprouts and a pork chop. I have a peach I will eat later, no J. Alfred Prufrock I.

In the room the women come and go
Talking of Michelangelo.

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