February 25th, 2005


Putting the Die Back Into Diet

Yesterday afternoon my nutritionist gave me a 2,000-calorie food plan to follow. If you don't count desserts, I've been eating less than that anyhow. There are no desserts in this food plan. She went over it with me briefly, it has a lot of things on it I've never had in my diet, and some things I was surprised to see.

So I looked at the first day's breakfast. Banana-Blueberry bran muffins. Two of them. Sounds excellent.
Wheat flake cereal. I've never seen the attraction in Wheaties, I was a Cheerios and Captain Crunch kid, and I haven't had breakfast cereal since the middle of the 20th century. I suppose I can try it.
Orange juice. Never touch the stuff unless it's the only juice at the hotel's continental breakfast or Su Hong's dim sum buffet. I'll have an orange or a tangelo instead.

Then I see a note next to the muffins. "See Page 127". I turn to page 127, and there's a recipe. There are pages and pages of recipes. Looking at the food plan, every other day there is something which needs significant prior preparation. The muffin recipe makes 36, requires two kinds of flour, wheat bran cereal, buttermilk, bananas, blueberries, sugar, egg substitute, baking soda...

It looks like it will take an hour just to make the batter.

So I put the food plan aside and wonder what kind of fool starts breakfast the first day of the plan with something which almost nobody could be expected to have the ingredients on hand for, and requires so much preparation. This is a not a plan designed for a bachelor who lives alone.

So this morning, as I was putting nonfat cream cheese on a sourdough English muffin and finishing off a banana and my own brand of lime soda (fill a glass with seltzer, squeeze in the juice from 1/4 lemon), I saw that lunch was a turkey sandwich almost identical to the one they make at the Lakeside Cafe in Shoreline Park, one of my habitual lunch haunts. And dinner is spaghetti and marinara with a couple of slices of garlic bread, so the wheels start spinning.

I had them make the sandwich the way the plan called for. Stopped off at Safeway on the way home from work and got marinara sauce, spaghetti, and the makings for the muffins (except 2% milk instead of buttermilk). Curiously, I completely forgot about the broccoli which was supposed to go with the spaghetti. And I will continue to curiously forget broccoli until I curiously start to vote Republican.

While the pasta was cooking, I started setting up to make the muffins.

Had dinner in my easy chair while watching The Killer Shrews on DVD. After dinner, the movie went on pause, and I made the batter for the muffins. It took about 45 minutes. My muffin tin only seats 15, so baking had to be done in three shifts. 15 minutes at 400º - so I watched the DVD in between shifts. For the final shift I got on the exercise bike and did 15 minutes while still watching the movie, then staggered to the kitchen to rescue the last batch of muffins. Put them in zip-lock bags and threw all but the final 6 in the freezer.

We'll see how they taste in the morning.