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Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Weeks 5 and 6-- real food and more weight loss!

Positive Choice Week 6 and 7 

I will start off with the news I’m sure all are waiting to hear with bated breath…..

I’ve lost 27.6 lbs in 35 days!

This last week my weight loss was 3 lbs (before it had been between 4.2-4.6 lbs), so it is slowing down, but still pretty good. It should be higher next week, but we shall see.

Real food!
I mentioned before I was instructed to add another shake to my day. That did great for a couple of weeks at making me feel full, but Feb 24-27 I was so hungry I started shaking and was light-headed most of the time. I called Positive Choice. The PA I spoke with instructed me to  add a meal each day. So now I get to have 6 shakes a day (which is 150% of the nutrients I need) and then 3 oz of lean protein, 1/2 cup of non-startchy vegetables, and a small salad. So far this has helped me and I haven’t been shaky or light headed.

I am a bit concerned because I had all those shaky feelings, etc on days that did not exercise. I am really wanting to exercise. In fact, I did all the work in the program work book as well as accompanying book they gave me to set up an appropriate exercise program. I hadn’t started it yet because I was afraid that if I shook and was light headed without exercising I might feel worse with exercise, even with the extra food. I spoke at length with a NP before my meeting last night. Basically, she said I should be fine as long as I stick to the guidelines from the program.

My theme for this year is “Happy, Healthy Kornoff’s!”. In that light, I have been trying to add health to my entire life- including my family life. This means that my hubby and I got a babysitter and went on a proper date! Wohoo! We went to a restaurant and then a coffee shop to spend time together. It was even extra fun because I actually got to eat at the restaurant we went to— 6 pieces of wonderful sashimi!! It was the best tasting food I have ever had. I mean, it was good sashimi, but having that fantastic texture in my mouth was so exciting!! And the ginger they had to eat with it was delicious! Who knew ginger could be so delectable? We have another date set for Saturday during the day and I am looking forward to it as well. 

My pile of clothes to donate
In terms of my mental health, I have been doing better and taking time for myself. I have been feeling pretty successful and happy with the progress I am making towards whole person health. I was able to get rid of almost all the clothes I have been wearing for the last 5 months! It’s so exciting! I feel pretty and can see a difference in my face from the weight loss. I also realized that I have lost all the weight I gained after giving birth. This means the rest of the weight I have to lose is from IVF medications and pregnancy. This is encouraging to me because I gained exactly the recommended weight during pregnancy and had no power over the weight the IVF drugs put on me. This has helped my perspective immensely as I look ahead feeling like there is still so far to go.

In terms of spiritual health, I have been experiencing such renewal of the my spirit and can sense a change in myself. I find that I am first turning to God with situations that in the past would have caused me extreme anxiety and then maybe a couple days later I would think about praying about the situation. I will go more into that later.

Have a wonderful day!

Friday, March 1, 2019

Why I have a lemon in my freezer

Why I have a lemon in my freezer: coping/regulation strategies during the pursuit of healing

I chose this weight loss program because it addresses more than just weight loss. Each week I attend a group. This group is fantastic. I leave feeling heard, supportive, and with a feeling of community. The leader, Heather, is organized, but also fantastic at giving each member invested attention each week.

Our first group topic was Coping Strategies. I have degrees in Psychology and Sociology and a Master’s in OT, work experience with children specifically targeting emotional regulation strategies, and years of therapy. Even with all that experience, education, and mental health work, coping strategies/regulation strategies never seemed to be truly something I could integrate into my life. I do a great job helping Katya in this area and she now automatically put in a lot of her strategies to regulate herself, but I struggle to incorporate them in my life- perhaps because many of my maladaptive coping/regulation strategies have been in place for decades.

Coping strategies we came up with in class
Our leader, Heather, explained that if, on a scale of 1-10, your stress level is a 7-10, in order to cope with the situation you need distraction to help you manage and to regulate yourself. When your stress is between a 3 and 6.9, you need self-soothing strategies. Once you are between 1-2.9, you are able to implement strategies to improve the moment. I love this, because it has shown me a lot. she had us come up with examples of strategies for each category- non-eating ones of course!

One of the strategies she mentioned in using a frozen whole orange as a grounding technique. A grounding technique is a technique that immediately connects you with the present moment. I have tried some with mixed results. Heather said to freeze an orange and then when you are at a 7-10, get the orange out of the freezer and hold it. The cold will get your attention (distraction) and help you get to a place where you can use your other senses to connect with the present (e.g. scratch the peel and smell it, look at the color, etc). I decided to try it out. We had a plethora of lemons at the time, so I froze a lemon instead.

I am undergoing EMDR therapy targeting trauma. In correlation with this, I’ve had some difficult days. I find that once every couple of weeks, I end up being having an immediate trauma response to a trigger. The other day it happened when I was dealing with the toddler the other day. I was really struggling. I decided to get the lemon out of the freezer and try it. You know what? It worked! It brought me back to reality, helped me calm down, and helped me feel in charge of my body. It was wonderful. 

I’m not proud of how my morning went, but I can look back and see the good things that happened. While I was sitting there on the floor of my kitchen with the frozen lemon in my hand, Katya was sitting in her rocking chair— one of her favorite calming strategies. I did lots of story-telling (where you talk about what happened as a story to help process an event that was upsetting or traumatic) with her the rest of the day and eventually she drew a picture of what happened and then changed it to show we were happy now. My play-therapist mom, said that this demonstrated that Katya had processed the events healthily. So, there you go- I used a new strategy to help me and was able to help her process as well. While not my best day, I think I could have done a lot worse.

I think the lemon will stay in the freezer for now. At least until I am done with EMDR and don’t have any more trauma responses.

Monday, February 25, 2019

Weeks 3, 4, and 5- over 20lbs lost!

As of today I have had 27 days of shakes
Welcome back to my blog the few of you who have checked it out. 😁 I had planned on writing on a weekly basis, but 7 days of toddler illness followed by 4 days of my own illness and then a busy week has made it difficult to get around to blogging.

Now to what you all want to much weight have I lost?

On Tuesday the 12th I had lost another 4.8 lbs for a total of 15.8 lbs in 14 days!

The following Tuesday, the 19th, I had lost another 4.4 lbs for a total of 20.2 lbs lost in 21 days! That's almost a pound a day. I was told that what you lose your 3rd or 4th week on the diet is approximately what you will continue to lose, but that seems too high. We shall see.

My next weigh in is tomorrow/Tuesday night. I am excited that I have already lost 1/4 of the weight I want to lose.

My sick toddler making some animals
I have to tell you, it was HARD not to eat when I was cooped up in the house for so many days with a sick toddler! I did good though- I had all my shakes and nothing more. I decided to do the work in the books that Positive Choice gave me when I felt the urge to eat. It was extremely beneficial. I plan on writing about them more later. I also made a separate bullet journal for my weight loss program so that I could have a place to write notes and do the exercises from my books.

During the second week of shakes, I was SO hungry that I was waking up in the middle of the night because my stomach was growling. On the 12th I spoke with the Nurse Practitioner at my meeting and she suggested I go to taking 6 shakes instead of 5 each day. She said that sometimes people that are taller need to have more Calories to stay in ketosis. (click here if you don't know what ketosis is) So instead of getting 500 Calories a day, I get to have 600 Calories a day. I did this the last time I tried this diet as well and actually later ended up on having to add in lean protein each day too. I'm curious to see if this happens this time or if 6 will continue to be enough. I cannot tell you the difference having 6 shakes a day makes compared to one!

I made "pop hearts" for Valentine's without tasting!
For Valentine's our plans were changed due to illness. I made "Pop Hearts" for Andy and Arya's breakfast and then a ham dinner for the two of them. It smelled yummy, but I didn't even taste! I got beautiful roses from my hubby and a homemade card from both hubby and the toddler. I did miss the dark chocolate candy bar I know I would have received if I were not doing this diet, but all in all, I had a good successful day.

Can you see the exhaustion on my face?
I got to watch Fiddler and relax!
The day after Valentine's day was when I got sick. That was rough! I actually didn't want to eat much at all and was so exhausted and cold. It was pretty awful. I'm pretty sure I just had the adult version of the croup virus Katya had earlier that week. As all SAHM's know, when you are a SAHM and have a toddler, there is basically no rest time for you on a sick day- especially if your toddler feels well and was just cooped up for a week! Thankfully, on Sunday my hubby took Katya to church and the in-laws most of the day so I was able to rest and watch Fiddler on the Roof. That was a lifesaver and even though I was sick on Monday, I was able to enjoy having him home for the holiday.

Can you find the moon?
On the 19th, the topic in class and left me feeling convicted. So this last week I woke up and went on a walk in the 33 degree morning air twice (I live in southern California about 15 minutes from the beach- it hardly ever gets that cold!). It was SO cold! The scenery was beautiful and on the day of the first walk the moon was still out!

I also wrote up one of the recipes I use to make a spicy hot chocolate with my shake mix. If you are reading this blog because you are on the same diet, using the same meal replacement shakes, etc, you can look for the post just before this one and print off the recipe.

Here are some changes I have noticed lately:

1. When I was sick, my body was significantly more fatigued than the virus seemed to warrant. I was extremely tired and the only other sign of illness was a sore throat! I could hardly think straight. In class they said that this is often common when you are in ketosis and on such a low Calorie diet as the body literally does not have the same amount of energy to tend to your illnesses.

2. I always thought I didn't like my clothes because they didn't fit well, but it turns out I didn't like them simply because I don't like them. Not that they fit well I still don't like them.

3. I can fit into jeans I haven't been able to wear for almost a year.

4. I do not seem to have the ketosis energy kick yet-- at some point most people in ketosis get a burst of energy and are known to do things like clean late into the night and have a hard time sleeping, but I am not.

5. I do have ketosis breath! I don't remember having it like this the last time around! Everyone and everything says it will get better soon, in the meantime I am chewing gum and brushing my teeth often!

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Spicy Hot Chocolate using Nutrimed Chocolate Meal Replacement Shake

I don't know about you, but I LOVE dark chocolate with chili pepper in it. The dark chocolatey goodness along with the kick of spice is to die for!

In attempt to make this diet have more variety, I have been playing around with a recipe to capture the goodness that is spicy chocolate. Unfortunately, the chocolate shake isn't dark chocolate (that would be SO delicious) but I can still add some flavor to it!

I've played around with different spices and amounts. I initially tried chili but it just didn't taste quite right. I ended up deciding that cayenne pepper is the way to go!

Here's what you need:
Click Here for Printable Version

1. 1 package Nutrimed Chocolate Meal Replacement mix
2. 1/16 tsp Cayenne pepper flakes or powder (I used powder because it was cheaper and came in a large bottle)
3. 1.5 cups of hot water (plus extra for topping off if desired)
4. Dissolvable fiber (optional if you still need fiber for your day)
5. Blender
Apparently a "smidgeon" is about 1/16 tsp


Step 1: Measure out your hot water and pour into blender.
Step 2: Measure out your cayenne pepper and dump into blender.
I actually don't have a 1/16 tsp measuring spoon so I use one we have marked "smidgeon", which when dumped into the 1/8 tsp is about half of it as you can see in the picture. I really recommend measuring the cayenne pepper because it is really easy to shake too much into the water if you simply shake the pepper into the water.
Step 3: Pour in chocolate shake mix and (optional) fiber. 
Be careful when you do this as it is really easy to accidentally spill half the packet on the counter if you aren't careful! Also, only put the fiber in if you need it for your day. While it does thicken up the hot chocolate a little bit, I don't find that it makes enough of a difference in texture to be better with or without the fiber.
Step 4: Blend! 
Topping off my spicy hot chocolate!
I find that when blending with hot water it is important to make sure the blender is sealed up. I use a old Ninja where you place the motor on top of the blender cup. When blending hot water I found that if I press down hard on the motor while blending, it does not smash. If you decided to make this using a blender bottle, you might want to practice shaking up hot water in the blender bottle before you try shaking up hot water with a mix. You can be successful shaking up hot water in a blender bottle, but it takes a bit of practice to make sure it doesn't spray everywhere or explode.
Step 5: Pour into you favorite mug and enjoy!
I like to top it off with some more hot water to fill the cup.

Print Recipe Here

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Review of my first 9 days of nutrimed shakes and soups (Week 2 and beginning of week 3)

The first week of no solid food is over and the results are in! Weigh in was on Tuesday night and I had lost 11 pounds! I am so excited! I know that following weeks will not have as big of a weight drop, but considering that it is about 1/8 or 12.5% towards my goal, I am excited for this start. The average weight loss is 3-5 lbs per week so I am estimating that it may take me 20 more weeks to lose the rest of the weight. If this happens that means I will be about my goal at the end of June.

I am going to recap my first 3 days as those were the most transitory days for me.

Wednesday, January 30 First Day of Shakes

I woke up at 5am and did my bible study, updated my bullet journal, put a load of laundry in; wrote in my prayer journal and then around 7am made my first shake! I made a chocolate shake, but I used hot water and blended it so that it was basically a yummy hot chocolate. I was SUPER hungry all day long, and to make it even more difficult, my 2 year old had been throwing up the night before so instead of a busy day full of distractions as planned, I was faced with an entire day of sitting at home making it hard to avoid eating as I usually do. Needless to say it was difficult and I was HUNGRY. Perhaps the most interesting thing to me was how cold I was by the afternoon! I was so cold that I basically sat on the couch covered in blankets in attempt to stay warm. I had a terrible headache as well and nothing seemed to help. I had 6 shakes instead of 5 to take the edge off of the hunger before bed and made sure to wear warm pajamas that night!

Thursday, January 31, Day 2

On Thursday my morning started the same as Wednesday and I had my shakes. I was nervous because I had MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) that morning and there always in a lovely warm breakfast there and it is one of the few places I usually am pressured into eating even if I don't want to. As I am still fairly new to the group
, I really didn't want to tell them about the diet either. Thankfully, for whatever reason, no one noticed that I wasn't eating so there was no pressure. I did have to have a shake during MOPS, so I made a hot mocha shake beforehand and it totally blended in with all the other coffee thermoses around the table. It was super rainy that day, so that afternoon instead of sitting around trying no to eat, Katya and I went outside to play in puddles. It was so much fun! She also drew this excellent picture of me! The first person I have seen her draw completely independent of anyone else's input. I think it is the most beautiful picture I have ever seen. I had a 6th shake this day as well because I realized right as I was going to bed that I had forgotten to take my second potassium pill and I have to take it with food. Each shake is only100 calories, so an additional shake on occasion doesn't really change much.

Friday, February 1, Day 3

On Friday I realized I was significantly less hungry, had no headache, and had a lot of energy. It was great! I think my body entered ketosis that day and it may have been what made the difference. I made sure to add trackers to my bullet journal to help me stay on top of making sure I get all my shakes, supplements, vitamins, fiber, and potassium. The hardest part of the day is during Katya's nap time when I used to snack while cleaning. I have been staying on top of the cleaning to avoid snacking and I made a bunch of flowers for my cousin's wedding as well as a gift for my friend during her naptime. It was really hard to sit on the couch during movie night with Katya and my hubby. I really wanted to eat the popcorn and Katya kept offering me some.

Since then, it has been fairly easy. I am finding being at home while doing this is harder than it was to be working full time the last time I did the shakes. There is less of a schedule and more wandering into the kitchen for no real reason (as well as many real reasons!). Two times I found I put something in my mouth without even realizing it until I tasted it! I immediately spit it out, but it really revealed to me how much eating I do without even noticing (mostly off the toddler plate leftovers unfortunately!). It has been pretty easy to do the shakes in social situations, but I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that I have done this before so I don't feel that nervous about it. I have just stated matter of factly that I am not eating and have my shake. Then if asked, I can explain with as many details as I want to.

Thursday, January 31, 2019

My Positive Choice Fasting Program Overview

So, I thought I would jot down what the weight loss program I am on entails:

  1. 500 Calories of Nutrimed shakes and soups each day
    1. Three flavors of shakes: chocolate, mocha, and vanilla. These can be served hot, as a pudding, cold, and combined with sugar free, 0 Calorie sweeteners, drinks, spices, etc
    2. One "Fruity Drink" called Wildberry that should only be served cold if you have any regard for things that are decent
    3. Two different soups that one can add spices too
    4. Bouillon that you can have in case you need a "salty snack"
    5. These shakes and soups account for all the nutrition you need each day
  2. No solid food ever!
    1. Never!
    2. Even at birthday parties and weddings, so please don't press the matter!
  3. Potassium and fiber supplements
  4. Blood draws every other week to check your potassium and any other level the doctor wants to be checked
  5. 20 weekly meetings with a group of other in the same program. This group:
    1. provides supports
    2. goes through a curriculum that addresses the emotional, psychological, physical reasons behind eating
    3. Gives you a safe place to go and learn how to make new habits, find new strategies, etc
    4. Gives you accountability
  6. An average weight loss of 3-5 bs per week for women (its more for men, but I don't remember how much)
  7. Eight maintenance classes once you have hit your goal weight that go over nutrition and help you learn to maintain your weight.
  8. Access to a medical team to adjust things if needed and make sure you are still healthy and don't develop any problems

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Positive Choice Take 2

Hello everyone!

I has been over 3 years since I last blogged on this account. I was unsuccessful at keeping up the blog during my weight loss program. I was successful at the Positive Choice fasting program and lost around 60lbs. I managed to keep it off, but gained weight during IVF and pregnancy. Then (and according to my endocrinologist this is common with women with polycystic ovary syndrome- PCOS- who tend to be insulin resistant) I gained weight while breastfeeding primarily because I ate whatever was around or whatever people brought me when hungry. I was ill prepared for how extremely hungry I would be while breastfeeding a newborn while having an over supply of milk (which meant I was even hungrier as I was burning more calories)  and trying to navigate the exhausting world of new mommy-hood.

Long story short, I decided to go ahead and do the Positive Choice program again. I am doing the weight loss program through the Positive Choice clinic run by Kaiser in San Diego. They have some meetings in San Marcos, so I am attending those. I opted to do the program at this location instead of Orange County as the weight loss programs at Kaiser in Orange County are not the same. This time my goal is to lose around 80 lbs. I want to be about 10 lbs lighter then last time so if I do gain some weight from infertility treatments (not sure if we will go that route however) I will be able to stay at a healthy BMI. 

I know I wasn't very good a blogging last time around (I think I made it about 3 posts????), but when I was preparing for this round, I searched for blogs about people's experience with the Nutrimed supplements I am using (mostly in search of tips and tricks to make it a more flavorful experience) and there really weren't many at all. I am going to attempt to keep this blog up so that in the future if someone is stressing about going on the supplements, not eating solid food for months, etc there is at least one more blog out there to look at.