On the Record

As of this morning, I’m down nine pounds since January 1. I wish I could go out walking so I can keep the momentum going (and I suppose I could, if I were willing to slog around in the rain, but I am a little too attuned to comfort to let that happen). No complaints, though. I am happy to finally be insisting that I do what I should have been doing all along; eating well and exercising. I’ve been doing guided meditation, as well, for a few days; I have plenty of room for progress in that realm.

When I created my hybrid South Beach menu program for the first week (beginning this past Monday), I was a little concerned that I might be attempting to keep my daily calorie count too low. I aimed for one thousand calories per day, with an upper limit of thirteen hundred. I’ve been pleasantly surprised, though, that the menus I developed have fallen considerably short of one thousand calories on most days, yet I have not had undue hunger. The daily calorie total was less than eight hundred a couple of days; three others amounted to a thousand or less. Only one day did the count approach thirteen hundred.  The way I’ve been able to be comfortable with that is to incorporate low-cal/low-carb munchies in the morning and afternoon and, after dinner, early evening.

I plan on two more weeks of very low-calorie intake, though next week while I am away at a writing retreat I may find it a challenge, since someone else is cooking evening meals. But I am confident of may ability to exercise restraint and be conscious of portion size. The week after I return, I’ll keep up the very low cal/low carb routine. Depending on how things go, I may extend it yet another week. At some point in the near-term, though, I’ll move on to Phase II of the South Beach diet. And, after that, I’ll simply adapt to a new lifestyle. I am unwilling to abandon my passion for experimenting with foods and my love for exploring ethnic cuisines, but I am confident I can do so within the parameters of good health and good sense.

I’m going to make a record, here, of some of my favorite low-carb/low-calorie snacks before I forget (these are one-off snacks; not the sort of thing you sit and eat one after another):

Radishes with goat cheese and toasted cumin seeds:
Cut radishes in half; smear a tiny bit of soft goat cheese on each half and sprinkle fresh-roasted cumin seeds on top. Excellent!

Cucumber spears sprinkled with Tajin:
No directions needed, eh?

Half-cup of low-fat cottage cheese, spiced to suit, with tomato wedges:
I like to put a few drops of habanero hot sauce on top of the cheese.

Ham & cheese roll-up:
I slice of packaged ham luncheon meat, smeared with 1/2 teaspoon of fat-free cream cheese. Put a dill pickle spear on top, sprinkle with fresh ground pepper, roll it up, and enjoy.

I’ve discovered quite a number of other “snack” types of foods that I’d like to try in the weeks ahead. Ideally, I’ll wean myself off of snacks entirely and be satisfied with regular meals. It’s  just a matter of training and discipline, both of which I’m planning to use to my full advantage.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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2 Responses to On the Record

  1. jserolf says:

    Follow your own inclination. If you feel no snacks, then follow it out. You know your body best. See where that takes you. But, if you feel hungry, then eat something with no or little carbs: Boiled eggs, avocado; pittas are loaded with calories and little carbs, almonds, nuts and no peanuts.

    I stay away from all sugar products, including all bread. No sugary drinks. My watch words have become “if you go sweet, then you’re weak.” The sweetest I’ve tasted is ricotta. I was on a mission. You have about 40 or 50 grams to stay under the radar to maintain ketosis.

    Well, here I am coaching you like some guy who has quit smoking, telling the world that all smoking is bad. I shouldn’t do that, but like Holly, I am excited for you. 10 pound loss is nothing to sneeze at — and it only gets better.

  2. Holly Forrest says:

    Bravo! You are an inspiration, JS. I need to get some cumin seeds… I think all that my pantry has is ground cumin. Are those readily available in regular grocery stores? Or do you have to go someplace fancy? Perhaps you should work for the Cumin Growers Association as their leading spokesman…

    As for this notion that you should just limit yourself to meals and not have snacks, I respectfully disagree. Everything I’ve read suggests that you want to keep your motor running. Obviously, you don’t want to graze throughout the day, but if you incorporate one snack into a three meal a day plan, I’m guessing it will fuel your metabolism more effectively. Of course you probably don’t want to make that a midnight snack. Unless you stay up until three or so. 😉

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