Category: Food

5 (+1) simple rules

Been asked about this a few times, so thought I’d add it here.  The rough guidelines to my entire weight lost thing boiled down to 5 (+1) simple rules from Tim Ferris’s 4-hr body.  Obviously it’s more complex than this for “optimum weight loss”, and tons more info, and each person different, etc… but still, these are the general guidelines I based my own diet regimen around:


Rough Idea – this is the “carb” thing.  Avoid anything that is or can be white (bread, rice, potatoes, etc).  The one exception is cauliflower.


Rough Idea – if you eat the same set meals you know the calories and serving portions.  Start with a set list of meals and expand over time.


Rough Idea – Drink unsweetened tea,  unsweetened coffee (no more than 2TB cream), & water. This helps you feel more full (and the obvious water is good for you).  Limit diet drinks to no more than 16oz, and moderate drinking of red wine is fine.  Avoid milk, normal sodas, beer, white wine, juices etc.


Rough Idea – fruit is heavy on fructose which is the easiest for the body to covert to fat.  Exceptions are avocado and tomato, but these also should be in moderation.


Rough Idea – Rule 5 ignores rules 1-4.  Eat everything and anything.  Doing this helps keep your metabolic rate up, as well as gives you an outlet for all those foods you don’t eat during the week.  Write down instead of eating your craves and then go crazy on your day off.

I’d also add bonus that Tim talks about but isn’t a “strict” rule of his:


Rough Idea – By weighing (and tracking) your weight/measurements you get a better long term idea of how you are doing.  Loosing lots of weight one week can boost your confidence where not loosing or even gaining some can lower it.  Having a chart of your progress, with trend lines (lots of apps out there help do this) will help show that you are indeed making progress.  And if you can automate that process of tracking everything all the better (I use a Withings scale to do it for me)

And that’s it.  I recommend if you are really serious to read his book, or at least the first few chapters that deal with weight loss, but that’s it in a very tight nutshell.  I try to stick to eggs & spinach each morning I’m not cheating.   I also do a few other things that probably length the time it’s taking to loose the weight… but to each his/her own.

Good luck everyone!

Meal Plan Attack 2012

So I said I’d post the general meal plan… and here it is:


  • Breakfast – Spinach, Onion, & Bacon Omelet w/provolone
  • Lunch – Wendy’s Ultimate Grilled Chicken (w/ Hot sauce) w/ Garden salad (w/light Ranch) & Ice Tea
  • Dinner – Roasted Chicken w/ veggie
  • Snack – Pickles, Pre-cut Cheese, & Popcorn


  • Breakfast – Spinach & Onion Sauce w/ 2 eggs & provolone
  • Lunch – (Left Over) Roasted Chicken w/ veg
  • Dinner – Beef dish w/veggie
  • Snack  – Pickles, Pre-cut Cheese, & Popcorn


  • Breakfast – egg Sandwich w/bacon
  • Lunch – (LO) Beef dish w/veggies
  • Dinner – Chicken Dish w/Veggies
  • Snack  – Pickles, Pre-cut Cheese, & Popcorn


  • Breakfast – Spinach, Onion, & Bacon Omelet w/provolone
  • Lunch – (LO) Chicken Dish w/Veggies
  • Dinner – Wendy’s Ultimate Grilled Chicken (w/ Hot sauce) w/ Garden salad (w/light Ranch) & Ice Tea
  • Snack  – Pickles, Pre-cut Cheese, & Popcorn


  • Breakfast – Spinach & Onion Sauce w/ 2 eggs & provolone
  • Lunch – Chicken Lunch / Frozen / Eat out (McDonald’s – grilled chicken, Panerra – Sand & Soup)
  • Dinner – Chicken Dinner / Veggie Dinner
  • Snack  – Pickles, Pre-cut Cheese, & Popcorn

Sat & Sun: my cheat days

So that’s the basic idea.  It has some place holders to keep flexible as well as some prep work that make eating things simpler.  For instance:

  • Digital scale – Take the guesswork out of calories.  Find how much calories are in something by the weight and you can have it all down without having to guess how much you put in.  Use a scale with a “tare” function and it will zero out for you.  Just keep adding ingredients.
  • Breakfast – I sauté 8 cups (1 bag) of spinach with 1 cup (1 med onion) and 2 TB of butter and separate that into 4 containers.  I then dice 2 pieces of bacon and add half to 2 of those bowls.  Add 1/4 cup of sauce to the other 2 bowls, and i have the pre work for 4 of my 5 breakfasts done.  Just add eggs and heat in the microwave.  I have an omelet cooker thing that i can do it all in at work.  Plus the eggs help fill me up and kick-start my body in the mornings so I’m not nearly so hungry at lunch.  (Also helps to drink black coffee – no cream or sugar…. those are huge calorie wasters).
  • Lunches – The prep here falls into 2 categories: Eat out and Left Overs.  It’s just as simple to create an extra plate for lunch when making dinner as it is not to.  Plus you already know exactly how much the calories are since you have it figured out for lunch (i’m not bringing a scale to work).  For fast foods, plan what you are eating before hand and you won’t be tempted once you get there. (and of course again easy to know the calorie count).
  • Chicken Dinners – I cook a whole chicken with just some basic seasonings on Monday.  That gets me a great low cal monday dinner, as well as chicken I can use for the rest of the week.  Since it’s lightly flavored with just S&P, I can add whatever spices I might use later that week.
  • Beef Dinners – There are tons of low cal beef dinners out there.  Designating one a week keeps the complexity low and gives variety.
  • Veggie / Frozen / Eating out option– Same goes for these two.  If I’ve used too much chicken in the week (which is auto portioned since I only have 1 whole chicken) I have a veggie meal on Friday Nights.  Eating out gives me a break, as well as some wiggle room if I just don’t have time to cook during the weeknights.  Prepped Frozen lunches are also good ways of having a fast easy to go meal, that you know how many calories you’re getting.  By place this toward the end of the week i can adjust if I need to.
  • Snacks – Pre measure is key.  I buy smoked mozzarella 8oz… and 1 oz is a serving.  So I cut it up ahead of time. Pickles come premeasured just by their existence.  Popcorn is also a very low cal snack for how filling it is.  air pop it and bag it for a snack through the week.  Add to that Ice Tea to help keep my hydrated and fill me up throughout the day.  I drink 1-2L a day.
  • Breaks – In my opinion this is critical.  You need a break A) to keep yourself from going crazy.  If you want to eat something that’s too high calorie, make a list.  Eat it instead on the weekend/Cheat day(s). You’ll be rewarding yourself for being good and chances are you’ll be out partying anyway on those days so calories would be very difficult to pay attention to anyway.  the second reason B) is you want to keep your body from getting sued tot he lower calorie intake.   Your body will adjust to your lower cal diet and not burn as much.  So by having days were your body gets the calories you are used to, it won’t start thinking you are trying to starve it.  Yes… by doing this the weight will go up following day.  I’m not going to worry.  It’s not permanent.  This is for the long haul, the idea is to keep my body in check, as well as my spirits high enough to not feel like I’m cutting myself off from all the foods and events I want to do.

So that’s my plan of attack.  So far so good.  Last week I kept a record of my weight and averaged it all to get a solid starting point.  Already down about 6 lbs.  With some prep and planning it’s fairly simple to keep things in check.  I’m also using myfittnesspal app to keep track of things in addition to a spread sheet.  I weigh myself in the morning and night to get two good baselines as to how I’m doing.  Plus doing so allows me to, ahem, “control” any external weight that might affect the scale.  If interested I might post some of the recipes I’m using over on my main blog.  And of course any questions feel free to inquire below in the comments.

Every so often you look down and realize your weight is creeping up on you.  So time for me to go on a 3 month diet/experiment/thing…  But I want your help.  I tend to get rather bored of food over time, but i know that ease of cooking is key.  Otherwise you get off track and start eating a lot of food that ends up not being good for you.  But first, let me get to my plan before asking for help: Continue reading

California Thanksgiving Dinner

Thanksgiving Appitizers

  • Toasted Sourdough and Hummus (regular and garlic)
  • Cheese plate (raw, goat, cheddars… nice assortment) w/Grapes
  • Spanish Olives
  • Vegetable plate (didn’t get a shot… Paul’s mom brought it later)
  • Sees Chocolates

Thanksgiving Dinner!

  • (Applewood?) Smoked and Deep Fried Turkeys (and gravy)
  • Yams (with some roasted Bananas) topped with Marshmallow
  • Stuffing (with apples, and all the standard stuffing stuff)
  • Burbon Candied Carrots
  • Brussel Sprouts with bacon, edamame  and onions
  • Goat Cheese Garlic Mashed potatoes
  • Butternut Squash and Kale
  • Rolls
Thanksgiving Desserts!
  • Pretzel Casserole (the strawberry cream cheese thing)
  • Pumpkin pies
  • Ice Cream
  • Homemade Whipped Cream
  • Apple Soufflé
  • Peanut butter bars (posted the recipe here)
  • Miniature Ice Cream Cones
Some of the stuff we made ahead of time (like the peanut butter bars) some was just prep (pretty much all the veggies) and most was done that day (Paul started the smoker at 7am).  we spent a good portion the previous day hitting multiple grocery stores getting all the items.  Surprising how many grocery stores California has in such a small area.  And each have their own specialties.
Everything we’ve made before for the most part except the Apple Soufflé.  It came out fairly well (basically diced apples with seasoning folded into a whipped egg whites.) Everyone enjoyed themselves and many tanks to Chef Paul for organizing the dinner (I helped!)  We had lots of wine on hand, and the kids got sparkling Apple cider at the kids table. Enjoy the pics.

I tend to get bored with meals.  Eating the same thing day in day out isn’t something that I normally like to do.  With lunches and dinners it’s much easier to get variety in the rotation, but breakfast is a bit different.  Pancakes, eggs, cereal, waffles, uhm… french toast?  There isn’t too many ways to serve up breakfast.  So i’m alwasys looking for “new recipes.

Although new doesn’t mean better. I’ve seen a lot of recipes for complex meals.  I don’t know about you, but in the mornings my brain usually isn’t working too well.  So whatever breakfast is, it needs to be simple, or with most of the prep-work done ahead of time.  But the cook in me wants to not be bored by the same old.  So I try out Eggs Benedict, baked french toast, and Huevos rancheros to mix it up.  I must have that last one on the brain when i ran a search since I ended up with Huevos Ahogados En Salsa Verde  or simply put “Drowned Eggs in green salsa. Continue reading

Easy Funnel Cake

I was looking for a desert that wouldn’t take much time, but wasn’t the usual ice cream or milkshake.  It’s been cold of late, so wanted something warm.  I decided on some good old fashion Funnel Cake.  Minimal ingredients, and quick to make.  You might want to half this recipe since I always make too many for just me.   This will make about 4-5 10″ funnel cakes, but obviously depending on amount and size that number will vary.

Continue reading

Lunch in new York city


mmm lunch

Brought in some fix-ins to make a burrito bowl today.  Rice, beans, Meat, toppings.  Delicious.