keto: LCHF diet (part 1)

i am now two weeks into the ketogenic diet (keto), the high-fat, medium-protein, low-carbohydrate (LCHF) diet. 

doing keto primarily for weight loss, but underneath that, to regain my physical fitness.  my BMI (body mass index) places me in the category of ‘obese’ — not simply ‘overweight’ but ‘OBESE’.  my height – 175 cms: my weight – 235 lbs.  an online BMI calculator does the math, if you are interested to know your BMI.

i’ve heard it before — i couldn’t believe it nor think it possible — to limit daily carbohydrate consumption to (an average of) 20 grams.  that would be equivalent to 1/2 cup of rice (or less) in a day — impossible!  but 2 weeks now into keto, i haven’t touched rice, except for a tablespoon or two one night. 

no bread, no potatoes, no noodles, no ice cream, no sweets, and no potato chips or corn chips.  none: total abstinence.  rice, for a filipino like me, is gospel truth — i am now one heretic!

on a macro perspective, your daily food intake must consist of 70% fat, 20% protein, and only 10% carbohydrates.  it isn’t easy to wrap your head around those numbers, especially when number crunching time comes and you try to compute the nutritional information (if available, otherwise consult your online keto references) pertaining to fats, proteins, net carbs… and total calories of all the food you eat in one meal or for the whole day.  not for the faint-hearted!

however, if you are a street rat like me, you’d settle for a wholesale approach to your macros.  consume mostly fats (good fats are best), a little protein, and very minimal carbs.  there’s no stopping me from eating my veggies, but i opt for green leafies and high-fibers with low net carbs (consult your online keto references).

two weeks into the keto diet, here are some general observations i’ve made: 

first few days, the bloating (i always felt bloated) in my belly subsided.  but it wasn’t just my own feeling, my daughter made the observation that my belly no longer appears distended.

i don’t feel hungry and crave for something to eat as i did before — any time of the day.  whenever i got hungry (before) i would pop two to three slices of bread in the oven toaster and smother them with butter, to satisfy the craving; or dig in a bag of corn chips late at night doing work on my computer terminal.  now, i just drink water, bulletproof coffee (black coffee w/1 tbsp butter), or bulletproof turmeric milk (in my case, it’s 1 cup diluted coconut cream w/1 tsp turmeric powder).

not eating carbs (observing the carb limit strictly) did not make me feel weak.  i have a good level of energy.  on my 2nd week, i resumed my afternoon jog.  going into my third week (presently) i started doing planks and core strengthening exercises.  i follow the 12-16 hour cleansing (nighttime fasting) and 8-12 hour building (daytime eating) cycle.  this means that if my last meal was 8 pm, the next meal will be from 8 am to 12 pm.

last observation, for now — my belt has adjusted one hole tighter and a shirt i couldn’t fit in before, i could fit in now (but my belly still bulges a bit).  but, on a similar practical note, for after the next two weeks, i need to fit into my size 36 pants comfortably (i now wear size 38 pants).

i made myself a promise to have my blood pressure checked, to get a blood test for cholesterol, triglycerides, etc… and (if necessary) another one for ketones.  i also need to undergo a (treadmill) stress test, and see my cardiologist.  didn’t have the guts to do it before i went into keto, but i owe it to myself and my family to have the tests done and see my doctor after 4 weeks or so.

i took a “before” picture when i started on keto and recorded my weight.  i will be taking an “after” picture on the 45th and 90th day.  this will be for proper documentation (part 2).

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‘savory’ chicken sunday

jane and i love eating at ‘savory’ (that’s sah-voo-ree not sei-vo-ree, ha, well at least that’s how jane and i say it) in SM baliwag.  not in the other branches that we’ve eaten at — only this one in SM baliwag.  we’ve eaten at this ‘savory’ branch about a dozen times now in the past couple of years, and we’ve never been disappointed with both the delicious food and the friendly service, unlike in other branches.  and today, we’re having lunch here.

our tastes are very simple, and we don’t order lavish meals when we dine out.  it’s really just a simple pairing of a chicken combo dish (jane’s order) and a plate of miki bihon binondo-style (my order).  and yet, we even share this.

for the combo dishes, a quarter chicken comes with either sweet and sour pork, salt and pepper pork, or salt and pepper squid (which jane often orders,) with turon, and iced tea/four seasons.  at P255- it is very reasonably priced.

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the miki bihon binondo-style here is fantastic!  it has (for its toppings) bits of pork, shrimp, chicken liver, quikiam, and lots of veggies.  also at P255- it is very reasonably priced.

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but today is different.  it’s not just jane and i who’s having lunch at ‘savory’.  jikki, our second daughter, is with us.  she came with us to church (at sovereign grace baptist church in baliwag) this morning.  it’s good we can again come to church together.  we have missed this for a long time.  hopefully, in the coming weeks, our youngest daughter, meg, can also come with us and bring her 1-1/2 yr old son, skyler, to church (he can join other kids in sunday school) with us.

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i would have loved to eat my pancit noodles using a pair of chopsticks, but they don’t have chopsticks at ‘savory’.  but, i still had my fill of their delicious miki bihon binondo-style pancit. 

i am master mian tiao!

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teodorico’s buffet restaurant

nagkaroon nanaman ako ng pagkakataong kumain sa isang eat-all-you-can buffet sa amin, sa plaridel, bulacan, nitong linggo ng gabi, aug.6.  ang lugar: teodorico’s buffet restaurant and events place (na kilala sa pinaikling panglan nya… teodorico’s.)

mura at masarap!  sa halagang P189 na hapunan, sulit na sulit ang pera mo.  kaya nga nasa blog ko eh.  may bias ako sa kung ano ang sulit sa pera ko at masarap.  di naman ako pihikan, anupa’t basta’t may crispy pata, lechong kawali, bagnet, o inihaw na liempo unilimited o unli, pasok ang eat-all-you-can buffet sa kategorya ng “mura at masarap.”

sabi ng anak ko, 6 – 9 pm daw ang oras ng buffet.  kinabahan ako dahil pagdating ng grupo namin sa teodorico’s ng mga 7:30 pm, wala na halos laman ang bandehado ng crispy pata at inihaw na liempo.

“ay wala nang crispy pata!” napabulong ako kay jane (misis ko).
“maglalabas po ako ng bago,” sabi ng isang babaeng serbidor na tila narinig ang sinabi ko, “tatawagin ko po kayo.”

pati serbisyo dito personal… panalo!  dahil kaya kakilala ko ang may-ari… si awel raymundo?  (di ko tiyak kung tama ang “awel”.)  binati ko kasi sya ng saludo pagdating namin.  magkaklase ang mga anak namin nung grade school sa SGS, kaya kami nagkakilala.  at suki ako sa dating mini grocery niya, ang mac-j, sa village namin.

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si awel raymundo, may-ari ng teodorico’s

dali-dali akong tumayo sa upuan ko nang idaan ng babaeng serbidor ang crispy pata sa gilid ko (ang lamesa kasi namin nasa may labasan ng kusina.)

“sir, eto na po yung crispy pata.”

kung di ko lang marahil ikamatay, kukuha ako ng isang pinggan ng crispy pata eh!  pero sa edad kong ito, tikim lang, ayos na!  kumuha na rin ako ng inihaw na liempotikim din!

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katiting na tikim ng crispy pata at inihaw na liempo

eat-all-you-can sa halagang P189!  marami pang ibang putahe na nakahain maliban sa crispy pata at inihaw na liempo.  may vegetable salad (lettuce, pipino, at kamatis), crispy kare-kare (di ko masyadong natikman dahil sa crispy pata), kalderetang baka, ulo ng pink salmon, halaan, laksa, pancit, siopao, siomai, at gyoza, atbp.  may dessert din.  subalit ang isang specialty daw ng teodorico’s ay ang crispy fried chicken!

pag daan ng babaeng serbidor mula sa kusina, na may dalang isang bandehadong bagong lutong crispy chicken, tumigil sya sandali sa lamesa namin at pinaglagay kami ni jane ng tig-isang thigh part sa plato namin.  mmm, crispy na, juicy pa!  at… special delivery pa! 

“sir, iced tea po, libre po yan,” ika ng babaeng serbidor, habang kumakain kami ni jane.

ngayon wala na kong duda na kaya kami binigyan ng isang pistel ng iced tea na libre ay dahil kakilala nga namin ang may-ari, si awel.

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si jane, butihing misis ko

nagpaalam kami at nakipag-daupang-palad kay awel bago kami lumabas ng teodorico’s, patunay na magkakilala kaming totoo.  binigyan ko sya ng thumbs up ng dalawang beses, patunay na nasiyahan ako sa pagkain at serbisyo ng restaurant nila.

 

college days comfort food

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back in my college days, whenever i was home and got hungry in the middle of the night, i would look for leftovers in the fridge and mix everything i find all up in fried rice.  i would also fry a couple of eggs sunny-side-up and open a can of hunt’s pork and beans.  i would arrange it all in a plate for a sumptuous midnight snack.  my mother gets awestruck whenever she sees me doing this.

it might sound unusual but hunt’s pork and beans and fried eggs are comfort food to me.

i remember how my mother would prepare my sunny-side-up eggs with rice.  she’d cut up the eggs in the rice (like a bibimbap, but way, way before it became popular here) then mix it all up with sugar.  yes, sugar.  it becomes a sweet, salty, and creamy meal i enjoyed.  i grew up loving it until i forgot everything about it when i became a teenager.  then fairly recently, about 5 years ago, it all came rushing back.  i tried it again (after more than 40 years) with 3 eggs and a cup of rice, plus 2 tablespoons sugar.  wow!  that was good!  been doing it since.

i miss the old version of hunt’s pork and beans.  the joke going around why it’s called PORK (singular) and beans is because there is literally only one piece of pork fat you’ll find swimming somewhere above the mass of beans and sauce after you pour it on a bowl.  but taking in that melt-in-your-mouth piece of fat is the most satisfying thing about eating hunt’s pork and beans.  the new version is disgusting.  the company replaced the single piece of pork fat with multiple pieces of what-they-made-to-appear-as-meat-but-in-fact-looks-like-mouse-droppings-or-pigeon-pellets in an effort to have ‘more meat’ in the can.  epic fail!  so, hunt’s pork and beans has become less enjoyable as a result, but still nonetheless, my “go to” comfort food.

i cook for my family.  recently i went crazy over steak, always dreaming about cooking steak.  i used to be crazy over pork belly, crispy pata, and pata tim.  and pizza!  but once in a blue moon, i feel too lazy to cook.  today is one such day.

time for some college days comfort food.

 

father’s day porterhouse

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sira na naman ang diet.  pero di bale, babawi na lang.  eh pano ba naman natuto akong magluto ng steak.

dati-rati di ako marunong… eh natuto.  di rin naman kasi ako mahilig kumain ng baka.

di ako mahilig kumain ng laman ng baka.  mahilig ako sa litid at taba, kaya ang pinakamadalas na binibili kong parte ng baka, tuhod o bulalo (na walang laman), dahil bukod sa marami itong litid (may utak pa), ito rin ay mas murang tabas ng baka.

bistek (beef steak) na sirloin na ang pinaka-steak na naluto ko, pero kahit dito pumapalya pa rin sa pagpapanatiling malambot ng karne sa paraan ng pagluto.

eh, nasanay ako sa matigas at makunat na laman ng baka nung mga bata pa kami ng mga kapatid ko.  masarap ang lasa ng pritong baka.  pero dahil di naman inaral ni ‘inday’ (tawag namin sa katulong namin na galing mindanao) pano lutuin ang baka na di titigas, eh ayun… bakang lumalaban sa kagat na parang gulong!

pero itong bagong tuklas kong porterhouse, kakaiba at (sa ngayon) bukod-tangi.  pangalawang beses ko na magluto ng porterhouse steak — tagumpay pareho!  yung una, one week ago.  yung ikalawa ginawa ko nitong nakaraang father’s day, june 18.

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unang subok ng porterhouse steak

gustong-gusto ng mga anak ko at mga kaibigan nila… at lalo na ni jane.  eh si jane pa naman ayaw ng makunat na karne.  subalit hindi sya nabigo sa porterhouse steak, dahil sa lambot at linamnam ng karne.  ako man, di bigo, alalaong baga’y tuwang-tuwa at di makatulog sa bagong-aning tagumpay.

ginawan ko pa ng gravy kaya lalong natuwa ang mga nagsikain.  mas marami kasi silang nakaing kanin!  nung unang subok ko ng porterhouse steak, di ako nakagawa ng gravy.  di sila masyadong nakakain ng kanin, mashed potato lang daw.  subalit nitong nakaraan, dahil may gravy, eh… unli rice!  buti na lang nasa bahay kami, dahil may mambabatas na walang-utak na ipinagbawal ang unli rice sa mga kainan.

eh, bukod dito sa porterhouse, may isang damakmak na lamang-dagat (seafoods) pa.  nagdala si dea ng mga sipit ng alimango, hipon, at tahong.  kaya’t puno ang plato!

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hipon, mashed potato, sliced porterhouse, coleslaw, at sipit ng alimango

sa susunod na pagkakataon, itataas ko ang antas ng pagluluto ng steak.  susubukan ko naman ang tomahawk!

my science project: stove-top porterhouse steak

this is the first time for me to cook a steak.  well, not really the first time if i count ‘bistek’ (filipino beef steak) as steak.  but a steak that is a porterhouse — it is my first time.

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i did some research… ended up with the porterhouse.

there were only three cuts of steak available at our local meat shop, Fresh Options: eye round, t-bone, and porterhouse.  i’ve read that the eye round was the most lean and less tasty of the three.  although it was cheaper in comparison to the two, ‘most lean and less tasty’ won’t cut it (pun not intended).  porterhouse, according to what i’ve read was the better choice against t-bone, because of more tenderloin.

i’ve tried (eaten, not cooked) a tomahawk ribeye before.  my first time to eat real steak.  (never been a fan of steak… until now!)  but my science project is a far cry from it.

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i followed the recommendation of the recipe not to set my flame to high but only to medium-high, since i only had a 3/4-inch slab.  not thick enough for a high flame (according to experts) because the steak might dry up inside.  but setting my flame on medium-high for the recommended 2 minutes did not brown the steak well enough to a good crust.  noted: next time i will ask for a 2-inch thick cut.

but anyway, the meat was tender to the bite!  this was a major concern because i have never bought steak before, never yet at Fresh Options, and jane (my wife) doesn’t enjoy tough meat.  i deliberately asked the sales dude if their beef was tender.  he assured me that it was tender because (he said) they sell australian beef.  ratchet up Fresh Options!

i was focused.  i took great care to follow instructions (except for inserting a meat thermometer to check the internal temp of the meat, since i had no meat thermometer; for this, it was a matter of intuition.)  salt the meat an hour before cooking.  pat the meat dry before throwing it into the pan.  do not touch the meat for 2 minutes to develop a good crust.  (start timer.)  add the butter and garlic after the second side has cooked and you’ve turned over the steak.  baste the top of the steak with the butter-garlic oil.  turn the steak over every minute.  (check timer.)  then let the steak rest for 5-10 minutes after cooking, before slicing and serving.  all that to the letter.

“don’t talk to me.”  i was down the rabbit hole.

the verdict: tender and succulent porterhouse steak that is perfect to the bite!

THE RECIPE: (for interested parties.)
for 2 slices, 3/4-inch thick porterhouse steak cut (500 gms)
procedure per slice:
1) heat a thick-bottomed flat frying pan (until water droplets bounce on it)
2) for 3/4 inch cut, use medium-high flame
3) pour olive oil to cover pan bottom and heat for 1 minute
4) place the porterhouse (salted and patted dry) flat on the hot oil and leave for 2 minutes
5) turn porterhouse over and repeat procedure 4) for the other side
6) turn porterhouse over and reduce heat to low
7) add 2 tbsp butter and 2 cloves crushed garlic
8) cook for 1 minute, basting top side of porterhouse with the butter-garlic oil
9) turn porterhouse over and repeat procedure 8) for the other side
10) repeat procedure 8) and 9) one more time
11) remove porterhouse from pan and place on chopping board
12) leave for 5-10 minutes to simmer in its own heat
13) slice and serve
14) top with the butter-garlic oil from the pan

😋😋😋

death-salt & death-pepper

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death, or dying, is how a friend (a university professor) described the experience of wasabi in his mouth.  the aftermath… life from the dead!  a resurrection… of sorts.

what i hear often describing the experience of wasabi in the mouth is that it is “hot” — like chili-pepper-hot.  we have a word for it in tagalog — maanghang.

i don’t describe it as maanghang.  instead, i describe the experience of wasabi in the mouth as an allergic reaction — a strong involuntary repulsion to a potent chemical.

when the wasabi paste touches my upper palate, it sends electrical signals into the nasal cavities, singes up and around my skull, causing my entire head to shiver and quiver for a few seconds.  it takes my breath away — literally!  the aftermath is a teary-eyed sigh of relief from the terrible onslaught.

but, the entire experience is altogether a pleasurable one, albeit, the initial onslaught feels terribly powerful.  this is the reason, i think, my friend (the professor) describes his experience as a death, or as dying… but to live again afterwards.  this is also the reason why i love to repeat the experience over and over again, a few times.

now, the wasabi i am talking about, is not the real deal wasabi that the japanese gourmets use — according to some expert.  it is just an imitation.  so what!  it’s the death-experience that makes even the ‘alternative’ wasabi worth dipping your favourite sushi or sashimi on.

now, this death-salt & death-pepper (photo above) is wasabi-salt & wasabi-pepper — pulverized salt with pulverized wasabi and pulverized pepper with pulverized wasabi, in salt & pepper shakers.  it was given by a friend who just arrived from japan.  i may not be able to read the label, but i know the taste of salt and pepper, even wasabi laced salt & pepper.

i know a little japanese… he owns a ramen noodle house.