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Monkey Flu

In my office a couple of jerks in the next cube over have been sick for weeks. No matter how sick they were they were very diligent about coming into work and spreading their disease.

After the first guy (patient 0) was sick for a while I started calling it "Monkey Flu", because he whatever he had was worse than bird flu. The name has stuck. It took them three weeks, but the guys in the next cube over finally gave me the monkey flu. Hit me Sunday night, have been somewhat out of sorts since then.

I have to be over this before we leave for California on May 11.


Cheat day 1 went ok, but I didn't really go crazy like some of the examples in the book. The limit of my cheating was an egg roll, two potstickers and a couple beers. I'll try a little harder next week.

Thinking about getting a Withings scale. Supposed to be accurate and it's wifi enabled so it will automatically log weight data for me. It also does body fat % which the current scale doesn't do. Not sure if the convenience is worth $159.


Starting weight: 181.8 lbs

Weight 4/26/11: 177.0 lbs - Not sure how much of that is due to illness.


Make Sure You Have The Goat

Well, The Girl & the Goat was great. It is a tapas-like small plates place. Started with some oysters with a nice balsamic sauce. Had beef tongue for the first time, I really liked it. Had a very good goat loin & sausage place as well.  They had a very good beer list, it pained me not to have any. Had a margarita-like drink and two glasses of wine. The wine list isn't much longer than the beer list, I had a nice syrah and Jonnell liked her Cab. 

We decided we better make reservations ASAP to go again and the first Saturday night we could get was on August 27. It is crazy they are booked that far out, but I'm glad we know we are going back before summer is over.

Other than that meal I've been very good about sticking to the plan. At this point I think I miss ice cream or something sweet at night more than the beer. The only sweet thing I get all day is a Myoplex protein drink I have for breakfast. They aren't cheap, but with Amazon's subscribe & save deal two weeks of the drinks is $31. That is around $15 cheaper than buying them at the grocery store.

Last summer, I bought a Fitbit, which is a fancy pedometer. It comes with a charger / wireless reciever that plugs in the PC to record how many steps I take per day.  It also can tell how fast I am walking/running and monitors calories burned. It also somehow can monitor how well you sleep, but I haven't tried to sleep with it on. It also will let you track your weight, body fat and other measurments over time. There is only one problem, it is not waterproof, so make sure you don't put it in the wash. I'm on my second one because of an accidental washing.  I really like mine, well worth the $99.

Starting Weight: 181.8 lbs

Weight 4/21/11: 178.6 lbs


Well, I made it a day & a half

Day one was easy enough. Myoplex for breakfast, Chipotle for lunch and a roasted chicken for dinner. We used a recipe from Guy Fieri for the chicken, it had arugla pistacho pesto stuffed under the skin. It was good, but I prefer the traditional basil & pine nut pesto.

When I got home last night, I really wanted a beer, but at least for a day, I didn't have one.

The chicken we bought from the Butcher and Larder, a great butcher shop over on Milwaukee Ave. We go there every Friday night to pick up our meat for the week. It is a very basic storefront, but they have some of the best local meat you can buy in Chicago. Their pork chops are incredible and cut to order. If you live in Chicago or the burbs, you should check the place out.

Tonight, only a day & a half in to the plan, I will be breaking the diet. Well, at least a little. We have reservations at the Girl & the Goat. We made these reservations three months ago, so there is no way I'm missing it. I'll try to avoid potatoes, bread and rice but I'm not going to skip dessert. Life's too short.

Starting weight: 181.8 lbs

weight 4/19/11: 179.8 lbs


Starting Over...

Well, my halfhearted attempt at a food blog died. So, since I paid for a year of Squarespace hosting, I might as well use it for something else.

Ironically, I'm going to use the blog to track my first attempt ever at something like dieting. Not working out + not eating real well + 2-3 craft beers at night eventually leads to weight gain, I have found.

I have known for a while I had to do something. I am fan of the Nerdist podcast. It is a comedy & geek culture podcast hosted by Chris Hardwick, Jonah Ray & Matt Mira. I listened to an episode they posted a few weeks ago with Tim Ferriss. He wrote "The Four Hour Work Week" and his second book "The Four Hour Body" was published last summer. The hosts all spoke very positively about their experiences with the diet. I figured that if one of the hosts has lost over 40 lbs on it, I can probably drop 20.

I bought the Kindle version of the book and read most of it in two days. It's called a "slow carb" diet. In simple terms, the diet's main rule is don't eat white foods. Bread, potatoes and rice are all out. Instead, the idea is to eat lots of protein and non-starchy vegetables.

I foresee many Chipotle burrito bowls for lunch. The hardest thing for me is going to not drink beer, since it is basically bread + alcohol. Alcohol isn't banned by the diet, so we will be finally making a dent in our wine collection. It is going to be very weird not drinking at a Cubs game.

The diet seems like something I can do. I can dump the non-beer carbs easily and if it works I can cut out the beer as well. The other very important part of the diet is the cheat day. One day a week you are supposed to go nuts and eat whatever you want, and in my case, drink a few beers.

I have spent the past week doing a bad foods greatest hits tour. Lots of beer, burgers with fries and pizza. Tomorrow is the beginning of the diet.

I'm probably going to fall off the wagon for a week when we go to San Francisco & Sonoma in mid-May, because there is no way I'm not going to the Russian River Brewpub & the Lagunitas brewery.

As of this morning, I weigh 181.8 pounds. I'd like to be under 170 by the end of May. 


The Best Food Truck in Chicago

Ok, there are only three food trucks that I know of in Chicago, but let me tell you the Gaztro-Wagon is awesome.


The truck makes a stop for lunch and a stop for dinner somewhere in Chicago. Today they stopped a few blocks from where I work at lunchtime. As soon as I saw their tweet saying they were parked, I took off for the truck.

I was so excited I forgot to take a picture of the truck :) But here is their menu for today: (click images for larger versions)

I got the wild boar belly naanwich, the plantain chips and the chocolate cream pies. They are called 'nannwiches' because they are wrapped with naan bread instead of a bun or a tortilla.


The boar was served with red onions and olives. It was a great combination, the vinegar and salt of the olives cut the richness of the boar belly. The naan was nice, it wasn't crisp and I think it worked a lot better than something like a tortilla. The plantain chips were a surprise, I expected them to be sweet, but they weren't at all. I liked them but I thought they were overly salted.


Naanwich closeup.


Here are the pies. They were each two chocolate cookies with a chocolate cream filling. The cookies were perfect, crisp on the outside and soft in the middle and the cream filling was like a light mousse. A little expensive at $4 for two of them, but I'll be getting them again in the future.


Follow the Wagon on twitter and if they come to your neighborhood, you really should check them out.