Friday, September 30, 2011

Can a high fat diet fix my lingering hiker hunger?

I have been running on my lunch breaks at work during the week. It's been good exercise. I think I may have lost a little weight. At least it seems like the luv handles are less unsightly. I usually run down to the lagoon, make two laps around the "island" then complete the loop around the lagoon. The other run I do is out to Patterson Ave. on the bike path. I take the dirt path next to the bike path. A few times now I've taken off my shoes and run barefoot because a large portion of the dirt path is really soft dirt that feels wonderful under your feet. A few times I've run barefoot on the beach, too, but the tar and the tide really puts a damper on the beach running.

The running has made me very hungry. I want to lose weight but when the hunger starts up it's like I'm on the PCT again and I feel very desperate. That hunger and the desperate feeling that comes with it was one thing I really did not like about the PCT.

I came across a video from a Swedish doctor advocating a low carbohydrate, high fat diet. He says it cures his patients of obesity and diabetes. He eats it himself. The dinners he eats didn't look really all that outlandish. I did a low carb diet one and lost a lot of weight. But I did it as a vegetarian, basically eating mountains of stir-fried veggies for breakfast and lunch and salad bar at Carl's Jr. for dinner. The Swedish doctor said eating his way would calm your hunger. I decided I would try it. Calming my hunger has been the biggest re-entry challenge after my PCT hikes.

I have not been perfect on eating this way, but today I noticed that the thought of eating one more high fat meal was quite unappealing. Yet I wasn't hungry anyway so it didn't matter. Hopefully this will work for me.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Saw the dentist today after 15 years without

I went to the dentist today. I hadn't been to a dentist in about 15 years. I broke my tooth the other day so I couldn't really put it off.

I have dental insurance from two different insurances. Only one of them covered this dentist. The amount that the insurance contributed was so little as to be not worth the money spent over the years for the insurance. I have decided that it makes more sense to get basic HMO dental insurance and use it only for teeth cleanings and then pay cash to see an expert dentist. I wouldn't bother with any dental insurance at all except that it is mandatory.

The dentist I went to seemed like an expert. After having so much bad dentistry in the past, I hadn't gone to the dentist for 15 years. Those bad dentists made me choke on bleach, gave me crowns that trapped food between my teeth, caused additional decay and fell off. They gave me incomplete root canals. They were painful and they took a long time to do the work. Meanwhile, dental technology and techniques have improved. You can get crowns and fillings that you can't even see. The dentist I saw today knew what he was doing. There was no pain. He made the crown during the visit. It fits perfectly. I can't even tell it's not my original tooth and he'd never even seen my original tooth.

So that will be my plan. Cheap HMO dental insurance for teeth cleaning and cash paid to an expert dentist for the complicated, expensive stuff.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Endangered species for dinner

They had steelhead trout for sale at the grocery store. Steelhead is an endangered species that lives in local creeks. There are prohibitions posted at trailheads against fishing for them. The ones at the store were farm-raised. I'm sure it was bad to buy it, but I was curious what it tastes like.

According to something I read, Steelhead are the same exact fish as Rainbow trout, with the one difference being that rainbow trout do not spend part of their life in the ocean and steelhead do. I wonder if the farm-raised ones ever spent time in the ocean. Probably not.

The trout was obviously cut from a very large fish. It was pink like salmon but not quite as pink as salmon. It was very thick like salmon. It was delicious. Tasted much like salmon and much like trout. I would choose this if it was on a menu.

I cooked it simply, frying it in a pat of butter with some onions and swiss chard. A one-pan meal.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Lots of hiking this weekend!

On Saturday we hiked up to Dabney Cabin on the Manzana trail. It was a lovely tropical September day with some lightning and thunder at the beginning, warm humidity with cool cloud cover most of the day and warm sun toward the end of the day. The fall colors are starting to show. We hiked fast and hard and everyone seemed happy.

On the way in, there was a hive of yellow jackets on the trail. Half of us got stung, including me. On the way back, I didn't want to get stung again so I hiked in the creek back to the cars rather than take the trail. The creek was shady and pretty and it was really pleasant.

It was a 13 mile hike that I did in my homemade huarache sandals. It is fun to hike in them. I'm getting a good tan on my feet just as the summer is ending.

On Sunday we hiked up to Gaviota Peak. The weather was cold, foggy and wet. We didn't want to stop on the summit for lunch because everyone was wet from the exertion and sweat and the wind was blowing cold wet fog so it was not pleasant. Instead we continued through the overgrown trail and got even wetter as we pushed through brush. Then after a couple more miles, we found a flat spot in the sun and ate there. People were tired of the overgrown trail so half the group took the dirt road back to the cars and the rest of us kept on the trail. We all ended up at the cars at the same time. Everyone seemed to enjoy it.

One guy on the hike told me he had recently lost 95 pounds. His doctor told him he needed to lose weight and get his diabetes under control. Apparently he has achieved it. He was surprised when he called me about the hike that we would be out exercising for 4 or 5 hours. He normally took an hour walk each day. He thought it was super human to exercise for that long. Well, he made it easily, or at least it looked like he did it easily. Hopefully he's learned that exercise, especially something fun like hiking, doesn't need to be rationed, that it is possible to walk 16 hours in a day and wake up feeling fine the next day. That's one of the many things I like about hiking.