Food

This weekend was pretty nice over all. Friday evening I just stayed in and relaxed so I could make sure to get a full nights sleep for Saturday.

Saturday was super full. Saw a matinee of Captain America: Winter Soldier, which felt like a good action espionage film, like one of the Bourne movies. I think it may be my favorite of the Marvel movies now. Great action, very good special effects and some fantastic acting. I highly suggest seeing this movie. After the movie I met up with a nice woman that I met via OK Cupid. We were going to go to The Grill from Ipanema but I misread their website and we got there just as lunch ended. We wandered around for a little bit and then had lunch at Taco Del Mar. Talked for about 45 minutes about our respective animals then did some walking around. Had coffee and chatted for another 2 hours. She is a very nice lady but reminds me of a combination of myself and my mother so, while I wouldn’t mind hanging out with her in the future, I don’t really see any romance coming out of this. I was pretty pleased that I made it through a 3 hour date and didn’t have any kind of anxiety or panic attack and that I could keep things going conversation wise. It did feel odd to be on a date though. Looking forward to doing it again though. I then ended up at Blakes chatting about X-Wing Miniatures stuff and after a bit we wandered to Clever Dunnes to visit with folks. I managed to only have 1 drink and while I did end up getting really tired and calling it a night around 11 P.M., I had a nice evening with my friends.

Today was spent with a little morning gaming, a few hours at work, a Costco run, then more gaming at home and probably snacking too much. I have solidly broke out of the 360’s and have been sitting at 355 for the past week so I’m not overly concerned with my eating today. Costco has chia seed now so I got a bag to play around with it. I don’t have all the ingredients I need to make low card hot cereal (I need some ground flax which I forgot to get at Costco) but I did find a recipe for chia seed pudding. It takes 4+ hours to make, but I am having some now and it’s pretty good. It has a texture like tapioca pudding so it really hits that spot for me. I modified a recipe I found on line –

1/4 cup chia seed

1/2 cup coconut milk

1/2 cup heavy whipping cream (40%)

1/4 teaspoon ground clove

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

a few squirts of liquid stevia

Put all ingredients into a wide mouth mason jar, put the lid on and shake the crap out of it. Stick it in the fridge for at least four hours. Get spoon and put pudding in mouth hole.

Very easy recipe and terrifyingly filling. Chia seed is a ‘superfood’ with Omega 3 fats (the shit your heart needs) and an insane amount of protein and calcium. Tests are inconclusive on the idea of it being a weight loss miracle, but with it’s properties of becoming gelatinous and swelling to 10 times it’s size when introduced to liquid, it could prove to be a potent tool in my war on carbs.

Now it is time for bed where I shall read some P.K. Dick and be mildly concerned that my dreams aren’t noticeably weirder for it.

 

I got my first batch of refrigerator pickles going tonight. Sadly I waited to long and the green beans are of a sketchy quality, but the asparagus should be good. I have one pint jar of that, and two of garlic going. Both should be ready for consumption by the little get together that I am going to on Saturday. I am most looking forward to the garlic since I adore pickled garlic. If this works out well, I will have to start doing some shelf stable jars and just go apeshit on produce on my next Costco visit.

I am massively out of shape, this is no secret. My scale is broken but I suspect that I am legitimately at or over 400 pounds right now. I can’t really exercise the way I would like to because of all the joint stress  it would cause me, so I really need to drop about 50 to 75 pounds before I can really get started. I saw a photo linked on Reddit in a thread that purports that the images pictured are what that family (I suspect each is supposed to represent a normal family) goes through in a week. It is pulled from a more in depth slideshow at Times web site.

The first thing that I noticed was how much Coca Cola the Mexican family goes through in a week. 12 two litre bottles for a family of five, per week. Thats slightly over two per person per week, and that is fucking insane. Their total food bill is $189.09 ($37.82 per person) a week. I did notice however that there were some really interesting looking ones. The Kuwaiti diet looks really nice, and it’s $221.45 a week for a family of eight people ($27.68 per person). The Chinese diet looks really neat too, and it is $155.06 for four people ($38.76). Bhutan spend $5.03 for a family of 12 ($0.42 per person).

I have been wanting to get back in shape and lose weight but have not been able to get the focus to do it. I think what I want to try now is to do what some of these more basic diets are doing. Only five to 10 ingredients in the staple diet and prepared simply. I have my weekly subscription to a local CSA so I have organic produce delivered to me, so I may up the amount of produce being sent and supplement that with rice and home baked goods. I am going to challenge myself for one month to limit my food intake to what is in this box, meat, and bread that I can bake. I get my next box next Friday, so that is when I will officially start this challenge. Every Friday, I will post here what came in the box and I will put together a basic meal plan. I will then keep a food diary and post once a day with that information as well as the recipes I come up with.

I would appreciate it if folks would keep me on task. Please feel free to call me out if I am not doing my posts like I want or if I seem to be slipping away from the intent. I would really like to be under near 300 pounds by the end of the year and can use all the help I can get.

Yesterday was my twice a month get out of the house excursion. This involves grocery shopping and hitting the local thrift shops. I was on a mission at the thrift shops and kept my focus fairly tight. Sadly, I didn’t find the specific bread box that I wanted (one of those adjustable plastic ones with the slicing guide built in) but I did find a complete Toddy system that looked like it had never been used for $7.

When I was homeless in Portland 20+ years ago is when I *really* got into coffee. There was a little coffee shop called Cafe Omega (now known as Tugboat Brewery) and they had a fantastic policy. They actually *liked* us homeless kids and gutter punks and would let us spend hours at a time hanging out there. A few times we were even encouraged to step inside to avoid the occasional police sweeps that would come through looking to harass us. Generally, I would show up around 10 P.M. if I hadn’t made it to the shelter on time to get a cot and get a cup of drip coffee for 7s cents. The next 8 to 10 hours would be spent playing cards or chess with the other punks that came by to hang out, as well as cup after cup of 25 cent refills, which we usually only got charged for every third cup or so. That was one of the few romantic aspects of that period of time. Needless to say, this started my tragic love affair with coffee.

After a few years of this, I got off the streets but my coffee habit continued. Now that I had some money in my pocket from doing either market research or flipping burgers, I could afford to drink coffee at home. I did this with much gusto. This went on for a few years, but after averaging about 4 pots of the juice a day for about 4 years, the caffeine and acids in coffee were taking their toll. I was starting to have serious stomach pains and it would feel like Thor himself was grasping my heart and squeezing. I was told by a doctor to cool it on the coffee before things started getting permanent.

This is when I started learning to live life without caffeine, and to be honest it’s not bad. I sleep better, my chest doesn’t feel like it’s got 220v coursing through it all the time, and I am far less edgy than I used to be. The magical thing is though that if I *need* to be awake *RIGHTTHEFUCKNOW* I can drink a large half caff drip and be juiced for the whole day. The acids still screw with my stomach a bit though.

Cold pressed coffee is the answer to this for me. This method of brewing gets all the taste (and I miss the *taste* of coffee) with almost none of the acidity and bitterness. I was making cold press coffee for a while with a setup I cobbled together but the process was annoying and messy. This Toddy system is *really* easy and simple to clean up. Last night I got it going with a mix of 1/3 dark French roast with full caffeine and 2/3 medium roast ‘house’ blend decaf. I now have a low acidity, low caffeine concentrate of coffee that mixes 1:3 with hot water to make a brilliant cup of coffee.

So, I sit here typing this with a large cup of happiness, 2 stevia and a splash of half and half, and let the hint of caffeine play with the tips of my neurons as I listen to the birds outside my window. It feels nice. Welcome back my friend.

I was born on a military base in Texas and he first two and a half months of my life were spent in a trailer. One of my uncles always had at least one car on blocks in his yard. One of my Grandmothers went to church (I shit you not) nine times a week. The white trash runs thick and deep in my blood.

I decided that I wanted some ice cream a bit ago but I have no money. I do have an ice cream machine though. After looking through the fridge and cupboards I came to the realization that my lack of money also currently equates to a lack of ingredients, so I have been forced to make “ice cream” from powdered milk, sugar, and grape Kool Aid. I have some frozen berries I think I will toss in as well at the end.

I have not felt this close to living in a trailer again in my life. Now if you will excuse me, I must collect my treat and get back to watching old episodes of Top Gear.

1 lb of black beans soaked over night

1 lb of ground lamb

6 stalks of celery

1 bottle of ale

1 box of organic chicken stock

2 tablespoons garlic powder

3 tablespoons cumin

1 tablespoon cayenne pepper

1 small can of tomato paste

1 tablespoon black pepper

2 bay leaves

 

Brown the lamb in the crock pot with some olive oil, then drain the oil off. Slice up the celery and toss in with the lamb. let this cook for a few minutes and then dump everything else in. Stir to mix it all up. Bring to a boil them clamp the lid on the pressure cooker and bring to 15 psi and let it cook for 30 minutes. Take off the heat and let it come down in pressure on it’s own, about another 20 minutes. Add additional seasonings to taste. Put in your filthy gob.

It would appear that I have a case of food poisoning.  The dressing for a salad that came with my dinner tonight seemed a little off from how it normally tastes. It was a small side salad and I only ate about half of it so I am hoping that my system will handle it just fine, but my stomach seems…

Belay that. In mid sentence typing I needed to evacuate some of the contents of my stomach. I can tell that more will be coming. Now the question is do I try to go to sleep and risk not getting to the bathroom in time or do I sleep and hope that it is mild enough to just go away while I am unconscious.

Blah.

Epic stew is in the making. Celery, carrot, two types of onion, sweet peppers, beef, lamb sausage, garlic, bay leaf, pepper, chicken broth, year old summer ale. These shall combine forces with 8.5 PSI for 40 minute to become a stew of epic cold slaying. Coupled with the power of The Avengers Initiative (a.k.a. all the Marvel Avengers movies stitched together in chronological order) I shall smite this mother fucker out of my system.

 

Edited to add –

Would have been better with beef stock and dark beer, but it came out acceptable.

I had to pick up Aaron at the airport this morning and on my way out the door I realized that I should probably eat. Stopped off at Safeway and grabbed a deli sandwich, some dried cherries and, on a whim, a container of Greek yogurt.

 

I have had Greek yogurt before and really like the texture and tartness, as well as the giggling at anal yogurt jokes. I grabbed a brand I had not had before and went on my way. I just got home and decided to eat the damn thing. It’s Zoi Strawberry Cream fruit on the bottom. 200 calories and other than the active cultures, I can pronounce everything in the ingredients list. They use sugar instead of HFCS if that is a concern for you (which it is for me).

 

I popped the top and stirred it up. It tastes like a dessert, a delectable sweet and satisfying dessert. It’s like they combined Greek yogurt, fresh strawberries and whipped cream. I wan’t to make mouth love to it again and again.

 

So yea, this yogurt is fucking fantastic and you should all try it. Live active cultures, no HFCS, good fruit flavor, and it tastes like a dessert for breakfast. It would appear that they are a local company as well, located in Auburn WA. Even more of a reason to put this shit in your face hole.

Holy shit this is good! This is hands down the best sugar free ice cream I have ever had, and is on par with store brand regular ice cream.

 

1 cup strong chai tea

5 Tablespoons of Truvia or other powdered stevia (I used Fred Meyers brand)

2 cups half and half

4 Tablespoons powdered milk

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

 

Brew some strong chai tea. I used a loose leaf masala spice chai tea that I get at the corner Indian market and use a French press. I let it steep until it is room temperature then poured it into a container to store in the fridge overnight to get it cold.

The next day measure a cup of chai into a small container with a lid. Add the stevia and mix it until the stevia is fully dissolved. Now add the powdered milk and stir. I use Peak brand powdered milk. It’s sold over the counter in the UK and is *much* richer than standard evaporated milk. I buy it either on Amazon or at the corner Indian market. Put this back in the fridge for an hour or two to get completely cold again.

In a bowl beat the eggs. I use boxed pasteurized eggs for convenience so I just measure out the two eggs per the instructions on the container, but the chances of getting salmonella from a raw unpasturized egg is very small. Add the half and half and vanilla and mix together. Add the tea mixture and mix until it is all incorporated well.

Pour into ice cream maker and run for 25 minutes. You can eat it now but it will melt pretty quick. Other wise put it into an airtight, freezer safe container.

 

If you want to use regular sugar instead of stevia, then while the tea is still boiling hot measure off a cup and add 3/4 cup of sugar. Stir until it is dissolved then cool off and put in the fridge over night.