Weekly Weigh-In: Breakthrough! Down 3.5 Pounds

Thanks to a bit of detective work, I'm down 3.5 lbs. this week.

Thanks to a bit of detective work, I’m down 3.5 lbs. this week.

I’m finally going in the right direction. At Saturday’s weigh-in I lost nearly 4 lbs. this week. Sweet! What changed? I played detective. I didn’t make any changes in what I was doing other than tracking and measuring everything. After 3 days I analyzed my food log and quickly found the problem.

My Morning Cuppa’ Joe
I’m brand spanking new to drinking coffee, but it quickly became a morning ritual for me. No, I don’t drink those sugar/carb-laced monstrosities from Starbucks. I only drink what I make at home. That way it’s healthy. Ha!

How can coffee stall my weight loss? It doesn’t have any carbs and is zero points. Plus coffee has a ton of health benefits. Read More

Pork Tenderloin with Maple-Mustard Sauce

What do I love about going low carb? I can always find wonderfully simple and tasty recipes. While flipping through the pages of my Atkins cookbook, I found a pork tenderloin recipe for tonight’s dinner.  I’m serving it with asparagus and a small mixed green salad. Because of the maple-mustard sauce, the tenderloin jumps from 0g to 3g of net carbs.

Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Maple-Mustard Sauce
Net Carbs: 3g
Weight Watchers Points Plus: 7
Serves 4


  • 1-Pound pork tenderloin
  • 1 Tbsp. virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tsp. salt
  • 1 Tsp. freshly ground pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. minced fresh sage
  • 1/2C chicken broth
  • 1/2C white wine
  • 2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 2 Tsp. sugar-free maple syrup
  • 2 Tbsp. cold butter, cut into cubes


  • Pre-heat oven to 450 F
  • Pat tenderloin dry with paper towels. Combine oil, salt, pepper, garlic and sage in a bowl to form a paste. Rub paste over tenderloin and place in roasting pan. Roast until done to taste (20-minutes for medium; instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of loin will register 145 F).  Transfer meat to cutting board and let rest while you prepare sauce.
  • Set pan over medium-high heat on stove. Add broth, wine, mustard and syrup; cook and stir, scrapping up brown bits from bottom of pan, until reduced by half, about 10 minutes. Turn off heat. Add butter and swirl pan to melt.
  • Slice tenderloin and serve with sauce.

Other than bacon (naturally), the tenderloin is my favorite cut of pork. Before going low carb, I cooked it once in a blue moon. Now pork tenderloin appears on our table once a week. It’s amazing and melts in your mouth if prepared the right way.  Too bad I don’t have bacon in my fridge now, otherwise I might wrap the bacon around the tenderloin. Hmmmmmmmmmm…bacon wrapped pig.


The linked recipes above are not low carb, but look amazing and will go in my recipe book. I can’t make them now, but 90 lbs. from now…

Carbivorous Rex

He stalks the fifth floor every Friday, nostrils flaring over the cubical canopy in search of an elusive scent. His heavy footsteps cause little cups of water to ripple as many as four cubes away.  Will there be bagels today?  Doughnuts?  Will there be both?  Does coming in twenty minutes late mean he’s stuck with the pink doughnuts with the weird sprinkles? Or will he have arrived in time for the jelly and chocolate cream-filled tasties?  He’s in luck: two doughnut boxes sit on the little table next to the VP’s office, closed and stacked on top of each other.

His breathing quickens as he tears towards his prey.  Behind him, someone shouts, “John, did you get my email…” but it sounds like “bla bla bla” and he pretends he doesn’t hear it.  An intern steps out of her cube but ducks back to avoid being trampled.  He arrives at the box and opens it, grabs one of the paper plates and loads a chocolate cream and a jelly onto it, but no more than that.  He’s on a diet.

For the last six months, the above scene played out every Friday.  Oh, did I say Friday?  How about every other day, at least, because there’s always random doughnuts and cakes and Panera  sandwiches and cookies from meetings with vendors and potlucks at my job. All the frickin’ time.  But that’s not the best part–I get to blame all this “bad luck” for my failure!  It’s the job causing me to fall off the program, not me. I’m just a victim in all this, why not have a doughnut?

For the last year, my weight loss program has focused on low carb eating.  Specificaly: the Atkins diet.

“But John L. Monk,” you say. “I thought Atkins was supposed to be easy.  You make it sound hard!

Easy, huh?  Let’s get real for a second: 160 million years of mammallian evolution telling you to shove everything tasty into your mouth before you starve to death is not something that can ever be overcome easily. It takes work.

In my case, it only took 3 days of work.

That’s right.  I sit here typing this up with no particularly strong cravings for doughnuts or ice cream or bread or pasta or rice or baked potatoes.  Would I want a doughnut if one appeared next to me?  Yeah.  Am I telling Dot we’re almost out of paper towels so I’ll have a reason to go to Giant and snag an eclair (they’re big) from the glass-enclosed Fortress of Awesomeness back by the deli?  Nope.  I’m actually not that hungry.  That’s one of the great things about Atkins–after a few days, a week in some cases, your craving for carbs goes away.  This is how I lost 60 pounds last year.

But natural selection…she’s mean.  It was around Christmas that I went to a fast food place and got a burger with the bun, and it’s been downhill ever since.  In my case, I can’t screw up or the cravings come back. So here’s my advice to anyone wanting to try Atkins: don’t screw up.

Not so easy or pleasant at first, I know–but it has to be better than turning into a monster at work and scaring the interns, right?

(Big thanks to my wife Dot for letting me guest blog! Did you see that picture she posted of herself?  She’s one hot momma.)

Mixed Green, Avocado & Radish Sprout Salad

Beef patties with mixed greens, avocado and radish sprouts. Low carb and yummy to boot!

Beef patties with mixed greens, avocado and radish sprouts. Low carb and yummy to boot!

A simple lunch today. Just a yummy salad to go along with my cow. Yes, there are two ground beef patties in my photo, but their combined weight is under 5.5 ounces.

With salads, there is always the risk of boredom. It’s too easy to get into a rut of iceberg lettuce, tomato and cucumbers.  I suspect those three ingredients are the staples in most household salads. I say fight boring salads with a little creativity. My Grilled Chicken Salad is awesome (no doubt due to the bacon!) as is my Spinach and Strawberry salad (with bacon dressing…hey, I sense a theme here). Those recipes coming soon.

Today I’m using radish sprouts. I’ve used bean sprouts in stir-fry dishes and alfalfa sprouts on burgers. This is the first time I’m using radish sprouts. They taste like radishes. The sprouts and the mixed greens give the salad a nice kick both in taste and texture. Delish! I plan to rotate them into my staple of salad ingredients.

The meal is 5g of carbs and you feel satisfied after eating.

As far as Weight Watchers, this is a high point meal – 14 points.  Why so high? The ground beef patties. I use the 80-20 ground beef. Higher in fat, higher in points. However, I’m going low carb – no pasta, rice, potatoes, breads, grains, sugars, low-fat foods. So I actually increase the good fat content in my diet to keep me satiated.  If you are not low carb, you can simply substitute  3 oz of a lower-fat patty (yes only one) or a skinless chicken breast (also 3 oz) if you like.

As for dressing, I used 1 tbsp of my Olive Oil & Apple Vinegar dressing.

Mixed Green, Avocado, Radish Sprout Salad



Mix ingredients in a bowl. Add 1-2 tbsp of your favorite dressing and toss. Enjoy!

Lime Chili Grilled Wings

Wow. Just wow.

I made Lime-Chili Wings yesterday. A very easy to make Atkins recipe. Also pretty damn tasty. If I had one change to it, I would limit the lime juice. The recipe calls for 1/4 cup. However, I think that makes the marinade too thin. I think I would prefer more of a paste that really clings to the wings. But that is just me. I ended up baking these instead of grilling due to the weather. Nonetheless these are delicious.

Lime Chili Grilled Wings
Serving Size: 3 wings
Net Carbs/serving: 1g

1/4 C Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice
1 Tbsp Virgin Olive Oil
2 Tsp Chili Powder
2 Tsp Salt
2 Tsp Ground Cumin
3 Tbsp Chopped Fresh Cilantro
12 Chicken Wings

Combine lime juice, oil, chili powder, ground cumin, salt and cilantro in a large bowl. Add wings and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate 2 hours, turning occasionally. Heat grill to medium-high. Grill wings until browned and cooked through, about 20 minutes. Serve hot.

If baking in oven, preheat oven to 375 and back wings until browned and cooked through, about 30 minutes. Serve hot.