Hello blogosphere. So did you make a resolution? Was it to lose those few pounds. Change your lifestyle for the better? Hmm. How are you doing now? It’s late January and historically now is the tough period where you are most likely to fall off the “whatever” you are resolved to do. Good luck with that. Let me share a truth with you. I didn’t make a resolution. I was just happily plodding along with life when all of a sudden a family matter arose to make me stop blogging for a bit. It’s been around 4 months since my last blog. But I am now coping with that matter and I am back to blogging. You lucky things 🙂
I managed to get through Christmas quite unscathed by weight gain because I was managing my liver disease with what the consultant called the “low fat way of life” I was ordered to adopt back in late 2012. You may recall I am banned from alcohol, processed fast food (pizza etc), Hi fat foods like cheese and cream etc are all banned. So I duly obeyed and switched bad habits for better ones. I was happily shedding a kilogram here or there and was not really trying. I did a bit of walking on my treadmill and tried to go country walking wherever possible. That was me. I went from 127.1kg to 117kg or so. But a few days ago I went back to the doctor for a check up.
So after looking at my results she frowned. The blood-work wasn’t scanning right – I could tell by the wrinkly lines she has cultivated around her thin lipped mouth. My consultant is a mature woman of sensible proportions who wears sensible clothing and talks very sensibly. She seems a very sensible lady and not somebody you would want to mess with. She decided I need a tweak to my diet.
So now I am ALSO banned from all “bad” carbohydrates. This apparently includes potatoes, pasta, crisps, pretzels, rice, porridge oats, cakes, biscuits, marshmallows, chocolate and other foods I cannot recall. I am also to restrict my eggs to 2 a day maximum. I am also to restrict my fruit intake. So there goes the idea I had of getting that juicer and using it every day. That’s too much fruit intake. So I now have more fruit than I can juice in the fridge and am looking forward to what might at first appear a puritanical lifestyle.
At first as I drove away from the hospital I broke the news to my wife whilst I was still in a mild state of shock. She was left wondering what I was going to do about these new banned foods. I was using fruit to limit my cravings for fatty foods. I was eating sandwiches at lunchtime, bought from the local Co-Op that came in at around 3g of fat per sandwich which for a chicken salad sandwich isn’t an easy thing to put together. Now they are banned. I was snacking on low fat options like pretzels instead of potato crisps based on the fat content. I was doing okay. So what was going so wrong that I was now forced to add insult to injury and restrict my diet even further. Slowly as we started to absorb the news we found that the directive “eat fish for at least half the week” would be easy. Eating unprocessed meat and vegetables for the rest of the week would also be easy. I could nip to the market and buy fresh veg the following day. I could buy my fish from the fishmonger round the corner from the market. There’s a butcher there too if I run out of beef, chicken etc in the freezer. I am half Spanish and so I have a big problem cutting rice out of my diet regime; and I was eating porridge for breakfast on a regular basis ( I even worked out a recipe for microwave porridge which actually works with normal oats and milk without having to buy those fancy “packet porridge” breakfasts) but it’s eating those pieces of fruit that has kept me sane and I only got minor cravings for sweet things.
The consultant suggested that I should investigate the Atkins Diet Book in general not as a rule book and think about copying the good bits without focusing too much on the negatives from the book. She told me to come back in 3 months for new blood results. She wants me to cease the carbs as much as possible voluntarily and in the next three months she reckons a “happy bi-product” will be gentle weight loss through being forced to “do this or die”.
I have been at this point for 4 days now. I don’t feel different but I WILL keep posting these blogs. I am not looking forward to the cravings. But I know they will pass. I managed to not drink for over a year. I haven’t eaten pizza for over a year. Nor cheese. So I can get myself over this particular period can’t I?
Today I ate a meal that was fabulous – steamed cod and ginger on a bed of green veg. Here’s what I did:
- Got big piece of cod (skin on) from the fishmonger. (enough for me and the wife).
- Pak Choi rough chopped
- Leaf Spinach
- Peas (recently shelled from pods)
- Fine Green Beans
- 1″ of root ginger
- Some root vegatbles (carrot, parsnip, swede)
- A knob of butter
- Get a pan on and boil the root veg for about 10-15 mins
- Put the oven on to 180c
- Chop the Pak Choi lay it on the bottom of a steamer
- Cover that with some fine green beans.
- Slice the ginger thinly
- When the root veg was boiled we drained them coated them with a tiny amount of extra virgin olive oil and shook some rosemary and oregano across the top of them. We then spilled the veg onto a baking sheet and lobbed it in the oven to crisp up.
- Then we laid the pak choi on the bottom of the metal steamer (like a saucepan with a bit on top) and placed the beans and ginger down next. Then I placed the cod on that and covered it with handfuls of leaf spinach and some peas, recently shelled from their pods.
- Steam the cod for 20 mins-ish and Roast the veg for 20 mins-ish.
- Plate up and sit a “small” knob of butter on the cod.
It was supremely delicious and not a “bad” carb in sight. If suffering is this tasty then I reckon I can do this for at least the three months the consultant insists upon. I reckon I could add this change to my lifestyle and make it work. I eat kippers for breakfast and mackerel for lunch because they are convenient and tasty. I can’t be bothered with always cooking while I am at work so this suits my lifestyle.
If I want taste I just cook it in. No worries!
I reckon I am eating about as cleanly as it gets. I am not currently swamped by cravings. I will be honest and let you know that I miss certain sweet foods and I have no doubt that I am going to miss them greatly. But my change is for my own good I am not doing this to lose weight. I am doing this to fix my liver and my health. If I do this I will probably lose weight but that’s just the icing on the cake. I will continue to use the juicer but only two or three times a week. I will continue to make my “carb free” smoothies. I will continue eating beef, venison, steak, chicken, turkey, fish, salad, root vegetables, leafy greens, and I will enjoy it.
I have also started making my own almond milk. It’s a doddle. It’s creamy, delicious and more importantly it’s not banned – unlike the cows milk! Let me know if you want the recipe.
If you are worried about facing something like this – don’t be. If you don’t do it, if you continue to eat the same old rubbish you will kill yourself early. Instead you could find yourself in a similar situation to mine whether it’s liver or kidneys or pancreas or gall bladder. Either option will force you to change so why bash yourself up worrying about something you cannot control? Just do it. If I can – anybody can! 🙂