Sunday, August 31, 2014

High carb days

When I first heard about carb cycling, I had been struggling with a low carb diet for a while. The idea of adding days filled with carbohydrates sounded amazing! Once I did some research I realized "high carb days" means eating healthy carbs (found on the smart food list) in appropriate portions combined with lean proteins and veggies. On high carb days you should limit fat to as little as possible. Because carbs are higher in calorie, women  should aim for 1,500 and guys 2,000 per day. When choosing which carbs to enjoys, look for things that are nutrient-rich and high in fiber. I don't measure everything I eat, but I do measure the carbs. I know from past experience that I can get carried away with them! So what do I eat on high carb days? Here's a sample menu:

Breakfast: high fiber english muffin with turkey sausage and egg beaters
Snack: fat free greek yogurt with low fat, high fiber cereal (kashi), or low fat cottage cheese with fruit
Lunch: grilled chicken, steamed veggies, brown and wild rice, or stir-fry veggies, shrimp and brown rice (using olive oil cooking spray)
Snack: protein shake with a piece of fruit or 100 calorie popcorn
Diner: grilled chicken or turkey burger, roasted vegetables, half a sweet potato flavored with butter spray and pumpkin pie spice

Weekly weigh in: I actually weighed yesterday. As far as weight loss, this week would be considered a failure. I actually gained 4 pounds. But I did learn a few things- like how important prepping is. I didn't do it last week and it showed. Trying to get lunch and snacks from the hospital cafeteria makes sticking to the plan a lot harder (and more expensive!). I've also been dealing with some extra stress and emotional issues and turned to food. I used to enjoying working out to relieve stress. So hubby and I are going to join a gym this week cause doing a DVD with your 3 year old "helping" doesn't do much for stress. I'm trying to remember that this is a process. There will be good weeks and bad weeks. Remembering why I started this journey and getting back on track is what is important.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Low carb days

Before getting started with carb cycling, it's important to understand a few rules about what to eat and when you should eat it. I am not an expert at this, but I'm trying to figure it out! First, you should eat breakfast within 30 minutes of waking up and breakfast should always include a smart carb. This helps get your metabolism going for the day. Next, never eat carbohydrates and fat together. Then eat 5 meals a day spaced out about every 3 hours.

So what do you eat on low carb days? Breakfast is always a protein and a carbohydrate (no fat!). The snacks and meals for the rest of your day should be a protein, veggies and fat chosen from the smart food guide. This can be found here. You have to sign up, but it is free and this information is vital for success! Your calories for low carb days should be around 1,200 for women and 1,500 for men. Also remember how important water is and aim for half your body weight is ounces of water per day.

Here are some of the things I frequently eat on low carb days with link to a few recipes. For breakfast I like refrigerator oats or a high fiber English muffin with turkey sausage and egg beaters. Lunch is usually left overs from the night before or a salad with low-fat cheese, and low-fat dressing. Dinner is a lean meat with veggies and a serving of fat. This enchilada chicken with Mexican cauli-rice is one of my favorite meals and perfect for a low carb dinner. For snacks I eat guacamole with celery and a protein shake or low-fat cottage or fat-free Greek yogurt with splenda and almonds. I don't always get vegetables with every snack, but you should try.

What I ate today: (note: today was a HIGH carb day for me)
B: Orowheat double fiber English muffin, turkey sausage, egg beaters
S: banana,protein shake
L: whole wheat pasta, ground beef, homemade marinara sauce and veggies from last night
S: 100 calorie popcorn and deli turkey (not pictured)
D: grilled pork tenderloin, green beans, half a sweet potato with fake butter spray

Monday, August 25, 2014

Carb cycling: the basics

Carb cycling is a way eating that, you guessed it, cycles the amount of carbohydrates you eat. To put it simply, rotating high carb days with low carb days keeps your body guessing at what is going on, therefore preventing your weight loss from stalling like it could with just a low carb diet. Add in a weekly guilt free day (more about that later!) and you don't feel deprived so you are less likely to cheat. I generally follow Chris Powell's plan for eating. Both of his books, Choose to Lose and Choose More to Lose More for Life,  are full of wonderful information. I really encourage you to read them. (If you can only get one, get the second one!) If you can't get the books, his website has all of the information you need to get started.
Be sure to check out Chris Powell's website. He tells you what to eat when in order to have weight loss success and which cycle is best for you. Tomorrow I'll talk about low carb days and share some of my favorite recipes.
What I ate today:

(Low carb day)
B: refrigerator oats with banana and PB2
S: protein shake and cheese
L: salad from hospital cafeteria
S: low fat cottage cheese mixed with guacamole and celery
D: cheeseburger, zoodles with mushrooms


Sunday, August 24, 2014

Some days...

Some days just don't go like you have planned. Today was one of those days for  me. Normally I spend Sundays making a good grocery list, doing the shopping and prepping food for the next few days. That was what I had planned for today as well. But my hubby got called in to work early this morning. That left me alone with our 3 year old for the whole day. I would rather cut off a foot than take him grocery shopping. I also spent more time than I should have getting this blog set up. I tried a new recipe than wasn't so good. I burned the veggies for dinner and didn't get much school work done. I did finally get the courage to go shopping. RJ was pretty good and we got enough good to last for a few days. Some days are just like that. I'm learning to deal with these unexpected stressors without letting it ruin my diet. In the past I might turned to fast food as a quick fix, but not today. And in the end, it was a pretty good day. 

What I ate today:
(Low carb day)
Breakfast: Orowheat double fiber english muffin, turkey sausage, egg beaters
Snack: low fat cottage cheese with Splenda, almonds
Lunch: salad with salsa chicken, low fat Mexican blend cheese and guacamole
Snack: eggplant chips (not so good), homemade marinara sauce, deli turkey
Dinner: pork loin, sautéed cabbage, mushrooms and onions and steamed green beans


Hello, everyone! Thank you for checking out my blog. If you are here, you probably have an interest in losing weight and carb cycling. Perfect! I do, too! I plan to use this blog to doument my progress (both successes and failures), share recipes and tips and as a way to keep me accountable and on track. I will probably talk about my personal life and family some, but will try to keep the focus on weight loss.

A little bit about me... My name is Amy. I am 35 years old, a wife, and a mom. I work full time as a registered nurse in a pediatric specialists clinic. I'm also in school to get a BSN (Bachelor's of Science in Nursing). As you could guess, I'm busy. Eating right and being healthy has not always been a priority. My highest non-pregnant weight was 238 pounds. I lost some weight by eating low carb, but that was no longer working for me. I learned about carb cycling this past April and jumped right in. I was getting great results, but fell off track this summer. Thankfully, I caught myself but not before I regained everything I had lost. Like a lot of people who struggle with weight, I've tried just about every diet. I really think carb cycling is what works for me.

I got back on track with my eating 2 weeks ago. At that point I weighed 224.2. Yesterday I weighed 214.4. Down 9.8 pounds in 2 weeks! Not too shabby!! Tomorrow I'll share some of the basics of carb cycling and some good resources for information. Check back often to see my progress and find out "what I ate today".