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

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Gary Taubes on Dr. Oz

Did you all see this?! Such a great discussion and so timely. I am halfway through Gary Taubes Why We Get Fat and was looking him up on twitter (@garytaubes, of course) when I discovered he had just been on the Dr. Oz Show. He was billed as "The man who thinks everything Dr. Oz says is wrong" and so the epic battle begins. Why should you care about any of this? Well Jorge Cruise credits Gary's other book Good Calories, Bad Calories as being a driving force behind the Belly Fat Cure and Fast Track. I love to research the "Why?" behind this diet; as reassurance to myself, to better explain it to friends and family, and for my blog readers.

In this corner we have Dr. Oz low-fat diet, exercise loving heart surgeon. American's Doctor, and Oprah's right-hand man. He claims all the proof he needs is evident every time he cuts open a body for surgery and he sees the affects of a high fat diet.

In the other corner is Gary Taubes Science author and refuter of conventional dieting "wisdom". He thinks we have it all wrong, and have been basing our popular diets on bad research and hypothesis.

They appear to disagree on everything when it comes to weight loss, but Oz gives him props and says he even had him come speak to his staff. He credits Gary with pushing the medical community to find the real answers, instead of settling for the status quo. But honestly, here is what I believe. If Dr. Oz was right and calorie counting, low fat diets "work" then my beloved Oprah would not have a weight problem. That simple advice would have kept her thin and in her Size 8s, and not just her but all of us. But it didn't work, not for her and not for so many.

The show closes with Oz saying "reading the book will make you a better and more effective dieter", which was a surprsing way to finish up, give that he seemed to disagree with everything that was said. Or did he...? I think Dr. Oz is really just saying that people can't sustain a very low carb diet for a long period of time.

Gary wrote about the experience on his own blog, and I found that very interesting too.  To summarize the post, he felt a little setup and the food examples were misleading. He doesn't recommend an all animal-based diet. He also quickly goes over the points of his book, mostly about insulin production. (Click HERE for the whole post)

When I finish the book, I'll give it the full review it deserves. But so far, it is changing how I look at so much. If you have ever wondered where the background data for the Belly Fat Cure came from, read this book.

The Exercise Debate

Jimmy Moore also had Taubes on his podcast and Jimmy gives him a chance to say piece without being interupted.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Giving Up Diet Soda

How glad am I that I gave up Diet Soda? So glad! And lately everyone seems to agree with that. Just this week I've read an article on Diet Soda causing strokes and cancer. An article in Time even said the state of California considers one of the ingredients a carcinogen and is considering making soda's having a cancer warning, similar to those on cigarettes. How crazy is that?

Before I started the Belly Fat Cure I drank lots of Coke Zero. People made negative comments to me about artificial sweeteners, but I just ignored it all. I felt like it was my life line, my one saving grace as a dieter. It tasted SO good and without it I'd be drinking the real thing. But thinking back to how strongly I was attached to my diet soda, I see it was a problem. Being that attached to a food isn't good and is a clear sign of addiction. "There is NO WAY I'm giving up diet soda" is a sign you should totally be giving it up.

Then there is a whole debate about Diet Soda actually making us overweight. But I have to say, which came first? The chicken or the egg. Overweight people drink Diet Soda. Skinny folks mostly drink Regular Soda. So does that mean it made us fat? Statistics are so easy to manipulate to get the answer you want.

This is one area I have not cheated in, not even a little bit. I realize that I have a very strong attraction to soda and diet soda, so I don't go near it. I still have some in the extra refridgerator and offer it to guests when appropriate. It has been over a year now, and I feel like it is a huge accomplishment. This interesting article in Elle gives good insight into diet soda and this one from the Huffington Post talks about the addictive qualities of it.

What about you? Did you stop drinking/eating something you really loved for a diet? Do you miss it? Here are some options to soda and diet soda that I have reviewed and liked the best. (To see the full reviews click HERE) None of these use artificial sweeteners or caramel coloring. Also, none of them are cheap, like regular soda. So I have linked to known coupons or specials I could find:

Hint Premium Essence Water, Raspberry-Lime, 16-Ounce Bottles (Pack of 12) Hint Water has an ongoing sale on Amazon for 30% off. Enter the code HINTBEV5 at checkout to get the discount. I really love Hint, I thought all the flavors are great and very light. They come in tons of yummy flavors and are truly a favorite soda alternative for me.

Zevia Natural Diet Soda, Cola, 12-Ounce Cans (Pack of 24)LIKE Zevia on Facebook and you can get a $2.50 coupon to print and use in stores. Zevia is the officially approved soda on the Belly Fat Cure, and I thought it was pretty good. It uses sugar alcohols to sweeten it, so you need to limit the amount you have. They have lots of new flavors that just came out, including Decaf Cola and Grape, along with all their existing flavors.

Steaz Zero Calorie Iced Teaz, Raspberry , 16-Ounce (Pack of 12)Steaz sparkling tea is another great alternative to soda! Their drinks are light, not syrupy sweet and some sugar alcohol to sweeten them. They are just making the switch from clear bottles to cans. Be sure and look for the ones marked "0 Calorie". I couldn't find any current coupons for Steaz but if you buy a case at Whole Foods you can get 10% off.

A really good friend who has also had great success on the BFC turned me on to BlueSky Free. It is a little less expensive than Zevia, and just as good or better in taste. Be sure and choose the FREE flavors, as the others have lots of sugar. I really like these too, but are a little more difficult to find!

SoBe Lifewater 0 Calories, Mango Melon, 20-Ounce Bottles (Pack of 12)Blue Sky Free Cherry Vanilla Cream, 12-Ounce Cans (Pack of 24)Sobe 0 Calorie drinks are also a good option and pretty easy to find. Jorge Cruise mentions them in his book also. Watch Target for sales, they sometimes offer them half off or 10/$10 with a free $10 gift card (so they are free!) If you find them to be too sweet, consider cutting it with water. They are also sweetened with sugar alcohols and come in several really good flavors.

Metromint Water, Goodberrymint, 16.9-Ounce Bottles (Pack of 12)
I really love the cool refreshing taste of MetroMint waters. Ha, that sounds like an ad, but it is really a neat taste. They come in tall thin plastic bottles with minty flavors (I haven't tried all the flavors, but I hear the Cherry Chocolate isnt so good). If you LIKE them on Facebook you get a BOGO (buy one, get one) coupon. Thankfully my corner grocery store carries MetroMint.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Out of My Comfort Zone

This whole experience writing Me & Jorge and the opportunities it has brought me are mostly all out of my comfort zone. I've done, said and written things during this time that I never would have been comfortable with before. Sure, I want to help inform other dieters about a program I really believe in. But it is hard to put yourself out there, open to criticism and critique. I'm pretty shy, but when I'm passionate about something I get really excited and forget about all that.

I just signed up to run something called The Relay, and it is really putting me out of my comfort zone. A team of 12 women will run the coast of California from Calistoga to Santa Cruz in the course of 2 days. You take 3 turns in 8 mile sections and run through the night on an open course. There are no water or aid stations, no blocked off roads. Just you in a reflective vest running until you meet up with your support van and trade with another runner! Oh my gosh, I don't how I am going to do this. I can run 8 miles, pretty slow but I can do it. But then to do it again and again, part of it in the middle of the night after sleeping in a van! I signed up as a challenge and an opportunity to get to know the other women better. At the time I thought I just has to run one leg, and everytime I talk to someone who has done it I hear another agonizing detail. The Husband says I should drop out now, but I'm sticking it out.

I'm getting my kids in on the action too! They have become major little homebodies, thanks to our reduced budget constraints caused by moving to California. Everything here costs an arm, and a leg, more than it did in Colorado. So instead of just signing them up for sports and after school programs, I make sure they REALLY want to do it. The end results is that they don't do as much in the way of organized programs. But for Spring I wanted to change that. First I signed them up for a chess class. My 9 year old has always been pretty good at chess for age, but in classes they put him with older kids and he struggles with that. The chess program for the 6 year old is really fun, with a fun teacher. But big brother doesn't want to go, little brother doesn't want to go. The first day of class I explained they were very hesitant to the instructor, could I maybe get my money back if they hated it. But when I turned around my boys were both looked giddy excitement waiting for class to start. This morning I reminded them that they were to go to chess directly after school and got a "Yea Chess Day!" from the little one.

So I decided to push them a little further. My youngest needs to move more, he has pent up energy that comes out at bedtime and he starts doing flips on his bed or rolling down the hall. My older one, is calmer and quiet, likes to read. He gets embarrassed easily. So I signed them up for Judo Jujitsu. We talked about it and chose from other martial arts programs because it seemed the most useful in real life. But NOTHING prepared us when we walked into class and saw a dozen huge kids full on wrestling, grappling, and basically fighting. I was shocked! My older son's jaw dropped and he got pale, poor thing. But I think it is just what they both needed. The kids were all so nice, and even while "fighting". I talked to teacher and he assured me it was all controlled fighting and they should not get hurt. I think I am going to either A.) really regret this or B.) be forever glad we did this.

I think when we step out of our comfort zone we learn something really useful. Not just a new skill, but something about ourselves and what we are capable of. Have you done something completely out of comfort zone that changed your life?

I might feel different about all this after The Relay, I'll let you know oon May 2nd!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Spreading a Little Belly Fat Cure Blogger Love

I wanted to use this post to link back to several other Belly Fat Cure and diet Blogs. Sadly Jorge doesn't have a good forum for serious dieters to discuss and share their ideas and experiences. These are blogs that I read regularly and have subscribed to with Google Reader. Many of you probably already read these blogs, but if not, then I am thrilled to introduce you to them! More information and different perspectives are always helpful and encouraging.

It's a Cruise to be Thin - Kasey lives in Hawaii and posts some beautiful photos with her BFC blog. She is in her mid-fifties and has a great attitude about life and dieting. She is a long  time reader/commenter here on my blog and I always appreciate her support.

Healthy Me! Doing the Belly Fat Cure - Rosalie is in her 50s and has been on a fantastic BFC journey and lost about 80 lbs this last year! She posts very regularly and has just started making some videos about her journey.

Fat to Fit The BFC Weigh - Diane is in her mid-forties and posts her before/after photos, which are really motivating. Diane started a SparkPeople group for the BFC, too. If you are looking for a place to better track your weightloss and and a nice community to share it with (and blogging isn't your thing), check it out! S

A Moment in Time - Helen is documenting her journey on the BFC and is currently 9 weeks into Jorge Cruise's Fast Track program. As far as I know, that makes her the only FT dedicated blog right now. She is currently half way to her goal! She also posts her food intake regularly.

Losing It With BFC - Sherrie combines some BFC principals with Weight Watchers, which I know a lot of people are doing (that is what my Mom is doing right now too).  She is a great resource if you are doing something similar. She has a great attitude and is celebrating a new low weight!

Bye, Bye Belly - Susan has lost 35lbs so far and is in her mid-forties. She also has a skinny husband, like me! ;-) She was also in the Fast Track class in did in January. Susan is active on twitter too, which I love, but blogs less frequently.

Cat's Belly Fat Cure - Cat is a cancer survivor and brings her knowledge and experience from that to the BFC diet. She has younger kids, like me, and posts photos of her food which we all like to see!

Melt Fat BFC Style - Lindsay is in her 20s, and gives a younger prospective on the BFC. She also writes about her daily menus and eating out on the plan.

Healthy Low Carb Living - Amy Dugan is a author that writes a great blog. She doesn't write BFC specifically, but her posts are really relevant to this eating style. She has been eating a low carb for 10 years, so she certainly knows it's a lifestyle and not just a diet.

I used to have a regular link to other bloggers when I first started. Sadly, one by one they all stopped blogging and I eventually removed the links. It feels like losing a friend when a fellow blogger stops writing, doesn't it? I guess I should add back a link section now, but I thought a post dedicated to these ladies was a good start! I hope all you ladies keep writing! (and I sincerely apologize if I missed someone, feel free to put a link in the comments section if I did!)  If you like what you read, leave these ladies a comment and let them know. Bloggers LOVE comments!

ps. Google Reader is a really easy way to keep track of the blogs you like to read. Click on the FOLLOW button and make sure you are logged into your Google Account. Then to go http://reader.google.com, also logged into your Google Account. Al the blogs you have subscribed to should be there. Here you can organize them by subject matter and make sure you never miss another post! If a blog doesn't have a FOLLOW button, simply paste the URL into ADD A SUBSCRIPTION at the top of Google Reader. It will change the way you read the web!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Steaz 0 Calorie Sparkling Tea on the Belly Fat Cure

Steaz 0 Calorie Sparkling Teas are a great option on the Belly Fat Cure, or any Low Sugar diet plan. I find these drinks really refreshing and light. Just the perfect amount of sweet for me. I prefer the Raspberry and Black Cherry. Of the soda replacements that have helped me kick the old Coke Zero, this is one of my favorites!

Steaz has several different products that are not Belly Good. This one comes in glass bottles with a twist off cap and says "0 Calories". They had a branding change last year and used to say "Diet" on the label, but nolonger. I found mine at Wholefoods and Amazon carries them too, but there seems to be confusion with the rebranding.

I had a friend who accidentally bought the wrong type of Steaz and drank a few for a day for a few weeks. Her weight went up when she changed nothing else, and then discovered one day that she had accidentally picked up the wrong ones. So be careful!

Steaz has a neat website, but annoyingly it does not show the Nutrition Facts correctly. I double checked directly with Steaz and they say the label is correct and says it is 0 grams sugar/9 carb grams for an S/C Value of 0/1 per bottle. They come in real glass bottles with a screw cap, so they aren't perfect for travel. But I love to sneak them into the movie theater!

Steaz has new flavors coming out right now and in a can! Can't wait to try them!


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Recipe: Vegan Cauliflower Soup

I made a great soup recently that fits perfectly in the Belly Fat Cure. I saw the recipe in Huffington Post's Food section which always has great articles that are relevant to a low sugar life style. The recipe looked great as is, but I modified it a bit to make it Vegan (and lower in sugar) and not use any animal products.

The original recipe can be found HERE, but since my Husband is vegan I wanted to make it for us both. I get tired of making a version of things for me and a slightly different version for him. (When I served it I did add smoked salmon on top to mine as the original suggested, which made it perfect!)

Vegan Cauliflower Soup:
  • 1 medium head of cauliflower
  • 6 Cups Water
  • Salt
  • 1 cube Vegetable bullion
  • 1/2 Cup Unsweetened Almond, Soy or Hemp milk
  • 1/2 Cup White Wine
  • 2 cloves garlic peeled & chopped
  • 4oz Smoked Salmon (just for me, Not Vegan)
Directions: Rinse cauliflower and chop into large chunks. Add cauliflower, garlic and pinch of salt to water and boil for up to 10 minutes. Until cauliflower is soft. Remove cauliflower into a blender with a small about of the water and blend until smooth. Keep remaining water, add vegetable bullion and wine, bring to a boil and reduce a small amount. Add smooth cauliflower mixture back to pot with bullion. Add unsweetened milk replacement. Bring to boil and then it is ready to serve.

This was really, really good! So creamy, and tasty. The salmon added just the right amount of salt for me too. I've made it twice now, and the first time and that was the best.

Do you have a soup recipe that fits the Belly Fat Cure? I find the The Skinny Bitch diet books have some really good Low Sugar Vegan recipes. I use it frequently to cook for my Husband.


Monday, March 7, 2011

Me and Jorge's Videos

Jorge Cruise has a treasure trove of videos on YouTube and around the web. Whether you are new to the diet or have been on it awhile and are looking for new recipes and ideas, they are an excellent source of info. Jorge gets some flack for not participating more on his Facebook page. If I were him I'd constantly be linking to his these videos, which he has clearly put a lot of time and effort into.  So, in the spirit of that, I want to dedicate this post to Jorge's YouTube account and all the work he has put into it!

I have put together several playlists of my favorite groupings of videos. You can watch them here on my blog, or follow the link to YouTube and watch the playlist there. My intent is to really point you towards more info on the plan and motivate you if you are feeling stuck.

My very favorite Belly Fat Cure recipes come from a series of videos Jorge filmed in his home. The Taco Plate is a favorite of mine! There are 4 videos here and they really make up the basics on what I what I eat on this plan. (Direct YouTube link BFC Recipes)

This is a series of videos on Food Swaps for the Belly Fat Cure. These are really, really good for a beginner and a basic understanding of what is allowed on the plan. (Direct YouTube link BFC Food Swaps)

This is a YouTube series Jorge refers to as the Belly Fat Cure Challenge. Class #5 if my favorite, so informative! This a great group of videos on the plan. (Direct YouTube link BFC Challenge)

Jorge also has a 22 short videos in a series called Ask Jorge. It is all Belly Fat Cure related and supposed to answer basic questions asked on the diet. At least I think that was the intent, as they never really promoted these videos or used them anywhere. Regardless, you will be singing "Ask Jorge, hey! hey!" when you are done watching this! (Direct YouTube link Ask Jorge)

I made a few videos for the Belly Fat Cure too early last year and thought I would link to them too! If you would like to use the S/C Tracker I made in the last video you can get it HERE. (Direct YouTube link Me & Jorge BFC Videos)

Did you have a favorite or were you overwhelmed with so much information?!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

What I Eat on the Belly Fat Cure

I get asked all the time "What do you eat on the Belly Fat Cure?". I decided I would do a photo diary for a week. Add a pot of Vanilla tea and a few squares of Dark Chocolate, and this is my day!

What did you eat today?