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

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Guest Post: I Get by with a Little Help from my Friends

Hello Everyone. I am a guest writer today for Amber who is on vacation. Can I just take a minute to say how much her blog and personal tweets and comments have meant to me, as I go along on this journey of weight loss and ultimately better health. There is a wealth of information on her site and some of the other blogger sites that we all follow. I encourage you to check them out and check in often. Leave a comment, get involved and be known. You won't regret it, no matter what point you are in your weight loss efforts. I am honored that she asked me to be a guest writer.

Let's face it, we all need support on this journey. The Belly Fat Cure is easy to follow, and it works if you work at it. But there are times that are tough, times that we don't lose and times that we just plain screw up and eat what we shouldn't. These are the critical moments that you need to check in with someone. Blogs from real people who have followed the plan and lost weight, can offer critical support and advice. These are the people who have made mistakes, figured things out and succeeded. You will get valuable input and ideas. I try to check in with my fellow bloggers at least a few times a week, if not daily. I'm a beginning blogger, but blogging really helps me get me thoughts out and get feedback from others.

Social media sites like Facebook also have Belly Fat Cure pages that are chock full of advice, recipes and insight from others following the plan. I have found in my moments of distress, these cyber friends have been critical in giving me an encouraging word, or pat on the back on the back. I feel connected to them, and while I am ultimately trying to lose weight for myself, I find I want to get that pat on the back, or encouraging word from them too. Checking in makes me accountable. It will make you accountable too, and I really believe it will make all the difference in your success

Most importantly, when I screw up, and that seems to happen more often than I would like, they all give me a pep talk and I get right back on track. That may make all the difference this time as I try to reach my goal. I don't beat myself up so much and realize this is a journey with ups and downs. Journey is the key word here. You will have ups and downs, good days and bad, but it's a process. It's our lifelong process! You either keep on the path or go back to where you were. No one wants to pick the latter choice. When I'm down, I check in with my friends, and before you know it, my mood has changed and I'm back on track. I try not to let one bad day snowball into a bad week or a bad month.

So whatever point you are on this journey, I encourage you to find someone to connect with, either through a blog, facebook or someone in your life. Make sure it's a person who lifts you up and encourages you onward towards your goal. Someone who has good intentions and wishes you the best. I am sure you will see what a difference this can make. We all need a little help from our friends!

Thought for the day: "Walking with a friend in the dark is better than walking alone in the light.” - Helen Keller

My Mom, Harriet, and Me. She is one of my biggest supporters!
You can reader Patties blog HERE.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Sugar: The Bitter Truth

I am on vacation this week visiting family in Oklahoma. I wanted to re-share this video from Dr. Robert Lustig called Sugar: The Bitter Truth. Jorge Cruise introduced me to this video in my Belly Fat Cure class back in 2009 and it really opened my mind. It is 90 minutes long, but there are so many great revelations in here that is worth a listen.

My weight is doing great and holding steady, even down a little bit right now. I do not go off the diet on vacation or have desserts that are not on the plan. The first day there I'm going to head out and pick up heavy cream for my coffee and 85% dark chocolate for the evenings when others are having dessert.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Coffee on the Belly Fat Cure: Black with Cream

I love my morning coffee. I mean, I really love it. I like to sit and drink it mornings and kind of get my bearings. Before starting Jorge Cruise's Belly Fat Cure I had two different types of coffee: Star Bucks Vanilla Latte or homemade coffee with CoffeeMate flavored creamers

I still remember discovering for the first time that artificial sweeteners were not allowed on the BFC. My first thought were my Coke Zeros, and I even think about what was in my CoffeeMate. I usually bought the Sugar Free variety and didn't even want to think about what was in it. I gave up the diet soda right away, on day one of the diet. But I had a large container of CoffeeMate and kept using it until it was empty. When I went shopping the next time and did my new label checking thing, I was SO disappointed that I couldn't find a good alternative for sweetening my coffee.

So now I have my coffee with heavy cream. I tried half & half, but I don't like it as much. I wish I did though, as it is much less expensive and I can buy it in larger containers at most stores. At Starbucks I order a Bold Brew of the Day or an Americano (ask for "Room for Cream"), and add half & half myself (Starbucks doesn't offer heavy cream). If you don't ask for "Room for Cream" you end up dumping coffee in the trash can, as the cup will be too full to add the half & half. I personally do not use any sweeteners in my coffee, I just weaned myself from it, even though I clearly liked a very sweet coffee before the BFC. I hear of people adding up to 3 packets of a stevia sweetener to a cup of coffee, and that can really add up. I recommend limiting yourself on the sweeteners as much as possible for things you eat regularly.

How do you drink your coffee on the Belly Fat Cure?

Amazon also has several flavored Stevia products that mimic the flavors found in CoffeeMate. They are very reasonably priced too. You can check them out HERE. I have tried several of them and they are good, but I haven't used them past the initial taste test. 

Monday, July 25, 2011

Zevia Winners

And the winner is...
 Comment #20 which is Dawn who blogs about her Belly Fat Cure experience at Dawn's Daily Chocolate. I have to say, I'm thrilled she won! Check out her blog for some new ideas. And it just so happens she also send me a photo of herself with a Dr. Zevia (one of my favs too!) 

The beautiful Barbara who blogs at Reawakened Instincts is my Runner Up with 1 six pack. 

Congrats ladies! Email me HERE and I will send out the coupons. Thank you to Zevia for providing the goods on this giveaway!

I actually have a few more giveaways to fun at the end of summer, but for now I'm about to head out of town to visit family. I'm taking a box of Uncle Sam's cereal, a supply of Benefiber, Sun Crystals and True Lemon packets with me to make sure I stay on track!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Zevia Soda Giveaway

Recently I won a Facebook photo contest sponsored by Zevia. The funny thing is, I never win anything, so I was EXTRA thrilled when the folks at Zevia offered to host a mini-giveaway here for my readers!! Woohoo!

We love Zevia in my house and my boys refer to it as "Z" (Mom, can I have a little "Z"?) Their favorite is the Ginger Root Beer, but they are fascinated with Dr. Zevia too. I prefer the Grape, Black Cherry or the newer Cola. They also have Orange, Ginger Ale, Decaf Cola, Cream Soda, Lemon Line Twist, Grapefruit Citus and Mountain Zevia (like Mountain Dew).

Why is Zevia okay on the Belly Fat Cure and regular soda is not? I have banned all traditional soft drinks from our house, as they are either too high in sugar or are filled with artificial sweeteners. Zevia is sweetened with stevia and erythritol, which are considered to be natural, plant derived sweeteners. Zevia is considered to be "All Natural".

What you get:
1st Prize: 3 Six Packs of Zevia 
Runner Up: 1 Six of Zevia

The prizes are in coupon form, so you will need to have a local source for Zevia. Keep that in mind when entering!

How to Enter:
1. Leave a comment and tell me your favorite flavor, what you are looking forward to trying
2. Follow me on twitter (@meandjorge) and tweet about the giveaway with a link back to here
3. Follow @zevia on twitter, also with a link back to here
4. Blog about the giveaway, if you have your own blog
5. Email me a photo with you and a Zevia! I'll post them all here with the winner. 

Important: Leave a separate comment here for each entry point! US Entries Only Please. Winner will be chosen on Monday morning July 25, 2011 via random.org.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Sugar Free Simple Syrup, Twitter and an Old Song

One thinkg I miss on Jorge's BFC? A nice cocktail. I've noticed many recipes, especially for drinks and cocktails, call for simple syrup. Simple syrup is basically another name for Sugar Water. I recently participated in a Twitter Party #sweetandskinny hosted by Truvia where they linked up to Simple Syrup recipe that fits the Belly Fat Cure. If you aren't on twitter, these are events where you chat with similar minded folks by using a hashtag (#sweetandskinny in this example). It is a great way to find other tweeters with the same interests as you, and it is one of my favorite things about twitter. Okay, enough of my twitter sales pitch...

Simple Syrup (reprinted from Truvia's site)

In a blender, add:
1/3 Cup + 1 1/2 Tbsp Truvia® natural sweetener spoonable*
1 cup hot water
* or 24 packets Truvia® natural sweetener

1.Blend for 30 seconds, pour into a store-n-pour, add:
1 full-circumference twist of lemon
1 full-circumference twist of lime
1 full-circumference twist of orange

2.Cap and refrigerate overnight.

The revised citrus syrup will work well to use as normally used in bar recipes. For this recipe, Truvia® Natural Sweetener version contains 0 calories, 8 g carb, 0 g sugar, 8 g erythritol per 1 fl oz serving (30 g) compared to a sugar control which has 50 calories, 14 g carb, 14 g sugar.

So what do you do with Simple Syrup? You make wonderful creative cocktails with it! Martinis, Frozen Daiquiris and Pina Coladas.  Truvia's site has several beautiful low sugar cocktail recipes and most list the sugar/carb content. But I noticed on those where the sugar is higher, they just don't list it at all. But you're "sugar smart" and will be able to spot the culprits right away.

And I CANNOT say the words Pina Colada without singing this song!

One more twitter pitch... if you are frustrated with not getting answers from Jorge on Facebook, he has recently started using twitter again. There isn't as much "noise" there and so you have a really good chance of interacting with him there. But remember, you have to be nice. I see so many people being rude on twitter (and Facebook for that matter). You talk to people on Social Networking sites the exact same as you would in person and rudeness is almost always ignored on these sites. Just something to keep in mind, although my readers are absolutely the nicest, most polite bunch of social folks EVER!

Cheers to #twitter, #pinacoladas, #lowsugar, #bellyfatcure and #gettincaughtintherain!


Winner! Nuun Electrolyte Tablets

The winner of the Nuun Electrolyte Tablets giveaway is:

The very sweaty and always thirsty FuzzyHalo was entry number 12 and I have contacted her via twitter! Enjoy!!

Thanks so much to everyone who entered this giveaway! I love to share my new diet finds with my readers and giveaways are such a fun way to do that! This is such a great product and I would like to thank the folks at Nuun for providing me with the products to do this! You can visit their site HERE.

 If you are new to my blog and low sugar dieting, I hope you stick around, say "Hey!" and leave a comment every now and then. 

Friday, July 15, 2011

Clemmy's O's Classic

The lovely Kay over at BFC And Soon To Be Little Ole Me made a super Belly Fat Cure food discovery and agreed to write a short review for us! I haven't tried these little treats, in fact I haven't even seen them in stores. So I am very thankful to Kay for sharing!

Amber kindly asked me to give a review on the Clemmy O's that I was able to find at our local Grocery/health food store. They are AWESOME!!! They have vanilla bean ice cream inside and a dark chocolate coating. They are 0 sugars and 22 carbs. They do have sugar alcohols which I found upset my tummy a little when I ate a whole one. Last night I easily cut one in 1/2 and it was plenty to satisfy my sweet tooth. They are a little spendy at 6 for 6.99, but I guess some ice cream bars are about that price too. I will definitely be buying them again.

Water, Sugar Free Chocolate Shell (Maltitol*, Chocolate Liquor Processed with Alkali, Coconut Oil, Cocoa Butter, Cocoa Processed with Alkali, Soy Lecithin, Vanilla), Cream, Xylitol*, Maltitol Syrup, Fibersol 2, Vanilla Extract With Spek, Stabilizer, Salt.
Contains: Dairy
Allergens: Soy, Coconut Oil

Please don't forget to enter the Nuun Electrolyte giveaway! If you run, cycle, crossfit, workout or just move your body in any way you should give them a try.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Nuun Electrolyte Giveaway


The awesome folks over at Nuun have setup a sweet (without the sugar) giveaway for my readers! This is a great chance to try their electrolyte tablets for free!  After much research, I found that they are one of only a few exercise products that do not contain artificial sweeteners or sugar. And while you would think that runners and other athletes wouldn't need to worry about their sugar intake, that just isn't true. Nuun is perfect for diabetics, Belly Fat Cure, Atkins and Paleo dieters, or anyone watching their sugar intake.

Full review of Nuun Electrolyte Tablets HERE.

The giveaway includes the following:
* Four Pack mixed flavor of Nuun tablets with the follow flavors: 
grape, fruit punch, strawberry lemonade, tropical 
* Nuun Sun Visor
* 21 oz Water bottle

5 Ways to WIN!
To enter the giveaway:
1. Leave a comment here, tell me why you would like to try Nuun!
2. Follow my blog (Top right corner)
3.  Follow me on Twitter and send a tweet about the giveaway! (@meandjorge)
4. Follow nuun on Twitter (@ministryofnuun)
5. Blog about this giveaway - leave me a comment to let me know with a link

(For options 2-5 leave me an additional comments to let me know, with your twitter name or blog link)

Entries will be chosen by Random.org Monday morning July 18th a 9am! Good luck!

Monday, July 11, 2011

NUUN Electrolyte Tabs

One of the first things I noticed when I started serious running, was that there are no low sugar supplements or sports drinks. They are mostly loaded with:

A.) SUGAR or 

Even while training for my half marathon, I found I still had to keep my sugar intake low or I'd gain weight. Yet I needed to a supplement during long runs. I could actually FEEL that my muscles and body needed better fueling and hydration. I found that telling (the usually very helpful) guy at the running shop I was on a low sugar/low carb diet was a big mistake (runners apparently aren't into Low Carbing!). So I learned to say "I eat a low sugar, diabetic type diet and artificial sweeteners upset my stomach". Nobody argued with that and they were actually super helpful!

Nuun tabs were the product I finally settled on. They come in tons of flavors, taste good and they actually work! I am a water hound and have to plan my runs along a route that has water fountains, or carry water which I hate to do. The first time I tried Nuun, I had a full glass of water with one tablet before my run. And to my surprise when I got to the water fountain (mile 2.5) I didn't even need to stop! Second fountain (mile 5) I just took a sip and splashed my face. Usually I gulp, splash and gulp some more... much to the annoyance of my running buddies, I'm sure, who never partake in my water fountain obsession.

Nuun comes in 11 different flavors: Kona Colada, Tri-Berry, Grape, Banana, Citrus, Orange, Tropical, Lemon Tea, Strawberry Lemonaide and Fruit Punch. I haven't tried them all yet, but so far I prefer the Tri-Berry and Strawberry Lemonaide.

Nuun electrolyte tablets contain 0 grams of sugar and >1 gram of carbohydrates, which on the Belly Fat Cure is an S/C Value of 0/0. It does contain Sorbitol, which is considered a natural sweetener and a sugar alcohol. I'm also pretty convinced that Runner's Diarrhea is a result of runners using tabs, bars and gels that have sugar alcohols in them. So runners, watch out for Malitol (and things that end in -tol) on the ingredients list of you suppliments! But the amount of Sorbitol in Nuun did not upset my stomach.

Nuun's U Hydration line has 0 grams of sugar and 1.2 grams of carbohydrate. It has no artificial anything and no sugar alcohols and is loaded with vitamins too. U Hydration comes goji berry green tea, tangerine ginger, and cucumber mint.

Nuun products can be found a sports equipment (REI, Sports Authority) and running stores. Check their retail locator HERE. Check back on Tuesday for a Giveaway of Nuun Electrolyte Tablets!

Disclaimer: While I found, researched and purchased this project on my own, the folks at Nuun provided me with additional samples to aid in this review.

Friday, July 8, 2011

To a Cake-Free Birthday (and Bikinis)!

I celebrated a birthday this week, and this is the second year I have forgone the birthday cake. And lookie there, I survived! So here is to cake-free birthdays! The night before the kids took me out to dinner at Maggiannos. I got the Chicken Ramano and substituted the pasta it came with for Broccolini and shared a beer with the Husband. I did sneak a few bits of the bread, but not even half a piece. The next day the kids woke me up with a spa appointment (my favorite thing!), a babysitter for half the day (my other favorite thing!) and a new temperature station (I NEED to know the weather outside BEFORE I got outside. The Husband thinks this is weird, yet still bought me a new one). Then the Husband and I spent an evening in Palo Alto on University Ave just across from Stanford. We had dinner at a Cajun restaurant (where I ordered my first cocktail in maybe a year, and hated it) and then had a French Press of decaf with cream at another place. It was so beautiful and relaxed, a really nice evening.

I am determined to concentrate on the positive and let go of the negative. I have "Worry Wart" stamped on my forehead, it is that obvious if you know me. But I see that reflected in my oldest son, and see now how pointless it is. Author Eckhart Tolle really helped me see this in myself and I'm working on it. It is getting easier with age though. But I do have worries, stuff going on that I dont' want to air out on the world wide interwebs. Some of it I have no control over, it is just this economy and we need to make the best of it. Other things I do have control over, but I'm fearful of the solutions (I need to get over that). But they are all things I can live with, and I'm learning to be okay with all that!

So anyways, this is Amber at 42. I'm figuring stuff out and learning to like myself. I'm learning to solve my problems and live with the solutions and decisions I make. You might look at my before/after here and be disgusted. I am scared, to tears nearly, to post these photos, both of them. I'm not pretending to be perfect, or done. I am a work in progress. I'm not going to point out the spots that really need some work, or mention I only wear this suit in my backyard with only immediate family. But I'm posting it for a few people who might be motivated by my journey. For a few people out there, who think it's not possible to change their lives or their bodies. Because it is possible. Because I did it. And I survived.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Belly Fat Cure Low Sugar Popsicles

It is super hot in North Cali this summer and my boys are all over popsicles for an afternoon treat. And again, just like with pudding, there is not a single popsicle product on the market that fits the Belly Fat Cure! The good news? Popsicles are soooo easy to make, especially if you already obsessed with finding drinks that fit the plan.

Last summer I became obsessed with BFC Popsicles too, but focused more on ones made from Jay Robb protein powder, yogurt with a little fruit and Sobe.  This summer I've gotten more creative! Apparently Adult (i.e. alcoholic) Popsicles are all the rave too. So you could add vodka or rum, which Jorge Cruise says are sugar free, to these instead of water.

Each recipe makes about 4 popsicles with my mold. These are pretty much 0 sugar, 0 carbs unless otherwise stated. These are the ones I have made and loved, but can get the gist and make a million combinations!

Orange Creamsicles - These were so good, and I'm not even a big fan of orange. I added a sweetener because my kids were sharing them with me, and I wanted to them love them instead of make faces at me :p

1 sweetener packet (I use Sun Crystals)
2 TrueLemon Orange packets
1 Cup Water
1/3 Cup Heavy Cream

I mixed mine together in my (broken) blender and then filled the popsicle molds. I check on them at about 30 minutes and they cream was separating from the water so I gave them each a good shake and left them for another hour or more. If you don't TrueLemon Orange, you could use Orange Zevia for a slightly higher carb count.

Root Beer Float Popsicles:
1 Cup (flat) Zevia, Blue Sky or Virgil's Diet Root Beer
1/3 Heavy Cream

If you use a can of soda that has been opened for a bit it will have less bubbles, and less chance it will make a mess in your freezer (a little flat is better for this project). You can mix these together for an allover creamy taste or let them seperate and freeze them in layers. The sodas should be sweet enough, no need to add addition sweetener. You sugar/carb count depends on the soda used.

Peaches and Cream:
1 Peach tea bag
1 Cup water
1/3 Heavy Cream
Stevia Sweetener - 1 packet

My all time favorite iced tea is Republic of Teas Ginger Peach, but any brand will do. Brew it up as you would to make normal tea and let cool. Add to blender with cream and stevia sweetener and blend. You can do the same thing with any other fruity type teas! A Strawberry cream made with one of the Sobe 0 Calorie Lifewaters sounds good too, instead of the tea, but would have a little higher sugar carb value. You could also use a very small pureed peach, which has 7 grams of sugar, but divided among the pops would be okay.

Cucumber Mint Popsicles
1 cup water
1/2 half small cucumber - peeled and seeded
Fresh Mint - finely chopped
Juice from 1 lemon (or a lime will work too!)
Stevia Sweetener - 1 packet

This one is really fresh and light. I have a mint plant, so I used that. But you could also use a mint tea (brewed just like it is for actual tea, then cooled) too. In that case use the mint tea, instead of the water. Either way, throw it all in the blender and add to molds. The popsicles in the photo are mint tea with about 7 blueberries blended in a blender.

I've also seen a recipe called Spicy Italian, that has marscapone cheese, walnuts, strawberries, balsamic vinegar, coconut flakes and a dash of pepper. It is from the book Ice Pop Joy and sounds AMAZING! Or maybe I've just gone popsicle crazy...

Sunday, July 3, 2011

So Delicious Coconut Milk Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

I recently discovered So Delicious has a No Sugar Added ice cream line carried at Whole Foods and have been so excited to try these new products. I reviewed their No Sugar Added Mini Ice Cream Bars, now that that box is empty I was ready to try the next one!

I broke open a pint and shared the So Delicious Coconut Milk No Sugar Added Vanilla Bean with the Husband this weekend. His first reaction was "Yumm, coconut. What's in this stuff?" My reaction was just "yummmmm". It also comes in Chocolate Chip, Mint Chip, Toasted Almond Chip and Butter Pecan. Because they are made with unsweetened coconut milk and cream, they all have an overt coconut flavor, along with their other flavors. To find local availability of So Delicious products, check their website store finder HERE. Be sure and check the label and choose their "No Sugar Added" line of products, as they have many others with lots of sugar.

It is dairy and soy free, and thus a vegan product. It has 18 carb, 3 grams of which are sugar alcohols and 1 gram of sugar for an S/C Value of 1/1 per 1/2 cup. It also has an astounding 10 grams of fiber (how?!) Each container has 4 servings.

I love these new ice creams, much more than Clemmy's. Mainly because Clemmy's is made with Maltitol, which upsets my stomach. So Delicious ice creams are sweetened with erythritol, another sugar alcohol which is much easier on the stomach for most people. If it has a fault, it is the strong coconut flavor. I think it was delicious though! I will be enjoying these as a very occasional snack, maybe for my upcoming birthday instead of cake.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Recipe: Low Sugar Coconut Limeade

I am always on the lookout for fun drinks to replace my old diet soda habit (so long Coke Zero). But it can be really hard to find those that are low enough in sugar and don't have artificial sweeteners. 

Recipe for Low Sugar Coconut Limeade :
1 Cup Water
True Lime packets (2)
1/2 Can Coconut Milk (check label for a 0 or very low sugar brand)
Mint leaves to garnish

Then put the lime in the coconut and mix it all up! Put the lime coconut and drink it all up!

If you do not have True Lime, you could use actual real limes or other no sugar lime products like Stevita Lime packets. My blender is on the fritz and only does one speed now (= SUPER FAST) thanks to all the Jay Robb shakes I've made! So I'm in the market for a new one now.

Apparently even the Coconut Rums have no sugar (HOW is this possible?) and you could substitute the coconut milk with the alcohol for an Adult Version of this drink. I'm not a huge drinker (anymore) so I haven't tried it myself, but I hear it is awesome.

I originally saw a full sugar version of this recipe posted at She Wears Many Hats and knew I had to convert it for the Belly Fat Cure! Further proof that you can convert almost any recipe to low sugar and the BFC plan with a few good products and ideas. I do have to say, the Vegan Husband, who I thought would love this, did not like it at all. He is a contrarian though, and I'm chalking it up to that.

UPDATE: The S/C Value for this drink is 0/0, 0 grams of sugar and 2 grams of carbohydrates. That really depends on the coconut water you choose. I found mine a the big chain grocery, but Amazon carries it too (see below). Thanks @2busy for pointing out I forgot this!