Sunday, December 19, 2010

She's baaaaack

It’s been a long time since I've written. Though I’ve been away from writing, I’ve not given up on 2040. I'm three weeks in to a 20-week training program leading up to the New Orleans half-ironman and am still working on those dietary changes I started back in October. 

As an update from my last post, I completed Leanne Ely and J.J. Virgin’s 28 Day Break Free Boot Camp program. My weight loss over the 28 days was a little over 6 pounds. Four more weeks later my weight loss was hovering at 10 pounds. 

The 28 Program was targeted for those who suspect that may have food sensitivities or allergies that may negatively affect their health and hold back their weight loss. The program eliminates from the diet the most common causes of food related illnesses: gluten, dairy, peanuts, and soy. Caffeine and artificial sweeteners were also off the market. 

Before the program I was not experiencing any significant symptoms of food allergy or sensitivity. I have a family health history of gluten sensitivity and, like most Americans, eat way too much processed food and sugars. For me, completing the 28 Day Break Free program was a nutrition boot camp and what I needed to clean up my dietary act. I have also been wrestling with my weight for a few years and hoped that it could jump start my weight loss. 

The first week on the program was by far the hardest. Giving up my beloved diet soda and foregoing caffeine left me with a headache and grumpy. If I needed any proof that food was a drug, I got it the first week where I experienced true withdrawals.

The following weeks were much easier. Many program participants shared amazing testimonials of improved health. I didn’t experience any quite so dramatic but I did feel better following the program. A big plus was that on the program I no longer beat up on myself for what I ate. That saved me hours of mental distress. Beating up on myself about what I ate was a favorite past time. By following the guidelines, I knew I was making better choices and eating in a way that would sustain my body while helping me shed unwanted pounds. 

The program ended just over a month ago, but I’ve maintained some the changes I made while participating. For one, I start off most mornings with a high protein smoothie. This small change shifted the balance of my diet toward one that was more protein based. Before the plan I would have had a high carbohydrate breakfast of toast or cereal.  By consuming the smoothie, I know get about 17 grams of protein.  I've tried a couple of protein mixes, but my current favorite is Design's for Health's Paleomeal DF (Dairy Free) berry / cream.  

Before the Break Free Program, my go to snack at the office was Sunchips or Goldfish or other snack cracker.  My new snack of choice is an apple with some nut butter. I like almond and cashew nut butters, but raw cashew butter is my current favorite. I’m still off diet sodas and miss them though not as much as I used to.  I drink a lot more water than before because its better for me and well, because I'm thirsty and I've given up diet soda. 

Christmas and New Years will pose their own special challenges to my healthy eating program. But I know that regular exercise and  better food choices will enable me to come through the holidays just fine and ready to start 2011 healthy and happy.

Merry Christmas.


  1. Welcome back fellow blogger! You look mauve-a-lus dahling! Glad you have had success with the changes in your dietary structure!

  2. Way to go! I'm so impressed with those who kick the diet soda addiction...because I try often (but not as hard as I should). You've motivated me to make that one of my new years' resolutions...and I may just try to start early. Thanks, Lizzard!

  3. P.S. Where do you find cashew butter? And what's the difference between raw and regular?

  4. Glad you're back. Impressive results!

  5. Sometimes you can find cashew butter at a "regular" grocery store, but I prefer to go to Whole Foods where I can buy it freshly made in the section with bulk nuts and grains.

    I've tried the nut butters that come in jars. The jarred versions I've tried are not as tasty, but for me, they are a good substitute when I can't get fresh.

    There are a number of recipes online for making your own cashew butter. Basically, it's just ground cashews in a food processor. Sometimes a little oil is added to make it smoother. Perhaps, I'll give making my own a try. It could be its own blog!

    As to the question or raw vs. roasted cashews. I prefer the flavor of the raw version. However, there are some diets that recommend raw because it's less processed and there's a chemical change that occurs to the fat in the nut when roasted.

    Here's a link to an article by a medical doctor, Kristie Long, MD, on the difference between raw and roasted: