Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Getting Back on the Wagon

Everything was going on just dandy with phase one until Friday. Then with one little cheater meal (pizza) it was a downward spiral and before I knew it, I was eating sandwiches on the most delicious crusty white bread and eating the best soup ever full of potatoes. Sigh. I feel a little guilty that I didn't last all the way to day 14 but it was so worth it for the soup alone!

Now it's all about rebounding from the weekend of cheating and regrouping for this week. I don't want to lose the momentum I had gained over the past couple weeks, eating more vegetables and taking the spotlight off carbs and sugar in my diet. So I'm basically taking a slightly modified approach to another week on phase one. Translation: I'm eating according to phase one principle as much as possible but slipping in the occasional starch, fruit or treat.

I did lose 4lbs over the past couple weeks and I don't want that progress (small though it may be) to backtrack. I wasn't exercising as much as I should have last week either just due to life happening. I know, excuses, excuses. But sometimes that's the way it goes and I'd rather focus on getting back on track than on beating myself up for my failures. Here's to a new week and a better plan of attack. I've got a meal plan for dinner already set up and went shopping yesterday.

Monday - leftover turkey tacos with black beans
Tuesday - grilled chicken caesar salad
Wednesday - baked tilapia with sauteed crookneck squash/zucchini and salad
Thursday - probably takeout from either Panera or Chipotle (both offer good phase 1 options)
Friday - whole wheat spaghetti with turkey meatballs

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Eating South Beach Style

So it's day 5 of our south beach diet and my body is definitely still adjusting. The good news is that my willpower has been strong and I've fought the intense sugar cravings over the past few days. High five to me! I'm hoping it gets easier, but I'm still missing my caramel frappes! Phase one of the SBD meant to re-program your body so it's very strict and luckily short. By eliminating as much sugar as possible, even the healthy sugars found in fruit and whole grains, the idea is that you re-train your system to recognize good vs. bad sugar. And trust me when I say that my body really needed to hit the reset button in that department! Even though I'm pretty sure frappes are frowned upon even in the third and most lenient phase, I intend to reward myself for getting through these two weeks of torture.

from Foodchannel.com

Eating on the SBD is a challenge at times, but it's not as hard as I expected. The most difficult part for us is breakfast. When all starches are off limits, you're pretty much left with eggs, veggies and lean meats if you want to stick to traditional breakfast food. If you're the type who can eat leftover chicken stir-fry for breakfast, then this phase would be a lot easier for you... but I'm not, so eggs are getting old. I've been trying to mix it up as much as possible and I'll admit that having a good dose of protein in the morning is more satisfying than a bagel or toast. We've also been incorporating Egg Beaters into the routine so we're not eating 700 eggs (and all the cholesterol that they contain) every week.

I especially like having meals that don't feel like they're missing something without the carbs. We had turkey taco salads the other night and they were filling, delicious and felt like a normal meal even though we would usually have standard tacos with tortillas. I also made a turkey and bean chili, and apart from missing the yummy cornbread side, it was really good. We topped it with avocado, cheese and sour cream and felt like we were eating a normal dinner. I made a chicken and broccoli stir-fry the other night, which was yummy, but felt lacking without even brown rice. The next time I do a stir-fry I might try serving it over spaghetti squash which is pretty bland and tastes a lot like pasta. Lunches are generally salads with plenty of stuff like chicken, hard-boiled eggs or beans to make them more filling.

Finding some substitutes for foods that are off-limits has helped too. I've been drinking diet coke to kill the soda cravings and for the caffeine. I don't like regular coffee and I don't think I could handle this diet and give up all caffeine as well. It's still limited because I don't really like diet coke so I don't drink that much. I also found that Jello makes an awesome sugar-free pudding called Dulce de Leche that helps me not miss my caramel frappes as much. It's not the same, but it's a decent fix for now. We're a third of the way through phase one and I feel pretty good. My daughter's preschool teacher told me I looked great the other day and asked what I was doing. I think I was just wearing some camouflaging clothes but it was the encouragement I needed to keep going!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Day One

One of the big goals that both the husband and I have for this year is to reclaim our health. That sounds like a lofty goal, but in essence, we just want to make health a priority, and with it eating right and exercising. It's hard. Obviously, it's hard or it wouldn't be the top resolution on so many lists this January. With a busy job, two little ones and lots of different things demanding our time and energy, sometimes taking care of ourselves ends up in last place. Our plan for this year is to change that.

You can see in this earlier post where my weaknesses take hold. But if I ever want to get my body back (and maybe an even better body) then I have to learn not to let those weaknesses take control. Otherwise I'll never lose the squish! The husband and I decided we both could use a detox, but we're not into the whole starvation/lemon juice/cabbage-only situations that people get themselves into this time of year. I can't get through a day chasing my little hooligans on lemonade and maple syrup. If I tried I can only imagine how pleasant and loving I would be with my family! Instead we're doing a sugar/carb detox by means of the good old South Beach Diet. 

The basic idea of the SBD is that you have to first re-train your body to not look to sugar in all its various forms as the source of energy and fuel. The first phase (which we started today) is super restrictive and basically rules out as much sugar as possible. No starches, no fruit, no juice, etc. It's basically lean protein, vegetables, healthy fats and minimal low-fat dairy. It's noon and already I've had to fight the urge to raid the cupboards. This would be so much easier if we didn't have kids who need their healthy whole grains and fruits! Then we could just wipe out all the enemies in our fridge and cabinets. But my little one still needs those things so I have to resist the temptation, which makes it a lot harder. Thank God this phase only lasts two weeks.

To be honest the hardest part of this phase is breakfast because without any starches, you basically have eggs to rely on and that gets old pretty fast. This morning I had sort of a breakfast burrito bowl with egg, a little sausage and avocado. The man souped his up with a little salsa and hot sauce. Lunch was a BLTA salad and was super good and filling. I'm already jonesing for a mountain dew but right now that's more like a mountain don't. Sad day. Luckily caffeine is not on the restricted list so diet soda and coffee (minus all the good stuff) might help me make it through today at least! More to come on how I'm surviving without all the sugary goodness I've been letting myself have.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

12 For 2012

2011 was a big year for our family. BIG. We started the year off with a brand new baby boy, added in preschool for our little girl, and threw in some major (but good) changes in the husband's business right in time for the holidays. I feel like we've been going at break-neck pace for the past couple months and I'm ready for the new year to bring a little restoration to our home and our routine. In honor of the new year, here are some big and not so big resolutions for the next twelve months...

1. Lose the baby belly ~ Both the husband and I are deeming 2012 the year that we reclaim our health. We've let busyness and laziness get in the way of taking care of ourselves as we should and it's time for that to end. Goodbye skinny fat, hello skinny jeans!

2. Get that baby sleeping through the night ~ Ah, the thorn in my side. Lack of sleep is a big contributor to the issue prompting #1 and I blame myself for being a softy on this one. My little ones have both been hard to sleep-train, but I vow to win the war on this one.

3. Break my little one of her computer/tv fixation ~ This one is completely my fault and one of the highest, if not the top priority on my list. It's slowly progressing to a better point but between bed rest and a newborn at the beginning of the year, we've let PBS kids and Dora take up too much time in our house this year. 

4. Remember to floss ~ Pretty sure this one is self-explanatory.

5. Take control of the clutter ~ Like any house with people living in it, ours is prone to the clutter that comes with daily life. Bills, school papers, mail, etc. all seem to find themselves in the wrong place most of the time. Add to that the toys that end up scattered around plus all the random crap that seems to forget where it lives and it can feel pretty chaotic. Time to take back the limited space in our house and use it efficiently.

6. Blog more and blog better ~ The past year was busy and difficult in many ways as I adjusted to having two kiddos and my husband's company became more demanding of his time. I really do enjoy blogging as a creative outlet so I'm hoping to make it more of a priority as much as life allows.

7. Read more ~ I love to read, but at the end of the day sometimes a magazine or home blogs just hold stronger appeal. I miss the feeling of being captivated by a story that is not remotely close to resembling your own life. 

8. Waste less food ~ We made a lot of movement on this in the past year, but I still feel like we could do better at using what we have and eating leftovers before they are so toxic they have nowhere to go but the trashcan.

9. Have regular date nights ~ We're pretty good at getting out semi-regularly but we've let it slip in recent months as life has gotten more hectic. Sometimes it's just easier to get time by yourself than it is together, but we both recognize that the cornerstone of a strong family is a strong marriage. Definitely need to get back in the habit of going out as a couple more often.

10. Find a kitchen designer and really take the time to plan our renovation ~ We are planning a large scale kitchen redo this year. Not the DIY kind but the DNDIY (do not do it yourself) kind where walls are blown out and new cabinets are put in and appliances are replaced and heinous countertops are removed. I'm really excited for how this will improve our little house but I want to be careful that we invest the appropriate time and energy into planning so this is done right.

11. Have at least one girl's weekend ~ Again... self-explanatory right??

12. Focus on today as much as possible and be grateful for how blessed we are in this life. 

Cheers to a fabulous new year full of possibilities!
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