Feb 29, 2012

Day 142/240 Complex health problems vs posting

Over the past three weeks I have dealt with the hospitalization and rehab of a relative, two minor operations of my own, and various complexities both related and un.

None of my health problems have had anything to do with my choice to become herbivorous. In fact, my diet is proving to be very beneficial and helps to uncomplicate diagnoses. Two days ago my blood pressure was recorded as 120/76 and my LDL cholesterol level is 40 (a number that raised my doctor's eyebrows).

Because of the frenetic pace, my meals have mostly been on the run, featuring salads, soups, hummus roll-ups, etc. I am thankful that the Beth Israel/Deaconess Hospital complex has a good vegetarian selection of foods available. I'm disappointed that many restaurants in my area have vegetarian options on their menus for lunch but not dinner. 

What this breakneck pace means is that I really had little to report, and so I didn't. I will say that I am proud of myself for not succumbing to temptation and maintaining my discipline throughout.

Be that as it may, the elderly relative is at home and under comprehensive care, I've stopped taking the pain medication, the stitches come out soon and my healing should be complete by next week.

In the meantime, I have a big lump of firm tofu, already pressed and in the refrigerator marinating in a chili garlic sauce which shall be tonight's dinner.  

Feb 28, 2012

There are several reasons that ...

... I haven't posted in nearly three weeks. Most of them have to do with lack of time, and state of mind. I will post later today to partially (trust me you wouldn't want fully) explain my slackertude,

Feb 9, 2012

Mistakes can happen

One of the things that has changed since I started this diet, is that I am no longer quite as paranoid about getting an inadvertent contaminant.

Not long ago I had onion rings and a salad at a restaurant. The onion rings gave me an oddly ill feeling. I wondered at the time whether it was the grease or if the batter used had milk in it. I think that it was probably the latter.

The difference is my attitude. I'm not going to agonize over the possibility, I'm simply going to avoid the onion rings there.

Days 120-121/240: Progress report

Damn! I missed the chance to celebrate the midpoint.

For dinner the day before yesterday I had a tofu appetizer and yellow curry with vegetables at a nearby Thai restaurant. It was good, if a little skimpy with the chilis.

Last night I was in a rush again and went to my fall back position of chickpea and tomato curry over rice. I made more than I needed and so I had the leftovers for breakfast.

I was in for a checkup from the doctor yesterday. My BP is 120/70 and my LDL level is about 40. I have lost 10 pounds over the last three months. I'm not ready to buy new clothes yet. Maybe in another three months I'll have to.

Diet isn't the only thing I'm working on, I continue to go to the health club. I don't go as often as I should or as I want to, but life keeps intervening between me and my good intentions.

Be that as it may, I've increased my training weights anywhere from 20 to 50 pounds (depending on the activity). The worst problem that I need to fix is getting the atrophied muscles in my left shoulder to work properly again. As an example, with 20 pound dumbbells, I can raise my right arm sideways until it is level with my shoulder. I cannot do the same with the left. Curls and presses are better, but the lateral raises are very difficult. Self massage using a wall and a Lacrosse ball seems to help a bit, but I still have a way to go.

There are physical problems that are less susceptible to diet and exercise. In order to repair them, I'll be having two outpatient operations over the course of the next two months.

On the whole, this diet seems to be working well for me. Perhaps it will morph from experiment into lifestyle.

Feb 6, 2012

Day 119/240: Purple Potatoes

I was in a very simplistic frame of mind today. Lots of paperwork and lots of decisions made me unwilling to agonize over dinner. Luckily, a day or two ago I bought a small sack of purple -fleshed potatoes.

I halved them, coated them with olive oil and dusted them with sea salt. Then I roasted them and had them with a salad of celery and carrot.

Feb 5, 2012

Russian Vegans?

It is puzzling that I have more Russian readers than all other countries combined. I suppose that I should just be glad that all those bots are good little vegans and would never ingest any animal-based data⸮

Day 117 + 118/240: Superbowl Sunday

Last night we went out to dinner again. I had raw vegetable spring rolls and some chips with guacamole.

Today is Superbowl Sunday (two days short of the halfway point of this experiment), and I'm trying to decide what to do about game time snacks.

I have some nice dried tofu which I can slice thin, marinate in sriracha sauce and broil as hot tofu wings, then serve with a spicy peanut dipping sauce. I can make popcorn and, instead of adding butter, flavor it with sesame oil and sprinkle on some Gomasio (black sesame seeds and salt). It's a little late in the day to try to make hummus, but I could go to the store and buy a tub and a box of Ak-Mak crackers.

And, of course, I can pick up a six-pack of beer at the same time ... or, even better, a nice meaty oatmeal stout.

Feb 4, 2012

Day 106-116/240: Busy with other stuff

There has been a lot of events and responsibilities taking up my time and I'm afraid that most of my leisure time has been spent resting. My failure to post does not mean that I have failed to maintain my dietary discipline.

I am not going to try to recreate all the meals. I will simply say that I have visited Arax and Super 88 (apparently soon to be renamed Hong Kong Market) a couple of times and most of my meals in the interim have been spicy stir fries and curries or well-herbed bulghur or freekeh concoctions. Arax also provided an assortment of good olives, some nice pickled aubergines and garlic cloves.

Last night, for example, I made a stir fry of dry five-spice flavored tofu, five baby bokchoy, a fresh bamboo shoot and some green onions. This was seasoned with a heaping teaspoon of Guilin Hot Sauce and served over rice cooked with stock. There was enough for two platefuls.

Dealing with restaurants is interesting. Two days ago I went out to eat with some family and had to ask them to leave the cheese off a salad. I had the de-dairied foliage and some onion rings for dinner. That is I had some of the onion rings. Perhaps it was the fat, or perhaps there was milk in the batter, but I started feeling unwell and quit eating them. It put me off the salad too.

It's a shame because I had been trying to make a point to people earlier in the day that I would be able to eat almost anywhere they chose and that no-one needed to make special allowances for me. (Lately it feels like I have been excluded from family gatherings because my diet makes people uncomfortable.) Interestingly, the very first restaurant chosen after my arguments for inclusion had the least food that I could eat.

Sometimes you can't win.