Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Bikini Bootcamp

Sounds strange, I know, but bear with me.  On a recent whirlwind trip to DC (I do owe an update on that, don't I??), I found this gem of a book.  We were staying with great old friends, and my friend had this book and has used it a couple of times.  She said while she had difficulty following it to the letter, she really felt AMAZING each time she used it and it did work.

What drew me to the book originally was the recipes.  I (of course) perused the book at her house (specifically, the recipes section), and it was enough to sell me on the book.  When I got home, I hit up Amazon.

I was sufficiently warned about the amount of work to do all of the exercise and all of the chopping.  But, you know, I already exercise.  And I already cook a lot.  I am accustomed to chopping.  I figured, what's the big deal?  No problem!

Wow.  Was I wrong.  It's partly that the recipes are cooked from scratch (naturally).  Some of them require several steps - one soup recipe calls for 3 different steps that take 2.5 hours total.  Not exactly do-able on a weeknight.

Mostly, the problem is that each day there are 5 new recipes.  That's a lot of different things to cook.  The "plan" comes with a two week plan.  Each week has a 1-week grocery list and meal plan.  That helps.  Here's a general outline:

Breakfast: fruit and yogurt (though later in the week I see cooked cereal or eggs)
Lunch: salad (salad recipe and dressing recipe)
Snack: veggie and hummus, nuts, fruit, yogurt...
Dinner: Soup, main dish, side dish. (soup recipe, main dish recipe, side dish recipe)

The salad is its own recipe, as is the dressing.  The dressing recipes make a lot, but you only use them once.  So even though I cut the recipe in half, I was only using about 1/4 to 1/2 of the batch.  So I learned last night that if I still have dressing of another kind left, I will use that instead of making an all-new dressing.

I am on day 3.  I have spent at least 2-3 hours each night cooking. First dinner (3 different recipes), then lunch for the next day.  The food is tasty and healthy.  It's not quite enough food for me if I want to remain active and not be incredibly cranky.  They have recommendations for additional snacks if you need them.  I just planned for them outright.  I think this amount of food would work for some, particularly if you want to drop weight fast.  I just know my limitations.

Also, I started liberally substituting.  I started on a weekday, which is tough for me (little plan for prep).  The plan calls for a lot more meat than I am used to (chicken and fish).  I subbed a veggie burger for fish one night (shhh.)  The diet plan and shopping list is enough food for one person for breakfast and lunch, and 2 people for dinner, which adds another wrench in this family where breakfast and dinner are for 3 and lunch is for 2.  My hubby has had to (mostly) fend for himself at lunch.

The exercise plan is also time-consuming, but a pleasant surprise.  It's - balanced.  Every day starts with 15 min of yoga.  Every day has 30 to 60 min of walking.  Every day has a 38-minute circuit (there are 3 circuits).  Every OTHER day has a 10 min core workout.  Let's do that math.  It's a couple of hours a day.  I do like the circuit (good total body workout).  I did sub swimming for the walking yesterday.  And I'm still trying to figure out how to squeeze in the core on various days.  Like today, when I gave blood and am tired.  Maybe I will try to squeeze it in tomorrow.  What I like about the plan is the focus on all aspects of fitness and wellness.  Including meditation and writing in a journal, which I frankly have to admit that I don't do.

The issue I've been having this year (after gaining 13 lbs in the last 9 months), is that with work stress and life stress, I can't seem to take it off.  I am really good for a week, then my spouse travels and I gain it back.  Then I lose it again, then I get PMS and gain it back.  Then I lose it again, and then I go on vacation and gain it back.  Then I lose it again, and then my boss is sick for a week (and I am the boss when he's gone), and the stress - I gain it back.  Those women who get stressed out and forget to eat?  I'm not one of them.

Here are some photos of what I've been eating this week.  I have to say, it is delicious!  But my fridge is PACKED to the BRIM with veggies.  And I normally eat a lot of veggies!  It's craziness.

Tortilla soup.

Black beans, chicken fajitas

Yogurt, banana, kashi

Sauteed zucchini, veggie burger
 Spinach and Mushroom Soup

Yogurt with Mango, Strawberries, Kashi

Salad with fruit and pumpkin seeds, and yes, Trader Joe's frozen breaded chicken.

Note:  While doing such a regimented plan "eat this", "exercise this way" generally isn't my style, and is time-consuming, I decided to give it a try for a couple of weeks.  I judicously chose 2 weeks when my husband isn't traveling.  But still, I gave blood, and I have a party to go to, and some other events in there.  Those make it challenging.  And of course, my own personality is such that I've already done substitutions.  This will be helpful in the long run, when I pick my favorite recipes and cook enough soup for 3 days, instead of cooking A DIFFERENT KIND OF SOUP EVERY SINGLE NIGHT.


Joanne said...

Wow this sounds INTENSE. I have been having similar issues as you...good for a week then bad for a week. And it's been driving me crazy! I've been a lot better lately, trying not to think of foods as good or bad as that tends to stop binge eating before it starts.

Sounds like at least you're getting some good recipes out of this, and working out a TON!

Marcia said...

It is totally intense, and my husband is REALLY tired of the dishes. Which is one reason why I did it now and not when he was traveling.

Biz said...

All in all it does look pretty balanced! And yes, cooking from scratch is time consuming, but I agree to make just one salad dressing a week and just a couple soups.

I have leftover frozen chicken tortilla soup for lunch - I could literally eat soup every day of the year and never get sick of it. :D