Boycott Halloween?

Len Penzo posted a tongue-in-cheek list of thirteen yucky Halloween treats that kids hate.

My (semi) tongue-in-cheek response was that the solution to make sure that kids don't get any treats that they don't like was easy:

Don't take the kids trick or treating.

Following that, I said this:

“Besides, most of that stuff is nearly [as] addicting as any hardcore drug that you can take. Predisposing kids for a lifetime of obesity isn’t being kind to them.”

Studies have indeed shown that sugar is as addictive as some pretty hard drugs.  Further, one of the most respected homeschooling curricula out there recommends that refined sugar be taken out of the children's diet.  From the article:

“Be kind to any new babes, don't let them have that first taste and they won't have to break a bad habit, dare I say .. an addiction. I wish I had had this resolve when our children were very young. ”

Having been terribly addicted to carbs for most of my life, and seeing how my wife has dropped close to fifty pounds by cutting out the carbs (she had cut out refined sugar a while back) I can see the wisdom in not indulging in sweets, and not allowing children to indulge in them, either.

My wife controls my meals this month

My wife is a very persistent and patient woman.  She asked me to let her take over my diet for this month in an effort to help me get rid of my carbohydrate addiction.

She's taken to a low-carb diet for the past six months to a year, and she's dropped 35 pounds.

She's making it pretty easy on me, though.  All she's modifying this month is what I take in.  Not the amount.  Not how much exercise I get.  Just the particular foods.  That, and I'm not going as low-carb as she did.  She went down really low on the carbs the first month.  I'm going quite a bit lower than I have been, but not as low as she did.

I've substituted orange juice for milk, rice for low-carb bread in a sandwich.  I'm eating more salads.  I can eat at Chipotle, but I get a bowl rather than a burrito (no rice, no tortilla).  I take steamed broccoli instead of a baked potato for a side when I ate out with a friend yesterday.

How is it working?  I may have lost a little bit of weight, but I can say that I feel better.  At the very least, I felt the carb load of the pizza I had Saturday night really bad.  It really knocked me to sleep.  I'm going lower-carb, but for now, probably not lower-calorie.  I have a stash of raw almonds at work that I hit pretty hard during the day.

Anyway, I've been playing along with my wife's experiment for a week and a half now, and it's going pretty well!

Low-carb substitute for rice

I really adore my rice and beans because it's something that I can eat day-in, day-out, cheaply, without getting sick of it.

Unfortunately, rice — even the somewhat lower glycemic index brown rice — is really high in carbohydrates.

My wife has gone really low-carb (as in around 40 grams per day) and she's lost about 20 pounds over the past few months without even needing to count calories.  It's really quite amazing.

So my wife did an experiment tonight.  She made some shrimp curry, but instead of putting the curry over rice, she put it over grated fried cauliflower — also known as cauliflower rice.  Instead of nearly 40 grams of carbs (net) per cup, the cauliflower rice only about 2.5 grams net carbs per cup.

She first grated the white part of a head of cauliflower into rice-sized chunks, and then fried it up with some oil and a little bit of seasoning.  One trick that she found was to not use extra water, because it makes the cauliflower rice mushy.  The water in the cauliflower is enough.

I was pleasantly surprised how good it tasted.  I hardly would have known the difference between the cauliflower rice and a small grain.