It is no secret to the readers on this blog that I love to eat. I love good food. I love bad (for me) food. In general I eat too much of it and don’t do enough things to burn those excess calories off, so I have carried lots of extra weight my entire life. In fact, at my highest, I could have lost 100 pounds and still weigh more than I should. So, as I often find myself doing, I decided to lose weight.
When I really decide to lose weight, I usually do a good job at it. If I make the decision and am ready for it, I can lose and lose. Eventually, though, I stop exercising as much and start eating more and months and years later I am back where I was. I’ve done it before, and will likely do it again.
In mid to late April, I decided it was time again. I committed that I would start walking again (and quickly got up to 5 miles a day) and was going to eat less and better. Gone were the breakfast sandwiches. In their place was 1 container of 100 calorie Greek Yogurt and 1 hard-boiled egg. Lunch previously was often a burger or slices of pizza. Now, a salad (with a little red wine vinegar for dressing), some low-calorie soup (mainly broth and vegetables) or just some vegetables and black bean humus. Snacks were eliminated or became a single mini baby bell lite (50 calories), all the dill pickles I wanted (virtually no calories) or cut up veggies. My dinners generally were sensible but most of the excess carbs were eliminated. I even strived to eliminate any artificial sweeteners.
I looked for foods that had high volume (made me feel full) but very low calories. Celery. Cucumbers. Pickles. Broccoli. Cauliflower. Yes cauliflower. Lots and lots of cauliflower.
I ate it raw. I steamed it. I “riced” it and used it as rice. I used it in place of potatoes for a mock potato salad. I even turned it into a pizza crust (see below).
In 25 days, with my exercise and eating more sensible (and less), I was down 28 pounds. Yes, 28. I wasn’t starving. I wasn’t even hungry. I was on the move, drank copious amounts of unsweetened tea and water and eating plenty of radishes, Brussels Sprouts, broccoli and cauliflower. When I felt I needed to be bad, I had a very few cocoa covered almonds (not chocolate, but cocoa so it had the same calories as uncoated almonds).
One Sunday night I felt really bloated. It felt like I had just chugged a 2 liter bottle of root beer and couldn’t burp out the carbonation. That led to pain in my stomach and back, and later to much less fun symptoms. I checked myself into the ER about 4AM and by 5:30AM I was getting a CAT scan. The Physician’s Assistant asked me what I thought it was. I paused and she quickly jumped in with “I know you looked up your symptoms on the internet. Everyone does.” I told her I thought it might be my gall bladder. She said she thought I was right and immediately followed with “have you met our surgeons?”
By 7AM I was admitted and in pre-op around 11. Surgery was sometime after 2PM and by 4PM, I was awake in my room without a gall bladder.
Lots of things led to the downfall of my gall bladder. Let’s check the list:
- History of obesity – Check
- Rapid weight loss – Yup.
- Eating lots of cruciferous veggies – What?!? I thought veggies were good for you! OK. Yes. I was eating cauliflower like it was going out of style. I had Brussels Sprouts the night of my attack. Who woulda thought>>>
My recovery has been really easy and now I can eat all the cauliflower I want!!
This was the lunch I had less than 48 hours before I went to the ER. You won’t mistake the cauliflower for real crust, but it does suffice and it has many fewer carbs!
Cauliflower, cheese, egg and some pizza toppings.
Start by ricing the cauliflower and then steam it.
Mix it with some cheese and an egg and spread it out on a pan (I used a baking stone).
Bake it to firm it up and dry it a bit.
Top it and put it back into the oven.
A great low carb pizza alternative!
You Won’t Believe it’s Cauliflower Pizza Crust
1 cup cooked, riced cauliflower*
1 cup mozzarella cheese
1/2 tsp fennel
1 tsp oregano
2 tsp parsley
**pizza or alfredo sauce
toppings (make sure meats are cooked)
Preheat oven to 450 degrees Farenheit.
Spray a cookie sheet with non-stick spray.
In a medium bowl, combine cauliflower, egg and mozzarella. Press evenly on the pan. Sprinkle evenly with fennel, oregano and parsley.
Bake at 450 degrees for 12-15 minutes (15-20 minutes if you double the recipe).
Remove the pan from the oven. To the crust, add sauce, then toppings and cheese.
Place under a broiler (grill for the Europeans) at high heat just until cheese is melted **.
You can hold it in your hand.