Counting Down The Pounds

Friday, June 22, 2012

Fat Fast -OR- Sugar Detox

I'm at another plateau. . . granted it is *mostly* self induced.  I had a miscarriage and gave it a bit to sweets and even had an almond butter sandwich on gluten free bread. 

At this point I'm trying to decide whether to go with a 3-5 day fat fast (Atkins style. . . 1000 calories a day, 90% fat) or jump back into the 21 Day Sugar Detox.  I'm not eating sugars, but I am eating a lot of cheese, a fair amount of heavy whipping cream, and using some truvia/splenda (I know. . . ).  I've found that my body requires shaking up every few weeks, but I am at my staying point weight. . . meaning, every time I've lost weight this is about the lowest I get (within 4-5lbs).  I know that my body can shed at least another 20lbs and possible even 35lbs but it seems quite happy right where it is.  So, I need to shake things up and get this body out of it's comfort zone.

What I've noticed as we've transitioned to grain free living (Paleo, if you will) is that a lot of weight loss plans share a commonality- carbs aren't great for most bodies.  This is the premise of Atkins, The Metabolism Miracle, and The Paleo Solution (and I'm sure many others). The biggest part of any of these weight loss plans is to continue them for life. . . sure, you can lose weight if you go hardcore Atikins for a few months. . . but that weight will creep (or run) back on once you go back to your old ways.

I'm not giving up. . . I finally see the light and know that my body can be thinner than I am now.  I don't expect (nor have I ever expected) to be a skinny mini.  My body isn't designed that way.  I do expect to be healthy and petite, with lots of lean muscle and curves. 

Researching Paleo, I've noticed that women whose weight stall out tend to have a few things in common. . . we like Paleo-fied baked goods, nuts, & chocolate.   Atkins recommends a decent amount of cheese a day (3-4 ounces) and I've noticed that my body doesn't like cheese so much (but I sure love it!).  I tend to do better if I keep my diet at fat, protein, & veggies with maybe a touch of fruit and only a serving of nuts/nut butters each day.  This leads me to think the 21 Day Sugar Detox is going to be the way to go in order to break this plateau and push my body under the next decade mark.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Daily Menus

What have I been eating in this Paleo/Low Carb World I now live in. . .

Breakfast- 2 eggs scrambled with diced ham
Lunch- extra lean turkey burger patty topped with herb cheddar cheese and mixed baby greens
Dinner- rosemary tri tip roast with cucumbers and mixed baby greens topped with full fat ranch
Snacks- 10 lg. olives, hard boiled eggs
Water- lots and lots.  My method is to keep a small glass (think juice glass) on the counter top and chug one at least once an hour.  If I sip, I don't get enough in.  So I walk over, fill the glass (my holds just about 8 ounces) and down it in a minute or so.  The water is kept at room temp in my filter pitchers.
Other beverages- occasionally (no more than one a day) I'll have a tall glass of Crystal Light Pure Lemon (30 calories and 6 carbs in the full packet).

Breakfast- grilled ham steak w/ sauteed mushrooms (1/2 cup before cooking)
Lunch- Lg. salad w/ cucumbers & broccoli topped with grilled chicken, sprinkled with cheddar cheese and topped with Ranch dressing.
Dinner- grilled shrimp & scallop skewers, cooked broccoli topped with herb butter.
Snacks- cheese stick & 5 cherry tomatoes, or 2 celery stalks w/ cream cheese.
Water repeat day 1 protocol
Other beverages- iced coffee 

Our new favorite ways to get more veggies in:  Cauliflower soup and pizza crust (post coming soon!). 

I'm going to reduce my butter use starting tomorrow. . . I've been using it to cook all my eggs and meat in. . . and I'm losing weight, but honestly between that and the cheese my skin is feeling kind of oily vs. just well hydrated.   My Atkins get started pack arrived today. . . I'm not a fan of anything artificial so the bars and shakes will probably be slim to none in our house (I did buy a box of chocolates to try and a pack of shakes for my sister who is doing this with me and having a very hard time wanting sweets.)  Anyway, the get started pack has a meal plan listed in it. . . the menus give you the option of a real meal -OR- an Atkins replacement product (of course, they want to sell things, right?).  Here's a sample day from that plan (this should illustrate that this isn't a bacon/mega high fat diet):

Breakfast- 2 poached eggs, 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese, 2 lg. tomato slices, 2 marinated artichoke hearts, 2 Tbsp hollandaise sauce (recipes on
Snack 5 cherry tomatoes, 2 Tbsp Aioli -OR- Atkins Day Break Chocolate Hazelnut Bar
Lunch- sauteed halibut, 1 Tbsp Herb-Butter Blend, zucchini and jicama salad
snack- 2 stalks celery with 2 Tbsp creamy Italian dressing
Dinner- grilled chicken, 2 Tbsp hollandaise sauce,  cup baby spinach (raw), 3 marinated artichoke hearts, 1/4 cup scallions, 2 Tbsp Creamy Italian Dressing.

That looks like a pretty balanced day of lean proteins, healthy fats, and veggies. 

Saturday Scale

Saturday is officially my scale day. . . and once a month it'll also be my measurement day.  I've developed a scale addiction. . . climbing on every single day (sometimes twice a day) and then getting discouraged if the numbers haven't decreased.

I know that weight loss over a week is more measurable than watching it daily.  So, that's what I'm doing. . . breaking the scale habit.

Today I'm thrilled to say I'm officially down 20.2 lbs since the end of March (I don't remember my actual start date, but I do know that around Marcy 27th is when I had my wake up, you are beyond chubby moment).  I'll be buying myself some new shoes soon!

The low carb thing is agreeing with me. . . although berries sound DELICIOUS and I can't wait until they are part of my daily regime (in moderation, of course!).

Today I'm sipping iced coffee. . . I tend to make a pot of coffee in the morning and then only have one cup. So later in the day I'm at the point of dumping out the rest. . . I started freezing coffee cubes.  Then I pour my cold coffee over a glass full of coffee ice cubes, add a couple packets of Splenda or vanilla SF syrup, and a tablespoon (or two) of heavy cream.  Yum-O!  I just had a thought. . . I should start putting the leftover coffee into a carafe in the fridge for the next day. . . that'll reduce the coffee waste around here!

Did I mention that cheese doesn't seem to get along with me?  I love it, don't get me wrong. . . cheese is my go to food for a quick protein packed snack, for flavoring just about anything. . . I love the tangy taste that's so versatile.  But, since I dropped down to Atkins Induction Phase (instead of just Paleo), I've increased my cheese consumption (Atkins allows up to 4 ounces a day) and my skin is the worse for it. . . Guess I'm back to tiny amounts of cheese here and there.  *sigh*  I may have to add a serving of nuts or nut butter in to replace it since snacks of olives and hard boiled eggs might get boring. . .

Oh. . . did I mention that my size 10 jeans fit me again?!?!?!?  They are a little more snug fitting around the thighs than I'd like, but the waist and booty almost have room to spare.  My legs aren't thinning down as much because I'm working out and they are building muscle!  Still, I hope they do thin down over the next couple of months.   This whole size 10 thing is almost worth the 3 inch bust loss (and resulting lack of fullness).  I don't own any size 8's anymore, so once I get too thin for 10's I'll have to hit the resale shops.

Movement on the scale and smaller clothing definitely keeps me motivated and helps keeping me from cheating. . .

That said, I went out with the girls the other night. . . no drinks for me, I chugged water instead!  I was good and ordered a mixed green salad and chicken skewers (minus the peanut sauce).  But I caved when the dessert menu came around and had a chocolate pot de creme. .  .which overall wasn't a bad choice except for the SUGAR.  And guess what, almost as soon as I finished it I was SICK.  Honestly, a bite or two would have been plenty for me because the sugar was overpowering since I don't consume sweets anymore but it was so good I kept eating. . . I got hot flashes and terrible gastro pain pretty quickly, thankfully it passed over a couple hours and I didn't end up spending the night in the bathroom.  I'm not sure if this was a gluten or sugar reaction, but it wasn't my typical gluten reaction, so I'm going with sugar.  My body says "NO!".

Monday, June 4, 2012

Pounds and Inches

As of today I'm down 16.2 lbs and 19.5 inches (although 3 of those inches are from my bust. . . I'm afraid the pretty, perky, well endowed bust I've always enjoyed may be going bye-bye).   I'd love to double those numbers a month from now so I've switched up my routine AGAIN. :-)  I know that I'm gaining more muscle from working out and that muscle weighs more than fat, but I'd still like to see the fat melt off a bit quicker.

I've been researching Atkins.  It's really not that different from Paleo so I'm going to combine the two.  I don't believe in artificial anything (sweeteners, colors, low carb frankenfoods), so I'll be skipping all that.  I am going to take the Atkins phases approach to our Paleo eating.  The last couple days I've spent monitoring my carbs and helping my body adjust (I've been known to get really weak and sick from drastic dietary changes).  Yesterday, I had about 55 grams of carbohydrates, today I had about 38.  Tomorrow I will drop down to 20 grams and full Induction phase for at least two weeks.   I've been peeing like crazy and had ketosis breath, so I'm pretty sure I've been low enough carb for my body anyway but I'm going to follow the carb plan laid out in Atkins.  During induction I am going to try to limit my cheese if possible (like in the 21 day sugar detox), although I may need the extra fat until I can add nuts in a couple weeks.

Where I'm struggling. . . I really like my coffee and it needs to be sweet.  I've tried the sugar free syrups and heavy cream but I just can't get over the fake sugar taste.  As it is, I'm wasting my morning coffee, which maybe is a good thing?

After at least two weeks (or more realistically at least 10 more pounds lost), I will add in 5 grams of carbohydrates each week as long as I continue to lose weight (obviously slower than in induction).  The first thing I will do is add an extra serving of vegetables.  The following week, I will add a serving of almonds or almond butter.  After that I will add a serving of berries so I can enjoy the berries and cream I've been dreaming of.  If my weight stalls out, I will probably try to restrict cheese before removing these additions as I want a full balanced diet.

What I've realized is that my body rests happily in its zone once I've adjusted to a way of eating. . . I'm not sure if this is metabolic resistance (metabolism B) or what. . . What I do know is that I have to change things up fairly frequently in order to maintain a good weight loss. 

Reading Dr. Atkins New Diet Revolution (2002 edition) makes me think I can be as thin as ever. . . dare I hope for a size 0-2?  At this point, I have a goal in mind and that goal is 35.4 lbs away still. . . once I achieve it, we shall see if my body can go lower still.  

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Almost a Third of the Way!

I'm down exactly 15lbs. . . it's been about 6 weeks with 4 weeks being almost 100% Paleo (grain free).  I'm thinking it's about time to measure again. . . my 14's are officially falling off!  I can pull them off without unbuttoning them.  I don't have any 12's in my closet, so I'm hoping to make a quick transition into my 10's (of which I own several pair!).  I'll just wear a belt and have saggy butt syndrome until then. :-)

My friends are noticing. . . one said this morning, "I swear you've lost another 10lbs since last week. . . you are getting TINY".  Tiny is a overstatement. . . but I'm definitely shrinking again.  Yay!

For lunch today:
Leftover Cauliflower soup (this is a favorite in our household) w/ a small amount of raw sharp cheddar cheese and a bit of diced up uncured ham.  Joining my soup is a side of sauteed zucchini and mushrooms in Kerrygold butter.  This is not a high protein lunch, but I'm counting on the healthy fats to carry me through.  I love this soup and it's a great way to sneak in a couple extra servings of veggies.

Yes, I've made some not so healthy food choices along the way. . . for instance, this past weekend, Hubs and I stayed out of town and ate out the entire weekend.  I had 3 coffee shop mocha's -AND- 2 milkshakes over the course of three days.  Bad choices. . .but I made them consciously.  I didn't consume a bit of grain. . . I did have mashed potatoes with my steak and veggies.  BUT I didn't gain a pound (I didn't lose any either).   Monday and Tuesday I spent in carb detox and it wasn't fun. . . it's funny that as I eat standard American diet foods, I feel crummy.  I didn't realize how desensitized I was to foods until I took them out of my diet.   This amazes me, especially since I already ate much healthier than the average American (no gluten, only whole grains, limited sweets, no fast food, etc. . .).

I'm actually getting excited for family photographs at the beach in late Summer.  Looks like I won't have to hide behind the kiddos this time!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

My Grain Free Life

I'm really liking how I feel sans grains (and refined sugar).  My body is happier (it tells me so).  I'm trying to break my scale addiction, so I won't weigh in again for at least another week. . . maybe longer.  I'm going to restart the 21 Day Sugar Detox on Monday (I've had a bit of cheese and occasionally a second piece of fruit or a nip of dark chocolate here and there).  My pants are getting looser and looser, to the point that I'll have to dig out the 12's again soon. Right now I'm walking around with saggy butt syndrome.

This weekend I'm making the choice to not eat 100% fabulously. . . it is Mother's Day after all and I'm having some hormonal issues (or mental issues. . . whatever you want to call it, I'm not pregnant again. . . 18 cycles later and it's getting a bit difficult to deal with).   So, I'm going to have a bit of healthier treats here and there and start the detox anew on Monday.  I'm happy with this decision and know it's just what I need (emotionally speaking) right now.

For lunch, I had an all natural (no sugar) bratwurst sausage and a few organic apple slices.  It was delicious.  I should have some veggies as well but I don't feel like it.  I've actually been eating a lot of veggies but I've found that if I do have "treats" I tend to not want as many veggies.  Weird but true.  I was planning to fast today but I only made it until 1PM.  We will see how the rest of the day goes.

I was just comparing the 21 Day Sugar Detox to the Atkins Induction Phase and I think they are pretty darn similar.  Eat protein, healthy fats, and veggies.  My brain needs a bit of carb/starch (like a banana) after my workout or I hit a big slump.  I have noticed a significant slump mid afternoon and I need to figure out if that's because I need a bit more carbohydrate or if its not diet related at all.

All in all, I feel really good. . . my skin is great. . . no break outs. . . no need for lotion or lip balms (I'm an addict).  This is due to adequate water intake, adequate healthy fat intake (yay for real pastured butter and coconut oil), and no depleting foods in my diet (soda, sugar, processed stuff).

For a reformed vegetarian it is quite a feat to say. . . I like meat.  I don't even mind cooking it anymore (raw meat used to gross me out).  Maybe that's because I feel healthier than I ever have in my life.  I'm wondering how I'll do morning sickness wise when I do conceive again. . . in my previous pregnancies I've had hyperemesis for 16-20 weeks and lost a significant amount of weight (my first OB actually sent me to a nutritionist like it was my fault!).

My kids are loving the grain free life as well.  Giving up breakfast cereal has been the hardest on them, but since I'm the mean Mama that only allowed it once or twice a week it hasn't been a terrible adjustment.

Here's to optimal health! 

Monday, May 7, 2012

On Not Being Hungry

I've been eating Paleo/Grain Free for just over a month now.  I'm not hungry.  I am eating plenty of protein, healthy fats, and veggies.  I miss cheese, but I'm surviving with just a tiny bit every now and then.

Last night, I made the children some delicious chocolate chip scones from The Gluten Free Almond Flour Coookbook (Elana Amsterdam).  I ate two with real butter on top.  That was definitely a cheat. . . since there was 1/4 cup of maple syrup (recipe called for agave) and 73% dark chocolate in them. . . but they were delicious. (Hard core paleo's would scoff at eating "treats". . . that's okay, I'm not nor will I ever be hardcore.)

For breakfast today, I avoided the scones (it was close) and sauteed up some mushrooms and organic broccoli slaw (Trader Joe's) in real butter and added two scrambled eggs.  Yum.

I didn't drink enough water over the weekend and my hands feel very dry today.  I'll work on correcting that balance today.

Over the weekend, we moved 7 yards of play ground fiber with shovels and wheelbarrows.  I think that was pretty close to natural body movements and boy was I sore the next day. 

I was back at the gym this morning. . . I know it's good for me but sometimes my bed is just so warm and cozy. . . it's hard to crawl out.  That's another place I'll never be hardcore. I don't find washboard abs on females to be attractive (or fertile), so you'll never find me striving to achieve that kind of body.