Week 6 – Pictures of Meals

Guess what?  Tony has lost 21.8 lbs!  His pants don’t fit.  How sad.  Me?  No change, still at 8.8 lbs.  I don’t feel bad about, though.  Tony is very strict and eats 95% according to plan.  This is because his sensitive tummy loves the new foods and when he strays he suffers with pain.  I don’t have that same intense incentive.  So I probably eat 75% according to plan.  I haven’t notice any significant changes, except my clothes fit a little better.

Here are a few of the meals we ate this week.  Keep your eye open for meal = veg + veg + protein formula that I think is the key to this plan’s success.

Lunch 1

The Plan - Lunch
The Plan – Lunch

Here’s a typical lunch.    It’s leftover roast vegetables (carrots, zucchini, squash, and sometimes broccoli, kale, beets), salad made of spinach and other greens with a little bit of grated cheese, and a good helping of hummus on a rye cracker.

See how beautiful it is?  Wouldn’t you love to eat this?  I did.

Lunch 2

  The Plan – Lunch 2

This lunch is soup and salad.  This is the book’s “Spicy Vegetable Soup” which has any vegetables you like plus chickpeas and a fully loaded salad with any combination of greens, avocado, goat cheese and pumpkin or sunflower seeds.

This is a very filling and satisfying meal.


The Plan - DinnerFor dinner we have beet and carrot slaw with pumpkin seeds, sauteed zucchini and onions and a 4 oz (6 oz for Tony) chicken breast with garlic sauce.  Don’t be afraid to add more of either or both vegetables.

Shrunken Stomachs

I feel like this new way of eating has shrunken our stomachs.  Last week when we went out for dinner Tony could only finish half his burger and I could only finish half my wrap. Yesterday we went out for thin crust pizza and the same thing happened.  We’d usually eat our own individual pizza, but this time we could only finish half.  We were full and didn’t want anymore food.  Not a bad side-effect if you ask me.

So it turns out you can’t actually shrink your stomach through diet.  Thanks webMD!  9 Surprising Facts About Your Stomach.  But dieting can reset you appetite thermometer.  Or you could try a tight corset.  I’m sure that’ll make you feel full too.

Gone with the Wind - Mammy laces Scarlett

The surprising facts that stood out for me were

  • You can’t shrink your stomach, but you can reset you appetite thermometer
  • Foods don’t digest in the order you eat them
  • Soluble fiber, like oat bran, beans, peas, and citrus fruits can cause more gas and bloating than insoluble fiber
  • It doesn’t matter what time of day you eat
  • But fats make you feel full longer than carbs

Week 5 – Ongoing Lessons

Cleo – 9.4lbs, Tony -20.8lbs

I have to remind myself that a pound a week loss is good and I can’t compare myself to Tony.  It seems so much easier for him.  Plus he drinks the beer he wants and still looses.  I eat my patisseries and it takes me all week to break even.  

Lesson 1:  Stop eating bakery deliciousness.

Lesson 2: Stop overindulging on the weekends.

Tony’s been pretty strict with his diet meal plan.  He eats what’s prepped for him and doesn’t deviate.  I get bored in the evening and start snacking.  But my snacks are much less interesting than they used to be – Instead of stoned wheat thins with peanut butter and honey I eat rye cracker with hummus or cashew butter.  The few times I had cow cheddar or real peanut butter and honey, I gained.  Also, I rye cracker with hummus might fill the hunger, but isn’t so tasty as to let you over indulge.

Lesson 3: Stick to your good snacks.  Hummus, cashew butter or goat cheese or salt-free potato chips.

Sometimes I still want my evening sweet treat, even after I have had my 1oz of dark chocolate.  So I go back for more (and more).  But chocolate has never led me to a gain.  Phew!  What’s the lesson here?  Don’t freak out?  And stick to dark chocolate?  I’m not sure.

Lesson 4: Enjoy your dark chocolate. 

Lesson 5: Just keep swimming!

That Tastes Fuzzy

When I was a kid my brother ate some cantaloupe and he said it tasted fuzzy.  My mom new immediately that meant he had a melon allergy.  I have lots of food allergies to, but over the last few years I stopped paying attention to the signs and just ate whatever I wanted.  It turns out that not only did I forget to listen to the signs, but I forgot what they were all together.

Tomatoes were one of the big allergies for me as a kid, so for a few weeks I stopped eating any form of tomato.  I was doing fine, so I decided to try some ketchup on my fries.  I told Tony that I’d just put a little dab on my lip and wait to see if I had a reaction.  After a moment I told Tony that it just burned like ketchup always does.  Ketchup doesn’t burn!, he said.  I argued that of course ketchup burns, just like tomatoes and vinegar burn due to their acidity.  Tomatoes and vinegar don’t burn!, he said.  What??!!  This is news to me.  Obviously I have an allergy to tomatoes and vinegar, but I completely missed the signs.

Another friend was telling me “you know how ginger numbs your tongue?”.  No, ginger doesn’t do that.  She protested and said that her husband agrees that ginger numbs your tongue.  Nope, you are both allergic.

If it tastes fuzzy, burns, numbs, causes itchiness, a scratchy throat,  a tickled throat, swelling, hives or any other sort of unpleasantness – don’t eat it, YOU ARE ALLERGIC!


Two-Week Menu Plan

Now that we are eating our own, I have to figure out how to keep up our good eating habits.  Part of why the 20-days went so well was that we just followed The Plan.  We knew exactly what all our meals were going to be.  We didn’t have to make any decisions.  I liked that all we had to do was buy groceries and cook.

I sat down with the book and made two 5-day meal plans, including lunch, snack and dinner.  For each plan I made a corresponding grocery list.  Now we have no excuses!  Just like the book, my menu often uses dinner’s leftovers for the next day’s lunch.  A protein needs to be added to every dinner, but that should be easy when it’s usually chicken.  And if we want dessert, it’s either an 1 oz of dark chocolate or fruit with whipped cream.

* Make enough for leftovers

Week 1
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
–       Spicy Veg Soup (*8)-       Baby romaine with ¼ avocado, pumpkin seeds and carrots, GC –       Sautéed zucchini and onion-       Baby romaine with ¼ avocado, pumpkin seeds and carrots

–       Rye +hummus

–       Spicy Veg Soup-       Roasted veg (squash, kale, carrots, broccoli…)

–       1/2oz GC

–       Spicy Veg Soup OR Greens and apple-       Open face sandwich with goat cheese, pumpkin, avocado –       Spicy Veg Soup-       Greens with goat cheese, avocado, sunflower seeds
Rye + nut butter Fruit + nuts 1 oz salt-free chips Carrots + hummus Fruit
–       * Sautéed zucchini and onion-       Beet and Carrot salad –       * Roasted veg (squash, kale, carrots, broccoli…)-       Greens –       * Sautéed kale or chard, broccoli, zucchini, carrots-       arugula –       Sautéed kale or chard, broccoli, zucchini, carrots-       Spinach –       Steamed squash-       Chopped salad with zucchini, carrots, sunflower seeds

Sunday – Make Spicy Veg Soup and hummus with other ½ can of chickpeas

Groceries – greens (10), 2 onion, kale, squash, 3 zucchini, broccoli, beet, carrots, garlic, avocado, chickpeas, goat cheese, rye crackers

Week 2
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
–       Open face sandwich with goat cheese, pumpkin, avocado-       Salad with seeds –       Vegetable Timbale-       Greens with pumpkin seeds –       Vegetable Timbale-       Greens with pumpkin seeds –       Spicy Chickpea Spinach-       Carrot Sticks –       Kale with garlic, s+p, citrus oil with pumpkin seeds-       Rye with cheese
1 oz salt-free chips –       Rye and hummus –       Rye and nut butter –       Fruit –       Fruit + almonds
–       * Vegetable Timable-       Spinach + citrus oil –       Beet and Carrot salad-       Greens –       * Spicy Chickpea Spinach-       No animal protein

–       Salad

–       * Kale with garlic, s+p, citrus oil-       Greens + avocado + apple –       Sautéed Vegetables

Week 2 Groceries – Greens (10), [spinach, onion (chickpea salad)], kale, [½ bunch chard or kale, zucchini red onion, carrots (timbale)], beet, garlic, chickpeas, goat cheese, rye crackers

Week 4

Friday – Test Salmon, Broccoli Problems

Tested salmon for dinner.  Tony had a stomach ache, but when we think about it we decide that it was more likely the broccoli.  This is the second time we think he was bothered by broccoli.  It also seems that when broccoli is part of a bunch of veggies it’s ok.  So it’s not a full ban on broccoli, just a ration.

Saturday – Party Day!

C -0.4, T -1.2

Today we’re celebrating with friends and we know we’ll be drinking beer and eating party food.  So to prepare, we stay clean all day and plan for a rest day tomorrow.  Since Tony was fine with wheat beer, he’s going to try malt beer today.

For breakfast Tony decides to have the smoothie with 2% milk.  Within half an hour his stomach has puffed out and his belly aches.  Well, that’s a pretty strong reaction to cow milk.  He seems to be fine with the half and half in his coffee, but for breakfast he’s going to have to have coconut or rice milk.  I’m sorry he’s in so much pain, but I’m glad we were able to clearly identify milk as a problem food.

We eat lots of “unclean” foods.  Burger and beer, then chips and dip, cookies, candy more beer and ice cream cake.  Oh, when you list it all like it sounds like a gorge-fest.  Well, I guess it was.

Sunday – Party Recovery, or Party Day 2

C +2.4, T 1.2 – How can Tony lose twice as fast and gain half as much?  Arg!

Not actual breakfast!

To make up for yesterday’s binge, I have full intention to eat clean.  It only lasts until I get out of bed.  Tony has made french toast with sausage.  We have house guests, which include a 15 year old birthday girl, so how can we not eat a special birthday breakfast?

Tony’s been wanting french toast for a while because he’s passed bread and eggs, but I haven’t tested eggs yet.  Oh well, I won’t say no to this golden delight in maple syrup.  Plus he carefully selected the sausage, so it only contains “real” ingredients.  Breakfast is delicious, but I have a few pieces of french toast (more than the single slice I had tested) and there’s no fruit in sight.

Lunch was a disaster too.  We ran out of time when we were running errands, and when we met up for friends for a bike ride, we were obligated to have some ice cream cake.  Since when is ice cream cake a bad lunch?  Oh ya, since forever.

At least the bike ride was a success.  We made a stop at the farmers market and picked up a bunch of veggies.  We also picked up Jamaican beef patties for dinner.  So we try our best to eat a fairly good dinner.  We have our regular veggies plus greens and the beef patty.  So spicy!  I could barely handle it, and we got the mild ones!

Ok, so I promise we’ll eat well for the work week.

Monday – Dinning Out – Pasta

C – 1.2, T +1.0.  Ha!  This is the first time I’ve lost weight when Tony has gained.  I shouldn’t be so happy for his misfortune, but Schadenfreude!  I guess I’ll just be happy that despite our terrible day (food-wise) I still managed to lose weight.

Poor Tony, he left his lunch on the counter.  He’s going to have to buy something at work. Tony gets the exact right thing for lunch.  He buys one of those frozen lunch bowl things that’s full of vegetables and has some chicken.  He finds them tasty.  I’m not sure of the salt content, but I bet it’s better than the alternative.  Good choice!

I have a date, so I get to eat out.  We hit this lovely Italian eatery, and despite the offer of some lovely salads, I opt for the tagliatelle with salmon and leeks in cream sauce, which comes with a really nice tomato-zucchini bisque.   I know, I haven’t tested pasta but this lunch special sounded so good.  And thanks to the restaurant, this was a very reasonable portion size.

For dinner we enjoy leftover Jamaican patty and double veggies.  I’m glad dinner was simple because I spent the afternoon practicing my lumberjack skills (with a chainsaw, not singing) and I’m exhausted!

Tuesday – Eating Well plus some extras

C +0.4, T -0.2  – This gain is interesting.  The good: breakfast, dinner, workout.  The bad: pasta lunch, late night water.  I like to think that 0.4 lbs is all late night water.

Today we eat great.  Breakfast is an English muffin with nut butter and an apple.  Lunch is vegetable soup with chickpeas and greens and salt-free chips for a snack.  Dinner is chicken with roasted vegetables and kale.

Tony heads out with the guys, and has a beer and a couple of chips.  My will power breaks.  I get myself an ice cream (I had a drumstick in my hand, but I traded it for a real ice cream bar with a chocolate coating), but then I eat some dark chocolate, and then I have a English muffin with cheese.  Oh my.  This is how I used to eat a month ago!  I don’t know what’s wrong with me.  I regret everything.  Where’s the undo button?

Wednesday – Bacon

C -0.6, T -0.4 – Despite all my bad eating, I manage to lose half a pound.  I feel so lucky. I’m sure it’ll catch up with me.

Today's Lunch
Today’s Lunch

I finally plated a good looking lunch to show you how we’ve been eating.  Here’s what I had today – leftover roast vegetables, spinach with a sprinkle of cheddar, and a rye cracker with hummus.  This is a great lunch.  Roast veggies are delicious and really filling.  The rye cracker has a nice crunch.  It’s tasty.

Today I finally get to eat that bacon I bought last week.  I deliberately bought sulphite-free bacon.  The only ingredients are pork, water, sea salt, spice and smoke.  Tony cooks up bacon and eggs for dinner to go with our kale.  Eggs used to be one of our lazy go-to dinners.  We’d usually make scrambled eggs with spinach and cheddar, so we that’s how we cook it today.  It’s just like we used to eat, but instead of two pieces of toast we have kale.

Thursday – Eating Out

Cleo +0.2, Tony -0.8.  Even though I’m up, it’s not enough to constitute a reaction.  The book says anything over half a pound is a reaction.  I ate really well yesterday (I mean on plan), so I’m not concerned.  The bacon was saltier than what we usually eat, so maybe that’s why I’m up.  Although Tony’s ate the same thing, and is down almost a pound.

We have a dinner date tonight, so to prepare, I eat my salt-free potato chips before we head out.  I order a club wrap with onion rings and Tony gets a brisket sandwich with spinach salad.  I intended for us to share our sides, but Tony didn’t like the onion rings, so I had to eat them all by myself.  Funny thing was that after we both ate half our sandwiches we were stuffed!  Even though we were starving when we got there.  This is really unusual for us, but we happily get our leftovers wrapped up for tomorrow’s lunch.

When I get home, I decide to have a glass of red wine.  The book says it can help flush out extra salt because it’s a diuretic.  It’s heart healthy too, right?

Cleo -0.6, Tony -1.2

Week 4

Remember that awesome party last Saturday?  The 2.4 lbs of fun I had?  Well it took me all week to lose almost all that weight.  My net this week is +0.2. Sad face.  Tony? Down another 1.6 lbs.  So that brings us to a total of 8.2 lbs for me and 18.2 lbs for Tony.

19-Pound Baby Born To Indonesian Woman

New Habits

After 20 days we have developed some new and healthy habits.  These are pretty simple and are fairly easy to follow.

New Habits

  • Drink 1 pint of lemon water first thing in the morning.
  • Drink another 4-5 pints of water each day.  Try to drink each pint quickly (no sipping throughout the day) and finish by dinner time.
  • Eat three meals and a snack each day.  Enjoy 1 oz of dark chocolate or fruit with whipped cream for dessert.
  • Eat a fruit with breakfast.
  • Drink coffee with half and half.
  • Have a serving of vegetables PLUS greens at lunch and dinner.
  • Include vegetarian proteins like sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, nuts, cheese, chickpeas, and chia seeds.
  • Animal protein, usually only at dinner.  4-6 oz for women, 6-8 oz for men.
  • Snacks can include protein – hummus or nut butter with carrots or rye crackers;  a piece of fruit; raw, unsalted nuts.
  • If we are expecting to eat a high sodium meal, prepare by having some high potassium snack, since it’s suppose to negate sodium – leafy greens, particularly kale, or salt-free potato chips
  • Continue to note weight every morning.  If there’s a gain, take the day to eat a plan friendly menu.

Day 20 – Finish Line

Cleo -0.8, Tony -1.0.  Today is the last day of our 20-day journey!  I’ve lost a total of 8.4 lbs and Tony is down 16.6 lbs.  We’ve both decreased our BMI from obese to overweight!  Woohoo! We’re overweight!

Tony has never felt better.  He doesn’t feel bloated.  His stomach doesn’t hurt.  Everything is running smoothly.  Yesterday he attended an event with tasty food, and had no interest in partaking.  He knew that the food would hurt is tummy, so it wasn’t worth it.  They also didn’t have any beer he likes, so it was easy to say no.

He also looks completely different from just a month ago.  We were going through some pictures, and that “beer gut” is completely gone.  It’s a shocking change.

Tony is gung-ho to continue eating according to the Plan.  He likes his flax cereal, kale, loads of veggies and almond butter snack.  I’m so glad he’s still going strong.

Me?  Well, I don’t feel much different.  I’m still allergic to everything.  I still have a chronic runny nose, itchy skin and alligator hands.  My stomach is still fine – I guess I’m lucky that foods don’t make me feel bloated.  But I am glad that I’ve been losing weight, and I would like to keep losing weight.  So even though it didn’t really effect my health, the effect on my weight was worth it.  And yes, I know that weight effects health.

Here’s a few things that are gone from our regular routine.  We used to drink a lot of juice.  Juice and club soda had replaced pop a while ago, but juice still has a lot of sugar.  Tony used to drink many beers on the weekend, and I used to eat something sweat everyday.  Our go to meal when we were lazy was cheese and crackers or peanut butter and honey on toast.  Plus we used to eat out regularly and pizza was one of our favorites.  You’ll notice that fruits and vegetables are not really covered here.  All those things seem to be in the distant past.  Now we have our menus planned out, full of vegetables, low on carbs and absent of processed foods.  One of the best things about having our menus planned out is that we have no need to graze or eat out because we always know exactly what we’re going to eat.

So, thank you Lyn-Genet Recitas and The Plan.  You helped us improve our health and lose weight.  We now have new habits, new recipes with friendly menus and tools to continue to improve and monitor our health.

Day 19 – Test a New Veg, or not

Cleo + 0.6, Tony -0.8.  Hurray for Tony!  He lost 0.8 lbs after eating a delicious restaurant hamburger.  That’s great!  Maybe he should be eating out everyday.  My 0.6 lbs gain is no surprise.  My burger and extra chocolate were certain to give me a gain.

Today we are suppose to test a new vegetable.  I was planning on testing a new protein.  But since I’m up, I’d rather take a rest day.  The point of testing a new protein was because we don’t have a lot of proteins to choose from, but since we had burgers yesterday we can handle chicken today?  Hey, I just noticed that this is the third time Tony’s had beef in six days.  That’s a no-no.  My bison counts as a different protein, right?

Day 18 – Test a New Restaurant

Cleo nil, Tony nil.  Tony is sick.  He’s had a cold for the last few days.  He also hasn’t been eating all his food.  He is skipping his breakfast fruit, and he missed his protein for the last two days.  I’m sure that’s why he has been at the same weight for three days.

Well, I’ve basically gone rogue. I’m not following the book’s menus at all.  We already did the restaurant test,  and Tony insists we do another restaurant.

We go out for burgers.  But first we prepare.  I have some salt-free potato chips (remember, the potassium is suppose to absorb excess salt).  Tony makes himself some sauteed kale.  He doesn’t really like the chips (huh? he likes kale MORE than potato chips).

I get a bison burger with brie and with blueberries and brie.  Tony gets a burger with soft goat cheese, caramelized onions and bacon.  We don’t have any sides.  The burgers are 7 oz (way more than my prescribed 4-6oz, and just right for Tony’s 6-8 oz.  It’s a lot of meat, but I can handle it. I could have had half, but I don’t.

I go ahead and eat my dark chocolate, but more than usual.  Today I’m just really craving it.  Tony gets a bit of a stomach ache later, but it’s not too bad.