I discovered something while not blogging. It isn't good for me. Actually having the need to cook, search for healthy recipes, take pictures, and post about it is great accountability. We have been very much slacking around here and it is time to knock that off and get serious. Christmas fudge is such a weakness for me along with molasses cookies. Yikes! So the reality is I have about 5 pounds to lose and Miles a little more than that so it means phase one kind of eating.
When we eat strict I have found it difficult to blog about it in the past because it seems a little boring and too simple to share on the blog. But isn't January the time when we all tend to think about our diet and focus on eating healthier? So I thought our honesty about needing to lose weight and showing you what that looks like for us might be helpful for some of you who also ate a little too much Christmas fudge.
So for starters eating strict and losing the weight for us means giving up all carbs for two weeks, even the healthy complex ones like these favorites we usually enjoy on a regular basis. It is difficult at first, especially if you are still a white bread eater, but it is only two weeks of your life after all and losing 8-20 pounds in that time will be worth it! (Don't misunderstand- you will add these things back in slowly to your diet but never go back to simple carbs like white bread. This is a lifestyle change not a diet!)
And sadly it also means giving up all fruit for two weeks. You might find this odd since fruit is absolutely healthy for you, but the reason is that it contains too much natural sugar for you to get over your sugar addiction. Trust me when I say that after two weeks of eating like this an apple never tasted so good! Your taste buds will be fixed and able to really sense how sweet a piece of fruit is.
And of course it means giving up all sugar! Even in its healthier forms like sucanat, agave, honey, or molasses. You can have all natural zero calorie sweeteners like Stevia however which is very helpful!
Let me give you a fair warning that sugar hides in all kinds of things!!!!! It is in ketchup and salad dressings, tomato sauces, marinades, coffee creamer, yogurt even Greek yogurt and today's average consumer isn't necessarily label savvy. If you are trying to lose weight you need to be very careful about label reading! During strict phase for us we try our best to not consume any sugar but when it comes to certain things like salad dressing it can be very difficult. Stick to 2 grams or less per serving if you can or just make it yourself!
These things are not difficult at all for Miles and I to give up anymore because we are giving up way less than the average bear the second time around. We don't love giving them up but it isn't so bad for the short term to get back on track and to stop having those cravings and the reward of weight gone and feeling good makes it worth it!
So what do we eat during strict phase....................COLORFUL FOOD!
We eat tons of greens in all different varieties like spinach, kale, romaine, mixed greens, collar greens. You name it we probably eat it and usually for lunch during our strict two weeks.
We also eat lots of raw veggies and hummus at lunch time or as our second veggie at dinner time.
We love peppers cooked with some olive oil and diced up chicken sausage as well or we make chicken fajitas without the tortillas and it feels like a good indulgence.
Peppers stuffed with ground turkey cooked in a no sugar added tomato sauce is excellent for phase one eating and doesn't make me feel deprived at all!
I like to dress up the veggies since we eat so many during this phase. My favorite is green beans cooked in a little balsamic with red onion and sliced almonds.
Grilled veggies are my favorite but we live in Minnesota and this time of year I am asking a SUPER big favor of my hubby if I want them grilled so a little olive oil, balsamic, and some salt free garlic and herb seasoning taste delicious cooked in a skillet on the stove.
We eat all those veggies along with lean meats like turkey and chicken and we like to have chicken sausage quite often. These chicken sausage only have 100-110 calories per serving and they are great on salad or with peppers and onions.
This was a grilled summer time meal but we like to eat turkey or veggie burgers without the bun often for a good lunch or dinner during phase one. Those are veggie chips on my plate but they too are a no no during strict phase! They hail from Trader Joe's and are my favorite chips!
I also love to make a big pot of soup during phase one loaded with veggies, lots of tomatoes, and sometimes beans or chick peas.
For breakfast we eat eggs, egg beaters, or egg whites every morning for two weeks. It gets old so we change those up too. Egg cups one morning, a Greek fritatta another morning, diced ham and mozzarella another or just an omelet with onions and peppers another morning. Day 15 when you can have steel cut oats with some fruit is really something to look forward to after all those eggs! I do like eggs though!
We love to snack on cheeses and these laughing cow spreadable cheeses are great in a stick of celery or spread on a large piece of lettuce with some all natural lunch meat for a lettuce wrap.
So those are the basics of our lose weight mode. There are definitely more details to it but I am already reminded of why I needed that new computer and I can't go into any more detail without breaking something in frustration!
I am no doctor of course and so you should remember that you should consult with a doctor about your specific needs. Let me also just say that I know there are a ton of differing opinions about the healthiest way to eat. I honestly believe that a vegan diet is probably the best thing you can do for your body but I can't handle living without cheese!!!! Meat I could probably live without but Greek yogurt and feta cheese are at the very top of my favorite food list. However, I have had some success in the managing your weight department and for the most part have kept my weight off for nearly three years! If my brain wasn't so science illiterate I would go back to school and get a degree in nutrition because I do so enjoy talking about this and helping others and I love to cook!
So for what it's worth I hope this post might help you out a little or inspire you to get on board the New Year's Resolution train and clean up your diet and get healthy. I would love to help you out or take you to the grocery store and make you hate me when I tell you all the things you can't buy anymore! Or meet you at the gym for a little exercise accountability!
P.S. I discovered the hole in time at the gym. It is January you know so the gym is super crowded. But if you get there about 7:45 the first crowd has cleared and you've beat all the moms who have to wait to take their kids to school. When I walked upstairs today every machine was empty. I almost took a picture!