Sunday, November 6, 2011

Weeks 15-18 Re-Cap!

I am waaaayyyyy behind on posts! Lots has been going on since my last post.  The scale and tape measure are still showing losses, so I am a happy girl.
I was just 3lbs shy of my 60lb goal when I went home last week.  I was a little disappointed, but losing the amount of weight I did was still reason to celebrate enough! The trip was good.  I loved seeing family and friends and being able to cheat just a little while home.  However, I am right back on track so I can keep up with reaching my next goal by the end of the year (100 lbs! eek!).
This is day 129 on the diet.  I have lost 79 inches and 60lbs. 
People are really starting to take notice now.  I had two physicians tell me they could really tell I had lost a substantial amount of weight.  One even called me skinny!
I think once I hit my main goal, I will see it and feel it.  I do have to admit that putting on my costume for the party last weekend was the first time I realized I am smaller than I was  when I started this transformation in July.
The positive reinforcement and buying smaller and smaller sizes is awesome motivation.  In order to be at my ideal weight, once I lose the next 40lbs, I will have another 22lbs to lose.  Depending on how I look and feel will determine if I push through to the next goal.   I still have a ways to go until though!

Monday, October 10, 2011


Well, at least I have reached my first large goal! Today I surpassed my 50lb goal and have lost a total 0f 51lbs!!!
I was too excited to wait for the end of the week to post this!!!! I have 9lbs left before I head to Memphis in 16 days!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Week 13 and 14 Re-Cap!

Last week was crazy busy!  I didn't have time for much of anything. So this week is a combined post for the past two weeks.
In week 13 I lost 3lbs and 3 inches.  This week I lost 2lbs and 5.25 inches. Thus far I have lost 49lbs and 70.5 inches!!!
I am 11lbs away from my October 26th goal. Today is day 101 on the diet.  We were asked at church this weekend to take part in a 40 day weight loss challenge.  This is to help raise money for the World Health ministry for a village in Guatemala.   November 19th we will all report our losses.  For each pound lost a dollar will be donated to help feed the children in the village.  So, I am motivated to keep it going!
I did a 5k for the American Cancer Society today.  It was fun spending time with others trying to make a difference for breast cancer patients!  I know that even 6 months ago I wouldn't have had the stamina for it.  Today it was, dare I say it....easy.  I felt like I could have kept going!!

Hopefully I will see continued losses! I am loving the results. I finally broke down and bought some new jeans 2 sizes smaller than the current size I had.  I have lost between 5-6 sizes already!!! 

17 more days until I arrive in Memphis!!! I cannot wait!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Slow Cooker Lasagna (Non-HCG recipe)

Thank Betty Crocker for this one! Though hubby hasn't had any yet, it smells wonderful!  It's still bubbling away in my crock pot....

1lb Italian Sausage
1 28oz can of tomato puree + 1 can water
1 28oz can of crushed of chopped tomato +1 can water
1-2 tsp grated garlic
1-2 TBSP Italian Seasoning
1-2 TBSP Balsamic Vinegar
1 medium onion chopped
1 large container small curd fat free cottage cheese
1 large or 2 16oz containers part skim ricotta cheese
1 container grated Parmesan cheese
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
salt and pepper to taste
1 package flat lasagna noodles

In a large skillet or stock put sweat the chopped onion with 1 tbsp olive oil.  When onions are translucent, add the Italian sausage (taken out of casing).  Brown until cooked through then drain the fat from the sausage.  Add the tomato puree, crushed tomato, and 2 cans water.  Add the seasonings and balsamic.  Simmer sauce while preparing other ingredients.

In a bowl mix the ricotta, cottage cheese, and Parmesan.

In the slow cooker begin by adding the sauce to the bottom of the pot. Then add a layer of noodles (do not cook them first).  Next add a layer of the cheese mixture.  Follow this by a layer of sauce and repeat.  Cook for 4 hours. Add the mozzarella in the last 5 minutes of cooking to the top.  Not all of the two cups needs to be used unless you like it really, really cheesy!!!!

Butternut Squash Mash

Though I love sweet potatoes. Sadly, these are not a HCG friendly food.  Butternut squash is a low glycemic food approved for the modified OWL diet. 
I have been playing around with the texture of this food and found it to be a good substitute for a potato.
Our local Walmart Neighborhood store carries fresh, steam in a bag, cubed butternut squash.  Otherwise, have fun chopping and peeling and cubing it yourself :)

1 bag of the cubed steam in bag butternut squash
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon splenda
4-8 sprays of non-calorie spray butter (I Cannot Believe It's Not Butter or equivalent)
Microwave the squash for 3 to 4 minutes.  Add squash to skillet and mix in cinnamon, splenda, and spray butter.  Cook with 1/4 cup water to further soften.  Mash with a potato masher or add directly to food processor and blend until smooth.  Soooo good!

Week 12 Re-Cap! Also end of round #2!

I have successfully completed two 43 day rounds on the HCG diet.  Today is day #87.  Thus far have lost 44lbs and 61.25inches.  I made up for the stall last week and then some! I lost 4.5inches this week alone.  Exciting stuff to still see the scale move and the measuring tape get smaller.

The count down to Memphis is on as tomorrow is the 30 day mark! I am really looking forward to seeing family and friends.  I still another 16lbs to go.  I am participating in a breast cancer 5k in October and looking forward to breaking in my Vibram Sprint barefoot shoes that I got for a steal on Amazon for only 44 dollars and some change with shipping! They will be here Tuesday!

Other than that, the next big deal is confirming my measurements for my custom costume I have already ordered.  I have another 2 inches to lose to be in the size I want.  So I am hoping to see those last 2 inches leave this week in preparation for the final "weigh-in" prior to ordering!

Here goes nothing.....

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Week 11 Re-Cap!

Today is day #78 of my diet. I started a new  work out plan last week that included light hand weights.  My weight stalled ALL. WEEK.  I only lost 2lbs.  I was not a happy camper.  My eating didn't change, so I knew that wasn't a factor.

I revisited Simeon's protocol and read on a forum I visit that stalls often happen when a new regime begins or after losing an extreme amount of weight.  It didn't make me feel any better, so I measured.  Sure enough I lost 3.25 inches in less than a week.  I was too anxious to wait until Saturday.  As of this morning I have already lost 2.50 inches.  Total inches lost from neck to ankles is 57.75.  Ok, I can live with that.  I am now at 42lbs lost. 

I have 36 days remaining before I leave for Memphis.  Next week I will be giving my final measurements to the costume maker.  I really hope I can lose the next 18lbs in 36 days.  I want to reach my goal of 60lbs by the time I get home.  I guess if I only make it to 50-55 lost, I will still be happy. 

This is not a sprint, but I am realizing more and more it is a marathon....

Monday, September 19, 2011

Crock Pot Orange Chicken with Braised Angel Hair Cabbage (non-HCG recipe)

I am really loving the whole cook on Sunday for the majority of the week! Husband loves the meals, so it is a win-win.  Since I still have to fix my HCG meals, this saves lots of time for me.

You will need:
-1 2.5lb pound of frozen chicken tenderloins (non-breaded)
-2 onions thinly sliced
-1 bag of shredded cabbage (cole slaw cabbage, but could use bok choy if available)*
-1 bottle of Teriyaki Glaze
-1 20 ounce can of mandarin oranges in their own juice
-1 single serving bottle of simply orange brand orange juice (with or without pulp, your choice)
-1-2 tsp of Chinese 5 spice
-1-2 tsp of black pepper
-crunchy rice noodles for garnish or sesame seeds (or both)

Put the frozen chicken, onions, Teriyaki, can of mandarin oranges with juice, bottle of orange juice, and spices in crock pot for 4-6 hours. The last hour, add the cabbage.  Stir to combine.  Prior to serving prepare the chicken by cutting into bite size pieces. 
The sauce may be thin.  To thicken it add 1 tbsp corn starch to 1 tbsp cold water.  Stir to combine and then add to crock pot. Let sauce stand for a few minutes.  If not at desired consistency, repeat the process. 

Serve over brown rice and steam in bag shelled edamame.   This would also be good in butter lettuce as an orange chicken lettuce wrap.  For lettuce wrap, shred chicken instead of cutting it.


Thursday, September 15, 2011

Crock Pot Hawaiian Chicken (non-hcg recipe)

This is pretty much a non-hcg diet meal, but I thought it was worth posting.

1 2.5lb bag of frozen chicken tenderloins (non-breaded)
1 20oz can of pineapple chunks in their own juice, do not drain (no added sugar!)
2 medium onions quartered
1 bottle of Archer Farms (target brand) Hawaiian style BBQ sauce

Throw it all in a crock pot with salt (if you use it, I don't) and pepper.  Cook for 4-6 hours or on low for 8.  Prior to serving shred chicken with a fork.

serve over coconut basmati rice
1 can light coconut milk
cooked basmati rice
1-2 tbsp toasted cashews

serve with side of steam broccoli

I made this for the husband and he had enough for a few meals.  He seemed to like it.  Next week is Oriental Orange Chicken in the crock pot with edamame. 

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Sassy Water

I cannot take credit for this one. I stole it from Pinterest.

It initially came from the Prevention Flat Belly Diet Plan, 4 day jump start.

Sassy Water

2 liters water (about 8 ½ cups)
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
1 medium cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced
1 medium lemon, thinly sliced
12 small spearmint leaves.

Let steep overnight and drink by the end of the following day. 
*(I sliced the ginger so I could strain it out before drinking)

Week 10 Re-Cap!

Another week down.  Another 3lbs lost! I also lost 2.5 more inches, which is a total of 54 inches lost.  It has been 74 days since I started on this diet.  Despite my loss I have been stuck at 0.2lbs away from my next goal of 40lbs for what seems like ages (but it has only been a four days).  I know, "would you like some whine with your cheese?"

I am still pleased, but need the scale to keep moving.  I am not near done yet! I have my next goal which is another 20lbs set for my Memphis trip (in 43 days!). I cannot stress enough the importance of setting long term and short term goals.  It really does keep you going.  Not only goal setting, but small tangible (non-food) rewards are a good motivator.

Over the past few weeks, I have cleaned out my closet.  It wasn't something I wanted to do, but had to do because my clothes just don't fit any more.  They are too loose, too long, too big! I am in between sizes at the moment which is proving frustrating, but it is better than being unhappy and unhealthy because of my weight.  I am almost ready for the next size down, which will mean clothes I haven 't seen since 2004!!!! Some still have tags as I became pregnant at the end of 2004 with my first child.

Pinterest has become a great source of inspiration.  I can pin my goals and my rewards, find HCG recipes, and discover new work-out regimens. 

I am keeping my fingers crossed that the scales move in the right direction soon! Another week down!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Week 9 Re-Cap!

In this diet, consistency has to remain the focus.  Some weeks losses will be greater than others.  However, consistency means you are doing something right!  So I guess, if nothing else, I am consistent.
Another 3lbs down this week! I am 2lbs shy of 40lbs lost now! I have 52 days until the Memphis trip. I have been on the diet for 59 days now.
I have started ordering pieces of my costume and am getting pretty excited! The wig came in this week.  Next week I will be ordering the costume (since it is custom, I need to make sure I give plenty of time).
I am looking forward to buying some smaller fall clothing for the trip as well, but won't do that until right before I leave town. 
Since the beginning of phase two, which is day number 44 and beyond, I have lost about 1/2 per day.  This makes about about 8lbs lost in 16 days.  So I did some math, which if people know me at all, I hate math and cannot do it in my head! So trusty calculator in hand I figured I had 16 days x 3 which =48 days.  with my current track record of the 8lb in 16 days I should be able to lose 24 lbs.  That will bring me exactly to my goal of 60lbs lost right before I depart for Memphis!

Now to just remain consistent for the next 48-52 days!!!  Depending on time, I might have a few more recipes to share this week.  It has been really busy with work, home, Nic & Lou designs, and now I am starting back up on the baking side of things as well!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Italian Chicken Marinara Skillet

This is similar to the "pizza chick" recipe I posted, but I thought it would be a good one to fight boredom on the diet.

This recipe is better suited for the OWL plan but can be tweaked for the Simeon's plan as well.

-3.5oz chicken breast boiled with italian seasoning and black pepper.  Once cooled off shred chicken with two forks
-1 tsp no sodium tomato paste
-1-2 tbsp no sodium tomato sauce
-1-2oz chopped, sauteed onions or shallots
-1 tsp Ms. Dash Tomato Basil seasoning
-1/4 cup fat free shredded mozzarella (optional)
-1 tsp fresh basil

Sautee onions until translucent, add tomato sauce, paste, and seasonings.  Simmer on Med-High heat until combined.  If sauce too thick add 1/8 cup water.   Add chicken.  stir and let cook together for a few minutes.  Last step is add the shredded cheese.  Transfer to plate and serve. Garnish with fresh chopped basil.

For Simeons compliant plan: Omit onions (remember-don't mix veggies) and cheese. Sub fresh tomato for the canned sauce/paste.  Sautee' tomatoes with seasoning and some water to create a thin sauce.  Can thicken if preferred with a tsp of cornstarch.  Follow remaining instructions. 

*can serve either with a portion of miracle (shirataki) noodles.

Week 8 Re-Cap!

And.....58 days until I am Memphis bound!

This week my inches lost were minimal.  I am not too happy about this.  Only losing 1.75 inches makes me nervous that the weight loss is slowing.  I am just hoping for consistency and not a full on plateau!
I am even closer to the 40lb goal! I only have 5.5 more to lose!  The 40lb mark is also the goal I set before ordering my fabulous Halloween costume from the Etsy Shop Glamtastik! I am taking a little more avant garde approach to my Marie Antoinette theme. 

This week was a lot of old stand-by recipes.  However, I did a chicken marinara skillet recipe and it was really tasty.  Recipe to come soon! 

So, got to keep going! It seems like I have been on this diet much longer than 8 weeks.  But, the reward is pretty nice.  Smaller clothes, better health, more energy and hopefully less medications for my polycystic ovarian syndrome!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Creamsicle Magic Mousse

Ok, this treat has been around quite a while. However, I found I can have this on the modified plan and not gain!
This treat goes by the name Jello Magic Mousse.  It is revamped with sugar free jello and sugar free cool whip.

Watch the serving size.  1/2 cup is all you get, so savor every single last bite!

3oz box of sugar free jello
1 1/2 cups boiling water
8oz container of Cool Whip Free

In a large bowl-
Combine the boiling water and jello and stir until dissolved.  Add in the cool whip and stir until combined. 
Pour 1/2 of the mixture into serving dishes (prefer clear so you can see the layers). Makes 5 servings.
Chill for 4 hours minimum in the fridge.

Round about calories are no more than 60.  Yummy! 

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Losing Weight

I took this from a Pinterest pal! I believe this will be on a tea towel soon!

"I'm not losing weight.  I'm getting rid of it.  I have no intention of finding it again!"

Amen Sista!!!!!

Skinny B*tch!

I embroidered this pin-up tea towel for a friend.  We are in this whole diet thing together.  There are some days I know I would have thrown in the towel if it weren't for her. 
The towel says:
So, you can either be fat and jolly or a skinny bitch.  It's your choice.....

Our mantra for this crazy quest we are on to improve our bodies inside and out!

Green Bean "Fries"

I have been craving french fries. I don't usually like them all that much, but this past week I could have gone for some 5 Guys fries.  Alas, I abstained!
I created something to replace those dangerous, yet delicious fries.

I don't normally care for green beans.  But, I needed something different this week.  So I found a bag of fresh steam french style green beans at our local Walmart market.   I steamed them half of the time that the instructions allowed. I then sprayed them with the no calorie butter spray and tossed them in a parmesan seasoning mix  by Kraft that I found with the cans of parmesan cheese at the market.  I used a third of the bag and tossed them in a bowl before spreading them out on a cookie sheet in an even layer and baking for 5 minutes at 350 degrees.
The result was a nutty flavor and a slightly crisp texture.   I even served them to the husband who agreed they were good. 
I am guessing this will serve as a replacement for fries long after this phase of the diet is behind me.  Of course, this is a "rogue" recipe as it is not compliant with Simeon's protocol.  It is however, a better match for the modified OWL plan.

Week 7 Re-Cap!

Today is day #51.  I am happy to report that I have lost 30.5lbs! I have lost a total of 43 inches.  11.5 of those 43 inches are from my hips!
I lost 3lbs this week and 5.5 inches.  Though the loss was a little slow this week and I stalled for a few days, I am still pleased.  I was able to throw out (well, donate to Good-Will) an entire laundry basket of clothes last weekend.  I am fitting into my smaller sizes and even some of those are loose. 

I have fallen in love with loose leaf tea and drink a cup in the evening when I get home from work.  I am on the search for interesting flavors of black tea at the moment.
I don't typically care for green beans, but have found a fondness for them as well as plain steamed broccoli and cauliflower.  Of course these foods are not on the original protocol that Dr. Simeons developed, but on the modified plan they are allowed.  And it is a good thing for me as salads are getting a tad boring!

This diet has helped with some of my health issues.  No migraines in over a month! I have been able to cut out one of my medications for my polycystic ovarian syndrome as it causes hypoglycemia now. 
Though extreme, this diet is working for me.  I am looking forward to traveling home in October.  I have changed my mini goal from 50lbs lost by October 26th to 55-60lbs.  I think this is doable because of my 30.5lb success in 51 days!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Week 6 Re-Cap or the End of Round 1!

43 Days are complete! I feel better already! I have more energy and don't dread getting on the scale near as much.  My journey is far from over though!
Down another 5lbs this week! That is a total of 27.5lbs lost.  I have lost over 38 inches from neck to ankles as well.
We are having ceviche tonight. I look forward to it! HCG recipe to come soon.  Don't worry this can be made with cooked scallops if you are fearful of raw fish.  I happen to love raw fish, so no fear from me!!! 

As I have mentioned I have mini goals set along the way.  My next is set for October 28th (about 73 days away I think).  I hope to have lost another 23lbs by then to get my total of 50lbs lost.  I would love it to see an even larger amount lost by then though .  I have purchased my ticket, found my costume (waiting for a bit to order to get an even smaller size!), and have lots of plans with family and friends!!!!

I say it is the end of round 1 because a typical round on the Simeon's protocol is 43 days.  I am not stopping here however.  I am going to follow the OWL plan and continue on my plan without any breaks.  Rogue, I know.  But it is working for me.  I don't feel any immunity, so I am pressing forward!

On to round two and another 43 days! Have a great week!

Thursday, August 11, 2011


I miss pizza.  When pregnant with Lou I craved it constantly! So on this diet, I sometimes miss it!

I cannot take all the credit for this one.  Hungry Girl has a recipe that is similar called pizza-fied chicken (Cooking Channel or Food Network).  Her version is 280 calories and like 6 grams of fat.  I think I can do a little better and modify it to meet the OWL plan at least.

This really won't be Simeon's protocol compliant.  So a little rogue in terms of the HCG world.  There again, this is trial and error.  What may work for one person, may make another gain.  I still think the first time around on whatever HCG plan you follow, you should stick to it strictly.  The second and subsequent rounds I think experimenting helps to keep you on track and stave off boredom!

-3.5oz or 100gm chicken breast (either pounded out thin or a cutlet)-140 calories
*larger surface area not only takes less time to cook but fools the eye as the piece looks much larger
-1/8-1/4 cup of no salt added tomato sauce-10 to 20 calories
-1-2 tbsp of no salt added tomato paste-15 to 30 calories
-1oz of chopped and sauteed onion-11.5 calories
-turkey pepperoni-4 calories per slice (5 slices cut into 4th's)
*pepperoni is optional
-you may add another veggie choice, like bell pepper, mushroom, broccoli,
-1 slice fat free swiss cheese-25 calories
-1-2 tsp Italian seasoning or Ms. Dash Tomato Basil seasoning

Sautee chicken, mix italian seasoning with tomato sauce and paste.  Put over chicken breast, add cooked veggies of choice and pepperoni in the skillet.  Cover the chicken with the slice of cheese cut into strips. 
Either place lid on the skillet or into a warm over to melt cheese.

the chicken is the protein replacement for a carb heavy crust.  Kind of like pizza or kind of like chicken parmesean.

Sounds pretty yummy! I am making this tonight!
The total calories excluding the optional veggie is 235.  I know the fat is around 3-4 grams.  Still for dinner, it is balanced and should kill that craving for pizza...I hope!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Week 5 Re-Cap!

Such a busy this week!  Though I cooked, it was a lot of repeat recipes. With my parents and brother being in town I was afraid I would gain.  Luckily, I didn't! I actually lost! I did stay with the protocol and only did some slight modifications by adding in a couple of rum and coke zero's to the mix.  My dad cooked for us at the condo a couple of times and made food according to my diet. 
I decided to take my measurements once a week.  This way when the scale doesn't move as much as I think it should, I can be encouraged by lost inches.
I only lost 2 pounds this week, but did manage to lose 16.5 inches (measurements taken from neck to ankle).  So in 36 days I have lost a total of 33.5 inches and as of yesterday have lost 22.5lbs.
We went out on a boat on Friday and I managed to take a picture of myself I didn't hate.  It has been a while since I would allow a picture to be taken because I hated the way even my face looked in them.  I really haven't been able to tell a huge difference.  This week I am seeing some changes and cannot wait to see more!
My next goal is set between days 45-50 to reach the 30lb mark.  Though lofty, my next goal is set for the end of October.  I hope to have lost 50lbs by then.  I am headed home to Memphis for a costume party and would love to surprise some family and friends with a new, smaller me! 
On to week 6!  


Thursday, August 4, 2011


*I did not get paid or get free Mio for expressing my love for this product, but I wish I did!
About 4-5 months ago I started hearing about Mio. Mio is a liquid drink enhancer.  Unlike the Crystal Light or other powdered products, Mio dissolves and doesn't end up on the bottom of the glass or bottle. I love it! You can use just a little or more to your taste.  It is zero calorie, so of course I am loving that!

I am a southern girl and I looooove some sweet tea.  Well, I have given up the obvious sweet/sugar in my tea.  This is sad, I know.  But, I found after brewing my regular tea I can add some of the Mio peach flavor to give me a sweet tea that I don't mind drinking.  The sweet tea Mio flavoris ok, but I like the peach tea flavor better.
I now have to drink lots more water in this diet.  Water is a good thing, but boring.  Mio has great flavors like the fruit punch,  strawberry watermelon, and berry pomegranate.

So if you haven't tried it yet, you should. Just sayin.....

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Omelet and "Toast"

As I have recently mentioned, I am a little tired of the meat options on the HCG diet. Though not a standard on the Simeons protocol, it is nice to have a meatless option at least once a week.
I have found the egg beaters (egg substitute) to be a good protein option.  I use the southwestern flavor and can make a ginormous omelet for 120 calories plus fat free cheese (1/4 cup=45 calories), and topped with salsa (2 tbsp-15 calories).  The meal is balanced and only 180 calories!

I admit, I miss carbs....sometimes.  I have found a replacement for toast and it is these Rice Thin cakes (3 cakes=55 calories) from Whole Foods.  I spread a powdered peanut butter from Bell Plantation called PB2 on them.  It is 45 calories for 2 tbsp mixed with water. I then top the PB2 with a little Polaner Sugar Free + Fiber Strawberry Preserves (1 tbsp=10 calories).  I never use a tbsp, probably just a tsp or 2 of the preserves.
This creation takes the place of bread and fat laden peanut butter.  

Of course, these recipes are totally rogue and do not follow the guidelines of Simeons or the OWL plan.  However, since this is the second time doing this diet, I know a little more about what works for me. 

Monday, August 1, 2011

Goal!!!-Week 4 Re-Cap**

Well, not the main goal, but my mini goal has been met!!!

20.5lbs down in 28 days! I have even lost a total of 27 inches.  This diet is strict and unforgiving.  It is hard work.  But I see a bigger picture in the end.  One that leads to better health and hopefully going off some of my medications for polycystic ovarian syndrome.  I know the thyroid issue will never go away, but maybe it will improve with less weight to deal with.

On Saturday night we ordered in.  I have been very cautious about this, but was able to ask for grilled chicken and an additional order of steamed broccoli in place of the rice that came with the meal.  It was nice not having to cook for a change and still eat on protocol.  I don't think the broccoli is on Simeons plan but it is on the OWL plan, so I made an exception.

My parents and brother are visiting from Memphis this week.  We had dinner together last night at our place.  I made broiled key lime salmon,  sauteed diver scallops, wild brown rice, and steamed asparagus.  Since I was the cook, I broiled me some flounder (since I cannot have salmon), had the scallops. and the asparagus with it.    I even turned down the pina colada and had a rum and coke zero (1/2 a shot-this is allowed on the OWL plan).

I also cheated for the first time on this diet.  I was dreading the scales, but did not gain! I made key lime pie with the  meringue topping.  I did use a low fat graham crust and a fat free sweetened condensed milk.  I had a small slice and it was heaven!

Tonight is dinner at my parents condo.  I will be able to stay on protocol since it is steak and salad!

**As far as the weekly re-cap, I lost 6lbs this week!!!

More recipes to come.  Husband has asked for taco salad this week.  He loves it as much as I do!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Tofu and Shirataki Noodles with Asian Style Dressing

I have to admit, I am getting a little tired of meat recently.  I don't think I could handle the Atkins diet because it seems mainly centered around protein (meat). 
As fellow HCG dieters on the Simeons protocol are aware, other than white flesh fish, certain types of seafood, chicken (white meat only),  and lean steak like filet, we aren't allowed other types of meat.
So there is only so much one can take. 
I have been looking at tofu as an option.  However, most I found were too high in fat and calories.  I stumbled upon low fat, low calorie tofu which is 40 calories and 1.5gm of fat in 79 grams. I used a small skillet and toasted the tofu on both sides and put some no calorie spray butter on them.

Miracle noodles or shirataki noodles are a good substitute for pasta.  Not that they taste like the real thing, but they do help with the craving and contain tons of fiber. I heated the noodles in a sauce pan with this all purpose dressing and marinade I have concocted:

1-2 tsp light soy sauce
1-2 tsp rice vinegar
1-2 tsp Mirin (fortified sake)
1-2 tsp chili sauce (can use hot or mild to taste)

Wisk together and serve with the tofu and noodles, cucumber salad, steak salad, grilled chicken salad, etc...really the uses are endless.

*This is my go-to salad dressing!

Week 3 Re-Cap

It is typical to see a huge weight loss in week 1 and then for the body to adjust and have smaller, but hopefully consistent losses in the remaining weeks.   This is exactly how I am responding to the diet.  Luckily, it still puts me within reach of my goal of losing 20lbs by the end of the month.  So another 3 lbs down this week!

I went out with a friend of mine this weekend to look at wedding dresses.  She recently became engaged and is on the hunt for the "the dress". We stopped for lunch between boutiques and I had the seared tuna salad with dressing on the side.  I was worried I would stall or gain, but neither happened.  It was a small variation from the diet, but one that didn't cost me anything. I ended up losing another pound that day! 

With my parents coming in town, I am still planning on sticking to the protocol as closely as possible.  I know we will be going to out to eat, hopefully it will not effect my loss. 

So moving on the week 4.  I have another few pounds to lose before I make it to my first goal!!! This diet is strict but does allow you to think of food differently.  It allows your body to reset and rid itself of the toxins found in prepared and processed foods.  I am finding the diet easier to do this time around and am less tempted to cheat.  Hopefully I can keep it up and when December rolls around be in the last phases!  

Chilled Strawberry or Blueberry Soup

It is summer in southern Florida.  Though not as hot as our hometown of Memphis, TN with heat indexes in the 117-120 range, it is hot enough to warrant cooking without turning on the oven or stove. 
So, I went in search of a HCG diet friendly chilled fruit soup, made some adjustments, and came up with this quick snack, dessert, or side.

The modifications for the OWL plan is the addition of 3 tsp of fat free, plain Greek yogurt and the use of blueberries which are not allowed on Simeons protocol.

1/2 cup thawed strawberry blueberries (no sugar added) and their juice
3 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp orange zest
1-2 tbsp no calorie sweetener (to taste)
1 tbsp fat free half and half

Combine blueberries, lemon juice, orange zest, sweetener, and half and half in food processor. Blend until smooth.  Strain mixture through and mesh strainer.  Chill in fridge until ready to serve.  This would count as 1 serving of fruit. 

*I made this last night and it was a nice treat.  I mixed in the Greek yogurt after blending and it added just enough creamy texture to make it taste decadent when it really wasn't!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Week 2 Re-Cap

A few ups and downs this week.  The diet went well though.  I had about 3-4 days where the scale didn't move.  I was frustrated but worked through it. 
I find that one of the staples of this diet is my morning coffee with vanilla flavored sugar-free syrup (has splenda in it) and 2 tbsp of fat-free half and half.   Since breakfast is omitted (unless you use a piece of your allowed fruit), coffee or tea takes it's place. 
I know that research states metabolism works better when you eat breakfast, but this diet doesn't allow for it and I haven't been one to eat breakfast all of the time anyways. 
I am adjusting well to the no carb issue.  I know carbs are allowed on the modified OWL plan, however, I am really trying to follow the Simeons protocol as closely as possible so I can get the maximum benefit from this diet.
I have been having issue with getting to the 500 calorie mark as I normally not hungry enough to consume it all or my food choices/combinations do not add up to enough. I am working on adding in additional protein though. 
In 13 days I have lost 13.5lbs.  This is substantial for me and my sluggish metabolism!  So week 2 is in the books.  I am hoping to at least remain consistent and by the end of this month have lost at least 20lbs.  It seems like a logical goal as the protocol states that one can lose 20 lbs in 23 days.  The 23rd day of being on this diet will be July 27th. 

Moving on to week 3!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Fish with Tomato Broth

This is my own creation.
There are any modifications between Simeons' protocol and the OWL diet, except if you add the Caponata sauce I found at the market the other day (Sabra brand, I believe it is 30 calories for 2 Tbsp and 1.5 gm of fat-if stalling do not use!)

White fish (I am using corvina) 100gms-100 calories
14 grape tomatoes-approx. 40 calories
Shirataki Noodles (like miracle noodles, made of fiber)-20 calories for half a bag 
1/2-1 tsp Ms. Dash Table Blend or Lemon Pepper
Sliced lemon-3 slices
Soy Based Butter Substitute Spray
Fresh Basil (optional)
1-3 oz (your preference) of baby spinach leaves (3oz=20 calories)

Spray baking dish lined with foil with non-stick spray, add lemon slices to bottom of dish.
Place fish on top and add seasoning
sprinkle 1-2 tbsp water over fish and bake at 350 for 10 minutes or until translucent (I usually bake more than one portion at time, so cook time will be less if only making one serving)

Sautee grape tomatoes with a few sprays of non-caloric soy based spray (ex.I Cannot Believe It's Not Butter) over medium high heat, add black pepper  and other seasoning you prefer to taste (garlic power, salt, etc).  Sautee until tomatoes burst and give off some liquid. Add some water 1-3 tbsp to make a broth. Add in spinach just to wilt.

Prepare Shirataki noodles per package instructions.  You can add 1-2 tsp of tomato paste if you like to make a little sauce.

Pour tomato and spinach broth over noodles and place fish on top.  Add fresh chopped basil as a garnish for color and additional flavor.

*Feel free to squeeze fresh lemon juice over top of fish or serve with a wedge of lemon.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

HCG Phase 2 Legal "Cookies"

Giving up most carbs (pretty much all of them!) and sugar is not easy.  I like sweets, I won't lie.  I like to have a treat every now and again. Deprivation hasn't yet been a factor (but it is only the start of week 2!).  Husband has been very supportive and I really don't feel I am missing out on much.

However, I was watching my daughter eat an Oreo today and it hit me that I wanted a cookie! 

So off I went in search of "legal" phase 2 (very low calorie diet phase) desserts.  There aren't many, but I did find a forum with a recipe for legal meringue cookies.
I just took them out of the oven.  Not bad.  I haven't tasted them...... yet.

3 egg whites (each egg white is 17 calories)
1/8 tsp cream of tartar
1/8 tsp salt
1-2 tsp splenda (stevia is bitter) OR 1-2 tsp flavored sugar free syrup
1 tsp vanilla or almond extract (optional)

*I added 1 tsp cocoa powder (unsweetened)-20 calories for 1 tbsp, so 5 calories for 1 tsp

On a cookie sheet lined with foil or a silicone pad place 2 tsp of the mixture on the sheet spaced evenly apart, just like when baking cookies.
In a 250 degree oven bake for 20 minutes. Don't open the oven door!
Allow to cool and  hopefully enjoy!

I will report back after the taste test. Not that I would eat the whole sheet tray in a sitting, but with the added cocoa powder they are about 56 calories for all of the cookies! Seriously!

I didn't care for the first batch.  So I tried again.  This time I experimented with flavored sugar free syrup.  I had a Kahlua flavored one.  So I mixed in a tsp and whipped up the next batch. 
I also used a sandwich bag and cut off the corner and piped the cookies on the cookie sheet. I sprinkled the tops with a little splenda before baking but didn't use any in the meringue mixture itself.

These turned out much better.  The texture and flavor were fuller but the meringues are still so light!

HCG Calamari Steak and Cucumber Salad

I love calamari.  Ever since we moved to Florida there are lots more fresh seafood options.  Not only are there more options, our local market is right around the corner! Doris Italian Market has to be my most favorite find in this city! It has fresh, local produce and lots of fresh seafood and great deals on meat as well.
Anyways, my fish guy at Doris' turned me on to calamari steak when Doris suddenly stopped carrying the calamari rings I really liked.
The calamari steaks are even better!!!

So the recipe is simple and no need for modification between the Simeons protocol and The OWL diet.

3.5oz calamari steak-70 calories!
6oz peeled and thinly sliced cucumber(see my recipe for cucumber salad)
1 tsp pepper

Using a non-stick skillet, pepper both sides of the calamari steak and cook 2-3 minutes per side.
Slice the calamari in strips and place over the cucumber salad.  

Calamari is so low in calories, you can splurge and have a little extra without the guilt!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

HCG Week 1 Re-Cap

When deciding to go on the HCG diet, I read lots of research (pro and con HCG) before moving forward. Medical weight loss clinics offer the diet along with doctor instruction and over-sight for a pretty hefty fee.  However, being a nurse, I decided to go it on my own.
I also decided to stray slightly from the original protocol (Dr. Simeons) and follow some of Dr. Abbott's plan (The Owl Diet).  
Here is an over-view:
-injections are done daily and not skipped at all (Simeons protocol said to hold injections once a week and during the time of the month)
-I am on a continuous round (no 43 day rounds with breaks between them) until I lose the amount of weight desired
-500 calories per day (the HCG is to release 3,500 calories or 1 pound of stored fat daily, this is where the rest of the caloric "fuel" is coming from)
-2 liters of fluids a day (water, tea, crystal light, Mio, and coffee-black)
-20 minutes of low impact exercise a day
-per the OWL diet may add in additional fruit and vegetables that Simeons did not allow (mushrooms, peppers, blueberries, melon, squash, cauliflower)
-I am adding in sugar free jello (10 cals) and sugar free cool whip  (15 cals) as a treat because I feel depriving myself of all sweet things will be too much and lead to cheating

So, even though I am not giving a starting weight, I will at least report my week one total loss which is 9.5lbs.  I feel this is an excellent start, but realize some of this is water weight.  I will not expect such grand losses each week, but to at least remain consistent with a 0.5lb loss per day would be ideal.

HCG Tips and Tools of the Trade

In order to prepare foods properly for the HCG diet, you first need to plan! Meal/menu planning sets you up for success.  There is no guessing or estimating when you exactly what you are putting into your mouth and how much.
So what is needed to meal plan?

1. Food scale-measure out all portions of meat, chicken, seafood and place in freezer safe bags before freezing. A portion of meat is 100gm=3.5oz.  Take out meat the night before or morning of the planned meals to thaw in the fridge. That way your meal is waiting on you to prepare it!
2. Make sure you have measuring spoons and cups available to measure vinegars, veggies, etc...It is not recommended to eyeball servings.
3. Use a computer program, spreadsheet, or the handy phone apps to track and plan your meals and calories.  Staying within the 500 calories (Simeons) or 700 calories (OWL diet) is much easier when you can calculate and track your daily totals.
4. Non-stick small skillet (think omelet size).  Since you are not using oils or butters, the non-stick skillet is a great cooking tool!
5. Switch to smaller plates and bowls.  I know this is an age old trick, but it does fool the eye and psychologically helps when eating such smaller portions.
6. Season your food! We eat with our eyes first. If food is bland, it is unappealing to look at and really not that appealing to eat either! Think fresh and dried herbs, dried chili flake, pepper, and salt free seasonings.
7.  When grocery shopping, stick to the perimeter of the store.  There is hardly anything needed from the interior isles (except seasonings). This limits temptations!

I am sure there are other tips, tricks, and tools of the trade for the HCG plan (and healthier eating in general).  I will more than likely post some more of these at another time!


HCG Cucumber Salad

This salad has been my go to side for at least one of my meals this entire week! It is quick, refreshing, and a nice pairing with stir fry chicken, steak, calamari, and even surimi (imitation crab).

There is no modification for this salad  between the two protocols (Simeons and The OWL diet).  I will preface this by saying I know artificial sweeteners are not allowed on Simeons protocol.  However, I have a hard time with Stevia (bitter taste) and use splenda in it's place from time to time.

Cucumber Salad
3-4oz of cucumber (4oz=12 calories)
1-2 tsp of rice vinegar
1/2-1 tsp of low sodium soy sauce
1/2 packet of stevia or splenda (to taste)
1 tsp black pepper (to taste)

Peel the cucumber. Using the peeler, I go ahead and make thin slices or ribbons.  You may choose to cut the cucumber however you prefer it.  I use a good English cucumber because there are less seeds.  Mix the "dressing" together allowing the sweetener to dissolve.  Add in the cucumbers and allow to sit and marinate for at least 10 minutes before serving. 

Very refreshing! You can also add in half an orange (approx. 40 cals depending on weight) to the salad as well and squeeze some of the juice in place of the stevia/splenda.  

HCG Taco Salad

We had this for dinner tonight.  And when I say we, I mean my husband and me! He actually asked that I make it for him too!
Since I am following a little more of  the The OWL Diet (modified HCG plan) by Dr. Carter Abbott, I made a few exceptions to my otherwise strict menu.  Dr. Simeons original protocol "Pounds and Inches" is even stricter.   So I will share both versions of the recipe:

Simeons Protocol HCG Taco Salad

100 gm (3.5oz) ground extra lean beef (97/3 ratio)-180 calories

3oz shredded lettuce-12 calories
1-2 tbsp (no more than 10 cals) picante sauce (look at sugar content!)-10 calories
1tbsp Southwest Chipotle Ms. Dash Seasoning
1-2 tbsp Chipotle Tobasco Sauce (optional, to taste)

Prepare ground beef with seasoning and 1 tbsp of salsa.  Saute in non-stick skillet.  Serve over shredded lettuce with additional salsa or tobasco sauce.

OWL Modified HCG Taco Salad

100gm (3.5oz) ground extra lean beef (97/3 ratio)-180 calories
3oz shredded lettuce-12 calories
1-2 tbsp (no more than 10 cals) picante sauce (look at sugar content!)-10 calories
1 tbsp Southwest Chipotle Ms. Dash seasoning
1-2 tbsp Chipotle Tobasco Sauce (optional to taste)
1 wedge laughing cow light Queso Fresco and Chipotle cheese-35 calories
1oz pickled jalapeno peppers-5 calories

Prepare ground beef with seasoning and 1 tbsp of salsa.  Saute in non-stick skillet. Add in the wedge of laughing cow and let melt into sauteed ground beef.  Serve over the shredded lettuce with  jalapenos and additional salsa or tobasco sauce. 

The heat level on this dish may be too much for some people.  Adjust the seasonings to taste. These are just the guidelines I loosely follow.  Ole!

*For hubby's salad I added additional meat and lettuce, some low fat shredded cheese, a few crushed up tortilla chips, and mixed the salsa with low fat ranch dressing. He loved it!

Long Hiatus....and a Change in Format

It has been a while.  It is not that I haven't been cooking (because I cook every day!) or haven't had anything to write about, but we have been busy living life and settling here in Florida.
Now that I have a moment, I can explain that the tone and purpose of this blog will be taking a detour for a bit.  I have decided to start and have started on a controversial diet.  The HCG diet is a very restrictive diet that also utilizes HCG injections.  I have done lots of research on the diet and though not for everyone, I believe this diet will help me.
Medically speaking, I have been given 2 strikes against me.  I was diagnosed with autoimmune hypothyroidism and poly-cystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) not long after I married (May 2003).  The news was not pleasant.  The problem is both the thyroid issue and PCOS make it difficult to lose weight. The PCOS causes insulin resistance which can lead to Type II diabetes (no thank you!). The thyroid disorder makes for a sluggish if existent at all, metabolism.   Since the diagnosis, I have been through 2 pregnancies.  Luckily, I didn't gain a ton of weight with either of them.  However, I have had such issues with trying to lose weight and to no avail.  I must also mention, I don't eat poorly.  I have been pretty health conscious most of my life.  I am pretty active as well.  I run after two kids, have a full time job, and a very busy life in general.  So the idea that if you eat healthy and are an active person you should be able to maintain or lose weight doesn't apply to individuals with Hypothyroidism and/or PCOS.  My endocrinologist told me that I needed to accept the fact that these disorders have changed the way my body works and I will never look like I used to.  But, when I look in the mirror, I don't see me.  So I am going to try anything I can to make a change (within reason).
I know that there are people who will disagree with this diet.  I know there are people who will argue the science behind it.  However, I ask that if anyone should post comments concerning this diet, my progress, and recipes that it be positive.
The diet has been around since the 1950's and has gone through several peaks and valleys in regards to interest and effectiveness.  The medical director of the organization I work for recently completed this diet and did very well.  He is a breast cancer specialist and needed to lose weight for cardiac health issues.  He is even considering offering this diet for his breast cancer patients as there is some information that the HCG diet may be beneficial to those in remission, not only for weight loss but for hormonal reasons.
The recipes, though tailored for the HCG diet, can be used as a part of a low carb, low sugar diet as well.   I started phase 2 (very low calorie phase) of the diet July 5th.
Though I will not be sharing photos (before and after), starting weight, or measurements; I will share my progress and struggles as a weekly re-cap along with the recipes I have found or created.  
I look forward to sharing my creations and possibly helping anyone else who is on the HCG diet or just trying to eat healthier.
Thanks and Bon Appetit!