Weight Loss

Weight Loss: Ideal Protein with Alternatives April 2016

I wanted to report in with how it went for me in April along with sharing some new IP alternative products I tried.

April got off to a slow start because I didn’t get organized and order my food from Amazon in time. I finally had everything mid-April; until then, I just ate low-carb/high protein and used up some leftover IP alternative foods I had from last time.

I did manage to lose 10 pounds in April so that was good πŸ™‚

I’ve become a big fan of the shaker cup since starting this way of eating. I lost the first one I bought and had been using one of my kids’ who was getting annoyed with me, so I ordered new large and small cups.

BlenderBottle Classic Shaker Bottle, 28-ounce, Clear/Pink

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BlenderBottle Classic Loop Top Shaker Bottle, Clear Aqua, 20 Ounce
blender bottle aqua 20 ounce

I didn’t mean to order the kind with the loop for the smaller one but that’s how it came – oops! I don’t have a need for it since I use my bottles primarily at home and it just seems like a pain to clean. So if you order, pay attention to whether you want the kind with the loop or without.

I use shaker cups for my favorite soup that I eat at least a few times a week.

ProtiDiet Chicken Flavor Soup

protidiet chicken soup

Needless to say, I love this soup! It’s creamy, very tasty, and filling. It’s my favorite of all the ProtiDiet products. You just fill the shaker bottle with super hot water from the tap to 6 ounces, dump the soup packet contents in, shake it up, and drink.

I work from home and just take it to the computer with me. It’s a quick and easy lunch – perfect! Sometimes I’ll pour it over broccoli or put it in the blender with broccoli. Broccoli chicken soup? Sounds odd but it’s good and very filling. Plus you’re getting in your 2 cups of vegetables with some flavor πŸ™‚

Another reason for the new shaker bottles was wanting to try some protein powder for the first time with this diet. I really hate overly sweet stuff so I decided to taste-test a variety of flavors before settling on one or two. This pack was perfect for that!

Quest Protein 1 Single Serving Pouch of each flavor 7 Packets

quest protein shake packet variety

I’ve only tried 2 flavors so far and liked both of them. The cookies and cream was interesting because it had little “chocolate chips” (don’t know what they’re actually made from) so it was like drinking a shake but occasionally chewing a little πŸ™‚ The strawberry was good too. I took a drink right after making it with cold water and didn’t care for the flavor but once I added ice, it was tasty.

One weird thing was that the shake packets didn’t have instructions for how much water to add. I tried the first one with 12 oz of water and got lucky because that was perfect (at least for me).

I’m looking forward to trying the other flavors like banana, peanut butter, and salted caramel. I hope the flavors continue to be pretty mild and not overly sweet because that’s exactly what I’m looking for in a protein powder. How about you – do you like them pretty sweet or more mild?

Another thing I ate this week was Big Mac in a Bowl, which I’ll talk about next time and make sure you have the recipe. Overall, it was a great month – hope it was for you, too! If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask.

Ideal Protein with Alternatives: Starting Again April 2016

Do you tend to start diets in springtime? I do. After hibernating for the winter, it’s time to be more active, be outside, and take more trips and day trips.

Photo by:  Ales Krivec

Any time I get motivated to work on weight loss, I go back to Ideal Protein. I haven’t kidded myself to think it’s a forever solution. I mean, it is for some people but I’m not quite there yet πŸ™‚

I used it to lose 10 pounds in a week recently before I went to an event. It was enough to make the day more comfortable but obviously not a long-term amount. I’m ready to start again for a longer term and just hope I can stick with it.

It’s an easy diet to follow as far as clear guidelines, though I adapt them to fit alternative foods and my own peccadillos like that I don’t eat red meat or sweets. It’s also great in that it makes me eat more vegetables than I normally do. The challenge is keeping up with the shopping and food prep with my busy life.

Okay, here we gooo ….

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
eggs
baked chicken
broccoli
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.

Blessed Not Lucky.com: Weekly Round-Up 01-11-15

Just some things I saw on the interwebs this week that I thought you might enjoy πŸ™‚

BNL wru 011115

Have you jumped on the bandwagon yet of listening to the “Serial” podcast? I finally did and was hooked about 5 minutes in to Episode 1. I love love love the format! It’s so unique and compelling.

With my Ideal Protein Alternative weight loss plan, I’m often asked what protein drink I use. I like EAS AdvantEDGE Carb Control because of price, taste, and nutritional values.. {Psst! You can get it cheaper in stores than on Amazon . . . . ). I shake it up with ice and a little almond milk in the summer and I use it as a coffee creamer year-round.

Speaking of weight loss, if you feel like this, . . .

. . . maybe you should join me πŸ™‚

I asked around for the candle with the best “scent throw” (yeah, it’s a thing) – in other words, gives off an effective scent – because the Ashland jar candles I’ve been getting for cheap at Michaels aren’t cutting it. By far, Bath & Body Works candles came out on top. I’m going to try this one first. I bet it smells guuuuud!

bath and body candle

Since you like roundup posts – OBVI! – check out Stephanie Howell’s; some good stuff there.

Hope you enjoyed the roundup! Have a great Monday.

Weight Loss: Gearing Up for Ideal Protein Alternative . . . I Really Mean It This Time ;)

BlessedNotLucky.com (2)
Back HERE, I said I was going to start up my diet again (the one where I lost 25 pounds in 1 month last summer) on November 3,2014 and work it through the holidays. Welllllll …. you know what they say about best laid plans, ha! I have my excuses (had a medical issue, tons of work, and busy holiday time) but don’t want to dwell on them. I just need to get motivated and start again. “When at first you don’t succeed,” right?

I’m a Monday Diet Starter by practice (I think it’s almost a religion with me) so I’ll be starting tomorrow, Monday 1-5-15. If you’re wondering what my “Ideal Protein Alternative” diet is, I’ve written about it HERE and HERE. I’ll be doing that plan again – in a nutshell: high protein, low carb, low fat, low calorie. As you can imagine, it’s pretty strict and can be hard to stick to but if you do, you lose weight pretty quickly. I lost weight on this plan WAY faster than any other diet I’ve done in the last 20 years, including Atkins.

For that reason, it’s my favorite “diet” evah! I’m motivated by fast weight loss and nothing else. The old “1-2 pounds per week” just doesn’t cut it for me. As much as I dread missing some foods, I really look forward to how good I’m going to feel when the weight starts dropping off.

To gear up for IPA, I ate low-carb from January 2-4, 2015. Stopping from all those holiday carbs I’ve been eating (I don’t eat sweets but love me some white carbs) is going to be quite a shock to my body so I’m trying to wade into it, so to speak πŸ™‚ Here are some of the things I ate during those 3 days:

Roasted chicken
Green beans
Low-carb protein bar
Eggs
Coffee with whole cream
Almonds
Cheese
Spinach

I gave up the toast I’d been eating with breakfast (bye bye, white bread, I’ll sure miss you!) and the sides of pasta, potatoes, or rice with dinner. No more Vacation Mimosas (orange juice is LOADED with sugar) and I made sure to include some yummy cranberry juice in my New Years Eve drink. It’ll be a long while before I can have that again. Sniff. I only wish I’d had one order of McDonald’s or In and Out fries for the road πŸ˜€ Yeah, french fries are my kryptonite.

What is yours? What food(s) do you miss most when you diet or follow a healthy eating plan?

Sorry, I don’t mean to sound discouraging about starting the Ideal Protein Alternative way of eating. But I’ve done it before so I know what to expect. While it’s not “hard” per se – because you don’t starve or have to lock yourself in a dark room or anything – it IS a challenge and you DO have to give up some of your favorites.

But like I said above, it’s totally worth it. When you see how fast the weight comes off, it motivates you to continue. You start seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. Your clothes get loose, the scale goes down, and you’re able to suck it up and live without french fries. I promise.

One day at a time.

If you’re joining me in weight loss – doing this plan or some other one – I just want to say GOOD LUCK! I hope you’ll visit again, let me know how you’re doing, and we can commiserate πŸ˜‰

HAPPY NEW YEAR!! Onward and upward.

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

Coffee: Starbucks BOGO Holiday Drinks 11/12-16/14

Attn: Fellow Starbucks Luvahs!

November 12-16, 2014 from 2-5pm – be there or be square. Truth be told, when Starbucks has these BOGO’s, I get 2 for myself, heh. One for now, one for tomorrow. And Rewards members (who, me?) get an extra hour – until 6pm.

Did you know Starbucks has a new holiday drink this year? It’s called the CHESTNUT PRALINE LATTE and sounds yum!

Alas, I cannot enjoy this particular promo because on MY DIET I can only have sugar-free coffee drinks – but thought I’d share anyway!

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 . . .

DIARY
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.

SAMPLE DAILY MENUS
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

NEW PRODUCTS
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!

Weight Loss: How I Lost 25 Pounds in 1 Month

In June 2014, I lost 25 pounds. Yep, you’re reading that right: 25 pounds gone in 30 days! I would never believe that amount of weight loss was possible except that I did it. In fact, the first 17 pounds came off in 12 days. I was absolutely stunned. As you can imagine, that kind of rapid weight loss is extremely motivating and kept me going strong for a full month. When June was over, I’d lost 25 pounds!

I kept all 25 pounds off through September 2014, including while on vacation in August. Sadly, in October I gained back 5 pounds (but still down 20; let’s focus on the positive, LOL!).

THE BEST THINGAVAILABLE

So – you know what’s coming next, right? Starting in November 2014, I’m working on weight loss again πŸ™‚ I’ll start today on Monday, 11-03-14. I don’t want to put a numerical goal or timeline on it but I have a lot more to lose and will keep going as long as I can. I know that November/December especially will be challenging but, for me, the holidays are a good time to diet. There are SO many temptations, it’s easier to just say “nope, can’t have that; I’m in weight loss mode.” Don’t you hate starting the new year with 10 extra pounds from all the great food? I want to start 2015 with a LOSS, baby!

I’m going to start posting on this blog about how I lost the weight, how I did it so quickly, and how I’m going to keep doing it. I hope these posts can be encouraging to anyone else who is frustrated with the ‘status quo’ ways of losing weight and is ready to try something new – that WORKS! For reals. I mean, 25 pounds in 1 month – it’s kind of hard to believe, right? But I actually did it and know it’s achievable. I know of many others who’ve done that amount and more; it’s very inspiring.

I have a very slow metabolism and a sedentary job as a transcriber / virtual assistant / blogger. In other words, I sit at a computer all day and night. I consider exercise to be “The E Word” that shall never be spoken in my presence and, therefore, all my weight loss has to come from the food choices I make. {Check out THIS past post to see what my doctor said about exercise, weight loss, etc.}

I’ve sworn off Weight Watchers forever. I’ve come to believe that WW is a huge part of the problem, certainly not a solution (but that’s a topic for another post, LOL). I’ve also tried low-carb and had the most previous success with low-carb/low-sugar (I followed the BELLY FAT CURE off and on for a few years). Several years ago, I quit eating sweets altogether because literally one desert would cause me to gain 5 pounds. Srsly. You would think the mere act of deleting sweets would cause you to lose weight, right? Nope, not me. But I still don’t eat them.

Although I could always lose weight, it was painfully slow, involved time-consuming shopping and food prep, and I was hungry. all. the. time. So I’d give up well before reaching any kind of goal I’d set for myself. I’m very impatient and wanted quick results so it all felt “worth it” and I could keep going. The whole “1 to 2 pounds a week” thing just doesn’t cut it for me. I need faster results.

Then one day, I came across an eating plan called IDEAL PROTEIN. Like WEIGHT WATCHERS, JENNY CRAIG, etc., there are Ideal Protein centers around the country where you get a counselor, do weigh-ins, and buy pre-packaged food. However, there were no Ideal Protein centers anywhere near me; the closest one is 60 miles away. Ideal Protein is also an expensive program and not something I could afford, especially if paying for 120 miles worth of gas once a week.

In researching the Ideal Protein eating plan on my own, I was frustrated to find ZERO books on the subject. I did, however, find a lot of resources online where I learned about the plan, what foods you can eat, and how successful it was for a lot of people! {I’ll do a future post with a list of these resources so you don’t have to spend all the time I did in finding them}.

I cobbled all the information together and started my version of the Ideal Protein diet on Monday, 06-02-14. (Yes, I have a *thing* about starting diets on a Monday, ha!). As I said above, I ended up losing 30 pounds in 2 months (June/July). It was difficult but not impossible. I had to kind of make things up as I went along but it obviously worked.

I didn’t use any actual “Ideal Protein” brand foods but found alternatives that were similar. I found a message board full of information and encouragement. I didn’t follow the plan 100%, more like used the principles of Ideal Protein as a guideline and made adaptations that work for ME.

So now it’s several months later and I’m starting the plan again after a break and a 5-pound regain. I’m super tired of losing, gaining, and re-losing the same weight over and over. I need to nip this cycle in the bud and get to it. So wish me luck! And please join me if you’d like.

Disclaimer: I’m not a medical professional of any kind, just a mom trying to losing weight and sharing her story. As always, consult with a health professional before attempting any diet or exercise program.

If you have any questions, please leave them in Comments below!

Weight Loss: NSV (Non-Scale Victory) at the Doctor’s Office

Recently, I went to the doctor for a quick check-in on my hypothyroid. It’s the first time I’ve been in since my weight loss in June 2014. As I waited for the doctor to come into the exam room, I peeked at the computer screen which showed a summary of my last 4 visits.

Weight: Down 25 pounds
Blood pressure: Down substantially
Pulse: Down 20 points
BMI: Down several points

WOW.

When the doctor came in, I told her, “I’ve lost a bit of weight and was peeking at how my numbers have gone down.” She looked at the screen and said, “You haven’t lost ‘a bit’ of weight. You’ve lost a LOT of weight!” She agreed that the weight loss is responsible for my numbers improving the way they have. Now, I’ll get some labs done to check cholesterol, A1c hemoglobin (blood sugar), etc. I haven’t been in the danger zone on those before but I sure don’t want to be! She and I are both sure those numbers have improved as well.

I also requested to have my vitamin D checked. She said vitamin D boosts your metabolism (and mine is already wonky because of hypothyroidism) which of course translates to: Vitamin D helps with weight loss! I thought I’d share that in case you want to check your vitamin D level πŸ˜‰ I’m no doctor (nor do I play one on TV) so of course check with your doctor before taking anything, even vitamin D supplements.

Photo by:  Dominik Martin
*Photo by Dominik Martin via Unsplash.com

Back to my doctor . . . She had a big smile on her face the whole visit. My doctor is proud of me!!! She said I’m doing a great job and to keep it up. We’re both happy I’ve never needed to be on medications for things like blood pressure or diabetes and, with continued weight loss, most certainly won’t need to be.

I asked her about exercise because it’s still “the evil E word” to me ;P She said, yes, it’s good for overall health but that if I lost 25 pounds without it, that’s still awesome. Also, my resting pulse went down a lot and she said that without realizing it, I’m probably being more active just in general, walking faster, etc. because of the weight loss. So that was great to hear!

We set a goal for my final weight that would put me at my optimum BMI. It was 10 pounds less than I feel I’d be comfortable at but, hey, no worries! If I got to within 10 pounds of “ideal”, I’d be thrilled, mama! And I know my doctor would be, too.

I’m very, very happy and proud of my NSV: Improved health from weight loss. And that was only with 25 pounds! Can you imagine how much better things can get with even more?!?!? I thanked her for discussing the numbers with me. It’s so encouraging to see the improvement right there on the computer screen. If you haven’t discussed your lab results, etc. with your doctor (good or bad), I encourage you to do so. They’re a great barometer for how you’re doing and something you can track over time to see improvement and be encouraged by.

I wish the same success for you. Lose even just 10-15 pounds and you’ll see an improvement in your numbers, I’ll bet. You can DO this!