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Vegetable Survival Guide

 

Many of you may not be fans of vegetables. I don’t blame you, they have a bad rap. But again being the journey we were on veggies were a way of life. Veggies don’t have to be pretty to eat them. I think that is one of the problems. Some of them are just ugly and look unappetizing. I worked to find ways to eat veggies and not get bored. Here are a couple of example with plenty more to come!

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What you see in the picture above is a container of cooked veggies. No seasoning, no oils, no salt – Just veggies.

For this batch I made yesterday it contains the following ingredients:

  • 2 bunches of Bok Choy
  • 1 Large head of Napa Cabbage
  • 2 Packages of Bean Sprouts
  • 1 bag of carrot chips
  • Snow pea pods
  • Celery
  • Mushrooms

This is where is get complicated. I basically cut them all up, put them in a pot with a cup of water, put a lid on and stir once in a while so they don’t burn. Don’t over cook them until they are mushy. Once the carrots are soft the rest is probably done. Then I put it into as many containers as it would fill and stick it in the fridge.

That’s It!

That will probably yield enough veggies to eat for 4 or 5 days. Plus its in the fridge and ready to go when you need a snack.

I will admit I like to eat clean but I am not perfect. We all have our vices and this is mine:

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I usually spray this on these types of vegetables. It adds flavor and your hand would get tired if you wanted to use the whole bottle. :)

 

Also we always keep these in the house: Steamer Bags

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Veggies don’t have to take forever either. For example for lunch today I had some asparagus we had in a drawer in the fridge. Took about two minutes and 30 seconds. Threw it on a plate, use the above spray butter and a tiny bit of ground up sea salt and was satisfied. Normally I make this on the grill but it was just a snack so steaming is easier. As long as you have those bags you can steam anything!!

 

 

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So get creative with your veggies here are some other things we do as well:

  • Oven baked Kale chips with cumin, garlic and onion powder
  • Baked carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, green beans
  • Baked spaghetti squash (use instead of noodles)

As I try more veggie combinations I will post them and would love to hear yours as well!

 

Jason – Food MacGyver

I have no idea what to call this blog post so Jason’s Food Profile it is! Basically you’re going to get a little foundational knowledge on why I eat what I ate. :) Rachel will post her own soon.
Some of you may be like me some like Rachel, both of us or none when it comes to your eating profile.

Some Background:

A lot of people don’t know this about me but I gave up fast food on November 13th 2007, my 30th birthday. I weight probably close to 360 at that point. I am the king of justification! If I was busy and I always was, I would run out and grab fast food. So I had my last meal at Taco Bell and random things at a few other places and quit cold turkey. I made a simple rule for myself. No fast food. No McDonalds, Taco Bell, White Castle, Burger King, KFC, Hardee’s, A&W, In & Out nothing that would be considered fast food. Don’t get me wrong if one of the kids got apple slices from a fast food place I would probably have one. But no fries, burgers, etc. You get the point. I have to set up these rules for myself or I will do whatever I want.

Also while doing this journey I learned a LOT about my body over the last year. I did a lot of food experiments. Here are a couple things I learned.

1. I am very sodium sensitive.

If I have a lot of sodium (over 3500 mg) in a short period of time you can watch me literally balloon up. My stomach especially. The scale shoots up too because I do have a lot of extra skin as well which holds a ton of water. Since sodium makes you retain water its not a real gain. But more about that in another post.

2. I do not do well with wheat and gluten.

My Dad is diagnosed with Celiac’s even. (http://www.celiac.org/) so I already had that against me. But if I eat gluten or wheat I balloon up and bloat with gas and just feel like crap. I generally eat pretty much gluten free. Which gets easier by the day as more gluten free products come out.

3. I don’t eat dairy.

I wouldn’t say I am lactose intolerant but certain dairy product can be painful. Cheesecake and I am out of commission for a day or so, a slice of cheese and I’m bloated so it depends. However when I cut dairy out of my diet completely I feel great. I never feel bloated at all.  Also cheese usually has a ton of sodium. I have no idea why, but it does and can really affect the numbers.

 

My Profile Type:

For me my craving carb is sugar. I love anything sweet. Candy, pudding, popsicles, fruit, chocolate, etc. If it has sugar, then its for me. (Rachel’s carb is more about bread, but she will talk about that) So I was on a mission this year to find things I like that didn’t have sugar. Its even more challenging to find things to drink. I don’t like pop or soda and I don’t like drinking straight up water. But what I did have on my side was that I love fruits and vegetables! I would take a pear over a slice of bread any day!

 

So when you see the food things I post they generally wont have diary or gluten. You will also see I am a food MacGyver. I will make anything healthy that may not originally have been just because I may be craving it. You may also notice that a lot of what we put up as a “recipe” may not have exact amounts. That is on purpose. Everyone’s taste buds are different. But when there is an exact quantity we will specify it. Now some of what I may post may sound strange or unorthodox. You have to remember I had one year to change my life. We had to get creative. Now that it is over we all have more time but no less sense of urgency to get rid of the weight and be healthier. But you have to get creative to win the battle.

We have received so many questions looking for “exactly” what we ate in Phase I or phase II, etc. I wish there was a magic bullet but it doesn’t work like that. You have to experiment with your body and it really is as simple as calories in less than calories out equals weight loss. That being said we CAN help and WILL help. Its out way of paying it forward from this amazing opportunity we were given.

Any questions or comments we would love to hear!

 

 

 

 

Chips and Salsa

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I know there has been a ton of “food” questions as that was not covered on our show. Well welcome to the first of MANY food posts. I know for me personally 80% of my success was based on food. So you’ll hear some good and some bad, some things that may sound a little crazy and some that just sound delicious.

For me I like chips and salsa. Love chips and salsa. While salsa is a great food to have around you should check out the sodium content. The salsa in a jar are usually much higher in sodium. (More about why sodium sucks in a later post). I get my salsas in the deli or produce section. They are fresher, refrigerated and usually have a bit less sodium.

The challenge is the chips! Those damn tortilla chips climb up there really quick when it comes to calories. Usually close to 170 calories for 10 chips. Lets face it, I could never eat just ten, let alone one. One of the solutions I came up with this year is Carrot Chips and Salsa. With carrot chips you get the crunch and something to scoop up the salsa with without all the calories. (Works great for hummus too!)

Sounds strange but very effective. Lets do the math:

The entire container of salsa pictured is 160 Calories. The entire bag of carrot chips pictured is 175. Grand total if you pig out and finish all the chips and lick the container empty is 335 calories. I promise if you do finish it all you may be in the bathroom in a few hours. I speak from experience. :)

Where as if you went with tortilla chips and finish half the bag and all the salsa you are looking at over 1200 calories on average.

Lastly if you are really trying to “lock it down” use celery sticks instead of carrot chips.

Hope this helps and as usual would love to hear your feedback and questions!

-Jason

Coming soon: from Rachel

Whew.

You know what that is?  A sigh of relief, from me.

This year, without a doubt, has been one of the most difficult years of both mine and Jason’s life.  Yes, it ended on a high note.  Yes, we got our lives and health back.  And yes, I would even do it all over again—though I might change some things. ;)

But I am still glad it is over.

There is a reason that people can only do a program like this for so long.  It IS extreme.  It IS supposed to produce rapid results.  But it IS super stressful.

So, having said all that, there is much I want to share with our readers.  I couldn’t contain everything in this one blog post even if wanted to.  There is simply too much to say.

But I hope you have stumbled upon this blog and will come back more to read more entries.  Some topics that you can expect from me (Rachel) are:

  • Diet
  • Fitness
  • Motivation, what happens when you lose it, and how to get it back
  • Tips for cravings
  • What the show did not tell you—oh trust me, there is A LOT
  • Our plans for the future and “real life”
  • The aftermath of “the show”
  • Reasons for doing this that the show did not share
  • Emotional eating
  • How we survived the year with family functions, holidays, fun outings, etc. without turning to food
  • Why YOU can do this if you are struggling
  • Finding the BALANCE with your life and family, especially if you have children

I hope you stay tuned!  I have much to share! :)