Friday, July 29, 2011

No more coffee! Eeeek....

I haven't had coffee for 16 days...that is OVER two weeks. I've been back at work for over a week two, and still haven't given in to coffee. I can't quite believe it! /blur I feel fantastic though, and I'm not going back to my old ways!

Hi, I am a recovering addict! /hihi

I wasn't a horrible coffee drinker. I avoided sugary, creamy concoctions like these

No matter how delicious!!

and drank it sugarless, with just a little organic milk in it...

However, I was still an addict. I HAD to have two cups a day at least, or I would get crippling headaches!
I hated how much I just had to have it, even on weekends! When I had my wisdom teeth out on the 14th, I really didn't want to drink a hot beverage. And decided NOT to! The headaches were awful, but I was on painkillers anyway, and at home for a week. I couldn't have stopped drinking it while working, I would have looked like this:

I also discovered how it can leach calcium from your bones when I was doing my nutrition class! Especially if you are a woman.

"What’s disturbing is that a tremendous number of people, including you, are made to believe that coffee is good for your health. Like a drug, coffee gets you addicted to drinking it every time. You enjoy its great taste and turn to coffee to get your energy boost for the day.  (I agree- I was at that stage!!)

In fact, drinking coffee has become so addictive that some people can’t get through the day without downing several cups in the morning, noon and night. (Hello former self!!) It has even evolved into a social drink, with consumers spending generously on sugar-loaded concoctions from Starbucks and other cafes."

Some of the bad effects of over consumption of coffee:
  • Heart disease
  • High cholesterol levels
  • Fluid loss in your body
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Stroke
  • Damaged blood vessels
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety symptoms
  • Depleted Calcium and Iron levels in women
Now of course, coffee has been shown to have healthful effects too, in moderate amounts. I just don't believe I CAN have moderate, consistent amounts without becoming reliant on it again. I will only have it once in a blue moon methinks!

So what am I doing instead of coffee?
When I wake up, I drink a big cup of water, or two! If I didn't my body would really miss the morning 'hydration' I was getting from coffee.

I've also turned to Green Tea!

Well, not in tea form, despite being British I'm not a big hot tea drinker, probably something to do with living in hot sunny Florida!!  And I iced sweet tea is so sugar laden..

I  take two Green Tea capsules for a tiny caffeine kick with health benefits!

This will also help to keep my teeth white! Decaf coffee + any type of tea stain your teeth, so I'm really happy with taking Green Tea as a capsule!

Green tea has a lot less caffeine than coffee, and is full of antioxidants, age + cancer fighting agents and is a metabolism booster and fat buster!

Heres a little list of Green Tea benefits:
  • Increase your metabolism
  • Increase energy
  • Block fat absorption
  • Boost the immune system
  • Promote healthier skin
  • Enhance focus and mental function
  • Fight the aging process
  • Promote oral health
  • Protect the body against diseases

To Sum it Up Nicely…

A study in Japan 1994, followed 40,530 adults for up to 11 years. It found that women who drank 5 or more cups of green tea a day had a 23% lower risk of dying…from any cause! If that’s not incentive to start drinking green tea, I don’t know what is....

I like the pills because I'm not a huge fan of the taste of green tea! You can find them at walmart in the supplements section for about $3 :D Follow the daily recommendation though and don't overdo it, because as with anything that can be harmful!

I have enough energy to go to work, go to college classes, work out and then go to bed at about 10:30-11 to get up for a 6am start WITHOUT coffee!

Goodbye daily coffee addiction, I feel great! I'm full of energy and less of a zombie drone during the work week! I feel more natural and in touch with my real self, not all hopped up on caffeine!

Monday, July 25, 2011

To continue or not to continue with the Four Day Diet?

I'm so excited to be only ONE pound away from my goal!! Woot woot! I'm at 126 pounds, nearing 125! After I reach 125 I'm sure I will

I'm back at work after wisdom teeth removal! A co-worker cut this out the paper for me...hehe, so TRUE, my cheeks did look similar for at least five days!!

Still have trouble opening my motuh all the way and eating tougher foods. I'm also not sure what I want to do after I can eat normally again- wing it myself, or keep going with Dr. Ian Smith's Four Day Diet?

 Its given me good results, but the week and a half I've been off the diet I've lost more weight, and seem to be doing fine eating healthy by myself! It gives me more flexibility in recipes too, which Im enjoying.

 However, I think I may still do the Vigourous Module. Apparently its one of the modules people really lose a lot of weight- when I can chew normally again!

I went to the gym five times last week, woot woot- usually for 45 minutes to an hour!

Having a purple day- purple workout in a purple gym followed by a purple smoothie!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Lose weight with Vegetarian Chilli, Wild Herb and Mushroom Texmati Rice

/hihi!! My swelling from my wisdom teeth removal is finally going down! Yay! I've enjoyed my time off work though, its been relaxing!

 I discovered a wealth of health and beauty info on YouTube (a zillion years after everyone else, I know I know lol) and used some tips to do my own French Manicure, check it out:

DIY French Manicure

Last night I went to the gym for the first time since my surgery. I went late at night because my face is still swollen and I'm self conscious. It felt great though! My sore neck and back melted away- they were probably a result of too much bed rest! I went again today, and did an hour of cardio and twenty minutes of strength training! I was famished afterwards and had this for lunch:

Two bean mexican chilli with wild herb and mushroom brown rice and gucamole, with a cranberry seltzer water on the side. It only took me five minutes to put together! (those strawberries are my salt and pepper shakers, I discoverd a lovely Himalayan pink salt at my local store the other day!)

I call this my weight loss chilli because I've lost even more weight while eating it over the past few days! I have a big protien/fruit/spinach smoothie for breakfast, and a cup of chilli+ a cup of rice+ half an avacado+ hummus + seltzer water+ cranberry juice for lunch and then am so full I only need a yogurt and some fruit for dinner! Its so hearty and filling :)

How to make the Chilli (adapted/modified from Cooking Light,  Vegan)


2 Red Bell Peppers (I didnt have any on hand so I replaced them with two yellow squash for color)
3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon red pepper
1 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon chilli flakes
half a teaspoon salt
4 garlic gloves, thinly sliced
2 cups organic vegetable broth
1 and a half cups peeled butternut squash ( replaced this with several purple organic potatoes)
1 (28) ounce can no-salt added tomatoes
1 (15) ounce can pinto beans rinsed and drained
1 (15) ounce can red beans rinsed and drained
half a cup thinly sliced green onions
2 cups TVP chunks (textured vegetable protein, available in health food stores, ads meat like chunks to the chilli)

1 cup TVP crumbles


1. Preheat broiler

2. Soak all the TVP (chunks and crumbles) in a bowl of hot water. If the TVP absorbs all the water, add some more after 10 minutes.

3. Cut bell peppers (or squash) into pieces. Broil the peppers. If using squash skip this step, it will boil in step three.

Yellow squash and purple potatoes

4. Heat a Dutch oven (heavy pot) over medium-low heat. Add oil to pan, swirl to coat. Add onion, cook 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Stir in cumin and add next five ingredients, cook two minutes, stirring frequently.. Add drained TVP. Add bell peppers/squash, broth, squash/or potatoes and tomatoes, bring to a simmer. Cook 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.Add beans, simmer 25 minutes or until slightly thick, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle with green onions. 

Yields 6 Servings (serving size: about 1 and a half cups)
Calories - about three hundred a serving - high protien

This chilli is delightfully earthy and tasty, my man raved about it! Its not too spicy either which I like :)

My rice wasnt any magical recipe, it was this magical product:
The herbs that come with it smell SOOOOOOOOO good, if you make this rice your house will smell GREAT! 

Tip: I made the chilli in a big batch and froze half of it, and I made the rice in a batch to and tupperwared it. So today when I got back from the gym all I had to do was warm up the rice and chilli, melt some spinach into the chilli and make my fresh gucamole. I only used half an avocado as they are high in fat, I covered the other half in lemon juice and put it in a ziplock bag for lunch tomorrow!

Mmm Seltzer Water! Is it better than diet soda for health? What do you guys think?

Saturday, July 16, 2011


I got my wisdom teeth out on Thursday and have been in a meds induced haze of pain and puffiness ever since. I had four teeth out, so my cheeks and chin are swollen. I feel like a puff fish and look like one too, its awful.

I cant work out (I worked out right up until my operation), nor can I stick to Dr. Ian Smith's diet plan. I've been living on healthy yogurts, protein smoothies and purple mashed potatoes...I cant really eat anything harder than that!

Purple potatoes!
I got scared on day one, when I stood on the scale I had put on SEVEN pounds! WTF?!?! It went away the next day though, I think it was just the IV fluids I got.

My man has been cooking for me, he is so sweet! He made me this wild brown rice and green pea soup, and I then blended it with vegetable hummus and spinach for extra nutrients and greeness hehe- SO good, I promise- even thought it looks SO green!

Not only did he sit through the surgery for three hours, he has taken care of my every need and even surprised me with a cute balloon as he knows I love them!

Anway, before this whole diabolical process begun I made some pretty nice recipes while on the 'Pace section of Dr. Ian Smiths Four Day Diet". 

The first was baked eggplant, lightly seasoned with just a little marinara sauce and Parmesan, so good and nutritious! And veggie soup- I was trying to get creative with the list of foods allowed!!  I made a great vegetarian chilli, but I will give it its own post when I get the energy to write it down, as it deserves that :D

The last thing I cheated with was this pineapple 'cake' (more like a cookie) that someone in my office brought back from Taiwan. Being the travel enthusiast that I am I just had to try it, I love new flavors and I'm not going on a trip in the next few months so a taste of Taiwan would have to suffice! Its their regional classic treat, flakey, not to sweet. I liked it!

I also made this almost healthy cocktail with lemon seltzer water, sweet tea vodka, raw honey and lemon wedges...mmm

Monday, July 11, 2011

Wait, chocolate isn't part of this diet?

I'm still doing the four day diet by Dr. Ian Smith.

 I really want to do ALL the modules even though I think that the Transition module was honestly the best one for weight loss for me! The other modules are a little too high in calories for my needs I think, especially Smooth and the Protein module! Though, saying that, I still havent tried the vigorous module and I've heard that is where the weight just DROPS off!

 The BEST thing is that I've been doing ALL the working out- my worst week so far I only went FOUR times to the gym (LOL- in the past that would have been my best week!) I'm getting SO much leaner and stronger, its amazing me!! And my body aches virtually every day, but its a good ache :D

I've been slipping a little though- a few drinks with friends at social happenings, cheese (my friends said 'come on, you have been so GOOD' and it was too hard to NOT try different types of cheeses while playing Apples to Apples!! Cheese is my weakness! Greek yogurt and cheese are the reason I will never be able to be a vegan) and I got this awesome Endangered species Dark Chocolate at my local organic store, it is 70% dark, proceeds help wildlife and it has a mint filling...mmmm....but no, not on the diet! Not even under the 'snacks' section!

Something else that has been killing me with the eating plan is the limited flexibility to be able to try new recipes! Just before I started it I brought TWO new cookbooks, and some of my favorite bloggers have also been posting drool inducing recipes I cant wait to try! But I can't! When Dr. Smith says "two servings of vegetables' he really means just that. Boiled or baked. Limited seasoning (I do lemon juice, pepper, salt, chili, braggs, and onions to add a little flavor) I feel guilty if I use marinara sauce at all, and forget about any fancy recipes involving lots of ingredients! Its not on the meal list....oh well...

I'm also not sure I will be able to stick to it 100% this coming Thursday onwards, as I'm getting my wisdom teeth removed and will only be eating SOFT food!

I do like the fact that I can sub in all my vegetarian protein:

Dr. Ian Smith says: On my diet, The 4 Day Diet, vegetarians are having great success, because they can make the substitutions they need to make. The program is very flexible for all types of eating styles whether you’re a vegetarian, vegan, diabetic, etc. If you want non-animal protein, you can load up on legumes and beans and things like chickpeas and lentils. If you eat eggs, egg whites are full of protein also.

Here is a cool sample menu plan I found online at

The 4 Day Diet was created by Dr. Ian Smith. This diet is designed with 7 different modules, each lasting 4 days. Each module is unique and designed with specific goals. The 7 modules are: Induction, Transition, Protein Stretch, Smooth, Push, Pace and Vigorous. Below are free sample meal plans for each phase of the diet.


  • 6 oz plain yogurt
  • 1 to 2 tsp psyllium husk
  • 1 serving of fruit
  • 1 cup of coffee with one packet of sugar and 1 tsp of milk or cream
AM Snack:
  • 1 pear
  • 2 cups leafy green vegetables
  • ½ cup brown rice
  • 1 apple
  • ½ cup blueberries
PM Snack:
  • Small side salad with 2 cups of lettuce and 3 tbsp fat free dressing
  • 1 cup cooked beans (lentils or chickpeas)
  • 1 cups steamed vegetables
  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 1 orange


  • 1 cup of coffee with 1 tsp milk and 1 packet sugar
  • 6oz yogurt
  • 1 tbsp low fat granola
  • ½ cup berries
AM Snack:
  • ½ cup low fat cottage cheese
  • ½ cup cooked black eyed peas
  • 1 cup berries
  • 1 cup raw carrots
PM Snack:
  • 1 fat free pudding snack
  • 4 oz grilled fish
  • 2 cups green salad
  • 3 tbsp fat free dressing

Protein Stretch

  • 2 egg whites scrambled with a strip of turkey bacon
AM Snack:
  • 1 hardboiled egg
  • 2 slices whole wheat bread
  • 4 oz lean roast beef
  • 1 tbsp low fat mayonnaise
  • ½ banana
  • 1 cup bell peppers and cherry tomatoes
PM Snack:
  • Small protein shake (200 calories or less)
  • 1 cup navy beans
  • 1 cup brown rice, cooked
  • 1 cup steamed vegetables


  • 1 serving cereal
  • 1 cup fat free or skim milk
AM Snack:
  • 2 oz cheese
  • 3 to 5 whole wheat crackers
  • 2 cups green salad
  • 3 tbsp fat free dressing
  • 1 cup cooked lentils
  • ½ cup strawberries
PM Snack:
  • 1 apple
  • 2 tbsp peanut butter
  • 2 medium slices of pizza (no meat)
  • 1 cup green salad
  • 1 cup steamed vegetables


  • 6 oz plain fat free yogurt
  • 1 smashed banana
  • 1 tbsp wheat germ
  • ½ tbsp peanut butter
AM Snack:
  • 2 cups baby carrots
  • 2 cups green salad
  • 3 tbsp fat free dressing
  • 1 cup raw carrots
  • 1 pear
PM Snack:
  • ½ large banana
  • 5 oz skinless, boneless chicken breast
  • 2 cups steamed vegetables
  • 1 cup freshly squeezed lemonade with 1 tsp sugar


  • 2 whole wheat frozen pancakes
  • 2 tbsp low calorie syrup
AM Snack:
  • 1 apple
  • 1 cup vegetable or chicken noodle soup
  • 2 cups green salad
  • 1 cup green tea
  • 1 apple
PM Snack:
  • 1 pear
  • 5 oz grilled fish
  • 2 servings of steamed vegetables


  • 6 oz fat free yogurt
  • 1 tsp psyllium husk
  • 1 apple
  • 1 cup of coffee with one packet of sugar and 1 tsp of milk or cream
AM Snack:
  • 2 oz lean roast beef
  • 2 cups green salad
  • ½ cucumber, sliced
  • 1 cup steamed vegetables
  • 1 orange
PM Snack:
  • 1 reduced fat cheese stick
  • 1 cup green salad
  • 1 cup steamed vegetables
  • 1 ½ cup broth based soup
  • 1 pear
The meal plans above are designed for each module of the 4 Day Diet. For several modules, Dr. Smith provides strict meal plans that remain the same for each day, yet with other modules, the meal plans vary from day to day. In addition to following the meal plan, be sure to add the recommended exercises to your daily routine. Within 28 days, you should start to have healthier eating habits and see some change in your weight and body fat.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Happy July 4th! And an update on my progress on the Four Day Diet

/hihi How was your Independence Day?

I took a day off on Monday from my diet (I've had one cheat day per module it seems LOL...oh well, I've still been going to the gym at least 5 days a week and have lost 4 pounds!)

We went to a pool party, then had a BBQ with friends and watched fireworks:

A very cute cat has usurped my friends chair!!

Decked out in my red white and blue!

the men cooking for us- how it should be

obviously a vegetarian cookout LOL


I love fireworks- the sound, the color, the randomness!

watching fireworks late into the night in sweltering hot Florida!
 I finished the four days of the Protein module on Dr. Ian Smith's 'Four Day Diet' ( for info on the diet see

Things I liked about the Protein module:

There was a LOT of allowed food and I didnt even eat everything on the list! I felt REALLY full the entire time! I think he plans the diet like that, so you aren't in 'starvation mode' as some modules have a LOT of food!

I had lots of energy for working out + loved the post workout protein shakes! And discovered a yummy mango protein smoothie mmm....

 I substituted all the animal protein for low fat vegetarian protein (soy sausages, scrambles, unfried burger patties)

The main thing I DIDN'T like? Not losing anymore weight! But I'm doing the PUSH module next, so that should do the trick! And my muscles are all charged up with protein now :)

I started the Push Module yesterday. I skipped out on 'Smooth' which was next in the book, deciding to save it for when I feel I need it (Smooth allows you to eat pizza etc for a few days in moderation if you want)

I went to Wards, our local, organic store and loaded up on veggies and things I'd need for the next four days in the 'PUSH' module:

my veggies! Less than $30 too!
  I found purple organic sweet potatoes! How cool is that! (One of the 'snacks' you can have is a small sweet potato!)  I got crisp organic apples, they are the best! All the other apples look way to huge and shiny, not natural!  I only get as much fruit as I know I'm going to eat so it doesn't rot- 2 apples, 2 pears, an orange..the only thing not entirely on the list is the Baklava...I swear I will just nibble on a little piece daily!!