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Monday, May 31, 2010

Product Review: Chocolate Teas

Until recently, I'd never heard of a Chocolate Tea. Probablly because before starting the Belly Fat Cure I just would have had a Hot Chocolate, so why bother? But I'm in love with Chocolate Teas right now! A nice hot tea can't be beat on a cool night and they have really helped my night time snacking. I recently heard Dr. Oz say you can't just get rid of a Bad Habit, you had to replace it would a good One.

As a rule teas are all 0 grams Sugar, 0 grams Carbs, but always check the package to make sure. These teas also have antioxidants along with tasting great!

I was kind of annoyed with the Husband when I brought home the latest batch of Chocolate Tea to try. "I didn't realize there were so many different kinds" he said. As if the store shelves are filled with Chocolate Teas... as if! The thing is, I've scoured the stores and bring them ALL home to try! I try lots of things I don't like, but I typically only write about the things I really, really like. These three are all ones I really, really liked. (The others can go unmentioned, and I've tried several stinkers, but I think there is a reason the Stash brand of teas is so inexpensive.)

I pretty much make them all the same, as my sister says, the old fashioned way. I set a kettle to boil on the stove top. Lots of times I do this as I put my boys to bed. Somewhere in the middle of reading it starts to whistle and I excuse myself to pour the pot and let it steep. As they are all cuddled in, my evening snack is all ready. On a cool night it also steams up the kitchen a little and gives me a quiet minute to myself after the house is calm. If the Husband is home, he will also join me for cup.

Numi Organic Tea Chocolate Puerh, 16-Count Full Leaf Tea Bags (Pack of 2)Numi Chocolate Puerh was my "first favorite" Chocolate Tea. I add a package of a Stevia sweetener to the whole pot and a little cream to the cup, and it is so good! This tea is really rich enough that even when I don't at the bit of cream, it tastes really creamy. I have seen Numi teas at several stores, but only found the Chocolate Puerh at Whole Foods. There are 16 bags in each package and is $9 a box at Whole Foods, less at Amazon.
Republic of Tea Double Dark Chocolate Mate 40039

Republic of Tea's Double Dark Chocolate Mate is also great. In fact they have so many great teas, and their Decaf Peach is my favorite for iced tea. When you open the cannister it is dusted with dutch cocoa powder and really seems decadent. Right now, I'm addicted to this tea! I also add one packet of a Stevia sweetener to the opt (1 packet for the whole pot) and a touch of cream to the cup. It has 36 tea bags and is $14 at Whole Foods, a little more at Amazon.

Mighty Leaf Tea Chocolate Mint Truffle Herbal Tea, 15-Count Boxes (Pack of 3)
Mighty Leaf's Chocolate Mint Truffle tea is my Husband's favorite. The mint taste is really light and subtle, but refreshing. I really could have sworn that this tea had sugar in it, but I wrote Mighty Leaf on twitter and they said no, it does not. (Just another reason I love twitter!) This one really doesn't need the packet of Stevia sweetener in my opinion. But do still add a little cream. The little tea bags are very fancy and made from silk. It is $5 for a box of 15 tea bags at Whole Foods and about the same price at Amazon.

Do you have a favorite nighttime ritual? Or a good healthy eating habit that replaced an old bad one? And if you have a favorite Chocolate Tea, please let me know! I can't wait to try some of the coconut teas a few readers have already mentioned.

FYI. Right now I am using Sun Crystals as my Stevia sweetener. It has the best price at my local grocery chain and with just 1gram sugar/1gram carbs, I think it's the best S/C Value for my buck. I use Whipping Cream for my cream.

Update: I totally forgot to mention caffeine (Thanks Hollie!). It must have some caffeine content, because I think cocoa naturally does. But I am very sensitive to caffeine later in the day and these teas do not keep me awake. I frequently have them at the very end of the day too. If you find that they do keep you up, please leave a comment and let me know!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Giveaway: Amazing Grass

Amazing Grass Chocolate Drink Powder, Green Superfood, 8.5-Ounce ContainerI am so thrilled to be hosting a giveaway from Amazing Grass! I really loved this product, but I realize the the cost  and name "Super Greenfood" can scare some away. So I wanted an opportunity to introduce it to my readers, and they said "Yes!".

There will be two winners chosen, each will receive an 8.5oz Chocolate Green Superfood and an assortment of samples of their other products. They have several other great shakes that I like too. Each prize has a retail value of about $40.  You can read my review of the shake here. Contest ends Monday June 7th, 2010.

How to Enter:
Leave a comment (here on this post only) and tell me how much you like chocolate! Please include your email so I can let you know you have won (or check back often).

Bonus Entries: (After you have left your initial entry comment)
Twitter: Follow me on twitter and tweet the statement "Amazing #bellyfatcure shakes with @amazinggrass and @meandjorge http://bit.ly/dsjs1l". No need to leave a comment about twitter, I'll find you over on twitter. Daily entries are accepted.

RSS: Subscribe to Me & Jorge via RSS for a bonus entry.

Blog: If you have your own blog, write about the giveaway there and link back. Leave me a comment here to let me know and you will get a bonus entry for every day it is up!

Disclaimer: Samples of this product were provided to me free of charge.

Product Review: Amazing Grass Chocolate Green SuperFood

First, I want to say that I have been wanting to try Amazing Grass Chocolate Green Superfood for months. It was on one of the menus from my class with Jorge Cruise. But it is expensive, at $27 for 8.5oz. When you average it out it isn't so bad, at about .90 per servings. So I was THRILLED when I saw that it was half price at Whole Foods. It was sign! (Sorry the sale is long over now but the Amazon links have a great deal right now too)

I have really learned to love Dark Chocolates on the Belly Fat Cure and I thought how nice a Chocolate, super low S/C drink, would be the perfect snack. Why is this better then other Whey Protein Powders? For starters, it is loaded with vitamins, nutrients and antioxidants. Did I mention Probiotics? Because it has them too! It claims to have 6-9 servings of vegetables, which I am always low on (old habits die hard, I am ashamed to reveal).

I even had a dream about this drink, in it my kids and I were chugging it down and licking chocolate lips. Unfortunately, during the actual taste test, the kids hated this drink. My 8 year old started crying and the 5 year old nearly threw up when I "made" them drink it. Really! I, however, LOVE it just like I thought I would. There is 0 sugar. Nothing artificial and no Stevia or other sweeteners. Although you could use a natural sweetener if you still need that, it didn't help my boys.

It had a strong wheatgrass flavor, which I like, and a bit of a veggie smell. I would not recommend this if you are new to the Belly Fat Cure or the Low Sugar lifestyle. Try it when you have lost the taste for sugar, and then I think you will enjoy it for all it is. If you enjoy the Bug Juice, you will really like this.

The S/C details are 0grams Sugar, 4grams Carbs and 2grams Fiber. So it is a 0/0 by itself. But be sure and add your liquid, whatever you use, to the count. I used Unsweetened Almond Milk (USAM) or the So Delicious Coconut Milk to make ours. I actually realized later that it was the shock of the USAM that my boys were reacting to, not Amazing Grass, but it was too late.

I think I used WAY too many exclamation points to review this product, but you get the idea. If you are unsure about this product, they sell individual packets so you can try it first. I am also very excited to host a great giveaway from Amazing Grass this week, so don't forget to enter!

Amazing Grass products are available at Whole Foods and other Health Food stores. Also online at Amazon.com.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Weigh in: Week 30 and the Telling Ponytale

So I decided to weigh this week and report in. I really don't want to be obsessed with the number on the scale, so I won't weighing in every week any more as I consider myself in Maintenance Mode right now. I also realized I hadn't taken an AFTER photo, so I got right on that! I am down 1.5 lb to 147.5 lbs for a total loss since late October of 48.5 lbs.

I am still 100% on the Belly Fat Cure. I've thought a lot about maintenance and for now, I'm not going to change anything at all. Not add anything back quite yet. A few reasons for that: #1 I don't want to screw anything up and start gaining weight #2 I'm quite happy with what I'm eating #3 Honestly a few more pounds lost would be good, but I'm not going to obsess about it.

(Photos are from 11/16/09 182 lbs, 1/19/10 169 lbs, 3/8/10 159 lbs, 5/22/10 147.5 lbs)

The changes since the last photo are pretty subtle, just about 11 lbs difference. I notice a big difference, but I don't know if it really shows in the photos. Mostly, I think I look a little more athletic. (And yes, I noticed my boobs are lopsided in the latest one! I think it just an adjustment issue, or maybe I'm uneven and never knew!) I have gone from a very tight size 14 to a comfortable size 8. From XL in many clothes to a Medium and even a Small in a few things. This is all really shocking to me, and I've not quite wrapped my head around it yet.

The funniest thing about these photos? My ponytail! Notice how it's all sloppy and sad in the BEFORE photo and it just gets a little better over time, until its even a little perky in my last photo! I think that ponytail is very telling about so much in life on this weight loss journey. I think that smile in the BEFORE can best be described as a "Brave Face" and not really a smile.  I wish I could go back and tell my BEFORE self "Everything's going to be okay, you're going to make!" She looks like she could use a hug, right?

A friend recently told me she thought I had a "a lot of balls" to put my photos, weight and all up here for everyone to read about. I hadn't really thought about that in a long time. Once I decided I was going to use my name and show photos, I didn't look back. But seeing those before photos, I remember I had NO intention of ever showing them to anyone. Jorge Cruise used to ask us in class for our photos, and I thought "No way, he might show it to the class!" I didn't even share my before photo with my buddies on the plan. But here I am...

I would really encourage you to take regular photos of your weight loss journey. You will want them when you get to your goal.. and you ARE going to get to your goal! Plus sometimes I can only see a difference on the scale and in these photos. My brain doesn't always process it without real proof.

A while back I said I was pretty happy with the Belly Fat Cure part of this plan, but I still needed a Hip and Butt Fat Cure. Well, I'm quite happy to say my butt is feeling pretty cured lately too. In fact, for me, it's just kind of gone! Now it's just me and the thighs left. But again, I'm working hard not to obsess on my body.

I did my 5K last week and I did okay. I learned something about myself and it is that I must be internally motivated. My time was exactly the same was it was when I ran it myself a few days before, 32 minutes. Nothing to write home about, but it's done! I do a twice weekly hike/run were I usually go about 8 miles, right now I run a little more then half of it. My goal is to be able to run the whole thing. I think that might be the trick for the Thigh Cure in the end!

I hope you all are still doing great, I'd love to hear about your progress!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Belly Fat Cure Chicken Wings

It's time to breakout the backyard BBQ and invite over some friends! I wanted to share my #1 favorite Low Sugar/Low Carb BBQ recipe with you all.

Recently my Sister Misha had her 50th birthday and my family (who lives several states away from me) asked me what food they could prepare for her that would be on the Belly Good list. I suggested Chicken Wings and surprisingly none of them had made them from scratch! They had a hard time picturing anything that wasn't battered or loaded with high sugar sauces. So here goes my version of Belly Fat Cure Chicken Wings:

*1 bag of Frozen Chicken wings - These can be hard to find, but Safeway and Costco have them. You want them uncooked, unbattered and done up. Just the chicken parts. (The package may say Wing Sections or First and Second Wing Parts)
* Spicy seasonings - I use Old Bay Seasoning and Larry's Seasoning Salt, Cayenne if I have it. You can always add more later, so season to your personal liking
* Tabasco - If you like it spicy
* Nature's Hallow or Scott's BBQ Sauces - These two sauces are on Jorge Cruise's Belly Good list and are made with sugar alcohols. I've made my wings with them, but prefer it without now and the photos here from the wings made WITHOUT any sauce.  (Just a warning, if you order Scott's BBQ it is very thin, more like a marinade)
* Low Sugar Ranch or Blue Cheese Dressing for dipping later
* Celery

Last time I made them just in the oven, and they were great! I toss together the first three ingredients and put them into a big pan and into the oven at 375 degrees. Cook for about 30 minutes, or until done. If you are adding BBQ sauce add it as you take them out. I don't turn them or anything. If you cook them on the grill, you will want to turn them once.

Serve them up with the dressing and celery as an appetizer or with other grilled green veggies if its the entree. They don't taste like diet food at all and depending on whether you used the BBQ Sauce or not, they are 0 sugar! Even my picking eater kids eat them and I had the leftovers cold the next day for lunch.


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Advice for Being Successful on Any Diet

Sometimes I really don't know how I lost 47 lbs. It seems like a gargantuan task that I'm not capable of doing. Yet I did. There are things that I knowingly did and some that I can look back on and see they really worked well. I wanted to share these tips with you, they are not Belly Fat Cure specific:

Don't set impossible limits for yourself - For example, "No Eating After 7pm". Then what the hell are you supposed to do if you are starving at 8:30 or if life has made it impossible to have dinner before that? I've tried this a few times and I just feel like a failure when I end up breaking this rule I've made for myself.

Take one day at a time - Can I do this diet for the rest of the day? Can I eat this way tomorrow, for a week...? Yes, I can. Keep it simple and don't freak yourself out by thinking you have to do this forever. Once the plan clicks, then you can think of "forever". For now, you just have to get past the chip aisle or the donut box at work.  Just take it one meal, one day, at a time.  (I must have been a 12 Stepper in another life, because this stuff really resonates with me!)

Instead of eliminating snacks, replace them with good snacks (first) - I used to want evening snacks for no reason, no matter how good or filling dinner was. My first month on the BFC I replaced that bad snack with a Jay Robb shake each night. It was more of a habit than anything else. The shake was sweet enough and very filling. Over time I didn't need it anymore either. Now I have a pot of decaf tea, with a little cream and one Sun Crystal packet for the whole pot. It warms me up, fills me up and is just little sweet.

Be honest with yourself - I found I was lying to myself about what I had really been eating and my behavior. I thought if nobody saw me eat that junk food, then its like it didn't happen. I don't care what you tell others, but be honest with yourself and you'll learn a lot about what's going on. For me that means if I wouldn't eat it in front of that Size 0 Mom from school, then I shouldn't eat it at all!

Don't set impossible goals - I'm not going to weigh what I did in college. Its just not going to happen. I'm not that girl anymore, I'm a women who birthed and breastfed had two children. And I'm okay with that. But may be I could weight what I did when I got married...

Don't let your success depend on others - Don't try to talk your spouse/best friend/sister into doing the diet with you. Let them come in their own time. If they struggle, don't let that drag you off the plan but instead work harder at setting a good eating example in hard times. People need to be really ready for change, so if you're ready jump in now and don't wait for everyone else to get onboard.

You can't follow a diet you don't believe in - If you don't actually believe the science of your diet, you won't last trying to follow it. Either convince yourself with research or do something else.

Replace a bad habit with a good habit - I used to yack on the phone with friends and putter around my house after I dropped my son off for Kindergarten and waste my few precious hours away. Now I dedicate two of those mornings to Power Walking and Running. I put on my workout clothes and walk him to school and leave straight from there. If I came back home first I'd get caught up in a million tasks and never get out again.

Track your food intake - This seems more trouble than its worth, but it was important for me (have you seen my S/C Tracker?! I'm crazy like that!) The best thing this let me do is look back over a week and see where I went wrong and right. Sometimes I'd be disappointed in my loss and say to myself "But I was PERFECT this week". But my tracker always told the true story.

If you have a tip to share, I'd love to hear it!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Taking That First Step on a Diet and an Interview with Jorge Cruise

Six months ago I felt completely helpless and hopeless with my weight, I wanted to lose weight but I felt overwhelmed with the enormity of it all. And honestly, scared of the changes I might have to make to accomplish it. I had lost faith in myself. But I am happy to say, that by applying a few rules to the food I eat and sticking with them I completely changed my body and rediscovered myself.

I wanted to spend a little time talking about simply starting a diet, because really that is the hardest thing to do. For some reason seeing those numbers on the scale isn't motivation enough, your head has to be in exactly the right place to take those first steps and, as Nike says, just do it! So I would like to help you "get your head in the right place" and at the same time, keep my head there!

To start with I asked Jorge Cruise, author of the Belly Fat Cure, to give us some advice. Particularly for people who have more weight to lose and are feeling overwhelmed by even the thought of it.

It doesn't matter what diet you do, really. Just pick a plan, a plan to get you started moving in the right direction.  It just so happens that the Belly Fat Cure really clicked for me and that made it easy to do (most days). Believe in yourself and your ability to tackle and overcome your food issues, because you have the power within you to do this.

So this week, that is what I will be talking about, getting started and taking those first steps. If you have not already read Anthony's story, you should start there.

Some resources if the Belly Fat Cure seems like a good fit for you:
Jorge Cruise's Website
The Belly Fat Cure Book on Amazon
How the Belly Fat Cure Works for Me - Blog Post

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Weigh in: Week 29 and Oprah

Women Food and God: An Unexpected Path to Almost EverythingIf you don't mind, I'm not going to weigh in every week now! I want to ween myself from the scales and my addiction to them. I've been obsessed with that number I see on Monday mornings and what size I can fit into. Don't worry though, I'm not relaxing my diet at all and am still Belly Fat Cure 100% of the time. I just don't want to be a slave to the scales for the rest of my life. (In case you didn't read last week, I reached my goal weight!)

I passed my Kidney Stones successfully! It really wasn't as bad as I expected, but they were really really small. So I'm feeling much better now. I have a 5k this weekend. Its the first one I have done in 16 years, so wish me luck!

It's no secret I love Oprah. I'm a 40 year old suburban housewife, so little surprise there. Lately I seem immersed in Oprah. I got the unauthorized biography of her written by Kitty Kelley and found it to be a nasty, mean spirited book (the book constantly took pot shots at her weight, among other things). I also listened to 10 hours of her Book Club podcast with Ekhart Tolle on my drive to San Diego. It really spoke directly to me and I feel like it taught me a lot. Then this week she had Geneen Orth on, the author of Women Food and God. We all have seen Oprah struggle with her weight and yo-yo back and forth, and sympathized with her. But it also justified my inability to lose weight and keep it off, if Billionaire Oprah can't do it then how can I?

The show titled Why Oprah Will Never Diet Again talked about being honest with yourself and your insecurities, and so much more. One of the "rules" they asked you to follow addressed one of my worst habits. It is "Eat with the intention of being in full view of others". My closet eating was a real problem and I've made the rule that I don't eat anything I wouldn't eat in front of the skinniest person I know. (Click on the link above if you missed the episode) But I find I am struggling with body image still, and I'm surprised by that. So I have some work I need to do on myself still left.

I'm getting this book and I know my Sister Misha is going to read it too. (So happy to call her by her real name!) It will be our summer reading project. I feel like I have this all figured out and that I couldn't let myself go again. But then, Oprah thought so too and I'll take all the help I can! If you are reading it too, let me know what you thought, I may write a bit about it this summer if it's as good as I hope it to be.

ps. I hope you will take a moment to read my interview with Anthony D'Amato about his 200 lb weight loss earlier this week too! So inspiring!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Product Review: Shirataki Noodles

Tofu Shirataki Noodles Spaghetti Shape 10 bagsFinding a good pasta on a Low Carb diet is really difficult. Even the whole wheat versions aren't that low, so that is why I was anxious to give "Tofu Noodles" a try. Anthony mentioned them as one of his favorite foods too! If you are really determined to stay low carb and really want noodles, these are a great choice.

That said, these aren't your everyday noodles! They are called Tofu Noodles because they are made of tofu, or soy beans. The noodles are already soft and need to be throughly rinsed and then briefly boiled before using them. Some brands recommend patting them dry in between those steps. They come packaged in water that has a very fishy smell and the rinsing and drying are to get rid of that smell.

There are several different brands of Tofu Noodles available. I liked the ones from House Foods best, mostly because of the noodle texture. They seemed less rubbery then the others. I found it best to use them in a way that distracted from their texture issues. Mac & Cheese and Tuna Noodle Casserole were a big hit in my house with these and were still Belly Fat Cure friendly.

Honestly, these aren't for everyone because the texture and smell can be distracting. But if you really want to keep pasta in your Low Carb diet you should give them a try. They have 0g Sugar, 3g Carbs and 2g Fiber for an S/C Value of 0/0. Compare that to whole wheat pasta that has 38g of carbs for about the same portion size!

Tofu Noodles cannot be frozen and as such, many retailers won't ship them during the winter. They need to be refrigerated at all times and many have a higher shipping cost because of that. My local grocery chain carries these in the produce section next to the tofu. I think Whole Foods carries them and of course you can get them at Amazon. Individually they are about $2.99 a packet which I used as two small servings.

Please share if you have tried these and let me know what you thought. And do you have a favorite Tofu Noodle recipe?

Disclaimer: This product was provided to me free of charge for the purpose of review, but in no way effected my review.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Reader Profile: Anthony D'Amato

I'm going to take a little break from talking about myself today and tell you the story of a truly inspiring person I met recently. The word "met" is relative, but in this day and age I think a few tweets on twitter qualify (although my Husband my have an issue with that). Twitter is an amazing Social Media tool, but it can be difficult to find your circle of friends there. You need something in common, and you need to like to talk about it.

Recently I "met" Anthony D'Amato there. His twitpic makes it look like he's a goodlooking guy who's into music. But look a little closer at his BIO and it says: "music. soul. music with soul. soul musician. live. love. laugh. stevia enthusiast".... And you start to realize he's not just your average guy... 

Sure enough Anthony is a Belly Fat Cure dieter, just like us! (The Stevia was a dead giveaway!) But unlike us, he has taken it to a whole new level. You see, Anthony has lost 200 lbs following the low sugar/low carb/no artificial sweetener rules. That is his Before/After shot there on the top left. I was excited when I lost the weight equivalent of my 5 yr old son, but Anthony lost the weight equivalent of ME at my highest weight. I get a lot of emails from dieters who have more than 100 lbs to lose and I feel their despair and hopelessness. My sister is struggling with this too, and I thought you all would be inspired by him as much as I was! 

What struck me most is what a talented musician Anthony is, no matter his weight. But imagine if your career required you to be really good at it, plus look like Mick Jagger. Okay, nobody wants to look like Mick Jagger, but you get my point. I watched a few videos of Anthony fronting a band or orchestra when he was at his highest weight, and I thought how much more difficult it was for him to get there with the prejudice that comes with being overweight. Then he opens his mouth, and it all falls away... (Ironically singing A Change is Gonna Come here, just before big change in his own life...) 

I love that Anthony looks SO different, he actually put a disclaimer on his website that basically says "Yep, that's me!" I was able to ask him a few questions and here is what I learned:

(me) Was there an event that triggered the turn around in your weight loss?
(Anthony) I was 24 years old. 375lbs. Size 50 waist, and my 3XL shirts were getting tight. I knew I needed a change. It was actually the moment I saw "375.0" on a scale that frightened me. I never weighed myself... I always said "I'm fat! What does a number matter?"... but it changed my life seeing that number!

(me) Has the BFC been your primary diet?
(Anthony) Not necessarily. As a matter of fact, I stumbled upon Jorge Cruise and the BFC a few months into my diet. I scoured the internets for what would work best for me... and I LOVED the sugar-free/low-carb route. I knew, however, that artificial sweeteners were something I didn't want in me (if I can't pronounce it, no thanks!), and they had been making my stomach feel awful for years. When I read up on Jorge, I realized his ideas were something I was basically doing myself, and quickly adopted a lot of the ideas, food suggestions, and more.

(me) What kind of exercise do you do?
(Anthony) For the first 9 months of my journey, I walked. That's it. I started walking 1.5 miles a day around a reservoir near my house, and just added onto to that... to the point where I was going about 5 miles day. I put great tunes on my iPod, enjoyed the weather, met people on the walks, etc. Time usually flew!

(me) How do you overcome plateaus or periods where you want to give up?
(Anthony) I've been pretty thankful not to see many plateaus. I didn't find myself "cheating" too often, but when I did... it was a reminder that my body DOESN'T need those things. As much as I love sweets and treats, the results have always motivated me to keep going! When I want to give up, I just think about how many years I can add to my life, how many more experiences I can have, how many more rides I can ride at Six Flags, how I can have more of a choice of clothes, etc!

(me) Do you stick with a certain S/C Value per meal or per day?
(Anthony) I don't stick with a certain S/C value, but I always keep it in mind and love that. I stay low in sugar ALL the time, never use artificial sweeteners, and keep my carb intake low with mostly just vegetables and the occasional whole grains. I like looking at my calorie intake (which goes against something like South Beach, too), but the S/C value is GREAT.

(me) Anthony is currently starring the musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch, which requires more than a bit of cross-dressing. How did you get the role of Hedwig and what's it like to wear a dress?!
(Anthony) As for HEDWIG! I've had a long-time association with it, and it's part of a tremendous story. I produced and directed the New Jersey premiere of the show professionally in Asbury Park, NJ in 2007. At the time, around 375lbs, there was no way I was playing the role. Many friends thought it didn't matter and that I had the right vibe, voice, and personality for it no matter WHAT I looked like, but I didn't think it would feel or look right. The show as a huge hit, ran for months... and this year, the 3rd anniversary of it, I was completely prepared and ready to take it on. I've been in love with the music and story since 1999... never thinking I'd be able to play it. To finally do it has been SURREAL!! And, I'm surprised to say, the dress wasn't so bad!... the underwear, though... ehhhh! haha!

(me) Favorite meal or snack?
(Anthony) Oh boy, people are going to be shocked, but I LOVE the Scandinavian Bran Crispbread. I put some stevia on it with a bit of cinnamon and it's DELICIOUS. Or break it up over tuna or a salad. I also just discovered, and am LOVING, the Kitchen Table Bakers Parmesan Crisps. Brilliant! I've been cooking with Tofu Shirataki noodles a lot, too!

(I totally swear that I didn't have anything do with his answer here! Its a complete coincidence he loves the 
GG Crispbreads too! I love that! I have an upcoming review of the Shirataki noodles and I posted one for the Parmesan Crisps he mentions here. Great minds determined to lose weight apparently eat alike ;-) )

Losing weight can seem like such a monumental task, but I found a lot of inspiration in Anthony and his determination. Whether you have 20 or 200 lbs to lose, I think you will too. He has transformed himself and opened up possibilities in career and health that he didn't have. So the next time you think "I can't do this" or "dieting isn't worth it". You think you've taken this diet as far as you can. You want to give up and give in to cravings and binge eating. I suggest you watch one of Anthony's videos. Or better yet, if you're in New Jersey (and not easily offended) catch him as the lead in Hedwig and the Angry Inch this summer.

Thank you Anthony, for inspiring me on my weight loss journey!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Sister M Comes Out of the Dieting Closet

My older Sister has been on the Belly Fat Cure for the last two months. She was doing great, but has struggled recently and not done a post lately. To read more about her story click HERE.

Just a quick “hey” to everyone!  We’re heading to Galveston in the morning to start our 30th Anniversary cruise.  Thanks to everyone who has asked about me.  I’m surviving – trying to get my head back in the game.  I’ve been very stressed about my weight and vacation and down on myself for a few weeks. I’ve come to the decision to start the new FAST-TRACK program on Monday the 17th.  I’ve been researching the cruise menus and know I can make a good effort at staying low-carb.

But this cruise is about me and my hubby reconnecting and relaxing; Our first vacation alone in about 20 years. In addition, I’ve decided to become more open about ME… So.. hello….I’m Misha.

See yall soon!

From Amber:
So glad to see Sister M... Misha back on track! I was anonymous here on Me & Jorge at first too. At some point I decided I couldn't be completely honest like that. So I know this is a big deal for her! She is struggling, but I'm so proud that she isn't quitting. Instead she is going to step it up a bit! She has had trouble with the added carbs and thinks this variation will suit her better.

I am so excited for her trip. She and her Husband have NEVER taken a trip alone since their children were born... that's twenty something years. And a lot of pressure! 

Yea Sister M... I mean Misha!!

ps. The Fast-Track is a program from Jorge that is in development and not open to the general public quite yet. As soon as I'm allowed I'll fill you in. General details can be found on Amazon here.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Weigh in: Week 28 and a Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Meet Jorge

Remember how a few weeks ago I decided to lower my goal weight from 156 and get into the 140s.. just anywhere in the 140s? Remember how I said, oh this will take a while, I'll be patient. Well, out of the clear blue sky I lost 3.5 lbs this week! My goal for the week was a 1 lb loss.

This is my 5 year old son, Skyler. He is just under 4 feet tall and weighs, ironically enough, exactly 47 lbs. I have now officially lost my 5 yr old son! That puts me at 149 lbs. I'm kind of in shock and wasn't expecting this for another month... I really don't know what to think or say. In October 2009 I was 196 and today I am 47 lbs lighter. I am not starving or denying myself. Only on a rare occasion when I'm super busy and have planned poorly do I skip a meal. I usually pay for this by eating more at my next meal. I have no plans to go off plan now or modify it. While I'm at my goal weight, it's not my end weight I suspect...

I could tell while I was on my trip that my body was changing. I caught a glimpse of myself getting out the hotel shower one morning, and my body just looked different. I bought a few pairs of size 8 pants about a week ago. They were tight then, but already they fit comfortably. A few of the ladys at the BFC event told me my shirt was too big. I said, no no, I just bought it and its a Medium. One asked "How did the Small fit, I think you need a Small". A SMALL? I was so thrilled the Medium fit that I got it in two colors! It never even occurred to me to try on another size smaller! I was an XL 6 months ago, so this is all new to me.

Maybe it was being in Jorge's presence... but more likely it's the fact that I just stick to this plan. I don't vary or indulge in things that aren't on the plan. If I over eat, it is things that are allowed. I do feel like I am eating less recently. My hunger level has gone way down too. I just need less food, most of the time. I also ate out every meal 4 days last week, so that proves that isn't a problem on the Belly Fat Cure if you pay attention.

These are my absolute favorite dress pants. They are a size 14 and they fit perfect before. I cleaned out my closet and pretty much all my pants, shorts and shirts have to go. Most of my shirts are okay I think, unless it was an XL, those are way too big now. I'm having a Large Ladies garage sale this weekend! Too bad all my neighbors are skinny...

One more thing happened this week. Long story short, I had blood in my urine and was feeling fatigued Monday. Turns out I was dehydrated, probably due to the drive back from San Diego. I didn't want to keep stopping at Truck stops to pee (if that isn't sign of getting old, I don't know what is) so I didn't drink a ton. But I did drink. AND I'm passing kidney stones! Wish me luck! (So far the pain is pretty dull and they are very small)

I've found some photos from the day I finally became disgusted with myself and decided I needed to lose weight. It was my son's 5th bday party. I'll post those along with some interviews I've been doing with other BFCers and MORE giveaways in the coming weeks! I still have so much to share, even though I've miraculously reached  my goal weight before I expected!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Sisterhood of the Traveling BFCers

First, I want to say the weekend WAY exceeded my exceptions! I have several more posts from the event in the coming weeks, but I wanted to get this up.

As I drove the zillion hours down I5 (okay, may it was just 7 hours) I listened to the Oprah/Ekhart Tolle New Earth podcast. It was so powerful and I really got a lot out of it. I think it prepared me to be open to the experience. The weekend consisted of a cocktail meet and greet with Jorge and then a day full of motivation, speakers and some insider info on a new BFC plan. The Speakers were Dr. Gary Novak, author of the Primal Blueprint Mark Sisson and motivational speaker Jairek Robbins. I found it all really useful and informative, but really I got more out of the interactions than anything else. 

Me & Jorge
Jorge could not have been more gracious or kind to me. He seriously emanated an energy that I've never seen come from another person. He liked my sign too ;-) I was able to do video an interview with Jorge that will be coming soon!

I stopped in L.A. on the way down and met my BFC Buddy Dave in person for the first time. He was exactly like I expected and we had a great time together.  He looks awesome, having lost 45 lbs on the BFC himself. He helped me try out a few Belly Good drinks too, its always good to get a second opinion. But then he totally over caffeinated me for the remainder of my drive! (We had to give my little sign a test run)

I made an effort to take photos with my readers, but I got lazy in the end a missed a few of you. So cool to meet some many of you in person!  Meeting and interacting with you all was truly as exciting as meeting Jorge. It's so funny to see the huge smiles on everyones faces. That really shows we were having a great time and among friends, I think. There was a real sense of honesty and openness among everyone. We talked weight, age, clothing size, relationships like we were old friends.

Jane, Elsa, me and Lisa
Jane is new to the BFC and I met her over lunch. She got the last Cobb Salad at Starbucks and left me with a sad little Santa Fe Salad I had to pick off the corn from. But I didn't hold that against her! Elsa and Lisa were positively GLOWING, I think you can see that here. They were fabulous and very sweet! Lucky ladies are local and part of small group doing some top secret stuff with Jorge... shhhhh

I was so excited to finally meet Ryan, who also blogs about the Belly Fat Cure. I "met" him online in October, but he has been on the plan for more then a year and lost 70 lbs. And arrrrrgh the other two ladies names completely slip my mind. But to be fair, I was surprised I remembered my own by the end of the weekend. If you are reading, please gently remind me! (Update: That is Christie and Robin next to Ryan, so embarrassed I couldn't remember!)

Tamie and Marcia
Tamie (on the left) turned out to be a great friend this weekend! I loved her beautiful and giving spirit. She has gone from a size 22 to a 16, and I think it's so great that she doesn't weigh herself. So much self control! I learned a few things from her insight this weekend about myself and my own fears. Thanks for being my BFC Buddy Tamie! Marcia's Husband was one of the few men there, he was very brave with all that Estrogen!

Linda has been through a real journey on her weight loss and I found her really inspiring!

Lynn and her good friend drove a few hours for the event too. We spent an evening talking diets and trading tips by the fire pit. They proved how powerful it is to have a friend doing the plan with you. Best tip I got from them: Sobe and sparkling water

I was so happy to meet Candy! She was part of my original 12 week class and now she is part of the FastTrack group too. So lovely!

I was completely exhausted when I got home Sunday right at dinner time. But it was all completely worth it!

(Unfortunately I'm not really at liberty to talk much about the Fast Track plan here, but when its ready, you will know!)