Saturday, 11 February 2012

Diet Report 5: The Everyday Diet

Thought I'd begin this week's main entry with an image of a delicious omelette, fries and side salad made in our very kitchen last Sunday brunch time. This truly is the brunch of champions containing every nutritious thing you need to go until tea time with no more than a couple of cups of coffee. You may think it looks appetising, hell I am craving that exact meal all over again right now but here's the thing. All the time I was piling on weight and eating crap I never felt motivated to take a photograph of any meal. The riot of colour and variety of texture on display in my meals of late means sometimes you have to pause to lay down some megapixels.

Moving on.

Flat Week

You may remember from last weekend's ups and downs, and my midweek mini-update that after apparently losing nothing in the fourth week of the diet the very next day I dropped a massive four pounds in my daily weigh in and then experienced no fluctuations at all by Wednesday. Well, on Thursday evening I recorded the shifting of another three pounds and then yesterday it all came back again. So what will tonight's recorded weight be?

I certainly hope it won't be more than 23 7, that would be rubbish, but I also think it's more than likely going to stick at 23 7 which will look like a loss on the official week by week chart but is actually six days of nothing. On the other hand if I come in any lighter than 23 7 it will look like I'm dropping weight at a massive rate when any change at this point will be a much smaller departure from 23 7 than it looks.

In other words if you are not measuring your weight daily, and there are many good reasons not to, then you may find in your milestone weighing session that things look bleak, or look worrying when the overall pattern would give you a much clearer indication of exactly when the body is dumping unnecessary fat reserves.

Coupled with the snowy conditions and cold weather over this week the freeze in my weight has reminded me of the Nordic Rune Isa:

Not the most exciting sigil ever but eerily the one that seems to resonate most when I encounter its symbol in action. Isa directly means ice and represents blockage, a literal freezing up of the things in your life. When it's too cold to go outside, it takes longer to drive to work and the weight you've been losing seems to stop dead it just appears as if someone's hit the pause button on the world.

On which note the one goal I really wanted to achieve this week, to visit the gym with a view to joining my company's gym programme went by the wall due to snow and freezing conditions. Which annoyed me a bit as well.

Hunger Pangs

This week was also the first time I've actually felt hungry during the diet. Not anything dramatic just a much clearer feeling of peckishness at meal times. Personally I think it's quite a healthy thing. In fact, in retrospect, it's a bit worrying that properly hungry isn't something I've felt for years. Mildly more interested in food, sure, but actually hungry, I can't say that it was familiar as feelings go.

The nice thing about hunger is when you do eat things taste better and the experience is just generally more rewarding. Eating when you've got plenty of your own fat to live on is just an altogether more compulsive action.

Son of Salad: Revenge of the Schooner

By request this week I will be providing a step-by step guide to building salads such as yours truly, the salad monster, likes to make for sustenance, tantalising tastes and rockin' good times. I was actually asked for a recipe but salad doesn't really have a recipe it's a "bung it in a bucket" kind of experience. So without further ado I present, the bucket:

Actually, I like to refer to it as a "schooner". It's really just a bowl. Like someone miniaturised a large salad server but not too miniature. It's bigger than a pasta bowl and shallower than a soup bowl. We bought these specially and I think it does provide an eye guide to the perfect salad size.

Next, just a gander at the ingredients. From left to right on the front row, we have sliced cucumbers, grated carrots (at this point I ran out of colour coded plastic hoppers), green pepper and red onion. On the back row gherkins, jalapenos, sweetcorn and olives (the gherkins are part of Mrs Monkey's salad and will feature no further part in this salad how to, you may like vinegary, wrinkly freak cucumber foetuses but I am not a fan). I have not included the lettuce in this line up because it's freakin' lettuce, you buy it in a plastic bag and just pop it into a bowl like this:

See, already we're looking like we've got some salad-y goodness going on and we've only done one ingredient. Don't diss the lettuce it is the foundation of the salad and who would build a house without solid foundations, only someone who enjoys living in rubble.

Cucumbers are where the salad begins to look like a real salad, cucumbers add a slight peppery nuance to the bowl but mostly they're there for the crunch. If you have some slices left over you could use them on your eyes because apparently that is a thing.

Really I should have used red pepper on this part for a dash of colour contrast but I didn't so far, so green salad, right?

And then BAM grated carrot haymaker right in the face, suddenly we have an explosion of exuberantly sweet orange to go with the slightly spiced flavours of the green vegetables added so far.

I am having red onion on my salad Mrs Monkey says it is horrible and shuns it in favour of alien pods coated in acid and then sliced into things that look like nose goblins. And she says I like disgusting foods because I like a smattering of fiery spicyness on my salad... bah.

Finally, on the proper vegetable front I add a nice yellow touch to the bowl delicious sweetcorn, another taste contrast.

I love olives and a couple of jalapenos are all but mandated by law. Enjoy this riot of colour and flavour because we're about to reach for the deli meats which does cover up the visually attractive vegetables so far assembled.

The joy of this is that as you slice through the meat you expose the colourful layers underneath. Plus sliced deli meats are delicious. I have plumped for chicken in this instance. The one thing I have found quite frustrating is that supermarkets don't really sell wafer thin turkey slices, and in fact the turkey selection as a whole is quite poor. I prefer turkey as a salad white meat it just seems to compliment the bowl better. Never mind let's skip to the cheese:

That's 50g of mature cheddar right there homeslices. It's the most fattening thing on the plate at 202 kcal but it tastes of pure cheesy goodness. As a final touch a quick swirl of dressing:

Today I have gone for mayonaisse with a hint of chilli the choice of dressing is key to the ultimate salad experience. In this case there was a pleasant extra heat to my salad which made myself and my tastebuds very happy indeed.

Hope that's helpful in pointing you in the direction of your own salad behemoth, now I am tending towards getting myself some eggs and tearing up a righteous omelette in the hizouse. I'll see all of you here after six for the weigh in. Have a good Saturday!

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