Tuesday, April 13, 2010
I have lost a total of 14 lbs so far. My usual reaction to this kind of realization is to start eating like there's no tomorrow.
I also went a bit further into the danger zone... by talking about having lost this weight with folks at work. It's been a running joke now with some of the other employees because they all see me eating non-stop (it seems), and I've talked about giving myself permission to eat what I want, when I want, and as much as I want.
And I still lost weight!
It's interesting to note that, as soon as I had the freedom to eat with abandon, I stopped eating with abandon. I pack my lunch bag with an eye to proteins, complex carbs, filling foods that aren't calorie-intense, even if it's all "instant" food, such as canned soup or a frozen meal. When I can, I make a fruit smoothie to take for an instant breakfast, and supplement with nuts for protein and good fat. I'm still not counting calories or fat grams or anything like that. I'm not measuring or weighing portions. I'm just eating when I feel I need some food, some nourishment.
The binge cycles are slowing down and lengthening out. Will I ever overcome them completely? I doubt it. I think we all have a few binges in us, that we will never evict. And it's okay.
What's also okay is that I know I'm going to fall down - a lot - before this life is over. Life will never be perfect or ideal, because it isn't meant to be that way. What I can achieve, and have here and there, is happiness, and the ability and desire to love who I am.
A post isn't complete without bread news. My latest dough finally doubled, but I'm not really impressed with its sluggishness. I'll shape it and leave it to rest overnight and then bake it in the morning. I'm going to rest it in a bowl, wrapped in a flour-infused towel, and then turn it over to bake, and at that point I'll give the top a slash. I'm an amateur, I admit it, so I'm taking liberties with technique.
I've kept the house pretty cool lately, so I'm doing an alternating day feeding for the starter, and only using 1/2 cup each flour and water. So far it seems to be alright, the smell is definitely coming along. In another month or so it should be amazing. Some day I may buy some starter from King Arthur Flour's mother sponge, that's about 150 years old, just to see if I can make something as good. Anyone interested in bread baking, sourdough or other speciality bread knowledge, I subscribe to The Fresh Loaf, which is a fascinating website for bakers. It's mainly for people to share bread "stuff" but there are off-topic topics as well. I feel very much a fish out of water there, but the truth is that there are quite a few subscribers who are just as new to bread baking as I am. Have fun!
Sunday, April 11, 2010
I'm doing my sourdough differently today. I'm adding more flour to make a somewhat drier dough, and then I'll bake it at 400* instead of 350*. I'm going to slash the top only when I put it in to bake, and I'll try a shot of steam if I can time it right for that classic chewy, shiny crust.
It looks to be another wet-like day, but the winds are still coursing along strongly. I am hoping to not get called in, so that I can start putting the house back together "my way" and take trash to the landfill. I have neglected so much!
SO, if the bread comes out okay, then I'll try one of Peter Reinhart's recipes tomorrow, meaning I'll put together a dough and let it rest in the fridge for 12 or so hours.
"Man cannot live by bread alone" - but I can try! LOL!
There was a "B.C." comic about 30 years ago that was a play on this adage: "Man can not live by bread alone. He need peanut butter."
I'm experimenting with some oatmeal mixes from the grocery, with an eye toward making my own, because I'm a cheapskate and also because I know I can make a better-quality mix. Cutting up a banana into hot oatmeal makes a filling breakfast, I have discovered. I am not a fan of bananas, but I can't think of another fruit that has the same density and nutritional qualities.
My hair has started to thin out again. I refuse to up the dosage on the estrogen, so I'm going to have to figure this one out some other way.
Up and at 'em! Hup hup hup!
Saturday, April 10, 2010
On a whim I weighed myself this morning and was shocked to see I've lost 5 more lbs. How can this be?
The last few weeks I've been prone to binging because of stress of various kinds, and have not had my own best interest at heart when preparing food to eat. Apparently I haven't eaten to the extent I felt like I'd done, or else I've been more active because of the warmer weather lately. Who can say.
Maybe I wasn't joking when I said that sourdough bread is a good appetite suppressant. I told a friend that I felt like my homemade sourdough bread kept on rising after I'd eaten any, making me feel quite full after having just a piece of it. Perhaps there's some truth to that!
This week will start my adventures in other kinds of bread baking. I've accomplished my own starter, and I've baked some awesome sourdough bread from it; now I am ready to explore other methods of creating bread by the work of my own two hands.
Friday, April 09, 2010
Another page turned, another chapter started. By weekend's end, I think I'll have my home to myself again. It's interesting to note how much I enjoyed having another person living here, and that I'll miss her greatly, but ... always the 'but... '.
But the truth is that I greatly enjoy having guests, even long-term guests, and in the end they go to wherever they live and I haven't made any big changes to my life along the way. I love to cook for others, fuss over others, talk and walk and cry with others, and laugh over silly stories with others. I need that fellowship. We all do.
There's a difference, however, between fellowship and being a welcome mat, and I am not a strong enough person to accept the latter as "who I am".
In bread news, I purchased a book that had positive reviews on the Fresh Loaf website, and am reading it. It seems to be a good tutorial on what makes ciabatta, ciabatta; the difference between a boule and a batard; folding vs kneading, etc.
Because of the elevation, I have been told that I need to make my sourdough drier, and I think I need to set my oven hotter to get a good crust on it. And there's the method of flash steam production to create a chewy, crisp crust. Onward I go, armed and armored.
Wednesday, April 07, 2010
So I have a huge bowl of sourdough that needs to come to room temp. before I punch it down and shape it into loaves. I want to get 4 loaves out of this batch.
It is interesting to note that I live in a rather remote region of California, where people have historically made do or done without. I wanted to brag and glow about my adventures in sourdough, but guess what? Everyone and her neighbor has his/her own starter in the fridge at home! Well, of course that's not an accurate count, but a lot more people out here make their own breads than I ever knew.
An old friend stopped in on her way home from Tahoe to Tacoma, and brought me the mixer I'd bought years ago and had delivered to her house because at the time I was planning a permanent move to WA. I was fixin' to make cookies this evening... then discovered that the power cord is not in the box! Not sure if she knows where it is, so the cookie making party will have to wait.
Otherwise, we had a wonderful visit. She had to leave this morning, but hopefully her "business" in Tahoe will bring here to these parts again.
It is so nice to be with old friends. Everyone I know has helped to shape my life in some manner, some more than others, but all have their marker at the forks in my road where I diverged.
And, to do some soul cleaning, I am taking back my home. Since I am, for the most part, by myself, I want the spare room cleared out so I can start storing the stuff that was there before the room was needed. It has served its purpose, and is no longer needed, but sometimes we get fixed into a pattern and it's necessary to feel that gentle nudge to get going again. So this I have done. It feels good. I feel good.
All because of sourdough.
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