Saturday, January 17, 2009

Saturday = Cheat Day!

To keep myself on top of eating healthy, I decided there needed to be one day a week where I can eat whatever I want. Saturday is that day!

Today is Saturday, but I don't want to cheat. I've worked so hard these past two weeks, and accomplished physical results, that I am afraid to jeopardize my efforts.

This morning, at the insistent pleas of my kids, I made homemade Belgian waffles. I had to take a trip to Trader Joes first to pick up some milk before I could prepare them. While there, I found some whole wheat flour tortillas and whole grain bread that have minimal sugar and will be great for dinners throughout the week. I also picked up some Cannelini Beans (white kidney beans) and chicken sausage for a healthy stew recipe I want to try.

When I got home, I started to make the waffles and decided to sneak in some whole wheat flour. The recipe calls for 1-1/2 cups flour, so I put in 1/2 cup of whole wheat and mixed it in with regular flour. I wanted to eat a waffle too, and I just can't bring myself to fully cheat! I guess that's a good thing. No one was the wiser to my healthy addition and they gobbled up the waffles.
You don't need a belgian waffle maker to make waffles. But they are yummy!
Any waffle maker will work. Here is the recipe I used, taken from my Fanny Farmer Cookbook 13th Edition:

2 eggs, well beaten
1 cup milk
3 TBSN vegetable oil (I used canola)
1-1/2 cups flour
3 tsp baking powder
2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt

Mix the eggs, milk, and oil in a large bowl or pitcher. Stir in the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt and mix until blended Heat the waffle iron, brush it with some oil and pour in enough batter to just fill. Close and bake until the steaming stops and the waffles are crisp, tender, and brown.

When the waffles were done, I gave my waffle a smidgen of real butter and dripped about a tablespoon of syrup on it. Normally, I would pour about a cup all over them, but I didn't want to intake that much sugar. I read the serving size of the Aunt Jemima syrup we had in the cupboard: 1/4 cup provides 32 grams of sugar. Wow! So a tablespoon is MUCH better. I drank a cup of milk with my one waffle and felt full.

I guess you could say I'm semi-cheating today...but still keeping myself in check. Hopefully, icecream doesn't enter the picture today, because when it comes to icecream, serving sizes don't exist!

Happy Saturday!

Until I post again,


Friday, January 16, 2009

South Beach Diet Phase 1

Yesterday, I completed Phase 1 of the South Beach diet. I am now entering into Phase 2. Hooray!

This is my second time readjusting my eating habits to eat the South Beach way. I tried it for the first time back in March 2008 at the advice of my doctor, who was mainly concerned with my high blood pressure, but also with my weight gain. She asked me if I thought I could change my lifestyle to bring down both my weight and my blood pressure. If I agreed and things improved, I would not have to go on blood pressure medication, which I really didn't want to do. I immediately went to my local library and picked up a copy of The South Beach Diet, by Arthur Agatston, M.D.

For those of you who have never heard about the South Beach Diet, here is a rundown of what it entails.

There are 3 phases:

Phase 1 : 2 weeks (or 14 days) ~ This is the strictest part of the plan. During Phase 1, there is no eating cereals, breads, pastas, rice, potatoes or fruit. Not even whole wheats are allowed. Alcohol is also off limits. During this phase the idea is that you are clearing sugars from your blood stream. Food converted to sugar is one of the main reasons for excessive weight gain in the stomach and hip region. For 2 weeks, the diet consists mainly of eggs, chicken, fish, other lean meats (such as 90% lean beef and sirloins). Cheese is okay as long as it's lowfat. Beans of all kinds are great, as are nuts. Vegetables of all kinds are allowed, (except for beets, carrots, and potatoes), as these are loaded with sugary starches. Desserts are acceptable, as long as they are low in sugar and about 75 calories. One of the things I ate was No Sugar Added Fudgsicles (which taste delicious and satisfy my chocolate cravings).

Phase 2: no time frame (until your weight is where you want it to be, or until you are down a few sizes, or whatever your particular goal may be) ~ The 2nd phase of the diet is where you add back in the fruits and the cereals (oh yes!), and the breads, pastas and rice. However! These must be WHOLE wheat or WHOLE grain. So if you want a bean burrito, make sure it's wrapped in a whole grain tortilla. Any food high in sugar is off limits during this phase. Did you know ketchup is high in sugar? I was bummed when I learned this. No ketchup during phase 2. :( It actually is amazing how many foods are actually loaded with sugar. I actually hunted for a low sugar pizza sauce so I could make homemade pizza bagels (on whole wheat bagels of course! )

Phase 3: maintenance stage ~ this stage is where you basically keep eating the way you've been, but now you have lost the weight you wanted to and your job is to maintain that weight, or size. There is room for cheating, (i.e. sweets, potatoes, white breads) but everything in moderation.

*If you are interested in more specific South Beach information, including recipes and food lists, check out


So I began this diet back in March of 2008, made it through Phase 1, and entered into Phase 2 with obvious weight loss. My clothes felt looser, people kept asking if I had lost weight, and I had more energy than usual. But unfortunately for me, March soon turned to June, summer came and weekends became party weekends with friends and family. The Saturday "no cheat" day I allowed for myself soon turned into Saturdays and Sundays...which turned into Mondays too. Before I knew it, I was back to eating regular tortilla chips, sugary cereals, and cookies galore. I was also back to the weekend margarita, a known sugar culprit, but oh so tasty and refreshing!

Since I slid off the plan back in the summer of 2008, I have wanted to start again because I know it works. It's hard in the beginning, but I've done it before so I knew I could do it again.
The beginning of a New Year seemed like the perfect time to start. I started on Jan. 2nd and made it through Phase one, just the other day on Thursday, Jan. 15th. I ate no breads, pastas, rice, potatoes, or fruits for two weeks. I drank no alcohol.

I refuse to weigh myself during this process, but instead took measurements for physical proof of change in my body.

*Beware ~ my initial measurements are frightening!

Jan 2:
(At start of Phase 1)
Waist: 33-1/2 inches (I know...why do you think I'm doing all this!)
Hips: 42-1/2 inches (ugh!)
Thighs: 24 inches (yikes!)
Arms: 13 inches
*Note: I left out my bust measurements. Some things I intend to keep private! ;)

Jan 16:
(After 2 weeks in Phase 1)
Waist: 32-1/2 inches (a loss of 1 inch!)
Hips: 41 inches (a loss of 1-1/2 inches!)
Thighs: 23 inches (a 1 inch loss!)
Arms: 12-3/4 inches (a 1/4 inch loss!)

Loss all around! I am so happy. Not to mention that this is with minimal walking for exercise. I did no weight lifting or excessive cardio during these 2 weeks. I can only handle so much at once. Yet I am left to wonder how many more inches I might've lost if I had begun a routine exercise plan during this time.

Now that I am entering into Phase 2, I intend to begin exercise to boost my efforts. I will post my progress, and do another measurement check in about a month.

Anyone ever tried South Beach, or any similar diets and weight loss plans? How did they work for you? Did you meet your goals? Any suggestions so I can better meet mine?

Until my next post,

Thursday, January 15, 2009

In the Beginning

My best intentions were to start this blog at the beginning of the new year. So cliche, right? So I decided to rebel instead, in classic Trish fashion, and start it mid-January.

I mainly started this blog to keep myself accountable for my goals. I am an ace at procrastination, so it helps to know others are onto me, whether I'm working hard or hardly working. I need the proverbial kick in the butt to keep myself going sometimes. And these goals are important to me. So I figured, why not share them? My goals fall into the following categories:

  • Health and Fitness ~ Not only do I need to lose weight, I am most interested in feeling better in my clothes, having more energy, and living to enjoy my grandchildren someday with a fit mind and body. I see a struggle-free clothes shopping session in my near future!

  • Music ~ I love it, want to hear it everyday, and feel I need it when times are not only rough, but when I want to have a great time. I want to experience as much music as possible while I am alive. I also have the ability to play guitar, but I want to drastically improve by years' end. Lots of practice required!

  • Writing and Literature ~ I am a book nerd. I can live without TV or even movies, but don't deny me a good book. I could live in a library. Not only that, but I love expressing myself with written words. I decided since it's something I like to do, why not write more often? It would be an added bonus if I could make money doing so. Write and submit Trish, write and submit.

I will be tracking my goals as I progress through them, not only for myself, but in the hopes that others will also share the goals they are working towards. Also, I do writing prompts from time to time to propel my writing. I will be posting these prompts, so if you feel the urge, don't hesistate to try out a prompt or two and share your personal results! It will be fun to see the various prompt writings!

Obviously, this blog wouldn't exist at all if it weren't for the gentle nudges received (almost daily) from Meesa. ;) Since the notion crossed my lips to the keyboard and onto my computer, Meesa's elated encouragement inspired me. She is actually the main reason I am doing this, because I know even if no one ever reads, shares, or comments, Meesa will. This definitely gives my blog purpose.

Thanks Meesa!

Until the next post,