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28 January 2010

Diet Progress Update - Still on the wagon!

So, I haven't blogged since I started by diet and exercise program back in early november.  I managed to get through the holidays and a trip to Las Vegas, and I am currently down 23 pounds.  I'm working with a trainer twice a week, and at the gym 5-6 times a week.  Plus, eating healthy and logging my daily food intake.  It's going well.

Today, I started an appetite supressant called Phentermine, that my doctor prescribed.  It's a short term (1-3 months) assistant to help me avoid being hungry when I don't really need to eat.  Logging my food intake will be important, because since I'm working out, doing cardio and weight training, I need to make sure that I get ENOUGH calories.  So even if I'm not hungry, no skipping meals!  But it might help me curb the cravings between meals.  Today, I think it did, but one day is not enough time to make an assessment.  I definately feel its affects.  I don't think I'm "jittery" but I do feel somewhere between normal and jittery.  Alert?  I dunno.  At any rate, I need to keep track of my blood pressure while taking this medication, and go back to see my doctor for some blood work after 30 days to make sure I'm metabolizing the medication properly.

So I started at 290 when I weighed in on the morning of November 2.  I'm currently at 267.

I'll keep you posted!

Posted by rickroot at 3:50 PM | Link | 0 comments
08 November 2009

Back on the wagon

So after several years of terrible eating and a complete lack of exercise, I've managed to get myself into the worst shape of my life.  Last weekend, I'd had enough.  Candy, that is. :)  Anyway, I went out and bought some comfortable pants because I'm tired of squeezing into the 40" waist pants that I'd been wearing.  Just admit you're a size 42, and move on.  Hopefully, I want be wearing them long.  Anyway, I started my diet Monday morning, weighed in at 289 pounds!  If you look at my blog from back in 2004, I was down to around 230-235 pounds, so I'm up 50 pounds in 5 years, probably 30 of that in the last 2 years.

I started off low-carb for a "shock to the system", and I dumped about 8 pounds of water weight in 3 days.  I like doing the low-carb thing, because I feel like it helps wean me off the horrible foods that I tend to eat.

Thursday afternoon, I joined a gym in Apex that's convenient - Lifestyle Family Fitness.  It's a nice place, great equipment, and no contracts.  I did 40 minutes on the treadmill Thursday night... didn't work out Friday because Emily and I went to the hockey game, Saturday I did 20 minutes of cardio and a leg workout on the weight machines, and did 30 minutes of cardio this evening.  I'm not low-carbing anymore - not really, at least.  on days that I'm not doing weights, I'm avoiding carbs, but on days I'm going to do weights, I'm just going to try to eat "good carbs" like fruits and whole grains.

Tomorrow afternoon is my first of three free one hour personal training sessions.  I'll let you all know how it goes.
Posted by rickroot at 6:52 PM | Link | 1 comment
27 May 2009

What to do if you're having a heart attack..

Someone forwarded the following email to me about what to do if you're having a heart attack.  Some of the advise may be valid.  But I have a problem with the instructions to "phone a neighbor or a family member who lives very close by"

Call 9-1-1. 

I mean, duh.  How much time are you gong to waste trying to call someone who really can't help you?  What if they don't answer.  Are you gonna call someone else?  No, if you're having a heart attack, and you're able to make a phone call, just call 9-1-1.


Why keep aspirin by your bedside?




About Heart Attacks


There are other symptoms of an heart attack besides the pain on the left arm.


One must also be aware of an intense pain on the chin, as well as nausea and lots of sweating, however these symptoms may also occur less frequently.


Note: There may be no pain in the chest during a heart attack.


The majority of people (about 60%) who had an heart attack during their sleep, did not wake up.  However, if it occurs, the chest pain may wake you up from your deep sleep.


If that happens, immediately dissolve two aspirins in your mouth and swallow them with a bit of water.




 - phone a neighbor or a family member who lives very close by


 - say "heart attack!"


 - say that you have taken 2 aspirins.


 - take a seat on a chair or sofa near the front door, and wait for their arrival and...  unlock the front door!


 ~ do NOT lie down ~


A Cardiologist has stated that, if each person, after receiving this e-mail, sends it to 10 people, probably one life can be saved!


I have already shared the information-- What about you?


Do forward this message; it may save lives!







Posted by rickroot at 6:21 AM | Link | 0 comments
22 June 2007

Oily Sptting? Alli Weight Loss Pill - NO THANKS!

Okay, so GSK got approval for a weight loss pill called Alli, which hit the shelves on Monday.

It has some disturbing side effects.. direct from the Alli web site:

  • gas with oily spotting
  • loose stools
  • more frequent stools that may be hard to control

They recommend:

You may feel an urgent need to go to the bathroom. Until you have a sense of any treatment effects, it's probably a smart idea to wear dark pants, and bring a change of clothes with you to work

Umm.. No thank you.

Posted by rickroot at 6:53 AM | Link | 0 comments
03 May 2007

I've got a new bike! Sort of ...

Stopped by my dad's house last night to borrow his bicycle.  Back around 1986, he bought a VERY expensive mountain bike - a Specialized Rockhopper.  Probably cost around $500 at the time.  20 years later, it's still in pretty good condition, though I can't seem to get it to go into the lowest 5 speeds (it's a 15 speed, and the chain doesn't want to go onto the smallest of the three front spindles).

At any rate, since I can't seem to walk, jog, or run as exercise anymore due to ongoing foot problems, I guess I'll have to turn to the bike.

The American Tobacco Trail is only a few miles from my house.  The southern end is west of Apex (entrance off New Hill-Olive Chapel Road), and it travels north along the old railroad bed 22 miles to the old durham bulls baseball park in northern durham county.

the nice thing about it is that it's relatively flat.  It is a railroad bed, after all.  It's perfect for biking.  I'm not a fan of hills.  I may make my first trek this weekend.
Posted by rickroot at 8:01 AM | Link | 0 comments
01 May 2007

Tired of conflicting nutritional news?

For those of you who watch what you eat, here's the final word on nutrition and health. It's a relief to know the truth after all those conflicting nutritional studies.

  1. The Japanese eat very little fat and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.
  2. The Mexicans eat a lot of fat and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.
  3. The Chinese drink very little red wine and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.
  4. The Italians drink a lot of red wine and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.
  5. The Germans drink a lot of beers and eat lots of sausages and fats and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.

Eat and drink what you like.

Speaking English is apparently what kills you.

Posted by rickroot at 7:39 AM | Link | 4 comments
30 April 2007

Diet Update

245.0:  -22.2 pounds

Well, I haven't posted one of these in a while! To be honest, I haven't really been dieting or exercising.  Well, I started dieting again last Monday, and I lost 5.5 pounds this week.  I could've done better but we had a cookout Saturday night, at which I had a burger with a bun, macaroni salad, chips, and cookies..

I did go see the podiatrist on Friday, and since I wasn't actually experiencing any pain she was unable to diagnose anything.  She suggested that REAL walking would probably be less stressful than doing the treadmill.  Well, yesterday Emily and Adrienne went for a 3-1/2 mile bike ride (not bad for a 5 year old on a 16" bike with training wheels!).  I tagged along on foot, walking and jogging when necessary. 

And my foot hurts.

I really like the trail though.  I'm going to have Adrienne's co-worker Al keep an eye out for a good bike for me.  He got Adrienne's bike at a garage sale for $50 or so, and I think she's got a bike that retailed for over $500.  He's got a good eye for finding good bikes at garage sales.  I don't want to pay $500 for a bike, but $50 might not be too bad!

so anyway, I'm going to continue the low-carb, no soda thing this week.

Posted by rickroot at 6:18 AM | Link | 1 comment
25 April 2007

Back to Low Carb for a cuople of weeks

I've been sort of stagnating on the diet and exercise program for a while, and my weight had increased a few pounds because I got out of the general healthy eating habit too.

I need to kick-start my weight loss again, so I'm low carbing for 2 weeks.  Not only that, I'm going cold turkey on soda.  No more coke zero, no more diet rootbeer or diet sunkist.

That's tought because I was probably drinking 24-32 ounces of Coke Zero every day, along with probably a similar amount of other diet NON-caffeinated soda.

Well, I'm into my third day now.  I've been sucking down water and the occasional Crystal Light like you wouldn't believe!  Plus, I'm having a cup of green tea each day.  Green tea has caffeine in it I guess, but rumor has it that it also acts as a carb blocker.

I'm doing the hard-core phase 1 this week, which means I'm avoiding even the sugar-alcohol carbs I would normally find in those South  Beach meal replacement bars that I like so much.

And it's working.  I've lost 5-1/2 pounds in the first two days.  I'm sure it's all water weight, but it's a good kick start.  I'm not going to set a goal for this 2 week period other than to "be good".

My foot injury has kept me out of the gym because the only thing I like to do is the treadmill, and I've determined that I really need to go see a podiatrist about the pain in my left foot.  The urgent care doctor I saw back in January said it was probably an inflamed nerve, and I needed to stay off it for 3 weeks.  Well, I pretty much ignored that advice, but it's obviously not going to heal on its own.

Bowling is over now so I can rest the foot from that activity too, but I'm still going to go see a podiatrist.
Posted by rickroot at 9:45 AM | Link | 0 comments
22 February 2007

Diet Update

245.5:  -21.7 pounds

The last month has been difficult for a number of reasons.  Primarily - my foot still hurts, but I'm pretty much ignoring it now.  I actually started weight training last week, with first first leg workout last Wednesday.  When I was done, my knees were wobbly, and for 3 days I couldn't walk down stairs without being in pain and holding onto the rails.  And sitting down on the toilet... well, I was wishing for handicap rails!  I followed that up with an upper body workout on Friday, and did legs again on Monday.  Thursday, Saturday, Monday, and yesterday (Wednesday) I did the treadmill and crunches.  I'll be doing another upper body workout tonight.

I don't like the equipment at the Nautilus Fitness Center as much as the equipment that was at my previous gym.  They're definately more focused on free-weights, and their machines seem to be pretty old.  I bought a 15 month membership for $12/month, paid in advance so I can't complain, the price is right!  But as of this past weekend, we also have a family membership at the YMCA in Cary.  The Y runs the before and after school care programs, and the discount they offer to members essentially makes up for the $82/month family membership rate.  So it's a wash.  And they've got a really nice gym with very up to date equipment.

Anyway, now that I'm doing the weight training, hopefully I can build some muscle and burn more calories!

Posted by rickroot at 5:51 AM | Link | 1 comment
27 January 2007

Diet Update - No Change!

247.5:  -19.7 pounds, 62 days

I didn't have such a great week.  I did go to the gym a couple of times, but I had quite a few bad meals, and so I stagnated.  Sunday i had a really big lunch at Longhorn Steakhouse, and Monday I had dinner at PF Changs - which was fabulous, but not exactly part of the diet.  We had cake for Mike's birthday at work the other day (and it was GOOD cake!), and it's not going to get any better until tomrrow at least.  Emily's birthday party is today, and we're going to Cheeburger Cheeburger for dinner afterwards with the family.

I actually haven't been terrible outside of eating a couple of bad meals.  Ie, I haven't been snacking.  Though I did eat about 6 ounces of jalapeno almonds the other day.  They were far too good, and so I won't be buying them any more!

I think I'll go to the gym after Adrienne gets back from soccer registration.  They're only open until 8pm on Saturday evenings so I can't go after dinner.

BTW, I attempted to make General Tso's Chicken last night.  It was a miserable failure.  Aside from not being on any kind of diet. =)

Posted by rickroot at 7:35 AM | Link | 0 comments
20 January 2007

Diet Update

247.5:  -19.7 pounds, 55 days

I lost 3.4 pounds this week.  I would've probably done better if not for my inability to go on the treadmill (though I did a couple times anyway!)  I also had (whole grain) pancakes 3 nights ago, and lasagna (made with whole grain noodles) 2 nights ago.

Nonetheless, it's a good step.  I suspect that the last couple of weeks of this diet are going to be a lot harder than the first couple of weeks - at least as far as weight loss goes.

I made some "low carb" Thai Shrimp last night, but I'll discuss that in another blog entry.

Posted by rickroot at 6:22 AM | Link | 0 comments
14 January 2007

Diet Success! Now the work begins...

250.9:  -16.3 pounds, 49 days

Okay, so my goal - pre-Christmas, was to survive THREE periods of gluttony without gaining any weight.  Christmas and Christmas Eve, New Years Day and New Year's Eve, and an 8 day, 7 night vacation at Disney World, including 4 days at amusement parks.

As you can see from my last pre-holiday diet update (December 23), I've actually lost a couple of pounds, and I only gained 1.5 pounds at Disney World.  I might've done even better except I was kinda bad on the car ride home.  =)

So, now the real work begins.  My goal is to lose 2 pounds a week until my birthday, July 24.  There are 27 Saturday's between now and then.  So to make my goal a nice round number, I'm hoping to lose over 50 pounds in 6 months, getting myself down to 200 pounds.  I haven't weighed under 200 pounds since some time during my freshman year in college, approximately 17 years ago.

How do I get there?

Healthy eating (including GOOD carbs), 5 days a week on the treadmill (or 30 minutes of vigorous walking), and some moderate weight training.

Posted by rickroot at 6:41 AM | Link | 0 comments
06 January 2007

Off to Disney World

249.4:  -17.8 pounds, 41 days

It was a good week!  In 25 minutes we're going to hop in the car for a 10 hour drive to the happiest place on Earth - Disney World!  We'll be there all week, spending one day each at Magic Kingdom, Epcot Center, Animal Kingdom, and Seaworld.

I may or may not blog during the week, we'll see.

Gotta run!

Posted by rickroot at 2:50 AM | Link | 1 comment
31 December 2006

Low Carb Products - or Good Healthy Choices?

I know that some of you out there don't support the low carb lifestyle.  I'm not "low carbing" anymore, so to speak... but I'm still limiting my "bad carb" intake.  Avoiding things like non whole-grain flour, potatoes, and bad sugars like high fructose corn syrup is always a good idea.

I realized that I can probably still eat French Toast as long as I make it with a whole grain bread (not just wheat bread, or "made with whole grain", but a bonafide 100% whole grain bread).  But I can't exactly eat french toast without syrup (my wife does).

So while in the syrup aisle at the grocery store, I was investigating my options.  Pure organic maple syrup can't be that bad - it comes out of a tree after all and is completely unprocessed.  But it's EXPENSIVE.  And still loaded with calories.  And it tastes vastly different from your run of the mill fake maple syrups (we usually buy Hungry Jack, in the microwavable bottle).

I decided to give the "sugar free" syrup a try, and I picked up a bottle of Log Cabin sugar free syrup.  Unlike the Hungry Jack syrup, which has a primary ingredient of corn syrup and then water, with less than 2% of everything else, the Log Cabin sugar free syrup is made of water and then sorbitol ... and less than 2% of everything else.  Sorbitol is a sugar alcohol, so it doesn't really affect your blood sugar.  The sugar free syrup also has only 35 calories per serving, as opposed to 210 calories in the same 1/4 cup serving of the Hungry Jack syrup.

And here's the best part - it's a reasonably tasty substitute.  My friend Mike tried a splenda sweetened brand of "low carb" syrup and said it was so nasty they threw the bottle away.  But I've found the log cabin sugar free syrup to taste pretty much like regular syrup.

That's one product that I'll continue to buy - even when I'm not low carbing.

Flat Out Carbdown Nutrition InformationAnother one is the "Flat-Out" brand flatbread wraps.  Particularly, the lite, low carb Italian Herb version.  You can see an example nutrition information for the non-lite version here if the image is broken.

15 grams of fiber, 11 grams of protein, and 3 grams of fat, with only 110 calories?  That's a LOT more good stuff than you're going to get out of 2 slices of any whole grain bread!  And this bread is a bit thicker than your average whole wheat tortilla shell that people often use for sandwich wraps.  They're quite suitable for pizza crusts as well.

The lite version of the same bread has only 15 carbs - 9 grams of which are fiber, and only 80 calories (the same number of calories found in your standard slice of bread).

On a side note, the flat out bread bread is apparently manufacturered in my home town of Saline, Michigan.  They have a web site too that describes all of their varying products - only some of which are available in the stores around here.



Posted by rickroot at 6:40 AM | Link | 5 comments
30 December 2006

Diet Update

253.6:  -13.6 pounds, 34 days

So, it's the holiday season, and as I've mentioned, I'm in a 3 week "maintenance phase" of my diet.  The first week included Christmas.  The second week will include New Year's Eve and New Year's Day, and the third week will include our trip to Disney World.  Of course, weigh-in day is the day I get back from Disney World.  We'll see how that goes.  It's hard to spend 10 hours in the car without loading up on munchies!

As you can see, I survived week 1 with a loss of 0.1 pounds.  I actually gained several pounds between the 23rd and 26th, because I did what everyone does around Christmas time.  I ate!  I did have a pretty healthy christmas eve dinner, and the some of the snack crackers I bought were all nice whole grain crackers like triscuits and soy pretzels.  But of course I had quite a bit of dip as well, and the sweet potato casserole I made for Christmas dinner.. well, it had a lot of sugar and marshmallows in it.

But, all is well!  Adrienne and I are going out to dinner on New Year's Eve - maybe to Tony's, maybe somewhere else - and we're going to the hockey game (Canes vs. Flyers) and maybe the party after the game.  And of course on New Year's Day I'll be watching Michigan football at my folks house with the rest of the family.  Go Blue!

Then it's back to work for a few days, and next Saturday - a week from today - we leave for Disney World!

Posted by rickroot at 6:00 AM | Link | 0 comments
23 December 2006

Last Pre Holiday Diet Update!

253.7:  -13.5 pounds, 27 days

Not bad.  I didn't quite make my goal, but I feel pretty good about my progress.  Losing over 13 pounds in less than a month isn't too bad.  I'm not going to expect continued results at that level.

In fact, what I am going to expect?

Well, I'm hoping to survive Christmas, New Years, and our trip to Disney World the second week of august without INCREASING my mass.  That means I'd like to come back from vacation on January 13 still weighing between 250 and 255.  I'm going to have to work hard to do that because... well, it's the frakkin' holidays!  And Disney World!

Once I get through the holidays, I'm setting a goal to lose 55 pounds by my birthday - that's July 24.  So assuming I "start" losing weight the week of January 14th, that gives me 27 weeks to lose 55 pounds, or slightly less than 2 pounds per week.

I think I can get there with a good healthy diet, and lots of cardio and lots of weight training.

And at 200 pounds, I'll be at a weight I haven't seen since I was a freshman in college.  If any of my old college buddies are reading this (Rory and Rob in particular might remember it!), I was quoted one drunken night upon realizing my weight.. "200 pounds!  Good lord, I'm a lard ass!"

And now, here i am, 16 years later setting that as my goal.

Wish me luck!

Posted by rickroot at 9:53 PM | Link | 1 comment
20 December 2006

Bring on the Carbs!

I've decided that 3 weeks and 12 pounds into my weight loss program, it's time to start adding healthy carbs, and doing some weights.

My toe still hurts - I think I strained a ligament on the treadmill and it's been getting worse.  So I decided since I can't spend 40 minutes on the treadmill (and I don't like the bikes or ellipticals) that it was time to start the weight training.

In order to lift weights, I needed to eat some carbs.  Lunch today consisted of a south beach turkey club wrap.  260 calories, 24 grams of protein, 22 grabs of carbs.  Most of the carbs came from the two small whole what tortillas, I'm sure!  14 of those carbs were fiber so they obviously supplemented the bread with "extra" fiber).

Dinner wasn't quite as healthy - I had some fancy "Spice Sesame Pasta" .. gourmet linguini ... but made with "Enriched Semolina Wheat Flour" - ie, refined white flour.  Added to the pasta some grilled chicken and a bag of organic vegetables I picked up at Trader Joe's (brocolli, peppers, mini corn, water chestnuts, etc)... cooked the chicken and veggies up in some olive oil, then simmered in some sundried tomato salad dressing, and tossed in with the pasta.  It was a damn fine dinner!  But next time I've got to do it with a real WHOLE wheat pasta.

After dinner, I headed over to the gym for a good workout.  Did my warmups then did three different leg exercises.  Don't ask which ones, I don't know the names of the muscles, nor the equipment.  Perhaps I'll be sore tomorrow. =)

I'll continue to post daily weight updates through Sunday, but after that I'm switching to weekly weight updates... if I'm doing weights and eating carbs I don't expect to have the same kind of results that I've had in these first 3 weeks.  I'll also set a new goal (which I'll tell you all about tomorrow)

Posted by rickroot at 10:01 PM | Link | 0 comments

Diet Update

255.2:  -12.0 pounds, 23 days

I only did a mile on the treadmill last night - and a slow one at that. My toe hurts. Still, I was good. I skipped the delicious offerings at the bowling alley (our league does a christmas potluck every year) and instead cooked my own dinner last night - baked salmon in a tequila lime marinade, with sauteed asparagus.

I had to get up at 4am this morning. Erin scheduled a 6:10am flight and I had to take her to the airport. So it's not even 8 am yet and I've already been at work nearly 3 hours! The Coke Zero isn't even helping my heavy eyelids!

Posted by rickroot at 7:42 AM | Link | 0 comments
19 December 2006

Diet Update and Other Stuff

256.0:  -11.2 pounds, 22 days

Yes, it was a good day yesterday.  I was on target as far as my eating, and I spent 60 minutes on the treadmill, going 3.6 miles and burning 711 calories.  Afterwards, I wasn't really hungry, but snarfed down one of those Atkin's Indulge bars and had maybe 5-6 ounces of turkey smoked sausage for dinner.

I probably won't get to work out tonight unless we get out of bowling early again.  I had 2 scrambled eggs and 2 sausage links for breakfast, and I'll be having an Atkins shake for lunch.  Dinner tonight will consist of baked salmon in a tequila-lime marinade, and steamed asparagus.

Are you using craigslist yet?

I've been using craigslist a lot lately.  The raleigh version, that is.  Most major metropolitan areas have their own craigslist - even Norfolk.  In the last few days, I've purchased a 16" pink bicycle for Emily for $20 (it's a birthday present so don't mention it to her!), and a very nice Yamaha musical keyboard for $50.  I've also sold some items on craigslist lately too - a wood entertainment center that we'd purchased at Ikea about 18 months ago, some bose bookshelf speakers I'd purchased in the early 1990s, and a few other things.

Ebay is nice for things that are easy to ship, but certain things are a lot easier to sell on craigslist, and you can get rid of items at a fixed price much quicker.  Heck, my parents sold a utility trailer that they bought 15 years ago for over 70% of the original purchase price!  And they did so within 6 hours.

Posted by rickroot at 8:39 AM | Link | 5 comments
18 December 2006

Pot Poury

Yes I know how to spell potpourri... hmm, maybe I don't.

258.2:  -9.0 pounds, 21 days

Very frustrating.  I had a good week, I used the treadmill 6 days in a row (Monday - Saturday), and was fairly good on my diet.  We did have our department christmas party Friday at lunch, and Adrienne and I went out to dinner Saturday night (more on that later) but I don't think I deserved to gain 3 pounds over the weekend.  Oh well.

I made 8 batches of peanut brittle this weekend to give out to friends, coworkers, and neighbors.  Naturally I had to eat a little, but I considered myself to have been pretty good.  Have to test the stuff to make sure it's "right" before cracking it up and giving it to my neighbors.  It's a finicky thing.  I blew 7 batches of peanut brittle earlier in the week before realizing that I needed Karo *BRAND* syrup, and not just Target brand corn syrup.  It makes a difference, apparently.  The first 7 batches I just couldn't get to set properly.

Friday was the University Development christmas party.  It's always a daytime thing, partly so they can put on the traditional skit (which spouses just wouldn't appreciate), and partially (I think) to avoid having to pay for the spouses as well.  This year it was at a place called the Starlu Restaurant in Durham, at the corner of University and Shannon.  I thought it was overly fancy, the service was slow (considering they were serving 3 entries to 100 people, they could've done things quicker than they did), and the food wasn't that good.  My dinner consided of a grilled hanger steak with mashed potatoes and some kind of sauteed leaf (kale, perhaps).  I had a ceasar salad to start and finished with a flourless chocolate almond torte.  I had some baked brie, crackers, and a few toasted baguettes with a warm crab dip for an appetizer.  The crab dip was the only really outstanding part of the meal.  I did win the centerpiece  from the table though, which was a small basket of goodies from Southern Seasons.

I didn't want to blow things completely, so I went to the gym about an hour afterwards for a vigorous 40 minute walk/run on the treadmill, and had only an Atkins shake and some cheese for dinner.

Saturday started out really good - by the time 5 o'clock rolled around, I had only had a south beach meal replacement bar for breakfast, and an Atkins shake for lunch.  But I was really craving cajun food so Adrienne and I headed out to Tony's Bourbon Street Oyster Bar for dinner.  Check out their cajun/creole menu.  YUM!  Obviously, this wasn't going to be a low carb friendly meal, but I probably would've gotten the Shrimp Creole, and some clam chowner.

Unfortunately, they were closed for a private event.  Still craving Cajun, we went downtown Raleigh to the 42nd Street Oyster Bar.  They brought out hushpuppies immediately when we sat down, and I knew it wasn't going to be a good night for dieting!  They had a limited amount of cajun food on the menu, but I'd been really good all day so I ordered some  new england clam chowder for starters, and had the cajun fried shrimp platter with mashed potatoes and cole slaw.  Yes, batter fried shrimp and mashed potatoes - clearly not low carb items, but they were good.

I didn't even eat the whole thing!  Probably only ate half of the shrimp and potatoes, along with all of the cole slaw and maybe 5 or 6 hush puppies, with only water to drink.  But I was absolutely stuffed by the time I was done!

On the way out, we ended up giving our leftovers to a fellow out by the parking lot who asked for them.  He may not have any money to cook his own meal, but hanging outside a restaurant like that probably gets him some good meals!  From us, he got cajun friend shrimp, half a crabcake, some steamed vegetables and some hushpuppies.

On Sunday, I had a south beach bar for breakfast, one of those south beach wrap kits that they sell in he grocery stories for lunch, and filet mignon with stemed broccoli and long grain rice for dinner.  Oh yeah, plus I had to sample the peanut brittle to make sure it was cooked right.

It was a good weekend!  Just not for dieting.

Posted by rickroot at 12:09 PM | Link | 0 comments
14 December 2006

Diet Update, Day 17

255.8:  -11.4 pounds, 17 days

After spending another 40 minutes on the treadmill yesterday, I'm feeling pretty good about my ability to get below 250 before Christmas.  After all, I've got 10 days.  I could theoretically even get to my original goal of losing 20 pounds, but I'm not going to push it.  I'd like to enjoy the christmas party tomorrow.

I'm starting to get a little tired of heavy duty low carbing.  Lots of eggs, sausage, chicken, etc.  I'm going to "cheat" a little tonight and have meatloaf, but I suppose i'll still avoid the starchy side dishes.  I'm not quite ready to re-incorporate good carbs like long grain rice and such.

Posted by rickroot at 8:25 AM | Link | 1 comment
12 December 2006

Diet Update, Day 15

258.1:  -9.1 pounds, 15 days

It was a pretty good day yesterday.  I had an Atkins shake for breakfast, some grilled chicken for lunch, and roast pork tenderloin and zucchini for dinner.  For added flavor, I dipped some of my pork in honey mustard - but probably less than a tablespoon.  I also had a spoonful of rice.  I overcooked the zucchini.  It's easy to overcook steamed zucchini.

After dinner, I went to the gym and spent 55 minutes on the treadmill - keeping my heart rate between 130 and 140.  It said I burned 524 calories.  I might try to hit the gym for 20 minutes after bowling tonight, but it depends on the timing.  I usually don't get out of bowling until well after 9pm, and the gym closes at 10.  We'll see what happens!

Posted by rickroot at 12:22 PM | Link | 3 comments
11 December 2006

Diet Update

259.7:  -7.5 pounds, 14 days

Clearly I'm not going to lose 20 pounds before Christmas.

We had dinner at a fancy restaurant Saturday night on someone else's bill.  Bistro 64 was the location for my wife's department Christmas party.  There were about 20 people there, in a private room at the upscale Cary restaurant.  Typically, her director's wife brings a fabulous homemade cheese danish to hand out to everyone as well, so I had that to look forward to as well.  Not exactly low carb.

I partook of the bread, had a couple of adult beverages, ate the mashed potatoes that came with my beef tenderloin (along with asparagus and a stuffed roma tomato).  And of course, the cheesecake for desert.

The worst thing about it was that the cheesecake wasn't that good.  In fact, it was possibly the worst cheesecake I'd ever had next to the time I tried to make cheesecake at home.

Well, having been disappointed by dessert, I chowed down half of the cheese danish when we got home, rather than waiting until morning, and restarted my diet yesterday.  I broke down and had some popcorn at the Disney Princesses on Ice, but not much.

I was actually down to 259.0 on Saturday morning.

This week I'm going to be good, but another free fancy meal will occur Friday at my departmental Christmas party at the Starlu Restaurant in Durham.  It's pointless to low carb at events like this, and I wouldn't want to ruin my own fun by even trying.

So I'll be vigilant the next 4 days, and head to the gym tonight too.

Posted by rickroot at 8:58 AM | Link | 0 comments
06 December 2006

Joined a gym today!

260.6:  -6.6 pounds, 8 days

Check out www.brianvanderark.com - his new live CD "Live at Eddie's Attic" is really awesome.  I'm a huge fan, you should be too.

Now, on to the topic at hand.

After dropping Emilyi off at the Academy for the Performing Arts for her dance class this evening, I walked over to "the strip" (aka, downtown Apex), and decided to wander into the Nautilus Fitness Center.  It's a pretty small place, about 4,000 square feet, but they pack a lot of equipment in.  One side has some nautilus machines and all of the cardio equipment, while the other side has free weights.  It's not fancy, but the people are friendly, and the price was right!  I signed up for 12 months, payd $180 and got 3 months free - a holiday special.  That works out to $12 a month.

Not bad considering I paid $40/month at Kx Fitness.

After taking Emily home from dance class I went back to the gym in my workout clothes and spent 40 minutes on the treadmill.

Posted by rickroot at 10:03 PM | Link | 0 comments
04 December 2006

Diet Update: One Week

261.9:  -5.3 pounds

I didn't post weight updates this weekend because I didn't like the numbers =)  Must've been scale fluctuations.  I've been really good!

Skip and I went to the hockey game Saturday night to see the Carolina Hurricanes take on the Boston Bruins, and I was even good at the game - I stopped by Quizno's for a chicken ceasar salad, and had only a bottle of water at the game.  As much as I would've liked a pretzel or even some BBQ and slaw.... pulled pig isn't too terrible for the Atkins diet, but the slaw probably has some carbs in it, and certainly the western carolina BBQ sauce which I prefer has some too.

I actually ate a good meal last night!  We roasted a beef shoulder filet, and I had some broccoli (with cheese sauce) and I treated myself to a spoonful of rice =)  In order to make sure the numbers keep going down, I'm going to start dramatically increasing my water intake.  So yesterday I probably drank 2 liters of water.

I'm pretty certain I can't get to 20 pounds in 3 weeks - but I am going to aim for 249 by Christmas, which is still 18 pounds.

I'm going to go up to the Nautilus Fitness Center in downtown apex and maybe join up.  It would be useful to add some weight training in.

Posted by rickroot at 8:25 AM | Link | 2 comments
01 December 2006

Day 5 of the Atkins Diet

263.4:  -3.7 pounds

Sorry I forgot to blog yesterday, I was at 263.7 pounds.

I always weigh myself in the morning - after I get up and go to the bathroom, and right before I get into the shower.  I don't want things like clothing or breakfast to mess up my consistency.  It's silly to weigh every day anyway, but during this phase of the Atkins Diet, it's fun because you do actually lose weight every day.  After 4 days, I've lost 3.7 pounds.  I'll need to exercise a LOT more vigorously if I'm to lose 20 pounds in 3 weeks.  It can be done!

I may give myself 4 weeks, but that would take my right up to Christmas, and I can hardly be expected to diet on christmas eve.  Plus, I've got a departmental holiday luncheon to attend (I might be okay for that), and then the University Development Christmas Party which will be at Maggiano's again this year.  No way am I low carbing for THAT!

The holidays are a hard time to lose weight - but especially right aorund christmas and new years, so I got started right after Thanksgiving!

BTW, thank god it's Friday.

Posted by rickroot at 10:44 PM | Link | 0 comments
29 November 2006

Day 3 of the Atkins Diet

265.2:  -2.0 pounds

Steve called me last night.  Hi Steve!  He was calling to make sure I was exercising too.  We have a very nice treadmill that I bought last year but have used very little so far.  Cost over a grand.  Well, I hadn't used it yet, so I promised that I would - and that I'd start blogging again.

As expected, I shed some weight yesterday.  It might've been scale fluctuation, who knows, but it's expected.

I had egg salad and sausage for breakfast, a hard boiled egg and some chicken breast and swiss cheese for lunch... for dinner I had two chicken sausages (with garlic, artichoke, and mozzarella cheese inside!), and then Ripley and I went out for a walk.  Walked around the neighborhood, a little over a mile.  Gotta ease into these things.  I was sweating though, so that's good.

I snacked on some more chicken breast this evening, but I treated myself to a tablespoon of honey mustard salad dressing to dip it in.  3 grams of carbs.

Oh, I was sort of bad on my way home from work, I wolfed down about 5 ounces of macedamia nuts.  Probably 10-12 net carbs, but a ridiculous amount of fat (and calories).

We'll see what happens in the morning.  I'm gonna go take some fish oil pills.  See you tomorrow!

Posted by rickroot at 9:40 PM | Link | 3 comments
28 November 2006

Day 2 of the Diet

267.1:  -0.1 pounds

One of the benefits I've found from doing Atkins is that it makes me less hungry.  If I'm loading up on carbs I find myself hungry a lot more.  Doing Atkins, sometimes I have to remind myself that it's lunchtime.

Not on day one though.  I was STARVING.  I snacked a lot yesterday, but I was good - all low carb stuff.  Lowe's Foods carries a brand of Turkey Kielbasa that's really good, and not quite as bad for you as the regular stuff.

Can't worry too much about fat intake though when doing Atkins.  I still eat my eggs and breakfast sausage, and dip my lunch meat and cheese in mayo. =)

There's a package of pita chips over on the counter calling my name but I resist.

The worst thing I've had so far is one of those 59 cent packages of peanuts.  9 carbs.  *shrug*

Posted by rickroot at 8:45 AM | Link | 0 comments
27 November 2006

The New Diet Begins


Today is the first day of my re-entry into the diet and exercise world.  I did really well on the Atkins diet - mixed with a lot of exercise back in 2003.  During the time of selling our house in early 2005, things got very stressful, and we also added another inhabitant to our household (Erin, Adrienne's step-sister).  I got off my diet, and out of my habits and over the course of the last 20 months, have managed to put almost every pound back on.  At one point, I was down around 230.

The last diet started at 273 pounds.  This one is starting at 267 pounds.  I really need to be back down below 250 as soon as possible, because my heartburn is absolutely killing me, and it diminishes dramatically when I dip below 250 pounds.  It was almost completely eradicated at 230 pounds.

So, I'm back to Atkins.  I had some scrambled eggs and sausage this morning.

Posted by rickroot at 8:35 AM | Link | 0 comments
20 April 2006

Donate to the Foundation For Fighting Blindness

As some of you know, I have a slight visual impairment - an inherited eye disease called "Best Disease".  Best Disease is a form of macular degeneration but unlike age-related macular degeneration which can progress rapidly once it stars and cause total blindness, Best Disease is unlikely to cause blindness, and it's a very slow progressing disease.

It's also uncorrectable and there is no cure.

At this point, with my glasses (which correct some of my vision problems that are unrelated to my Best Disease), I have 20/50 vision in my right eye and 20/70 vision in my left eye.  It kind of sucks.

But I appreciate that I *CAN* see a lot better than some.

From time to time I make donations to the Foundation for Fighting Blindness - a charitable organization that I feel is worthy of my charity.

I received a notice from them today that one of the organization's founders, a fellow named Gordon Gund, is matching all gifts 2 for 1 - so for every dollar you donate, he'll donate 2 dollars.  Seemed like a good deal, so I donated $50.

If you have a visual impairment - or if you know someone who has a visual impairment - consider making a donation by clicking on this link: https://www.regonline.com/94944

Visit the Foundation for Fighting Blindness web site too.

Posted by rickroot at 5:36 PM | Link | 2 comments
05 October 2005

Biking damaging to manhood

I knew there was a reason I'm not a cyclist!

This article in the New York Times basically says cycling on a typical saddle-style seat causes erectile dysfunction.

No wonder Lance Armstrong rides ALL the time!  He's got nothing better to do!  Even with his hot wife.

Posted by rickroot at 10:38 AM | Link | 1 comment
17 August 2005

Coke Zero Rocks - No calories, but tastes like real Coca Cola Classic

About 2 months ago, I noticed a new Coke product at Target.  Coke Zero.  I looked at the label and saw that it had no calories, and I was willing to give it a try.

I hadn't seen any marketing or heard of it before seeing it on the shelf there at Target.  I bought it because I like Coke, and I don't like Diet Coke.

Upon further examination by ingestion, i discovered that Coke Zero tastes a lot like regular Coke, and I loved it.  In the afternoon and evening I drink a lot of Diet Sunkist and Diet A&W, but in the morning I need my caffeine, so I had been drinking Diet Mountain Dew.

Thanks to Coke Zero, I've basically abandoned Diet Mountain Dew.

My dad is also a Coke drinker and doesn't like Diet Coke, but he likes Coke Zero.

Check it out!  If you like regular Coke, you'll probably like Coke Zero.

It's not a low carb fashion drink, it's a bonafide diet drink with zero calories.

Posted by rickroot at 11:13 AM | Link | 6 comments
15 June 2005


Cure just around the corner


"Cure just around the corner"

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Scientists from the National Scurvy Institute (NSI) recently convened a 5 day seminar to assess progress in the War on Scurvy.

The future looks bright and a cure is just around the corner announced a spokesman at the seminar. Over the past 30 years NSI, NIH (National Institute of Health) and ASS (American Scurvy Society) have spent over $30 billion on scurvy research. Pharmaceutical companies have over 80 new drugs in development to combat scurvy according to the FDA.

The 5 year survival rate after diagnosis of scurvy is over 50% up from 30% just 20 years ago although 500,000 Americans continue to die of the disease each year.

President Bush has proposed a 10% increase in NSI's budget for fiscal year 2006. NSI kicked off its annual "Race for the Cure" campaign to raise additional funds for research last month.

Risk factors for scurvy include cigarette smoking, diets high in saturated fat and long ocean voyages. Sailors are particularly at risk for the disease. A researcher at the University of Washington has speculated that there may be a substance in sea water that triggers the disease. Of course much more research is needed.

Researchers at the University of Maryland, working on the human genome project, have identified a "Scurvy gene" From this it may be possible to develop a test to identify individuals at risk for the disease.

Scurvy doctors have long emphasized the importance of frequent screenings for scurvy in at-risk individuals. The disease can be effectively treated if detected early enough. Men and women over 40 should get regular checkups.

Conventional treatments for scurvy include frequent gum cleanings to combat the bleeding associated with the disease, surgical amputation of atrophied limbs that have been ravaged by the disease, and stimulants to combat the lassitude characteristic of the disease.

A pilot research program has been proposed to NSI that would study a possible connection between vitamin C and scurvy. A study conducted on 20,000 Americans at the University of Florida showed a substantially higher rate of scurvy in people who don't eat fruits and vegetables. Dr. Henry Jacobson, assistant director of NSI, was quick to point out that no such connection has ever been scientifically proven. Vitamin C as a treatment for scurvy remains on NSI's "unproven remedies" list. Clinical trials conducted in the 70's showed no effect of vitamin C on scurvy, added an NSI spokesman.

In related news, officials at the American Pellagra Society (APS) have designated the month of May as "Pellagra Awareness Month"...

Posted by rickroot at 10:35 AM | Link | 3 comments
03 May 2005

How many calories does this thing have?

Pennsylvania pub introduces 15 pound burger

This is a photo blog, click here to view all thumbnails. or click here to view the text of this entry.

Holy crap.... a 15 pound burger!  10.5 pounds of meat, 23 slices of cheese, etc...

What's most facinating about this story is that their previous "big burger" had 6 pounds of meat and 5 pounds of toppings... and was recently eaten within a 3 hour time limit by a 100 pound local college student.

111 pounds, after completion, I guess.

click through to read the article.

Posted by rickroot at 1:19 PM | Link | 8 comments
28 March 2005

Time to resume the diet...

As many of you know, I lost about 40 pounds in 4 months last year dong the Atkins Diet.  At the same time, I started working out 4-5 times a week at the gym.

Since then, I've kept most of the pounds off (I was down to about 230 but I'm at about 235 right now), and to be honest, I haven't been to the gym in 2 months.

Well, I need to get back in the program, so I'm back on Atkins   And I'm gonna start heading to the gym again.  I'll keep you all posted, as I'm sure you're very interested. 

Log in and subscribe to this topic if you want to receive updates.

Posted by rickroot at 8:08 PM | Link | 9 comments