Final Assessment and Weigh-in

One of my reasons to end my adherence to the Fast Metabolism Diet was due to not seeing great progress with weight loss (which is really the only measure I have to indicate an improved metabolism).  So now I’ll counter with a question… Did I give it my all?  Did I do enough? Did I follow the plan closely enough?

You have my food logs for the last 6 weeks (other than the 2 days off for my anniversary).   I bought organic when I could and cooked most grains and beans from scratch.  I started with logging portions, but after a bit stopped noting them.  However, I did faithfully measure the portions she required.    85%-90% of the time I drank my required water.  I did the minimal exercises and did not exercise more, even when I wanted to.  I traveled with the plan, dealt with a power outage, met with friends, and hosted visiting family members.  But was it enough?

  • I know at first I struggled with the schedule, especially eating so early
  • One or 2 days I missed a snack
  • In week 5 I threw away some of my tofu pudding because it was such a vile texture.
  • I ate soy in Phase 2, which is allowed to me as a vegan, but was also warned as a weight-loss impediment
  • I did take a 2 day hiatus for my anniversary… but this was after the 28 days were over
  • I also ate something off plan in Phase 2, week 6

After week one’s disappointing loss, I researched for tips to amp up my progress. Haylie Pomroy author of The Fast Metabolism Diet offers the following tips  here

You can also make the diet a little more extreme by choosing certain foods within the phase.

  1. Phase 1: Go for higher-sugar fruits like pineapple and mango. Eat lots of veggies containing cellulose, which helps stimulate fat burn: cucumbers, radish, jicama and celery.
  2. Phase 2: Go heavy on the spices and herbs! Toss them into salads, use spices as a rub for Phase 2 meats and fish. Use plenty of cayenne and lemon to stimulate the pancreas and fire up your taste buds in the process.
  3. Phase 3: Skip the optional starch at dinner. Don’t get so excited about eating healthy fats that you neglect your veggies — eat lots of them in this phase. You need them to kick-start fat burn.”

Based on those ideas, I

  • Gave up grains at the Phase 3 dinners
  • Tried to include more ginger, pepper flakes, and fresh herbs in Phase 2
  • Ate more mango and celery

I wasn’t perfect, but I really did give it my all.

So I weighed this morning.  I lost 1 more pound this week bringing the total to 6 pounds in 6 weeks.  I would love to lose the remaining 14 pounds towards my goal, but I’m going to try it my way now.

 

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The Decision

Thankfully, I woke up feeling much better today.  I also realized that the week is almost over…

The Fast Metabolism Diet (vegan version) has been my plan for the last 6 weeks.  I’ve accomplished what I hoped in terms of re-establishing healthy patterns and I lost a little weight.  It’s time to decide what to do next.

Things I’ve  loved about FMD:

  • sprouted bread with almond butter… this is a treat I look forward to every week and because it is an approved part in a very specific portion size, I have done well with it; in fact I guess I could have had it in the evenings of Phase 3 too.. as the optional starch and fat, but I didn’t.  It felt like a treat and I felt in control unlike my sometimes out-of-control passion for natural peanut butter.
  • Fruit… I have eaten MUCH more fruit than I usually would and I have really enjoyed this change; I love having sorbet especially 🙂
  • portions: the 1/2 cup of beans is plenty and the 2 cups of vegetables is appropriate.  The 1/2 cup of dry oats is fine, although sometimes 1 cup of cooked rice  feels like a lot; in general having portions to go by helps me create meals that are balanced
  • water/tea: the requirement has encouraged me to strive harder to drink more and most days I succeed; I feel much better for it and get to enjoy lots of delicious cups of herbal teas as well
  • The encouragement to do yoga and stress busting activities every weekend
  • The “excuse” it gives me for standing up to food peer pressure
  • The acknowledgement that eating should be a pleasure

Things I haven’t loved about FMD:

  • eating 1/2 hour after waking
  • eating when I’m not hungry (sometimes too early, too often, or too much)
  • Phase 2 with only soy and green veggies!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • aerobics only 2 days per week… really prefer this at least 5 days
  • the lists… figuring out if a certain food is ok on a certain day… even after 6 weeks!
  • the exclusion of some little foods in all 3 phases: tomatillos, sun dried tomatoes, the occasional date or raisin, an occasional cup of decaf coffee, split pea soup…
  • the unknowns… foods that are not on the lists but then you stumble across one of her blog posts or a post on the FB page where she says it is ok; I wish she had a page on her web site where approved foods had been added to a master list… little things like knowing about capers, nutritional yeast, konjac noodles would have been so much easier
  • Placing all my faith in the magic combo of foods and timing rather than in my own ability to choose healthy foods in appropriate portions
  • Not being able to use my recipes easily
  • shaping my schedule around my dietary needs rather than planning my meals & snacks  around my schedule

Things I feel confused about

  • the exclusion of some big foods in all phases: corn: I never felt like I ate too much corn but did enjoy an occasional cob, a sprinkle of frozen kernels in some of my recipes, and the now and then corn tortilla, as well as the once a year bean tamales; is corn really so bad?
  • the exclusion of some big foods in all phases: wheat: The rice pasta is fine but more expensive; not sure I really think wheat is an issue; love the sprouted bread; would occasionally like to bake something myself with whole wheat flour; it’s good to be limited on things like crackers and french bread because I often over did it so I do see the addictive role of processed wheat
  • the exclusion of some big foods in all phases:  white potatoes: I don’t see potatoes as evil and they can be very filling, inexpensive, and delicious; I do think that if my portion of potatoes is too big I eat less green vegetables; I feel like potatoes could have a role in my diet if the portions and frequency were controlled
  • the weekly “Fat” days: I enjoy these 3 days in terms of being able to have certain foods like avocado, nut butters, nuts and seeds, tahini, and the rare splash of oil; I also liked that it was limited to 3 days because I looked forward to it, but didn’t have that high level of fat in every day; however; I did not like the feeling of fullness that went along with the 3 meals plus snacks (due to the richness/heaviness) in Phase 3; I did not desire fat so often in a day and could be content with having the fat just a couple times in the day
  • alcohol: I really missed my evening cocktail time at first but have adapted to this now; I still sit down with my husband and have a seltzer and share the time; I wonder if I allow myself alcohol if it would quickly become a daily treat again or if I could limit it to 2-3 days per week
  • cornstarch… I didn’t really give arrowroot a chance as a thickener because I would need to buy it so I just didn’t bother to thicken anything; since I was never really sold on the idea of corn being evil I’m not sure I see cornstarch as a problem either
  • blogging: I started this blog because I couldn’t find a vegan blog about this diet and would have loved hearing about that perspective before committing myself to it; I enjoy the daily “thinking out loud” but it also takes a lot of time and so far I’m not sure if anyone is really getting anything out of it anyhow; if I discontinue the designed plan then is there a point to continuing the blog?
  • does the inclusion of 2 really hard days (Phase 2) make me more appreciative of the foods on the other Phases?
  • Would I enjoy the fruits of Phase 1 less if I had them every day? Are they more special since they are limited?
  • Bananas and Grapes: I think Pomroy is right that the body processes the sugar in these fruits differently, but do they need to be excluded completely?

I have thought about my decision all week long; I’ve really struggled with it.  Then I found a blog of a woman who followed FMD for only 1 1/2 weeks before she wrote this.  Her words felt right to me…She said, “I suddenly realized I had stepped into the diet trap. I was excluding perfectly healthy whole foods–not because I have an allergy or real need to avoid certain foods–but because some book guru said to. I was eating a formula instead of listening to my body and fueling my energy.” She defined the diet trap as “Obsessing about what to eat, when, as if there’s some magical formula that will help me transform my life.”  Yes… I had already felt this same thing when I wrote the lists above.  I said I didn’t like placing all my faith in the magic combo of foods and timing rather than in my own ability to choose healthy foods in appropriate portions.

I also liked that she talked about what she had learned and gained from her experience.  I too feel grateful for what I DID gain from the FMD.  I can appreciate the experience and also be ready to move on. There are some things I hope to continue and other things I’m glad to let go of.  It took me a while, but I’ve finally decided… I’m moving on to my own plan now.

Here’s what I had today:

7:30 Hot tea

8:00 sprouted bread with almond butter and a smoothie made of blueberries, baby spinach, cashew milk, ice, and cocoa

11:00 Hummus and celery

1:00 Red beans mixed with seasoning blend of celery, onions, & bell peppers + diced tomatoes + red pepper flakes + guacamole

4:00 salad of fresh tomatoes and basil with salt & pepper and some pine nuts

7:30 Dinner Out at Buffet: Kale & Spinach salad with tahini dressing, Indian spiced Vegetables, Veggie Chili (3 kinds of beans), Asian noodle salad with carrots and sesame oil, a few sips of unsweetened kombucha

9:00 Hot Tea

Portion Control as an Aspect of FMD

It is always such a relief to get out of Phase 2.  Even so… Phase 3 is not an all-you-can-eat buffet.  It still has a list of approved foods and it still has exact portions.  Some books on following a vegan lifestyle suggest that a person doesn’t have to worry about portions.  One of the authors and bloggers I admire pointed out here that “If you read any of the plant-based diet books, attend a conference, or watch one of the films, you get the impression that: You can eat as much as you want. As long as it’s plant foods, especially whole foods close to nature. Don’t count calories or pay attention to portions.” She goes on to illuminate what I also believe is true… portions do matter.

In fact one of the areas of The Fast Metabolism Diet that I found a bit daunting was figuring out the portions that went along with the approved lists of foods. The book does list the portions, but I needed to see them with each meal rather than consult back to the portion list… as well as the phase list…as well as the approved foods list!

So I created a list outlining  portions of the food categories required at each meal in each phase (for someone following a vegan diet with 20 lbs or less to lose).  Be sure to pick the Phase specific approved foods for each category of food (lists are in the book). You may also have any additional vegetables at any time as well as items from the approved Broth, herbs, spices, and condiments she mentions.  Also, “remember you can mix and match items within a category, as long as the total portion makes sense”. (source)

I also found planning for the week to be much easier with a menu template to use.  The book gives you one you can photo-copy, however  I just created a Table in a Word document with the following information as well as a blank grid to fill in. I do like that the template in the book has a place to put in the time for each meal; that can be important when planning your day based on your schedule.

So here is the list I used:

Phase 1 for Vegans:

  1. Breakfast: 1 piece fruit or 1 cup (if small like a kiwi… fine to eat 2) and Choose 1 (1 cup cooked grain, 1 oz of pretzels/crackers, 1 slice sprouted bread)
  2. Snack: 1 piece fruit or 1 cup (if small like a kiwi… fine to eat 2)
  3. Lunch: 1/2 cup beans/legumes, 2 cups vegetables,  and 1 piece fruit or 1 cup (if small like a kiwi… fine to eat 2), and Choose 1 (1 cup cooked grain, 1 oz of pretzels/crackers, 1 slice sprouted bread)
  4. Snack: 1 piece fruit or 1 cup (if small like a kiwi… fine to eat 2)
  5. Dinner:  1/2 cup beans/legumes, 2 cups vegetables, and Choose 1 (1 cup cooked grain, 1 oz of pretzels/crackers, 1 slice sprouted bread)

Phase 2 for Vegans:** Note that she does not give portions for tofu in the book so I based these amounts on recipes on her site; you may also have unlimited lemons and limes in this phase

  1. Breakfast: Choose 1 protein( 4 oz tofu, 4 oz tempeh, or 1/2 cup edamame) and 2 cups vegetables
  2. Snack: Choose 1 protein( 4 oz tofu, 4 oz tempeh, or 1/2 cup edamame)
  3. Lunch: Choose 1 protein( 4 oz tofu, 4 oz tempeh, or 1/2 cup edamame) and 2 cups vegetables
  4. Snack: Choose 1 protein( 4 oz tofu, 4 oz tempeh, or 1/2 cup edamame)
  5. Dinner: Choose 1 protein( 4 oz tofu, 4 oz tempeh, or 1/2 cup edamame) and 2 cups vegetables

Phase 3 for Vegans: *Fat/protein appears to mean higher-fat protein or fat plus protein so if you have nuts you can skip the beans but if you have avocado then have the beans too

  1. Breakfast: 1 piece fruit or 1 cup (if small like a kiwi… fine to eat 2), Choose 1 (1/2 cup cooked grain, 1/2 oz of pretzels/crackers, 1 slice sprouted bread), 2 cups vegetables, and choose 1 fat (1/2 avocado, 1/4 cup raw nuts or seeds, 1/4 cup hummus or guacamole, 2 Tbs raw nut or seed butter, 2-4 Tbs salad dressings/mayo/oils) (plus 1/2 cup beans if you needed/ see above*)
  2. Snack: 1 cup vegetables and choose 1 fat (1/2 avocado, 1/4 cup raw nuts or seeds, 1/4 cup hummus or guacamole, 2 Tbs raw nut or seed butter, 2-4 Tbs salad dressings/mayo/oils) ( don’t worry about the protein)
  3. Lunch: 1 piece fruit or 1 cup (if small like a kiwi… fine to eat 2),  2 cups vegetables, and choose 1 fat (1/2 avocado, 1/4 cup raw nuts or seeds, 1/4 cup hummus or guacamole, 2 Tbs raw nut or seed butter, 2-4 Tbs salad dressings/mayo/oils) (plus 1/2 cup beans if you needed/ see above*)
  4. Snack:1 cup vegetables and choose 1 fat (1/2 avocado, 1/4 cup raw nuts or seeds, 1/4 cup hummus or guacamole, 2 Tbs raw nut or seed butter, 2-4 Tbs salad dressings/mayo/oils) ( don’t worry about the protein)
  5. Dinner: 2 cups vegetables, and choose 1 fat (1/2 avocado, 1/4 cup raw nuts or seeds, 1/4 cup hummus or guacamole, 2 Tbs raw nut or seed butter, 2-4 Tbs salad dressings/mayo/oils) (plus 1/2 cup beans if you needed/ see above*), and OPTIONAL grain: Choose 1 (1/2 cup cooked grain, 1/2 oz of pretzels/crackers, 1 slice sprouted bread)

 

Whether I decide to continue FMD or create my own pathway, I know that portions will be important.  The consistency makes eating easier… 1/2 cup of beans from the pot or if I’m cooking for 8, multiply that 1/2 cup times 8.  I freeze leftover beans in 1/2 cup portions too.  It’s the same with other foods.  Learning that 2 cups of vegetables per meal is the minimum gives me a framework to work within when I’m putting together my meals.  Continued portion control is definitely in my future.

When I woke this morning I still had some digestive issues.  I also found myself getting a little weak and shaky as if I had a blood sugar dip… but even with yesterday’s slip, I didn’t eat any sugar; would nuts or nut butter turn into sugar?   The stomach issues were intermittent all day; just when they finally seemed to clear up , they would come back.  Totally NOT worth the slip yesterday.  I also had allergies again today, so I can’t attribute everything to being food related.:)

Well, here’s what I ate today (*notice that I stopped logging the portions long ago because I always follow the above guideline)

6:30 hot tea

7:00 sprouted bread with almond butter, carrots, small dab of leftover pineapple, and a small mandarin orange

9:30 cucumber slices and hummus

11:45 celery &  almond butter

3:45   baked sweet potato with hot sauce, cucumbers with hummus, Chocolate cherry sorbet  (blended frozen cherries, cocoa powder)

8:00 Red beans, greens, tomatoes, hot sauce, & guacamole

8:30 hot tea

Still Lamenting about Phase 2

One of the reasons I dread Phase 2 is the consumption of so much soy.  I get stomach aches and other digestive issues every week.  The addition of so much soy also coincided with breast tenderness and other menstrual changes (connected?). I did a little research and discovered that it could be a sensitivity.

“For some people, eating soy can be an unpleasant experience. Stomach pains from tofu and soy are most likely related to a soy allergy… The immune system fails to recognize that the proteins in the soy are safe and quickly begins building an attack against them. The body creates specific antibodies called immunoglobulin E, or IgE, to fight off the soy proteins. These antibodies trigger a chain reaction in the body of various chemicals being released. One chemical in particular is histamine. Histamine is created by mast cells in soft tissue, such as the digestive tract…The severity of symptoms will vary from person to person and typically form within a few minutes after consuming the tofu or soy product. The accelerated levels of histamine released in the intestines cause the lining of the digestive tract to become inflamed and irritated, causing cramping and pain.” (source)

“You can visit an allergist to have a skin or blood test, which will determine a true allergy; however, you can experience sensitivities without having a full-blown soy allergy. Symptoms can include stomach pain, breast tenderness, altered menstrual cycle, acne, slow thyroid, mood changes, excess phlegm, brain fog, and/or joint pain” ( source)  I could also just  remove the soy from my diet and see if the symptoms go away.

Although The Fast Metabolism allows soy in Phase 2 for vegans like me, the author is not a fan of soy; she states, “Soy is also estrogenic; it closely mimics your body’s own estrogens. That can mean increased belly fat. Lastly, soy can slow your metabolism down.” (source) So in addition to the possibility of causing some uncomfortable symptoms, soy could be one reason for my slow weight loss and could even be causing increased fat!

Yesterday I considered the idea of Pea Protein in place of so much soy for Phase 2… that could allow me to continue The Fast Metabolism Diet without soy, but would that be enough to “fix” Phase 2?  I would still face a day of boredom and minimal options…in fact maybe less so.  I can’t see the shakes and soup being enough to make me suddenly happy about Phase 2.

So why am I struggling with this issue at all? It’s not like The Fast Metabolism Diet has been such an amazing tool for weight loss!  Now if I were the lady in this  blog who had just lost 20 pounds  or if I were one of the people in these stories who loved the experience,  maybe I would feel more loyal.  Pomroy’s diet is actually focused on repairing metabolism with weight loss as a side effect; has my metabolism been repaired? Can’t I move on now?

5:30 hot tea

6:00 Tofu Chocolate Pudding

8:45 Edamame

12:00 Asparagus and Edamame in Mustard sauce (Dijon mustard + cider vinegar)

2:30 **** See Below****

6:00 seltzer and lemon

6:30  Edamame in Veracruz Sauce (Blended roasted red  peppers + capers + parsley + garlic + jalapenos), and leftover green beans

8:00 Hot Tea (choosing this kind due to my  digestive complaints)

*********************************************************************

I had already begun today’s post when something happened that I MUST address… it really feels like a whole separate topic to post about, but I’ll do my best to be brief.

Yesterday I ate a pretty low amount of calories due to picking mostly edamame and tofu with only a half portion of Tempeh; I was doing a little better cramp-wise too, so I continued with the same strategy today… the edamame and tofu have less bulk.  On top of that I skipped the vegetables at breakfast.  I smugly felt like I was “getting by” more easily than my usual Phase 2… but then at 2:30 I happened to notice some cashews and realized I REALLY wanted them.  I ate some nuts and then had some crackers and peanut butter too.  My first “cheat” in 6 weeks… I was so close.  I am reminding myself that no one is perfect; I will not beat myself up.  Pomroy says, “Don’t panic. If you accidentally ate the wrong food on the wrong day, just get back on track the next day..” (source)  It was exactly “accidental”; I let myself get too hungry and shouldn’t have. Shortly afterwards, my stomach ached tremendously and it didn’t let up all evening; then by dinner I also had a headache.

Phase 2 Protein Comparison & Possibility

Phase 2 again….. 😦  On the bright side I woke without needing allergy meds today.  My fingers still feel swollen, but it looks like I’m back down to within half pound of where I was before the Splurge.  I’ll stop weighing now until next Monday on my usual weigh-in day.  Now onward to surviving the day.

Phase 2 for vegans consists of lots of green veggies and 1 of 3 proteins 5 times per day.  I noticed that after tempeh I am extremely full while after my tofu pudding  I am much less stuffed; in fact I could eat double the size of pudding (except for it’s taste)!  So, I decided to investigate these 3 foods a little further.

The portion sizes sound similar but are visually  quite different.  A 4 oz piece of tempeh is huge; in fact it’s half the package of tempeh.  A 12 oz block of tofu yields 4  portions of 4 oz each and likewise a 12 oz bag of edamame yields 4 servings of 1/2 cup each.

An even bigger difference can be seen among these three forms of soy nutritionally:

Tofu:”Tofu is made by curdling soy milk with a coagulant to form thick white blocks. There are four types of tofu to use in various dishes: silken, soft, firm, and extra firm.”.source  (Apparently according to this source “Extra Firm has double the protein of Silken which has more water weight”). I usually choose Silken since I am making a pudding.

  • a portion equals 4 ounces based on various Fast Metabolism recipes like this one

My brand: Nasoya Organic Silken

  • 60 calories
  • 2.7 grams fat
  • 0 grams saturated fat
  • 0 mg Cholesterol
  • 0 mg Sodium
  • 1.3 grams Carbs
  • 0 grams fiber
  • 0 grams sugar
  • 5.3 grams protein

Tempeh: “This brownish and more textured soy product is made by fermenting cooked soybeans. Sounds pretty unappetizing, but it makes for a firm and chewy texture people might prefer over the often squishy tofu.” source  Also supposedly the “fermenting enhances digestion and increases the bio-availability of the nutrients”.source

  • a portion equals 4 ounces based on various Fast Metabolism recipes like this one

My Brand: Lightlife Organic Original

  • 231 calories
  • 8 grams fat
  • 1.5 grams saturated fat
  • 0 mg Cholesterol
  • 10 mg Sodium
  • 16.1 grams Carbs
  • 12 grams fiber
  • 0 grams sugar
  • 22.1 grams protein

Edamame:”These are baby soy beans that are harvested when ripe and sold either frozen, cooked, or shelled.”  source  “Means “twig bean” in Japanese. Soybeans have the highest ratio of protein to calories of any plant”. source (Note** you can also buy mature soy beans like these or  these in the can or even dried mature soybeans; however they are not listed on the approved choices for Fast Metabolism Diet )

  • a portion equals 1/2 cup based on various Fast Metabolism recipes like this one

My Brand: (varies depending on where I’m shopping)

  • 100 calories
  • 3 grams fat
  • 0 grams saturated fat
  • 0 mg Cholesterol
  • 30 mg Sodium
  • 9 grams Carbs
  • 4 grams fiber
  • 1 grams sugar
  • 8 grams protein

 

So  vegans in Phase 2 should have  5 servings of any combo of the above proteins plus lots of green vegetables.  At the low end that could be 300 calories of protein (all tofu) and at the high end 1155 calories of protein (all tempeh).  The fat could range between 13.5 grams and 40 grams.  The carbs could range between  6.5 grams and 80.5 grams.

Realistically I usually eat tofu twice, edamame once or twice and tempeh once or twice so my range has been

  • Calories from Protein 551-682
  • Fat from Protein 19.4 g-24.4 g
  • Carbs from Protein 36.7-43.8 g

I wonder if there are any other vegan sources of protein that I could eat 5 times to meet these requirements.

Based on this chart   5 servings (1/2 cup each) of Black eyed peas (which was the lowest carb legume listed) would have

  • 550 Calories from Protein (fine)
  • 2.5 g Fat from Protein (fine)
  • 80 g Carbs from Protein (close to twice as many carbs)

And this other chart indicates that 5 servings of almonds (1 oz each) would have

  • 805 Calories from Protein (a bit high)
  • 66 g Fat from Protein (much higher)
  • 30.5 g Carbs from Protein (fine)

It looks like there is no easy protein swap for soy. I read on this forum about someone who made her own modifications to the Vegan plan and is eating  Quorn and still having success, so maybe a perfect swap is unnecessary.  It looks like some of the ingredients in this food are not approved for Phase 2, and I can also see that 5 patties would have:

  • 600 Calories from Protein (fine)
  • 15 g Fat from Protein (fine)
  • 90 g Carbs from Protein (higher)

OK, here’s another option… I saw in this forum someone mentioned that “Haylie has her own protein powder that works on the diet. Its base is pea protein, so you could use pea protein, which is vegan”. So, I looked on the FMD site and discovered this Protein Shake Mix Labeled for Phase 2.  The main ingredient is pea protein. Pomroy’s is pretty pricey at $54 and I’m not sure I would like it or not; the ingredients are: Pea protein concentrate, xylitol, natural flavors, sunflower oil, medium-chain triglyceride oil, cellulose gum, xanthan gum, stevia leaf extract, and silica.  I found this brand that is just that one ingredient: pea protein (it doesn’t have the extras that the FMD one has) but is less than $10.  The carbs are super low for either!  Here’s what I wondered about… maybe I could mix the pea protein powder into a shake with lots of ice, cocoa powder, sweetener (unless I get the FMD kind which is already sweetened), and fresh baby spinach.  I know I like shakes that are fruit + cocoa + spinach; maybe it would be ok without fruit?  I could also just use the powder to thicken a vegetable soup or a green smoothie. In the video on Pomroy’s site, she mentions you can use it to replace Breakfast or a snack.  I also found this page with a recipe for an FMD Green Smoothie.  If you search the page, you can find a lady who wrote in with a question; she said she does not eat meat or eggs and cannot eat soy due to cancer concerns; she wanted to know if she could use the pea protein for all 5 meals and the admin told her “sure”.  Looks like you could also add it to vegetable recipes , simple soups, or as a salad dressing , or even to a cup of  tea or cocoa (these recipes would need tweaking but are good ideas). Would it work for me?  Would it be filling enough? Easy enough? Tasty? Or is it just another of my desperate attempts to “fix” phase 2?

5 shakes from the Pea only brand would be:

  • 350 Calories from Protein (lower)
  • 5 g Fat from Protein (lower)
  • 5 g Carbs from Protein (lower)

and 5 shakes from the FMD brand shake mix would be

  • 650 Calories from Protein (fine)
  • 17.5 g Fat from Protein (tad low)
  • 45 g Carbs from Protein (minimally higher)

DEFINITELY lots to think about.

Now here’s what I ate today:

5:30 Hot Tea

6:00 Soup (Broth made with Nutritional yeast, ginger, garlic, lemon, red pepper flakes, and Bragg’s Aminos) with cabbage and edamame

9:30 Tofu Chocolate Pudding (still not great but WAY better than last week’s disaster)

12:30 Reuben Salad :Big bowl of chopped romaine and fresh dill topped with some sauerkraut (note that Pomroy is a fan of this for aiding digestion and talks about kraut here and also here), caraway seeds, pickles, 1/2 portion of edamame, and a mock Thousand Island dressing made from Tofu, lemon juice, salt, mustard powder, white pepper, dill pickles, and some of the bell pepper ketchup that I made and described last week

3:30 celery sticks, edamame, and Lime-ade (fresh squeezed key limes + sweetener + water and ice)

6:00 seltzer and lemon

6:30 Browned Tempeh (1/2 portion), green beans, shallot sage sauce (veggie broth + shallots + fresh sage + balsamic vinegar), and 1/2 of a Tofu Chocolate Pudding

8:00 Hot Tea (choosing this kind due to my frequent Phase 2 digestive complaints)

 

 

 

Back in the Groove

Day 2 of Phase 1 (week 6) and feeling great.  I really love the combination of beans, grains, vegetables, and fruits.  Nuts and avocados in Phase 3 are nice, but the balance of Phase 1 is where I am happiest.  I am back in the groove of following the list and schedule.  However, I am having some seasonal allergies & asthma the last couple of days so life isn’t perfect.  I also only lost 1 of the 3 “gained” pounds.  I can tell I am still retaining water because my rings are still tight.  Even so, I am not worried… I would love faster progress, but at least I know I am making healthy choices.

It has also been great to be back on Daylight Savings Time… I know it won’t last, but for now I get a little reprieve from the dark mornings.  I love going for an early  brisk walk; I always feel so much more ready for the day. The mid-day bike rides have been fine too, but morning walks are probably my favorite aerobic exercise.  So I’ve started both days of Phase 1 with walks now.

Walks and my favorite sorbets made the post-splurge transition go so smoothly.  It was fantastic to have an established and familiar healthy pattern to fall back into after the splurge… especially since Phase 1 is my favorite.  And in this “diet-landmine” time of year I definitely want a plan in place.  However, Phase 2 starts again tomorrow and I’m already dreading it; something must be done.  Either I need to find an acceptable way to get through Phase 2 each week or I need to modify my plan.  I think for the rest of this week I need to do some serious thinking.

  • Should I alter the protien source in phase 2 and leave everything else as it is?
  • Should I alter the protein and add in other nonstarchy vegetables but try to keep it low carb?
  • Should I just do a longer Phase 1 followed by Phase 3?
  • Should I relax on the rigidity of the schedule?
  • Or maybe I should just follow a whole foods plant based diet like Novick suggests; now that I have broken my “bad habits”

I feel like there is lots to consider.  The Fast Metabolism Diet is not the only way to eat healthy nor is it a magical key for my body in terms of weight loss; my progress has not been any more outstanding than other diets I’ve done before… a pound per week is very modest and not worth all the Phase 2 anguish.  One of the  reasons I chose to try The Fast Metabolism Diet was that I wanted a set plan to get me back on track with good habits; I’ve accomplished that.  I had also hoped it would help me shed the 20 pounds I gained this last year; her “magic” didn’t work on me as well as on some of her other followers, but at least I got started.  My guess is that no matter what I choose it’s going to take me as long to lose it as it did to gain it.  Maybe if I’m lucky I’ll reach my goal by next summer.

This week is already planned and I’m sticking to it; now I just need to figure out what I want to do next week.

 

5:30 hot tea

6:00 oats with blueberries and cinnamon

9:30 a few sugar snap peas

10:00 Mango Lime Sorbet

12:00 navy beans, zucchini & tomatoes, mixture of brown rice & wild rice, and nutritional yeast plus Chocolate cherry sorbet

4:00 Mango Lime Sorbet

6:00 Seltzer with lemon

6:30 Cajun Red Beans & Rice (small red beans + brown rice + fire roasted tomatoes + garlic + paprika + cayenne+ frozen mix of onion, celery, bell pepper, & parsley), with  mustard greens and Tabasco

8:00 Hot Tea

 

 

 

 

 

Post Splurge Reflection

I’ve already written a quick post about the splurge, but I’d like to focus on a few of the details a little more closely.

One thing I noticed was that I was very aware of the physical effects of my splurging and discovered that it actually did alter my choices.  Saturday I was excited and eating the goodies I had planned, no guilt.  Saturday night my stomach hurt and Sunday morning I noticed the water retention… my rings were tight.  Recognizing my choices were negatively impacting how much I might enjoy the day, encouraged me to drink a little extra water, eat a little less bread, take a bike ride, etc.  I didn’t feel guilty and I didn’t freak out and end the splurge.  However, I also knew that this was not the only time I would ever get to have bread or cookies, so I didn’t worry about stuffing myself either.  This mindset was a positive change for me (I’m often an all or nothing kind of eater).

Another thing that I noticed was that while I enjoyed the champagne, I didn’t feel as excited about having alcohol as I thought I would.  It was a relief to see that I could enjoy it without being overly attached to it.

A third thing I want to consider is that stomach ache I had on Saturday night.  I had another small one Sunday too.  Both times I felt bloated and a little crampy.  Was it wheat? Sugar? Alcohol? Not enough fiber?  How much of these foods can I tolerate without being sick?

First I considered the wheat… 3 days per week of weeks 1, 2, & 4, and one day of week 5 (Phase 3 days) I ate a slice of sprouted wheat bread.  So really, I have NOT been wheat free.  I’ve read that, “Compared to breads that don’t contain sprouted grains, Ezekiel bread has more protein, fiber, and absorbable vitamins and minerals. It also contains less harmful anti-nutrients, like phytic acid, and is even less concentrated with gluten…For those who are sensitive to gluten but who aren’t truly allergic to it, soaking, sprouting, fermenting and lightly cooking wheat products can greatly reduce their gluten content.” ( source).  This bread was the only wheat I have eaten for the last 5 weeks; in contrast on my splurge I ate homemade pumpkin bread, French bread, cookies, and fettuccini… all of which had regular processed flour. Could the flour have caused my stomach pain?  If it was the flour what could I do differently?  Could I eat less and still be ok?

Maybe it was sugar?  In the last 5 weeks I have only had sugar in the form of fruit.  During the splurge there was sugar in the pumpkin bread and the cookies.  I had the pumpkin bread both days but the cookies were just Saturday.  This article talks about the link between sugar and digestive upsets.  Sugar is not something I want in my diet regularly, but I have always enjoyed holiday cookies, a special birthday cake, etc.  Alcohol could be related to the same sugar reactions.  I have had bloating from alcohol before.  It dehydrates me and causes a bloated crampy stomach.  Would I give it up to avoid it? Yes.  But does that mean I can NEVER have it?

For now, I will be back to a routine that should keep me free of stomach pain (other than my soy issues), but I do want to keep these ideas in mind.  Perhaps sometime in the future I can test either sugar, wheat, or alcohol in an isolated single serving incident to check my tolerance.

 

5:30 Hot Tea

6:00 Oats with blueberries

10:00 Mango Lime Sorbet (just frozen mangoes and lime juice)

12:30 Leftover beans in Mole sauce, salad of romaine, carrots, cucumber, & radicchio with dressing of lemon juice and Bragg’s,  2 puffed rice cakes, and a sliced kiwi

4:00 Mandarin Oranges

6:30 Navy beans with habanero sauce, 2 puffed rice cakes, Ginger slaw (nappa cabbage + carrots + cilantro + green onion + fresh ginger root + cider vinegar + Bragg’s)

8:00 Hot tea

 

The Splurge

I  weighed on Saturday morning so I’d know if the splurge caused a set-back.  Then I can give credit to The Fast Metabolism Diet for any weight lost and blame the splurge for any gained; on Friday morning I had lost one more pound… putting me at a total of 5 lbs lost in 5 weeks. I weighed again today (Monday morning) and was up 3 pounds, but…. I’ve read that ” it’s unlikely you’ve gained fat following a one-time binge. You may weigh more after a food binge because of an excess of fluids and undigested food, but this weight will drop relatively quickly once you go back to a healthy eating and exercise routine.” (source) I;m hoping that getting back to drinking lots of water and eating all of my Phase 1 fruits and veggies will get me back down quickly.

On the plus side, I ate what I wanted and when I wanted.  No schedule…no list…no measuring.

I had foods I have missed.  Bread and cookies sure… but also sun-dried tomatoes and a wild-rice salad.  I also managed to have salad, a crisp green apple, and some huge juicy tomatoes with basil, so it wasn’t ALL junky food.  I had champagne, but also made sure to have lots of water to avoid a headache.

I also did lots of relaxing… time to read, time with family, time with my husband (we even went on a bike ride!).

It was a great weekend.

Now, I’m ready to get back to business.

 

 

Planning a Splurge

Earlier this week I mentioned that I would be taking the weekend off for my anniversary… no Fast Metabolism Diet for me on Saturday or Sunday.  It feels so exciting to imagine the 2 days of freedom!  However, I do plan to get back on track on Monday.

Lately I have been trying to decide if I will continue more weeks of The Fast Metabolism Diet or if I will take a modified I approach to the plan.  I haven’t completely figured out what I want to do, but I DID decide that I wanted stability in place before my splurge.  I want to know exactly what I expect of myself on Monday.  Another week of Pomroy’s structure provides the comfort and safety I need.  I can shop ahead, plan my menu for the week, and get my mind set to Phase 1 on Monday.

I’m no expert at splurges, but I’ve certainly done it (taking a break from a way of eating) before.  I knew that I needed that structure in place.  There are other things I have been doing to prepare for the splurge too.  Here are a few things I’ve learned about planning a dietary splurge and hoping to get back on track again.

  1. Start a list of things you desire; while this sounds like torturing yourself, it’s actually useful in terms of prioritizing what will make a splurge special.  If you just head for the store, you are likely to buy all kinds of treats and then realize later you forgot a special item or worse yet… have to room to indulge in the treat you have been missing.
  2. Let your plans be lavish at first, but then as the date approaches start to pare down the options.  It is SO easy to plan more food than you can actually eat.  Prioritize the meals and goodies that you desire the most.
  3. I know, it’s difficult, but don’t let a splurge be an excuse to completely forget fruits and veggies.  Lack of fiber might end up causing digestive woes later.  Try to make a nod to nutrition like a restaurant would… a side of that pricey asparagus or those out-of season raspberries that you love.  Sometimes just allowing yourself to have a salad dressing you’ve missed makes the same old bowl of green stuff taste quite the treat.
  4. Before the big day, try on some of the clothes that you can now fit or almost fit.  Remind yourself how far you’ve come.  I sometimes even plan to wear one of these new trimmer outfits because they help me feel good about myself and all of the hard work I’ve done and also serve as a physical reminder that this is only a treat, not a slip back into old patterns.
  5. In addition to planning your splurge, plan the next day or days (as mentioned above).  Be kind to yourself after a splurge and make sure you have stocked the menu with healthy favorites, things you will look forward to having post-splurge.
  6. Sometimes things you have been avoiding can have a stronger impact on you than they used to… alcohol can hit you harder, sugar too… I always have to remind myself that I want to enjoy the splurge not end up with a headache or upset stomach.
  7. Think beyond just the food… what else would create a really decadent wonderful day?  A swim? a massage?  a bubble bath?  time to lounge around and read?  a walk through your favorite shops? listening to a special play-list? spending time with friends that you don’t see often enough?  Adding non-food elements to a splurge helps you really experience and know that the fun and comfort we associate with food is only part of what we really remember.  For example, Thanksgiving may be a feast day, but it’s also a day spent with friends or family.  A day of football.  A walk through crisp autumn colors.  Maybe there’s more to enjoying that pumpkin pie than just the pie.
  8. Pomroy offers these tips about splurging.  I think her “don’t feel guilty” tip is super important!

 

So, that’s how I spent my day. 🙂  Now here is what I ate for the 33rd day following The Fast Metabolism Diet (Vegan Style):

6:45 Hot Tea

7:15 Sprouted wheat bread with almond butter and a bowl of fresh blueberries and chunks of jicama with lemon

9:45 red bell pepper strips and celery  with homemade hummus with olives, pepperocini, parsley, & capers (same as last weekend)

12:00 fat-free canned refried beans (just mashed up pinto beans) + hot sauce, leftover calabacitas (roasted zucchini, yellow squash,  and onions tossed with lots of chopped cilantro) and a Chocolate cherry pecan sorbet  (sorbet made of cherries and cocoa powder and pecans)

4:00 celery and carrots with homemade hummus with olives, pepperocini, parsley, & capers (same as last weekend)

6:00 Seltzer

7:00 Leftovers (Clean the fridge night): beans, cooked spinach with diced tomatoes, kale salad with a Tahini dressing (tahini + lemon + cider vinegar + Bragg’s + garlic), a dab of beets, and a spoon of almond butter

 

 

Phase 2…The Woes

Uggg… PHASE 2… I just can’t enjoy it.  I can’t figure out a pattern that feels comfortable so keep trying new things.  I’ve tried new recipes, new attitudes, lots of repetition versus ‘out-of-the box’ ideas.  Even so, words like “apprehension”, “tough”, and “challenging” appear over and over in my Phase 2 posts.

For breakfasts I have had either soup or edamame radish salad.  The salad was a nice change but I miss the warmth of the soup. Neither is something I crave. It’s hard enough to eat 30 minutes after waking, but to have to choke down Phase 2 foods is even harder.

Tempeh is too filling and tofu is not filling enough.  I’m either bloated or hungry.  I’m eating lots of veggies yet have finally resorted to adding this tea to Phase 2 to help with digestive issues. The excess soy (at least a huge increase for me) also seems to be noticeable on a hormonal level. Soy does act like estrogen in the body; that fact doesn’t make soy evil, but it does add to my general complaints about Phase 2.

Worst of all about this phase,  I don’t look forward to any of the foods even though I am desperately trying new ideas. The tofu pudding has become a staple snack because it’s relatively easy to eat quickly so that I can get it over with.  Phase 2 stresses me out.  Not every moment is horrible, but the overall feel of these 2 days every week is a struggle to make my meals as palatable as possible and just get through the days.

This morning I found this article that links “what we think, feel, believe, our levels of stress, relaxation, pleasure, awareness, and the inner stories that we live out” with metabolism.  Yesterday’s stress at work  certainly effected the physical reality of eating, but probably also effected me on an inner chemical level too. I think I made the right choice to not worry about forcing down my snack.  I read that “In the moment the stress response is activated, something very interesting happens – the digestive system shuts down. It makes perfect sense that when you’re fending off an angry gorilla, you don’t need to waste energy digesting your breakfast.” ( source) While Pomry doesn’t suggest the following idea in her book, The Fast Metabolism Diet, she does have at least 2 different articles ( here and also here) where she links dealing with stress and extended versions of Phase 1.  Maybe Phase 2 gives me less tools to deal with the stress in my day, thus adding to it’s unappealing image.

6:00 hot tea

6:30 Edamame Radish salad… I forced myself to eat the edamame and picked at the rest…

9:30 Tofu Chocolate Pudding (remember that I mentioned I had bought a different tofu?… the flavor is more mild, but the texture is more grainy… blech)

12:15 Creamy Broccoli Soup ( tofu + steamed broccoli+ a roasted red pepper + nutritional yeast + garlic + red pepper flakes + water… blended up then heated) I also tossed the last of the Konjac noodles in at the last moment, but it didn’t really need them.  Not something I would make if I didn’t have a goal to eat the tofu, but not too bad; even so I ate it and felt immediately bloated and then crampy

3:10 slice of jicama in lemon juice… wanted something fresh

4:00 more jicama and the put-off-for-as-long-as-possible-now…begrudging bites of my grainy tofu pudding

6:45 Browned tempeh and spinach with a cilantro chutney (blended fresh cilantro & mint, with green chile, lemon juice, and garlic)… again afterwards feel too full and yet also unsatisfied

8:30 Hot Tea to help my digestion