Lunch in Barrio Logan

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There’s a few of these little family restaurants stuck right in the middle of residential neighborhoods in the barrio south of downtown. These places are probably grandfathered-in from an era when no one cared about trivialities like zoning laws. Check out the Google street view to see what I mean.

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They have a pretty good enchilada plate combo for $5. They’re pretty serious about their enchiladas, and make them with care. Stop by if you’re close for a unique experience.

Halloween Tune-Up

IMG_2070The Awarewolfs held the 2nd Annual Costume Crit(erion) tonight behind the Air and Space Museum in Balboa Park. I showed up a bit late, so I didn’t see Bojac win the main race. Afterwards, we headed out for a late night ride through North Park, ending up at Pioneer Park. Appropriate for Halloween, it started out as the first cemetery in town, but is now used as a park (only a few headstones remain).

I was on the bike all night, riding around and having fun. If there was ever a real-life Peter Pan experience, hanging out with the fixie crowd near midnight would be it.

Making Soup

IMG_2065All this goes into the pot of soup I make once a week (plus a cup of pasta, and some lemon juice, not shown). It’s really easy to make, and always turns out great in 20 minutes. You saute the usual mirepoix (onion, carrot, celery) first, adding garlic in at the end. When the onions are translucent, you add in all the chopped ingredients, water, and some broth or bullion. I add the liquid from the cans of beans, and usually hold off adding the zucchini, squash, and bell pepper until the last 7 minutes of cooking, when I also add the pasta. All together, it only takes 20 minutes of total cooking time, with very little prep.

After cooking your own soup, you wouldn’t even consider eating canned soup again. That stuff is junk food by comparison. Campbell’s says “Soup is Good Food”. I agree, but wouldn’t consider a can of Campbell’s to be good food.

Not Enough Spaghetti

IMG_2056I made spaghetti al pomodoro tonight, but didn’t quite make enough to go around. I ate 200g of the fresh noodles, but probably could have eaten 400g. There’s just not that many calories to 200g of cooked spaghetti (it’s probably only 320 calories or so). I also had an apple turnover, some ice cream, a Cliff Bar, popcorn, and some protein shake, totaling another 1200 calories. I’m going to guesstimate I ate about 2500-2700 calories today.

Today was a rest day after biking 270 km last week. I only got on the bike to pick up a bean burrito for lunch. I also walked a few km, including 15 flights of stairs instead of taking the elevator. Click here to see what Jimmy Moore had for dinner tonight.

Beef Kabob Plate

IMG_2019Yum! I ordered this classic beef kabob dish last weekend from Darban on 5th & Cedar. I normally consider this an excessive amount of meat for one person, but I was really hungry from all my riding that day. I was pretty full after eating it, but later on that night, I ate half a plate of chicken kabob leftovers.

Occasionally, I feel like eating some meat. Ideally, I’d probably prefer this plate with about twice the vegetables, and half the meat. But then I’d want to eat two plates of it. Which is what I did anyways, when you count the midnight snack and the next morning’s breakfast.

Lately, I’ve been slightly worried about getting enough protein. As I lose weight, I still want to build my leg muscles for cycling. I probably need to eat at least (80 kg)(1.2 g protein/kg/day) = 96 g/day of protein. As my diet is about only about 12.5% protein by calories, I’d need to eat (100 g/day)(4 cal/g)/(12.5%) = 3200 calories per day. I’m probably doing that, especially on hard training days, so I’m probably fine.

But who knows, maybe I could optimize my weightloss and cycling training with a slightly higher proportion of dietary protein. The best solution would probably be a protein shake for recovery, with no other dietary changes. Eating a little bit of meat for taste and variety is great, but you don’t need this amount of meat for a meal.

30 Pounds of Bread in 30 Days

Screen Shot 2014-10-11 at 9.06.34 AMYay, I completed the 30 Day Bread Challenge yesterday by eating a final 460g of seedy multi-grain. So, in 30 days, I ate a total of 13.78 kg of bread, or 1.01 lbs/day. Happily, I can report that nothing strange nor magical happened, and I continued to lose weight at my normal rate. Over the 30 days, I lost about 2 kg, as shown in my progress chart above. (I’ll update the chart in a few weeks, to show the continued progression towards my 70 kg goal.)

What did I learn from this Challenge? Mainly, I learned not to be afraid of bread. We’re all so terrified of it, that while we might consume it in sandwiches and morning toast, anything beyond that is accompanied by a lot of fear and guilt. Everyone, even high-carb vegans, is convinced that processed flour makes you fat, and they worry that even “whole wheat” bread isn’t really made from the whole grain.

And I figured out pretty quickly that white flour breads taste a lot better than whole wheat ones. I figured it wasn’t worth it nor necessary to eat whole grain bread. My weigh-ins confirmed this, so I just went with the approximate 2.5 cal/g density for all of them.

Calorie-wise, a pound of bread (~1200 cal) a day isn’t very much. For me, it didn’t even make up half of my daily calorie needs. Historically, people ate a lot more than a pound of bread a day:

In France, there has been a huge decline in the baguette culture. In the 1970s, French people were consuming an average of one loaf of bread per day. Only a century ago, the French ate approximately 3 loaves of bread per day. Today, French people eat only a half a loaf of bread per day.

— Wikipedia

Yes, I did work out a lot during the Bread Challenge. But, I’ve been riding about 200 km/week for the last 5 months as well, so nothing really changed, including my weightloss rate.

The pound of bread a day I ate was in addition to whatever else I decided to eat. I ate to fuel myself, and didn’t restrict calories, or eating times. I had occasional treats, some fatty foods, some Cokes on my rides, but generally I ate a healthy, traditional diet with lots of vegetables. I probably ate a pound of butter with the 30 pounds of bread.

So, what’s my conclusion? A bread calorie is a calorie. Don’t panic, and have some bread.

Bread Challenge Day 29 of 30

IMG_2002My 30 day “experiment” of eating a pound of bread a day is finally coming to an end. Only one more trip to the bakery tomorrow morning, then I’m free! I weighed in at my previous low of 79.2 kg this morning, so I should end up losing weight after eating 30 pounds of bread in 30 days. Just to make sure, I bought a 610g multi-grain loaf today, instead of my usual white flour choices.

I don’t expect this self-experiment to prove anything to anyone. If you believe that “carbs make you fat”, and that Jimmy Moore and Gary Taubes are geniuses for writing books that say so, then nothing will change your mind. It’s like Stephan Guyenet and CarbSane Evelyn explaining to Sam “Smash The Fat” Feltham for 2+ hours why the “alternative hypothesis” of carbs->insulin->fat is silly. (See the recent two “Do Calories Count” interviews here and here.) Sam doesn’t disagree, and lets his guests thoroughly explain why the “alternative hypothesis” is over-simplistic and does not correctly characterize human biochemistry and physiology, nor does it predict actual outcomes (i.e., the billions of thin people on starch-based diets).

I give Sam Feltham credit for airing opposing points of views on his show. I’ve never seen an honest exchange between the low-carb and the CICO camps before. Sam didn’t resort to dodgy Taubes-like rhetorical tactics. In fact, he didn’t argue his position, or even say much. It was very much like Jimmy Moore’s podcast with Durianrider. Jimmy didn’t say much, and just wasn’t interested in hearing about people eating carbs. These guys are only interested in talking about *not* eating carbs. There’s a difference. The world eats carbs, always has, and always will. They don’t care. They just want to resonate their obsession that “carbs make you fat” in their echo-chamber.

Bottom line: no one’s listening. They only hear what they want to hear.