My Eat to Lose Plan 2015

Foodie Friday: My Eat to Lose Plan 2015

Hello People!

This is the one you have been waiting for!  Or at least it’s the one I’m most interested in when I’m looking closely at what one eats to lose weight. In the video I made for you I mentioned that I don’t measure things out; now I do. Some stuff has changed since then so here is the gist:

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I did a lot of searching on the internet at what different people eat to look a certain way.  Mostly I viewed the strategies of James Bond girls, and was led to many of the conclusions that I present here. Also, I got a lot of good nutritional information in the book Six Weeks to Sleeveless and Sexy by J.J. Virgin.Unknown-1  For the record, I am not on a crash diet or any type of boxed food ordered meal program that I pay to eat (other than my vegetables that I will explain later).  This is a diet designed by me, for me, and works with my metabolism which thrives on the macronutrient ratios of: 50% Complex Carbohydrates, 40% Protein & 10% Fat.  This information I gathered doing lots of experiments through eating meals and by reading the book How to Eat, Move and Be Healthy by Paul Chek.Unknown-5

I eat 3 meals a day and sometimes an afternoon snack, but not always.  It depends on my hunger level and when I eat my meals in regards to spacing; also how much I ate at the last meal. Meals are generally spaced about 4 hours apart. I try to eat meals that will fill me up with lots of fiber so I am not constantly thinking about food which tends to happen to me when calories are restricted and I’m eating too many carbs, of any kind. I drink coffee with whole milk and 2 tsp of Manuka honey and one more cup with 1 tsp coconut oil and whole milk every day.  I am not omitting dairy, caffeine, fruit, carbs, saturated fat or chocolate from my diet.  This works for me, but may not work for everyone especially if you have an intolerance (like to dairy) or cannot eat one square of chocolate and be satisfied. The diet is varied and I cook all my meals myself.  I eat as close to “clean” as possible.  There are some exceptions due to the fact that I am not trying to be a body builder or become weird about food.  I love to cook and that will never change.  I love flavor andUnknown am not afraid to use marinades, sauces, dressings or seasonings/salts to make my food taste good. If you don’t know how to cook or what to cook I suggest the cookbook Cook This, Not That! by David Zinczenko and Matt Goulding. Let’s talk details:

Protein

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I eat a lot of protein because it tastes good to me and fills me up. I love animals and wish that I could be a vegetarian, but I feel like crap when I omit animal meat from my diet.  Sorry. Therefore, I buy the least offensive meat possible when I can in the form of organic and/or free range.  Most of the meat I eat is in the form of: Chicken (all parts, not just breast, but no skin due to calories), Skirt Steak, Lean Ground Beef, Eye of Round Steaks, Lean Pork Chops, Pork Tenderloin, Canadian Bacon, Whole Eggs, Salmon, Mahi Mahi, Talapia, Sole, Scallops, Shrimp, Ground Turkey, Turkey Breast on the Bone and Turkey Cutlets. I eat about 150 to 200 calories worth at every main meal which is roughly (depends on the protein source) 3 oz weighed after cooking.

Carbohydrates

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I’ve gotta have these or I won’t be able to stand up.  These have probably been the most limited in variety in my diet as compared to everything else I eat. The carbs I mix and match are: Sweet Potatoes, Brown Rice, Basmati Rice, Squash, Carrots, Sprouted Grain Bread, Beans/Legumes, Fruits and Oatmeal.  These I try to keep low glycemic due to my body processing them like fire and leaving me starving in an hour if they are too high on the glycemic index.  Beans in the form of black, pinto, white, pinquito, lentils and black-eyed peas leave me feeling the most satisfied.  I put them in a crock pot with water or broth, a can of chopped tomatoes and a can of enchilada sauce and let them party in there for 6 to 8 hours on low heat.  I use a rice cooker to make rice and steam vegetables and fish.  I bake my sweet potatoes with no oil but eat them with butter. Squash, Carrots and whatever other veggie is laying around gets roasted in a hot oven with a splash of olive oil. I eat about 1/2 cup or 1 serving of Carbs at my meals. My carbs usually total about 80 to 100 grams a day.

Fats

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I am not afraid of fat and nor should you be.  Fat makes you feel full and gives your brain something to fuel itself with.  We can live without carbs and protein for a while, but not fat.  I cook with fat and eat fat on my salads and in the form of sauces.  I love Butter and Coconut Oil in organic form.  I sauté a lot of vegetables with garlic in Olive Oil and dress my salads in Extra Virgin Olive Oil or Flavored Oils.  I eat Avocados and Nuts a lot too.  Cheese (1 oz daily) is also a fat source for me as well as Whole Milk in my coffee and black tea.  These are of course all measured out using spoons or scales because a little goes a long way.

Vegetables/Produce

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I don’t love vegetables, but force myself to cook them or eat them raw or find recipes to make them taste good.  Sometimes I make soups with them or chop them up raw and eat them mixed with romaine lettuce.  I recently went back to my twice monthly order of a box of mixed organic vegetables delivered to my front door.  This helps me eat them and use them in recipes.  Otherwise, I may not buy them or eat them in the quantities that I should.  I aim to have 5 to 7 servings of fruits (no more than two of these) and veggies a day. Lately I have been planning my meals around the fresh Vegetables I have and not the protein.  My favorite salad dressing recipe is: Extra Virgin Olive Oil of the highest quality, fresh Meyer Lemon Juice, Crushed Garlic, Salt and Pepper.

Calories

Bean Chips

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I messed around with the number for this for a few weeks because I need to lose weight, but I need to not feel constantly hungry too.  Hunger can be tamed by the types of food you eat and the ratios, but know that when you are on a diet to lose weight, there will be a bit of hunger; you are eating less food and creating a caloric deficit – so one must get used to it!  Maintenance will add a few more calories back in, but not MANY more. I initially started with 1,400 but was not losing weight.  Then I dropped it to 1,000 to 1,200 but felt I needed a snack at the mid-day point sometimes.  So, I have settled on 1,300 for now. This seems to be a good set point for me and works with my BMR.  This number may be fiddled with again later on, but for now it is working like a charm.  I do add in 3 cheat meals a month.  These are chosen carefully in advance and I enjoy them without guilt.  It is 3 cheat MEALS though and not DAYS. Also, on Sundays I am allowing myself to eat 1,500 calories and take it easy on exercise. Variety will keep my body guessing.  I also have alcohol occasionally, but it is rare.

Is that what you wanted to know?  Hope so…I am tired of writing now and need a snack 🙂

 

When in Doubt…Go Back to Basics

Think It Through Thursday: When in Doubt…Go Back to Basics

Hello People!

I was going to film this update for you but decided to spread out the info over the next few days in separate posts.  I want to make the posts really personal from now on and make this blog more about me and my journey and what exactly is going on in my personal transformation.  In the past it tended to take on a more general approach to weight loss and staying in shape; although after saying that, all of which I have formerly posted I did and am doing.  Right now though, I want to be extremely selfish because I am fed up with the way things have turned out in regards to my getting and staying in shape…read: NOT.

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First things first, it is NEVER a good time to start.  There is always a reason why it is too hard to do these things.  The fact is if you don’t do it now, then when?  I had to just make up my mind to stop staring at the clothes waiting patiently in my closet (for years now!) to wear because they are 3 sizes too small thinking, “I’ll wear those when I’ve lost weight.”  I am also wearing out my shape wear (a.k.a. gut suckers) and don’t want to buy more to flatten out my belly and thighs.  I just want it done and the only way to get it done is to start and then keep going until it is finished.  No dilly-dallying anymore.  No taking time and the easy route.  That has kept me in maintenance mode and in falling-off-the-wagon-one-too-many-times mode.  I have hitched my trailer to a fast car and am speeding down a highway called Lose Weight Now!  This is the only way for me to do it.  I am focused and have a plan with a mission.  Some may be shocked at my plan and may think I am a hypocrite because I have gone back against my word that I have written posts about, but it is all temporary to get the weight off.  Maintenance will be a different plan.

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So that brings me to my next point: Make a Plan.  My plan is mine and works for me but may not work for you. I’ll share it with you, but don’t think that I believe this is a one-size-fits-all sort of deal. Losing weight is personal and you must experiment (as I have been doing for years!) with what works best for you.  The long and slow routine wasn’t working for me, so I created a more direct approach with fewer pit stops.  The specifics of which I will share in later posts this week.  Just know that I have it in writing and I live these “directions” every day until it is done.  It’s sort of like following an instruction manual; do this, then that, then another until you reach the end.  It has specific guidelines to follow.  I write it all down and look at it and go back and look at other days I have recorded before just to reflect.  I’m using a small spiral bound notebook to track all of my food and exercise info.

My plan is to work in 6 week segments.  I will weigh myself once every 6 weeks (YES!) and measure myself as well.  I have a chart to write down this info on.  I have a goal date of June 10 which gives me about two 6-week groups.  If the weight isn’t all off by then, I will continue until it is. This is a hard-core plan, so a lot should be off by then.

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One funny thing I want to share with you all is that I have been weighing myself all these years on a broken scale!  My scale is probably from the 1970’s and apparently weighs me about 5 pounds less than I really am.  Now that’s a problem!  I only just realized this and was horrified to know that my starting weight was much higher than I had thought. Here are some stats:

Age: 43

Height: 5’2.5″

Starting Weight: 152 lbs.

Hip Measurement: 42 inches

Weight to Lose: 34 lbs.

Goal Weight: 118 (I’m short!)

Reaching Goals

Now I know that weight/weighing oneself is not that great of a measuring tool.  If I find that at 123 I look and feel great and have muscle tone to die for, then that is where my weight will stay. 118 is a goal that I am working towards and that number can be adjusted later if I want it to be different. I formed this very specific plan after I filmed my last video for you but am incorporating things I was doing then into what I am doing now. More to come on this topic later…

 

Sugar Anyone… Again?

Inspirational Sunday: Meditation for Sugar Avoidance

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6 months ago I posted my thoughts on a book I had read and typed out half of one of the meditations in the book.  I want to finish what I started and give you the rest of the meditation.  This part is a little hard to handle…fair warning.  But it may be just what you need to complete the mission of erasing bad habits from your subconscious. Remember, this is to be done lying down in a restful state. Or, if you are an experienced meditator, do what you prefer.  I recorded this on my phone in a calm and clear voice and play it sometimes when I need a hit! To read part 1, click here.

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Meditation: Sugar Avoidance (part 2)

  • You are going to see yourself seated at a large table covered with cakes, cookies, gallons of ice-cream, candy, and even bowls of pure, granulated sugar. The table is piled high with sweets and people are watching as you become increasingly embarrassed by your indulgence in sugar.
  • You are seeing people who are important to you watching you stuff your mouth with all the poisonous sugar food.
  • Your family, your friends, your colleagues watch you as you poison your body with sugar and you are becoming embarrassed.
  • That’s right, you are literally becoming embarrassed as you stuff yourself with sugar.
  • You literally see yourself becoming fatter and fatter.
  • You see your clothing becoming tighter and tighter as you get fatter and fatter. The buttons on your shirt are popping off. The seams of your slacks are splitting.
  • You are imagining pure, granulated sugar in your mouth.
  • It is almost repulsive and nauseating because you can hardly swallow.
  • As you hold this picture in your mind, think: For my body, sugar is poisonous; I need my body to live; I owe my body this respect and protection.
  • Anytime you are confronted with a decision to eat refined sugar, you will bring up that image of yourself stuffing your body with sugar, and you will repeat: For my body, sugar is poisonous; I need my body to live; I owe my body this respect and protection.
  • This will block almost any desire for sugar.
  • Imagine holding the remote control for your television.  Press the “off” button and that negative image of yourself is gone.
  • Return now to the confident, excited, strong image, having no desire for sugar and feeling so good about yourself.
  • Just notice how much better that image of yourself feels.
  • That’s right, you are feeling confident that you can control your craving for sugar.
  • It will become easier and easier to limit refined sugar because you want to live to see your children and grandchildren grow into healthy adults.  You want to experience life to the fullest.
  • You know there will be no situations in which you would allow yourself to overindulge in sugar.
  • You know that this desire for sugar reflects a malfunction in your brain and not a real need to put sugar into your stomach. That’s right, you are gradually changing the nature of your brain. Any urges for sugar are going to grow steadily and markedly less.
  • You are feeling very good about yourself and you feel certain that you have the strength to avoid refined sugar when you choose. Your mind is gradually changing your brain so that you will no longer crave sugar.
  • Just allow yourself for a moment to imagine what sugar, that poisonous lethal habit, does to your body.
  • That image is going to help you to cope totally with any desire to eat sweets.
  • There would be no situation in which you would allow yourself to overindulge in sweets.
  • Visualize your head held high, your shoulders are thrown back and you are feeling so good about your growing strength to avoid sugar.
  • Becoming stronger and stronger and having almost no desire for sugar.
  • You really enjoy that image of strength and confidence. You will take that image of strength and confidence wherever you go.

Cardio Mash-Up

Exercise Monday: Cardio Mash-Up

I recently joined a local gym! Yay me!  It was because I yearned for spin classes and yoga but I’ve been mostly just using the equipment doing my own thing at my own time, ya know?  There is nothing wrong with the classes except for the fact that they are always at the butt-crack of dawn, but other than that, it just comes down to what I’m in the mood for.

If you like to use the machines but want a new routine, here is a mix of the treadmill and recumbent bike to spice up your calorie torching sessions.  I wear a heart rate monitor for this but you can guesstimate if you don’t have one by feeling how hard you are breathing or exerting.  It uses a scale called RPE or Rate of Perceived Exertion.  It ranges from 1 – 10, 1 being easy-easy to 10 being not able to keep up longer than 30 seconds at a time.

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I got this from: December 2013 Shape Magazine

Burn 300 in 30

Time (minutes)             What to Do                        RPE

                                         CYCLING

0 – 5              warm-up: pedal at an easy pace       3 – 4

5 -7                       increase resistance                      5 – 6

7 – 8                     decrease resistance                      4 – 5

8 – 12       sprint for 30 seconds, then pedal at an easy pace for                           30 seconds. Repeat 3 times.                    4 – 8

12 – 14         increase resistance; pedal hard           7 – 8

14 – 15                  pedal at an easy pace                    4

15 – 18                 repeat minutes 12 – 15                 4 – 8

                                       TREADMILL

18 – 21                 jog at a moderate pace                5 – 6

21 – 23             increase speed by 0.3 to 0.7            7 – 8

23 – 25                 increase incline by 1.0                   8

25 -28              sprint for 30 seconds, then jog at a moderate pace                              for 30 seconds. Repeat twice.          5 – 9

28 – 30           cool down; jog at an easy pace        3 – 4

 

 

 

 

Parachutes

Think It Through Thursday: Parachutes

Hello People!

First, I just wanna say that if you have been following and reading my blog for a while or even from  the beginning, THANKS!  I appreciate your support so much.  It really is a journey and you have really seen the ups and downs of what I go through which may be similar to your own journey.

Now, I want to discuss my recent decision to free-fall from the great heights of Diet Mountain.  I am of course referring to my last post that had a video talking about my choice to go diet-free forever.  If you haven’t seen it, I think it is worth watching because I make a lot of valid points about the realities of being a serial dieter…….for 27 years.

There are a few things I want to list and talk about in greater detail that I didn’t get to expand upon in the video.  They are mentioned, but not fully explained.  You see, when I said I was free-falling, I forgot to mention that I also packed a few parachutes along with me on the way down.  I’m using these as guideposts in my diet free life.  They give me some control in doing something that I feel I have no control over, at least not yet.  (It’s terribly ironic that being on a diet may seem to give a person control over food and over-eating and god forbid – bingeing, when in fact, and certainly in my case, it was nothing but being out of control.)  These are actually lessons that I have learned in my reading of the French culture and the way they observe the art and science of food/exercise/joie de vivre!

Parachute #1: Eat Only When Really Hungry

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Note: This tip has also many sub-categories such as – gauge how hungry you are towards how much you eat or plan to eat.  It really is simple though.  Feel hungry, then eat.  As a dieter, you tend to become afraid of hunger; I still am terrified of a rumbling stomach.  All I can think of is “Will I faint?”  In the book French Women Don’t Get Fat, the author recommends taking a snack with you everywhere you go “…just in case.” She calls this your “en cas.”  You don’t have to eat it, but it is reassurance if you get into a bind and the next meal is nowhere in sight. But the real magic in this tip is connecting to your body and feeling what it wants.  Diets tend to be very planned and timed.  I recommend eating 3 meals at least a day, but think about how hungry you really are before each.  If it is time for lunch but your hunger is slight, don’t eat all that you packed/prepared.  You can always save the rest for later or, gasp!, throw it away.  Or, find another time later in the day to eat if possible.  Check your hunger on a scale from 1 to 10; 1 being starving and 10 being maximum stuffed.  Try to feel about a 2 or 2.5 before really enjoying a proper full meal.

Parachute #2:  Don’t Snack

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This was/is a big one for me.  As an American, I know that there are entire food products made in my country just for snacking!  I also am guilty, or, errrr, rather used to having 2 snacks a day between my breakfast and lunch.  This was due to the fact that my meals were not satisfactory enough to hold me for four to five hours.  So, a typical lunch would only fill me up to a 5 or 6 on the scale.  Also, I did something called “preventative eating” which meant that I could get hungry after a meal between it and the next one, but a snack would thwart that.  Therefore, I never really experienced true hunger.  This parachute is key people!  That whole concept of eating small, snacky meals 6 times a day is bogus for me.  That is a body builder concept to “keep the metabolism running constantly.”  I don’t want my metabolism running constantly!  This forces me to always be thinking about food and when my next “meal” will be and I’m never really satisfied after eating.*  So instead, I would suggest really understanding what types of foods fill you up and avoiding those that don’t.  For example: Whenever I drink diet soda, I get ravenous no matter how much I ate before drinking it.  So, I avoid drinking diet drinks or using artificial sweeteners.  This also includes stevia I’m afraid to say.  It also tends to press my hunger button. Also, high-glycemic foods make me ravenous in about an hour after eating them; example: Jasmine Rice.  Time them wisely or combine them with other low-glycemic foods to balance them out in the same meal.  Snacking is fine if it is truly needed, but make the food choice carefully and try not to ruin your hunger for your next meal.  That is the goal.

*Note: I realize this is a personal preference.  If you like the small meal tactic and it works for you, by all means keep at it.

Parachute #3: Stop Eating When You Feel Full

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NO, you don’t have to finish what is on your plate.  Yes, you can throw away the excess or give it to the dog if you can’t eat it all and don’t want to save it for later.  If the fork is half-way to your mouth and you feel that sudden knowing of fullness, put it down and push the plate away.  It really is ok to only eat to satisfaction.  This is a real art to discover though.  Dieters lose touch with their feelings of satiety.  They weigh and measure and spoon specific portions and confine themselves to little boxes of food rules.  If you binge, then being full can be completely ignored and one only stops when they feel physically ill from over stuffing.  This means you have lost touch with fullness. Remember, stop at about a 7 or 8 on the scale.  If you aren’t sure, think about it without eating in the meantime.  Put the utensils down and just sit there not talking to anyone and think.  Wait a few minutes. Drink some water.  Take some deep breaths.  Think about happy things, not stressful ones.  Don’t distract yourself either.  Really think about it.

Parachute #4: Eat Only Whole, Unprocessed, In Season Foods

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Forget eating for health.  Forget eating to lose weight or be cancer free.  Eat to taste and enjoy.  Do you remember eating a vegetable that was delicious? Really…like a tomato freshly picked from the vine still warm from the sun, sweet and juicy?  Enjoying the taste of your foods and eating whole foods that are in season/ripe will fill you up much better than anything with a food label on it.  If you are one of these people who eats from cans, bags and boxes (I see you out there!) this is exactly what you need to avoid.  There is a whole British documentary you can watch on YouTube about how those prepared meals are designed (designed food???) with chemicals to make you hungry for more (MSG anyone?) so you will buy more and eat more thus paying the companies that make them more!  Again, simple: If it did not come from the earth or have a mother, don’t eat it.  Or, if it didn’t exist as a whole thing in nature 100 years ago, don’t eat it; READ: Cheetos, Progresso Soup, Healthy Choice Frozen Dinners.  Shop for most of your food in the perimeters of the store – Produce, Dairy, Meat/Seafood, Nuts, Eggs, etc. Get out of the Cracker/Cookie isle!  Yes, whole, unprocessed, in season foods are healthy and that is the bonus.  But that is a boring way to dine.  In other words, don’t eat boiled mushy broccoli because it is healthy and that is what healthy people eat.  Eat broccoli if you like it, but learn to prepare it in the most delicious way possible.  Enjoy what you eat or don’t eat it.

Parachute #5:  Learn to Cook Really Good Food/Meals

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If you have trouble with cooking, or hate it – learn to make a handful of delicious recipes that are simple to create but taste divine.*  I didn’t say quick though.  Quick cooking is not usually the most delicious way to eat, but not always.  This may mean you need to experiment with recipes and find 10 solid, go-to meals that you can whip up without thinking.  Some people hate the chopping and picking and bending over recipes to read the fine print meanwhile something is burning, part of cooking.  I get it.  But it is going to help keep your weight down much better than running to the nearest burrito shack every time dinner rolls around.  Plan your meals in advance and make more than enough for left-overs for days of the week you cannot cook.  I know, it’s a pain, but so is having cancer and sitting next to a chemo drip.  Soon I will post a group of vegetable recipes that are super delicious and easy to prepare. I’m looking out for you!

*Need ideas for yummy meals?  I have a section on my blog called Recipes and they are all delicious and road tested by me and my family and friends.  I always assume that the person reading and preparing them are not advanced cooks, so they are easy to make.  Also check out the book An Everlasting Meal by Tamar Adler for cooking simple, often cheap foods and making them taste great.

This is not an exhaustive list, but it can get you started if you want to jump off the carousel of diet-whirlwind.  Am I perfect at all of these things yet?  No way!  This list is definitely a work in progress that will take time to master.  But I am enjoying my meals more and I’m not constantly thinking about “how many calories are in that?”  It is a freedom that I don’t ever want to lose again.

Know When to Say “When!”

Hello People!

Long time no post.  I have been in diet limbo for the past near month.  On a whim, I ordered a long forgotten diet that had worked for me in the past, The Prism Diet, and had started it with full enthusiasm.  It is based on Christian principles that when applied, are darn good.  It requires a mentor to monitor your progress.  This is very important.  So, I called the number listed extensively throughout the book and the-all-important Curriculum Binder to ask the headquarters if they could find me a mentor.  The number sent me to a recorded message that wanted to send me on a “FREE CRUISE!!!” Also, when searching for the diet and a basic website on Google, one is lead to a series of dead-ends mostly with people asking on chat rooms if the diet works or not (most decide that it is too rigid, to this I LOL’d a few times).  There isn’t a website or a headquarters.  Apparently, the diet is now defunct and the creators of it don’t care about you or their precious diet that was created for the masses.  To be honest, I couldn’t even find an entire Curriculum (each section of the diet is grouped by 6 weeks of time, this is contained in the Binder as a whole; mine is missing the last 6 weeks) and only ordered a partial from Amazon; used of course.  Then, I got bored. Then, I got angry.

It just isn’t working anymore.  I think my body gave up on dieting and has taken the offensive against my good intentions.  It is holding onto 25 pounds of fat like white on rice and I’ll be damned if losing it isn’t the hardest thing I’ve ever done, including training for a marathon!

Sooooo….. I made a little/big video just for my blogging friends.  I’m sorry it is a half hour long, but it is straight from my heart and I could not find any of it to trim to make it shorter.  It was filmed in my backyard on a breezy afternoon.  So, if you get bored looking at me, you can watch the leaves dance behind me.  This video explains my current thoughts on losing weight, what I plan to do in the future and what I think about diets.  I’m sure you can guess, but I would be happy if you watched it anyhow.  It just might give you some ideas if you are in a rut as well.

P.S. The blog will be different from now on based on these thoughts.  I am even contemplating changing the image of this blog to reflect my new attitude towards eating and health.

New, Old Plans

Hello People!

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Sorry I took a long break from the blog here.  It wasn’t that I lost focus on losing weight or exercising or reading anything and everything about health and wellness.  Those things are always happening in my life no matter what.

In fact, I began a rigorous exercise program 3 months ago and have dramatically changed the shape of my body.  I mentioned somewhere on here before that I would take photos to show a before and after effect.  I was doing just that, but then I started to notice something that was irritating me…I was changing the shape of my body by building muscle, but I was not losing any weight (talk about stubborn!).  You may also be aware that too much rigorous exercise can increase one’s appetite, offsetting the fat loss one hopes to lose while sweating and dying to such routines. So, I’m keeping my workouts to under an hour and a half.  But usually, it’s just an hour a day.  My long 2.5 hour Sunday walk is out.  Walking is great, for beginners, but if you want to really see changes, you must up the ante.

So back to that non-weight-loss problem.  Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrrrgggggggghhhhhhhhhh!  Full Charlie Brown style.  I have become one irritated person and it is time for the big guns.  I was really hoping that I could lose weight by eating a sensible number of calories, thus not lowering my metabolism and causing metabolic damage.  Let’s just say I have, during my absence, taken every road for that plan and no weight has been lost.  I have maintained weight, which is great and useful for later on, but I need to drop these 25 pounds now!!! I don’t want to wait any longer (not that I’ve been waiting, it’s been more like an exercise in futility for 3 arduous years).

Therefore, I have gone back to an old flame.  The one diet that I lost considerable amount of weight on about 13 years ago, is now in my possession.  Since reading the book that was written about it, I have realized that this particular diet is now defunct across the nation.  Not because it was a bad diet or had problems with it’s requirements; actually, I don’t know why.  The phone number listed for more information connects you to a “Win a Cruise for 2!!!” hotline.  A website does not exist.  The only thing that keeps popping up on Google is about a “Fat Chick on a Diet” complaining that because she wanted a bite of fudge at Christmas, she wasn’t going to go on the diet and sent all the materials back (LOSER!, or, not really).  One of the main important features of the diet is to have an accountability partner or leader help you weekly with your lessons and progress.  This person checks your food diary and goes over your workbook answers and discusses anything that may need to be addressed.  That is the best part because the accountability holds you, the dieter, responsible and makes you think twice about eating that “forbidden food.”  The diet is called PRISM.

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I will go into more detail about it in another post (I ordered from Amazon an incomplete workbook for phases 1 – 3, but there are 4), but for now I just wanted to inform you that along with my fitness regime I now have a rigorous diet plan.  It isn’t easy or flexible.  It does work though, and that is the bottom line.  For some of us, we need strict adherences.  Even a little bit517TAn-00PL of leeway opens the door to temptation which then leads to failure.  This has been my pattern and I want to end it as soon as possible.  For now, my accountability partner will be you all  🙂  and God.  I’ll share my weekly food journals with you on Thursdays from the previous week.

more to come….

Challenge Video #1

Foodie Friday:  Challenge Video #1: Sweet Beverages

Hello People!

I’ve got a video that I made for you today.  I hope you like it.  It was actually made a really long time ago, but I want to share it with you now.  I hope you find it inspirational and take me up on my challenge! (Actually, I need to take me up on my challenge and find that Chai Spice Yerba Mate tea I recommend and get off the coffee that I went back to drinking…Just one more cup!)

Speaking of videos, I’m at the end of my year for teaching at the college (where I work) and will soon have way too much idle time on my hands.  I was thinking of making a YouTube channel just for bfitafter40.  Would you like that?  I could make more videos in that genre that way since my normal channel is about a myriad of topics besides weight-loss and getting fit.  I’ll keep you informed.

P.S. I’m laughing at my hair in this video because it looks like I used a whole can of hairspray on it.  I think it was 120 degrees inside my house that day and didn’t want to look like a sweaty mess. Ha Ha!  I hope you enjoy.

Recipe Ideas

Foodie Friday: Recipe Ideas to Spice It Up!

Hello People,

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I wanted to share a practice that I use in regards to recipes.  I LOVE cookbooks, and that is an understatement, and I love trying new recipes as often as I change clothes.  What can I say? I just get bored eating the same old thing day-in and day-out.  If a recipe really jumps off the page and is beyond amazing, I will cook it again and keep it in my repertoire of food that is really good when I want to eat something I know for a fact is delicious or want impress someone else with my amazing cooking skills (sly fox!).

My system for keeping track of how a recipe fared in my kitchen and stomach is by using check _MG_0918style grading marks.  A check + (plus) means that the recipe was out of the ball park good and will definitely be made again (any recipe I’ve shared on here, the blog, has received that marking); a plain  check by itself indicates that the recipe tasted so-so or had some issues in preparation or difficulties in ingredients.  I may or may not prepare that dish again depending on it’s problems.  If it was a simple matter of overcooking or the wrong proportions of ingredients, it may take more experimenting to decide ultimately; a check – (minus) means that the recipe was a real fail and either is thrown away if it came from a magazine or clearly marked to_MG_0923 ignore if I come across it again in a book.  I place these checks on top of the recipe in bold black ink so that I can see it clearly (pencil can fade or get erased) when thumbing through the book the next time I’m hunting down new recipes.

I also add personal notes in regards to what I think the problems were, what extra ingredients I _MG_0920added/took out, how it didn’t work well halved/doubled, cooking temperature problems, and generally what I thought about how it tasted.  If the recipe was delicious_MG_0919 with the additions I made, then I keep them for the next time I make the dish.  I also know that I can manipulate the recipe for further tweaking if I want too later.

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At one point, I sat down with 4 or 5 five of my favorite cookbooks (books that I’ve got a lot of check pluses in!) and wrote down on a paper recipes from those books, under different headings, that I must try and that would be appropriate for clean eating and/or weight loss.  On that list I cross off the one’s that I’ve cooked and continue on the list when I want to try something new.  I found recipes for all types of meals: dinners, lunches, salads, soups, etc.  Each one of these recipes I “tasted” in my mind before choosing them for the list thinking that they would probably end up as check pluses eventually.  Most do, some don’t. The picture in tomorrow’s post is the result of one such recipe that only gets a plain check from me (Black Bean Burgers).  The taste was good, but the burger fell apart and was a mess.  Tricky to cook too.  Also, the recipe asked for no seasoning.  I found that extremely odd.  Of course, I added my own.  One thing I should have added to this list, is the page numbers that I found these recipes on.  I can just as easily look in the Index for them because the book is indicated (by abbreviation), however, I’m just lazy.

Do you have any ways of remembering how you liked or didn’t like a recipe?  I have so many recipes in books and torn out sheets/cards it’s hard to keep track of.  Perhaps my method can give some of you ideas if you share in my: I-have-too-many-cookbooks “problem.”

Flavor Boosters

Foodie Friday: Boost the Flavor in Your Food

Sorry for my brief absence.  One of my younger sisters just got diagnosed with Breast Cancer, and my family and I have been dealing with that.  She is only 38 and it is such a blow to all of us.  This is in addition to my other younger sister who was diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer when she was 29.  I have often felt that there is a bit of an estrogen dominance on the maternal side of the family.  We, women of the family, suffer from terrible hormonal imbalances in different forms.  All I can advise to you reader, is, get yourself checked for illness/cancer/hereditary diseases/etc., on a regular basis.

Ice Cube Yumminess

Today I wanted to share a quick tidbit with you all than can help disperse of some almost used up lemons, limes and the like that are bumming around in your refrigerator.  I often make what I call “flavor boosters” in ice trays.  They can be used in a myriad of ways, like sauces, smoothies, pasta dishes and so forth.  Here’s what you need:

  •  Ice cube trays (I have two non-stick ones)
  • Leftover juice, pesto sauce, tomato paste, coffee, etc.
  • Patience and time

So, you just fill the tray with whatever you have lying about and freeze these up.  Pop them out when they are set and put them in baggies to store in the freezer indefinitely.

I like to use the coffee cubes in protein shakes.  The lemon juice I can use in sauces for chicken or fish.  Pesto is good on anything. Just go CRAZY! No, not really.  The beauty is, I don’t have to open a whole jar or bottle or brew up a whole pot of these flavor boosters when I only need a small amount.  If you have ever needed just a tablespoon of tomato paste, but to get it you had to open an entire can, then let the rest spoil, you are able to understand how convenient this can be.  It may be more trouble for some, but I only see it as a win-win.

Note: I also freeze leftover wine, but it doesn’t completely freeze (alcohol doesn’t freeze, basic science – blah, blah), and so it just turns to slush making it not-so-neat in the ice-cube trays.  Therefore, with wine that’s left in the bottle that doesn’t quite make a full glass, dump it into a sealable plastic baggie or glass container like an empty jar, then toss into freezer.  When needed, scoop out the appropriate amount with a spoon/fork for your recipe.

I hope this proves useful to you!  Happy Valentine’s Day! 🙂