Four Hour Body diet — week 8

| February 25, 2012

I am definitely off that plateau, probably thanks in large part to my daily mile-long walks up and down the driveway. At this point, halfway towards my goal date, I’ve lost 18.6 lbs (of my goal total of 30 lbs), including another 2 lbs this past week. I’ll probably add one extra driveway “lap” (= 0.2 miles) to my routine every week or two just to keep the burn rate up. On the other hand, it has probably been at least a few years since my weight was this low, so I’m pleased with the progress.

Clothes fit much better. I bought a pair of jeans with a waste size 2″ smaller than all my existing jeans, and I was able to put them out. It wasn’t easy, but then again, getting my existing jeans on wasn’t easy before I started this regime. On the other hand, when we moved to Colorado nearly seven years ago, I owned and could wear jeans whose waste size was 4″ smaller than my existing jeans, so I have a ways to go.

At my wife’s suggestion, I’ve started making large batches of white beans and ham hocks. This dish gets better with time and reheating, turning into something approaching bean-with-bacon soup, though with no sugar. Here’s the recipe I used for the latest batch:

  • 3 lbs dried great northern beans
  • 3 tablespoons black pepper
  • 1/4 cup vinegar (I used malt vinegar in this batch)
  • one large smoked ham shank, pre-cut (usually found in the “weird meats freezer” section of your supermarket)
  • 1 tablespoon salt

Put the beans in a (very large) pot, rinse thoroughly, cover with water (several inches higher than the beans), let soak overnight. In the morning, pour off the water, rinse the beans again, then cover them with water, and put the pot on the the stove. Bring to a boil, then simmer (just boiling) for 2 hours or so. Stir in the pepper and vinegar, then add the ham shank. If you’d like, you can add other meat at this time: diced ham, sliced sausage, chopped bacon, etc. Simmer (again, right at a low boil) for another 2-3 hours, then add the salt. (You want to add salt as late as possible, since it stops most beans from softening any further.) At this point, you have a pretty classic white-beans-and-ham-shank soup, with a clear broth. However, if you keep it cooking and/or if you refrigerate the leftovers and then reheat it, the broth starts to thicken and turn whitish-brown. This makes a great beans side dish for 4HB meals.

Gotta go now; it’s my cheat day, and my wife and I are heading to the movies, where I can indulge in nachos and candy.  ..bruce w..

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Category: Food, Four Hour Body, Health and Fitness, Main, Personal

About the Author ()

Webster is Principal and Founder at Bruce F. Webster & Associates, as well as an Adjunct Professor of Computer Science at Brigham Young University. He works with organizations to help them with troubled or failed information technology (IT) projects. He has also worked in several dozen legal cases as a consultant and as a testifying expert, both in the United States and Japan. He can be reached at, or you can follow him on Twitter as @bfwebster.

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