Make it green: I eat, therefore I gain

Eating from the garden

How is it possible for a vegetarian to get fat? Worse: what about a vegan, who eschews all animal products? (Suzie is so confirmed as a vegan that she will neither eat honey nor wear silk. We are against bee and silkworm abuse, it seems).

But: currently populating the garden are four kinds of tomatoes, countless arugula, several types of lettuce, a purple plant I can’t remember, radishes, beets, white radish, mustard. None of these will put on girth, and yet I was 45 pounds overweight. How did this happen?

Simple. When we met 31 years ago, I was trim and fit and a 34-inch waist. Then Suzie started cooking, and her vegan cooking is something to die for, I promise. But it’s not fattening. Suzie is an adherent of Dr. McDougal’s notion that oils of any type are to be eschewed by knowledgeable people.

The real story is simple. I eat breakfast and I eat lunch. At dinner I am not very hungry. She is the opposite, so would prepare a nice supper every night, to which I was explicably drawn by my taste buds. Result? You guessed it. But it’s not like it’s her fault. I am a person of myriad vices and limited self-control. Want a cookie? Why not two? Or ten?

One day I was over at Costco buying salt for the water softener, and noticed how heavy 40 pounds had become. Seriously heavy. And then for some reason I had a mental explosion: the weight of this bag is exactly what I am carrying around on my body all of the time. Forty pounds of salt.

I put a bag of salt in my office, and I put a bag of salt in the kitchen. The latter didn’t last but a few days, as my readers can easily imagine. But one bag was sufficient as a reminder.

Now keep in mind this simple fact about body weight: if you are fat, you are consuming too many calories. All the rest is bunk (assuming you eat healthy food, which I do). And the number of calories required for an adult is easily researched.

So, that being said: If you are fat you have a self-control problem.

It’s true. You are eating too much.

I got an application for the iPhone called LoseIt, which easily allowed me to track caloric intake and record weight drop. Started in early October, I dropped thirty one pounds by mid-november. In ten weeks, about three pounds a week. Painlessly, too.

Why? Because I eat whatever I want, tracking the calories and accounting for them. Making room for that pie at night, for example. And this is an important point, because if you try to diet by eating celery you will fail. This is because after you reach your weight you will go back to your normal food, and guess what will happen? Yep. The pounds come right back.

I’m not depriving myself. My favorite desert is a tablespoon of peanut butter with fresh fruit or craisons. I also allow my self Stacy’s dried pita bread (this is junk food) in the afternoon with my non-alcoholic beer.

My next goal is to drop another 20 pounds, after which I have decided I will cut my hair. Just trying something new.

February flowers

OK, let’s get to work. For February, let’s focus on flowering vines, starting with Clerodendrum, which has been blooming since November and continues to light up my garden with profuse purplish blossoms. This easy to grow vine is not producing much vegetatively now, but in the summer it is very strong, in need of attention as it will eat anything adjacent. Fortunately does not get as woody as many others and so is easy to keep in bounds. And worth it.

Of course this is the month for Flame Vine (Pyrostegia venusta); see the annual show on Goodlette-Frank north of Golden Gate. This plant lights up along the fence. It’s short, though, so have a look; the vine itself has little to recommend it really and is best used obscurely where January flowers would bring interest to a spot not normally viewed.

Cup of Gold (Solandra spp.) continues profuse blooms in my pergola. Flowers are large, 8 inches or so long and proportionately wide, shaped like a bellows. This is a very robust woody vine, well worth the flowers and with distinct charms in the offseason. Be prepared however to keep it trimmed as nearly all limbs become quite woody.

Other worthy mentions this month include the Bengal Creeper (Thunbergia grandiflora), Congea tomentosa (Shower of Orchids), and the incredible Royal Creeper (Oxera pulchella).

Want to know more? Get the latest from my website and blog at www.msadesign.com. Classes start again the week of Feb. 14.

© 2011 marconews.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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