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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Just started the 3rd Cycle this week...

Sorry it took me so long to post again.  I have an online handbag and accessories business (Savvy Chic Bags) and we are having a big coupon sale next week Wednesday, so I've been busy getting everything ready for that.  In the meantime I had everything else, including this blog, on hold for a minute.

Sunday's weigh-in for last week was a little disappointing, I only lost 1.8 lbs., but it was pretty much what I expected.  The Activate cycle started adding in some healthy carbs, and that's where the problem starts for me.  Even a minimal amount of carbs really slows down my weight loss progress.  I wanted to go back to the 1st (Accelerate) cycle again, but Dr. Moreno advises against it.  Since the diet works by metabolism confusion, he says you need to go through all 3 of the weight loss cycles first and if you haven't lost all of your weight by that time, you can start over again with the 1st cycle.  So Tuesday was my first day on the 2nd (Activate) cycle, and this one is really scary for me because it adds in the remaining carbs that I couldn't have before.  This cycle adds whole grain and whole wheat breads and cereals, along with adding virtually any vegetables and most lean meats.  I can have up to 2 carbs per day, but I think I'm going to limit my consumption to one per day, just to stay on the safe side.

Today's breakfast:
1 cup Fiber One cereal with a few dried cranberries and 1% milk.
1/2 cup of cubed mango
1 cup green tea

Today's Lunch:
Chicken Stir-Fry left-overs from last night's dinner over 1/4 cup brown basmati rice
1 cup green tea

Tonight's dinner: maple walnut salmon with lite coleslaw and steamed broccoli.
Maple Salmon with Walnuts
4  salmon fillets
1/4 cup of lite maple syrup      
2 tablespoons of lite soy sauce
1 clove of garlic, minced
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
Sea salt
Pre-heat oven to 400.  In a small bowl, combine syrup, soy sauce and garlic and mix. together.  Line a baking dish with foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray.  Place salmon in baking dish, skin side down,  and season with salt and pepper and top with walnuts.  Coat salmon with sauce mixture and bake in oven for approx. 30 minutes or until done.

Lite Coleslaw
1 c. reduced calorie Miracle Whip or mayonnaise
1.5 teaspoons mustard
4 teaspoons or packets of Splenda
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
1 teaspoon salt
Dash of pepper
1 teaspoon of cumin
1 bag of coleslaw
Mix first 8 ingredients together in small bowl. Put coleslaw in large bow and add dressing. Mix well and chill before serving. 
This coleslaw was really good.  I actually only used half the dressing to keep it even more low calorie. 

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Tonight's Dinner: Shrimp Stir-Fry with Quinoa

I love a stir-fry, and I usually make chicken, but just for variety I thought I'd make a shrimp stir-fry today.  I'm not a big fan of sea food, but it was still tasty anyway.  Since I'm on the Activate (second) cycle, I can have shrimp and a few healthy carbs, so I put my stir-fry over Qunioa.  I love Quinoa.  Here is my stir-fry recipe; you can easily substitute cooked cubed chicken for the shrimp if desired:
Shrimp Stir-Fry with Quinoa
1 14ox bag of cooked peeled and deveined large shrimp
1/2 bag (approx. 1 lb) of frozen stir-fry veggies (I use La Choy Asian Stir-Fry Vegetables)
4 Scallions
3 garlic cloves, minced
Grated fresh ginger (to taste)
Approx. 3 tablespoons of canola oil
1/4 cup fat-free low-sodium chicken broth 
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon Jack Daniels
1 teaspoon of corn starch
1 teaspoon of sugar (I use Splenda)
Quinoa (pronounced Keen-Wa)

Add 2 tablespoons of oil to hot skillet and swirl to cover pan.  Reduce heat to medium low and add scallions, ginger and garlic and stir fry for about 1 minute (make sure garlic does not burn).  Add vegetables and remaining oil; stir-fry on med-high heat (if using regular frying pan-use high heat for wok) for approx. 3 minutes or until veggies are cooked but still crisp.  Add shrimp and toss.
In small bowel combine chicken broth, soy sauce, Jack Daniels, sugar and cornstarch.  Add to shrimp and veggies, stir until sauce thickens slightly.  Serve over Quinoa.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Weekly Weigh-In

This past week was my worst week to-date, and I expected that since I ate too many carbs, and I also went out to dinner and had dessert (cheesecake) on Thursday.  On the 17 Day Diet you can sensibly eat what you want on the weekends once you reach your goal weight and are on the maintenance part of the diet.  Unfortunately I'm not at that point yet, so I shouldn't have had a rich dessert yet.  So I paid for my bad behavior last week by losing only one pound for the week.  But I'm not complaining; I didn't gain and that's what's important.

Today I was searching online for some interesting and healthy recipes and I stumbled upon a really interesting article on the health benefits of ginger root.  I always knew ginger was good for you, but I had no idea just how good.  It significantly helps with everything from joint pain and nausea to ovarian and colerectal cancer.  I plan to incorporate fresh ginger root into my diet daily, whether I use it in my food preparation or just steeped in a cup of tea.  Fresh ginger root is the best, but ground dried ginger works too.  Here is the link to the article:  http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=72

I think Chinese Walnut Chicken Stir-Fry is on the menu for this evening's dinner, and of course it's going to include ginger!  I will probably post a pic later...

Friday, March 4, 2011

Feels like a wasted week...

This was my first week of the Activate cycle and I'm not handling it very well.  Not that it's difficult--as a matter of fact it's really easy because some natural carbs are added.  On this cycle I'm supposed to alternate days with the Accelerate cycle and the Activate cycle, but I keep conveniently forgetting that and eating at least one carb everyday.  And yesterday my friends took me to dinner at TGI Friday's last night and I was pretty good with my entree, I had the Sante Fe salad, but I also ate a few of  the entrees--that Florentine flatbread was unbelievable :-)  And then I just totally destroyed it all by having a slice of cheese cake.  But I stuck strictly to the diet all day yesterday until dinner so I hope that helped somewhat.  But I'm not going to beat myself up about it, I'm just going to forget about it and move on.  I just don't expect to have lost anything this week; and that really annoys me because it just feels like a wasted week.  Hopefully I won't have gained anything.

In the meantime, dinner today was my own Tex-Mex chicken recipe and steamed broccoli.  Delicious. There really isn't a recipe for this chicken I just spray my skillet with non-stick cooking spray and I seasoned and cooked my skinless/boneless chicken breasts.  When they were almost done I topped them with a can of diced jalapeno tomatoes (I seasoned them first with Italian seasoning, basil, garlic) and then topped with a dab of shredded 2% cheddar cheese.  I usually use fresh foods but canned works for me in a hurry. 

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Today's Lunch - Broiled Tilapia with Jalapeno Salsa & Garlicky Spinach...

Nothing like leftovers from dinner the night before for lunch ;-) 

Broiled Tilapia Topped with Jalapeno Salsa:
Place 4 tilapia fillets on baking sheet or baking dish coated with cooking spray.  Season both sides of fish with garlic powder, dill weed, onion powder, Mrs. Dash Garlic & Herb, lemon pepper, and creole seasoning.  Cook under broiler approx. 6-8 minutes, or until fish flakes with fork and top is golden brown.  Top with Jalapeno Salsa.

See March 1st repost of original February 28th post for Garlicky Spinach recipe.

Sometimes I still get hungry....

When I was on the 1st (Accelerate) cycle, I often would get really hungry, mostly in the evening--fortunately the next cycle (Activate) adds in a few healthy carbs so I don't get really hungry anymore. I'm very carb sensitive, and when I don't have them I get seriously hungry.  But for whatever reason, when I was in the Accelerate cycle, during the day I would be fine, but in the evening around 8pm sometimes I would get sooo hungry.  And of course every commercial was a food commercial.  The last thing you want to feel on a diet is hunger because you're already feeling some kind of way because you've been forbidden to eat the things that you normally love to eat, and now after eating the fairly uninspired foods on your plan, you're still hungry!  Makes it all too easy to throw your hands in the air and shout "what's the use!" and return to your old bad eating habits that got you into trouble in the first place.

So I said hunger would make it easy to give up; that doesn't mean we should give up.  And with the 17 Day Diet, it's easier to address your hunger than with most other diets.  I like the fact that in the Accelerate cycle, lean proteins and cleansing vegetables are unlimited.  So if I'm still hungry after a meal, I usually just have another piece of protein, for example, a small chicken breast.  Yeah, it may not be as delicious as that slice of Oreo cookie cheesecake, but it's not going to destroy your diet (or clog your arteries for that matter).  But having the extra protein does it for me; once those gnawing hunger pangs are satisfied, it makes it a lot easier to stick to the diet.

One thing to remember is that although this diet lets you have unlimited lean protein and vegetables in the Accelerate and Activate cycles, don't throw portion control to the wind.  Dr. Mike stresses that you have to become attune to your body so that you learn to judge your level of hunger and to pay attention to when your hunger is satisfied.  In a nut shell, eat until you are no longer hungry, but don't continue to eat until you are stuffed. 

One more thing that helps me with hunger is the diet's Chicken-Vegetable soup.  I like to make a big batch and freeze it so I always have it on hand.  If you have a small bowl before a meal, it helps you to eat less, and you can have a bowl as a snack when those hunger pangs hit.  You can also have a big bowl for lunch.  The diet's recipe is kind of bland so I spiced mine up.  Here is the recipe, and my changes follow:

Chicken-Vegetable Soup
4 baked chicken breasts, diced                 2 large celery stalks with leaves, chopped
1 1/2 cups chopped cabbage                    1 15-oz. can of crushed tomatoes
1 large carrot, chopped                             1 14-oz can of fat-free chicken broth
I cup okra, sliced                                      1 12 teaspoon salt
1 large onion, chopped                              14 teaspoon pepper
Place all ingredients, except chicken, in a large pan and simmer for one hour or until vegetables are soft.  Add in chicken and heat thoroughly.  Enjoy this soup for lunch or dinner.  Makes 4 servings.

Now that  is the book's recipe, but I tweaked it a little--I could tell it was going to be bland as-is.  I used half of a fresh small cabbage and one large onion, and I used frozen vegetables--a half bag of Italian vegetables and a half bag of gumbo vegetables.  I used two cans of fat-free chicken broth (equals 28 oz) and a 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes, and I increased my chicken to 6 breasts.  I seasoned with lite soy sauce, Italian seasoning,  basil, bay leaves, fresh garlic, parsley, red pepper flakes, garlic powder, onion powder and seasoned salt.  This tuned out delicious and with my additions it made a double batch so I can freeze some for later. 

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Dr. Mike's Power Cookies...

Dr. Mike's Power Cookies
I was so happy to get to the 2nd (Activate) cycle so I could have some kind of carb/snack!  In the 17 Day Diet book Dr. Mike has a recipe for his Power Cookies.  They didn't look all that interesting but I thought I'd give them a try anyway since they're an allowed healthy carb.on the diet.  They were expensive as hell to make because they call for some ingredients that I don't normally have on hand, and they're not all that attractive (kind of lumpy and misshapen), but they were sooo worth it!.  One cookie equals 1 protein and 1 natural starch and they can be eaten in the Activate, Achieve and Arrival cycles for breakfast or as a snack.  And because they have so much going on with them they take a minute to eat and are filling, so one cookie is all you need anyway. 

Here's the recipe:
Dr. Mike's Power Cookie
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce                     1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons almond paste                             1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon flaxseed oil                                  1/2 teaspoon salt
10 packets of Truvia (I used Splenda)              1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup agave nectar                                        1/2 cup vanilla whey powder
1 large egg                                                        2 cups oats
1/2 teaspoon vanilla                                          1 cup dried cherries
1/4 cup whole wheat flour                                 1/2 cup sliced almonds

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Beat together applesauce, almond paste, flaxseed oil, Truvia, and agave nectar.  Bet in egg and vanilla.  Mix well.  Add flour, baking soda, salt, pepper and whey powder.  Beat thoroughly.  Stir in oats, cherries and almonds.  Mix well.  Drop the batter by large tablespoons onto a cookie sheet that has been sprayed with vegetable cooking spray.  Divide dough so that you have 18 cookies.  Flatten each cookie with back of the spoon.  Bake 16-18minutes or until brown.  Remove from oven.  Cool and store in a plastic container.  Each cookie supplies 128 calories.

*Recipe from The 17 Day Diet by Dr. Mike Moreno