Monday, 28 November 2011

Final Cold Turkey Video!

Day 30: Monday, November 28

Weight: 188.4
Energy: great
Breakfast: oatmeal
Lunch: leftover fish and potatoes
Dinner: a single peanut
Cravings: not anymore
Superpowers: Herculean willpower
Notes:  The single peanut for dinner was because technically the 30 days expired “after dinner” today.  So a quick peanut dinner followed by a delicious sirloin steak.  I feel bloody good and bloody proud of myself for pulling this off.  There was the incident with the milk on day 21, but I think I have a solution to that - possibly a costly one (see the video).  I’ve lost just over 8 and a half pounds in 30 days. And to be honest, I have little desire to binge on anything.  I think this month of restraint has re-calibrated my appetites.

I’d like to thank Scooby for holding the check and for keeping this all above board.  I’d also like to thank my wife Heather for not flaunting her television watching and very moderate alcohol consumption.  

Stay tuned for the Hot Turkey Diaries, during which I do all the things you’re supposed to do (from flossing your teeth to eating your broccoli) every... single... day.

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Day 29: Sunday November 27

Weight: 189.0
Energy: great
Breakfast: toast
Lunch: poached fish and potatoes
Dinner: leftover vegetable soup
Cravings: not having to worry about accidentally eating something forbidden
Superpowers: I can see the future, and it is beefalicious
Notes:  Unless you have quit 42 things cold turkey for 30 days, you may have trouble imagining how happy I am to be writing about day 29.  I know that in some ways the whole thing has been kind of goofy, with the big list and the cheque to Oprah.  But at the end of this experiment, I will have kicked alcohol, caffeine, television, gambling, salted snacks, candy and desserts for a month.  That’s a big deal.  It’s almost a shame I don’t smoke and do drugs so I could be even more proud of myself.  I’ve also lost 8 pounds in 4 weeks - if I could do that again, I’d have my weight right where I want it.  Maybe most importantly, while I’m craving a few things (a glass of wine, a nice little steak, a few episodes of The Ultimate Fighter) I’m not craving a return to my previous consumption patterns.  Maybe it’s a good idea to stop and re-calibrate my lifestyle every once in a while.

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Day 28 Video

Day 28: Saturday November 26

Weight: 189.4
Energy: pretty good
Breakfast: toast
Lunch: leftover couscous and chickpea salad
Dinner: roast chicken and potatoes
Cravings: steak
Superpowers: ability to lift an entire cow... one box at a time
Notes:  Well this was the ultimate temptation day - the arrival of my local, grass-fed, pure bred Hereford beef cow.  500 pounds of forbidden food.  It would have been ideal to pick up the meat on day 30, but this is not bad. The end is in sight; the bottom of my chest freezer is not.

Friday, 25 November 2011

Day 27: Friday, November 25

Weight: 189.0
Energy: drained
Breakfast: apple
Lunch: couscous and chickpea salad
Dinner: homemade vegetable soup and toast
Cravings: TV
Superpowers: Ability to sit perfectly still for 16.5 hours consuming nothing but water and literature
Notes:  So, the long blog absence was due to a business trip to Yellowknife in the Northwest Territories. If I thought the preceding days were tough, and I did, Yellowknife was another level of pain.  And that’s not a knock on Yellowknife.  But the reality is that it twelve hours of air travel (not including a 4.5 hour delay) is pretty miserable when you can’t watch in flight entertainment or ingest pretty much anything on the food/booze trolley. And that's just one-way. But then when you finally get to your hotel room at 4:00am, you can finally unwind with something from the mini-bar and some TV, right?  Not if you were dumb enough to do the Cold Turkey Diaries.  Video update to follow soon.

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Observation in lieu of a good blog post

It's funny how nothing makes you look more like an alcoholic than drinking club soda.

Day 24: Tuesday November 22

What a blur.  On day 23 I spent over 15 hours in airports and on planes.  No access to a scale, meagre access to internet.  Plenty of access to minus 39 degree temperatures.  That should kick start the old metabolism.  Sorry for the weak updates.  Should improve soon.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Day 22: Sunday November 20

Weight: 191.8
Energy: poor
Breakfast: bread and jam
Lunch: chicken on a bagel
Dinner: fish and baked potatoes
Cravings: white wine
Superpowers: Enhanced smelling power
Notes:  This was the first incident in the diaries of my wife drinking wine in front of me.  Her dad has come to visit, so of course with a guest in the house a bottle was opened.  I’d be a terrible host to impose my own restrictions on anyone else.  But I have to say, it was very tempting to just pour myself a glass.  Or sneak into the kitchen and guzzle from the bottle.  I didn’t cave.  The social pressures are much stronger than any other. I should have had some fancy juice in the house so I wouldn't have felt so left out. Fancy juice may be the key to reducing my alcohol consumption post-experiment.

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Day 21 Video

Day 21: Saturday November 19

Weight: 192.6
Energy: completely bummed out
Breakfast: peanut butter toast
Lunch: spinach omelet, decaf... with milk
Dinner: pan fried fish and potatoes
Cravings: I wish I could turn back time
Superpowers: I’m a weak and stupid man
Notes:  I F’ed up today.  Put milk in my decaf.  I feel awful.  I’ve been depressed all day.  It’s rather pathetic.  Scooby has ruled that this doesn’t constitute a breech of contract.  I think I disagree with him, but according to the rules laid out at the beginning, Scooby gets to judge.  When I thought about the potential for disputes between me and Scooby, this certainly isn’t what I had in mind.  By allowing me to continue, he’s actually punishing me more than if he forced me to forfeit.  Day 30, which I had really been looking forward too, will now feel hollow.  As will every day between now and then.  The Cold Turkey Diaries didn’t break my will, they just broke my concentration. Shit.

Friday, 18 November 2011

Day 20: Friday November 18

Weight: 192.4
Energy: good
Breakfast: 2 apples
Lunch: egg sandwich and pasta salad
Dinner: beans and rice
Cravings: Fried chicken
Superpowers: nil
Notes:  Fried chicken isn’t on the boycott list, but it still feels like I shouldn’t eat it, especially with my weight stuck at 192.4  Only 10 days to hit my new target of below 190. Can’t wait for tomorrow.  On Saturday mornings, Finley and I make bread while mummy sleeps in.  It’s one of my favourite parts of the week.  We used to watch cartoons while the dough was rising.  But no TV for 10 more days.  Sorry little buddy.  I’m sure your brain will thank me later.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Day 19: Thursday November 17

Weight: 192.4
Energy: decent
Breakfast: oatmeal and blueberries
Lunch: leftover pasta
Dinner: bean burritos with cilantro, tomato onion and lime
Cravings: my keys
Superpowers: I have the impression that superman never lost his keys.  I don’t know where he kept his keys, but I’m willing to bet he always knew where they were.  Seriously, who has my keys?
Notes: No, seriously.  Keys?  Anyone?  My longest stretch of sobriety in 20 years and this is when I lose my keys for the first time in my life?  Is it possible that my drinking was somehow the source of my excellent key awareness?  It seems unlikely I know, but this one data point doesn’t lie.  The day I was too drunk to icefish, I didn’t lose my keys.  The night I was so drunk I got thrown off of Kid Rock’s bus, I didn’t lose my keys.  19 days of tea-totalling (I’m not even drinking TEA for christ sake!) and my keys are gone.  Sonofabitch.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Day 18 Video

Day 18: Wednesday November 16

Weight: 192.4
Energy: decent
Breakfast: leftover rice pudding
Lunch: some kind of terrible vegetarian sandwich and crudite
Dinner: past with tomato sauce
Cravings: Fish and chips and pints
Superpowers: I’m not even sure I have the powers I started with
Notes: In a word... ennui.  30 days is too long.  I’m wondering if there is anything left to prove, or if the remaining 12 days are just some kind of sadistic afterword.  I’m quite certain that the deep fried bagged junk food (chips, pork rinds) is out for good.  Ditto for frozen food in a box.  I even think I could give up fries for ever as long as I kept burgers.  Not a fair time to make a judgement on ice cream.  I would like to have wine and television back in my life.

Must reach the salami

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Day 17: Tuesday November 15

Weight: 192.6
Energy: poor, but it’s the crying baby’s fault
Breakfast: oatmeal and blueberries
Lunch: spinach and portobello salad
Dinner: leftover fish, vegan rice pudding
Cravings: TMZ
Superpowers: the ability to somehow live my life without knowing precisely how many Lohans are in jail at a given moment
Notes: Coconut-milk rice pudding kind of felt like cheating, even though it is well within the rules and was vegan to boot.  I keep waiting for the science that says coconut milk cures cancer and heart disease, but it never comes.  I freaking love that stuff.  Coconut milk puts other alternamilks to shame.  Vegan milks, in ascending order of drinkability: brown rice milk, almond milk, regular rice milk, soy milk, hemp milk, coconut milk.

Monday, 14 November 2011

Day 16: Monday November 14

Weight: 193.6
Energy: excellent
Breakfast: oatmeal and raspberries
Lunch: leftover chicken taco
Dinner: perch poached in tomato, olive oil and fennel
Cravings: bacon cheeseburger
Superpowers: nil
Notes: Surprised that it took me this long to crave a bacon cheeseburger.  Coarsely ground meat.  A nice thick patty.  Just a touch above medium rare.  Old cheddar and homemade hickory smoked bacon with a slice of good dill pickle.  Mint tea and rice crackers... also nice.  A bit upset about the weight regain, but we’ll see what tomorrow brings.  Damned chicken tacos probably didn’t help.

Day 15 Video

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Day 15: Sunday November 13

Weight: 193
Energy: tired
Breakfast: oatmeal and raspberries
Lunch: leftover chicken taco
Dinner: shrimp pasta with basil and lime
Cravings: wine and cheese... and peperoni sticks
Superpowers: I can see right through potato chips.
Notes: The baby is sleeping.  My wife is out with the girls.  There are at least eight bottles of wine in the house.  There are two tubs of ice cream in the freezer.  There are a dozen pizza places within a one mile radius of my home.  I am sipping herbal tea, trying to see how long I can make seven dried apricots last, and not watching Sunday night football.  

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Day 14: Saturday November 12

Weight: 193
Energy: excellent
Breakfast: toast and jam
Lunch: leftover eggplant
Dinner: chicken soft tacos with tomato, onion, cilantro and lime
Cravings: chicken soft tacos with tomato, onion, cilantro and lime
Superpowers: None?  WTF?  Who’s got the kryptonite
Notes: 2 weeks in!  4 pounds down!  
Tonight’s dinner was a good demonstration that I can still eat things I really like.  If I was stuck on a desert island with just 5 ingredients, I might very well choose chicken, tomato, onion, cilantro and lime.  This experiment isn't (thankfully) all about self-inflicted suffering.  Sure it’s mostly about that, but every tummy deserves a smile once in a while.  Unfortunately, I learned that the large whole wheat tortillas I like contain 190 calories each.  Sorry tummy, that’s all you get for now.  No wonder nobody ever loses weight eating wraps.  69 calories in a slice of commercial whole wheat bread.

Friday, 11 November 2011

Day 13: Friday November 11

Weight: 193.2 (holding steady)
Energy: moderately tired
Breakfast: oatmeal, raspberries and blueberries
Lunch: carrot-ginger soup
Dinner: breaded eggplant with tomato basil sauce
Cravings: Wine - why did I not move all these bottles of wine out of the house before the experiment?
Superpowers: Super bread-baking ability
Notes: Homemade bread is to me what Batman’s utility belt is to him - the deus ex machina solution to all my problems.  I look forward to making it.  It keeps my hands busy.  I lose myself in it. I enjoy the smell of it.  My mood rises with it.  And boy do I like eating it.  Today I produced two of the best loaves I’ve ever made.  The wife and I have just about finished one of them already.  When you are allowed to eat homemade bread, who cares what you are not allowed?

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Day 12 Video

Day 12: Thursday November 10

Weight: 193.2
Energy: excellent
Breakfast: oatmeal and raspberries
Lunch: salad - I’m one of those people now
Dinner: pan fried sole, potatoes, peas
Cravings: None.
Superpowers: Positivity
Notes: 3 days in a row of weight loss.  Almost 4 pounds in 12 days, which seems like a very healthy amount.  And 2 days in a row of no cravings.  I’m in a great mood, even with my job kind of sucking right now and the baby having croup.  The baby is also in a great mood, despite sporadic coughing fits.  If my little monkey can smile through that, surely I can smile through this.  Maybe getting past day 10 put me over the hump.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Day 11: Wednesday November 9

Weight: 193.6
Energy: average
Breakfast: oatmeal and raspberries
Lunch: leftover chicken curry
Dinner: scrambled eggs and toast
Cravings: None.  Really, none.
Superpowers: None.  Sadly, none.
Notes: My weight is moving in the right direction.  2 days in a row of good losses.  Perfect time to torture myself with some food porn.  This was the last meal I ate before starting this experiment. Those are strip steaks. The baked ball on each plate is a knish filled with smoked meat hash. There is a god, and he loves us.

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Day 10: Tuesday November 8

Weight: 194.6
Energy: average
Breakfast: oatmeal and raspberries
Lunch: leftover pasta
Dinner: curried chicken and veg
Cravings: A lazy night in front of the TV with my wife, the dog, the baby monitor and a bottle of wine
Superpowers: Is tiredness a superpower?  Criminals beware!  Overwhelming Fatigue Man is on the scene.  He turns kidnappers into cat nappers.  He made the forty thieves catch some Zs. He...oh wait... he fell asleep again.
Notes: 30 days is too much.  Every day of the monkey chow diaries was worse than this, but there were only 7 days.  I know there are lots of people in far worse situations than me, and my circumstances are entirely self imposed.  I could quit at any time.  And that`s what makes this so hard.  People in terrible situations endure because they have to.  I don`t have to.  And yet, so far, I am.  $750 is a lot of money.

Monday, 7 November 2011

Day 9 Video

Day 9: Monday November 7

Weight: 196
Energy: average
Breakfast: oatmeal and raspberries
Lunch: leftover elk, potatoes, fruit salad
Dinner: whole wheat pasta in homemade tomato sauce
Cravings: quitting
Superpowers: Hulk-like rage without the physical strength (boo!) or torn pants (yay!)  
Notes: It’s getting difficult.  An unpleasant day at work.  Some minor annoyances at home.  Sleep schedule affected by the time change.  I suspect the stress of these is causing me to crave booze, TV and fatty snacks.  But it’s entirely plausible that the lack of booze, TV and fatty snacks is making these problems more stressful than they would ordinarily be.  We have some serious chicken and egg stuff going on here.  This is the first day I have wanted to give up on quitting.

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Day 8: Sunday November 6

Weight: 196.4
Energy: excellent
Breakfast: bread and jam
Lunch: just kind of picked at some leftovers
Dinner: elk steak, garlic mashed potatoes and squash
Cravings: red wine please
Superpowers: Time travel - I leaped an entire hour into the past   
Notes: Time travel must have messed up my metabolism, because I put a pound back on.  It looks like if I want this project to have any kind of weight loss component I’m going to have to put some effort in.  On an unrelated note, I’m very thankful that I specified beef and pork on the big list rather than banning all red meat.  Elk is delicious.  It completely satisfied my steak craving, but with only 0.9% fat (less than turkey, antelope or squirrel).  Cooked rare, it came out very tender and tasting much like grass fed beef.  And at the absurd prices the guy at the farmer’s market charges, I could only afford a small portion. P.S. The Packer covered the spread - karma owes me $10.

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Day 7: Saturday November 5

Weight: 195.4
Energy: excellent
Breakfast: oatmeal with raspberries
Lunch: Vegetarian buffet
Dinner: leftover stirfry, canned salmon on homemade bread
Cravings: was operating power tools in the garage and felt naked without a beer
Superpowers: None - in fact I’m so weak I got robbed by dirty hippies.   
Notes: Well maybe not robbed exactly.  Today was my first time in a vegetarian restaurant.  Buffet style, charged by weight of food.  It was actually pretty tasty, but $15 for a plate of vegetables is a hose job.  Also way too many cold items on the buffet.  Do vegans not eat warmth?  And I had to clear my own plate. Hippies are cold-hearted penny-pinching businessmen in disguise!

Friday, 4 November 2011

Day 6 video

Day 6: Friday November 4

Weight: 195.2
Energy: excellent
Breakfast: applesauce, an orange
Lunch: leftover daal, pita, carrot and celery sticks
Dinner: stir fried noodles, beans and veg (eggplant, carrot, celery, broccoli, green pepper,onion) with garlic and sesame oil
Cravings: Would love to get some money on the Packers at -5.5 with the Chargers coming off a short week.  
Superpowers: I can see the future.  But only this one football game.  
Notes: 2 days in a row of veganism.  Good grief, am I going to turn pasty white and frail?  Well I started out quite beefy, so a little more frail would be ok.  As for pasty white, we’re heading into a Canadian winter, so at least I won’t be alone.

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Day 5: Thursday November 3

Weight: 196.8
Energy: excellent
Breakfast: oatmeal
Lunch: avocado sandwich with lettuce, tomato and sunflower seeds
Dinner: daal with rice and pita
Cravings: hot dog
Superpowers: pretty sure I could make a gallon of beer disappear right now. Is that a super power?
Notes: 196.8? What the hell?  But I feel better than I weigh. Perhaps it was that fantastic sandwich from the hippy bakery today. Say what you want about hippies, but they make a damn fine vegan sandwich.  The hippies just might be my secret weapon in this endeavor. Although my dinner as excellent too. I whipped up some lentils and topped it off with my proprietary Green Chili Death Paste (pureed hot finger chilies, ginger, garlic and cilantro).

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Day 4: Wednesday November 2

Weight: 196.6
Energy: excellent
Breakfast: oatmeal
Lunch: sushi, apple, chamomile tea,
Dinner: leftover vegetarian chili with organic whole wheat baguette from the hippy bakery
Cravings: The Ultimate Fighter Season 14
Superpowers: none
Notes: My weight is moving in the right direction.  I’m feeling great.  There might be something to this clean living business after all.  That said, Wednesday is usually my night to stay up late with beer and jalapeno chips watching cage fighting.  Reading with chamomile tea and unsalted almonds before turning in at 9:30 is an unsatisfying substitute.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Day 3 Video

Day 3: Tuesday November 1

Weight: 197.8
Energy: better than average
Breakfast: oatmeal with almond milk
Lunch: leftover grilled eggplant peppers and onions, carrot sticks, apple
Dinner: vegetarian chili with flax bread toast
Cravings: wine
Superpowers: none
Notes: Well no weight loss yet, which is mildly disappointing.  I suspect that proper hydration counts for some of the small weight gain. I'm drinking lots of chamomile tea and water. I feel pretty good, and no crippling cravings. I'm now a believer that if you are just going to make your chili with ground beef (instead of proper bites of steak), you might as well go vegetarian.