Sunday, December 20, 2009

Product Reviews-Natural Factors 12/12 probiotic, Archer Farms flavored water, Spry, NOW and Sweetleaf liquid stevias

So I've been on the Natural Factor's 12/12 probiotic now for a week.  I've finished off one of four bottles in one week attempting to make up for being off probiotics for at least 2 weeks.  I have had no adverse effects from taking as many as 12 in one day.  This week I will take 6/day and next week go to the recommended 3/day.  I guess another order to Total Health is fast approaching :-)  It is recommended that you keep these probiotics in the fridge and they were shipped with a gel cool pack.  Again, I paid $13.97/bottle of 60 pills through Total Health discount vitamins.  The cheapest price I could find.
Archer Farms sugarless flavored water.  This is Target's brand for food items.  My store had 3 flavors and I decided to try their vanilla mint and jasmine plum.  They were both very nice and refreshing.  They were more expensive than SoBe 0 surprisingly but I decided to give them a try because they are 0/0.  I believe I paid $1.20/bottle.
Spry toothpaste and gum-
I have used one tube of Spry toothpaste and several packages of Spry tea, cinnamon and peppermint.  I like all of them.  I offered a piece of cinnamon to my Dad and he thought it really had a bite to it so I gave him the peppermint pack to keep (he is a constant gum chewer :-)).  The gum loses it's flavor after 30 minutes and one pack costs $1 from my co-op so I use them really for "breath freshening" and for when I am starting to get hungry or very thirsty and I don't have anything else on me.  I don't like gum so I found Spry mints on the Total Health website and I am waiting for my back order shipment to arrive.  There are 240 mints in a container for $8 and change which certainly is cheaper than the gum...and it won't give me a headache!
Lastly, NOW and Sweetleaf liquid stevia-
I have not tried all of them yet but the two that I have I am very pleased with.  Orange Creme is on back order with my Spry mints.  I have sampled the Sweetleaf peppermint liquid stevia and NOW organic plain stevia....both very good and I like that with the liquid, you can really control the level of sweet vs. the powders.  Sometimes I find one packet of stevia isn't enough but 2 packets are too much.  I can control the sweetness of beverages better with the liquid.  I have hazelnut, lemon twist and french vanilla yet to try....all but lemon intended for use with coffee as I've discovered that all the flavored syrups are either sugar based or Splenda based :(
Total Health had the cheapest price on the NOW liquid stevia at $7 and change but did not have a large variety of flavors.  Sweetleaf has more flavors but Total Health isn't the cheapest source for this brand....I believe Vitacost had the cheapest Sweetleaf prices at $9 and change per bottle.  I purchased 2 bottles of flavored Sweetleaf stevia for $11 and change per bottle.  I like the liquid stevia and see them becoming a permanent staple in the cupboard.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Total Health website, Probiotics, liquid stevia

On Thursday December 3, I placed an order with Total Health discount vitamins online.  I received my package yesterday.  Two items are on back order - wish I'd known that when I placed the order.  Total Health offers free ground shipping on orders over $85 and under 5 pounds.  I ordered 4 bottles of Natural Factor's 12/12 probiotic that Jorge recommends.  This website has the cheapest price for these pills $13.97/60 capsule bottle.  I had been wanting to try several recommended products and after A LOT of internet research, I settled on ordering from this company.  I will have to remember for future purchases that it will take almost 2 weeks for the order to be processed and delivered.  If I do not have a large order to place, I may go to either vitacost or netrition.  They have flat $5 shipping but most of their stuff costs more than Total Health.
Natural Factor's 12/12 Probiotic-
Take one pill 3 times daily with a meal.  Keep refrigerated.  I have taken 3 all at once this evening and I will probably take another 3 when I go to bed.  I haven't been on probiotics for 2 or 3 weeks now, as I was waiting for this shipment to arrive.  I'll share my thoughts on the efficacy of this product later in the week.
NOW and Sweetleaf Liquid Stevia-
2 fluid ounce bottles-NOW brand significantly less expensive than Sweetleaf but Sweetleaf offers more flavors.  I purchased French Vanilla, Hazelnut, Lemon, Peppermint, Orange Creme and plain.  I look forward to flavoring my water and coffee with these.  Hmmm, I'll try the peppermint in water right now.  Okay, the sweet comes through more so than the peppermint.  My water is room temperature so that may have something to do with it too.  I've noticed that mint comes through either when it is hot or very cold.  If plain coffee is brewed in the morning, I'll try it in my coffee.  I love mint tea, so this will definitely be used to sweeten that.  I see the lemon being used to sweeten/flavor my water.
As I try these products I will post reviews of them.

Christmas Party Success

So last night was my husband's union party.  I did well to prepare for it by having a wrap with 3 eggs, 3 slices of Canadian bacon and a sprinkle of cheese.  I ate that around 1130am so it was brunch and by the time 7pm rolled around I was ready to eat!  It was around 730 or 8pm when we hit the buffet and I was really happy with the offerings.  I had a 1/2 cup serving of garlic mashed potatoes, a cup of green beans (they were very crisp and delicious), chicken Marsala and crab stuffed flounder.  I didn't even look at the dessert table but saw from the plates of guests there was chocolate cake, cheese cake, chocolates.....
I had one glass of red wine, brought my Stevia in the Raw and had one iced tea and one cup of coffee.  My husband did have dessert, the chocolate cake, so I sampled a tiny taste.  It was moist and very delicious.  I enjoyed the tiny sample and was pleased to refuse my husband's further offerings. 
This is the only holiday party we attend so I am pleased that it really was a non issue.  Thanks to fellow BFCers who have partied and shared their stories with us.  Their experience helped me and supported me in making good choices and feeling confident in the lifestyle.
Three folks sitting at our table had dessert.  The hotel cut HUGE pieces of cake...they had to have been 3 servings at a minimum....and as they sat there in front of me eating them, all I could think of was the video of red blood cells and sugar and Dr. L's lecture "Sugar: The Bitter Truth".  
Part of me wanted to break out into teacher mode but it wasn't the time or place and I have to say, no one would have believed me anyway.  I do look forward to sharing this information with my family when I go home for Christmas.   
For those still celebrating the holidays with parties and dinners, the best of decision making to you because luck has nothing to do with it.  Control is ours!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Where is everyone?

So, where is everyone?  The traffic on Jorge's website has virtually come to a stop.  Is it due to the holidays or is it due to a lot of folks being really unsatisfied?  The Accountability Buddy site has had comments holding steady for each group for a week now.  The Emotional Emergency site is seldom used.  In fact, I am the last one to post an issue.

I have an admission.  I think I'm obsessed with the BFC website.  I mentioned in an earlier post that I spent hours pouring through the posts, well, I'm not getting that now and it bums me out.  How pathetic is that?  The blogs are great but like me, not everyone posts something everyday.  Guess I'm feeling pretty isolated in this too.

Jane and Amber, thank you for attempting to help me.  I am unable to figure the whole comment thing out.  The comment box never shows my name nor when I chose any of the profiles does it actually post the comment.  Oh well.  But thank you so very much :)

Sunday, December 6, 2009

I need tech help

I really appreciate you following my blog.  I have tried numerous times to post comments to each of you who have been kind enough to leave me one and I cannot for the life of me figure out how to do it.  So to all I say "THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU".
If one of you understand how to do this or know what it is I'm doing wrong, please post here so I can fix it.  This is very frustrating for me.
Again, much thanks and I hope to see you all in class tomorrow night :-)

Product Review-Dark Chocolates

I am reviewing 3 dark chocolates

Cost Plus/World Market 99% Dark Chocolate
Lindt Excellence 90% Dark Chocolate
Green & Blacks 85% Organic Dark Chocolate

I'll add a picture later I wanted to get the text done now.

Cost Plus/World Market 99% Dark Chocolate
1/2 bar
14g carbohydrates
7g fiber
1g sugar
5g protein

Um, run away.  Far, far away.  This is a very hard and bitter chocolate....even gritty.  I know that the higher the cocoa count, the more bitter the chocolate gets and I'm okay with that.  It is the texture that really was a turn off for me.  Once I could actually break a small piece off once I started chewing it it just crumbled in my mouth.  I'll probably melt the remainder of the  bar to cook with and I won't be purchasing this again.

Lindt Excellence 90% Dark Chocolate
$1.79 at Target

4 squares
14g carbohydrates
5g fiber
3g sugar
5g protein

This is a good dark chocolate and it is very affordable.  It is bitter but doesn't crumble into pieces when you chew it like the above reviewed chocolate.  It does melt in one's mouth but not as quickly nor as creamy as the next chocolate I review.  If you are tight on funds and want a good high cocoa chocolate, this is a good choice and readily available.  This is my "go to" bar for typical days I want some chocolate.  I found my bar at Target in the chocolate isle in the food dept.

 Green & Blacks 85% Organic Dark Chocolate

12 pieces
14g carbohydrates
5g fiber
6g sugar
3g protein

This chocolate is by far the best I've tried.  To me, it is the Cadillac (oh, wait, maybe I should say Prius) of chocolates.  It melts beautifully in your mouth and coats it. The lower cocoa count and higher sugar count definitely satisfy any sweet tooth and I daresay any chocolate lover.  The cost of this chocolate can be prohibitive as well as its availability.  I have found it at my local co-op and it was on sale 2 for $5.  I have also seen it at Whole Foods and Food Lion.   I save this bar for my "emotional" days be it a celebratory day or a day I could do some pretty destructive stuff.


Saturday, December 5, 2009

Fast Food Nutrition Sites

So as I sit here listening to my White Christmas radio station on Pandora I thought I'd post some fast food nutritional websites for easy referral.  I actually did pretty good yesterday with my choice at Wendy's  I ordered the Chicken BLT salad with grilled chicken and left off the croutons and only used a light drizzle of Italian dressing.  It was a 5/1...only 10 grams of carbs!  My choice at Taco Bell wasn't so good :(  I ordered a chicken fiesta taco salad and then went home and added a healthy dollop or 3 of sour cream and 2 packets of wholly guacamole...the total damage was 8/4...75 grams of carbs!  At McDonald's  it looks like the McNuggets are the best choice if you aren't in the mood for a salad and if you do want a salad the side salad is actually a 2/0, then there are the caesar salad with or without chicken is one carb serving and the bacon ranch salads.  At this point I'll just list the restaurant and the link. Chick-Fil-A 

Hardee's/Carl Jr.'s


 Starbucks (you have to put in your zipcode)


I'm going to call it quits for now but I'll edit and add more as I continue the search. 

Product Review-Steaz Zero Calorie

 Steaz Zero Calorie sparkling green tea IS zero!  This refreshing bubbling beverage is sweetened with organic erythritol, stevia and organic purple carrot juice for this particular flavor.  It comes as a 4 pack and at my local co-op was $5.99.  I have not had the opportunity to check out other stores to see if they carry it or if it is cheaper elsewhere.  For the BFC plan it is 0/0 and heaven knows we need as many of those as we can find :-)
I attempted to make a sparkling cocktail with this using vanilla vodka & Steaz Zero blueberry pomegranate.  I thought it was pretty good-different of course and my husband wasn't sold on it.  The tea threw the flavor for him.  Cocktail or not, I highly recommend this product to those who enjoy sodas and miss them.  Unlike Zevia, which is a BFC 0/1,  Steaz Zero is 0/0.  So enjoy!

Product Review-Water

This is delicious water!   It is flavored with herb extracts and vanilla.  It comes in several flavors and is zero everything.  I found 3 varieties of it at Cost Plus/World Market.  The two shown here and cinnamon orange peel. You can get it online cheaper from but they only have 2 flavors.

MetroMint is also very delicious water that is flavored with extracts of mint and fruits and they now even have chocolate mint.  I discovered this water 2 years ago when I was going to the gym regularly and really having a difficult time cooling down during the summer workouts.  I have found MetroMint at Whole Foods, Fresh Market and World Market/Cost Plus.  It is on the pricey side like Herbal Water but it is a nice treat and certainly makes getting some of the 80 oz. I should be drinking everyday more pleasant.  I highly recommend both of these waters.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Sugar: The Bitter Truth

So I watched the latest video post from Jorge and was completely floored. I had no idea how bad sugar was outside of fruits and vegetables. Fructose is a poison just like ethanol (alcohol). So much for the red grape that Dr. Oz extols. The silver lining however, is that I can't look at a candy bar, baked goods, Dr. Pepper or A LOT of things the same way ever again. I am already a label/ingredient list reader but I will be ever more vigilant in my inspection of food products.
Within the last year I discovered Nature's Own organic wheat bread for my kids. It does not contain HFC and has whole grains in it and a decent amount of fibre. What is even better is that I buy it at the bread thrift store so I pay $1 to $1.50 per loaf depending on their sales. I have a chest freezer so I load up on it when they have it. My last trip I bought 16 loaves and 4 packages of the HFC free whole wheat hamburger buns.
I also learned that fibre, fibre, fibre is key for many reasons. The video also touches on why it is absent from fast food and why so many food producers don't include it in their products.....shelf life and shipping to other countries. If we were to follow a Paleolithic diet, we would only eat raw foods and our fibre intake would be around 100-300grams.
An amazing video with lots to think about. I went so far as to try and find the book Pure, White and Deadly the Dr. mentions and I did find it on Amazon for $662! So much for reading.
I highly recommend that you watch the video.

Monday, November 30, 2009


So I weighed today as it is the "official" weigh-in day and it is the lowest yet! 153 even.
This is after 3 gin and diet tonics (and yes, it had bad sweetener in it), 3 slices of supreme pizza, slivers of pumpkin pie and rum cake, spoonfuls of potatoes and sweet potato souffle. Needless to say, I'm quite pleased and the "critical voice" never entered my head.
I am about to leave for work but I did check the boards on the BFC website and people still have questions about portions. I'm surprised by this because I'm sure Jorge has addressed this in one of the earlier videos. Just on the chance that someone reads this, here goes-

meats should be the size of a deck of cards or roughly the size of the palm of your hand

nuts 1/4 c-get health benefits and helps to curb hunger

cheese 1 oz (yes, it costs more but the prepackaged ones really are convenient and travel well)

In the afternoons, I eat a cheese stick and a small palmful of walnuts and drink (2) 16.9 oz bottles of water. If I run out of cheese sticks I make a Jay Robb protein shake with water or "milk alternative" and eat a palmful of walnuts.

Then for dinner I usually eat a wrap or two with a protein, light sprinkle of finely shredded cheese, 1/2 c. spinach and maybe tzatziki or spicy mustard.

The key take away here is nothing is "free", "zero" or "all you can eat" because eventually it all adds up. Too much of anything isn't always good....well, except for peace and love maybe :-)

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Survived Thanksgiving

Well, I survived Thanksgiving-that's because we didn't actually celebrate Thanksgiving until today (my husband's family couldn't come until last night) :-) I did all the cooking and prepared everyone's favorites. Did I do BFC? No I didn't and I don't feel bad about it at all. I was so busy on Thursday and Friday that I hardly ate so my spoonful of everything that I made today isn't a concern for me. I am even going to indulge in a sliver of rum cake and pumpkin pie. I weighed earlier in the week and saw my lowest yet....153.4! I also got out the tape measure and I've lost an inch at my belly button.
I am concerned that I've run out of probiotics and will order the ones Jorge recommends after I post this. I also plan to "accelerate" things by up-ing the dose since it is okay.
Since I had to get the house together and presentable for family, I've not done my product reviews. I am really planning and hoping to do this on Sunday after company has left. I have beverages, chocolate, protein, Amazing Grass, etc. to share.
I hope fellow BFCers had a good holiday on the plan or not :-)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Crying at the drop of a hat

Yes, that is what I am doing. I am crying at commercials, during TV shows, songs on the radio, posts on the BFC boards and Face Book. This time of year is very emotional for me. I am sad, wistful for the romanticism of the season, excited about treats that are only made during this time of year and I look forward to my Mom tucking me into bed on Christmas Eve.
I am like this EVERY year. I guess the sentimentality of everything gets to me. I have to admit it is going to be very difficult for me to avoid the sweets. I can do okay with carbs during the holidays-it is sugar that is my nemesis during this time of year. I love eggnog, bourbon/rum balls, my Dad's fruit cake, my Grandmother's homemade candies and cakes.....perhaps you see my dilemma!

Any way, I've been saying that I was going to post product reviews and I will do so tomorrow as well as address reading labels and ingredients on packaging.

Thank you for listening :-)

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Jorge's Preview

So I read Jorge's preview on Google courtesy of Joanna's posting on the general board page at the BFC website. It was interesting to see the menu options and choices...unfortunately, you don't get to see the recipes for them. There is a lot of variety but breakfast and eggs are the stars. I suppose this is to really "hit home" that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. I usually eat Uncle Sam for breakfast and then sometimes for lunch or dinner, I'll eat the egg and bacon/sausage breakfast on a wrap...that is VERY filling and I get GREAT fiber counts!
Was out shopping today for birthdays and discovered a new flavored water at World Market/Cost Plus and I will do a product review later in the week. Got on the scale again today (I know it is a no-no) and was up slightly from is really amazing how much our weight fluctuates in a day and with very little food involved!
I hope you all have had a nice weekend :-)

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Is it possible????

Even though I know I shouldn't do it, I got on the scale this afternoon. All I'd had for the day was a cup of coffee and my Uncle Sam cereal. I had actually gone up on the scale on Thursday but today.....DOWN and I broke 155 :) So, I went to that scary place, my closet where I keep my "regular" clothes. I pulled down a pair of size 10 jeans (admittedly with stretch) and put them on.....they FIT. The jeans actually touched me and the "muffin" at the waistband was minimal. People, I've gone from size 14 pants to size 10....the size I wore 2 years ago! Now, I'm not letting this get to my head too much because as we know, not all pants & sizes are created equal, but it feels good to start a clothes donation box for The Salvation Army.
I've struggled emotionally this week. Last night I allowed myself to acknowledge the fact that I am not happy. I've got a lot of stresses in a lot of areas and my relationships aren't what I'd like them to be. It was Thursday night I believe and I ate 3 servings of Joseph's cookies. I had that little voice in my head saying "you aren't hungry" and I rationalized it by saying that my body will have the adverse reaction to eating that much Maltitol and I'd lose weight. Can you believe this?
I'm an introvert. I don't like meeting new people and I really don't like small talk. I enjoy silence and very deep and meaningful relationships with a few people. I don't have that in my life right now. My BFF moved away in May of 2007. We have a lot in common and did everything together...we met on the job and it just took off. Her move was completely unexpected and happened in one week. I love her a lot and miss her terribly. I went to visit her in October of 2007 and haven't been back. She doesn't call me and occasionally emails me. We used to IM but she had a baby in August and we've not been in touch really since. So that makes me very sad, lonely, hurt and I don't want to trust or love someone that much again. We were going to grow old together.......
Well, "the best laid plans of mice and men."

Okay, so later today I plan to post some product reviews.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Yesterday wasn't the best day. I went over a carb serving because my eating schedule was off and I didn't get enough protein/good fat in early in the day. I woke up late because I've returned to a bad practice of staying up until 1-2am. I am also completely wrapped up in the boards on Jorge's site. I spend HOURS on them-checking to see if someone has posted anything new, recipes, web sites and yes, what they are saying about the program and Jorge.

I am sticking with the program and making sure I get good fats in every day to deal with visceral fat which Jorge has not addressed. Prior to the BFC I did the Flat Belly Diet by Prevention magazine and prior to that I did the South Beach Diet. I did well on both programs but they support using sucralose/Splenda which I now know is BAD. The Flat Belly Diet was really informative regarding visceral fat which is the fat that accumulates and surrounds your organs. Eating the proper fats and sticking to a 1600 calorie diet (4 400 cal. meals) they said you would lose belly fat and inches. I did just that and never felt hungry. However, the only thing that stuck from that diet was MUFA-the good fat your body needs to be healthy and get rid of visceral fat. Which brings me back to "tweaking" BFC and the tracker.

My tracker (another fellow BFCer, Lucie, sent me one she had made and I've since created my own to add other items to track) lists meals, snacks, liquid intake, carbs, sugars, fiber and MUFAs. If I go another week without losing weight, I'll start tracking calories too. I do not currently exercise and do not plan to as I do not want to overwhelm myself with change. Slow and steady wins the race, right? I am still getting used to how/what to eat and until it becomes second nature and "automatic" I am not going to go over board with stuff. I think that has been a problem for me in the past. All or nothing thinking. I have to change EVERYTHING right now and commit 100% in order to get it right....and it proves to be too much for me. My husband and kids are eating whatever they want (still healthy food but some hidden sugars) because I'm not at a place where I can incorporate what I've learned into cooking for them every day. I am focusing on me first.

So, today I plan to eat at reasonable and regular intervals to keep the blood sugar levels satisfied. I already have my walnuts packed for work so I just need to get my protein powder in a shaker and I'll be good for the afternoon. Breakfast was the usual Uncle Sam cereal, lunch will be a wrap of some kind with spinach and dinner well, I might play that one by ear.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Today has been a good BFC day. I think I've settled into a rhythm and pattern. I have to agree with what others have said...keep it simple. Automate it as much as you can. I've never eaten so much "bread" before. Honestly, I've never craved bread or HAD to have it. I live for the wrap/tortilla now :-)
Fiber, fiber, fiber is the third key element of this lifestyle. Gotta get at least 30 grams in per day. I have found that the best way for me to achieve this is to have Uncle Sam cereal 10 grams of fiber at a 0/2 value with 1/2 to 3/4 c. unsweetened almond milk or coconut milk. Lunch and dinner consist of a protein in a wrap for 12 grams of fiber per wrap and a value of 1/1. I get all my food based carbs in and feel full and have one or two left over so now I don't feel stupid drinking one of my carbs. Tonight I had a wrap with 2 eggs, a sprinkle of finely shredded cheese and 3 strips of turkey bacon and an orange Zevia. I LOVE Zevia. I have a carb left before bed so I am thinking of having a hot chocolate!

Last night there were technical difficulties so class was very late starting. The boards were full of very negative comments. I think if everyone just stepped back and asked, "Is it Jorge's intent to frustrate us and not follow through on the program promises?" they would have answered "No". If they had been in Jorge's shoes, what would be their expectation of us and our behavior?
Where is the patience, compassion and understanding? Isn't that what we desire from others?

Monday, November 16, 2009

Here goes!


This is something new for me so I'm in a learning curve...please be gentle :) Today is the start of my 4th week on Jorge Cruise's Belly Fat Cure (BFC). I have to say I really, really, really like this lifestyle. I like the science behind it and I like that I don't feel deprived or hungry. Yes, it took a week to get over the horrible sugar withdrawal headache but I feel good and better yet, I'm sleeping better. I've only lost 5 pounds but I have reclaimed 2 pair of jeans that didn't fit a month ago. I put the weight on over the course of 2 years so it will take some time to lose begins the journey.

As it is now 1am eastern, I'll say good morning and try my hand at this again later. Thanks!