** Amber's Belly Fat Cure Shopping List - Download or Print HERE **

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Happy Hormones, Slim Belly Planners

Jorge Cruise's newest diet book, Happy Hormones, Slim Belly, is out. I noticed he had a planner in the book, but didn't have a way to download it or print it. So I made my own and am sharing it with you here! 
Happy Belly Planner
Click HERE to print or access online. 

Slim Belly Planner
Click HERE to print or access online. 

If you log in to your Google Drive account, choose File: Make A Copy and you can use it online! You can also use it with Excel, download it to your computer or just print them.
Let me know if you find them useful. 

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Happy Hormones, Slim Belly Cheat Sheet

I put together a quick Cheat Sheet for Jorge Cruise's Happy Hormones, Slim Belly diet plan. Hopefully it will be a quick way to get you started on your weight loss goals!



For more information on HHSB click here!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Happy Hormones Slim Belly by Jorge Cruise

Jorge Cruise has a new diet book out called Happy Hormones Slim Belly (available on Amazon for $15). The book is all about Carb Cycling, where you eat two days of Slim Belly, followed by five days of Happy Belly. The first 45 pages explain the plan, the following 200 pages are menus and recipes, and several success stories (but no fabulous photos to accompany those stories, which I missed!) The new book is hardcover, not spiral like the Belly Fat Cure books, and has a pink cover. The book says it is written especially for women over 40, and will help us regulate hormones like Serotonin.

During the two Slim Days of the diet, you strictly limit your Sugar Calories (or Total Carbohydrates multiplied by 4) to 100. You should avoid grains and starches on these days, and use the Feebies list for the book for most meals. On the Happy Days you can have up to 500 Sugar Calories a day. These five days are said to reset your hormones. Unlike Jorge's other plans, no alcohol is allowed on HHSB - Shocking! But in a Q&A section in the back of book it says you could have a drink for a special occasion. A glass of red wine is recommended in that case.

Jorge created a beautiful book trailer for Happy Hormones Slim Belly here and next week I will have a Happy Hormones Slim Belly Cheat Sheet for you to reference! I'd love to hear your thoughts on this new plan in the comments below.


Jorge was recently on Katie Couric and explained the plan. I think she hit the nail on the head when she said "It's so confusing!" when he recommended a banana on the Happy Days. But watch the segment for a quick explanation.

 

Jorge has lots of diet plans out there right and it easy to get them confused. Here is a quick break down of how they compare:

Belly Fat Cure Diet - A low carb plan that limits you to a Sugar/Carbohydrate ratio of 15grams/120grams per day. It is referred to as S/C Value and carbohydrates are divided up into servings divided by 4. So he calls it a Max S/C Value of 15/6. It sounds a little confusing, but I love this plan and it is how I lost most of my 54 lbs. More info on my blog about this plan.

Belly Fat Cure Fast Track - Basically a Paleo diet, but with limited dairy allowed. No grains for fruits allowed at all. I am featured on the back cover of this book and it is how I lost the last 10 lbs of my weight. I have also used it at various times to help get back to my goal weight over the years. I like it! More info on my blog about this plan.

The 100 Diet - This is where Jorge introduced Sugar Calories, which is Total Carbohydates x 4. On this plan you can have up to 100 Sugar Calories a day. Kind of like the Belly Fat Cure, but more limited.

Kindle Note: I see TONS of complaints on Amazon about the Kindle formatting of Jorge's books published by Hay House. Sounds like the illustrations and charts don't work on Kindle well, so keep that in mind! If you have an experience with this, please leave a comment and let us all know!


Friday, January 10, 2014

New Year, New Goal

About 4 years ago I lost 54 lbs on Jorge Cruise's Belly Fat Cure Diet Plan. I started the diet before the book came out and he offered an online class. For some reason, I was in completely right place for this, and I can tell you the weight just slipped off. The plan takes a little time to get used to the Sugar/Carbohydrate calculations, but once I figured it out it felt easy. After an initial period of sugar withdrawls and low energy, I started to feel so good and my attitude changed. I could just picture myself at my goal weight, and was thrilled to start each day, because I knew I was one day closer to be my old self again. I envisioned myself being "Jorge's Best Client Ever", and sure enough he put me in his next book, I was featured in a national magazine and THEN they flew me to NYE to be on the Rachael Ray Show. That all happened.

So imagine my disappointment, when I get on the scale in the new year and find my weight up nearly 20 lbs. All of it from this year. It has been a really hard year, a year that broke my heart in two. Was I surprised? Yes, and no. I knew all my clothing fit tighter and some didn't fit at all. I could see that new muffin top. But in a way, I knew I had been wallowing in my sadness and I always turn to food for that.

I've looked around at many other low carb diet plans; Paleo, Wheat Belly, Slow Carb to name a few. Jorge has even come out with additional books in the last few years (The 100, Happy Hormones Slim Belly). But I have decided to go back to 100% Belly Fat Cure and the S/C Value 15/6 counting. It worked for me befor, it was fairly easy for me and I like the structure of it.

So here we go! Who's in? I'm going to lose these 20lbs and take better care of myself in 2014. Here is the basics of what I eat on the Belly Fat Cure:

Breakfast: 1/2 Cup of Quaker Rolled Oats, 1 Tablespoon Pumpkin Puree and water microwaved for two minutes. 1 Tablespoon of Coconut Butter, Cinnamon added after.

Lunch: I suck at figuring lunches out and usually eat them on the run or end up skipping. Ugh! This is where I really need to work on my plan, and suggestions are welcome. But I do love that I know how to order fast food on this plan, Protein Style burger or crunchy tacos are usually good.

Afternoon Snack: Pot of Tea, I love chocolate teas! The tea helps make me feel full, even though its just tea. A Cheese stick with Mary's Gone Crackers while my kids enjoy their after school snack is also good. This is a really stressful time of day for me. Dealing my the kids homework and school issues, planning/cooking dinner and getting them off to their activities.

Dinner: 1 La Tortilla Factory medium sized tortilla, Leftover Steak, Romaine, Sour Cream, Guacamole, 1 Tablespoon Salsa.
 
Evening Snack: Pot of Decaf Tea shared with the family. I usually have a square or two of 85% or higher Dark Chocolate.

Daily Total: 
On the Belly Fat Cure you track Sugar and Carbs per meal and the daily total isn't as important. If you just add up the day my total is S/C Value is 10/6. But adding up per meal, like you are supposed to, it is 10/7. Not a big difference I just went over by 1 serving of carbs, but just remember to count by meal. 


Once I entered My Fitness Pal diary for the day, and realized Mary's Gone Crackers are higher carb than I thought, so I went over by a carb serving. It is best to keep the snacks at 0 carbs, so I'll work on that. You are welcome to add my on My Fitness Pal, I think we do best when we track every meal. You will need to make changes to the MFP setup to track the Belly Fat Cure correctly, instructions are HERE.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Belly Fat Cure Diet Cheat Sheet

I've just put together a quick guide for the Belly Fat Cure Diet plan that I wanted to share with you all! If you are are pinnert, please be sure and follow me on Pinterest! I've just created new boards for Belly Fat Cure: Breakfasts, Lunches, Dinners, Snacks and How-To. 



Monday, December 16, 2013

My First Marathon

At the starting line, ready to go!
 I almost didn't do it. I almost just chickened out and stayed in bed that morning. God, that would have been so simple. But instead I got up at 4:40am, rubbed my body with runners glide (to avoid chaffing), pulled on a few layers of untested running clothes and headed out into a 21 degree morning to catch a bus to the starting line of the California International Marathon.

I trained for about three months and followed Hal Higdon's Beginners Marathon Training Plan to the "T", until I couldn't. Turns out, newbies like me get injured. Our bodies break down and we get sick too. Then we get scared. Check, check and check! My training started out great and I had worked up to 15 miles and was really feeling great. Then I injured my calf, and that changed everything. I thought I pulled a muscle and began seeing a Chiropractor who specializes in runners. We were able to work through it, he said I was over training and said to cut back on miles and up my protein intake. He said to eat my weight in protein ounces.  But I lost any speed I had and my lower legs never felt the same again. They always hurt, whether it was a 3 mile or 20 mile run.

My 19 mile training run was demoralizing, and I was starting to feel isolated and lonely. Then two weeks before the race I got an awful cough and chest cold. So I started telling myself, and a few friends, that I was done. I didn't have a strong enough core and I wasn't really a "real runner" anyways. But they reminded me why I chose to run a marathon and that I had done all the hard work. Even walking into the Expo the night before, my legs were sore, still sick and I was freezing cold. Everyone around me seemed so young and fit, I definately felt like an outsider.

But I got up early last Sunday morning and caught a bus to the starting line. The bus was filled with experienced marathoners with lots of last minute advice. I stayed on the warm bus until just a few minutes before 7am, then lined up near the 4:40 Pace Team. When I first started training, before I got shin splints, calf pain and my chest cold I thought I could do it in that time. But I knew that wasn't possible anymore. I had decided to implement Jeff Galloway's run/walk method and did Run a Mile, Walk a Minute the whole race.

At mile 2 I shed my extra shirt, and was down to two long sleeved shirts, running tights, knee-high compression socks, gloves and a banana that kept my face and neck warm. At the first water station, the water was frozen, the street was an ice skating rink and half the potta potties were frozen shut! Did I mention it was cold? And it never warmed up and was below freezing nearly the entire race. I got to the half way mark about 5 minutes off my normal Half Marathon time, I was about 2:25 into the race. I was so surprised and thrilled to see my husband and boys there! That was a surprise. Apparently my husband completely forgot about our meeting arrangements on the course! Miles 15-19 were the hardest and I ended up walking here and there and not feeling too motivated. I stopped and used a porta pottie and when I came out it was a whole different group of runners and the people I had been running with were all gone. It seemed like the course had cleared out too. I remember another runner coming from behind and saying "Come on, we can do this!" and I nodded was like "Yea" and he said "No, COME ON!". And I was like oh, okay and started running again and got back on program. I was still cold, but realized both my shirts were soaking wet from sweat.
Mile 24, slow but still running
Miles 20-23 were fine because I knew I was going to see the family soon and wanted to get there fast. I didn't want them waiting out in the cold wondering what had happened to me. So I ran, but I was running very slow. At Mile 23 I didn't see my family and realized I was all out of energy chews. If I didn't find them, I'd have a hard time getting through the last part of the race. Right when I had given up, there they were! My 12 year old was ready to run the last three miles with me, and off we went! He took off really fast and I had to say "Oh no honey, Mom is running slooooow". I had high hopes that we would have 30 minutes of great, deep conversation. Instead it just flew by and consisted of mostly "You okay?" and him encouraging me.

Finish line with my boys
I finished in 5:22, which I'm just going to chose to be happy with because I did it! I was scared and I over came it. My sister was with me in spirit the whole race and I learned a lot about what I am capable of. I don't foresee anymore full marathons, but I finished with a big smile on my face and joy in my heart.

BTW, not only did I not lose weight training for the marathon, but I put weight on! So I'll be rededicating myself to Jorge Cruise's Belly Fat Cure for the new year. And again reminding myself it is diet that sheds my weight, not exercise.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Missing Her

When I lost my sister, I also lost my best friend and a mother figure. I lost a person I talked to on the phone pretty much every day... sometimes a few times a day. I lost my biggest cheerleader and supporter. I lost someone I truly loved and who I know truly loved me, faults and all. Soooo it's been a rough few months! I can only take comfort in knowing she isn't suffering now, because the last four months ravaged her body and mind.
Misha and my men, a few weeks before she passed away
To deal with things, I've stayed very busy. Mostly it was things I had already agreed to do or host before Misha got sick. At first it was very hard to be around people, especially larger groups. But I had made lots of commitments and I wanted to follow through. A few times I burst out in the ugly cry when I least expected it out in public. The worst had to be Misha's son's High School graduation, that she could not attend. It broke my heart, because he was her world.

I gave the Eulogy at her funeral, and I'm so glad I was able to do that. Family, friends and coworkers filled up the church to overflowing. Hundreds of people came to say goodbye to Misha. They played the song Longer Than with a slideshow that was beautiful. The same song played at her wedding, in the same church, 33 years ago.


One month after my sister passed away, I attended a funeral for a friend who had fought a very long battle with cancer. Two other friends asked me that night to run a full marathon with them, something I had thought about once before but decided I couldn't do it. I had not been running much, and only had 100 days to train, but somehow it felt right. Like something I could do for Misha's memory. Running out on the trails brings on tears and laughter with thoughts of her, but then I can move on and there is only the squirrels and deer to see. I can actually feel her cheek pressed against mine, just like in this picture, sometimes when I run. 

So I'm training for the California International Marathon on December 8th. I'm doing it to make my body strong and to honor Misha. And when it gets hard and I'm tired or hurt, I think of my sister and her chemo, radiation, surgeries and constant tests. In four months she went through so much and she was so brave.
Me working really hard at the end of the San Jose Rock n' Roll two weeks ago
Lots can happen between now and then. So far I've built up to 17 miles and ran the San Jose Rock n' Roll Half Marathon last week as a training run. Keep your fingers crossed that I don't get (more) injured and can run the race! I know Misha would be FREAKED out by this, but would still support me. I miss her so much and this is how I'm dealing with my grief.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

My Beautiful Sister Misha

Last night my beautiful and loving sister Misha Cain, passed away. She was my closest and dearest friend. Much more than a sister. She was always there for me, just a phone call away. She never judged me and she always listened. She gave the best advice. Sometimes she set me straight, told me to suck it up and get over it. But she did it, somehow, the right way. Mostly she said "Oh, I hear ya!" because as the older sister, she had been through it all before. She was always funny. Always made me feel better.

She always read her comments here and got such a kick out of helping people. Out of respect for her children I haven't posted much about her battle with Glioblastoma Multiforme, a very aggressive brain cancer she was diagnosed with in April. She fought it so bravely, with so much love in her heart and for all of us. I was able to spend quality time with her the last few months of her life. I am so thankful for that. Some of it in tears, and some of it laughing. Much of it dancing and singing, since she loved music so much.

You are loved Misha Cain. You are missed.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

LaCroix Coconut Sparkling Water

So exciting when you find a new Low Carb/Low Sugar item that you <3 Love <3! My sister Jenny introduced me to LaCroix Coconut Sparkling Water and I quickly became obsessed!

I've served this up to many friends and family members, but none of them really liked it. It tasted like summer, a really watered down Pina Colada or sun tan lotion. LaCroix says "Only all natural flavors are used to flavor LaCroix Sparkling Water. These flavors are essence oils extracted from the fruits." It has 0 carbs, sugar, calories and sodium. Just just sparkling water!

While many of the other LaCroix flavors easy to find (Berry, Orange, Pample Mousse, Lime, Lemon and Cran-Raspberry) Unfortunately the Coconut is difficult to find. Whole Foods is a consistent source, and sometimes I can find it at my local Targets. But many times a Target won't carry Coconut it at all, or do carry it but is out.

If you like the flavor coconut, give it a try! I'm looking for fun recipes to make a low sugar mixed drink this summer too. Let me know if you have any ideas!


Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Zucchini Spiral Recipe

For the Husband's birthday I wanted to make a special veggie dish and came across this recipe, that I decided to modify for both our diets (Me=Low Carb, He=Mostly Vegan). It was actually pretty easy to make, even though it looked intimidating. He usually doesn't have any eggs, but a friend gave me several from her backyard chickens, and those are A-Okay with him.

It turned out beautifully and impressed the Husband! It makes a nice side dish and yet another way to use the versatile zucchini like a noodle.

Ingredients:
  • 3 Green and yellow zucchinis
  • Large Carrot
  • 1 Egg, beaten
  • Cream
  • Garlic
  • Cheese (I used brie, but any white cheese will work)
  • Diced Bacon (optional) 
Directions:
I used a cheese slicer to cut the zucchini and carrot into long thin strips. You could also use a Mandolin. Blanch the carrot strips for about 5 minutes in boiling water. Then I laid out several strips and started to roll them. As the wheel got bigger I had to wrap the strips around it instead of roll it. Move the spiral to a casserole dish. Then I covered it with pressed garlic, poured over the cream and egg mixture, and the (optional bacon and) cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, or until golden brown


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