SCD Day 1: Eager Beginnings

Yes, that is a picture of my breakfast: 1/2 cup of pinto beans and 2 eggs, both sauteed in a bit of olive oil, and then garnished liberally with a few handfuls of spinach.

For the next 30 days, I”m going to do what Tim Ferris terms “the slow carb” diet . . . but with a twist.  Want to know more about the slow carb diet?  Check out this description written by Lift.

Yesterday, Ray and I watched this talk Ferris gave at Google as we prepared a particularly rich potatoes dauphinois to bring to my parents house for Easter dinner.

One thing that struck me is when Ferris suggests we not rely on will power when trying to change behaviors.  Instead, he says, integrate tracking mechanisms to catalyze the new behavior.

One specific he suggested was the Flash Diet as a pattern interrupt.  So I’ll be taking pictures of everything I eat and posting it to the blog as a sort of journal entry for the next 30 days.  Just wait until the scheduled weekly binge day!

I’m also joining the Lift Diet Challenge: a randomized trial of popular diets.  So today, I signed up via Facebook, filled out a short survey, and completed my first day, which is to eat at least one meal according to the diet protocols.


A Few Notes

  • I weighed myself first thing this morning.  175.8 pounds, and 37.4% body fat.  Yeesh.
  • I’m excited over the different combinations of food I might randomize using the three groups: protein, legume, green vegetable.  I’m also excited to see how I might customize them with things like salsa, herbs, etc.  When I did the Clean Program elimination diet, I loved looking at the things I COULD eat and then using those to build meals.
  • I wish I had time to do a full blood work-up (and other sorts of tests) just so I can see what the results might show after 30 days.
  • I also wish I had a tape measure so I could measure my arms, thighs, waist, etc.  But I can probably pick one up in the next 24 hours or so and do that fairly early on in the diet.  I think the metrics of my body composition that way will more precise (and encouraging) than the traditional weight, fat loss, BMI metrics.
  • I have a lunch and a dinner meeting, so I’m going to bring the rest of the pinto beans tossed with oil, salt, and pepper.  I’m sure I can modify an entree so it meets the requirements of the protocol.  AND I’m allowed to have 2 glasses of red wine, so that means I can still be social.
  • Whether I stick to the diet for the rest of the day or not . . . pictures of lunch and dinner coming!

9 am Update

I revisited supplementation.  When I was doing the Primal Blueprint diet(created by Mark Sisson), I bought the Master Formula supplements.  I had a bunch of them in my desk at work . . . so I moved them into my purse, along with two shake packets (Sun Warrior Warrior Blend) for emergencies.  And I took a packet, along with a glass of hot water.  I definitely do not drink enough water.  I’ve slipped, over the past few years, into a bad cycle I adopted in my twenties: I drink tons of coffee all morning (until 11), then drink nothing (unless I have carbonated water) until 5 or 6 pm, when I start drinking champagne or wine.


No one knew I was on a diet!  We went to a Mexican restaurant, and I ordered the steak salad without the dressing, cheese, grilled corn . . . so just grilled steak (rare), red peppers, avocado, romaine. I asked them to add black beans and bring me olive oil and fresh line.  I also ate my second packet of vitamins, washing them down with sparkling water.

Happy Hour!

I drank 9 oz of red wine.


I got to eat at home after all!  I so treasure our meals together.  When I got home tonight, I sautéed garlic and red onion in olive oil, and then added ground beef (the good stuff) with seasonings: coriander, oregano, red pepper, cayenne . . . Then used that to top greens lightly dressed with olive oil and salt.

To my delight, Ray loved it.  “I’d eat this again,” he said.

Overall, I felt great today.  I drank more water than I normally do, and I had no real cravings for sugar.  I felt clear and relaxed–focused and alert, but not nervous or agitated.


6 Replies to “SCD Day 1: Eager Beginnings”

  1. If you go in for blood work, also get BMI measured. I was relying on my home weight/BMI scales, which, it turns out, was grossly overestimating my BMI. It was about what yours is, and while I weigh more than you do, it’s not that much more (about 179). Reliable BMI measurement turned out to be 26.5.

    I’m intrigued by what you’re doing. Not able to do it right now as Mike needs mass cals currently and this particular diet is too restrictive for me. But being public via blogging, adding photos–those are things I’ve never tried and they seem like great motivators.

    1. Thank you, Robin, both for reading and posting this comment! I hope Mike is doing well; I’m hoping we could schedule some time to hang out and catch up. Perhaps I could schedule it on my cheat day and we could cook something with massive calories in for Mike (I’m so good at cooking massive calorie dishes)!

      I appreciate the insight about BMI– I’ll get that measured too.

      I am really hoping that being public and adding photos will be motivational– Tim Ferris, in his google talk that I mentioned in the first blog entry, said that willpower is essentially useless, and positive reinforcement isn’t as powerful as we think it is. Rather, fear of loss (he has a technical term about this) is far more motivating (i.e. every time I don’t work out I have to pay you a dollar). So I am hoping that the fear of public shame will keep me going through the hard bits.

      I also like reading my blog posts later, because I remember so much that I had forgotten.

      When I came back from Europe and couldn’t get my novel finished, I decided to do a cleanse to see if that would help me. I was not only able to do the cleanse for 30 days . . . I kept up with it for months and it forever changed how I ate– and how I viewed food. I blogged about it, but under a pseudonym. If you want to read that, it’s Cleansing the Novelist.

      However, I think the combination of an intervention (taking a photo before you eat is different than journaling about it afterwards) and the writing about it (during, after) is hopefully the right combination to keep me focused and on track.

      Plus, I love the Timeline of the Whole 30, even though I’ve never been able to finish a Whole 30.

      I want to write my own for this diet! AND . . .I want to get better at doing elimination diets in general. So . . . practice, practice, practice.

      Thanks again for reading. My thoughts are with you and Mike!

  2. What Robin wrote about the inaccurate BMI on the scale has merit (insert non-Oxford comma here), however if you can’t make it in to get it done keep in mind if you use the same tool to measure something it will be off by the same amount.

    If your scale adds 5 lbs it always adds 5 lbs. therefore losing 10 lbs. will still show as a loss of 10 lbs. If the BMI on a scale is off, then it will most likely be off by the same amount all the time. If you still have the same scale, then remove the batteries for about 30 seconds (they say 10), put them back in & then weight yourself 5 times in a row. This should calibrate the scale. I know this because the Body Fat module on mine broke & to discover this I had to read the forums & contact their support. In doing so I came across multiple people having the same issue (not as mine), but the Body Fat being off.

    I know you use the app & one person fixed the issue by going into the app & changing their sex to the opposite…waiting about 30 minutes…and changing it back. Somehow even though the sex was correct the app/website was calculating their Body Fat based on the incorrect sex & doing this reset it.

    As for paying the paying a dollar (something mentioned in an above comment for those who might be wondering)…I did this years ago for weight loss & it worked. We each set a goal which was reasonable given out gender & size & once one of us reached the goal the other person had to pay $1/day until they reached their goal…but the key was this. We had to maintain or be below our target for 30 days after we were both there. If one of us reached their goal first & then went back over, the dollar a day stopped until one of the other was below again.

    This system worked, because even once the goal was reached by both parties the bet for $1/day stuck until a 30 day window completed where both were under or at target.

    All that aside…great to see you posting here again & the best of luck!

    PS – I am now using my old scale which was a gift from a very good friend of mine!

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