Monday, November 24, 2014

Cheat day yesterday

Well yesterday I cheated a bit with Pizza, my mom brought pizza over and I well ate it.  I was hungry and I needed to eat something fast and as you know breastfeeding moms tend to be on the hungrier side, so I ate a few slices, not a lot though.  But a cheat nevertheless.

I made up for it later with homemade macaroni and cheese dish which you can have on this plan, in fact pasta is encouraged.  But then cheated again with 1 brownie.  For breakfast I had a large one - 2 eggs over easy, 1 sesame bagel with cream cheese and jam and a mixture of onions and potatoes. I also consumed about 3 glasses of Pepsi/Coke products but later that evening drank water.

Today I started fresh with Multigrain Hot Cereal from TJ's, 2 packets so I got 2 grain servings covered.  Still have the rest of the day to make smarter choices than yesterday.

Tip 1: I should have done this - Brought Medifast meals to enjoy while in the company of family.  For example, if I had brought a chocolate mint crunch bar it would have replaced the brownie and satisfied my craving for chocolate.  

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Learning some things along the way...and where to find Nursing info

Ok, so don't obsess over calories in this plan, what you want to do is focus on servings count, if you want to count the servings for an apple feel free but it is the servings you want while also staying within the 1800 or 1500 calorie intake.  So for fruits and vegetables a 5 serving minimum is required, get 5 servings in and you have already served a part of the plan.

So a lot of you must be wondering...where you can find the nursing program information.  If you go on my website: and then go into Habits of Health tab on the top, under Helpful Resources mid-way down the page, click on Frequently Asked Questions, Now on the Left there is a section that says Product & Plan FAQs, select Plan Guides and Tools, now under plan guides and tools on the page you should see: "Nursing mothers guide", click on it.  It will open a PDF that you can browse through and print at your leisure.  This gives you the information you need to get the plan done right!
Here is the link to the PDF form:

Also give foods on TSFL a second chance, I tried the Gingerbread again this morning, it was really good, not dry at all.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Keeping things interesting

To keep things interesting I have decided to only post weekly, this way you can get a run down on what the week was like and you don't have to get a menu of what I'm eating per day.  I don't want this blog to become my daily menu, it should really be about my experiences and tips I can share with you as a health coach as well as someone going through the program.

I will post my weight at the end of this week as well so everyone can get an idea on where I am at as well as keeping myself accountable.

Now my question is, you must have placed a Medifast order right?  And if so, did anyone try the recipes in the recipe flip book you received in the mail?  I was curious as to what outcomes there were and if anything tasted exceptionally good!

End of Weekend

Stayed on plan for the weekend for the most part, did have some Skinny Cow but not a ton like on Thursday.  Skinny Cow is just for this week though, don't plan on making it a regular thing.  But since chocolate is allowed on the Nursing plan, I decided to incorporate some this week.  Thursday didn't go too well but from then on, the days went well on the plan.

This weekend I made some good choices though, I had Thai food last night but ordered good stuff with plenty of veggies.  You can get take out and eat out on the Nursing plan you just have to choose wisely.

I got a Thom Khar Gai soup, Chicken coconut and lemongrass soup with mushrooms, 1 order of panko crusted Tofu, panko is better for you than breadcrumbs.  And 1 order of Chicken Drunken Noodles, which is the wide noodles, really good, with plenty of veggies.  You do need to watch out for the Thai sauces in the original plan though, they can contain a lot of sugar.

I followed the plan, just got to keep it up!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Day Five - A New Beginning

Ok, depending upon how you look at it, this could potentially be Day one because yesterday was not on plan - too much Skinny Cow!!

Breakfast this morning:
1 - Medifast Hot Cocoa
1 - Medifast Gingerbread - not bad but a bit dry, was my first time trying it, was skeptical because all I have ever liked from their bakes is the brownie and chocolate chip.  The last time I tried a new bake (the blueberry muffin) it was not very good.

= 220 Calories

Tip 1: All the drinks say not to shake in a shaker, well you NEED to prior to heating up because the protein turns into glop and you are forced to drink the glop, it can be really gross and turn you off their drinks for the long haul.  So, use the shaker first, then pour into vessel and either drink it or heat it up, but be sure TO WATCH THE DRINK IF HEATING, otherwise it will boil over.  30 second intervals are best!

Tip 2: When making bakes, mix with a knife not a spoon.

Rest of day went well, day got busy though so wasn't able to record it all.

Day Four corrupted

Set myself up for disaster today, who was the culprit?  Chocolate, that's who.  I set myself up for failure when I ordered Skinny Cow snack packs a few days ago, not thinking it would be a deterant from what I am trying to accomplish in this plan.  Plus there was no need to get them by Medifast chocolate crunch bars arrived today and I could have gotten my chocolate fix that way.

So breakfast was good:
1 Multigrain Slim w/ margarine
1 cup carrot juice
1 cup of mixed fruit

= 370 Calories

Then the chocolate arrived....
Skinny Cow PB Crisp bar
Dark Choco Clusters
Milk Chocolate Caramels
3 - Milk Chocolate Crisp Bars
= 690 calories for a mid-morning snack!!
I meant to have one but ended up having more than 1, sugar is sweetly and yet painfully addictive.  I say painful because it only hurts you when you are trying to eat right.

2 TJ's Chile Lime chicken burgers
2 Multigrain Slims
w/ Homemade Pesto spread
and Nayonaise Spread (Vegan Mayo)
2 Thin slices of Mozzarella Low Moisture

= 700

Turkey Meatballs in Tomato Sauce

Don't have the calorie count on these sadly, my husband chucked the package before I could record it.  I know I went over for sure, not a good day!

Tip: DON'T EAT CANDY on the plan, it will surely ruin your whole day, it is very addictive and sets you up for failure!!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Day Three

I promise not all of these posts will be meals but I am keeping a food journal for myself as well as sharing advice of what I go through in a typical week, tips and other helpful information.  Tips are in Thanksgiving Orange

If you have read my other blog: you may have seen before and after pics of me.  I plan to do before and afters again this time around, I just have not done it yet.  My profile picture offers a thinner version of me but it is not my current look.  I wear a lot of oversized sweaters, sweat pants and fleece pants, needless to say I don't feel put together very well.  But my kids keep me going as well as this blog and my Ebay business.  I feel as a stay at home mom it is important to feel connected to the world around you, so having an in-home business or hobby can really help with that.  My stress relief is Paint Nite, I have painted many paintings to date, and I plan to paint even more.

Yesterday I followed everything but the Medifast meals, in the program they tell you to just stuff it all in the end of the day even if you are not hungry, I probably should have done that.

You may find that I post the brands of the product I am eating, I find this is great to share if you see it and think it is a good idea for a food item, then you know what brand to buy.  Or get the generic brand and save money.  At least with the references you can get a good idea on what to get when you shop for yourself. :)

Hodgson Mills Hot Oat Bran Cereal 2 servings = 1/2 cup
Added maple syrup and Baker's Blend Spices

= 345 Calories

I get my spices through the mail at The Spice and Tea Exchange, they have a lot of spices and teas, hence the name.  Very reasonably priced too.  Baker's Blend is a spice blend used in many recipes and I love using it in oatmeal, I even make my own pumpkin spice spread by adding a bit of it and Truvia to 2 tablespoons of margarine spread.  Cheaper than getting the real thing.

Mid-Morning Snack:
Medifast Cappuccino Calorie Burn (the only kind I have at the moment)
1 Small Bosc Pear

= 220 Calories

Water = 3 - 8 oz cups w/ 1 True Lemon flavor stick = 5 calories (yes, you can flavor your water but play it smart)  True Lemon is a great brand because it is all good for you and provides a good amount of Vitamin C, its the only water flavoring I will give to my little boy who hates plain water.  You can get it at Stop & Shop and online at, Shaw's may also carry it as well as some Dollar Trees.

Tip 1: I put in my order for more Medifast stuff on Tuesday and my shipment will be coming in on Friday.  Here is a tip for ordering your Medifast TSFL food: always order a day or two before Wednesday, Wednesday is there shipping day.  Ever notice if you order on the weekend how long it takes to initially ship it out to you, or at least leave the warehouse?  Place it a couple of days before Wednesday and it will ship a lot quicker.

Tip 2: Always clean your dishes after making or eating/drinking any Medifast product in it right away.  The longer you leave it, the harder it is to clean off.

1 Medium Veggie/Meat Wrap - 1 large slice of low moisture Mozzarella Cheese, 1 slice of Turkey, 2 slices of uncured Ham, 7 slices of cucumbers, 7 leaves of cilantro, Pesto (homemade) spread and 2 tsps of Light Mayo on a Flax Seed Whole Grain Wrap.

= 506.5 Calories

Continuing to drink water = 2 - 8 oz cups, used left over stick of True Lemon and a splash of Skinny Girl Black Cherry flavoring, add 2 calories

I find myself rushing through my meals, not knowing how much time I have to eat them (till baby cries or my son needs another thing from me).  Tip 3: If you can take the time to eat slowly and really chew between bites, you can really enjoy your food and be a better eater.
Have you ever noticed how everyone seems to be in a race when you go out to eat or just sitting in a coffee shop, people eat real quick and head out the door.  As a past Weight Watchers goer the one of the things I took away from the program that really stuck for me was: taking the time to get through your meal, frequent pauses, 3 to 5 minutes between bites and really chew your food, so important.  This helps with digestion and you will be less likely to have a full stomach or tummy ache later.

Mid-Afternoon Snack:
1 Medifast Brownie

= 110 Calories

Adding in 3 additional cups of Water for the afternoon, + 5 Calories for True Lemon Lemonade Flavor Stick

Tip 4: Want to make sure you get your water during the day?  I know with kids it seems hard enough to remember to eat but if you have a big cup around perhaps 16 oz or more than you can get more of a chance to drink your fluids and to fit them into your day.
I use a 24 oz cup for the day so each time I fill it I am getting 3 cups of water, this keeps me on point and assures I get the water I need for the day, my doctor said 10 cups but others say just 8, so do what your doctor recommends.  It is 8 cups for the regular Take Shape program.

2 small tuna fish salad sandwiches
Tuna fish Salad = Tuna, a bit of mayo and apple slices
on 2 slims multigrain sandwich bread

= 317.2 Calories

I have to say at the end of the day it is hard to fill up the calories, I still have 289.3 calories left!!  What will I do to fill it in?  I know I have one Medifast meal left, perhaps I can incorporate more fruit or have a cup of carrot juice.

1 medifast Brownie
and Ghirardelli 60% Cacao bittersweet chocolate chips
Chocolate Almond Milk, since Chocolate Almond milk is 120 Calories for 1 8oz cup I am going to make my own chocolate almond milk by taking a few chocolate chips and melting them down and then stirring them into a cup of Vanilla unsweetened almond milk this way the calories will be 30 + however many chips I use.

= 190 Calories


Day Two

I forgot to go over weighing yourself - don't weigh yourself every day.  Instead weigh yourself once a week, the same time every week.  So if you started to log your weight on Wednesday at 6 a.m., then continue to weigh yourself every week on Wednesday at 6 a.m..  This way you keep yourself accountable and you don't over obsess about it.

I have chosen the 1800 calorie plan I believe, however I find it entails too much food to integrate so I may change my mind to 1500 calories later.

Breakfast today:
2 slices of Sprouted Whole Grain Ezekiel bread w/ Sunflower Seed Butter
1 cup of Cabot Greek Yogurt plain, w/ Honey
1 Bosch Pear
1 4 oz cup of Carrot Juice

= 560 Calories

Early Lunch:
2 cups of TJ's Rice Medley - Brown Rice, Red Rice and Black Barley
2 Chicken Sausage Links Garlic Flavor

= 620 Calories

Mixture of veggies - onions, sweet potato, red peppers and Crispy Noodles cooked in O.O. (Olive Oil)

= 150 Calories, remember veggies and fruits are unlimited.

I had 470 left and didn't use it.

Didn't get to Medifast meals today, went to bed right after Dinner, very sleepy.  With two kids I get exhausted easily.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Day One

Today 11/11/14 has started the program.  It was supposed to be yesterday but my husband brought home some delicious fruit bars from our neighbor's party on Sunday and I had them for breakfast which corrupted the whole day.  But they were good.

So today 11/11/14 my breakfast started quite good:
1 - 8 oz cup of Carrot Juice
Breakfast pita:
2 Eggs Scrambled (Tip from my husband for fluffy eggs add a small amount of water when cooking.)
1 slice of Low Moisture Part Skim Mozzarella cheese
1 Chicken Sausage Roasted Garlic flavor - these are my favorite from Trader Joe's (TJ's), they're all natural with no preservatives or artificial ingredients.  They come in other flavors too.  And super easy to make, you can broil, grill or bake.  Or pop in microwave.  If you have the time broiling is best.
on 1/2 an Arnold Pocket Thin in Healthy Multi-Grain

Total calories: 650 (includes juice)

If I follow the 1500 calorie plan I now have 850 left
If I follow the 1800 calorie plan I now have 1150 left

I haven't quite decided on which plan, but I think it might be the 1800 plan since I need more calories to produce milk which has its off days on supply, eating 1800 would provide more food options for me and would satisfy my appetite.

Mid-Morning Snack - would have been earlier but I had my breakfast pretty late this morning at 9am so mid-morning snack is at 11:55 a.m. instead.
1 cup of Low fat Greek Yogurt Plain with Honey = 180+60 = 240 calories

1800 calorie plan = 910 calories left
1500 calorie plan = 610 calories left

Eating this I wish I had some walnuts too, but I don't...sadly :(

Not sure on Greek yogurts, I prefer them because they have a lighter taste than regular yogurt and they are less in fat.  Cabot is a brand I like because 100% of profits goes back to farmers but Trader Joe's Greek Honey Yogurt is really thick it tastes almost like a dessert, it is really good.  Regular yogurt is fine too for this plan.

Lunch - Veggie and Meat wrap
Veggies - 5 slices of English Cucumber & 3 sprigs of Cilantro
Meat - 1 slice Turkey Breast and 2 slices of Ham
Cheese - Mozzarella, 2 thin slices
Condiments: Homemade Pesto spread and Mayo
on a Multi grain, Whole Grain and Flax Seed wrap

1 Medifast Chicken Noodle Soup with Real Salt and Paprika Seasoning

Lunch Calories = 505

1800 calorie plan = 405 calories left
1500 calorie plan = 105 calories left

Dinner - Butter Chicken Indian Dish w/ Basmati Rice
Salad - 1/2 sliced English cucumber and 1 Plum Tomato sliced in Fat Free Balsamic Dressing

Dinner Calories = 385

1800 Calorie plan = 20 calories left
1500 Calorie plan = Over 280 calories

After Dinner Snack - 1 Medifast Brownie and 1 Medifast Chocolate Chip Bake

Dessert Calories = 220

Water consumption: 8 glasses of water, next time I need to aim for 10 glasses.

So calculating this I went over the calorie count by 200 calories, which seems odd since I followed the plan and the servings the plan gave me.  

Not bad for my first day overall.

Friday, November 7, 2014

You can now post Comments

Sorry, just realized I forgot to change the Comment security on the settings tab.  You can now comment :)  So anyone who had a comment on nursing for longer than 6 months, please share your thoughts.

The Program

Ok so now you have a back story.  I also have established some changes in my diet before starting so my body and my schedule can get used to what I plan to do.  I did this to see how much time it would take to prep meals and to give me meal ideas as the weeks progress.  I recommend doing this before going on your Take Shape program.  It also gives you some time to get your food from Take Shape as well.

Here is the Nursing for Mom's program from Take Shape for Life and how it compares to the regular program:

In the regular program grains, fruit and dairy are taken away and replaced with Take Shape meals as well as a healthy meal for you.  It's called the 5+1 plan.  5 meals of theirs plus 1 of your own.  You choose from proteins and vegetables and you get 5, 6 or 7 oz depending upon what you chose.

In the Nursing program it is different, I still need to eat grains, dairy and fruit to produce milk for my baby.  I also need more calories than the average person does.
The Nursing program incorporates healthy grains, dairy and fruit into your diet to help with milk production and you can choose a 1500 or 1800 calorie meal plan.

The meal plan contains a balance of fruits, vegetables, dairy, whole grains and meat/meatless proteins.  You need to eat 5 servings of fruits and vegetables, 3 servings of dairy, 2 servings of whole grains if you choose the 1500 calorie plan or 4 servings if you choose the 1800 calorie plan and 2 servings of meat/meatless proteins.  In addition to your own food you are to eat 3 Take Shape meals per day.  Seems like a lot, I know.

Here is a food guide of a typical day:
Breakfast: 1 cup of bran flakes, 1/2 cup of berries and 1 cup low-fat or fat free milk.
Mid-Morning Snack: Medifast Peanut Butter Crunch bar and 1 Peach
Lunch: Medifast Chicken Noodle Soup, 1 cup of salad greens topped with 1/2 cup of sliced tomatoes and cucumbers, 1 tablespoon of reduced fat dressing and 4 to 8 oz of low fat or fat free yogurt.
Mid-Afternoon Snack: 1 cup of low fat or fat-free cottage cheese, 1 medium apple and 3 cups of plain popcorn.
Dinner: 4 oz of grilled salmon, 1/2 cup of steamed broccoli, 1/2 cup medium sweet potato baked and topped with 1 tsp of trans fat-free margarine, 1 cup of low fat or fat-free milk.
Evening Snack: 1/2 cup of Strawberries dipped in 1 oz of Dark Chocolate

So how much will you lose per week on this plan?:

The program is not as quick moving in terms of losing the weight. You lose about 2 pounds a week rather than 2 to 5 pounds a week on the regular plan but the goal is to get healthy, lose weight safely and still provide the proper nutrients for your baby and produce...well milk.

You can also make substitutions to the plan, for example I don't like milk so I am incorporating Almond milk instead.  I also am not a big fan of regular yogurt so I am incorporating low fat Greek yogurt.  I also like to get flax seed and whole grain wraps for sandwiches.  Flax seed is great for this kind of plan.  You can even go gluten free with gluten free breads, still incorporating whole grains while also being tolerant of your gluten free diet.

What I'm doing to change

Having started to eat better last week I stepped on the scale this week after two weeks ago of stepping on the scale and I lost 6 pounds, which is awesome.  So it was 220 and this morning it was 214.  I haven't incorporated Take Shape's food yet but just started to make healthier choices and it has helped to increase milk production as well as helped me to lose weight.  I think it is also a well known fact that women lose more weight after birth when they are nursing, I believe this is true now, it can only help me further reach my goals.

What do I mean when I say healthier choices?  I mean instead of eating junk and microwaveable meals all day I eat wraps with veggies and meats.  I get more calcium in my diet by eating yogurt and I incorporate more fruit into my day.  I still have the occasional treat but I am learning to take better care of myself now that the baby's schedule is becoming more routine.

I am not part of my husband's gym right now but my kids give me very little time to just sit and hang out.  I assure you I am moving a lot during the day.  I get my exercise by doing chores, going up and down stairs and I park far from the front door when I go on errands or drop/pick up my son from school.  These activities have certainly helped in losing some weight.  My pregnancy with my son, I barely moved around so I just kept gaining weight instead of losing it.  But the second time around with my daughter I barely rested until the 8th or 9th month and after she was born I have been constantly moving.

I did not nurse my son for very long after birth, in fact nursing didn't work out for us very much.  Instead I pumped occasionally and he got most of his nutrients from formula.  I pumped for about 3 months and then stopped.
This time is different, my daughter is excellent at nursing and I plan to nurse her till she turns 6 months.  I have thought about nursing her for longer but I am worried about being bitten when her teeth grow in.   I am considering to nurse her longer but I have not made up my mind yet.

**(Comment please if you nursed for longer than 6 months, I'd like to know how you handled the teeth).

I hope to incorporate the Nursing program for Take Shape starting next week 11/10/14 and I will keep you posted weekly/monthly on my progress.

My back story

For those of you who have read My Ideal Protein Diet Journal/Take Shape for Life @ you know who I am.  For those who have never read that blog, you don't, so here is a bit of back story into my journey thus far.

I started the Ideal Protein program back in the Spring of 2012 and it took me about 9 months to lose 130 pounds, bringing me from 255 to 125.  The journey wasn't easy at all and the cost was pricey but it was well worth it in the end.  I had shed many sizes from 2X to size small, from a 2X pant to a size 4 in jeans and really took pride in my appearance when before sweats were a comfort.  I was doing well when until I let myself slip in Summer of 2013, was having stress at school and found comfort in food and well summer drinking which led me to gain about 25 pounds.  150 wasn't horrible but it wasn't where I wanted to be.  So in October of 2013 I went on a new program called Take Shape for Life, I had been on the maintenance program in Take Shape for some time before the Summer and new the maintenance items helped a lot.  Ideal Protein was good but Take Shape was even better, allowing bars all the time and allowing me to save a few dollars here and there.  Their food also provided more choices and was pretty good too.  Not having to buy vitamins in addition to food was a huge savings.
I was a Take Shape coach since January of 2012 anyways so I knew about the program and decided that I should incorporate it into my life again to lose the 25 pounds I wanted to lose.  So I incorporated it back into my life and I lost 15 pounds.
In December I got news that I was pregnant, this was my second child.  I had to stop the diet and watch what I ate again.  It was hard and the cravings didn't help much either.  As the 9 months went on, I kept gaining, I gained about 100 pounds in fact.  A little more than my last pregnancy of 80 pounds when I started at 175.  Needless to say after having my baby I dropped to 220 and could see myself in a rut.
My worst fear of gaining weight all over again had come true and I have to lose it again.  I thought I was going to be able to jump right back in when she was born but I had to settle with the weight for now as I learned mine and my baby's schedule first.  Now my baby has a somewhat steady schedule and I have found more time to take care of myself.  That being said I am now ready to jump on the wagon again and lose the weight.  I am not just doing this for myself but also for my daughter.  I have lost myself these passed two months trying to eat the right foods so my daughter can get enough milk and yet I've fallen many times into the pit of sugar.  That's right - chocolate, fast food, candy and just overall poor diet.  Because of these choices my milk for nursing has declined and it is both frustrating for me and baby.  Now it is time to really eat well for not just myself but for my daughter as well.  Plus my husband just joined a gym, he goes every day he can so there is support in the house to get going on the program.  There are loads of reasons to go back on, best reason to be healthy for my kids and to love life again, I miss running and I hope to be in shape enough to run in the Spring.