Thursday, April 21, 2011

And so it continues...

Yay! I've made it to Day 4, which according to the book (The 17 Day Diet) is when the cravings for fatty/greasy food start to lessen just a smidge. I have definitely been craving the "good stuff" so I'm hopeful that Day 4 is when that will stop nagging me!

Easy parts so far:

Drinking water instead of coke. For someone who went from having at least one coke a day to absolutely none, it was surprisingly easy! I haven't even really thought about it at all (which is probably because I spend most of my time drooling over pizza/burger/fries/cheese dip).

Finding a variety of things to eat. I havent really eaten the same meal or snack twice. There are tons of great recipes out there for this diet which I just found by googling it.
Yogurt really can be a delicious substitute for a dessert. Say what?! I thought this would be one of the hardest parts for me, switching from my delicious chocolate and ice cream cravings to (ugh) fat free yogurt. BUT so far I've branched out from my usual strawberry and I'm eating Boston Cream Pie, Triple Berry Torte, Strawberry Cheesecake, Key Lime Pie, Citrus Splash, and many other FAT FREE delicious flavors! They are just heavy enough to fill my need to be "full."
I'm more adventurous with herbs and spices. Normally, I am a follow-the-recipe-EXACTLY kind of gal because I haven't ever been confident in guesstimating the amount I need. However, since starting this diet I find myself throwing stuff together in a pan to get a new taste since I'm so concentrated on the same rotation of foods. Definitely expanding my cooking bravery!

Hard parts so far:
I really, really love my "go to" foods. I don't think I realized just how much I enjoyed foods and different flavors and sauces until I couldn't have them any more. I had to sit at cell group last night and eat a bag of carrots while my girls chowed down on delicious pizza! While I think I can make it on this diet for a couple of weeks, I could never do this for a lifetime.
Buying food for this diet is EXPENSIVE. Two things are colliding here to make this so: 1) I literally never leave the fresh produce section of Walmart because we can't eat anything besides fruits/veggies/lean protein. 2) We are eating a LOT because we are hungry about every 2 hours since our food is digesting so quickly. As of 4/20 we are already over our grocery budget for the whole month and we still have 10 days to go!
Nothing is quick and easy for food prep. I got sick of raw veggies REALLY QUICK so I cook every veggie we eat and of course, any uncooked chicken/turkey/fish has to be cooked. On the other hand, this is giving my cookware a pretty good workout! My pots and pans never make it back into the cabinets because I use them so often.

Here is my meal worksheet for yesterday:


Protein: Scrambled eggs
probiotic serving: Strawberry Yogurt

Protein or probiotic serving:   Stir fry chicken with lowfat soy sauce
Cleansing Vegetables:  Sauteed Zucchini with Garlic Salt (my FAVE!), broccoli, onions

Protein Serving:     Grilled Baha Citrus Chicken
Cleansing Vegetables:   Mixed Green Salad 

Fruit serving: Grapes
2nd Fruit serving:      Orange
2nd Probiotic serving:   Boston Cream Pie yogurt (fat free)

Friendly fat serving:    Light Balsamic dressing for dinner
Friendly fat serving:    Olive Oil to sautee zucchini

As for results... I have lost 5 pounds in three days! Water weight maybe, but still 5 pounds less!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

One Day Down...

16 more to go!
And the good news is, I am already 2.3 pounds lighter! Now I know that this is not actual fat loss, but hey, seeing that smaller number gives me a great incentive after my first day to stick with the strict diet!

Here is what I have learned so far:
1) Eating healthier makes you hungry quicker. I start to get hungry about every hour to hour and a half because I am not eating heavy, complex fats that take a long time to digest. This is both good and bad because I am eating much smaller portions but man am I eating a lot! If my schedule wasn't so flexible this could be a real problem because once you are hungry your resolve starts to soften and a drive-thru window starts to sound pretty incredible.
2) Drinking 64 ounces of water a day makes you pee A LOT. It really makes me happy to know that the only liquid I'm drinking is God made and FREE! But drinking this much of it means I go to the bathroom like 15 times a day (no joke). I know it's flushing out my system but it's a little annoying.
3) My junk food craving is worse at night. Normally, I start my day off with a coke and maybe a granola bar. Then for lunch I either eat leftovers, salad, fast food, lean pockets, or soup. I really don't eat much during the day because in the past my plan was to save up all my calories for dinner when I could eat the REALLY good stuff. This, of course, was a terrible idea because while I was up and moving around all day my body could be working off calories but instead I waited for my calorie overload when I was about to sit/sleep for the rest of the night. Needless to say, after years of this habit I am experiencing what I call "Phantom Hunger" around 8pm at night. I'm not actually hungry, I'm just used to being stuffed like a turkey at night.

Here is my meal worksheet for Day 1:


Protein or probiotic serving: Strawberry Yogurt (non-fat)
Fruit serving:         Strawberries 

Protein or probiotic serving:    Grilled Chicken Salad
Cleansing Vegetables:    Lettuce, cucumber, carrots  

Protein Serving:     Ground Chicken burgers
Cleansing Vegetables:   Steamed Broccoli, onion in burger

2nd Fruit serving:      Strawberries       
2nd Probiotic serving:   Blackberry Yogurt (fat free)

Friendly fat serving:    Light Balsamic dressing for lunch
Friendly fat serving:    A teaspoon of low fat steak sauce in burgers

Monday, April 18, 2011

Is it April Already?

I can't believe it's already April.
All your life years and seasons and months are measured in semesters and midterms and school years; but for the first time in my life, I am no longer in school this year. As I started student teaching in the fall of 2009, I thought that although my traditional schooling was over, I would still be on a "school schedule" as a teacher. As it turned out, God was calling me to do something besides teaching and now here I am, mixing up months and losing track of time like the rest of the world.

Anyway, here is what we are focusing on this month in the Autry household:

--Today we started a new diet called the 17 Day Diet. It's really more of a cleanse, which Garland and I could definitely both use. I try to exercise 2-3 days a week for 45 minutes and Garland plays basketball once a week, but we both definitely enjoy some unhealthy food. Ideally, On this diet there are four 17 day cycles, and we are on day 1 of cycle 1. Basically for this cycle you can have veggies, fruit, lean protein (chicken, tuna, fish, turkey), two servings of eggs a day, two servings of yogurt a day, 64 ounces of water, and fat free cheese and condiments. Other than that, most food is off limits (breads/grains, fats, dairy, sugar). I like this diet because at the root of it you can still eat a ton of food, so you're not starving yourself, you're just retraining your body what it should be craving. We will also be working out everyday for 17 minutes (kind of arbitrary, I'm sure they picked it to be catchy with the title of the diet instead of saying the boring old, 15-20 minutes) which will consist of walking and using my elliptical. 

One thing I am not a fan of is diets that get you to lose weight really quick but then you balloon back up once you get off. My goal is to lose 10-15 pounds with light working out and then when we transition into cycle 2 (the second 17 days which allows for some dairy, some whole grain bread/carbs, beans, a little sugar and a little fat) I will amp up my exercise a little more, this way by the time we're ready to indulge a little (which I plan on doing at some point) my body will be ready.  By eating whatever I want and working out 3 days a week I had plateaued my weight and kept myself from gaining any weight for about a year. The problem is that I plateaued at a weight that's about 10 pounds heavier than where I want to be. I am not trying to become some super think waif model, I just want to get back to a place I feel better about myself and keep it there.

So today was day one and I had strawberries for breakfast with 32 ounces of water and then salad for lunch with cucumber, carrots, and light balsamic dressing. For dinner I will be making some sort of grilled chicken concoction which should be pretty normal.

My BMI (Body Mass Index) is at 24.4 which falls in the healthy range (18-25), but I'm at the top end. My goal is to get down to 22.5-23, which is about 10-15 pounds.

More updates to come as the weight (hopefully) falls off!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Etsy Store

I've been gone for a while but that's because I've been so busy opening my new store on ETSY! If you haven't ventured to this handmade crafters dream of a website, you need to get to it! Etsy is basically the representative of the proverbial "little man", meaning it showcases small businesses or individuals like myself who are trying to sell some of their homemade goodies.

So this week, I opened up my very own store to sell my homemade cards. You can go to my store, Oh, Happiness!, and order right now!

And as a extra fun incentive, I am offering FREE SHIPPING in honor of the grand opening! Just use the coupon code SPRING2011 when you are checking out and you will get the discount.

Here are a few of the new cards I made and placed up for sale this week:

Hope to see you in my store soon!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Book Wreath Completed!

Last week I posted about a paper flower wreath made out recycled paper and I decided to try my hand at making my own (see the original project here). Success! Here are some pictures of the completed project:

Here are my thoughts on this project:
1) Making the flowers was pretty easy, however, it probably took me 5 hours to make enough flowers to cover this small wreath, and there are still some spots on the back of the wreath that are uncovered a little (but you can only see them up close and from the side). Once I got the hang of rolling the flowers it became brainless and I watched TV while I did it. The upside is once I got done rolling the flowers, gluing them to the wreath only took me about 15 minutes!

2) I used craft glue to hold the flowers together and this worked pretty well, but I would suggest using a hot glue gun if you are impatient. However, I try to stay away from hot glue guns as much as possible because they are a hassle to keep pushing the glue stick in plus you get those spider-webby strings attaching to everything. I did use a hot glue gun to stick the flowers to the packaged raffia wreath that I used which saved a lot of time.

3) It's a lot harder than it looks to get the flowers to be the exact same size as each other like with the example wreath I used as a model. I chose to take the shortcut and allow my flowers to be all different sizes, which gives it a little more laid back look. It's totally a personal choice but as a time savor I endorse letting your little guys be unique!

Overall, I felt this project was worth the time because I can keep this wreath up in any season and for as many years as it will hold together. On a scale of 1-5 of TIME CONSUMING I give this project a 4.5. On a scale of 1-5 of EASINESS I give this project a 2. On a scale of 1-5 of EXPENSIVENESS I give this project A 1.5! I used two old books, craft glue, and a glue gun that I already had at home. The only purchase I made was a small raffia wreath that was bound tightly in plastic and cost me about $2 at JoAnn's. 

Let me know how this project goes for you!