A few of you have asked what exactly I'm eating and not eating. Here's my basic strategy:
- For the first three days, cut way, way back on carbs. For breakfast, have eggs (I'll have three eggs, but use only one yolk). Cut up some spinach and throw in some cheese. Top it off with salsa--delicious! For lunch and dinner, have chicken or fish with vegetables. If you do this for even two days, you'll see a noticeable loss and will be motivated to continue.
- I usually start every morning with a high fiber cereal. You need some carbs for energy and fiber is good. Make chicken or fish with vegetables a regular meal. Salad is okay; I just hate stinkin' salad. Be sure to read the label on the salad dressing, though. Sometimes that stuff is loaded with sugar.
- Think of all the fast food and chain restaurants you go to and download their nutritional menus. Print them out and stick them in your glove compartment so you can always make the best low-carb choices. Get a burger without the bun, and substitute a vegetable for fries. French fries are evil!
- Soda (or "pop," if you're from that part of the country) is pure evil. Substitute unsweetened iced tea. If you're craving the bubbles, drink flavored seltzer water. You'll never miss soda, I guarantee.
- For the most part, say good-bye to bread. Sandwiches are a thing of the past for me. No more toast or English muffins at breakfast. Make an exception for the breads that truly bring you joy. Warm bread in restaurants is sometimes irresistible; however, when's the last time a hamburger roll brought you joy? Get the burger, hot dog, or grilled chicken breast with no bun. You'll never miss it. A lot of times we eat bread just out of habit.
- That said, when you do eat out, ask the waitress to hold the stuff you're trying to avoid. Sometimes the bread they put in front of you is just so-so, yet you'll pick at it because it's there. Tell them you're eating low carb--they'll understand.
- Say good-bye to junk food like potato chips, Doritos, Fritos, and chips and salsa. Cookies, candy, cake, coffee cake and all that crap is on the bad list, too.
- That said, don't deny yourself anything. This is important! If you deny yourself, you'll be miserable. Knowing that you can indulge yourself now and then makes all the difference. I'll still have a beer or two and will hit Ben & Jerry's once a week. I'll also have pizza once a week. Maybe you love pasta--so have it once in a while. Trust me, you'll reach a point where you won't want that stuff more than every so often. Why? I've told you before: Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels!
- Weigh yourself every morning after you pee and before you eat. Get yourself a little white board to record your weight and hang it in your bathroom. This, too, is important. Think of it this way: If you're always looking at the time, you're not likely to be late. But when you don't look at a clock, time gets away from you. The same concept applies to your weight.
- I have much more energy. Before I started this, I felt like a freakin' blob. Mike and I would walk, but that was all the exercise I was getting. In my case, once I lost the first few pounds, which took only a couple of days, I got some momentum going. I started taking a ballet class and once I started getting my muscles toned again, I wanted more. Now I'm also taking belly dancing (love it!) and a dance fusion class. I dance around the house; I do tendus and grand battements while I'm cooking. I'm burning tons more calories than just walking.
- That bloody middle age spread is definitely more under control. It feels great to be wearing clothes from my closet that used to look disgusting. And last weekend I was lying poolside in a two-piece. (Though I'll still wear the one-piece with the skirt when the kids are around--don't want to traumatize them.) I still have a ways to go in this area, but I'm getting there.
- My posture has improved; I hold myself with more self-confidence. I've always been good about that, but now I'm even better. I did a comedy set last week--the first in a couple of months--and even though it had been a while since I'd been on stage, I could tell my confidence had improved.
- I feel sexier. I am sexier!
I never thought I'd be sharing a recipe (except for homemade Bailey's Irish Creme), but here's a simple low carb meal I made up. I call it Mexican chicken soup--how inventive, right? Believe me, if I can cook this, you know it's easy. Just throw these ingredients in the crock pot or on top of the stove:
- Boneless, skinless chicken thighs (cut them up after they've cooked a bit)
- A container of chicken broth
- Half a bag of frozen corn (corn is high carb, so you can use less if you want or just eliminate)
- A jar of hot (or medium, if you prefer) salsa
Good luck to all who try this new way of eating, and be sure to tell me how you do! And for those of you who are sick of hearing about this topic, this will be my last post on the subject. (I'll try, anyway.)