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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

My Favorite Lunch Salad...

For convenience reasons and because I love them, I have a salad for lunch most days of the week, and this one is my fave.  I keep a container of freshly washed bagged salad in the refrigerator at all times, so I just add whatever "fixins" I have, including leftover protein from last nite's dinner.  You can add as many fresh veggies as you like; whatever healthy add-inn you use, it's always tasty.  Today's salad was this delicious grilled chicken salad:
1.  Romaine lettuce and baby spinach
2.  Sliced pears
3.  Chicken breast strips (marinated in fat-free Italian dressing and grilled)
4.  Sprinkle of feta cheese
5.  Sprinkle of sliced almonds
6.  10 dried cranberries
7.  Ground flax seed
8.  1-2 tablespoons fat-free Italian salad dressing

Tip for the day:
Remember, all fruits are not created equal. 
1.  Fruits are carbs, so they should be eaten before 2pm everyday to give your body the rest of the day to burn them off.
2.  Some fruits are higher in sugar than others.  In the Accelerate cycle, Dr. Mike suggests lower sugar fruits such as apples, oranges, pears, berries, and grapefruit. 
Warning-- if you take any medications check with your doctor first to see if your medications are affected by eating grapefruit.  For some medications grapefruit can affect the way medications are broken down in the body that can lead to a drug overdose.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Today's Breakfast--Yummy Spinach and Egg White Fritatta and Sliced Pears

I posted this photo on Facebook today and many people asked for the recipe for my spinach and egg white fritatta, so here it is. This is a 17 Day Diet recipe; I changed it a little just because the diet recipes are usually pretty uninspired when it comes to spices--they usually just say "salt and pepper" and that's it ;-)... I'm all about the spices so I always tell people to remember to add their own. But here it is with my additions:

Spinach and Egg White Fritatta
1. 1 whole egg and 4 egg whites, beaten
2. scallions
3. handful of washed and torn fresh spinach
4. heaping tablespoon of fresh jalapeno salsa
5. approx. 1/8 cup 2% cheddar
6. dried basil
7. garlic powder
8. dash of cumin
9. salt and pepper
Mix all ingredients and pour into a small frying pan or baking dish coated with non-stick cooking spray. Bake at 450 for about 20 minutes or until done. Divide into two servings.

Repost of original post dated Feb. 28, 2011

Garlicky Spinach Recipe...

Today I made garlicky spinach for dinner; since I've added more veggies to my diet I'm constantly looking for different ways to cook them.  This was tasty for spinach (I'm not a huge fan).  It's isn't specifically a 17 Day Diet recipe but it's all allowed ingredients.

Garlicky Spinach
One 9oz. bag of fresh spinach
2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil
Approx. 1 tablespoon of diced garlic
1/8 cup of fat-free low-sodium chicken broth
Salt and pepper to taste.

1.  heat oil in large skillet on medium/low heat
2.  add garlic and saute a minute or so until golden
3.  add washed spinach and chicken broth to pan, lower heat to medium and cook, tossing frequently until spinach is wilted--about 4-5 minutes       
4.  Season to taste.

17 Day Diet Recipes...


Check out this link for a few 17 Day Diet recipes like eggplant parmesan, sesame fish, taco salad, and egg-white veggie fritatta.  Just a suggestion; don't forget to add lots of spices for additional flavor! 

Repost of original post dated Feb. 27, 2011

17-Day Diet Update...

Well, my first cycle (Accelerate cycle) of the 17 Day Diet was over on Friday, Feb. 25th and like Jennifer Hudson, "I'm Feelin Good!"  I lost a total of 14 lbs and within 17 days!!  I'm really excited because I don't lose weight easily at all, and I've never lost that much within such a short period of time.

Yesterday I started the second cycle which is the Activate cycle.  It adds in up to two natural carbs per day like oatmeal, brown rice, quinoa, yams, even white potatoes; the potatoes and yams should be medium size which means they can fit in the palm of your hand.  The grains are limited to 1 serving which equals one half cup. This Activate cycle alternates days with one day on the no-carb Acclerate Diet, and the next on the low-carb Activate diet.   The most important thing to remember about this cycle is that you have to eat all of your fruits and carbs by 2 PM.  I know I'm going to like this cycle a lot better because I really missed my carbs, but I'm a little scared too because I know how carb sensitive I am, and that even a small amount of them can really have a negative impact for me.

By the way, I made a really nice chicken recipe this week.  I was really getting bored with chicken and fish, so I cooked my bonesless/skinless chicken breasts in my electric skillet like I always do.  I love that skillet; I use it everyday, and for almost everything--I hardly ever use my stove anymore; it's such an easy fat-free way to cook.  I sprayed my skillet with non-stick cooking spray and seasoned and cooked the 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.  It was really good; healthy, spicy and flavorful with a Mexican twist.  Even my daughter loved it, and she isn't even on a diet.

Well, my next weigh-in is next Sunday.  I just hope it won't be a depressing one... :-)

Repost of original post dated Feb. 20, 2011

Day 12 into the 17 Day Diet Accelerate Cycle...

Breakfast for me today was pretty much more of the same.  I don't like yogurt or cottage cheese so I usually just have an omelet, fruit and green tea for breakfast.  I will be sooo glad when I add carbs---I never thought I would crave a packet of instant oatmeal ;-)  Today's breakfast was an herbed omelet using a little basil and parsley, and topped with fresh jalapeno salsa.  This is the best fresh salsa; it's the Grandessa Signature brand I found at Aldi's yesterday for only $1.99 and it tastes way better than any I've had so far.

Tip:  I use hot pepper flakes and hot sauce a lot for extra flavor, and also because the capsaicin in hot peppers helps speed up the metabolism and suppresses appetite and cravings for sweets.

Lunch was a spinach and pear salad with salmon, and green tea.  I know it's probably silly but I always feel that t if I eat tuna, salmon etc.straight from the can I'm going to be eating some live parasites.  I know--that sounds really nasty.  So I always cook mine first; I made salmon patties and I broke one up and used it in my salad.  Also, doing it this way means I have cooked salmon patties on hand  for another meal.  Here are my own recipes for salmon patties and the spinach/pear/salmon salad:

Salmon Patties
1 14oz. can of salmon (remove bones)
1 small onion, chopped
1 egg white
Approx. 1 tsp. of Dijon mustard (or any mustard)
Dried rosemary
Dried dill weed
Lemon pepper
Old Bay Seasonning (or any seasoning of choice)
Onion powder
Garlic powder
Hot pepper flakes

Mix first four ingredients together; add remaining seasonings.  Form into four patties and cook on medium heat in hot skillet coated with non-stick cooking spray. Makes 4 servings.

Spinach/Pear/Salmon Salad
Fresh spinach
Romaine lettuce (optional)
Salmon Pattie (or flaked fresh canned salmon)
Onion (fresh or flakes to taste)
Small fresh pear thinly sliced*
1 tablespoon low-fat feta cheese
Sprinkle of flax seed
Salad seasoning
2 tablespoons fat-free Italian dressing
*You can substitute the pear for another fruit such as an apple, or orange or grapefruit slices.

Dinner tonight is going to be broiled salmon with about two cups of steamed broccoli seasoned with a teaspoon of Smart Balance margarine, lemon pepper, garlic, onion powder and a little seasoned salt.

Just 5 more days to the addition of some healthy carbs...... ;-)

Partial repost of my original post dated Feb. 18, 2011

10 Days and 10 lbs into the 17 Day Diet...How I did it...

Since I first posted about my weight loss journey on the 17 Day Diet, I've had a few people contact me to ask for details about what I've done to lose weight;  so here it is.

The diet is in
4 Cycles--1-3 are in 17 day increments:  1.  Accelerate; 2.  Activate; 3Achieve; and 4. Arrive.  I am currently 10 days into the 1st (Accelerate) cycle.  This cycle promotes rapid weight loss by improving digestive health.  It's purpose is to clear sugar from the blood to boost fat burning, and to discourage fat storage.  I'm going to be honest; this first cycle isn't a walk in the park, but it isn't nearly as difficult as I thought it would be either.  Besides, I figure you can do just about anything for 17 days.  The diet is high in lean proteins; no carbs, and no sugar.  Since I love carbs, that has been the hardest part for me.  Normally I get really weak and light-headed with no carbs but I haven't had that problem with this diet and I think its because you can have unlimited lean protein and what are called "cleansing" vegetables. If you get weak from lack of carbs, you can eat more lean protein to curb your hunger.  But I have to say that I am looking forward to Cycle 2 where I can start to add in healthy carbs :-) 

As I said,
Cycle 1consists of plenty of lean protein and cleansing vegetables.

Lean proteins
consist of fish such as salmon (canned or fresh), sole, flounder, catfish, tilapia or canned light tuna in water.   Lean poultry consists of chicken breasts, turkey breasts, ground turkey, eggs (2 eggs =1 serving) and egg whites (4 whites = 1 serving). 

Cleansing vegetables
are artichokes, artichoke hearts, asparagus, bell peppers, green, orange red and yellow; broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, and cauliflower. 

  Some fruits have more sugar than others so for this part of the diet you have to stick to the following:
Berries, apples, oranges and grapefruits, all of which are lower in sugar.  The most important thing to remember about fruits is to only have two of the approved fruits per day, and eat them BEFORE 2 PM.  The diet's creator, Dr. Moreno says that fruit is still a carb, and that if you eat them before 2 pm your body will burn them off quicker and easier through your daily activities. 

(good intestinal bacteria) is also important in this diet, and some foods that contain probiotics are yogurt, kefir, miso, and tempeh.  I don't like any of these foods, so get my  probiotics from daily nutritional supplements instead, and the diet approves this if you don't like them or are lactose intolerant.  I also take a daily multi-vitamin as encouraged.

Green tea and water.   The diet includes green tea with each meal because of its thermogenesis qualities.  Unless your doctor advises against it you need to drink eight 8oz glasses of water per day.

These are the basic food items on this cycle of the diet, and you can pretty much design your own meal plans as long as these things are adhered to. 

The diet starts my morning with 8 oz. of hot water with lemon, to get the digestive juices flowing.  To me, this was pretty unpleasant so I adapted it to use my lemon in a cup a green tea, which is a diet requirement anyway.  Dr. Moreno is not a big fan of artificial sweeteners, but he does allow Truvia, in small amounts.  I personally like Splenda, so that is what I have been using in my tea.  Coffee is not allowed on this cycle.

  I like to keep things pretty simple so I tend to eat the same things pretty often because it's just easier that way.  For breakfast, I usually saute peppers and onions (I get the frozen ones) in a little PAM and then I make an omelet with one egg and two egg whites and add them to it, and I have a piece of fruit with my breakfast and a cup of coffee.  Coffee is not allowed on this cycle, but I can do without a lot of things, but I can't do without my coffee!  I know me, and it's much easier for me to stay on a diet if I don't feel totally deprived of everything, so I decided that coffee is going to remain as part of my plan and I just have to deal with the implications.  Other breakfast options are plain low fat yogurt mixed with berries or other allowed fruit; or a Kefir smoothie.

:  For lunch I usually have a salad with protein, usually chicken breast.  You can use plenty of fresh veggies in your salad. Although the diet says to use 1 tablespoon of  olive oil with 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar as a dressing, I don't care for the bland flavor so I use fat-free Italian dressing.  I'm not suggesting that everyone should make these changes, but they work for me.  With my salad I have a cup of green tea with lemon.  Another lunch option is a turkey burger.  I make them from extra lean ground turkey and they are delicious.  I make them with plenty of spices such as fresh onion, garlic powder, onion and herb powder, dijon mustard, lite soy sauce, rosemary, and a little seasoned salt.  If I am having a turkey burger I add a side garden salad with this meal.  Each pack of ground turkey makes about four burgers so I make them and have them for lunch or dinner.  Another lunch option is a big bowl of Chicken-Vegetable soup and a cup of green tea.  I will give you the soup recipe; I made it for the first time today and it is delicious.  You can have it for either lunch or dinner.

:  For me dinner is usually grilled or baked chicken breast or fish and a vegetable from the list, along with a cup of green tea.  I believe you can have two tablespoons of olive oil per day, but I don't really like that to season most vegetables.  Once again, I stray from the diet and use about a teaspoon of Smart Balance margarine to season my vegetables.  Get creative with your spices on this diet, it really helps bring out the flavors in what can otherwise be bland food, but be sure to go easy on the salt.

:   The diet recommends 17 minutes (or more) of exercise (preferably cardio) per day in this first cycle. 

Chicken-Vegetable Soup Recipe


4 baked chicken breasts, diced into small chunks
1 ½ cups cabbage, chopped
1 large carrot, chopped
1 cup okra, sliced
1 large onion, chopped
2 large celery stalks with leaves, chopped
1 15-oz can of crushed tomatoes
1 14-oz can of fat-free chicken broth
1 ½ teaspoon salt
¼ 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 vegetable 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. 

As long as you keep in mind the foods you need to eat, and when you should eat them, and exercise, it really is a pretty easy diet to follow.  But I really would suggest getting the book at www.the17daydiet.com because it does have a lot of additional helpful information that I didn't get into here.

Sorry for the extra long post, but I needed to go over the basics with you.  I plan to post on a daily basis;  if I find a recipe that I really like or find something that really seems to work for me I will be glad to share it with you.  And I'm looking forward to any thoughts, comments or advice that you have--feel free to post it here.

Happy dieting! ~Denise

Dr. Mike Moreno's 17 Day Diet explanation (video)

Here is a video of Dr. Mike explaining how the diet works on Dr. Phil's show  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EHzff7Y0MuU

There are also always 17 Day Diet youtube videos at the top of the blog; and if you go to the website www.17daydiet.com you can get more information about the diet and also view videos of Dr. Mike answering diet questions.

Welcome to The 17 Day Diet Diva Blog!

On Feb. 8th I started a diet I kept seeing promoted on "The Doctors" and on "Dr. Phil."  It's called The 17 Day Diet.  In a very basic synopsis, the diet is based on the concept of "body confusion;" by changing the way you eat every 17 days, your metabolism becomes confused and stops forcing itself into survival mode where it stores calories as fat.  As a result, the diet is supposed to resist weight loss plateaus, and the weight loss for the first 17 day cycle is supposed to be significant.  Dr. Mike Moreno, the diet creator, also says that recent studies show that rapid weight loss if done correctly is not harmful and in fact people tend to lose more weight and keep it off better when they experience a significant loss at the start of a diet.   I should mention that I have no connection whatsoever with The 17 Day Diet and/or its creator.  I'm just someone who has tried it, and so far it's working great for me so I thought I'd share.

Since I've struggled with my weight off and on since I've been an adult, and I've tried so many diets that haven't really worked for me (no matter how hard I work at it I'm lucky if I lose one lb per week)  I decided to give this one a try since the concept just made sense to me.  My problem is an extremely slow metabolism, so I figured that if this diet can help speed it up, then it might be worth a try.   So I started the diet on February 18th, and imagine my surprise when 10 days later I had lost10 lbs!  An average of  a pound per day??!   I couldn't believe it!   Feb. 25th, was the end of the first 17 day cycle and I weighed in at a 14 lb loss!  I have NEVER lost weight like that in my entire life.  I remember the time my friend and I started Weight Watchers together; the first week she and her husband were enjoying pizza and she was doing all kinds of cheating, while I stuck strictly to the diet and even walked the 6 miles home from work a couple of days that week.  When we went to the first weigh-in, she had lost 3 lbs.  I had lost 1!!  It was sooo traumatizing and humiliating...

So apparently with this 17 Day Diet I found something that actually works for me and I was so excited about it I started talking about it on my blog.  The only problem was my blog was a fashion blog for my online handbag and accessories store, Savvy Chic Bags www.scbags.com   I started posting recipes on Facebook and I started getting a lot of questions about my diet and I started referring them to my blog.  Even though I consider weight loss to be "the ultimate fashion accessory", it just seemed odd to post about weight loss on a fashion blog, so I decided to create The 17 Day Diet Diva blog instead.  

I'm going to copy the posts from the Savvy Chic Bags blog to this one, and then continue on from here.  I will be posting my progress on my journey daily along with recipes and diet info for anyone who wants to follow this journey with me. I also recently joined the Facebook "Black Women Do Work Out" page and I love it!  It's an online community of phenomenal women who are willing to share their diet and exercise tips with others, and I am so grateful to my FB friend Nina Weldon who told me about them!  I'm hoping some of these women will share on this blog as well, and I encourage everyone else to do the same.  I wanted to share this journey because I was so thrilled that the diet seems to be working for me, and I felt that if I blogged about it maybe I could help someone else to achieve their weight loss goals too.

Good luck and lots of success to us all on this journey!