Diet Log - October 31, 2008

Day 4 here in Renton, WA. Last night the folks took me out to Bella Napoli, a little italian restaurant in downtown Renton. Great food, but really fattening stuff. Visiting relatives can really put the weight on you.

Losing weight is actually rather easy, it's sticking to the committment that's tough. Getting over the temptation is also tough. I'm still not over it, or else I would have eaten lighter stuff while I've been up here.

Talked to the wife on the phone yesterday, and she said I received a couple packages of sample jerky, but I didn't catch what brands they were.

I've got more work to do on my rental property. Most of it should be finished by today. I'm guessing I'll probably head home this Monday.

Diet Log - October 29, 2008

Day 2 up here in Renton, WA. Spent all day painting the interior of my rental property. This place needs tons of work, but I don't have the money to do all of it. Just going to do the cheap and easy stuff for now.

This morning I stopped at a grocery store, and found several varieties of jerky from Tillamook Country Smoker. I bought their sweet & spicy variety, and it tastes good, but not really all that sweet or spicy. Before I drive back home, I'll remember to buy up a few review samples.

I've been thinking. While I up here, I'm going to make a stop at the Oh Boy! Oberto factory store and check stuff out, they're actually about a 30 minute drive from my rental property.

While I've been up here, my father and step-mother have been treating me to lunch and dinner. Not so much my father because he's going through his cancer treatment stuff, but my step-mother. She loves fine dining and has either cooked up some great dishes, or has been taking me out to great places. I'm going to be putting on lots of pounds.

Diet Log - October 28, 2008

I don't have a weigh-in to report because I don't have a scale with me.

I left home Monday afternoon from my home in Menifee, and drove up to Renton, WA to do some work on my rental property. My dad is normally my property manager up here, but he's undergoing cancer treatment.

I pretty much drove straight through, stopping only for gasoline. I ended up having to pull into a few rest stops to get some 30 minute naps. I found it difficult to keep my eyes open.

Before I got on the road, I stopped at a Big Lots store in Lake Elsinore, and bought a couple bags of jerky. One was an Oh Boy! Oberto turkey teriyaki, and the other was a NASCAR branded beef jerky. The Oberto turkey was not bad, but still rather mediocre. What I liked about it was that it was full of flavor, free of sodium nitrite, and sold for only $3.50 for a 4 ounce bag. That really made it great buy, and could easily become my jerky staple for dieting.

That NASCAR branded jerky another offering from Monogram Meat Snacks, which also makes the Jeff Foxworthy Jerky and the Winchester Jerky. It's also the same exact jerky as those other two brands. It's got a strong natural meat flavor, but is rather salty, and not necessarily good tasting, though not necessarily bad.

About halfway through the trip, I bought a bag of Jack Link's Sweet & Spicy Thai. It had a good taste, but not very sweet. It's only somewhat spicy, and did have a taste that you might find in a Thai restaurant. But it has ZERO natural meat flavors.

I also picked up a bag of Riley's Jerky at a gas station in Yreka, CA. This one was flavored as Jalapeno. It had a decent jalapeno taste, but not hot at all. It was tough to tear apart and chew, and very hard. It was also rather salty. But it still had a great taste, though somewhat light on the natural meat flavors. Of all the jerky I had on the drive up, I enjoyed Riley's the most. I'm going to pick up more bags on the way back and do a detailed review.

Diet Log - October 27, 2008

Weighed in this morning at 187 pounds, up five pounds from Friday.

Like I said in the last report, I'll be having to travel up to Washington State to deal with my rental property. I'm planning to go this afternoon. I probably won't be writing much beef jerky reviews while I'm up there, but I'll see if I can some time in the evenings.

So, on Friday night I took the wife out Buffalo Wild Wings to play some NTN trivia and eat some wings. Then went over to this irish pub where they have live music and dancing. Then finished up with some dessert at a Denny's.

We also attended a friend's birthday party on Saturday, and we won't discuss how much I consumed there.

Sunday, went riding with some friends to Joshua Tree National Park, and did the usual assortment of eating.

That's how I gained five pounds.

SlimBeans - Drink Coffee & Lose Weight?

slimbeans weight loss coffeeThe manufacturer of "SlimBeans" contacted me yesterday about their product. They say its coffee beans that contains some herbs that help you lose weight.

Here's what their website says...

SlimBeans' proprietary blend of all-natural, herbal ingredients helps promote healthy weight loss and optimal body composition. It assists in suppressing appetite, supports healthy blood sugar levels, boosts metabolism, and increases energy and focus.

Whether you enjoy it before work to keep your metabolism revved all day and your mind sharp, before a workout for a fat-burning boost, or just because it's great tasting coffee with added health benefits, you can be sure that SlimBeans is a positive addition to your healthy lifestyle and weight loss efforts.

It's not beef jerky, I know. But since you're probably also here to learn about weight loss, and you could very well be a coffee drinker, I thought I'd pass the message along.

Diet Log - October 24, 2008

Weighed in this morning at 182 pounds. No change from last report.

Went riding yesterday with some friends. At lunch at Ramona Cafe, a little place in Ramona, CA that's apparently known for large portions of food. Had the Spanish Omelette, which came with potatoes and tortillas. I very stuffed. That was all I ate that day, excluding the two beers after the ride.

Got some bad news this morning. The rental property I'm trying to sell ain't gonna sell. The buyers backed out after the appraiser decided it needed a new roof, and the lender backed out also because there's a shack in the backyard that's so rickety that they see it as a liability. And since I don't have the money for the fixes, I gotta figure out how to increase my business income, and what to do with that thing.

I probably have to cut back on riding and dining out some more.

My rental property is near Seattle, WA. I'll likely have to travel up there soon. Probably tear down that shack in the backyard, and do some cleaning up in the house, and look for new renters. Then somehow, come up with the money for a new roof.

Diet Log - October 23, 2008

Weighed in this morning at 182 pounds, up 1 from yesterday.

And yesterday, I met with some friends that I ride motorcycles with for a "bike night", where we ride our bikes to a bar somewhere and hang out all night long. So, I had a few beers, and ate a medium sized pizza. It was a "pulled pork pizza", and was very yummy. I was stuffed.

That was all I ate that day, minus a bag of jerky in the morning.

I also did a two-mile walk in the afternoon.

Today, I'm going riding again, this time to Ramona, for lunch. So, this is my normal non-diet day anyways.

Diet Log - October 22, 2008

Weighed in this morning at 181 pounds, down a couple from yesterday.

Stuck to the beef jerky diet yesterday. No exercise though.

It's supposed to be another beef jerky diet day today, but I've set up a get-together with some of friends of mine this evening. So I'll be indulging in some gluttony tonight. Maybe some exercise today is in order to help mitigate the effects.

Not helping, is my wife spending all day yesterday baking cookies, pies, and other sweet cococtions. I found myself gazing at the oatmeal raisin cookies. She knows that's a particular weakness of mine. I sometimes wonder if she's secretly trying to break my dieting will, or if she's just baking them to do something special for me.

I found myself resisting the urge to eat those cookies. Those cookies were still warm from the oven too. Still, someone is going to have to eat them, I know she won't. Our budget has shrunk down to a smaller level, so I don't tolerate food-waste anymore. I guess I'm in a dilemma.

Diet Log - October 21, 2008

Weighed in this morning at 183 pounds.

The past week was another roller coaster. From my last diet log of 180 pounds, I shot up to as high as 185 pounds. It's SO easy to pack on the pounds.

That Wednesday after the last diet log, I tried to stay on the beef jerky diet, but found myself feeling kinda "jittery", and the thought of Mexican food kept creeping into my mind. If you recall, the wife kept temping me that morning with having lunch at Rodrigo's in Temecula. I finally gave in to the temptation that evening.

The rest of the week was spent either binging on food, or trying to stay true to the beef jerky diet, but giving into the temptation. Honestly, topping out at 185 pounds isn't that bad considering how much I ate.

But yesterday, I was able to keep with the beef jerky diet, and even did some work by mowing the lawn, and pulling weeds. The old habits of wanting to eat whenever I get bored were creeping into my mind, but I was able to shake it off.

Despite all the progress I've made in losing some 40 pounds since the beginning of this year, I still have those demons tempting me to binge. It really isn't about what you eat that helps you lose weight, it's about controlling the desire to eat, exercise. A whole new lifestyle change.

But it's hard to change your lifestyle after you've built up so much around it. My wife, for example, isn't necessarily dieting. She's actually kinda flustered over the fact that we're not going out to eat as often. My wanting to diet isn't making her much happy.

I've tried to accomplish something of a lifestyle change by launching my beef jerky review blog. I made the promise to write detailed reviews and offers links to any company that sent me free samples for review. That forces me to keep up on my end of the deal, and as long as I have jerky in my belly, I'm not eating a greasy bacon-cheese burger.

The beef jerky is more like a tool that keeps your belly satisfied while reduces your fat and carbohydrate intake to a minimum. It also tastes good and pleases your carnal desires to eat meat. Meanwhile, you have to do your diligence in exercising and creating new daily routines to replace the old ones.

Diet Log - October 14, 2008

Weighed in this morning at 180 pounds, down 3 pounds from yesterday.

I stuck to the beef jerky diet. Hey, I even took a two-mile walk with the dogs!

This morning, the wife tempted me by asking me out for lunch at Rodrigo's in Temecula. We have some "buy one get one free" coupons. I really struggled with this question. It's hard to resist their margaritas, chips and salsa, and all that cheesy mexican chow.

Conflicts started raging in head. First, I didn't want to deny my wife when she asks to spend some quality time together. But on the other hand, I'm on a diet! Second, we don't spend a lot of quality time because of my diet; I'm always sitting here eating jerky, or riding motorcycles with my friends. So, I start feeling guilty by saying "no" to her. But on the other hand, we've spent so much quaility time together over the last 20 years, which resulted in me getting up to as high as 240 pounds. I think it's ok that I spend a year or so, doing this beef jerky diet.

And then there's also the finances, we don't have all the money we used to have. These days, we're pinching pennies. But then again, we have those "buy one get one free" coupons. Again, conflicts.

So, she asked me again, and I said, "no, I'm trying to lose some weight". And she simply gave me a "ok" in a melodious tone, and went about her merry way. Sounds like she understands. But I guess that also puts me on notice that I still need to spend more time with her.

Diet Log - October 13, 2008

Weighed in this moring at 183 pounds, up 2 pounds from Saturday.

Saturday morning, if you recall I weighed in at 181 pounds. By Sunday morning I had shot up to 185 pounds. That day the wife and I visited San Diego for the day. We drove the car. We started out in Temecula having tacos for breakfast. When we got to San Diego, we had ice creams in Seaport Village. Then we finished the day with more mexican food in Old Town.

Sunday, I ended up riding my motorcycle all day with a friend. We rode out to Laguna Beach and had lunch at a mexican restaurant (another one). I had this huge carne asada burrito, smothered with cheese and red sauce, which was absolutely nummy. I also threw down a couple of margaritas. And there was chips, salsa, and guacamole too. But that was it for the day, and apparently enough to trim 2 pounds from Saturday.

So, how is that I could stuff myself with more mexican food on Sunday, and still lose two pounds? Like I wrote before, I rode my motorcycle all day. I tell you, there's something about it that makes me lose weight.

Today I'm shooting for an all-beef jerky day.

Diet Log - October 11, 2008

Weighed in this morning at 181 pounds, no change from yesterday.

I was supposed to be on the beef jerky diet yesterday, but didn't. I was scheduled to help this guy produce video interviews of candidates for our local school district board. I ended up being the interviewer. So, I was there from 2:30pm to 9:00pm, and he ordered some pizzas. That's what I had.

Today, the wife and I are planning to head down to San Diego for the day. Probably end up eating everything that tastes good but is bad for losing weight. So many good Mexican restaurants there in Old Town, and so many great seafood places on the waterfront.

Been trying to wear those size 34 denim shorts hoping they'd stretch out, but they're still rather snug.

Diet Log - October 10, 2008

Weighed in this morning at 181 pounds, up one pound from yesterday.

Being that it was my non-diet day yesterday, I gorged. Backwoods BBQ serves up some good BBQ. I had the ribs and tri-tip combo, which includes bread, potato salad, and beans. They also put out salted peanuts while you wait, and I had those too. That got me pretty full. Later on, we stopped at a bar and I had a beer.

Later in the evening, the wife and I and some friends hooked up for Happy Hour, and I had a few mojitos, some bread and some seared ahi tuna. They also passed out some free bite-sized pizzas. I had one of those too. When I got home, I was stuffed.

Glad to see that I only gained one pound.

It's supposed to be a beef jerky day today. But later on in the day I'm supposed to help someone produce some video interviews of our local school board. I'll be at their house all evening. So, who knows what will happen.

Diet Log - October 9, 2008

Weighed in this morning at 180 pounds, no change from yesterday.

Started on the beef jerky diet yesterday, but had to abandon it. Ended up eating some left overs in the fridge because they were getting old. A couple of weeks ago, the wife made some roasted chicken with roasted potatoes and carrots. The chicken got finished off a week ago, but the potatoes and carrots were still around, threatening to go bad, so I ate it last evening.

I hate to waste food.

But at least I didn't gain weight.

However, today is my scheduled non-diet day. Going motorcycle riding, again, up to this BBQ joint in Corona. I heard it's pretty good. I wanna suck down some ribs, buttered corn on the cob, steak fries, cole slaw, BBQ beans. I wanna be bad, really bad!

Diet Log - October 8, 2008

Weighed in this morning at 180 pounds, down another pound.

Stuck to the beef jerky diet yesterday.

Ok, at 180 pounds, I tried on those jeans I talked about yesterday, and they seem to fit ok. Maybe just a tad too snug, but they don't necessarily hug my legs and butt and make me look like a refuge from the 80s. But, they're still snug enough that what fat I still have on my sides and gut hang over a little. So, while they'll stretch out if I wear them, I think I'll slim down a few more pounds before making them my daily wear.

BTW, I have several reviews in the queue at my beef jerky review blog. A beef jerky I review today might take a week or more until it publishes on the blog. I might write reviews for 3-4 varieties in one day, but I only publish one review per day. So you can imagine the backlog of reviews I have waiting to be published.

I think what I need to do is start eating jerky that I've already had before, so that I don't have to write reviews on them. If I can eat about 4-6 ounces of "mainstay jerky", and just 2-4 ounces of "review jerky", I can bring that backlog of reviews way down. So what I need is a cheap-jerky that I can eat on my diet days, that has no sodium nitrite, and still tastes good.

Bloody Mary Beef Jerky?

I like to review the keywords report on my traffic stats, just to see what people are typing into Google that got them to this blog.
bloody mary beef jerky
I don't have an article for this search phrase, so someone must have done some serious searching to find it.

BTW, there's actually "bloody mary beef jerky" being sold on

A further search of Google shows that beef jerky and bloody marys are two foods that do get paired up from time to time.

That actually sounds like a good mixture. First, I do love bloody marys. Second, I love beef jerky. Third, I love spicy beef jerky. Fourth, I love spicy tomato juice. If someone can sell Jim Beam Beef Jerky, then they can sell this too.

You know, there isn't a beef jerky company out there that produces tons of limited edition flavors. For example, Jones Soda Co. always produces limited runs of really weird soda, like "Turkey & Gravy" or "Candy Corn". Jelly Belly is also known for off-the-wall jelly bean flavors. But there's no one doing this with beef jerky.

Jack Link's might be the closest, only that they have so many flavors out. I do like their co-branded stuff like A1 Steak Sauce, Louisiana Red Hot, and KC Masterpiece. But why not just get crazy, like "pickle juice", "new england clam chowder", or "mint chocolate"?

And where the heck is "wasabi beef jerky"? Seems like that should have been a no-brainer.

Diet Log - October 7, 2008

Weighed in this morning at 181 pounds. Down 2 pounds from yesterday!

Stuck to the beef jerky diet yesterday, well kinda. Later in the evening I had some left over tomatoes (2) and cucumbers (4 slices). I sprinkled some salt on them, that was it.

181 pounds is my lowest weight ever since going on the diet. So, I'm glad to have charted new territory after all this up-and-down roller coaster stuff. It's another beef jerky day today, so I'm hoping to hit 180 pounds at tomorrow's weigh in.

About a month-and-a-half ago my wife bought me a pair of 34 waist jeans, because she figured I'd get small enough to fit them. At the time they were too tight. So I told her I'd start wearing them once I reach 180 pounds. That might be tomorrow! But I might wait until I get down to around 175, because I don't want to wear them if they still hug my legs; I mean, this ain't the 1980s.

Oh, and speaking of pants that don't fit. Remember that Mayor's Ball I went to on Saturday? We'll I was wearing a 36 waist pants, and it kept sliding down. I was getting embarrassed, I was on the floor dancing with my wife, and I kept having to pull them back up. I could feel my feet stepping on the pant legs. I guess if you're going to be uncomfortable wearing a monkey-outfit, you may as well get pants that are a tad too tight, just so that you don't have to keep yanking them back up all night.

Diet Log - October 6, 2008

Weighed in at 183 pounds this morning. Down one pound.

Saturday and Sunday were not beef jerky diet days. Saturday, went to a "Mayor's Ball" in my hometown. Earlier in that day, I did eat a package of jerky. But at the ball, I had some tri-tip, a chicken breast, potatoes, green beans, salad, and bread. I also had a couple glasses of wine, a couple of mixed drinks, and some M&Ms.

Sunday, did some motorcycle riding with my friends. We had lunch at Carlee's in Borrego Springs. I had a "Macho Man Quesadilla", packed with cheese, ground beef, and black beans, as well as a salad. I had a diet Coke there. Later on we stopped Paradise Corners up in the Santa Rosa mountains, and I had a diet Coke. Then stopped for a beer in Temecula. In the evening, I took the wife out to a Bob's Big Boy in Temecula, and I had a banana split.

Both days I consumed far more fat and carbs than I would do on a beef jerky day. So, I don't know how I lost the one pound.

A friend of mine and I were talking while having that beer in Temecula, he's a programmer. He does a lot website work using a platform called Drupal. I've heard of Drupal, but never looked at it. But after hearing him talk about it at length, I'm going to have to investigate. He's actually really big into salsa (the food, not the dance), and he's launching a salsa site. He can analyze salsa in such great detail, the way I can do with jerky. I told him he could totally get all the salsa manufacturers to send him free samples.

Diet Log - October 4, 2008

Weighed in this morning at 184 pounds.

The past several weeks, I've just been going up and down, and not really coming out with a net loss. The beef jerky diet has largely cancelled out all the other food I've been pigging out on.

On the morning of October 1, I weighed in at 185 pounds, which is what I weighed on September 1. So, for the whole month of September, I had no weight loss. Though I guess I could argue that I also had no weight gain, but then it's not any closer to my goal of 160.

If you've been following my beef jerky review blog you can see I'm still eating the stuff. For the past 30 days I've published a new review everyday. There's something like 145 reviews published there.

What I'll often do is eat 3-4 packages in a single day, with a total daily consumption of about 6-10 ounces. Much of the jerky comes in small 2 ounces packages. Blogger let's me schedule the review into the future, so that I can write them all up in one day, and then future-date them for publishing. That's allowed me to cheat on the diet, because I can devote one day for beef jerky, and then spend the next 2-3 days off the diet.

Interestingly, I'm also receiving a lot of beef sticks for review. I don't really ask for them, because I can't fit it into my beef jerky diet. But then again, I'm thinking if there's a need for a "beef stick review" blog, why not create one? I'm also wondering if I should just review them on my beef jerky blog. I don't know though. I don't think I can lose weight on beef sticks.

Well, today is supposed to be another non-diet day. The wife and I are supposed to attend a Mayor's Ball in my home town. Our town incorporated into a city on October 1. She really wants to go. For me, I just don't like formal affairs.

Is Beef Jerky Good For You?

That's the question I'm seeing a lot in my server logs.

Server logs, or "website statsitics", will capture the search queries people entered into search engines like Google, Yahoo, and MSN, when they click through to your website. So far, several people have searched Googled for something like "is beef jerky good for you", or some other similar phrase, and ended up clicking through to this blog.

All I can say is that it's very difficult to determine if ANY food is good or bad for you. All anyone can do, is eat what they feel like eating, and evaluate their quality of life, and how long they lived.

So, if you ate 10,000 cheeseburgers, and gained 150 pounds, then died at the age of 42 of heart failure, it's reasonable to say that cheeseburgers are bad for you.

But if you ate 10,000 cheeseburgers, and maintained an optimal weight, and are still healthy as an ox at the age of 42, then you might conclude that cheeseburgers are good for you.

Although, you could end up having a heart attack two years later and die, and all bets are off. You'll just never the know the answer until you die.

Recently in the news, a named Don Gorske went on record as having eaten 23,000 Big Macs since 1972. That's an average of 2 Big Macs everyday. He's 54 years old, and apparently is at an optimal weight, and feels perfectly healthy. Health food proponents have longed warned us that we will die an early death if we eat too many Big Macs. I guess 23,000 Big Macs is still not too many.

The truth is that each person is different.

By contrast, what if I asked the question, "Is lettuce good for you?". Not that long ago, there was an e-coli outbreak in lettuce. People died from it. You could argue that lettuce itself is fine, it was the e-coli poisoning that killed people. But not everyone died, and not everyone got sick. Some people can tolerate it better than others. That's my point.

You have to admit that beef itself is fine also. It's the e-coli, and/or whatever ingredients that's gets added to beef, that might pose a risk. But just as well, some people tolerate those ingredients better than others. I guess that guy who ate the 23,000 Big Macs, tolerates cholesterol and sodium a lot better than most.

A lot has been written about sodium nitrite in beef jerky. It's linked to colon cancer and lung disease. But sodium nitrite is also found in bacon, ham, and lunch meats. You've probably consumed far more sodium nitrite through those other foods than you have in beef jerky. And yet you're still alive enough to be reading this article.

What about MSG? I done a lot of reading on that, and I've yet to find conclusive studies showing that MSG poses any additional risk beyond that of plain old salt. There have been a lot of people complaining about a variety of ailments they believe is caused by MSG, but none of them have conducted studies to prove it. I'm not saying that MSG is ok, I'm just saying I have no hard facts to give you.

Eating nothing but jerky can pose some problems. First, it can cause constipation. That's why I limit the diet to four days a week, and spend the other three days getting in some veggies and fiber. Second, it overloads you with sodium. But it depends. That Don Gorske eating 2 Big Macs each day could be consuming more sodium than my beef jerky diet.

It's hard to say. Beef jerky can be good for you, but it can also be bad. But for that matter, ANY food in excessive quantities will pose risks and benefits, and it all varies on your body's tolerances. All I can say is to eat a bunch of jerky, and see if you die.