Friday, July 23, 2021

the future and the sausage project

I'm winding down Week 6 of the Newcastle Diet, and it's all downhill from here, even if it doesn't feel like it (today's lunch was, once again, two chicken breasts and a Paris Baguette salad, and for the rest of the day, it's maybe some artificially sweetened tea plus a whole plate of nothing until a breakfast shake tomorrow... such is my life). I'm starting to think ahead about how I need to behave once this diet is over, and what I plan to be eating. Luckily, the keto diet is pretty permissive when it comes to fatty, unprocessed meats, vegetables, and the occasional keto dessert. Cheese is okay, but in moderation. Nuts are also good, but you still have to watch out because they're calorie-dense. Add to that my two cheat days per month, and I think I'll be okay with that lifestyle. I have cravings, but I'm getting used to eating less.

Keep in mind that, as I've said before, I'll be moving to the Jason Fung paradigm after Newcastle: that will involve intermittent fasting (which I'm already kind-of doing), plus 24-hour fasting. After pondering the matter, I've decided that my "T Diet" will involve eating four days a week and fasting only three; that strikes me as more sane and reasonable than fasting four days a week. So on days with a "T" in them, I'll be fasting.

In thinking about carbs, I think I'm going to try, at least at first, for low-intensity keto, i.e., allowing myself 50 grams of carbs per day instead of the stricter 20 grams. This is a borderline low-carb diet, less austere than out-and-out keto, but for some people, apparently, 50 grams of carbs per day is enough to induce ketosis and autophagy. If I try this and nothing happens after a couple months, I'll scale down to 20 grams of carbs, which is the gold standard.

Calorie-wise, it'll be nice to eat 1800-2000 calories a day. That'll still be less than I was eating pre-stroke, and if I'm fasting every other day, then my two-day average most of the week will actually still be just a bit above the strictures of the Newcastle Diet. Putting my cheat days on Friday (although I will be flexible in case there are social occasions) will allow me to fast on Saturday and still do my weekly long walk, which will speed up recovery after wrecking my blood sugar. I doubt that any of the experts I watch on YouTube would recommend cheating twice a month, but if I'm walking at least 18K on weekends, I feel entitled.

All of the above is nice, but what I really wanted to talk about is sausages. Store-bought sausages fall under the category of processed meats, which are not the best for your health, but if you make your own sausage, you control what goes into it, and my sausages won't have the chemical shit found in store-bought sausages, except maybe for curing salt, which I need to buy soon. I bought a sausage-grinding attachment for my stand mixer, and because I've long been an avid consumer of sausage-making videos on YouTube, I already have many ideas about what sorts of sausages I want to make.

First among the sausages I want to make is the Toulouse, mentioned back in 2018 during my trip to France. A most excellent sausage that was. I don't plan on using casings for any of my sausages, but I'll get them into a sausage shape by using cling wrap. Wrap a tube of meat in cling wrap, twist both ends, and you end up with a perfectly straight, cylindrical sausage. Other sausages I want to make include English bangers, both sweet and spicy Italian sausages, WeiƟwurst, Bratwurst, Kielbasa, summer sausage, and maybe some dry-cured sausages like Landjaeger, Spanish chorizo, salami, soppressata, and maybe even good old Amurrican hot dogs (which are not dry-cured, of course). I might even try making beef sausages and chicken or turkey sausages, although I have no idea where to find raw turkey. Coupang?

Envisioning what I plan to do after Newcastle is over is one of the ways I try to keep sane. Working on sausages will be nice because I can do that on keto and not have to wait for a cheat day, although I'll have to be careful what sauces I use with each sausage. I have recipes for keto ketchup and BBQ sauce, both of which I recently made, and mustard is already fine on keto, but there may be other sauces where I'll have to watch the sugar content. Still, this is all something to look forward to. I'll be so glad when Newcastle is finally over. It's been a long six weeks, and there are four more weeks to go.


  1. I'll be watching your sausage experiments with interest. Even though I was aware that there were grinder attachments for the stand mixer, it never occurred to me to get one to make sausage, for some reason. But the idea of homemade sausage sounds very nice indeed. Heck, I might even do the casing thing.

  2. I'm afraid of casings, frankly. ("frank"—get it?) In almost every video I've seen, the sausage-maker says something like "it takes some practice" to get good at injecting the meat into the casing, and I've seen so many videos where the process goes wrong. It just doesn't seem worth the trouble to me, and besides, when I'm doing something like making spaghetti sauce, I end up getting rid of the casing, anyway, so what's the point? I may want to learn how to do the casings eventually, but it's not a high priority for me. I mean, I've made andouille several times already, and no one has complained about the lack of a casing.

  3. Oh, I'm not saying you should necessarily have casings. There are a lot of applications where casings are superfluous, like you said. I just think that it would be neat to try getting the casings right and then breaking out homemade sausage links for guests. Um, when we eventually do have guests again.

  4. I didn't take you to be saying that. I was simply explaining where I'm coming from. If you do do the casing thing, at some point, please be sure to put up photos.

  5. I never saw such a plan. (sorry, but "frankly" you started it.)

    Well, the Newcastle is so austere that everything that comes afterward ought to seem easy by comparison. But your "T" diet is something I don't think I could personally do. I believe your ability to actually make the kind of foods you like in a healthy format will be a big plus though. And having those cheat days to look forward to might alleviate some of the hunger pangs on fasting days.

    It will be interesting to see the results. And you can always make adjustments as necessary. Keep it up!

  6. John,

    Not sure which "such a plan" you're referring to. If you're talking about the Fung plan, well, I've written about it several times. If you're talking about low-intensity keto or sausage-making, then you're right—this is my first time mentioning those things.

    Yeah, 24-hour fasting isn't for everybody, and it might not be for me, either. But I've done such fasts before and survived. I think that the thought of eating well every other day will buoy me enough to allow me to get through a fasting day.

    Thanks for the encouragement.

  7. Sorry, a pun is even worse when you have to explain it. "Saw such" = sausage. I'm bad, I know. It was funny in my head.



All comments are subject to approval before they are published, so they will not appear immediately. Comments should be civil, relevant, and substantive. Anonymous comments are not allowed and will be unceremoniously deleted. For more on my comments policy, please see this entry on my other blog.

AND A NEW RULE (per this post): comments critical of Trump's lying must include criticism of Biden's lying on a one-for-one basis! Failure to be balanced means your comment will not be published.