Tag Archives: weight loss

Numbers Don’t Lie…

But they should in some cases. September is here so now it is time to get back to the program. But first, a little entertainment…



Using the BMI calculation of BMI = M / (H x H), where M = body mass in kilograms and H = height in meters I end up with a score of 34.4. Which would be 112 / (1.73736 X 1.73736 ).

That isn’t good. Using the scale from the link, that puts me in the obese category. That’s funny because I don’t feel obese. I know I need to lose a lot little pounds but come on, obese? Makes me feel kind of sad.

OK, so let’s look at the ideal weight scale and see where I should be:

I’m 5′ 11" and currently 247 lbs so I should be between 145 lbs and 180 lbs.  I haven’t heard those numbers describe myself since High School. I think my comfortable range is 200-210 and that’s still in the red! Looks like I’ll have to do some more research in the coming days to make this a better number. I don’t think I can change the number too drastically without surgery but I will get this number down somehow. Watch the progress unfold.

The Vegan Caterer

IMAG0104 You may or may not know that I am also a caterer who specializes in outdoor BBQ.  All food is prepared on a 5 foot charcoal grill. For the record, they were wooden briquettes but you can’t eat then so it doesn’t count.

The other day I had my first job as a Vegan and on the menu were baby back ribs, Italian sausage, salmon, pasta salad and Caesar salad.  All things I can’t eat.  I brought my own food to be prepared for such an occasion.

So what was it like cooking all this delicious food and not being able to eat it?  It’s pretty easy actually.  I’ve cooked for so many years that cooking the food doesn’t trigger a hunger response.  After cooking and serving is a different story however.  That’s when we typically eat and everything smelled good.

To make it through, I eat some celery I brought with me.  For dinner I had brought one of my Boca Burgers that I wanted to try cooked on the grill.  Unfortunately, it fell through the grates into the coals (pictured above) and I was left with lettuce, tomato and vegan cheese on a bun.  It was the saddest catering experience I’ve ever had.

I did run into another fellow vegan at the party who also couldn’t have any of the food we brought.  I understood her plight but she also had access tot the other food at the party so I wasn’t too worried for her.  It happens quite often that a vegetarian will show up to a party but not vegans.

More and more I’m starting to see that you can’t be a vegan without planning for your next meal.

Shop til you drop

Shopping List

That’s how my lists used to look.  Now I can only get one item on that list freely and one item carefully.

After a quick inventory of my personal food supply I realized there’s nothing I have that fits the bill.  I had to go out and shop all over again.  No problem since I love to eat so armed with some knowledge from the internet about vegan friendly foods and ingredients I was on my way to stocking the shelves. Thanks to the people at PETA for giving me a good start on what I could eat off the shelf.  They don’t have a complete list but they do have enough to get you started. They seems to have a handle on the animal not animal thing.

Wegmans, The Fresh Market, Giant and Sam’s Club all contributed to my first nights spoils for a total of $101.06.  A typical food budget for myself so I wasn’t too concerned there.  The experience however was not one I enjoyed.

First thing to do with any product is to read the label.  I often laughed at these people who are in the way at the store reading labels for what seems forever as I try to pas.  But now, I’m one of them.  I actually felt pretty stupid trying to figure out if I could eat something because of an ingredient.  A few times of whipping out my phone to search the internet got to be pretty frustrating.  I’m sure the people who say me figured it was my first time.

Next was the endless circling to try to find something I could eat and trying to create a balanced meal plan for the day.  Being an runner doesn’t seem to be easy while doing this but I was certainly getting a workout.

I was able to score some vegan cheese made of rice, Boca Burgers and some wheat bread that was “safe” to eat.  Paired with some spinach and tomatoes I was ready for my first meal as a vegan (other than the salad I ate at lunch).

And then there it was, my first bite.  It wasn’t the worst thing I had ever eaten but it certainly wasn’t the best.  I was robbed of the flavors I used to enjoy and replaced with this.  And I have to do another 30 days of this?  It’s going to be a long month…

Don’t have a cow

Or a chicken or even a fish.  As a matter of fact, don’t have anything that has to do with them.  That’s pretty much the mantra of a vegan.  No animal products, by-products or items produced from something involving animals.

From the beginning I knew I would have trouble with this one but I didn’t know how much until the last few days in doing research.  No eating chocolate, honey, milk and worst of all, no Cinnamon Toast Crunch?  Man you guys have a tough club.

This isn’t just a way of eating, it’s a lifestyle.  The mantra extends to all products.  Thankfully I’m only focusing on the food because this doesn’t seem like something I can fit into a month.  That’s good because this is going to be one tough month for eating.

So if you know me personally, expect me to be grumpy for the next month.

Déjà Vu

This month seems like déjà vu.  It is similar to March but not exactly the same.  Before it was no liquids except water and now it’s no alcohol.  Why punish myself two times with similar items?  Easy, they’re two different schools of though.

Water allows you to flush out what the other liquids put in as it hydrates.  Water intake increases and you feel more hydrated.  The flip side to this was that the amount of flavors experienced during a mean was dramatically limited.  Wine pairings were definitely out and so was my usual morning juice.

No alcohol limits a certain type of beverage but does allow other flavors through fluids.  During No Water, I learned that drinks enhance the flavors of meals dramatically!  Even sodas and juices make a difference.  Next time you have dinner, try a different drink other than your usual.  You’d be amazed at how different it is.

On a side note, first salty snack was Lay’s Plain Potato Chips.  I would’ve went for something more flavorful but they were more convenient at the time.  They did provide the right amount of salt to satisfy  31 days worth of craving.

Chocolate Covered Pretzels Problem

So what do you when you have a Chocolate Covered Pretzel problem?? And better yet, what the hell am I talking about?  Well, if you have been following for the last couple months you’d know that this month there are No Salty Snacks and last month there were no Sweets.  So what does that make a Chocolate Covered Pretzel?

Conventional knowledge (and a Google search) tells us that pretzel is a salty food but what makes it so?  Is it because it is covered with salt?  Is it no longer a salty food if it is an unsalted pretzel?  And then what is the result when you cover a salted pretzel with chocolate, a sweet?

The CDC says we are eating too much salt and I’m not surprised.  Salt is in everything for two reasons, it’s a preservative and it tastes good.  If you’ve ever eaten at a restaurant chances are that you’ve noticed something was lacking salt. And chances are that you added salt to make it taste better.

Salt comes in all different types of flavors, garlic, sea, seasoned even bacon!  But no matter how you flavor it, it doesn’t change the fact that it’s salt.

To play it safe, i won’t be eating them but it just goes to show how much we know about the things we eat.  Subtleties such as this are often ignored when putting food into the mouth. 

Sugar Sugar

Today it’s a calibration!  Sugar is back on!


It was a tough month but once I figured out that I could replace those sugar cravings with something else like fruits and yogurt it got a lot easier.

First sugar item; Pretzel M&M’s.  I’ve been hearing about them all month so I bought a bag to keep in my desk draw to try them out.  I don’t know if it’s because I haven’t had sweets in a month or whether they are this good but they must either be from Baltimore or named DJ Class because these things are the Ish!


Cheating in a non-cheating way

You’ve seen the Yoplait commercials (see below) and thought just like me, this chick is crazy!  And look at the typical clueless guy in the back there looking for the food she mentions.  But you know what, these things actually do satisfy a craving for sweets and are good for you.  (Don’t worry chocolate, I still love you!)

I’m not sure if consuming more yogurt is a good thing (of course the folks at Dannon don’t believe so) since it is basically a bacteria but the commercials say it is and we know we should trust the commercials.

This isn’t a promotion for their product but if you’re craving a snack, reach for a yogurt instead of candy.  You body may thank you for it.

Weight Loss Myths Exposed

A few months back, Runners World ran an article entitled Incredible Weight Loss Myths Exposed.  It’s a good read for everyone including non-runners.  Most notibly on the list, Eating at night causes weight gain.

The point of the Iron Will Year is not to debunk diet myths but rather to call attention to eating habits.  The article mentions that at night, we tend to eat fatty foods because they are the quickest to prepare; chips, ice cream and other desserts.  Using the plan, I’ve quickly realized this is a fact.  Late night snacking is something I will hopefully have a hold of after this month is complete.

On a side note, it appears that the soda tax in Philly isn’t going to happen.  The proposal is “on life support” according to Councilman Jim Kenney.  Not surprising, I don’t think anyone reasonably thought it was a good idea.