My husband and I began following Jorge Cruise's "Belly Fat Cure" plan in March of 2011. Needing to keep my motivation up, and also wanting an archive to read back over, I decided to join the legion of those people already tracking their progress.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


Scale this morning says I'm down 3.2 pounds, so I guess my mostly behaving wasn't getting me too deep in trouble. F-Factor cereal for both breakfasts so far this work week. That stuff has 17g of fiber per serving, so it really kick-starts the loss of the false fat.

Dinner tonight is burgers. I found these really soft sandwich rolls that fit in the plan, and when I had one on Sunday I decided that I could probably cut out the middle third of the bun and still have plenty to hold the sandwich in (I put hot sauce on the burger and couldn't even taste it with all the bread in the bun!).

I think I'm coming down with something, though. My mom has bronchitis - and has for a long time - so I figure if I don't load up on the Vitamin C and the Zinc, I'll end up just as sick (though I won't wait months to go to the doctor!).

Here's another fun earrings photo:

Monday, September 26, 2011

I have had the hardest time getting back to good BFC behavior. I got very thrown off by the hurricane last month and I spent the entire month being good for breakfast and lunch and then eating whatever sounded good for dinner.

My husband has decided that, while he's going to try and make better choices, he's not strictly following the BFC anymore. I'm trying to just be thankful he'll still mostly eat it when we eat together. And since making that decision he's been mostly good. A package of Halloween Oreos and a carton of milk, but mostly good.

Or as mostly good as I've been, anyway. I would really like to see that scale turn around again, though, and so I'm keeping my eye out for a Fast Track book. I want to see the recipes before I start it. The way the free PDF menu was presented, there's no way I can get my husband to sign on. But he doesn't like repeated meals. I can live on leftovers forever but I knew just skimming it that we'd need more variety for my husband's palate!

So I want to see the recipes offered before dropping the cash on the book.

I'm actually interested in getting all my carbs and fiber from vegetable sources, but I need to research it because it seems like the ones with fiber are also the ones with sugar. And I am NOT a fan of bell peppers which tends to limit the recipes I can select from.

On Friday we had bulgolgi and those spicy asian green beans from Healthy Indulgences. Threw in some Shiritake noodles and it was EXCELLENT. So I think Friday was actually a <15/6 day! But every other day has gone over in one spot or another.

Yesterday was the only day I could say I didn't strictly adhere but also didn't end up eating something crazy, even with the cupcakes that we were sent home with from a friend's house on Saturday.

Today it was back to F-Factor for breakfast, Joseph's Pita Turkey sandwich for lunch and dinner.. well I don't know what I'm having for dinner yet. Possibly Oatmeal, as I find I definitely don't have time to cook for real on days I go to class (or I'd have bacon and eggs), and I need to stop at the post office on the way home.

I also have had a really hard time getting back to my usual class schedule for Martial Arts, so I think it's a general malaise thanks to really being thrown off by the hurricane.

Did I mention I found a Belly-friendly Latte option for Starbucks? It's still definitely a 'sometimes food' (as Cookie Monster would say), but it's delicious and I actually found I prefer it to the Pumpkin Spice Latte (and yes, I slipped up and had two - and both times wished I'd gone for something permissible!)

So I call it the "Special" -  a tall (12 oz) double-shot (because normally tall comes with one shot) half caff/ decaf (because caffeine is bad for our brain function and other nerves) latte made with Heavy Cream (not half & half! don't let them say "Oh, Breve, got it"), topped with whipped cream and powdered cinnamon. If only they had a sugar free syrup this sucker would get every box checked off on the side of the coffee cup! (I figure I get extra credit because they need to write a lot of it out!)

The double-shot is to cut back on the heavy cream necessary to fill the cup. I estimate there are about 8 tbsp of from-the-carton heavy cream in this drink, and myFitnessPal calculates this to be 4.8g of carbs and 1g sugar. Much improved over the 25g of carbs in a venti breve latte! And less calories because even though I'm drinking it with HC, I'm having 1/3 of the total size. So it's just over 400cal instead of over 700cal (I know we don't count calories, or fat or protein, but there's still that "use common sense" in the back of my head). But it is 24g of sat fat, might as well dunk some pork chops in it! So like I said, Jorge gave us free rein on the fat and protein but I won't be having this every day. And certainly not within a week of any insulin-triggering slip-ups.

Also, it costs the same as the venti breve latte, so there's another good reason not to have it too often!

And for no good reason but fun, I'll leave you with a photo of the new earrings I got on Friday:

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Belly Blasted

Down 3.6 pounds from my peak weight of the last week!

Husband agreed to planning better for the weekends, so this Friday we'll try little pita pizzas. Saturday we haven't decided but we have a couple days before I stop for the groceries on Friday.

Managed to wake up and get ready with enough time left to make a hot breakfast, which was toast, eggs and bacon. Sipping my coffee with benefiber now. Rainy gray day, I'm thinking it's a two-coffee morning.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Restocking the Fridge, Refusing to Give In

I admit Autumn is a hard time for me to diet. Too many things I love about the seasonal food: Apple Pie, Pumpkin Bread, Caramel this and that, Pumpkin Spice Lattes. Sweet potatoes, dinner rolls, Thanksgiving, oh my!

So this will be my real challenge ahead. There's a bit of a nip in the air and the leaves have started changing colors. Time to think up some substitutions - and fast!

We shopped for groceries the other night to restock the fridge from the ground up. I finally remembered we had a HUGE bag of frozen salmon steaks that we'd only had one dinner made from, and now I'm sad (and also unwilling to re-buy that bag of steaks until hurricane season is over!). The only thing we had was soup and cereal! I had to place an order from CarbSmart for ketchup and barbecue sauce - we can eat a lot of things with the help of condiments. But $19 for two kinds of condiments? Ouch!

So today is day 2 of being 100% back on the game. My body is already moving things right along, as it were. Martial Arts tonight, and then again Thursday night.

I just need a plan for this weekend. We never plan Friday - Saturday meals and I think that's why we always get in trouble (that and we have a friend who comes over on Fridays and I think it's too easy to assume cooking is more trouble than it's worth).

So I'm going to hope that being aware of that weakness is half the battle. I'll mention it to my husband and we'll see if we can't figure out something for Friday that's simple to make.

Thursday night we are going a bit fatty with our dinner, as it's the start of Football season, but it fits the count, even if most people would be horrified at the calories. ;)

So I'm back to using myFitnessPal and avoiding the food I crave. Lots of water, focusing on fiber.

Here we go (again)!

Friday, September 02, 2011

Irene Hit Hard

Good morning everyone, I'm back after losing power for a week thanks to Irene passing through our area and attempting to drag all our trees behind her. I've never had such a hard time with a power outage, and I think '87 was the last time we lost power for more than a day. Even in the 2003 East Coast outage we had our power back later the same day it went out.

So even though I attempted to stock up with soup and such, we had nothing to eat by the third day, and the entire fridge was wasted. We began eating and showering at the shelter set up at our high school, and so there was little way to avoid eating the usual 'healthy' fare of fruits and carbs. My husband and I agreed not to stress it - we were stressed enough! - and just resume our diet after life was kind enough to return to normal.

We capped it off last night by having Chinese Food after the power came back on, since our fridge was empty and our local grocery store had also lost power (and product) for most of the week.

So I was unsurprised this morning when I stepped on the scale and saw I'd gained 4.6 pounds. I imagine that will mostly fall off quickly if we return to the plan with haste.

So back to F-Factor cereal (17g of fiber, work your magic!). I considered making myself some eggs and bacon until I remembered there was nothing but an echo in the fridge. I did stop at Starbucks on my way into work, and had them make my "Breve" latte with heavy cream (they have no Light Cream) and a triple shot. No, I don't plan on making this a habit - the more 'customized' your coffee, the more it costs, anyway! But I wanted SOME kind of reward this morning, and it was a $5 coffee or a $35 pedicure. ;)

I had planned on finishing my Chinese food today for lunch but with the Heavy Cream in my coffee I'd better stick to the plan today. I'll probably get a flatbread sandwich from Dunkin Donuts for lunch, or maybe a couple tacos from Taco Bell.

We are going to the Cheesecake Factory tomorrow for an early dinner. I'll probably have a couple bites of someone's dessert, but mostly I'm looking forward to a repeat of the salmon and asparagus I had at a Cheesecake Factory last summer in New Jersey. We were in a hotel room without a fridge then, so I didn't get to take my leftovers with me, and that has haunted me to this day. That's why we waited for the power to come back on to go!

Now that we have to restock everything I am hoping to make very good choices at the grocery store. Maybe start by shopping directly off of a Jorge week's menu. Though I find his choices are typically very low in fiber, so we'll see if I don't end up modifying it.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Feeling the difference

Yesterday was the two year anniversary of my very first Soo Bahk Do class. Unfortunately I was running late and didn't make it to class last night, but I will today!

Somewhere between August 24, 2009 and January, 2011, I had gained.. I dunno, maybe ten pounds. Not a lot for a year and a half but my self-image was shattered. I had long existed under the belief that I still looked like I did when I could get away with wearing cropped tank tops to work as an art intern in 2001. Then I just woke up one day and realized I couldn't see past the mound of my stomach when I looked down, and that 165 was NOT a healthy weight, nor was it "dense bones" or "lots of muscle". I was overweight, my favorite clothes didn't fit, my back hurt and I didn't like the way I looked in the mirror.

I've been on the BFC for 23 weeks, just over 6 months. I've lost 20-something pounds (I'll weigh in tonight), a couple inches off my gut, and suddenly my martial arts uniform doesn't feel like it's "shrinking in the wash" anymore.

In fact I just got a new uniform in the mail that I'd ordered - one tailored for a feminine shape and a bit longer so the tails of the jacket cover the butt. Trying it on, it felt huge! Like some fresh spa dressing gown, LOL. I know part of it is that the length just looks so funny to me, being used to shorter tops. But it definitely needs a trip through the wash and dryer before I decide where to hem it (I'm 5'3" so it'll need something! These uniforms are very vaguely sized). But this uniform is a SMALL. And I was getting lost in it!

I've also felt more comfortable in class, less overheated. I tire more quickly than last fall, but that's due to my injury, I still have to build up my strength again.

This morning my back is hurting.. I need to figure out how best to sleep because the pillow I keep between my knees keeps slipping away in the night. I'm a wiggler!

I've been using the MyFitnesPal mobile app to track my food this week. I like how handy it is to scan the barcodes and enter my info rather than searching, and I like that it does the math for me. I got a bit of a shock, though. It called my Venti Starbucks Breve Latte a 0/2 (22g carbs)! I had no idea there are that many carbs in the drink. It doesn't seem quite right, so the next time I go to Starbucks I'm going to chat with the barista if it's slow enough, see the nutrition on the cream they use. Besides if there's that many carbs I imagine they'd all come from lactose and that would make it 22/2, right?? That would certainly explain why I'm plateaud! I read the definition of a cafe breve as being made with half&half.. I thought they were made with light cream - that's how I ordered my first and was told that's a Breve. So I need to figure this out (and stop drinking them until I do!). And drinking those was inspired by one of the success story quotes in the BFC book, so I am all @_@-eyed and confused now. Maybe I wasn't supposed to have a venti? :P

For dinner last night and breakfast this morning I had ezekiel bread french toast with Joseph's syrup. There was bacon last night but, of course, I was running late this morning and so my protein had to come from the eggs and butter and the cream in my coffee.

My husband made a fantastic lemon-dill salmon, with brown rice, cucumber tzatziki sauce and green beans for dinner Tuesday night and I've been having the extra portions for lunch. Mm! I'm having the last of it for lunch today and I am going to be so sad it's gone! Going straight from work to martial arts tonight and I'm not sure what I'll be eating before that. Trying to avoid falling back on the default tacos from Taco Bell around the corner. Maybe I'll get a Turkey-Bacon-Cheddar flatbread from dunkin donuts, those are tasty and 2/2. I haven't been enjoying tacos lately, anyway.

We have a hurricane on the way this weekend, so I'm going to try and do our grocery shopping tonight (usually we go Sundays). If my husband and I can decide what we want. His stomach has been bothering him this week so he's not that interested in talking food.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Learn from my (Traumatic) Experience

This weekend we thought Macaroni & Cheese sounded amazing to go along with a drop in temperature and some stormy nights.

So we picked up the ingredients, decided on our pasta (a corn/rice based penne) and whipped up the recipe on page 139 of the BFC book.


I have never been so disappointed by Mac'n'Cheese in my life!

You know what salt tastes like?  ....This was saltier!

We even added a cup each of broccoli and cauliflower hoping to cut the salinity of the dish (and also because there is WAY too much cheese in the recipe for the piddly amount of pasta it called for).

Gross. We suffered through a serving each, and threw out the rest.

So here's what we'll try the next time we attempt it (because it smells like fall out and we will want our Autumn carbs before bedding down to hibernate the winter away):

1) Don't add the salt seasoning to the recipe, just use black pepper
2) Instead of 2.5 cups of extra-sharp cheddar, use 1 cup of sharp cheddar and 1/4 cup something else more mild, like a Monterey Jack.
3) Leave out the parmesan cheese entirely, MAYBE sprinkle some on top, but probably not.
4) Add 2 cups broccoli to the recipe, mixed in.
5) Don't use panko/butter in the top layer, just extra shredded cheese and parsley
6) Use a smaller baking dish than 9 x 12! This would barely fill a square 9" pan, seriously.

Hope I've saved you all from making that one. Yuck! First recipe in the book we didn't totally love!

Now I need to figure out what to have for lunch today since I didn't want the leftovers. I'm thinking Chicken Piccata from Bertucci's. Need something AMAZING to counteract that nasty recipe.

Tonight I have class so I'll be having eggs and bacon before I go and some chocolate and Reddi Wip when I get home.

Oh, and speaking of exercise, I downloaded the MyFitnessPal tracker and just want to remind everyone to watch out! MyFP will give you back some carbs and sugars (along with everything else you track) if you log exercise! So don't go by the "remaining" if you use it to log your exercise, too. Other than that I love using it, especially to enter the ingredients of recipes and have it calculate the values of each serving for me. The mobile app has a barcode scanner that brings up packaged ingredients, FAST. Great Free app!

And thanks to everyone who commented on my before and after photos! I'm sorry I didn't show my face, but they were both taken with no make-up and some weird expressions as I remind my husband that he's over 6 feet and he needs to lower the camera to take photos of me. ;)

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Before and Current Photos

Last night I was finally wearing (approximately) the same thing as when we took our first status photos in April (3 weeks after starting the diet).

I really can't believe the difference. I didn't think I was awful before but I certainly can't be proud to look at that before photo! My arms are "at rest" in both photos but what a change!

One of the things that I was constantly told as I started was "Oh, you don't need to diet!" Those are evil words that legitimize the urge to run back to the Ben & Jerry's display at the store, but I can look back and clearly say those were just nice things to say. Apparently required, too, as I heard them everywhere.

So that's 22 pounds difference. 18 more to go!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Can't stop cooking!

So.. the banana walnut muffins turned out very well!

Sorry, we liked them far too much to pause for photos!

Then Tuesday night I made another cake.. same as last time, but the mint version and with buttercream frosting:

A little too minty for me honestly, but still very good!
Our plan is to eat the cake for a few days then crumble up the rest into a vanilla ice cream batter!

This morning I'm making waffles!

I've been craving waffles for a couple weeks, so I decided last night it was happening today.

I found this recipe for coconut flour waffles. Made them accidentally with 6tbsp of butter instead of four. Not sure if that's wholly responsible for the fact that they tasted Amazing!

Want to try making Ebelskivers from this recipe next. Maybe with Lauren's not-tella recipe for the center!

Here's a little change from my usual food photo scenery...
This is the whole batch, a serving is one waffle.

By the way, I discovered that agave nectar is 2/3 c to the equivalent of 1c sugar, so if you ever need to substitute for a "healthy" recipe, start there! They also suggest you subtract 1oz of fluids for each 2/3c, so I imagine we would need to add that back in to use sugar alcohol powders and crystals. Luckily, ha ha, I used extra butter to make up for using xylitol. :P

Responding to Comments:

Dawn : Yes I've definitely been enjoying my Saturdays.. but it's got to stop because I'm tired of being stuck at one weight! My weigh in last night was down almost 4 pounds.. so now I'm back to where I started before I put on a couple bad Saturday's worth... ;)

Beth : So glad you tried the cake, it's amazing, isn't it? If you enter all the ingredients in myFitnessPal under "My Recipes", it will do the math for you! Just watch out - I noticed they give you back carbs and sugars if you exercise!
Rosalie : I only eat pizza for the crust! Having two slices felt like a lot though, when I used to eat 4 in a sitting, so that's an improvement, at least!
Katie : I had that belly bag and that's what finally made me say "Time to do something about this!" and I'm very happy to say that with the BFC and increasing my exercise, it is on the run!

Good job everyone, and keep it up!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Note to self: adapt this recipe and try it!

Scratch Saturday off the Calendar

I am really really naughty on Saturdays. It must have something to do with having the whole day to do with as we please (even though I always end up working), it leads to Chinese Food, Pizza, Cookies, and so on.

We managed to resist the Chinese Food, but we did have pizza and I had two pieces. No clue on the carb measurement, the family-owned restaurant couldn't tell me. It was a white pizza, though, with chicken and spinach, mozzerella and ricotta. So a couple sugars from the ricotta, and whatever was in the dough.

Then fresh baked Tollhouse cookies. Yup, no comment.

Then Blackberry schnapps and vanilla vodka. The schnapps had 8g sugar per 1oz, I don't know how much I had, I'm bad at eyeballing liquids. I had a 1:1 ratio in the bottom of a stemless wine glass, I'd say two fingers of that.

So there's my confession. We always get back to it on Sunday morning. My husband even threw out the leftover pizza so we wouldn't be tempted to 'not waste it'. Hopefully this weekend will be better, as I'm going to class that day (bo staff lesson PLUS regular martial arts training) and might feel motivated to keep up the good work. Hoping it doesn't impact the scale too much. My body had a serious "purge" yesterday after a return to the diet, so I'm hoping that was everything on its way out!

Sunday we made delicious "Cheater's Chowder" from a low carb recipe book I got. It uses Cauliflower and Turnips instead of potatoes. We ended up having to use parsnips because turnips aren't in season (I thought they were ALWAYS in season?), which added a touch more sugar, but all the ingredients rate a 1 on the glycemic index, so I'm not too worried and I'm calling it a 5/1 value per serving. It's delicious! My husband wasn't crazy about the resulting texture but I love it and I claimed all the leftovers!

Tonight we are making a chipotle marinade steak with a bearnaise sauce (and more chipotle sauce!) with asparagus on the side. I'm tempted to try the sweet chili green beans that Lauren just posted, but those seem like more of an Asian spicy flare. Maybe I can think of a way to adapt it and spice up the asparagus. I dunno, I really just like basic salt/pepper/garlicked asparagus. I suspect my husband will want something else on the side so I'm trying to think of ideas that won't bulk up the count.

Weigh in and reckoning tomorrow night. My stomach looked super flat this morning (I was admiring my abs after my shower) so I'm hoping my penance was waived this week.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Up again

Weigh in was last night, and I'm up 3 pounds. Sigh! Chinese food and bagels had something to do with it, obviously, but I think other things are sneaking in somehow.

My husband and I have resolved to keep better track, and to always get a fresh count from our food packaging just to make sure we aren't playing 'telephone' with the counts gotten from previous use.

So today we are renewed (though yesterday we did really well just as it so happened, but today we have PURPOSE). Cheerios for breakfast, turkey and brown rice with some spring mix salad on the side. Dinner we are still trying to figure out, because I was going to go to Martial Arts tonight but we are having our belt promotion ceremony tomorrow and I don't have time to go four times this week so I'll stay home tonight. So what's for dinner? uhhhhh....

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


I had already had Cheerios for breakfast yesterday when, at work, our primary printer stopped by with a proof for me to review – and brought along three dozen bagels in appreciation of our business. Oh dear!

Well, out of some territorial need to be 'thanked' I nabbed my two favorite flavors of bagel: cinnamon raisin and egg, before handing over the rest of the bagels to our crew here.

And I ate them both.

Before lunch.

I think it stems from the fact that while I was on that useless Special K diet this past winter, I passed on the opportunity to have my gratitude bagel (from the same printer) and watched them get eaten, while the scale went up and up on that HFCS-based 'nutrition plan'.

No nutritional information was included but I am going to guess each bagel was at least 60g carbs each.

Hey, I'm being honest here!

They were good.

But not THAT good. :P

I just need to remember to somehow bring up my diet before his usual Christmas gift of Bridgewater Chocolates!

If I have energy after class tonight I'm going to see how the bananas look (they've been in a paper bag overnight) and maybe make those muffins. Gotta pick up walnuts at lunch, my husband doesn't leave those hanging around the house long enough to build up stock for baking!

Breakfast today was Cheerios again, and coffee. Lunch will be ham and swiss with baby spinach on my Joseph's pitas. Cheese stick for 3pm snack. I still have to decide what I want to eat before class. We picked up Vanilla and Strawberry whey protein last week and I don't like either of them! Bleh! Maybe I can doctor them. Otherwise I think it's oatmeal for me, which I am very bored of. I miss molasses.

Maybe, if I have enough ham for the rest of the week and then some, I can make deli rolls. Protein is good. I never get bored with meat!

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Responding to comments

Not much to report in my BFC trek today.. getting tired of posting what I ate, LOL. It was only supposed to be until I remembered to print more tracking pages anyway.

So I'll respond to comments. For some reason Blogspot's format doesn't let me reply directly to comments in a way that'll notify you that I've responded, so I better "shout out" here instead.

A bunch of you asked me to share the recipe for the cake I showed off (and finished off!) last night. It's the Healthy Indulgences Healthy Chocolate Cake with a Secret. We renamed it "Black Magic" cause it's some kind of voodoo that makes it taste that good! Here's a link to the recipe:

I used whip cream to decorate it (and hold the berries in place) but I did make a batch of the chocolate buttercream frosting (also at the link above). It was DELICIOUS but I think I must have missed something because it did not seem to be the same amount that she showed in her photo of the cake. It was a thiiiiiin layer and we skipped the egg yolk so it wasn't shiny. I wonder if the yolk would have bulked it up enough to make a difference? Anyway, it was amazing, but I may double the recipe if I make it again.

We added berries to it because my dad's a fruit addict, but not enough to ruin the belly good aspect of the cake. It was 1/1 before the berries, and I calculated a slice to be about 3/1 after.

I have coconut flour and will do some more baking this week. We bought two bananas to let them ripen to try this recipe:

So I'm just waiting on the bananas. They were the ripest ones at the store and now they're in a bag on the counter. Hopefully they're ready tonight because my next chance to bake wouldn't be til Friday!

Monday, August 08, 2011

Renamed "Black Magic" Cake

Dad's birthday cake last week went over very well. He asked "Is this a gluten free cake?" as I cut it, to which I replied yes. Then after we had it (at 10:30 thanks to seeing a movie and eating out after) my husband said "Guess I'm not going to bed any time soon!" thinking of the sugar that would normally be in a cake. I reminded him this was sugar free, and my dad said "It was sugar free, too??!"

After that we didn't have the heart to tell him it was also made from Black Beans! ;)

It was delicious! Tasted as much like fudge brownies as when I snuck some of the batter while baking it. I brought some in for a coworker who can't have wheat gluten and she said it was very good, too, though she wanted real sugar for her own use of the recipe (she didn't like the idea of 'chemicals' like erythritol and xylitol).

Unfortunately it's sitting in the fridge now, waiting to be thrown out, because my parents just keep far too much dessert material in the house, and I didn't realize it would waste so I tried to leave it for my dad to eat. Peach pie, Frozen Yogurt, donut holes, etc... You can imagine why I tried to give him a healthy alternative!

My husband wants to make the mint variation next and put green food coloring in the frosting instead of chocolate.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

We are hardly starving.

This was dinner last night. Ezekiel 4:9 pasta, bulked up with ground beef, in Seeds of Change marinara sauce cut with chicken broth. On the side was 2/3 c of spring mix salad, and 1/2c of Roasted Brussels sprouts. We couldn't even finish it! What we did eat ended up being a value of 1S/2C, with a nice hefty 9.5 grams of fiber (aiming for 30g per day).

Most people diet and complain of always being hungry. On the BFC, don't starve yourself! There are options all around you. Even in the middle of the day if you get hungry you can eat with 0/0 values without feeling deprived. Right now I love a stick of string cheese. Polly-O even makes a jalepeño variety for some added flavor.

When you crave something, come up with a Belly Good substitution! The Brussels sprouts above were our replacement for a side of garlic bread. We used the recipe from the White on Rice blog, and then added some minced garlic (1/2 a teaspoon so it didn't overpower). Just remember to start your Brussels sprouts early, we ended up cutting off 2 minutes of roasting time cause we were hungry and everything else was ready!

If you are smart about your ingredients, you can eat til you're stuffed. Don't let the fear of hunger scare you off making a healthy choice for yourself and your waistline.

In other news, I dabbled with a BMI calculator earlier. I always hated the BMI because it told me I was obese! I mean, yeah I could stand to lose a few pounds.. but it suggested I'd need to lose forty pounds in order to be 'fit' and healthy. Even when I decided to diet I thought forty was a bit too lofty a goal. It put the low end of my ideal weight at 105, which to me is practically anorexic. So I thought the BMI was evil and misguided and a poor judge of health.

Then I saw myself in a photo and I realized, yeah... maybe forty pounds could go... I was 125 in college, after all, when my development was pretty much stabilized. Why not aim for that again? And it's good for my life insurance rates, too!

So I entered the numbers into the BMI calculator on Dawn's blog. Starting BMI (March 2011) was 29.2. For the record, that's "Overweight." Some other chart put me at obese at that weight, but I don't know where I found that. Maybe they've updated them to give us fat Americans an emotional pass.
Anyway, today's BMI (August 2011) is 25.5. Still in the zone of Overweight, but only just. It's just more encouragement to keep this going! I can't wait to call up my insurance rep and ask if we can 'refinance' my premium!

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Warm Ovens

I have found that the recipes in Jorge's book that I enjoy the most are the ones made from scratch. Pancakes, muffins, etc. The ones where you throw three or four different store bought items together are certainly convenient, but they're not what makes me glad I started this diet.

Okay, the weight loss is what makes me glad I started this diet, but I've also really been enjoying the cooking!

Today I am working from home and so I thought a nice recipe could use up that time not dedicated to my commute. A few minutes and a non-savory adaptation of Lauren's English Muffin recipe (meaning no cheese, no pepper, no garlic) was cooling on the wire rack. They basically taste like the muffin recipe in the BFC book, only without the extra sweetener and no preserves. I had to substitute soy flour, so I cut the liquids back to 75%, and I was expecting a disastrous goopy mess, but it worked! they're tiny because I didn't have enough clean ramekins and I made them in the cupcake tray. This morning it was all about working with what I had!

 Each muffin worked out to be <1g sugar, 3g carbs. They're about 3 inch diameter.

My dad's birthday is Thursday and I won't have a chance to bake his cake tomorrow, so at lunch I made Lauren's Healthy Chocolate Cake with a Secret (which shall remain a secret!). The house now smells like I baked a batch of Betty Crocker Fudge Brownies, it's amazing! The lick I had off the mixer tasted JUST like brownie mix! I am looking forward to smoothing the top of one layer later tonight and testing the scraps! I'll make the frosting tomorrow, I should have time for that and I don't want it to separate. Plus I used up the last of my xylitol on the cake! I'll take a photo when it's done!

We are going to try out the Mocha Frappuccino ice cream recipe I found.. I think on the LCF forums. That's after work. Now I'm back at it and enjoying the smell of chocolate baked goods in the house.

Aside from a single lick of that batter, I've had:

Eggs, sausage, cheese, peppers and onion on a joseph's pita
Half of one of the muffins I made (<1g sugar/ 1.5g carbs)
Coffee with Light Cream & Benefiber
Total: 5/1, 10g fiber

Egg-salad with baby spinach on a joseph's pita
Pirate's Booty
Total: 0/2, 8g fiber

Dinner (planned):
Ground Beef in Seasons of Change marinara sauce over Ezekiel rotini pasta.
Spring mix salad with Italian dressing
Roasted garlic brussel sprouts (in place of garlic bread!)
Total: 1/2, 9.5g fiber

And all that leaves me with a spare carb for the ice cream. Yum!

Didn't go to martial arts last night. My back has been feeling better but I do NOT want to send myself spiraling back to the sciatica issues from May because I rushed it!

Monday, August 01, 2011

Homemade Coconut Ice Cream

I have to admit that, from all my research, I had a thousand tips and ingredients and such floating around in my head when we set up to make our first batch of homemade ice cream yesterday.

The machine we bought was a Cuisinart ICE-21 Frozen Yogurt, Ice Cream & Sorbet Maker. It's available on Amazon, but we got ours from Bed Bath & Beyond because we wanted it N.O.W. It ended up being about the same price after the 20% coupon that I always keep stashed in the glove compartment.

My husband really loved the coconut taste of the So Delicious Ice Cream we had gotten (before we realized it was sweetened with Agave Nectar), so he was all for making Coconut Ice Cream first time on our own. I knew I had seen a perfect Belly Good recipe online somewhere but I could not find it again. I settled on one from a Paleo diet website, but that one called for six tablespoons of vanilla extract. Our vanilla's left over from the days before the diet so it's not sugar free, so I only used one tablespoon. Thank goodness! First, the flavor of the vanilla was so overpowering we had to counteract it with coconut flavoring (SF) even though we had real coconut milk and coconut shavings in there! Second, I think the alcohols in the flavoring kept the ice cream from setting up as hard as it would have if the vanilla had been omitted. Next time we make coconut we will skip the vanilla (and we'll pick up some vanilla beans for when we do want to use it).

If you do get one of these, you'll have to plan in advance as the barrel needs to be stored in the freezer until the gel inside freezes solid, so just store it in the freezer if you can. Either way I'd let it stay there overnight before making ice cream in it.

I didn't follow the recipe exactly, as the one I found called for different things than we'd collected. So what I essentially did was this:

1 tbsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp coconut flavoring
2 eggs
1 can (13.5oz) coconut milk (lite)
1/8 cup of light cream (I just poured the rest of what was in the container)
1/3 cup of heavy cream
1/4 cup xylitol (granulated)
pinch of stevia extract

I double-boiled everything (except the coconut shreds) to dissolve the xylitol and whisked the eggs in. Then cooled it in the fridge for about... maybe 4.5 hours. Going off of the 20 minute running time, we added in the coconut shreds at about 16 minutes in. Then when it started to set up to where we could catch some on a spatula we taste-tested and decided on adding the extra coconut flavoring. It didn't take much to counteract the vanilla, thankfully, but I still think it would have set up faster if we hadn't used alcohol-based flavors.

We scooped our finished ice cream out after about 24 minutes, and stuck it in the freezer to set up just a bit more. About ten minutes later we each grabbed a spoon and dug in. No formality - all the bowls were in the dishwasher! The flavor was nice and light, but definitely coconut. I think the coconut milk would work for many different ice cream bases, though I haven't found a 0/0 coconut milk yet, so we could just use cream for the same measurements until we do.

We each ate about 2/3 cup, which added up to 2/1 by this recipe. We've got more to try tonight to see what happens when it's in the freezer for a while after making it. I heard xanthan gum or glycerin can help make it more scoopable after hard freezing, but I didn't see enough proof positive evidence to make it worth the $10 for each of those ingredients! Not to mention at least the glycerin is added carbs.

Clean up was easy and I'd call the ice cream maker a hit at our house! Next up is a Chocolate Frappucino ice cream with dark chocolate chips!

As for the rest of the day, we each had a bowl of F-Factor Skinny n' Fruit Cereal for breakfast, with UAM, for a count of 4/2 with 18 grams of Fiber!
Snack of Jalepeño string cheese before we went grocery shopping (0/0)
Lunch was some Shrimp Poppers which were 0/1
Dinner was Pan seared cod with lemon pepper spice, over 1/4c brown rice (cooked measurement) and broccoli tops for 1/1
And then the Ice Cream for 2/1
Total for Sunday: 7/5

Today I had the F-Factor cereal for breakfast: 4/2
Lunch will be egg salad and baby spinach on a Joseph's pita with pirate's booty: 0/2
Afternoon snack of string cheese: 0/0
Dinner will be a protein shake before class: 0/0
and after class I will probably have more ice cream and some coffee!: 2/1

Saturday, July 30, 2011

I just discovered the Healthy Indulgences blog. All I want to do is bake, but it is SO warm right now, and I've got a hot laptop and a hot cat in my lap and across my legs. No baking today.

We bought the Cuisinart ICE-21 ice cream maker this morning. The bowl is in the freezer getting ready. Found Coconut milk and unsweetened coconut flakes yesterday, thinking they'd be for popsicles, but ice cream is even better! No heavy cream in the house at the moment, so we'll get the rest of the ingredients for the ice cream tomorrow when we do our grocery shopping.

Gained a half pound this week (though still down from that false 6lb gain, thank goodness), and after weighing myself on Friday morning I went in to work to find three dozen donuts set out in the lunch room. I was grumpy enough that I just wanted to give in but I did NOT. I resisted all day by promising I'd make some Belly Good recipes this weekend to reward myself. Thus the ice cream maker.

Also picked up some Zevia sodas for making popsicles.

We went out for Breakfast this morning and I was so hungry because it was 11am before we got our food, so I overdid it on the home fries that came with my egg bowl.

For lunch a bit ago I had a high fiber cereal (Seriously - 17g of fiber in a single serving! 4/2) and I am having leftover chicken Piccata for dinner.

I am so excited about cooking, but I don't know where to begin!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Crystal Light 'Pure'

Oh and I just wanted to alert people - The Crystal Light 'Pure' packets don't use artificial sweeteners, but they're not sugar free! They combine sugar and Truvia, so if you have a whole packet, remember to double the sugar value they show you. I get really miffed when nutritional labels imply that a serving is half of what common sense would lead you to believe. The directions even TELL you to put it in a bottle of water or 2 cups in a glass. They DON'T tell you that they intend for you to share that across two servings. Hmph!

So watch out for that! I got it thinking it would be good for the theaters but I can just get the theater to sell me a seltzer from their soda fountain instead, and I get to have a lot more for 0/0!

Of course that wasn't so great during Captain America when I really needed to use the restroom but the movie was too good to get up and leave! AND there was stuff after the credits - that was the longest most painful scroll ever. I had been trying to stay hydrated cause it was super hot and I had my test that day. I regretted it! But I did get through the test so I guess it was worth it.

Anyway, just always read the labels and keep a hawk eye on that serving size!

Catching up

My martial arts test went very well on Friday. I had a hard time breaking my board but they kept calling me up to try again until I eventually got it. I was really proud that I didn't lose my nerve about it, but I just breathed to calm myself and try again. That's the key!

Saturday was the beach day, as it turns out I didn't need to go swimming in my swimsuit because we'd already been practicing in the water in our full uniforms! It was so nice, even though the temperature was high there was a fantastic breeze and the water was cool and refreshing. I'm glad I don't have my dreadlocks anymore or they would have weighed 40 pounds wet!

I did get a sunburn along my scalp and a tiny bit on my nose and chest, but my tattoo was safe, thank goodness!

Unless otherwise mentioned, beverage was either water or coffee. ;)

Friday's Food:
Breakfast - Soy flour waffles with a fruit reduction made from frozen blueberries and nature's hollow Mountain Berry preserves, Reddi Wip, Bacon and Eggs - 1/1
Lunch - AMC theater food: 1 cup popcorn, Chicken Strips and a club soda - 1/2 (guessing)
Dinner - Protein Shake before my test, afterwards Burger King Tendercrisp Chicken on my Sandwich flats - 5/2

Saturday's Food:
Breakfast - Dunkin Donuts Ham Egg & Cheese on a toasted English Muffin: 3/2
Lunch - Cheeseburger on Sandwich Flat x 1.5, Pirate's Booty - this put me over but I was still hungry! 4/3
I also nabbed a couple bites of watermelon because it was the only thing still cold when training was over - 1/1
Dinner - Chinese food - Steamed Shrimp & Vegetables, 1/4c brown rice - 2/2

Breakfast - Eggs and Bacon, 1/2 of a homemade soy waffle w/ Joseph's SF syrup - 0/1
Lunch - Sausage and Cheese on Back to Nature Stone Ground Crackers - 0/2
Dinner - 2 Applegate Uncured Organic Hot Dogs on a Flat Out Foldit bread (cut in half to form two 'Buns') - 1/1

Breakfast - 2 Nature's Promise Organics Homestyle Waffles - 5/2
Lunch - Egg Salad and Baby Spinach on Joseph's Pitas, 1oz Pirate's Booty - 0/2
Dinner - Oatmeal with Nature's Hollow Blueberry Preserves, UAM, cinnamon - 0/2
Dessert - raspberries, strawberries, blackberries with Reddi Wip and shaved dark chocolate - 5/1

Breakfast - Cheerios and UAM - 1/2
Lunch - Egg Salad and Baby Spinach on Joseph's Pitas, 1oz Pirate's Booty - 0/2
Dinner (planned) - Chicken Italian recipe from Jorge's site, with a side of asparagus & salad - 3/1

Today my back is really bothering me. I think I pushed myself too hard in class last night after two days of poor posture. I've got a heating pad with moisture on it, will be taking Midol for the muscles and I have an acupuncture appointment after work. Unfortunately it's my last appointment because it's just too expensive to continue. Hopefully today's pain is just a reminder that I need to be careful and not an indicator that I'm in serious trouble. I may skip tomorrow's class to be sure, but I'd rather not if I can avoid it - I started learning my next sequence form last night and I don't want to practice too much on my own and end up developing bad habits.

I weighed myself a couple more times since that dressed morning with the 6lb gain. I was up about 4 pounds. It's the little indiscretions, I tell you! I thought I'd done really well but I guess I was messing up somewhere, probably eating fast food too much, but it was a busy week. But over the next couple of days 3 of those pounds dropped off, so it's looking up.

Our nephew left this week to return to my brother and his family, so things should return to normal and hopefully that means better focus for a return to losing. 

Thursday, July 21, 2011

I forgot to weigh myself last night, so I did this this morning, but I was fully dressed. Even fully dressed, though, I wouldn't have expected the scale to say I am 6 pounds heavier! Guess I'll get a real reading tonight.

Tomorrow is my test. Turns out I have tomorrow off from work so I can practice a bit in the morning and still have time to see a movie before the test to keep my mind off it. We're going to see Captain America, one of my husband's favorite comic book heroes. The soundtrack sounds fantastic, kind of like Indiana Jones.

This morning's breakfast was cheerios and UVAM. Lunch was leftovers from the lasagna from Tuesday night. Dinner will be a turkey pita sandwich. Hopefully I won't be too hungry after class and can just stick to coffee for the evening.

That's if my husband wants coffee. We have some oppressive heat going on today and tomorrow. I'm just trying to continue drinking water so I don't faint in class. Luckily they've been running the air conditioner through the full class instead of turning it off half way through.

Last night I found out I'd been doing some of my testing material wrong, so one of my friends, a junior instructor, met me over at the Dojang at lunch to give me corrections. Nothing like having to learn something all over again to get you jittery for a test! I am not worried I won't pass, but I get a little anxious all the same. Eager anxious, but that still feels like butterflies.

Then Saturday we are having class on the beach, so I am thinking of packing my own snack for the movie tomorrow. Even the smallest popcorn is still over two carbs! Not that I ever finish a popcorn... But we're going out for lunch and I intend to eat hot wings and celery. Then protein shake before class and something more filling afterwards.

Well I'm just babbling so I'm going to sign off. Time to refill the water bottle!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Two more classes to go before my belt test, eep! I always feel so underprepared and then everything turns out fine. I'm just nervous because I was gone so long while my back was injured that I feel like the types of things I might not expect to be asked but through repetition would be okay on are now my weak points.

Yesterday I had oatmeal before class but was starving when I got home again, no idea was that was about, but I did eat so I ended up over my carb servings by 2 for the day.

Today it's cheerios for breakfast, a protein shake for lunch (with probably some turkey slices in the afternoon) and Stouffers Farmers' Harvest Vegetable Lasagna (small portion with grilled chicken on the side) for dinner.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Weekends are Dangerous

Maybe it's because it's Summer? No, the sweet temptations are always out there. In Fall it will be Apple Pie taunting me.

This weekend we had a really nice time at Mystic Seaport but came home with a pound and a half of fudge. I only wanted a bite but of course they don't offer it that way! The only samples they had out were root beer and orange cream flavored - where's the chocolate?? Packed in a half-pound container, of course. But my husband wanted Rocky Road.. I thought I'd try the Cookies and Cream, and by then we'd earned a free one so why not an almond coconut confection?

I'm proud to say I haven't had much of it, maybe a total of three tiny slices, but I'm still upset it's in the house. And then there was Chinese Food because we were just too tired to cook after we got home. I would have gotten one of the steamed veggie type dishes but this was a new place and the only point of comparison worth making (so I told myself) was General T'so's chicken. Well it was delicious! And very syrupy sauce, so I can only imagine it's twice the sugar of our previous 'usual' place. Their fried rice is the best I've had in a long time, too. Going to have to be careful about that place.

So between that and leftovers, no matter that we made otherwise belly-smart choices (they are rendered moot once you OD on the bad stuff), there's definitely some false fat on my belly today. Beach coming up this weekend - gotta shape up!

My father's birthday is coming up, and he wanted a Blu-Ray player. We got a really good deal on one so I think I'll use what's leftover to get that ice cream maker. Having a dessert I can actually have will help with these cravings, I'm hoping. And there's a heat wave coming this week, wish I could pick up the ice cream maker today!

My husband and I agreed we don't care for Heavy Cream in our coffee. It tastes like we topped it with whipped cream which melted long ago, it leaves a shiny oil slick on top and it makes us feel kinda gross. And if you forget your coffee for a little bit it looks nasty when you return to it. I end up never finishing a cup. We will probably return to Light Cream at home but today I am trying MimicCreme, an Almond and Cashew substitute. It's brown like almond milk and thick like mud. I don't know how much I added because it doesn't lighten the coffee past a certain point. There's definitely that nutty flavor but since I like Hazelnut coffee anyway I don't think I'll have trouble getting used to that. I'm drinking Vanilla coffee today so it does stand out a bit. But at 0/0 (1g carb per serving) with no fat and no cholesterol, it feels like a much better choice than Heavy Cream. They also have flavored versions.
I got this container at Stop & Shop near the soy and almond milks, but it's tiny, so I may order it offline if I decide to stick with it (those of us who have to order most of our BFC-friendly food off Amazon should really consider Amazon Prime, it pays for itself when you grocery shop there and don't have to pay shipping on most things!) (Updated this with a link to the correct product - also the flavored varieties do contain cane sugar)

When I was trying to decide what to wear to the Seaport on Saturday I pulled some neglected items out of the back of the closet. A dress that I feared I would rip the last time I climbed into it was enormous on me this time, and a bikini-cover-up sundress I never even took the tags off of is now a great fit for wearing on Saturday! I have a small pile of donation clothes forming. Next I have to try on all my pants and see which ones can be worn for a bit longer, but I'm afraid it won't be many. There's a consignment store that just opened, I might take them there and see if I can trade them for some smaller sizes. Good thing I never got around to hemming most of them!

I have a Belt Promotion Exam this Friday evening, so I will be going to my Martial Arts class every night but tomorrow, this week. That means a pretty regular menu of Cheerios for Breakfast, Turkey Sandwich on Pita for lunch and either a protein shake or oatmeal for dinner. Easy to stay on track when there's no time to deviate!

Friday afternoon we are taking my nephew to see Captain America before he goes home to Alabama, so lunch that day will be popcorn. ;) I did just fine at the theater on Friday, and I got those Crystal Light Pure packets to keep in the car. Figure if we have something flavored it'll be easier to avoid the free-refill-64-oz sodas.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Triumphant Melancholy

Today I am wearing one of my favorite shirts and it is getting very loose on me! I don't want to have to say goodbye to it, but over my desk at work I'm wearing it in a photo and I am happy it no longer strains to contain me!

Last night my husband forgot we were making the Turkey Patty Melts, so when I got home from class I had some eggs and bacon instead. Then I had that cream cake dessert with blueberries and reddi whip, for a 4/2 value.

This morning breakfast is an unknown because we got wraps from a deli. We have asked for the nutritional info off the packaging but they get the wraps in bulk and they aren't labeled individually.

Lunch will be theater food - Harry Potter!

Dinner looks to be Burger King. Planning on getting an Angry whopper and eating it without the bun/ketchup/tomatoes/etc.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

I forgot to measure my weight and stomach last night. Whoops! I'll get it tonight. Then it'll be post-martial arts like it usually is.

Cheerios w/ UVAM - Big surprise! I wanted to make myself something but first and foremost I had to iron my uniform.
Coffee with Heavy Cream! I finally found some at Big Y last night. Not sure how I feel about the flavor adjustment though.
Total: 1/1

Turkey, spinach on a Joseph's pita with horseradish mayo
Total: 0/1

Before Class: Jay Robb Tropical Dreamsicle Protein Shake with UVAM
Total: 0/0

Ground Turkey Patty Melt, made with ground turkey, onions, cheese and Ezekiel Low Sodium Bread
Total: 4/2

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


Not much to say! I resolved that I want to BFC straight and clean at least through the 23rd, because I will be making a social beach appearance and don't want to be tempted to wear a giant beach tee. ;) Having that goal makes it much easier, as did getting back on track with meal planning and food tracking.

Still having trouble finding any cream, light heavy or otherwise, that's 0/0. Target only carries the local dairies, same with Stop & Shop (and we had to take our light cream back at 9:30pm last night because it had curdled and ruined our evening coffee!). I'm going to try the Big Y this evening as I'll be nearby for a hair cut. I don't want to switch to shopping there, though, too far for our Sunday shopping trips.

Weigh-in tonight. I won't have been to martial arts so it's not quite equivalent to the usual measuring, so if it's really bizarre I'll try again tomorrow after class. I'm expecting good things, though. With the exception of a bite of ice cream and a bite of cake we have been angels.

Nature's Promise Organic Homestyle Waffles
Coffee w/ 1/2 & 1/2
Vitamins in my Magnesium mix
Total: 4/2

Leftover Chicken Tikka Masala
Baby Spinach
Joseph's Pita
(I called it a Chicken Tikka Taco - that's more fun to say than you know unless you try it!)
Total: 1/1

Dinner (planned):
The Carne Asada Steak Tacos from the book with the sides
Total: 4/2, I think? I have to check.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Tracking plus a Blog Find

Cheerios w/ UVAM, as usual! I just never give myself time to cook in the morning.
Total: 2/2

Turkey, spinach on a Joseph's pita with horseradish mayo
Total: 0/1

Chicken Tikka Masala, with two Joseph's pitas
Total: 0/1

And there will also be coffee, yes. I've still got to track down 0/0 Heavy Cream. I went and stretched at lunch so I didn't get to run to Target. Tomorrow!

I was looking up what to eat when we get Indian/Fish&Chips tonight, and I came across this low carb blog that's also associated with CarbSmart,com, where I get quite a bit of my BFC-friendly foods when I can't find them locally. I've subscribed to the Feed and I look forward to trying out her recipes! I also ordered her book 1001 Low Carb Recipes, off Amazon.

Now I know not all things low carb are BFC-friendly, no worries. I also bought a Diabetic Cook Book from the checkout lane last week and there are plenty of things to skip in there. But that's okay. We're closer to easy meal selections than ever! Jorge's recipes only get you so far. ;)

Oh and Rosie, thank you SO much for your suggestion. I don't know why it didn't occur to me to freeze the left over pound cake! And no worries, we weren't having it every night - that's why it kept going bad! I think we've had it a total of five times since we discovered that Diabetic Shelf at Stop & Shop in April. :)

I go to acupuncture tonight, I think it's going to have to be my last one for a while. Gas prices keep going up and there's a sick cat at home to take care of. Pedicures are cheaper and the key is I need to RELAX!

The price on the ice cream maker I had in my Amazon cart went up. Now it'd be cheaper to go to Bed Bath & Beyond to get it. Still not sure if I am ready to commit to another appliance yet.

Monday, July 11, 2011

My Pound Cake

Since every time I bring it up, Rosie has given me a stern comment, I thought I'd post the ingredients for the pound cakes and cream cakes that my Stop & Shop sells, that we occasionally buy to create desserts.

So Rosie, and others, I am curious to know what you think with the label for reference. The only unknown on here, for me, is the litesse, which I Googled and found few references on. It appears to be made by the same company that makes the next ingredient, lactitol. It markets itself as low glycemic and a source of fiber.

We generally serve this with a quarter cup of berries (or a half cup of wild blueberries) and some Reddi Wip.

The only downside I see to this is that we end up throwing a lot of it out, LOL. There are 8 slices per container and we don't generally eat 0/0 meals often enough to allow for a dessert like this. We did better when we had company or when we'd plan to have protein shakes and eggs for a meal.

In other news, I've decided to see if not eating one of the maltitol-sweetened snacks from my desk drawer helps break my plateau. I know the real cause of my plateau (and it's still a gently downward-sloping plateau, mind you) is the deviations I make from the plan on the weekends, but since I've read that Maltitol can sometimes slow weight loss, and as it's one of Jorge's least favorite sugar alcohols, I'll see what happens.

Having had a bad experience with an ice cream maker has me craving a good experience to balance it. Apparently the Cuisinart gel ice cream makers (no rock salt/ice) are good. Anyone have any experience with them? I haven't found any of the friendly dessert items in my area, and my Whole Foods is a year away from completion, if they even plan to carry them. It's summer, and I want a cool treat!

In the meantime I'm going to pick up some coconut rum and try that Limeade recipe...

Weekend Tracking

Saturday –

Nature's Promise Organic homestyle waffles
Joseph's SF Maple Syrup
Magnesium drink mix
Coffee with Light Cream and Benefiber
Total: 5/2

Ham & Cheese deli slice rolls
Buffalo Chicken breast on Joseph's Pita with Ranch dressing
Total: 2/1

Stopped in at a birthday party and had:
Hamburger with salsa instead of ketchup, plus mayo on a potato roll (roll is 4/3)
Half of a hot dog
Bite of home made reese's peanut butter cup ice cream
Bite of flourless nutella cake
Total: No idea, but I'm going to guess 20/3
Note: Amazingly, this family is also on the BFC but had no roll alternatives! Had I thought of it I would have brought my own. I didn't think we'd stay long enough for the cake, or I would have planned that better. A friend made the cake so we couldn't avoid trying it, and we brought the Ice Cream ball that the ice cream was made in, and we wanted to see how it worked as to whether we should get one for making BFC-friendly desserts. It did not work that well, as a matter of fact. We will wait for Clemmy's.

Chicken Picatta
A few bites of rice pilaf
grilled vegetables
Coffee w/ light cream following
Total: 5/1

Sunday –

2 scrambled eggs
2 pieces of bacon
1/8c of mexican cheese shred mix
Joseph's pita
Coffee with light cream
Total: 2/1

Total: 0/2

Chicken Picatta
1/4c Brown Rice made in chicken broth
Grilled vegetables
Coffee w/ light cream following
Total: 4/2

Monday –

Cheerios w/ Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk (UVAM from here on out I would say :P)
Coffee with 1/2 & 1/2
Total: 4/2

Lunch (planned):
Boar's Head turkey
Baby Spinach
Joseph's Pita
Horseradish Mayo
Pirate's booty
Total: 0/2

Dinner (planned):
Berry pancakes from book recipe
Total: 4/2

Friday, July 08, 2011


Forgot to report in for yesterday –

Cheerios and Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk,
Coffee with Benefiber and Light Cream
Total: 4/2

Protein Shake
1oz Blueberries
Total: 3/0

Ground Turkey patties stuffed with Muenster, jalepeño and bacon
1/4c brown rice
1oz green beans
Total: 2/2

Today –
Cheerios and Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
Starbucks Breve Latte
Total: 3/2

McDonald's Angus w/ Bacon and Cheddar, no ketchup, on 2 Joseph's pitas (couldn't get them open!)
1 oz Pirate's Booty
Total: 0/2

Dinner (planned):
Jay Robb Tropical Dreamsicle Protein Shake before class, unless hubby starts my oatmeal for me before I get home. :P
Total: 0/0

Wednesday, July 06, 2011


Weigh-in tonight, not expecting much because last weekend there were some indiscretions related to the 4th of July get togethers.

Cheerios and Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk,
Coffee with Benefiber and Light Cream
Total: 4/2

McDonald's McChicken
Sm fry
Total: I meant to switch the bun for a pita but forgot to bring them with me, so this ended up a 5/3 meal.

Dinner (planned):
Jay Robb Tropical Dreamsicle Protein Shake before class.
After class I'll probably have a treat of my SF pound cake and berries/whip, for a 5/2.

They leveled the old building where they are going to build a Whole Foods. Another year or so and maybe I can find some Clemmy's ice cream!

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Food Tracking

I ran out of my food tracker sheets a couple of weeks ago and have been too cheap with my ink to print more, so I guess I'd better come up with another way to track while I wait for them to re-release the BFC app.

If I had more spare time right now I'd create a website that records it, but I really don't! So I'll track it here until I figure out something else to do.

Cheerios and Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk,
Coffee with Benefiber and Light Cream
Total: 4/2

Burger King Spicy Chicken Crisp sandwich, switched the bun for a Joseph's pita
Pirate's Booty
Total: 0/2

Dinner (planned):
Bubba Burger on a Stop & Shop 12 Grain Sandwich Flat, with cheese and bacon, and Nature's Hollow ketchup
Cucumbers in Vinegar/Mayo/Truvia Dressing
Pirate's Booty
Total: 5/2

Friday, June 24, 2011


I double-checked my packaging at home for the Oat, Flax & Whole Wheat pitas in my last post. It definitely did not include Sucralose in the listing. So I emailed their quality contact, attached the two ingredient lists and asked which was correct.

I just heard back this morning:
   Sorry for the delay in replying to your question.
    We eliminated the sucralose from the pita a couple of years ago.  Thanks for pointing out the discrepancy on the website.  I have noted to have the nutrition info updated on the site.  That's handled by an IT consultant.
    Bottom line is that there is no sucralose in the pita.
Best regards,
Larry Essember
QA Mgr.

Fantastic news for us! Remember, these specific pitas have ZERO sugar, and just 8g of carbs per serving with a nice healthy 4g of fiber. And pitas have so many uses!

So go support Joseph's Middle East Bakery! They do ship some of their products from their website if you can't find it from your preferred low carb supplier.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Welcome, Summer!

Thank goodness we found those 12 Grain sandwich flats from Stop & Shop, because burger season is here! (Note to others: every other brand of sandwich flats I've seen have used HFCS or Sucralose, so read your labels!)

Actually last night I found a list of different burger topping ideas and the first one we tried had no bun! Take some chili (preferably home made to avoid carbs from wheat fillers) and pour it over a nice sirloin burger in a bowl! We added a slice of pepperjack cheese to the patty, and a touch of shredded cheddar to the top. It was great!

Last week's weigh in was a surprise. I hadn't felt particularly successful in the plan the weekend before (weekends are the most challenging - we plan movie nights and want movie junk to go with it), but I lost more than two pounds and a quarter of an inch off my waist. My husband also continued to lose, which was very encouraging. The proof that this plan works is there - every weigh in!

We went to the Bronx Zoo last Wednesday, and even though walking around with no where to be but where we are ought to be relaxing, the traffic in New York is NOT! A woman, who was thrilled to see a street side parking spot opening up, lost her focus and backed up into us, who were stopped behind her. Thank goodness it was at a slow speed and that we drive the same make of care, so our bumpers were made for each other! We shook hands and parted ways, but the drive home, thankfully without bumps, was very crowded, slow and full of worrying about other drivers who were not watching where they are going. I think traffic has gotten worse, and I know my husband saw quite a few people playing with their phones instead of focusing on the roads.

My shoulders were hard as ROCKS when we got home, it took a day and a half to finally relax them! But Friday I was able to attend my first Martial Arts class since early May. A friend of ours was leading the class and was kind enough to take it easy on me, as I was only there to find out how ready I was. I did much better than expected, even though I still have some trouble with my right foot and calf muscles. It was such a thrill to be back out there doing what I love.

I'm going back tonight for another class. Depending how that feels I may also go tomorrow evening.

Weigh-in after class (I drink a bottle of water after class, get home and shower before my weigh in). This is the typical schedule of weight checks, and it's good to have the familiar elements involved!

This morning's breakfast was a bowl of plain Cheerios and an apricot, with my coffee (decaf) waiting for me to finish this post.

For lunch I packed a serving of Pirate's Booty, and the makings of a pita ham sandwich. I found a Horseradish-Dijon mayonnaise that really flavors up a plain deli meat sandwich (I have never been particularly enthusiastic about sandwiches). The pita pockets are Joseph's Oat Flax and Whole Wheat, and are a magical 8g of carbs with 4g of fiber, and NO sugar. (Edited to add: okay, the label on their site shows sucralose in there. The packaging doesn't! I will have to call them and find out which is true. Hopefully the packaging is right and the website is wrong!)

Dinner will be oatmeal with Nature's Hollow preserves, Unsweetened Almond Milk and Cinnamon. That usually gets me nicely through class.

And LOTS of water! It's hot out there and I'll need it to get through class!

Oh, and for those of you with access to a Stop & Shop, look for Nature's Promise Organics Homestyle Frozen Waffles.  They are 5/2, with just enough room for Joseph's Sugar Free Maple Syrup. We had some with eggs and bacon on Sunday morning and they were delicious!

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Questions, Answers, and Getting this Train Rolling Again

This was asked of me as a comment to my last post:
Do you drink your coffee with actual cream and still lose weight? I love it and it is such a treat, but I like a lot of it in my coffee and I'm not losing. Just wondering if you can help.

One of the things that makes the Belly Fat Cure an easier diet to switch to is that you don't have to give up everything – just the processed nonsense we really have no business eating in the first place.

Coffee is one thing I thought I'd have to give up, as I used to shovel about 6 tsp. of sugar into an 8 oz. mug – don't even get me started on my 16 oz. mug! I already drank my coffee with cream before starting the diet, so how could I possibly lose the sugar and keep the taste?

Previously I had tried to cut back on sugar on my own, with no knowledge yet of the BFC. I tried Stevia in my coffee – blech! It has a celery-like twang in the aftertaste that worked just fine with grapefruit, not so with coffee! I eventually settled on Sun Crystals, not realizing they contained sugar anyway!

So a few days into the BFC, this was back in March, I decided to just pour a little extra cream in my coffee and omit the sugar. And deal.

I didn't have to deal! A touch more dairy and I didn't even miss the sugar. In fact, I preferred it!

Per the advice of Jorge and the BFC literature, I started drinking cream in my coffee rather than 1/2 & 1/2, to trim down some of the sugar that's present as lactose. Light cream was only 8% of the daily fat, something we don't tend to really worry about on the BFC, so I didn't feel like I was trading one vice for another.

In April, though, I ended up pulling a muscle, an injury which escalated in May to a herniated disk and a pinched sciatic nerve. I have had to suspend my martial arts training due to this, and I ended up almost reversing my beverage poles. Instead of drinking many many servings of water to prepare for class, I was drinking just water with meals and having coffee (and caffeinated, where I used to drink decaf) all. day. long!

Eventually I realized I needed to cut back. And caffeine isn't good for muscle health, nor is it good for nervous system health. Not to mention that fat, proteins and calories, while not counted on the BFC, still need to be consumed according to common sense. 7 cups of coffee, made with a heavy hand on the cream, is NOT common sense! And this diet does not work without the water!

Between the cream and eating what was available due to my injury, rather than making extra trips to the store and such (while I found I could drive on the meds I was given, I still didn't relish the thought), I gained back 4.5 pounds over weeks 10 - 12 on the plan, and almost two inches on my gut.

I scaled back on the coffee, and switched to decaf. Now I have two cups in the morning, and maybe two cups in the evenings, though as it gets hotter that isn't as appealing. Four cups may sound like a lot but when you're cutting back from practically taking it intravenously, it's an improvement.

Last week we returned to the plan full-force, and I started drinking at least 72 oz of water per day. In addition, there was the major find of the magnesium powder that made taking vitamins palatable again, so I added back all my vitamins, plus a hefty dose of magnesium.

Last night's weigh-in saw a loss of 5.2 pounds compared to last week, and my waistline is headed in the right direction again.

So the TL;DR version of my answer is: Yes, you can enjoy your coffee with cream! Just avoid the sugar, and only have the minimum amount required to soothe your soul. Avoid caffeine if you can (the way this plan works, coffee and tea are pretty much our only caffeinated beverages now), and definitely ignore the sugar bowl!

Yesterday our shipment of probiotics and psyllium powder arrived, so I added those to my diet this morning. I expect only improvement, even if the powder on my toast made it a bit hard to swallow. I'll experiment to find other ways to include it.

As for my injury, I've been seeing an acupuncturist, upping the magnesium and water, and last night I felt improved enough to try some yoga. If I want to return to my martial arts classes I need to remind these muscles how to stretch!

Added reading, as if I didn't throw enough at you, here's an article, unaffiliated to the BFC but supporting the theory behind our diet: lifehacker - what sugar actually does to your brain and body

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Learning Acceptance

It's been three weeks or so since my last confession update. The time has been such a blur, though. I know we've missed every weigh in since week 9, so I don't have progress to report. Actually the exact opposite.

Two weeks ago I woke up one morning, showered as usual, got dressed. When I went to put on my make-up, I got this feeling in my leg like someone was squeezing my thigh with a clamp. Then they stuck a dagger in, straight to the bone, and started wiggling it around. I was fidgeting as I tried to finish my make-up application, trying to find some position for my leg that would be more comfortable.

Then I realized my bare feet were not just cold from the tile. The toes of my right foot were numb.

I tried to continue my morning routine a bit, while on the inside I'm freaking out about nerve damage and imagining myself in traction in the hospital. I sat back in the recliner for a few minutes. The pain subsided quickly, and the numbness took a step down to just cold, the tingling fading.

But the cats were crying for breakfast. I got up again, downstairs to the basement, then back up. Then feed the rabbit and guinea pig. By this point the stabbing and numbness was back. I accepted that this wasn't going to go away if I ignored it.

I called in to work and said I'd have to be home that day. I called the acupuncturist (I had a GC from a friend and hadn't managed to make an appointment yet) and left a message. I called the chiropractor and left another message.

Then I laid back in the recliner and cried. I'd be crying pretty consistently over the next three days.

I got an appointment later in the afternoon for the chiropractor. He examined me and suggested maybe it was time to have an MRI. He and his wonderful receptionist worked hard to get me a pre-authorization, but the next available appointment wasn't until the following Tuesday. The acupuncturist didn't have an appointment available until Friday. I stopped by work and picked up my files, then went home and took a few ibuprofen and kept ice on it, and stayed off my feet.

I continued working from home for the rest of the week. Thursday night my pain had me tossing and turning all night – and NOTHING can keep me from sleeping, normally. The next morning a friend told me about an experience of a previous mother-in-law, who had gone to the chiropractor for three years. Initially he made her feel much better, but later she was only feeling enough relief to get to the next chiropractor appointment. This also sounded very familiar. What she eventually did was go to a doctor for muscle relaxers and a few rounds of massage therapy. Now she just needs to go to massage therapy every now and then when it bothers her. The constant pain and chiropractor visits were a thing of the past ever since.

I told this to my husband, who immediately got on the phone with the PCP office in town, and before I knew it I was in the car and on the way to an appointment 15 minutes later.

The doctor (who has had 4 back surgeries) listened super close to my story, told me to hold off on the MRI, and gave me an injection of anti-inflammatory pain stuff (like a mega dose of ibuprofen, she said). Then she gave me three prescriptions and told me to take them, no matter if I felt better, for two weeks.

That evening I went for acupuncture. It was all very relaxing but I don't know who to give credit to for the relief I was feeling. But I do blame the acupuncturist for sleeping the rest of the evening and then solidly all night.

And thankfully the meds weren't making me loopy at all. I'm still not driving right after taking them but I remember a friend who was on a muscle relaxer once when she came to visit. It was like talking to a pillow. SO glad I'm not like that.

The weekend was  much more pleasant, and I was able to be out and about a bit. The PCP doctor had told me not to stay too long in a chair, that I needed to move and stretch. So we saw Pirates of the Caribbean, and did grocery shopping and that sort of thing. Very nice.

I returned to work on Monday morning, moved back my MRI appointment (just in case it was determined I should still have it), saw a massage therapist on Tuesday morning for half an hour. Tuesday evening there was a belt promotion ceremony at my Martial Arts studio, so I went for that and took photos rather than participate. Wednesday night we saw Pirates again, this time with my parents and in 3D.

Friday there was more acupuncture, but I didn't feel like I got much out of it that time. And at $75 a pop, I think I'll try the $40 massage therapy again. There are acupuncturists around, though, that take my health insurance, so I may try one of those.

So as you can see, my focus was not on eating according to the BFC. Out of habit I think we stuck to it fairly well, eating what we knew we could have from experience, but not branching out into anything new.

And there were cookies.  Those pre-segmented Tollhouse cookies that I love, fresh from the oven. We bought two packs over a week but thankfully I think I ate 5 or 6 at the most. There was also whole milk. I remember McDonalds, Indian food, Popcorn and candy at the movies (saw Kung Fu Panda 2 on Friday night).. but I can't recall as many transgressions as I thought I would. Cheerios or Uncle Sam for breakfast each day, or Dunkin Donuts breakfast sandwiches (4/2). LOTS of coffee. With benefiber!

But things were returning to some semblance of normalcy (with the exception of some severe frustration over not being able to return to Martial Arts.. AGAIN), and I went for a pedicure and manicure on Saturday morning (another birthday GC I hadn't managed to use yet).  This actually felt wonderful. The place where I go includes massages with everything, and I left even more relaxed.

Sunday my husband and I resolved to get back on track with the food, and I was even able to stand long enough to cook! We had egg scrambles, bacon and toast for breakfast (3/2), leftover pepperoni dip with Joseph's pita pockets for lunch (0/2), then my husband made chili for dinner, which we had with Late July brand saltines (1/1). Then the pound cake with Redi Whip and blackberries for dessert (5/1).

Monday morning, a holiday, I got up and baked the velvet blueberry muffins from the BFC book (only with some of the muffins in other Nature's Hollow flavors) to eat during the week, then made the traditional pancakes while I still had the soy flour out. Served the pancakes with bacon, whipped cream and a reduction of nature's hollow mountain berry preserves (0/2). It was so late by that point we skipped lunch. Dinner was spicy cheeseburgers from the book, with cucumber in mayo/vinegar/truvia dressing with fresh dill and Pirates Booty (1/2). Then another round of the dessert mentioned above (5/1). Still lots of coffee.

Tuesday I had the muffins for breakfast (0/2), an egg & cheese (they forgot the ham) DD sandwich (4/2) for lunch, and dinner was leftover chili (1/1). No dessert that night.

Yesterday was muffins for breakfast (0/2), chili for lunch (1/1) and dinner was this salmon recipe from, served with brown rice and leftover cucumber mix (1/2). Delicious! And I had dessert (5/1), though my husband abstained.

But, my major discovery, which restores my hope for this whole process was magnesium! I was reading up, Tuesday night, about sciatic nerve pain, and one site mentioned that magnesium supports good muscle health, which in turn can relieve pressure on the sciatic nerve. It listed caffeine and whole grains as causes for low magnesium levels. Well, those two things have been greatly increased since we started this diet, for sure!

So yesterday at lunch I went to Vitamin Shoppe to get some magnesium supplements. I bought a Magnesium Potassium Magnate supplement, and then my eyes fell on a tub of Magnesium Plus, made by PureEssence. It's a powder that gets added to water. I tried it with my lunch and it was delicious! But more importantly, this morning.. I took my vitamins with it! FINALLY I have found something that I can drink to swallow ALL my vitamins (plus now the magnesium supplement). It's nothing short of a miracle. I currently have at least five, if not more, canker sores in my mouth from my food allergy combined with stress. I was resigned to adding orange juice back to my diet just to take vitamins with (which I did on Sun/Mon/Tues morning), but now I can return to the BFC without my orange little secret. Did I mention it's really tasty? It actually prompted me to finally set up my own Amazon sales widget, it's that good. ;)

In addition, I bought some more decaf coffee and will switch to that to cut out the main source of caffeine in my diet. I should cut back on coffee anyway. Following "Common Sense" when it comes to fat intake is hard when you like your coffee with extra cream and you have 8 cups of coffee a day.. ;)

I will weigh in tonight if I remember, to give myself some perspective.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Under 150!

At the last weigh in I dipped under 150 lbs for the first time since I can't remember when!

May so far is going well. Not a lot to report. We're returning a lot to the recipes in the book because things we try to finagle from what we'd have eaten before results in tiny portions and unsatisfied bellies.

We're having Shirataki and Korean Beef tonight. Tomorrow we are having company so are trying to figure something out for that. I also need to pack a lunch for tomorrow's Martial Arts event, not sure what to bring... I have wraps so maybe if there's left over beef I can roll that up with some lettuce.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Chugging Along

May has been kind to my self discipline so far! It helps to have found quite a few nice treats to have when my mouth wants something tasty.

Last night we had Stop & Shop's Sugar Free Marble Cream Cake, topped with Rediwip and cinnamon. It tasted JUST like the gingerbread cake my mom used to make around the holidays. Delicious! And an absurdly low S/C value (I want to say 0/1 but I'll have to check).

I need to focus on Fiber.. We have been too focused on leaving servings open for this or that meal and not focused on getting the right kind of nutrition. We have been using Benefiber in our coffee and my husband was doing the Psyllium husk belly drink, but that's not near the 25g of fiber that the plan recommends. So since I've got the count management down for S/C values, I'm going to switch to challenging myself to get all 25g of fiber.

This morning I had two pieces of Boars Head smoked bacon, two eggs Sunnies Up, and two pieces of Ezekiel sprouted grain bread.

For lunch my plan is to have Trader Joe's Chicken Marsala over brown rice, but I'm afraid the Marsala may have expired, so I will go get a salad if that's the case, and eat the brown rice anyway.

Dinner is the white pizza from the book, on whole grain pita.

After adding that up there probably won't be room for the cake again tonight. Ah, such is life. Gotta have the grains!

Weigh-in tomorrow. :)

Friday, May 06, 2011

Just an update!

I'm really bad at coming back to this blog because I've been so busy lately! But I want to check in and say that things are going well. I've gotten a lot of comments over the past ten days about how various friends and coworkers can see that I'm losing weight. That always feels nice!

My birthday went well! We ate 0/0 for breakfast and lunch to make sure we had wiggle room, though I'm sure my sugars went over because I was trying Mochi for the first time (I had misinterpreted the label and thought a serving was 6 pieces, when actually there were six 'servings' per package, the serving was one piece and that at 15g sugar). So sugars were blown but carbs I think were actually safe!

I've been religiously updating my food journal, so everything's been on track there. I still end up having most of my sugars and carbs with dinner. I know weight loss would speed up if I could flip that to breakfast, but I don't have time to have a hefty breakfast in the mornings, and dinner is the deal we look forward to, so the indulgences are built in there. 

I bought new pants yesterday because my hip tattoo is showing in all my size 10 pants. :P Normally that tattoo is an inch below the waistband. I already had trouble treading on my pant hems, they don't need to drop lower!

When I look in the mirror I am really starting to be happy with what I see. :)

ETA: Just caught up with the "Me and Jorge" blog, and I'm signing up for the May Weight Loss Challenge! No more birthdays, no heavy holidays! No more excuses! My mom's birthday is this month and I'm sure she'll want her own ice cream cake but I'll be on the good girl list and just have a piece of dark chocolate and some coffee. I actually find it's more satisfying than eating a guilty pleasure anyway!