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

Thursday, April 28, 2011

The California Relay

This is a big weekend, I will be doing the California Relay! I have been really nervous about this and regretted agreeing to it. I didn't understand what I had signed up for in the beginning. I did it just to get know other women at my son's school.

It goes 199 miles from Calistoga to Santa Cruz, 12 women riding in two vans, divided into 36 legs. I am doing Legs 11, 23, 31. We run through the night (eek!) and sleep in the van during downtown. There is no course support, no roads blocked off. We just run on the shoulder and sidewalks.

I can run and a few months ago I did my first half marathon. BUT I haven't really been able to run since then. First I was really sore from the Half, then I thought I'd take a break, then I got sick and had a sinus infection. And then we went to Hawaii vacation. (I even brought my running shoes and went out one day). Excuses, excuses, I know. But here I am with a van full of women expecting me to run 18 miles in 36 hours, and at a reasonable pace.

The other women are "real runners", unlike myself. But they have been really nice and tell me not to worry. I am totally out of my comfort zone on this, but that is how we grow and learn about ourselves... right? Anyways I've stocked up pepper spray, headlamp, reflective tape and a water belt. Antibiotics cured my sinus infection, and it turns out that I have really bad allergies this year. So I''m trying to find the best antihistamine and take care of myself! I only have a few more weeks where I can run, then it gets too hot out and my kids are out of school for the summer and I won't have the time.

The Relay supports Organs R Us, a charity that helps families awaiting organ donation. If you are interested in sponsoring my team, click HERE.

On another note, on vacation it became very clear to me I have added back a few pounds. Bathing suits are so unforgiving. I weighed yesterday for the first time in months, and yep, I was up a whopping 9.5 lbs. Part of it was vacation constipation (that always happens to me!) but the rest was Valentines, Easter and kids sweets that have been around the house. So I'm going to use the month of May to tackles these pounds and not let them get the best of me! Several of my twitter friends and family members have already committed to joining me in a May Weight Loss Challenge. I hope my readers will join in too! It will be fun to do it with others! So think about that this weekend, and if I live through the Relay I'll write more about it on Monday.

UPDATE: This turned out to be SO freaking fun! I had the best time with the women in my van and the other teams. We were all over 40 and there were very few other women our age out there, so that felt great. And I did it! I survived and I did it! My first leg was really difficult, and big hill in Petaluma and then I fell on the night run and scratched up my leg (battle scar!). But I truly loved this! I feel lucky, proud and extremely sore. On, and tired too...

Thanks so much to my readers who donated to this import cause too! I really appreciate you all!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Crackers on a Low Carb Diet

Crackers on a low carb diet? Awesome, right?! I think so. I don't really think of the Belly Fat Cure as low carb, because we are allowed up to 120 grams of carbs a day. I have found that the right crackers are a good source for fiber, and I often use them for lunch instead of bread. Choose the right ones and they are also great for parties and snacks. I find them at Whole Foods, Sprouts, health food stores and a few in my neighborhood grocery.

I also find that cracker also travel better than bread. For some reason, I never get enough fiber when I travel and am instantly constipated. If I pack these in my carry on or front seat of the car, I know I am getting my fiber.

Here are a few the crackers I use most often. I use them with the following foods to make good, hearty meal: Hummus, lunch meat like turkey, ham, roast beef layered with cheese, egg salad, tuna salad, peanut butter, cottage cheese, cream cheese.

Mary's Gone Crackers are made from seeds and are grain free. Recently I found them at Costco in bulk and I love to served them at get togethers with friends!

Ak-Mak Sesame Crackers, 4.15-Ounce Boxes (Pack of 12)
Ak-mok 100% Whole Wheat stone ground sesame crackers are also a good choice. They are thinner and larger than the other crackers on the list, and tastier. They have .6 grams of Sugar and 20 grams of Carbohydrates for an S/C Value is 1/1 and 4 grams of Fiber for 5 crackers. That's pretty good!

GG Scandinavian Bran Crispbread, 3.5-Ounce Packages (Pack of 5) GG Scandinavian Crispbread crackers are the juggernaut of high fiber/low carb crackers. They deliver more bang for the buck than any other. I did a complete review of them HERE. The only downside is that I cannot find them in local stores, and have to order them off of Amazon. They are a product of Norway, and the nutrition label can be confusing. You can have 2 crackers with 0 grams of sugar, 14 grams of carbs and 10 (YES 10!) grams of fiber. That gives it an S/C Value of 0/1 for 2 crackers and unbeatable amount of fiber.

Ry-Krisp Natural , 8 Ounce Boxes (Pack of 12)Ry Krisp Naturals are also a good choice and are a lot like GG Crispbreads. Forewarning is that they are dry and flavorless. Pack them up with some good protein and you won't notice! You can have 3 crackers with 0 grams of sugar, 16 grams of carbohydrates and 4.5 grams of fiber. That gives it an S/C Value of 0/1.

FiberRich crackers are very similar to GG Crispbreads, but I can find them locally. They seem to be the same size and texture (very dry!) with just slightly different nutritional values. Like the GG's I really like these, but I know they aren't for everyone. They are a product of Norway and its a little difficult to figure out the nutritional values, but here goes: 3 crackers have 1 gram of sugar, 18 grams of carbs and 7 grams of fiber for an S/C Value of 1/1.

Wasa Crispbread, Fiber, 8.1-Ounce Boxes (Pack of 12)Wasa crackers are really easy to find, most grocery stores carry them. There are many varieties which are all fine, but the Wasa Fiber is the best for the BFC. The Fiber variety are a little harder to locate though. They are nice big crackers and I use them a lot instead of bread. Recently on vacation I found Wasa Fiber at Safeway and it was a trip saver! With 0 grams of sugar, 7 grams of carbs and 2 grams of fiber per cracker for an S/C Value of 0/1. So go ahead, load them up with protein and have a few!

Tanya Zuckerbrot's book The F Factor Diet is a great source for finding high fiber products. I've found it to be a good compliment book to the Belly Fat Cure. For more information on how to count carb servings and what an S/C Value stands for see this POST HERE.


Friday, April 15, 2011

Reader Profile: Rosalie Haggins

Did you all see Jorge Cruise is asking for dieter profiles last week, to appear on Oprah with him? Very exciting, and since I had my turn on a show with him I have my own opinion on who he should take! I vote for Anthony D'Amato and Rosalie Haggins! (He should totally let us vote, right?)

I interviewed Anthony awhile back (he has lost more than 150 lbs) and this week I wanted to do a Q&A with Rosalie. She has lost 83lbs and been on the Belly Fat Cure for over year. 

Rosalie is in her 50s, and I have found with dieters that this an important age, where you body responds differently to diets. She and I have a lot in common, diet wise, and I think we implemented the plan very similarly in our lives. I hope you learn something new here with my Q&A and I bet she will motivate you!

(Me) Tell us a little about yourself, age, height starting and end weight, sizes, etc.
(Rosalie) I am 52 years old, 5' 6 & 1/2" tall, starting weight was 238lbs, starting size a very tight 18 & 20's, XL, 1X, & 2X tops I am now 155lbs, wear a size medium top and size 8-10 pants depending on the material.

(Me) Have you always struggled with your weight, or did your gain it during a certain time in life?
(Rosalie) I remember being a size 14 way over 20 years ago.  I started gaining weight after the split up of my marriage. It was a very traumatic time in my life and my Ex tried everything he could to try to ruin my life. That did not stop until the kids turned 18.  

I remember being in Target a long, long time ago and even size 16 didn't fit and I just cried and cried right here in the store. Well anyway - it just went down hill from there with my weight and before I knew it - I was size 18-20.

(Me) Did you have a tipping point, or something that clicked, that made this be right time to begin a new diet?
(Rosalie) Not really. I got to the point in my life where I just accepted myself the way I was no matter what size I wore. My husband saw something on TV about Jorge and the Belly Fat Cure book. Although he loved me the was I was - for some reason he thought it was a good fit just for me.

(Me) Do you have a favorite product or food on the plan?  
(Rosalie) I love... cheese and eggs, and I love that I get to eat them every day. And I love to make pita pizzas, I eat them for breakfast and lunch all the time. And Shirataki noodles. they have 0 sugar, 0 carbs, and 0 calories. Awesome!!

(Me) What is your favorite meal, one you have frequently?
(Rosalie) My favorite meal of the day is Breakfast!! I love to eat a good healthy breakfast of toast, eggs, avocado, turkey bacon, and blackberries. and of course coffee.

(Me) What type of exercise do you do? 
(Rosalie) It's funny that people ask me that all the time and are shocked when I say none. I just walk every day fast with my 2 dogs anywhere from 1-3.5 miles depending on my mood. I love to walk! 

(Me) Do you follow the book and recipes from it, or just do meals that follow the S/C Value rules? 
(Rosalie) I have never really followed the recipes in the book, but I read through all of them several times and used all the ideas from the book to do my own thing. 

(Me) What is the toughest part of the day, eating wise, and how do you deal with it? 
(Rosalie) That used to be the evening. For the first 2 months on the BFC, I sat and held my stomach telling my hubby "I'm HUNGRY" !!! I read in Jorge's book that if you want to accelerate you weight loss to stop eating your carbs after 3pm and not to eat past 7pm, and that's what I did, right from the first 2 weeks on the BFC. It took about those 2 months until my body got used to eating this way. Now I know not to let myself ever get hungry!!!! I mean - to eat all my meals on time and not skip or go off my schedule too much. 

(Me) I remember you had a weight that you got stuck at for awhile, which seems to happen to most of us. How did you overcome it? 
I remember telling my hubby many times "I'm not losing any more". But I just kept doing it and tried different things. By not stopping or cheating is what made so successful. Eventually the weight has nowhere to go but off.!! 

(Me) Tell us about your blog and how it has helped or hindered your experience on the plan:
(Rosalie) My blog address is: http://purplerosy.blogspot.com/ I started doing my blog after reading Amber's blog all the time and thought it would help keep me focused to get my thoughts out. It has been a big help to me and many others,  I know now. You get a lot of support by blogging. I have met many, many new BFC friends and we all help keep each other on the right track. 

Here are her fabulous Before and After photos, how great does she look?!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Grocery Shopping List for the Belly Fat Cure

I don't find the Belly Fat Cure diet to be expensive, but then I don't always concentrate on the exact brands mentioned in the book. Finding a few low sugar/carb products that are also high in fiber and void of artificial sweeteners is the #1 key to the plan. Over the last 18 months I have found what really works for me and I wanted make a list of those foods for my blog. This includes all the items I have reviewed here, plus everything else I eat. I wanted something that you could print off and take to the store. Or better, use your smartphone (iphone, android, blackberry) in the store!

(Click HERE to get to the complete list)

It is a Google Docs Spreadsheet, feel free to use it as is. If you want to change it (add columns) or add products (add rows) you will need to save a copy for yourself first. I hope you find the list useful, as a newbie to Jorge Cruise's plan or even a long term BFCer. If I missed an item that should be on the list, leave a comment here and I'll add it!

Quite a while back I made a list of Belly Fat Cure items you could get at Trader Joe's, Wholefood, Costco and Target (you can see that post HERE). I have incorporated all those items here, but they are very store specific. I really don't think we will ever see a BFC App, so this is the next best thing!

You can also scan this QR Code with your phone to bring up and save the list on your phone!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Belly Fat Cure Menu for the Day

Breakfast: I LOVE my coffee! I used to have it with Sugar Free Coffeemate in all kinds of flavors, and that was one of the last artificial sweetener products I gave up. But a little cream in strong coffee is now my favorite. 1/2- 3/4 Cup of Greek or European Yogurt and a handful of berries are perfect too.

Lunch: I need a quick lunch or else I'll just skip it for lack of time. I make these mini crustless quiches and freeze them. These are sausage & cheese with a big salad. I try to have green with most meals, but usually fail miserably at this!

Dinner: Usually I have the pizza as Jorge Cruise suggests in the book, made with Pita Bread or the Smart & Delicious tortillas. But I found this great Lavash bread at Whole Foods and it makes a bigger pizza and I've been having it for awhile. It doesn't have as good a Fiber content, but still fits in the Belly Fat Cure plan is a good change of pace for a while. 

Snack: Hot tea and 2 squares of Dark Chocolate

What is your favorite meal on the Belly Fat Cure? Leave a comment and share with everyone!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Favorite Things with No Sugar

Finding a low sugar snack when you are out and about can be really hard. An old favorite of mine used to be a Vanilla Latte at Star Bucks. Sounds simple and harmless, but turns out that little treat has 46 grams of sugar in it! 

Now days I get I a Vente/Large Iced Tea (usually green tea) Unsweetened. I have a really cute tiny purse that I carry Sun Crystals, True Lemon/Lime and Stevita packets in. At first it was really hard turning my old habit around, but now I have a new habit.

Do you have an old high sugar habit you have converted with your own Belly Fat Cure Carb Swap?