BFC Servings Reminder

BFC Servings Reminder
15/6 = 15 grams sugar/6 carb servings
Carb serving (no more than 2 per meal)
5 grams - 20 grams = 1 serving
20 grams - 40 grams = 2 servings
Eat no more than 40 grams carbs and 5 grams sugar per meal!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

April Already!

It seems like just the other day that it was the first of the new year and here it is April already!

At the beginning of the year I got SO serious about how to get this last twenty pounds off.  That was three months ago already and I am still sort of running in place!   Giving up sugar and most carbs is just sort of part of me now.  Health wise I know that is the best thing for me or anyone really.  Weight wise I came to a plateau that I just can't get past.  I've tried giving up dairy, wheat, wine, beer, and one week kept my calories to under 1100 everyday and still can't get past this plateau.  It is pretty frustrating and honestly I think I've obsessed about it enough.  Sometimes when you obsess about something too much I think you just get more stuck!  For the month of April I've decided to just eat healthy with the "normal" keeping of carbs and sugars to our standard LOW and I'm going to try to get in some exercise.  Maybe I just need to tighten everything up, you know?

My dad came down a couple weekends ago and brought me my mom's old exercise bike.  It's sitting here now waiting for me to start using it!  We have a vacation coming up in June.  My second son is graduating from college and my youngest son is graduating from High School and we are taking the auto train to Florida, going on a four day cruise and then hitting Disney for a day and  Harry Potter World for a day before before heading home.  I'd sure like to tighten everything up before that trip, and have decided that will be my new goal!   The no obsessing part will be hard for me, since sometimes I can't help myself, but I'm going to try it for April and see how I do.  Eat healthy, exercise, move more in general and get to the million house and garden projects I have set up for myself over the winter and see how the month goes.

I noticed the blogs have gotten kind of quiet, maybe we are all getting a little frustrated?  I do hope all of you are doing well and continue to blog about your successes, failures and frustrations and hopes on this never ending journey we are all on!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Hurry Up Spring and Weight Stalls!

Who out there is ready for Spring?  I know I am.  I love the change of seasons and I even enjoy winter but I'm done with it and ready for warm weather, flowers, and being outside.

Since my last post I have stayed the course with my low carb eating, and reading a lot about weight stalls, because my stall has been a couple months long!   I read that sometimes people stall because of a food sensitivity.  The main foods people are sensitive to are gluten, dairy, eggs, soy, peanuts, corn and sugar. Well, I think we've all already given up sugar and artificial sugars.  I use only stevia, erythitol, and "Just Like Sugar" (which is made from chicory root).   Peanuts - I don't eat a lot of peanuts or peanut butter so that was easy to give up.  Corn - that's been out since I started the BFC.  Gluten - After reading "Wheat Belly" in January I decided that wheat is probably not good for us on a lot of levels that don't even have to do with weight, so I gave that up also (that includes beer).  Soy is a little trickier because it's hidden in a lot of stuff.  I'm not going out and getting soy products but that's about as far as I went with limiting soy.  Well that leaves dairy and eggs.  There is not much left to eat if I give up eggs and dairy, or at least that's what I thought.  I finally decided to try to give up most dairy.  So I started out giving up my beloved heavy cream in my coffee.  I have to have something, so I tried canned coconut milk.
The milk in the can is very creamy.  In fact this brand has a thick layer on top that I mix in with the liquid before I use it.  It's a good fat for your body also.  I have grown to like this in my coffee almost more than my regular cream.   After a couple weeks on this I started to give up cheese for the most part.  Once in awhile I have a bit of Parmesan on stuff or a little grated cheese in my salads, but not very often.  I stopped eating cream cheese and sour cream.  It was hard at first but now I'm finding more to eat without it.  I did not give up eggs.  That was just too hard.  I switched my protein shakes to Jay Robb Egg White Vanilla Protein(because of the whey in the regular kind) and I didn't want to give that up.  Plus I make up some hard boiled eggs every couple days and have them in salads, or deviled eggs (with homemade mayo) and sometimes I eat just a plain hard boiled egg if I'm really hungry before a meal.  They keep you full.  I'm all about eating things that keep me full now.

So that's where I'm at now.  I did all that rather gradually to see if it would have any effect on my weight stall.   Well  today when I weighed myself I am FINALLY down almost two pounds.  I know that doesn't seem like much in all these months but I'm hoping I might have broken through my plateau - at least a little.  I'll keep going like this for awhile and see if it keeps working.

I know a few of you were wondering how my working with Maria Emmerich went.  Well, I only did the minimal health assessment and advice from her.   I have to say that she is great about responding to your emails.  She always wrote right back.  Unfortunately her advice was always to"keep going, your doing great", even when I didn't think I was.  It was her suggestion that I give up dairy right from the beginning, but that was something I couldn't do cold turkey and in fact haven't done 100% even now.   She gives you a lot of handouts about nutritional supplements you should take and there are A LOT.  She also wants you to start with a "only proteins and fats" week to get you burning fat.  Well that was a hard week and I didn't lose any weight.  After that she wants you to start with some sample menus that she sends you.   They are super restrictive.  I added up the first couple days of foods on "My fitness pal" and they were under 1000 calories each day.  That's too little for me.   As written in her "Healthy Metabolism" book she thinks we should play around with our meals each week.  One day a fats and protein only day, one day an overeating day (and that means go up to about 1500 calories), one day an intermittent fast day (skipping all foods after lunch).  She says this fools our body and ups our metabolism.  It probably works, but I just couldn't get that hardcore about my eating and my life in general.  I still think she is great and super helpful and knows her stuff, so I took some of her advice and utilize a lot of her recipes into my diet.  Her Shamrock Protein Shake is delicious and I have it most mornings.  Also LOVE her Chocolate Flaxseed Muffins and keep a bunch of those on hand when a shake is not enough.  After the muffin I drink a ton of water and it seems to expand in my stomach and keep me full a lot longer - at least until the next meal.  

So that's about it right now.  I'll keep you posted on how all my modifications go.  I want to feel good in a bathing suit this year and now that Spring is almost here, summer isn't long away.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Thursday Feb. 28

Hi Everyone.  I know I've been missing for awhile.  It's hard to explain.  I'm just so sick of trying to figure out my health and weight loss, you know?  When I first started Jorge's BFC it was so great, and I was losing just about every week and I liked what I was eating.   It was almost a game to come up with great BFC options that I liked and was helping me to lose weight.  I dropped about 25 lbs fairly quickly and then about five months after I started, things slowed down, way down.  Months would go by without a loss.  I would change things up and try new stuff and still either no loss or a VERY slow loss.  It took me another year to lose another 10 lbs.  When my Mom got sick this past summer and then died, I still truly thought I was sticking to my version of the BFC, although I wasn't weighing myself and I was drinking more than usual.  Around November I finally got on the scale and was shocked to find that I had gained back weight -6-7 lbs worth.  I got drastic and tried scaling back even more; I gave up snacks, then grains, then my heavy cream in my coffee.  I tried Maria's supplements and protein and fat week.  Guess what?  I went down a pound and then right back up to the new weight.  It's all so frustrating.  I started reading about Atkins and looked at what people were saying on the Atkins bulletin board and it got me even more depressed.  People are talking about barely any carbs, and monitoring carbs, fats, proteins, and calories!  That is SO much to try to keep track of!  I'm turning 52 in a few weeks and I don't feel like doing all that, it's why I started the BFC to begin with. Next I sent away for a home Thyroid tests from ZRT labs and also signed my husband and I up for the 50,000 mile check up at a hospital in Baltimore, all along severely limiting my carbs, dairy, grains, and making no more "healthy" snacks.  I drink 1/2 my weight in oz of water EVERYDAY!    Our test results came back this week and here are the results that showed as abnormal:

From ZRT Labs:
My TSH was high 4.7 (.5-3.0 is normal range)
My cortisol level was high in the morning but normal at noon, evening and night
My Vitamin D, 25-OH D3 was low at 24 (32-100 is normal)
My Vitamin D, 25-OH total was low at 24 (32-100 is normal)

From Hospital Screening:
My RBC, HGB, HCT are slightly elevated but the notes said this can occur in post menopausal women

Hemoglobin A1C (this is the blood glucose one) - 6.1% (4.2-5.6% normal range)  What!!!

Cholesterol: (did not do fasting blood test)    
     Total:  272 (120-200 normal range)          Yikes!!! 
       HDL:   78 (40-59 normal range)
      Ratio:  3.48 (should be <5.1)     

      TSH:  1.84 (.400-4.0 normal range) - Normal here but not on the ZRT Lab - weird!

Plus my blood pressure was high.

So how is that for depressing?  I've been low carb for almost two years and my Hemoglobin A1C test comes back as pre-diabetic!  How can that be?   

Plus my Cholesterol is so high! I guess the good thing is my good cholesterol HDL is also very high which balances it out a little.   I'll now have to get a fasting blood test done because I have no idea what my bad cholesterol or Triglycerides counts are, and that's important.

My husband’s report was just as bad, except his total cholesterol was 290 and his HDL was only 61. His Hemoglobin A1C was slightly higher than mine.   Also his liver enzymes were high, suggesting a fatty liver.  

All this time we've been eating what we thought was low carb and healthy.   Maybe our results would have been even worse had we not been eating this way.  Who knows?   What I do know is that I'm now at least 20 pounds overweight and my numbers were not optimal. I'm happy for those of you that can gain 5 lbs and then be a tiny bit more diligent and the 5 lbs is gone three days later. That just does not happen for me.  I also know what I'm doing is not working anymore. It used to work, but not anymore.  I know that writing down the nutritional amounts of everything I put in my mouth is not something I want to do. I know that I can walk around the field behind my house and I can do a small kettle bell routine in the morning but I am not willing to put hours into a gym workout. This all might just be harder post menopause for some reason.   Somehow I have to figure out what is going on and why all of this has to be so difficult.  I will continue to eat this way for now and think my next step will be to make an appointment for a real physical and maybe seek nutrition advice with someone I can actually go in and talk to.  I know a lot of you have found what works for you and I am so happy that you did.  It gives me hope that eventually I can figure out what will work for me that I am willing to live with. 

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Time to get a little drastic

Hello everyone it's a grey Tuesday morning here in Maryland.  The Ravens won the Superbowl and I think the big parade is happening down in Baltimore today.  My son works down there so I'll bet he will have a fine time with the traffic coming and going.

I've been following the BFC very strictly for the whole month of January but also severely limiting my wheat and guess what?  I've lost nothing!  I've spent the last three or four days pouring over articles and doing research on why I'm not losing weight at this point.   Is it because I'm post menopause?  Did I have too much stress over the last months with the loss of my mother?  Am I too sedentary?  Not enough exercise? Too many carbs?  Too many calories? Hormone unbalance?  All of the above?  The possibilities are rather endless. All I know for sure is that what I'm doing isn't working anymore.   I decided to treat myself to a little consult with Maria Emmerich to see if she could come up with the reasons I'm SO stalled.  I've always liked her blog and she never deviates from the plan she sees as healthy (I'm talking to you Jorge Cruise!).  Anyway, I've also decided to get a full Thyroid Panel done and see if there is any obvious problems with my hormones.  This will include testing for Vitamin D, and my Cortisol levels.  Also I saw this neat little program offered at the Medstar Hospital in Baltimore called "50,000 Mile Checkup".  For a small $50.00 fee they check:

Height, Weight, Body Mass Index (BMI), Blood Pressure, Pulse, and Respiration Readings

Vision Exam to test visual acuity and look for signs of macular degeneration, cataracts and other abnormalities.

Comprehensive Laboratory Tests (including cholesterol panel, metabolic panel, complete blood count, thyroid function, iron levels, kidney function, liver function, and urinalysis)

Comprehensive Heart Screening
Vascular Screening
Lung Capacity
Oxygen Level
Ankle-Brachial Index Test
Walk Test
Bone Density Test
Sophisticated Hearing Rest
PSA Blood Test (for men)

I'm going to sign my husband and I up for this and see what we find.  Hopefully I won't have to wait forever to get in.  

Maria suggests I start out one week kind of neutralizing my body by eating only proteins and fats and of course no alcohol.   The only bad thing for me is that she wants me to give up dairy.  She suggested no dairy for four months (ha!), but I don't think I can do that.  I can probably give up cheese and stuff for awhile, but no cream in my morning coffee!!!  No can do!   
I am going to give her plan a try this week by eating only proteins and fats BUT I will have my first cup of coffee in the morning with my cream.  After that I'll switch to hot tea instead of my usual second cup of coffee.  For hot tea I don't need any cream.  So for this week, no more spinach smoothies, no cream cheese, no sour cream, no butter,  no wheat, no more 86% chocolate, no nut butters, no baked treats.   It will be one strict week!  Like she said, we can all do anything for just one week right? (well, except the cream in the coffee thing).  

I'm also getting back in to my kettle bell routine.  The routine I'm trying to create is to get up, take care of the dogs, have my cup of coffee and hot tea, do my little kettle bell routine, then breakfast.    This kettle bell routine I came up with is very mild, but to me it's at least do-able everyday.  I've actually already started  and after the first two days I've got to tell you I was SO sore!!  But I'm keeping up and I'm almost sore-free now.    

So that's the plan for now.  My official trial week for all of the above will start tomorrow because I need today to get some foods ready so that I can keep on track.   I'll report back and let you know how it goes!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Brrrr...and still trying

Hello everyone, it's Friday and I haven't posted for over a week so thought I'd check in with what is happening over here.   First's cold!  We finally got some winter weather this week and it's been dipping down into the low teens at night.  Yesterday an inch of snow delayed schools in the morning (I know you're laughing up there in the northwest) and today it is supposed to start snowing again in the afternoon.   I think you know that I have two dogs, but did I tell you that somehow we also adopted a stray cat from our neighborhood.  An elderly neighbor named him Mickey and used to take care of him. About seven years ago she went into assisted living (and has since passed away) and we promised her back then that we would take care of him for the rest of his life.  He can't come in our house, because of the dogs, and because he has lived outside all his life and would feel trapped in a house.  We always leave our outdoor shed open a crack in the winter so he can go in and out of there when it gets cold.  After a run in with a raccoon in the shed one year Mickey doesn't want to hang out there as much.  This year for Christmas my dad sent us a box of Omaha Steaks and we used the insulated packing box for Mickey by taping it shut, cutting a hole in the front, and putting a piece of wool blanket inside.  This lovely thing now sits on our front porch all winter. The shed is still open with another box also in there for him in case he gets too cold, but he seems to prefer the front porch.  I tried to get a picture of him all snug inside his box this morning, but of course as soon as I stepped outside he started to come out.

My weight was up a pound this week.  Not happy about that and it's back to trying to figure our where I went wrong.  I was tracking my food pretty well in my journal and then I let it slide over the weekend and into Monday, so that's one problem.  My brother and his son came over on Sunday to watch the game with my guys and me.  I talk a lot about what I like and don't like about the uniforms and drive them all crazy.  I had a couple beers with them while watching the game so this probably didn't help me at all.  Lastly, I made a batch of Maria's almond flour chocolate chip cookies this week for my son and ended up eating six of them in one day!  That's not good!  By the way here is a tip.... when I made them this time I used my Vitamix to make my own blanched almond flour using a bag of blanched, sliced almonds I found at Costco, like these.
Those cookies came out SO much better with the blanched, almond flour, instead of almond meal.  Really soft and nice, which I guess is why I ended up eating six.   

For this week I've decided to start tracking my foods in my journal again.  I like to write down my foods, carbs, sugars, fibers and net carbs (carbs minus fiber).  I'm taking an idea from Dawn and I'm going to try to keep my net carbs very low for a week and see how I do.  It's harder than you think even when you think you are eating healthy.  Here is how yesterday went.  

Two Coffee's with stevia and heavy cream 0C/0S/0F = net 0
Green Breakfast shake (I love these) 20C/0S/16F = net 4
Bob Evans Cobb Salad w/ ranch(went out to lunch with husband) -10C/4S/3F = net 7
1 cup of hot sweet chili tea w/stevia = 0c/0s/0F =net 0
Home made mushroom soup(with mushrooms, onions, garlic, chicken broth and little cream)
 = 29C/8S/5F = net 24
Decaff coffee with stevia and cream = 0c/0s/0f=net 0

Days Net Carb total =35 and total sugars 12

See what killed me?  The mushroom soup!!  Here I thought I was having a very light evening meal because of my late lunch and it turned out to be the highest in carbs and sugars according to "My Fitness Pal".  Now that was a surprise! Also notice that the carb count gets high with just regular food.  No chips, cookies, crackers or breads.

In addition to paying close attention to my net carbs I'm trying to get in more exercise by walking my dogs.  My son is on college break right now and has been pushing me to walk the dogs with him everyday - which is a good thing, I need to be pushed to move more.  I haven't done every day, because I'm lazy that way, but I've been walking with him at least three times a week around the farm behind our house.  So far, this hasn't helped in my weight loss, but it does make me feel better and hopefully will tone me up a bit if I continue.

One last tip.  I am loving the convenience and nutrition and taste of my breakfast shake everyday!  I've been eating one entire big package of raw spinach by myself every week!  I personally could never eat that much spinach in salads or just by cooking with it.  You don't even notice it in the shakes, except for the color.

So that's it for this week.  I'll let you know how my journaling goes.  Hope everyone else is having a good week.  Stay Warm!!

Friday, January 11, 2013

What's New

Hello everyone!  Just doing a quick blog to let you know how my smoothie experiment turned out.  It didn't - lol!   I got so excited reading all these new blogs about healthy smoothies and how great everyone felt on them that I had decided to give them a try.  The only problem is that they contained fruit, which we all know is a big no-no on BFC or any kind of low carb really.  But, I thought, I HAVE been stuck and it IS going back to the way we are "supposed" to eat.  Lots of fresh veggies and fruit, right?   I decided to try it for two weeks and see how I felt.  Funny thing is I only made it through about five days.  Drinking my breakfast and lunch didn't bother me at all, in fact I kind of liked the convenience of the whole thing and I wasn't any hungrier than usual, surprisingly.  Stick everything in a blender, whirl and drink.  Fast, easy and no pans to clean up afterwards.  The problem was with how I felt.  I started getting headaches again, and just a general feeling of not feeling great, you know what I mean.  Plus, I was extremely tired in the late afternoons and early evening.  I mean falling asleep over my laptop kind of tired.   It had to be all the extra sugar in the fruit that was making me feel bad.  Another negative was that after five days of doing this, I did not gain or lose one pound!  Not one!   So I gave it up about five days in.    The one thing I did like was the convenience AND  how much fiber I could get in my body this way.  A ton!  So what I did was I gave up the fruit/veggie smoothie and replaced it with a breakfast protein green smoothie.  Here is what I've been putting in them:

Protein Green Smoothie

1 cup almond milk
1 scoop Vanilla Jay Rob protein powder
1 tsp. Psyllium Husk powder
1/4 tsp stevia
2-3 cups of baby green spinach leaves
1 TBS Cocoa Nibs
1 TBS Chia seeds
ice and extra water to get it to the coldness & consistency that I like

I figured that this has about 24.5 Carbs and 21 Fibers 0 sugars

Since switching to this smoothie I feel MUCH better.  I sometimes have it for lunch too and sometimes add in 1/2 avocado, or switch the Chia seeds to Flax seeds.

I've been on these for about 3-4 days now and although I feel much better I still have not seen any difference in my weight.  Still haven't seen so much as a pound difference up or down.   I am not one of those people that weight shifts easily for I guess.  I have to give things a while to see a difference.  Plus the fruit may have screwed up my metabolism for a little while.

I've got to say that I'm really interested in Dawn's Atkins experiment.  Not so much what foods you can and can not eat (I think all low carb diets are basically the same that way) I just really like the idea of tracking net carbs and trying to keep them below 20.  It seems so much easier to me than figuring how many carbs make a serving and how to include a handful of afternoon almonds into which serving and so on.  Plus when you get to subtract fiber from your carbs it makes you really mindful of the fiber.  So I got out my old notebook from when I first started BFC and began writing down EVERYTHING I eat and tracking my carbs, sugar, and fiber that way - at the end of the day I total up my net carbs to see how I did.  For me its so much easier to write it down then to try to enter everything into "My Fitness Pal".  I've also noticed on "My Fitness Pal" that the ingredients you choose have a wide variety of nutritional counts depending on which entry you choose.  If I check the ingredients myself I get the true count for what I'm actually using.  It's still a great place to key in your own ingredients for a recipe you're using though to get the total counts for that recipe.

So that's where I am right now.  At least I've gone from being neutral about my weight loss to pro-active again, so that's something right?   In other news, it's just about tax time for me around here, with our business and our rental business, and I mustn't forget college FAFSA's.  Yuck!  Time to get everything in order and break out the old adding machine.  Fun times ahead!

Good luck this week everyone!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Time to Get Back on Track and An Experiment!

Happy New Years Everyone!  

I hope this year is a good one for all of us, healthy and happy!

For Christmas this year I got a new Vitamix!  How exciting!  My husband and I walked past a Vitamix demonstration in Costco a few weeks before Christmas and I was telling him that I'd read about people using them on the blogs.  I didn't want to watch the demo, because I didn't want to start wanting one since they are pricey.  However, my husband must have thought, "Yes!  Finally, a gift idea for my wife!"  and he ran out and bought one that week, lol.    Now that I have it, I must say it is really nice.  I put away my coffee grinder, regular blender, and food processor and replaced it with this one appliance.  I started searching the web for Costco demonstrations since I hadn't watched the real one, to see all that it could do!  I found this one lady that does demonstrations for a living and has a blog Blender Lady and started reading about green smoothies and raw food living.   From there I began to find a million blogs about green smoothies, you know how it goes.   Now, I'm not about to start a completely different diet because I've been doing the BFC for almost two years and basically like it.   But....., I have been sort of stuck in my weight, and even up since the Fall and over Christmas, so it makes me wonder how to improve things.   A green smoothie is basically 2 or 3 cups of greens of any kind (spinach, kale, collards, dandelion, carrot tops, lettuce, etc.) that you put into your blender with some water, and (here's the hard part) a bit of frozen fruit, and then anything else you want to put in, like chia seeds, nuts, cocoa nibs, flaxseed, etc.  Then you liquefy it all up in a matter of seconds and drink it down.  You get a ton of greens and fiber in one drink.   The only thing that made me hesitate trying it was the dreaded fruit, which we all know is not really allowed on the BFC.   Well, I've decided to do a two week experiment!  I'm going to make one of these (with as little fruit as I can stand) and drink them in the morning for breakfast and then again at lunch and then I'll eat a regular BFC dinner.

I'll do this for two weeks and see if the following happens:
1.) I lose any weight
2.) I feel healthier
3.) I feel satisfied
4.) I'm hungry or not

I started two days ago and so far have not noticed any difference in my weight, either up or down. But I seriously don't lose as fast as some of you, and have never been able to make much of a difference in just a day or two.  They do taste surprisingly good and you can't taste the greens at all.  The last two days I haven't been hungry during the day and so haven't snacked.  We'll see if that continues.   Yesterday I had 3 cups of spinach, a whole key lime, one green apple, chia seeds, small handful of almonds, a little stevia, and some real coconut and coconut water.  If you add berries, which are better for us on the BFC, it still tastes really good but turns an unappealing brown color.  Don't look, lol!

Other news, my son got me hooked on the Masterpiece Theater show,"Downton Abbey" .  Have you guys seen it - so good!