“A gourmet who thinks of calories is like a tart who looks at her watch.”
- James A. Beard
Well I made it. Just. One clothing size in seven weeks. All it took was a few dietary tweaks and three days of humourless abdominal distress due to an aggressively considerate and punctual alien invasive species sortie in places that have never seen solar light.
Key to developing my bespoke pound loss toolkit was to tweak rather than change my carefully cultivated hedonistic habits, of which I am rather fond, and to lampoon all life transformative lifestyles sold by charismatic motivational pounds-be-gone charlatans, soothsayers and holier-than-thous.
The hardest part of this experiment has been reconciling myself with the woeful reality that, for me, red wine cannot be a major food group. The pathos in this realization is particularly poignant considering my rekindled long-term romance with my beloved pinot noir after having discovered Prince Edward County.
My basic pounds-be-gone recipe, which I leaned into as the weeks have passed, has been as follows (images from this evening’s celebration):
Genuine Health Greens+ Detox green tea flavour with 1 pressed lemon and water.
- I have been quickly gulping this vile brew on and off over the last few years because after about three to five days it seems to gently regulate not only my digestive system, it also makes me sleep sounder and reduces brain fog. I think it may be worth the silly price.
- The producers maintain that one serving of their product is equivalent to six serving of green vegetables – of which I am not a great fan. I have been brainwashed into “believing” that vegetables are good for you. Thus, given that I am not a rabbit, getting the daily vegetable nonsense over with while I am still in a pre-caffeine coma simplifies things.
- Once you get over the charming pond scum blue-green colour, with the lemon it tastes, with significant imagination, like iced tea with hints of barnyard.
- Tweak: I replaced my 1 C of 1% milk with homemade almond milk to which I add three short shots of French roast espresso and top with cinnamon.
- Almond Milk Recipe: 2 C of raw almonds, 1 vanilla bean cut in half and chopped up, a teaspoon of cinnamon, 5 C of cold water. Soak overnight. Blend. Strain through a series of increasingly fine screens. Bottle. Chill.
- Upshot: It took a couple of days, but now I prefer the almond milk to bovine mammary secretion which now tastes to me vaguely like the animal it comes from…
Two C veggie-fruit Juice:
- Tweak: I replaced my beloved morning stone-cut oatmeal with blueberries with a 2C glass of fresh pressed veggie and fruit juice.
- While juicing appears to help shed pounds, and some were extremely delicious, cleaning out the juicer is not my favorite domestic chore.
- Upshot: After seven weeks of trying I have firmly decided that this tweak is not to my liking and I shall resume eating oatmeal and blueberries for breakfast.
- Tweak: I stopped going to local restaurants three times a week with friends and replaced this with two or three pieces of fruit and 1 TBS of unprocessed nut butter.
- I feel less sluggish in the afternoon; although, I really miss my lunch bonding sessions.
- Upshot: For me this tweak is an unsustainable social deprivation and needs to be adjusted.
Dinner (typical, believe it or not)
Appetizer/ hors d’oeuvre
A cracker with a tablespoon of a pate, for example white truffle / liver / fish pate with garnishes.
Tuna Pate on a pumpkin spice cranberry cracker with dehydrated beet and carrot
- Tuna pate recipe: two cans olive oil-packed tuna drained, ½ TBS of each of the following: Dijon mustard, balsamic vinegar, low sodium light soya sauce, 1 TBS full cream, 3 TBS high quality butter. Blend. Chill. This is a very versatile recipe. Add Chinese Garlic Chili Sauce / smoked paprika/ toasted herbs / hot sauce…. and create variations on the tuna pate theme.
½ C of homemade soup (e.g. potato-leek, minestrone, moroccan spiced chickpea, pumpkin with gingerbread croutons, beet borscht, Mexican black bean, avgolemono, Egyptian lentil, tom ka gai).
Potato-Leek Soup with roasted potato skins, roasted garlic, cream and chives
3oz fish, OR 6 oz shellfish, OR 3 oz red meat, OR3 oz poultry
Salad / Vegetables
Pan-Seared Asparagus & Carrot Parmesan
Homemade Star Anise-Lemon-Cinnamon Spy Applesauce with a Dollop of Mediterranean Lime Yoghurt and a Gingerbread Crouton Garnish
Brie de Meaux
Dessert (a few times a week)
1 piece of bittersweet chocolate.
Drink: Lots of water (flat / sparkling).
My magic pounds be gone silver bullets:
- Once a week the love of my life (LOML) and I went to a restaurant/friends or hosted a get together. At these events we eat and drink with nary a though given to the Pounds be Gone experiment.
- At home we always eat at the dining room table, with cloth napkins, china, silverware and crystal… If you don’t use it why have it? And if it breaks then it has had a life well-lived.
- Garnishes…. I kid you not. Super easy and useful. Examples:
- Dehydrate decorative produce (e.g., thinly sliced candy cane beats / berries / multicolored heirloom carrots / thin slices of cake cut into decorative shapes), a few minutes of work and you have months worth of garnishes.
- Dehydrate flavorful and colorful produce and then powder it.
- Dry / pan-fry finely sliced sausages. Remove fat with paper towels. Crumble.