Boring Beef and (Still Pretty Good) Whiskey

My entire motivation for buying a Sous Vide Supreme was to have a tool that made really good food, like steaks, pork chops, chicken, burgers, even, taste even better. And it does exactly that. And more.

I never imagined, then, that I would be sitting here one day, telling you, dear reader, that I used that same tool, my sacred Sous Vide Supreme, to make my food taste bad. Yes, I used my 400 dollar appliance to make my food taste, um, worse. On purpose. Well, not bad, exactly, but let’s just say, less good. Bland. Boring. Here come’s the new buzzword, yes, folks, I tried out the food-reward diet.

Hamburger, sous-vided, no seasoning, no searing. Looks good, no?


Never heard of it? Neither had I until recently. There are a few egg-head blogs out there going on about it. This seems to be the main one:

That blog and a few others like it aren’t really my style, I find them way too obtuse and technical, but apparently a lot of people do read them. Anyway, they’ve been going on about this food reward theory of obesity. I can’t be bothered to read it all to figure out what it is really about, but here’s the jist of it, I think: We modern humans eat too much because we are able to make our food too damn tasty. Make your food boring, and you’ll end up eating less. And you’ll lose weight. Or maybe you don’t eat less, but you still lose weight. Something about changing your set point. Yawn…

After some digging around, I finally found a description of how to go about implementing a low reward diet. You can look here for more details, but here are the guidelines that I followed:

No seasoning
Meals consist of meats and vegetables.
Meats are cooked gently. No grilling (egads!)
They also recommend eating starchy foods cooked the same boring way, but I declined that advice.

Unseasoned, boneless, skinless chicken thighs, sous vided. Eggplant cubes, also sous-vided.

The recommendation was to cook your meat in water, but what the hell, who would actually do that? This is where the Sous-Vide Supreme comes in. I figured I could cook the meat the way I normally do, except I would skip the seasoning, and would skip the post-sous-vide searing.

See what I mean about boring beef?

So what I did I eat?

Over the week, I ate some burgers, some briskett, and some boneless, skinless chicken thighs. All cooked without seasoning, in the svs, and without any follow up searing. And I ate plenty of brocolli, spinach, etc. Also cooked without seasoning. I could have used the Sous Vide Supreme to cook those as well, but I simply steamed them instead.

Did it work?

Actually, yeah, it seemed to work. I started out at 189 pounds. After a week of eating this way, I clocked in at 184 pounds.

One problem with eating this way is that it’s very anti-social. Not as anti-social as the type of diets recommended by the insane-quack-squad (Ornish, Furhman, Campbell, etc.), but pretty close. As in, nobody else wants to eat this way, and its a huge pain to do so, especially when you have houseguests. I only went a week on this plan, mostly because my inlaws were here for an extended visit, and it was just too much trouble to keep it going and still be properly sociable. But they’re gone now, and I am revving up for another go at it, this time for a much longer period. I’m planning to try it for the next six weeks (with weekends off, of course, Thanksgiving off too!).

Stay tuned…


One Response to Boring Beef and (Still Pretty Good) Whiskey

  1. Good luck…sounds like a horrible way to live:(

    Hi Marilyn! It’s actually not too bad, I don’t mind the taste of unseasoned food. Well, hamburgers taste weird, but otherwise its fine. I dunno if I’d want to do this long term though. Right now I am just experimenting to see if it actually works. If it does, I’ll have to figure out how to go from there, maybe some sort of mix of this and a my normal diet. And of course whiskey.