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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.