Tag Archives: easy

Progress!

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I have been at this low cholesterol nutrition plan and exercise for three weeks now. I have to give myself a huge pat on the back because things are going very well.

I did not think I would be as successful but the Beachbody Challenge Group is such a fantastic and supportive group of women, which greatly helps in my accountability because I do not want to disappoint them. The first week, I had a few headaches and I was a little irritable; however, I survived and things are much easier for me.

I think my stomach is shrinking because I do not eat very much and moderation is becoming more natural. Portion sizes are easier to manage and my body is not craving food like it used to, which  is fantastic.

I did not lose much weight last week but I did have two cheat meals and did not exercise very much. I continue to lose inches and some of my pants are loose on me now. Not only do the numbers look good, I just feel amazing. I am happy, I have higher energy, my libido is coming back, I am at peace, and have more patience. I just feel…so good.

As I go into week four, I am planning on jogging/running on the elliptical 12 miles per week and getting 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar into my diet per day. I heard these measures (on top of my low cholesterol nutrition plan) will help blast the belly fat (which I have a lot) so I am excited to make these additions and see what happens at the end of the week.

motivation

 

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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.

17-day-diet

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!

Lentils: Superfood

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Lentils are a Great Substitute for Carbs

As you navigate your weight loss and/or healthy living, sometimes reducing carbohydrates is necessary (even for a short while) to improve weight loss and eat more healthful. If you’re like me, my body thinks it cannot live without an over-abundance of carbs. I love chips, potatoes, macaroni and cheese, pasta, bread…oh my goodness, so yummy! BUT when you are trying to lose weight, eat healthy, and/or stick to a more diabetic friendly diet, carbohydrates (in excess) are not good for your body. Please note: Your body requires carbohydrates to function but in reasonable amounts, so please do not go “carb free” unless otherwise instructed by your physician.

A great alternative to carbs (and it tricks my body into thinking I’m getting a lot of food) is lentils. Lentils are a superfood and very rich in dietary fiber, lean protein, folate, and iron. Also, lentils contain potassium, calcium, zinc, niacin, and vitamin K. One cup of lentils contain 63% (16 grams) of your daily fiber as well as 18 grams of protein and less than one gram of fat.

lentils

Lentils are very easy to cook (only 15-20 minutes boiling/simmer). You can add them to soups, have them as a main dish, or prepare them as a side dish. Lentils are versatile and you can add your favorite spices and flavors to compliment any protein or prepare as a meal. Here is a Lentil Superfood Soup that is absolutely delicious and contains additional powerful superfood.

I made Curried Lentils yesterday where I added ginger, curry, onion, and carrots to the lentils. Warning: Cook curry in a well ventilated space or open a window prior to making these lentils (trust me, my house had a strong curry smell for hours LOL).

Curried Lentils

  • 2 tablespoons EVOO
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 4 medium carrots, chopped
  • 1 cup lentils
  • 2 cups low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
  • Black pepper (flavor to your preference)
  • Lime juice (flavor to your preference, I squeezed a half lime into the pot)
  1. Place the EVOO into a pot and bring heat to medium.
  2. Add garlic and onion to pot. Cook until tender, about 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add ground ginger and curry powder. Mix well.
  4. Add carrots, lentils, and broth. Stir.
  5. Add black pepper and lime juice. Stir.
  6. Bring to boil.
  7. Cover, lower heat to strong simmer.
  8. Cook for 15-20 minutes.
  9. Enjoy!

I made a double batch in order to eat a cup at a time throughout the week. I ate a cup of the Curried Lentils yesterday with tilapia. I am going to eat a cup of the lentils today as a main dish.

 

Chicken Empanadas (HEALTHY)

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To-Die-For Snack-Size Chicken Empanadas

My husband, the culinary genius, made the most delicious Chicken Empanadas. Here is the secret to his success with the healthy version of a Latin classic.

Ingredients:

  • 8-ounces of boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • One clove of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/4 Cup of a small onion
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, finely chopped (cored and seeded)
  • 2 Tablespoons chicken stock or water
  • 1 teaspoon minced cilantro
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 Tablespoons dry bread crumbs
  • Wonton wrappers (10 wrappers)

Prepare the Filling:

  1. Cut chicken into one-inch diced pieces.
  2. Put the chicken, garlic, onion, green bell pepper, chicken stock or water, cumin, and cilantro into a skillet over medium heat.
  3. Stir often, cooking until chicken is completely cooked.
  4. Transfer the skillet mixture into a food processor/blender and mix until coarsely ground. The mixture will be dry.
  5. Add two Tablespoons of breadcrumbs. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Refrigerate until cold.

Constructing the Empanada:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Lightly spray baking sheet with Pam.
  3. Cut wonton wrappers in half, at a diagonal.
  4. Lightly brush edges with water (to help with the sealing process).
  5. Place a Tablespoon of the chicken filling into the wrapper; fold and seal shut (crimping the edges with a fork).
  6. Repeat steps 4 and 5 until all chicken filling is a wrapper.
  7. Bake until golden brown; approximately 4 to 6 minutes per side.

Nutritional Information:

Serving Size = One Chicken Empanada.FOFLCB02

25 Calories, 0.1 gram Fat, 44 mg Sodium, 4 mg Potassium, 4 Carbs, 2 grams Protein.

I dipped my empanadas in a green tomatillo salsa (low sodium, low calorie).