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Day 4 of the Foodscape Challenge

With the closing of Day 4, I am proud to say I am feeling good. This morning I am down to 204 lbs which is now 8lbs less than when I started. I contribute this to 2 things:

1. less caloric intake

2. less fat

3. BONUS THING - no alcohol

The first one is obvious. Compared to my normal meals where I indulge on whatever is around, I am limiting calories in order to help make food last. Additionally, all my meals have been very lean. Besides maybe oils used in stir fry or salad dressing, there has not been a lot of fat in my diet. Carbs from breads, starches, and grains have been cut out. Besides the low carb content in the peppers, eggs, and leafy vegetables I don't think I've eaten hardly any carbs. All calories from my food has probably gone straight to energy production. Very little is boring stored away. Lastly, without the extra caloric and carb intake of beer my body is relying solely on food and stored reserves for energy.

I had a business appointment this morning to give a future client a design and estimate for a central Florida pollinator garden. Breakfast was quick. 2 bananas and 2 boiled eggs.

Afterwards I had to run to Lowe's to pick up some lumber so that we can finally fix our back deck and dock. Picking out lumber took way longer than I thought. In the store my stomach begged for food. At times I was slightly light headed. It needed something. My brain kept trying to justify any of the fast food or restaurants that would be on the way home. Then I smelled the hot dog stand outside the Lowe's entrance. Ugh. My body was telling me I needed food now.

Around 2-3 in the afternoon I got back home and immediately ate a banana. Something to hold me over. It didn't do much. On the way inside I noticed that two ichiban eggplants were ready to be picked. Finally something other than peppers! I'm not really and expert on cooking eggplant but it grows well in Florida so I have plenty of plants in the foodscape.

I decided to fry it. Many thoughts of how using bread crumbs and flour may be cheating the principle of the diet. But I thought this may be a chance to try something unique. So out came the frying pan, bacon grease, 2 eggs, flour, and bread crumbs. I didn't stop with the eggplants. Why not try some nopal and of course.... some peppers.

This time I boiled the nopal cactus for 20 minutes. There was still a small amount of slime inside. But, this was the least so far. Kind of a win?

All the peppers were cut, seeds removed, and then seared in a skillet with no oil to try and cook any heat out of it.

My only regret is that I wish I hadn't cut everything in to such small pieces. It took forever to batter all the cut pieces. Once they went into the frying pan they cooked in minutes. What a meal this was. Something crunchy other than raw kale! Occasionally I would taste a little heat on a pepper but otherwise they were great fried. The eggplant has the consistency of an onion ring and I enjoyed them those most. The cactus was.... mediocre at best. Good to know that this is another technique to eat them but I still haven't found a way to make them super enjoyable.

Dinner (just a short while later) was a salad with pigeon peas. BORING. But it did it's job. Pigeon peas remain a decent staple that I wish I had more of. For dessert I had 5 blackberries.

Today eggplant was a huge factor in not only a good meal, but in adding variety to my diet which has gotten bland (other than the spicy peppers). I was so grateful that they were ready for harvest. However, I have no more obvious pollinated flowers telling me that more are on the way. I won't be able to count on any more in the near future.

My banana stash has been eaten quickly. The good news is I have more on other trees that could be harvested if necessary. Bananas have been huge in adding sugar and a different consistency to the diet.

Key Takeaways have not changed much:

  • Still missing more fruit in the diet

  • I wish I had more beans/peas

  • Having pumpkin, potatoes, or cassava would have made a huge difference

  • Eggplant further proved that variety goes a long way

  • I still am using daily eggs as a huge crutch to almost every meal

  • More sweet peppers

  • [New] - If I were to depend on the foodscape exclusively for every meal, I would probably lose a good deal of weight, but also need to carefully plan meals for occasions when I am not at home.

See you...........

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