It’s hard to believe that it’s already been 34 days since starting the diet. Cycle 2 is called “Activate” – You basically stay on every cycle for 17 days until you reach your goal weight, then you switch to the last Cycle (4) for maintenance. Cycle 2 consists of alternating between Cycle 1 “Accelerate” days and Cycle 2 “Activate” days. No problem.
I was excited to be able to add shellfish, a broader range of lean cuts of meat – including some red meats – flank steak, top sirloin, lean ground beef and some of the leaner cuts of pork. I also got to add in two daily servings of natural starches – my favorites included quinoa, brown rice, couscous, old-fashioned oatmeal, garbanzo beans, black beans and corn. There were lots of other choices, but I basically stuck to those I listed. It was hard to fit in more, since I only had 9 days (18 servings) to include the new things.
Tomato, cucumber and spinach salads remain a favorite “go to” side dish to my proteins. I add a drizzle or two of olive oil, champagne or other flavored vinegar, cracked black pepper, and a little sea salt.
Sometimes I even used some ribbons of fresh basil.
Lots of steamed broccolini and cauliflower – the purple made a second appearance.
Chicken, carrot, bok choy, leek and onion stir fry – using light soy sauce and Dorat garlic and some olive oil.
I’m still drinking a lot of Yakult to satisfy the probiotic requirement, but also added the Dannon Light and Fit – Carb & Sugar Control on a more regular basis… mostly because I needed a change and I missed my vanilla Chobani. While it’s not the same… and it took some getting used to the taste, it works in a pinch. I have also been eating plain Greek with light agave syrup and fresh fruit.
My morning routine changed a bit too. With the addition of a starch – I added oatmeal into my rotation. I bought a container of Quaker Old Fashioned Oats – but also bought some low sugar quick and easy pouches.
Better Oats – Oat Fit. I basically run around every morning before work trying to get everything packed and ready to take on the road… as I chug my morning hot lemon water and drink my green tea. Often times I just grab a packet of oatmeal and make it in the microwave at work.
Another favorite fruit snack has been sliced strawberries, basil and agave syrup – just a small amount. Some sort of “sweet” treat is what I have missed the most. Even though fruit needs to be consumed before 2:00 p.m. – it’s been a nice alternative to my apples, frozen red grapes, and peaches. I’m also still addicted to ruby red grapefruit, I pretty much just peel and eat them like an orange.
All in all – Cycle 2 wasn’t too bad. I stuck to my 17 minute a day workouts, didn’t stray from the plan and still feel as excited about the program as I was after Cycle 1. I did get a little discouraged when the scale didn’t budge for 8 straight days, but I solved that. I decided I needed to stay off the thing until the end of the cycle and that really helped.
I am officially down another 5.3 lbs. for Cycle 2 – bringing my total to 20.5 lbs. in 34 days.
Cycle 3 “Achieve” starts tomorrow and I CAN’T WAIT to sink my teeth into a mock pizza… 1/2 a whole wheat pita pocket or a whole wheat tortilla with a little Parmesan, low-fat mozzarella, homemade sauce, fresh basil, caramelized onion – OMG how I have missed pizza.
Some other add-ons for Cycle 3 – pumpernickle and rye bread – low sugar granola, gluten free cold cereals, whole wheat pasta, zucchini, pineapple, bananas, low fat cheeses – instead of FF cheeses, AVOCADO, nuts and seeds… and optional snacks… and an optional daily serving of alcohol – the first glass of wine is going to taste so damn good!
More food = more exercise, actually looking forward to that! The book says to increase weekly aerobic activity from 17 minutes a day to 150-300 minutes a week. I have to get a feel for things with the increased calories, but I’m aiming for the 250 minute range so I have some wiggle room if I end up back on Cycle 3 a second time or if I hit a plateau. I’m pretty much prepared for the fact that the scale won’t budge much during Cycle 3 and that’s o.k. The extra calories will keep my body guessing before going back on Cycle 1 after the 17 days are over.
It’s so hard to believe that I haven’t had a single piece of bread, cracker, muffin, pretzel, tortilla, cookie, etc. for 34 days. At first it was all I could think about – now I’m pretty much over it. I do occasionally crave things, but nothing compared to before.
Things I’ve learned…
- TV was a problem for me. I liked to snack when I watched TV. I also liked to eat my meals in front of the TV. 1/2 the time I didn’t even pay attention to what I was eating or the amount. I’ve cut down on TV – I’m watching an hour at most a night and I’ve stopped watching TV on my lunch hour. I am eating all of my meals at the dining room table.
- A lot of times I think I’m hungry, when I’m actually thirsty. The water and green tea have really helped to leave me feeling full.
- Speed workouts on the treadmill are fun. Seeing how far I can get in 17 minutes has become a game. My fastest has been 2.1 miles and I was jammin’. That was a one time thing. I actually like to stick to between 10 and 11 minute miles with the incline set between 3-5.
- There is always at least one thing that can be modified on a restaurant menu to fit any diet.
- It was a brilliant idea to keep all of my “skinny” clothes, because I’m going to need them. I’m down 2 whole sizes.
- I have incredible willpower and when I put my mind to something, I do well. Hurting my back pulling weeds was a true wake-up call for me. I know the extra weight is not good for my back. It was time and I’m treating this like a doctor’s prescription – even though I prescribed it myself.
- It hasn’t been all rainbows and unicorns… some days are tougher than others. I have turned to reading, blogging, side graphic design work, home decorating, craft projects and lots of other things to distract myself from thinking about food and things I miss eating.
- Rewards are important. This cycle I got a spa pedicure and chose OPI Ink Suede – sparkly purple polish to match my hair. It’s the little things…
- I miss blogging about sinful foods… almost as much as I miss eating them on occasion.
I’m excited to see what the next 17 days bring. I’m also excited to have even more options to create meals from.