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.

Random Thoughts – July 2021

Monday 7/5

“We can’t escape from the fact of our eating; no matter what, we are killing living things so that we can live ourselves. If it’s not an animal, it’s a plant or something else.”

Deborah Madison is a chef, writer, and author of 13 celebrated vegetarian cookbooks, including the modern classic Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone.

Today is the 5th of July and I have the day off from work. Yesterday was the real 4th of July holiday which was celebrated in a typical American fashion, a cook out by the pool. I didn’t have to cook which made the fourth a special fourth for me. I know how much work and preparation goes into hosting a large gathering and my heartfelt thanks go out to our relatives in Claremore, OK.

The morning started with a little tree trimming in the yard followed by some deep thoughts no one should have on the Fourth of July. Reminder to all who read this: these are random thoughts. If I lose you, just stop reading.

The level of personal indiscipline since leaving Colorado has been astoundingly high. In plain English my diet has regressed. The rules and lists I’ve crafted over the years were not adhered to since coming back from the Rockies. I blame Colorado. The State of Craft Beer https://www.coloradocraftbrews.com/colorado-breweries/ overwhelmingly managed to delete the #1 item on my Do Not Have It in the House list. Beer is back in the house.

The folks in Colorado make real good beer. The Mountain Man and his Colorado Girl keep plenty of the good stuff in their fridge. Pizza out twice during the trip meant more good craft beers. We also stopped at Casey Brewing in Glenwood Springs, which is the only brand name I remember. Back home I continued the Colorado theme with some Odell and Blue Moon. As I’ve done for years I am monitoring my weight daily. I need to. See my previous post Consistent self-monitoring of weight: a key component of successful weight loss maintenance — Random Thoughts 01.02.21. To repeat myself – There’s beer in the house.

Abandoning old habits is hard especially when the old habit is just so damn satisfying. But if you want (or need) to lose weight you must change your habits. Colorado was fun and a lot of old habits crept back into my routine. I shouldn’t be surprised that some of those habits are still sticking around. The weather got hot back home in Oklahoma and there’s nothing like a really cold beer on a hot day…

One of the books I’ve been reading is Aging as a Spiritual Practice by Lewis Richmond, a Buddhist priest and meditation teacher. I’m nearly halfway through the book and it’s exactly what you’d expect from a Buddhist priest and meditation teacher. But every now and then we all need stark reminders of the obvious which we tend to forget about. Richmond reminded me of the value of being flexible.

“I hate when people say they want to go plant based or give up meat. But won’t mind eating chicken, eggs and bacon. I need to find vegan friends.”

Anonymous Twitter user

Flexibility, honest respect for differences in opinion, and critical thinking skills all seem to be in short supply, especially in younger generations who have become willing victims of confirmation bias on social media platforms. Maybe if they spent more time reading books…

So before you label me a hypocrite I have created a new list called Things That Are OK to Have in the House and BEER IS BACK. Food and drink that get put on this list are subject to swift removal if the trend-line on the Truth Machine takes a sharp turn to the north. Yet even after a month of indiscipline the number stands at 170. Check back next month for the next exciting installment of my lifelong struggle.

Postscript

Deborah Madison is not and never was a vegetarian. She wrote vegetarian cookbooks. Flexibility!

Eating Disorders – Not Just a Lack of Willpower

Researchers have found that eating disorder behaviors, such as binge-eating, alter the brain’s reward response process and food intake control circuitry, which can reinforce these behaviors. Understanding how eating disorder behaviors and neurobiology interact can shed light on why these disorders often become chronic and could aid in the future development of treatments. The study, published in JAMA Psychiatry, was supported by the National Institutes of Health.

Eating disorder behaviors alter reward response in the brain — https://www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/eating-disorder-behaviors-alter-reward-response-brain

25 Vegan Chickpea 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 Chickpea Recipes and can be accessed at https://thefirstmess.com/. Y’all might remember my earlier post 25 Vegan Soup Recipes – the First Mess. Again 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/2021/05/19/vegan-chickpea-recipes/

Enjoy! Let me know which recipes are your favorites. Better yet, let Laura know.