Thursday, November 3, 2011

6, 8.5, and 10

That is how much we lost the first 12 days of our new life. I don't want to call it a diet because no matter how hard you try, you will eventually fall off. So it is a new life. A life style change if you like.
We really lived fairly healthy before. We watched what we were eating and drinking and we exercised regularly. Our blood pressure was OK, and so was the cholesterol. But we were all seriously overweight. We were still doing something wrong.
On  October 17th we were at the doctor with Ben for a check-up and asked the doctor what we should do to help Ben with his weight. The doctor told us to get the book for the South Beach diet. Not to go on the diet but use it as a reference. Especially the part about the glycemic index. We already have that book (along with several other diet books that were not going to be read, ever). The doctor also said to eat more protein. Especially meat and cheese. When you eat enough protein you stay full longer. You don't get those horrible carb cravings.
So we went home, told Ben to read the book and tell us what it said (just easier and faster that way LOL). He read the book that afternoon, explained it all to us and we looked up a few more references.
So what exactly did we change?
We have completely eliminated rice, pasta, and potatoes. (Well we have had pasta once the past 2 weeks). Instead of the starch and carbs we eat a lot of veggies. A dinner plate will consist of a meat (chicken, pork, or fish), and a couple of large portions of veggies. We like peas, broccoli, peppers, cauliflower, etc. Root veggies tend to not be so good for you according to the glycemic index, so we have stayed away from carrots, potatoes, etc. We have also limited our intake of tomatoes (pasta sauce, fresh tomatoes, salsa, ketchup, etc.)
As for cheese, you really should stay away from anything orange. It is BAD for you. Instead use mozzarella cheese. It is wonderful on top of broccoli, your meat, and you can even munch on some cheese sticks if you like.
We eat our 'large meal' at noon, because of Rudy's work schedule, which of course is also healthier to do, because you get a chance to burn this large meal before you sit down to watch TV or whatever you do in the evening.

So for Ben a days food intake would be something like:

1 cup of shredded wheat (lightly frosted) with 1/2 cup of whole milk.

1 boneless skinless chicken breast, with 1 large side of broccoli with mozzarella cheese.

This one is tough with him, because he is actually still full from lunch and snacks. So usually he will eat an apple or two, or have some Greek yogurt.

Greek yogurt, apples, or mozzarella cheese sticks.

It seems like he isn't eating a whole lot and that is the good thing. He gets so full from the breakfast and lunch than he doesn't get hungry again the rest of the day. At all.

Some of our favorite meals that you can do really easily, cheap, and they are so very filling:
Naan Pizza, Pepper Chicken with Tortillas, Pan fried (in EVOO) Pork Chops with veggies, etc.

So basically what we are doing is limit sugar and carbs and increasing protein. We are not eating rice, pasta, or potatoes. We are eating more lean meats, cheese and veggies.

I try to buy stuff that are not already processed. NO boxed meals, etc. All the veggies we eat are fresh, except for peas which we buy frozen. Meat we eat are just meat from Safeway. Not the best choice, but the best we can do here at the moment. If you must have bread, make it yourself. If you must have sugar (me), get real sugar, not artificial sweeteners. I use Demerara Sugar, which you can get at Walmart. It is SO good. Take a little extra time shopping. Check the ingredients list, if it has words you don't know how to pronounce or know what are, then don't buy it! Rice is over processed and they do use forms of bleach to do that. You don't drink bleach, so why eat? You can get rice that has not been proceed or 'enriched' by shopping at the Asian food aisle at your supermarket or going to an international food store.
You don't really have to go extreme, just be aware of what you buy. Pay attention to additives.

Our basics for the fridge and freezer:
Boneless skinless chicken breast, pork in various cuts, fish, shrimp, and we do have some beef to satisfy the boys (once a week is enough). Of veggies we have some fresh spinach, broccoli, asparagus, lots of bell peppers, sweet mini peppers, cauliflower, mushrooms, radishes, onions. Cheese, we have a big chunk of mozzarella, and some mozzarella cheese sticks. Beverages, we have apple juice, lemonade, whole milk, other juices that we like, and Coke (I still drink several cokes each day, but Ben is only allowed one).
Also have a lot of spices. And some fresh herb plants that I haven't killed yet. We also have some uncooked tortillas from Tortilla Land. They are very good, but I also know it would be better if I made them from scratch myself. Oh well, I am lazy. And they really are very good LOL. And of course we have Greek yogurt in the fridge too.

I think that is really what there is to it. It is very easy to change to this. You can start slowly with just a few changes, or you can do the big change at once.

Oh one more thing I want to mention... if at the grocery store and you have to choose between two items, one is regular and the other is low fat, be sure to check the ingredients, and the nutrition facts. When a products is processed from regular to low fat the fat is converted to sugar. Sugar is not good. But there are still fats that are OK. Poly- and Mono-unsaturated are still OK. They are not great, but they are better than the alternative.

I know a lot of people will disagree with all this, but it is working for us. And we are happy and doing better. And the 3 of us lost a total of 24.5 lbs the first 12 days. Yes it is going slower now, but we are still losing weight. But the main thing is really not losing weight, but rather the fact that Ben is not gaining any more, and we are feeling better without having to snack all the time.

I will try to share some recipes as I make them up. I usually do not use cookbooks for other reasons than getting ideas. So everything I cook I make up on the spot. I will try to get some of the meals put in writing, but I wont promise it will be right away.


  1. Awesome post and I like what you are all doing. I tried following the south beach diet and it made me feel nauseous and dizzy all the time. It was really too extreme for me even if it was taking some weight off. Your plan (or lack thereof) sounds much more reasonable to follow and live with. Some really good things to think about in your post. Thanks for sharing!!!

  2. I think the problem with south beach is you cut out all the "good stuff". If you just go about it this way... limit sugar and carb, then up the amount of protein. Eat a lot of raw nuts, mozzarella cheese, and lean meats. I think you will find you wont need the breads as much. And if you do need bread, go with something lighter like a fresh tortilla :)