Thursday, February 04, 2010

Winner! Winner! Chicken Dinner!

Actually, chicken salad and bamboo ginger soup for dinner and that was not my reward. Yesterday, I reached day 15 on the South Beach program and passed the 2 week tough phase 1 elimiating carbs (including fruit) and sugar. In 2006 when Harley introduced me to the diet, I was skeptical. I tried it slightly but was never able to follow it all the way. Finally, I finished reading the book this year and took it more seriously. The science makes sense and I am not a fool so I thought I would give it a fair shot. My cravings for sugar and blood sugar fluctuations were getting out of hand and I needed some sort of control. The South Beach program seemed to be the ticket for me to invest in.

I will not lie to you. Following the program precisely is not easy! There is sugar in virtually EVERYTHING! It is hard to find dressings, condiments, marinades, any food put into a package, that does not contain some sort of sugar. It is really hard to eliminate it all together and thus there were some things here and there with 1-3 grams of sugar per serving but I tried my best to keep it at a minimun. Therefore, you will find that you need to do mostly all of your meal preparation. Even at Trader Joe's I found a nice convienent bag in the frozen isle of mixed approved chopped vegetables not acceptable. Upon reading the nutritional label, I discovered that a sauce or marinade was added which had added sugar and fat. Make it on your own and you can control what is being on your vegetables. It is also healthier to use fresh vegetables. Thus, I end up constant chopping, cooking, cleaning, and measuring out portions as Harley counts calories with his challenge program at the gym.

I also found it hard and limiting going out to eat anywhere on phase 1 because you really do not know what is being put into the food. How many grams of sugar are in that dressing? Is there sugar in the marinade for the meat? If teriyaki, you bet your bottom it is loaded with sugar. While it is possible, your choices are severely limited. We went out for Thai one day and I ordered a soup and a curry vegetable and chicken dish with no coconut milk added. Generally thai dishes with coconut milk add sugar in the recipe. I only know that from cooking it myself. It is often difficult to find an entre with both meat and vegetables. Often the choice is one or the other and vegetarian dishes almost always are loaded with carbs used to replace meat. :(

So back to my reward for a job well done.......

I probably over did it a little yesterday with the addition of carbs in phase 2 (steel cut oatmeal and a cup soy milk for breakfast, meatloaf for lunch which has either oatmeal or bread in it, sugar free chocolate pudding for a snack, a little too much lite cool whip, and an overabundant handful of dried apricots and another of dried blueberries, cherries, and craisens with peanuts). I was just so excited to make it through the 2 weeks and lose exactly what it tells you will happen (8-10 lbs or more in phase 1). I started out at 131.8 and yesterday morning (start of day 15, day 1 of phase 2) I weighed in at 121.8! :D Last Wednesday I had an electronic body fat composition done which was 20% at a weight between 124-125. This morning I gained a little back, weighing in at 122.6. But that is probably accounting for water weight which I had been expecting. No harm done though. I probably needed a little break day before getting back on track again.

So now at phase 2, I can add back in certain carbs again slowly. I can also reintoduce dairy items such as milk and yogurt. In phase 2, you lose only 1-2 lbs a week but the idea is to start getting your body used to a more normal healthful eatting cycle now that your insulin levels are regulated. You continue on this phase until you reach your goal weight with the objective to maintain that weight. The maintainence phase is phase 3 which you stay on for life and if you slide away to overindulge, you just shift back to phase 1 for awhile.

My goal is 123-125 which is the healthy range I have determined to be at. When a surgery or treatment comes up, that weight provides me a safe "cushion zone" of 10 lbs to gain or lose as the result of recovery (115-135). Thus, it is always my aim to stay within this range and maintain that magic number which I have for over 3 years. I will stay within phase 2 until I reach 120 which gives me a safe + or - 5 buffer to keep within the 123-125 range.

I decided posting my daily menu plan was kind of monotonous and boring as well as time consuming. Please write a comment if you would like me to post a couple days of the phase 2 so you get an idea of what it looks like.

I do want to tell you that it has been fun and I have learned to explore more healthy food options and try new recipes.

I never before ate edamame (soy beans) or radishes but discovered a very tasty and filling edamame salad. And I made the Chicken Larb Gai recipe I posted earlier with a little modification (cilantro). It was FANTASTIC and even better than at the restaurant! Harley loved it and it was all gone the day after I cooked it.

Other recipes I ventured with and enjoyed:

Oven roasted veggies with italian dressing (green, red, orange, yellow pepper, mushroom, frozen artichoke hearts - TraderJoe's, and either asparagas, zuchini, or red onion).
spinach stuffed mushroom caps
oriental cabbage salad
rosemary broiled king salmon
brocoli slaw/spinach mushroom baked eggs
lime marinated baked tillapi fish

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