Tuesday, April 29, 2014

THIS Is a "Farmer's Market"??

Our mayor sent emails out the other day telling us that the "farmer's market" they ran last year will be returning May 22nd. I went once last year. Here are the vendors that will be under the handful of tents:

Vendors: (name retracted) Farms, (name retracted) Farms, (name retracted) Farms (This one is a privately owned HFS and not a farm, just a few miles from us, less than a half mile from downtown Manhattan), Gourmet Dried Fruits and Nuts (roasted, salted, candy-coated nuts), Dr. Pickle (sells only those old fashioned dill pickles out of a barrel), Lizzmonade (soft drink/lemonaid vendor), Baker's Bounty (cakes, cupcakes, muffins, cokies, etc.), Paolo's Kitchen (ditto), Green Acres Gourmet Cookie and Muffin Mixes, Excalibur Knife Sharpening, Happy Faces Face Painting, Sparties Mobile Spa, Corny Roasters Fresh Roasted Corn (popcorn, not on-the-cob), The Empanada Lady, Aurora Naturals (cosmetics).

Last year, one of the farms had some moldy looking non-organic produce, the other sold cut flowers. The HFS table had supplements and drink mixes. Since these are the same vendors as last year, I guess I won't be going again this year, either.

This same "farmer's market" group travels to 2 different cities every weekday, so 10 cities 5 days a week, spending 4 hours at each site. We get it on Thursday afternoons. By the time it gets to us, all the good stuff is gone from the only farm-grown produce vendor, leaving us with the moldy and bruised dregs. I visited them one afternoon in another city and it was just as bad as when in my own. None of the morning visited cities is close enough or has parking near the empty lot they set up on so IDK if the one food farm's produce is any better that time of day.

Is this what "farmers markets" are like everywhere, or just here in urban NJ? 

This is just another reason why I prefer to buy my produce frozen.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Excerpt - Jeff Novick Fast Food 4: Beyond the Basics

I got an email with a link to this video excerpt of Fast Food 4: Beyond the Basics today:

I finally get a good view of the cover and see it's not a savory oatmeal, as some have speculated, but Mushroom Barley Soup.

He mentions one of the new recipes is for a vegetable stock that can be used in place of the tomatoes in all the previous Fast Food/SNAP recipes.

Recipes with other grains will be included in this new DVD, and buckwheat (kasha) is mentioned, so I assume Kasha Varniskes will be one of those new recipes. In the Fast Food 2: Burgers and Fries video he talked about about his mom's cooking it for him every time he visited, that it's one of his favorite foods. It's a really good recipe on his Facebook site, too. He also mentions quinoa, so perhaps this recipe for Mediterranean Quinoa with Tahini Sauce will be another, or Quinoa, Brown Rice and Veggies, which uses the same tahini sauce, although he previously covered that sauce in the first DVD, so maybe not. Maybe the Split Pea, Potato and Kale soup. That one was a family favorite until all the stores around here stopped carrying the Tabachnick split pea soup, both regular and no-salt added versions. I've made it using McDougall Right Foods split pea soup, both the cups and ready-made, but those don't meet Jeff's guidelines for sodium so I don't make it any more unless I have leftovers of some pea soup I made from scratch.

I hope besides the soup on the cover some new recipes will be revealed. This two year wait for this DVD since it was first announced by Jeff better be worth it.

Who am I kidding! Even if there's nothing new, it'll be worth it! It's Jeff!! Just like Dr. McDougall in the McDougall Made Easy and McDougall Made Irresistable DVD's, what is said while cooking is as important as the meals being prepared.

At least we don't have to speculate for much longer - I also received an email from VegSource telling me my copy has been mailed, so hopefully I'll have it by the weekend.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Chef AJ's Yummy Sauce

When I first saw this sauce in her last video I tried to guess at the main ingredient and said it looked like tahini. I was wrong - it's cannelini beans. It looks similar to some cheeze sauce recipes out there - subtract the dates and add nooch.

I have an opthamalogist appointment tomorrow so I'll be partially blind for a few hours afterwards (I HATE those dilating eye drops!) and plan on making Jeff Novick's Simple Everyday Meal for dinner. I'll be tossing the frozen veg into the nuker, the Success rice into boiling water, and I'll be making this sauce by Chef AJ later today so all I have to do is heat it up in the microwave when it's time to sit and eat. An easy meal to make when my vision is still too blurry to read print.

Thanks again, Chef AJ.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Marvelous Marla

Long-time McDougaller Marla, owner of the Marla's Marvelous Meals recipe web site, has been experimenting lately. On the McDougall forums, Marla has been photographing and entering into the CRON-O-Meter 30 days of her meals (Only 2 meals per day - she skips breakfast) in a thread called Marla's CRON-O-Meter Chronicles. At the same time she's been wearing a Fit-Bit pedometer night and day to measure her energy expenditure.

Want to know what I found out?

She has to eat between 1000 and 1200 calories a day to lose any weight, and it's only been about 2 pounds per week. 

Of the 2 meals a day that she does eat, one of those meals is usually a big salad (2 quarts) with a nut based dressing, and a tiny sweet potato.

Her dinner plates appear to average 75% green/yellow non-starchy vegetables and only 25% starchy foods. 

Oh, plus a bowl of fruit on the side, at least 2 servings each to equal about 100 calories, at both meals.

She estimates the daily caloric density of her food is about 300-350 calories per pound, and she eats around 3-4 pounds of food each day.

The only potatoes she eats regularly are Japanese yellow sweet potatoes. I think I saw russets only twice. The volume seems to be no more than a cup each time. When she does have rice instead, it looks like a half cup scoop, 2 ounces in weight (The CRON-O-Meter printout says they weigh apx. 70 grams).

She also must walk/run 5 miles every morning plus another 20 minute walk every evening. She calculated at the beginning how much exercise/calories she needed to lose 8 pounds in 4 weeks. She estimated she needs to do 2,200 calories worth of exercise per day to see any weight loss.

Here is her conclusion at the end of her 30 day experiment.

It's an eye opener thread, that's for sure! I found out that even eating at least 75% non-starchy veggies with fruit and only 25% starch at most, that's still a very small amount of food, volume-wise, unless one eats mostly salads. What she's been eating doesn't really resemble the McDougall *Starch Based* food program at all.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Great Stress Reliever

And now for something completely different.

One of the important things for living a good life is to find something you like to do and do it frequently. With all the stresses in our lives recently and all the spare time we had during my husband CABG recuperation, we spent a lot of time in front of the tv watching stuff that makes us laugh. Scientists learned years ago how great the power of laughter was for recuperation from illness, so who are we to argue with the great scientific minds. Laughter is also good for reducing blood pressure, boosting your immune system, lower cholesterol, and releasing those all important endorphins into your bloodstream. It can also lead to world peace and intergalactic exploration, but don't hold me to those last 2.

This is how we would spend a lot of that time:

We already had a big collection of MST3K movies, and now we have a lot of RiffTrax to keep us company when on the treadmill and exercise bike. Our son takes some of the MP3s with him on his iPod when doing his walking outside, too, since he has the movies they go with memorized by now.

So go ahead and take a look. Check out the preview videos on the movies. I guarantee you'll fall in love with Mike, Bill and Kevin as much as our family has.

Monday, April 7, 2014

McDougall Program for Maximum Weight Loss

Back in 1994, Dr. McDougall finally realized that not everyone was losing weight effortlessly on his food program and published the book The McDougall Program for Maximum Weight Loss, affectionately known as MWLP by his followers.

He added a 5-day MWLP program in Santa Rosa, which was well attended.

Michelle Dick added a page to her FatFree web site explaining the difference between the two McDougall programs.

A long-time McDougaller made up a list of MWLP recipes found in all the other McDougall books.

Another forum member started doing a blog with photo essays of her making many of the MWLP recipes. She also took the time to make a list with links to all the MWLP recipes found in the McDougall newsletters up to that point.

In January 2005, he wrote a newsletter article on how to refine the MWLP program for better compliance and results. He mentioned all the big weight loss people at his program would achieve. Well, yeah, people always lose big the first week of a new weight loss diet. 

Many people still weren't losing weight as easily as promised. I even wrote to him with that complaint, and got the same reply back that doctors had been telling me for decades when I complained I would follow a diet exactly as written but still fail to lose or gain - I must be cheating and not following the plan right. After years of encouraging people to fill their plates to the max, even offering a bet in the MWLP book to people saying that they can't eat more than him, he decided that eating so much isn't a good thing.

In the November 2005 newsletter article on Volume Eaters he admitted that for some people, they do need to reduce the total amount of food, even of his beloved of starches, to levels sometimes as low as those given to clients in attendance of the Rice House, many times reducing the calories to under 1000kcal/day. Yeah, that's what I said when I wrote to him, that I don't lose any weight unless I eat under 1000 calories. I was told to stop counting calories. 

Possibly disproving my usual preaching that people following our diet always lose weight and become healthier are a few extraordinary people I call “volume eaters.”  They eat very large amounts of McDougall approved foods, and their weight remains stubbornly fixed at a point too high for excellent health—although they all lost initially after giving up the high-fat, high-calorie Western diet.  I can vividly recall several men and a few woman who exemplify this behavior—and I know there are many more out there (in fact, I am guilty of a tinge of this behavior at times myself—“it takes one to know one”).

and also:

The most successful program for the treatment of people with serious eating disorders is the Kempner Rice Diet.5  This is a diet of rice, fruit, and sugar, plus vitamin and iron supplements, devised by Walter Kempner, MD, of Duke University in the 1940s to treat hypertension. The regular diet consists of about  2,000 calories daily and contains 5 gm or less of fat, about 20 gm of protein, and not more than 150 mg of sodium.  However, the initial diet prescribed for weight loss is even more restricted in calories (400 to 800 per day).

 I had heard from a number of other women who were experiencing the same thing - weight gain while following the MWLP as-written. When I mentioned this fact on the original McDougall forums on VegSource I was banned. Finally, I was vindicated!

In 2006, he let the world know how he and Mary go on an actual calorie-restricted diet he named the "Mary's Mini" for 10 days at a time and outlined this in the June and July issues of the newsletter. (Also told of Mary's history of what appears to be disordered eating, some days eating only a can of tomatoes or some jars of baby food, then went on to defend it by saying the babyfood squash has all the vital nutrients. Enabling much?) 

In 2008 he released another set of lectures on DVD called Dr. McDougall's Money Saving Medical Advice, and the first of those three lectures was The Science Behind the Maximum Weight Loss Program.

In 2011 Dr. McDougall added this short talk to his McDougall's Moments video series:

In April 2011, in a forum post about the buffet table at the seminars, her wrote this:

I have made that same conclusion and have often threatened to reverse the order on the buffet table so that people eat their salad last like I hear they do in Europe.
I teach the Maximum Weight Loss Program (an approach which emphasizes green and yellow vegetables) less enthusiastically than before because people do not do well in short and long term without the starch.
Short term they don't like the food as well, are hungry between meals, and have intestinal distress (gas and pain and upper acid indigestion).
Long term, without satisfaction delivered by starches, compliance falls off.
I believe in a starch-based diet -- green and yellow vegetables and salads are side dished.

In recent years, he's been mentioning in lectures he's given that he no longer pushes the MWLP program because people were turning it from a starch-based program into a green and yellow vegetable based one. You can see that plainly on his forums daily, when certain Star McDougallers encourage people to make their plates 3/4 veggies and only a quarter starch, the complete opposite of Dr. McDougall's teachings. He barely mentions this way of eating in the last book, The Starch Solution, devoting only a page to the principles of it (216) for those with stubborn weight loss and doesn't even refer to it as the MWLP. He no longer offers the MWLP 5-day seminars in Santa Rosa.

Still, for so many of us, weight loss is not possible without it, and many of the female Stars who are on that elite list because of their large amounts of weight loss only achieved it because of the MWLP. As soon as they start to eat foods not on the plan they start to gain. Just as with any weight loss diet, to maintain the loss you have to continue eating the foods that got you there, and in the same amounts. There's no way to eat more and not gain weight. 

There were only 3 times in my life I lost any significant amount of weight. The first time was as a child on 1000 calories a day, exercising almost 2 hours each day. It took 2 years to lose 30 pounds, then 1 month at 1200 calories to regain it all plus another 20. 

The second times was in 2000 when I followed strict MWLP 5 days a week, the regular McDougall program on weekends. Because of recent injuries and degenerative disc disease, I barely exercised. I lost almost 50 pounds in 6 months before the weight started to come back on, even when I started to reduce calories to below 1000kcal/day. I lost 16 pounds the first week, around 5 a week for the next few, then down to 2, one, none, and then started to regain. Before a year was out, most of the weight was back on. My doc blamed lack of exercise and low thyroid. It took over 10 years to find the root cause of all my pains that had prevented me from exercising more effectively, and my thyroid numbers still aren't all that great, but "good enough" according to my docs. 

My most recent weight loss has come after my husband's CABG surgery, when he was barely eating and needed a lot of assistance. During those long days at the hospital without access to decent food so lunch was skipped and it was too late for a decent meal when I got home at night; those busy days at home when I only had time to eat a small amount of food, all contributed to a rapid loss of about 15 pounds. The strict adherence to Dr. McDougall/Dr. Esselstyn food rules have helped release a few more pounds. 

Recent lab work that showed a worsening of some values, such as total cholesterol and triglycerides, is now causing me to move from many of the Esselstyn and McD heart-healthy recipes back into MWLP territory. I suspected I would have to do this back in September when my trigs and LDL shot up a bit from July's numbers, but they continued to be flaky in my March lab tests even though I made some changes. Hummus sandwiches, Rip's Big Bowl breakfasts and all those pasta meals have got to go, as well as large amounts of potatoes and brown rice. I'll be eating more soups and stews, more SNAP meals, more very beany Mary McDougall MWLP recipes. I'll take Chef AJ's advice and have green veggies with every meal, including breakfast. I already add greens to my oatmeal and grits, but now even the grits have got to go.

Dr. McDougall may not be that much into the MWLP program any more, but for many of us, it's the only way to go for weight loss and better lab numbers.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

New Chef AJ Video

Chef AJ, of the book Unprocessed and the Chef and the Dietician video series on YouTube, as a great new video out. Filmed in her own kitchen, she tells of how she finally lost those last few pounds that were dogging her and shows some of her favorite fast meals, some requiring no recipe at all.

After hearing her say she now substitutes beans in many of the recipes in her book Unprocessed, I'm now going to dig out that book again and take a new look at them. Looks like I found some new recipes to try while waiting for Jeff's new video to be released.