I am sure like many of you, you watch weight loss shows while drinking a glass of wine, maybe having some cheese and crackers, or maybe even eating take out pizza. I say that because all of those scenarios relate to me – Tony used to make so much fun of me when I ate watching Biggest Loser or Extreme Weight Loss with Chris Powell. Before I went to Denver I picked up Chris Powell’s latest books – Choose to Lose the 7-Day Carb Solution and Choose More, Lose More for Life. While on the plane back and forth from Denver, I read the 7-day carb cycle solution and it really intrigued me. I realized for the longest time I am doing the same thing over and over – yes, I am watching my calories to about 500 calories a meal, but I was drinking wine and not always counting it (ha!). I normally eat breakfast at work, but I get up at 6:30 and sometimes if I am busy right away, I may not eat it until 10.
So what is carb cycling? You basically toggle your days between low and high carbs. The book recommended on low carb days eating around 1200 calories and on high carb days around 1500 for women. Frankly, I think 1200 is too low – so my range is 1300-1400 on low carb days and 1500-1600 on high carb days. Day 1 is actually your cheat day, which for me is Sunday. Women get up to 2400 calories that day and it doesn’t matter what you eat, but immediately you start with a low carb the very next day.
Yesterday I had bacon and eggs for breakfast, then leftover pizza for lunch and then pork carnita nachos for dinner – nice! But even though it was a rest day and a cheat day, I still had to get my gallon of water in for the day. I woke up at 8:30 and started drinking it right away, and I didn’t finish my last sip until 9:30! Sadly, that meant I had to get up a couple times last night to pee, but I am one of those people who can fall right back asleep.
The other thing on this plan is that you have to eat within 30 minutes of waking up, and then every three hours. I’ve normally not wanted to do that because I have to take a shot every time I eat, but then I realized it evened out because I will be taking less insulin on the low carb days. I also have 10 minute bursts of exercises to do on the low carb day mornings, and 6 days a week I have to do what is called “shredders.” Basically choose an exercise, lets say running – the first 3 minutes is moderate pace, the second 2 minutes is higher intensity and the last minute is as hard as you can, then repeat that set for 30 minutes. Pretty sure the first two weeks are 30 minutes, then the time starts to extend, but I’ll figure that out.
You all know how I love to meal plan! So Friday night, that’s what I did. I decided that low carb days my mini meals were going to be around 260 calories and high carb days around 300. This isn’t perfect, but I am about 90% there. My plan is to get a lot of ideas for meal plans so if I have three weeks worth of different foods, meal planning will be simple, because I can repeat meals, but not end up eating the same thing every day. I love variety! And I actually think I can tweak my Lasagna soup to fit into a higher carb day. My first thought was to have 35 different meals during the week to show how creative you can be on this lifestyle, but that really didn’t make much sense for grocery shopping and I really don’t mind repeating a few meals. I labeled my “recipes” with a number and then started putting them into my nutritional calculator and adjusted if it was too low in carbs, or too much, etc.
My grocery list didn’t look too bad from that hot mess of notes up top!
So that’s my plan for today. It will be weird to eat at home before work, but you have to “break” the fast, and my not eating sometimes until hours after I wake up doesn’t work. Also, by eating every three hours, your body gets used to getting fed on a regular basis, which will stoke your body to burn fat like a furnace. I actually had a lot of fun putting this together and was able to share this with a lot of you over the weekend as well as some new Instagram friends. So knowing that I was going to start this program this weekend, I had my last glass of wine last Thursday. I know, I went the whole weekend without wine! Once I get the hang of this program I may bring it back in a couple weeks, or I might not. We’ll see! I just have to realize that sitting watching t.v. by myself with my life isn’t going to change the fact that Tony isn’t here – I think I just used the wine to numb the feelings I have that surface up when the day ends. I have to deal with those feelings, not push them down, so that’s what I plan to do.
So here I am, a good 8 weeks into the summer and I am basically where I started. On a happy note, I still love the color of my toes!
But blog reader Beth reminded me that I have traveled a lot this summer and that I should be proud of the fact that I haven’t gained 10 pounds, and I couldn’t agree more. So I am really looking forward to this week! I am so organized it’s not even funny!
So I am going to break down my recap all this week, so as not to inundate you too much. The first night was a progressive dinner, which was basically going to Karli’s favorite places in Littleton, which is about 25 minutes from downtown Denver. Go ahead and click on her name though – she and her Mom now have a shared space for their antique business – I swear if I lived anywhere near Littleton I would have bought half of her stuff! (Beef is her day job, antiques and jewelry are her hobbies!)
First up was a place called LaVaca Meat. It’s a small shop that has refrigerator and freezer full of all different kinds of beef. Two families who have been involved in cattle farming since the 1950’s came together and now “part of the second generation has continued in the business and expanded the cattle buying, feeding, and commodity trading to other parts of the country. Now the third generation is ready to take the knowledge of the past, and combine it with the technology of the present to bring the very best steaks to your grill.”
They actually trade commodities, follow currencies and oil prices, etc. to figure out the pricing of beef. It was cool to see all the computers and monitors that are behind the scenes in the beef industry that I never gave a second thought to. One of the owners showed us the different cuts of beef and marbling. And since this was a progressive dinner we started out with a cheese and fruit tray. Yum! We also got to pick out a package of beef jerkey to take home. I brought it home to Jacob and he ate it in one sitting he said it was amazing. Their top selling beef is ribeyes, followed by their hand crafted burgers. They now mail order!
Next up was the Savory Spice Shop. Jessica and I visited their store in Milwaukee when I had my Spartan race back in May. What I didn’t realize is that they will basically let you try anything and we sampled a bunch of their spice blends. It smelled so good walking in! I forgot to take a picture of it, but we had a sampling of pickled veggies – the pickled green beans were amazeballs. We also got select a spice to take home, and I chose that Santa Maria Sea Salted BBQ Rub – I thought it would work best with both pork and beef, and even chicken for that matter.
Next up was EVOO. A specialty olive oil and vinegar store. I really learned a lot about olive oil and vinegar. First off, if you see a flavored olive oil that is labeled “extra virgin” that is not correct. Only 100% pure extra virgin olive oil can be labeled as such. But here is a problem with mass produced olive oil producers. When you have a second, go look at your olive oil bottle – most likely it will say “bottled in Italy.” Sure, it was bottled in Italy but 9/10 the oil is blended from Spain, Greece, etc. and then is transferred to Italy for bottling. Also for the freshest olive oil, you would have to buy it in a specialty shop because they buy their olive oils based on the “hemisphere” or where the mash is in season and buy accordingly. That way they are the freshest, highest in purity and also are high in mono unsaturated fats which is good for you.
You guys. The taste difference of grocery store olive oil is night and day. As well as the balsamic vinegar – I tasted a 15 year old aged vinegar and it was so sweet I wanted to just do shots of it. Here’s another tip when buying vinegar. If you check on the nutritional label and it has sodium and high in carbs, leave it on the shelf.
We had our main dinner at EVOO – We had undressed New York strip caprese, an arugula, ribeye and peach salad with goat cheese and then a New York strip Asian noodle salad. We were like kids in a candy store coming up with different combinations for our food – my favorite for the Asian noodle salad was an Arbequina (mild olive oil) with the jalapeno white vinegar. The shop is run by brother and sister, and sadly, I can’t remember the woman’s name, but Michael used to be a biochemist I believe and actually went into detail about the science of olive oil and vinegar – it was actually quite interesting, even though I was taste testing my oil and vinegar wrong – I kept dipping my finger in and tasting it, when you are supposed to sip it like trying a wine – apparently the oils on your finger can alter the taste – who knew I that I couldn’t use my finger!
Tomorrow’s recap will be our final destination of the night – Chocolate Therapist where we had chocolate and wine pairings. Um, you better believe I deemed that insulin worthy!
Alright, now off to do 10 minutes of sit ups, pushups and squats, and then eat my first meal before getting ready for work. Make it a great day!