Analyze this

I’m frustrated. Miz. S was over at her place writing about getting healthy and dropping a few pounds and I can certainly relate to that. I mean, wanting to do that. Not really doing it. Mind you, I’m not grossly unhealthy but I sort of live in denial about my diet. I’ve mentioned before that I come from solid midwestern, German farmer stock and basically that has meant a lifelong love affair with butter and cheese. Potatoes and meat. Lots of milk. When I was little, we had a milk shute and three days a week the Twin Pines Dairy truck would drop off 3 gallons of whole milk, a pound of butter, 2 large containers of cottage cheese, and a pint of sour cream. For a family of two adults and three young children. That’s 3 pounds of butter and 9 gallons of whole milk. And it never went sour.

The entire paternal side of my family died of either coronary or carotid artery disease in their mid-sixties and so a number of years ago I gave up milk. I could never make the switch to skim; I’d rather go without. No ice cream. I don’t eat cottage cheese or sour cream and I now eat meat once or twice a week. I grab an airport McDonalds about 4 times a year and otherwise I avoid fast food. We don’t keep desserts around; fortunately for Rich who can’t eat them I don’t really have much of a sweet tooth.

Still. Potatoes are a staple. Mashed, baked, fried or as creamed soup. Always with lots of butter. I haven’t been able to switch to a substitute or give that up yet. I love warm Italian white bread (with lots of butter) and pasta. If I spend the winter in snow I believe my diet should match: all white. The only reason I don’t look like the Goodyear blimp is because I tend to eat small portions.

Right now we’re having a lull between guests so, inspired by Miz M, I decided to use the next two weeks to look more closely at what I eat and see where I can make modifications. A nutritionist I know suggested I go to this site and use some of the many tools and guidelines to help. It’s very user friendly, full of good information and it has useful plans for tracking your diet and physical exercise. Complete with emoticons. Damn emoticons.

Today, when Rich is on the road and I’m just cooking for myself, I began examining what I eat. I made a concerted effort to eat well and the results are, well, dismal, complete with frowny faces in two places. Below is a list of everything I’ve had thus far (and I’m about at the end of the day). Actually, the following items are missing because they don’t count nutritionally: 4 glasses of water, 1/4 tsp of fresh ground pepper, juice of 1/2 lime and 1 tablespoon of curry powder.

It’s not in any particular order. Basically, I had an orange for breakfast (I know, I know), a small piece of leftover Super Bowl chicken (I honestly threw away the skin. sigh) and a small green fried tomato for lunch (not so good), edamame and tangerine juice mid-afternoon and a salad with some sliced almonds and parmesan cheese, and wild rice with curry sauce, hardboiled egg and diced fresh tomato for dinner. I’m currently so glum that I’m sipping a bit of vodka with fresh lime juice.

I ask you: does that seem like a crummy diet? Maybe, but I’ll tell you this: it’s a substantial improvement over my usual fare. Where are the potato chips? The nightly popcorn with butter? Ritz crackers with peanut butter during House? It does feel as though I’ve eaten a lot more today than I usually do, but I know this is far less fat than I usually consume and I’m still over the top in that department. Meanwhile, I have another 500 calories I could eat today and still be on a very slow, very moderate weight loss diet. But what would I eat? 4 more cups of edamame, 6 of spinach and 2 cups of yogurt? (Actually, I plan to add the yogurt at breakfast tomorrow and that will help my milk equivalent.) Maybe some dark chocolate…

How about you? How are you doing at meeting your nutritional needs?

EGGS, BOILED 1 large egg
HALF & HALF 1 oz
OLIVE OIL 1/2 tablespoon
VODKA 2 oz

Dietary Guidelines
Recommendations Emoticon Number of cup/oz. Equ. Eaten Number of cup/oz. Equ. Rec
Grain Average 3.3 oz equivalent 6 oz equivalent

Vegetable Average 1.4 cup equivalent 2.5 cup equivalent

Fruit Average 1.4 cup equivalent 2 cup equivalent

Milk Poor 0.4 cup equivalent 3 cup equivalent

Meat and Beans Good 4.6 oz equivalent 5.5 oz equivalent

Dietary Guidelines
Recommendations Emoticon Amount Eaten Recommendation or Goal

Total Fat Poor 38% of total calories 20% to 35%

Saturated Fat Good 8.7% of total calories less than 10%

Cholesterol Good 273 mg less than 300 mg

Sodium Good 894 mg less than 2300 mg


(McCloud hides from the diet and fitness regimen)

17 responses to “Analyze this

  1. I won’t comment on diet. Blech! My daughter read your post about McCloud and said, “Samson looks like him.” So she got on the scale with him, and he tipped at 19 pounds. “But he’s so cute,” she said. He has rather short legs and a squat body. I like McCloud’s picture under the covers.

  2. Just let me know what day you’re free, and I will meet you. I look forward to it.

  3. I’m with McCloud! Dear Lord. I’m trying though. I love white stuff, too. Pasta, potatoes, breads. And butter, which you have to have if you live in the South.
    And the reference to House? It’s my son’s favorite show and I had never seen it until last Saturday night. Our new fabulous wi-fi connection failed and so the husband and I watched his dvd set of Season One. I’m hooked. Santa brought Season Two and Three this year for the boy so I plan to catch up with them soon.
    The City of Houston is bringing wi-fi to her citizens. Way cool except in the event of a ‘massive failure’, as the person on the other end of the phone described it. Especially since we also hooked up the Internets and telephone service to it all as a package.
    But, I digress. I wish you much luck in your endeavor. I will check out the site you linked to, too.

  4. Ack–I love white foods too, although I’m not a milk drinker. However, I eat way too much cheese, love to graze instead of eating a real meal, don’t drink enough water, have a weakness for chocolate, etc…I’ve decided that my diet is really pretty crappy.

  5. Did I miss something in the reading of this? Because I don’t see any water. And that may not count toward calories, but… uh, necessary. Water, darling. WATER.

    And no, just because Vodka is clear like water, doesn’t mean you can substitute, so don’t even try. 😀

  6. Ok, oops… I see it… “4 glasses”. Uh, my original comment still stands. Not enough, by half. 😀

  7. In spite of the fact that mr. kenju is supposed to eat much less fat and salt than before the stroke, and I am trying to cook that way, I have already regained the 13 pounds that I lost while he was in the hospital. I too love potatoes (in all their incarnations) and bread – although we have switched to Smart Balance and I don’t really miss butter that much (except on biscuits).

    According to recent research, any clear liquids can substitute for water; for example, the black decaf I drink can be included in the water requirement. I don’t see why your vodka wouldn’t count too……LOL

  8. Oh, Wende, don’t stifle her. If she wants to drink Vodka like water, then, I — for one — want to read the resulting posts!

    I figured I’m doing better than I used and that’s just going to have to be good enough. Maybe I feel virtuous because I did make the transition to skim milk and I love it. Can’t go back to that fatty stuff — not even 1% now.

    I just figure that all the baby steps I make are helping there ya go.

  9. Nothing like a diet to drive you to drink! I’m working on exercise first, in the hopes that I can outrun it.

    Kinsey, all 4 pounds of her, looks exactly like this picture of McCloud.

  10. Ooh. A new food-tracking site. I’m off to check it out.

    I’m a big faker in the healthy living department. Everything has gone straight to hell these past 3 days.

  11. A food tracking site?? I’m squinching my eyes shut and pretending I didn’t see it.

    I bought a new pilates dvd the other day – surely calories were expended in the tearing open of the wrappings – and tried the 10 minute arm exercises. I thought, as I did the routine, man, this is Nuthin’ and then for the next two days I could barely brush my teeth or type, it hurt so bad. AND I would have bet my arms were pretty fit already. Maybe I did something wrong. But, edamame, I tried a few but can’t repeat.

  12. AC- Edamame! A great food item (this from someone who is legume phobic) if prepared properly. In the pod, frozen, right into boiling water, two minutes only, rinse thoroughly with cold, shake off all the water and sprinkle them liberally (that means with a LOT) of salt and lime juice. This is my favorite “healthy” food and I get to play with my food, too. We’ve been known to wake up with a random empty pod in the bed. 🙂

  13. Okay, you can’t go from fudge and crabs in one post to denial and sadness about food in the next. Seriously, I’m too prone to yo-yo dieting as it is to need any help!

    That aside, journaling your food intake as well as your daily exercise is excellent. I’ve done it online (love and just with a regular ol’ pencil and paper. Adding up calories, keeping under your target fat intake and counting glasses of water as you go (always my biggest challenge) can make a huge impact on your diet.

    You’re right – it’s no fun though. Lime juice with vodka…now, that sounds like fun 😉

  14. Kimberly ‘s first point is spot on.

    My 4 rules:

    Eat only when you’re hungry.
    Be selective in portionsize and fat content.
    Be active.
    Be male.

    It’s easy to be slim.


  15. Sorry, but bad blog to read today. Wife and I are going to The Earle tonight–cashing in a Christmas gift card–so today’s not the day to be reminded to eat healthy.

    As long as we stay home, we eat healthy. Bread so whole grain it could have been made in the 16th century, milk so fat free you’d swear it was colored water, and desserts so small in portion size that you could count the calories on one hand.

    Your diet’s okay, but I’d have some chips stashed away for a weak moment. That’s why I’m Big Dave.

  16. but, but, Liza. I don’t think they’d let her have internet privileges in Rehab.

  17. TWO OUNCES!!! (Okay, twice x two ounces. I was bummed out after all that food tracking.)

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