So… by a show of hands, how many of us are carrying a few extra Rona pounds? Mmm hmm. That’s what I thought. I’m right there with you. As you know I recommend “taking off the holidays” and I did that last year and had gained a few back as is normal, but let’s the mandatory shelter-at-home AND trying to help all the struggling restaurants out by ordering lots of take-out … along with lots of rich food and ahem increased alcohol consumption cough cough and the scale is being a big meanie.
It’s easy to see why we have coined such phrases as “Covid-15” and “Pandemic pounds”. Don’t feel bad – if you have gained a few pounds you’re not alone! A quick Google search will show you that we’re not alone. Well my friends, let’s get busy!
I’m back on Weekday Fast phase one as of today. My goal is 190 and I’ll be posting here for accountability. Here’s a quick refresher:
Drink 24 oz water (ladies) or 32 oz (guys) first thing in the AM after you weigh (8 oz of water = a pound)
Try to drink an additional 1/2 oz per pound of body weight throughout the day
Consume all calories in a short window, preferably a max of eight hours. (aka “Skip Breakfast”)
600 calories for the ladies, 800 for the guys. (Big salad for lunch, lean protein and lots of veggies for dinner)
Use MyFitnessPal to track calories – BE STRICT and count every calorie.
Only black coffee or tea (no sweeteners or milk) until you open your eating window
Don’t drink any calories – no soft drinks etc.
Eat normally but limit carbs
Use MyFitness Pal to figure out what your daily calorie consumption should be (set your goal in the app)
Enjoy a glass of wine with dinner if you like
LIVE YOUR LIFE
But still drink your “Weekend Water”
And don’t go crazy on the calories or alcohol
Weigh in every day – at least Monday and Friday, first thing in the morning, after using the restroom, in the same amount of clothing every day.
Use a food scale so you KNOW how many (for example) ounces of chicken you are eating. (Amazon has them for $10-$15).
Use a digital scale that shows tenths of a pound to measure your progress. For around $50 you can get one that has Bluetooth and will sync to an app on your smartphone so you can track your progress.
It’s been a crazy year, hasn’t it? I have to admit, it’s been a rough one, and you can see that there has not been much activity on this site. COVID was a huge distraction and it really affected so many of our lives in so many ways. I am thankful the vaccine is available and know you all join me in hoping 2021 will get back to somewhat normal!
If you’re like me, one of the side affects of sheltering at home is putting on some extra “Pandemic Pounds!” Well, you know we take the holidays off around here and enjoy time with our family & friends. January is a month of renewal and new beginnings – this coming year more than any I can remember.
So enjoy your time with family and friends, have a Merry Christmas (or whatever holiday you celebrate) and a Happy New Year – we’ll see you in 2021! We have lots of plans, and it all begins in January.
Yesterday was a cool winter day and Aggie basketball was on – what better day to make a batch of red? I decided to forego our usual recipe and use actual dried chiles for the first time, so I knew where to look for a recipe – the TexAgs Food & Spirits board. I used AustinAgChef’s recipe with just a few modifications. Here is his recipe:
2 lbs. chuck, diced 1 large yellow onion diced small 3 jalapenos diced small 1 head garlic minced 2 tbsp. tomato paste 1 large can crushed tomatoes 2 large cans tomato sauce 1 large tomato can of water 1 beer of choice (I used Shiner because I like cooking with it) 3 each dried ancho, New Mexico and guajillo chiles 2 each chile de arbol 1 tbsp. ground cumin 1 tbsp. ground coriander 1 tbsp. ground ancho powder 1 tbsp. ground chipotle powder 1 tbsp. chile powder 1 tbsp. paprika 1 tbsp. Mexican oregano 1 tsp. cayenne pepper Kosher salt, to taste Bacon fat, as needed
1. Remove stems and seeds from dried chiles and place in a small saucepot with enough water to cover them. Bring to a boil, place lid on pot and turn off heat. Allow chiles to steep for 15 minutes and then puree.
2. Season beef with kosher salt and set aside. Meanwhile heat some bacon fat in a cast iron skillet and brown meat in batches to ensure even browing. Remove from pan and set aside.
3. Once all meat is browned, drain excess fat out of pan and deglaze with about a 1/4 of the beer and scrape the bottom of the pan to remove the yummy goodness.
3. In a separate stockpot, heat about 3 tbsp. of bacon fat and add onions and jalapenos. Season with some salt and cook for 3-5 minutes and then add garlic and continue cooking for an additional 3-5 minutes being careful not to burn the garlic.
4. Once the aromatics have cooked, add meat and pan drippings to pot. Now add all of your spices and tomato paste. Let this cook for about 5 minutes to allow the spices and tomato paste to toast. Be sure to stir often to prevent burning of the tomato paste.
5. Once that spices have had time to toast, add the remaining part of the beer and reduce by half. After the beer has reduced, add your tomatoes, tomato sauce, chile puree and water.
6. Turn heat to low and allow the chili to simmer for 2-3 hours until the meat is tender. Adjust seasoning with salt to your liking and serve however you’d like.
If the consistency is too thick then add water a little at a time to get the desired consistency. If it is too thin, continue cooking down or thicken slightly with a little bit of masa harina mixed with water.
Also, if you want a spicier chili then add more cayenne and leave the seeds in the jalapenos.
Here are our modifications:
1) I used 2lbs venison chili meat and cubed up a top sirloin for a little more meat. I like to have different textures of meat in my chili.
2) I add LOTS of veggies to our chili to add fiber and make it a little healthier. By dicing them all up fine everything cooks in and you can’t even tell they are in there. We used two onions, a green bell pepper, a red bell pepper, and three stalks of celery. (I know, I know – CELERY in chili? But it adds texture and fiber and you can’t even tell it’s in there.)
3) We skipped the jalapenos because my wife is allergic to them. Next time I’ll research what kind of dried peppers to add to kick the spice level up just one notch, because I like spicy foods.
Here are the ingredients (meat not pictured). I just used whatever tomato products were in the pantry.
Dry peppers purchased from HEB:
Using scissors, I removed the stems and seeds from the dried peppers and cut them up into smaller pieces. These went into a sauce pan and covered with water. Once it came to a boil I put a lid on it and set aside.
Chop chop while the meat was browning:
Sautee the veggies thoroughly. This is critical – if you don’t get them nice and soft before you combine everything, they won’t disappear into the mix as well.
To the veggies add 2 Tbsp tomato paste and your spices. Keep stirring to toast the spices – everything is smelling fantastic.
Meanwhile, the entire content of the saucepan with peppers goes into the food processor for a good puree:
Add it to the pot and stir it in. I added 1/3 of the beer and let it cook about five minutes, stirring often.
Now everything else goes in – meat, tomato products, the all important Shiner Bock (best beer for chili!), chile puree. We simmered it on low for three hours.
Best. Chili. Ever.
Some of us enjoyed ours over fritos, frito pie style! My wife likes her chili over rice, as is tradition in her native Hawaii. (You can sub cauliflower rice and keep everything no-carb!) My daughter enjoys it either way, just make sure there is plenty of cheese! Do NOT be intimidated by using dried chiles instead of chili powder – it was really easy to make that puree and your taste buds will thank you for the effort.
One of the many benefits of the Weekday Fast program is that it allows your body to go into what we call “Repair and Replenish” mode. The magic happens when your body finishes digesting the food in your system and your insulin levels naturally drop. Your body enters a fasted state and your body focuses it’s attention and energy on maintenance instead of digesting food.
What is the number one thing that prevents your insulin level from dropping? SUGAR. Sugar in large quantities should literally be considered poison, and yet we consume it in ever-increasing quantities.
This article from The Guardian is word-for-word the best summary I’ve read of how this hoax was perpetrated on the world. I strongly suggest you read it.
I’ve seen several articles recently about the dangers of consuming soda pop, but this one is the scariest yet! From an article in The Sun today:
JUST two diet drinks a day raises the risk of dying young by a quarter, a major study reveals. And lovers of Diet Coke and Pepsi Max see their chances of being killed by a heart attack or stroke rocket by more than half, compared to those who avoid the stuff. Experts said the “important” European findings – involving more than 450,000 people – were “concerning”.
And don’t think you’re off the hook if you choose diet soda – it turns out that could be even worse than the full sugar stuff: It suggests switching to sugar-free products – such as Diet Pepsi or Lucozade Zero – could be equally bad for health, if not worse. The study was carried out by the International Agency for Research on Cancer in France, which is a part of the WHO. Lead researcher Dr Neil Murphy said: “The striking observation in our study was that we found positive associations for both sugar-sweetened and artificially-sweetened soft drinks with risk of all-cause deaths.
The take home message: DRINK WATER! But for those of us on the Weekday Fast plan, that comes as no surprise.
Howdy all! I hope everyone is doing well and enjoying their summer! I realize this page has been pretty quiet lately, but all of that is about to change. I wanted to check in and give you all an update on what has been going on behind the scenes.
As many of you know, I took the PDF I wrote last year and
have been working on expanding it into an entire book. Eighteen chapters and 30,000
words later, it is very close to being done. Lisa is doing the final edits on
it this weekend and then it’s off to the interior designer (that’s book
interior designer) to lay it out and get it ready for Amazon. It will be available in paperback or Kindle
form, and I will keep the price at the lowest Amazon allows, $.99 for the first
few weeks so anyone can grab a copy before it goes up to $9.99 and probably
$14ish for the paperback.
Finally, I do have a favor to ask. The last thing I need before I get the book cover designed is some testimonials. If you are willing, please click over to the testimonial page and leave an honest review of how the program has worked for you. The best couple will likely make the back cover and the rest will go on the first few pages of the book. It will be mostly anonymous, as I will just use your first name and last initial after the review to maintain your privacy if you wish. If you leave a testimonial with your mailing address, I’ll ship you a free copy of the paperback as soon as it is released in a few weeks.
I saw this article in the Wall Street Journal today! The evidence continues to pour in that intermittent fasting aka timed eating is incredibly healthy and fights a whole host of various diseases and ailments.
But fasting shouldn’t be dismissed as just another fad. At the Charité University Hospital in Berlin, I’ve employed what’s called intermittent fasting, or time-restricted eating, to help patients with an array of chronic conditions. These include diabetes, high blood pressure, rheumatism and bowel diseases, as well as pain syndromes such as migraines and osteoarthritis. –Andreas Michalsen
At my annual physical this year, my Internist told me I no longer needed to take a daily baby aspirin. It is frustrating how they come out with a study telling you to do one thing and then a few years later another that tells you the exact opposite. However, this article does make a compelling case:
WASHINGTON (AP) — Millions of people who take aspirin to prevent a heart attack may need to rethink the pill-popping, Harvard researchers reported Monday.
A daily low-dose aspirin is recommended for people who have already had a heart attack or stroke and for those diagnosed with heart disease.
But for the otherwise healthy, that advice has been overturned. Guidelines released this year ruled out routine aspirin use for many older adults who don’t already have heart disease — and said it’s only for certain younger people under doctor’s orders.
Every week there seems to be another story in the news about how horrible and unhealthy sugar is for you. Now, I like my nightly piece of dark chocolate as much as the next guy, but that is about the healthiest kind of sugar you can eat probably. Everything in moderation.
The problem is, these guys were patently dishonest about the “healthiness” or sugar. This is not a feel good story – the good guy loses in the end. But fortunately the world is finally waking up to the truth – FAT is not the enemy – SUGAR is!
It all began on September 23, 1955, when President Dwight Eisenhower suffered a heart attack. At a press conference the next day, his chief physician Dr Paul Dudley White instructed Americans on how to avoid heart disease: stop smoking, and cut down on fat and cholesterol. White based his recommendations on the research of a nutritionist at the University of Minnesota, Ancel Keys.
Heart disease was a relatively new and increasingly serious health problem for middle-aged men. As recently as the 1920s, heart disease was very rare, but heart attacks were becoming more common, and Americans wanted to know why. Enter Keys with a solution that will sound familar – “an excess of saturated fats in the diet, from red meat, cheese, butter, and eggs, raises cholesterol, which congeals on the inside of coronary arteries, causing them to harden and narrow, until the flow of blood is staunched and the heart seizes up.”
Meanwhile, in 1957, John Yudkin first proposed that SUGAR was the true problem – literally poisoning us in the amounts we were consuming it. Keys wasn’t the only one to disagree with this theory – sensing a thread to their industry bottom line, both The British Sugar Bureau and the World Sugar Research Organisation quickly criticized the theory, called his book “science fiction” and “emotional assertions”.
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