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Thursday, December 29, 2011

This and that

I am still thinking about my goals for 2012.  So far I want to spend more time doing things like this:

And less time thinking about things like that:

I want to remember that when I look down I see this:

And that I no longer look like that:

And no matter what size I am, it is really just all about this:

If I could help one person in the whole world next year, it would be her:

What are you goals for 2012?

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas Wrap Up

My boys playing the Michael Jackson Experience
Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas! My allergies have been really bothering me, even after a round of antibiotics for a respiratory infection. So I have not been online much. But we had a great Christmas

 The boys got a few Wii Games for Christmas and they were a little hit and miss. The dancing games were a HUGE success and the whole family loved them. Wii Go Vacation got mixed reviews. The 10 year old loves it, but it brings out the worst in the 7 yr old. He doesn't have the patience to figure it out and gets very mad! Ugh. But we all enjoyed the dancing and laughed the whole time!

I cooked a lot this last week. I want my kids to be more adventurous eaters - so no tears over Thanksgiving dinner in 2012! I find Pinterest to be great for recipes, since it is all visual. These roasted chickpeas were super! And the whole family ate them. Christmas day I stuck a whole chicken, with what is left of my herb garden, in the crockpot and it was ready for lunch. I tried roasted red cabbage, but it turned out really bitter.
Mommy's little helper
Santa refused to deliver presents until the house was clean, so I got a little help! I have to watch out for this one... he's trouble.
Star Wars Phone Covers
I made these phone covers for the kids and they were a big hit. They are Chewbacca and Yoda for the non-Star Wars fans. I love doing crafts, especially ones that the family will actually use! Chewy turned out extra cute!

I asked for a nice pair of PJs. The ones I wanted were men's wear inspired from J. Crew, but this is what I got. I'm pretty sure they found them in the Jr's dept. On the up side, I got an exercise Hula Hoop! It is the 3lb model and very cool! I've never been able to hula hoop but this I can do. I love doing the Hula Hoop on Wii Fit and I swear that it really tightens your lower belly (from the belly button down). This is much more difficult than Wii Fit and I'm excited about it! This should totally be my new profile pic, don't ya think? Complete with unwashed face and nappy hair.

I am thinking lots about goals for 2012, what about you? Usually my goal is centered around weightloss, and that will not be the case this time (you know, since I've lost the weight). I'll write more about this later, I'm still figuring it out!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas from my family to yours

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and are able to enjoy the time with your families! One gift you can give yourself? Learn to be kind... to yourself. That is something I learned in the last year or two. 

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Cheesy Cauliflower Grits

I found a beautiful photo on Pinterest of what looked like Cheese Grits, but claimed to be made from riced Cauliflower. So you know I was all over that! When I found the actual recipe, it contained  1/2 Cup of Panko and since I'm not doing grains I just left them out completely. I was not sure how it would turn out without the Panko, but it did not let me down. As you may know I pledged to give up grains for Jorge Cruise's Fast Track for 2 months, but I'm on 3 months now and have not plans to add grains back at all right now.

These little yummies make a great potato/hash brown replacement, they were like a savory pancake. But I thought they were most like good, old fashion grits! I ate them hot, right off the griddle, but I'll be having them with steak for dinner later. Wouldn't they make a great latka? Just don't serve it with applesauce - too much sugar!

These turned out WONDERFULLY! I'm going to guess your whole house will like these. My super picky kids even tried them, although it was in exchange for a cookie, so go figure. I would love to find a way to incorporate them into breakfast or smaller with different toppings for a party. Whether you are doing the Belly Fat Cure or Fast Track, these make a great snack or side dish to your meal.

Cheesy Cauliflower Grits:
1/2 head cauliflower
1 egg
1/2 shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp garlic powder

How To:
I grated the fresh cauliflower with my cheese grater, but a food processor is great for this too (and is on my Christmas list!). I guess frozen would work fine too. Do it all, the florets and stems, but not the leaves. Microwave for 2 - 2:30 minutes and blend in the egg and cheese thoroughly. Scoop them out onto a hot griddle or skillet into the size of a small pancake, using olive or coconut oil if your skillet needs it. Depending on thickness, and how crispy you want them, cook least 3 minutes on each side.

The entire batch is 16 grams of carbs, 6 grams sugar and 8 grams fiber. I'd say four little pancakes, half of the recipe, should be more than be enough and will have an S/C Value of 3/1. It is all determined by the size of the cauliflower head and are all good, high fiber carbs.

Link back to the original recipe I modified is HERE. For all my recipes that fit Jorge's plan click HERE.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Dark Chocolate Review Part 4

I will definitely be getting Dark Chocolate in my stocking this year. My sweet husband actually surprised me last year with two brands I've never seen before. Dark Chocolate is a perfect treat or dessert on the Belly Fat Cure (and Fast Track), Paleo and Primal diet and for diabetics. I love that I can have just a square or two, and I don't crave the whole bar!

My regular and favorite Dark Chocolate is Ghirardelli 86% Midnight Reverie. I find it at Target and my corner grocery store. When I see it on sale I stock up. And this probably won't surprise you, but I have a chocolate drawer in my house and have a piece or more almost every night. My 7 yr old loves it too!

If you have tried Dark Chocolates already and didn't like them, I'm going to suggest you wait a few weeks and try again. Your palate changes when you remove sugar from your diet. I HATED Dark Chocolate at first. I think I actually spit it out.  Check out all my Dark Chocolate Reviews HERE.

Droste Pastilles Extra Dark 75% - I really love this Dutch made chocolate. It's cocoa content is higher than the others, which basically means you can have less of it. They come in a tube little circular discs that are yummy. I found these at Target. I have 4 of the pieces for 5 grams sugar, 8 grams carbs and 1.5 grams of fiber for an S/C Value of 5/1.

Godiva Santa Domingo 85% - This was a great find and a really good chocolate. I found this bar at Target one day, but my store doesn't usually carry it. Also for some reason it is not on Godiva's website, but I think several pharmacies (Walgreens, CVS) may carry it. It has 5 grams of sugar, 14 grams of carbs and 5 grams of fiber for an S/C Value of 5/1 for 4 squares.
Cote D'or 86% Noir Brut -This is a great dark chocolate that my corner produce market carries. They have an elephant imprint on each square and taste like very dark chocolate. This bar has 6 grams of sugar, 13 grams of carb and 5 grams of fiber for an S/C Value of 6/1 for 4 squares.

Amberlyn - I don't eat these chocolates because they contain Maltitol, and in any quantities it upsets my stomach. But I know lots of people who love these chocolates bars. They are sometimes available at Costco, but I don't see them in regular stores. Depending on which bar you choose they have between 0 (dark) - 3 (milk) grams of sugar, 19 grams of carbs and up to 2 grams of fiber. They are a good transitional chocolate if the true dark chocolate doesn't taste good quite yet.

Dark Chocolate is my favorite treat on the Belly Fat Cure and what I will be having on holiday evenings this year! Please check out Dawn's blog for my holiday survival tips!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Nicole's BFC Margarita Recipe

Nicole is one of the women I met for Jorge Cruise's video shoot recently. Her 86 lb weight loss is featured in his new book Belly Fat Cure Quick Meals, which ships 12/27/2011 and is just $13 on Amazon. Nicole hasn't just lost weight, in person she is tiny and it was hard to imagine her ever overweight. But she was, just like the rest of us! I was really motivated by her weight loss and think she is a great BFC role model.

I'm really looking forward to doing a Q&A with her soon, so if you have questions you'd like to hear her answer, leave them in the comments here! I'm going to guess she has lots of good advice that we could all learn from.

She shared this recipe with me and I thought it would be great for your holiday cocktail cravings. It is the perfect example of how a few small changes can make a big difference in sugar content.

Nicole's BFC Margarita:
  • 1.5oz tequilla 
  • 2tbsp lime juice fresh or bottled 
  • 4tbsp water 
  • 1/4 tsp orange extract 
  • 1 tbsp sweetner (stevia) 
  • ice
She says you can serve it on the rocks or frozen and she counts it as an S/C Value of 0/0.

Be sure and check out Dawn's blog today for more tips on Surviving the Holidays on the BFC or all of my other holiday posts. You don't have to wait until after the holidays to start dieting, start today!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Goal Weight, Fast Track and more

I have been reading Wheat Belly this week, and let me tell you... this book is going to change my life. I am not kidding here. It had been on the library list for it for two months and the day I picked it up I just opened it to a random page and read while waiting in line. IMMEDIATELY I knew I needed my own copy because I wanted to underline and make notes in the margin. I settled for tearing of strips of the library reservation sheet off and making notes on it. I'm on Chapter 4 and have used a nearly a whole sheet for little rip off markers. I find myself quoting whole sections to my husband and reading out loud to people over the phone. This book speaks to me and says things I have been discovering about myself the last two years. If you are at all considering giving up wheat or think it may be effecting your body, pick up this book. If you read my blog regularly you know I see my relationship with food as similar to alcohol addiction. This book backs that up in plain speech and I think this book is going to change my life. Full review when I'm done, promise.

On another note, I made a fun discovery on... you guessed it... Pinterest! I'm obsessed, I know. Did you know that most Mason jars (or just plain left over glass jars) fit your blender? They turn any blender into a Bullet Blender. I have started Month 3 of the Fast Track, where I have removed all grain and legumes from my diet. I've never gone this long on the Fast Track and I am finding my hunger level has greatly decreased recently. Oh, and I got back to my goal weight of 143 last week! Yea! I thought I would go back to the regular Belly Fat Cure then and add back limited grains, but I didn't feel the need to... strangely. So here I am, grain free, at my goal weight and feeling really good (aside from an annoying cold/allergy). So I decided to take my cool Pinterest Blender trick and my use it with Jorge's Bug Juice. I'm skipping a meal here and there when I truly do not feel hungry, but I love the idea of getting my veggies in. Although tonight my youngest son said "Why do you make that when it tastes awful?" What? Did I say that? I must have, because kids just repeat what they hear. It doesn't taste awful, but it doesn't taste like birthday cake either. But I won't be eating any birthday cake, so cheers to Bug Juice.

My current recipe for Bug Juice (it has evolved with time):
  • Handful of blueberries
  • Large handful of fresh spinach
  • 1 Celery stalk, cut in half to fit in the jar
  • 1/4 Cucumber (if you have it, I have not lately)
  • 1/2 Tbsp chia seeds
Fill the jar half way with water, add chia seeds. Add rest of ingredients and fill the remaining space with water leaving room for the blender blades. Let it set for 5 minutes for the chia seeds to soften and blend until is all liquid. I had to push down on the jar, as it wasn't heavy enough. About half way through this drink, I refill to the top with water. Full story on Jorge's Bug Juice HERE.

If you are new to this drink, you may hate it honestly. But I like it and had it quite often my first 6 months on the BFC. I am trying to have it more often again and repeat the foods that I think helped me be most successful. I swear I get a booth of energy from this drink when I have it in the afternoon, and just plain makes me feel good. Happy Weekend!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Chef Jorge's Recipe Club and the Gang

Jorge Cruise has posted the little get together with me and a few of my Belly Fat Cure friends. We were all a little nervous, but I think I was the most! But it was a beautiful day spent with inspiring people I now call friends, Anthony, Rosalie and Nicole. I wish he had shown more of Ali and her husband Karl, they are a great BFC couple who had a unique perspective on the plan since they were dieting together. I kinda thought they would flash a BEFORE photo on the screen too, but this video is all about the food!

I have to say, I really like all the meals and recipes he has been posting lately and am curious to see more about this Recipe Club he has coming up. So many of the recipes in his books are very simple, but I like these new ones for special occasions. They are a little more sophisticated, you know? One of my sister's (who does WW) saw the video and said something like "what are you all eating and is that really allowed?" It is his Tuscan Chicken (recipe here) and yep, it is totally allowed. It was chicken topped with spinach and mushrooms and then covered in two kinds of cheese. I'm pretty sure she still doesn't believe I ate lots of cheese.

I surprised Jorge when I told him the Taco Plate was one of my favorite BFC foods. But I've made that taco 1,000 times in the last two years it feels like! If you are new here, I was 196 lbs when I started the plan and it took me about 39 weeks to lose 53 lbs. I've been maintaining at this weight for the last 18 or so months. If I can do it, you can do it. I documented every single one of those 39 weeks and my weigh ins HERE.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Recipe: Zucchini Boat

Zucchini Boats
For some reason I am a much more creative cook when I remove grains from my diet. You REALLY have to think outside the box! I saw this recipe (don't kick me, because yes it was on Pinterest) and I modified it a bit to fit Jorge Cruise's Belly Fat Cure and Fast Track. So my tip for surviving the holidays today is to EAT WELL. If you eat good satisfying meals that have healthy fats and are high in protein you will feel less hungry, less stressed and more less likely to snack or cheat throughout the day.

These turned out beautifully, good enough to serve guests. I had very large zucchini, so this was my entire dinner and it was filling. With small zucchini they could be a great appeitzer so side dish. Treat them like breadless bruschetta even!

Zucchini Boats Recipe:
2 Large green zucchini
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
3 Crushed Garlic Cloves
3 Tbsp Cottage Cheese (any soft cheese will do)
1 Small Tomato
2 Tbsp Parmesen Cheese
Sprinkling of Sea Salt and your favorite herbs 
2 Tbsp Mozzerella (optional - I didn't add this)

How To:
I washed the zucchini and cut them in half lengthwise (unpeeled) then scored them down the middle. I figured this would help them cook faster and let the goodness seep down into them. Sprinkle with Sea Salt. I drizzled with the Olive Oil and them spread the Garlic on top. Then I added the Cottage Cheese. I just used what I had - any spreadable cheese would do. Next time I plan on using goat's cheese or ricotta. Use the cheese you like! I cut the Tomato into very think slices and laid them on top. Then sprinkled with the Parmesen Cheese and herbs. I used fresh Rosemary from my garden and Italian Seasonings. If you want to make yours extra cheesy, then add more cheese or even mozzarella cheese on top. Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes. I actually used my toaster oven for these, since it was still warm from making the kids dinner. Enjoy!

The original recipe I modified is from Proud Italian. I can imagine this with several other toppings, including bacon! Later I also came across another Pinterest pin on Zucchini Pizza which is basically the same thing. I've pinned about 120 recipes on Pinterest so far that fit the Fast Track and Jorge Cruise's Belly Fat Cure. You can peruse then HERE.  I know fellow BFCers Pattie and Dawn are busy pinning over there too! Pinterest is my FAVORITE social media of 2011.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Cocktail Party on the Belly Fat Cure

It's party time this holiday season and chances are you have one coming up too. Can you stay on the Belly Fat Cure and enjoy a holiday party? Absolutely! You have to think and plan ahead, but absolutely! Crazy, but this will be my third Christmas on the Belly Fat Cure and it gets easier each time. I have a party in San Francisco this weekend at a swanky venue, and I plan on having lots of fun AND staying on my diet. I gots me a new dress, new shoes and babysitter til late in the night.

First, the alcohol. Because honestly that is one thing that pretty much everyone of these parties will have. Skip the cocktail, no matter how good it sounds, it is loaded with sugar. I love a good cocktail, but I've given them up. Most cocktails probably have more sugar than anything else at the party. Instead opt for a glass or two of champagne or wine. Be sure and don't let people keep filling your half full glass, where you can't keep track of what you have drank. Limit it to two and thank me in the morning. I'm switching to sparkling water after two drinks.

If finger food being served it is a good idea to have a very light meal beforehand. Something high in protein to keep you satisfied, but not ramp up your carbs and sugar for the day. If you eat a full meal before, you might still be tempted to nimble all night. Look for finger foods without sauces (hidden sugar) or that are bread based (hello carbs). Go for the higher protein and veggies finger foods whenever possible. My party invite says "heavy appetizers" and I saw there is a meat carving station, so I'm set!

For the desserts, it's really best to skip them. That is what I do, honestly. That may sound extreme, but for me it is what works best. I know other BFCers have just a bite or taste of dessert and they do just fine. Please don't think you are denying yourself by skipping dessert or just having a nibble. I don't think the next morning you will regret having skipped a dessert. Remember you are treating yourself to a new body! Think of the dress you'll be rockin' at next year's party as you pass up the sugar loaded goodies.

Mostly, have a good time and enjoy yourself! Try to separate yourself from the food and not obsess on what you can and can't have (I say this, because I totally do that!). Be sure and check out Dawn's Belly Fat Cure Holiday Survival advice today or click HERE for all my holiday posts. Leave your own holiday tips and tricks in the comments too!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Want to get Motivated?

Anthony 200+lbs, Me 53 lbs, Nicole 86 lbs
I was so excited to be invited by Jorge Cruise to film a segment for his upcoming Recipe Club. I was joined by a handful of other dieters, most of whom I already knew, yet was thrilled to meet in person. There is nothing like spending time with people with similar goals and struggles to your own. It's funny how you'd think all we have in common is our food, but it's much more than that. To see the video footage, make sure you get signed up and are getting Jorge's emails. I believe Dec. 9th is the day our party will be shown. Fingers crossed I don't come off looking like a nervous goof-ball. But then, this post is not about me...

Ali 15 lbs, Rosalie 90 lbs, Me and Nicole
One thought that kept coming to my mind when we were all together was how beautiful they all were. Seriously, they were all amazing and had beauty radiating from the inside. But they are real people with real struggles who have all overcome obesity. I have done Q&A's with both Rosalie and Anthony here on my blog, but Nicole is next! That beautiful tiny woman lost 86 lbs and is 32 years old. She also did my eye makeup for the day, so I love her even more.

Now that I have overused the word beautiful a thousand times, I want to make sure you know they are all just normal people. Just like you. Yes, you there. Hi, I see you reading along... No personal Jorge concierge service, personal trainers or crazy workouts. Normal folk, just like you. Some are emotional eaters, others (like me) are binge eaters and one person said she is just a big eater. Period. Some have always been overweight, since childhood, and others used to be thin and gained it later in life. Notice I don't say WERE, but ARE. We just have the proper tools with the Belly Fat Cure and Fast Track to manage those compulsions.

Me and Jorge - he was so gracious
The second thing I came away with was that none of them made excuses or did the diet half way. They were determined. They had made up their mind to lose their weight. Oh, they HAD lots of excuses, lots of good excuses, to not take the effort to diet. Medical and personal issues. I bet some of their excuses might be better than yours even. What do you think? How about we put all those excuses aside, and put YOU and your health in front of all that. Scooch your butt first in line and tell those excuses to move on back. Those excuses are just feeding your fear of failure, they really are. Sure life isn't easy and you may have special circumstances, but living with obesity isn't making it any easier.

If any of these people look like someone you aspire to be, then simply decide it's worth it. Are you worth it? (the answer is YES!) Then make sure every step you take is a step towards that. And psst....  You are beautiful too, maybe you just don't know it yet.

Please click on over to Dawn's wonderful blog for new tips on surviving the holidays on the BFC!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

What Dedication Means to Me

Maintenance is daunting to me, I don't know why. I tackled losing the weight with excitement and I felt so empowered to have found the Belly Fat Cure as a solution to my obesity. Some mornings I'd even wake up early just to weigh myself, then jump back in bed feeling thrilled at the result.

But maintenance scares me, to be honest. For me, it is a different animal all together. Can I do this? Do I have the strength to not give in to my food demons for the rest of my life? I need to follow my own advice, I know, and just take one meal and day at a time. But I wanted you all to know, this is hard. This is a journey. This is my life. And sometimes I am scared, even though I know that is wasted energy.

I made a little sign to help remind me of the choices that make me happy. It is not just about the number on the scale or the size I wear. This diet is about being a better, happier, healthier ME. Eating this way makes me FEEL better in so many ways. So here is what I want to remind myself:

I am off to something really exciting today, that I can tell you more about later. I will be thinking of all the readers of my blog and other dieters I've met on this journey today. You all motivate me and help keep me true, and I hope I do the same for you as well.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Book Review: Belly Fat Cure E-Book

 Jorge Cruise has a new book in the Amazon Kindle store for only .99! Have you all seen it yet? I've been trying out the Kindle App on my Xoom Tablet and thought I'd write a short review. I want to start using the Kindle Books from my local library and thought this would be a good first try.

First, it is an E-Book. There is no printed hard copy. The book is divided into three sections: Explanation of the BFC, transcribed interviews with other weight loss and health professionals and client success stories. I found it really cool that I know a handful of the success stories. Rosalie, Robin, Nicole and Anthony are all in there looking great and ready to inspire! I'm in there too.

There are no recipes in the E-Book, instead it points you towards Jorge's Facebook page and Email Club for  his free one week menu. It has a longer explanation of the Belly Fat Cure Diet than the original and it talks more about Jorge's personal struggle with weight. Apparently his weight yo-yo'd for years, I'd always assumed he had a 6 pack.

The explanation of the diet is really good, and puts it in plain words. It is a little more humorous in spirit and you feel like you get a better sense of who the author is as a person from it.  The transcribed interviews are not my favorite thing. I really wish it would have a link to the YouTube video of the interview as well, but it does not. But just Google "Youtube.com Jorge Cruise Weil" for example, and you will be able to find all the video interviews there. It includes interviews with Andrew Weil, Dr. Mehmet Oz, Christane Northrup, Nicolas Perricone, Suze Orman and Gary Taubes.

The success stories are from the Fast Track book and the new Belly Fat Cure Quick Meals book, that comes out 12/27 (That is according to Amazon and it is currently $13.99 with a pretty good preview). So several of them are new folks you haven't heard from before. I know most he met through his Facebook page. Dawn, who was on the backcover of the original book, was a real inspiration to me. So it is an honor to now be one of those stories myself and possibly get someone else to help take a step in the right direction.

Overall, it was worth my .99 but I really wish it had the video links. But then I just assume Kindle would play the videos and maybe it doesn't! The book looks very close the original book's Kindle edition, but follow the links from my page and it will take you to the correct book, and make sure it says .99. The original book's Kindle price is $8.83 and I have heard lots of complaints about readability with it (mostly with the charts and menus).

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Measurements Guide

One of the jokes that I share with fellow dieters is the math... oh the math! I've used more math trying to calculate sugar and carbs (and carb servings on the Belly Fat Cure) than I had used in all my adult years! I find that I MUST measure my servings sizes, I can't really eyeball it or I easily go over my S/C Values. I love this visual that I found on Pinterest from Julie Yoon's blog (image used with permission) and wanted to share it with you all! I have printed it off and taped it to my pantry door. I am a visual learner.

On the another note, my weight is really moving down again! Yippe! Boy oh boy, maintenance is unforgiving. I have a few more pounds to get back to my goal/low weight and am still doing the Fast Track to get there. I am determined, but it's hard not to give up at this stage and just settle at this weight. I feat that if I settle at this weight, next year I'll settle a few pounds higher and will start a cycle to get me back to nearly 200 lbs. I haven't had any grains/legumes/starchy veggies in almost two months, but I have overdone it on sugar a few times and that is what has stalled my loss. I cannot cheat on a diet, not even a little bit, or my weight doesn't move at all. Some people can, but apparently I am very sensitive to sugar and carbs and cannot.

If you are curious about Pinterest, take a peak at my Boards there. I have one I've labeled Low Sugar and pin all the recipes I think are BFC good or could be with minor adjustments. If you are visual person like me, you will love it.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Tday Wrap Up

Turkey, gravy, brussel sprouts, twice baked butternut squash
I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Not too stressful and not too over stuffed. We had a really laid back day, we were in no rush and just ate when it was done. I had committed to going for a run, but really didn't want to leave the warm cozy house... but I did. And I really enjoyed it! I hope I learned a lesson from that (again...) Here is a photo of my plate. I had a little more turkey and gravy later. I nixed one of the veggies dishes because it seemed like too many, but when I went to fill up my plate, I was missing a green vegetable. I honestly did not miss the grains, which surprised me.

My oldest son spent 45 minutes trying to teach us the rules of his new Lego Heroica board game. I felt really old and didn't understand anything. He has all these tiny details of it memorized. But we played it while the final food cooked and the turkey sat. All the cooking was exhausting, but my Husband did a lot of the cleaning up, so that helped. I had a huge food battle with my sons over dinner, they both threw a fit over mashed potatoes. MASHED POTATOES. It is my fault because I let them eat "kid food" and make them separate dinners all the time.  So my goal is to have them eating regular people food, less kid food, by next year. Ugh! I did not let them have dessert because they threw such a fit. Seriously, there was crying and some (fake?) vomiting noises. Oy vay people, it was mashed potatoes.

I have a nice cocktail Christmas party to go to in San Francisco soon and wanted to try putting my hair up. I saw this thing on Pinterest on how to make a bun with a sock. A SOCK! So I did it and it was perfect. But the front was kind of boring and very dark, so I'll have to work on it. My hair has grown a lot this year. It always used to grow very fast, then didn't and now does again. But it needs a good trim, and the bun could hide the split ends. I even made a glitter hairband (it matches the belt) but I'm not sure a 42 yr old should wear a glitter headband.

Here is the outfit I put together. The dress is from Old Navy for only $34 and is a matte satin. The belt is Anthropologie and I have loved it forever, but used this outfit as a excuse to get it. Not sure about the shoes. Maybe black tights and shoes are better for a winter night in the city. The dress is an XS, which was super cool! Old Navy is sized very generously, but can be annoying when you get home with the wrong size. Frequently I swin in a Small from Old Navy. But I was always thankful that I fit in their Large before I lost the weight. I'm not totally sure all that (freckled) shoulder showing suits me, but a nice necklace should top it off.

Here are the recipe links for the my gravy and twice baked butternut squash. It all turned out very good.

UPDATE: Here is a link to the Sock Bun tutorial. She started out with a very pretty ponytail, which I need a little help with!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving! Remember that you don't need to get stressed today, about food or family or anything. Stress isn't good for you body or mind, so try to enjoy the day! We are low key today, just me and my boys. But my kids are picky eaters and the Hubby will not be eating turkey, SO it will be interesting!

I am starting off the day with a pot of spiced coffee. To do this add a scoop of Mulling Spices to your coffee grinds before it is brewed. It will make your kitchen smell wonderful and give your coffee a little kick! I also tried infusing vodka with the Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride Tea for a low-sugar cocktail. I'll let you know how that turns out!

Turkey - I'm looking forward to some great roasted turkey. I will miss not having stuffing a little, but I will survive. The folks over at Primal Palate have a grain-free sausage stuffing if you are interested. I might make it next week to have with leftover turkey.

Cauliflower Cheese Bake - loosely based on THIS RECIPE
Brussel Sprouts - Toss with olive oil, sea salt and several garlic cloves.
Twice Baked Butternut Squash - From Martha Stewart, this looks SO good!
Gravy - I'm going to make gravy with the pan drippings and a touch of cream. I'm experimenting here and will use a little coconut flour if needed.

Dessert - The family will have Pumpkin Pie from Trader Joe's, but I'll stick with a pot of nice flavored tea. I am laying off the coconut flour baking for a bit, and my local store was out of the Midnight Reverie so I'm dark chocolate-less.

My #1 priority is to have fun and relax with my family. No one (me included) is allowed to raise their voice! I had planned on going on a family hike, but my Husband has planned something with another Dad for Friday with the kids and hiking. So I am going to take advantage of having another adult in the house, and go for a long run. I haven't been running much, but I decided this weekend I would like to run the Golden Gate Park Half Marathon again in early February, so I should start training now. I think that will get me out of my mental and physical funk I've been in.

Have a wonderful day and be sure and check out Dawn's blog today for our Belly Fat Cure Holiday Survival Guide suggestions!

Here is some great music by my friend Anthony D'Amato while you are cooking up a storm. If ever you feel like your weight is impossible to lose and that you just can't do it, I want you to think of Anthony and his beautiful voice and the over 200 lbs he has lost.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Gobble On

No doubt Thanksgiving is a food-ecentric holiday. It's all about food and family. But there are plenty of ways to enjoy Thanksgiving and stay on any diet, but it is especially easy on Jorge Cruise's Belly Fat Cure. First, you need to make up your mind: Do you want to stay on your diet for the holiday? If the answer is YES! then read on. If it's "I'd like to, but it's too hard" then you need to get honest with yourself. Because that isn't true. And if it's flat out Nope! well then I will see you in January. But I think you really need to ask yourself beforehand and be ready to make those though choices.

Mostly, don't feel bad or deprived that you are staying on your diet for the holidays. You will be celebrating on the scale! So congrats to you for making a great decision for you health!

Before the Meal: If you are eating at someone else's home, offer to bring a dish you know you can eat. Don't offer to bring the mashed potatoes or sweet potatoes, something you really can't enjoy. Like a great veggie dish that you know isn't loaded with sugar. I will also make Bug Juice for a light lunch that day, which I haven't done in ages. Plan ahead and set yourself up for success!

Drinks: Iced tea and white wine are great choices. Avoid the sugar laden cocktail and beer (unless it is a light beer you have checked out previously). Here is my recipe for a Sobetini (vodka and a Sobe 0 Calorie Lifewater basically)

Appetizers: These are going to be easy on the BFC so enjoy this part of the holiday. Deviled eggs, stuffed mushrooms, antipasta, cheese and veggies plates and low sugar dips. Avoid sauces and too much fruit.

Dinner: Load up the turkey and green vegetables. Avoid anything cooked with marshmallows! You can have a small portion of potatoes or stuffing, but unless you made it yourself and know the Sugar/Carb values I'd just have one or the other. This year it is just my immediate family and I will be going grain-free. But I bought rolls for the boys and plan on making the Hubby's favorite mashed potatoes. I will not part-take in either (at least that is the plan!). Turkey, gravy (thickened with coconut flour, roasted brussel sprouts, Parmesan asparagus for me this. Here is a BFC friendly muffin recipe I used the last two years, the are GREAT! I call them Stuffin's since they are stuffing made in a muffin tin.

Dessert: Coffee with cream and a stevia sweetener if you need it. That's it if you are staying on a diet. You should be full and satisfied now anyways! Have your dark chocolate too, if you want. If you must have a dessert and are sticking with the plan I recommend homemade whipped cream and some berries. But you will be at your max S/C Value on Thanksgiving day, so best to skip it! If you have a few carbs left here is my Cinnamon Crisp recipe.

Something other than food: We are going to watch a movie and play some of the new board games my son got for his birthday. We will also take a hike up to a nearby farm, which is sometimes hard to get the boys motivated about. But they always enjoy it. In other words, place the concentration on things other than food. I am so thankful for my little family, and a little sad that we are so far away from my extended family members in Oklahoma.

Be sure and check out Dawn's blog today too, she always has great recipes (not wonky like mine sometimes are!). She already has the S/C Value of her Thanksgiving meal all figured out!

I have added a Link Party to this post for the first time ever! Click the click to add your URL for any holiday recipe or tips for other low sugar dieters. The Link Party is open for a week, and will direct my readers to your posts! Please link to a specific blog post, not just your blog, and it needs to be a holiday recipe or tip!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

BFC Holiday Survival Guide

I am really excited to be teaming up with Dawn from Dawn's Daily Chocolate for an Belly Fat Cure Holiday Survival Guide this year! I love that Dawn regularly posts original recipes for Jorge's BFC and Fast Track. If you haven't already checked out her blog, you should. Each Tuesday and Thursday between now and New Year's will be posting recipes, tips and tricks to help you get through the holiday season on the Belly Fat Cure! This will be my third Thanksgiving on the BFC and this time I am going grain-free (eek!) but hope to be back to my lowest weight by Christmas and have a roll and some potatoes then!

Today we celebrated my son's 10th birthday with a Lego themed slumber party. Complete with Lego brick cakes and minifig candies. Right now now they are all actually asleep in the basement! I cannot believe it has been 10 years, my life completely changed when he was born. He let me post baby photos around the house, and it seems it was just the other day you could hold him in your arms. He was so tiny once and is now nearly as tall as me (which isn't saying too much!) I have to say being a Mom to my two boys is such a joy, I could just cry. I don't want them to grow another inch, just stay right like they are...

Friday, November 18, 2011

Food From the Fast Track Book

I've been cooking a lot lately from the Fast Track book and wanted to share what I've made. I had a few friends over recently and made the Artichoke Dip from pg. 121. I've been making a similar dip for years, so I didn't follow the book's recipe so exactly. Instead of baking in the oven I put in it my mini crockpot so it would stay hot. It was great! My grain eating guests could put it on crackers/chips and I could put it on celery/cucumber sticks. I skipped the 1/3 Olive Oil, mayo and sour cream and used cream cheese instead. I also sprinkled with mozzarella.
Modified Artichoke Dip pg. 121
Mom quit the Fast Track (she lasted about 3 weeks), She found it too hard to combine with WW where she was already a Lifetime Member and she didn't want to "lie" at her weekly meetings ;-) She won't deny that she suffers from Dieters ADD. But she keeps making foods from the book! Here is her version of Christy's Creamy Guacamole on pg. 141. She added some tomato and ate it with celery sticks.
Guacamole pg. 141
Esther is a reader who has become a good friend. She is in maintenance and also doing the Fast Track. She said she has been enjoying the Itty Bitty Nutty Pie from pg. 153 of the book. Almond Butter and Whipped Cream, super simple!
Itty Bitty Nutty Pie pg. 153

I've been wanting to make the Zucchini Cheese Fries for a long time. They were great, I made them on the grill instead of in the oven. Just because I was already making dinner there and had it heated up. I saw a recipe very similar with cheese coated Asparagus and will be trying that too! I had these with the Jerk Salmon from Make it Paleo (LOVE that book!)

Zucchini Cheese Fries pg. 147

There are a few soups in the book, perfect for Fall. I've heard the clam chowder is very good. I have a recipe for Cauliflower Soup which I thought tasted a lot like clam chowder. I buy a version of the Parmesan Crisps from Amazon that are a nice crunchy snack. I made the Ricotta Pancakes ages ago and didn't really like them, but I'm totally in love with my own coconut flour pancakes. And despite not being mentioned in the book, Coconut Flour is just fine on the Fast Track and Belly Fat Cure alike. Just be careful with the portions though, because even though it is low in carbs, they can add up. I've already posted these, but here is my Mom's Chocolate Almond Lace Cookies (2nd batch looked more appetizing than the first she said) and my Black & Blue Burger. We both really like these items too.


 If you make a recipe from the book, send me a photo and tell me how it was! Or just leave a comment!

UPDATE: I forgot to mention I also made the Ham Crusted Quiche and LOVE it. I make them in muffin tins and eat them as cold leftover throughout the week. I have an old post where I made a Fast Track brunch for all my friends when I was on the Rachael Ray Show. Check that out for more ideas!
Ham Crusted Quiche pg. 117