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Sliders, Oysters & Ice Cream

May 28, 2012

Don’t have a heart attack. That’s both my advice to my mother in addition to my mantra. It’s good to keep things like mantras simple. I don’t want a stroke or gout either. But if I start listing all the medical maladies I don’t want, I’ll never get anywhere.

Despite how it may sound on the blog, I have not completely abandoned my newfound healthy diet after having my blood drawn for the follow-up lipid panel. That would be the test which will tell me if the draconian diet I put myself on had any effect on my blood cholesterol numbers.

The scheduling of the test and the follow up appointment were quite clever though. The test was the morning of the All Over Albany Burger Lab, so those five mini-sandwiches, which included two with fatty pork belly, wouldn’t erase months of cleaner living. And my appointment to discuss the test isn’t until I return from San Francisco. So I’m enjoying a few weeks in this lovely little gray zone.

Granted, I’m leaning a bit on the decadent side of moderation, but that may just be in comparison to my many months of self-denial. I’ll give you a bit more data, and you can tell me (and my mom) what yout think.

Sure there was the Tour de Hard Ice Cream, and that was a bit of a hit. But all the same, I split five kiddie cups with Young Master Fussy. Assuming he ate at least as much as I did, then I consumed fewer than 12 ounces of ice cream. And that’s a lot to be sure, but it’s not grotesque.

Friday night felt decadent when I ate my chicken breast with the skin! Oh, skin. I love crisp, crackly, savory skin. I also snuck one of the oysters from the back of the carcass.

What I did not do was make one of my famous chicken skin on challah sandwiches. Nor did I even butter my challah. The tradition of dipping my bread in more heart-healthy olive oil carried through. It helps that I have some really delicious olive oil that I enjoy, so this is more of a treat than a sacrifice.

Still, I treated myself to a few bonus pieces of chicken. I also had a thigh, and two of the two wing “flats”.

Saturday night was moderate, mostly because I had little room for food after all the ice cream. So I enjoyed a small portion of leftover roast chicken tossed with 100% whole grain pasta with olive oil, garlic, and Parm-Reg. Whole grains, lean protein, and unsaturated fats sounds pretty good to me.

And last night I made a Mediterranean spread of hummus, Moroccan carrot salad, and some kind of Greek-inspired beef-rice-feta dish. Except I only used eight ounces of local, pasture-raised beef to feed four people (with leftovers) and about two ounces of feta. Plus the rice was brown rice, and the meal was mostly vegetables and beans.

Still, it felt decadent to eat something with meat and cheese as part of dinner.

But I’m still sticking with a lot of my other healthy habits. I’m still eating my oatmeal with flax seeds and lowfat yogurt. I’m still avoiding butter, and using soy-free Earth Balance on occasional slices of 100% whole grain toast. I continue to eschew refined grains as much as possible. Whole milk and cream are pretty much vestiges of the past.

On the other hand I’ve loosened up the restrictions a bit. I’m allowing myself the occasional egg, without feeling pangs of regret or remorse (although those turkey and pheasant eggs counted toward my cholesterol report). Plus I’m occasionally permitting myself a spoonful of ice cream from the freezer. I also just picked up some sweet Italian sausage made from pigs that weren’t served a diet rich in antibiotics.

I know that it’s still probably a bit too loose, and that I’ll have to be a bit more careful. But maybe now that my back is better, and I can get out and sweat in the yard, I can improve my health, and still continue to eat sensibly with some occasional treats.

It’s a tough balance because the treats often get away from you.

But that’s why things like the Tour de Ice Cream are so important. Not everyone can go out and try multiple flavors from multiple places. If you’ve only got a limited amount of time and a limited number of calories, where is your best bet?

Tomorrow I’ll have the answers. For today, enjoy your cookouts. Thank a veteran. And do your best to avoid cocktails made from vodka. Also, if you plan to beat the heat with hard cider, make sure to check the ingredients first.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Mr. Sunshine permalink
    May 28, 2012 11:09 am

    Why so long to get your lipid panel scores? I get mine over the phone 2 days later. You could too but I suspect you don’t want to.

  2. May 28, 2012 12:01 pm

    “If you’ve only got a limited amount of time and a limited number of calories…”

    That’s the whole reason why I find these tours so useful. Alright, so I’m probably never going to drive to East Greenbush for fish fry. But within a reasonable distance, I’d like to know that if I’m going to spend the calories on fish fry, or on an ice cream cone, or a cupcake, or whatever, at least it’s the best example of one, something delicious enough to be worth the calories.

  3. May 28, 2012 4:12 pm

    Have you tried butter flavored olive oil? It’s pretty amazing, they sell it at Saratoga Olive Oil Company and they have it with recipes for popcorn and seafood and such!

  4. May 28, 2012 4:56 pm

    LOL Mr. Sunshine. And I’m sure that the intervention of a holiday weekend adds at least a day to the news…. which may be good after all!

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