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Saturday, October 31, 2009

Product Review: Think Thin Bites Protein Bars

Think Thin Chocolate Toffee Nut Bites 15 eaOne of the most common questions I've received about the Belly Fat Cure is "What protein bars are allowed, so I can have them in my car when I am out and get hungry?".

I finally found something that has a low enough S/C (Sugar/Carb for you newbies) count to qualify for the Belly Fat Cure. It is the ThinkThin Bites that are carried at Whole Foods, Trader Joes and Amazon. They have Chocolate Toffee Nut, White Chocolate Raspberry and Cookies and Cream.

I tried the Chocolate Toffee Bar, and it was really wonderful! The chocolate was really good and creamy, and the inside was very tasty. Granted, they don't taste like your typical "candy bar" so if you are expecting it to be a Reese's Cup, its not, so get over it! But as protein bars go, it is great!

They contain Maltitol, which on the Belly Fat Cure is a recommended Sugar replacement. Maltitol can upset your stomach, so use with care and discover how your body reacts to it before ingesting too much. It contains 0 Sugar/17 Carbs for the 2 "bites", in other words the whole bar. That is a 0/1 S/C Value!

Unfortunately half way through the Chocolate Toffee Bar I realized, that there has to be peanuts in it due to the texture. And sure enough, all three of the bars have peanuts or peanut butter in them. I have an allergy to peanuts that is not life theatening, but makes me break out in painful cysts! So a few days from now, I'll have a lovely new complexion and a lesson learned! However, if you don't have a peanut allergy, I HIGHLY recommend the Think Think Bites as a little snack while on the Belly Fat Cure. I'd definitely eat them, if I could.

The same company also makes bars called Think Thin (without the "Bites" in the name). These bars are also 0 Sugar but are higher in the Carbs. But not terribly high (if I remember right it was like 27 grams of Carbs), and you could just eat half or count a 0/2 S/C Value.

I'm giving the ThinkThin Bites 4 Stars on the Belly Fat Cure.  Great taste, great low S/C Value, available nationally, not too pricey. Just wish they had a peanut free option though.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Halloween Candy and the Diet

The holidays are SO darn hard to diet through! I don't know how I'm going to get through it all! But I have a plan for Halloween...

Usually I plan to buy the candy last minute, but then break down, buy the good stuff and sneak eat lots of it. I'll even hide the wrappers deep in the trash can! So far this Halloween? Not a single mini Butterfinger or any other little candy! Today we even went to a great party with endless Carmel Apples (I LOVE Carmel Apples) and I didn't have one. Or anything else bad for that matter! In fact, all they had were fruit and sports drinks with very high S/C values, so I got a glass of water.

We will be Trick or Treating in another neighborhood, since I think our new street is too dark and there are no kids. So I will wait until we drive back home on Saturday night to buy any candy.

Another bad Halloween habit I have, since I'm being honest here, is to look through the kids bags and eat the mini Hershey's bars. My kids don't really like candy (bless their little hearts), so they don't miss it. I promise they don't and I'm not a mean Mommy (just a fat one!). One likes Reese's Cups and the other likes Tootsie Rolls. The rest I can throw away. But this year I won't be scouring their bags. The kids can pick their favorites, and Ill put them in the freezer, the rest goes straight to the trash. The DEEP trash!

On the Belly Fat Cure we are allowed Dark Chocolate, so if I feel a craving I'll break off 4 pieces of that! The kind I got at Trader Joes counts as 0/1 on S/C Value. We are even allowed some Ice Cream called Clemmy's and I've found it at local store. But I don't want to give into that kind of craving yet!

How do you plan on getting through Halloween and keep your Sugar and Carbs low? Please leave a comment, I'd love to hear about your diet whether it is the Belly Fat Cure or something else!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Week 1: Weigh in day

Today begins Week 2 of the Belly Fat Cure. It's going good, I lost 3lbs this week. Jorge does a weekly live video with those of us in the 12 Week Live Coaching program and I really learned a lot tonight.

First, people are losing big numbers. And I mean big! There were people who lost 10lbs or more! Wow, that is really wonderful and exciting stuff.

Second: He talked a lot this week about the dangers of sugar and even stated it could be more dangerous to your health than smoking tabacco. That was quite an eye opener! He talked about how it feeds and encourages cancer and turns to fat in the liver and causes Cardiovascular Disease.

And lastly he talked about artificial sweeteners, and this REALLY hit home for me. You see, I am (was) a total Coke Zero addict. I have a few each day. I use Splenda in my coffee, hot and iced tea. I choose Sugar Free items over the full calorie items all the time. But that stops now! Apparently this stuff is really bad for you. I knew it was kind of bad for you, but now I think it may be the cause of my weight in the first place!

He recommended a book called Excitotoxins: The Taste That Kills by Russell L. Blaylock. It gets really great reviews on Amazon and has changed my view on artificial sweeteners.

Apparently Splenda has stripped my intestines of the good bacteria it needs to keep my body clean. Jorge even had Poop examples for us (made of playdough) to show us what we should be passing each day, and it was clear that my body isnt working normally. Its an embarrassing topic, but really necessary.

The end result is that my intestines are lined with fecal matter, what Jorge calls "False Belly Fat". With a fiber supplement, at least 5 grams of fiber in each meal and a probiotic I should get back to normal! So that is my next goal, to get normal! Because its hard to lose weight if you are barely have bowel movements, right? Sorry for the TMI.

Right now the only thing holding me back from doing WONDERFULLY on the Belly Fat Cure are these damn mini chip packs. We are allowed to have them, but I end up eating several. We are allowed to have 1.  Im putting them in my husbands car tonight so they won't be "available" to me any longer!

Jorge will be on Joy Behar's CNN show talking about his movie Death by Sugar and they Book. Im looking forward to that so my friends and family can see what the heck Im talking about! http://joybehar.blogs.cnn.com/

Sunday, October 25, 2009

My George Costanza Moment

This is what I found in my trash today. Three White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies. I gave them to my husband as he left the house and told him not to come home with them! My husband is a bad listener. 

It so reminded me of this scene from an old Seinfeld episode:

But don't worry, I left them in the trash can and had this for lunch instead: 2 Egg Omlet with Goats Cheese and Hot Sauce.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

What is the Belly Fat Cure?

So I'm a few days into Jorge Cruise's Belly Fat Cure and doing GREAT! The first week is really critical on a new diet. If it is too complex or you are too hungry, then you just give up and quit. If you can get through the first week, I think you can get through the whole program.

The book doesnt come out for a few months, so I feel like Im all by myself on this diet. There are just a couple of hundred of us doing the 12 Week Live Coaching with Jorge and his staff, but I'm guessing by January it will be all the rage!

What is the Belly Fat Cure? The best way to answer that is to read the book, check out Jorge's website and Youtube Channel. This is not related to the 3 Hour Diet or other books Jorge has written. After tons of research on all things "Jorge" and doing the diet for a week, here is my synopsis:

The "Big Concept" of the Belly Fat Cure is the Sugar/Carbs counting, referred to as S/C. You don't count, or even look at, Calories or Fat.  The S/C has been divided up into Servings, what you are allowed to have with each meal and a maximum you are allowed per day. The gist is too regulate your sugar and insulin levels, keeping them steady. Jorge says allowing your insulin levels to get too high locks in your Belly Fat. You are allowed 15 grams Sugar and 120 grams of Carbs. For Sugar each gram is a serving, so you have 15 servings of Sugar. For Carbs, 20 grams equals 1 serving, so you have 6 servings. And your magic S/C number for the Belly Fat Cure is 15/6.

Jorge talks a lot about how, over history, our eating habits have changed to include lots of processed Sugars that our Ancestors didn't have access to. That our bodies were not made to handle all this Sugar, and we typically store it in our bellies. Basically that our eating habits have changed, but our bodies have not. So we need to get back to eating a diet more like we were designed for. Beyond losing weight, Jorge says high Sugar intake is the cause of many problems with our bodies, and says some new science proves this theory.

The Belly Fat Cure has many aspects in common with Atkins and South Beach. Atkins I have done, and successfully lost 20lbs. The problem with Atkins is that you can only maintain it so long and eventually you will need to eat some Carbs. There is concentration on Proteins, Jorge says find your Protein in a meal first and go from there. So all types of meat (beef, chicken, fish, pork, etc) is allowed and most counts as a S/C 0/0. But be careful of hidden sugar and nitrates in processed meats.

Unlike Atkins, you just look at straight Sugar and Carbs. You do not subtrate Sugar Alcohols from Sugar nor do you subtract Fiber from Carbs. High fiber is good and encouraged, though. High fiber foods are more likely to be low in Sugar, according to Jorge.  If I remember Atkins correctly, its no Sugar and 20 Carbs a day! So you have much more flexibility.

It is because of that flexibility that I think the BFC is more maintainable. I look at it as a new lifestyle choice, and not a diet. This is how I will eat from now on. Even after I lose the 40lbs, I plan on following the S/C rules! But first, lets get through the next 12 weeks and those 40lbs....

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Belly Fat Cure: Day 1 Redux

This is really my first day sticking to the program. Jorge had a live coaching session Monday evening, but I wasnt able to attend. Then there was a little video trouble and so I couldnt really watch it and get the new materials (a big food list with Sugar/Carb Values) until last night. I thought I was doing really well on the program Monday and Tuesday, but sly Jorge threw us a few curve balls!

First curve ball: No Fruit on week one.
Second curve ball: Only Veggies allowed week one are green veggies
Third curve ball: No sodas. He wasnt 100% clear that this meant Diet Soda too, but Im pretty sure it did! Yikes!

So two days in and I was all screwed up! Plus he hadnt given us a complete food list yet, so I made a few items I *guessed* were low carb/sugar. Turns out you CANNOT on Sweet Potato Fries at all! And I have a serious Coke Zero habit. My husband challenged me to give it up with this diet, and I guess I will be. Wish me luck on that!

So Day One redux.

I went to the store and got lots of great things to have with low Sugar/Carb counts. Most of it I got a Trader Joes.  Here is what I got:
  • 100% Whey Protein makes delicious Shakes (Ill cover that in another blog) and has a S/C of 2/0. 
  • Wasa Crackers are a great bread replacement S/C of 0/1
  • Ragu Cheesy Pasta Sauce 1/4 Cup has an S/C of 0/0, thats right 0/0!
  • Instant Mashed Potatoes have an S/C of 0/1
  • Trader Joes Sprouted Bread has an S/C of 0/1 per slice
  • Unsweetened Almond Breeze Vanilla Almond Milk 0/0 8oz
  • Simply Lite Dark Chocolate is delicious and has a S/C of 0/1 for 4 squares
  • I also got coffee, if I'm giving up Coke Zero, I'm going to have to get my caffeine somewhere!
  • Jorge recommended Benefiber, you mix it with any liquid, to really get things moving
For dinner I made this great Taco Plate. I could only have one, since I cant find a tortilla with a low S/C Value yet. But it was super good!

To be honest, I have felt full all day. Even overly full after a lunch of Egg Salad, 1 Piece of toast, 1 Mini Bell Cheese and Unsweetened Iced Tea. But tonight I think I will make a Whey Protein Shake since I have a daily S/C total of 9/5! Remember you can have 15/6 each day. Here is a look at the spreadsheet I'm working on to help me out. I thought I could just keep track of it in my head, but apparently I can't.
If you are also part of Jorge Cruise's Belly Fat Cure 12 Week Live Coaching, or just trying the diet on your own, I would love to hear from you! So please leave comments!

About Jorge

The Jorge in "Me and Jorge" is actually #1 Bestselling author and weight loss guru Jorge Cruise. He has been on Oprah and the Today show is was best known for the 3 Hour Diet. He has a new program called The Belly Fat Cure with a new book that comes out in December.

A few things you should know about Jorge? He's cute and has a great personality that draws you in. He is also a little goofy, which I like, and he isnt all polished "Made for TV". He says he was 40lbs overweight at one point, but now he is lean and mean.

And most importantly, what he says makes sense. Not just as a diet, but as a lifestyle. Because, sure I could lose weight with a number of different programs: Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, Atkins, etc. But Im looking to keep it off for my lifetime and get down to my REAL WEIGHT. Just just 20lbs less than I am now. Or 20lbs less fat.

Jorge's Belly Fat Cure is all about keeping Sugar and Carbs low, for each meal and for the whole day. He calls it the S/C or Sugar/Carbs secret. You have to keep under 15 grams of sugar and 120 grams of Carbs for the whole day and 5 grams of Sugar and 20 grams of Carbs for each meal. He says if you go over that for each meal, then your body locks in the sugar and turns it into fat and your insulin levels will spike.

I have joined his Belly Fat Cure 12 Week Live Coaching class that he is conducting before the book comes out. It has limited membership, which is now closed, and cost around $400. Ive never paid for a diet before, and Im on a serious budget, so this was a big decision from me!

I named my blog Me and Jorge because he and his program are integral to my progress! I hope to meet Jorge at a special event at the end of the 12 weeks and Ill be posting that photo here....

And yes, it will be a skinny photo!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

About Me

I am a 40 year old Mother of two young boys living in California. I was always "The Skinny Girl" pretty much up until my first pregnancy.

Unfortunately I miscarried that baby, and I never lost that the 20lbs I gained during those 3 months. Then I had my two beautiful boys, and gained a little more after each of them. I lost about 20lbs after both of them, once on Atkins and once on Weight Watchers Core program, but never lost that original 20lbs I gained in the beginning.

Then I found out that I REALLY, REALLY liked food (You see, the old Skinny Me didn't like food) but I didn't like to eat on a regular schedule. I skipped breakfast, I hated it! I'd eat a late lunch usually a sandwich, chips and a diet soda. But then I'd start to get hungry.... I'd have a Venti Vanilla Latte with a cookie (of course), then I'd raid the vending machine (more chips!) and just kept on snacking until dinner. My husband is naturally thin and quite tall, but I would eat exactly what he ate for dinner.

Only now, years later, do I realize that I was starving myself all morning long. Then in the late afternoon my body started demanding food! Food and lots of it! I was craving carbs especially.

So after about 7 years of that, I started to realize that my eating was affecting my moods and how I interacted with my children. In January my family made a very stressful cross country move and my mood swings and eating felt like it was out of control. I would go even longer periods without eating, having my first meal at 2pm, but I found once I started eating I couldn't stop. I would be so busy with my children and I thought I was doing the right thing putting them first. But it left me exhausted and either starving or uncomfortably full and bloated.

I am emotional eater and a binge eater, and my metabolism was completely out of whack. I had been teaching my body my whole life to be in starvation mode and it never knew when its next meal would come! Even when I was "Skinny Me", I was a horrible eater.

This summer I went to put on clothes before my son's birthday party, and my shorts were too tight. I thought, "Hmmm must have washed them in hot water". So I tried on another pair. Same thing. And my shirt wasnt loose and blousy, it clung to me. I got on the scale and was shocked to find I had gained 15 lbs over the summer! So now I weight EVEN MORE! I thought about the people coming to my home that day for the party, friends I had just met in our new city and how they would describe me. There was only one answer, I was "The Fat Mom". And that was the final straw.

It became clear that so much of this was related to my sugar intake and my body's reaction to this lack of or abundance of sugar. I immediately started to reduce my obvious sugar intake and made a Dr's appointment and had a dozen tests done. The tests all came back within normal range. My Dr said my body was reacting to all the stress caused by my big cross country move (In this housing market!). And while Im glad I didnt have diabetes, at least it would have been "an answer" with "a cure". But no, it was all up to be to dig myself out of this hole.

And then I got an email from Jorge Cruise... the 3 Hour Diet guy... about his new book The Belly Fat Cure and his 12 Week Live Coaching Session... and this blog was born.