Jumat, 22 April 2016

I guess April was just too much of a crazy month for me, because I forgot a couple A year of Memories posts. The day in question was April 8th, 1999, but I wont be writing about it after all because it wasnt a very good memory for Barry and I. After the years had passed, we always laughed about it, but Id still rather not write about it. And with that....

Dearest Barry,

Today was May 1st. You know what that means!!!

We missed you so much this weekend. Friday night the kids and I had cake, like we always do on April 30th ;-), and a special dinner. Maybe not super special this year, but the kids wanted pizza, so I picked up our favorite frozen DiGiornos, and a chocolate cake with chocolate frosting (because that has always been your favorite) for dessert. Before we ate, I dug out the black candles and lit the big black pillar for you, and placed it in the middle of the table. As we ate, I had all of us go around and say a special memory we had of you. Mine was how you laughed like a little girl, and the kids also mentioned how you stank up the bathroom, snored all the time and farted a lot. Leave it to our kids to remember that stuff, lol. We all had a good laugh at that. A refused to talk, as always. I also read to the kids a bit about the history of this weekend!

This morning we woke up to a breakfast of orange breakfast rolls with icing, and chocolate milk. It was fabulous! We got ready, and then headed out to North West Trek. Do you remember how you and I were planning on going for Es birthday in October? You really wanted to go see the Cats! :) The kids and I had been talking about what to do for this weekend for months, and it was their idea to go to NWT because we knew you had wanted to. So we did that today, and celebrated the day just as we would had you been there! It was our tribute to you, darling, because you couldnt be there in person.

We spent all day there, and I got so many pictures. I am quite positive you knew we were going, because ALL the animals were out, and I got so many pictures. I took over 450 pictures today! So many of the cats too. Oh, they were gorgeous Barry, you would have loved them! We spent a long time at the Cougar enclosure :)

Our plan was to eat at KFC for dinner, but the kids wanted Subway! On our way home, we picked it up and ate at home, ending our special day. I will be continuing this tradition with the kids for as long as is possible...forever I think, and we will always be doing something fun, as because of you, this tradition started.

Tonight after dinner, I made this stupid mistake of reading your twitter page. I resembled a raccoon by the time I was done, as I was sobbing uncontrollably. I MISS YOU. Oh how I miss you darling. It was so neat to see your tweets though, to see your witty self coming through those words on the screen, but it only made me feel worse. I dont think Ill be reading it for awhile again though. What really made me cry though, was reading your tweets when you were sick, saying you had a killer immune system etc etc. And then your very last one, saying you were in the hospital with pneumonia, ending it with an FML. You didnt know, did you? sigh. I wish we could turn back the clock and pause forever in August and early September. If only we could, right?

Well my dear, Doctor Who is on and I have to go. You know how that is ;-) I love you and adore you, and miss you so much. Ill see you in my dreams, I hope.

Love forever and always,


p.s. As I was reading your tweets, I found the one you wrote to me last summer about Hades licking the blinds strings in the old house. And guess what? He does it here too! LOL I had to laugh the other day when I saw him doing that. Crazy cat!!


Every year from April 30th-May 1st, we have a family day. If May 1st even falls on a school day, the kids are taken out of school. It doesnt matter, that is the protocol for our family. That is how important this day is to us. Every year we do something fun, and last year we went to Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle. Last year too, we were behind schedule, same as today! haha Guess that has also become tradition :)
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I tracked my food five days this past week on Fitday.  Here are the averages of what I ate:

I take my full measurements every Sunday.  In the past week:

I gained a total of 4-1/2", which includes:
I gained 1/8" around my neck
I gained 1/8" around my bicep
I gained 1/4" around my bust
I gained 1/2" around my midriff
I gained 1" around my waist
I gained 5/8" around my navel
I gained 1/8" around my hips
I gained 1/2" around my thigh
I gained 1/8" around my calf

Gained 0.016 points onto my waist-to-height ratio
Gained 0.015 points onto my waist-to-hip ratio

 Gained 1.6 points onto my body fat percentage
Lost 1.6 points off my lean body mass percentage

Gained 3.3 lbs. of body fat
Lost 0.5 lb. of lean mass
Gained 2.8 lbs. on the scale

Here is what I have lost so far, since starting to lose weight in February 2009:

A total of 32.625", which includes:
Neck - 13.75" to 12.125" - down 1.625"
Bicep - 12.5" to 10.875" - down 1.625"
Bust - 39.5" to 36.5" - down 3"
Midriff - 33.75" to 31.25" - down 2.5"
Waist - 35" to 32.25" - down 2.75"
Navel - 41.75" to 36.5" - down 5.25"
Hips - 45.5" to 40" - down 5.5"
Thigh - 25.75" to 22.75" - down 3"
Calf - 15" to 13.625" - down 1.375"



12.125" neck
32.25" waist
40" hips
0.512 waist-to-height ratio
0.806 waist-to-hip ratio
36% body fat


13.75" neck
35" waist
45.5" hips
0.556 waist-to-height ratio
0.769 waist-to-hip ratio
44.8% body fat

Since my heaviest weight in February 2009, I have lost 1.625" around my neck, 2.75" around my waist and 5.5" around my hips.  I have lost 8.8 percentage points on my body fat. 


12.5" neck
31" waist
40.25" hips
0.492 waist-to-height ratio
0.770 waist-to-hip ratio
34.4% body fat

In the past year, I have lost 0.375" around my neck, I gained 1.25" around my waist and I lost 0.25" around my hips.  I have gained 1.6 percentage point onto my body fat.


12" neck
31.375" waist
39.5" hips
0.498 waist-to-height ratio
0.794 waist-to-hip ratio
34.5% body fat

In the past month, I have gained 0.125" around my neck, I have gained 0.875" around my waist and 0.5" around my hips.  I have gained 1.5 percentage points on my body fat.


12" neck
31.25" waist
39.5" hips
0.496 waist-to-height ratio
0.791 waist-to-hip ratio
34.4% body fat

In the past week, I have gained 0.125" around my neck, 1" around my waist and 0.5" around my hips.  I have gained 1.6 percentage points onto my body fat.


12" neck
31.125" waist
39.375" hips
0.494 waist-to-height ratio
0.790 waist-to-hip ratio
34% body fat

To achieve this, I need to lose 0.125" around my neck, 1.125" around my waist and 0.625" around my hips.


11.875" neck
26.125" waist
37.25" hips
0.415 waist-to-height ratio
0.701 waist-to-hip ratio
25% body fat

To achieve this, I need to lose another 0.25" around my neck, another 6.125" around my waist and another 2.75" around my hips.

If I reach this goal, I will have lost 1.875" around my neck, 8.875" around my waist and 8.25" around my hips since February 22, 2009.
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Eating healthier has turned me into a major label reader. This is somewhat of a blessing and a curse. Im learning day by day that there are some scary things in our food that we dont even realize are there. And some of these things we hear about on the news but dont really care because the food just tastes too good to give up.

From me to you, this is my honest warning about four pretty common ingredients that may be approved by the FDA in small doses, but appear in our food way more frequently that wed assume making us more susceptible to some of the major side effects.

High Fructose Corn Syrup
High fructose corn syrup is used in place of a more expensive ingredient called cane sugar. Cane sugar is sugar in its natural form. the HFCS industry leads us to believe that because it comes from corn, it is totally safe and even somewhat natural. Wrong. Your body doesnt process HFCS  the same way it would process cane sugar. In short, cane sugar takes time to break down and digest meaning it affects your body slower. HFCS doesnt require digestion so it hits your blood stream more quickly causing spikes in insulin levels and a more rapidly occurring process of fat storage. HFCS can also cause increased appetite, fatty liver disease and diabetes. The Huffington Post has a really in depth article on HFCS that is worth the read.

Foods to look out for: Heinz Tomato Ketchup, Oreos, Miracle Whip, and even Vicks Nyquil Cough medicine. Click here for a more complete list.

Brominated Vegetable Oil
This ingredient is made up of bromine which is used as a flame retardant. Its most commonly used in citrus beverage to keep the flavors from separating. So if you drink a lot of Mountain Dew or Diet Mountain Dew you are at risk for something called Bromide Dominance. This is when the bromine builds up in your tissue and prevents iodine metabolism. Iodine deficiency increases risks of breast, thyroid, ovary and prostate cancer. There are several blogs out there with more information on the risks of BVO and why companies use it.

Foods to look out for: Mountain Dew of most varieties

Monosodium Glutamate 
MSG literally acts like a drug in your brain. The purpose of MSG is to boost the flavor of food, but it doesnt actually do anything to the actual flavor. The work of MSG is done in the brain. It triggers your brain to release dopamine which in turn increases your enjoyment of the food. The affects are eerily similar to the temporary high of a drug addict. Subsequently, MSG is highly addictive and leads to overeating. MSG is in a lot of processed and packaged foods. Because so many processed foods are made of cheap ingredients, manufacturers use MSG to make the cheaper product taste good when in reality, the only reason we think it tastes good is because a chemical is forcing our brains to relate the release of dopamine to eating cheap foods. FoodMatters.tv has written some very compelling articles on MSG that will definitely change the way you think about processed foods.

Foods to look out for: Cup-o-Noodles, Hidden Valley Ranch products, Pringles. Click here for a more complete list.

What if I told you that you were drinking the feces of one of the deadliest bacteria in the world? I bet youd put your drink down and run to the nearest toilet to puke. Well, if you drink or eat things with aspartame, you are. Recently, the patent for aspartame was released to the public and it confirms that aspartame is made by taking the feces of genetically modified E. Coli bacteria and soaking it in methanol. The process is shocking and unnerving. As if the thought of drinking E. Coli pooh doesnt turn your stomach enough, consider the side effects of aspartame poisoning which include joint pain, menstrual cycle irregularities, seizures, migraines and more.

Foods to look out for: Chewing gum such as Extra, Yogurts including brands like Dannon, Diet sodas and more. 

Do you read ingredient labels when you shop? If not it may be time to start. After doing the research on these ingredients I am convinced that soda is entirely out of my diet. Its becoming more and more obvious that packaged foods are less food and more chemicals. The reasoning behind eating clean and making treats from scratch is becoming stronger and stronger in my mind.

Does this make you want to give up some of those process snacks? If so, which ones?

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I have been trying so hard to avoid buying clothes while I am in the process of losing weight. It seems like such a waste when they look loose and frumpy just a couple weeks later. Yesterday I broke down and bought a pair of jeans. Mine were getting too saggy in the butt.

I pulled a couple pairs off the clothing racks at Forever 21. I was definitely nervous when I got into the dressing room. There is nothing more discouraging than thinking you are a certain size and finding out youre actually a size larger. With a bit of hesitation, I slid my legs into the denim. They felt pretty good, but the real test was the zipper and button.

With much relief, they fit!

I am pleased to report that I have gone from a size 24 to a 14. If I am being completely honest, I think this was the size I wore when I was a sophomore... in HIGH SCHOOL.

I was also able to buy boots that fit around my huge calves. It seems like the skinnier I get, the more winter-ready my wardrobe becomes.

I hope all of you have a great weekend. Stick to your diet and you will love the changes you see in your body!

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Kamis, 21 April 2016

Hey single ladies! Countdown to V Day... The stores are dawned with heart shaped boxes, fluffy teddy bears, and roses...and youre single. Ughhh....

I know what youre thinking, "Its just another day, Ill be fine. Im amazing, and I LOVE single life." Thats all probably true, especially the part about you being amazing... but lets be real, Valentines Day sucks when youre single. And if youre trying to diet on Valentines day WHILE being single...Lord have mercy. Maybe you have incredibly strong will power, and if thats case then this blog isnt for you. This blog is for the single ladies with a chocolate addiction and enough bad breakups to inspire a season of Gilmore Girls.

 Ive spent 21 of my 22 years of life as a single person on this holiday, and while Im all for empowering women, not needing a significant other to be happy, and learning to enjoy life as a single adult, every Valentines day, since the age of 17, made me want to stuff my face with all the tiny, mysterious, assorted chocolates in the world. Its the one day I feel like I can justify wallowing in self pity and single-ness.

Back at my heaviest weight of 285, I remember being so excited for Valentines Day to be over  because that meant all those Valentines Day cakes and candies were going on clearance the next day. Cheapest binge of the year. Then I started my weight loss journey; my Valentines ritual of overeating was no longer an option. I had to learn how to survive Singles Awareness Day without smothering my emotions in food.

As a "Single on Valentines Day Dieting Veteran," here are my tips for sticking with your diet:

Stay Busy

The best way to cope with Valentines Day is staying so busy you dont have time to notice all the cutesy PDA of couples out and about on the dates. Stay home and start a Pinterest project, open up an new book to read, take a bubble bath, give yourself a mani, pedi, or immerse yourself in work. Be so incredibly productive that you dont have time to think about being single, or wanting junk food.

Hello Fresh Fruit

Today, fresh fruit is your date. Cut up strawberries, cover them in Trulicious stevia and eat them all through the day. It will taste indulgent, but you wont need to feel guilty for enjoying this treat. If you get to the point where you are feeling like you need to eat more sweets, choose fruit (its better to have fruit, even if its not on your diet paln, than chocolate). Raspberries and bananas also taste incredible topped with stevia. 

Avoid the Sappy Movies & Love Songs, Maybe Even Facebook

As much as you want to listen to Drake and Lana Del Rey as you help yourself to a double chocolate sheet cake, dont. Dont listen to anything that is going to make you feel bad about being single. Avoid Sleepless in Seattle, avoid How Harry Met Sally because these movies are just going to make you feel all weird inside. Watch that documentary on the fast food industry that youve been seeing on Netflix. Oh and Facebook.... yeah, avoid that too. It will be littered with, "omg. best. boyfriend ever. thanks for the flowers boo. #Love #VDay #BooThang #LoveHim #Roses #Spoiled #TrueLove #SuckItSingleGirlReadingThis."  

Hit the Gym

Crushing a tough workout is the ultimate feeling of empowerment. Even better than that, you dont even have to change out of your sweat pants to do it. Throw on some Nikes, hit the treadmill and run until you feel like the hottest girl in the gym. If youre on Phase 2 of the HCG Diet, you can still do this, just remember that you may need to have an extra serving of protein before and after your workout. 

Dont be too Hard on Yourself

Do your best to stick to your healthy goals, but if you slip up, its not the end of the world. Get back on track. Whatever happens, youre not a failure. You really are amazing, and while it may be hard to believe on a day like Valentines Day, you dont need anyone else to make you happy. If love is meant to be youll find it when you are meant to. Who knows, maybe the person who will be your future soul mate is also sitting home alone thinking about when theyll finally meet you. 

Steer Clear of the Candy Aisle

This one is pretty straight forward. If an alcoholic steps into a bar while upset, its a relapse waiting to happen, just like if you hit up the bakery on your diet, youre bound to leave with a fresh cannoli. If youre committed to sticking to your diet this Valentines Day, dont go near junk food. A chocolate-less Valentines Day doesnt seem very festive, I realize, but youll feel much better about yourself the next day having stuck to your diet. 

Send Yourself Flowers

Super lame, right? Wrong. No one has to know you sent them to yourself. For all they know you have a
secret admirer. Plus, even when you buy them yourself, they still make you smile when they show up at the door. :)

Girl, youve got this. Its just another day and youll be too busy working out, painting your nails and eating deliciously sweet strawberries to even think twice about being single. 

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Im 30 Today!!! An Old Maid if you want to refer to me as that! LOL

I dont want to write too much, as I have a busy day ahead of me.  Im on my way to go buy a Tiara to wear out to dinner and to the bar tonight! I have friends coming to dinner, and my sister, a friend and I are going bar hopping tonight. I plan to enter my 30s in style! And probably throwing up in my kitchen sink later tonight.
Yes, I have a babysitter, and we are taking a cab. I am somewhat responsible.

I wrote a whole big birthday post yesterday, so I really dont want to delve into all those emotions again today.  But what I do want to do is post my birthday song.  This is so incredibly special to me, because it was played last year on my birthday by Barry.  Little did we know it would be the last birthday he celebrated with me. I copied the text I wrote on face book, because I dont even want to have to re-write it.

My Birthday Song courtesy of Barry. Last year we were on our way to BC on my 29th Birthday, and had to stop at the bank to take out some cash on our way there. I was PISSED at him b/c I thought I had forgotten my makeup bag at the house and he wouldnt let me go back to the house to get it (even though we were less than 10 min away). He told me to just buy new makeup when we got to Canada, and of course I was NOT happy b/c I wanted my own stuff.  We got to the bank, and even though he had told me not to dig through the suitcases, I waited for him to go inside, and then tore through them looking for my makeup bag.  I found it, but never told him.  I pretended to be mad still when he got back to the van from being inside.  When we were pulling out of the bank parking lot, he looks at me...puts this song on and starts singing and making fun. I couldnt help but not be mad anymore. That was his way, he always tried to make me laugh.  And now I have this awesome memory of him on my last bday with him

Dearest Barry, thank you for making that birthday so incredibly special, even though you never knew it would be my last birthday with you.  I will always have special memories of that day, and thank you for giving me that lasting gift.  I miss you, and will always love you more than words can express.  Youll always be my Sexy Man ;)

Love forever,
me xoxoxp

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Here are all the posts that give my results with my Nutritional Ketosis way of eating:

Nutritional Ketosis - Week 1 Results
Nutritional Ketosis - Week 2 Results

Nutritional Ketosis - Week 3 Results

Nutritional Ketosis - Week 4 Results

Nutritional Ketosis - Week 5 Results

Nutritional Ketosis - Week 6 Results

Nutritional Ketosis - Week 7 Results

Nutritional Ketosis - Week 8 Results

Nutritional Ketosis - Month 2 Results

Nutritional Ketosis - Month 3 Results 

Nutritional Ketosis - Month 4 Results

Nutritional Ketosis - Month 11 Results 

Nutritional Ketosis - Month 12 Results

Nutritional Ketosis - Month 13 Results

Nutritional Ketosis - Month 14 Results

Nutritional Ketosis - Month 15 Results

Less Protein - More Fat - "The Optimal Diet"
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Rabu, 20 April 2016

Today is day 17 on the HCG Hormone Free Drops from HCGDiet.com. I feel great! My energy levels are fantastic, I dont feel hungry. I havent had terrible cravings. Things are just so good!

Im down 11.8 pounds! Considering Ive had 4 different days of cheats, TOM, and an incredible amount of stress at work & school within the last two weeks, Im beyond satisfied with my results. I only have 13.6 pounds to go before I reach my go for this round!

Losing pounds is extremely motivating, but inches are even more motivating because I can see the difference when I wear clothes I havent been able to wear in a long time. Finally wearing my snug-fitting, size 12 skinnies! Wooohoo! I bought them super snug back in March and they are just now fitting the way I want them to.

This round hasnt been a complete breeze. The cheat days were a bit tough to recover from, but I knew going into this round I was going to eat whatever I wanted for my boyfriends birthday parties (per his request). Even after the parties were done, the temptation lingers, but I am trying my best to put my goal at the top of my priorities list. 

Last night I turned down chocolate covered macadamia nuts, pizza, and bread sticks. Im going strong right now, but even if I were to cheat I know that it will be OK just as soon as I get back on track. Im really trying to focus on that idea this round: moving on, not feeling guilty, and getting back on track. Ive grown to recognize that guilt is a trigger for my emotional eating. So no matter how badly I slip up, I brush it off and start fresh the next day. 

Life is good. Youre a strong individual who can only give their best. Stop spending time feeling guilty when you fall a bit short. Stop comparing yourself to others and wallowing in self-consciousness. Go out and do something amazing for yourself.

You can get the hormone free drops Im using for 40% off when you use coupon code MYHCGTRIUMPH. This is an exclusive code for my readers only! 26 day kits are less than $50! Get yours now! 

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One of the hardest parts of sticking to any diet is finding recipes that taste good, or adding flavor to simple dishes. Having done four rounds of HCG, I have learned a few tricks that arent on the original protocol, but pose no risk to your weight loss. Here are 7 ways to add flavor to your HCG approved meals:

Franks Hot Sauce

I love using Franks Red Hot Original Sauce on chicken. Its a simple addition that really ramps up the flavor. Plus it only contains a few simple ingredients, all of which are approved for the HCG Diet. The only caution with this is not to use more than a teaspoon per meal because it does contain salt which can cause water retention. Franks Red Hot Original Sauce can be found in the condiment aisle of the grocery store.

Mrs. Dash
Mrs. Dash has a great line of salt-free, MSG-free seasoning blends that are absolutely amazing. Mix them up with some stevia and vinegar for a dressing, or sprinkle them on our meat while it cooks, these are a healthy, simple addition to any HCG Approved meal. Mrs. Dash seasoning blends can be found in the spice aisle in the grocery store.

Lemon Juice
It sounds simple, but adding lemon juice can make all the difference to your Tilapia or asparagus. Its also great on apples, in ice slushies, water and more. Lemons are super cheap, too!


Now this one was a life saver for me in round three. I would use Pace Picante Mild salsa. It has no added sugar and its low in calories. I would add a couple tablespoons to chopped chicken and serve it over lettuce. Technically that is mixing veggies, I know, but it never affected my weight loss and it saved me from cheating on the diet on numerous occasions. Look for it in the Salsa aisle in the grocery store.

Like lemon juice, this seems like another no-brainer, but there are certain veggies that dont seem to pose any problems when mixed with other veggies. Onion is one of those. Try chopping up a small chunk of onion and grilling it with chicken and chopped tomato. Its simple but the onions add a great, fresh flavor that seasonings cant.

Combine your Fruit and Veggie Serving
Did you know that you can make some pretty amazing fruit and veggie combos? Yup. Try mixing your apple with spinach and topping it with chicken, you can also do that with oranges. Or you can try mixing grapefruit with cucumber, strawberries and lettuce, and even apples and celery. Mix and match your fruits and veggies to create new flavor combinations.

Trulicious Powder/Liquid

Trulicous powder is an amazing product of Blue Earth nutrition. It is stevia that is combined with a unique fiber blend to help promote digestive health. It is the best powdered stevia I have ever tasted plus its packed full of health benefits you wont find in Truvia. I love mixing some powdered Trulicious, cinnamon and sprinkling it on an apple then baking it. Its like a mock apple pie! Its also great in tea and coffee. Plus, HCGDiet.com offers Trulicous stevia liquid in multiple flavors.

What are ways you have found to add flavor to Phase 2 of the HCG Diet?

Looking for some health, Phase 2 approved recipes? Check out Eat Well, Slim Down. Its a digital HCG Approved recipe book with over 100 recipes! Plus its only $10! 

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Selasa, 19 April 2016

I didnt realize it has been since Wednesday that I last blogged! Oops!  Sorry for my absence, we had a super busy week.

Thursday started off with my Mom and Oma coming for a few days from Canada, for Mothers Day and my housewarming party.  And since theyre internet and computer Nazis, I wasnt able to get on here that much.  Friday we got up early to bring the kids to school, as I had TWO Mothers day events that day.  One was in the morning, and one was at noon.  In between, I managed to drive them around the city to see the sights a bit, and we also did a quick trip to Trader Joes.  Then it was off to the school again, and after that, we spent the afternoon at Costco.   Saturday we were up at 7:30 and go-go-go ALL day.  We didnt really settle down until almost 10 PM.  We did food prep all morning, and then the party was all afternoon.  However, some friends came late and didnt leave till 9:30PM.  Thats perfectly ok though, we had a lot of fun with them, and drank and played scrabble.

As yesterday was Mothers Day, the kids and I did stuff together.  We went out for lunch, and then did a bit of shopping.  We had a really long day too, as my mothers day gift to myself was this:

Her name is Athena, Butterball for short! haha.  She is 7 weeks old and just a joy!  I also got her to keep Braddock company, who is our 7 year old black lab.  We all love her to bits, even Braddock!  except the cats, theyre keeping away from her. I bought all the pets some extra treats, and were giving Braddock extra love so he doesnt feel left out.  I kept with the Greek theme for names (except for Braddock, we did this after he came along), because Barry always insisted we do "distinguished" names for our pets, nothing stupid like Shadow, Rover, that kind of thing.  He was always adamant about that.  So I kept up with it in his memory.  Athena is also AKC registered, and has champion bloodlines.  I may or may not breed her, I have to think about it for awhile.

In other news, with the excitement of Athena, I forgot what day it was today.  Its the 10th.  I even surpassed 11:11AM.  7 months ago I became a widow, and I forgot! I am shocked, guilty and relieved all at the same time.  It is the first time I have forgotten.  I dont even know what else to say, except Im shocked I forgot.  This can only be a good thing though, as we go through the healing process.  But I actually forgot! wow.

I had a rough morning yesterday without him, as we had another holiday without Barry.  I cried as soon as I woke up, realizing that Ill never hear him say "Happy Mothers Day" to me anymore, Ill never get those deliveries from Pro Flowers or 1800Flowers anymore.  I cried and cried at breakfast with the kids, and my mom and oma.  I was better the rest of the day though, thankfully.  Yes, I do have my kids which are such a gift from him...but as much as i love them, they dont replace him, it doesnt make me feel that much better.  Flame me if you like for saying that, but I cant be happy just because I have the kids from him.  Because they dont replace him.  le sigh.

Well, time for me to be puppy mommy and put Athena outside again.  I hope everyone had a wonderful Mothers Day!
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Todays blog is dedicated to one of my favorite foods: salad. In my mind, theres nothing better than a bed of romaine lettuce topped with all kinds of goodies. I love salad so much I eat it nearly everyday. 

This love for salad has been an advantage for me as Im losing weight. Not only is it nutritious, but its a great way to fill up while still slimming down. I have had to modify my list of toppings to fit my diet, though. For example, on the HCG diet, dousing my salad in ranch is not really an option. I also have to cut out the cheese, the croutons, the olives, the ham, and the cottage cheese. It may seem to you that cutting these things out ruins the whole thing, it makes it boring.
Well maybe it does make it boring, but there are certain flavor packed, diet friendly toppings you can add in place of the not-so-diet-friendly ones. 

Here are my four favorite HCG friendly salad toppings: 

Salsa - Some people who do the HCG Diet are pretty strict about the mixing vegetables. I personally have never had a problem mixing tomato products with lettuce. Knowing this I set out to find a delicious salsa with no added sugar or oil. :) I didnt have to look to hard because luckily, Pace makes their picante salsa simple and delicious. I use a couple tablespoons on top of my lettuce. 

Franks Hot Sauce - The great thing about using hot sauce on salads is the way spicy foods help me slow down. Because my mouth is burning from hot sauce I usually drink more water and I get fuller faster. Franks Hot Sauce has a great flavor and it doesnt contain sugar or oil. The spicy flavor in combination with chicken and tomato makes a delicious dinner. Just make sure you use the hot sauce and not the wing sauce (it contains oil).

Lime Juice - This is one of the cheapest ways to tantalize your taste buds. I love squeezing half a lime over a bed of lettuce topped with a bit of salsa and lean ground been. Its a healthy taco salad!

Banana Peppers - Now these arent technically on the HCG protocol, but they happen to be one of my favorite things to eat in the whole world. I have to use them in moderation but banana pepper rings fro Mezzetta are packed with tangy flavor that is extremely satisfying on a bed of lettuce with no dressing.

What healthy toppings do you put on your salad? 

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Im always on the lookout for new, healthy products. I come across a lot of interesting things but the ones that always catch my attention are the products that satisfy a craving in a healthy way, such as my relentless craving for chocolate and caffeine. Heres the thing: I LOVE chocolate, but its high in calories. I also love Diet Coke, but after the temporary rush of caffeine comes breakouts, headaches, and an energy crash. Ugh, so whats a over-caffeinated, chocoholic, health conscious girl supposed to do? Two words: Crio Bru.

What if I told you that there is a company that has mastered the science of brewing cocoa beans like you would brew coffee? Yeah, I know. Take a minute to let your head wrap around that concept, it took me a minute, too. No... Its not the same as hot chocolate, its much more healthy. Its even healthy enough to use with Phase 2 and 3 of the HCG Diet! Sound to good to be true? Read on, the health benefits of this intriguing cocoa concoction may surprise you.

Heres how it works

-Cocoa beans come from the center of a fruit.
 Depending on the country of origin, the cocoa
 beans have unique flavors.

-The great folks at Crio buy high quality cocoa
 beans from all over the world.

-They roast the beans in a special roaster, different beans from different countries are roasted for varying lengths of time.

-Once roasted, the beans are run through a special grinder that turns them into grounds much
 like coffee.

-At this point they are ready to be brewed in a french
 press or a coffee maker.

Does it taste like hot cocoa?
Nope, not quite. Now Ive personally never had coffee so its hard for me to compare the two, but what I do know is that Crio Bru is initially bitter. It was like very dark chocolate. It didnt taste bad, but the Crio team had me add a bit of Trulicious sweetener to compliment the taste. The sweetener really amplified the distinct flavors of each type of brew. Then they had me add creamer, even better! It was so fantastic.

 There are several different brews. I had the opportunity to sample nearly every flavor of the roasted grounds at the facility in Lindon, Utah. I was impressed with each one, but my favorites are the Maya and the Cavalla.

The Maya blend has cayenne and cinnamon so it creates an awesome warming sensation as you drink it. 

The Cavalla has flavor notes of coconut and cinnamon, the cinnamon is more subtle than the Maya and its absolutely delicious. 

What are the benefits?
Not only is Crio Bru  naturally Cholesterol free, gluten free, sugar free, sodium free AND fat free, but its Antioxidant rich because it contains premium cocoa beans.

The biggest difference I noticed after drinking Crio for two weeks was with my appetite. I start my day with a cup of Crio at 8 a.m. and I instantly feel full and satisfied. This full feeling lasts until about 11:30 a.m., even when I dont eat anything else for breakfast. This has been a lifesaver for me on the maintenance phase of the diet! Before I started drinking Crio Bru, I would get into the office and be immediately slammed with work, I wouldnt have time to eat breakfast. Then I end up starving and grumpy when it was time for lunch and this led me to overeating. Now that Ive added Crio to my routine, it fills me up for breakfast and holds me over until lunch. So no matter how busy I am at work, I dont have to worry about my appetite.

In addition to feeling fuller longer, I also had more energy. A lot of people are misled into thinking caffeine is the only way to get a drinkable energy boost, but thats false. Crio contains no caffeine, yet somehow it has improved my energy levels significantly. Thats because it contains theobromine. Theobromine helps increase energy naturally, with no jitters no crash like caffeine.

Is it allowed on the HCG Diet?
I have been using Crio Bru on Phase 3 of the HCG Diet. It has no added sugar, and its only 10 calories for six ounces so it doesnt pose a problem to my weight. I do add non-dairy creamer and Trulicious stevia to it, so for a six ounce cup its about 45 calories and incredibly tasty.

When it comes to using Crio on Phase 2 of the diet, it seems as though its the perfect fit. Because its free of sugar and fat, it would be a great way to start the morning. Add Trulicious, and leave out the creamer and it shouldnt affect your weight loss at all, plus youll love the way it keeps your appetite in check! That being said, like with anything  that isnt on the original protocol, test it out just to be sure it works for you. Some people are more sensitive to certain additions than others.

Where do I get Crio Bru?

Theres is a lot of excitement surrounding Crio Bru, so HCGDiet.com has been working with Crio Bru to bring this amazing product into the hands HCG Dieters who are looking for a low calorie beverage option. That being said. You can now find a sampler pack of Crio Bru on HCGDiet.coms website.
It has Crios most popular brews and it includes a Trulicious sweetener so you can decide which brew you like best before committing to a full bag.

Have you tried Crio Bru? What did you think of it?

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If youve been sticking to a strict diet for a long period of time, you might be toying with the idea of taking a
day off. In the health and wellness world, this is commonly referred to as having a cheat meal or a free meal. There are benefits to having cheat meals. Mentally, cheat meals are a good break. Cheat meals can also help you develop healthier attitudes towards food by showing you that one bad meal wont completely destroy your progress. Before you jump off your routine and into a day of indulgence, you should know that cheat meals arent for everyone. Heres what you need to know about cheat meals.

What is a Cheat Meal

When we think of cheat meals, we typically thinking of indulging in foods that we normally wouldnt eat. But theres more to a cheat meal than eating whatever you want. A cheat meal needs to be three things: planned, portioned, and practical.

Planned - Cheat meals dont happen because you accidentally messed up. Cheat meals are meals you planned for and have looked forward to. Planning you cheat meals ahead of time gives you something to look forward to.

Portioned - While cheat meals are an opportunity to eat foods that you normally wouldnt, they arent an excuse to binge. Dont eat a whole bag of chips, eat a small bowl full. Dont eat multiple full-size entrees, pick a sampler and have a little bit of everything. You can still enjoy yourself without over eating.

Practical - You should go into a cheat meal knowing your restrictions and knowing that it might be tough getting back on track the next day. Allowing yourself a cheat meal isnt permission to eat everything youve been craving all at once. Cheat meals are only successful if you understand that it is a temporary break from thinking about your diet regimen. That break ends as soon as your cheat meal does.

Should You Allow Yourself a Cheat Meal?

So how do you know if a cheat day is for you? Well that depends on how you answer the next question: Are you a binge eater? If you answered no, then you definitely should give the cheat meal a try if you are trying to vary your eating program. Many people follow the 80/20 rule. Which means that they stick to their program 80 percent of the time and then the other 20 percent they allow themselves to eat more liberally. So to put this in perspective, if you eat 3 meals per day, 21 meals per week, you should be eating 17 of those meals following your program, and allow yourself 4 meals of food you dont normally eat. 

 Now, if you answered yes to my earlier question about binge eating, then I recommend being extremely careful before you let yourself have a cheat day. If you have a hard time controlling your portions when you have a free day, or if having more options is a trigger for binge eating, cheat meals will not be in the best interest of your or your program. One cheat meal wont set you back, but if having a cheat meal triggers a 3 day binge, it will set you back and its not worth it. Recovering from a binge takes a lot out of you mentally and emotionally. If your past experiences with food have left you feeling out of control or a little bit crazy for food, youll want to stick to your routine as much as possible. 

Ultimately the decisions of having a cheat meal is up to you. From personal experience I know that one cheat meal usually turns into a binge, Thats the type of eater I am. I have a hard time eating indulgent foods in limited quantities. Being able to recognize that helps me realize that I will be successful doing the things that help me feel focused and in control.

Do you allow yourself cheat meals? 

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Christmas Eve 2015

Today is Day 14.

Weight goal - 151.4 or lower
Actual weight - 148.6

Blood glucose goal - 89 or lower
Actual blood glucose - 89

Today is a Feast Day!

For me, that means a ketogenic diet - high fat, moderate protein and very low carb.  Each day, I will weigh in, check my fasting blood glucose, find out if I will feast or fast that day, update my chart and post it here on the big blog. Im posting it to motivate myself not to give up, and if I think that anyone is looking at this, it will help to keep me accountable.

Yesterday, I had eggs with onion and salami friend in coconut oil and butter with cream cheese for breakfast, guacamole made with avodaco, salsa and sour cream with pork rinds for lunch, and homemade chicken salad with real mayo, green olives and dill relish for dinner.  I also drank a couple of glasses of water and a couple of glasses of water with lime juice and Stevia.



I made a few charts to track my progress.  The orange lines are my goals. The blue lines are my actual results.  The last chart is a little heat map to show at a glance how often I actually have had to fast to achieve the results I am after.

(click on charts to enlarge)

This is a personal challenge just for me, but if anyone reading would like to join me, please talk to your doctor and make sure that it will not conflict with your current medical condition or medications.  If you are taking the challenge, please be sure to let me know how you are doing!  Thanks for reading!

To find out more about this challenge - the rules and how it started - click here.
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