Beans for Breakfast – 01/15/22

Someone wanted to make a German Chocolate Cake for her birthday. Third store, strike three. Not a single baking bar for this cake to be found. To avoid having the trip become an absolute failure I stocked up on some dried beans. Picked up more beans for my Badass Black Eyed Peas – 2021 and more chickpeas because I like chickpeas. Two pounds of dried beans cost less than three bucks. I love beans not just for their taste, variety and health benefits but also as an excellent way to stretch the food budget.

More Beans Less Beef

We don’t eat meat everyday. Whether you’re looking to improve your health, save money, save the planet, or save a few cows less meat is better. Not that dedicated non-meat eaters need another reason for their lifestyles here you go:

Source: Economists to Cattle Ranchers: Stop Being So Emotional About the Monopolies Devouring Your Family Businesses

Four packing companies control 80% of the cattle industry. Another fine example of profits before people (and animals).

Read more here: https://mattstoller.substack.com/p/economists-to-cattle-ranchers-stop?token=eyJ1c2VyX2lkIjozODkzNjMwNiwicG9zdF9pZCI6NDIyMzI2OTMsIl8iOiJOYUxWSCIsImlhdCI6MTY0MjI1NzA0OSwiZXhwIjoxNjQyMjYwNjQ5LCJpc3MiOiJwdWItMTE1MjQiLCJzdWIiOiJwb3N0LXJlYWN0aW9uIn0.2IlNOUb3jKvQJb27eyofdRCYUa0igNDi1To8xbkyDPs

If you are a bean novice start here: https://usdrybeans.com/

I think I’ll makes some Sweet Potato and White Bean Hummus this week. It’s only around four years since I last made some.

Disclosure: I am not compensated for my fanatical obsession with beans but would gladly accept a sponsorship deal if offered one.

How to Eat More Plants

Start here – https://d-belardo-md.medium.com/top-tips-for-transitioning-to-a-plant-based-diet-or-how-to-just-eat-more-plants-57285947bb68

Originally from New York, Dr. Belardo relocated to Philadelphia after college to start her medical career.  She earned her medical degree (MD) from Drexel University College of Medicine, then completed her 3 year Internal Medicine Residency at Temple University Hospital where she became board certified in Internal Medicine in 2017.  Dr. Belardo completed her 3 year Fellowship in Cardiovascular Disease at Lankenau Heart Institute in 2020.  She is dedicated to being a cardiologist that in addition to traditional medicine, focuses on lifestyle modification, and evidence based nutrition, in order to prevent heart disease. Dr. Belardo is a Preventive Cardiologist in Newport Beach California.

https://www.daniellebelardomd.com/about

If you come here often you’ll notice I am not about reinventing the wheel. When I find useful information I pass it along with full credit to their authors. The tips listed by Dr. Belardo are not new news but may be very useful for your individual health improvement goals.

At Xmas I was at my favorite DIL’s house in Owasso OK (don’t tell Chelsea). While making a cup of coffee I noticed the packaging on a loaf of private label bread that boldly pronounced

A Plant Based Food

A study by the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy revealed 7% of Americans surveyed believe chocolate milk comes from brown cows.

I guess we have to tell people bread comes from plants.

Random Thoughts at Halloween 2021

October 31

The town we live in moved Halloween to October 30. Weather was perfect and last night felt almost like a pre-Pandemic Halloween full of tricks or treats. The majority of the kids were masked despite the fact it was an outdoors activity. We ran out of candy except for a few M&M’s and one Snickers bar. It felt…eeirly normal.

Many times in life I find myself ignorant of my own advice. There’s beer AND ice cream in the house. Excess candy would have made the situation worse. We all know the addictiveness of sugar and chocolate. I’ve been managing my addiction by eating chocolate covered granola bars but that’s another story.

When my weight was 200 my rationalizations were endless. It’s a whole lot better than 370. Everyone puts on weight as they age. My 38 inch jeans still fit. YOLO so have another beer… At 200 I felt my ideal weight was 175. This year I gained seven pounds to get to my ideal weight. YIKES.

With the goblins gone the annual Holiday Season for Gaining Weight has begun. Time to get super serious again and make better food choices. Portion control. Less snacking. More bourbon and scotch, less beer. Less granola, more oatmeal. The food swaps are endless. Pick what works for you (as long as they’re not chocolate covered granola bars).

I can fit into my 36 inch jeans but they are somewhat snug. The battle continues. Maybe I need to eat more Heart Healthy Small Bites.

Pumpkin Tree 2021

Lentil Recipes – The First Mess

Attention readers: I take no credit for these recipes and I do not get compensated for highlighting this or any other blogger’s work on my site. This is another Giant Electronic Sticky Note that serves as a reminder to try these recipes because I love lentils.

Here’s the link: https://thefirstmess.com/2021/10/08/lentil-recipes/

Laura Wright is a vegan cookbook author and blogger based in the Niagara region of southern Ontario, Canada. She just posted a link to 25+ of her lentil recipes which can be accessed at https://thefirstmess.com/. I have linked to Laura’s earlier collections 25 Vegan Soup Recipes – the First Mess and 25 Vegan Chickpea Recipes – The First Mess. Oops I almost forgot about 20 Sweet Potato Recipes – The First Mess too.

I’m at the age where I need more Giant Electronic Sticky Notes to remember stuff. I need reminders and other mental prompts to tell me I own Laura’s cookbook and need to fix some of her recipes. This post makes four Giant Electronic Sticky Note reminders to myself to expand my vegan and vegetarian meals beyond my world famous Wheat Germ Veggie Burgers.

Which reminds me. I should post my latest Chickpea and Sweet Potato Stew experiment. (If my chickpea stew is not a link that means I’ve not posted it yet).

Keep a Journal (not just about food)

“Keep a diary or journal. Record your reflections on your life experience in a journal. You will find this simple practice to be invaluable in your quest for wisdom.”

Warren Bennis (March 8, 1925 – July 31, 2014) was the distinguished professor of business administration and founding chairman of the Leadership Institute at the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business. He has advised several U.S. presidents and more than 150 CEOs. Bennis is author or coauthor of more than 20 books on leadership, change, and management.

The spirit of the writer is different from the spirits of other artists. Writers are quirkier. Maybe not as quirky as painters or the artist who builds things out of toothpicks. These artists qualify as top of the heap quirky. The spirit of the writer who has lost 200 pounds and kept (most of it) off for nearly 50 years also qualifies for top of the heap quirky. The Digital Truth Machine display showed 176 one week ago. So I went to my journal searching for the raw truth. Well, I found things like “the weather got hot back home in Oklahoma and there’s nothing like a really cold beer on a hot day…” Trouble in Paradise.

I didn’t realize just how many bad habits I allowed back into my life. My own words should have been enough to make me stop and change. But knowing what to do and actually doing it are two different things… Before our Colorado trip I was 168.

7/18
Last night M&M’s and some chocolate drizzled popcorn. I woke up this morning tipping the scale at 170. I’m not sure how much longer I can cheat like this and not gain any weight but I’m sure enjoying whatever time I have before I need to start restricting certain foods and drinks.

8/19
Well maybe I need to hit the panic button. Last night I snacked, drank beer and managed to stay clear of ice cream. Surprisingly I am lighter this morning and I feel fairly thin despite my lack of willpower. After a year of stringent measures I lack the discipline to avoid beer. Again, if it’s not in the house it’s much easier to avoid consumption. Lesson learned, over and over again.

8/22
It’s been nearly three months since our Colorado vacation where I abandoned all self-discipline and started drinking beer again. I managed to put on three pounds last month while boasting that my weight hadn’t changed a month ago. I’m not close to hitting the panic button but we all know why I’m gaining weight.

8/23
I put on four pounds in less than a week.

On 9/11 I hit The Panic Button.

Let’s count how many Gary’s Rules for Weight Loss got ignored. Eat only when hungry. Portion control. Snack but not too much and only healthier foods. Beer, sugary and other things you shouldn’t have in the house got into the house. My journal and fading memory produced the following list of what I did to myself: dairy whole milk, full fat yogurt, beer, wine, Cheez-Its, peach cobbler, potato chips, beer, granola bars, M&M’s, cookies, cakes, brownies, beer, AND a half gallon of ice cream that was purchased for a Tiny Human visit that ultimately got consumed by the Big Human. I had stopped keeping a food journal. There might have been other food and drink that I’ve forgotten about.

Welcome to my world. I need to ensure the new suit I just bought for a wedding in November won’t require alterations.

Finally Feeling Normal

Monday I restarted a food diary. The recollection of my indiscipline over the past several months plus a recent online article on this topic reminded me of the effectiveness of writing down what you eat especially if you want to lose weight or maintain what was lost. Put simply I’ve been bad. Time once again to get better at what I need to do. Two months ago I wrote “I’m not sure how much longer I can cheat like this and not gain any weight but I’m sure enjoying whatever time I have before I need to start restricting certain foods and drinks”.

The scale read 176 a few days ago.

I hit The Panic Button.

At the present I am walking a tightrope between normal and overweight.

The struggle continues. But sometimes I plug in the old numbers to remind myself of the old me.

Keep a Journal/Food Diary

Journaling, it seems, is one of the most successful strategies for achieving long-term weight loss.[3-4] It increases a person’s awareness of what they’re eating and helps to unveil habits and patterns of eating. A Kaiser Permanente study with 1,700 participants found that those who kept food diaries six days a week lost twice as much as participants who didn’t journal.[5-6] Keeping a food journal also encourages us to take in fewer calories.[4-5]

Could Keeping a Food Journal Be the Missing Link to Finally Losing Weight? — https://nutritionstudies.org/could-keeping-a-food-journal-be-the-missing-link-to-finally-losing-weight/

I write in my journal nearly every day. I used to keep a food diary within my journal but somewhere along The Path I stopped.

I’ve gained some weight.

I have started to track my food intake again.

20 Sweet Potato Recipes – The First Mess

Laura Wright is a vegan cookbook author and blogger based in the Niagara region of southern Ontario, Canada. She just posted a link to 20 of her sweet potato recipes which can be accessed at https://thefirstmess.com/. I have linked to Laura’s earlier collections 25 Vegan Soup Recipes – the First Mess and 25 Vegan Chickpea Recipes – The First Mess.

A gentle reminder to my readers. I take no credit for these recipes and Laura isn’t compensating me for this post. This is another Giant Sticky Note that serves as a reminder to try these recipes because I love sweet potatoes too.

Here’s the link https://thefirstmess.com/2021/08/11/sweet-potato-recipes/

Have fun! I constantly remind myself I own Laura’s cookbook and need to fix some of her recipes. This post makes three Giant Sticky Note reminders to myself to expand my vegan and vegetarian meals beyond my world famous Wheat Germ Veggie Burgers.

Why Crash Weight Loss Programs Don’t Work

One of the most startling findings is the notion of constrained daily energy expenditure. This is the idea that the human metabolism adapts to our activity levels to keep our daily calorie burn in a surprisingly narrow range — no matter how hard you work out

Why Crash Weight Loss Programs Don’t Work: Clues From Hunter-Gatherer Societies — https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2021/07/16/1016931725/study-of-hunter-gatherer-lifestyle-shows-why-crash-weight-loss-programs-dont-wor?utm_source=pocket-newtab

Now I understand how my low exercise levels during year one of the pandemic factored into my weight loss efforts. My metabolism reset and it spent calories on other life functions. Here’s the part of the interview that hit home for me. The quote refers to a recent television show The Biggest Loser.

Contestants went on this show and were put under a brutal routine of intense exercise, coupled with near starvation. You can lose a lot of weight that way. But it’s not sustainable. Your body pushes back hard by slashing its metabolic rate.

The Take Home Lesson

DO exercise for all of its associated health benefits. But exercising more is not exactly the best strategy for losing weight.

Herman Pontzer is an evolutionary anthropologist at Duke University. His theory argues that human metabolism has evolved to the point where how we eat and expend our calories is more important than what we eat. I think I’ll put his recent book on my list of books to read.

25 Vegan Appetizer Recipes – The First Mess

Laura Wright is a vegan cookbook author and blogger based in the Niagara region of southern Ontario, Canada. Her most recent post is 25 Vegan Appetizer Recipes and can be accessed at https://thefirstmess.com/. Y’all might remember my earlier posts 25 Vegan Soup Recipes – the First Mess and 25 Vegan Chickpea Recipes – The First Mess. To repeat, I take no credit for these recipes and Laura isn’t paying me any royalties for advancing her brand. This is merely another Giant Sticky Note that serves as a reminder to Self to try these recipes. And before I forget…

Here’s the link https://thefirstmess.com/2021/07/14/vegan-appetizer-recipes/

Enjoy! I constantly remind myself I own Laura’s cookbook.

Try more new recipes. Check.