Weight loss menu. Simplicity is the key.

Before I started this weight loss journey last summer—back when I could eat whatever I wanted—choices were sometimes overwhelming. I’d make selections based on what I felt like eating rather than what was good for me. I rarely planned ahead, which meant I was spending a lot of money eating out.

My current limited weekday menu is actually quite liberating. I don’t have to give it much thought. My biggest challenge is alternating it enough so that I don’t get bored. I also tend to stay at my desk to eat lunch when I really should get away from my office and take a break. I get a bit more creative with my food on weekends when I have more time.

A few people have asked me what I’m eating, so I thought I’d display my very simple weekday menu here; pardon my very limited photography skills. I get a lot of my protein from dairy and nuts. I just prefer the taste of milk/yogurt/cheese/eggs over chicken/beef/seafood.

Breakfast always includes:

Coffee with 2 tablespoons sugar-free Coffee-Mate vanilla creamer

1 teaspoon sugar-free Metamucil fiber, 2 adult chewable vitamins, 1 chewable calcium vitamin

…and one of the following options:

1 cup skim milk and 3/4 c Cheerios

1 slice of toast with 1 Tbsp Laura Scudder peanut butter

1 slice of toast with 1 scrambled egg (fried with a few squirts of I Can't Believe It's Not Butter)

Mid-morning snack options:

Raw Almonds, 1 oz (that's about 19 almonds) - surprisingly satisfying!

Ham and Cheese or Turkey and Cheese Roll

Ham & Cheese Roll: Measure out 1.25 oz Ham (1 slice) and 0.5 oz Cheese (cut this cheese in half)

Turkey & Cheese Rolls: Measure out 1.25 oz Turkey (2 slices) and 0.5 oz Cheese (cut this cheese in half)

Lunch options:

A salad. Always a salad. 2 cups of Romaine, 1 tsp fat free Italian (sometimes), and usually cucumbers, Chinese pea pods, celery, carrots

Dannon Lite & Fit Yogurt (1/2 cup) with Raspberries (3/4 cup)

Dannon Lite & Fit Yogurt (1/2 cup) with Raspberries (3/4 cup)

Dannon Lite & Fit Yogurt (1/2 cup) with Strawberries (3/4 cup)

One of my favorite lunches: 1 apple, 1 oz cheese and 9 raw almonds.

My latest discovery: Progresso Light Chicken Noodle Soup. Extremely hearty and satisfying!

Afternoon snack options – always a nutrition bar. Must have something sweet in the afternoon!

ZonePerfect Cashew Pretzel protein bar

ZonePerfect Cashew Pretzel protein bar

Lindora Peppermint Cocoa Crunch Bar

Dinner options. What I eat for dinner varies quite a bit. It always includes a salad similar to the one I had at lunch, as well as…

Dinner always includes a piece of fruit—usually an orange.

And perhaps:

Lemon Garlic Shrimp – 1 tsp olive oil, minced garlic, 2.5 oz cooked shrimp, lemon wedge

An omelette. Heat up 1 tsp olive oil, add minced garlic, onions and tomato, add egg. Yum.

Chicken Vegetable Soup

Evening snack options:

Always a Lindora Wildberry Passion drink (15 grams of protein, 3 carbs) after our workout at the gym

What are your favorite standard weight loss menu items?

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Lindora’s Six Essentials for Success

Dr. Marshall Stamper’s Six Essentials for Success
(from Lean for Life, by Cynthia Stamper Graff)

  1. Make your goal “to learn to be lean for life.”
  2. Your level of interest and enthusiasm will determine your level of success.
  3. Learn to recognize and eliminate your defensive barriers.
  4. Learn to control cravings.
  5. Learn to use relaxation techniques and “stress less.”
  6. Follow the maintenance program for lasting success.

The “essential” that resonates the most with me is #2.

Interest and enthusiasm toward exercise is growing. I love working out at the gym and especially love that my husband and I are workout partners. We’re also looking for ways to get exercise beyond the gym. I’m looking into local places to hike. We’ll be participating in a local Walk to End Alzheimer’s event next month in memory of my Mom, who passed away four years ago from this despicable disease.

My interest and enthusiasm for food comes and goes. For example, salads were starting to bore the heck out of me. I was starting to skip them. Bad strategic move. Salads take a long time to eat and help to fill me up. So this past week I switched from having romaine lettuce twice a day to mixed greens. The small but important change was much needed. Mixed greens, pine nuts, balsamic vinegar and olive oil = yum.

This blog is playing a huge role in maintaining my level of interest and enthusiasm. When I wonder why I’m spending so much time typing up the food I’ve eaten (when I’ve already kept track of it in a small notebook I carry), I remember how reporting my actions to the blogosphere is providing me with critical accountability.

The blog also has me thinking about things in a way I wouldn’t otherwise. How can I help others with what I am learning? How can I learn from what others are doing?

I am over 20%—one-fifth of the way—toward my goal of losing 100 pounds, but I am constantly thinking about maintenance. I have lost a lot of weight before and gained it all back and then some. I want to focus on a permanent, lifetime change, not just how long it’ll take me to lose 100 pounds.

I am inspired by a blog called Former Fat Chik: 135 lbs lost! by Jess. She learned so much during her weight loss and now she’s sharing it with the rest of us. She has clearly found a huge new passion in life: nutrition and exercise. She is still enthusiastic and interested in food and fitness, and I imagine it’s her enthusiasm that keeps her successful in maintaining all her hard work.

What keeps you interested and enthusiastic about losing weight and staying in shape?

Here is my menu for the past week. Went off track a few times; we’ll see what that does to my weigh in on Tuesday. I’ve noticed that if I go off program, if I stay away from junk food, I still feel great and it doesn’t impact my weight loss too negatively.  I feel fantastic; I know I’m making progress.

Sunday September 11, 2011
Pedometer: 5,541
Exercise: None. Day off today.
Time Serving Size Food Carbs
8:30am 1 slice Whole wheat bread – toast 11
1 Egg 1
10 squirts I can’t believe it’s not butter spray 0
1 mug Coffee 0
2 Tbsp Sugar free Coffee-mate vanilla creamer 2
1 tsp Sugar free Metamucil 0
2 Adult chewable vitamins 0
11am 0.5 oz String cheese 0.5
1.25 oz Deli turkey breast 0.5
2:30pm 1/4 c Dannon Lite & Fit Yogurt 5
0.5 oz String cheese 0.5
2 c Romaine lettuce 3
1/4 c Carrots 4
1/2 c Cucumber 1.5
1 Orange 14
12 oz Diet Squirt
5pm 1 Bar 13
8pm Off Program at Black Angus ?
Bread/buttter, top sirloin steak, fried shrimp, orange slices, salad with carrots and croutons, dipped in dressing ?
Dessert: Chocolate Chip Cowboy Cookie with ice cream on top – shared with my husband ?
Total Carbs ???
Monday, September 12, 2011
Pedometer: 18,734
Exercise: 30 min treadmill, 10 min crossramp, 45 min lower body strength training
Time Serving Size Food Carbs
8:30am 1 slice Whole wheat bread – toast 11
1 Egg 1
10 squirts I can’t believe it’s not butter spray 0
1 mug Coffee 0
2 Tbsp Sugar free Coffee-mate vanilla creamer 2
1 tsp Sugar free Metamucil 0
2 Adult chewable vitamins 0
10:45am 0.5 oz String cheese 0.5
1.25 oz Deli turkey breast 0.5
1pm 1/2 c Dannon Lite & Fit yogurt 10
1 c Strawberries 11
2 c Romaine lettuce 3
1/4 c Carrots 4
1/2 c Celery 1.5
1 T Fat free Italian dressing 1
3:30pm 1 ZonePerfect bar 13
5:30pm 1 oz String cheese 1
7pm 3 oz Carne asada (round steak) 0
4 4″ corn tortillas 16
1 ZonePerfect bar 13
Total Carbs 88.5
Tuesday September 13, 2011
Pedometer: 10,056
Exercise: No gym. Felt ill; went to be early.
Lindora weigh in: Lost 3 lbs since last Tuesday. : ) : ) : )
Time Serving Size Food Carbs
8:30am 1 slice Whole wheat bread – toast 11
1 Egg 1
10 squirts I can’t believe it’s not butter spray 0
1 mug Coffee 0
2 Tbsp Sugar free Coffee-mate vanilla creamer 2
1 tsp Sugar free Metamucil 0
2 Adult chewable vitamins 0
10:45am 0.5 oz String cheese 0.5
1.25 oz Deli turkey breast 0.5
1:30pm 1 Morningstar Veggie Burger 3
1 tsp Mustard 0
2 c Romaine lettuce 3
1/2 c Chinese pea pods 5.5
1/4 c Carrots 4
1 Orange 14
4:30pm 1 ZonePerfect bar 13
7pm 1/2 c Dannon Lite & Fit Yogurt 10
1/2 c Strawberries 5.5
1/3 c Raspberries 5
2 c Mixed greens 3
1 Tbsp Pine nuts 0
1 Tsp Olive oil 0
1 Tsp Balsamic vinegar 0
Total Carbs 81
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
Pedometer: 12,731
Exercise: 30 min treadmill, 45 min upper body strength training
Time Serving Size Food Carbs
8:30am 1 slice Whole wheat bread – toast 11
1 Egg 1
10 squirts I can’t believe it’s not butter spray 0
1 mug Coffee 0
2 Tbsp Sugar free Coffee-mate vanilla creamer 2
1 tsp Sugar free Metamucil 0
2 Adult chewable vitamins 0
10:30am 1 ZonePerfect bar 13
1 Coffee with 1 Tbsp cream 3
12:30pm 1/2 c Dannon Lite & Fit Yogurt 10
1/2 c Strawberries 5.5
1/3 c Raspberries 5
2 c Mixed greens 3
1 Tbsp Pine nuts 0
1 Tsp Olive oil 0
1 Tsp Balsamic vinegar 0
12 oz Diet Squirt 0
2:45pm 1 Lindora chocolate protein shake 1
5pm 4 Small hors d’ oeuvres (cheese, meat, cracker) 15
7pm 1 In N Out Burger 39
1 In N Out Fries 54
2 Tbsp Catsup 7
11:15pm 1 Lindora protein drink 3
Total Carbs 172.5
Thursday, September 15, 2011
Pedometer: 15,595
Exercise: 30 min treadmill, 15 min crossramp, 15 min swimming
Time Serving Size Food Carbs
8am 3/4 c Cheerios 12
1 c Skim milk 12
1 mug Coffee 0
2 Tbsp Sugar free Coffee-mate vanilla creamer 2
1 tsp Sugar free Metamucil 0
2 Adult chewable vitamins 0
10:30am 0.5 oz String cheese 0.5
1.25 oz Deli turkey breast 0.5
12:30pm 1/2 c Dannon Lite & Fit Yogurt 10
1/2 c Strawberries 5.5
1/3 c Raspberries 5
2 c Mixed greens 3
1 Tbsp Pine nuts 0
1 Tsp Olive oil 0
1 Tsp Balsamic vinegar 0
12 oz Diet root beer 0
2:30pm 1 bag Lindora onion soy puffs 8
12 oz Diet Pepsi 0
4:15pm 1 ZonePerfect bar 13
7pm Shrimp Salad:
2.5 oz Shrimp 1
1 tsp Olive oil 0
1 clove Garlic 0
1 wedge Lemon 1.5
2 c Mixed greens 3
1/2 c Celery 1.5
1 tsp Balsamic vinegar 0
1/2 c Strawberries 5.5
1/3 c Raspberries 5
9pm Half Lindora protein drink 1.5
11:15pm Half Lindora protein drink 1.5
Total Carbs 92
Friday, September 16, 2011
Pedometer: 12,154
Exercise: 30 min treadmill, 10 min crossramp
Time Serving Size Food Carbs
8am 3/4 c Cheerios 12
1 c Skim milk 12
1 mug Coffee 0
2 Tbsp Sugar free Coffee-mate vanilla creamer 2
1 tsp Sugar free Metamucil 0
2 Adult chewable vitamins 0
11am 0.5 oz String cheese 0.5
1.25 oz Deli turkey breast 0.5
1 mug Coffee with 1 Tbsp creamer 3
1pm 1/2 c Dannon Lite & Fit Yogurt 10
1/2 c Strawberries 5.5
1/3 c Raspberries 5
2 c Mixed greens 3
1 Tbsp Pine nuts 0
1 Tsp Olive oil 0
1 Tsp Balsamic vinegar 0
12 oz Diet Squirt 0
4pm 1 ZonePerfect bar 13
6:30pm Approx 10 cups Air popped popcorn 48
4 Tbsp Butter (44 grams of fat, 400 calories) 0
Approx 2 Tbsp Parmesan cheese (3 grams of fat) 0
10:15pm 1 Lindora protein drink 3
10:45pm 1 Lemon Tea (1 lemon wedge, artificial sweetener) 1.5
Total Carbs 119
Saturday, September 17, 2011
Pedometer: 11,091
Exercise: 30 min treadmill, lower body strength training (alternate routine), 20 min swimming
Time Serving Size Food Carbs
9am 1 slice Whole wheat bread – toast 11
1 Egg 1
10 squirts I can’t believe it’s not butter spray 0
1 mug Coffee 0
2 Tbsp Sugar free Coffee-mate vanilla creamer 2
1 tsp Sugar free Metamucil 0
11am 0.5 oz String cheese 0.5
1.25 oz Deli turkey breast 0.5
2pm 1 Lindora mocha protein shake 1
8pm 1 Lindora wildberry passion protein drink 3
8:30pm 4 oz Chipotle chicken 1
1 c Romaine lettuce 1.5
1/2 c Pico di gallo (tomatoes, onions, cilantro, lemon) 5
1 oz Cheese 0
2 Lemon wedges 3
9:30pm 1/2 c Strawberries 5.5
1/3 c Raspberries 5
10:45pm 1 Lemon Tea (1 lemon wedge, artificial sweetener) 1.5
Total Carbs 41.5

Lindora Kick-Start Complete; I’m on My Own

Edamame. Photo by Tammy Green (aka Zesmerelda) from Chicago Upscale Dining + Lounge Republic Pan-Asian Restaurant

I completed my 4-week program at Lindora on Tuesday, August 30. My weigh-in that day showed I had lost 18 pounds so far. It’s a great kick start toward my 100 pound weight loss goal. The 4-week program helped to re-educate me and get my head in the game.

I’m on my own now, but am confident that between the accountability of having this blog and the support of my online community, friends, colleagues, and especially my husband, I can step out of this fat suit I’m wearing… forever.

I plan to make some adjustments to my program that aren’t “authorized” by Lindora. Here are some of the “rules” I’ve already broken, but am still losing weight:

  • Eating string cheese instead of nasty fat-free cheese. One ounce has 1 carb and 6 grams of fat. A very satisfying morning snack. And I’m still losing weight.
  • Adding 2 tablespoons of sugar-free, liquid Coffee-mate vanilla creamer to my coffee each morning (the fat-free version has more carbs, so I don’t use it). The Lindora program only authorizes 1 teaspoon of non-dairy, powdered, fat-free creamer. Nasty. That’s just not right. You just don’t mess with a good cup of coffee. I’m happy with my substitution. And I’m still losing weight.
  • Eating ZonePerfect bars instead of Lindora-only protein bars. Half the cost, but with the same nutritional benefits and taste. And I’m still losing weight.
  • Eating Edamame as a protein/vegetable portion. Edamame is too nutritionally balanced to be ignored. It’s a perfect combo of protein, carbs and fiber. I’m just going to be careful to limit my portions. I have only had it twice this week, so we’ll see how it impacts my diet, positive or negative.
  • Having a “free” meal once a week.

Here are rules I don’t intend to break, but know I will if I’m not careful:

  • Continue to measure my food; don’t eyeball it and call it good. The little devil on my shoulder will let me lie to myself and deem something a half of a cup when it is really three-quarters of a cup.
  • Continue to have 1 protein-only day per week.
  • Stay out of the rut of eating the same foods every day. To be creative in food preparation.

Lindora encourages moderate exercise. Ten years ago I lost 60 pounds on Lindora by following the program and walking every day, so I know walking is enough to do the trick. This time around, my husband and I are doing much more than walking. We’re building muscle. Muscle burns more calories, even at rest. And I want that muscle to tone all my soon-to-be-formerly-floppy areas. And it’s fun. It feels good to feel stronger and firmer.

Here’s my menu from the past week. (I’m trying a new format to make it more readable. Pretty easy – I typed it up in Microsoft Excel and copy/pasted into the post.)

Saturday, August 27, 2011
Pedometer: 14,222
Exercise: Nothing formal, but lots of activity… Clean house, mow grass, etc.
Time Serving Size Food Carbs
8am 3/4 c Cheerios 12
1 c Skim milk 12
1 mug Coffee 0
2 Tbsp Sugar free Coffee-mate vanilla creamer 2
1 tsp Sugar free Metamucil 0
2 Adult chewable vitamins 3
12pm 2.5 oz Chicken breast 0
2 tsp Olive oil 0
1/4 c Carrots 4
1 c Strawberries 11
2:30pm 1 ZonePerfect nutrition bar* 13
4pm 1 oz String cheese 1
6pm 2.5 oz El Pollo Loco chicken 0
2 c El Pollo Loco salad 3
1/2 c El Pollo Loco Pico di Gallo 5
9:30pm 1 cup Lindora Creamy Hot Cocoa 6
Total Carbs 72
Sunday, August 28, 2011
Pedometer: Forgot to wear
Exercise: None. Our day off.
Time Serving Size Food Carbs
8am 3/4 c Cheerios 12
1 c Skim milk 12
1 mug Coffee 0
2 Tbsp Sugar free Coffee-mate vanilla creamer 2
1 tsp Sugar free Metamucil 0
2 Adult chewable vitamins 3
11am 1 ZonePerfect bar 13
Starbucks Coffee 0
Creamer 3
3pm 1/2 c Athenos Greek plain, fat-free yogurt 5
1 c Strawberries 11
2 c Romaine lettuce 3
1/2 c Cucumbers 1.5
1/2 c Chinese pea pods 5.5
12 oz Diet Rootbeer 0
6pm 1/2 c Cottage cheese, fat free 4
2 Tbsp Salsa 4
Half Small grapefruit 10
8pm 1 oz String cheese at a movie 1
1 ZonePerfect bar at a movie. Hungry. 13
Total Carbs 103
Monday, August 29, 2011
Pedometer: Forgot to wear
Exercise: 30 min treadmill, 8 min rowing machine, 30 min upper body strength training
Time Serving Size Food Carbs
8am Lindora French Toast
1 slice Whole wheat bread 11
1 Egg 1
1 Tbsp Skim milk 1
Dash Nutmeg, cinnamon 0
Approx 10 squirts I can’t believe it’s not butter spray 0
1 mug Coffee 0
2 Tbsp Sugar free Coffee-mate vanilla creamer 2
1 tsp Sugar free Metamucil 0
2 Adult chewable vitamins 3
11am 0.5 oz String cheese 0.5
1.25 oz Deli turkey breast 0.5
1:45pm 2.5 oz Chicken breast 0
1/2 c Stewed tomatoes 5
2 c Romaine lettuce 3
1 Orange 14
4pm 1 ZonePerfect bar 13
6:30pm 1/2 c Dannon Lite & Fit yogurt 10
2/3 c Raspberries 10
2 c Romaine lettuce 3
1 c Cucumber 3
12 oz Diet Squirt 0
11pm 1 Lindora Strawberry Kiwi protein drink 1
Total Carbs 81
Tuesday, August 30, 2011
***LAST DAY of my 4-week Lindora program. On my own now!!!!***
Weigh-in: 207 lbs (-2 lbs); Blood pressure 120/80
Pedometer: forgot to wear
Exercise: 30 min treadmill; we did more, but I forgot to write it down!
8am 1 slice Whole wheat bread – Toast 11
1 Egg 1
4 squirts I can’t believe it’s not butter spray 0
1 mug Coffee 0
2 Tbsp Sugar free Coffee-mate vanilla creamer 2
1 tsp Sugar free Metamucil 0
2 Adult chewable vitamins 3
11am 0.5 oz String cheese 0.5
1.25 oz Deli turkey breast 0.5
1:30pm 1/2 c Dannon Lite & Fit yogurt 10
2/3 c Raspberries 10
2 c Romaine lettuce 3
1/2 c Green beans 4
1/2 c Chinese pea pods 6.5
4pm 1 ZonePerfect bar 13
7pm 2.5 oz El Pollo Loco chicken 0
2 c El Pollo Loco salad 3
1/2 c El Pollo Loco Pico di Gallo 5
Lots Diet Coke 0
11pm 1 Lindora Wildberry Passion protein drink 3
Total Carbs 75.5
Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Pedometer: 16,908
Exercise: 35 min treadmill, 30 min lower body strength training
Time Serving Size Food Carbs
8am 1 slice Whole wheat bread – Toast 11
1 Egg 1
4 squirts I can’t believe it’s not butter spray 0
1 mug Coffee 0
2 Tbsp Sugar free Coffee-mate vanilla creamer 2
1 tsp Sugar free Metamucil 0
2 Adult chewable vitamins 3
10:30am 0.5 oz String cheese 0.5
1.25 oz Deli turkey breast 0.5
1 mug Coffee 0
1 Tbsp Creamer 3
1:30pm 1 c Edamame soy beans (measured in pods) 10.5
2 c Romaine lettuce 3
1 Orange 14
12 oz Diet Squirt 0
4:30pm 1 ZonePerfect bar 13
7pm 2.5 oz Shrimp 1
1 tsp Olive oil 0
1 clove Garlic 0
1 wedge Lemon 1
2 c Romaine lettuce 3
1/2 c Cucumber 1.5
1/4 c. Chinese pea pods 5.5
Half Grapefruit 10
1/4 c Raspberries 3
12 oz Diet Pepsi 0
11pm 1 Lindora Orange Protein Drink 3
Total Carbs 89.5
Thursday, September 1, 2011
Pedometer: 13,343
Exercise: 25 min treadmill, 3 min elliptical, 20 min pool – water aerobics
Time Serving Size Food Carbs
8am 1 slice Whole wheat bread – Toast 11
1 Egg 1
4 squirts I can’t believe it’s not butter spray 0
1 mug Coffee 0
2 Tbsp Sugar free Coffee-mate vanilla creamer 2
1 tsp Sugar free Metamucil 0
2 Adult chewable vitamins 3
10am 0.5 oz String cheese 0.5
1.25 oz Deli turkey breast 0.5
1 mug Coffee 0
1 Tbsp Creamer 3
1pm 1/2 c Dannon Lite & Fit yogurt 10
1/2 c Nectarine 8
2 c Romaine lettuce 3
1/2 c Cucumber 1.5
1/4 c Chinese pea pods 5.5
12 oz Diet Squirt 0
3:30pm 1 ZonePerfect bar 13
7pm 1 c Edamame soy beans (measured in pods) 10.5
2 c Romaine lettuce 3
1/2 c Cucumber 1.5
1 Orange 14
12 oz Diet Squirt 0
1/2 c Sugar free Jello 0
11pm 1 Lindora Mocha protein drink 1
Total Carbs 92
Friday, September 2 – Protein Day until dinner
Pedometer: 7,642
Exercise: None. Gym closes earlier on Fridays, so we’ll for sure go tomorrow
8am 1 c Skim milk 12
1 mug Coffee 0
2 Tbsp Sugar free Coffee-mate vanilla creamer 2
1 tsp Sugar free Metamucil 0
2 Adult chewable vitamins 3
10am 1 Lindora chocolate shake 1
11:45pm 1 ZonePerfect bar 13
1:30pm 0.5 oz String cheese 0.5
1.25 oz Deli turkey breast 0.5
3:45pm 1 Lindora chocolate protein bar 13
6pm 0.5 oz String cheese 0.5
1.25 oz Deli turkey breast 0.5
7pm 2.5 oz El Pollo Loco chicken 0
2 c El Pollo Loco salad 3
1/2 c El Pollo Loco Pico di Gallo 5
Lots Diet Coke 0
9pm 1 ZonePerfect bar (3rd bar today! At movies and hungry) 13
Total Carbs 67

16 pounds down. 84 to go. My menu this past week.

Lindora Skinny Mirror

Lindora Skinny Mirror

At each Lindora clinic, there is a skinny mirror to help you visualize yourself smaller and leaner. Pretty cool. : ) I worry that it allows some people to be in denial, but it’s a good exercise in visualization.

For accountability purposes, here is my weight-loss menu for this past week. 🙂  It’s been a good week. I’m feeling groovy and really enjoying working out.

Sunday, August 21, 2011
Pedometer steps: Not recorded. Not many! Very low-key day.
Exercise: None. Today is our day off from the gym.
Oddly not hungry today. Not supposed to skip meals, but missed dinner and evening snack.

  • 10:30am 3/4 c Cheerios (12), 1 c skim milk (12), Coffee (0) with 2 Tbsp sugar free Coffee-mate vanilla creamer (2), 2 chewable adult vitamins (3), Metamucil sugar free fiber supplement
  • 1pm 1 oz string cheese (1)
  • 4pm 1 c strawberries (11), 1 oz beef jerky (7)
  • 6pm ZonePerfect Trail Mix bar (13), 12 oz Diet Squirt (0)
  • Total carbs: 61

Monday, August 22, 2011
Pedometer steps: 11,666
Exercise: 30 min treadmill, 30 minutes lower body strength training. GREAT workout. Felt GOOD.

  • 6:30am 3/4 c Cheerios (12), 1 c skim milk (12), Coffee (0) with 2 Tbsp sugar free Coffee-mate vanilla creamer (2), 2 chewable adult vitamins (3), Metamucil sugar free fiber supplement
  • 11am 1 oz string cheese (1)
  • 1:15pm Strawberry Freeze: 1/2 c cottage cheese (4), 1 c strawberries (11), 1/2 c sugar-free raspberry jello (0), 1 tsp vanilla extract (0); 2 c Romaine lettuce (3), 1 Tbsp fat-free Italian dressing (2), 1/4 c carrots (4), 1/4 c celery (1.5), 12 oz Diet Squirt (0)
  • 4pm ZonePerfect bar (13)
  • 7pm 2.5 oz imitation crab (1), 2 c Romaine lettuce (3), 1/2 c cucumber (1.5), 1 tsp rice vinegar (1), drop of sesame oil, 1 c strawberries (11), 12 oz Diet Squirt (0)
  • 10:30pm (post-workout) Lindora Strawberry Kiwi protein drink (1)
  • Total carbs: 86

Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Pedometer steps: 16,872 (an all time high!!!)
Exercise: 45 min treadmill, 30 situps

  • 8am 3/4 c Cheerios (12), 1 c skim milk (12), Coffee (0) with 2 Tbsp sugar free Coffee-mate vanilla creamer (2), 2 chewable adult vitamins (3), Metamucil sugar free fiber supplement
  • 10:30am 0.5 oz string cheese (0.5) wrapped in 1.25 oz deli turkey (0.5)
  • 12:45pm 1/2 c Dannon Lite & Fit yogurt (10), 1 c strawberries (11), 2 c Romaine lettuce (3), 1 Tbsp fat-free Italian dressing (2), 1/4 c carrots (4), 1/4 c celery (1.5), 12 oz Diet Squirt (0)
  • 3pm ZonePerfect bar (13)
  • 7pm 2.5 oz top sirloin steak (0), 2 c Romaine lettuce (3), 1/2 c cucumbers (1.5), 1 tsp olive oil (0), 1 t vinegar (0), 1 c strawberries (11), 12 oz Diet Pepsi
  • 10:30pm (post-workout) Lindora Strawberry Kiwi protein drink (1)
  • Total carbs: 91

Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Pedometer steps: 10,905
Exercise: 30 minutes treadmill, 30 minutes upper body strength training

  • 7am 3/4 c Cheerios (12), 1 c skim milk (12), Coffee (0) with 2 Tbsp sugar free Coffee-mate vanilla creamer (2), 2 chewable adult vitamins (3), Metamucil sugar free fiber supplement
  • 10:30am 0.5 oz string cheese (0.5) wrapped in 1.25 oz deli turkey (0.5)
  • 1/2 c Dannon Lite & Fit yogurt (10), 1 c strawberries (11), 2 c Romaine lettuce (3), 1 Tbsp fat-free Italian dressing (2), 1/2 c cucumber (1.5), 12 oz Diet Squirt (0)
  • 4pm ZonePerfect bar (13)
  • 7pm Salad with 0.5 oz string cheese (0.5), 1.25 oz deli turkey (0.5), 2 c Romaine lettuce (3), 1/2 c cucumber (1.5), 1/4 c carrots (4), 1 t olive oil, 1 t balsamic vinegar (1), 1 c strawberries (11)
  • 11pm (post-workout) Lindora Strawberry Kiwi protein drink (1)
  • Total carbs: 93

Thursday, August 25, 2011
Pedometer steps: 7,527
Exercise: none. Totally, completely exhausted today.

  • 7:30am 3/4 c Cheerios (12), 1 c skim milk (12), Coffee (0) with 2 Tbsp sugar free Coffee-mate vanilla creamer (2), 2 chewable adult vitamins (3), Metamucil sugar free fiber supplement
  • 10:30am 0.5 oz string cheese (0.5) wrapped in 1.25 oz deli turkey (0.5)
  • 1:30pm 1/2 c Dannon Lite & Fit yogurt (10), 1 c strawberries (11), 2 c Romaine lettuce (3), 1/2 c cucumber (1.5), 1/4 c carrots (4), 12 oz Diet Squirt (0)
  • 6pm ZonePerfect bar (13)
  • 8pm OFF PROGRAM — Costco Pizza (65) (My next post will be about why I intentionally went off program)
  • Total carbs: 136.5

Friday, August 26, 2011 – Protein Day
Pedometer steps: 13,199
Exercise: 30 min treadmill, 30 min lower body strength training, 20 min in the pool

  • 8am 1 c skim milk (12), Coffee (0) with 2 Tbsp sugar free Coffee-mate vanilla creamer (2), 2 chewable adult vitamins (3), Metamucil sugar free fiber supplement
  • 11:30am 0.5 oz string cheese (0.5) wrapped in 1.25 oz deli turkey (0.5)
  • 1pm ZonePerfect bar (13)
  • 3:30pm 0.5 oz string cheese (0.5) wrapped in 1.25 oz deli turkey (0.5)
  • 6pm ZonePerfect bar (13)
  • 10pm (post-workout) Lindora Strawberry Kiwi protein drink (1)
  • Total carbs: 45

From Accidental to Intentional

What I see very clearly is that most people have no clue what they’re doing to themselves with the food they normally eat. Nor are most people aware of how much better they could look and feel if they stopped feeding themselves accidentally and started re-creating themselves intentionally.
—Bill Phillips,
Body for Life

I love this quote from Bill Phillips. I have definitely been guilty of feeding myself accidentally.

Spoiled Girl (Me), Eating Out

The Accidental Then
For the past fourteen years, I have been spoiled rotten when it comes to food. I have a husband who loves me unconditionally—even though I’ve packed on 65 pounds since we met. Neither of us likes to cook. He knows I work hard (at my desk job), so almost every evening when I got home, we would leave again to go eat out. Where we would be served. Where someone else would do the cooking and cleaning up. When we got married, I jokingly told him, “I promise to make you dinner—but only when I feel like it.” It’s nice to be spoiled.

Eating out is expensive. We became masters of the coupon. We’d go through the circulars that came in the mail and tape them to the back of our den door. We’d go to Restaurant.com looking for good deals. We’d go to Costco for a hot dog or a slice of pizza. We became regulars at restaurants that had weekly specials, such as $1 tacos on Taco Tuesdays.  We ate very, very well.  And it showed.

Just the thought of cooking stressed me out—except for weekends, when I had lots of time. I had all kinds of excuses.

“I’ve worked hard all day. I’m too tired to make dinner. I can’t deal with the mess afterwards.”
“It’ll take too much time. I’m hungry right now.”
“I deserve to relax.”
“I don’t know what to make.”

The Intentional Now
I work a little harder for my food now. I plan ahead. I think things through. Preparing my food makes it easier to get 10,000 steps recorded on my pedometer each day.

I have to go to the grocery story and pick out Lindora-approved items. I have to haul the bags into the house and put the groceries away. I have to pull stuff out and prepare meals. I have to clean up afterwards. (By the way, I adore my dishwasher.) I can hear my pedometer clicking away as I move around the kitchen, and I’m enjoying the movement after sitting at a desk all day. One evening on the way home from work, I went to Costco just to pick up a rotisserie chicken for dinner. There were quite a few steps required to go from the car to the back of the warehouse and back to the car again. Click. Click. Click.

I realize how spoiled I’ve been, and I wonder to myself, “Who do I think I am that I don’t have to prepare my own meals?” I think of all those women out there who get home from their day jobs and cook for their families or just their husbands. Just because I don’t have kids doesn’t give me the excuse to be a lazy slob.

And why haven’t I cared about healthy foods for my husband and me? We aren’t getting any younger. We can abuse our bodies only so much.

I am committed to working for my food.

Here’s my menu from yesterday.

Saturday, August 20, 2011
Pedometer: 11,120
Exercise: 20 minutes on treadmill, 6 minutes on elliptical, upper body strength training (finished Friday night’s workout), 30 minutes low-intensity swimming in the pool with my husband.
Party Success Strategy: I went to a party this evening. I ate my mid-day meal before we left the house so I wouldn’t have the urge to graze. For dinner at the party, I ate a double dose of protein as there were no fruits or veggies. There was no diet soda so I drank 3 bottles of water (next time I’ll bring my own diet drink). A couple of hours later I had a ZonePerfect Bar. I said no to wine, tortilla chips and salsa, carrot cake, and a pasta salad. Even though it was late, I ate another ZonePerfect bar after we left because I was tired and getting a bit dizzy.

  • 9:30am 3/4 c Cheerios (12), 1 c skim milk (12), Coffee (0) with 2 Tbsp sugar free Coffee-mate vanilla creamer (2), 2 chewable adult vitamins (3)
  • 1pm  1 oz string cheese (1)
  • 3pm Veggie Omelet: 1 egg (1), ¼ c onions (3), ½ Roma tomato (2.5), 1 tsp olive oil, clove of garlic; 2 c Romaine lettuce (3), 1 c strawberries (11)
  • 6pm ZonePerfect Cashew Pretzel bar (13)
  • 8pm Approx 3 oz. grilled chicken (excellent!) (0) and 3 oz. salmon (0), a couple of slices of cucumber
  • 11pm ZonePerfect Chocolate Mint bar (13)
  • Total carbs:  76.5

Lindora works! It really, really works!

An extremely encouraging visit to the Lindora clinic today.

Starting weight: 224.7
Today’s weight: 211.0    -13.7 lbs!

Lost a bunch of inches, too!
– 5.5” waist
– 1.5” bust
– 1” hips
– 2” thighs

Blood pressure: 110/78

I love this program! Such progress in only 3 weeks!!!

I am encouraged by my coworkers who are telling me that I’m having a really good attitude and I’m not being a big whiney-butt about the diet – like when I don’t get to eat celebratory cake. I’m happy that they’re noticing my mood. Cheating is simply not an option. I’m on the wagon. Why fret about it.  I’m amazed at the overall lack of cravings I’m feeling. I credit it to the ZonePerfect bars – one per day, in the afternoon.

Here’s my menu for the past week… (still eating Dannon Light & Fit yogurt; didn’t want to throw it away; need to go find the Ralph’s Carb Master and Fage Greek Yogurt) : )

Sunday, August 14, 2011
Exercise: Nothing formal; walked around the mall before going to a movie

  • 9:30am 3/4 c Cheerios (12), 1 c skim milk (12), Coffee (0) with 2 Tbsp sugar free Coffee-mate vanilla creamer (2), 2 chewable adult vitamins (3) (According to Lindora, I don’t need to count the carbs in my daily Metamucil sugar free fiber)
  • 12pm Chocolate Mint Julip: Lindora Chocolate Pudding (7), Diet Squirt (0), 2 drops of peppermint extract (Source: Lindora Lean for Life Recipe Collection. Nasty, ick, yuck, puke. Tasted like toothpaste. Grossed me out for hours. Weird how much a bad tasting snack bummed me out and made me mad.)
  • 2:30pm El Pollo Loco chicken breast (0), Salad (3), ½ c pico di gallo (5), Diet Pepsi (0)
  • 8:30pm ZonePerfect bar (13)
  • Total carbs: 59

Monday, August 15, 2011
Pedometer steps: 10,983
Exercise: 30 minutes treadmill, 30 minutes upper body strength training

  • 7:30am 3/4 c Cheerios (12), 1 c skim milk (12), Coffee (0) with 2 Tbsp sugar free Coffee-mate vanilla creamer (2), 2 chewable adult vitamins (3), Metamucil sugar free fiber
  • 10:30am  0.5 oz string cheese (0.5), 1.25 oz turkey (0.5)
  • 1pm  ½ c cottage cheese (4), ½ c pineapple (11), 2 c Romaine lettuce (3), ½ c cucumber (1.5), ¼ c celery (1.5), Diet Squirt (0) (Notes: Too much cottage cheese! It needs to be disguised more. I can’t believe I’m eating cottage cheese.)
  • 3pm ZonePerfect bar (13)
  • 7:30pm  2.5 oz shrimp (1), 1 t olive oil, lemon wedge (1.5), 2 c Romaine lettuce (3), ½ c cucumber (1.5), Orange (14)
  • 10:30pm  2.5 oz turkey (1)
  • Total carbs: 86

Tuesday, August 16, 2011
Weighed in at Lindora:  Lost 1.5 lbs since Friday
Exercise: None
First bad day on this journey. Felt extremely crummy today—burning eyes, aching body. Thought I was getting super sick; went home early at 1pm. No gym. For some reason I was disappointed that I’d only lost 1.5 lbs since Friday, which is kinda crazy. Felt a little crazy today. Negative thoughts like “what’s the point?” Pushed through it.

  • 7:30am 3/4 c Cheerios (12), 1 c skim milk (12), Coffee (0) with 2 Tbsp sugar free Coffee-mate vanilla creamer (2), 2 chewable adult vitamins (3), Metamucil sugar free fiber
  • 10am  1oz string cheese (1)
  • 2pm ½ c Dannon Light & Fit Yogurt (10), 1 c strawberries (11), 2 c Romaine lettuce (3), ½ c cucumber (1.5), Diet Squirt (0)
  • 4:30pm ZonePerfect bar (13)
  • 7pm ZonePerfect bar (13)
  • Total carbs: 81.5

Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Exercise: 20 minutes treadmill, 30 minutes lower body strength training

  • 7:30am 3/4 c Cheerios (12), 1 c skim milk (12), Coffee (0) with 2 Tbsp sugar free Coffee-mate vanilla creamer (2), 2 chewable adult vitamins (3), Metamucil sugar free fiber
  • 10:15am  1oz string cheese (1)
  • 1pm ½ c Dannon Light & Fit Yogurt (10), 1 c strawberries (11), 2 c Romaine lettuce (3), ½ c carrots (8), Diet Pepsi (0)
  • 4pm Coffee with 1 creamer (3), ZonePerfect bar (13)
  • 7pm Veggie Omelet: 1 egg (1), ¼ c onions (3), ½ Roma tomato (2.5), 1 tsp olive oil, clove of garlic; 2 c Romaine lettuce (3), no fruit
  • 10:30pm Lindora Strawberry & Kiwi protein drink (1)
  • Total carbs: 88.5

Thursday, August 18, 2011
Exercise: none. Did a bunch of necessary errands instead.

  • 7:30am 3/4 c Cheerios (12), 1 c skim milk (12), Coffee (0) with 2 Tbsp sugar free Coffee-mate vanilla creamer (2), 2 chewable adult vitamins (3), Metamucil sugar free fiber
  • 10:30am  0.5 oz string cheese (0.5), 1.25 oz turkey (0.5)
  • 1:30pm ½ c Dannon Light & Fit Yogurt (10), 1 c strawberries (11), 2 c Romaine lettuce (3), ½ c cucumber (1.5), Diet Squirt (0)
  • 4:30pm ZonePerfect bar (13)
  • 8pm El Pollo Loco chicken breast (0), Salad with ½ c salsa (5), Diet Coke. The salad had their cilantro creamy dressing on it, even though I asked for no dressing. I opted to go ahead and eat it. It was so good!

Friday, August 19, 2011 – Weekly Protein Day
Weighed in at Lindora:  Lost 3 lbs since Tuesday!!!!!! Wahoo!!!
Exercise: 30 minutes treadmill, 30 minutes upper body strength training

  • 8am 1 c skim milk (12), 2 chewable adult vitamins (3), Metamucil sugar free fiber
  • 10:15am Lindora Oatmeal Raisin protein bar (13), coffee with 1 Tbsp creamer (3)
  • 1:30pm Lindora BBQ Soy Puffs (8), 12 oz Diet Squirt (0)
  • 3:15pm 0.5 oz string cheese (0.5), 1.25 oz turkey (0.5)
  • 5pm ½ c Dannon Light & Fit Yogurt (10)
  • 7pm ZonePerfect Cashew Pretzel protein bar (13)
  • 10:30pm Lindora Strawberry & Kiwi protein drink (1)
  • Total carbs: 64

Clean Burning Fuel… 10 pounds down. 90 to go.

Yummy vegetablesFriday morning I weighed in at the Lindora clinic. (My 4-week Lindora program includes two weekly visits to the clinic.) My keto stick showed a dark burgundy color indicating I was in ketosis – which basically means my body is burning fat. The Lindora consultant was impressed; she said she hadn’t seen color that good in a long time. I’m over two pounds down from Monday – wahoo!

The consultant thought I should have lost more — she said she wants me to be able to lose it quickly. She reviewed my menu (see below) and recommended I try to stay under 80 carbs a day. My goal is to lose two pounds a week for a year, so I’m not sure I agree with the “more quickly” statement… I’m in this for the long haul…

I mentioned I’m loving the dairy products, and that I’d have to cut back on the yogurt at lunch. It’s considered a protein serving, but it’s got 10 carbs per half cup serving. She asked me what kind of yogurt I was eating. I told her it was the Dannon Light & Fit vanilla fat free yogurt. I was disappointed to hear her say I should stop eating it. It had too many carbs and it was off program.  She recommended Ralphs Carb Master Yogurt. It only has 3 carbs per serving and it tastes great.  I’ll have to go check it out… haven’t made it to a Ralphs market yet.

I’m still flying high as far as my commitment to my new lifestyle. And it’s contagious. My husband is getting a fresh salad every evening. The other night as he was about to take a bite of lettuce, tomato and egg whites, he looked at me and said, “I’m really enjoying these.” We’re both eating better.

I’m feeling so… so… clean. My food is like clean burning fuel. My skin looks better. My digestive system is happier. I feel lighter.  My clothes are definitely looser and more comfortable. However… (Warning men: girl talk ahead)… my period started a week earlier, my cramps are worse and it’s already lasted twice as long as normal. I figure my body’s just taking care of business. Detoxing…

Here’s my menu for the last several days:

Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Pedometer steps: forgot it at home!
Exercise: 30 minutes treadmill, 30 minutes upper body strength training (biceps, shoulders, pectoral muscles)

  • 7:00am 3/4 c Cheerios (12), 1 c skim milk (12), Coffee (0) with 2 Tbsp sugar free Coffee-mate vanilla creamer (2), 1 tsp Sugar Free Metamucil (2), 2 chewable adult vitamins (3)
  • 10:30am 1 oz string cheese (1)
  • 1:30pm ½ c nonfat yogurt (10), 1 c strawberries (11), ½ c celery (2), 1 oz string cheese (1)
  • 4pm protein bar (13)
  • 7:30pm 2.5 oz chicken (0), ¼ c tomato (2.5), ¼ c onions (3), 1 t olive oil (0), fresh garlic, 2 c Romaine lettuce (3), 1 peach (10), Diet Pepsi (0)
  • Total carbs: 89.5

Thursday, August 11, 2011
Pedometer steps: 13,556
Exercise: 25 minutes treadmill, 5 minutes elliptical, 30 minutes core strength training

  • 7:00am 3/4 c Cheerios (12), 1 c skim milk (12), Coffee (0) with 2 Tbsp sugar free Coffee-mate vanilla creamer (2), 1 tsp Sugar Free Metamucil (2), 2 chewable adult vitamins (3)
  • 10:30am 1 oz string cheese (1)
  • 1:30pm ½ c nonfat yogurt (10), 1 c strawberries (11), 2 c Romaine lettuce (3),  ½ c jicama (5),  1 tbsp fat free Italian dressing (2), 12 oz Diet Squirt
  • 4pm protein bar (13)
  • 7pm 1 oz string cheese (1), 2 c Romaine lettuce (3), ½ c cucumber (1.5), 1 tsp olive oil, 1 tsp t vinegar, peach (10), 12 oz Diet Pepsi (0)
  • 10:30pm Lindora hot cocoa (6)
  • Total carbs: 97.5

Friday, August 12, 2011
Pedometer steps: left it in the gym bag!
Exercise: none

  • 7:00am 3/4 c Cheerios (12), 1 c skim milk (12), Coffee (0) with 2 Tbsp sugar free Coffee-mate vanilla creamer (2), 1 tsp Sugar Free Metamucil (2), 2 chewable adult vitamins (3)
  • 10:30am protein bar (13)
  • 1pm  Frozen Berry Cooler [½ c nonfat yogurt (10), 2/3 c mixed berries (11), ½ c sugar-free jello (0)], 2 c Romaine lettuce (3), ¼ c carrots (4), ½ c celery (2), 1 tbsp fat free Italian dressing (2), 12 oz Diet Pepsi (0)
  • 6pm protein bar (13)
  • 7:30pm I went off program for a Staff Appreciation Party at the home of my boss. I did this intentionally. I ate a protein bar just beforehand to help stave off temptation. While everyone had beer and wine, I drank Diet Coke. When it came time to eat, I had two tacos: 4” corn tortillas, one with shredded beef, one with carne asada, a dollop of guacamole on each. I had a salad (just lettuce). Afterward, I ate approximately a half cup of strawberries. I skipped the rice and beans, the cheese enchiladas, and the churros. I consider it a successful evening for food choices. : )
  • Total carbs: unknown. But I didn’t go crazy off program.

Saturday, August 13, 2011
Protein Day
Pedometer steps: 10,170
Exercise: My husband woke me up this morning to go the gym. How cool is that?! We spent 30 minutes on the treadmill. About 5-10 minutes in the sauna. About 10 minutes in the spa. Then 30 minutes in the pool where I did some exercises I remembered from an aqua fitness class I took two years ago. My legs were pleasantly sore the rest of the day. Just a relaxing morning with my husband.

  • 8:30am 1 c skim milk (12), 1 tsp Sugar Free Metamucil (2), 2 chewable adult vitamins (3)
  • 11:30pm Lindora Chocolate Chocolate protein bar (13)
  • 1:45pm Lindora BBQ Soy Puffs (8)
  • 4pm 1 oz string cheese (1)
  • 6pm Lindora Wildberry Passion protein drink (1)
  • 8pm 1 c skim milk (12)
  • 11:30pm 0.5 oz string cheese (0.5) wrapped with 1.25 oz. deli turkey (0.5)
  • Total carbs: 53