Tag Archives: diet

Great Music to Cook By

This year  I’m trying to cook more for myself, for reasons of health, wealth, and enjoyment. A key to enjoying the experience of cooking at home is having the right music in the background to cook by. Today I dug up a CD I’ve had lying around a few years and had forgotten about: Cafe Paradiso by Steve Erquiaga. It’s a perfect CD to cook by. Instrumental guitar. Classical with a latin, flamenco feel. Played at just the right volume, I feel like I’m the star of my own cooking show. Together we made a delightful omelet with sautéed onions (with a dash of sherry vinegar), peppers and feta. So consider letting your music be your partner while cooking.

Cross posted at my other blog, “The Daily Muse”

Update: Here’s a link to a track from the CD.


OK. Februrary Did Not Go So Well.

OK. February did not go so well. Between issues with my toe, my back and my schedule I cannot claim any real progress made toward my stated goal. However, my eating has, for the most part, stayed consistent- save for some cheat days here and there. So I’m happy about that and about remaining steadfast. Looking forward to making March work out better. The toe is feeling better. My back is feeling somewhat better, but not 100%. My chiropractor has given me some exercises to do specifically to strengthen my back. So I’m going to at least start from there. Giving some thought today about what I’m going to do for my March habit. Whether I re-intend my February one, or start fresh with something new. More later.

Okay, I’m Back!

It’s been a week or so since I’ve checked in. My toe is feeling a bit better and I’m gonna give the exercising habit a good shot now, starting today. So I’m back.

I can see over the last few weeks how things can unravel, once one thing goes awry. Even my eating plan has unravelled a bit. I’ve eaten a few more starches than I should. And I binged on peanut butter and crackers late last night before I went to bed. I told myself “I shouldn’t do this. It’s not part of the plan”. And myself told back, “I’m gonna do it anyway.” Seems there’s two people in here! I remember Eckhart Tolle talking about this concept of a ‘me’ and a ‘myself’  in his books The Power of Now and A New Earth. I think I’ll give him a listen today.

UPDATE at 5:00 p.m.: I did this Turbulence Training workout. I just did it once through, to get myself warmed up to working out again and used to moving again. These are interval training workouts which are more oriented to fat loss. Looking forward to amping it up through the week, maybe with a goal to make it through the interval at least 3 times completely in a workout by the end of the week. I like this workout concept because I do not have a lot of time to play with now. That seems where my P90X workout fell apart,because you need about an hour and a half to do it each day, and I just don’t have that kind of time to spare now.

Not Going So Well

Well Habit 2 (Exercise) has had a slow start. Yes, I DID stretching for the first 2 days. But didn’t do ANY last night. Then, in the middle of the night, I stubbed my toe on the bed post while returning from a bathroom run. OUCH! My toe still hurts this morning. Hope I didn’t fracture anything. May have to make some adjustments to my plan. Still developing… In the meantime here’s a picture of my nemesis.

Habit 1 (Eating) progress check in: 170.1 lbs today, with 39.7 lbs. of body fat or 23.4%. So I’m still hanging in there.

UPDATE: It’s official. I fractured the top part of my 3rd toe on my right foot. I may have to re-work my strategy here and perhaps switch to another habit this month and commit to the working out on a later month. Best laid plans…!

Accumulation Begins

Day 1 & 2 of Habit 2 (Exercising or working out everyday) went well. My workouts were only comprised right now of the stretches that my chiropractor has I do to get my lower back into shape. I’ve managed to do a good yoga based stretching session (30 minutes) last night and will do one again tonight before I head to bed.

Day 31 & 32 of Habit 1 (Maintain my Eating Plan) have worked fairly well. I did resort to some Zone perfect bars for snacks the last 2 days. Can remedy that with some better planning for snacks. Made an awesome meatloaf last night that we cooked and ate tonight. and it was delicious. I LOVE Cooks illustrated and America’s Test Kitchen!

Completion Feels Awesome!

HABIT 1: To follow my Eating Plan.

WOW! I completed 28 days. Boy that went by really fast. So I’m asking myself, “Does it feel like a habit yet?” Yes. Am I still craving food I shouldn’t be eating and can I possibly fail again? Yes. So what’s different on Day 28? Well, I’ve managed to fend off most cravings for foods that don’t comply. Of course buying the right foods to have on hand is key, particularly in regards to snacks. There is some more headway I can make with that, for instance, cutting up some raw veggies to have on hand to snack on. I’ve also had some great success in meal planning. Particularly in cooking some kind of one pot meal on the weekend that I carries me through the week for lunch or dinners. And I’m really proud of myself in putting in some great effort in making new things, like my own chicken stock and subsequently an outrageously delicious chicken soup. Overall, I feel very strong with my plan.

When I started this eating plan on January 1st my official starting weight was 175.2 lbs. overall with 42.7 lbs. or 24.4% body fat ( Clarification: When I just weighed myself on Jan 1 I was 174.5. The next day when I did a full weigh in I was the later. I’m using the later as my official starting weigh in, as I notice my weight does fluctuate up and down from day to day.. The good thing is that I have an overall down trend in these numbers.

Today I weighed myself and I was 171.1 lbs. overall  with 40 lbs. or  23.4 % body fat. That’s down 4.1 lbs. overall and down 2.7 lbs. or 1.1 %  body fat from January 1. Since last October (186 lbs. with 51.5 lbs. or 27% body fat) I’m down 14.9 lbs. and down 11.5 lbs. or 3.6% body fat. I’m very pleased that I am maintaining and overall down trend- mainly in the realm of body fat. I don’t want to lose lean mass. So that’s why the goal for my Habit 2 will be some form of exercise that will amplify the effects of this eating plan. I was originally planning on restarting my P90X routine. But as I have injured my back (going to my chiropractor today) I’ve decided to focus on yoga. Several years ago when I got into the best shape of my life, I was doing yoga 3, 4 5 times  a week. I made me really lean, with a strong core. It even made me taller, as my doctor recorded an inch higher in my height that year.

So the trick will be how to maintain both Habit 1 and the new Habit 2 simultaneously. In fact this is where the crux of this project lies, in the accumulation of habits. How they support each other and fit together. I will start Habit 2 on February 1. In the meantime, I’m still holding fast with Habit 1 and eating well. And showing up at this blog, which by the way was the hidden unacknowledged habit this month that really kept me committed and on track. So i’m patting myself on the back for that.

BREAKFAST: 2 Scrambled eggs with spinach, onion tomato and feta.


LUNCH: Prosciutto sandwich with provolone, lettuce, tomato, roasted peppers. And Snapple Lemonade… not a good choice.

SNACK: A couple of Zone Perfect bars.

DINNER: The last of the left over Pot Roast.

Planning on making more chicken stock tomorrow. As well as some chicken salad. And alos a meatloaf from The Cook’s Illustrated American Classics Cookbook.

Day 28 | Habit 1: Eating Plan

HABIT 1: To follow my Eating Plan. Day 28. Almost there.

BREAKFAST:Nothing. Running late.

SNACK 1: 2 Zone Perfect bars. Not ideal, due to lack of time.

LUNCH: Spinach salad with grilled chicken, some bacon bits, and a vinaigrette dressing.

SNACK 2: None.

DINNER: Roast Chicken with steamed cauliflower, butternut squash, and a small spoon of mashed potatoes.

SNACK 3: I’m fighting a craving for saltines and peanut butter again. But I’m going to grab a piece of cheese and a glass of water instead…. (update) Actually had a couple of pieces of leftover roast chicken.