Weight Loss: Ideal Protein Alternative Weekly Diary 01-12-15

bnl ipa diary 011115 (1)

On Monday, 01-05-15, I re-started (again, lol) my Ideal Protein Alternative eating plan and lost 5 pounds in the first week.

See? Now isn’t that motivating?!

I stuck to plan, eating things like:

lean pork chops
chopped salads with Walden Farms dressings
baked chicken
dill pickle spears
coffee or Americano with protein drink
sauteed seafood mix (Trader Joe’s has one with calamari, scallops, and shrimp)
roasted artichoke hearts
Protidiet creamy chicken soup

I was ravenous on Friday so I ate too much but at least they were the right foods πŸ˜‰ I didn’t have any big “cheats” and that’s one reason this diet works so well. You’re getting good food and enough food so you don’t feel so deprived you have to give in. One night, my family had lasagna and garlic bread. Sure, garlic bread can be hard to resist! But I knew I could have a yummy filling dinner, just not that one. One thing I do is try to eat my meal before they do so I’m not “starving” when it’s time to make good choices.

I will say that the official Ideal Protein plan itself IS much more strict. You will feel hungry, deprived at times, but the weight will come off VERY fast!

All in all, my first week back on Ideal Protein Alternative was a good one. I could’ve had a bigger loss if I’d stuck to smaller portions and if I’d not had a glass of wine Friday night. Whatever. I need this to be something I can stick to so if I want a glass of wine after a hard week, I’ll have one πŸ™‚ Deprivation of any one thing does not work long-term.

I hope you had an excellent week as well!

PS: I cover a lot of topics with this blog but if you’re visiting to read about weight loss ONLY, just go to the Categories drop-down in the right sidebar and click Weight Loss. Then only weight loss-related posts will come up.

Books: “Wild”, “If I Stay”, “Me Before You”, and 3 Other Bestselling Kindle Novels for $2.99 or Less!

I love “Bonanza” days like this on Amazon! I pretty much refuse to pay more than $6-7 for a Kindle book and most bestsellers are normally $9-11 so I snag them up when they’re cheap. If you want to grab any of them, just click on the link above the book cover.

“Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail” by Cheryl Strayed for $2.99.

Wild by Cheryl Strayed

I’m not normally a “life’s an adventure” type reader but I’ve heard such good things about this book, I’m going to give it a try. One of my favorite books ever was an “adventurous” book I didn’t expect to like – “Into Thin Air” by Jon Krakauer – so who knows? I just heard they’re making “Wild” into a movie starring Reese Witherspoon – cool!

“If I Stay” by Gayle Forman now $2.99.

If I Stay gayle forman
I started this book and, honestly, couldn’t get into it. Then I saw the movie and it made me want to try again so it’s back on the “to read” list. This is the first in a series; the next book is “Where She Went (If I Stay, Book 2)”.

“Me Before You” by Jojo Moyes for $2.99.

me before you jojo moyes

Get this book! It was SO good in a totally unexpected way. Yes, it was sad but also life-affirming.

“Belong to Me” by Marisa de los Santos only $1.99.

Belong to Me by Marisa de los Santos

I read this book years ago and it was a favorite. I highly suggest you read “part one” caled “Love Walked In” first, though.

Now for a couple “YA” books that are great for adults, too:

“Divergent” by Veronica Roth for $2.99.

divergent veronica roth

This book has over 13,000 5-star reviews so I guess that speaks for itself πŸ™‚ It’s Book 1 in the Divergent series; here are the other 2: Insurgent (Divergent Trilogy, Book 2) now $6.99 and Allegiant (Divergent Trilogy, Book 3) now $6.99.

“The Giver” by Lois Lowry now $2.99, usually $8.99 for Kindle.

the giver lois lowry

I read this book, written in 1993, over 10 years ago upon the recommendation -no, INSISTENCE – of a work friend. Again, this is not my usual genre but it was a quick read and one that really made me think so I heartily recommend it. Pick it up and I’ll bet you finish it this weekend πŸ˜‰ There are Books 2, 3, and 4 to this series but they weren’t written until the 2000’s and I (skeptically) assume they were written to cash in on the YA book series trend.

Hope that gives you some good ideas for Kindle books and saves you some dough. Enjoy!

Weight Loss: Week 1 Diary with My Version of Ideal Protein

As I talked about HERE, I lost 25 pounds in June 2014, gained back 5 in October, and started up my weight loss eating plan again on Monday 11-03-14. HERE is where I’ve shared the basics to my weight loss plan and an offer for you πŸ™‚ If you haven’t read that page yet, I would suggest doing so before you read my weekly posts.

Speaking of which, I don’t want to flood this blog with weight loss posts (for those who aren’t interested in them). Instead I’ll do a long weekly post and put everything in one place: my diary, sample daily menus, new products I’ve discovered, etc. And here we go with Week 1 . . .

First thing’s first: I lost 5 pounds in Week 1!! VERY happy about that. The first week loss of any diet is always the biggest so I know future losses won’t be that big – yet it’s a nice boost to start long-term dieting with.

Days 1 and 2, I was STARVING! But that’s to be expected upon starting a plan that cuts back on the amount of calories, fat, etc. you’ve been eating. I cut myself some slack and ate more food than allowed just to get through it. However, I didn’t ‘cheat’ in the sense of eating french fries or anything. I stayed about 95% on program just with more volume than allowed. It’s so important on this plan NOT to cheat by going way off plan with fast food, sweets, etc. Trust me, you’ll regret it. Since Day 1 was my re-start on this eating plan, I did weigh myself and take my measurements.

Days 3 and 4, I had a headache. I could blame it on stress or cutting down on my coffee to 1 cup per day but it could’ve been the diet as well. I hear it’s quite common to get a headache early on. One cure to try is to up your sea salt – or make sure you’re getting it, if you’ve been slacking.

Day 5, I went grocery shopping and that really helped – to have more variety of foods other than just what I had leftover from my last try at this over the summer. I stocked up on fresh veggies and some seafood.

Days 6 and 7 (the weekend), I was very busy with my kids’ sports activities including sitting for hours to watch them – which I love, but boy did I want to go snack crazy! To combat that, I pre-planned and took a green salad in a Tupperware container both days. About halfway thorugh the day, I ate the salad and it really filled me up. Plus, salads take a while to eat so it kept my mouth and hands occupied πŸ˜€ I had some wine on Sunday afternoon; alcohol is NOT allowed on this program but it’s one of the treats I do allow myself.

I probably would’ve had a larger loss showing on Monday morning had I not had the wine but that’s okay. I feel good about my week and my loss. I had a relaxing time with a glass of cold white wine, sunshine, and a great book. It’s an acceptable trade-off to me and I need the stress relief with my crazy-busy lifestyle.

I keep a food journal every day (very important!) and here are a couple samples of what I ate this week.

Sample 1
B: Baked pork chop marinated in Walden Farms (WF) Italian, salt & pepper
S: Coffee w/vanilla protein drink
L: Trader Joe’s turkey meatloaf w/no sauce (1/3 = 6 oz), lettuce w/WF bacon ranch, Protidiet chips (1/2 pack)
D: Lettuce w/WF ranch, S&P
S: Protidiet chips (1/2 pack)
Drank water w/lemon

Sample 2
B: Hardboiled eggs (2), coffee w/vanilla protein drink
S: Protidiet tomato basil soup
L: Shrimp 5 oz w/garlic, olive oil, S&P
D: Chicken strips (3), gluten-free/no calorie/no fat bbq sauce
S: Hot dill pickles (2), turkey sticks (2)
Drank water w/lemon, chai herbal tea

Here’s a new product I found this week that I’d like to try: CLICK Espresso Protein Drink

Checking it against the IP Alternatives checklist, I see that it’s an allowed item, although Restricted:
At least 12 grams of protein (15 grams)
Calories between 70-160 (120 calories)
Unrestricted 8 or less net carbs/Restricted 9+ net carbs (12 net carbs so it’s Restricted)
30% or less calories from fat (8% of calories from fat)
No aspartame (none; sweetened with fructose and sucralose)

It’s on my Amazon wish list ready for my next order and will be a nice change from my usuals of hot coffee or Starbucks Iced Coffee w/vanilla protein shake for “creamer”.

So that was my first week. I’d love to hear what you think. Please leave a Comment below!

#30DaysOfThankful: What Is it and What’s the Plan?

To go along with one of the reasons I started this blog in the first place – paying more attention to gratitude and the GOOD things in life when there is so much to bring us down – I’ve decided to participate for the first time in “30 Days of Thankful” (#30DaysOfThankful). With Thanksgiving coming in the US, it’s the time of year we tend to be more thoughtful anyway.

*Image via

If you’re a scrapbooker like me me, you may have heard of CATHY Z’s VERSION {I just love that tiny 4×4 WRMK album, don’t you?}. A message board I’m on is doing this as a challenge for a prize – which would be lovely to win but that’s not what’s motivating me πŸ˜‰

The challenge is to post something we’re grateful for on each of the 30 days in November. With your list of gratitudes, you can do many things, such as:

– Make a mini album
– Share on social media
– Make a scrapbook layout
– Share the list with your family
– Write a daily PROJECT LIFE CARD & pair with a photo for a quick album

Or anything else you’d like to do!

I have 2 other journaling-heavy memorykeeping projects going on right now so I’m not going to attempt a mini album or anything intensive. I think I’ll make my daily post on the message board, then compile those into a weekly post here on my blog. I think a daily post here would overwhelm the blog, LOL.

I’ll share my daily posts on Twitter – because gratitude begets gratitude (hopefully), right? I also created a PINTEREST BOARD to gather inspiration for this project. Stuff like this, from Cathy Z, who I mentioned above:

I’d love to have you join in – it’s a Pinterest group board! Just email me your first name/last name or the email address you use with Pinterest, and I’ll add you – send to: erika(at)blessednotlucky(dot)com.

Have you participated in “30 Days of Thankful” before? What form did you use and what was the experience like? Will you do it this year? I’d love to hear your plans!

Gratitudes: Kate Nash, Go “Not Giants”, and New Picoult Novel

I’m not a morning person. AT ALL. So it always surprises me when I have one of those “God, I love life!” mornings. Like today.

– Hazelnut coffee, Kate Nash & He is We on Pandora, and feeling “not frantic” about work today

– Slept well, remembering a nice evening with my family watching the SF Giants lose πŸ˜‰

– It’s late October and still sunny in the 70s and 80s every day

– Red Sox seat covers arrived (thank you, Amazon!) and I’ll rock them in my new car today

– October bills are paid, monthly Costco trip is done, and we aren’t broke

– Looking forward to starting the new Jodi Picoult novel, “Leaving Time”

jodi picoult leaving time

{And Jodi herself just Retweeted me! Wow, great day!}

Those are the things making me blissful today. How about you?

Books: Great Deal on 3 Best-Selling Kindle Novels! Gone Girl, Unbroken, All the Light We Cannot See

I noticed that 3 very popular best-selling novels are only $4.99 for Kindle right now!

“GONE GIRL by Gillian Flynn

Gone Girl

I’ve read this book twice. It was just made into a movie with Ben Affleck (which was excellent, by the way). My advice if you’re going to read it is: Don’t get any spoilers and DON’T see the movie first! There’s a good twist and if you spoil it, the book won’t be as good.

“UNBROKEN” by Laura Hillenbrand


The full title is “Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption”. I’ve heard this book raved about since it came out but haven’t read it yet. I did recently download the free sample and loved that so I’m happy to now get the whole novel for only 5 bucks.


I don’t know that much about this book but, again, keep hearing great reviews of it. I’m so happy when they lower the prices of best-sellers πŸ™‚

Have you read any of these books? What did you think? Do you plan to get any of them for this great price?

Blessed Not Lucky: Weekly Round-Up 10-05-14

Just some random-ness from my week wandering the web . . . hope you enjoy!

Oh yeah, I’m so very guilty of THIS!

I’ve been hanging out HERE a bit but hopin’ it gets more hoppin’. C’mon over and join us – all bloggers welcome πŸ™‚

Found THESE in muted pink @ TJ Maxx {they made me happy!} and have been enjoying THIS
on the chilly mornings lately.

“Drah-ma!” makes me tired so I totally agree with this:

* Found on Pinterest, originally from THE MOTIVATED TYPE on Etsy {but no longer available, that I can see}.

Gratitudes: Pumpkin Spice, Ingrid, and the Dodgers

I went to bed early last night and got up late this morning. S-t-r-e-t-c-h . . .

It’s a lazy Saturday at noon, 75 degrees and sunny.

I had a great breakfast along with some Pumpkin Spice coffee I got at Target yesterday … yummmm.

I’m blogging and online shopping and message boarding.

Pandora is playing Ingrid Michaelson, Sam Smith, and Sara Bareilles.

I get to be outside all afternoon.

Tonight, I’ll probably watch the Dodgers game and then a movie with my family.

That’s what I’m grateful for today . . . how about you?

Blogging: Why I Started the “Blessed Not Lucky” Blog

So. This is a fairly new blog, just a few months old and not many entries yet. I have lots of work to do – publishing posts and getting my blog to look the way I want it to – but I’m so happy to have gotten started!

I’ve actually been blogging since 2007 and have two other active blogs – one about my hobby and one for my work-at-home business (transcriber / blogger / virtual assistant).

I *love* blogging which brings together two of my favorite things to do . . . 1. Writing and 2. sharing about the things I love:

– photos
– music
– gratitudes
– writing
– blogging
– weight loss
– travel
– etc.

Photo courtesy of

Obviously, those aren’t things I get to talk about much on my other blogs – because those are very focused on the topics at hand. I don’t like to mix in too much personal stuff on them because it dilutes their purpose.

But I keep finding myself frustrated that I can’t write or share about all my favorite things listed above. Dang.

So I decided to start THIS blog – “Blessed Not Lucky” – where I could talk about all that fun stuff. I also very much want to connect with other bloggers and blog readers.

Along with all this, I love to laugh about the absurdities of life and have a very sarcastic sense of humor. So we are gonna’ have us some fun!

My dream is for this blog to get better and better, to make some new friends, and to express myself in a more creative way than I’ve been able to in the past.

What’s in it for you? Well, I hope you enjoy reading what I share. I hope you feel blessed by my blog. I hope I make you laugh so hard that coffee shoots out your nose πŸ˜€

Wish me luck and I hope you’ll become a regular reader! Do we have anything in common? What types of things do YOU like to read about? I would absolutely LOVE IT if you’d leave a comment below . . .

Blessed Not Lucky: Weekly Roundup 08-31-14

Just some random-ness from my week on the web . . . hope you enjoy πŸ™‚

– Here’s to GOING SLOW ON PURPOSE . . .

THIS is going on the Christmas wish list for this beach girl.

– Some of the loveliest singing I’ve ever heard. Don’t click Play unless you have some free time right now. You’ll be sucked into finding all their other videos on YouTube πŸ˜‰

– From one of my favorite writers . . .

– I’ve heard good things about THIS BOOK. And it’s only $1.99 for Kindle right now, just might snap it up.

– Well, dang. There goes THAT PLAN.

Things I Feel Guilty About


The laundry is folded but remains on the couch.

I don’t keep a budget.

Paper plates.

I shop sales but don’t use coupons.

My dog has to live outside.

I’m overweight.

I hate Beyonce’s “Surfboard” song.

My car is messy.

I spend too much money at Starbucks.

I sleep with the TV on all night.

I don’t have a skincare routine.