John Mahoney's Asshat to Arhat Files: The Improbable Journey
John Mahoney
John Mahoney
is editor of the Log Cabin Chronicles.

His previous columns are archived HERE.

Posted 01.30.13
Cobden, Ontario


Always ready for lunch


COBDEN, ONTARIO | I do love my daily lunch, despite the identical menu day in, day out.

Same goes for breakfast (see menu link here: breakfast). Dinner is a variable feast but that's another story for another day.

When I began this journey in April 2012 of getting well through eating well -- and exercise and meditation - I first had to learn what people with diabetes, fatty livers, and high blood pressure should not ingest, including alcohol.

The forbidden list was long and oh, so delicious.

No beef, no pork, no cured and salted meats like bacon, ham, salami; no peas, no corn; no pies, no cakes, no puddings, no ice cream, no rich and chewy brownies, and forget the Christmas cookies, Fat Boy.

Anything with a high number on the glycemic list was verboten. Like delicious white rice drenched in butter and french fries, with or without gravy and cheese curds. And wheat bread, slathered or unslathered.

Which left me basically with fish, tofu, and egg whites for protein. Quinoa, oats, kamut, spelt, flax meal, walnuts, sunflower seeds, yams and sweet potatoes proved heathly and tasty. And tomatoes, lettuce (especially Chinese lettuce), cukes, zukes, sweet peppers and cabbage, low-fat cottage cheese and hummus are delicious.

I started with several tools:

  • A finger-pricking One Touch blood glucose machine that my son Dr. Denis procured at his local pharmacy.
  • A tested blood pressure cuff.
  • An accurate digital weight scale, borrowed from my Vet daughter-in-law Dr. Alison Seely.
  • Free registration at MyFitnessPal.com -- an on-line program to daily track what you eat, how much of it, and the caloric/nutritional make-up. It contains a huge database of eats.
  • A commitment to begin this trip back to health and see it through. And Jane's willingness to act as Overseer of the Fat and Unwell.

I planned on losing at least 45 lbs. -- I had already lost 15 lbs. in the previous six months -- so Jane and I worked out a 1000-calorie daily diet on My Fitness Pal, which was recommended to us by our late daughter-in-law Dr. Andrea Fefferman. And eat a clove of raw garlic, which I like, every day. Plus partial tsp of ground cinnamon, ginger, and freshly ground chili powder.

To this day I drink a liter of lemon water -- one lemon per day -- in hope of dissolving at least some of my gallstones.

Was I hungry? Yes. Did I cheat? No. Suck it up and move on...


Badly in need of new clothes. 2XX shirts too large, 42-inch waist pants won't stay up, even tee-shirts and shorts are baggy.

Slowly reintroducing beef and pork into diet in small ways, now eating egg yolks now and then. Have been slowly increasing to about 1600 calories a day.

Fasting blood test showed glucose levels down to "normal."

At Andrea's wake I drank two half-glasses of red wine -- total 5 oz. Since then I've had a half-glass or two every month or so, with dinner.


Eating 1800 calories a day now. Have lost almost 60 lbs. total. Wearing medium' shirts, 35-inch waist pants (down from 42 inches).

Latest blood test results came in yesterday -- glucose levels down again, from last session in the autumn. Doctor's office called this morning with a message to not come back for another test for six months.


Here's what comprises my daily lunch (it has been tweaked from the entry photograph on this page):

  • Bowl of hot homemade gazpacho, with added Tabasco sauce and 1 Tbsp of ground flax seed
  • Thin slice of black pumpernickel bread (100 calories)
  • Tbsp sunflower butter
  • 2 Tbsp Roasted garlic hummus
  • 2 Tbsp Low-fat cottage cheese
  • Protein: Bit of cheese, a hard-boiled egg, a meatball, or small piece of chicken (white meat)
  • Veggies: Cup of assorted cuke slices, mushroom caps, lettuce leaf/stalk, bits of tomato and peppers, celery stalks, Japanese radish or turnips
  • 1/4 cup of frozen, unsweetened blueberries
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened, low-fat Greek yogurt
  • Lemon water
Total: Approximately 710 calories

You know that old song "Ain't misbehavin'" -- well, that's me, baby.


[To be continued]