Tag Archives: diet

Phase One Complete!

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My apologies for this delayed post. I finished the first 8 weeks of my incredible lifestyle change. I am so proud of all that I have accomplished. Check out my “Before and After” on the Progress page.

I visited my doctor for my follow-up on May 15. My results were promising and most importantly, I do not need medications at this time. However, I must continue with my healthy lifestyle of a low-cholesterol diet and exercise.

The Good News: My good cholesterol went up to above average! My triglycerides lowered by 50%! My total cholesterol went down 30 points!

The Bad News: My bad cholesterol still went up. My doctor feels this is genetics coming into play. However, continuing my healthy living should keep me off medications for awhile. I will be reassessed in six months.

The next phase of my healthy living adventure will be building muscle tone and definition as well as getting rid of more belly fat. I will stay on the same nutrition plan (low cholesterol diet). My fitness plan will include running and some kind of circuit training that involves weights; I am going to use Jillian Michaels videos and my rec center for running and extra weight training. I look forward to more changes!fitness-motivation-posters

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Food for Thought

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Here is a sampling of favorite meals these past few weeks:

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This is homemade guacamole (two avocados, tomato, red onion, jalapeno, lime juice, and salt). I paired the guacamole with chicken tacos (chicken breast, leafy romaine lettuce, salsa) on corn tortillas.

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This is Saj. Only the best Mediterranean food ever! This is vegetarian and packed with all the good healthy fats you need to lower cholesterol or just eat healthy. I get the falafels, green beans, tabouli, and hummus with wheat Saj bread.

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This is a yummy Italian Bean Soup. Another low cholesterol food, packed with fiber. Cannelli beans, tomatoes, veggie broth, celery, carrots, onion, garlic, basil, oregano. I added smoked turkey sausage too.

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A great snack! Strawberries, kiwi, and a light string cheese.

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Shakeology by Beachbody Vanilla. This is the only way I will eat my blueberries.

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If you need a light lunch packed with protein; quinoa, salsa, black beans.

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I love quinoa and salmon on my leafy greens. I use a heart healthy dressing by Litehouse; Red Wine and Olive Oil Vinaigrette.

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Oh my goodness! This Chicken Green Chili soup is amazing! Low calorie, low sodium, super easy to make. I had my Healthy Chicken Empanadas and beans with my soup.

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This is the most delicious dinner. I made salmon served over a bed of sauteed spinach, garlic, and red pepper flakes. On top of the salmon are garbanzo beans, tomato, and capers.

A Shocking Trip to the Doctor

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What a difference a day moment makes…

My employer offers discounted rates on our health insurance if we (my husband and I) go in for a thorough annual physical. Two weeks ago I completed my physical. Last week my blood work results came in and I received a phone call from my doctor. Everything looked really good except my cholesterol.

My total cholesterol and LDL (bad) cholesterol are very high. Combine these results with my family history of heart attack, heart disease, and stroke, it does not look good for me at all. It is so bad that my doctor wanted me on multiple cholesterol lowering medications immediately. I requested to change my diet and start exercising more, a chance to lower my cholesterol naturally. I have been given three months to lower my cholesterol. I have until June 30, 2017 to lower my cholesterol or I will be placed on medication. Challenge accepted.

I have joined a Beachbody Challenge Group and the group of women I am virtually working with are amazing and help keep me accountable. It makes this process fun.

I am on a low cholesterol diet and exercising daily. I have to diligently watch my saturated and trans fat levels as well as my sodium and cholesterol intake. Also, I make sure to get the good fats (poly and mono-unsaturated fats, omega-3’s) in my diet and take my omega-3 pill.

It is definitely a change. I really miss cheese. and fried foods. and baked goods. and delicious processed foods. But I am staying strong. This isn’t going to be easy but I know I can beat this with hard work and a positive attitude.

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HOLD: My 17 Day Diet Adventure

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Well ladies and gents, I am going to have to hold off on The 17 Day Diet for a bit. I have been fighting with (what I think is) the stomach bug since late last night and I am absolutely miserable. If you want to continue with the plan by all means go for it and let me know your thoughts and results. I will update you upon my return.

My 17 Day Diet Adventure

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Cycle 1: Accelerate: Day 1

  • Breakfast – strawberry meal replacement shake and I use one cup of TruMoo chocolate milk and one cup of ice in my shake.breakfast-day1
  • Lunch – turkey sausage, chicken breast, onions, and quinoa with steamed cauliflower that had a little hot sauce on them. I mixed all these items in a pan together and ate until I felt comfortably full. (The book has a guide on “fullness meter” and “hunger meter” to assist in overeating or not eating enough). I had two cups of hot green tea with lunch.

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  • Snack #1 – six ounces of Greek Gods Greek Yogurt Honey with a generous sprinkle of cinnamon. The six ounces (or 3/4 cup) is a LOT of yogurt, so I took my time eating it.

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  • Snack #2 – Yoplait Lite Key Lime Pie Yogurt with a sprinkle of cinnamon.
  • Dinner – my leftover’s from lunch, salmon filet, chicken breast (which I wasn’t able to finish), and spinach sauteed with garlic and one tablespoon of olive oil. I had two cups of green tea with dinner.

My first day was a good day. I did not get my fruit servings in before 2:00PM so I skipped the fruit servings. Mild headache for most of the afternoon but I ate slower and drank a lot of water. I tried to keep my hands busy (because I get bored) so I crocheted when I was sitting. I wasn’t hungry but still had cravings; cheesy enchiladas and chips LOL It was mind over matter.

I got 30 minutes of mild swimming for my exercise. The book requires 17 minutes of mild to moderate exercise per day so I am ahead of the game today.

I am not counting calories, which is nice, so I am not using My Fitness Pal during this time. I will still be getting my weight and measurements but at the end of each 17-day cycle. I am anticipating reaching (or getting very close to) my goal weight after the first cycle, but we will have to see how things go and if I need to move to the second cycle before going to maintenance mode, I would be okay with that too.

I am hoping the rest of the cycle continues to go smoothly.

A New Direction

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Jump Start the Body

I need to seriously jump start this weight loss process. I haven’t had to lose this much weight in a really long time and the traditional measures I have used in the recent past are not working as effectively. This is probably because the amount of weight I need to lose as well as my body has become very comfortable on the nutrition plan.

Many years ago I purchased a book, The 17 Day Diet by Dr. Mike Moreno. At that time it did not apply to me because I was already very close to my goal weight so I stored the book and just rediscovered it yesterday when I was rummaging through boxes under our stairs. I reread the box to refresh my memory and this nutrition plan is definitely the wake-up call my body needs to get going and stay on track (fingers crossed).

The 17 Day Diet is four separate cycles of 17 days per cycle. Each cycle is different to keep the body guessing and prevents plateaus. It is focused on nutrition and putting the right foods into your body. Each cycle adds different foods gradually. This plan specifically targets belly and visceral fat (which is where I carry my stubborn fat). Visceral fat is very unhealthy and my large amounts of belly fat is creating a high BMI that I need to lower to be healthier and maintain the low rates on my health insurance.

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What I like about this plan (so far) is the diet is thoroughly researched and developed by a doctor who has been involved in his patients’ weight loss for many years. He designed The 17 Day Diet to promote eating healthy, focus on foods that promote weight loss and removal of visceral fat, and so you can see results quickly. He even has considerations for different cultural diets, PMS week, and carbohydrate sensitive individuals (like me). So far, I cannot find a way out of this nutrition plan (other than not doing it or giving up). It really is simple; there are grocery lists, menus, guides, considerations, etc. The only thing I do not like about this book is the weight guide. I disagree with the chart. I am 5’3″ and small framed/boned. The chart says I should weigh 109 – 115 pounds. Not a chance that I even want to weigh that much and I know I would be uncomfortable weighing that little. So I am going to keep to my goal weight (125 pounds) and when I feel great in my skin I will move to the maintenance mode. That is the good thing about the plan as well; you can move through the phases as you see fit. It is a flexible plan.

The first cycle starts with unlimited lean proteins and cleansing vegetables with two servings of low-sugar fruit, two servings of probiotic, and one to two tablespoons per day of friendly fats. Also, three cups of green tea and at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day.

The second cycle adds additional protein (lean cuts of meat), some natural starches (i.e. grains), and some starchy vegetables (i.e. potatoes).

The third cycle adds additional protein, some different natural starches, some more starchy vegetables, and new friendly fats. This cycle adds portion control and varies the calorie intake daily to keep your body guessing.

The fourth cycle is all about maintenance. There are many tips and guides on how to maintain your weight loss.

I am going to document and track my experiences with The 17 Day Diet and you will see those posts every day going forward. Keep checking back every day to see my progress and join me if you like!

The Un-Diet Diet

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Don’t Diet! Just Eat Healthy and Exercise

glamourI was reading through my Glamour magazine and came across a wonderful article in the Body section about a weight loss plan from Dr. Yoni Freedhoff. Dr. Freedhoff has been a dedicated obesity specialist since 2004 and believes weight loss should not be rapid and dramatic with food deprivation. Here are some of his major points for healthy weight loss:

  • Don’t Go Hungry: Always have breakfast within 60 minutes of waking up; control your appetite by having three meals and two small snacks per day (even if you don’t feel hungry) as this will ward off hunger pangs and cravings.
  • Keep a Judgement Free Food Diary: People who keep food journals lose twice as much weight as those who don’t; keep your journal positive, don’t note whether you’ve “good” or “bad” but rather monitor each day’s degree of difficult and spot patterns to adjust food choices for more successful eating.
  • Clean Your Kitchen: Literally; people who maintain a clean and organized kitchen are more often to actually use their kitchen; clean out your pantry and fridge of unhealthy food choices, stock up on healthy choices, commit to cooking and trying one new recipe a week.
  • Have Protein Every Time You Eat: Protein is the best deterrent of hunger and cravings; be sure you are having 20 grams of protein per meal.
  • Take a Vacation From Weighing Yourself: Remember that the number on the scale doesn’t equal a healthy body; you are the best measurement of your health; success is sustaining a healthy lifestyle where you feel happy with your body, and keeping the weight off.

By following Dr. Freedhoff’s methods, his patients have lost an average of one pound per week (safely) and 81% of his patients have kept their weight loss off consistently and permanently.

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For more information about Glamour’s health and fitness section, click here.