Diets are tough!

Since the lazy summer days are behind me and the usual fall routine has begun, I was able to get back to my usual exercise schedule at my local YMCA. So far so good. However, as usual, I am finding that following a diet is much harder! I ordered one bag of 310 Nutrition meal replacement shakes thinking I can drink one for lunch once a day. I do find lunch to be the most difficult meal as I am either out and about and unprepared for a low calorie meal or I am home and don’t really feel like prepping and cooking veggies and salads! So I did drink a shake for lunch here and there but I do find the taste a little to sweet for my liking.  They are convenient and easy but really I cannot imagine using them long-term.  I have seen great results reported by users on their Facebook page and am happy that so many are succeeding but I do not think it is a good choice for me.

Next up, food journaling. I am always reading about how using a food journal helps so I started logging my weight and meals on the MyFitnessPal app. This is a nice (and free) application although sometimes it can be hard to choose the correct food entry using their search feature. I have logged my meals for the past 9 days but it is discouraging when I see that I exceeded my calorie allotment for the day! This has happened more times than I would like to admit! Trouble is I enjoy eating out and when you eat out the calorie intake is very high even when you try to be good. Of course this is the point of logging the meals in the first place but typically it is also the point in which I decide to STOP logging the meals! But not today…I logged it, felt bad about it, decided to create a blog post about it and move on.  This year I am really trying to stick to the commitments I made for myself. Losing those pesky 10-15 pounds and maintaining this blog as my own personal journal are two goals I hope to reach this year.

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Recipe Successes and Failures

One of my goals is to go through many of my recipes and see if they are worth keeping. This week I made Honey Lime Chicken Thighs which was a recipe I found and posted on my “Dinner” Pinterest board. This was a quick, healthy, and tasty dinner so it is definitely a keeper! As part of this overall goal, I also wanted to clean out my freezer and refrigerator and try to use some of the items that I have been storing. This morning I saw won-ton wrappers that I purchased last year (!) and granny smith apples that were on their way out. Lo and behold I found a recipe for Fried Apple Pie Rolls. The picture looked great and I had all the ingredients on hand. Unfortunately, I was not happy with the results. I had trouble recreating the long and lean look of the recipe while rolling up the won-tons so mine were all inconsistent and more rounded or squared. The taste, however, is pretty good. My daughter said they tasted good and all they needed was a dipping sauce but that they did not look too appetizing!  Maybe I just need some more practice with the wrappers….

While I do not have grandiose goals such as climbing Mt. Everest or running the NYC Marathon, I am pleased that I am tackling these little goals that I have set for myself. I think blogging about them may also help keep me on track.

Until Next Time,

Carol

It’s never too late to start!

For many, New Year’s Day is the ideal time to set goals and make resolutions. For me, it’s Labor Day. There’s something about the upcoming fall season and the start of a new school year that makes me want to refresh myself and meet some goals.

Maybe it’s because my 52nd birthday is coming up and I realize that I am getting older and I have yet to tackle the hobbies I wanted to try many years ago: to complete the scrapbooks of my daughter as she enters her senior year in high school, to actually use the various craft kits I purchased, to cook and bake the many recipes I posted on Pinterest or tagged in the myriad of cookbooks I own, to consistently maintain a blog! All of these activities should have been doable and while I started each one of them with gung-ho in the past, somehow my desire and commitment waned over time. Well as a birthday gift to myself, I decided start working steadily towards my goals, one day at a time.

This morning I baked breakfast muffins and I even placed them on a serving pedestal that I typically only use “for company” because why shouldn’t my family and I enjoy it as well? It’s never to late to start!

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It’s been a while since my last post

Well I was afraid of this! Now that I don’t have a “project” like the cleanse to keep me blogging, I seemed to have lost my commitment to it. On the bright side, however, I am sticking to most of the healthy habits I acquired on the cleanse. I am still exercising, watching my diet, and have reduced my coffee intake to one or two a day max and I purchased Dandy Blend which is a wonderful herbal replacement for coffee. The first time I tasted it, it reminded me of instant coffee but as I had more cups I started enjoying its flavor more and more. I highly recommend it to anyone trying to reduce their caffeine. The herbs (dandelion, chicory) are also supposed to be healthy for liver detox so it is worth trying!

Speaking of liver detox, I am sipping champagne with a splash of Chambord while I write this LOL. Champagne is my favorite drink. I like all things relating to cocktails (recipes, barware, etc.) and I have been wanting to try mixing a new cocktail each week. Maybe this will give me new focus for my blog!

Until Next Time,

Carol

The Day After

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

Today was my first day off the cleanse. I drank my first cup of coffee in ten days! I refrained from my habit of drinking multiple cups first thing in the morning and limited myself to one after breakfast. I decided to have another cup around 2:30pm but I ended up only drinking a few sips as I really didn’t need it. I am trying to be more mindful of what I am consuming and why I want it. I am hoping this will keep in check. 

I didn’t push myself too hard in spin class since the instructor did extra cardio in the strength class before it and I was a little tired from that. After class, I went food shopping for a Cinco de Mayo-inspired dinner.  I made turkey tacos using a Rachael Ray recipe I found on Food Network and some lime slushies (fresh limes, water, ice, and stevia). 

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Hopefully I will not have gained back everything I lost on the cleanse. But I figure my metabolism should be in order and I have to learn to start eating/exercising in a way that I can live with it.

Until Next Time,

Carol

FMC – Day 10 and Final Day

Yesterday was my final cleanse day! My morning weigh-in yesterday was 115.0 and today it is 115.4. I waited to post because I wanted to express my final thoughts about the process. Yesterday’s menu was very easy – 2 shakes, 2 meals, and 1 snack. So it was nice to start eating more food again but I secretly worried if the introduction of more food would affect my overall weight loss and it did. However, I am reminding myself that the cleanse is really about ridding the body of toxins and increasing metabolism so the weight loss should be an added benefit. While I wish I had lost 10 pounds, I am very happy to be below my original set point of 120.2.

Onto some of the other positive effects I have experienced. My energy has been boundless! I have always been a morning person and I like to talk, much to the chagrin of my husband and daughter who are not morning people! But now I am in overdrive! I wake up feeling so refreshed even though I still only get on average 5 hours of sleep a night (this many say is due to the onset of menopause and probably may never change). My skin is also a little clearer and I have better color overall. Lastly, I just feel good. Real good. And, in the end, this is the best outcome of all.

So what is next on health journey? Well I intend to continue with my exercise program. I have strength class and spin class later this morning and really be conscious of what I eat.  I will have my first cup of coffee in ten days this morning but I will limit my intake to two cups per day maximum. I would like to continue drinking these shakes (maybe as post-workout snack?) because I actually started enjoying the taste of them (or at least not minding them!). I am determined to get to my goal weight of 108 – 110lbs. and I think I have the tools and the resolve to get there!

Until Next Time,

Carol

FMC – Day 9

Well I woke up this morning to another pleasant sight on the scale – 114.6 lbs. Mind you, when I weighed myself a second time later in the day, it was 116.6 lbs, but I believe you are supposed to track your weight first thing in the morning with no clothes. So that’s what I am going by!

Today’s menu introduces more food much like the beginning days of the cleanse — 3 shakes, 1 meal, and 1 snack. I prepared one of Haylie Pomroy’s recipes for dinner, Brown Rice Fusilli, and it was very tasty. I used gluten-free pasta which I never had before and it tasted very close to to the real thing. I felt full quickly so I stopped eating when I felt satisfied as I need to drink one more shake for the day. Trust me, when it comes to pasta, I am rarely satisfied with one small portion! I hope this means that the cleanse is adjusting my mind as well as my body to understand how much fuel my body really needs.

I am bittersweet about tomorrow being my last day on the cleanse! I have been feeling very happy that I committed to doing it, followed it, and succeeded at it. I am afraid of how I will move forward without such a regimented plan but I guess I will find out!

Until Next Time,

Carol

FMC – Day 8

Well the weekend is here! Woke up to a good morning weigh-in of 115 lbs. I know that the cleanse is not supposed to be about weight loss but I am secretly hoping that I will lose 10 pounds! I do hope that my body’s metabolism will be in top shape and, hopefully, my maximum body weight will start hovering around 114 instead of 120. I believe that if I stick to my exercise plan and really try to eat better I will reach my goal weight of 108 – 110 soon enough.

Today’s meal plan is 4 shakes and 1 meal. I decided to have my meal at lunch. We are going to an awards ceremony for Skills USA later in the day evening for my daughter and her friend to receive their second prize for audio/radio production! They had to produce a 5-minute radio production such as a PSA or NPR style new story. This is the first time she attempted it and we are very proud of her!

Until Next Time,

Carol

FMC – Day 7

Overall, today was a very good day because it is the last day where I can only drink shakes for your meal and because my morning weigh-in was 116.4. I stuck to the 5 shakes of the cleanse for each meal and ate a salad before my lunch shake and a baked sweet potato before my dinner shake. The last shake was hard to finish but I drank most if it. I am anxious to see what the weigh-in will be tomorrow.

I joined the Facebook community of people starting the cleanse today. I was supposed to start today as well but I am glad that I started it when I did. I think the time was right since my head was really into it and I think that is half the battle. Reading other people’s posts and cheering them on also helps me to stay on track. I know I will stay focused until Monday. It’s after Monday that I am unsure about it.

Until Next Time,

Carol

FMC – Day 6

I made it to Day 6! Today started out a little tough. I was definitely hungry when I arose and I was a little disappointed with my weigh-in of 117.0 lbs. The weight loss is definitely slowing down. I kept up my resolve this morning by making one of the recipes included in the plan, a lime slushy, made with limes, romaine lettuce, water, ice, and stevia. It was tasty and refreshing and it made me happy to consume something other than the shake for breakfast.

I decided to skip exercise this morning as I was feeling a little weak so I treated myself to a relaxing manicure and pedicure. I felt much better by the end of the morning and had my snack and lunch shakes. Dinner was another shake of course and I had a small salad of romaine lettuce, celery, and red wine vinegar (I am pretty sure the vinegar is allowed). Feeling strong that I can get through tomorrow and I will be in the home stretch!

Until Next Time,

Carol