Trouble in Paradise – 2022 Final Thoughts

Once again here’s the chart attributed to the New England Journal of Medicine from my first Holiday post Trouble in Paradise (it’s Weight Gain Season).

Personally I had the best Traditional Weight Gain Season ever. I didn’t gain any weight.

I just hope this isn’t sarcopenia.

Advertisement

Invasion of The Sipes – 12.31.22

New Year’s Day 2023 (observed). I know I’m not the only one who thinks having two New Year’s Days is strange, but I’m not complaining. Our last to leave house guests from Paraguay departed around 9:00 am, I’ve run and unloaded the dishwasher, and have done 3 or 4 loads of laundry. It’s good to have a full day to recover.

The Invasion began Saturday afternoon. In total we had 9 Bigs and 5 Tiny Humans in the house. “We” were anxious to know if the house was clean enough and if there would be enough food to feed the small army. The division of labor was as it always was. The Boss baked many things. I handled the apps and mains. Anyone who knows anything about me knows I love to cook.

The first night was lasagna. I put out some gourmet cheddar and Manchego cheeses, Guacamole – Asian Inspired and Updated and Hummus – The Updated version. For sides I made broccoli with olive oil and garlic and garlic bread. Dessert was Flourless Chocolate Cake topped with whipped cream.

During the afternoon I made Sunday’s breakfast which was the Xmas Breakfast Casserole recipe. Whole Wheat Banana Muffins (updated) made an appearance along with Whole Wheat Buttermilk Pancakes (for the Tiny Ones). If that wasn’t enough, there was bacon and pan fried potatoes.

The Tiny Ones played well together. Note the lengthy Brio train track.

Strategy Interlude

If you feed 9 Bigs and 5 Tiny Humans what I’ve described on Day One then a simple lunch is all you’ll need for Day Two. A couple of pounds of cold cuts, cheeses, rolls and breads for make your own sandwiches worked well. But since it was New Year’s Day Badass Black Eyed Peas – 2021 were also served.

Sunday night we served breaded chicken cutlets, pasta with butter, olive oil and garlic, and green beans. Brownies and ice cream to top off the meal was offered and not refused. The high point of the weekend was the Tiny One pictured above who discovered fried chicken is better than life itself.

When New Year’s Day arrived all that was needed for breakfast was leftovers.

Dinner was leftovers too.

On New Year’s Day we were still eating leftovers.

On New Year’s Day (observed) the turkey and cheeses were finished into some grilled sandwiches while the ham ended up in a Mayocabo Bean and Ham pot of beans for dinner the day after.

I am afraid to step on the scale.

2022 Year in Review

I ate more plant based meals and started a canned bean collection.

Through extensive research I learned whisky is plant-based.

And believe it or not bread is plant-based too!

I can’t seem to get my entire head into a selfie.

This happened.

Hey Hon, there’s a bear in the backyard.

I reconnected with my inner child.

My brother commented on my height. Thank you Captain Obvious.

Discovered two more reasons why I love living in Oklahoma.

I have no further comment on this.

“It’s really good to be here and as I always say, it’s really good to be anywhere!”

Keith Richards

More Trouble in Paradise – 12.22.22

Life puts hurdles in front of you: ice cream, home baked cookies, gift packages of divine seasonal sugary treats from well-meaning friends. Even if you work from home the seasonal threats are abundant.

Remember this chart attributed to the New England Journal of Medicine from my first Holiday post Trouble in Paradise (it’s Weight Gain Season)?

Today I introduce you to another Seasonal Threat for weight gain.

Stay the Course

Being housebound is no reason to eat all of the ice cream and home baked cookies in the house.

The fancy gourmet pecans though are OK because they are nuts.

It’s a good thing there’s no beer in the house.

Pizza and other food delivery services will tempt you. Stay strong.

PS. The estimated wind chill is minus 20 degrees F.

Trouble in Paradise – Update and Threat Assessment 12.08.22

 This past Holiday season was the roughest in recent memory. I ate everything in sight. I binged on bagels every day for nearly a week. The cookies, cakes, and pies found their way into my mouth. The sheer quantity of food was my downfall. I put on the pounds and topped the scale at 202 pounds. Time to get back to my normal routine. I’m getting back to my usual habit of eating only when hungry. Avoid sweets. Shrink portions.

Journal entry 10 Years Ago

I was searching my journal on a different topic and found something I wrote 10 years ago. Back then despite eating healthy foods I continued to struggle with my weight. It was the Holiday season. I binged. Then I binged some more. Thankfully I’ve learned a lot since then like how diets really work. Source: Dr. Anthony Pearson.

In my last post Trouble in Paradise (it’s Weight Gain Season) I posted this picture of our dessert board on Turkey Day. It’s how I gained three pounds in three days. The cheese and crackers didn’t help. Nor did #10 twice.

Update and Threat Assessment

  • The three pounds gained were lost but it took two weeks.
  • I removed the beer from the house which was purchased for entertaining company.
  • Yes, I drank the beer.
  • M&M’s spelled correctly is TROUBLE.
  • Two pieces of pumpkin pie are in the freezer. This is OK because pumpkin is a vegetable (botanically a fruit so still OK).
  • Ice cream, normally not in the house but it is and calls my name every night.
  • COOKIES.

The Boss came back from a cookie exchange with the neighbors with several dozen dangerous tiny bites.

Threat Level 4 Red.

Trouble in Paradise (it’s Weight Gain Season)

“Competition puts hurdles in front of you that you have to clear.” 

OKC Thunder coach Mark Daigneault

Life puts hurdles in front of you that you have to clear. Like Thanksgiving. TGTIO (Thank God Thanksgiving is Over). We were out of town for only three days. I gained three pounds. I’m not good at math but I think this equates to one pound per day. YIKES. There’s 35 days until the first day of the New Year. At this pace I’ll weigh 208 pounds…

But I am not alone. This chart is attributed to the New England Journal of Medicine but I could never find the original source article.

As the years pass I get better at understanding why I put the pounds on. This was our dessert board on Turkey Day.

I can’t get Tex-Mex in Oklahoma. So when in Texas I need Tex-Mex. At one of my favorite Tex-Mex stops I discovered a new favorite, the #10.

The numbers above are calories, fat calories, and fat in grams. 2950 mg of sodium too (the original chart has more nutrition information).

We ate Tex-Mex Wednesday and Friday, the perfect bookends to Thanksgiving.

I had #10 twice.

Take Home Lesson

Salt, sugar, fat and excess calories. Taking and/or keeping the weight off is simple when you reduce intake of these four items.

Restaurant meals will kill you. Literally.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with every now and then so long as it’s every now and then.

My skinny jeans fit fine. I’ll get back to my usual routine and diet and the three pounds should come off and I’m good until the next hurdle. Until then I’ll wear my black t-shirts because dark colors make you look thinner.

Simple Cornbread Dressing (or Stuffing if you stuff your bird)

One of the pleasures of writing this blog is documenting how recipes change over time. I’ve already gotten a Cracker Correction for Squash Casserole – The Final Update 2022. Here are links to ALL of the family’s Thanksgiving Dressing recipes claimed as “we’ve always made it this way”. Comments and corrections as always are welcome.

Your Grandmother’s Dressing (this is the real deal)

Aunt Charlene’s Cornbread Dressing

(Not) Your Grandmother’s Thanksgiving Dressing

(Not) Your Grandmother’s Dressing – the day after at 10pm

Note the recipe that everyone has eaten when I make dressing is made with Texas Corn Bread.

I win.

Exercise is Not Essential for Weight Loss. It is Vital for Your Health — Damon Ashworth Psychology

Alongside nutrition and sleep, exercise is one of the three pillars of our health. Before coming up with a realistic and sustainable plan, let’s see what types of exercise are most recommended and how much we should try to do each day or each week. Walking – is there anything to the 10,000 steps recommendation? […]

If you want to lose weight, please remember that nutrition, and not exercise, is the best way to do this. The type, amount, and timing of when you eat and drink are more important for how much weight and fat you lose than how active you are.

Exercise is Not Essential for Weight Loss. It is Vital for Your Health — Damon Ashworth Psychology

Building new habits takes time. My typical morning routine is bathroom, shower, dry off (don’t forget this step), coffee and either read or write before starting my work day. Today I’m starting a new routine which hopefully becomes habit. Coffee AND resistance training (shower later).

Another morning habit I didn’t realize existed until today was my morning dopamine hit from likes and page views. What? Someone from Down Under liked my Resistance is Not Futile post. And followed me! Naturally I had to follow back and reblog which is not cheating or stealing someone else’s hard work.

Thank you Dr. Ashworth. But more importantly THANK YOU for Josh Giddey. https://www.nba.com/player/1630581/josh-giddey

You Are What Your Ancestors Ate

Humans also vary in their ability to extract sugars from starchy foods as they chew them, depending on how many copies of a certain gene they inherit. Populations that traditionally ate more starchy foods, such as the Hadza, have more copies of the gene than the Yakut meat-eaters of Siberia, and their saliva helps break down starches before the food reaches their stomachs.

These examples suggest a twist on “You are what you eat.” More accurately, you are what your ancestors ate. There is tremendous variation in what foods humans can thrive on, depending on genetic inheritance. Traditional diets today include the vegetarian regimen of India’s Jains, the meat-intensive fare of Inuit, and the fish-heavy diet of Malaysia’s Bajau people. The Nochmani of the Nicobar Islands off the coast of India get by on protein from insects. “What makes us human is our ability to find a meal in virtually any environment,” says the Tsimane study co-leader Leonard…

In other words, there is no one ideal human diet. Aiello and Leonard say the real hallmark of being human isn’t our taste for meat but our ability to adapt to many habitats—and to be able to combine many different foods to create many healthy diets. Unfortunately the modern Western diet does not appear to be one of them.

The Evolution of Diet — https://www.nationalgeographic.com/foodfeatures/evolution-of-diet/

Food for thought (pun intended).

This article is worth reading even if you remember just one concept.

There is no one ideal human diet.