Spring has sprung after a cold, dark, and snowy winter and I decided to tighten things up a bit in terms of overall lifestyle. The principle meta rules are these, which I began about a week ago in earnest:
- Alcohol abstinence
- Preparing and eating at home
- Logging food and counting calories
- Moving and exercising
- Work my regular income stream gigs harder and longer plus launch an additional project or two
- Limit time on Social Media, plus make the time I’m there be at least half serious stuff that builds my income streams
- Do simple, forward-driving To-Do lists and work them most days
At first I had a huge long list of “Meta Rules” of what I would do daily, but it got in the way of itself after a couple of days. It was a good exercise and I’m flexibly, not rigidly, mindful of lots of the stuff, like keeping the house tidy and cleaning the kitchen after food preparation, etc. The above list really distills things down to the most important essentials and it’s working for me.
So for diet, it’s very simple and flexible. In general:
- Log and track everything.
- Maintain an average daily caloric deficit ≥ 1.5# loss per week.
- Weigh in every morning (I have the Nokia Body Cardio Wi-Fi Smart Scale that integrates with LoseIt!).
- Target lean protein.
- Trade off carbs for fat, meaning higher carb days are lower fat days and vice versa.
- Keep it simple; not bland and boring, but not all-out fancy either, as I was always accustomed to doing.
The one thing that has absolutely revolutionized my cooking has been the Air Fryer. I had a smaller model but my mom liked it so much I gave it to her and got a new one: GoWISE USA 5.8-Quarts 8-in-1 Electric Air Fryer XL.
I just love everything about it. Since I got the first unit on January 20, other than a few fried eggs or omelets here and there, boiling potatoes, or heating up some frozen vegetables, every single meal has been doing in an Air Fryer. Oh, yea, I did corned beef and cabbage in the Instant Pot.
Perhaps the best thing about it, other than food is really great, is that preparation and cleanup are so effortless. There’s just not ever much mess. Below the exercise section I’ll have some pics and brief recipe procedures for stuff I’ve made lately.
This won’t take long. the basics, same theme of keeping it simple.
- Battle Rope. Just the basics. A few rounds, limited rest between.
- Kettle Bell swings. I’ve got a 15, 25, and 45#. But check out what Keith Norris did, a Ghettobell. You can make whatever weight you want for cheap. I’ll be fabricating one soon.
- Jumprope. Standard stuff, nothing fancy.
- Body weight stuff. Pushups, dips, lunges, squats, and I’ll be fabricating a pull up bar soon, as well.
- I’ve contemplated going back to the gym, but if I do so, it’ll be after having re-built a good foundation with this.
- Three sessions per week.
Injuries suck and I’ve had my share, even one requiring surgery (lumbar herniation), so prudence is key here. Stay in the game.
OTHER LIFESTYLE CHANGES
Just a few things to mention.
- Always have some home maintenance or improvement project in the works to hit in the afternoons during the weekday, or a good dive in on weekends. In the immediate, I have a lot of burning of fallen twigs, branches, and needles to do in order to maintain the required 30′ defensible space around the house up here at 4,200 feet elevation in the forrest. Another one is to build a retaining wall along the driveway for erosion control.
- I’ve been taking face selfies every few days to document the change in appearance from cutting out booze, eating very well, and fat loss from caloric deficit. Already I see a pretty profound difference.
- This will shock some of you, but those who’ve been around 10 years know that I kinda got famous for the no-soap, no-shampoo deal. Well, still no soap on the bod, water is always enough, but with the long hair, it’s just pretty unmanageable, so I’ve been experimenting with Mother Dirt Sulfate Free Shampoo as well as Baebody Moroccan Argan Oil Shampoo for a wash every few days and like it. So I’ll stick with it.
AIR FRYER FOOD PICS AND RECIPES
Ok, here’s the fun and eye candy. Here’s some previous posts:
- Oil-Free Air-Fryer Chicken Wings (Bonus: With Fries)
- Air Fryer Steak Frites
- Perfect Salmon and Asparagus in an Air Fryer
The Very Ubiquitous Chicken Wings
Get 10-12 thawed wings (for the 3.4 quart air fryer), patted dry, tossed in about equal proportions of salt, pepper, paprika, and cayenne (the cayenne is super important—and it only renders a mild spicyness). Of course, you can play with whatever seasonings you like (like onion and/or garlic powder), and you can toss also toss them in a spicy or savory sauce after cooking— and you ought not need much of any sugar or fat. I’ve tossed them in just a few shakes of a standard bottled hot sauce. Take your pick.
Go ahead and pre-heat your air fryer for a few minutes. Then, simply add your seasoned wings at 400F for 11 minutes. Turn them over, then air fry another 11 minutes. Here’s what I do, instead of a sauce, typically: I toss them in dry, grated parmesan as soon as they come out.
Fries or Potato Wedges
You cook them up basically the same.
To make good air fryer fries it’s simple, but preparation ahead of time is best for simplicity and rapidity. First, par boil a bunch of russets. I do five pounds at a time. You can do peeled or with skins. I typically do them peeled.
- Cover the whole potatoes in cold water in a boiling pot.
- Place on the stove, on high.
- Once they come to a boil, remove them from the heat immediately.
- Let them sit for exactly 5 minutes in the hot water.
- Drain the hot water immediately and cover with cold water to stop further cooking.
- Once cool, place them whole in the refrigerator overnight (this forms resistant starch).
- The next day, cut them into fries. I think something between thin and steak fries is the best size.
- Toss them in a big preparation bowl with plenty of salt (I like a little pepper too) and a small amount of oil, like I use no more than a TBS or two for the whole 5 pounds and much of it coats the bowl. I prefer using Sisson’s Primal Kitchen Avocado Oil over EVOO which surprised me. The taste and texture is better.
- Now, pack them flat in a couple of large Ziplock freezer bags (so they don’t freeze all clumped together).
Now, within a few hours, you have low-fat, high resistant-starch fries on demand. Always preheat the air fryer, but you can do the fries right out of the freezer or let your portion thaw for an hour or so. Do them at 400F. If out of the freezer, I do them for 18 minutes. If thawed, 15 minutes. In either case, toss them halfway through cooking.
There’s another way too, that you can use with fully cooked whole boiled or baked potatoes from the fridge. Slice them up, season and lightly coat with oil and cook at 400 for only 8-10 minutes, since they are fully cooked.
Snapper or Any Flaky White Fish
- 4 oz Snapper
- 1/4 cup plain bread crumbs
- 1-2 tsp oil (avocado or EVOO)
- 1 egg, beaten
Pre heat air fryer and while it’s doing that, prep the bread crumbs with a drizzle of oil and make a sort of paste or mash. Dredge the fish in the beaten egg wash and then into the mash. Its sticks nicely. Work it around for a thin, even coating.
Place it in the air fryer basket and cook for 11 min @360. The breading stuck perfectly and it was nice and crunchy.
Along with is 11 1/2 ounces of gold potatoes (with 2 teaspoons of butter, not a jimmy moore 8 ounces). The whole dinner is only 468 kcal.
New York Steak
Well this is the most brainless. There is no easier way to cook a steak. Season it, preferably 40 minutes before cooking. Always preheat the unit. Then 10 minutes at 400. It comes out great, but you can kick it up a notch by getting a hot skillet with 1 pat of butter smoking hot, sear only 30 seconds on each side, then let rest 3-5 minutes. Perfect.
And yep, that’s a baked potato with 2 teaspoons of butter, not 8 ounces in the name of “satiety.”
Yes, potatoes have balls. People who eat lots of potatoes have balls.
This consists of 12.5 oz of russet potatoes made into mash with only 1 TBS of butter and 1/3 1% milk (136 calories, total), seasoned with plenty of salt and pepper. I made them last night, so in the fridge all night to form retrograded Resistant Starch which significantly lowers BG/insulin response (reheating them does even more).
Preheat the air fryer. Make your leftover mash into slightly smaller than golf-ball size, place them in the basket, and cook at 400 for 11 minutes. They were just fantastic. next time, I’ll form them into tater tots.
Boneless and Skinless Chicken Thighs
There’s a bunch of ways you could do these. Some ideas:
- Just plain with seasoning
- From a marinade of your choosing
- Some form of Teriyaki or other Asian sauce
- Some form of sweet or spicy BBQ sauce
In my case, I did a basic “kitchen sink” marinade. Some EVOO, Dijon, soy sauce, Worcestershire, some poultry seasoning, and red wine vinegar. I let it sit in a Ziplock on the counter for 2 hours (overnight in the fridge is better, but i had just come up with the idea). Pre heat the unit and then they go in at 400 for 8 minutes. When it stops, this is the time you coat with any sauce you’re going to do. In my case, I added a couple of TBS of sugar to the marinade, then dropped them back in the bag for a re-coating. Then, they go back in the unit for another 4 minutes. And you’re done.
Very fantastic. Very juicy. And, just so many variations you can do.