The Worst Time to Diet

Weighed in this morning at 180 pounds. Up two from yesterday.

Yesterday, I had lunch at PH Woods, a BBQ joint in Moreno Valley. I had a 1/2 burger, fries, and what amounted to two beers. Then stopped by a friend's house, and had another beer.

Later that night, I had the leftover cranberry sauce, tomatoes and cucumbers, and a cupcake. Along with another beer.

So basically, it's not just the Thanksgiving Day dinner that puts on weight, but the long aftermath. I suppose it was also the 1/2 burger and beers that I drank. But we have so many leftovers in the fridge, that I can forsee dieting becoming difficult. Either I have to eat it all, or throw it out. And since we're trying to exist on fewer dollars, looks like I'll be eating it all.

I'm going to have to parse it out in smaller amounts.

Today, I'm heading out on a two-day road trip up to Lake Isabella. Me and a couple other guys are riding our motorcycles up Hwy 395, to a tiny campground called Kennedy Meadows, located in the Sierras, off of Sherman Pass Rd. It's going to get super cold there.

The next day will be spent riding the rest of Sherman Pass Rd, and then exploring some of the other roads around Lake Isabella.

I'm bringing the rest of that one pound bag of jerky from Buffalo Bills called, "Dead Meat - Snafu Spicy". That's basically my dinner. Although, I'm also bringing a package of bacon to roast over the campfire. I also have a six pack of regular Coke.

For those of you following the beef jerky review blog, the next newest review should publish sometime Monday afternoon.

Thanksgiving Day Weight Gain

Weighed in this morning at 178 pounds. Up two from yesterday.

Well, I managed to do well in the weight gain department, that is, mitigating it. I did gorge! Two plate fulls of turkey, stuffing, potatoes, veggies, dinner rolls, cranberries, and gravy. Not to forget, the chips, salsa, crackers, cheese, and deli meats that I ate as snacks before that.

And then heaping slice of pumpkin cheese cake with whipped cream.

And the two beers.

And the two screwdrivers I made.

I had figured I'd probably hit 180 pounds.

If I can end this month at 178 pounds, I'll be happy because that would put me at a net weight loss of 7 pounds for the month.

Thanksgiving Day Dieting

Weighed in this morning at 176 pounds, down another pound.

It's not quite the 175 pounds I had hoped to hit by Thanksgiving, but it's still progress. 176 is the lowest weight since going on this diet. Yesterday, I had 7 ounces of jerky, and 5 cans of Diet Coke.

Today I get to gorge on all the food my wife made. She got up early to make the stuffing and put the bird into the oven.

There's just tons of carbs here for me to eat, with the pies, the cheesecake, the yeast rolls, the stuffing, the potatoes. Since I'm trying to diet, I guess I would try to eat more turkey than anything else. But this stuffing my wife made is actually from her grandmother's recipe, and involves a lot of work. She had to tear apart several loaves of bread, slice up sausage, cut up onions, even work in some oysters, and then mix everything by hand. There's just no way I can avoid eating that after she put so much work into it.

The most I have to be thankful for is that I have a wonderful wife, who has supported me and loved me no matter how fat or skinny I've been. She's one of the few remaining in my generation that still takes Thanksgiving seriously, and spends several days cooking and baking up a feast. She even bought the pumpkins fresh to make the pie and cheesecake; no canned stuff here. In past years, when I suggested going out for dinner on Thanksgiving, she looks at me with an angry face, as if I had just spoken blasphemy.

They say that love means never having an empty stomach. Well on days like these, love means never going on a diet.

Resisting Temptation to Eat

Weighed in this morning at 177 pounds, down another pound from yesterday.

Yesterday, I ate 6 ounces of jerky, plus 4 cans of Diet Coke. I didn't do any exercise, but I did mow the lawn if that counts.

All afternoon and evening long, the wife was in the kitchen cooking up food for this Thanksgiving. Mostly pies. She made a pumpkin pie, an apple pie, a pumpkin cheese cake, some cupcakes, and some dinner rolls. I so badly wanted to eat some of it. She even offered me the cupcakes or dinner rolls.

Those dinner rolls are basically the "yeast rolls" that they serve up at a Roadhouse Restaurant. If you could only smell them when they come out of the oven!

But I did a pretty good job of just staying out of the kitchen, and staying in my office, except to mow the lawn.

She also has oatmeal raisin cookies in there too, and those are my favorite cookies. Normally, I would have eaten them all. But I did pretty good to resist temptation.

I don't know if I'm totally in control of my desire to eat, but I'm definitely in more control than I was a few years ago. If anything, that's where my weight loss progress stems from, controlling the desire to eat. The beef jerky is just a low-carb, low-fat, food that helps me lose weight. It's really about training yourself to stick to the diet.

Obviously, the simplest way to lose weight, is to stop eating so much. If we could all do that, then no one would make a million dollars on the next dieting fad. Before I started the beef jerky diet, I actually spent a few years training myself to change habits. It's not as simple as just eating beef jerky. You could certainly replace your other food with beef jerky, and I'm sure you'll lose weight. But it's the discipline of sticking to your diet regimen that the success stems from.

Sodium Free Beef Jerky

Weighed in this morning at 178 pounds, down two from yesterday.

Limited myself to 5.13 ounces of jerky that day. Two cans of Diet Coke was all that I drank. So, I think some of that weight loss was just losing excess water.

I think jerky manufacturers ought to come up sodium free jerky. Looking at my website stats, I see that people continue to search Google for it. As far as I can tell, such a product doesn't exist.

Obviously, meat contains sodium naturally. So I think what people want is "no sodium added" jerky. How would you go about making it? I think by definition, jerky has to have salt, or else it wouldn't cure, and it wouldn't remain shelf-stable. It would have to be sold in the refrigerated section, and eaten immediately.

I'm not a food scientist, so I don't really know how to go about preserving meat.

Sounds like there are people with specific health needs who still want to eat beef jerky. But if you're going to eliminate sodium, then you'll probably have to accept some other chemical or nutrient that threatens your health in some other way. There's give and take in everything.

Stuff like this makes me want to go back through my beef jerky review blog, and re-tag all the articles in terms of sodium levels, like "high sodium", "medium sodium", and "low sodium". I've also thought about "hot", "medium-hot", "medium", etc...

Pigging Out and Losing Weight

Weighed in this morning at 180 pounds. Up one pound from the last weigh in on Friday.

On Saturday morning, I had actually weighed in at 177 pounds. But that afternoon I did some motorcycle riding on a Christmas Toy Run that started in Oceanside and ended at Pauma Casino. I had a few donuts in Oceanside, and then had a roast beef sandwich with Sun Chips, and water. I did have a beer afterwards at Pauma Tavern.

And that evening, the wife and I went to Onami in Escondido, and I pigged out on sushi and sashimi.

Sunday, I weighed in at 179 pounds. Did some more motorcycle riding, this time up to Idyllwild, and had some chili cheese fries and a Diet Coke. Then rode into Hemet to attend a friend's "divorce party". I had a bunless burger, and two bunless hot dogs. But I also had three beers, a regular Coke, and several chips and dips and munchies galore.

Well, I didn't lose weight, despite the title of this article. But I'm happy I didn't gain more weight. I now have today, Tuesday, and Wednesday to drop down to 175. Thursday is of course, Thanksgiving and my wife is cooking up the traditional spread. Why 175? I don't know, just sounds like I need to be there so that pigging out on Thursday won't be put me back up to 180 again.

Too Much Liquids

Weighed in this morning at 179 pounds.

The past few days since the last blog post has been up and down. But I think I figured out part of my problem in tracking my weight, liquids.

On days when I gain 3-4 pounds, it's because I drank a lot of liquids the day before, and still have a lot left in me. On days when I drop 3-4 pounds, it's because I didn't drink enough.

So yesterday, I had four full sized cups of Diet Coke in the afternoon. That probably amounted to 8 cans. But by around 5:00pm, I stopped drinking liquids, and didn't drink anything else up until this morning's weigh in. Throughout that evening I continued to pee and pee, and then had another long pee when I got out of bed this morning. I actually dropped a pound from the last blog post.

Water loss is not true weight loss, because you're not losing fat. But it does help me understand the role of water in explaining the strange gains and losses in weight.

But specifically with the beef jerky diet, you do need lots of liquids to help flush the sodium out. So, I think I'll continue drinking lots.

Losing Weight Via Dehydration

Weighed in this morning at 180 pounds, down 4 pounds from yesterday.

I ended up tossing out my beef jerky diet day yesterday. I started out with some smoked elk, but just before I started eating it, my wife presents me with a couple of burritos she made. Since she already made them, I couldn't refuse, and of course I couldn't refuse because she made them for me.

So I poured a heaping helping of Cholula sauce and devoured them, and washed it down with a diet coke. I had to let that smoked elk sit for an hour afterwards, just to get the aftertaste of diet coke and Cholula sauce out of my mouth.

Aside from that I didn't eat anything else, nor did I exercise.

So, how in the heck did I lose four pounds yesterday? The best I can figure is that I limited my liquid intake. I think the reason why I gained the six pounds over Saturday and Sunday is because I loaded up on liquids, drinking plenty of diet Cokes, beers, margaritas, and even a tall can of Arizona Iced Tea. So I think yesterday, I limited my liquid intake to such a degree that I dehydrated myself to where I could drop more pounds.

So I think all I gained from Saturday, Sunday, and even yesterday, was actually two pounds in fat.

How To Ruin a Diet

Weighed in this morning at 184 pounds, up 6 pounds from last Friday.

The best way to ruin a diet is to eat lots of mexican food. Saturday, I had a "Macho Man Quesadilla" at Carlee's Cafe in Borrego Springs, and then on Sunday I had carnitas at La Cocina in Temecula. I also had two margaritas that Sunday.

But late on Sunday evening I also ate a pint of ice cream.

The carnitas and two margaritas at La Cocina were particularly appetizing! First, they threw in two whole roasted jalapeno peppers. I sliced them up and tossed them into the meat. I added added gobs of guacamole. For whatever reason, the two ice-cold margaritas tasted so much better when washing the carnitas down.

I was saddened to see that I had nearly wiped out all of my weight loss thus far in this month of November. But I did gain some pleasure eating all that food. I suppose that's why we live right? To have pleasure?

Eat Barbecue and Lose Weight

Weighed in this morning at 178 pounds, down a pound from yesterday.

Yesterday was my normal non-diet day. And I stayed true to the concept of "non-diet". I started out with lunch at Backwoods BBQ in Corona, having a few ribs, some slices of tri-tip, chili, cole slaw, and a roll. And while I waited for that food to come out, I snacked on salted peanuts. I was absolutely stuffed.

Later on in the day, I rode to Carlsbad, and hung out at Cafe Elysa with a large cup of mocha, and ate a small piece of strawberry cheesecake. Then in the evening, I stopped at a local tavern in Temecula, and drank down a 16oz beer.

Finally at home, later in the evening, I made myself a cape cod, but using pomegranate/lemon juice instead of cranberry.

I'm not sure how I lost a pound after all that, but maybe I chalk it all up to the mystery of riding a motorcycle. Somehow, it either makes me lose weight, or at least negates any heavy calories I consume.

Funny, when I woke up this morning, I dreaded getting on the scale because I figured I would have gained a few pounds. But I feel a lot better now.

And on an unrelated point, if you've been thinking about buying a beef jerky processing facility, it looks like Ranch Brand Jerky, LLC is for sale.

Back to an All Time Low

Weighed in this morning at 179 pounds, down two pounds from yesterday. That matches my all time lowest weight since going on this diet.

Yesterday, I stuck to the beef jerky diet, but probably consumed my lowest volume of jerky, 4.5 ounces. I had one package at 1.5 ounces, and another at 3.0 ounces.

But the package of 3.0 ounces was this stuff from Riley's Jerky. It's very thick chunks of meat, that's quite hard. It took me probably three hours to eat through it all. You break off a small piece, and suck on it for awhile until it softens up enough to where you chew it. That review will show up in a few more days.

It might be a good diet jerky, because it contains zero salt, that's at least for this original variety anyways. It contains only 0.9 grams of carbs, and 4.5 grams of fat, for the entire package.

I also did a 2 mile walk with the dogs yesterday.

Today is my normal non-diet day. I'm set to go motorcycle riding with some friends to Backwoods BBQ in Corona, and totally destroy my weight loss with some ribs, chicken, beans, corn, bread, coleslaw, and whatever else I can cram down my throat.

Pauma Store & Tavern - Pauma Valley, CA

Weighed in this morning at 181 pounds, down one pound from yesterday. If you read below, I ate a hot dog, chips and salsa. Later on I had a banana split, and in the evening I had a half-pint of fruit sorbet.

Being it was Veterans Day yesterday, and that I gave myself the day off, the wife and I plus some friends rode motorcycles out to Pauma Store, which is soon to be named Pauma Tavern, in Pauma Valley, CA.

Pauma Store is now under new ownership, and the owners there, along with their neighbor, Scotty's Hot Dogs, are trying to market it as a biker bar, or at least they're trying to get the biker community to take notice of it. Rick, the guy who runs Scotty's Hot Dogs, was really nice enough to show me around.

From 2008-11-11 Pauma Tavern


Pauma Store was built in 1860 originally as a military outpost. It's basement was used as a hospital where surgeries were performed. Not too long after, it was converted into a bar, and has been a bar ever since. Somewhere along the way, John Wayne bought it, and operated it as part of his nearby ranch.

Most of us who motorcycles up and down Highway 76 don't even notice it.

For lunch, I ordered their spicy hot, hot dog. Rick also brought out tortilla chips and salsa. He later brought me a sample of his tri-tip, which I found to be really wonderful stuff. Very smoky, and very lean. It's actually pretty good with some of that salsa on it.

If you're a rider also, try stopping there for a bite to eat and a beer. The food prices are really cheap.

You'll find it on Highway 76, in northern San Diego County, about 4.1 miles east of the Pala Casino, and about 1/4 mile west of the Pauma Casino.

Meet The Jerky Dogs

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

Yesterday, I started on the beef jerky diet, but ended up breaking it later in the evening. That evening I got word of some guys I had ridden motorcycles with were hanging out at Cafe Elysa in Carlsbad. So I cruised over there around 7:00pm, and drank a mocha with them. Then I got the munchies really bad and went to Pizza Port just a couple of blocks away, and ate a small jalapeno pizza and two beers.

But I did do a two-mile walk with the dogs yesterday.

And speaking of dogs, here's a photo of them...

beef jerky dogs
Anytime I review a jerky that gets a "dog treats" rating, this is where it ends up, in their bellies. And BTW, tomorrow on Best Beef Jerky I'll have a such a review published.

Max, the black & white dog, is some kind of mix. He's got the body of a miniature pinscher, the head of a chihuahua, and the coloration of a rat terrier. Mia, is the beagle, she's purebred.

While I'm always on a quest to finding the best jerky in the USA, those two are hoping that I'll find the worst.

Keeping the Weight Off

Weighed in this morning at 180 pounds, up one pound over the weekend.

Somehow I was able to keep the weight off (or at least only gain 1 pound), despite pigging out over Saturday and Sunday.

Saturday the wife and I went to an all-you-can-eat Japanese restaurant, and stuffed down as much sashimi and sushi as I could. It wasn't just all fish however, I had some marinated mushrooms, eggplant, teriyaki beef.

Sunday, I started out with two donuts, and then had a full rack of baby back ribs, with macaroni cheese, and beans, and three beers. Later that evening, I downed a pint of ice cream.

I think what helped keep the weight off was exercise. On Friday, I did a 3.7 mile walk with the dogs (I mapped it out on Google). Also on Sunday, I went motorcycle riding with some friends, doing a charity ride to a children's hospital. Most of that time was spent standing and walking through the hospital. I think I burned some energy just doing that.

Finally, I'm starting to wonder about the volume of liquid in my body. On days where I exercise more, I tend to drink more fluids, all the way up until I go to bed. So, I'm wondering if by morning's weigh-in, that saturation is adding an extra pound or two. Whereas on days I do not exercise, or go outside, I tend to drink less, and that leaves me partially dehydrated, making it appear as if I've lost more weight.

Down into the 170s

Weighed in this morning at 179 pounds, down a pound from yesterday.

Limited my consumption to just 6.0 ounces of jerky yesterday, but I didn't necessarily spread it out throughout the day as well as I did the day before. Also, no exercise.

Today, I have four packages of jerky to eat, each of them listed at 1 ounces. So, I'm going to see how well I can spread this around throughout the day, and try to get some walking in as well.

Also, I started wearing my size 34 denim shorts again this morning. They fit a lot better now. When my weight creeped up into the 183-187 range, I stopped wearing them.

Yesterday I wrote about the beef sticks that I still have laying around. Since I'm only eating about 4 ounces of jerky today, I may break open a package of sticks.

Last night was tough. I was watching some television before retiring to bed, and had the channel tuned into ESPN. Seems all the commercials were for food. One was a Carls Jr. breakfast burrito. Another was a hamburger for Ruby Tuesday. Another was a Chunky Soup. Another was a local indian casino and their buffet. I think I'm going to pig out this weekend.

Lost Three Pounds on Jerky

Weighed in this morning at 180 pounds, down three pounds from yesterday. That's my lowest weight ever since going on the diet.

And yesterday all I ate was jerky, about five and a half ounces worth. Read my reviews of Golden Valley Natural - Buffalo Teriyaki, and Wild Joe's Beef Jerky - Natural.

No exercise yesterday. The best I can figure it was eating this jerky all day long by having a little bit here and there spread out across 10-12 hours. I only drank diet Cokes.

I've been wondering about beef sticks, as opposed to beef jerky. Every now and then, a beef jerky company sends me samples of beef sticks in addition to samples of beef jerky. I can't really fit the beef sticks into my diet regimen, since I'm trying to limit it to jerky. If I added the beef sticks, I'd have to redefine the diet as "meat snack diet" as opposed to "beef jerky diet".

I also thought about expanding the beef jerky review blog by including beef sticks. So far, I'm still apprehensive about doing that. Any beef sticks that I've reviewed, I've published on Junk Food Blog, and if you've noticed, I haven't updated that blog very often.

Another thought was to build a separate blog just for beef sticks. That would probably be my first preference. But still, I can't really fit the beef sticks into my diet regimen. But maybe I could recruit someone to write the reviews for me? Maybe I could send that person free beef sticks on a regular basis? But no, I have my doubts that I can trust someone to consistently write beef stick reviews almost everyday.

For me, just writing beef jerky reviews is a lesson in consistency and reliability. As easy as it might sound to others, it eventually becomes rather trying over the long haul. I have to remind myself that I've made a committment to doing this, not just to my media business, but to the jerky manufacturers who sent me samples. I'm also saving myself a lot of money each month, by eating only the samples I've been sent, and not buying groceries from the store. And of course, I'm trying to commit to this weight loss plan. Those are the factors that keeps me going.

The question is, if I recruit someone to write beef stick reviews, will that person have similar factors that keep them writing reviews daily?

Getting Back on Track

This morning I weighed in at 183 pounds.

Even though I got back home yesterday from my week-long stay in Washington State, this morning was my first weigh-in since being back. All that week I feared my weight would balloon into the 190s from dining out and being stuffed full from my parent's cooking.

For all it know, it probably did balloon into the 190s.

But while I was working on my rental property, mainly a bunch of cleaning and painting, I ate only jerky. I'd pick up a bag in the morning, and just take a piece of it as the day went on. That's all I ate during the day, plus some diet Coke. So, a combination of physical work and just one bag of jerky, obviously did well to counter any pounds I was putting on.

But I did break the beef jerky diet in the evening. I simply could not resist the temptation of going out for a steak, or some beers, or denying the great cooking of my father and step-mother.

I kinda knew that any weight gain I put on in the evenings I could work off the next day by doing more physical work and limiting my consumption to just jerky.

As far as the month of October is concerned, I don't really know exactly what my total weight-loss was, since I didn't have a scale available to me on the 31st. But I left for Washington at 187 pounds, and was 183 pounds this morning, so I'm going call it as 185 pounds, just to put it in the middle.

If that's the case, then I had a net weight-loss of zero for the whole month of October. I also started September at 185 as well. So actually, a net of zero for those two months.

Beef Jerky All The Way Home

I left Renton, WA yesterday morning (Monday), but actually headed north into Seattle to make my stop at the Oh Boy! Oberto factory store. Now, I know what you're thinking, why would I be so interested in Oberto jerky? Well, it's mostly curiosity to see what kind of stuff is in there, and also to find material for my beef jerky review blog.


It's located on the corner of Rainier Ave and Massachusetts Ave, right by the I-90 off ramp.

I thought it was cool that they sell hot dogs (served hot off the grill on a bun) made from their own sausages. I didn't buy one though. Instead, I bought several bags of jerky that I've not been able to find anywhere else. I'll be reviewing it over the next month or so. They also sell Oberto t-shirts and toys. I didn't buy any.

But I really need to print up some business cards with my beef jerky review blog on it, because in that store I saw others like me, buying up bags of jerky galore. I'd love to make them regular readers.

I also stopped at a few other stores in the Seattle and Renton areas, just to wander inside and see what unique brands of jerky they sell. I bought up several brands there as well.

And then, I headed for home.

I specifically wanted to stop in Yreka, and pick up more bags of that Riley's Beef Jerky. And I did so. But there, I also found another brand called "Mt Shasta Jerky". I bought the peppered and the original flavor. I ate the peppered while driving, and found it to be really good. It gave off a strong natural meat flavor that tasted almost exactly like the outer portion of prime rib.

Elsewhere along the way, I bought up bags of plain old Oh Boy! Oberto jerky, but just for eating while driving. Most of those gas stations don't sell much else other than Oberto and Jack Link's.

I got home early this morning, and starving. I drove straight though, over 1,200 miles with no rest, taking about 20 hours, and with an aching butt. Naturally, you'd think that I'd hit the sack when I arrived home. Nope. I took the wife out to breakfast at IHOP, and had me an omelette and pancakes.

THEN I drove to my polling station and voted. THEN I went home and took a nap.

Tapas and Beer

Day 6 here in Renton, WA. Last we went to this place called "The Red House" in downtown, and had "tapas and beer". Tapas is a spanish word for appetizers. I was kinda perplexed how my father shifted from using the word "munchies" to "tapas". I told him too much of the neo-liberal culture in Seattle has tainted the blue-collar roots that he grew up with in Renton.

So I had a beer there, and indulged in some of those "tapas", which was basically chipotle deviled eggs, and some pickled jicama. I know, it's not quite the buffalo wings and nachos that I'd typically order in my native Southern California, but then again, Renton ain't that blue-collar town it used to be.

After that, we drove to Stamford's, a higher-class Americana restaurant in nearby Tukwila. I had a rib-eye steak, which came with a loaded potato and asparagus. The steak was awesome. I also threw down a bloody mary, and had the "bag of donuts" for dessert, which consisted of square-shaped donuts, with powdered sugar and cinnamon, with a cup of dipping chocolate. That too, was very delish.

Side Note: I think I'm going to stop using the words "Diet Log" in the title of these posts. It's too repetive from day to day and doesn't really tell you anything. I'll still have the "Diet-Logs" label at the bottom of the post.

Diet Log - November 1, 2008

I would normally tell you at the first of the month how much weight I loss for the previous month, but I don't have access to a scale while I'm up here in Washington State, at least not one where I can get naked.

My guess is that I haven't lost much weight in the past five days since I've been up here.

But I'm doing better the past couple of days in controlling my urges to eat. I've managed to stick to a bag of jerky each of the two days all day long as I worked on my rental property. Though, in evenings my folks tend to spoil me with food galore.

Right now, I just finished up another day of cleaning and painting and my feet are tired.

A fresh coat of paint will make any house look ten times better. I did a lot of cleaning too, the floors, the bathroom, the kitchen, and the refrigerator. Installed new locks, put in new carpet. My previous renters had been in there for 22 years; there was a lot of "muck" to clean up. I hope I don't have to repeat this everytime renters move out, at least not to this degree.

Tonight, we're supposed to head out to this mexican joint in town for drinks and appetizers. I'm really hungry.