Bread Challenge Day 20 of 30

IMG_1933I’m finally getting the hang of this pound-of-bread-a-day diet, after almost 3 weeks into the Challenge. I picked up 400g of ground lamb at the store yesterday, and I’m now making all meals around a small burger on a ciabatta bun, with tomatoes, onion, and spinach. This is a much more tasty menu than just eating bread and butter on top of my normal vegan-like high carb diet.

I bought 550g of ciabatta and pretzel buns, and they’re barely enough carbs for the day. The bread totals to about 1400 calories, with 300g of carbs and 40g of protein. The lamb is mostly fat, and if I make 3 x 70g patties, they’ll total to about 45g of fat and 35g of protein. I’ll eat some veggies and other snacks for another 50g of carbs and 10g of protein. In total, I’ll probably eat about 350g of carbs, 50g of fat, and 85g of protein (2200 kCal; 65% carbs / 20% fat / 15% protein) today.

I rode my bike to and from spin today, and I might join the fixie crowd at the velodrome races tonight. More than likely, I’ll eat another 400 calories of carbs and veggies until I’m full. But for now, that fatty lamb is really helping to satisfy my hunger on seemingly fewer calories. Hopefully, saturated fat isn’t bad for you.

Bread Challenge Day 19 of 30

IMG_1924I needed some variety for breakfast this morning, so I made a tofu, mushroom, and egg scramble. I miss some of my favorite foods, so I might not eat much bread today. Yesterday, on the 18th day of the Bread Challenge, I had 540g of Walnut Raisin bread, as well as a taco dinner with a bunch of chips and salsa.

In the first 18 days of the bread challenge, I’ve eaten 8.76 kg of bread, which averages out to 490 g/day, or 1.08 lbs/day. So I’m on target with the pound of bread a day goal. But I should probably slow down on my 50g a day butter habit.

Today, I only ate 200g of ciabatta buns.

Bread Challenge Day 17 of 30

IMG_1897I got up early enough to join the weekly Saturday morning Chili’s ride (departs @ 8:15 am). The guys in the photo belong to some SDSU biking team or group. Everyone was wearing a cycling kit, except me in jeans, t-shirt, backpack, no helmet, riding a fixie. The ride was about 50km, but my Strava app didn’t successfully record it 😦 You know you’re addicted to Strava when you consider a “make up” ride for the km’s the app missed. It’s a shame, because I logged some pretty hard efforts today.

I knew I’d need some fuel for this ride, so I bought a Jalapeño & cheddar bagel with cream cheese. I wolfed it down minutes before we took off. About 90 minutes into the ride, I was hungry again, so I ate some Shot Bloks for a quick 200 calories and 100mg of caffeine. On the way home, I picked up 400g of assorted breads from the bakery, and a pound of butter. So, with the bagel and the hamburger bun for breakfast, I’ll eat a of total 600g of bread today.

I just pounded the 400g of bread I just bought with about 40g of butter for lunch. I’m guessing this totals to about 1350 calories, including about 32g of protein. Time for a nap about now. (BTW, my blood glucose level is 130 mg/dl right now.)

Disco Pirate Bike Party

IMG_1894That’s Jeff, who co-led this month’s Disco Pirate themed Bike Party. Critical Mass was leaderless tonight, so they all followed us, bringing their 6 car police escort along with them. They finally ended up going their own way, to everyone’s relief. We had a lot of fun, and played portable disco music. I wore a vintage 70’s disco shirt and a Haggar polyester leisure jacket. I love that jacket, and will wear it around town.

Bread Challenge Day 16 of 30

IMG_1891Well, I’ve passed the halfway point, and I’m actually enjoying the pound-a-day bread challenge now. At first, I quickly got tired of forcing down a whole-grain loaf every day. Then I learned to buy an assortment at the bakery, and I found the ciabatta rolls. Plus, it turns out that sourdough tastes good with butter.

When I first started losing weight 14 months ago, I was heavily influenced by the Forks Over Knives movie. I thought that animal products gave you cancer, and I minimized them to less than 5% of my calories. Now, I’m probably eating 100g/week in butter alone (mostly due to the Bread Challenge, and from listening to Jimmy Moore’s podcasts), and I might be eating as much as 12% of my calories from animal products.

I probably wouldn’t eat so much if I wasn’t biking 200 km/week. But as it is, I feel that I’m properly fueling my body. Could I still lose weight eating a pound of bread a day without biking? Probably, but it wouldn’t be any fun. I’m having fun the way it is.

The employees at Bread & Cie on 5th Ave all know me now. Every morning, they take and fill my order. They probably wonder what I’m doing with all the bread. I bought four ciabatta rolls and a petite sourdough baguette totaling 660g today. I used one of the rolls for a salmon burger with sesame oil and rice vinegar dressing, served with sauteed baby bok choy with peanut sauce. (I’ll need those decorative sandwich toothpicks to take better photos.)

Bread Challenge Day 15 of 30

Screen Shot 2014-09-24 at 11.45.00 PMTo repeat the Diet Doctor’s comparison of the blood glucose responses of a high-carb meal and a low-carb meal, I made a 3 egg omelette with veggies and cheese for breakfast today. The omelette probably totals 400 calories, while the yesterday’s bread meal had about 700 calories.

While not quite the “zero response” curve that Dr. Eenfeldt plotted yesterday, the low-carb meal definitely had a lower blood glucose response than the high-carb meal. I’m surprised that there was any glucose response at all from the omelette, which had almost 0 carbs. I read a suggestion that rapid gluconeogenesis of protein causes the response, but the science seems unclear on this effect (from what I could find in 5 minutes).

Does any of this matter? I don’t care. My body is properly metabolising any fuel that I feed it. My health is amazing, and I continue to lose weight eating anything healthy and exercising. We can measure every step of my metabolism of carbs and protein/fat, and it’ll all be normal. We evolved to efficiently extract every calorie of energy from food, whether it’s carb, fat, or protein (beyond that needed for repair/growth). Good luck tricking the body on that one.

[The only variation you’re ever going to see is that some people are less efficient than extracting the theoretical max of 4 kCal/g from carbs/protein, and 9 kCal/g from fat.]

The 30 Day Bread Challenge is going well, and I ate 410g of chiabatta buns and walnut raisin bread yesterday, the aforementioned omelette, the rest of my egg noodles with veggies and broth, 100g of salmon, a grapefruit, some jerky, tortilla chips, and I finished off the kilo of Wasabi & Soy Sauce roasted almonds. This morning, I weighed in at a new low of 79.3 kg. Woohoo! I bought another 600g of bread (including a white bread french baguette) to celebrate.

Bread Challenge Day 14 of 30

Screen Shot 2014-09-23 at 10.33.39 PMDr. Andreas Eenfeldt, the LCHF Diet Doctor from Sweden, just posted his blood glucose response from a high-carb, high-junk lunch served at a diabetes conference he’s attending. It’s looks very much like a 75g glucose response test, even though the actual meal was a banana, a bag of chips, and a candy bar. His blood glucose peaked at 160 mg/dl, and stayed high for about 3 hours after the meal. The commenters all seemed alarmed at this reaction.

I got obsessed over all this, and went out and bought my own meter and test strips. It took me a while to figure out how to use it properly, and how to get the best blood droplets from my fingertips, in order to maximize accuracy.

I decided on a meal of 200g of New York Rye, about 1/2 an avocado, a tomato, and some onion. (I bought a 600g loaf of NY Rye this morning for the 30 Day Bread Challenge.) I ate it quickly, then started taking measurements. After the first measurement (145 mg/dl @ +13 min), we walked to a local restaurant (actually, I raced an 8 year old up a hill). I just sat at dinner, and watched everyone else eat. The waitress saw my blood meter, and thought I was diabetic. She suggested plain brown rice, but I politely declined.

I guess the bit of exercise of walking to the restaurant transiently lowered my blood glucose. That makes sense. If you do the calculations, you’ll probably satisfy yourself that a brisk walk will burn off calories at a higher rate than you can digest from this kind of meal.

Anyways, even if I didn’t walk/run in the middle of the experiment, I wouldn’t have been alarmed at all about my blood glucose levels. It all seems pretty normal to me. You eat, the food digests, and the glucose fuel is delivered to your cells via the bloodstream. How does this scare a low-carb’er?

When I got back home, I cooked up a huge bowl of noodles with veggies and broth.

Bread Challenge Day 13 of 30

IMG_1856I chose an assortment again today, picking a Walnut Raisin petite loaf, a sourdough boule, and two rosemary rolls totaling 540g. I’ll probably make a few veggie sandwiches, and eat the sourdough with some vegetable bean soup leftovers.

I weighed in again today at my previous low 79.7 kg from last week. It’s always nice to reproduce a low weigh-in; it tells you that the previous measurement wasn’t a fluke. This is my typical slow and steady progress under the all-you-can-eat-with-vegetables plan. Yesterday, I ate 340g of bread, a bowl of noodles, a bunch of almonds, and a dinner of tabouli, caprese, and lentil salads. That seemed like the right amount of food, since I did spin class in the morning, and rode 30km before dinner.

I’m not sure if I’ll exercise tonight or not. If I do, I’ll probably eat more starch than just this bread.

Bread Challenge Day 12 of 30

IMG_1852This isn’t the 340g sourdough baguette I bought today, they’re some fresh egg noodles from Ranch 99 Market. It was my first time shopping at the asian foods store, and I found a lot of items far fresher and cheaper than anywhere else. This was the best noodle soup I’ve made so far, using with fresh noodles, leftover roast chicken, mushrooms, spinach, baby bok choy, cilantro, green onions, sesame oil, and a ramen soup mix package.

Needless to say, I’ve been eating plenty of additional “carbs” outside my daily pound of bread during this Challenge. They’re just calories, and when you balance them with fresh vegetables and other healthy nutrient-rich, high-fiber foods, you’ll fill up and lose weight.

Do you think I’m just lucky and have a special metabolism that can “tolerate carbs”? Then do you think the US population as a whole would get even fatter eating like I do? Or do you think they’d lose weight overall?

Telling everyone that “carbs make you fat” hasn’t worked over the last 15 years. But no accurate or reasonable nutrition advice would help the public either. People are going to eat the fat, sugar, and salt that the food industry makes for them. It’s human nature.

Bread Challenge Day 11 of 30

I picked up a loaf of Jalapeño Cheddar from Bread & Cie today. I was pretty hungry, and ate most of the 540g before dinner. Even with the butter, it’s not nearly enough calories for the day, so I made my famous Chinese No-Chicken Salad, and filmed the process:

I actually get a lot of requests from friends and family for this recipe. It’s always a hit at dinners and parties. This is probably the only dish I’ve ever created. (Besides my savory air-popped popcorn sprinkled with chicken-flavoured Top Ramen soup mix powder.) Hopefully, this video makes it foolproof to re-create it in your own kitchen.

And yes, I understand that this recipe isn’t vegan, and isn’t compliant with the McDougall plan, and wouldn’t make it into a Forks Over Knives cookbook. But this is one of the healthiest dishes I make, and the Top Ramen is an excellent source of resistance starch (it takes a while to digest).