A New Low

Shawn tested 121 before dinner, and then after dinner (we had NY Strip since neither of us had had red meat in three weeks, steamed cauliflower, and baked sweet potatoes with some butter and sour cream), an hour later, he was 128.

That is, in the vernacular of the kids and middle-aged bloggers who want to sound somewhat cool or who are so out of touch they actually think the kids say this and then repeat in an attempt to look cool and fail miserably, what we call winning.

57 replies
  1. 1
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    Don’t draw conclusions from the individual data points. Watch the trend lines.

    You know that.

  2. 2
    srv says:

    > winning

    Is this good news for John McCain?

  3. 3
    Jamie says:

    Rock on, Shawn and Cole!

    I love seeing examples of friends doing real good.

    Ok, enough. Putting my cynical asshole hat back on.

  4. 4
    satby says:

    Well done! You guys I mean, I hope not the steaks.

  5. 5
    Central Planning says:

    Tested what? IQ, BAC, cholesterol?

    ETA – weight, waist size, sperm count, number of licks to the center of a tootsie roll pop? I really can’t figure this one out.

  6. 6
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    Maybe I misread or misinterpreted. Somehow I thought John was upset that the number went up, but I don’t even know what good numbers are so I should probably stay out of the conversation.

  7. 7

    You and Shawn should film this and submit it as a food network reality show.

  8. 8
    WaterGirl says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: I think that going up only 7 points after a meal is beyond what one could normally hope for. It’s a good thing. :-)

    Edit: When I saw the thread title “a new low”, I assumed it was a bad thing. Then I saw that it was about Shawn, and I knew that a new low was a good thing. Basically, this whole post is a trick question!

  9. 9
    The Dangerman says:


    Putting my cynical asshole hat back on.

    Where do I get one of those?

  10. 10
    Central Planning says:


    Ok, enough. Putting my cynical asshole hat back on.

    What exactly does that look like? Sombrero? Baseball? Papal tiara? Beret? Stetson?

  11. 11
    different-church-lady says:

    That is, in the vernacular of the kids and middle-aged bloggers who want to sound somewhat cool or who are so out of touch they actually think the kids say this and then repeat in an attempt to look cool and fail miserably, what we call winning.

    Hang on, I’m going to try to diagram that sentence…

  12. 12
    WaterGirl says:

    @Central Planning: Shawn was recently diagnosed as diabetic and he and Cole are working on changing what they both eat and figuring out how Shawn reacts to foods.

  13. 13
    different-church-lady says:

    @Central Planning: Viscosity. Patience.

  14. 14
    NotMax says:


    Sorry, you failed to put the last paragraph in the form of a question.

    /Alex Trebek

  15. 15
    Central Planning says:

    @WaterGirl: I missed that one. Not nearly as funny as my ideas :/

  16. 16
    WaterGirl says:

    @different-church-lady: The nuns are rolling over in their graves.

  17. 17
    different-church-lady says:


    That is, in the vernacular of the kids and middle-aged bloggers who want to sound somewhat cool or who are so out of touch they actually think the kids say this and then repeat in an attempt to look cool and fail miserably, what we call winning, amirite?

    Happy now?

  18. 18
    Ann says:

    No snark (I apologize):

    I think this project of yours — to support Shawn and your pets’ support system (a.k.a. You) is awesome. I’m learning a lot.

    Having posted this, I realize that I can never post here again (see above: lack of snark) But I mean it!

  19. 19
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    Yes, I think that was what fooled me. Kind of like that program The Biggest Loser or whatever it’s called.

  20. 20
    Ann says:

    Does anyone else here find snark exhausting? Surely I can’t be alone…

  21. 21
    Geeno says:

    This diet is a remarkable discovery, and must be shared with a wider audience. Tasty food stuffs to lower the blood sugar so much that you can cheat once a month or so? Write a book John, you’ll make a fortune.

  22. 22
    different-church-lady says:

    @Ann: I’m completely and utterly drained by it.

  23. 23
    Lolis says:

    It can feel good to take care of someone else. Sometimes I forget.

  24. 24
    NotMax says:


    Exhausting? Balloonjuice.

    (Nothing personal, just irresistible to drag in the term.)

  25. 25
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    @Central Planning: Mine is a teal fascinator.

  26. 26
    jl says:

    I’m waiting until Cole becomes a bitcoin billionaire, so he can afford to hire his own chef, trainer and masseuse. Won’t bother reading Cole diet posts until then. I’ll wait for pix of Steve’s personal trainer who will be taking him through his healthful slimming exercises on the cat tower.

  27. 27
    Roger Moore says:

    @The Dangerman:

    Where do I get one of those?

    I thought they were distributed gratis to all long-time posters. Things have been going downhill if you haven’t gotten one yet.

  28. 28
    Cheeseman says:

    Go ahead & propose already John.

  29. 29
    Tractarian says:

    So is 121 the new low? Or is 128 the new high? What units are we talking about here? What anything are we talking about here?

  30. 30
    jl says:

    @Tractarian: As a Monte Python satire on news said (more or less): What does this mean, what does this say, what does this do? What do we mean, what do we say, what do we do? What do we mean when we say mean, what do we say when we say say, and what do we do, when we do do?

  31. 31
    Joshua Norton says:

    My tracking chart that I use for my BG testing says Ideal is 70 – 120 mg/dL before meals and less than 160 mg/dL 2 hours after meals, so he’s fine. It mainly depends on the carb intake.

  32. 32
    Gex says:

    @Ann: There’s plenty of room on this blog for sincerity as well. I lost my partner last year and I can guarantee you there were lots and lots of sincere posts directed to supporting me. I think you’ll be okay here.

  33. 33
    John Revolta says:

    Hey John, you guys might want to read up on Splenda. I’m hearing it can aggravate or even cause diabetes. Causes insulin spikes etc.

  34. 34
    NotMax says:


    In the cases of at least two people, was an instrument in lifesaving, as well.

  35. 35
    slippytoad says:

    @John Revolta: Nope. I’ve been diabetic for 16 years. I think most of that is bunk. Drink more water to offset the soda, that’s about all you have to do. Eat protien, excercise, and don’t get carried away with the carbs. There are no magic tricks. it is like getting in shape, you have to make yourself do it and it is hard work. Period.

    Congratulations, guys. 128 is one point above “diabetic” so that’s awesome. I came down from a high of 582 . . . which feels like dying. It is NOT easy to do this, and it makes you feel horrible.

  36. 36
    Gex says:

    @NotMax: Oh, I did not know that! That’s really cool.

    Unfortunately, the Internet being what it is, I had to take a break from this place for a while because a troll made it his mission in life to make me miserable whenever I came here for support towards the very end of Kate’s life. Just hunted me down in thread after thread until the price I paid to come here for help exceeded the value of the help I received.

    What are you going to do? Most people are pretty decent, but there are definitely some who get joy in life by making others miserable.

  37. 37
    KG says:

    @WaterGirl: well, we probably shouldn’t have buried them alive.

  38. 38
    MomSense says:

    Congratulations John and Shawm. Maybe we could do a recipe thread one night.

  39. 39
    Violet says:

    @John Revolta: I think that depends on the person. I’m hyper-sensitive to artificial sweeteners. I can pick them out every time. Even stevia and agave. And they all–every one of them–cause me gastric issues, especially if I have any more than about half a teaspoon of them.

    Anything that causes an intestinal response, even if it isn’t making you sick or anything–can spike blood sugar. The intestines are a key part of regulating hormones in the body, including insulin. When the intestines aren’t operating properly you get a domino effect of hormonal events and your blood sugar is affected.

    Plus, fake sugars are seen by the brain as sweet and it sets up the insulin response for something sweet. Then the sugar doesn’t arrive, so the blood sugar drops. It can definitely mess you up at a neuro level as well.

  40. 40
    Geeno says:

    @jl: Spectrum Monty Python’s default “News Magazine” type show.

  41. 41
    John Revolta says:

    @Violet: Interesting. I heard it could cause inflammatory bowel disease as well, but I didn’t bring that up because I know even less about that than I do about diabetes.

  42. 42
    trollhattan says:


    No soup for you-six months!

    -Snark nazi

  43. 43
    Suzanne says:

    @Gex: If it helps, I am glad you’re back.

    Sweet potatoes are one of my favorite things. I like to do baked sweet potato “fries”….long pieces sprayed with just a tiny bit of olive oil spray and covered with garlic powder and cayenne pepper, then baked. Eat like French fries, but skip the farting afterward.

  44. 44
    Mnemosyne says:


    This is how pathetic that troll was: even mclaren and Ted&Hellen laid off me for a few weeks after my dad died.

  45. 45
    Joel says:

    Watching Frontline. Tim Dolan is scum, among others.

  46. 46
    Another Alison says:

    I’m a longtime lurker, but I had to jump in because cauliflower. If you are looking for low-carb sides and like cauliflower, cauliflower puree is a wonderful side dish. I am not particularly low-carb-oriented, but I had it at a fancy restaurant over Christmas and have become a big fan after trying to make it myself. I’m sure the restaurant made it out of butter; my version includes a little bit of half-and-half and butter, but you can probably experiment successfully with olive oil, etc. because the key to the silky texture of cauliflower puree is the cauliflower itself. It’s honestly the only food I’ve wanted to lick off my plate in my adult life.

    My guideline is a ratio of ~2.5lb head cauliflower : 1/4c half-and half : 1 tbsp butter : 3/4 tsp salt : pepper (white is great, but black will do fine) to taste. Core the cauliflower and chop the floret and tender stem part into evenly-sized pieces. Steam them until tender but not soggy. (Steaming is important; if you boil the cauliflower, it gets too waterlogged.) Put the cauliflower, along with ~1-2 tbsp steaming liquid (enough to make a smooth puree, but not enough to make it too runny) in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Add the heated half-and-half and melted butter (I microwave them together in a measuring cup) and the salt and pepper and blend again. If you have other things going, put the puree back in the emptied steaming saucepan, cover, and put over very low heat until ready to serve.

    Cauliflower puree is definitely runnier than starches like potatoes, but then again, you can dip the rest of your food in it and it somehow makes the rest of the food even more delicious, because it’s magic.

  47. 47
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Central Planning:

    What exactly does that [cynical asshole hat] look like? Sombrero? Baseball? Papal tiara? Beret? Stetson?

    Tinfoil, of course!

  48. 48
    Mart says:

    Incredible on diet.

    I think you and your guest might want to read this, found on Crooks & Liars. “Depleted Uranium Exposure to Personnel Following the Camp Doha, Fire Kuwait, July 1991. I have not dug into it, late reports for work.


  49. 49
    Goblue72 says:

    @Gex: Seriously? Man, some people are just sick, twisted pricks.

  50. 50
    Fair Economist says:

    @Goblue72: Yep, literally. Serious trolls are sociopaths or psychopaths, which is a formal and polite way to say “sick twisted pricks”. Quickie googled link

  51. 51
    Calming Influence says:

    O.K. here’s the next experiment: Steamed broccoli, with a little cheddar melted on. For 7 days. I had a professor in college who said if there was only one thing he was allowed to eat, it would be broccoli. Has everything you need, and kills everything you don’t need.

  52. 52
    Calming Influence says:

    @Calming Influence: And seeing that thar be snark upthread, I’ll just say there’s tons of serious data supporting broccolli and other cruciferous veggies as super health foods.

  53. 53
    hb27517 says:

    @Calming Influence: I love the word “cruciferous.”

  54. 54
    DougJ says:

    Very cool

  55. 55
    Spinoza Is My Co-pilot says:


    What are you going to do? Most people are pretty decent, but there are definitely some who get joy in life by making others miserable.

    Not even in the same galaxy as being miserably trolled on a website – particularly one like our beloved Balloon Juice here which should be, and typically is, a humanistic-minded community – while you are dealing with a loved one’s demise (holy shit but there should be a circle of hell devoted to just such people) but I was recently trolled unmercifully (mostly by the “old guard” and their sycophants) on the Coachella music festival site’s forum for having the temerity to enjoy some apparently unapproved bands.

    Love the actual music fest, which to me each year has been a wonderful and chill community assembled in the desert for 3 days of pure enjoyment together, but expecting the online forum to reflect that was apparently too much. I love discussing new music, and discovering artists new to me that others recommend, and was hoping the online forum for my favorite music fest would be a good venue for that. Goddamn snakepit instead, sadly.

    Smug, sarcastic, self-satisfied, and yes, “twisted pricks” abound, unfortunately, and the anonymity of the intertubes gives such assholes cover to treat others in a way they mostly wouldn’t dare face-to-face.

    How one could be that way online and then function as a “normal” social being in person I have no idea.

    I have no more understanding of that than I do how people (even some close to me) have a modern movement conservative worldview (aka, “fascism”). Doesn’t compute.

    Oh, and the nuns who taught me back in the early 60s are no doubt rolling in their graves over my first Cole-like “sentence”. Well, probably most of my “sentences”, actually.

  56. 56
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Calming Influence:

    It’s not just snark — cruciferous vegetables taste so bitter as to be inedible for some of us. Ironically, the traditional way of cooking them (boiling a long time) actually makes the taste even worse, which is probably why I can eat steamed cabbage or bok choy but not broccoli or cauliflower.

  57. 57
    Original Lee says:

    Congrats, John and Shawn. I want to thank you guys again for sharing this journey – it’s helped me get my diabetes under control a lot faster than my endocrinologist thought I could. I’m still testing things out, and have discovered rice is a bad thing for me, but generally I’m clocking in around 100 now, except in the mornings. I suspect I’m one of those sunrise spike people (thanks to whoever it was that talked about that!)

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