hCG Diet results! This has been amazing!

Wow.  After four kids, a momma just might have some baby-weight to lose!  Thankfully, mine was only about 30 lbs, but it was sure stubborn and not coming off!  In fact, the scale slowly climbed, and despite my best efforts, it was not budging.  I had prayed earlier this year, earnestly asking the Lord to help me and connect me to the resources to have success in this area of getting healthy again, and I stumbled across a little bottle of hCG diet drops at a Ross near me.  At first I thought it was excessive and ridiculous, but after doing a lot of research online, there was SO MUCH positive feedback, lasting results, and knowing it was designed by a doctor helped too, so I decided to try it.  And I am so thankful.  My pre-self wasn’t out of control, but I know me best, and I have always been lean and healthy and wanted to stay that way.  Now that you know the backstory,  want to know my results?  Here are the details:

The total diet lasted 40 days (about 6 weeks), and the transition out phases lasted a total of 6 weeks. So, here it is:

I went from 156.8 lbs, to 138.2 lbs.  That’s a total loss of nearly 19 lbs!!

And I lost… ready for this?  A whopping NINETEEN INCHES all over!!  I lost 3.5 inches in my hips, butt, and almost 3 inches in my waist!  I went from wearing a Large top to a Small top.  And I fit a bunch of my clothes that had gotten too small. 🙂  Here are the photos…

This was my first Before/After series

This was my first Before/After series

 

 

Its amazing to me the results I saw in such a short time!

Its amazing to me the results I saw in such a short time!

Before and After.  The "after" shot is just before finishing the diet.

Before and After. The “after” shot is just before finishing the diet.

Before and After.

Before and After.

Some of my new outfits in my new clothes. :)

Some of my new outfits in my new clothes. 🙂

I always wanted to wear a dress like this.  Now I can!

I always wanted to wear a dress like this. Now I can!

Super thankful.

Super thankful.

This jacket couldn't button before!

This jacket couldn’t button before!

 
 

These are the drops I used, found at Ross and Burlington, though they dont regularly carry them

 
Now, for anyone who hasn’t struggled to lose baby weight, it might be a little ridiculous for me to be so excited over 20 lbs, but this was a huge deal for me!  Technically, I still have ten to go, but I am celebrating this milestone!  I have literally prayed for 3.5 years for a breakthrough in getting the baby weight and the momentum of weight gain reversed.  The beautiful thing even beyond the actual weight loss?  That God cared enough to put the right tools in my hands.  Tools that were helpful, and nurtured healthy changes and education on what kind of foods are best for my body.  God totally cares about these things!  Why?  Because he LOVES.  And because he loves you, he cares about what you care about.  Ok, tangent over…

I learned so much on this diet!  Because of how it’s built I learned a lot of what kinds of foods to reach for that will fill me while benefit my weight and health goals.  Now, before you starting judging and think I ‘m crazy to have weight concerns over twenty or thirty pounds, please understand, I liked myself even at my heaviest, and I like myself now.  I’ve never hated myself. I have always believed in making the most of what you have to work with.  But I also believe in being the best (healthiest) version of ourselves as long as we can control it.  For me this wasn’t about becoming a supermodel or anything a magazine might promote.  Rather, it was about reaching a weight goal that I felt would be healthy for me.  Actually, after having my first baby and not really knowing how to relate to my I’m-a-woman-I’ve-birthed-babies body, I had asked the Lord what weight would be healthiest for my frame, muscle/bone makeup, lifestyle, etc.  I mean, he made me, he knows what’s best for me, wouldn’t he know the healthiest weight for me too?  And I kept coming to the same number (as un-round of a number as it was), and when I looked it up on the weight-range index, it was in a perfect spot in my healthy weight range for my height, and appropriate for my lean structural build.  So, that’s how I came to my goal weight.  For some that may seem a little over-spiritualized, but I’ve always felt, God knows best and so why not just ask him.  He loves being involved in those details of our lives. 🙂

 

So, starting today,  I’m actually on my second  and last round of the hCG diet, this time with two friends, to try to get the last 6-8 lbs off to reach my goal weight.  Then I’ll be able to start toning muscle a little bit, and have the happy satisfaction of knowing I’m taking the best care of this body that I can, while I can.  I want to live long, healthy and vibrant all my days.  Keeping my weight under control, eating healthy, exercising, detoxing a couple times a year, resting when needed, hydrating, all those are disciplines to be a good steward of this temple, this body.  I read a lot to keep my mind sharp, laugh a lot to keep me happy, and lots of other little disciplines that are healthy for longevity.  I hope this blog was encouraging to you, and if so, please leave a comment! I’d love to hear! As for now, I’ll see you with my next before/after post.  Stay tuned! 🙂   I wish you peace for the journey!

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hCG Diet: Hot Cocoa, Apple Pie, and an Egg omelet!

If you are doing or are interested in doing the hCG diet, the food can feel limited quickly, so I wanted to share a few of my favorite recipes with you thus far.  Here are three of my favorites so far…

HOT COCOA!!

  • 6-8 oz water in mug
  • 1 1/2 Tbs unsweetened Baking cocoa powder (Hersheys is awesome!)
  • Splash of Pure Vanilla extract
  • Stevia to taste
  • 1 Tbs Fat free half and half

Warm up your water first, then add everything.  Its not as rich and creamy as regular cocoa maybe, but on this diet, it still feels like a splurge!!  Enjoy the coziness!

APPLE PIE!!

  • Honey Crisp apple chopped (or two small Gala apples)
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp. Cinnamon powder
  • 2 spoonfuls baking Stevia, or use your liquid Stevia.
  • (Nutmeg, Ginger, Allspice are optional.  Use to taste. )
  • Splash of water

Coat the apple pieces well with the other ingredients.  Place in a covered bowl, microwave for 90 seconds, remove and enjoy.  Be careful as it is piping hot!  Enjoy your dellcious dessert!

Egg Omelet

This would be your whole meal in phase 2.

  • 4 egg whites
  • 8 grape tomatoes, halved (or 1 roma tomato, diced)
  • 2 handfuls of spinach leaves
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Combine ingredients, cook in your saute pan and enjoy this delicious omelet.  Here, the tomatoes serve as your fruit for the meal.  Eat up and Enjoy!

HCG diet journey… finally losing that post-baby weight! (Part 1)

Have you ever struggled with your weightloss like me?  For some its a struggle of 75+ pounds, for others, the last 20 that just won’t come off is equally frustrating.  For new (or seasoned) mommas, the babyweight is always a daunting chore.  Well, you are in good company!  Welcome to my post-baby-weight weightloss journey on the hCG diet!!!  This entry and a few entries following with be carefully following my weightloss journey with the HCG diet.  First, I am not aiming to lose astronomical amounts of weight.  Only about 20-25 lbs.  After having my fourth son almost four years ago, I was lazy during breastfeeding and did not work to get the baby weight off, and have struggled ever since to get back down to my pre-baby size.  I have tried a number of different approaches, all healthy options, but I don’t think I was motivated enough to do something strict.  Finally, it dawned on me, I have been whining and complaining about this struggle for nearly four years now, and have given a half-effort to about six different methods, and have seen no sustained progress.  Enough is enough!!  There is no excuse for whining.  If I have a goal, I will find a way to reach it.  So, as I was shopping last week I came across some HCG drops on sale and thought, “Hmm, these are cheap, I’ll just buy them, research and see if it’s worth trying.”  I got home, opened them up and read the diet plan and was like, “hah!  yeah right!” and put them away.  But as I did research and came across friends who had had great success on this diet, I saw that doctors were giving it the thumbs up (in fact it was designed by a doctor), and the food prescribed in the diet is very healthy, I thought, “Well, maybe I could just buckle down and work hard and see some results.”  So, that’s what I did.  I bought the necessary food, prayed for grace ;), and jumped in a week ago.  And I have been so excited by my results!  So excited in fact, I thought I’d share on here with ya’ll in case any of you have found yourself in a similar frustrating situation.  First, let me give you an overview of the diet.  (If you’re looking for a good book to really understand it, this cookbook is excellent.  It explains the diet AND gives you recipes.  Two for one!)

 

Below are my BEFORE photos… Check out Part 2 to see my Week 1 results!  Keep reading to see a summary of the diet.  

 

Phase 1: Loading phase.  Two days.  

  • Take HCG drops three times per day before meals; don’t drink or eat within 15 minutes of taking the drops so as not to dilute them in your system.
  • This phase is two days of eating as much FATTY foods as possible.  These fat stores help your body more gracefully adapt to the next phase which is the Very Low Calorie Diet phase (VLCD).  I didn’t take this phase very seriously and wish I would have.  My first three days, especially the third were tough.  Plus, who doesn’t like an excuse to eat every fatty food you ever wanted?  No food is off limits.

Phase 2: Very Low Calorie Diet with weightloss. Day 3-40

  • Again, you will be taking the HCG drops three times daily, not within 15 minutes of water or food.
  • This phase of the diet focuses on putting your body into Ketosis state, which is where your body is living off your own fat stores.  You can lose 1-2 lbs of fat per DAY.
  • The calorie goal these days is to stay within 500 calories.
  • On these days you typically skip breakfast but spend the morning drinking herbal teas, black coffee or water.  At least 32 Oz of liquids is your goal.  It is good to go the way of decaffeinated drinks so you don’t get jittery.  Lunch and Dinner is created from the selected foods in the lists below.
  • No exercising for these days.  Activity should be kept to a gentle stroll.  You need all the calories you are taking in!

Foods For The HCG Diet Phase 2

This is a list of foods you can eat while doing Phase 2 of the HCG Diet.
Use this list as a quick reference when shopping and preparing meals.

VEGETABLES
– Any kind of lettuce, spinach, beet greens, chard, cabbage
– Any kind of onions
– Any kind of tomatoes
– Fennel
– Cucumber
– Radishes
– Celery
– Asparagus


PROTEINS
Your meats/poultry cannot be cooked on the bone. All meats should be trimmed of all fat (and skin)
– White Fish
– Lobster
– Crab
– Shrimp
– Extra Lean Beef (steak, 96% premium lean ground beef, pot roast)
– Chicken


FRUIT


– Apples
– Blue Berries, Blackberries or Strawberries
– Lemons


DRINK & OTHERS
– Herbal Tea
– Bottled Water
– Melba Toast
– Sugarless Gum
– Steevia (natural sweetener, any flavor)
– Braggs Liquid Amino (this is a soy sauce type of product)
– Mustard
– Apple Cider Vinegar
– Any natural herb or spice, salt and pepper, garlic

Vegetables Portion Calories
Asparagus 4 ounces 20
Beet Greens 1 cup 25
Broccoli 4 ounces 30
Brussel Sprouts 1 cup 50
Raw Cabbage 1 cup 25
Raw Cauliflower 1 cup 30
Celery 1 stalk 5
Collard Greens 1 cup 25
Cucumber 8″ 15
Dandelion 4 ounces 50
Endive/Escarole 1 cup 10
Green Beans 4 ounces 40
Raw Kale 1 cup 40
Leeks 1/2 cup 16
Lettuce 1 cup 15
Romaine Lettuce 4 ounces 25
Green Onions 6 small 25
Raw White Onions 4 ounces 40
Green Sweet Peppers 1 medium 20
Red Sweet Peppers 1medium 25
Radishes 4 small 8
Spinach 1 cup 10
Squash/Zucchini 1 cup 40
Tomato 1 medium 20
Turnips 1 cup 55
Turnip Greens 1 cup 45
Watercress 4 ounces 25

Fruit Portion Calories
Apple 1 medium 80
Grapefruit 1/2 40
Strawberries 1 cup 55
Black Berries 1 cup 62
Blue Berries 1 cup 83
Lemon 1 medium 17

Phase 3: Stabilization phase.  3 Weeks.  CRUCIAL TO YOUR SUCCESS!!

  • The first three days of this phase you keep eating the VLCD but withOUT HCG drops so that you can give your body time to get the hormone out of your body before introducing new foods.
  • On the fourth day you can begin introducing new foods SLOWLY back into your diet.  The reason for this is because your body has trained itself to such limited calories and types of foods that to go back to regular eating straight away would shock your system and put the weight right back on.
  • In this phase you bring your caloric intake up to 800-1000 calories, gradually working your way up to 1500 calories.
  • Go to this page for a detailed food list.  http://www.hcgdietdrops.com/hcg-phase-3-other-food-list.html
  • This phase is characterized by three daily habits:
    • you must weigh yourself every day
    • you must remain within 2 pounds of your last injection weight (over *OR* under) and,
    • you cannot eat sugars and starches (which is carbohydrates minus the fiber)
  • Exercise: You can re-introduce exercise in this phase.  Your goal should be 30min-1 hour 3-4 times per week.
  • For more details on this phase, go here.
  • For success tips and menu samples, go here.

Phase 4: Maintenance phase. The rest of your life!

  • This phase you can bring your calorie intake up to 1800-2000.
  • In phase 4 when your weight has become consistent and stable you will start to re-introduce sugars and starches back into your diet. Starting off slow is always good. Don’t go binging!
  • To maintain your weight, you will have learned a lot of healthy alternatives, so use them in this phase!
  • For the first three weeks you are watching very carefully and very slowly working sugars, like chocolate or bread, into your diet.  But do only one per day to see how your body responds.  As your body gets used to this foreign object and learns how to metabolize it, you can settle into a nice little routine.
  • Use your natural sugar subsitutes and develop a habit of having a splurge meal only once or twice a week.  Be careful still though, as you can rack up on calories if you’re not mindful of how much is going in.
  • Focus eating still on fruits vegetables and proteins, and let grains and sugars be the smaller portions of your meals.  Keep sugar in moderation.

Links to help: 

Phases 3 & 4:

So that’s the overview of the diet.  The first few days are the most challenging, but as your body adapts, it will become much easier.  Let your thinking about food change WITH the food, so that after you’re done, you don’t return to old habits.

Below are my BEFORE photos… Check out Part 2 to see my Week 1 results!

 

 

No-bake Homemade Almond Joys!!

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Christmas season. Coconut. Chocolate. Nuts. These are synonymous to my tastebuds, if Christmas had a taste, that is. I found myself craving homemade almond joys and realized I had all the ingredients laying around in the kitchen so I decided to whip up a batch…Last night….
…They are already all gone. 😳
They were so good. 😋
It was so spontaneous, though, I forgot to take pictures of the making process, so you’ll just have to go by description. But I was able to get a few pictures of some of the last remaining little goodies. I hope you can enjoy these and enjoy them even more knowing that they are virtually healthy. Without any processed junk in them you can eat them guilt free! Happy non-baking!!

Ingredients:
-1 bag coconut flakes- 14oz?? (I had sweetened ones, use unsweetened to boost the health factor and cut sugar)
-3/4 cup Coconut oil
-1/4 cup Honey
-3/4 cup Raw Almonds
-Bag chocolate chips for dipping (depending how many balls you may need a little more than one bag)
-1 Tbsp canola oil

Directions:
1. Mix the flakes, coconut oil, honey and almonds in a bowl. (Note: if too wet, add more flakes. Too dry? Add a little more honey or oil. Honey will make it sweeter.)
2. Squeeze the mixture into small balls in your hands and set on a wax lined pan. Be sure you get at least one almond in each ball!
3. Set pan in freezer for ten minutes to let the oil/balls harden. This makes for successful dipping.
4. Put chocolate chips in a microwave safe dish. Heat for 30 seconds. Stir. Heat for 20 seconds. Stir. Heat 15 more seconds if needed. Stir well. To keep it softer longer, add a tablespoon of canola oil. (Don’t use water!!! It freaks out the chocolate).
5. Dip the balls in the chocolate by letting them swim 3 or 4 at a time, roll them in it, lift out w a fork back to the lined pan.
6. Once finished, let them sit till they setup, which only takes a few minutes. Then, enjoy!!

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Sharpie marker remover

It was one of those mornings, I was doing dishes and my toddler was quiet in the living room w the TV on. I felt a nudge to go check on him but put it off just long enough to find him creating a masterpiece with a sharpie on my laptop. Ahhhhhh!!!!! I didn’t know what to do, so I prayed desperately for a solution, and was reminded of my 91% rubbing alcohol I just bought, so I used that with a towel, and it worked!! No damage from moisture bc the alcohol evaporates so fast. Praise the living lord!! My laptop was recovered!!

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The Great Masterpiece

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The Christmas Miracle

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The tools of my demise (marker) and my Salvation!

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The Guilty

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Not wanting his guilt to be captured on camera.

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Evidence that he really is a perfect child. 🙂

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The chocolate I bribed him with to smile in the last photo, and the incriminating evidence on his hands of his crime. 🙂

Lemon coconut yummy!!

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For those of you who just love incorporating coconut oil into your daily diet, or for those of you who just want another healthy way to get good stuff into your daily eating, here is an easy and convenient way to do just that!!  These are very simply made, with only four ingredients and no cooking, you’ll be head over heels.  If you make these and try any other flavors, please do share!!

Ingredients:

1 Cup Coconut oil

Zest from 1 lemon

Juice from 2 lemons (use the zested lemon!)

2 Tbsp honey or other sweetener.  (go natural here,  NO ARTIFICIAL stuff!!  I used “Ideal” natural sweetner, but Truvia, or Stevia work too!  Err on the side of less honey because too much will prevent proper freezing.)

Put half your oil into a small blender or food processor, put the other half into your microwave for 10 seconds, just long enough to melt it.  (Or you can warm it in a pan if you don’t want to microwave it, which possibly kills some of the health benefits of it).

Once your oil is melted, combine it, and the zested lemon and lemon juice, and sweetener/honey, blend until smooth, pour into silicon molds (I used silicon ice cube trays) and refrigerate until solid.  (about 1-2 hours.)  Pop them out of the  molds, and store in a baggie or container in the fridge.  Enjoy a few a day, but be mindful these bad boys have a LOT of calories!! One to two tablespooons a day is touted as carrying lots of health benefits.   Let me know if you try these and enjoy them, or what changes you may make!

If you want to play with other flavors, I covered a few in this post.  Strawberry and lime are two of my other faves!!  Leave comments on some of your favorite flavors!  Others have tried some incredible combos… ya’ll are geniuses! 😉

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**Original recipe inspiration from here.  I tweaked hers because it seemed to me to be a little too much lemon juice and too much honey, making them hard to freeze completely.**

Thirty-one 100 Calorie snacks from home!

 

 

 

 

 

Scouring the internet for 100 calorie snacks to begin my post-baby weightloss plan (7 months after baby! ha!) and I found this great list of 100 calorie snack ideas!  They are healthy, loaded with fruits, vegetables, and good fats!  This means they will also be satisfying, and at 100 calories, they can’t be too complicated!  I copied and pasted them in below, but here is the link where I found them if you’d like other layouts to look at, to print it, or even link it to facebook.  Enjoy!!

 

Thirty One 100-calorie snacks from home!

Frozen Chocolate-Covered Bananas

Frozen Chocolate-Covered Ba…

Kids will love dipping bananas in melted chocolate and rolling them in coconut to make this tasty fr…View slide
Cherry Cream Cheese

Cherry Cream Cheese

Make your own flavored cream cheese by stirring in fresh, in-season cherries. We like the flavor of …View slide
Cheesy Popcorn

Cheesy Popcorn

Freshly grated Parmesan cheese and a sprinkle of cayenne pepper dress up air-popped popcorn.…View slide
Cinnamon Oranges

Cinnamon Oranges

This simple dessert works any time of the year, but its flavors will be the best and brightest in th…View slide
Guacamole-Stuffed Eggs

Guacamole-Stuffed Eggs

Leftover guacamole serves as a delicious stuffing for hard-boiled eggs.…View slide
Edamame-Ginger Dip

Edamame-Ginger Dip

Think of this dip as an Asian version of hummus, made with edamame, ginger and soy. Serve with rice …View slide
Hawaiian Smoothie

Hawaiian Smoothie

For the best taste and color, use a red-fleshed Hawaiian papaya for this exotic, lip-puckering taste…View slide
Mini Greek Pizza Muffins

Mini Greek Pizza Muffins

All the flavors of a Greek pizza make these savory muffins bite-size treats for adults and kids alik…View slide
Chocolate & Nut Butter Bites

Chocolate & Nut Butter Bites

Sweet satisfaction in seconds.…View slide
EatingWell’s Pimiento Cheese

EatingWell’s Pimiento Cheese

This Southern favorite is a simple blend of Cheddar, mayonnaise and pimientos. If you like spicy foo…View slide
Ranch Dip & Crunchy Vegetables

Ranch Dip & Crunchy Vegetables

Adults and kids alike love the tanginess of this ranch-style dip. By using nonfat buttermilk and low…View slide
Quick Mini Chocolate Cheesecakes

Quick Mini Chocolate Cheese…

Here we stir a little melted chocolate into ricotta cheese for a cheesecake-like topping for chocola…View slide
Feta & Herb Dip

Feta & Herb Dip

Lots of freshly chopped herbs add zing to our white bean dip. Serve with assorted vegetables, such a…View slide
Pickled Eggs

Pickled Eggs

These tangy hard-boiled eggs are a snap to make. Sliced in half, the fuchsia “white” surrounding the…View slide
Mini Mushroom-&-Sausage Quiches

Mini Mushroom-&-Sausage Qui…

These crustless mini quiches are like portable omelets. Turkey sausage and sauteed mushrooms keep th…View slide
“Cocoa-Nut” Bananas

“Cocoa-Nut” Bananas

Cocoa- and coconut-crusted bananas are a treat for the whole family.…View slide
Tea-Scented Mandarins

Tea-Scented Mandarins

An unusual combination of ingredients make a delicious dessert or a healthful afternoon break.…View slide
Gorp

Gorp

Try customizing this basic recipe with your favorite dried fruits and nuts.…View slide
Eggcetera

Eggcetera

Paprika adds zing to hard-boiled eggs.…View slide
Lima Bean Spread with Cumin & Herbs

Lima Bean Spread with Cumin…

Humble limas are transformed into a sensational Mediterranean spread that is vibrant with a mix of f…View slide
Edamame Nibbles

Edamame Nibbles

A classic Japanese preparation.…View slide
Turkey Rollups

Turkey Rollups

Satisfy your salty, crunchy and savory cravings in one punch with this quick snack.…View slide
Sesame Carrots

Sesame Carrots

Toasted sesame seeds add taste and eye appeal to a cheery plate of carrots.…View slide
EatingWell Deviled Eggs

EatingWell Deviled Eggs

Deviled eggs are a perennial potluck favorite. Our recipe replaces some of the egg yolks with nonfat…View slide
Sardines on Crackers

Sardines on Crackers

A protein-packed and portable snack.…View slide
Strawberry-Banana Smoothie Pops

Strawberry-Banana Smoothie …

Turn a strawberry-banana smoothie, or your favorite blended concoction, into freezer pops for a cool…View slide
Lemon-Parm Popcorn

Lemon-Parm Popcorn

Perk up your popcorn with a bit of lemon pepper and Parmesan cheese.…View slide
Frogs on a Log

Frogs on a Log

Give this childhood treat a savory twist by swapping the peanut butter and raisins for cream cheese …View slide
Cottage Cheese Salad

Cottage Cheese Salad

Cottage cheese topped with crunchy bell pepper and sweet tomato makes for a satisfying afternoon sna…View slide
Chocolate-Banana Grahams

Chocolate-Banana Grahams

A graham cracker smeared with Nutella and topped with banana and coconut is a light way to satisfy y…View slide