Tag Archives: weight loss

Health Consciousness and a Messy Life

It appears that life just seems to get busier and messier as time passes.  A few weeks ago, my rheumatologist sent me to physical therapy to strengthen my back and to improve my overall posture.  When I was stricken with unbelieveable nerve pain five and one half years ago, I only left the bed when absolutely necessary.  Those necessities also included work that I struggled through while I was jazzed up on Oxycontin and Percocets.  That would barely take the edge off.  At one point I was on methadone.  That had no effect on my pain whatsoever.

My regular doctor drew blood for some tests and she sneaked a cholesterol test in there.  My levels were nearing 400.  Naturally, she said I had to lower my cholesterol or she was going to put me on yet another medication.  This conversation was about six weeks before Christmas and there was no way I was going to put the brakes on my epicurean diet until after the new year.  On January 19, I began monitoring my calorie intake and have been avoiding bad foods (namely donuts).  Since then, I have lost nearly ten pounds and I’m sure my cholesterol levels have improved.  I’m eating around 2000-2200 calories/day, but given my previous diet, I’m guessing that my normal calorie intake was 3500-4000/day.  Five cokes a day, donuts galore, and gravy feasts have been unkind to my waistline, and apparently, my heart.  I now weigh 201.6 pounds and am working to get it down to around 185.  Oh, and the wife wanted me to go gluten free a couple of months to see if it reduces my chronic inflammation due to my ankylosing spondylitis.

Now for the messy (at least for my parents).  A couple of years ago I had to remove my meth addicted sister from my family’s life.  Sometimes it is hard on the kids, but I was never close.  My parents are trying to get her into rehab but she refuses and speaks gibberish.  One thing she often repeats is that she cannot go to rehab because “they” would kill her.  Now, this has come to include my parents.  This delusion may have some merit because some big dude came up to my dad and told him to leave town.  Apparently, my sister has gotten herself entangled in some sex ring.  I know she always had problems with drugs, but I had no idea that she was this lost.  My dad came from Michigan to Arkansas for a few weeks to try to get my sister into rehab, and the most disturbing story I heard so far was that my dad was staying the night at my sister’s apartment when she and her boyfriend engaged in some manner of sexual deviancy in the kitchen.  Naturally, my dad had to find another place to stay.  I agree that was the best move because if that insanity is occuring in front of him, it is natural to assume that he was next.  To say the least, had he been raped, it would have ruined his trip.  I’m hoping that my parents will be able to stop that derailed train.

Somehow, in light of this nightmare, it seems that my constant pain is insignificant in comparison.

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Coffee Infused Steelhead Trout

I’ll have to admit that I have not been eating healthy due to the holidays.  Face it, that is the time of year we are supposed to behave as if we were garbage disposals, consuming everything from roast turkey to whole pies.  I’m surprised because I have actually lost some weight, but my cholesterol numbers are so horrific that my doctor has resorted to threats.

I have always liked fish, but I rarely eat it.  I have a number of reasons.  First, beef beats fish.  It’s like rock crushes scissors.  No contest.  Second, my kids are picky eaters.  I’m the chef and they have vastly broadened their culinary horizons over the years, but fish happens to be their last bastion.  Well, except for our five year old, Maddie.  She is the most adventurous of the bunch. Strangely, green bean casserole happens to be her favorite dish and she is addicted to sardines.  I also had my sardine fetish when I was her age.  The reason I don’t eat sardines with as much voracity as I had in my youth is because my wife insists that I eat sardines outside.  That doesn’t always happen.  I have been known to eat sardine sandwiches in bed while she slept next to me.

Okay, my reasons aren’t as numerous as I expected.  Nevertheless, I have to actively work to incorporate tastiness in my kids’ lives.  If it weren’t for me, I’m sure they would eat nothing but mechanically separated chicken nuggets.  Blech.

I was feeling lazy when I made this dish, so I looked back on how I prepared the fish previously.  I developed a nice rub for blackening, but I couldn’t decide if I wanted to trim my rosemary bush and simply sear the fish.  I had blackberries that I wanted to incorporate and didn’t think they would go well with the rosemary, so I decided to blacken this finned delight.  I stuck with my blackening rub with a couple of changes, and I think it went well.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 – 2 pounds steelhead trout fillets (scaled and be sure to remove any remaining bones)

extra virgin olive oil to coat the fish

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon ground thyme

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon mustard powder

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon white pepper

3/4 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 teaspoon lemon peel

1/4 teaspoon dried basil

2 teaspoons light brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon chile powder

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1 single serve packet Starbucks instant coffee (next time I think I will use two coffee packets)

Method:

Coffee infused steelhead trout with roasted carrots, black rice pilaf prepared with clam juice, and a delicious blackberry sauce.
Coffee infused steelhead trout with roasted carrots, black rice pilaf prepared with clam juice, and a delicious blackberry sauce.

Combine dry ingredients.

Coat fish fillets liberally with EVOO.  Apply rub liberally and allow to rest on butcher paper at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Heat cast iron skillet.  Once heated, add fillets flesh-side down and sear for three minutes (you may need to cook the fillets in a couple of batches).  After three minutes, carefully turn and sear skin side for three minutes.  When it is searing, don’t get impatient and fiddle with the fillets.  You’ll end up with tore up fish.  You’d be just as well eating a can of tuna if you do that.

That’s it.  The fish is done.  The actually cooking part of the fish is the last thing you want to do as it cooks so quickly.

This fish goes great with roasted carrots and black rice.  If you really want to dazzle your spouse with culinary delights, make a nice blackberry sauce.  Delicious.