Thursday, 26.11.2015

My alcohol destroying mission yesterday, or rather the 1 l of diet coke involved, pushed me back up to 88.2 kg.

Breakfast was scrambled eggs with slices of smoked pork.

For lunch I had fried pork and the inevitable green salad. Very frugal.

All these days I have been eating occasional small bananas in between during the day. My just keeps buying them and as I like the and do not want to throw them away I eat them :( But they are really quite small :)

My cooked a Hungarian beef goulash for me for dinner. Because of the sauce I could not avoid having a wee bit of rice.

Desert was a few green mango strips dipped in a salt/chili mixture:

No alcohol today.

 

 

Wednesday, 25.11.2015

Skipping dinner last night had some effect.

Weight in the morning: 87.5kg, down from 88.4kg yesterday.

I figure, however, that this marks the end of what most likely was the draining of the water that had accumulated in my body during the last weeks due to my liberal eating and drinking.

I have noted in the past that drinking Coke (regardless of whether it is “Zero”, “Light” or regular) always pushes up my weight. It cannot be the calories and/or carbs because the “Zero” version has neither of them. I suspect that there is some content in the drink that “binds” the water in the body (I know that does not sound very scientific but I have no other idea).

I have been hovering around the 87kg level since the end of August now. No further progress. And I do not expect more these days. Because I am having a good life here. When I am back in Bansko and on my own I will make an effort to get down to my “dream weight” of 80kg.

Breakfast: eggs with smoked pork knuckle

My went shopping yesterday as the weather forecast called for rain till the end of the week – and shopping in the rain is not a joy on motorbike :) She had bought some pork ribs.

One of her favourite dishes is a broth of boiled ribs with vegetables like cauliflower, broccoli, carrots and the like…which is not really compatible with my diet. As I have only little head-cheese left the good girl sacrificed her ribs and fried them for me for lunch. Crispy and well seasoned! I love them!

Lunch: crispy fried pork ribs with dipping sauce and a green salad

Vietnamese coffee in the afternoon – at home as it is raining outside…

5.30 PM – and lusting for a drink. As I drank the last Ricard the other day the choice is to drink only water or to write today off as a “non-diet-day”  and have some Captain Morgan (not my favourite, but left over from my daughter’s visit) and diet coke…

As I have done well the last days I think I will take a break today :)

After 4 rum&cokes I cooked dinner. Beef fillet.

I had to cook it myself, because I like my meat “rare”, very rare, and My would not cook it my way :( Like this:

After that I finished off the tiny rests in two more bottles (Havana Club and Bacardi) with more diet coke.

The scales will break my heart in the morning. I know. But tomorrow is just another day – that I will continue to struggle like the majority of people. So, at least for a short while I will be like the rest :)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tuesday, 24.11.2015

Weight in the morning: 88.4kg – same as yesterday. Fortunately the ice cream and the Ricard did not have too much negative effect :)

Breakfast: 3 hatched duck eggs (here you see only two). My cheated me. She bought and boiled four eggs – and I thought 2 for each of us. But she ate only one. How could I through the third one away? Scheming woman! She nonchalantly stated that her brother always used to eat three – and he is much smaller than me…

 

As I was hungry I had a little in-between fruit snack: green mango with salt and chili. Not very sweet :) Hardly any fruit sugar…

 

Lunch: head-cheese, a few pieces of fried tofu and some cold, fresh rice noodles…with a dipping sauce of Maggi soya sauce, fish-sauce, garlic and chili…a little over the top in terms of carbohydrates…oh, and some green salad…

Looks like I ate too much tofu and rice noodles. I am not hungry in the evening now. So I’ll skip dinner. Maybe a few slices of head cheese.

I did have a few small bananas during the day.

No alcohol…

Monday, 23.11.2015

Weight: 88.4kg down from 89.1kg yesterday

Breakfast: fried minced pork and scrambled eggs

Lunch: shrimps with lemongrass and rocket salad

 

Dinner: two frogs and green salad

Today I was a “bad boy”. I had several Ricards in the evening (maybe 200ml) and two bowls of durian ice cream (to finish the package from the freezer). This will be a setback…:(

 

 

Saturday, 21.11.2015

Yesterday my daughter went back home to Europe and I am back home in my apartment in Hanoi. Here it is much easier to control my food.

Weight this morning: 90.4kg, down from 92.2kg yesterday

Today’s food:

Breakfast: scrambled egg with bacon

Lunch: cold head cheese and green salad

Dinner: green papaya salad and pork chops

No alcohol

 

Friday, 20.11.2015

The first thing I do in the morning is getting on the scales. Naked. Because I want to know my “real” weight. I even take off my watch :)

Today was the “peak day” in a long time: 92.2 kg – due to the good life during our trip through Vietnam and a rum and coke drinking session last night.

Here is today’s diet:

Breakfast: three scrambled eggs with bacon

Lunch: squid, green salad and fried glass noodles with beef

Dinner: fried beef with green mustard

Drinks: only water and coffee

 

 

Start of the Chronicles

 

 

I will call today, Tuesday October 13th, the first day of the chronicles.

I have started a diet at the end of March 2015, when my scales read a startling 120kg. By the end of August I had lost 30kg – but since then not much has been going on. The ultimate goal is to move to 80kg – which would be a total of 40kg weight loss.

This morning I was at 87.4 kg. I am afraid, however, that the scales I bought a week ago in Hanoi are not very precise So be it!

Let me show you a typical diet day in Hanoi.

Breakfast, as everything else, is usually fresh from the market.

Today it was a “banh te”, usually a rice “pudding” cooked in banana leaf with a stuffing. In my particular case it was made from “taro” (not rice) and the stuffing was minced pork.

 

My had also bought “ban ghio”, which is like a jelly from sticky rice that you eat with a kind of syrup. The taste is quite unusual but too sweet for me…

As you can see, banana leaves are the standard packaging material here…

 

For lunch I will have crab. My found a nice male crab, not too expensive (they are not cheap here). For 80,000 Dong (about 3.25€)…

As we buy crabs only alive this one came with tied claws…

As My is a very clean person the poor crab had to undergo a vigorous scrubbing. I was real glad it was not my turn!

Now it is sitting in the pot – waiting for lunch time…

To be continued…

Lunch time now!

If there is something like “Zen Food” it is definitely crab!

When you it crab the proper way you focus entirely on what you are doing – and it takes a long time. Because you value the crab and you will crack even the smallest hollow shell not to waste the tiniest bit of the crab’s meat :)

And after many years of crab eating you have, of course, developed a liking for the gooey stuff inside the shell, the brown mass that the Vietnamese separate from the crab and fry in oil – and which tastes absolutely wonderful…

 

A perfect diet dish :)

After a digestion break we went to the National Museum of Fine Arts to see mainly the “Folkloric Art” exhibition that was closed the last time I was there.

On the way home (we walked all the way) my feet and my back hurt and I decided to go for a “bia hoi”, a draft beer, before settling down.

This is my favourite beer joint – still empty as we were only – but filling up within 15 minutes after our arrival…

With the beer you always get a plate with boiled peanuts (boiled, not roasted). After you had them two or three times you start to prefer them over roasted and salted ones..#

At a certain moment I noticed that two men who had settled at the table next to ours were served with two small bowls – that very much looked like the bowl of blood tht I had for dinner last night at my duck place!

I had never seen blood at “my” beer place before and when we asked the neighbours they said that it was coagulated goat blood, and that the bia hoi restaurant had this every Tuesday and Friday only. Goat blood! Diet or not! How could I, the notorious goat killer, not try this? Here we go:

It’s only a small bowl. With peanuts and “Vietnamese coriander”…

Of course this made me order more beer. In the end we left the place with 4 glasses of beer on my diet list…

Now we are home and while I am posting this I am watching a football match between Vietnam and Thailand. After which we will have dinner…but about that: later :)

…….

As I expected the Vietnamese did not win the match  and we proceeded to have dinner.

My cooked her stir-fried beef with “bun” (rice noodles) and tofu earlier and- being the well-meaning terrorist that she is, forced me to try her stuff…

The rice noodles are, of course, poison for my diet – but I love them :(

My own dinner consisted also of fried beef, with scallion and green pineapple…very tasty but I was not so sure that the “green” pineapple did not contain any sugar ;)

In addition to the above “bites” I had to eat 5 or 6 of the small and fragrant bananas during the day….I don’t like to eat them but My continues to buy them because they are so cheap – so how can I withstand…:(

Maybe today was not the right day to start the documentation of my diet…I pigged out a little…

My life is a drama – or was it a comedy? Well, I forgot. But it sure is worth living :)

Hanoi by bus

Yesterday I decided to go to the centre of Hanoi by bus. The first time to use public transport.

According to Google maps there was a bus stop not so far away from my apartment. There are no bus maps, so preparation is a bit cumbersome. I did find out that one of the three buses passing our neighbourhood would go close to the Hoan Kiem Lake in the centre. So, we gave it a try.

Our bus came after maybe 30 minutes. The ticket information I had from the internet was not so up to date. The price had gone up to 7,000Dong from 3,000 some indefinite time ago.

One thing that surprised me (also later when we took some other bus) was that immediately after entering the bus some young lad or girl would get up and offer me their seat!  I have never come across that in Europe! It made me feel a bit weird, however, and I asked myself: “do you really look so old and fragile?”.

So, I learned quickly that one should avail of such offers of respect. I refused the seat – and had to suffer immediately. Standing in a bus in Hanoi means you should hold on to all available handles etc. with both hands – all the time. It appears that the most important part of these buses are the breaks. And they may be used at all moments and will send you flying about if you are not straddled in properly! The next time someone offered e a seat I accepted it gracefully :)

We had a nice walk round the lake in the middle of the old quarter and tourist zone.

My got the bus wrong for our return trip – and we ended up near her apartment instead. That was an unexpected but very welcome diversion – as it was close to my favourite duck restaurant and we had some unplanned dinner :)

 

 

 

Another Vietnamese breakfast staple: “Pho”

“Pho” (pronounced like “faw”) is THE Vietnamese noodle soup. The two main varieties are “pho bo” (beef soup) and “pho ga” (chicken).

Apart from that there are all other kinds of noodle soup variations, usually under the family name “bun”. About bun some other day :)

As I have not had “real” pho since last December it was high time to go out and have some for breakfast this morning. Somehow you don’t make pho at home. It is a dish you eat at one of the omnipresent street stalls in Hanoi.

At 7 am we were still in time for a pho. The closest place for pho is around the corner and they offer chicken pho.Two years ago they had a very good one. So, it was my first choice.

That’s part of the restaurant. Notice the chairs :) They are not higher than 20cm – and the size of a small buttock…

The pho itself was a bit disappointing. The quality has gone down. The chicken meat was not the most tender and they economised on the rice noodles.

A bowl of Pho is nowadays between 25,000 and 35,000 Dong (1.05€-1.45€). That is more expensive than a comparable soup in Thailand.

At least it was good “people watching” while we were eating our soup.

Next time we will go somewhere else. There are plenty of other noodle soup “restaurants” to try.

Walking the area at 7 AM is always a joy – and as many people in our little lane know me from the past (such huge beasts like me stick out here) and new ones join them we get stopped for a chat every few yards. And as they are always laughing and looking at me (including My) I sometimes have the suspicion that they make jokes about me :) I hope that Buddha will shield them once I speak the language!