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rich's weight loss update

broccoli and cauliflower

There are, amazingly, some people actually interested in my diet and how I'm progressing with it, so here's an update on that.

Above is a photo taken of the top tray in my fridge. When I said I was going all-in with a plant-based diet, I wasn't kidding. Yes, I will eat all of that broccoli and cauliflower, and do so happily because both taste great.

I was trying to decide what to say here that would help people out with diets of their own, and I figured the best thing to talk about is how it feels not to eat nor drink certain things.

Do I miss soda?

I honestly thought I was going to have a huge problem giving up soda, but didn't once I found another drink that has some sweetness to it. My main drink now is bottled water, and the sweet drink is weak-on-purpose decaf coffee flavored with stevia. Fortunately, my local grocery store does carry stevia. I imagine most others do as well if you're specifically looking for it.

Once I found a sweet drink alternative, I was able to kick soda easily. I had about a half-a-case (around 12 cans) of Sprite in my fridge, and once I went about a week without soda, I did a "last hurrah," cracked open a can, drank half of it, belched loudly, then dumped it along with every other can down the drain and chucked the cans into the recycle bin. I've not drank a drop of soda since.

Since drinking water and the occasional coffee-with-stevia, I've found I don't miss soda. My system at this point has been weaned off the stuff.

Do I miss meat?

This one I can answer right up front: Not at all.

Meat wasn't that difficult to kick because I really never ate that much of it to begin with. Or at least not since living on my own, which I've been doing for a long time now.

Growing up, my father used to cook up meat often. Chicken, turkey, steaks, ribs, burgers and so on. Was it good? Yes, of course it was. But living on my own, I rarely bought meat. When I did, it was usually chicken salad.

Meat is one of those things where you have to add in a ridiculous amount of seasoning and/or sauce and/or some other fattening crapola just to make it taste good. Otherwise, meat on its own is totally bland.

Do I miss milk?

This is another I can answer right up front: Not at all.

I only used milk for two things. Flavoring coffee and tea, and for making macaroni and cheese. Other than that, I used milk for nothing else.

Milk was easy to give up. When I went plant-based, I chucked the mac-and-cheese, chucked the tea and switched to coffee w/stevia as mentioned above. I've not bought any milk since.

Do I miss cheese?

This is one I actually do miss from time to time.

I do like grated Parmesan cheese. In fact, my father used to serve boiled asparagus spears garnished with Parmesan, and it was frickin' good. But these days I eat my asparagus with pink salt on it instead. It tastes just as good.

Out of every food I can think of that has cheese, the one I legitimately miss would have to be pizza. But then again, pizza houses don't make pizza using real cheese and instead use the Frankenstein cheese-in-a-can junk, labeled as "cheese food product." That means it's something that looks and tastes like cheese, but you really have no clue what it is.

Real cheese is, of course, seriously expensive stuff. And very few pizza houses actually use it because then a small pizza would be $20 to $25 per pie.

As for the cheap pizza, a $5 Little Caesar's Hot-N-Ready tastes insanely good, but is insanely bad. It's unknown what the refined sugar level is in that pie, but it's loaded with it. What is known is that it has 88g fat and 2,240 calories.

Do I miss bread?

Bread is off my menu because the vast majority of bread in the grocery store has refined sugar in it. If you examine loafs for yourself the next time you're in the supermarket, you'll see most list sugar as an ingredient. Some don't have sugar, but not many.

The only way to get good bread is to make it yourself. Do a Google search for Irish Soda Bread in a Skillet. Bread like that is easy to make and you don't even need a bread pan. However, the problem is that it will be about 215 calories per slice, and it requires milk. Yeah, it's a fatty bread. But it tastes great.

Bread is good, but I don't miss it. When you want the good stuff, you either make it like I said above, or you get fresh deli bread. That stuff isn't cheap, and goes stale real quick because real bread doesn't last for a week, but rather 1 to 2 days before going stale.

You may have heard the phrase "that's as stale as day-old bread" before. That comes from the fact real bread goes stale quick.

Do I miss Ramen?

Ramen noodles is something everyone eats at one point or another. The reason to eat it is simple. It's dirt cheap, it's available in every grocery store and it's a stupidly quick, hot, satisfying meal.

I love noodles. But I do not miss Ramen.

If I eat pasta now, it's only cooked whole grain pasta with seasoning (you'd be surprised how much seasoning flavors up pasta) and no butter because I don't do dairy. Sometimes I will also create a pasta salad with pasta, red/green/yellow peppers and seasoning.

Side note: If you love the noodles but don't want the Ramen junk, what you want is ramyun noodles. Not cheap, but far better compared to Ramen. It's a spicy Korean style of noodles. I've never had it personally, but many rave about it. Some also say the best-of-the-best in noddles is shin noodles, which you will find on that link. Be warned: It's loaded with sat fats.

Do I miss fast food?

This is yet another I can answer up front: Not at all.

Here's a list of what my favorite fast food filth was. I don't eat any of this crap anymore, but you'll be amazed at how knowledgeable and picky I was.

McDonald's - Two reheated double cheeseburgers

I've not eaten at a McD's in a long time. But when I did, my filth of choice was the double cheeseburger, but only if it was reheated.

I'll explain.

McD's never serves anything hot anymore. Your burger at best will be lukewarm, which is gross (as if McD's burgers weren't gross enough to begin with.) The cheese won't even be melted. Bleah.

The only way to make a McD's burger taste any good at all is to bring it home and then heat it up in the microwave on HIGH for about 15 to 20 seconds. It will be piping hot and taste twice as good.

Burger King - Two Whopper Jr.'s w/cheese, small fries

The Whopper Jr. w/cheese is without question my all-time favorite fast food burger. It's the right size, and the entire reason I loved it so much is because of what it has other than meat. It has thick sliced tomato, thick sliced onion, generous lettuce and a perfect blend of condiments. It is a needs-nothing-else burger. If made fresh and hot, it's a flavor explosion in the best possible way. For a fast food burger, that's as good as it gets.

BK fries were always better than McDonald's fries, which is why I bought a small size of those.

Arby's - Beef 'N Cheddar Burger and curly fries

Whenever my father and I went to the Auburn Mall in Massachusetts for some shopping, we always stopped at the Arby's near there, and I always ordered up a Been 'N Cheddar with curly fries.

It's the sauce and bun that makes this burger sing with flavor.

As for the curly fries, eh, they're okay. Not amazing. Not great. Just okay. It's the sandwich that's the awesome part.

Dunkin' Donuts - Toasted sesame seed bagel w/cream cheese, medium light-and-sweet coffee

Dunkin' Donuts knows their customer base well, and they know that anyone who orders a bagel with cream cheese prefers to have it piled on real thick.

The combo of a fatty-extreme bagel + sugar explosion/fatty-cream coffee? Bliss. Pure bliss.

Wendy's - Two Jr. Deluxe cheeseburgers, small "value" fries

The Jr. Deluxe is a smaller burger that, like the Whopper Jr., has lettuce, tomato and onion on it. The fries from Wendy's are also usually pretty good. Not at good as BK fries, but still better than McD's.

Wendy's is like McD's where they never serve anything truly hot and you have to run home or to a convenience store just to microwave the stuff so it tastes right.

7-Eleven "taquito" or Circle K "tornado"

For my international readers, 7-Eleven and Circle K are petrol stations with convenience stores attached.

Most of you know this type of filth food as rollers, such as a "buffalo roller", and this was my convenience store filth of choice. I loved these things because they were hot, quick and easy. And if they were a little cool, no problem, because all the convenience stores have microwaves where you can heat 'em right up - which I did do often.

I have absolutely no idea what rollers are made out of, but I am certain it's 100% fake food, inside and out.

Taco Bell - Two chicken burritos or bean burrito + beef Quesarito

For those of you who know Taco Bell well, yes, the Quesarito is a new one to the TB menu, and I had a couple of them right before I started by diet back in February of this year 2015.

I saved this one for last on my fast food list because out of every fast food joint I've ever been to, Taco Bell has the best tasting food. While BK may have the best burgers and fries, TB totally blows BK and everyone else away when it comes to flavor.

TB was the last and my favorite of the fast food filth. Crazy-good tasting stuff. The last thing I ever had from TB, a Quesarito, was an eating experience I describe as heavenly. It has everything in it that makes TB so good. It's basically a quesadilla in a burrito. Beef, rice, Chipotle sauce, sour cream, and grilled with melted cheeses. Yes, multiple cheeses.

I knew my filth, but now I know my health

I was a total filth food connoisseur. I knew my fast food chains and convenience stores very well. I also drank gallons of soda and ate junk when at home.

All of that is behind me now.

Since I started my new diet, I've lost over 20 pounds. My jeans are getting really baggy now and I'll have to buy new jeans in a smaller waist size soon.

What's the biggest thing I've learned, or rather relearned? Taste.

Whenever a food has to be drowned in something else just to give it taste, that means the food has no taste on its own. What you're tasting is the condiment, and the food is just a vehicle for that condiment.

I would never recommend anyone to eat salad for this very reason. The only way anyone eats salad is by drowning it in dressing that contains loads of fats and sugars. And since nobody eats salad raw, you are better off eating whole vegetables instead, such as broccoli and cauliflower; it has more volume and actual real taste to it when steamed.

Filth food and drinks only have 3 flavors. Salty, sugary and cheesy to varying degrees. Any filth you eat now is one or more of those three.

Yes, I still use salt, but only pink salt, and only in small amounts. But as for sugar and cheese? Nope.

Losing weight is nice. Truly. But I'm also very happy I got my taste back.

Will I ever eat filth again?

Right now I am in 99.9% no-filth mode, and won't go out of that mode until I reach my goal weight.

What's the 0.1% filth I eat? Two types of candy, eaten sparingly. Smarties and Dum-Dum Pops. A roll of Smarties is 25 calories as is 1 Dum-Dum pop. The Smarties has 7g sugar a roll, and 1 pop has 5g sugar. Both taste good and neither feel like buckshot being sent into my stomach (like chocolate candies would) when I eat either.

It's not a sin to eat filth. But it's obviously really bad when you eat nothing but filth. That being true, the best way to approach filth food and drink is to classify it as a treat as not as a thing you eat every day.

If I ever eat filth food as a treat, it would be Taco Bell, no question about that. And I'd only eat that garbage maybe once a month.

As far as filth snacks are concerned, it would have to be something light, like a Peppermint Patty. I can't do rich chocolate anymore. The last time I did, it was Reese's Cups, and it make me feel nauseous for 3 hours after eating just 2 of them. I'm not kidding.

As for filth drinks, I'm not sure if I'll ever have them again. See, the deal is that once you're off the filth and your taste comes back, carbonated soft drinks don't taste the same. In fact, you'll taste something you didn't taste before. Salt. For example, a 12oz can of Mountain Dew has 65mg sodium in it (on top of the 46g sugar which is 11.5 teaspoon's worth.) That's the salt, and you will taste it after not drinking soda for a while.

Believe me when I say that actually tasting a salt/sugar mixture in a liquid is awful. It's the same crapola when you eat common grocery store yogurt (a semi-liquid,) which is also loaded up with a salt/sugar mixture, just in a different form. And not that I would eat yogurt because it's dairy, but true natural yogurt has quite a sour taste to it. It's not supposed to be sweet/salty at all. Remember, yogurt is nothing more than the bacterial fermentation of milk.

Yes, the Taco Bell stuff is loaded with salt and sugar. But at least it has enough other condiments within a burrito to overpower that junk. Yes, I am saying there's junk overpowering other junk within a TB burrito, and that's acceptable for taste as a filth food. TB knows how to make filth taste good, what can I say. 🙂

But anyway, I'm not going anywhere near the filth (other than my Smarties and Dum-Dum pops) until my goal weight is reached. And I'm certainly not going to do that yo-yo diet thing where I reach a goal and then fatten right back up again. No way. Not happening. Once I get the weight down, it's staying down. I've made a lot of progress and I'm not about to mess it all up by falling off the wagon.

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