Sunday, June 28, 2009

Low Carbin' It Update

Wow, it's been three weeks now since I started cutting carbs. I did not think it would go so fast those first few days. They were kind of tough. It helped that I had a set plan and was prepared with the food I needed. This is key in weight loss I think. I needed the strict set of guidelines I laid for myself. I'm so glad I decided to blog and write about my goals and how I intend to get there. Writing was very motivational. I had also been praying and asking God for direction. After all, He is the great physician and knows my body and my struggles. I felt His leading and prayed at times that I wanted to give up or question my choices.

I'm finding that most people think of cutting carbs as an extreme way of eating and generally think of it negatively. I imagine they are thinking that I am eating bacon and eggs smothered in butter and cheese burgers for meals everyday. This is far from reality for me. The main keys for me have been cutting ALL sugar (this is a big one) and all bread and grains for now. I am eating more vegetables than ever and at least one serving of fruit every day. This alone is a huge improvement from before starting this journey.

I think I have far too much to share in one post, so I'll get to the "nitty-gritty" of what I want to share today. I have lost eight pounds and it feels great. I can't believe how good it feels to be rid of eight measly pounds. Think how great ten, then twenty, and thirty is going to feel! I can't wait!

I have not changed much from my original plan. The only things I have added is a half of a banana to my smoothie every couple of days and some extra dark chocolate squares for an occasional treat. They are delicious and such a treat when you have a sweet tooth like mine.

Here's a list of things that I have enjoyed and have worked for me:

  • eggs for breakfast- two or three eggs with sauteed onions and peppers, (some days with cheese for a little change) I thought I would get really tired of this, but I look forward to my eggs every morning. I have been using fresh organic farm eggs. They are so good and nothing in the stores compare. If you can find a local source of real eggs, it is worth the time, effort and money. You'll never want a pale little tasteless store bought egg again:)

  • salads with homemade dressing, usually without meat, but I do like cheese and sunflower seeds for some crunch. Yum!

  • portable snacks have been almonds, peanuts, cheese sticks and green apples. I try not to run out of these so I'm not tempted by the usual ball game fare. If I'm running out the door for errands or a ball game I will get a spoonful of peanut butter to eat while I drive. I must look kind of ridiculous, but it sure is good and I have come to enjoy it like a treat too.
  • lots of water and unsweetened tea with lemon. I have been really good about getting in plenty of fluids. If I start to feel munchy like I want to snack instead I drink some water. I am really finding that what they say is true, that my body is really craving fluids rather than food. On the flip side if I still want something to eat I get a healthy snack.

Lest you think it's been all smooth sailing, the past three weeks have come with many temptations. We have had family here for a visit and ate several meals out. I had to search the menu and make special requests at times,but at the end of our meals I was full like everyone else and probably felt better too. We had lots of ball games, a meal after church, and a birthday party. I ate chocolate cake at the party ;) Hey, what's life without a little chocolate cake!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Ranch Dressing

1/3 cup light mayo (the kind made with olive oil has no sugar)
1/3 cup sour cream or plain yogurt
1/3 cup buttermilk
1/2 tsp parsley
1/2 tsp dill
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
salt and generous pepper
Add all of the above to a jar with a lid. I am using a glass jar with a metal lid that from the natural peanut butter that we buy. It has a nice wide mouth and is perfect for shaking the dressing. Wendy is the best shaker!
*note- i don't really measure the spices, so adjust to your taste buds :) *add enough buttermilk to make the dressing the right consistency for you also *the flavors blend and it tastes even better the next day!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Menu Plan-Low Carbin' It!

I need to lose weight. It has a little to do with vanity, but mostly for my health and my family I want to get to a healthy weight. I have set a goal of losing 50 pounds in a year. My first mini goal is ten pounds. I had this in mind a couple of months ago when our family joined the local YMCA. I have not been as consistent about getting there as I would like, but have managed to walk or get in a workout there at least twice a week most weeks. I have lost 4 pounds in three months. Not very impressive, but the scale is moving in the right direction.

In order to make some changes and hopefully have some success losing, I want to try limiting carbs. For two weeks I will be doing what I consider to be extremely limiting carbs. It's no "big news" that we should all avoid white sugar and white flour. This eliminates all the things that we know should not be a regular part of our diets anyway. I have come up with a plan that includes a list of healthy low carbohydrate foods, but also healthy whole foods. After two weeks, I will begin to add small amounts of whole grains.

Here is the breakdown of what I will and won't eat for two weeks starting today:

Foods to avoid:
  • Sugar, period. including artificial sweeteners and natural things like honey or maple syrup too
  • all grains

  • all fruit except for the ones I list below

  • carrots and potatoes

Foods I will eat:

  • Breakfast- eggs with vegetables and coffee (I most likely will not have meat for this meal)
  • Lunches-Salads with lots of veggies, boiled eggs, ( a couple of days I may add tuna salad or some lean meat) I have been making our ranch dressing. I will share the recipe here in a couple of days. It is so much better than any store bought we've ever had.
  • Snacks- one green apple per day, 1 ounce of almonds, cheese, celery with natural peanut butter or cream cheese, cottage cheese with vegetables. I can't wait now for our tomato plants to start producing! And if I feel the need for something sweet, I'll have a smoothie of strawberries and plain yogurt.
  • Dinners-will include lean meats like chicken, lean ground turkey or beef, or grilled fish. I will probably eat a salad most days for dinner as well, just because it can be pre-made and ready to eat. It will also include lots of roasted or steamed vegetables including: brussell sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, squash, zucchini, and greens. One of my favorite meals will continue to be taco salad. Mine will be without the chips.
  • Drinks-Lots and lots of water. I will start my day with water and end with water. In between I will enjoy coffee, and unsweetened tea, and probably a small amount of milk.

I should add that my family's eating will not change. They will continue to enjoy the meals I've posted in previous Menu Plans. I will share my progress and highlight the things that work and don't work. I feel that if I can follow this for 2 weeks, I can readjust my taste buds and develop new habits.

As I am finishing this writing today I feel pretty good about the choices I've made for day one. It was a little tough at dinner time when I was buttering baked potatoes for my kids. I know that late afternoon and late evening will be challenging times of day. I often reach for sweets during these times because I'm low on energy. I prayed through today and it felt good. I will write more about my motivation at some point too.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

They Got Their Chance... rescue us that is. And boy was I glad! Tommy did not believe that the girls had seen a "huge snake". I don't think the boys believed them either. Those of us that saw their pale faces and their little trembling selves did though. We all chose to believe that the snake was just passing through and not living in the bush outside of our garage or we would not have wanted to go outside ever again :)

We were sitting in the garage yesterday evening watching heavy rain fall as a storm passed over and discussing our disappointment of another game cancellation. All of sudden, my husband's clip board full of game plans goes flying along with his lawn chair and he jumped back, I mean jumped in between me and a huge snake that came out from under the bush just outside of the garage. After a second to collect himself, he did grab a hockey stick and thankfully Jacob was not afraid to help and the two of them wrangled him into a bucket. Jacob was very brave, and did not seem afraid at all. He is the one in the video picking up the snake, playing with it, and then putting it into the bucket. He watched a LOT of Crocodile Hunter growing up and loves Survivor Man too.

Now much to my disappointment, we could not kill a "good snake". So, after tiring him out and letting everyone inspect it as much as they cared to, everyone (except me and Rose) took him to some nearby woods and let him go. Hopefully, never to return. Please don't tell me if you think it's possible that a wayward snake can find his way back "home" . You know like the stories you hear of dogs and cats traveling miles and finding their way back. I really wish the poor creature no harm, I just don't want to share my yard with him ;)

And like any good homeschooling family, we did some research about local snakes. We discovered that our snake is a rat snake. The only kind of snake in Virginia that grows over six feet in length. If your curious and want to see lots of neat snake pictures check out The Virginia Herpetological Society. Even the pictures give me the "willies".