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7 seconds on 7 weeks

Saturday, October 01, 2011

A quickie entry -- 7 weeks in on on the Eat to Live plan, and I keep thinking how much EASIER this is than any other diet I've done. I've not ever done a restricted foods plan before, always preaching moderation et al. But the results of that is I used to underfeed myself nutrients and squeeze in as much junk as I could. Then I did better after reading Martha Beck, eating more nutritious food. But this one has blown even that away -- nutrition exponential. I rarely crave anything, and as long as I have my salads (and don't spill them just after they're freshly made, like today), I do fine.


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MAUITN 10/1/2011 11:54PM

    Sometimes we just have to find our groove.

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WATERDIAMONDS 10/1/2011 8:07PM

    I'm very, very happy for you.

And yes, you should write that Amazon review!!!

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    Reminds me, Jesse, that I should write an Amazon review. (putting that on the list).

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SLIMMERJESSE 10/1/2011 5:56PM

    I have been reading your blogs and just ordered the book. I've been toying with the idea of doing this, and I'm going to give it a try. Many excellent reviews and raves on Amazon about the book and the results it produces. Thanks for sharing your success which spurred me on. And best wishes for continued success.

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SWEETSOUNDS11 10/1/2011 5:37PM

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the Eat to Live plan. I might check it out the next time I'm ready to mix something up in lifestyle. I glad to hear you found something that works so well for you.

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Six Weeks of Eat to Live are done

Saturday, September 24, 2011

I finished the first six weeks of the Eat to Live plan -- greens, beans, fruits, vegs, nuts, seeds -- 14 pounds down. Naturally, with the stories featured in the book, I was hoping for more, but I should have been realistic to begin with.

I travel a lot, so I had to figure out how to do this while away. I was probably out of town as many days as I was in town. For the most part, I did just fine, ordering the best I could and living with the rest.

DH started a few weeks in, and his pants are all falling off him now. (I have a couple of pairs that require a belt).

Mostly I just felt so good, eating healthy foods. I wondered repeatedly why it took me so long to try this. I often eat raw all day, which I never thought I would like! As for the specifics, the hardest thing is having the right salad ingredients on hand at home. Home is harder than away. Cheese wasn't as hard to give up as I thought it would be, though I still wish I had blue cheese on my salads some times!

So I've detoured just a tad the past couple of days -- nothing too off-tracking -- and now I've read about the Life Plan. Eat the greens, beans, fruits, vegs, nuts, and seeds 90 percent of the time, with only occasional deviations. 90 percent translates into 150 calories a day or 1000ish calories per week. I am going for it. Here's to fruits and vegetables!

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1_AMAZING_WOMAN 9/27/2011 1:01AM

    Yeah, I'm off cheese too, but for me it was hard to give up in the beginning. Now I don't miss it.


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WATERDIAMONDS 9/25/2011 9:22AM

    Well, of course you know I am THRILLED!!!!

You are a great inspiration re: how to maintain a balanced attitude when life isn't balanced. Eating away from home and traveling can be tough situations, but you've handled them both so well.

Congratulations on the weight loss. Congratulations for having completed the six weeks.

And congratulations for deciding to continue the ETL journey.

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SALEE100 9/24/2011 7:50PM

    Wow, what a great program and wonderful that it's working for you!

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WILD4STARS 9/24/2011 7:37PM

    emoticon emoticon
14 pounds in six weeks is awesome.

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    FANTASTIC!!! 14 pounds in 6 weeks is so awesome! Enjoy the transition to the life plan...you'll do great!

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SLIMMERJESSE 9/24/2011 12:18PM

    Good for you! How fabulous! I'm trying to get on a similar bandwagon. I am a total cheese junkie, and that's gotta stop.

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My diet soda experience

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

First off, don't go sayin' nuttin' bad 'bout my drink.

I was in 10th grade when the drink that starts with "diet" and ends with a four-letter word starting with C came out. I'd been hoping for it for two years by then, since the diet version of that other company's soda was out first.

I fell in love immediately. In college the biggest difficulty I had with no car was getting the cases of this drink back to my dorm room. Prevailed upon friends every once in awhile and came back with enough to last awhile. There was a cherry version of the diet drink, and I distinctly remember doing vodka jello shots and chasing them with it, round about 25 years ago.

I gave it up for some time in the 1990s, primarily due to hassle and cost.

Then I started back to drinking it again. And this time they had LIME!!!! My taste for it grew. I rarely cut back, though I did lessen them at the beginning of my pregnancies. The lime version helped somewhat, then, though, as I could barely stomach anything.

Mom and I bonded over our drinking of two cans at a time, and how we prefer lime in mornings and cherry in afternoons. I collected the carton numbers and got prizes from the corporation in 2007. I installed a can crusher upstairs so I wouldn't have so much bulk to take down to the recycling bin.

For years I thought, "Okay, some day I'll quit." Didn't want to during the Spark forays. Wanted my stress reliever, something I liked so much. Was thrilled when I found stores that carried lime while I was out of town. (Some markets don't have it).

A few months ago, I had to cut back because I was getting a weird tingly feeling on my tongue from so much carbonation and sweet stuff hitting it. This shouldn't be surprising, at this point. But I did cut back, and then I did start to drink them again.

And then I read Eat to Live. I don't even remember if Dr. Fuhrman specifically mentioned diet soda, but I determined that the only concession I would make to myself while going on the six-week program was coffee. I drink my coffee black, and although it has caffeine, there are some things a girl is just not willing to give up.

So I forewent the cans of my drink in the fridge. I asked for water on airplanes.

At the end of the first week I had one can, at a kids' party where I wasn't eating all the stuff around me.

The second week I had another can.

And in the third week, one day around noon, I had two cans of my beloved lime version.

And then something weird happened. That afternoon, for the first time in the three weeks I'd been on the Eat to Live plan, I caught myself in craving after craving. I wanted something cheesy and hot. I wanted a brownie. I wanted salt. I wanted pizza. I told myself each time, "This will pass." They did, but they kept coming all afternoon. It took me awhile to identify the cause of these cravings, so unusual were they for the experience I'd had so far on the Eat to Live plan.

Then I got a killer headache, and it wasn't responding to anything I was trying to do for it. (Out of acetominophen, I tried ibuprofen. Didn't work.) The headache lasted well past bedtime. It wasn't until the next day that I recovered. Finally, headache was gone and the cravings with it.

I haven't had another one since. I feel disrespectful to my beloved drink even talking about these things. But I cannot ignore my own anecdotal evidence. YMMV.

On the one hand, my grocery bill and cart are both lighter without these cans of drink. On the other, I miss it. On the one hand, I don't have the tingly tongue issue, the cravings, or the headache. On the other, I loved that drink. I'm in something like a state of mourning about it. I won't say that I'll never have one again. But while I'm feeding my body the best nutrients it can use, it just doesn't seem like a good idea.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ERICACEAE 9/26/2011 6:27PM

    Good for you for recognizing and respecting the signals your body was giving you. It's not easy but I'm glad you're enjoying the rewards of quitting!

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GUNNSGIRL91303 9/24/2011 6:43PM

    I'm still drinking diet soda and after reading your blog I'm rededicating myself to getting off of it completely. Thanks for sharing your experience and know that it will probably help many in their own efforts to become diet (and all) soda free!

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MISTYBLUE716 9/24/2011 5:28PM

    I'm having trouble breaking up with diet soda...but your blog made a few good points to me for sure!! I'm gonna look into this..

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MELLABELLAS 9/24/2011 3:29PM

    I love diet soda!!!! Especially if it's sweetened with Splenda.. but the story you told actually reminded me of how I felt about cigarettes!! Maybe you were slightly addicted. I'm glad you mostly kicked the habit!

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ADAGIO_CON_BRIO 9/24/2011 2:43PM

    I had to break up with the Drink of My Life in 1999--and I think it's a close kin to your drink--same four letter word and another word with a couple of "P's" in it. I'm sure that Pat and Vanna could "solve" it now!

I have not looked back. Yes, I have some strong sentimental feelings but mostly I am aware that my long affair with this beverage was not helpful. My personal experience is that in many ways it's like the death of a beloved friend. And that with time you realize that you have to rely on memories and memories only--that's all you've got left.

Congratulations on this break-up. I know it's not easy and perhaps I sound glib about it. It is not a glib or an easy break-up but very serious stuff and a commitment to health.

And now I am running off to check out "Eat to Live". emoticon

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FARAWAY01 9/15/2011 2:31PM

    Ah, sweet memories. I used to drink Coke and then Diet Coke but now that I've been eating clean I literally can't remember the last time I had one. I didn't dip back in and have the bad experience you did, but now I'll certainly be cautious. Good for you for kicking the habit!

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WATERDIAMONDS 9/15/2011 7:17AM

    As a former six-cans-day drinker of my own preferred poison, I empathize.

But take heart: although your memories of its taste, the bonding experiences you shared over it and the way you used it to relieve stress/boredom, etc.,will likely remain stored within your mind, the mourning period will end.

From personal experience, I guarantee you'll eventually be so glad you don't suffer its side effects any more that you won't care it's gone.

Congrats on taking yet another step toward the light of health.

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SLIMMERJESSE 9/14/2011 1:40PM

    Good for you. You will continue to notice so many other positive effects. If you research the sweetener in diet drinks, you will be amazed at what you are now not putting into your body and making your organs have to break down. As for the headache, when I gave up caffeine several months ago, mine lasted weeks. And responded to nothing for pain abatement. Best wishes for continued success with this. You should be very proud of yourself.

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AMYDZEKUTE 9/14/2011 1:39PM

  Good luck staying away from your "can of choice". Mine is Diet Dew...I have avoided the urge for many, many months now, knowing I will fall back into my several 20oz bottles per day routine if given a chance. Know that there are many of us out here pulling for you! emoticon

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I like my shopping cart, and this week

Saturday, September 10, 2011

It is so much fun to be in the grocery store loading up with green, orange, red, yellow, and blue nature-created foods. Sometimes they come in packages -- I'm a splurger for convenience -- but it is delightful to cultivate that feeling that I'm doing something so good for my body!

It's been a week of holding pattern. My indulgences have changed, though. I still haven't had any cakes, cookies, or ice cream, even when those all around me were having them, but with a spontaneous weekend getaway with DH and then with a conference, I discovered that my previous success at out of town dining was due to some good combination of circumstances. And I didn't have those.

On the trip with DH, I researched the vegan offerings in the town. I think we partook of all of them. We ignored the sweets shops as we passed them. I "indulged" by having an extra grain or corn serving, for instance. I also had some beer and wine, but even so didn't use those as an excuse for tons of processed food.

On the final day we stopped by a take-out place that served such offerings as steamed kale and hummus sandwiches. Again I had more bread servings than usual, and turns out some of the vegetable dishes had lots of oil. But I still cannot call any of this a true indulgence. We made good choices.

At the conference this week, I discovered that eating vegetarian (as I've been for over a decade) is downright simple compared to eating vegan. I asked the conference organizer the night before about the offerings for breakfast and lunch. She said she expected several vegetarians and just mention it to the server. Breakfast was fairly easy, just fruit. But lunch! Start with a salad, try to ignore the shaved parmesan on it. Accidentally ate a crouton that felt like biting into some rich Italian dish.

Then the server came with the chicken-n-pasta. I waved it off with a "no chicken, please" and he immediately said, "oh, vegetarian?" and was off again to bring me the richest, cheesiest lasagna I'd seen in a long while. One of my co-workers was sitting with me (he has lost 52 pounds this year himself). I don't want to be the difficult one, you know? I scooped off some of the fresh tomato sauce on top. Then I picked around inside the lasagna and found the few vegetables. I realized that wasn't going to cut it. We had to track down a server to come back, and I asked for a second salad. (I had a packet of fruit-and-nuts -- not the best thing in the world, but a small something I could add to the salad). The cake dessert sat on the table the whole time; I didn't even consider having it. I flagged down the server again and asked if I could just have a cup of berries. He brought them and they were delicious.

So I think I survived that okay. The reception that night included nothing that wasn't fried or cheesy or meaty. Even the asparagus had ham on it. I didn't eat. I did have wine. I was just at the point of contemplating the black bean quesadillas, cheese and all, when the co-worker bit into one and found shrimp. He's allergic to shrimp. Fortunately no anaphylactic (sp?) hospital trips, but I made myself content with the wine.

Wish I could say every night was that successful. I had some salty concoction that I'm not sure I even wanted, but I still avoided all baked goods.

Due to all this -- and the alcohol -- I basically held the same on the scale throughout week 4. I'm okay with that. I'm considering adding a week to the end of my six, so that I can feel like I did six full weeks of it, even with the weird week in the middle.

Now, I'm wondering why I'm putting all this down on electrons? I'm not looking for castigation or praise (please, really), but I'm just saying I'm human. This Eat to Live plan is a difficult path I've chosen, compared to the American way of life, and it's far more difficult than junk-food vegetarianism. Despite the numerous challenges, I still feel successful. Got my first compliment of a "you're losing weight" kind this week, too. And I feel victorious every time I check out at the grocery store with a cart full of mixed greens, tomatoes, carrots, peppers, grapes, cherries, and broccoli slaw.

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CAROLYN1213 9/13/2011 1:50PM

    I admire your commitment! I did raw vegan for a couple weeks of the summer, out of convenience mostly because I was traveling a lot and it's much easier to travel with fruits, veggies and nuts than it is with tuna and chicken or anything dairy.

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    The "SAD" -- love it!! emoticon

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55WALKER 9/10/2011 4:08PM

    I think you're my motivational speaker for the day. I'm glad you shared this.

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WATERDIAMONDS 9/10/2011 4:06PM

    What a wonder you are.

Penguin, seriously, you did such a good job maintaining your awareness and at least trying to eat well. I can't tell you how many times before ETL I blew it at a conference or family gathering or whatever and just ruffed it off as, "Oh well, what did I expect?"

You stayed in the moment! Every single thing you mention here, you still thought about it as it occurred, and you stayed as true to the program as you could.

I know you aren't looking for praise. But you deserve it. And you really should just graciously accept it, because it's coming your way--Ready?


Yes, ETL is a LOT harder when you're away from home and a LOT harder when you're surrounded by people consuming the SAD without so much as a glance at what they are eating.

So you did a GREAT job at the conference. And you are doing an even better job by getting right back on the ETL pony rather than use the conference as an excuse to blow your eating plan to heck for a month or two.

My sincerest admiration for a job well done.

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SALEE100 9/10/2011 12:33PM

    Now that's what I call healthy eating! Maybe one day I'll be able to do the same...

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Second Half of the First Six Weeks

Saturday, September 03, 2011

I was just thinking about how I'm starting my fourth week of the first six on Eat to Live. What will be the differences for the second three weeks? I'm anticipating some barriers and some "facilitators."

1. The temptations may get more difficult, as the rationalizations ("one won't hurt") set in. But I should remember that:
1b. I've already encountered brownies twice and also resisted two parties with lots of junk food around.
1c. I've had wine at least 4 times and still not given in to any temptations.
1d. I can still have brownies and cookies again. Just not always, and just not now.

2. The amount of weight I take off might be disappointing. But:
2b. I've already taken off 14 pounds from where I was a month ago. Even if I took off 1 pound a week for the next three, that's still remarkable.
2c. Weight usually comes off easily in the first week or two and slows down.

3. I might get tired of salads, fruit breakfasts, and such. But:
3b. This has come up repeatedly already. One night with only cooked vegetables left me ready for salad the next day.
3c. Plus, a spinach and arugula salad is very different than a romaine salad.
3d. DH keeps bringing home things I hadn't already had since starting. A couple days ago it was a big pack of kiwis.
3e. I feel incredibly healthy.
3f. I love the example we're setting for our kids.

4. Restaurants continue to be challenging while traveling. However:
4b. I've traveled how many times since starting this? And done fine.
4c. Even if something comes to my table not quite right, I'm still doing okay overall.
4d. I've learned that I can go to a lunch place and get two salads, saving one for dinner.

I keep wondering why I didn't try eating like this long ago.

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WATERDIAMONDS 9/4/2011 11:06AM

    These obstacles aren't limited to ETL, right? Temptations crop up, weight loss slows as time passes, restaurants are typically difficult and we usually get somewhat tired of our diet foods.

But what's significant about your way of looking at this is that you have identified and already refuted these excuses BEFORE they have the opportunity to manifest in your life. And this means you fall within a statistically small percentage of the population--you tell yourself the truth.

Psychological research indicates that one of the key measurements of the likelihood of success lies in the willingness to (a) admit the truth that life includes struggle, particularly during transitions and (b) do what is necessary anyway.

Congratulations on your very wise assessment of the process and your dedication to achieving your goals whatever obstacles come your way.


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FARAWAY01 9/3/2011 8:07PM

    Good for you! I'm sure you'll be glad you stuck with it after the fact.

Here's a meal suggestion I just tried and loved - zucchini 'spaghetti'! I bought a World Cuisine turning slicer (also known as a Spirooli) and was so excited to try it. I sauteed a chopped onion and garlic until soft then added 2 zucchinis sliced on the 'angelhair' setting, added a small amt of chicken broth to saute a couple minutes (to soften the zucchini just a bit) and seasoned w/pepper. Then topped it with our favorite store-bought spaghetter sauce, which doesn't have any added sugars (but you could use homemade). OMG yum! Even my DH liked it and he struggles with vegetarian dishes. I thought I'd share the success since it's something that will fit on ETL.

Comment edited on: 9/3/2011 8:09:48 PM

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55WALKER 9/3/2011 9:07AM

    If you could bottle your good attitude and pass the bottle around the world would be a better place!
emoticon (This looks like wine but it is really dancingpenguin's good attitude)

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SUZANNA_XX 9/3/2011 8:57AM

    Keep it up~

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