Monday, January 28, 2013

Day 5

205.2 DOWN and I ate CHEESE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 
I did not react to goats milk cheese!!! {insert the happy dance here}

Now I have to go hunt down rye crackers. I would have thought Whole Foods would have had them, but NO.  They have three other kinds of Wasa Crisps but not Rye.  Gah.  I hate running all over town. If I am not reactive, I will start ordering some online.

Breakfast -

I am out of granola and failed to prep more last night.  A few days ago, while searching unsuccessfully for rye crackers at Whole Foods, I found flax crackers called "Flackers" by Doctor in the Kitchen.  The ingredients in their Cinnamon & Currant crackers are the same as in The Plan's Flax Granola with just some added Apple Cider Vinegar, so I grabbed a box for flax seed emergencies.  Today, I had just such an emergency.  6 Flackers and a handful of blueberries for breakfast.  The Flackers are slightly chewy and easy to grab.  I won't rely on them, but they are great to have on hand.

Lunch -

More broccoli soup and salad - good to go! And my dearest husband saved the day by picking up rye crackers for me at a local grocery. 

Snack -

1 Light Rye Wasa with raw almond butter. AMAZING.  The Wasa reminded me of childhood.  It was a food my mother used to buy. Eating crackers or crisp breads always makes me feel a strange mixture of childhood remembrance and grownup foodie bliss.  The almond butter, well, I am pleased to report it did not get nasty in the fridge and is still high on my list of favorite foods on The Plan. 

Dinner -

First, let me say... Manchego cheese is sweet buttery goodness in block form. Yum.  At $14.99/lb, I have to be careful my hubby does not make a meal of just cheese. We grated it and sprinkled it over the zucchini...hope that was the right way to do it! SO GOOD!

Our Whole Foods had two kinds, raw and pasteurized.  I opted for pasteurized as I am still nursing my infant daughter.

I still don't love zucchini and lament that this is a zucchini-heavy meal plan, but I want health more than I dislike zucchini, so I will make it work for now. Covering it in Manchego is a good start.

Now, let's talk about the inappropriately named apricot sauce.  You may know this flavor better as BUFFALO SAUCE.  I can't normally have buffalo sauce as I am allergic to yellow food dye (and yes, the sauce is orange.  Please refer to your 4th grade science book for what makes up the color orange).  It is not at the top of my favorite flavor list and I was a little disappointed that the gorgeous organic apricot jam I bought ended up this way, but I will say it was a pleasant surprise to have something that was so bright and flavorful.  We made the mistake of cooking it (spread it on the chicken as a glaze and roasted it).  But I had some leftover uncooked and that made a great topping. I do think I would cut the water down in the future and keep the sauce a little thick so I could enjoy the jammy-ness of it.

Somewhere in the shopping list it said we could swap Sriracha for Adobo and so did so in the Spicy Apricot Sauce.  Maybe that is what made it so buffalo-y?  In any case, we made it work and it was good!

By the way, did I mention I can have chocolate now?  1 ounce of dark chocolate a day.  Such a beautiful end to my dinner.  Oh, to end every day with chocolate...

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Day 4

Day 4
Weight 206.2   Down...but only by .4

I was just not expecting this.  I guess it could have been the beets consumed contrary to the menu...or did I react to potatoes?  My scale only weighs in .2 increments, and following the calculations for failure to drink water, I think this is probably about right sans reaction, so I am going to be grateful for my .4 and MOVE ON!

Breakfast -

Last of the flax granola batch I made before beginning the Plan.  Today is NOT the day to run out of stuff!  We have a COSTCO trip today...which, considering it is almost an hour drive each way and with two small children in tow means I can easily kiss 4 + hours goodbye from my schedule today.

Lunch -

Menu says left over roast veg but I failed to make those last night, so soup and salad it shall be!  "More Cream of Broccoli soup?"  "Why, yes, thank you!"  And, as I have quickly learned, no soup on the Plan would be complete without it's accompanying side salad! I have been buying the prewashed, ready to eat greens in the plastic tubs.  I normally feel this is such a waste, but it has been WONDERFUL on the Plan.  I grab a couple of handfuls, throw it in a bowl, cut up my half apple and 1/4 avocado and toss in some seeds and I am good to go.  SO FAST AND EASY.

Snack -

Carrots with 2 Tbsp RAW ALMOND BUTTER.  Now, I assumed this would be thick and hard as so many nut butters are.  And, at 16 bucks a jar, I resented having to buy it to begin with and was sure I would be annoyed when eating it.  (I have since learned from Lyn-Genet's Facebook page that there is a much less costly version at Trader Joe's) but when that stuff hit my lips, I was a goner.  So. Good.  And not at all hard or gritty.  Just plain almondy goodness in an easy to spread butter. {drool}  THIS SNACK MADE MY DAY.

Dinner -

Chicken with Apple Bourbon Sauce?  Are you kidding me?  Bourbon was neither on the shopping list nor is it something we keep in the house.  I don't want to cook with bourbon and at this point, I was tired and grouchy from the epic Costco trip.  Thankfully, there were leftovers from the night before in the fridge, so Italian Herbed Chicken and my onion, beet, carrot leftovers it was!

And my water?  Yeah, I think so!

Day 3

Day Three

Weight: 206.6 - DOWN!  And I now weigh less than I did when I got pregnant with my first daughter.  207 was a milestone for me.

So...maybe I am not reactive to almonds or maybe what I had is some sort of reaction but not an inflammatory response.  I felt wretched last night but maybe it is just good ol' fashioned DETOX. 

I am so focused on listening to my body for reactivity that I momentarily have forgotten that my wacky, super sensitive system could have other kinds of reactions other than inflammation.  And the fact is, this is a CLEANSE.  The nasty side effects of which include but are not limited to headaches and general wretchedness.

But I am feeling better today and riding high on weight loss and apparent ability to eat almonds without reaction, so I am ready to TEST something!

Now, here is where it gets tricky.

For Days 1 & 2, I followed the book.  The book as published January 2013 and sold on Amazon.  The book.  Heck, it might as well be The Book at this point. 

But what's this over here....????  Lyn-Genet's website!
And after combing through for a rumored shopping list, I find....

....complete with new, updated menus and a cookbook.

I asked via her Facebook page what should I do, switch or stay...and the answer was switch.  So today's test was POTATOES!

Oh yeah.  Those lumps of starchy goodness...made in to Cream of Broccoli soup.  {sigh}

Breakfast -

Dried was better. At like granola by hand, drank cup of coconut milk warmed and ate blueberries.  Felt more in tune with breakfast, did not wolf it down today. 

Lunch -

Salad with apples and avocado and carrots & seeds = yum!  And here it comes...Cream of Broccoli soup is FAN-FREAKING-TASTIC.  I used sriracha in it and it is so good, I am happy to report it neither smelled like feet (as I often believe cooked broccoli does) nor did it taste like anything I have ever had that began with the words "Cream of...".  It is thick and delicious and spicy and rich.  I won't be giving up on this soup after 10 bites!

Snack -

Per the menu, snack is 12-15 almonds.  I grabbed a small handful, and I have small hands.  I have to think there were 10-12 in there.  I ate them as I cleaned up around the kitchen, juggling the baby and trying not to worry about the reaction I had yesterday.

Dinner -

Chicken with Italian Herbs and orange zest on a bed of arugula.  Well, I somehow missed that it was actually supposed to be a HALF portion, 2-3 ounces, and ate a healthy 4 ounce portion.  I did not have arugula, so it was mixed greens.  And after the Great Bloody Knuckle Orange Zest Incident of 2013, I was not zesting anything tonight. 

In fact, I was in a HURRY.  I would love to dedicate the time it takes to cook the way these recipes deserve (and maybe the way I deserve) but I don't have that kind of time.  I have a 4 year old with a voiding dysfunction which means I am in the bathroom with her every 30 minutes and doing loads of her laundry for the umpteen wet accidents a day, and a 10 month old with silent reflux and laryngomalacia, so I am holding her upright literally 50% of the day. 

So tonight's dinner was thrown together and took exactly as long as the chicken took to bake, which was longer than the recipe called for (maybe our oven runs cold).

I still had some leftover Carrot and Beet salad and the oven roasted vegetables side dish for the dinner menu was neither in the cards for us timewise nor palate wise (ugh...oven roasted veggies...why????  NO MORE ZUCCHINI!  I am putting my foot down!), so I sauteed some onions and garlic and just in the last two minutes, threw the remains of the beets and carrots in on top to warm but not cook.   I know, I know...I should be sticking with the menus as prescribed.  But it just isn't happening for me yet!

In the end, it was fine. Nothing remarkable, but all totally edible.

And I think I am getting closer to getting all that water in!

Day 2

Day Two:
Weight 208.0
I can actually see my belly is smaller and less puffy (which at over 200 lbs is no small feat).  I am carrying a ton of post pregnancy and c-section weight in my belly.  Ok, that is an understatement. My belly is disproportionately large to the rest of my overweight body.  It hangs a good four inches lower than where it should be.  I have a weird loss of sensation in my lower abdomen.  But my daughters were worth it!
Breakfast -

Same as yesterday but after nibbling a bit on the dry flax yesterday and trying it with coconut milk and heated today, I quickly realize that the gooey excretion from the flax is not a fantastic mouth-feel. Note to self: eat it dry tomorrow.
Lunch -

More of the same as yesterday - the horribly over-gingered soup. It is barely palatable and because I also get a gorgeous salad along with it, I gave up after 10 bites.  The mixed greens, avocado, and apple salad act as a sort of palate cleanser (and in this case, palate cooler) in between spoonfuls of soup. The salad is basic and totally edible.
Snack - OOPS - yes, that's right. I was so busy with kids and cleaning up and, well, LIFE, I completely forgot my snack. And that is actually not cool because snack on Day Two is the first TEST on The Plan! ALMONDS.

So, here is the thing. I LOVE almonds. Almond flavoring in my latte, almond croissant, anything marzipan, anything prepared almondine. Give me almonds. As a pre-diabetic, almonds are supposed to be so good for me. I ate them almost every day of the 2nd and 3rd trimesters when pregnant with F. So, I issue. I mean, HOW could I react to ALMONDS?
Dinner -

As I began preparing dinner, I suddenly realized I had failed to eat the snack so I eat the almonds and half pear as I am prepping the kale. (The book says to use leftovers from the night before but I was happy to share my kale with my husband the night before and I am really cautious about leftovers because I am sensitive to tyramine).
30 minutes later, I am blissfully chewing mouthfuls of sauteed kale in leftover Spicy Coco Sauce (still super yummy but way better the first night when it was fresh) and I feel the burn on the side of my tongue. Just a wee bit. I have felt it before when eating the bagged Fruit and Nut mix from Costco...which contains almonds. I brush the thought aside but cannot ignore that within a few more minutes, I am starting to feel a bit warm on my cheeks and I am getting a bit of nasal congestion.
Is it the almonds or the basmati rice?
And now a migraine sets in. It is likely the almonds. I Google to find they are on some of the tyramine lists but not all. what?
I scour the book to try to see how long a reaction may take...1-2 hours. But nowhere do I read how long of a spacing there should be between meals. So...I decide to conduct my own "clarifying test". 2 hours after dinner, I eat 5 more of the raw, unsalted, slightly sweet and oh so lovely almonds.
I can FEEL the bloat in my tummy.
So I guess we will have to wait and see. I don't want to repeat this day but think I will add almonds back to my list to retest later. I don't want to delay...anniversaries come but once a year and a 15th will hopefully only ever come once. I want to be through this testing phase by then. But darn it! Darn the almonds!!!!!!!!!
And by the way...I went "No Poo" recently I feel totally less than human right now. My husband went out for a drink with co-workers after work today. I stayed home with the girls. He just looked at me now and asked if I was planning to take a shower today. Yeah, THAT made me feel sexy. So here I am, bloated belly and greasy no-poo hair.
Perhaps one of these days I will pull it together!

Day 1


Starting weight...208.8 (that said, I actually weighed first at 209.8 but then nursed my daughter and went potty and weighed again at 208.8 so I will be conservative and begin there. And it was 210.2 just two days ago, but I already started implementing the principles in the Plan as I was reading the book.)

Breakfast -

The Plan's Flax Granola with nothing but flax, sunflower seeds and some Craisins.  Fresh blueberries.  Coconut milk.

So, it's not great at this point.  It really needs some chunky crunch from nuts but I have yet to test those, so I am rocking the flax and Craisins alone.  Eh.  Not bad.  Not great, but not bad.  As a first batch, I can eat it.  I can also see the potential in it.  Add some nuts, some seeds and maybe some vanilla extract and this stuff could be totally edible...dry.  Wet is...gooey.

Lunch -

Well, let me just say that putting too much ginger in the Carrot-Ginger Soup is a HUGE MISTAKE.  Oh. dear. Lord.  Otherwise, well, it is a soup of cooked carrots, which have always tasted like dirt to me.  But I can totally see where this soup has value.  On a cold day when I am feeling unwell, I can see where this soup would be very soothing.  Just maybe not so much ginger next time.  The fact is: this is a Cleanse.  I don't expect sunshine and roses.  I am just happy this soup is not triggering my gag reflex (anyone else remember the Cabbage Soup Diet?  I'll take dirty sweet carrots over soup that smells like sewage any day of the week!)

The mixed greens with pear and pumpkin seed salad would have been so much nicer if I hadn't bought the most bitter pears of all time.  I bite in to it with utter shock and feel instantly terrible for admonishing my daughter as a naughty food waster the day before when she swore to me that the pear just did not taste good.  I swallow the pear (along with my mommy-guilt) and get on with the eating whole bitter mess.

Note - Lyn-Genet tells us in the book to allow the pears to sun ripen.  She says that for a reason.

Broccoli...yeah, this zesting thing is NOT EASY.  My knuckles are bloody and I killed two, expensive, organic oranges without acheiving much before giving up.  But I make and cook the broccoli (which I have only eaten raw for the past umpteen years) and eat it.  Eh. What can I say, it is cooked broccoli.

Snack -

I chowed down on a crispy green apple as if it would run away from me if I did not eat it fast enough,  My four year old watched me with a look of both amusement and confused fascination.  "Is that apple good mommy?" she teased me.  I managed to utter a "yes" between sloppy, slobbering bites.

Dinner -

Sauteed Kale and Vegetables with Spicy Coco Sauce - it caught me by surprise that I would have to cook the sauce in advance of sauteing.  I was so unprepared for this.  Looking back, it was due to a failure to be realistic about what this way of eating entails altogether - preparation and cooking.  In any case, I curse away as I bang around preparing what turns out to be the most amazingly delicious, luscious, delectable sauce I have ever made on my own stove.  Yep - it is that good.  When Lyn-Genet jokes that clients have told her they will eat anything if it is covered in Spicy Coco Sauce, I don't doubt it.  If you like Thai food (think creamy coconut sauce with Thai spices), you will dig this sauce. And it soooooo easy to make!

Next came the inevitable sauteing of the kale.  {Sigh}.  I want to like kale so badly.  I want to reap all the benefits of this abundant, trendy, dark green, chlorophyll-filled super food.  I have used it in smoothies with very limited success.  My mom has steamed it for me in her version of a stampot - blergh.  Not good.  The rough texture of the edge of the leaves creeps me out.  But I am determined to make this "Plan" work! 

And this determination brings me to include the shitake mushrooms per the recipe.  Now, I am NOT a mushroom eater.  The umami flavor triggers my gag reflex instantly.  And I have a tyramine sensitivity, so I avoid most things that are aged, fermented, and/or moldy - like fungus.  But here I am - slicing mushroom and cooking it up. 

As I began working the washed and chopped leaves around in the pan, I realize that they are cooking down and softening much more quickly that I would have thought.  Not wanting to lose that bright green color, I remove them quickly and plate it up immediately. 

And I ate it.  Yup.  I ate it.  Somewhat because I was crazy hungry at this point and somewhat as a personal challenge to myself not to let being a picky eater get in the way of good health.  But mostly, I ate it because I would eat just about anything if it has Spicy Coco Sauce on it.

And the Carrot & Beet salad ain't bad either!  Refreshing and sweet, it tastes NOTHING like cooked beets!!!!

Water Consumption - about 77% of what I was supposed to have.  Oops.

May I just say that between my weight (over 200 lbs) and breastfeeding (which Lyn-Genet tells me I need to add 40 ounces per day to my water consumption) means I am drinking CONSTANTLY.  It is pretty hard to drink 144 ounces of water between 7:30 am - 7:30 pm minus 45 minutes before and after each meal and snack.  But alas, I TOTALLY BELIEVE in the water consumption as a critical role in this process.  I have long known that I am chronically dehydrated.  Many women joke that when they are cranky, their husbands might ask if it is "that time of the month"...mine asks how much water I have had today.  My 4 year old grabs water bottles and delivers them to my nightstand.  So, I guess hydration is just one of those things I will have to work on.

And on to Day 2...

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Ok...bought the book, now what?

Job Number One: Read the Book.  Lyn-Genet Recitas (and/or her staff) maintain a terrific Facebook page and she recently posted how important it is for people to read the ENTIRE book before asking questions and before taking on The Plan.  Yeah, well...that makes sense. 
Ok, so for a plan that is based on science....this book is not written very well.  I am so excited to try "The Plan", but good gracious!  Sifting through it all to get the shopping lists and menus and what to prepare how far in advance is a total PITA.


My mornings are already packed...wake up to shower or sleep in and say dirty, nurse the baby, dress the toddler, make breakfast for toddler and baby, feed baby, get toddler to the potty, get out the door to squeezing something new in should be interesting to say the least!  Bizarrely, I am praying for snow tonight so I don't have to do the school routine!

I'd love to go cook but I have a cranky baby on my hands and a toddler who is arguing "But I WAS LISTENING!  I AM A GOOD GIRL!"  {Sigh} It's going to be a long night.  Let's face it though, there is never going to be a "perfect" time to start "The Plan" so I may as well throw myself in to it now!