Category Archives: Food

A Touch of Monday

“Hey, X, this coffee seems suspicious….”

I know I look a bit stupid in this short clip. And that’s okay. I’ve acted fairly stupidly too.

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A co-worker who landed in greener pastures returned to work for a visit today. His jaw literally dropped. He hasn’t seen me since I weighed 70 lbs more. Given that his new job is sedentary, he’s gained a bit. I walked him through my secret process (there isn’t one) and told him that if I could do it, he could, and that I was granting him a sliver of my magic to take home. I like to think a few people have internalized the possibility that for most people, weight loss is a frame of mind. My former co-worker listened as I explained to him that exercise would only give him a 30% reduction – and that eating less is 70%. He knows my job is very physical but was shocked that I don’t exercise for the purpose of weight loss. At all. It surprises a lot of people. I don’t mean to be evangelical about it, but it’s true. Exercise has other benefits but it is not effective at long-term weight maintenance.

I’ve been shedding clothes, too, such as this jacket that I put on mistakenly one day last week. I felt like I was wearing a tarp. So I left on a co-workers work rack without comment. No one ever commented and the jacket didn’t resurface. I’ve donated three in this way in the last few months.

One of my go-to treats is picture below: chicken tacos (NOT shredded (yuck)) with onions, cilantro, and pico de gallo. I don’t eat the tortillas. I prefer to eat baked chips or Popchips. From Mr. Taco Loco in downtown Springdale. I often sneak PopChips in.

Have I mentioned Budweiser non-alcoholic beer before? It’s only 50 calories a can. Granted, you have to enjoy beer without alcohol to like it. But it is also great for cooking. I grilled sirloin burgers yesterday without any additional calories added.

Another thing I forgot: it’s one thing to buy new pants, shirts, shoes, coats, and just about everything else. But when you realize that your underwear is floating around? That is a weird feeling. I’ve put off buying new underwear. Not that anyone asked. And no, I don’t plan on posting underwear pictures. Just imagine if Danny DeVito got thin. And then imagine him in new underwear. That should satisfy your curiosity.

As a sidenote, I took my new pack of sidewalk chalk to work today. I think all adults should sidewalk chalk. It makes memos and notes to others more fun and interesting. And in today’s case, I used it to give someone their word of the day in Spanish. Invariably, I trick them by incorporating phrases and add-ons so that they realize they are in fact learning more than just one word, whether they realize it or not.

The person also learned the origin of the English word for “Monday,” as well as other related things, too.

It’s impossible to learn another language without learning things about your own language, too. It’s fun to watch and even more fun to know that I might be the catalyst for someone to finally get over the hump of being a beginning learner. Once someone starts pedaling the bike without assistance, they fly.

On a personal note, it’s hard to realize that you’ve lost a friend, probably forever. No matter how it happened, once you’ve shared a piece of yourself with someone, their absence leaves a blank spot. Fascinating and interesting people are hard to come by in life.

Love, X

168 To 230+

Had I to do it over again, I might choose to NEVER look at a scale. Part of that is because muscle sits differently than fat. And so many of us have distinct ways we carry weight. Much in the same way it would be interesting without ‘knowing’ how old you are, I think the same might be true regarding weight. The same weight carries distinctly on different people. This is also true regarding weight’s impact on one’s health.

Before jumping into it, I’d also question everyone about their motive to lose weight; health, body image, etc. If you’re looking to feel more attractive, I hope each of you has someone who adores you. Love addresses a lot of issues and desire eradicates even more. Honest admiration lends a great deal of motivation.

I want people to enjoy their time. Spending too much time on exercise, eating, or concern about body image is time that can’t be regained. All of us are differently occupied with the mix of things that consume of our time. Time spent with other people or in pursuit of active interests is more fulfilling.

Well, without any fanfare, I made it to 168 lbs. 168 was originally the number in my head I imagined to be the ultimate goal I might be able to obtain, eventually. I finally said it out loud after a couple of months into eating healthy. (Remember, the ONLY thing I changed was the food I eat.) Once I hit 200, I felt like I were flying. That was 30+ pounds ago. That makes me laugh. Had I stalled at 200, I still felt significantly different.

If you’re interested, you can use my tag “Weight Loss” to search and scroll back.

My weight fluctuates and I’m also not one to jump on the scale with frequency. It’s madness to scrutinize so closely.

For the first time, I put on my smallest pants to wear to work. Seeing my reflection in the front door glass yesterday gave me a moment to feel out of body and out of place. Just like that, I decided to test my weight. 168. As tired as I was, I laughed. The road from October to the beginning of March was both long and passed in an instant. In some ways, I lived an extra year in this period.

Depending on when I identify as my starting point, I weighed about 230 lbs in October. I know I lost the weight too fast, all things considered. 60ish pounds in 17-18 weeks is excessive. Again, though, I couldn’t do it the other way. Despite my rationalizations, this hasn’t been a show of willpower for me; whatever vision struck me in October, it’s given me a completely unfair advantage compared to others attempting to do something similar.

Because I’ve suffered through several cycles of moderate loss and regaining, I would not have believed that my drop from around 230 to this point would have been so precipitous and inevitable. The people around me everyday watched me in surprise. I’ve always told them that losing weight is relatively easy. Can I maintain healthy eating? Of course. Will I? I’d say yes. But we love rationalizing and stupidly forgetting that life has a lot of cards to throw on the table. I’m going to need honest, authentic people to remind me of the massive change this weight loss brought to my life – and that losing the lesson would be a monumental slap to my own face. Going forward, it will still be a long series of good choices. I have an addiction, remember: food.

A week after writing the “168” post, someone challenged me to meet them at 160. That someone was the same woman who stuck, “Nothing tastes as good as this feels” in my head. (This is not a “That’s what she said” moment, although it sounds that way.)

It was entirely theoretical, though. There’s do doubt I can drop to 160. It’s idiocy to believe otherwise as I’ve dropped so much already. I’m not sure it is maintainable, though. For anyone who hasn’t done a journey like this one, it is bizarre how many tricks one’s body has to distract you.

IF I get to 160, I feel like there’s going to be some surprise as I reach it. I already feel incredibly different. Everything I do feels different. Everything. I hope that people at normal weights have experienced this sensation of ‘newness’ as a reward for doing the right thing all along, unlike me. If my energy is up, I catch myself walking incredibly fast for me, my feet, knees, and hips fluidly moving. Loud, vibrant noises resonate inside me as they’ve never have, not since I stopped running when I was very young. I feel the muscles in my upper legs stretch and bounce. My thighs have long since stopped rubbing or touching. If I sit a certain way, I can drape my leg and take pressure off my back.

I don’t know what I would look and feel like if I were still above 230. I finally succeeded this round, after MANY failures. During a pandemic. And under a lot of stress.

Whoever that person was, he is gone. I imagine forever.

I hope some of the other people who heard me be enthusiastic and hopeful for myself (and themselves) succeed, too. I hope they all do.

It can be done. It’s harder for some than others, especially given our health conditions, income, and circumstances.

Everything is incremental, though. Success feeds success.

I succeeded this time, for my own reasons. I could fail again. But I can no longer get away with saying I can’t do it. The only question that remains for me is not “Can I” but “Will I” do it. That about sums up everything, now that I think about it.

Untitled Day

The first link is NSFW: if you don’t like cursing, do NOT open the link. If you’ve never seen the website or read the material elsewhere, congratulations! https://markmanson.net/not-giving-a-fuck

I said the words as a joke. But I felt the reverb in my head and knew that I inadvertently shared a truth: “In October, I realized I was in an abusive relationship. With food.” Someone who hadn’t seen me in a year was shocked that he didn’t recognize me. Yes, I had a mask on. And lemon-colored glasses. He asked me my secret: “Short answer. Keep mouth closed. Second. I found a vision of my future life in my head that I had no choice but to pursue. And I am.” He congratulated me and of course asked me the usual questions.

In my head, I think about my previous food-driven life and consider it an addiction. Old thinking won’t keep me on track. My treatment will be life-long. And if not, me living a life that doesn’t contain what it should will be a certainty. Though it may sound unintentionally new-agey to say it, the vision of my life that flashed in my head in October when I started all this didn’t contain a deviation. Old habits will continue to be replaced by new pleasures.

Someone who didn’t interact with me before now periodically takes a moment to ask about my transformation. Today, he surprised me by saying, “I knew when you told me this was going to stick. Months have passed, and it’s like a switch did break in your head. I hope you take that momentum and expand it to other things.” He was sharing truth and an observation. “I am, yes,” I told him. “Losing all this weight was just a piece of the puzzle. Somewhere in all, this is an ‘after’ that might surprise everyone.”

A few minutes later, I was loudly playing verbal volleyball with a co-worker in Spanish. Another employee from another department turned and looked at me a couple of times, unsure. Still hammering away in Spanish, I neared the third employee, and his eyes widened. “You’re just full of surprises, aren’t you, X?” I laughed. “I hope so. I forgot myself for a while.” The words exited my lips, and I recognized the essential truth I had blurted out. Anticipating his next question, I told him that I am not Latino. And then added that what I do for a living in no way touches the perimeter of who I am or what the world inside my head resembles. He laughed. “Yes, I knew that the first time you said something to me.” He shook his head, still laughing. I told him a brief synopsis of my Spanish journey. “I couldn’t learn Spanish, X,” he said. “Do you think I possess superpowers? Can you learn one word a day?” He looked confused. “Superpowers? You might! But yes, I could learn one word a day, I think.” I laughed. “Well, there you go. Don’t look at the idea of learning Spanish as unwinnable. Take a shovel and take one lump at a time. In a year, at one word a day, you will learn about three times that many due to association. AND, the average speaker only uses about 800 different words a day, regardless of language.” He looked at me in surprise. “I never thought about it like that, X. For a second, you convinced me that I could do it.” At that point, I told him, “That idea you had for a second? The one where you thought you could do it? That is the secret. You can do it. You don’t have to promise to do the whole thing. Just take one word and step at a time.”

Later, I had a couple of lemon moments that surprised even me.

Though I was working, the morning held its embrace out for me, in unexpected ways. I’m grateful to the universe.

I wore my shirt inside out the entire day. People looked, but no one commented. People noticed, especially the clerk who sold me a lottery ticket. She laughed but said nothing, even as I pirouetted away from the register with a dancing flourish.

Unrelated to anything:

https://www.litographs.com/

https://offensivecrayons.com/collections/frontpage/products/original-offensive-crayons

http://www.todayifoundout.com/index.php/2010/03/about-85-of-people-only-breathe-out-of-one-nostril-at-a-time/

https://theoatmeal.com/comics/believe_clean?fbclid=IwAR14pSw_6pHAKCW7L9hBrIDyUgnZn4XVIoA3w06eNfI7PYFFvmW92yN5JX8

Things I Forgot I Love

I know better habits have formed in the last 4 months: I microwaved a 10oz bag of Great Value chopped spinach. The Great Value was better than a few of the premium brands I’ve tried in the last month. Added a liberal amount of Hidden Valley Ranch seasoning, and a generous run of Sriracha on top. After eating, I felt full. I also got a variety of flavor. Had I never tasted french fries, pizza, or potato chips, this simple meal or side dish would be more than satisfying. I acquired a love for greens of all kinds because of my Grandma. It never occurred to me to think that greens weren’t delicious.

Then, it hit me: 500 or so calories for the day was unwise. So, I had an Olè healthy tortilla with smoked turkey and lettuce. 700. Bag of PopChips. 800. Really full. I put a can of no-sugar peaches in the fridge to chill.

Not that the songs weren’t already forming grooves from overplay in my head, but I listened to “Stupid Love” by Lady Gaga and “Save Your Tears” by The Weeknd on repeat while I ate.

I’ll have a bit of vodka and homemade sweet and sour later. I might make it to 1300 calories. Some people jab at me for claiming not to count calories while sometimes knowing how many I eat on some days. Because I don’t eat a complex series of foods, it is easier for me to do a quick count if I need to. Also, when people ask me what the calorie load would be, I figure it out. All that counting to be healthy would be on my last nerve very quickly if I felt like I had to do it to be healthy. I still think that most of us know most of the time if we’ve overindulged, whether it is food, alcohol, or redacted.

I’ll finish the day with at least 12 servings of fruits and vegetables.

I wasn’t “hungry” once today. I drank coffee, three kinds of broth, flavored water, tea, and one soda.

My secret? None.

Choose healthy. Less. Variety.

And don’t focus on food. If you need a list of amazing things you can do to distract yourself from your food obsession, I can do that.

I know this will get more complicated with more family members. That’s part of the challenge for all of us.

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I wrote the above post yesterday. When I went to donate plasma today, my iron was just a bit low. First, when I started donating plasma, my regular blood work told me that my iron level was very healthy. My numbers were all normal when I did my physical this year. The same was true during my first visits to donate plasma. Given that I’ve been taking an iron supplement and eating more iron-rich foods just to be cautious, this was a bit of a surprise. In short, I’m not 30 anymore. In case someone is about to send me a list (of do or don’t) about iron… I know. This is the sort of thing that I knew might come up with plasma donation, which in part, is why I never entertained the idea of attempting to donate as often as many people do.

When I decided that I was no longer fat, I knew I’d have to learn life-long habits and tactics to stay healthy. This is part of the process. I’m lucky that I don’t have to donate plasma to earn enough money to eat. I’ve talked to several people in that situation since I started donating plasma. My heart hurts a little bit for them.

There are success stories among them. One middle-aged man I talked to used the monitoring process to stop smoking. He then began to eat a regimented diet and lost 75 lbs. In his mind, donating plasma saves him 2-3 times what he earns through donation.

An additional note: because of a horrifying morning at work, I didn’t eat. It almost got the best of me. Because I’m accustomed to it, I forget that my job is very physical. Being ‘thin’ in this environment requires more vigilance from me. I’m still adjusting. I know I can’t get back a few years, but it is stupid of me to have failed for so long.

I’m not sharing this picture to be vain. A co-worker told me to take a picture and look at my arm without flexing. I did. And it surprised me that it was my arm. I did the same with my arm on the way home that day, too, because I momentarily didn’t recognize it as ‘my’ arm. It is a bit ridiculous so don’t think too poorly of me for sharing it. A co-worker also pointed out that the pants I transitioned to are suddenly and surprisingly baggy on me.

Looking at my arm led me to keep touching the sternum bone that was hidden for me for a LONG time.

I laugh if I think about it too long, because a part of the authentic me was hidden and buried during that time too.

Love, X

If You Can’t Shake The Can, You Can Always Shake The Skillet

“If you can’t shake the can, you can always shake the skillet.” – X

I resurrected this phrase of mine today for someone’s social media post. They referred to J-Lo and Adam Levine’s Super Bowl performance last year, implying that if they looked like J-Lo, they’d be out there shaking their tailfeathers too. It’s a bit ridiculous, given that the people involved are attractive and know how to smile. (Hint: it is the smile and enthusiasm that galvanizes other people’s attention. Turn the smile and enthusiasm toward another person and you have the only successful recipe for convincing someone you are interesting and interested.)

I’d also like to mention that it is a bit weird to think that they’d shake their tailfeathers like J-LO if they were as attractive. It would be the same act, except with the perception of desirability or a feast for the eyes. The act itself? The same. Their claim in some way that’s hard to pinpoint dismisses the observer’s ability to find a wide range of people to be attractive. If you think there is a single standard for beauty, you’re wrong. And if you think that people can’t look at your defects and find something worthwhile, you are doubly wrong. People forget that a defect is not a defect to everyone. Many men find J-Lo’s most notorious physical asset to be unattractive. As for Adam Levine, he is a beautiful man. But there’s a lot about him many women dislike. In both J-Lo’s and Adam’s cases, their wallets are beautiful too – which helps alleviate many of the issues with their appearance. That is exactly what a smile, attentive ear, and other subjective things bring to the table. There is no single standard.

The quote goes directly to the heart of using what you have.

For those with sublime inclinations, it also could be used as a way to say, “Show love through food.” Though food is a necessity that sustains us, anyone who doubts the intimacy of preparing food for someone you love is a fool. It is an expenditure of time and energy, resulting in the simple pleasure of enjoying the food you need to live. It is magic to take a mundane task and add a dose of love and appreciation to it. As you get older, you find yourself wondering if ALL the true moments are hidden in plain sight like this.

The reason I wrote the phrase originally was to remind people that all of us have our peculiar likes, dislikes, fetishes, and inexplicable things that ignite us. Bald? Big nose? Scars? Thin? Heavy? Big hands? Small hands? High voice? Low voice?

No matter what it is, someone appreciates it.

It bothers me when people forget that their familiarity with their own perceived defects blinds them to the fact that someone else might appreciate them – and especially their alleged defects or faults.

You shake the can, or you shake the skillet.

Use what you have. Pivot. Be enthusiastic about the ‘you’ that you bring to the world. That’s worth all the money in the world.

It is in the act of realizing that you bring something to the table that makes love, life, and happiness possible.

No matter who you are, you can shake your can or skillet.

And…

If you show attention and enthusiasm, most defects are rendered invisible.

Stop being in a rush to tell people you’re not attractive to someone – or a lot of people. You have no idea.

PopChips (A Love Affair With Food)

“Seize the moment. Remember all those women on the ‘Titanic’ who waved off the dessert cart.”
― Erma Bombeck

I thought I had already posted about Popchips. This food item is one of the go-to secrets in my arsenal of food choices. I know I’ve raved about them on social media. In the last year, I estimate that I’ve eaten 30 cases, more or less. It’s an addiction at this point, much like lemons and tajin seasoning. I’m almost a bit evangelical about how good these things have been for me, minus the sweaty on-television confession.

Locally, I can get a box of 30 bags for about $12-13 at Sam’s Club. The 30-pack includes barbeque, sour cream and onion, and sea salt in individual serving bags. Each bag is 100 calories. Not that I count calories – but I am generally aware of calorie consumption and use the information to initially decide if it a long-term food for me. For those who must count calories, I am sorry; that sort of thing would derail me quickly. Generally speaking, process derails me.

I’ve tried several other chip options. All of them fall short for either flavor, availability, or price. Given how volatile the food market can be, I await the day when Popchips disappear from Sam’s. It’s happened to several other healthy options for me. Lord forbid if I had to forego trickery and learn to cook small healthy portions!

If you visit the Popchips store on Amazon, you’ll see that other flavors and varieties are available. The cost is much higher than the Sam’s Club offering. While they are delicious, especially the bold & crunchy kind especially, part of my routine demands that cost and convenience be part of the equation.

For me, it is the texture that makes these so appealing. Don’t get me wrong, they are delicious. For those critics who describe them as bland, I simply point out that they are a hell of a lot more healthy than saltines and other crackers. IF you use them as crackers, you will absolutely get more bang for your buck with these compared to any cracker. Having said that, I get tickled when people say, “They don’t have a lot of flavor.” Mostly, they are referring to the sea salt flavor. When someone tells me that, I ask them how much flavor a boring saltine cracker has. Invariably, they don’t know what to say in response.

I used to eat a lot of saltines, especially ones I jazzed up with seasonings. I do sometimes miss making little individual cracker pizzas, usually with a modified version of olive tapenade on them. 70 calories for 5 little square crackers is a bit crazy, though. And especially so when I remember that I could easily eat 20 times that amount.

It’s true that Popchips aren’t stuffed with vitamins. Neither are saltines or most crackers. But they contain staggeringly fewer calories, without the fat. I already eat 100% of my daily fiber everyday through both food and supplements. Popchips are the filler workhorse for me, which satisfy my cravings for texture and flavor. I don’t eat them for their nutritional value. I eat them because they are considerably healthier than what I would otherwise eat. They mitigate my urge to eat a lot of potato chips. As for criticism that Popchips are made from potatoes… well, that’s the point. Potatoes aren’t the enemy, unless you prepare them to be unhealthy. I get tickled with the complex rules and “no” associated with some foods. People are ridiculous. (Which also applies to me, critics.)

When I eat at Mr. Taco Loco, a local Tex-Mex place, I order chicken tacos, prepared with onions, cilantro, and pico de gallo. I discard the tortillas with them and use the Popchips as little scoops for the taco contents. (After a liberal dose of Tajin seasoning on top of it all, of course.) Doing so, even while eating two bags of Popchips with the mix, results in a moderately healthy lunch or supper – while giving me texture, flavor, and a lot of food to satisfy me.

Confession: sometimes, I just eat a bag of chips if I’m on the go or need something to hold me over. The texture works in my brain exactly like Aim toothpaste does, which is difficult to explain to normal people. If I eat a bag of Popchips and drink water, I feel full.

I also eat Popchips like a cracker with tuna and dill relish, or as a filler with Olé healthy tortillas, the kind with a LOT of fiber and about 50 calories each.

Did mention that the texture and crunch are incredible with this chip?

If you’re lucky enough to have a supply of Popchips, give them a try. If you can get the more exotic flavors, I will be jealous.

I will be surprised if you don’t find them to be delicious. If you try them and hate them, feel free to curse me. (No black magic curses, though, please. I’m still growing hair in weird places thanks to the last curse.)

IF you’re looking for a snack that will help you stop eating unhealthy alternatives, Popchips can be the thing that helps you.

It’s Going Fadulous!

This picture amuses me!

“I would lose weight, but I hate losing.” – unknown

Regarding my weight management goals, my body is holding me hostage around 175 lbs. It doesn’t stress me because I expected a plateau. Maybe not at this weight, but it was inevitable. Among the factors at play are insufficient sleep, stress, and my body shifting to defensive mode. I’ve been overweight too long to expect my body to throw in the towel and let me get to my goal weight easily.

So far, I have to say that one of my biggest achievements is that amidst a lot of turmoil and upset, I’ve yet to feel like I’m a victim to my choice to be thinner for the rest of my life. Nothing calamitous has knocked me off course. I am surprised by that, given my history with stress, rough times, and food.

As for continuing to make healthy choices and eat much less, it is still a success. I’m taking the long-term view of the process anyway. Treating food like a heroin addiction helps remind me that I’m not eating healthy for a short-term goal. I’m just finally being the person I should have been my entire adult life.

While I’m getting used to being smaller, I still find ways to surprise myself. I laugh when I catch myself thinking, “Is this how a normal person is supposed to be able to move? What is this bone?” And so on. I don’t want to embarrass anyone, but it’s wildly interesting to be able to touch parts of my body without effort. (I didn’t write that sexually, although I am sure it went there for most people.)

Part of my simple system is an insistence that I wouldn’t do anything I might not be able to do the rest of my life. With that in mind, I had no interest in starving myself or letting junk ideas knock me off course. Now that we’ve made it to February, I’ve seen many people crash and burn with their resolutions. I try to take a minute to ask them to consider my way to lose weight. Most people think it has to be hard. It is not. It is math via reduced consumption. That’s it.

The worst consequence of a plateau, even one that lasts a few weeks, is that I will maintain a good weight. While it is not my goal weight, it’s good. I’m about 50 lbs lighter than I was in October. Try picking up and carrying around 6 gallons of milk – which is about the weight of what I’ve lost in that period.

“I’m not losing weight, I’m getting rid of it. I have no intention of finding it again.”  – unknown

I have yet to have a ‘bad’ day regarding eating. I haven’t binged on anything markedly unhealthy since October. Same with sugar, desserts, and other miscellaneous foods.

Most of the opportunities for me to fail have been exposure to foods and people not focusing on healthy choices. Pretzels, cheese slices, regular chips, etc. It’s not their fault. Making healthy choices is a personal choice and until they see the need or benefit, it’s a losing battle. If I look at those foods as heroin, they are always going to be around me. I will say that if all food where I live was chosen by me, the process would be ridiculously easy. It is an “If only” fantasy, though. I know I would be relentless if I were the only one bringing food where I live. Work gives me the structure to make choosing wisely easy.

I do rely on a routinized selection of foods. In my case, I have a wide variety that keep me full and without experiencing hunger found in almost all healthy eating systems. I’m not deprived. I ate Tex-Mex a couple of days ago, choosing as many better options as possible – not to mention a plate of pico de gallo. Yum! I eat at another Mexican place about once a week. When I do, I eat a delicious yet copious amount of healthy alternatives. That’s part of the danger of going somewhere new: you lose control of the unknowns.

“Successful weight loss takes programming, not willpower.” – Phil McGraw

In the last couple of weeks, I also decided to finally try plasma donation again. Not at the burdensome twice-a-week rate that many people choose. If you approach plasma donation correctly, it forces you to focus on eating well and drinking fluids appropriately. One of the wrinkles of donating plasma is that the donation amount is based on weight. My weight is slightly above the lower limit. Going through the process has given me a LOT of stories about the process and the people I’ve interacted with because of it. Because I wasn’t donating primarily for money, I didn’t have the anxiety that usually comes with donation. I could take it or leave it. That’s a privilege, one I recognize and appreciate. I helped a few people feel better about doing it, including one couple who stayed for their first donation because of me. They were using their donation money to buy groceries, which humbled me.

Going through the weight loss exposes me to a lot of crazy ideas, fad diets, and weird science. If it is interesting, I will look it up. So far, none fare well when compared to the known science of just eating healthy – and less.

I eat fiber. I don’t fry. In general, I don’t eat desserts. I eat a LOT of vegetables. I find things that I LOVE and that are also healthier – and then try to eat them as much as possible. I use a LOT of seasonings, sauces, and flavors. (More than you can imagine.)

In conclusion: the problem is that food is just damned good! That is not going to change, so you’re the problem until you recognize it. And reduce.

“He who indulges, bulges.” – unknown

Can You Handle The Truth Sauce?

Truth sauce is a product made right here in Arkansas by a proud Arkansan.

I didn’t hear about this product until yesterday. Miraculously, I ordered it, and it arrived today, just in time for lunch.

I heard about it through a social media friend. Something about it beckoned me to try it. Maybe it’s the halo-topped logo or the catchy product name. Whatever the impetus, I am glad I gave the product a try.

This isn’t a paid endorsement. I have never met the company’s owner.

The signature sauce is a subtle blend of flavors akin to barbeque sauce and Thai chili sauce, except that Truth Sauce tastes velvety and does not cross the line into excessive heat. For fans of barbeque sauce, you owe it to yourself to give this one a try.

If you need an excuse to try it, buy it for someone who loves good food and invite yourself over to try it.

The sauce can be used as a glaze, as a traditional bbq sauce, or as a dipping sauce. Though I have not tried it with egg rolls or rice, I am convinced it will be delicious. The fact that it tastes like a hybrid product in no way lessens the number of ways it can be enjoyed. The same cannot be said of sauces geared specifically toward one kind of food. Barbeque enthusiasts will insist it is the perfect glaze or sauce, while Asian fans will shake their heads in disbelief, knowing it is obviously for their type of eating.

The brown sugar, lime juice, and lemon oil in the sauce combine for something entirely different. Please trust me when I reiterate that the sauce isn’t designed to be hot. “Sweet Heat” is the perfect description, unless the owner wants to add “Sweet Velvety Heat” to the label, which I think more accurately describes the taste and texture.

The sauce and seasoning can be ordered online or picked up in a few locations around Little Rock.

The seasoning is 6.5 oz. The sauce can be ordered in 15oz or a gallon. You might as well save yourself some trouble if you’re an eater and buy the gallon jug. You’re going to need it.

After I ate Truth Sauce for the first time, I found myself in the kitchen, pouring a tablespoon of it and tasting it repeatedly to detect the flavors. You’ll be doing the same.

The seasoning can be used on anything: hamburgers, popcorn, french fries, fish, beans, and probably a hundred things I haven’t thought of.

Below are pictures for nutritional information and ingredients.

https://truthsauceinc.com/

Company Website

160: I’m Fading Away

I’m fading away.

A week ago, I admitted my goal shifted to reaching 168 lbs. I’m chunking that again. My new goal is 160. That is what success does: it stains other areas with the desire for more.

In the last week, I went to 175, a weight I always imagined as something wildly desirable but impossibly difficult. I haven’t weighed less than 175 since after high school.

Losing weight is supposed to be more challenging with age.

I guess it is. I just wouldn’t know.

In 3 months, I dropped over 50 lbs. It’s not the best way, but fighting from the middle ground would have been another failure for me. Lucky for me, this time followed an episode of realization. Absent that realization, and this wouldn’t have happened. I still don’t expect people to ‘get it.’ After explaining it a few dozen times, it’s this: I saw myself as thin and also pictured that it was ‘the’ me I should have been my entire adult life. I couldn’t see myself making poor decisions that led me away from the vision of that life. So far, it has been entirely sufficient. That ‘me’ in the indefinite future continues to free me from the pangs of willpower.

It was also in that moment that I realized that despite biting my nails for 50+ years, I didn’t do that anymore, either. It’s a shame I didn’t visualize being a millionaire in that moment.

I still can’t figure out how to write a book and make millions.

“Have an LSD trip without the LSD and just do it” would undoubtedly result in a lawsuit. “Don’t put stuff in your mouth” is another possible book title. (You have to appease the vulgar-minded, too.)

Today, I watched a naysayer’s eyes as he realized that I don’t possess superpowers or anything he doesn’t. Previously, he preferred to snark at me. Now, he is considering finding himself at my age and being overweight. “It’s all choices,” I told him. “For most of us,” I added, being reminded of what a friend reminded me of a couple of weeks ago. “So what if you fail. Each day that slides past is another day that you won’t know the answer.” And I offered to help him figure out a way to do it. “Choose your hard,” I challenged him. I don’t expect my system to work for everyone. But a modified version of it will work for a hell of a lot of people.

I might not have mentioned that the one thing I’ve tried all year is to ensure that I consume enough fiber, both in food and through supplements. Though you might not believe it, I get my RDA through eating. I take fiber supplements to ensure I do. While I can’t know with certainty, the fiber seems to have worked wonders for me. I mix both psyllium and gummy fibers. Find a mix and diet of high-fiber foods that work for you.

And because I mention this in every post, every bit of my huge weight loss came through diet. No gym visits, no costly supplements, no specialty drinks, and nothing outside of my usual scope of living. While my job is very physical, I would still have realized a significant weight loss if it weren’t. I’ve stuck to the idea that it is unwise to start a habit you can’t continue for as long as you live. If not, as soon as the practice stops, the benefits stop, too.

I like to imagine surviving the last few months at almost 230. I can’t. I’d be on statins, blood pressure medication, and almost certainly facing some calamity with my feet or knees. Taking 50+ lbs off of them rescued me. I don’t want to think about my cardiovascular system, especially against the backdrop of this pandemic. Stress? Forget about it?

I’m almost at my statistical weight. Soon, I will have to turn to my next goal: don’t be a jackass. That one’s going to take a lot of work.

It’s all lemons.

Choose your hard.

Whoever you are, if you want to do something like this under your control, please do. Start today, in the smallest way. Your life is sweeping past you. You are not trapped in the prison of your previous decisions. Those choices and those years cannot be recaptured. It’s gone. Stand up. Embrace. Try. And try again if you fail.

Tofurky: Live Life On The Edge

tl;dr: violently unappetizing smell and appearance. Tastes great! (You’ll never see that juxtaposition of words again in your lifetime. Savor them in the same way you savor the door closing when the in-laws depart.)

“Ask not what you can do for your country. Ask what’s for lunch.” ―Orson Welles

Usually, if I say something smells a bit like wet cat food, it wouldn’t be something I’d put in my mouth. In this case, though, the Tofurky Plant-Based Deli Slices 100% smell a bit like wet cat food. Not the elegant kind featured on the tv commercials with well-groomed cats, either. The cats that would eat this type of smell are the ones you’d never stoop down to pet without wondering if you’d need a shot afterward. 

After picking up a packet and looking at it at least a dozen times over the last few months, I bought one today instead of throwing it back in the case. I’m a would-be lazy vegetarian, so this type of product catches my eye. The package claims that the contents are hickory smoked. I don’t see how that is possible, but it must be true; they spent a lot of money on the package’s extra wordage. Take note of the large print on the reverse that proclaims: “Taste Bud High Five!” It could just as easily said, “And Nose/Eye Slap In The Face.” They undoubtedly ran out of money to budget the extra printing.

Note to food manufacturers: brown-orange is not the go-to color I’d recommend for food. Sweet potatoes already have the market cornered on that aesthetic. 

“Seize the moment. Remember all those women on the Titanic who waved off the dessert cart.” ―Erma Bombeck

I’m blaming covid for convincing me to try this. My logic is that if a pandemic can get me at any moment, I don’t have a lot to lose by trying something that might smell like cat food and/or taste like used cat litter. Everyone knows that my taste already leans toward “inhuman.” 

The picture I posted doesn’t do justice to the perplexing texture and color of this alternative deli slice. I can’t help but imagine that a team of scientists worked for years, hoping to develop the opposite of whatever appetizing might be. They succeeded. After a lot of thought, NASA engineers associated with the solid waste portion of space travel might have given them ideas. 

If you try this food, do not smell it before putting it on a sandwich, tortilla, or in the cat’s food bowl.

In my case, I used Olé tortillas, lettuce, and horseradish sauce. And another with Sriracha. They were delicious. 

These fake deli slices tasted amazing on them both. 

You might doubt me. I’m sure you doubt me, especially after my review of the alien autopsy fake bacon. (Which is even more amazing cooked on a cookie sheet in a stupidly hot oven.)

To recap: do NOT smell this before trying it. Just put it in your mouth.

“If you use a food app and it calls 911 for you when you input what you’ve eaten, you are at least taking risks, which the happiness experts claim makes a beautiful life out of the most mundane.” – X

Love, X