So, you’ve made it past the first week, congrats!
You’ve lost a lot of weight in the first week (I lost 7!), now you’re invested in the program. Your tastes are changing and you are continuing to discover new ways to make the 6 week plan’s guidelines taste good to you.
Here’s how I made it through week two and not only survived but thrived! (You can find out my weight loss for the week at the end of the post!)
Day 8: Invested
After officially weighing in 7 pounds lighter, today I was walking on air (and feeling lighter than air)! All the salt-induced bloat has been washed out of me during the first week and today all my clothes hang better and feel less constricting. And even though I had mostly leftovers today, I wasn’t a disgruntled eater like I had been in the first week. I was eating and understanding how what I was putting in my mouth was affecting everything from my mood to my mind to my health.
Today I started to re-read the beginning chapters of “Eat to Live” that I had read back when I was pregnant. These chapters are horrifying and scary to read. Dr. Fuhrman lays out (with relentless citations) exactly how and why America has become ground zero for over-eating, obesity and eating-related illnesses. Tip: Stay motivated during week 2 by re-reading these chilling chapters: “Digging Our Graves with Forks and Knives” and “Overfed, Yet Malnourished.”
Once you are educated about how you used to eat was destroying your health (in addition to your waistline) you can never go back to mindlessly munching away on chips and cookies while you watch a late-night marathon of “Millionaire Matchmaker” (okay this may be turning into a bit of a guilty-pleasure confessional!).
Here’s what I ate today:
Breakfast: 1 cup rolled oats with 1 cup soy milk, 1 tbsp ground flaxseed and 1/4 cup blueberries
Lunch: Kitchen-sink salad (huge bowl of spinach, arugula, 1/2 Hass avocado, sliced apples, onions, mushrooms, grape tomatoes and pepita seeds); leftover Thai Peanut Curry; 2 Clementine oranges
Dinner: Huge salad (similar to kitchen-sink style above); left over veggies sauteed in veggie stock, liquid Aminos and sesame seeds. Note: I couldn’t finish the leftover “stir fry,” it just became too unpalatable for me (maybe I had it in the fridge too long?) so I barely had a few bites. Caution: When you water (or veggie broth) saute it’s can be a challenge to keep your veggies crisp! My advice is always take them off the heat before you think they are actually done–crispy is always yummier than soggy–it’s a fine line!
Day 9: Just When You Think You’re the Sh*@…
Yup, after all my preaching and scaring myself yesterday, today was a surprisingly hard day for me. After finally feeling good and accomplishing so much, I wanted to “cheat” on the diet so, so badly. I wasn’t craving anything specifically, I just wanted to cheat.
I was tired of having to think so much about my food (How can I season this to taste good without salt? How can I dress this salad so I can eat the whole thing?). I knew that my mind was at that critical point: I had already proved I could do this diet, faithfully, this is where I’d usually quit. In the past six months since the baby was born, I would have a week where I ate healthy and lost weight. Then I would backslide and take weeks to get back on track.
To fight off these self-destructive thoughts I told myself something along these lines: “In the past year you’ve eaten everything you ever wanted to eat. It’s really that simple. Every home-cooked meal, every restaurant, every cupcake, every cookie, every pizza, everything I wanted. And you are going to eat these things again. Right now, it’s about getting your body back in balance so you can treat yourself and be in good health, instead of continually treating yourself and being fat and unhealthy.”
Of course what I told myself was a lie. I really don’t ever want to eat cake, chips, burgers again or at least for a long, long while. My hope is that at the end of these 6 weeks and after so many pounds lost, I won’t want to–shhhh! I don’t fully know this yet!
Word of advice: Your subconscious (your ego) makes you fear change, it lies to you and makes justifications for the way you are. It makes you think that how you are now is perfect or the best it’s going to get. It makes us fear change and think it’s not good for us. It makes sense, right: self-preservation.
I came across this image online and I’d like to edit it to include: That little voice inside your head that tells you to cheat on your diet IS A LIAR! Ignore the need to cheat. Tell someone you love (I spilled my beans to my husband) and stick to the plan–the desire to cheat means it’s working!
Here’s what I ate:
Breakfast: banana with 1 1/2 tbsp of raw creamy almond butter (made cute little banana sandwiches that interested my son enough for him to eat a few–haha! I got him to eat fiber!)
Lunch: huge kitchen-sink salad with kale and mushroom saute. 2 oranges
Dinner: (This was the tough meal where, all of the sudden, I wanted to cheat!) Salad with romain lettuce, cucumber, apple slices, grape tomatoes, red peppers, raw cashews and sesame ginger no-oil dressing from Whole Foods. For my cooked veggies I had baby bok Choy and sugar snap pea “stir fry” with tofu (sauteed in veggie broth).
Dessert: Fruit freezer (banana with frozen strawberries, peaches and pineapple with 1 cup soy milk and 1 tbsp. ground flax seeds)
Day 10: Bringing Out My Inner (Skinny) Top Chef
I love beautiful food. I’m an eat-with-my-eyes-first kinda gal! Today I made a freaking delicious salad that also happened to be beautiful to look at! It made me happy and made me feel like “I could do this for life!”
Yes, vegetables with vinegar can be beautiful and miraculously delicious! Then I spruced up my tried-and-true go-to dessert: the fruit-freezer with my son’s bright and snappy Ikea bowls and garnished with little mandarin segments. The whole family enjoyed this “Eat to Live” version of frozen yogurt–I am not a slave to you anymore Yogurtland!
I also did something smart today and made steel-cut oatmeal instead of the mom-friendlier rolled oats. The steel cut oats took longer to make but I went large and made a whole week’s worth at once. Now all I have to manage to do in the morning is portion out 1 cup and heat in the microwave. Add fruit and breakfast is served! Tip: Make as many things as you can in advance, the less you have to think about what you’re going to eat the better!
Here’ what I Ate:
Breakfast: 1 cup steel cut oats with 2/3 cup blueberries (sauced)
Lunch: Mexican salad with romaine, arugula, 3/4 cup black beans, tomatoes, 1/2 avocado, 1/2 cup pico de gallo salsa and a touch of rice vinegar.
Dessert: (after lunch) fruit freezer with strawberries, peaches, banana, 1 cup unsweetened almond milk, and 1 tbsp. ground flaxseed
Dinner: Asian-inspired salad with spinach, arugula, edamame, pistachios, apples, cucumber, red pepper, red onion, and rice vinegar for dressing (seriously my favorite salad yet!) with left-over kale and mushroom saute. 1 apple.
Day 11: Beans, Beans (Well, You Know the Rest!)
Remembering how Dr. Fuhrman recommends at least 1 cup of beans daily on his 6 week plan, I decided to earn extra-(bean)-credit and make red lentils. I had made these a few months back when I noticed them at Trader Joe’s. Back then I made them with lots of olive oil and salt, this time I made them with low-sodium veggie stock and dill. The result was hearty and took a little getting used to.
I’m just going to come on out and say it: this diet makes you have more gas. It’s only natural when you’re consuming 40 or more grams of fiber per day. Well, the lentils stepped my tooting up a notch (or three!).
Be patient with yourself, your body is going to take time to learn how to process all this extra (and extra-good-for-you) fiber in the next few weeks! Dr. Fuhrman promises! And any man recommended by Dr. Oz just can’t be a liar (at least that’s what my mom would say)!
What I Ate:
Breakfast: 1 cup steel cut oats and 1 apple
Lunch: Big ol’ salad and Red lentils with low-sodium veggie stock, carrots, red pepper and seasoned with dill and garlic! Yum!
Dinner: Salad with balsamic vinegar apples, pistachios, spinach, arugula, tomatoes, avocado. Stir fry with kale, mushrooms and tofu; seasoned with minced onions, garlic powder and sauteed in veggie stock.
Dessert: “Fruit freezer” with strawberries, pineapple, fresh banana, and 1 tbsp ground flaxseeds (ate out of the blender with dad and Kysen this time–fun to enjoy a healthy treat together, felt like we were at an old-timey malt shop with three long, striped straws!)
Day 12: If There’s One Thing to Remember It’s…
THE SALAD IS THE MAIN COURSE! If you saw Dr. Fuhrman’s PBS special, like I did, this became ingrained in your head. And, if there’s one thing to take away from this whole 6 week plan, it is just that: eat a TON of salad.
When the Dr. says to make your salad huge, I obey! I have a special melamine soup bowl that I got from the Asian market that I’m assuming is meant to serve a family of 7 their noodle soup dinner. This mega-bowl is my salad bowl. And I try to cram my salad with enough fresh, raw foods as I can to meet the 1 pound daily requirement.
Yesterday I tried balsamic vinegar on my salad (instead of the rice vinegar I’ve been into) and now I am hooked! Balsamic is my new vinegar of choice and it goes perfectly with the fresh strawberries I picked up at Sprouts yesterday!
I woke up feeling tighter all around, not as loose and flabby! I’m feeling good and my energy is up. All the added nutrients have also done a number on my skin (Aunt Flo visited me this week and not a single breakout to be had!)! I’m looking younger and moving younger and I have more energy to play with my three-year-old. Things are good!
What I Ate:
Breakfast: 1 banana with 1 1/2 tbsp. raw creamy almond butter
Lunch: Salad (see picture above) with spring baby mixed lettuces, strawberries, raw pistachios, cucumbers, carrots, red onion, grape tomatoes, and 1/2 Hass avocado with balsamic vinegar. Leftover red lentils with carrots, red peppers and dill (see above). Fruit freezer.
Dinner: Trader Joe’s has a new salad blend with organic kale and spinach. The kale looks like it’s of the “baby” variety because it doesn’t have the thick ribs like in Trader Joe’s Organic Tuscan Kale. You can eat it as a salad or saute it. I decided to saute it with some mushrooms and tofu (of course in veggie stock). This was my favorite meal of the week! I can’t believe it, but I’m becoming something of a kale-slut. I crave the deep, rich flavor with every meal now–unbelievable!
Day 13: Traveling with Temptation
It’s not like I went all that far (we’re talking 40 minutes away) but on the Eat to Live plan you have to be prepared when you leave the safety of your own kitchen! We were going to spend time with family and we were leaving in the afternoon. I knew we would most likely be eating dinner away from home, so I doubled up my lunch menu and packed it for my dinner. Boy, am I glad I did this because what was ordered for dinner: none other than my old friend pizza!
I was proud of myself for not “cheating” with a slice and I also thought to myself, after all the pizza-eaters had finished, that life just keeps on going. Eating the pizza would not have miraculously changed my life for the better! After that meal we all moved on–pizza-eaters and salad-eaters alike. I felt good about what I was doing (and, probably more importantly, not doing).
TIP: If you’re going to be away from home (especially visiting family) bring your own Eat to Live approved food. If you have to eat out, order a salad (with no meat or cheese) with vinegar on the side. Then ask for steamed veggies with no butter or oil. If they have a nice vegan-friendly bean soup add a cup of that too! Most restaurants can meet these requests.
What I Ate:
Breakfast: 1banana with 1 1/2 tbsp. raw creamy almond butter
Lunch: Strawberry and balsamic salad (see above) and a “Green” Stir Fry (Saute): edamame, sugar snap peas, mushrooms, 1 tbsp. ground flaxseed and baby bok choy. Sauteed in veggie stock (I steamed the sugar snap peas in their bag and waited until the rest of the ingredients were cooked before I added them in–this kept them crispy). 5 mandarin oranges!
Dinner: repeat of lunch menu with 2 more mandarin oranges for dessert
Personal Note: I really amazed myself tonight! After my dinner I played So You Think You Can Dance with my husband’s 8-year-old niece for 40 minutes straight! Normally, I would never have the energy to do something like that and especially right after finishing my meal–no cramps whatsoever! I really see a difference with my energy now! This is GET-UP-AND-GO food!
Day 14: Subway is Not My Friend
After my successful display of willpower last night, I woke up feeling pretty good about myself! I can’t wait for tomorrow’s weigh in to see how much I’ve lost this week!
I was feeling so good about my power to “just say no” that I decided I could “handle” going to Subway with my husband and son who were in the mood for sandwiches for dinner. Surprisingly, this was way harder for me than sitting around watching my whole family scarf down pizza and calamari last night.
Maybe it was the smell of the bread? Or the fact that Subway is supposed to be the “healthy alternative” but I still couldn’t eat there. I thought about ordering a salad, but with only red wine vinegar as a viable dressing option I felt like I was better off waiting for my balsamic at home. I persevered and went home and made something hearty for dinner (see below). Tip: Don’t keep pushing your luck with your willpower, doing this plan is tough enough as it is!
What I Ate:
Breakfast: 1 cup steel-cut oats, 1 cup almond milk, 1 tbsp. flaxseed
Lunch: Jumbo salad with spinach, arugula, mushrooms, red onion, cucumber, raw pistachios, grape tomatoes, and strawberries. Dressed with balsamic. Kale sauteed in veggie broth with red pepper, carrots, garlic and sun-dried tomatoes–this was YUM! The sun-dried tomatoes made it perfect! Tofu sauteed in veggie stock. This was a nice lunch!
Dinner: Romain lettuce, red onion, cucumber, raw pistachios, grape tomatoes, and apple slices with “Trader Joe’s Orange Muscat Champagne Vinegar.” Red lentils with kale and chopped spinach, red peppers, and minced onion. Banana.
Weight Lost for Week #2: -1.8 lbs // Body Fat % Lost for Week #2: -.7%
TOTAL Weight Lost so far: -8.8 lbs // TOTAL Body Fat % Lost so far: -2.2%
And stay tuned, I will be updating my Eat to Live journal every Monday until I have finished the 6 week plan!