Tag Archives: cheese

My ‘Cholesterol Risk Factor’ Has Turned NEGATIVE; My Doctor Has NEVER Seen That!

by Anura Guruge

Click to ENLARGE.

I know one thing for a fact, it is NEVER good to have something your doctor has never seen before.

So, this, from, what I can see can’t be good news. Doctor, however, is not worried. My cholesterol numbers, other than this CRAZY negative number, are passable.

Yes, they have come down from last year. SMILE.

What does it mean?

The risk factor is a multiplier.

You multiply your average risk of heart disease by this risk factor.

So, let’s say that my chance of getting heart disease was 99%. And doctors have always said I was a heart attack waiting to happen.

Now it is -99% — whatever that means.

Am I worried. Heck no. I know I am going to die. So, why worry?

Yes, I changed my diet, quite dramatically, on March 8, 2019 — the day after my knee surgery.

Yes, I still eat meat. I eat more meat than most people, even Donald Trump. I eat meat every day, at least for one meal a day. I am a born carnivore. Better than I used to be. Yes, I eat more fruits and vegetables than most too. SMILE.

I also take a ton — nah, that is an exaggeration (let’s call it ‘quarter of a ton’) of Metamucil. OK. No jokes. I take about 9 teaspoons of the ‘sugar free‘ a day. That is supposed to be fair dose of fiber.

Yes, I still drink my ONE LARGE (maybe borderline huge) glass of slightly diluted red wine. I do NOT function without red wine (and something else — but that is NOT fattening).

Cut way, way, way back on cheese. Sigh.

Cut out nuts altogether. That was another huge sacrifice too.

Also no more oatmeal. More Metamucil in its place.

I exercise some. SMILE. Around 7.5 miles a day of walking and maybe 20+ on a stationary bike. Also, on average, climb the equivalent of 51 floors a day. Much more on most days — like 80.

I will be HAPPY to share my diet and exercise regime with any of you.

I eat a LOT. I kid you not.

But, I don’t eat bread, rice, pasta, chocolate, cake, muffins, bagels, donuts, cookies. Yes, TWICE a month, when we are eating away, I MIGHT cheat and eat what is leftover of Teischan’s ice cream. There is a reason for that. Ice cream does help my digestion. But, that is the only time I eat it. There is plenty in the house if I wanted. But, I don’t. I don’t cheat on my diet because that is cheating on myself.

OK. Another confession. Since my surgery I have lost 26-pounds. I am hovering at 150 pounds. If I manage to lose another 5 that will be as think as I have ever been in my adult life. In 1983, on a starvation diet and tons of running, I got down to 145 pounds.

So, that is the story.

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by Anura Guruge

My One Remaining Food VICE — Mediterranean Spinach Swirls (A Variant Of ‘Spanakopita’).

by Anura Guruge

Alas, my supposed restraint when it comes to food still has its limits. I can’t, however hard I try, stop eating these $3 Mediterranean Spinach Swirls from Market Basket. HELP.

It really is killing me — slowly but surely.

Who would have thought that this would end up as my one remaining VICE when it came to food.

Yes, I confess, that maybe once a month, if she grudgingly lets me, I will eat 4 – 5 teaspoons of Teischan’s leftover ice cream (with any chocolate sauce that is lurking around) at a restaurant.

That is it in terms of sweets for the last 6 years (i.e., since January 22, 2013). No cake, no pies, no chocolates, no muffins, no donuts, no ice cream, no cheesecake, no cookies … And I love chocolates, pecan pie, apple pie and ice cream.

I stopped eating nuts 10-weeks ago. And I LOVE nuts.

I drastically cut back on cheese 10-weeks ago. I could live on cheese. I now have a bit every few days.

I dramatically cut back on food 10-weeks ago. I have lost xx pounds in the last 10-weeks. SMILE. Not telling you how much. I am moderately pleased. IF I can lose another 10 pounds I would be orgasmic.

So, during the last 10-weeks these spinach swirls have been my ONLY WEAKNESS! Honest.

Who would have thought. SPINACH — BAD FOR YOU.

Over the last decade I have really acquired a taste for spinach. I eat a LOT of spinach — in multiple forms.

Spinach is said to be good for you.

But, these $3 spinach swirls I eat are killing me. I would be better eating chocolate donuts.

Even the guy at Market Basket, who makes them, told me that they are BAD for ME! 500 calories each.

I have CUT BACK — over the last 10-weeks.

I used to eat 3 every 10-days or so. Sometimes 2 a day. It was KILLING I.

Then 10-weeks ago, I went nearly a month without eating even one. It killed me.

Then I started cheating. One every few weeks.

I had one TODAY — which I bought yesterday.

It is killing.

I am SO ashamed!

This is bad.

I wish I had more control over my diet.


Oh … what happened 10-weeks ago.

That was when I had my knee surgery and discovered my blood sugar had SHOT UP to 103! 103! Damn.

Not good. I am

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by Anura Guruge

A Cheese Story That Seems A Tad Too Cheesy.

by Anura Guruge

Click to ENLARGE. Story from the U.K. “Daily Mail”, Sept. 3, 2018.

Regular readers of this blog will know that I LOVE — no, ADORE — cheese. I could live on cheese. I never tire of eating cheese. I ATE a LOT of cheese, each and every day.

But, for the last three weeks, since my dreaded annual physical (with my Indian doctor) I have laid off the cheese.

My physical, as ever, was a nightmare — more so this year since I had put on MORE weight since last year. My doctor gave me heck. I have to lose weight … ideally 20 pounds. That is not going to be easy. But, I am going to try. So, for a start I gave up cheese. In the last three weeks all I have had is ONE (1) thin slice of American white! That is it. Have NOT lost any weight, though. If anything I probably gained some.

So, this story was music to my eyes! But, I am not that gullible. There is method to my madness. I appreciate that cheese in moderation probably will do you no harm, but I am skeptical that large quantities of cheese will do you good. I could, however, be wrong. Alas, I can’t put this to the test. Too much to lose — so to speak. I can’t take any chances. I have to try and lose some weight.

But, I wanted to share this with you.

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by Anura Guruge

Cheese Is Said To Be ‘Good’ For You — Much To My Relief.

by Anura Guruge

From the U.K. “Daily Mail“, July 31, 2018.
Click to access original article.

Click to ENLARGE and read this snippet here. Use link above to access the ‘Daily Mail’ original.

I saw this article yesterday and it made me smile. I adore CHEESE. I can live on cheese for many days on end and have done so too. But, I worry that it is not that good for I.

This article claims otherwise.

Ironically, with my dreaded, annual physical coming up (where my doctor, each year, expresses much surprise that I am still alive) I had cut back drastically on the cheese. I even stopped buying cheese much to the amusement and bemusement of a young lady at our local supermarket who always expects me to order cheese.

Well, I had to share this with you. Hope it helps.

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Search on ‘cheese’.

by Anura Guruge

Uno Pizzeria & Grill’s New ‘Whole Hog Burger’ Ideal For Those Of Us With Hearty Appetites — And Like Meat.

by Anura Guruge


You MUST ENLARGE. Check out the fat dripping off the bacon! Perfection, if you are into that sort of stuff. Yes, I took that picture with my Fuji X-E2s.

Well I have already raved about by Concord, N.H. Uno’s  flowers and the new Mint Mojito the “High Seas Mojito“. Now please let me rave, brazenly, about the “Whole Hog Burger” I had for lunch.

I prodigious appetite is legendary which is why I constantly struggle with my weight. I can eat most people under the table and constantly do. I regularly eat twice, probably three times, as much as others of my stature. Plus, I love meat and adore cheese. So when I saw the “Whole Hog Burger” on the Uno’s menu my eyes lit up and my stomach started growling. It was as if they put it on the menu for I. However, to be honest I was also tempted by the Summer Special “Bourbon BBQ Sampler Platter“. I seriously thought about ordering both but thought the better in case Deanna shouted at me. So I settled on the ‘Hog’.

I didn’t want the fries but I told them to double up on the onions. Yes, I know they are fried BUT in my book fried onion rings count as a vegetable! The thick, solid bun — top & bottom — was put aside, brought home and given to the dogs. They love my low-carb diet because they get the buns from ALL the burgers I eat.

It was GOOD. I gave MOST of the bacon to Deanna. Teischan, surprisingly, didn’t want any. She was busy with her Sliders. Though I go through (at least) 2 pigs a month I have never been a great fan of bacon. I rarely if ever eat bacon, and if I do it is less than 1/2 a strip. I think it is the salt. I don’t like salt. And that is my only criticism of the ‘Hog’. Tad too salty for my liking. But it was good. It was filing. Yes, I could have eaten the Bourbon BBQ Sampler Platter too but that would have just confirmed to all that gluttony is another of my many sins. C’est la vie.

My cholesterol, thanks to the handful of Lipitor that I take (and have taken for 18 years), is fine — and I was celebrating that my blood pressure, for a change, was not in the danger zone. Smile. 


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by Anura Guruge

Low-Carb Diet Needed Modification After 3 Years.

by Anura Guruge

Yes, I have been on my low-carb diet, without exception, for over 3 years — having started it on January 22, 2013 when I was ‘diagnosed’ with prediabetes. I lost (close to) 30 pounds very quickly and until the start of this year, i.e., 2016, had no trouble staying at a steady weight, viz. 163 lbs, which represented a 26 pound weight loss.

This was not the first time I had done low-carb/Atkin. I had done it twice before, both with great success, albeit just for about a year each time. So this is the longest I have been on this low-carb diet. I am used to being on a specific, unwavering diet or regime for long periods. I was on my FASTING for 3 DAYS/WEEK for 10 years or so! NO, it is not a matter of ‘willpower‘. I do not subscribe to willpower since it conotes a power struggle between you and your brain. That is not good. What you need instead is 100% cooperation and harmony between you and your brain. Then things like sticking to a diet becomes a piece of cake. I just finished writing a book about this. It is called “Brain Meditation” since that is how you achieve that harmony. More about that later when I get around to publishing the book.

Anywho … I have no problem, whatsoever, with dying. Have always been like that. What scares the life out of me is living through the complications of diabetes! I was 7 years old when my beloved uncle, a renowned doctor, told me that it would only be a matter of time BEFORE I got diabetes. So in 1960 he pulled out this brown bottle of Saccharin pills and said “no sugar for you”. Use this. Though I ate a LOT of sweets — cakes, desserts and puddings in particular — well into my 30s I never took sugar (other than on my egg-hoppers). [Yes, of course, I know I am strange.] So now facing diabetes it is a choice. Low-carb to delay it, or living with diabetes. More I that is a no-brainer.

Up until the start of this year I had found that I could eat as much meat and cheese as I wanted without adding to my weight (or losing weight during the early days). So I snacked on ham, chicken/turkey/pork ‘hot dogs’ and cheese. I LOVE CHEESE. I can live on cheese, if I had to. So for 3 years I put no limits on my cheese, ‘hot dog’, ham and meat consumption. I was doing good and my cholesterol levels were beyond enviable.

Then this January things started to change. My weight started to slowly creep up and I couldn’t shed it. That was strange. I was also having digestion issues — despite my daily Metamucil regime (of 25 years) and above-average consumption of vegetables, greens & fruits. I was not happy. My weight went up to 169. I could have, if I wanted, stayed at that. That would have been the 20 pounds I was told to lose. But I did not like being at 169. I was happier at 162 – 163. So, as ever, I gave it a lot of thought. Finally realized that it had to be the cheese, ham and processed ‘hot dogs’. Yes, the salt was making me retain water. So I basically eliminated, ‘cold turkey’, the cheese and hot dogs — which had been daily staples for 3 years. Yep, I can do that (and so could YOU if you practice ‘brain meditation’). So now I just eat a little bit of real (unprocessed meat) at snacks and maybe less than an ounce of cheese. Make up for that with fruit.

Today, after 3 weeks of that modified diet I was at 159. I like 159. I am going to stay on this. Let’s see if I lose more weight. As an adult I have been down to 142 lbs — when I started my FASTING for 3 DAYS/WEEK diet. Went from 204 to 142 in about 6 months. At 142 I was a skeleton. You could see every one of my ribs.

Anywho …

Just wanted to SHARE with you. IF you are on low-carb for an extended period of time (and I hope you are) — then think about cutting way back (way back) on cheese, ham and processed meat. [I was never a big bacon eater though I eat a lot of pork.]

Coming Soon.



Egg Hoppers — the only thing I ate with (raw) sugar since I was 7 years old. But I haven’t eaten one in 24 years! Sad isn’t it?

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++++ Search on ‘diet’ for lots of other related posts & pictures. 

by Anura Guruge

It Is HARD To Credit But New England Market Basket (MA, NH, ME) Does NOT Have A Website!

Sanitizing+Station%2C+Refillable%2C+1200+ml+Capacity%2C+White.Anura Guruge December 2014 thumbnail

by Anura Guruge

Related posts:
>> Hand sanitizers …
## Arthur T. more facts …
Arthur T. Demoulas: some facts.

>> Market Basket, Concord, N.H.

>> Market Basket, Concord, N.H.
>> Demoulas firing impact in N.H.
>> Arthur T. Demoulas firing over 4%.

It is very clear about it — it is NOT the official Website


It is easy to get fooled on the Home Page.


After my earlier post on hand sanitizers, or the lack thereof, I thought it would be easy to send the link to Market Basket through their Website.

Well that was not be the case.

When you Google ‘Market Basket‘ the above Website comes up at the top — looking very much like the bona fide site. Not so. IF you go to the ‘Contact’ tab, as I did (looking for an e-mail or a form), I found the disclaimer.

It is interesting that there are other food chains with the same name. There is also a very vicious site which comes up if you Google ‘Demoulas‘.

So I ended up having to call up the Market Basket, on Fort Eddy Road, in Concord, N.H., using the phone number that was on the receipt from our earlier shopping trip. Spoke to the assistant manager. (See update at the bottom.)

He confirmed that ‘Market Basket’ does NOT have a Website. I was amazed. Is it the last holdout when it comes to Websites. Wow.

‘New’ Market Basket — Arthur T. Demoulas PLEASE Don’t Skimp On Hand Sanitizer.

.Anura Guruge December 2014 thumbnail

by Anura Guruge

Sanitizing+Station%2C+Refillable%2C+1200+ml+Capacity%2C+WhiteRelated posts:
## Arthur T. more facts …
Arthur T. Demoulas: some facts.

>> Market Basket, Concord, N.H.

>> Market Basket, Concord, N.H.
>> Demoulas firing impact in N.H.
>> Arthur T. Demoulas firing over 4%.

As the above listed posts would amply testify I am a HUGE fan of Market Basket and of Arthur T. Demoulas (and my association with Demoulas’, on a family basis, goes back 30 years).

My wife and kids joke that I can’t be within a 10 miles radius of the Market Basket in Concord, N.H. without finding an excuse to stop there.

I vocally supported the boycott last year and I was beyond thrilled that Arthur T. finally got total control of the chain.

So, I was bummed today that ‘they’ — and this could just be a misguided decision just at the Fort Eddy Store in Concord, N.H. — are trying to economize on public hand sanitizers!

Come on.

Yes, of course, everything has a price, Market Basket (rightly) works on thin margins and every cent makes a difference.

But, come on. Cutting back on hand sanitizers!

As they would have said at my rather exclusive Public School in London “Play the White Man”!

I was amazed. They used to have two large dispensers, of the paper kind, at each of the two entrances/exists. Today they were gone.

I went and asked a manager — or at least a guy in a red jacket. I think his name was “Sean” and he had a tag that said “22 years”. This was around 1pm, Monday, May 11, 2015. [Look it up.]

He said that they had to REMOVE the dispensers because the WIND from the entrances were drying out the napkins. They were losing 2,000 a day from the wind.

I pointed out that you can get other types of sanitizers — e.g., liquid. He didn’t even bother to respond. This guy was pompous and ignorant. Not what I had ever seen with Demoulas management. Never mind him. He can’t help it.

I just would like MORE hand sanitizers.

Yes, as is ALWAYS the case with my apparent madness there is a good reason. I get cheese ends, whenever I can, at Market Basket. I love the VARIETY. 30 shades of cheese in one shrink wrapped package. I like to start devouring the cheese even while I am at the checkout. No, I am NOT cheating them. It is already weighed and their is a label with the original price. But I like to sanitize my hands BEFORE I break into the packet.

So Arthur T. — please.

Give me back my hand sanitizers. Liquid ones will be fine.

And PLEASE talk to ‘Sean’. Some of us do KNOW what we are talking about

5pm, Monday, May 11, 2015 UPDATE.

I just spoke to an ‘Assistant Manager’ at Fort Eddy, Market Basket. Appears that the hand sanitizer policy is, indeed, handed down to them from up high. The napkin variety, supposedly, is the ONLY type they are permitted to use — least aggressive and meets OSHA standards. Well I asked him to escalate the matter.

Market Basket (as in the New England stores) does NOT have a Website! He confirmed that.

Shalimar India, Portsmouth, N.H.: Tasty, Authentic Indian Food, Great Ambience & Decent Prices.

P1090172Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.

Anura Guruge

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Click to access their eye-catching and rather slick Website.


I am no stranger to the Shalimar. They have been in Portsmouth for 21 years and I have been going there, always eagerly, for at least 15 years — though, alas and alack, not as often as I would like, since we really don’t get down to Portsmouth that often.

We, however, did go to the newly redecorated, “Best of NH” 2009 to 2013, Shalimar, at 80 Hanover St., Portsmouth yesterday evening — that being Boxing Day.

bestofnhlogoIt was a cold, wet, snowy and dreary December night, and as you opened the door to the Shalimar you were greeted, warmly, by a gently waft of curry in the air. You, knew at once, that you were going to be nice and cozy inside; a temporary oasis away from the Winter.

They have redecorated the Shalimar, with great care and panache, over the Summer. Deanna noticed it at once. I have always liked the layout. It is very airy and the large picture window at the front ensures that feels open. You have privacy in the booths but the way they are laid out makes sure that you still get to see the comings and goings in the rest of the restaurants. The Mughal pillar silhouettes very cleverly painted on the walls definitely makes you feel like you are in an historic Mughal Palace in the Punjab (where the restaurant owner and cook, Mr. Harbhajan Singh comes from). Bravo. Nice touch. They also, for a change, have an impressive and informative Website. To me such touches indicate that they are thinking about the business and want to excel. That they have received the “Best of NH” for five years kind of confirms that.

This was the first time I had been to an Indian restaurant since I started my low-carb diet in January. So, I had to be careful as to what I ordered, plus, Devanee, the other Indian food aficionado in the family, was not with us. So in reality we didn’t order anything like the range and volume of food we had in the past.

I know that most folks in New Hampshire shy away from Indian restaurants because they are not sure about how and what to order. The Shalimar (where the name, befitting the new decorations on the walls, denotes a Mughal garden), to their credit, tries to make it easy for those that are still trying to unlock the mysterious delights of a full repertoire Indian menu — like the one they offer. They have vegetarian and non-vegetarian appetizer (sampler) platters and and combo ‘special dinners’ for 1, 2 or 4. That is good. They also have a lunchtime buffet — where you can sample a lot of different dishes.

We ordered the non-vegetarian  appetizer platter and 4 Samosas, two vegetarian (for Deanna and Teischan) and two with minced lamb for me. The Samosas, as I knew they would be, were first class. The minced lamb with a couple of peas were outstanding. The platter, overall, was good and well worth the $10.95. Teischan gobbled up all the chicken in record time.

I ordered my de rigeur Lamb Korma. I can and will eat extremely hot curry but I don’t feel the need to eat as such when I go to a restaurant like the Shalimar. Hot curries are easy to make and I can, with paste that I buy, make a curry, at home, that exfoliates 4 layers of cells from my intestines. When I go to a class joint like the Shalimar I want the subtle, delicate Indian treats that I can’t make at home. Hence the Korma. A Korma, when cooked well, with its spices and nuts, makes you feel like an Mughal emperor. The Shalimar did not disappoint. It was the first time in my life I had eaten a Lamb Korma sans carbs — Biryani and a stuffed, typically an Aloo, Paratha (potato stuffed, fried bread). But, eating it on its own was good. Just the taste of the Korma. I enjoyed it.

I did order an Aloo Paratha for Deanna (who likes them too) and a Saag Paneer — spinach with cubed, cooked cheese. It was good.

I did not have my customary Kulfi — Indian ice cream with almonds. I did, however, given my need for daily yogurt, have a Lasi — a yogurt shake. It was refreshing.

I had a glass, of course, of Pinot Noir and some coffee.

It was a great meal. We were there for about 80 minutes. Despite the lousy weather outside there was a respectable crowd at the Shalimar. Since we were about the last to leave we got a chance to have a long chat with the owner’s middle daughter, Kulbir Kaur, a recent graduate from UNH. She was very nice and told us a lot about their family and business. We were impressed.

Not much that I can say that will bolster the accolades they already have, but I give this Indian restaurant my unstinted praise. I will be going there again, as soon as I can (diet permitting).

We Got Our Rescue Puppy From Kentucky, Braxton, The Beagle, Today. Very Slick & Smooth Operation. Kudos.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.


 .by Anura Guruge

Related posts:
>> The name ‘Braxton’ —
>> Sep. 21, 2013.
>> Method to my madness

>>Sep. 23, 2013.
>> We are getting a Beagle
>>Sep. 21, 2013.

>> Goodbye to ‘Ulysses’ — Sep. 16, 2013.

We picked him up in Kittery, Maine, at the ‘Welcome to Maine’ visitor center, off I-95, at noon — as promised and as hoped. No hitches. Very smooth. We were very impressed. Very slick, professional operation. More in a minute.

Sure is a beagle. Paperwork says ‘mixed’ — but they also say they don’t know exact date of birth of breed. I weighed him a few minutes ago (after he had his dinner at 4:30 pm). 5.6 pounds! He is LITTLE. Smallest dog I have ever had. Having had Goldens for 25 years I am not used to such a small dog. But, sure is cute.

Ate his dog food, mixed with warm skim milk. But prefers chicken and cheese. Likes yogurt too. All our dogs get yogurt at night (to match my yogurt eating habit, though I eat Greek, plain, low-fat). He will get chicken and cheese.

So here is the first set of pictures. Suffice to say all are delighted. Deanna will probably be taking 50 pictures a day.

Click on any of the pictures to ENLARGE them.

I found him on ‘Adopt-a-Pet‘ (via Petfinder) online, as I posted here, and spent 36 hours making sure I got him.

The NH contact and ‘Foster Home’ was Janice Berry, in Rochester. She was very good. Yes, I pestered her near daily, including this morning at 10:30, to make sure the puppy would arrive today. We highly recommend her. Phone number: 603-332-2965.

The actual agency appears to be ‘Butler County Animal Shelter’ in Kentucky.

The delivery operation by bus was very smooth. Very impressed.

This was so good that I am already talking about getting another one!

Some pictures of the dog drop off this noon in Kittery, Maine.

The ladies that drive the delivery bus take pictures of each puppy as it is handed over and then posts it on their Facebook page (quite quickly). Very impressive.

This is the picture they took of us.

Sept 28, 2013 Picking up Braxton our resue - adopted doggie