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Archive for December, 2008

Healthy Holidays 2008

Thursday, December 25th, 2008

What a lovely day… with a twist. The tradition has always been for me to arrive at Mom’s bright and early. This year we did things a little differently; she came to my place! Always a daunting prospect for a bachelor and his pad.  

Too tired last night to do any cleaning, I woke up at the crack of dawn and immediately set to work tidying up the place. I managed well enough that I didn’t have to feel totally embarrassed. Then I took a nap before considering what would be for dinner.

Yes, you heard right: no detailed meal plan, even this late in the game. But, really, that didn’t worry me in the least; I keep the kitchen well stocked and rather enjoy creating on the fly.

Here’s the impromptu meal that resulted, the Chieftains Long Black Veil playing in the background:

  • Black beans with cranberries, sweet onion,
    green peppers, cinnamon, and maple syrup

  • Roasted acorn squash
  • Basmati and wild rices
  • Lightly steamed broccoli

It was delicious and neither of us left any room for dessert.¹

Happily sated, we took a postprandial walk looking at some of the new, still unoccupied houses that’ve gone up in my neighborhood. The thermometer read 41 °F, but the windchill was definitely a factor, cutting right through our optimistic apparel.

1) True to our pact, the only “gift” exchanged—besides, if I may be so sappy, love and conversation—was a 70% cacao bar I gave Mom. (I’d ordered it on the internet, and it turned out to contain dairy. So much for it being a dark chocolate.)

Ice Storms Cause Weight Gain

Thursday, December 18th, 2008

Just as I hit the Publish button on the last post, the power went out. It was shortly before midnight, and it had been freezing rain for several hours. Such outages being rather common in my neck of the NH woods, I fully expected it’d be back on before morning. I called PSNH (Public Service of NH) to report it and agreed to be called in the wee hours, if need be.

Alas, this was no simple lights out. This was a major ice storm, and the severity was obvious in those dark hours as I listened and ducked as trees and limbs fell all around the house and on the car. New Hampshire in particular was hit the hardest of the Northeast states. Hundreds of thousands were without power and heat for days.

I was among them. Six NIGHTS in total. The first two, I roughed it in the house, as the ambient heat gradually left the building. Finally, I gave in and called around to find a hotel room. I was lucky as most were booked full for at least a hundred mile radius. I got in touch with a Days Inn about thirty minutes away that had just got their power back on. They were frantically trying to get the computers back up and asked that I call back in an hour. When I did, they were sold out. That is, until I reminded them of my prior contact. Yes, there was a room, after all.

I spent the next night there as well. A great group of folks at the desk who really understood the situation. They also had a continental breakfast (I didn’t make any waffles, but the apples, oranges, and coffee were nice) and wireless internet, allowing me to catch up on two days worth of email.

The day of the fifth night without power and heat was an unusually warm one. Indeed, I had the windows and doors open to get the inside temperature up to the 55 degrees Fahrenheit to which it climbed outside. I once again opted to camp out, this time in the car. I set a travel alarm to go off every two to three hours, at which point, I’d heat up the car for a while.

The next morning, not finding the sleep to be all that restful anyway, I headed into town before 6 AM. As soon as McDonald’s opened their doors, I was inside grabbing a large coffee. I’d been doing so well at reducing my intake (again), but I lived off the stuff (and more, as you’ll soon read) during the outage. It was then I discovered another jewel in the golden arches. Besides their now good coffee, they also offer wireless internet at $3 for 2 hours. Who knew?!

On the sixth and final night, it was back to the Inn. The next morning, I stayed right up to checkout time so I could get some work done on the computer and to wait out a new storm which was busy laying down a few slippery inches of snow. Good choice. The driving was terrible, but upon arriving home, I was happy to find power had been restored maybe a half hour earlier (the phone was still charging and the heater was busy trying to bring things back up to room temperature).

I’d survived (and so had my pipes; I let the house heat up before running any water). Indeed, I’d apparently more than survived, as evidenced by the readout on the scale this morning! I’m packing an extra four pounds. :(

Here’s how an ice storm the likes of this one, which was granted State Of Emergency status, can lead to weight gain:

  1. eating everything in the fridge before it goes bad

  2. not using plates by eating a whole can of beans at each meal
  3. craving for sugary foods and fats (for me,
    this meant nut butter-stuffed medjhool dates)
  4. lack of exercise
  5. not being able to use the kitchen scale
  6. not being willing to use the bathroom scale (too cold)
  7. not using nutrition software (though I did jot things down)
  8. lack of sleep
  9. stress
  10. boredom

The quality of my food choices didn’t suffer much, but the quantity was definitely not restricted. Greens were a little lacking. Instead, I had lots of canned (no salt added) beans, kimchi (purchased at the grocery store, almost a jar a day), no salt added tomato sauce, carrots, bananas, nutlettes, apples, oranges, dates, nut butters, and coffee.

Now, it’s time to buckle down and get back to CRON and exercise!

Dr. Fuhrman Video

Thursday, December 11th, 2008

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, Joel Fuhrman is the man! :)

Eat For Health Video with Success Stories

I found Paul Surrell’s story around the 3:15 min mark most impressive. They don’t say whether weight loss was part of his recovery or not, but he’s thin in the video.

My Cookbook:

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