Monday, July 27, 2015

Vacation Post 1: A Controversial Video

I'm on vacation this week.  So I'll leave you with this video I saw on Reddit.


Friday, July 24, 2015


Tomorrow the family is piling into the car and heading north(west) for a vacation. 

We're going to Long Lake just outside of Park Rapids, MN.  We'll be taking it easy for a full week.  I'm so excited.

However, I'm a little worried about what vacation is going to do to the progress I've made so far.  We'll probably eat out a few times when we're there and I don't want to spend all my time cooking. 

My goal is to maintain my weight while I'm on vacation.  I'm not going to obsess about food or exercise.  I will be on vacation, after all, and I want to enjoy myself.  I need to make enough good choices that I don't backslide.

So how am I going to get there?  I have a couple ideas.
1. Establish a routine
I want to start each day with the following routine:
  • Light Cardio
  • Body Weight Exercises
  • Go Swimming
After I get those things out of the way, I can spend the rest of my day any way I want (well, any way that my daughter wants). 

I'm a little worried about my feet, however.  In years past I've done some jogging at the lake.  This year I don't want to further mess up my feet, so I'm going to go easy on the running.  I can't bring my bike with because we don't have the necessary rack to strap it on the car.  I don't know what kind of cardio I can do besides running and swimming though, so I'll have to do some researching.  Any suggestions?

2. Cook
I'm going to bring my sugar detox cookbook with.  I'm gonna make some amazing dinners!

3. Make good choices when eating out
I'm not going to be afraid to have salads for dinner.  Especially when they're delicious gormet salads.  I'll keep my sugars to a minimum.  I might have dessert a couple times, but it will be intentional.

4. Snack smart
I'm not going to be afraid to eat peanuts by the dock or some fresh fruit.  But the sugary snacks aren't going to have a place in the cabin this year.  No sweets for snacking.

5. Keep busy
I'm going to try to keep myself occupied so I won't want to eat all the time.  This shouldn't be too difficult with my wife and daughter along. 

I'm psyched.  Regardless of where my weight goes, I'm planning on having a great time.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Turning Down Food

It's my last day teaching summer school.  The director just came by with donuts.  They looked AMAZING.

I turned her down!  No sugar, flour, and more sugar for me.  I wanted it, and thinking back, I still want it.  But I said no thanks. 

Happy three weeks off to me!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

NSV: 2XL T-Shirts

Ever since shortly after H was born, I've felt like I've had to squeeze into a 2XL T-shirt.  This has been my T-shirt size since high school, and while I've been able to fit into XL shirts at a couple points, I've generally gone for the 2XL.  In February or March I picked up a 3XL shirt on Shirt Woot.  It felt so good not to have to squeeze into a shirt I bought a couple more. 

I've been wearing mostly 3XL shirts this summer, and every now and then squeezing into a 2XL.  I have a couple that I absolutely love.  Like this one.

I have to stretch it out when I put it on a lot and my belly usually hangs out the bottom. 

Something different happened recently.  I put on a 2XL shirt and it fit!  It's not loose by any means, but it's definitely a shirt I can wear out in public.

So look out world, Andrew as a new (old) wardrobe!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Weigh-In Results

It's weigh-in time.

The scale tells me I lost 1.7 pounds this week.  I've lost a grand total of 16.9 pounds and I passed a major threshold.  I've lost over 5% of my body weight.  One twentieth of me is gone.  5% of the weight on my knees and feet is gone. 5% of the weight that puts me at risk for diabetes, heart disease, cancer, stroke, and a whole host of other nasty stuff is gone!

I actually weighed myself a couple times last night.  This was the when I got home but before dinner weigh-in.  I stepped on the scale after dinner to weigh my daughter (she's not heavy enough for the scale to register her by herself yet) and I'd gained like 4 pounds.  I've been having a lot of water with my meals lately, so I don't think that's a bad thing.  How much does a Chipotle burrito bowl weigh by the way?

I don't necessarily feel I'm doing everything I can to lose weight right now, but I think if I plan carefully, this could be more sustainable than previous times I've lost weight.  I know yesterday I kind of ranted about how I'm worried I won't be able to manage in September, but I think I can make it work.

Before I forget.  There won't be a weigh-in next Tuesday.  I'll be on vacation.  Hopefully, I'll be able to maintain my weight while I'm at the lake.

Monday, July 20, 2015


I've got a weigh-in tonight.  I doubt it's going to go well.

I've been stuck in a place a couple times this week where I haven't wanted to spend two hours in the kitchen making dinner.  The meals I've been eating taste great and are healthy, but take a TON of work.

So I slip sometimes and order out.  I had a burger and fries twice this week.  I picked up a chicken salad sandwich on a croissant for lunch yesterday.

Don't get me wrong, I'm still avoiding sugar like the plague, but it's in ketchup, it's in bread, it's even in dried mangos.  Hell, the croissant I had yesterday may as well have been a piece of cake.  According to Google, a large croissant has 8 grams of sugar and 31 grams of carbs.  That's white flour.  It made me feel super jittery. 

There aren't a lot of good options for eating out for someone who doesn't want sugar in his diet.  Subway's bread is full of refined sugar and flour.  Panera's salads are pretty tasty, but I wonder about the dressings.  Plus they have bread to tempt me there.  Chipotle has been the best for me.  A bowl with brown rice is not only delicious, it's free of added sugars and the brown rice is a lot better than white.  But I don't have much luck convincing Claire to eat there every time we need to just grab something.

So here's the issue.  How do I live when I don't have the time to cook for two hours?  How do I sustain the healthy(er) diet I've been enjoying when life gets busy again in September?  How do I eat healthy when I don't have the energy to cook?  How am I going to stay motivated when I don't see the numbers on the scale change (or see them change in the wrong direction)?

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Lemon Ginger Chicken

I've been spending a ton of time in the kitchen lately.  A TON of time.  If you want good, healthy food, it's kind of mandatory. 

I'm working on perfecting my execution of a recipe for a whole chicken.  I've never made a whole chicken before starting the whole sugar-free thing, so I was kind of nervous.  But I've made it three times now and it keeps getting better.

It's not plated or anything, and the image quality is kind of potato, but isn't this a nice looking bird?
Here's the recipe:
3 Tbsp Grapeseed Oil
1 Chunk of Ginger (2-3 inches long)
2 Tbsp (maybe more like 1.5) Coarse Sea Salt (for the love of god, don't use anything fine!)
1 Whole Chicken
2 Lemons
Lots of Spinach
1/4 tsp Red Pepper Flakes

Preheat your oven to 425.  That seems to be the temperature that's almost always used for chicken.

Peel and mince the ginger. The smaller pieces, the better.  In a small bowl add the salt and 2 Tbsp grapeseed oil.  Smash it up really good.  I use a pestle and a stonewear bowl and just go to town on it.

Take your chicken and pat it dry with a paper towel.  Get rid of the gibblets inside (if there are any).  Very gently get your fingers under the skin at the top and bottom of the breast.  Wiggle them around until you separate the skin from the meat.  Be really careful here.  You want to keep the skin intact so avoid tearing it even a little (though it's not ruined if you tear it). 

Stuff half your ginger-salt-oil smush under the skin you just loosened on the breasts.  Try to spread it evenly.  Again, be careful not to tear the skin.  Spread the other half of your smush in the cavity.

Slice one of your lemons into wedges for serving and the other into thin slices.  Shove the slices piece-by-piece into the cavity. 

If you can, tie the legs together with kitchen twine.  I keep forgetting to buy some, so my legs just stay in the air.  Tuck your wings underneath.  I can't figure out how to do this so they stay tucked.

Cook until it reaches an internal temp of 165.  It takes my oven about an hour 15 to get there.  If you don't have a meat thermometer, get one.  You don't want rare chicken.

Every 20 minutes or so, use a turkey baster to get the juices out of the pan and back on the chicken.  I was using a brush, but I bought a baster and it works so much better.

Once your chicken is at temp, set it on a cutting board and tent it with foil.  Leave it sitting for a few minutes while you work on your spinach.

Dump a whole bunch of spinach into the pan you roasted the chicken.  The recipe I used calls for nine ounces, but I'm going to dump a pound of it in next time.  Sprinkle some red pepper flakes on the top.  Stick it in your oven for 3 minutes.  You just want it to wilt.  Then mix it up with the delicious chicken juices in your pan. 

Carve up your chicken and serve with lemon wedges from the other lemon.  It's amazing.

I hope I made you hungry.  Do you have a healthy recipe that's amazing?  Let me know. 

And let me know if you try this recipe.  I'd love some feedback.