Counting Down The Pounds

Friday, May 28, 2010

Determining My Eating Philosophy

I stumbled across the Eat-Clean Diet (Tosca Reno) and thought, hmmmm... this looks relatively close to the nutrition philosophy I subscribe to.

I finished The Eat-Clean Diet Recharged! a day and a half after finding my amazon box at the post office.  What I love about this eating lifestyle...

  • The combination of protein and complex carbs w/ healthy fats to keep you feel and energized
  • Frequent small meals (5-6/day) to keep blood sugar level and hunger at bay
  • Focus on natural foods, even for those who really can't cook (I cook... and am good at it but not everyone is!)
  • Honesty... Tosca shares her story including what our bodies really look like after significant weight loss and how she made decisions regarding cosmetic surgery after weight loss. 
  • The fact that Tosca is 51 years old and looks STUNNING... but 10 years ago she was a frumpy, overweight housewife.  She's lost 70+/- lbs!
  • The website and forums (FREE!)
  • Tosca explains how we sabotage our metabolisms (too few calories = starvation mode) and hit weight loss slumps
Tosca also emphasizes the beautiful body formula 80% Nutrition, 10% Exercise, 10% Genetics.   She goes on to say that working out isn't necessary to weight loss when you eat clean, but if you don't work out/tone then you will just be a smaller (soft, squishy) version of your former, chunkier self.  (My wording, not hers here).

What I'm not on board with:
  • The emphasize on low fat dairy (dairy fat is essential to health)
  • The focus on egg whites (the yolk of free range eggs is healthy)
So, I'm going to combine Tosca's Eat-Clean Diet with the standard Mediterranean diet (minus white carbs) and a Traditional (WAPF) diet.

Tosca says there is no need to count calories and fat... that by eating clean foods we are fueling our bodies efficiently and that foods are not equal in our bodies... we might be able to lose weight on 2000 cals/day of clean foods but gain on 1600 cals/day of junk foods. This makes sense.  I'll still be recording what I do eat and drink so that if I'm not losing, I can look back and figure out why.  

Here's my menu for today:

Breakfast (7am): GF oatmeal (1/2 cup oats + 1 cup water), 1/2 cup mixed frozen berries, 1 scant handful raw almonds + 1 heaping teaspoon of palm sugar (I can't go sans sweetener yet).
AM Snack 10am: 2 eggs scrambled w/ 1/2 cup sauteed mushrooms and half a sliced apple
Lunch 1pm: chicken breast (palm sized) + 1 cup brown rice + large garden salad
PM Snack 4pm: 1/2 sliced apple + 1 Tbs natural almond butter + drizzle of local raw honey
Dinner 7PM: Tilapia fish + 1/2 baked sweet potato + zucchini and mushrooms sauteed w/ coconut oil
Before Bed snack (if needed) 10pm: kefir smoothie

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Cleansing... AGAIN!

I'm at 16.1 lbs down... which is good, no it's GREAT.  But, it's now coming off SLOW.  And I'm impatient, remember? (I know I should be happy with another 1.1 lbs gone in this past week... heck, if I lose a pound a week, that's 52 lbs/year, right... and that rocks. But I want faster results, especially since I am working my butt off, literally!).

I'm doing circuit training 4-5x's week (my goal is 6, but who knows when that's going to actually be a reality) and trying to get walking/swimming/etc... in at least 3 days a week as well.  The good news... I'm already seeing body changes with 2 weeks of regular work outs under my belt... increased muscle tone... ability to get through the circuit easier while maintaining a fat burning cardio rate.

I've changed my diet (low carb, high protein)... in an attempt to hit another spurt of rapid loss... it doesn't seem to be working.

So, I decided to do a heavy cleanse/fast today.  Yuck, I know.

I'm doing Isagenix Cleanse for Life (4oz 4x/day) and lots of water.  The only food I get is... organic apple slices and a few almonds.  Yes, I'm starving.  Someone mentioned that I'll be enjoying headaches today as well... that'll be awesome, especially since I have one very unhappy toddler here today.

The point to this is to detox my body... especially since I've only been off the soda for a couple months (I did a gentle 14 day cleanse already) and I had some cheating going on last week. 

In other news, I spent a good part of yesterday verifying my Naturopathic coverage on our health insurance and booking my annual exam with our ND friend (who rocks, BTW).  I'm excited about this for a couple of reasons...

* No MD means no mention of the dreaded hysterectomy that I've been assured is in  my future
* No MD means not having to fight off (again) prescriptions for Metformin and HRT for PCOS
* No MD means natural thyroid and hormone therapy if needed instead of drugs to mask the problems

Here's an interesting thought... I've been 20-65ish pounds overweight for my entire adult life (since the flare of PCOS and subsequent hormone/fertility treatments).  Not one of my doctors has every addressed my weight as a health concern, because to them, I'm healthy... as in, my cholesterol, BP, sugars, etc... are all just fine.  The only times my weight has been discussed at all was during pregnancy because I was losing weight (also the only time in life my thyroid was over active). 

Even though my docs can say I'm healthy... blah blah blah... I know that I'm on the fast track to diabetes.  How do I know this (and my doctors should as well)?  My family history... EVERY.SINGLE.ADULT.WOMAN on my Mom's side has developed diabetes between late 30's-40's... and most of the men as well.  My father also has diabetes.  I also have PCOS which has been linked to insulin resistance.  I had a 9lb 7oz newborn (in a pregnancy where my blood sugar was not checked).  And the list goes on.

Optimum Health? I think not.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Weigh Loss and PCOS

I was diagnosed with PCOS way back at the age of 19.  I finally had a doctor who said, "let's see what's going on" instead of "you're young, we won't worry yet".   Even though I was young, having cycles only a few times a year wasn't normal.

As I ended my teen years and headed into early adulthood, I was planning to get married and knew that pregnancy wouldn't be easy for me.  By the time I was married at 20, we knew what was wrong and I was able to begin fertility treatments right after the wedding... a year later, I was pregnant.  I can't help but wonder how long it would have taken me to get pregnant if we hadn't been proactive...

Today, I would take a different route because I'm learning how to manage my PCOS naturally in order to find a healthy body balance.  I'm also 12 years older, which I think gives me a different perspective.  And since I've birthed three biological children and am the mother to a stepson as well, I'm no longer the young, desperate woman I was before children.  I've been reading blogs of women who are me, several years ago and so much wiser (maybe because of the blogosphere) than I was... that said, back then I didn't even own a home computer.

I knew going into this weight loss lifestyle, that it wouldn't be as easy for me as it is for some because of the PCOS.  But since I lost the first 14lbs quickly, I was hoping I'd been wrong.  Since the weight is just barely creeping off now it appears I wasn't incorrect.  *Bleh*.

What I'm learning about a healthy PCOS diet:

  • Eat high protein to help regulate insulin in the body
  • Remove added sugars, especially refined
  • Replace white carbs with healthier whole grains
  • Enjoy plenty of fruits and vegetables
I've already been doing these things for quite a while.  I honestly thought that giving up my soda habit (2-3 soda's a day, usually the 16oz bottles), would make a HUGE impact... I'm sure it will account for 20lbs or so over the course of this first year.  But, as we already know... I'M NOT PATIENT.  So, I'm praying for patience daily.

When I'm struck by a sweet tooth, I find that some fruit (especially strawberries with some whip sweetened with honey) works great!  If I do need to add sweetener to something, I'm using palm (coconut) sugar which has a GI of 35 or raw, local honey.

What I'm not doing... I slacked off on my food diary/journal.  I had this mentality that I had things down... but the weight isn't coming off so I must be missing something.

I am working out at least 4x's a week (30 minute circuit training).  My body feels it.

The good news...

We took the kids swimming yesterday, the suit I purchase for Spring Break (end of March this year) was FALLING OFF ME.

Thursday, May 20, 2010


I had a bad couple of days.   Seriously... BAD.  My daughters had First Communion and my son had a birthday... that all added up to a lot of cake in the house.

Funny thing is... on day one, I didn't do terribly.  I had one small slice of the cake.  By day two, just knowing that cake was in my house was reason enough for me to eat it... and eat it I did... I didn't crave it, after a few bites I even felt sick... but I kept eating it.

By end of day three... I was SICK.  I kid you not... hanging out in the bathroom sick.

I felt so crummy that I also skipped two days at the gym, which added to my feeling worse.  I made bad choices (having a bagel thin for breakfast instead of eggs and healthy fat), that left me feeling hungry and that led to mindless eating.

I threw the cakes out... if they aren't here, I can't eat them.  Too bad it took me three days of feeling like crap to do that! 

I'm switching off calorie and fat counting for two weeks.  Instead I am eating whole (clean, natural) foods, limited grains, and lots of protein. Pre morning workout, I had a cup of yogurt with berries. For breakfast today I enjoyed, 1 egg cooked omelet style + 1 cup of cooked gf oats w/ sliced strawberries, 1 TBS of palm sugar and 2 Tbs of whole milk.   Lunch will be a grilled chicken breast, zucchini, mushrooms, and salad.  Afternoon snack will be 2 hardboiled egg whites + a sliced apple and dinner will be a repeat of lunch. 

The combination of high quality proteins with limited grains should help fuel my body and help ensure I am burning fat and not muscle at the gym.

Oh, yeah... the gym.  I joined Curves.  This week I only made it there 4x's.  My goal is 6x's/week, since I made myself sick this week, I lost 2 workouts.  So far, I am liking it... the circuit makes sense in my world.  I'm still walking a lot and maintaining all my normal activities, so this should help burn faster and tone up as the weight is coming off.

I didn't gain any weight during my 3 day binge... I held steady at 15lbs lost. 

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Four Weeks In...

Down 15.3lbs and 5 inches.

Doing my happy dance.

I'm looking into a training program tonight to kick things up a notch (or two!).

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

My Nourishing Breakfast

I'm finding that a good protein packed breakfast is better at carrying me through the day sans hunger and cravings.

My breakfasts of choice has been:

1 whole wheat english muffin + 2 tsp REAL pasture butter
1 egg from uncaged hens


1/2 cup oats
7 chopped almonds
local, raw, honey
2-3 TBS heavy cream

I'm convinced that the use of real, healthy fats (butter, whole milk, coconut oil, grassfed meat, free range eggs) is going a long way toward staving off my former cravings.

I still have to check in with my hunger frequently... asking myself, am I really hungry or is this emotional hunger?  Usually I can decide pretty quickly by paying attention to my body (belly growling? shaky?) and thinking about what's going on right now that might prompt me to want to eat (bored? sleepy? stressed?). 

Another thing I've found helpful is dish size... I use saucer size plates instead of the big dinner plates and the smaller cereal bowls (kids bowls, actually).  This way, my dishes are helping to control my portions.

I'm changing my whole relationship with food and eating.  I'm learning why I eat the way I do and how to make the change to a healthier eating lifestyle.

I am still enjoying one cup of my sweet flavored coffee each morning... I know those 160 calories/6grams of fat will serve me better in a more nourishing food but I haven't been able to let go, yet.  Starting tomorrow, I'm going down to half the sweet cream and I'll keep reducing it til I'm only enjoying coffee on rare occasions.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Importance of The Cleanse

Yes, I started this weight loss trek with a 14 day whole body cleanse (all natural, stimulant free).

Yes, I felt better at the end.

The cleanse I chose including fiber for bulking, natural stimulant free laxative to keep things moving, and a liver support to flush toxins.  Combined with plenty of water, I spent a fair amount of time in the bathroom.

I didn't experience any major "side effects"... no major cramping or inability to function.  I did have days when I felt a little "icky".

I don't recommend a fast cleanse (those 3 days whoozies)... you'll be in pain.  I do recommend a more gentle cleanse... with plenty of water and possibly even combined with some fasting.

Repeat your cleanse every 3-6 months.  That should be fun. :)

Oh, and I'm getting my thyroid checked... I have several symptoms:
Weight gain and difficulty losing weight
Sleepiness... OhMyGosh... I fall asleep at the drop of a hat.
Cold... all the time.
Thinning Hair... I kid you not.
Acne... really?

I've done the research on natural dessicated thyroid... and plan to seek out a prescription.  Now, it's just a matter of finding the time to get my kiester into the ND.

3 weeks, 4 days In: 14.7lbs Down!

As of this morning, I've lost 14.7lbs.


I'm still writing down every single calorie and fat gram that enters my body.  It keeps me accountable.

I'm still enjoying healthy fats (real butter, coconut oil, EVOO) to help curb the cravings.

I don't miss the sweets or the soda.

I should mention that this is officially the longest I've ever managed to stay on a weight loss mission... must have something to do with the baby steps I've taken over the last couple of years toward a healthier eating lifestyle.  

Friday, May 7, 2010

Three Weeks IN...

Yesterday marked exactly three weeks on this weight loss journey.

I'm down 11.4 lbs.

My official weigh in is Saturday morning... so we shall see what their scale says!  I'll be 3 weeks, 2 days in while the other ladies will be exactly 4 weeks in.  I still think I'll be winning. :)

I'm truly not craving sweets or soda.  I'm still amazed by this.  I'm also finding that I'm less hungry (at first I felt like I was starving).  I'm nearly 100% convinced that my thyroid is wacky... I've had symptoms for quite some time... weight gain + mega sleepiness are the biggest offenders.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Cheater, Cheater... Dieting in a Fast Food World

Okay, no yelling.  I'm quite aware that fast food goes against good nutrition and optimum health.  I know, really.  But it was one of THOSE days.  You know what I'm talking about.
Today started out with Mommy needing to be in two places at once, doesn't work, you know?  Kelsey(5) and Kenzie(8) had dance recital pictures are 9am... Kaylee(9) and Kenzie also had First Communion Retreat beginning at 9am.  Thankfully, the two locations were a block from one another.  So, I dropped Kaylee off at the church and buzzed over to the dance studio.  Problem was, I didn't even get breakfast!  I woke up two hours before we needed to leave the house... began getting kids up, set oats to cooking for breakfast and started on the whole hair in buns, costumes on, cleaning up the house, morning ordeal. 

My children WHERE NOT cooperating.  I don't know what the deal was this morning...

Long story short, we loaded up in the car, with not enough time to spare (I had to stop at the grocery for fruit and veggies to take for luncheon potluck before 9am drop offs!). 

Then I realized, dang it, no breakfast for Mommy. The girls ate and the rest of the oats were still sitting on the stove top.

Well, I lasted until 10am, photos were done, girls were changed and we had joined my older daughter at the church.  I couldn't take the hunger anymore!

So, I did what any American would do... I ran to MCDONALD's.

Breakfast consisted of 1 english muffin + egg (I paid $1.94 for a sausage mcmuffin w/ egg and left the sausage and cheese off, funny how a no egg muffin would have only been $1.00) ~240 calories/9grams fat.

Once the lunch potluck rolled around, I was busy running around setting up food and obtaining proper serving utensils and making sure my celiac girl had safe foods to eat... by the time I made it to the food line, it was pretty depleted.  I had a 1" section of turkey sandwich and some fresh fruit (out of season and not tasty) and a few veggies. 

4PM found us at the bowling alley for a Bday party (in between, we ran shopping for a gift, then home to clean the floors and start laundry).  I was STARVING.  So, we ran back to MCDONALD's (hey, that's all our town has).  This time I had a plain hamburger and a parfait~ 410 calories, 11grams fat.

After the bowling party, I ran back home to grab a few forgotten items.  Then I headed out to drop the girls off (30 minutes away) for a weekend visit. 

I finally arrived back home at 7:30 PM.  Hubs was ready to walk out the door, he needed to make keys and I needed some groceries. 

We finished grocery shopping at 9PM. Hubs was starving.  I was so-so.  We stopped at Burger King, because it was next door to the grocery store we were at, one town over.  I ordered a tendergrill chicken salad with light Italian dressing and water.  The salad was frozen.  I kid you not.  I received conflicting dietary information.  The salad container stated 160 calories and 4 grams fat.  The dressing stated 120 calories and 11 grams fat (in 2 ounces, I only used 1/4th).  The chicken didn't have nutrition info on the package.  Our tray paper showed my salad (with the light Italian dressing)+ apple fries + water for 400 calories.  The website stated just my salad had 300 calories and 10 grams of fat.  Since I used 1/4th of the dressing, I'll add 30 calories and 3 grams of fat for a total of 330 calories, 13 grams fat.

Daily total= 980calories / 33 grams fat.  So, even with my tiny snacks at church, I was WELL under my daily goal.  However, it's 11PM and my belly is growling because I didn't eat my normal 6 meals today.  I won't be snacking before bed though.

*Tomorrow I'm back to healthy foods
**I don't recommend eating as I have today... it's not healthy.