Summer of Eating Real: Atkins after 6 weeks

So, to answer the burning questions that would be on my mind if I were wondering how I was doing:

What if I get pregnant?
Atkins recommends that if you get pregnant, you immediately increase your carb intake to a high enough level to come out of ketosis, but maintain the same distribution of carbs (mostly vegetables and full-fat dairy, and then in descending order nuts/seeds, berries, yogurt, legumes, other fruits, starchy vegetables, and small amounts of whole grain). You work closely with your doctor to be sure to gain enough weight.


So, how’s about that, anyway?
Well, apparently the reason my broken wrist kept getting worse instead of better is that it’s not broken. I have De Quervain’s tenosynovitis, which is a form of thumb/wrist tendinitis that women in their 30s and 40s sometimes get, usually by picking up their children under the arms a lot (not my case, obviously). Blessings to my new orthopedist. I had my first cortisone shot last Friday and a check-up in 4 weeks, at which time hopefully my wrist will be healed enough that either I won’t need another, or one more will do it. (Two shots cures 95% of cases.) Unfortunately, (1) holding it immobilized with a fracture brace for so long caused a cyst to develop and (2) now that the left wrist is improving, I think I do have a mild case in the right wrist also. Ah well. So the long and short of it is, “playing dangerously” as a friend called it is on hold until I get the word on surgery next month.

So I’m not quite clear on where you started from …

I started at 232 pounds, even. I am 5’6½” so that put me in the “severely obese” BMI range. I wore a size 18 pants and size 14 shirt. However, I am ridiculously healthy in every other measurable way–both my primary doctor and my first orthopedist did extensive panels of bloodwork for various reasons. Other than slightly low blood pressure, most people would kill to have my numbers.

According to BMI standards, my healthy weight is between 116-156. The thinnest I’ve ever been since I reached my adult height is about 155. When I weighed 155, I wore a size 6/8 top and size 10 pants.

And now you are …
Six full weeks in. 220 lbs. even. Currently between size 16/18 pants, size 12 shirt. I’ve gone down a bra band size and also lost half a shoe size. I’ve also lost ¼” off my chest, 3″ off my waist, 2″ off my hips, an inch off my thighs (average) and 1 1/8″ off my upper arms.

According to the new, more reliable body-composition scale I got, of the last 6.3 lbs. I lost, I actually lost almost 8 lbs. of fat and gained about 1½ lb. of muscle and 1 lb. of water. My muscle weight is almost within a healthy range now, although fat is still way too high and water way too low.

So what have you been eating?
This week I’m at 40g of carbs per day, which let me tell you, is so much that I don’t know what to do with them all! Anyway, so I’m now up to eating all dairy as long as it’s full-fat; nuts and seeds; berries and cherries (and I could have melon if I wanted, but I don’t like it); and legumes. (On top of the tofu, seitan, tempeh, fish and shellfish, meat and poultry, cheese, eggs, and non-starchy vegetables I started with.) Oh, also wine and liquor.

I’m still eating two eggs (usually hard-boiled) every morning for breakfast, although I think later this week I might try doing one egg with Greek yogurt and berries. Lunch is usually leftovers from the night before, or else tuna salad on lettuce with tomatoes and cucumbers, or else a previously frozen Gorton’s fish filet (the not-breaded kind–grilled tilapia or grilled salmon) with vegetables. Today for the very first time, I had a freezer meal–it was channa masala. This is because last night I didn’t feel like cooking, so instead we had veggie burgers (me without a bun) with cheese and salsa, green beans, and salad. Anyway, for snacks today I have cherries and also roasted flavored nori (have I mentioned yet how addicting it is? yes, it’s a pre-Atkins addiction) and for dinner we’re having a cauliflower-tomato-and-cheese casserole and salad.

I’m also up to the point where I can drink diet soda if I want–I drink Zevia, which is sweetened with stevia and sugar alcohols, so the carb content is a bit higher than most diet sodas (on the plus side, it doesn’t have aspartame). And certain pre-jarred sauces and marinades–mostly Thai or Indian curry sauces–are within the range of what I can eat now. More importantly, I can now eat a lot more vegetarian proteins than I could, which is nice. I have a serious legume addiction.

We actually went out to dinner twice this weekend because my mom had sent us a Red Lobster gift card for our anniversary. I had the special, which was peppercorn-crusted tilapia. It came with a side of broccoli, grilled shrimp and tomato relish over linguini, but I got them to give me asparagus instead of the linguini. And I had a Caesar salad and didn’t eat my croutons.

Then after we saw Midnight in Paris we had to go eat French food, didn’t we? I had scallops baked in a cream sauce with prawns, grilled asparagus, a house salad, and we shared a smoked salmon appetizer. But I mean, come on–you can’t have dinner at a French restaurant whose desserts have been voted best in the city and not eat one, can you? I had a tart that was fresh pears set in whipped almond paste and it was amazing and not too sweet. I’m glad I ate it; it enhanced my weekend. (Just sayin’.)

Which brings me to the next point. After six weeks of almost no sugar, I really can’t stand sweet things (and I’m the original sweet tooth). I try Expat’s food occasionally, and I’m always shocked how sweet it is. And despite being the original potato addict, French fries don’t appeal to me that much anymore (I had one tiny taste of my mashed potatoes at the French place and decided they weren’t worth it.) Neither does bread, unless it’s really good bread. (I did have half of one of those cheddar biscuits at Red Lobster, and that was great. I skipped bread at the French place.) But most things that I try, I can barely stand one bite because it’s so sweet.

For meals out, in any case, mostly I’ve been doing the same sorts of thing I eat at home–Thai or Indian curries, and salads. Also, sashimi, or else sushi rolls made with cucumber instead of rice and seaweed.

I am starting to wonder if I’m getting close to my carb limit–none of the foods I eat are triggering cravings or blood sugar crashes, but I’ve been losing weight very slowly. If I don’t lose more this week, I might freeze at the 40g. level for a week or two. Atkins does anticipate that your final ACE (err, I think that’s Atkins Carb Equilibrium?) might be anywhere from 40-120g/day, and of course the amount to keep losing weight needs to be less.

My goal is to lose 5% of my body weight every 6-7 weeks (see, that makes the goal smaller each time–11.7 lb the first round, then 11 this round) and I’ve just about hit 5% after 6 weeks and a day. At this rate, if my math is right, I’ll hit my goal (150) in late spring of next year, if I don’t get pregnant of course. Which I’m hoping to, but that’s another diary.

See you in 4 weeks when I’m back to eating all the food in the world except the “never ever” foods (white flour, potatoes, corn, bananas, skim milk, etc.).

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58 thoughts on “Summer of Eating Real: Atkins after 6 weeks

  1. congratulations

    on the good work! It sounds like you’re right on target for your long-term plan.

    Have you changed your exercise at all (e.g., added more, or ?)?

    I’ve been doing alright, for the most part, but when I get thrown off it’s really agonizing to overcome the cravings (again). We went to the Hollywood Bowl with friends last weekend and they brought a fantastic picnic, created by a chef. I ate cheese, nuts, artichoke leaves with chopped salad on them, a tiny adorable individual tomato pie and concord grape with gorgonzola pie — so delicious! For dessert I ate a small (individual) strawberry rhubarb pie (didn’t eat the crust).  The food was really good and the portions weren’t large. I gained about 3 pounds, and they’re still with me.

    Since then — 3 loooong days — I have been battling my desire for carbs. At the end of today, it started to feel like I was back in control. It’s discouraging to be SO sensitive to carbs, and to have to expend so much mental energy dealing with it. I’m thinking my ACE is something like 20, with zero room for error. ::Sigh:: What keeps me going is how much more clear-headed I am when I’m not caught up in that addiction.

    I’m really glad you have more leeway with this than me and that you can eat out without it being a big deal. Good luck with the next 4 weeks!

    • Exercise, sort of

      my main exercise is walking the dog (she’s a Portuguese Water Dog, so that’s more than it sounds like), but that’s hard to do with only one hand. Actually anything I do is hard with only one hand! So I’ve been trying, but it’s mostly an exercise in frustration.

      It sucks that you have such a problem with carbs. I gained a pound from the French food, but it was gone the day after. Have you done any reading on this or discussed it with your doctor? I know the Atkins book (A New Atkins for a New You, pardon the icky title) has a lot of good “if you have X problem, try doing Y instead” although mostly it’s what you’re already doing–eat your fruit with cheese, etc. It basically functions as an elimination diet, though, targeting which carbs are affecting you by having you add back in one thing at a time, starting with the things most people tolerate (leafy veg, cream, nuts and seeds) and moving towards the things that are tougher (starchy veg, grains).

      They do recognize that there are two types of people, those who tolerate carbs relatively well and those who don’t. But even if you’re in the latter group, the ACE is supposed to be between 40-60 I think (about what I’m eating now). So I wonder if it’s one particular thing that your body can’t handle that sets off everything else. Just pondering … you’ve probably thought of this already.

      Thanks for the support–it’s an interesting experiment so far. I feel great. Not just physically, but psychologically. Of course, ti is summer, so that always helps too.

      • glad you’re feeling great :-)

        I’ve been keeping a careful food log. It does seem that the main culprit is wheat. I’m not gluten intolerant, it just packs on the pounds and triggers intense cravings. There was a little wheat in the tomato and gorgonzola pie crusts but the pies themselves were tiny. Even sugar doesn’t affect me the way wheat seems to.

        Physically I still have my health issues, which have been with me since I weighed 145. Psychologically things are very good when I’m out of the craving period.

        • I’m finding the same thing

          with wheat/processed carbs.  If I eat bread for breakfast or allow more carbs into my week – I crave more carbs over time and I gain weight, even if the total amount of calories/points is within my weight loss range.

          it’s a problem because those are the foods I love/crave.  I haven’t been able to decrease it to close enough to zero to get rid of hte cravings.  But I can manage it  better and feel better about it

          • Have you considered

            starting from almost zero and working up? Honestly, now that I’ve gotten used to planning low-carb menus, it’s like “geez, what am I going to do with all these extra carbs?!” and I’m only eating 40g/day … which if you figure the average woman needs 1800 cal/day and normal is considered 50% calories from carbs, that would be 225g/day. Anyway, so not trying to push this diet, it just seems to me that if you can tell something’s not right with the way your body is reacting to food, an elimination diet makes sense. Atkins is an elimination diet both in the quantity and types of carbs, and it doesn’t take that long to work all the way through all the types (about 2 months).

            You mentioned points. Before this I had been back on Weight Watchers and was gaining weight despite being within my points range–I think it was because now all fresh fruit is 0 points, so I was eating at least two pieces a day. Which is a lot of sugar. I’m looking forward to adding more fruit back in, but an apple has 21g of carbs which is half what I’m eating in a day right now!

          • I can eat some

            carbs and not get the cravings. I eat brown rice with beans and lentils, for example, and don’t have much of a problem. An apple with peanut butter is okay too.

            For so long I didn’t quite recognize the cravings because I was in a constant craving (h/t kd lang) state for so long, it was just normal for me and I ate to satisfy that. Now there’s a clear difference in my mental state when I get below the craving threshold — it feels like freedom. It’s very reinforcing ;-)

            I’m glad you’re able to get yours to a manageable place, too! Do you think there’s an age component to all this for you?

        • I realize this seems obvious

          and therefore condescending, but I certainly don’t mean it to be. I know it’s hard, but have you tried eliminating wheat from your diet? My new co-worker is insanely supportive because since his wife was dx’ed with celiac, both she and he have lost an insane amount of weight and they’re now the sort of ridiculously healthy, active people that leave me in awe. All their health problems, for both of them, cleared right up. Although he had to give up his favorite hobby, baking bread.

          • oh yeah

            It hasn’t been part of my regular diet since April. It just shocked me — again — how it triggered such a strong addictive response after just a couple of tablespoonsful.

            I wish it would have cleared up my health problems, but no. I have taken wheat and sugar out of my diet before without noticing any health improvements. What I haven’t done before is take wheat out, reintroduce it briefly, and then take it right back out again. That’s what was really hard.

            Addiction has now been labeled a brain disease. After this experience I understand it much better.

            • I don’t consider myself

              to have a particularly addictive constitution, but I noticed that eating sugary and salty foods always makes me crave more, more, more. I tend to swing between wanting something really salty (like tortilla chips) and wanting chocolate or another sweet. Over the winter I did a decent job of breaking that cycle, but now I can’t seem to get through a day without having a little chocolate or something sweet. Hanging out at the Iowa State Fair hasn’t helped…

              • That happens for most people

                according to the Atkins book. Eating sugar triggers salt cravings and vice versa. So on Atkins you’re supposed to salt your food (because you can easily lose too much water on a low-carb diet) but not eat really salty things.

                Of course, tortilla chips are a carb, also.

            • Apparently it’s not the same.

              I don’t know why not. I think it rises differently. Remember we’re also fighting the altitude here as well.

              • it’s really not- you’re right

                when my stepson was here i baked a ton of gluten free stuff, and it doesn’t act at all like normal dough or batter.  it will stick together, but that’s about it.

      • It does!

        And actually, it sounds like all things I would eat, minus the crusts. Well, except I hate rhubarb. But I’m surprised that’s caused problems–I’d expect to gain weight if I ate the pie (I did after the French dinner, and it was so worth it–and gone the next day), but not that much and not for so long. None of it seems particularly starchy or sweet. Actually I’m not eating fruit yet except berries and cherries, but that’s on next week’s list.

        • yes

          It’s been a very interesting awakening, that’s for sure.

          I am trying to get the diet stuff really nailed down before returning to work next week, where I won’t have the time or mental space to navel gaze nearly this much. For better or worse, I now understand that there’s no “just a taste” level of wheat for me unless I want to deal with several days of frankly miserable battling with my cravings.

          I think part of the weight gain and difficulty with losing it must have to do with age. I’m 52. Not quite yet in menopause but skipping a month here and there. What’s kind of amazing to me is that I maintained my weight while eating LOTS of sweets and grains for a long time. It’s a puzzlement, for sure.

          • I wonder if it’s hormonal

            I wonder how much of metabolism is hormonally regulated. Or, on another tangent, I remember Aussieyank explaining here that normally, human beings only produce lactase for the first three years of life and that, unless they continue eating dairy, the body stops producing it, rendering the person lactose-intolerant.

            I wonder if gluten tolerance is hormonally regulated as well – like, say, after puberty or after child-bearing, the body stops being able to metabolize carbs for some reason. This is just way-out speculating, but the thing of it is, in the last 18 months, I’ve reduced my refined carb intake dramatically and I find that a whole host of issues that I previously attributed to allergies have disappeared. DH, I think, is very gluten sensitive, if not outright celiac. This is something that has only really bothered us in the last few years.

      • SO good!

        A wonderful chef prepared it and packed it beautifully in a pretty basket. Swoon. Our friends bought the Bowl box at one school auction and the picnic at another, and we were beneficiaries :-)

  2. Congratulations on your success

    So, are the “never evers” what it sounds like … He thinks you should literally never eat a banana or anything with white flour or potatoes or corn ever again?

    I suppose this is all personal choice of course, just curious if that is what you meant by never ever. I could see cutting down, but i can’t imagine never eating any of those things ever again.

    • Yes and no.

      It’s “You should never ever eat them. And when you do decide to eat them once in a while, be sure it’s because you really want them and enjoy them; then watch out for X and Y, and then if they happen do A and B.” I love the realism of this program.

      But also, eating this way really changes your palate–anything sweet or starchy just plain doesn’t taste as good. I swear to you that I am the biggest potato addict you’ve ever met, and now they taste horribly bland and mealy. One small forkful of smoked cheddar mashed potatoes with chives at the French restaurant was more than enough. Even though I can’t believe I’m saying that because they sound like heaven on Earth, and the rest of the meal was absolutely divine so I have no reason to think the potatoes weren’t. (Expat practically inhaled his.)

      • wow. i wonder if i should try this.

        when i was pregant each time, i could tell because i HAD TO HAVE baked potatoes.  i didn’t just want them- i NEEDED them.  not just one- i’d have two or three and nothing else for lunch or dinner.

        i love potatoes- white ones, sweet ones- i just love them.  i wonder what will happen if i try your diet.

  3. great job!

    I think a lot of diets fail because people have unrealistic “Biggest Loser” type goals (losing 20 pounds or more a month). Since you have made reasonable and lasting changes, I think your slow and steady weight loss will continue.

    • I hope so.

      The problem is that I feel so good that it’s hard to convince myself I need to keep losing weight. The main motivation right now, other than its being easier to shop for clothes, is being taken more seriously in my career. But I’m taken plenty seriously now, so it’s more a long-term career goal along the lines of moving back East, going back to contract work, writing a book …

      • would it help to have

        particular “goal” outfits in mind? I managed to lose about ten pounds this year, and being able to fit into my jeans was a big motivator for me. Now that I can wear them (a little more tight than I’d prefer), I am struggling to find the motivation to lose more.

        • Yes and no

          I’m seriously pear shaped (my hip and leg bones were totally built for the express purpose of having lots of babies) so there’s no significant difference in the sort of clothes I wear until I get really close to my goal weight–and that’s a good 50 lbs. away still.

            • Well sure but

              I don’t see what your body type has to do with my freakishly large hips and wide-set legs? I mean, I don’t doubt that your body worked for you, but I don’t see what that has to do with whether mine would work for me.

              • Well

                It’s just that plenty of people look askance at me when thhey find out how big my kids are as I don’t have the classical big hips/legs build associated with easy childbirth/childbearing.  However my midwife seems to think that I am “built to give birth.”  I’ve also seen plenty of people with the build that’s supposed to be conducive to childbirth end up with c-sections and very difficult experiences although I’m sure some of that is the tendency of some OB’s to go right to c-sections as CYA medicine.

                • I’ve got the

                  hips, that’s for sure, but DS kept bouncing back up off my pelvic bone whenever I pushed him down, so he was an emergency section. And here I thought these sturdy peasant genes were gonna be good for something.

      • well, in that case

        can the weight loss be seen as a byproduct of the eating regime that’s prompting whole-body wellness, rather than the goal in itself? That’d probably make it easier to maintain long-term.

        After Lily turned 6 months, I started with a personal trainer to lose the weight I’d accumulated since Jess was born. At first, it was about losing the weight, but along the way it became about lifestyle and being more alert and active and content. I still haven’t lost all the weight, but I find that I’m not all that troubled by the last five pounds because I feel good.

        • Oh for sure

          It’s just that part of me wants to jump ahead from losing to maintaining, even though I know that the sensible thing is to stay in losing mode (at least until I get pregnant). It will still be a change and much more like “now” than “before”–maintenance levels are usually no more than 120g/day, which as I said above, is about half of what’s considered normal for an adult woman. But also three times what I’m eating now.

      • my big motivator now

        is the mental clarity I am experiencing. The weight is less motivating. (Though I do want that waist measurement to be safely out of the danger zone.)

        I started the diet changes with my chiro’s muscle testing and Standard Process supplement regimen, which found viruses, parasites, heavy metals, etc., in my system. I think everyone has them but with my autoimmune issues I wanted to address them. Sometimes when I see her there are no food restrictions, other times it’s no soy, no fruit, no egg yolks, no pasteurized milk. Chlorine keeps showing up as something that is negatively affecting me but since the water is one of the few places I can get a decent workout, I’m not giving up the pool.

        Going through the process I was able to identify trigger foods…. Interestingly, wheat is no longer verboten per her testing, so I guess it’s more a brain thing than a muscle thing.

  4. Sounds wonderful

    So glad to hear that you are feeling good on this program. I also find that I feel really positive and optimistic and energetic when following through on this sort of plan–not sure if it’s the diet itself or the sense of accomplishing something I set out to do, but it really is a great feeling.

    Right now, however, I’m in a slump. I’ve been back from my trip for two weeks (where did the time go?), and I’m still binging on carbs. I just can’t seem to break the re-created habit. It doesn’t help that I’ve been cooking up a storm for the kids and then also having house guests last weekend. I’m doing a little better this week, though, so I’m hoping to be back on track by the end of the week.

      • Not yet

        My kids don’t eat enough fruits and vegetables to make up for the carbs. If I eliminated the starch, they would replace it with more meat, which I would prefer to keep within the range of reasonable portions. Sunday’s dinner was basically grilled steak and veggies–they ate large quantities of steak plus one artichoke each. Not exactly a healthy meal. My main solution is to serve rice instead of wheat-based carbs, and I’m usually fine with just a small serving at dinner. I just need to get back to that point.

            • Slimy?

              I’ve never had it come out slimy. First you have to rinse it really well to remove the bitter outer covering–rinse it five times in ample water, taking time to rub the grains together each time (to rub off the coating). Then cook it like rice–I think it’s two cups stock or water to one cup quinoa, but I’m not 100% sure. Fluff it a bit before serving.

              I’ve only just discovered the key to barley: soak it overnight like you would dried beans, then cook it in stock or water. Love it!

              • Or you could just

                buy it pre-rinsed. Okay, so I’m lazy. I figure I save money by not losing a significant percentage of quinoa grains to the rinsing process.

                But slimy? The texture to me is between rice and pearl couscous. When I can, I make it at least once a week, usually more.

                But I follow this method: http://www.cookingquinoa.net/… – use less liquid and cook longer over lower heat.

                  • ‘snot here either

                    we don’t get no prewashed quinoa at the a$$ end of the planet, either.

                    Sue – I agree – washing the grains is key to making it work.

                  • Actually it’s Expat who

                    always buys pre-washed quinoa in a box. Mostly because he knows that when I buy it in bulk, I only give it a cursory rinse if that. And honestly, I’ve never had a problem with it when I don’t rinse it, even when it’s not the pre-rinsed kind.

  5. The thought of no/severely limited carbs

    gives me a sad. I will run for hours if it means maintaining my weight and eating what I want. And chances are, it will involve carbs.

    Bless you and your will power! Glad you’re feeling so great.

    • You know, I seriously thought that

      and if a decent variety of carbs weren’t in my future, I don’t think I’d have started. But you’d be surprised how little you want if you’re not used to eating them. I mean, some really, really good bread I still wouldn’t say no to, but merely adequate bread? Meh. I was lazy today and had eggs for breakfast, baked fish and wax beans for lunch, and a zucchini-tomato-swiss cheese quiche for dinner. And a diet (Zevia) grape soda. I might have an Atkins candy bar for dessert later. (Sugar-free candy is so much better than low-fat desserts!)

      • plus

        it’s not just about weight. I feel icky when I eat wheat–bloated, gassy, heavy. (Sorry if that’s TMI). I feel so much more energetic and positive and GOOD when I don’t eat wheat. That’s the real motivation. Thankfully, I’m not as bad as Mamacita describes above–I can have the occasional cookie and digest it relatively well, without the severe cravings. Buttered toast, on the other hand, is playing with fire.

  6. How does the diet feel about rice?

    So, I have been in Korea for 7 weeks, and I have lost weight the entire time. I have not been exercising (when I was back at home, I would go religiously every morning), just walking a ton, up and down large hills and around the city. Obviously being here, I have changed my eating habits drastically. Generally for a meal is some kind of soup with some veg and protein, but always served with about a cup of cooked rice. I have been surprised at how much weight I have been losing. I will still have the occasional bagel, or slice of pizza, but still the weight keeps dropping.

    For clarity sake, let me say I have A LOT of weight to lose. Probably another 75lbs (I have been steadily losing weight before this trip too). Anyway, I am not cutting out carbs, because I still have about 2 cups of rice per day, but I am eliminating most wheat carbs, potato, high fructose corn syrup.  I am going to try to continue to eat this way when I get back to the states, to hopefully continue to make a progression.

    PS. Congrats on the weight-loss and being so open about your plan :)

    • Atkins limits rice the same way as any other carb

      but I know that a lot of low-carb diets recommend using rice instead of wheat products in addition to reducing carbs. And eating carbs with some protein certainly is better than eating them alone. It also depends on the rice–sushi rice is high-starch, basmati is low-starch.

      But hey, if it’s working for you, then that’s awesome! I just know what feels right to me.

      Thanks :) . I have about 70 more to go.

      • Interesting.

        Yeah, I just wasn’t sure how the whole rice thing played out, mostly because at first I was losing weight so quickly here, I was a little worried I had contracted something. I knew I was eating more healthy but still getting a starch in the rice. In any case, I am happy with the outcome.

        This is a totally side rant, but it makes me upset that we get crap products in the US when they are making them fine everywhere else around the globe. For instance soda, I am not a huge soda drinker, but in most every other country Coke and Pepsi and others are sweetened with sugar, not HFCs, what the heck? Similarly, the big pizza chains here in Korea are Domino’s and Pizza Hut, two places you would have to drag me into in the US, here the pizza is actually quite decent and doesn’t look like it has been dropped in a vat of grease. We really shouldn’t put up with that in the US.

        Okay rant over, sorry.

          • I saw a piece on the news

            at the time of the debt ceiling fiasco.  They talked about closing the, what was it, $2 trillion difference in what the two sides wanted.  They got five people from all along the political spectrum, and the closed the gap in about an hour.  Over half was ag subsidies.  

            That of course could never happen, the lobbyists would never allow it.

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