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

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Eating Out on the Belly Fat Cure

Months ago I ate out with a group of women all on Jorge Cruise's Belly Fat Cure. As we looked at the menu one person said "Don't judge me for what I'm about to order". I was WAY too busy judging myself at the time to judge her food choices. I barely noticed what she ordered, but it registered that she continually tried to get the rest of us to try the bread. Later as she enjoyed dessert, while the rest of us had a cup of coffee, she had the gall to say "This diet is impossible to do when you eat out". Impossible, as in it can't be done? Or impossible as in "it's impossible to control myself"?

Eating out is difficult on any diet. Diets that require you to know the nutritional values of the food are even more so. The good news that is that new laws require restaurants to display more nutritional information, they bad news it that it doesn't apply to everyone (only chains with more than 20 restaurants need to comply). By 2011 movie theaters and even vending machines must list their nutritional facts! Knowing the carb and sugar content of the food you eat will get even easier.

Honestly, I avoided eating out at the beginning of the diet. Or if I did, I got a "Protein Style Burger" (burger loaded up with lettuce, no bun) and side salad. I was very strict on the plan and did not want to stray for even one meal. But I know some people eat out much more often and want to know they can make good choices. My favorite meal to eat out now is at Sam's Chowder House in Half Moon Bay: Prosciutto wrapped shrimp over sauteed spinach.

Here are some tips on following the Belly Fat Cure even while eating out:
1. Keep It Simple - Pick your protein first and then load up the rest of your plate with green veggies. If it doesn't come with green veggies, ask to substitute. Avoid grains (breads), sauces, anything breaded - keep it simple.

2. Get the Facts - Ask your server for the nutritional facts list before you order. Better yet, check the website before you leave the house and know the good choices. Jorge Cruise's Carb Counting book offers lots of restaurant info and is less then $8 on Amazon. Even McDonalds has the Nutritional Facts printed on the bottom of the tray liner

3. Skip the Alcohol - Or if you must, choose wisely and have only one. A light beer or white wine are great choices, but cocktails are loaded with sugar thanks to the fruit juice. I had to kiss favorite Apple Martini goodbye with the Belly Fat Cure, but I don't really miss it now.

4. Substitute or Get it on the Side - Ask to have salad dressing on the side always and if it is a sweet dressing substitute it for another. Italian dressings are usually a good choice, but others like Ranch, are completely hit or miss with their sugar content. Even though mashed potatoes are allowed on the plan, they are allowed in very limited quantity, so substitute them for whatever the fresh green veggie is.

5. Avoid Places - Whether it is chips & salsa at Mexican restaurants or pasta & bread at Italian, if you will be too tempted, make it easy on yourself and avoid those types of places for now. I avoid Panera, since I used to stop off and get a cinnamon chip scone and green iced tea (comes loaded with sugar) after I dropped my son off for Preschool. The temptation is just too great there for me personally.

Whatever you do, don't make excuses like the women at the beginning of this story. You can do this diet AND eat out, you just have to want it bad enough! Happy New Year BFCers! Here is to a healthy and happy 2011!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas on a Diet

This is my 2nd Christmas on the Belly Fat Cure and I am so excited and pleased with my progress. This is the first holiday season in years that I haven't been upset by my weight and embarrassed by our family holiday photo.

A little advice for my BFC friends for the next two weeks is to keep your goal in mind. Don't let cravings get the best of you and remember to fill up on proteins and green veggies. If you do that, I promise you will be less tempted by all the sweets. If you do give in, don't beat yourself up! Remember it is a process and start the next meal/day fresh. (Don't try and eat less the next day to make up for the overeating, remember on the BFC it is all about the sugar/carbs you intake in one sitting that matter)

I hope you all have a great holiday season, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Put yourself first and know that you CAN do this...

Monday, December 13, 2010

Belly Fat Cure Maintenance and the Holidays

I haven't been blogging much lately, been so busy with visitors and life. I had family in town for an extended visit over Thanksgiving. We ate out much more than usual, and I had more carbs at each meal then normal. I even had a "real" dessert for the first time in over a year. I got a small Honey Lavender Gellatto downtown and shared it with my Husband. I felt weird about it, but it was a one-off thing.  I am a binge eater, so I need to be careful not to start that habit up again. But I feel really in control and satisfied with my food. After 14 months on the Belly Fat Cure diet, that is amazing. It speaks volumes about this plan.

I am also training for my first Half Marathon in early February. It has me running three times a week on a training schedule. I thought my body was done changing, but it's not. I think I am really close to my ideal weight for my age and body type. So the exercise is reshaping what I have a bit. It is NOT lowering my weight though, I am maintaining at 145. But I am tightening up all over. I don't get on the scales much, and just go by the fit of my clothing. I was able to wear a new dress to the Hubby's work holiday party last night, and it was a SMALL! That concept is so CRAZY to me, it doesn't seem real. It has a lot of draping on it, so maybe it was very forgiving. I can't explain how nice it was to not feel selfconscience all night (or like a sausage encased in Spanx).  I forgot to take a photo but here is the dress (on sale at Anthropologie - my favorite store!)

As a 41 year old women who as been overweight for about 10 years, my body needed a lot of work. My upper arms are still a problem area, and I don't think running will ever help with that. But the rest of my body really seems to be responding. Even my biceps, I guess from pumping my arms while running? I still have thick thighs and calves, but they feel more muscular now. I don't workout at all, other than running outside. As the rainy season hits Northern California, I may have to figure out an indoor workout for a few months. I don't have a gym membership or a treadmill.

This time of year I notice so many people abandon their diets and tend to get negative about these issues. Maybe it is frustration with so much else going on. But stay strong and keep your goals in mind! If you can survive eating right through the next month, you are golden. Remember you DESERVE to have the body you desire. You are not depriving yourself of foods, but are giving yourself the gift of a new body. Dramatically lowering your sugar and limiting your carb intake really is a long term plan you can do!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Me and the Half Marathon

Over a year ago when I began dieting, I also set a fitness goal for myself. I set the weight loss and fitness as separate, because in my mind they were related but so different. But really they worked together to get me to my goals. By losing weight, I could actually start running instead of just walking. As I lost weight, I noticed my feet hurt a lot worse as I exercised. By exercising I tightened up all lose skin created from losing weight. So it was a win/win situation. I also loved how my long walks/runs let me clear my head and process my emotions. Friends kept encouraging me to register for a big race to help motivate me, but I resisted. Then one day I realized I could actually do this!

Initially I set my exercise goal to run a 5K in 2010. I did that back in May, and I didn't do too great. Turns out the the first few miles are the hardest for me and I don't enjoy that part of the race at all. I enjoy my long run days because I really exhaust my body, and it is something that I never imagined I could do. I have signed up for the Kaiser Permenente San Fransisco Half Marathon. It runs 13 miles through Golden Gate and along the Great Highway. I a using a traditional Half Marathon training schedule, where I run one short (3 mile) and one long (9 miles) and one short run that increases in length by 10% each week. I can't run the big hill part of my long run, but other than that I'm pretty okay.

I have two big fears for the Half Marathon are injury and weather. I got a great pair of running shoes that is supposed to take care of most knee problems. But I still have to be careful, because of my age. I also run on trails mostly and sometimes fall. I fell recently, sliding and then falling right on my knee cap. I'm afraid I'll do all this work and then get injured and not be able to do the race. And then there is San Fransisco weather! An early February morning could mean freezing rain OR 70 degrees and sun (much less likely). Not sure I can handle freezing rain! I have been upgrading my running gear from the Target workout section to Lululemon and a little better quality for winter. But Im a little scared...

Have you set a fitness goal along side your weight loss goal? Do you keep them separate?

I can't stress enough the role music plays in this. When I'm having a hard time, huffing and puffing my way through a section of trail, the right song can come on and turn everything around. A little Blue's Traveler's The Mountain Wins Again, Florence and the Machine ("run for children, your sisters and brothers") the same music that might get you dancing or tapping your foot. I recently saw Robyn in concert and LOVE her! Her album is on sale at Amazon right and would make a great gift to yourself if you like that kind of pop music. Since I got rid of my iPhone and have an Android now, I use Amazon for all my music.


Saturday, December 4, 2010

Celestial Seasonings Holiday Teas

I know I write about tea quite a bit, but I feel like they are a huge help on the Belly Fat Cure. Maybe I should change the name to Me & Tea? It's not so much that I LOVE teas, it is that they are perfect for a low sugar diet... or probably any diet. I started having them when I didn't have any Carb or Sugar servings left in the evening and couldn't have any dark chocolate. So I searched for something that was sweet and free! Celestial Seasonings has some great Holiday Teas I wanted to share with you. They are only out in stores between now and mid-January and my local Safeway had them on sale 2 boxes for $5, but Amazon has a good price too. They are available in most stores that carry Celestial Seasonings tea, but you may not be able to find all the varieties. Stock up now before they are gone for the season!

If they teas don't hit the spot, try adding a little Stevia sweetener or even a little bit of cream. It can make a huge difference and really bring out the flavors.

Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride Holiday Tea by Celestial Seasonings - 1 BoxSugar Cookie Sleigh Ride - I discovered this tea last year and was really sorry I didn't stock up for the whole year. A little bit of sweetness really brings out the cookie flavor. Imagine you are eating raw cookie dough, an awful old habit, and you will get the idea. It does smell better than it tastes, but it is still a nice nightly treat.

Celestial Seasonings Holiday Teas Candy Cane Lane Decaffeinated Green Holiday Tea 20 tea bags (Pack of 5)Candy Cane Lane - Craving a candy cane or peppermint stick? This tea will really hit the spot! Its a new favorite of mine and gets double points since it is a green tea and decaffeinated. Perfect for an evening warm up. Even though this is a green tea, I don't taste anything that would lead me to think that, so don't let that turn you off.

Gingerbread Spice ** Seasonal item ** - 20 - BagGingerbread Spice - This tea smells so wonderful and spicy. Like you have something baking in the kitchen. This tea I like with a little cream. I'd love to find a way to use this tea in my oatmeal or Jay Robb shake. Maybe Christmas morning while the family is having Egg Nog (I do miss Egg Nog) I'll have a Gingerbread Shake. Just use the cooled down tea instead of Unsweetened Almond Milk!

Two other holiday teas to try are Nutcracker Sweet and Sugar Plum Spice. I haven't tired them yet as my tea cabinet is completely full. But they look like great Decaf no sugar options! Let me know if you have tried any of these and what you liked. I had family in town for Thanksgiving and we had these teas everyday!