July 26, 2014

Keeping the Weight Off: What are You Eating?


Healthy organic, dark chocolate peanut butter  balls (no processed sugar)

Nearly a month ago, I completed my 7 day detox, and after I posted about this GM Diet Plan, I received a lot of questions. As I mentioned in my post, my desire for doing something drastic for one week was to completely break my cravings for processed foods, bad carbs and sugar. Since I’ve done this detox before, I know that it works and by the 4th day, those cravings are gone.

I also know my propensity to jump right back into my old habits and after working so hard to break them, I really wanted to continue with wise choices while maintaining the eight pounds that I lost, and then do another concentrated push to lose a total of 15 that I’ve gained over the last few years. A book that’s been on my shelf for over a year is The 17 Day Diet: A Doctor’s Plan Designed for Rapid Results.

This is not about a “diet,” although in the first 17 days, you will lose weight, it’s more about completely rethinking how you eat food. It’s things we all “know,” but honestly, just haven’t wanted it bad enough to implement.

That’s me.

Watermelon smoothie (add spinach into any fruit smoothie and you will never taste it)

I “know” that eating fresh fruits and veggies, lean meats and fish are the wisest choice. I know that staying away from the bad white carbs (white bread, pasta, white rice, potatoes and sugar) is best for losing weight and healthy living, but I just haven’t wanted to give those things up enough to lose the weight.

For me, it’s still all about balance and enjoying those things in moderation, but in order to get this weight off initially, I have to be willing to go without my favorite carbs. I can’t just stop at small portions of carbs. I inhale my favorite carbs.

My goal is to adhere to a more unprocessed, low sugar, low glycemic index, low fat, food plan for 17 days (the first cycle) and then gradually add the carbs back into my food choices. The above healthy dark chocolate balls aren’t allowed until the second 17 day cycle, but my kids sure would love them. I am in a split home because all three of our teen sons are trying to gain 20 pounds and I would love to lose it.

Do you know how hard it is for me to make a huge pot of cheesy, yummy noodles and not scarf down the entire pot? Challenging, I assure you.

Dr. Mike provides excellent nutritional advice, and insists that you exercise. This is the most important area that I have been lacking and since I know how effective  Jillian Michaels – 30 Day Shred is, I’ve gathered up some of my girlfriends and we’re going to start it again tomorrow (if anyone wants to start with us). We are going to hold each other accountable through the pain and torture.

Did any of you join with me when I did this here on the blog? I felt great by the end of the 30 days and saw such a notable difference. Healthy eating choices isn’t just about food, but also about adding in an active life style. Again, I know this, but what I like about Dr. Mike’s particular innovation is that you keep the body’s metabolism “off balance” by shifting back and forth between metabolic food groups. It’s just smart science and it works.

Zucchini Vegetable Egg Casserole

After the 7 day detox, this feels like a treat, and since there is so much I can have, it will work.  The Dr. recommends to eat lots of his recommended “free” food, but the free foods are ones I don’t typically gravitate towards. Yes, I can eat all the veggies I want (not potatoes, boo hoo) and fish (those are “free foods), but unfortunately, I don’t like fish. I want to like fish. I pray that I wake up and crave salmon since it’s SO very good for me, but I don’t, so I have to be creative in other food choices.

Labrador bars  (peanut butter, coconut, and dates)

I spent the weekend at the beach with a large group of women and it was the first time ever that I didn’t feast on Oreos, chips and fries the entire time. We had a core group of women who typically adhere to a more plant based diet (with fish and eggs etc), and then we had the Girl Scout Cookie lovers, so it was great to challenge each other and try new things.

I loved having that fridge stocked with healthy eating choices because we woke up every morning to great fruit/spinach smoothies, yummy healthy choices for lunch and then we went out for dinner where I did enjoy my platter of chili cheese fries. It was the best of both worlds. Now, this doesn’t fit into my 17 day plan, of course, but I purposefully didn’t start it over the weekend.

 Sweet Potatoes, Butternut squash, garlic, onions, chili powder, cumin, onion powder and a kick of a few other spices.

Even for this non sweet potato lover, it was delicious.

If you need encouragement and someone that’s on the journey with you, that’s me. I can be that person because this is the first time in years, I have determined to make it happen and stop talking about it. It’s not easy and my lack of will power often tempts me, but once I made it through the 7 day detox, I knew I could do it.

Are you making any new food choices this year?

Do you want to, but just aren’t there yet?

So what are you cooking up for Tasty Tuesday? I can’t wait to be inspired because you can bet my family isn’t eating like I am.


  1. Thanks for these ideas, Jen. I’ve been doing 30 day shred for a while now – alternating with running (training for a 1/2 marathon in April). I have definitely seen a difference! Gotta say, though, I can’t stand to listen to her, so I usually mute her, and listen to either an audio book or sermon while I work out. Best of both worlds! :D

    the Iowa Expat Reply:

    @Christa @ BrownSugarToast,
    Hahaha! I mute her, too, and play my own music.
    I also alternate the workout day with a walk or bike ride day.

    Jen Reply:

    Me too. I listened the first few times till I understood all her instructions and then gladly mute her. :)

  2. We are all carb addicts in my family!! We went on a Daniel Fast with our church for 21 days in January and it was challenging at first, but we grew to love it. So much so that we’ve continued eating mostly Daniel Fast-friendly foods since then. The first time I went to the grocery store after we were finished with the fast I was loading my cart up with beans, brown rice, veggies, fruits, almond milk, oatmeal, dates….nothing else sounded good to me. I called home to get suggestions for what else to buy and they didn’t want anything different. I think it’s become a lifestyle change for us and that’s saying a lot. We used to crave carbs & sugar, but not anymore. I did notice that on the couple days that we did slack off and heat up a frozen lasagna for dinner, my hubby was looking for something to snack on later in the evening. On our “real food” days he doesn’t do that.

  3. I wish I could do it… and like you .. so many foods that are good or free, I just will not eat them. others I am allergic to.. I get so frustrated.. Good Luck!

  4. Very inspiring! Could you share those recipes that you pictured like the zucchini casserole and the sweet potatoes? Or are they in his book?

    Jen Reply:

    @Amy, Yes, I make sure and post them. They were just things we made on our girls weekend away, not in the book. :)

  5. Would you mind sharing the recipe for the Labrador Bars? They look yummy!

    Jen Reply:

    Yes, I will try and get them up in the next week. :) They are super yummy.

  6. Christi Miller says:

    Do you have the recipe for the bars? The ones with peanut buter, coconut and dates? Look fabulous for my upcoming girls weekend! You are an encouragement to me! Thank you for all you do!

    Jen Reply:

    @Christi Miller, Yes, I will make sure and post it. They were so yummy. Now, not particularly low fat, since they have peanut butter, but honestly, quite “healthy.”

  7. Just placed a hold for the book at my local library. Thanks for sharing.

  8. Christi Miller I will make sure and get them posted. Super easy. Not particularly “low fat,” but healthy. ;)

  9. Im not doing very well on the food front though I did stock up this weekend so that I have at least 20 different varieties of veggies in my frig, freezer, & pantry. I was dying of dead food syndrome. ;)
    I’ve got 50-60# of weight to lose and I’ve just got to get it done this year. Its just a matter of walking by the junk and not so great stuff I’ve been known to “buy for someone else.” yeah.. right.

    I’ll have to look into some detox diets… I’d really like to break that sweet/carb hold on me.

    Jen Reply:

    Know you are not alone, Kim. It’s a hard thing and honestly, I just haven’t wanted it enough. NOW, I do. I realized I can’t just keep adding 5-8 pounds a year, so I’m shooting get 15 off and then it gives me the 5 pound up and down wiggle room. :)

  10. Thanks for hosting! :-) I am trying to take off extra pounds, too. We are all in this battle!

  11. Corrie Weaver says:

    I have SOOOO wanted to start something like this. I am just terrified of doing it (ridiculous, I know). I, like you, do not eat fish and am not terribly fond of sweet potatoes. I really like to exercise but have no one to do it with so I find myself terribly unmotivated (all excuses, I know, but it is where my head is right now). Where can I get a copy of you original 7 day detox and do you feel like that is a good one to start with? I am tired of wanting to do something and beating myself up for not doing anything!

    Jen Reply:

    corrie – I am right there with you. I’ve been unmotivated too and making every excuse in the book and then I jumped on the scale after Christmas and had hit a weight I hadn’t seen in 20 years. For me, that’s what it took.

    Trust me, I am not a sweet potato fan either and honestly, still don’t eat them because with the first low carb cycle, they aren’t even on the list (phew).

    If you go back in this post, I link to the 7 day one up above. I should have highlighted it better, but I would highly suggest you do it with someone. I don’t think I would have kept it up past the first three days if I didn’t have someone I was accountable too. After 3 days, it’s fine, but those first ones are really hard. If you don’t have someone to do it with, I would recommend this 17 day diet. It’s very manageable and is a lifestyle way of eating as opposed to the 7 day one isn’t.

  12. As I was doing the Shred tonight, I was thinking how much I don’t like exercising…but I like eating, so I need to keep exercising. I need to eat healthier too because I do love my sweets!

    Jen Reply:

    Right there with you, Kristen. My goal is to lose 15, so that I have those 5 extra pounds that I can be alright with going up and down with my fun foods. :)

  13. I’m so glad you’re doing the 17 Day “Diet”. I almost recommended this to you when you first posted about your detox. A bunch of us at church have been doing it since early January, and love the results. We started our own private fb “support group”. Some of us also go on “17 day diet support”. This closed group is fantastic! The picture is a red apple; be sure to get invited to the right group. Ladies log in all day, and there’s great advice and encouragement. The administrator also has a great blog with the grocery list and lots of recipes. http://www.17ddgal.blogspot.com/ She’s even talked directly to Dr. Mike!!!! Good luck!

    Jen Reply:

    Mary – thanks so much for pointing me to that blog. I will definitely check it out. I don’t want to jump in on your church group, but what a gREAT idea for a facebook group. We did that for the 30 day shred last year and we took turns moaning and groaning about our pains and encouragement. haha :)

  14. I’m a perimeter shopper and cook and live by detox normally. Congratulations on breaking those bad habits.

  15. I’m totally with you on those potatoes. And on the 20 lbs. I’m trying to switch to a mostly-whole-foods diet this year, but haven’t done very well with that the last couple of weeks. (Went on a cruise, and completely let self-discipline fly out the window.)

    So I’m trying again effective yesterday. :) I’m very glad to hear from someone else on the same journey!! Thanks!

    Jen Reply:

    Cruising are for celebrating and to me, that means as many carbs as those all you can eat buffets allow. :) Now back at it. haha

  16. Hi, I started reading the Wheat Belly book 12 days ago, and have been wheat-free ever since, and sugar free……..I feel so much better and energetic. I didn’t need to lose weight, but I feel so healthy eating REAL food, lots of veg, meats, raw nuts , cheese , fruit. No wheat, at all. You should read this book too, if you get the chance, it will change your life !

  17. I’m trying to really reduce whole wheat, partly because I don’t like the strong flavor and partly because they’ve genetically engineered it to death. So I’m doing oats and grinding them up to make oat flour.

  18. I lost 8 pounds in 5 months just by drinking green smoothies with a very light lunch and trying to eat more plant-based foods, especially raw. We’re making a very slow transition in our house, but so far, so good. I got off track over the holidays, but trying to get back to it. I feel more energy when I eat well. The only downside is that I still haven’t gotten rid of my cravings for sugar. I’m very addicted. I am thinking about doing a two week cleansing to try to get rid of my addiction. Hubby says he’ll join me, but I will still have to feed my 2 year old separately. I’m also trying to learn how to cook more from scratch. Hoping to start making things like hummus, nut butters and oat bread from scratch instead of buying the convenience products at the store. I wish everyone luck as they work at eating healthier and exercising more! It’s a great goal!


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