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!