Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Hi - My name is STILL Dave, I am a food blogger and I am JUST A LITTLE LESS overweight

Read on, there are two recipes at the end of this post...

But first, this is a follow up post to something I wrote two weeks ago. If you didn't read Hi - My name is Dave, I am a food blogger and I am overweight , click HERE and refresh yourself on my weight issues. I will be referring to them during this post...

Two weeks ago, I made that AA referenced line as an admission, not to being an alcoholic, but as an admission that I was fat. Not heavy, not chunky, not plump... FAT. I must have hit a little tone with a few of you, as that has grown to my third most looked at page in only 2 weeks. I am pleased that most of you enjoyed my Raspberry Chipotle Marinated Spiral Stuffed Pork Loin with a Bacon Lattice That you can find by clicking HERE. I am slightly embarrassed that my second most popular page I have ever posted is that embarrassment from last week that I will not name (but you can see by clicking HERE).

I have to be honest, I was a bit surprised by the reaction. Not only my first 20 plus comments worthy post (all supportive, with many sharing my struggle); but I also received 7 emails that made me very sad. These people asked to stay anonymous. They also told me their stories of weight issues. This post hit a cord with a few folks.

So, it is time for an update... And a chance to say out loud my concerns, and goals for the next few weeks...

2 weeks later, I am down another 3 pounds...


I am on the cusp of a 5 day vacation in New Orleans. It is one of my favorite cities., for many reasons. One of which is the food. I have already committed to attending a cooking school, made reservations at NOLA (one of Emeril's lesser known, but excellent restaurants), reservations at K-Paul Louisiana Kitchen Paul Prudhomme's place), made plans for a Muffuletta lunch, signed up for a cocktail crawl, plan to meet friends for breakfast at Brennan's one day, Beignets at Cafe Du Monde most every other morning... Lots of eating coming up (and if anyone has any more suggestions, drop em my way). Combine those with my love of the
Sazerac Cocktail and I am in danger of two steps backwards after my one step forward...

OK, you get the idea, this is going to be one fattening week. I am old, crotchety and not gonna skip out on the good stuff. This trip falls into the time of year I am forced to call JACKIEtober (my wife's two week long birthday celebration). But at the same time, i don't want to balloon to my pre-blogging weight. What to do, what to do...

First, after my first post, I mentioned a near daily walk or bike ride I have been taking. This was a trip to the store to buy whatever I was missing when i wanted to cook. It worked out great for the summer months and early fall. 2 1/2 miles at least every other day. Combined with my iPod, and I was starting to enjoy the experience. But two things are happening. First, under orders from she-who-will-not-be-crossed (MRS My Year on the Grill), I am not to buy new food without using up what I have in the fridge. No new trips to the store.

So, against my better judgment, for the last two weeks, I have started using my clothes hanger ... I mean I have started using the cardio-vascular workout machine I have been using to hang clothes on for years. My guess is we all have them in our lives, moved from center of the room, to the side, to the basement. Go to almost any garage sale, and there they are. Well, I dusted mine off, started the first day at 15 minutes, and this morning I did 45 minutes. It's not the biggest loser workout, but it is also 45 minutes that I am not sitting on my fat ass. And like I said, during those two weeks, I dropped another 3 pounds. Rome wasn't built in a day, but I tape Craig Ferguson's Late Late Show, and watch it first thing in the morning. I get the workout finished first thing. But how is this going to help in New Orleans...


I have heard from several sources that anyone who walks 10,000 steps a day is in good shape and health (move your ass to lose your ass). So, I am announcing here, with all the world to see, a goal of 10,000 steps each day while I am in New Orleans. I did a great deal of research before I bought this unit. First, and most important, it counts everything. I have had a cheaper version in the past, and they always needed to be at the right angle, and set just the right way in order to accurately count movement. This new fangled one, you can put in a pocket, any angle and it counts movement. Ladies, shove in your purse, and if you are carrying a purse, it is counting your movement. The second reason, the gadget nut that I am, likes the softwear that comes with it. I hooked it up to my computer, and started grafting my efforts. Goal oriented, anal retentive goof that I am, the idea of a graph with a zero will drive me crazy. I will keep you informed.

Next, if you are anywhere near New Orleans, this may frighten you, but in addition to planning all these terrific dining experiences, I have arranged a little surprise for my wife during JACKIEtober... We are taking three private Cajun Dance lessons (move your ass to lose your ass). This is a bit of a holdover experience I arranged the first time I took my wife to New York City. As close readers of this blog know, for awhile, i was lucky enough to live in Manhattan. Among my many contacts I had back in those days was a professional dance instructor. At the height of the 50's jitterbug and Lindy hop revival craze, we took some lessons, and danced the night away at a NY hot spot. We certainly were not the best couple, but we were ... not embarrassing. So, in addition to lots of walking, we will be dancing! And a little romantic reminder of our younger days could lead to a bit more aerobic activity in the afternoon... wonder where I can hook the pedometer to measure that movement... But I digress...

My point is that I will be eating and drinking. Probably to excess. But I will also be paying close attention to the idea of moving to lose... or at the least, I would be thrilled to maintain during my vacation. But even if I gain some of what was lost, I have a plan that i will tackle with the same enthusiasm as I have attacked blogging. The blog world is an interesting experience. the last thing I was thinking about when i started blogging was to improve my health. Now I realize that I can have it all... Better health, better eating experience and better mobility. I am just a shade better than I was, but the downward trend I was on is finished.

And now, here's a couple recipes... First, I drink a smoothie each morning. Have been for a couple months. Skipping meals does not work for losing weight. But as a substitute for a meal, a breakfast smoothie is a great thing... Fiber, fruit, milk (calcium for my old bones) and good taste...

Here's what i did...

One Banana
One cup fat free yogurt
(amazing flavors out there... make it taste good)
One and a half cups 2% milk (get some calcium)

Blend everything in a blender until smooth

Drink at your leisure. Make it a morning ritual, add a multi vitamin, and it is a small daily step to cutting calories, and better health. And of course, don't take advice from a fat, old, griller, if you are concerned and want to start a new health habit, talk to your doctor. They love the idea of prevention over treatment. I'm just going public with what i am trying (and what seems to work for me).

Oh yeah, gonna have at least one of these every night in new Orleans...

"Hurricanes are for tourists. Sazeracs are for natives."

1/2 teaspoon absinthe, or Herbsaint
(a New Orleans brand of anise liqueur)
1 teaspoon of simple syrup
(or 1 sugar cube)
4 dashes Peychaud's bitters
1 small dash, a scant drop, of Angostura bitters
2 ounces rye whiskey.
Strip of lemon peel


  1. Good for you! I hope you enjoy your trip and it sounds like you have a plan to both do what you want to and still work on your health!

  2. so so so so jealous over the NOLA reservations...been there and it was fabulous! And congrats on the 3 pounds....good motivation to keep going!

  3. Very, very well done. Losing weight is not an easy and any loss is a great accomplishment. I am very proud of you and for your diligence in exercise. Personally, the only thing I exercise is the right to change my mind. LOL

  4. Way to go! I've found that the best thing is to not worry about losing weight fast, but steadily. Over the last 6 months or so I've managed to lose 25 lbs with the help of my clothes hanger (and a little portion control, heh).

    Have a good time in NO and don't sweat it if you put on a couple, keep at the exercise and you'll be just fine. Remember, it's not so much how much you weigh, it's how healthy you are!

  5. Life is too short to eat nuts and berries! Get a backbone, and face death like a true BB-Q addict... Who wants to live forever eating baby food? I'll be dead before my time, but at least I'll have a smile on my face when I check out!

  6. I worried about gaining weight during our trip to N.O. We had fabulous dinner reservations every day. Plus the Mufaletta's, the Beignet's all of it. I even had the taxi driver stop by that market on the way to the airport so I could eat a mufaletta on the airplane. We did not gain weight because we walked everywhere. Lots and lots of walking every day. And yes lots of alcohol in the evenings. Tons of calories. The only taxi ride was to Brightson's Restuarant on the other end of town. You cannot worry about culinary vacations. I agree with Bob - Think about the long term. Food in N.O. is just too good, N.O. food = indulgence. Gawd, I'm so jealous. Wish I were going. Love that city. Have so many many fond memories.

  7. Have a fabulous time. What more can I say!

  8. You've got the right idea about balance, Dave. Sure, you want to eat healthy, but when you are on vacation, you always want to enjoy yourself. Obsessing about food and weight all the time is no way to live. I think you'll do great, especially since you will be resuming your healthy lifestyle when you return home.

  9. I've never been able to cut my dietary intake, so I just up my physical activity appropriately. But vacations were always tricky, because I'm away from the martial arts school and my home equipment.

    But here's a little known fact. Because most of New Orleans is under sea level, any caloric intake is reduced accordingly by taking the square root of the barometric pressure divided by ambient temperature, so really, there's no difference, eat away!***

    ***I read this under the wikipedia entry for "ignorance is bliss". Enjoy your trip!

  10. I've never been to New Orleans, but I will get there someday. It's a resolution of mine. Hey, I have and idea! I speak french fluently, and I'm thinkin' you're gonna need a translator, since the uncle of a guy who knows a guy who overheard a conversation in a bar one day say that they don't speak a word of english in New Orleans. Honest. So If you take me with you, I'll be happy to help out. Laisser les bon temps rouler! ;)

  11. Ah, New Orleans! Enjoy yourself. And kudos on all the progress you've made. Losing fast is never the point... but making lifestyle changes IS (that's been our goal lately too -- being active, eating healthfully, and simply being CONSCIOUS of our decisions). Balance is SO key.

    Love the smoothie. We've been eating smoothies for breakfast for a while now -- plain kefir, fresh frozen fruit (blueberries, pureed acai, peaches... whatever is on hand), and sometimes a dash of cinnamon or vanilla. No added sugar & lots of good stuff for the day ahead.