Lessons learned in November: Terri Turner’s high protein and low carb plan is delicious, nutritious, and so far has melted the pounds away as she predicted! I had worried about getting hungry, but I can’t even get through all the meals and snacks some days! Best of all, I don’t feel a need to graze in the late evenings. Instead, I just fix some decaf green tea, maybe pop in a piece of gum if I need, and look forward to a breakfast of berries, almond milk, protein powder, and my seasonal addition: nutmeg!
No problems following the food plan to the absolute letter of the law the first month. After that, I felt comfortable eating exactly the same foods, but working it into my schedule more conveniently, maybe shifting the morning snack into the afternoon, possibly heating up lunch for dinner if it was easier to carry out with me. Even brought my lentils & kale salad to the Thanksgiving table, it was a beautiful harvest on the plate! Then I added just a small spoonful of some favorites (cranberry sauce, sweet potato, etc) just to get the taste of the holiday. I even relaxed my vegan/no wheat regimen for a perennial must: I discovered that having the tiniest sliver of pumpkin pie is like the homeopathic version of enjoying the holidays — just a taste does the trick! Then, I finally decided to eat out over the holiday weekend and decided that an avocado sushi roll (with wasabi but no soy sauce — yeah, I’m tough!), a little seaweed salad, and side of raw veggies seemed a good way to approximate some of the usual food. It was a great choice!
Five weeks after starting — and just four days after Thanksgiving — scales said I was down an amazing 18.5 pounds! Much more importantly, my body remembers what healthy food and a healthy constitution means for me, and apparently loves going right to it! My ultimate goal is getting nearer. Fitting into my “next to smallest” clothes felt wonderful this week. Belly and back bulges have flattened nicely, now time to tone the tush and thighs (where the weight landed last time)! Definitely getting rid of the fat cells, but gotta build the muscle...
Speaking of muscle tone, a BIG discovery: having the gym 45 minutes from home, at my workplace, and only able to go either in the early morning (with no showers right there) or late evening after a 12 hour day — well, it DOES NOT WORK to say the least! Don’t want to steal back the membership I gave to my daughter when I thought the free Y at work was the ticket, so I am asking for local gym membership for Christmas! Thought I’d love getting into home workouts that Terri put together for me, but exercising in front of my own teens is more intimidating than grunting and sweating in front of college students or strangers! Who knew?
What have I especially loved from my Blue Mountain Organics stash? Never had hemp seeds before, and they are SO tasty as a protein addition to salads and spaghetti squash! And I feel so special that the folks at BMO formulated vegan protein powder for me, some from hemp seeds, some from brown rice powder. I make cocoa with their organic cocao powder and brown rice powder, then add stevia and nutmeg to taste. The whole, raw, organic almond butter on rice cakes is the best treat of the day (nothing really new there for me, but I do like the substitute of almond for peanut butter). However, in terms of real decadence, there was that one day when I was stir-frying with the coconut oil BMO sent, and I found myself licking my fingers more than once — yum! And of course, on the more practical side, I couldn’t do without the staples of organic brown rice and quinoa they provided to add to all the greens, veggies, and beans that I love.
A few more interesting tidbits: One surprise — it has been a little strange to not be eating fruit like I used to, except for the berry medley for my smoothie in the morning. But I consider this a big lesson learned about how dependent I had become on the sugars of the apples and bananas and gluten-free fruit bars I ate every day. Now I’ll throw a whole sweet red pepper into my bag to eat just like an apple if I need.
One thing I haven’t gotten used to — the occasional substitution of edamame to my spaghetti squash instead of asparagus. Those little things LOOK like baby limas, so they should be just as good, right? I have heard folks rave, but I don’t think I have them perfected yet. Got to cook them more than the instructions say, I guess. I am a southern woman, so I should know to keep them over the heat until they smush beyond recognition (just like I did that with red lentils recently, and I was so excited to pretend that I was eating mashed potatoes!). Ah, so much to learn. I explained to Terri that I spend more time in the kitchen than I ever have before — one long evening every couple of weeks prepping for the freezer stash plus about 30 minutes in the mornings blending, measuring and packing for the day. More time in the kitchen, fewer pounds; an interesting correlation which isn’t really surprising if you think about all the junk even health conscious people put into themselves when on the run. And goodness knows I do run on high speed all the time!
Two and a half weeks to go, so let’s see if I can reclaim the gym for myself. I need it for so many reasons. And, we’ll see where the scales and the sizes end up after a couple of more weeks, although I realize I will likely plateau on that score in the weeks, and that is fine. This isn’t a race, it is a lifestyle shift. The most important thing is that I have reminded myself of is what is possible with focus and intention — what feels good, especially when I wake up in the morning after a yesterday of good food — and what I DON’T want to do to when I get stressed (carbs, carbs, carbs)! I have great new info, tools, and attitude as I head into the craziness of exam week and the holidays! Lots to be thankful for this year!