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.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Another one bites the dust

I *had* enjoyed using MyFitnessPal to track what I eat on my iPhone, but when I logged in today I saw they'd messed around with my goals (again). Looking into it, they now FORCE you to plan your day around calories.. so you set your carbs as a percentage of your total calories. Thanks but no thanks!

I was thinking of going back to the 5/16 sheets anyway. When I finish the iOS app I'm making for work maybe I can at least make a quick and dirty tracker app for myself. I will miss the barcode scanning, though! For now I'll keep MyFitnessPal on my phone just to record my weight and measurements.

Summer I've been 60% neglectful of the BFC, I'd guess. These evil Frozen Yogurt shops keep popping up everywhere, and Dunkin Donuts brought back my favorite egg bagel (and that JalapeƱo cream cheese is so good!). But on the other hand I look at the sugar count of everything I eat, even when I'm misbehaving, so at least I'm aware of what I'm doing instead of trying to enjoy ignorance. And I do think I make better choices than I used to when I didn't realize just how much sugar was in everything.

I'm trying to get back to it, though. A bunch of the things that have been causing me stress are coming to their conclusions, so I'm expecting my discipline to return. My skin hasn't been happy with all the sugar, and I've got a beach trip in about 9 days, so time to buckle down! I've been mostly good all week, except Monday I had a Hostess cupcake and some popcorn because we were staying up late waiting for something and I just didn't know what to do with myself.

My husband wanted McDonald's last night, after nothing in the house sounded appetizing. I had already eaten but since we'd mentioned going for milkshakes he was surprised when I only ordered a coffee. He apologized that we were at McDonald's with no 'reward' in it for me. I told my husband last night, "I've got to control my own impulses, not yours."

That means I need to be able to look at a batch of hot cookies or a tray of fast food or my friends going to Yogurt City after martial arts training and just say, "Okay, you enjoy that!" And that's on me to do. I can't rely on everyone else not to put the temptations in front of me.

There aren't many BFC friendly snacks in the house these days, though, so I do need to get some string cheese or sliced turkey, etc., to have when I feel the urge to snack.

I read a quote this morning: "The answer to exhaustion isn't rest; it's wholeheartedness."
I feel like that applies for me in so many things I'm trying to do right now.

Friday, June 01, 2012

Tangible Results

Okay, let's see what I can do with the two weeks left until the Family Reunion!

I've been pretty much good all week (Wednesday I had a soy latte not thinking that the soymilk was probably sweetened - 12g sugar, damn!), and last night when my husband wanted Burger King I made myself a fried egg sandwich even though it was late and I just wanted to give into the Call of the Carbs.

This morning I tried a new cereal I found at Shop Rite yesterday. They haven't had the F-Factor in a few months (don't know why, I kept buying out their stock..), so I've had to try some new things. There's the Optimum Slim I reviewed earlier this year, and I saw something labeled "Honey Nut" so I grabbed that. I love me some Honey Nut Cheerios and I wish there was something that tasted as good that was permissible. So these were "Gluten Free Cereal Honey Nut Rings" by "Glutino" - not too bad! I don't care for the smell of them but they taste pretty good. They remind me more of the peach-colored Apple Jacks than Honey Nut Cheerios but that's not a bad thing. They're 4/2 with only one gram of fiber, though, so I dunno if I'd go for them instead of the Optimum Slim. Plus the box was $4.99 instead of the $3.99 of the Slim.

I also picked up more of the Think Thin bars. I got a TON of the snack sized ones in Cookies & Cream and Chocolate Toffee Nut. I bought them off amazon untasted because we couldn't find them around, and I have to say I'm not a fan of them. Taste too much like protein bars to me. The Chocolate Dipped Nuts meal bar tastes like actual food so it's a winner, and I picked up a half dozen more on sale at Shop Rite yesterday (the only place we can find them other than Trader Joe's where they cost too much).

Cannot WAIT for our Whole Foods to open. I need some more options, please!

Lunch will be a turkey sandwich with sliced cheese, mayo and baby spinach on a Stop & Shop brand Sandwich thin (the name brands all have HFCS in theirs but the Stop & Shop don't, go figure!). Probably some string cheese.

Dinner tonight will probably be more nachos. I think I'll steam some spinach and include that, to get more nutrition out of it, other than fat and protein. ;) Otherwise it's just a 6g fiber meal.

Saturday is supposed to be pretty warm so I'm thinking it's time to make some ice cream! If my husband doesn't have a preference I'll make the Mocha Chip ice cream. If he does have a preference we'll probably end up with mint chip.

I'll weigh myself at my next chance, do all the measurements in MyFitnessPal progress, and we'll see how far I can go in two weeks!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Summer is Here

As I look back over May, I see it largely as a difficult month to stay on track. But every month, really, is difficult if you focus on what you can't have.

There was Mother's Day, followed quickly by my mother's birthday, and that meant cakes and such. We ignored their sweets on Mother's Day but gave in to the chocolate layer cake on her birthday and since then have been struggling to get back on target.

I'd be really good all day, and then at dinner or just after I'd just crumble.

Then the guys from our UK office sent me two boxes of chocolates. One box was easy to resist, since I'm not crazy about chocolate and the texture was too thick and hard to swallow for me. The second box was a tray of Ferrero Rocher. I don't know if I'd ever even tried them before, but that tray was gone in under 48 hours. Not all to me, thank goodness, but plenty of it. Made easier by the lack of nutritional information on the package.

I may have said this before, but I heard about a study that says we only have *so* much self control, so that if we are using it for one activity, we will crumble against other temptations. The example given was that of a person being seated in front of a comedian and told, no matter what, not to laugh. The person focuses on that task and then a big piece of cake is placed in front of them. They are using all their self control on the task given that they don't even notice they've eaten the cake!

I can see the truth of this reflected in my own behavior. On a craving-filled day there's nothing I want more than ice cream or cookies or, ahem, a big bag of chocolate covered raisins. And on a day when something is stressing me out? Boom. Walls are down, and I'm halfway through the bag of Raisinets before I know what hit me.

On a good day I'm a BFC angel and can resist the sweets in the break room. I still don't know if I could resist Ferrero Rocher.

The good thing is, though, that I make the healthiest decisions I am able to at any point. I know where the sugar and the sweeteners hide and I avoid it. Even if I crumble and have a big plate of fries with my burger, I'm drinking club soda or water with lime. I still eat a BFC-approved breakfast every day. When I get up and start right at least I have the opportunity to make it a good day. The rest is up to me.

Yesterday I had a modified mug muffin (after it's cooked I add a 1/2cup of almond milk and a 1/4cup of wild blueberries), which I made in a glass storage container because I was running late. It's still good after my 20m commute! Lunch was two supreme crunch tacos from Taco Bell (would have made chicken salad if I hadn't been running late). I had a think thin chocolate covered nuts protein bar before my martial arts class. I had planned to make myself some eggs and bacon when I got home but by the time I was out of the shower my back was killing me and I couldn't imagine standing long enough to cook (and then washing the pans) so I made dessert instead: 1/6 of a sugar free angel food cake, 1/2c of strawberries and whipped cream. So not much fiber yesterday but still a success! My first fully successful day in a while.

Today I got up early enough to make eggs and bacon, which I had with one piece of Ener-G tapioca bread and coffee. Lunch will be that chicken salad (made with mayonnaise and relish to be quick) on a Joseph's pita with some baby spinach. I am so tempted to plant a garden this summer because I am sick of buying spinach just to find it gross and wet in the bag before the expiration date! Dinner tonight will be nachos, made with Bite Size tostitos, a rotisserie chicken, Nature's Promise chipotle salsa, this "taco dip" sauce we found, sliced peppers, cheese, sour cream and onions. Oh and black olives and shredded cheddar. If you pile on the chicken at least you get your protein and it's something my husband will readily eat. I just need to find a way to add more fiber to it.

I've been tracking my food with MyFitnessPal on my phone but I need to come back to their full website regularly, since the app doesn't give a total for each meal, just for the day. It's easy to think you still have room for another two helpings of carbs when you see 80/120 in the daily report, even though you technically had a serving of carbs at every meal! I'm going to try to find an email address I can send a suggestion to for totaling up each meal.

Okay, so I posted at the beginning of May and at the end. I'll try to do better in June, posting shorter posts, more photos of meals, more recipes and less info dumps!

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Holding Steady, Doing Well

Yesterday was my birthday. We went out with friends on Saturday night and I had shrimp scampi with broccoli at dinner. I did have frozen yogurt for dessert, but that's because I'd never been to a Peach Wave before and I wanted to try it out. It was good, though not amazing, so I should be okay even though they built one right in the center of our town. We have an ice cream maker and the java chip recipe I found last year is amazing.

We also found Clemmy's ice cream! It's horribly overpriced (the whole store we got it from is, but they're the only local source of Xylitol). I had a few spoonfuls of chocolate on Sunday night and it was right on par with the ice cream we made. Honestly if I've got the time to make it the homemade ice cream is a bargain compared to $6/pint. :P We also got some Vanilla so I'll maybe have some with some blueberries later this week.

First we have to finish my birthday cake! We made the flourless chocolate cake (with black beans) again, but we doubled the frosting recipe. Should not have. Oh, we were nauseous after from all the extra Xylitol (we also licked the spatulas...)! So we will take it slow finishing the cake. We put fresh raspberries on it which were delicious!

Saw The Pirates! Band of Misfits yesterday. It was super cute, but I'm probably not going to be happy with a movie until I get back to see Hunger Games again with my husband. Now it's just a matter of being stubborn. We were going to see that last night but some friends want to see it too so we'll see it this Sunday. We did try the Kay's Chili Nacho Cheese snacks on Saturday while we were cooking, and they're really good! So we'll have those at the movies this weekend (we forgot to pack them last night so we had Burger King Chicken Strips for dinner and a club soda from the theater).

AMC theaters is really bad about providing Nutritional Information. I was given a really out of date binder last night when I asked, but it did confirm what I pretty much already knew: their pizza is out (88g carbs for a personal) a small popcorn is still too big for one person (IIRC: 70g), two people could split the nachos (~65g) and be okay (except they're gross) and the chicken breast tenders (34g) are really the only tasty option. That's assuming the sugar (which they don't print the info for) is on par with chicken strips from other places. They do now serve unsweetened iced tea (0.5g), but my husband and I both wanted something carbonated.  So us low carbers and those who have no choice, like diabetics, are still SOL when it comes to theater food unless we ignore theater policies and sneak in our own food (no one's ever dropped the apathy long enough to try and take mine away anyway).

A Little Caesar's is opening nearby soon, and there are actually a few tasty options to be had, according to their website nutrition info. Hot wings, with the exception of BBQ, are all close to 0/0, the baby pans are OK, a slice of anything but the pineapple pizzas is fine, and 2-3 cheesy breadsticks are also OK as a meal. Cool! They're right by my martial arts school so I'm sure there'll be some after-class gatherings there. The Yogurt Town also opening next door, I'm assuming, is less accessible but maybe they'll be smart and serve coffee, too.

My standard breakfast lately has been the flax mug muffin with blueberries and almond milk, then lunch is usually a joseph's pita with turkey, spinach and avocado. Dinner varies. Tonight I think we're getting another rotisserie chicken, which I will try to not eat before I can add some veggies to my plate (like last post).

My arms and thighs are not shedding weight like my stomach (my stomach measurement is beyond my goal as of this morning), so I've gotta try and figure out a way to work on them. My arms I know some exercises for but my legs really ought to be benefiting from my martial arts and I'm not sure why they aren't.

Friday, April 20, 2012

This was a Triumph

Today the temptation under my nose is a box of gourmet cupcakes in the office breakroom. They look like they were made fresh and the frosting piped by hand. But I resisted, not even a nibble! Honestly they were too pretty - their taste could not have lived up to expectations. ;)

Last night my husband had Burger King so I tried to find myself a Spaghetti Squash to make the Spaghetti Squash Rosemary Egg Nest recipe I found via Amber's blog, but the grocery store didn't have any in their produce section. From there I followed my nose and got a hot rotisserie chicken instead. I should have had some vegetables with it, I know, but I was so hungry by the time I got home that I dug right in. Today for lunch I had it on a Joseph's pita with spring mix and baby spinach, some mayo and Newman's Own Caesar dressing. It was fantastic and very filling.

I brought the Joseph's (not the same Joseph as the pitas, this is the Joseph that we also get our syrup from) Pecan Walnut Brownie Bites which I opened last night for dessert. I really like them, though I wouldn't confuse them for brownies! They are like soft cookies, kinda like the chocolate nut ones you can get at Panera bread (only no sugar!). I have to figure out, though, if their total carb count includes the Maltitol. It's listed at the same 'level' as the major categories, instead of indented in with the fiber and sugar. If they don't calculate them together that makes a serving of 8 bites 21g of carbs instead of 15g. It might just be a layout issue, though, but I know companies love to try and omit stuff for that 'net carb' lower quantity. I submitted the question to them via their website. Either way I have yet to eat a whole serving before being satisfied! Maybe that's because they're chewy, or because of the pecans. So I had about 5 more of those after my lunch, and I'm very full! I also am on my second bottle of water.

Tonight we are meeting an old friend and her husband and new baby for dinner, and my plan is to have Philly Cheesesteak (they're on Portuguese rolls at this particular restaurant, which are great for BFC calculations compared to most other rolls). I'll substitute the fries for vegetables and pick off about half of the onions, maybe eat it open face if the roll looks bigger than I remember. With unsweetened Iced Tea, the only tough thing will be to avoid the dessert pies the restaurant is named for (no it's not Cheesecake Factory, LOL, that's a whole other battle, including parking).

My husband is feeling much better today (evidenced by wanting to socialize) so we may go see Hunger Games on Sunday morning, and we'll try the Kay's Protein Chips.I'm thinking I'll bring a bottle of water and use one of the True Lime packets in it to match the chili flavor in the chips. But it's a morning show so I may wake up and only pack my travel mug of coffee after everything. :P

Thursday, April 19, 2012


My husband has a pretty nasty cold, so he's been off the plan just to eat whatever sounds good (my main treatment for being sick) and to drink things to soothe his throat (with lots of honey).

But I've been behaving! Normally I'd knock off and have a burger or six, too, if he's not adhering, but this week I'm being good. It's nearly summer, you know. Grilling season is within our reach, if I can just stave off the mashed potatoes and cookies for a few more weeks!

Tuesday night he didn't want anything in the house so I picked up Taco Bell. Man, did I ever want some Cheesy Gordita Crunches! But I had two crunchy supreme tacos, per Jorge's instructions, and I was okay! Thank goodness for hot sauce.

Yesterday at work someone brought Munchkins in for everyone. I just avoided the kitchen until they'd all been eaten.

Last night my husband wanted some of those ready-to-bake Nestle cookies. Those are some of my favorite, fresh from the oven (I despise cooled chocolate chip cookies, though, go figure!). We had to go out to the store for them and some organic milk for him to have with them, and so I picked up those sugar free pound cake slices and some frozen wild blueberries to have instead. I said to myself, "Look, you didn't eat crunchy tacos instead of cheesy gordita crunches yesterday, and avoid those munchkins, just to ruin it with cookies!" So I had my blueberry/poundcake/whipped cream treat with some dark roast coffee, and managed not to look at those cookies in front of my husband TOO hard. It helped that I let them cool longer on the stove after they were done, so I never saw the yummy gooey soft cookies I prefer.

I won't have any cookies tonight either. "Look, self, you didn't NOT have fresh warm cookies just to spoil it on yucky cooled chocolate chip cookies today!"

So I weighed myself this morning before my shower and my weight has continued to fall steadily. THAT's what behaving gets you. Go figure!

I popped over to the other day and ordered a few goodies. When my husband is better I want to take him to see The Hunger Games (which I saw with a friend on Sunday and loved so much I can't wait to see it again), and the worst thing about this diet is the portion control when all you want to do is munch all the way through a movie. So I was looking for a snack that would be more substantial than one ounce of this or that.

I found a product called Just the Cheese, which is a filler-free cheese snack, but reviews were spotty at best. Someone said in one, "I'll just stick with Kay's Natural protein chips" so I searched for those and found Kay's Nature Protein Chips in Chili Nacho Cheese flavor, which comes in a 5oz bag, rather than a cluster of 1oz bags. I know some of you will tisk at me, but my intent is to split the bag with my husband, for 2.5 servings each, during the movie, and that will be roughly 35g carbs each to finish off the bag. That's also a nice 25g of protein for each of us, making the whole thing roughly equal to a protein bar, LOL. Hopefully it's good! I'll report back.

Since my birthday is just over a week away I also got some sweets: Kay's Protein+ Cookie BitesDixie Diner Caramel Pecan Turtle Brownie Mix (one of the few of their mixes without excitotoxins),  La Nouba Marshmallows, Joseph's Sugar Free brownie bites, and Yes! To Cookies Ginger Cookies. Now it's not my intention to live off such sweet-emulators, but we haven't tried any of these products before so mostly I was trying to get a variety in case half of them are awful. :P My intention is NOT to bake that Ghirardelli Extreme Triple Chocolate Fudge Brownie mix my mom keeps buying and asking me to bake (saboteur!).

So now my question to you other BFCers for today: With regard to those Mug Muffins that Jorge posted the recipe for, how do you prepare them? I made mine with the frozen wild blueberries and SF vanilla extract but, while it was very tasty, the inside never cooked all the way through, even after an extra minute+ in the microwave. Does the mug seem important? Do juicy fillers mean I should cut back on other liquids? Anyone else have to make adjustments? I have no idea if microwaves work the same as ovens, but I'm at 750 ft above sea level, so it seems like it shouldn't be too different from Jorge's experience on the west coast.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Still here! (reprise)

It's been a life and a half since I last posted, I haven't been good lately about updating online. Just too busy!

I've been doing my best to stick to the tenets I learned from the BFC but until this week my husband and I haven't completely been sticking to it. Since I last weighed in.. oh I don't even remember when!  I had gained 8.4 pounds (largely attributable to the recent visits by Msrs. Ben and Jerry). Not as much as I thought it would be when I stepped on the scale, but still a shame to take those steps backward. I still fit in all the new and resized pants, at least, though the one "measuring" pair of jeans has definitely been tight lately.

So Monday morning I weighed in at 156.8, and we put aside the brownies and BBQ ribs from my husband's birthday and went back on plan. Summer grilling season makes it a lot easier to rededicate ourselves, and I'm really hoping not to take the 'days off' from the BFC that my husband insists on (though we've already talked about what to eat on Friday when we go to Bertucci's with friends).

I'm also trying this time not to rely on grains as much. Every meal last time through was built around the bread or the buns or the pasta and the rice. What a waste! Not enough to make us satisfied but enough to force us to cut back on the rest of the goodies.

Our store did start stocking the Ener-G Tapioca bread, though, which (if memory serves) is 10g of carbs per slice instead of the usual 15 - 18. Might be some sugars in it, not sure. I do know we can have a very satisfying French Toast breakfast using it. French Toast may well be my favorite remaining food (since sushi rolls really don't work for the BFC, boo!).

Tonight we're having Carne Asada on tortillas and loading up the rest of our meal with veggies. We didn't use a lot of veggies the first time through because the S/C values were so hard to determine on our own, and I always erred on the side of caution. So I left out almost everything! Not in the plans, this time. It's easy enough to look stuff up, and I'll err on the side of more vegetables!

My husband just started some contract work so now we have to figure out how to pack lunches for him. Usually at home he works around mid-day exercise and has a protein/psyllium shake for lunch. Not anymore!

Also found the thinkThin bars locally and ordered a bunch more off Amazon. Hoping they can help me on Tuesdays and Thursdays when I go straight from work to martial arts (I've begun assisting my instructor so I can work toward becoming an instructor myself). Last night I think I ate it too early - after two back-to-back classes I was ready to drop and my muscles said "Nope!"  So tomorrow I'll try it a little later, around 4:30 instead of 3:30. I was just in the habit of eating at 3:30 from when I'd pack food that needed more digesting before I started jumping and kicking. I also forgot to take my vitamins yesterday.

I still have that old problem of not being able to take my vitamins comfortably with anything. After lunch today I took them with the rest of my unsweetened iced tea and I'm still gagging and feeling unhappy. Just about the only thing that's worked so far is the Magnesium Powder I found on Amazon (raspberry lemonade only, the orange is chalky!), and only until it completely dissolves. It's as though the rule for swallowing vitamins is that the liquid can't be translucent! And yet almond milk still doesn't work. Guess I could try the unsweetened almond+coconut milk that we just started buying. Orange Juice has always worked the best for me, so when I finally reach my goal I'll see what happens if I use half a glass to take my vitamins in the morning.

I was getting really sick and tired of the taste and texture of F-Factor cereal, and Shop Rite took pity on me and stopped stocking it. That'll teach me to pity myself! So I got two new cereals to try.

The first is Optimum Slim, which I had a bowl of last night after I got home from class.

When I saw it I couldn't believe that I could fit it into the BFC. Look at that! It looks like a commercial cereal for adults who still have the sweet tooth of kids! Now there are no peaches in there but their prescribed serving size of a cup still has 6g of sugar, so I had 3/4 of a cup to bring it down under 5g. It tastes as good as it looks, and the different textures are great. Not having to add powdered cinnamon and Truvia for flavor (like I would with the F-Factor) is a major plus.

The second cereal, Cinnamon Simply Fiber, hasn't been tasted by me yet. My husband made quite the face and said "You can tell this one has 0g sugar in it!"

I thought he'd like it because of the cinnamon in it, but the tube shapes are very dry. He only tasted a pinch, though, without any liquid. I suggested maybe these would do better heated like grape-nuts. At least there's room for some Truvia!

We bought some Coconut oil a few weeks ago and are going to try the coffee mug Skinny Muffins in the mornings before work. I think we need a test-run though to figure out how long it really takes to prepare, cook and eat them. I'm not good about leaving myself time to do everything in the morning!

Has anyone here tried the Barlean's products? Are they worth the hassle and cost of buying them if I can only find them on Amazon?

Portions of the concrete walls of our future Whole Foods have been erected, but it looks like it could easily take until Winter before they open. Boo! I need me some Clemmy's, LOL! At least we have the ice cream maker for the summer.

Monday, January 09, 2012

Still here!

I haven't posted since September... wow! The end of 2011 really got away from us.

A month after my last post, we had yet ANOTHER major storm and ANOTHER week without power. Which meant dumping our special order BFC friendly food. It was a major killer of our motivation, and while I did largely try to stick to the plan, there were definitely times when we just didn't care enough!

Add to that the stress of the holidays, and a decision to relaunch my webcomic, I was not able to prioritize the diet. I resolved to kick it back into gear on Jan 1, and we didn't stress about what we ate during the holidays that were already stressful enough. No regrets there!

Thankfully the year ended not too far from my best weight. I only went up about 5 pounds after eating with abandon - I think because I really did try to stick to the diet wherever I was able. So the starbucks sugary lattes and mashed potatoes didn't send me back to the beginning.

So now we're a week into the diet. Since Fridays always trip us up, we decided just to indulge on that day of the week. It gives us something to look forward to, making it easier to stay resolute on the other days. And we still end up doing fairly well when we know the rules are suspended.

I haven't had a chance to weigh in since New Years Eve, but I do keep myFitnessPal updated, so the ticker there is accurate, even if my comic is keeping me too busy to post every single day.

As for what I eat, breakfast is 2 eggs, 2 bacon and 1 Ezekiel bread toasted when I have time (hopefully today!), or F-Factor or Cheerios with Almond Milk and some sausage when I don't. Lunch has been a lot of soup, but I'm getting pretty tired of soup so I will start to make tuna or egg salad to have on my pitas again. Three nights a week my dinners are light since I'm headed to class. I found an organic Miso/Ramen Soup that is so easy and I love. The other nights my husband and I usually try to pick something from Jorge's book. Tonight is the Club Sandwich with Pirate's booty and a salad.

I want to focus on more vegetables, but I still need to really sit down and figure out how to maximize fiber from veggies without picking up too many sugars.

Anyway, there! Updated and moving along! My goal for the year, weight-wise, is to reach and maintain 130lbs.

I don't know if I'll check in again this week. I have an essay to write for my belt promotion exam in Soo Bahk Do, and I'm getting a little behind on my comic.

This year, despite what the comic would have you believe, I plan to simplify my obligations. I do a lot of painting and sewing and design for other people and it leaves me with very little spare time where I can just say "What do I feel like doing today?" Usually I already have a to-do list of things that are weighing on my mind, and I need to cut that out so I can enjoy my 30s before they're gone. ;)