Saturday, February 25, 2012

"Fried" Egg Sandwhich: Phase 2 Recipe

Ok... by day 52 the VLCD foods are REALLY boring!! LOL! So today I was reading on an hcg forum and they were all talking about "egg bread". Dr. Simeons tells us we can use eggs occasionally, 3 egg whites and 1 whole egg so we get a complete protein with only a little fat. I used them one time my first round and not at all my second and have not tried them yet this round. People seem to have mixed results with them, some gain, some continue to lose well with them. The gals on the forum I was reading said many of them ate eggs often on phase 2 and never saw any issues with their losses. So I decided to give it a try... but was REALLY wanting an egg sandwich so this is what I came up with.

Egg White Buns

3 egg whites
1/8 tsp cream of tarter
pinch of salt.

1. Beat all ingredients until stiff in a clean bowl.
2. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Make 2-3 blobs depending on the size of your eggs.
3. Bake at 350 degrees F for about 10 minutes until slightly browned.
4. Peel off and use as a "bun" for vegetables, or wrap around your fruit. OR fry your whole egg and put it between these buns for a FABULOUS fried egg sandwich!
5. NOTE: you must also eat a whole egg, so the whole egg can be cooked up with your vegetable for that meal if you don't want it "fried" on top.

Fried Egg Phase 2 style
To prepare the fried egg without oil. Put a nice layer of water in the bottom of a skillet. Heat at medium/high until nice and hot. Crack egg into pan and allow to cook for about 1 minute. Then cover with a lid so the top will cook a little too. I found cooking the egg this way was perfect! The inside was beautifully hot and runny and between the two egg white blobs... I was in egg sandwich heaven... I realized afterwards that I forgot to put mustard on the "bun"! LOL! I had planned to but my egg looked so glorious on top of the fluffy white bun I had to take a bite! YUMMY!

I steamed my asparagus to go with the egg sandwich. So I used the asparagus water to "fry" my egg in... it was glorious! 

Hope you have success with it if you chose to give it a try!

Round 3 VLCD 53

No loss, no gain... stayed the same today. 146.2.

I increased my dose yesterday, which I know goes against the common recommendations for hcg use. However, I felt the need to try something to get the hunger to subside. I felt better yesterday, but still was hungry for much of the day unless I ate every 2 hours. Today I woke to no hunger which was a blessing but I was ready to eat at 10 a.m. so I had 1/2 my green smoothie then. I'll have the other half with a melba next time I'm hungry, then an apple with cinnamon, and chicken with asparagus for dinner.

Have a blessed day!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Round 3 VLCD 52

Today the scale was friendly with a -1 loss. I weighed in at 146.2 YEAH! BUT I was hungry for most of the day yesterday. I'll see how things go today. With such a great loss it makes me want to continue on a couple more days... BUT I'm really tired of being hungry. I changed my dose last night and this morning, we'll see if it helps. I've been drinking 1 gallon of water, 2 quarts of 1/2 & 1/2 coffee, AND 2-3 cups of hot tea throughout the day in order to try to keep the hunger at bay, to no avail. I guess my big struggle is that when I look in the mirror I SEE abnormal fat still... so I don't understand how the hcg could be telling me that all the fat is gone. Yet I've heard over and over for the past year that sometimes our idea of "goal" weight is very different than what a REAL goal weight should be for us. AND I have to keep in mind that I AM at a normal BMI for my height.... I know I keep saying that... but seriously... I have to continue to give myself permission to move on if that is what is best for my body..... and I have to get to the point where my thoughts and emotions are ok with whatever that Last Dose Weight is. I know it may sound silly to those still in the midst of their weight loss journey. But for me... to weigh in the 140's IS an absolute miracle. I never imagined I'd ever see that number on the scale, so I have to realize how far I've come and what a great place my body IS at. AND I have to stop obsessing over a "dream weight", and be willing to stop if it is best.

Sorry..... my rambling thoughts are probably driving you nuts and your shouting... JUST STOP ALREADY SHIRLEY.... well... maybe in some small way my struggles with the conclusion of this journey can be a blessing to you as you continue on through yours. And if anything I hope that you see that even "skinny" or people at goal sometimes struggle with the fact that they have reached the finish line.. even when the finish line was different than they had anticipated.

So, I'll continue to take it one day at a time.

Shirley: VLCD 52: Total round 3 loss: -26.4, Total NEW loss: -9.2, Total Hcg Loss: 88.8
Hubby Maintaining within 3 pounds of his LDW.
Teen Daughter solid as a rock again staying within 1 pound either side of her LDW. 
Teen Son.... struggling and gaining.... we continue to pray that he will find a balance and realize that food is fuel not simply for pleasure.

Have a great day everyone!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Round 3 VLCD 51

Today I was down 1.2 which leaves me at 147.2... cheating NEVER pays. Hopefully tomorrow will see me in new territory or at the very least where I ended before I fell off the wagon! :-)

I'm feeling GREAT again today!

Started my day with a green smoothie. I drank 1/2 of it then put the other half in a mason jar filled to the tippy top and capped it. I was told that it is REALLY important to have as little air as possible in the jar so the nutrients won't be damaged while waiting for me to drink up the Yummies! Then put it in the fridge for lunch. I drank it and had my wasa toast for lunch. I'm struggling with hunger which I believe is a result of the cheating. :-( I'm hoping the hunger will pass soon... I've been hungry daily for the past 2 weeks... not fun! BUT this if my first week back on track so I hope it will pass soon, kinda like week 1 of the VLCD at the beginning of a round. I'm drinking lots of blueberry slim life tea and peppermint tea (with chocolate & vanilla cream stevia.. YUMMY).

Yesterday and today I wanted/want meat. Last night I had 100 grams of chicken over lettuce with my grassini as "croutons" and tangy mustard dressing. Tonight I will have 100 grams lean round steak with asparagus.  I'm hoping that by doing only 1 green smoothie a day and 1 real protein source that my losses will be better than a typical vegetarian who only has the dairy or protein powder for their protein sources. Dr. S says they lose at 1/2 the rate of those who eat meat.

I'm still taking it one day at a time....and I'm ok with that!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Round 3 woes -- The Psycological Struggle

So... today I'm going to be horribly honest with you about what my life has been like the past 3 weeks.  Sometime around my Planned Interruption I cracked. I started to struggle with the thought that I was at a normal BMI for the first time in my life. Struggle, you might say, WHY struggle? In my mind... I was "normal" for the first time EVER in my adult life. So I rushed into my planned interruption and did not follow my own rules. I ate whatever I felt like eating rather than sticking to phase 3 foods only, stopped weighing, stopped caring, stopped eating in a controlled manner, and thus... GAINED! Ugh!

THEN, when I entered back into phase 2, VLCD on February 6th.... I was STARVING and CRAVING!! WHY?? Because I had NOT stuck to phase 3 foods only so I threw my body totally out of whack. I ended up with another cold just a couple days into the VLCD which caused a stall and made me totally give up on being a protocol Stricty. I tried some very rogue ideas for the next 5-6 days and finally ended up eating anything fatty I could get my hands on for 2 days straight... all the time STILL taking my hcg. Do you know what happens when you take hcg and eat anything, everything, and especially FAT??? YOU GAIN!!  I ended up back up at 150 again.

That night I cried... I bawled... I struggled through feeling like I was an absolute failure. I was a loser, a quitter and was letting myself AND everyone else down! I literally had a complete emotional break down and was going to quit... but hated myself for giving up at 150. I felt I had done this entire round for nothing stopping there, yet I felt like I could not face hcg and phase 2 (though I wasn't following the rules) for one more single solitary day. I fell apart and shared my struggles on one of my favorite yahoo groups: hcg2 and they overwhelmed me with support, encouragement, and care. I still went to bed not knowing what the next day would be for me... another cheat day, or would I have the nerve to get back on the VLCD and stick to it?? I woke up to see 150.6 on the scale.

I had struggled through finally giving myself permission to quit and move on to maintenance and use JUDDDing to get the rest off.... but all of a sudden I could not quit. I got my mo jo back and decided I wanted to have a green smoothie. Now, I have never in my life until that day, drank a green smoothie they always looked totally disgusting to me. BUT it was all I wanted. So I made a green smoothie:

1 cup kefired skim milk or 1 serving of protein powder
3 ounces frozen strawberries
5 ounces fresh baby spinach
stevia to taste, squirt of vanilla extract, and cinnamon
1/2 - 1 cup of water, until desired consistency

I loved it, drank it for breakfast and felt, GOOD for the first time in WEEKS.  Then... hubby wanted to celebrate his first phase 4 day and took us out for lunch... I ate, no sugar no carbs, but ate fat..... Went home and felt like a smoothie for dinner, so I did. So another off protocol day.. but in a weird way I felt in control and ready to return to VLCD.

Since that day... I've been on track drinking smoothies 2 times a day and my weight is slowly dropping. Today though I decided on 1 smoothie and 1 protein/veggie/fruit serving like "normal".  I'm not sure how much longer I will do the VLCD. I have finally worked through giving myself permission to quit on any day of my choosing whether or not I reach that magic number of 135. I MIGHT go all the way to March 8th and I MIGHT not. I've decided to take it one day at a time and if I start to struggle with staying on protocol, then that next day will be my last dose and I'll transition to phase 3.

What have I learned?
1. Stick with phase 3 eating ONLY while on a Planned Interruption.
2. By eating whatever on a PI it stirs up cravings and makes week 1 of the VLCD just as bad as week 1 at the beginning of phase 2 BUT without the load... which means it is REALLY tough!
3. Cheating with hcg in your system allows you to gain weight VERY quickly.  AND makes strict VLCD'ing VERY hard afterwards because of increased hunger and cravings.
4. STOP doing phase 2 and move into phase 3, rather than cheat while on protocol.
5. I need to give myself permission to change my mind and alter my goals without feeling like a failure.
6. Rogue and altered versions of the VLCD do not work as well as the VLCD strict.

So out of the 50 days phase 2 I've really only followed the protocol well for about 35 days. :-( BUT I'm moving on and planning on finishing strong. I hope my failures do not provide an "excuse" for you to go off protocol but that they will help you to be committed to doing what you know it right and best for your HCG protocol success!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Round 3 VLCD 44-- 21 days left

Short and sweet today....

Today's weight: 147, -.8 , Round 3 total -25.6, Total New loss: -8.4, Total hcg loss: -88 (counting detox phase)

Cream GALLONS of Cream! -- Phase 3 Recipes

It is spring and our Jersey girls are having their babies! We are drowning in glorious milk which means that our piggies are enjoying the skim while we gorge on cream. Today I got 5 gallons of CREAM from the milk tank when we emptied it. WHAT will I be doing with FIVE gallons of cream?  Ice cream, Cream Cheese Clouds and butter will be on the menu.. that and some Creamy Broccoli Cauliflower soup! I'm also trying my hand at kefiring some 1/2 & 1/2... and some straight cream. I have live kefir grains so I'm not sure straight cream will work since it has such a low sugar content.. so I might have to do batches of 1/2 whole milk and 1/2 cream. YUMMY!

Strawberry Ice Cream

6 cups cream
4 cups frozen berries
2 TBSP vanilla extract
lots of stevia glycerite to taste

1. Blend 1 1/4 cup of berries with 2 cups of cream in your blender or vitamix until smooth. Do this until all the berries and cream are combined and smooth.
2. Pour each batch into a freezer safe bowl.
3. Add the vanilla and stevia to taste, whisk it up well.
4. Put in freezer OR if you have an ice cream maker throw it in there to finish.

I do not have an ice cream maker that is in good worker order so I just stuck  my container in the freezer and I will stir it every couple of hours.

Vanilla Ice Cream

6 cups cream
6-8 farm fresh egg yolks
2 Tbsp Vanilla Extract
Stevia Glycerite to taste

1. Pour all ingredients into a freezer safe bowl and whisk well.  OR combine all ingredients together and process in an ice cream maker.
2. Put bowl in freezer and stir every couple of hours.

Chocolate Cream Cheese Clouds -- Triple Batch

3 - 8 oz packages of cream cheese, soft
1 stick of butter, soft
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup xylitol or truvia
2-3 droppers full of chocolate stevia (to taste)
4 cups whipped topping whipped

1. Cream together with a blender, cream cheese, butter, cocoa, and sweeteners. Set aside.
2. Whip the cream with beaters until stiff.
3. Fold cream and creamed cheese mixture together. 
4. On cookie sheets lined with parchment paper, make little chocolate clouds. Put in the freezer until set. Once set, take them off the cookie sheet and store them in a freezer baggie or container in the freezer.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Round 3 VLCD 43-- 22 days left

WAHOO... down to 147.8... almost new territory. I landed on 147.6 for one day then bounced right back up.. so if this downward pattern continues that would be GREAT!

I'm feeling good and continue to notice the fat shifting. My body is slimming out in all the right area's. It has taken this round to see significant changes in my legs, and that baby belly is starting to diminish... I might get a close to flat tummy by the end of this round after all... or is that wishful thinking? LOL!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


I look in the mirror today and smile............and cry.........and am ever so thankful. Today marks the 1 year anniversary of the beginning of my journey to health. A year ago today, February 14, 2011 I stepped on the scale weighing 235 pounds and said enough is ENOUGH! A year ago today I was out of breath walking from the house to the barn. My heart hurt as I huffed and puffed. My boots were so tight on my calves that it hurt. I was scared to walk up and down the steps of the milk parlor because I was so fat. I was uncertain on the steep steps. I was discouraged, depressed, angry, and miserable. I decided to do something before my health plummeted so far down that I would not get to enjoy watching my babies grow up.

I began a detox diet where I chose to follow the Eat Fat, Lose Fat: The Healthy Alternative to Trans Fatsdiet for the health compromised by Dr. Mary Eing (GREAT BOOK!). It was a horrible two weeks that followed because I was taking such large amounts of coconut oil daily I experienced a Herxheimer reaction and was sick, in bed, felt gross, napped often, you name it... it was nasty. BUT I knew I was cleaning out all the nasty toxins out of my body. I followed those weeks with a colon cleanse and a candida cleanse. Grains, starches and sugar were deleted from my diet, yet I was still depressed and frustrated as the scale was moving very little. By the beginning of April after 6 weeks of what I felt like was a torture diet I had only lost 15 pounds! Most of it had come off in the first 3 weeks. I had lost NOTHING for at least 2 weeks by this time. I was so frustrated as my still 220 pound self was staring at me in the mirror daily.

Sometime around then Dr. Mercola posted an article about hCG. His conclusions were such that he was not sure if people really lost weight from the hcg or if it was just from the 500 calorie diet. He was not convinced that the hcg protocol would really work long term nor that it resulted in the loss of abnormal fat. Below his article I started reading testimonials of people who had lost a LOT of weight VERY quickly and were keeping it off. I started researching and reading everything I could find online about the hcg Protocol. I was asking the Lord... "Is this it? Will it work?" I took the plunge and ordered some VERY expensive homeopathic hcg and read the entire protocol within the next couple of days. I was so hopeful... imagining what it would be like to lose 1/2 - 1 pound a DAY.... why I might be able to get below 200 pounds and stay there.

I stumbled upon Kevin Trudeau's book The Weight Loss Cureand ordered it. It arrived right around the same time as my homeopathic hcg did. I skipped all the parts in the book about detoxing and stuff, I had already done that, and started reading his take on the protocol. He put an organic real food slant on phase 3 and phase 4 that really impacted me. I thought, "WOW, if eating this way: real fat, coconut oil, lard, cod liver oil, butter, grass fed meat, organic fruits and veggies, very limited grains, etc is how to maintain... it is NO WONDER that I have maintained my obesity for SO LONG!"

About this time Easter Weekend was right around the corner and I worked up the gumption to talk with Phil about the protocol. You see our family believes in a diet filled with healthy fats, grass fed meat, veggies, fruits, and soaked or sprouted organic grains along with the use of real sugars like raw honey and real maple syrup. So a low fat, low calorie diet did not fit in our food philosophy. I was very concerned that he would not be supportive because we really did believe that the way we were eating was the healthiest for our family. Much to my surprise when I talked about the protocol with him... told him it was only for 40 days and that maintenance was the way we lived.. he encouraged me to give it a try.

Easter weekend, April 23, 2011, I loaded, which was the beginning of my first Phase 2. My post load weight was 221.8. By May 13, our anniversary, just 19 days later I was in "wonderland" for the first time in 12 years! I KNEW that the hcg protocol was going to finally allow me to shed the fat. I pushed the envelope my first round and went 57 days to lose a total of 47 pounds. I ended my first round having shed the baby weight from all six of our children. This was a huge victory. I was so thankful to be just in the overweight category... no longer obese. It was so fun going through my closet and getting rid of all the size 20, 18, and 16's. I was fitting into size 14's and some 12's. WOW!

My journey is now coming close to the end. Each new day brings the finish line closer in view. I had always thought that 155 would be my end goal but when I got there it was obvious that more fat needed to be shed. Currently I'm on my third round of hcg and will conclude this round sometime in the beginning of March.

Today I reflect on this past year. I am so thankful that the Lord allowed me to "stumble" upon that article by Dr. Mercola. I'm so thankful that God's Word is true, Philippians 4:13" I CAN do ALL things through CHRIST who STRENGTHENS me!" This journey has been one of many emotional and physical challenges. My brain has had to re-learn what my bodies needs are. I'm grateful that through it all God's grace has been sufficient.

Today's reflections include: seeing myself in the mirror wearing size 11/12 fitted top and size 8 jeans that are loose - last year I wore a size XXL top and size 20 pants that were tight. Today I showered and was able to bend over and shave my legs. Last year I could not bend over and breath at the same time. I can cross my legs at the knee while sitting and the crossed over leg hangs gently down, instead of sticking out to the side and cutting off circulation to my foot. This year, I walked briskly to the barn, trotted up and down the stairs in the milk parlor (several times), hauled feed for the chickens, and did my chores with ease... oh... and my boots are very lose and comfy even with wool socks and my flannel lined jeans tucked in! This year I'm not ashamed of me nor am I embarrassed to be seen in public. It was fun going to a restaurant with my husband to celebrate Valentines day and not feel like everyone was thinking that I needed to NOT eat that meal. I felt beautiful and like I fit well in the picture with that wonderfully handsome caring man. I used to be so ashamed of me... with him because he was so handsome.............and I was so fat and "ugly". Today I will smile and laugh when I hug my littles and they can reach their arms all the way around me, lock their hands and squeeze. My dear autistic son no longer asks me if there is a baby in my tummy because I don't have a big tummy. I reflect on all these silly, important, fabulous memories of all the changes that have taken place.........and I cry tears of gratitude.

I am thankful for all those people in cyber space who have journeyed along side me, who have encouraged me, taught me, cheered for me, rebuked me, and challenged me to see beyond the obesity to a life that is filled with health and hope. My hope is not to be a skinny person, but to have the optimum health that God desires for me so that I can fulfill His plan for me as a wife, a mother, a farmer, a piano teacher, and all the other life activities that cross my path daily.

So today as I reflect on all that has changed in this past year.... I am filled with love, joy, peace, and a renewed body.... and I am overwhelmed.

Happy Valentines Day!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Round 3 VLCD 41-- 24 days left

So... I'm the lone phase 2er in the house now and today I was very happy to exceed my goal for the week! I started last Monday, day 1 back from the PI and was... GULP... 156.4.... today marks a full week back on phase 2 and a total loss for the week of 7.6, not bad... especially since I had a 3 day stall in there! :-)

I am down to 148.8, my LDW for the Planned Interruption was 149.8. WAHOO!!! Now... I did land on 147.6 for ONE measly day... the day before I took my last dose for the PI. I was so mad to see the scale shoot up to 149.8.. which pushed me into the PI.

Now... it is onward and forward....I'm so excited about this final leg of the journey, each pound gets me closer and closer to goal weight. I'm pumped and so excited to have my last ever hcg round count down.... 24 days left! If I reach my goal or extreme hunger that could all change... but I'm keeping the finish line in site and going to enjoy a daily countdown while the scale continue to moves downward!

My totals for this round:
VLCD 41 - 2 pounds, Total R3 loss: 23.8, Total NEW loss: -6.6 Total hcg loss -73... OK updating total hcg loss.. WHY??? I technically did a detox phase even before I ever heard of hcg. I did a colon cleanse, candida cleanse and the Eat Fat Lose Fat for health compromised diet, so technically did a phase 1 for about 6 weeks prior to starting phase 2. From now on I'm going to give myself credit for all that work included in this protocol loss.

So... my total hcg loss is: -86.2

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Round 3 Weekly review

So, did you all think I fell off the face of the earth??? I guess I did sort of. This past week has been pretty tough and I don't like posting when I'm not in a pleasant frame of mind. It is my desire that this blog be a place where folks can come and be inspired, encouraged, and blessed. Doesn't mean I won't be honest but I think it is best to refrain from whining daily if I'm in a whiny mood... like I was this past week.

This past week I re-entered the VLCD on Monday, after my week long Planned Interruption. I don't know if I had mentioned earlier that I did NOT abide by the phase 3 rules and I gained. The gain alone was not bad enough.... this week the mental and physical struggles I've had being back on the VLCD have been AWFUL!! I've was starving..... like wanting to eat both arms and a leg starving until yesterday. Yesterday and today have been MUCH better. The hunger was bad, but the mental battle being back on the VLCD... missing my cream.... eating lettuce PLAIN... AGAIN.... and missing my butter... was REALLY bad! My mind set is better now and I'm looking forward to completing this round. I'm being a bit rogue but am not ready to post about it here. If all goes well.. then I'll tell you a few months down the road, if not......... I'll post my regrets. :-) For now I'm keeping that 135 pound number in the front of my brain and am anxious to see the 140's click away so I can get there!

Since re-entering the VLCD I've lost 5.6 pounds. I stalled for THREE long days due to another head cold (((SNIFF)) or the losses would have been much better I'm sure. I have 1 pound to go to get to my pre-PI LDW, then onward and forward!

My teen daughter took her last dose yesterday morning and is ending her round with a LDW of 142. She began her hcg journey this spring weighing almost 190. I'm very proud of her! She is looking forward to bacon and eggs on Tuesday!

Hubby is maintaining well. He is on his second CD in 2 weeks so far. We think it is tied to not enough water the day before and finding a better balance for him re: his daily food intake. He is on his last week of Phase 3. :-)

Teen son lost 2 pounds this week still leaving him above his +2 of his last round. BUT he just does NOT care. We still will not allow him to just eat "whatever". If we did he would easily be back into the obesity sphere which is not good for his health. He's the type of kid that would eat four plates full of food at a meal and ask for a fifth. So we are still giving out some tough love, trying to help him make good choices and STOP when he has had enough. We have to tell him to stop eating every single meal because he ALWAYS wants more. Believe me... we allow him to eat plenty, but will not give him free reign yet on food.

So... I alone am in phase 2 for the Reese Clan... for about another 25 days... give or take. I am looking forward to the week where the finish line is in view!

Hope you all have a GREAT week, no matter what phase you are in.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Creamy Broccoli & Cauliflower Soup -- Phase 3 Recipe

We had a soup and sandwich potluck this weekend at church. Since I was on a Planned Interruption and hubby on phase 3 I decided to make a soup that would work well for us. It turned out to be the BEST creamy broccoli soup I have ever made! We loved the smooth texture with just enough little pieces of broccoli and cauliflower to give it the perfect mouth feel.

Creamy Broccoli & Cauliflower Soup

3 pounds broccoli with stems
1-2 pounds cauliflower
2 quarts chicken bone broth
6-8 pieces bacon
2 medium/large onions, finely diced
1 pound cheddar cheese grated
2-3 cups whipping cream (or raw cream)

1. Peel the stems of the broccoli. Leave half the broccoli whole, cut up the other 1/2 into small flowerettes. Core & cut up the cauliflower, leaving 1/2 in very large pieces and the other half in smaller flowerettes.

2. Place all the broccoli and cauliflower in a large pot with the 2 quarts of chicken bone broth. Cover. Allow to come to a boil, then turn down and summer until vegetables are tender.

3. While broccoli and cauliflower are cooking, cut bacon into bite size pieces and fry in a skillet until almost done. Add your finely diced onions and allow them to saute with bacon until bacon is crisp and onions are translucent.

4. When broccoli and cauliflower are tender, put all the large pieces of broccoli with stems and the large pieces of cauliflower in your food processor. Process with a little hot broth until all the pieces are finely chopped and smooth. Poor creamed broccoli and cauliflower back into the pot of broth.

5. Pour the bacon, onions and bacon grease into the pot of soup. Turn on low to keep warm until it is time to serve.

6. Just before serving add in the cream and shredded cheddar. Allow to heat on low for 1-2 minutes.

Back in the Saddle

My Planned interruption was WONDERFUL! I enjoyed all the fatty, creamy foods I've missed. BUT it is time to re-enter VLCD land and get to goal weight! I did NOT abide by phase 3 rules. I ate sugar, starch, and everything else. I did NOT eat a TON of sugar & starch, but some and ended up with about a 6 pound gain... YIKES! If this is anything like my first PI back in round 1 that will come of in about 2-3 days then I'll be in new loss territory again. I'll be pushing my water today and making sure that all plumbing is working well to aid my body in quickly removing this excess weight!

Right now my plan is to do the VLCD/Rx hcg until March 10th. That day will be my last dose day whether or not I'm at goal weight. I really think I'll be at goal or within spitting distance by then so it will be a perfect time to transition to phase 3. I'll be on phase 4 by my 40th birthday and ready to move into life time maintenance mode!

Have a great week!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Planned Interruption

A planned interruption is an interruption in the VLCD treatment days. Dr. Simeons referred to it as Unforeseen Interruptions of treatment and here is a copy and paste direct quote of what Dr. Simeons says about it:

Unforeseen Interruptions of Treatment
If an interruption of treatment lasting more than four days is necessary, the patient must increase his diet to at least 800 Calories by adding meat, eggs, cheese, and milk to his diet after the third day, as otherwise he will find himself so hungry and weak that he is unable to go about his usual occupation. If the interval lasts less than two weeks the patient can directly resume injections and the 500-Calorie diet, but if the interruption lasts longer he must again eat normally until he has had his third injection.
When a patient knows beforehand that he will have to travel and be absent for more than four days, it is always better to stop injections three days before he is due to leave so that he can have the three days of strict dieting which are necessary after the last injection at home. This saves him from the almost impossible task of having to arrange the 500 Calorie diet while en route, and he can thus enjoy a much greater dietary freedom from the day of his departure. Interruptions occurring before 20 effective injections have been given are most undesirable, because with less than that number of injections some weight is liable to be regained. After the 20th injection an unavoidable interruption is merely a loss of time.

I have used planned interruptions for sanity sake more so than because of traveling or schedule issues. My first round I did a Planned interruption at about day 25 for 10 days. During those 10 days I ate mainly phase 3 style meaning no sugar/no starch. I did not count calories. I ate plenty of fat, protein, veggies, dairy and fruit. I maintained my weight fairly well. The morning I resumed the VLCD I was 3 pounds above where I was on the last dose before the planned interruption. I lost weight the first few days back on the VLCD/hcg just like I did my first week during the VLCD/hcg at the beginning of the round. The planned interruption did not slow my weight loss. I maintained an average loss of .82 a day over that 57 day round. I did 25 days pre interruption then another 32 days post interruption. Transitioned into phase 3 and stabilized like a rock!

This interruption I have had a few sugars and starches as well. I haven't weighed for a few days and probably won't weigh until after my first VLCD. I expect that I have gained b/c I have REALLY enjoyed my food, plus I have had my TOM! LOL! BUT I'm not concerned about the gain since it will come off very quickly once I resume the VLCD.

I have personally experienced great success with Planned Interruptions. They give me the much needed break from the VLCD foods along with the opportunity to load my body with healthy fats and protein which the VLCD lacks. I am currently sick of eating this way and ready to go back to the VLCD and finishing out my round. I remember feeling the exact same way during the PI I did my first round.

Some of the tips I share with people so they can have successful Planned Interruptions are:

1. Interruptions should not take place before 20 VLCD with hcg. So day 21 VLCD would be the first day you'd be allowed to do an interruption. If you take a planned interruption before then, you may have issues with regaining weight very quickly.

2. You must do the transition from VLCD/hcg just like you do when transitioning into phase 3. You will take your last dose in the morning ONLY, do the VLCD that day plus 2 more days, then start eating phase 3 style.

3. Dr. Simeons did not say that we must avoid sugar and starch during a planned interruption. He does say that we must eat AT LEAST 800 calories. If you avoid sugar and starch you will maintain your weight loss. If you chose to eat it, plan to gain and have to re-lose some weight when you resume the VLCD. I do recommend that you focus on healthy fat, lots of protein, mixing veggies, fresh fruit, and full fat dairy when on a planned interruption.

4. If your planned interruption is LESS than 14 days from the day 1 of eating phase 3 style, meaning not counting the transition days, then you simply chose your start date and continue with the VLCD/hcg. If your planned interruption lasts LONGER than 14 days then you need to "eat normally" for two days WHILE taking the hcg. NOTE: Dr. S says "eat normally" NOT gorge! So, you do NOT load again when you are ready to start the VLCD.

If you are considering doing an off protocol length round. That means you plan to do more than 40 VLCD's with hcg, you may want to consider a planned interruption at some point during your phase 2. I think the VLCD is really tough on the body. The low fat and limited food selections cause our thyroid and adrenals to be stressed along with our bodies practically being protein deficient with only 200 grams of protein a day. That is why I recommend a Planned interruption during longer rounds. It will allow your body to be deeply nourished so that you will maintain better health while you are trying to lose effectively.

Round 3 VLCD 38/PI/Ph3/JUDDD

So, are you totally confused now after reading today's title line?

Teen Daughter is on VLCD 38: -2.4 Total R3 loss -21 Total NEW loss: -4.4 Total hcg loss: -39. She only has about 1 week left of the VLCD/hcg to get in 21 VLCD/hcg days post interruption.

I am still on my Planned Interruption and haven't weighed for a couple days. I'll transition back into the VLCD/hcg on Tuesday.

Phil just returned from a week of Sharepoint Classes in downtown Chicago. He ate at the hotel or restaurants the entire week. He stuck with phase 3 compliant choices, did a lot of walking, and when he weighed this morning.... he was .4 UNDER his LDW! AMAZING!!! Stable as a rock!

Teen Son has been having problems this last week with his weight really climbing. He has been above the +2 zone for about a week now. I've been doing researching on a WOE (Way Of Eating) called the JUDDD = Johnson Up Day Down Day, or the Alternative Day eating plan. Here is a link to Dr. Johnsons website:

and a forum of people doing this WOE:

I discussed how this WOE works with my son and he wants to give it a try. His Down Day's will start at 500 calories and he wants to eat VLCD style since he is familiar with it. His up days he will get to consume up to 2400 calories based on his current weight, height and age. We'll see how it goes. He thinks that since he gets to eat "normal" every other day that he will stick with the down days. It is worth a try since he is now at about 189.8 pounds and he is only 5'8". He does not have a lot of muscle tone, so he looks heavy and his weight really slows him down. He cannot run and play and has very little endurance for sport activities. He really wants to play foot ball this fall and be competitive. I know if he could get off another 20-25 pounds and build muscle he'd have a great season AND feel so much better about himself. :-)

I let hubby try the Coconut Manna... and he doesn't like it... insert evil laugh.. HEE HEE HEE HAA HAA HAA... it's all MINE! :-)

Have a super day!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Cocoa Crack -- Phase 3 Recipe

With Valentines Day right around the corner I felt some good Phase 3 compliant Chocolate recipes would be fun to post. The cocoa crack recipe can be made without adding the shredded coconut or almonds and used to dip strawberries in. You can sprinkle the coconut or chopped nuts OVER the chocolate dipped berry while it is still wet to make them beautiful and even more tasty. Make sure to dry your strawberries really well before dipping or your chocolate will seize up. That means it will get hard and no longer be usable.

Here is my original Cocoa Crack Recipe

Cocoa Crack
3/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 - 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (experiment with the amount you like based on how dark/bitter you like your chocolate)
1/4 - 1/2 cup truvia, xylitol or several drops of stevia to taste. I've also found that 1-2 droppers full of stevia glycerite is a great way to sweeten the crack without adding a bitter stevia taste.
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
slivered/sliced almonds (optional)
shredded coconut (optional)

Place first three ingredients into a sauce pan on low heat. Mix while coconut is
melting. When it is melted pour the chocolate mixture into a 9 X 9 pan that is
lined with parchment paper or wax paper. If desired sprinkle on almonds and/or
coconut. Place pan in the freezer until set. Once set crack/break it into pieces
and store in a baggie in the freezer or refrigerator. Note, I have noticed that
the truvia doesn't always dissolve real well. I have a friend who grinds the
truvia in a coffee grinder and finds it dissolves better. I like the "crunchy"
effect the truvia gives so don't mess with that step.

If you do well with nuts you would LOVE this creamy nutty coconut crack recipe. It resembles "peanut butter cups". But with healthy coconut oil and almond butter rather than hydrogenated oils and sugar laden peanut butter.

Coconut Almond Crack
1 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup almond butter
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 - 1/2 tsp sea salt (ONLY if your almond butter is NOT salted)
2 droppers full of stevia glycerite or 1/4- 1/2 cup truvia or xylitol, start with 1/4 cup and taste it. Add more if needed. I used the stevia glycerite.
sliced or slivered almonds (optional)
shredded coconut (optional)

Melt the coconut oil in a pan over med/low heat. Remove from the heat and add the almond butter, cocoa powder, and sweetener. Stir until all ingredients are combined well. Pour into a parchment paper lined 9 X 9 pan. Sprinkle over the chocolate nuts and coconut. Place in a freezer or refrigerator to set up. When set break into pieces and place in a freezer zip type bag and store in the refrigerator or freezer.

Cooks Note: If you want to be fancy or make sure to limit your portion size, you can purchase mini muffin papers to make your crack in. Just line up the muffin papers on a cookie sheet and dollop your melted crack into each cup. You can even have fun by adding different fillers to each one. For example. You could make an almond joy one that would have a whole almond and a sprinkle of coconut. Or a recess peanut butter cup, by putting a bit of chocolate in the bottom of the paper, allow it to harden, then bring it back out, put a little blob of almond butter, then drizzle with more cocoa crack and allow to harden. You can make Pecan candies but putting a pecan half in the chocolate, or macadamia nut delights by adding a mac nut to the middle of our chocolate candy. When you are in phase 4 you could even use dried fruit like cranberries or raisins.

Chocolat Mint Cheesecake Bars -- Phase 3 Recipe

An Hcg friend named Terri shared this recipe with me hoping that we might be able to revise it to make it more protocol friendly. The original recipe is from Food Network Kitchen and is entitled: Chocolate Cheesecake Candy Bars. Here is the original recipe:

This is my Phase 3 version of the bar for those who want to remove sugar and starch in the recipe but still want a special treat for Christmas or Valentines day. I will note on the recipe where you can alter it slightly for phase 4 if you chose.

Christmas Mint Cheesecake
Phase 3

2 cups almond meal
3 TBSP cocoa powder
3 TBSP sweetener of choice (xylitol, truvia, or just like sugar)
20 drops Sweetleaf Chocolate Stevia
1/2 tsp ground coffee
1/4 cup melted butter
2 TBSP melted coconut oil
1/4 tsp salt

8 oz Hershey's Sugar Free Chocolate Chips (Phase 4: You can use 8 oz semi sweet baking chocolate)
8 oz cream cheese softened
1/2 cup xylitol
20 drops Sweetleaf Chocolate Stevia
1/2 cup sour cream
2 large eggs

4 oz Hershey's sugar Free Chocolate Chips (Phase 4: you can use 4 oz bittersweet baking chocolate)
2 tbsp butter
1/2 tsp peppermint extract
(Phase 4: add 1 TBSP honey to the chocolate glaze if you are using the bittersweet baking chocolate)

Garnish: (For phase 4 ONLY)
1/2 cup or less of Andes Peppermint Crunch Baking Chips OR 1 chopped candy cane.

1. Melt coconut oil and butter together. Set aside.
2. Combine all other crust ingredients in a small bowl, stir well. Add melted butter.
3. Pat crust into a 9 X 9 buttered pan (stoneware or glass preferred).
4. In a double boiler or a smaller pan set over a larger pan that has water in it, slowly melt the 8 oz of chocolate, stirring as needed. Cooks Notes: Be careful that NO water gets into the chocolate or it will seize (get hard as a rock and taste burnt) and you will have to throw it all away and start over! Also make sure that you do not try to melt the chocolate directly over your burner. It will melt too quickly and will burn.... don't ask how I know!:-)
5. In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Add 1/2 cup xylitol and stevia, cream well.
6. To cream cheese mixture add sour cream and beat until smooth. While beating add eggs 1 at a time, blending well after each addition.
7. While beaters are running at medium speed, slowly add melted chocolate. Scrape sides of bowl & beaters. Beat for a little longer to make sure the chocolate is mixed in well.
8. Spread the filling over the chocolate nut crust.
9. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until it is puffy and the middle is still slightly wiggly. In my convection oven this took 25 minutes.
10. Remove from oven and cool for about 30 minutes.
11. To prepare glaze. Place chocolate and butter in a double boiler or small pan over a large pan that has water in it, stirring when needed. Remove pan from heat. Add peppermint extract, stir well. Gently pour glaze over the cheesecake bars. Allow to cool 1-2 minutes. (PHASE 4 ONLY)Sprinkle on the Andes baking chips or candy cane pieces and gently press them into the glaze. Cooks notes: If you don't wish to add the baking chips or candy cane pieces you can save them for a garnish. Serve with a dollop of freshly whipped cream and sprinkle on just a few pieces of baking chips or candy cane over each serving.
12. Refrigerate until cool. Store in refrigerator.

Chocolate Mouse:

If you are sensitive to nuts, and would LOVE to try this recipe, do so without the crust or glaze. Use the ingredients and instructions for the filling to make a lovely chocolate mouse. You can leave out the eggs if you don't like the thought of eating raw eggs. To make a mint chocolate mouse add in 1/2 tsp of peppermint extract to the filling. Simply mix up the filling, put it in a pretty bowl, and refrigerate. Serve with a dollop of freshly whipped cream.

Chocolate Mouse Strawberry or Raspberry Parfait:
Use the filling recipe with or without mint extract, you choose.
Option 1: Layer the mouse with freshly sliced strawberries or raspberries in parfait cups. Serve with a dollop of freshly whipped cream topped with fresh mint leaves and a slice of strawberry, strawberry fan or a raspberry depending on which fruit you choose to use!

Option 2: Make chocolate dipped strawberries for garnish. Dip washed and dried strawberries in the chocolate glaze (recipe above). Place them on parchment paper or wax paper to set up. Drizzle the extra chocolate glaze over the top layer of each cup by putting the glaze in a sandwich baggie twist to seal, then cut the tip of one of the corners off, use it like a decorator bag to drizzle the glaze. Finish it with a dollop of freshly whipped cream and a chocolate dipped strawberry.

Coconut Manna

Ok... so I absolutely love this coconut manna, but it is a bit on the pricey side, especially since I can easily clean up a jar in a week. YUM! A friend told me about getting it in a 5# bag directly from the company so I checked it out.

You can purchase a 5# bag of coconut manna for $31.99, that you will need to warm, mix and jar into your own pint jars. I would not recommend using jars any larger than pint so that you can easily warm it to use it. There is a video that will instruct you on how to do it on their website. The $savings$ is great! It ends up only costing $6.40 a pound rather than $7.45 - $9 per 15 oz from other places. The company also offers free shipping on all orders over $30.

If you order in the summer time chances are it will be warm enough to mix and jar right away. It may even be a good idea to order it in bulk in July and jar all you'll need for the year. Many people will order their coconut oil in 5# pails in July then jar it in pint and quart mason jars for easy use throughout the year. Coconut oil/cream products turn to solids which then are kept at temperatures below 73-74 degrees F. So in Wisconsin you have to order them in July or August if you want them to be liquid without you having to stick them in hot/warm water. :-)

So, order one jar or manna or pick one up at a local health food store, to make sure you enjoy it. If you do, you can then purchase it in bulk directly from the company so it is a more affordable way to get whole coconut food into your body. Plus.. I will probably experiment more with using it in baking and smoothies with it being a little cheaper. I think it would be fabulous in Cocoa Crack! This morning I wanted a light breakfast.. I usually start out with a heavy load of protein, but my tummy has not be handling all the fat and protein well so far during this Planned Interruption. I know that if I don't get fat into me... I won't function well, so I chose to have an apple dipped in coconut manna.... oh ya!!! I will never need nut butters again! YUM! :-)

Hope you are having some form of coconut oil today if you are in phase 3 or 4!