Posted by: cassymuronaka | June 24, 2009

Transformers III: The Diet

Laughing Cow

I once knew a man who lost more than 60 pounds on a regimen of canned tuna and Diet Pepsi. By the end of a season of bouncing through an exercise routine channeled through Prince songs, he was trim and buff. I briefly dated him until I could no longer listen to “Little Red Corvette” five times an hour while we rode in his own little black Corvette and he whined about how expensive David Bowie concert tickets were costing these days.

I’ve been thinking a lot about diets lately. Unlike like my former beau, I think I’m setting an unrealistic goal if I aim for “ripped.” Just being able to push myself up from the floor without falling over like Tweedledee probably will work just fine for me.

The stars seem to be aligning for a big shape-up. Father’s Day, the Summer Solstice, and “National Get Naked Day” arrived bundled last Sunday. “June Gloom” abruptly vanished the following Monday morning, replaced by a sun that will only continue to blaze more brightly through October on this end of the San Gabriel Valley.

The question remains as to how to go about dropping the weight. I have done Weight Watchers and there are just far too many pom-poms and team chants for me. Many well-published diet plans, such as South Beach or Atkins, require so much shop and prep time that you might as well just throw your hard-earned salary out the window and hire a home chef to make everything.

If you are lucky enough to live in an area where supermarkets cater to working stiffs and small families, then you are able to purchase a variety of pre-cut fresh vegetables and meat in small portions, or raid a sizeable salad bar, all of which helps in menu planning.

However, if your local market considers a Ziplock bag of carrots and celery sticks a giant leap in saving time for the home cook, then it’s best to focus on a short list of low-cal dishes that will help you achieve your physical transformation. These should be dishes that you can eat endlessly without wanting to throw a plate against the wall halfway into your diet.

The tomatoes are starting to ripen in my backyard and I am stumbling over English cucumbers, the vines of which are spreading out over my backyard like something out of an “Alien” movie, so I see a lot of Gazpacho in my future.

And, if I can keep the rice content lower than usual, I can whip out the bamboo mat and start slapping together some tekkpa and kappa sushi rolls. My sushi might not look like it was produced by an Iron Chef, but it satisfies the stomach and the wallet.

Balancing out the protein and fruit portion of this summer’s new eating plan may be a Fuji apple and Laughing Cow Light cheese snack, a surprisingly refreshing and tasty combination offered to me during a peak food sampling time at the local Costco. It’s not quite Fromage Blanc, but Laughing Cow Light also does not contain the cholesterol level of a French cheese capable of clogging the arteries of an elephant.

I haven’t figured out what to do about the summer night munchies yet, but I am toying with the idea of Crystal Light popsicles.



  1. I can vouch for the effects of the canned tuna and Diet Pepsi diet on that guy. He was pretty single minded about everything in his life.

  2. Cassy, Just wait a few months before you go trying the diet thing again. Tim Ferris (author of “The 4 Hour Workweek”) is writing another book. This one’s tentatively titled “From Rapid Fat Loss to Strongmen: A Guide to Becoming Superhuman”. Yeah, slightly ambitious title…

    Tim’s forte is finding the best shortcut to his goal. He’s a professional ‘life hacker’. I think that he challenges more assumptions before breakfast than most people do all year. Because of his success and fanatical networking he can (and does) approach top people in almost any field and pick their brains.

    So for now just eat in moderation and exercise. And then pay attention to what Tim suggests for losing weight when his book comes out. I’ll make sure you get the best bits served to you via email.

  3. My god, you did gorgeous things with the Lalique. It almost has me sending mine to you! Almost…

    I had great fun reading everything. Once I started, I just couldn’t stop.

    • Thanks Amy!

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