So I’m eight weeks into this process and I have to tell you, I’m feeling really good! No one is more surprised than I am that I’m still doing the Ideal Living with Avera Weight Management Program. When I was first introduced to the program, I decided I would give it my all for four weeks and see what happened. I figured I can do anything for four weeks. If I lose some weight, I would be happy. I hoped I would learn some new ideas about weight loss that I would be able to carry with me into the future. I hoped that I would phase off the Ideal Protein plan properly and maintain the weight loss I had achieved in the four weeks if gave it my all.
Here I am eight weeks later, and I’m still going strong. I have not cheated on this plan and I believe this is one of the reasons I have had success I’ve had. So here is my progress at eight weeks in:
- I’m down 38 pounds!
- I’ve lost 39.5 inches!
- My joint pain is still gone!
- My stress level has increased some, but so have things in my life. I haven’t had as much time to continue acupuncture appointments, and I’m looking to pick back up in the near future.
Looking back on when I started, the list of approved vegetables scared me. I didn’t even know what many of them were. I can tell you that I got bored fast with the vegetables I was familiar with. Once I decided to explore the additional vegetables more, I learned I really liked a lot of them. Here are some of the things I have done:
I’ve been creating baked chips with seasoned zucchini, baking them or using an air fryer to cook them. These are really good. It helps to let the zucchini dry out a little before you cook it and after you slice it. And the thinner the slices, the better. My kids love these, too.
I’ve created spiral “zoodles” with zucchini that I can mix with some seasoned lean turkey burger. When I add a touch of Walden Farms tomato and basil pasta sauce, it makes me feel like I’m eating spaghetti. I microwave the zoodles first and then sauté them with a little olive oil.
Jicama is now my favorite vegetable and my 3-year-old loves it as well! Having three kids makes my life crazy busy, but I have found that I can cut these up in little pieces, add a little olive oil, add some onion flakes and other seasonings and then put them in the microwave and they are so yummy. I have to watch them very carefully or they will burn. But I cook mine for at least nine minutes until they turn just a little brown. That is when they get just a little crispy, almost like french fries.
I’m not a good cook, did I mention that? This program has pushed me to expand my cooking abilities.
• I’ve only burned myself four times, and none of them were serious. I consider this a success!
• I have only cut myself one time, and it wasn’t serious. My husband considers this a success!
• I am also very grateful for YouTube videos that teach me how to cut and cook vegetables I’ve never before heard of. For example, I did not know what chayote was. But with YouTube, I learned how to prepare it, and I even found recipes to make this vegetable taste like caramel apples, letting me keep it on my Ideal Protein phase 1 protocol. Yum!
• I consider myself lucky and I’m learning quickly. It is nice to expand my culinary capabilities. (Those fancy words are coming from someone who typically uses a crockpot for everything! And yes, I have found several crockpot recipes.)
• I am also thankful for Pinterest and the many “Ideal Protein Phase One Recipes” people pin. This is awesome! You can use the Ideal Protein packets to make other foods. I have created waffles from the oatmeal packets and really like these.
If you are considering doing the Ideal Protein program, I would strongly recommend it. My Ideal Living coaches have been really helpful in answering my questions during these first eight weeks. The first four weeks were a little rough, but I feel like I’m in a groove now and I’m excited to keep going.
I look at my journey like I did my pregnancies. Yes, I have to give up several things that I enjoyed eating and drinking, but I gave up many of those same things when I was pregnant. Then, I did it for my babies and they were worth it; now, I think I’m worth it too. Stay tuned to see how much more I lose in the next four weeks!