Several people emailed with questions similar to those in a comment Bia Redko left on last week's story about my weight loss:
I loved your diet and trying to follow it.
You do not have any milk?
And coffee and tea?
And about water?
Thanks for the inspiration.
I didn't intend that post to be a step-by-step diet for anyone else, especially since I believe everyone needs to be guided by their individual strengths and weaknesses, tastes and health issues.
For example, I cannot have ice cream in the house. Period. It sits in the freezer (not for long) and calls my name until I eat it. All of it. When I am substituting ice cream for one of my 21 meals per week, I buy only as much as I am going to eat so none is left over.
Similarly for cheese. I purchase a good-sized portion for that one meal and finish it all in one sitting.
Eggs: Occasionally, I use only the whites of boiled eggs cut up in salads. A boiled egg holds about 80 calories. The white is about 15 or 20 calories. When weight loss depends on shaving only 200-300 calories per day from a maintenance diet, every calorie counts and egg yokes don't give me anything I need that I can't get elsewhere.
Coffee and tea: I drink two to three cups of coffee every morning while I read the news, answer email and make notes for future blog posts. I drink it (and tea) black; I don't need the additional 100-200 calories from sugar and milk nor do I like coffee that tastes like candy.
Particularly when I'm working in the afternoon, I take a green tea break but only decaffeinated. No caffeine after 10-11AM for me. I don't want anything in my body that would contribute to my sleep difficulties.
I hardly ever use milk. When, now and then, I need it for something I'm cooking, I always use no-fat. But if it's calcium anyone's concerned about, it seems that I get plenty from the wide variety of vegetables I eat, from no-fat sour cream and no-fat yogurt and my occasional cheese meal.
My physician is not concerned. But as I've noted, you should not follow my lead on getting enough nutrients. Each of us is different.
There is usually a glass of water on my desk or nearby wherever I am working. Old peple don't always feel thirst when our bodies need hydrating so it's important to drink a glass of water several times a day even if we think we don't need it.
I never drink soda of any kind. That's just a personal quirk that has nothing to do with weight loss – I've never liked the bubbles.
On rare occasions – and I do mean rarely – I eat something with an astronomical calorie count but is yummy. French toast (with whole eggs including the yolks) with sausage and – the point of the meal for me – real maple syrup.
Although in general, I don't eat meat anymore, two or three times a year I cook up a couple of lamb shanks – I really like lamb – and about once per winter, I make a beef stew although recently, I've been experimenting with substituting mushrooms for beef.
A point about occasional pig outs: We often lament, in old age, how fast time seems to speed by but during this weight loss program, I have discovered an upside to the phenomenon.
If I've satisfied my craving for ice cream today and start day-dreaming about, for example, French toast - it will feel like almost no time at all until I can indulge myself a week from today.
All right, that's all the time I can stand to be upright this morning (Monday).
Remember last Thursday when I said I was afflicted with some bodily disturbance and ennui? Apparently, it was only a prelude.
Since Saturday morning I've been in bed with most of the classic flu symptoms and a temperature of 100-plus. I can't see how it's really a flu since I had the shot and it was formulated for the strain of flu that is making the rounds this year.
Oh, well. There are all sorts of unidentified bugs willing to make their homes in our bodies and I'm going back to bed now.
At The Elder Storytelling Place today, Carl Hansen: Uncle Charlie's Good Deed