Saturday, October 22, 2011

Coffee and Cream

A couple of months ago, I finally got fed up with my weight.

Those of you who know me, know that I am pretty active - Crossfit 3x a week, Pilates on Sunday, and Daniel and I are usually milling around here or there, or helping friends move, or (today) driving down to Oregon to help wrestle 1-2 tons of grapes into a wine press.  So, I've got a lot of muscle.

 Basically, I was tired of feeling like for all the work I was doing and eating well (mostly Paleo) I wasn't getting results. I was stuck around 165 lb at 5'5" (for reference, I was a size 10 in most women's clothing).

So I tried this thing called homeopathic HCG. My homeopathist actually recommended it several months ago, but it sounded crazy.  Sometimes you just need something crazy to work, though.  After my friend K tried it, to great success, I decided to go for it.

I won't get into the mechanisms of homeopathic HCG here, because I'm not a doctor, though I have them in my family.  I was able to keep working out and stay "normal" throughout the diet, though I did notice my various lifts at the gym were not very strong - my friend and I theorized that was a result of consuming so little food.

Anyway, it worked. I lost 15 lb in a month, and am now a size 8.  It's awesome.  One of the things they have you stop consuming during the diet is coffee.  Now, I've never been a huge coffee person, but I'm definitely snooty about it.  I prefer Stumptown beans, I prefer espresso shots to drip, and I strive for the taste of the best milk I can afford (raw grass-fed if I can get it, pasteurized grass-fed is a close second, after that I will go for vat-pasteurized local organic milk).  For a couple of years, I allowed a Starbucks home espresso maker into my life.  It proudly ate up counter space, and it dutifully produced a decent shot of espresso for a machine I bought second-hand off Craigslist for $150.  It was worth the space.  When Daniel was in Japan and we would Skype in the wee morning hours, I would put him on Mute so I could foam the milk properly & he wouldn't go deaf.

When I was "big" into coffee, I only drank a 12 oz latte about 5 times a week - I'm not "one of those people" who sucks down coffee like it's going out of style. Frankly, more than a cup and my stomach is unhappy. 

So I gave up coffee for a month.  Actually, I gave it up for about 7 or 8 weeks.  Then I let it creep back in.  The first day, I had a tall breve latte at the Tully's coffee shop closest to me at work (our work site actually has several Tully's - I think there's about five locations at my last count).  I also proceeded to have a massive pounding headache, but that could have been because I discovered a massive pounding error in some data I had created and released, and it took me about 2 weeks to fix it and convince people it was OK to send off the new data.  Around this same time, I traded the espresso machine to a friend in exchange that she find me a nice hybrid bike off Craigslist.

I've probably creeped back to around 2 or 3 tall lattes a week. I tried asking for a Short Americano, but a longer shot, with room for cream, at work the other day, and the poor barista looked at me blankly before asking what a longer shot was.  It was then it dawned on me that all the machines at Tully's (and Starbucks, for that matter) are computerized and the baristas are only trained to press buttons and memorize syrup / milk / coffee combinations.  Another validation for local coffee places where the baristas actually know what "doppio" or "ristretto" mean.

In the meantime, I now drink some more of Teeccino.  It's herbal coffee, with some chicory to most of the flavors to give it the bitterness people expect from coffee. It's the best substitute I've found, and since it's totally caffeine-free, you can drink it whenever you want! Plus, I can make it like I make tea.

Oh yes, where was I going with this - a recipe I found, right. So, as a bona-fide lover of all things pumpkin-spice flavored, I was thrilled when I came across a Paleo Pumpkin Creamer recipe.  You take some coconut milk and heat it over the stove with some canned pumpkin and spices.  It made just enough to fit in one of my empty glass heavy cream bottles.

Here's the recipe! It's vegan, but don't let that scare you off. It's delicious.

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