Potato, Meat.
Eating Anna
Ugh! Got a belly ache from the green, vile-tasting vegetable-based protein powder shake this morning. My response: eat two doughnuts for lunch, instead of the high-fiber, much more nutritious lunch I packed for myself. Having kept down the doughnuts, I can now say, “So there! Me and my middle-of-the-road diet win!”

I am about three weeks into my attempt to shed about seven pounds. Why do I want to lose weight? Three reasons: I want to run faster; those pounds have gradually, annoyingly, crept back over the last few years; and my dermatologist kindly warned me that I’m getting older, so they’ll be even harder to keep off. My dermatologist? This must be serious, I figured, somewhat cynically.

Notably: I’ve lost two pounds, so far. At the start, trainer Dave asked me how I intended to make it happen. “Maybe take out some of the beers? And sweets? Start tracking my calories again? I could do that.” He stopped short of recommending a low-carb diet, but he did mention that he’s seen it work for some people, even endurance athletes.

For just over a year now, Steve and I have made an effort to include more vegetables in our diet, and to try and eat fewer processed foods. Right about Birkie time last year, I read The China Study. The argument behind it has some flaws, but it still made an impact on us both: more variety in our food will likely help us maintain strong bodies and minds. Also, as Americans, a little less protein is still enough, and perhaps eating less animal protein also helps us sustain the planet, too. So, about half the meals we cook are plant-based.

Lately in my sights have been breakfast cereals: They are heavily processed and they are almost always too sweet, so I’ve been looking for different breakfast options. My other regular, toast, also qualifies as processed. We do have several great hot cereal recipes, but I can’t do the same thing, every day.

The Paleo or Caveman diet came up in my initial research as one of the more reasonable options, when searching for breakfast alternatives. This is why I found myself looking for protein sources at breakfast, as bacon every day is perhaps not the best way to approach a weight loss goal. So, there’s eggs, eggs, and leftover dinner foods. I can do eggs, but not all of the time. We’ve experimented with a few non-grain recipes for pancakes and have been underwhelmed: yuck. So, onward, to adding protein to a fruit smoothie, and we were out of tofu. Enter the powder, and one that isn’t made with whey.

It’s a tough morning, when I feel compelled to make a shake with a powder that says it’s chocolate, but is green and contains stevia. And gives me a stomachache, just like the chia seeds do when I put them in an otherwise innocuous mix of strawberries, ice, and water.

This shake episode makes me feel even better about the meal pictured above, which we enjoyed on Saturday evening. I’ve found a recipe that includes celeriac (celery root) and turnips that is not only edible, but is delicious and insanely decadent, with 2 potatoes and six tablespoons of butter. Even better: we served it up with some chipotle-glazed braised pork shoulder. And by “glazed” I do mean “accidentally blackened until any sauce that I wanted to pour over the meat has been turned to charcoal.”

Balance.

Do you have a non-grain breakfast idea to share? I’d love to hear (read) about it.

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