Saturday, August 21, 2010

Cabbage Soup Series: Day Seven and Beyond

Day Seven: Brown rice, unsweetened fruit juices and vegetables: Again, stuff, stuff, stuff yourself. Be sure to ear your soup at least once this day.

And on the seventh day, Stephanie gave up. No, that's a lie, but as I dragged my feet into the kitchen, sifted through the Kraft Mac n' Cheese and Bertinelli's tortellini for brown rice, there was nothing more I wanted to do. One. More. Day. 24 hours til culinary freedom. But until then: Brown rice.

Well, I don't know what happened to "diminishing cravings" but I was really in the mood for something sweet. A stir-fry with veggies would be the obvious choice for an easy rice meal, but two days of nothing but meat and veggies, I could use the change of pace. At this point I felt like I had exhausted all my will-power and threw the suggestion of unsweetened juices out the door. I was makin' me some porridge.

Still going with the previous nights "creative" theme (that or just not giving a crap anymore what I was making or if it even tasted remotely good), I experimented with a few different ingredients, included natural sweetener Agave Honey, berries, cinnamon and raisins. I tried to overcook the rice a bit to achieve a more porridge-like texture, but what really resulted was a slightly mushy, vibrantly purple rice. Something was far I don't think Goldie Locks would approve of my concoction.

To add to the texture and over all flavor, I crushed some almonds and created a sort of crust by mixing the nuts with honey. It gave my porridge a satisfying crunch, but it only took me half the bowl to realize what I was eating was in fact very disgusting and I wasn't fooling anyone by telling myself otherwise. I supposed health nuts that are used to just granola and enjoying things like running may enjoy this dish, but as the end of the week approached, I was in no mood to pretend I was one of those people.

But I did it. Seven days of no junk food, no ice cream, no Campbell's Chunky Soup, no chicken pot pies. One week of strict eating, and other than my one or two little (really little, like hardly worth mentioning little) slip ups, I felt really accomplished. Final results: 6.0 lbs. So I didn't loose any inches, not even a dress size, but I gained a sense of self empowerment. How long will this last...

Well its been one month since my Cabbage Soup diet and I really do think it has changed my eating patterns. I crave smaller portions and less often do I opted for the fried foods. I kept the weight off, though I still fluctuate several pounds on any given day. I'll say it again and again, crash diets are not healthy, practical ways to lose weight, but this particular one could be a great way to jump start a more healthy way of living. With this new found will power, maybe I will try the Master Cleanse next....

Oh, and just in case you were wondering what my first meal off the diet was....

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Cabbage Soup Series: Day Six

Day Six: Beef and Vegetables: Eat to your heart's content of beef, chicken or fish and leafy green vegetables. No baked potato. Eat you soup at least once.

After the beef tore through my system like PETA in a fur store, I decided that broiled chicken might be a better option. That and because out of the six steaks I had purchased, my roommate ate four and I still needed to save one. So much for "I have extra, help yourself to one." Ass hole.

Since it was now the weekend, and this diet doesn't take into account and therefore eliminates any kind of social life, I had lots of spare time to get creative in the kitchen: I started by soaking my chicken in a pear cider-based marinade (I would have done with beer but this was the closest thing I had). I added a pinch of this, a dash of that - basically including any spice or herb that was in my kitchen and sounded good for poultry. Oregano? Sure! Thyme? Why not?! Rosemary? By all means! Vanilla extract? Extna.

After soaking for most of the day, I created a rub with the same mix of herbs and spices, added a little of this and that, some wet, some dry, bada bing, bada boom...I'll call it my Crusty Chicken Paste. Looked really disgusting and was hard as hell to spread on a slippery chicken cutlet. Broiled - for the first time on the actual broiling rack which I just learned what it was for, might I add - both sides for about 6 minutes.
For my side, I cooked up some spinach. And by some, I mean an entire box that took up an entire shelf in the fridge. I cooked it down on low heat in a large sauce pan with some olive oil, butter and salt. Popeye was onto something, this has to be one of my favorite ways to consume leafy greens.
Voila: The finished product.

When it was finally time to eat my rations for the day, I was famished. Call me crazy, but I feel like I've heard somewhere to ear small portions throughout the day. Well, this one big meal would have to do. Again, the longevity and healthiness of this experiment really isn't my concern.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Cabbage Soup Series: Day Five

Day Five: Beef and Tomatoes: Ten to twenty ounces of beef and up to six fresh tomatoes. Drink at least 6 to 8 cups of water this day to wash the uric acid from your body. Eat your soup at least once this day. You may eat broiled or baked chicken instead of beef (but absolutely no skin-on chicken). If you prefer, you can substitute broiled fish for the beef one of the beef days (but not both).

Beef. Meat. Fatty tissue. Say it with me….PROOTIIEEN. This meal was so beautiful, so natural, so right, that I can only have pictures describe what a thousand words would take:

No, that is not bacon my beef is wrapped in. Just ignore that, its not important.

To add to the bestiality, I pull all the forks and knives in the dish washer while the beefy mass was in the oven. I had nothing to rip through the flesh other than my God-given hands and teeth. I assumed the Mr. Peepers circa Chris Kattan stance to demolish my meal, and was thankful I was the only one home.
I like my meat rare, but there is a good chance that this was still raw.

As I sat back with my belly full, wiping the bloody juices from my chin, I knew I was in for a rough tomorrow. I slept soundly enough, only to be woken up what can only be described as a hung-over in Vegas kind of stomach pain. I gave up alcohol for the week to feel like this? I downed a glass of much-needed chocolate milk – my ultimate health cure – and accepted the cheat with my head hung low but stomach soothed. But hey, what’s one little bitsy glass of milk when I was down 5.4 lbs!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Cabbage Soup Series: Day Four

Day 4: Bananas and Skim Milk: Eat as many as eight bananas and drink as many glasses of skim milk as you would like on this day, along with your soup.

Part way through writing my initial post for Day 4, where I recapped a day of milk and bananas, short temperament and irritability – yet remarkably no hunger or cravings – I came to a great realization. It wasn’t that I was becoming more and more cantankerous; it’s that all these fruits and veggies and stewed cabbage must be making me smarter! So much, in fact, that everyone around me had become dumber and more annoying! Eureka, its not me! Stupid people are much easier to deal with once you’ve accepted simpletons just can’t comprehend Mensa level thinking. For example:

Me: Thank you for calling E*erest, how can I help you?
Caller: Where you at?
Me: We are located at Baseline and Higley Roads.
Caller: Where’s that?
Me: In Mesa near the Superstition Springs Mall.
Caller: Huh?
Me: Mesa… It’s in the East Valley. Near Chandler-Gilbert.
Caller: snaflblat
Me: I’m sorry?
Caller: Is it close?
Me: Well, that depends on where you are. I am very close.
Caller: I’m on…………….. 48th.
Me: Great! I’m just going to assume you mean Street. Now, does 48th intersect anything.
Caller: No, I said 48th.
Me: Go east.
Caller: Which way is that.
Me: Left.
Caller: Aighht thanks.

The following voicemail was recorded in about a 3 second span:

Caller:HimynameisMarkandIhaveaveryurgentmessageformywifewhohasclasstonight. Pleasetelltheteachertocallmeat##-###,it’stheSuperstitionSpringsToyotacallcenter, press7andaskforCharlieandhe’llgetmeandI’lltellyouthemessageformywife.

Message intended for teacher, which I stuck outside the mailboxes:
ATTN: Unnamed teacher who has an unnamed student married to a Mark. Mark did not leave a very important message. Please call Toyota and speak to Charles for more information.

Student enters lobby: Hi! I have an appointment.
Me: Great if you could please sign in….who is your appointment with?
Student: I don’t remember.
Me: Okay well here is a water bottle while you wait….(check schedule book, name is not there. Check our database, student not there)
Me: Is this your first time in?
Student: Yeah.
Me: Okay we’ll I don’t see you here on my schedule; let me try to find an available representative. Meanwhile here is an iPod with short videos about our programs. (I set student up on iPod, start to call around to see who had an appointment with her.)
Student: This is nifty (referencing iPod)…there’s no videos on root canals.
Me: I’m sorry?
Student: How much is a root canal here?
Me: I….uh…
Student: (stars at me)
Me: Ma’am, are you hear to enroll in E*erest?
Student: Naw I’m just getting a cleaning today. But I’ll need a root canal (proceeds to poke around in her mouth as to show me something).
Me: Uhm. This isn’t a dentist’s office.
Non-student: (getting huffy) Well this is where they told me to go.
Me: I’m……sorry? I believe there is a dental school down the block a bit. That must be it.
Non-student: Can you call them for me?
Me: I’m sorry but I don’t know who they are.
Non-student: The teeth people.
Me: Yes I understand, but I do not know the name of the office or how to get in touch with them.
Non-student: (looks around) What is this? Where am I?

I go back to answering phones and the non-student disappears.

Thank you, Cabbage Soup Diet, for giving me the strength to show up to work every day.

Oh and I ate bananas and drank skim milk all the live-long day. I think I’ll have a competition to see which is faster, paint drying or grass growing, just to add to the day’s blandness.

Day 4 poundage loss: _3 lbs_

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Cabbage Soup Series: Day Three

Day 3: Eat all the Cabbage Soup, fruits and veggies you’d like, but NO baked potato.

Fruits AND Vegetables? Gee it’s like Christmas, I feel so spoiled! Thank goodness the desk goodies are back – I’m stocked full of raisins, dried mango, watermelon and blueberries. Ahhhh, nature’s candy. I have to say, though, I am really starting to become repulsed by water. Eight glasses a day is a bit of a high standard if you ask me.

Today the temptation came in the form of a super-saving deal. A Sam’s Club representative came to work with five layer chocolate cake, pizza, candy and gift cards for joining the Club. Go fuck yourself, Sam’s Club. I bet if Costco were here they would have brought leafy greens. Pounds of it.

I’m not experiencing any sort of hunger pains, but that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t sell my first born for a bowl of Mac n’ Cheese right now. Still, both my morale and demeanor seem unaffected. I thought at the very least the lack of my morning cup of coffee would have me shaking in the fetal position, cradling my throbbing head. However, I did have problems sleeping the night before. After about two hours of pleasant slumber I was awoken either by my own stomach cramps or my partner in dieting/roommate’s (check her veggie blog, yo). Either way we had a few late night passings in the hallway on the way to the restroom.

Once that seemed to settle, I was kept awake the rest of the night with jitters similar to a caffeine buzz. Of course these energy bursts come at 4:30 in the morning when there is nothing else to do but ponder life’s mysteries and dig a philosophical whole so deep you’ll never want to crawl out. Good thing there is watermelon at the end of this tunnel today.

Throughout the day, the vegetarian and I compared notes:

Wow, poor girl! Our hypothesis was that her being a vegetarian, she would have a walk in the park during this ordeal compared to me. Not so the case today (as of early afternoon). So far my only complaint is my extremely dry eyeballs.

But as the day wore on, so did my attitude. Motivation lost. Mind starting to wander. Energy low. Nothing life-hindering, and all symptoms could be attributed to my lack of sleep. More fruit. More soup. MMmmmmm. I treated myself at lunch by adding some crushed red pepper to the day’s rations, a little extra kick I needed. Then something horrible happened, just after lunch. I returned to my desk, rather full of spicy, cabbagey goodness, and time just stopped. My anxiousness and irritability heightened. My extremely strenuous job as a Director of First Impressions (ahem, receptionist) began to suffer as I answered the phones with “Thank you for calling Everest College, now what the fuck do you want?!??”

Socializing on my lunch break.

I watched as the hand on the wall clock went from barely moving forward to actually ticking backwards. Thoughts – horrible ones – entered my mind…dare I say…cheat? I’m so flippin bored it is only natural all my thoughts would revolve around food. Luckily my ill-intentions are being driven by boredom more than cravings, but dag nabit, that Twizzler Pull n’ Peel looks like an awfully good time. I avert my eyes from that stupid, ugly candy jar that sits on my desk. I hate that stupid, ugly thing. I don’t care if it is for visitors and students of Everest College; it is in my line of sight and therefore must be destroyed.

But I still can’t shake that 2 o’clock feeling. Not even at 4 o’clock (though I supposed 4 o’clock is my 2 o’clock on a 10-8 schedule). So I did it. I wouldn’t call it a cheat, just a lil’ boost. Kind of like steroids in major league baseball…totally acceptable.

I swear I only took half of a half serving.

Moving forward with no regrets, I ended the night with some more fruit crap mixed with vegetable crap and topped with misery.

Total loss at the end of Day 3: 2.2 lbs. Only 7.8 to go (did I just set a goal?), and 4 days to do it.

Cabbage Soup Series: Day Two

Day 2: Vegetables: Eat until you are stuffed with all fresh, raw or cooked vegetables of your choice, along with your soup. Try to eat leafy greens and stay away from dry beans, peas and corn. At dinner, reward yourself with a big baked potato with butter. Do NOT eat fruit today.

Veggie day. This day proved to be more of a challenge as it is much harder to store veggie snacks in your desk drawer than dried fruit. That and the fact that carrots are really the only raw veggies I like. I suppose I could have gotten a bit more creative but the daytime consisted of only one measly bowl of soup on my lunch break and about five water bottles throughout the day. I was surprised to find I wasn’t starving and not p
articularly craving junk food, and just the idea of me being able to resist temptation gave me a buzz.

I did start to experience more mood swings and irritability. Or maybe I just realized its Tuesday and I don’t get a day off from work until Sunday. Either way, I definitely looked forward to my reward that night – BAKED POTATO! I made it a true daily double by baking it twice, using a one pound spud with equal parts butter. My theory is that one can have as much butter as they want this night so the fat is extra slippery a
nd slides right out. After I inhaled all the potato innards, I doused the skin in garlic powder, onions, salt and pepper, and broiled it in a pan with a little olive oil for about ten minutes. Could this possibly pass for a delicious snack?

Giving TGIF skins a run for their money.

Overall my moral at the end of Day 2 is still high, no apparent negative side affects. I heard that the 3rd day is the hump, the toughest to get through and resist temptation. My total loss at the end of Day 2 is : 1.4 lbs

May not be Jenny Craig’s sorta numbers…but it’s a start.

Cabbage Soup Series: Day One

Day 1: Fruit: Eat all of the fruit you want, except bananas. Eat only the soup and fruit. For drinks – unsweetened teas, cranberry juice and water.

(I have to admit, I had half a muffin and iced mocha before I remembered this was Day 1 of the diet. Dangit. Day 1 officially began at 10:30 am.)

Well, I thought it would be a few days before I would have to prove my theory that it is not a mental phenomenon that makes you crave junk foods while on a diet. It’s those damn coworkers. Not more than 30 minutes into work, this was dropped off at my desk:

Pure evil.

Look at all of ‘em. Staring up at me like a box of abandoned puppies. I really hate my coworker. I stayed strong though, and devoured my lunch of assorted dried fruits and fruit salad:

Divine intervention

Other than the doughnuts dangling in front of my face, I didn’t struggle with temptations. I am a very sweet-toothed person and can eat fruit until my heart’s content. I can do this! I have the will power of a Mongolian Monk! Burn fat, buuurnn! Okay maybe I’m getting a little excited that I was able to go eight hours only eating fruit. Baby steps. And even no ill-side effects…yet. But then again, no soup…yet.

I made the soup that evening and needless to say I was more than ready for some sodium intake. It actually was a lot tastier than I expected, so much so that I thought maybe I shouldn’t have included the soup mix, as the original recipe didn’t say when to add it and emphasized the meal’s blandness. My vegetarian counterpart confirmed that her soup was flavorless and it must be the use of chicken bouillon that jazzed mine up. Another win for the meat eaters!

Finished the night off with a steaming pile of cabbage soup and called the day a success.

Wait, don’t forget those dreaded “results”.

Total weight loss after day 1: 0 lbs.

So much for thinking Day 1 a success, but my hopes are still high.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Cabbage Soup Series: Whats Stewing Up

I don’t diet. I cant, I won’t. It is a mental aversion. I am the type of person that when a “diet” is mentioned, my mind goes into instant junk food mode, causing me to consume every carb, starch and sugar within a mile radius. After I smother them in gravy.

I wouldn’t say I am in bad shape – at least I’m not offensive to look at in a bikini, but I’m also not about to strut down a runway anytime soon. Of course I fuss over the 10 lbs of fluctuating weight that probably only I notice. But I’m still young so I can get away with eating a less than well-rounded diet. I’m pleasantly average, what doctors and nutritionist like to call “ideal”. Please, since when is average ideal? C’mon, every girl wants to be bag-of-bones skinny and a whole lot of them will go to any measure to get there. Again, I can’t. I won’t. I don’t know how. Inevitably, the word “diet” will come into play and I’ll be trampling people to get to the front of the line at Lolo’s Chicken and Waffles. And I’ll smother it in gravy.

So why, after proclaiming again and again that I can’t, won’t and don’t know how to diet, would I voluntarily embark on a 7-day, no holds, grab- the-veggies-by the-balls crash diet? It’s not for my health – I highly doubt a meal plan that advises NOT doing more than a week can be healthy. Ohh no, health shmealth. I am doing it as a testament to my willpower, a challenge of self control. And because I’m very, really, super bored. So I welcome you to my blog mini-series: The Cabbage Soup Diet.

Here’s what The Cabbage Soup Diet entails: one week of certain foods paired with unlimited consumption of cabbage soup. It’s a fairly popular diet, or “cleanse”, though I am beginning to suspect that word is thrown out a lot more in the nutrition world than necessary. I shopped around, looked into the “Master Cleanse” (aka the Lemonade and Cayenne pepper diet), but the pricey ingredients - $25 grade D maple syrup? - combined with the fact that there would be no masticating in the process quickly turned me away. Although they may not be my favorite foods, at lease FOOD is a part of The Cabbage Soup Diet.

I will document my experience of each day, hopefully amounting to monumental results. Of course, to calculate the results I must know my start weight so first step is the hardest- onto the scale.


Well the bad news is that I am at my heaviest this year, but the good news is the new pounds should shed quickly, giving me more dramatic results and making me feel that much more successful and awesome. I hope.

So here it is, the magic concoction:


  • Olive oil
  • 6 large green onions
  • 2 green peppers
  • 1 large can diced tomatoes
  • 3 carrots
  • 8 oz container of mushrooms
  • 1 bunch of celery
  • ½ head of cabbage
  • 1 package onion soup mix
  • 1 teaspoon chicken bouillon
  • 48 oz of V8 juice
  • 8 cups water
  • Dash of pepper, few shakes of garlic salt
Where are the Pot Pies?


  • Slice green onions, sauté in deep pot with a TBS olive oil
  • Deseed and chop the green peppers and add to pot
  • Remove the outer layers of the cabbage, chop and add to pot
  • Clean carrots, chop and add to pot
  • Slice mushrooms (if needed), add to pot
  • Chop celery and add to pot
  • Add chicken bouillon and soup mix
  • Add water, V8 juice, and canned tomatoes
  • Cover and put on low heat, allowing it to cook for about two hours

Now this is something I might eat.

This recipe was originally pulled from here, however this version leaves out a few steps and provides some different options. The above is exactly how I made it.

Then the last and probably most important ingredient is a friend (aww). Really though, support systems are crucial to success in diets, even if they are only ridiculous week long crash diets. You can visit my friend Denise's eerily similar account of the exact same experience on her blog.

Bon Appetite!