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How to Eat and Move to Increase Your Metabolism… Joy Dare #153-155

Your genetics only account for about 5% of how fast your metabolism converts food to energy. This means you can influence the other 95% and tell your body, over time, to ramp up your resting metabolic rate. This is your go-to plan to make that happen (and why it will work) in a nutshell:

1. Eat smaller meals, and eat more often. When you go too long between meals or snacks, your body thinks you may be in a famine situation, and it was created to brilliantly “gear down” and conserve energy. Then, because you are dreadfully hungry from waiting so long to eat, you eat a huge meal at the same time your body thinks it is starving and is in a conserve-all-energy state. So, it stores your meal as fat for future famines! When you eat smaller meals/snacks every 2-3 hours, you “rev” your metabolism engines by telling your body there is a wealth of food available and easily accessed. Also, eating any food increases your metabolism, especially the first hour after eating, so eating smaller meals more often means more hours of the day when your metabolism is boosted just by eating!

2. Eat more protein. If you follow my health plan, you are already doing this but may not understand why it is helping. Protein requires 25% more energy to digest than other foods. It also directly “feeds” and repairs your muscles. You’ll see why this is important as you…

3. Build muscle through strength training. You have probably heard that muscle burns more calories than fat, but did you realize just how many more? One pound of fat burns only 2 calories per day, while one pound of muscle burns 35 calories per day! Building more muscle and maintaining it is beneficial to your body in many ways, but where your weight loss efforts are concerned, it is vital! It is more effective longterm than aerobics because it doesn’t just burn calories while you are exercising- it increases your ability to burn calories all the time, even while you are sleeping. (It also makes things easier to pick up, daily tasks feel effortless, and makes you look fabulous instead of flabby… but that isn’t the point of this post.)

4. Increase your calories (feast) one day a week. This tells your body not to gear down and create a set point of metabolism based on your lower caloric intake the rest of the week. In my health plan, this is the “splurge” day from Saturday night through Sunday lunch.

5. Avoid sugar and refined carbohydrates (like white bread, pasta, white potatoes, white rice, etc.) most of the time. When you have a blood sugar spike due to your body breaking down these quick carbs, your pancreas releases insulin which transports the excess glucose (sugar) in your blood to your liver and fat cells as storage for future energy requirements. As it does this, your glucose levels fall in your blood and you feel the “blood sugar low” so many talk about… aka HUNGER! You want to eat everything in sight, especially craving those simple sugars to give you relief from the low you are feeling. Do you see the vicious cycle that is created by just one meal that is too high in quick sugars? It is a double whammy, both increasing fat storage and making you crave more of the bad stuff all at the same time.

6. Eat real food. Not the processed-out-of-a-box junk. Not the chemical laden food-look-alikes. Your body knows they are not food, and has to work very hard to figure out what exactly to do with them. Ultimately, it processes them as toxins and stores them often in fat cells to protect your body from them temporarily! Yuck. It is hard on every organ system in your body. Just don’t eat them. Unfortunately, this includes pretty much every food that you don’t make from scratch. There are simple ways to cook real food, though, and it doesn’t have to be hard. Give your body food it recognizes and automatically knows what to do with.

7. Keep things moving at a normal pace. Umm… so I’m a nurse, and talking about things like this doesn’t bother me. Even if it bothers you to read it, the information is important enough for you to read it anyway. Your small intestines are where your body absorbs nutrients from the food you eat. Your large intestines then absorb water as needed, and what is left is what comes out in your toilet. Different people visit the toilet at different intervals, but there is a “normal-and-healthy-for-you.” You may go three times a day, or twice a week, but if your stool is hard and pellet like, things are not moving along as quickly as they should. Likewise, if your stool is liquid-like and unformed, things are probably moving along too quickly! Talk to your doctor, of course, if you have either on a regular basis. Simply changing your diet and sticking to it will go a long way in helping in this area, but when you initially make the change it often shocks your system and things may… well… back up. (Miralax will be your best friend in such a circumstance. FYI.) This doesn’t really speed up your metabolism, but it does assist your metabolism! If your digestion is moving too quickly, your body can’t absorb the many micronutrients available and needed in the real food you are eating. If moving too slowly, your body may store more of the food than it needs just to “deal with it.”

Here is a rude awakening, based on the above facts. If you and your best friend each weigh 150 pounds, but you were 200 pounds and dieted by cutting calories to lose weight and she has never weighed more than 150 pounds, you will have a slower metabolism than she does and will require less calories per day. This is why she can eat pizza and chocolate and you are eating salads and soup, but you weigh the same amount! It seems unfair, I know, but when you understand why your body geared down and the miracle it is that your body was created to be able to do so, you can be thankful for it. You also can, to a great extent, reverse the process and gear up your body by increasing your metabolism in the above ways.

Joy Dare:

153. 154. 155. Three Gifts Hard to Give Thanks For… We haven’t built our house yet even though we are so close to starting; I can’t sing praise anymore in the choir at church due to irreparable damage to my vocal cords during thyroid removal; Our country is quickly becoming more and more in debt while infringing on more and more of our freedoms. Your timing is best, Lord, and none of these things surprise you. You promised to use all things for the good of those who love You, and You are faithful to keep all Your promises. I trust You.

Corrie Mims

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The Splurge Effect… and Joy Dare #127-133

 

A dear friend walked up to me last night at church and held up 3 fingers with a smile.  It took a minute for me to understand, and then I realized… She has lost 3 pounds on my health plan.  I walked away struggling with the lump in my throat.

You see, she is one of 30 members of our secret group who has already started seeing results after just one week.  The reason it is so emotional for me is because I didn’t plan this “health plan” to help anyone except me.  I had tried all the other diets and they didn’t work for me for one reason or another.  I am a researcher by nature and by nurture (thanks, Mama) and I knew there had to be answers out there that would work for MY weight problem.  After tweaking my plan over the process of a year and charting my weight to see what I could and couldn’t do and still lose weight- I finally pieced together the plan that worked for my body.

MY body.  It didn’t occur to me three years ago that this plan could or would ever help anyone else.  Even when I decided to help K. and encourage her in her journey to health, I was so nervous that it wouldn’t work for her.  When I opened it up publicly on this blog to anyone who wanted to try it, I was overwhelmed by the response… and I felt fear that hopes would be raised and then dashed and I would be the cause.

I have prayed myself to sleep at night for these members by name and asked the Lord to honor their efforts to become healthy.  And He has.

I kept telling myself that there is no charge to do this with me and if it doesn’t work for someone (and surely there will be someone it doesn’t work for), it won’t be a great loss for them.  The problem is that I know this isn’t true.

I know firsthand what it is like to want to be the skinny girl who eats whatever she wants and still looks fabulous.  And I know what it is like to get your hopes up that you might actually get to be the skinny girl again, only to find out that the plan is too complicated, too expensive, the recipes too gourmet, too strict, and not sustainable over the long term.  I have bought into more diet plans and subsequently thrown in the towel more times than I can count or would want to admit. 

I just could hardly bear the thought of causing someone else to feel discouraged…. again. This is a lot of weight to carry.

So, as the numbers of pounds lost are beginning to roll in (and off!) for the first members of my health plan, I am feeling excitement, gratitude, shock.

I am shocked because, of any area where I might have considered myself to be the most nominal expert… where I might have felt even a wee bit of pride and thought the Lord might be able to use me one day to help people in that area… yeah, this wasn’t it.

It is just like my God to use my weakness (in an area where I have failed repeatedly) to bless others, and in doing so, to show His strength and bring glory to His Name! 

Having said this, please know I am well aware that I have had nothing to do with this if it works for you.  I am as surprised as you are.  Bless His Name!

This brings me, finally, to the point of my post.  I have come up with a new name for “Corrie’s Health Plan”  because, well, that just wasn’t very creative.  I began thinking about what makes my plan different than all the other ones, and the “splurge” of Saturday night through Sunday lunch is the most defining factor.  (Every other diet plan I have tried had an “all or nothing” approach where you had to give up your favorite foods forever.)

So, we will now call it The Splurge Effect.

And speaking of, I asked a few of the members of the group who completed their first week on the plan…

“For those who started the plan last week and had your first splurge meals Saturday night and Sunday… How did it make you feel? Did you notice a difference in your body when you added back in those processed foods? Was it hard to start back on the plan on Sunday night? Tell me your experience, and then I will share mine…”

These were their answers:

1) [My husband] and I both commented Sunday afternoon that we could tell a huge difference and just felt kind of yucky. Last week when eating on the plan, after a meal we felt full and satisfied. After eating our splurge meals we felt stuffed and like we ate too much. We didn’t eat healthy but we did try to still watch our portion control. It wasn’t too hard for me to start back on the plan because I was ready for something healthy and to not feel that way. I can definitely tell a difference in our thinking about food.

2) I felt so bloated after my bad weekend, no fun!

3) I wasn’t completely on the plan but splurged while out of town. I was so sick by Sunday night. I literally had to go to bed early from the sugar racing through my body. I know it sounds weird but I’ve become so sensitive to an excess of sugar over the years. I regretted it and wondered how I will feel this weekend when splurge time comes. Will I even want to??

4) I was very happy to start back on the plan. I felt extremely tired and sluggish after my splurge.

K. has also told me how bad she feels on splurge day.  I find it interesting because, since I designed this plan for me, I had no way of knowing if everyone would react the same way to the splurge.  I have been known to say out loud after splurging…

“I can hear my cells crying.” 

When you give your body the perfect fuel of real food and do just a few minutes of strength training for several days, it starts running optimally and feeling incredible.  All of your organs start working better and the brain fog lifts.  Then, suddenly, we splurge on processed foods and refined sugars and everything comes to a screeching halt.  You WILL feel the difference in your body.

Which brings me to the big question everyone is thinking…

“So why splurge??!!”

You may think that because you are losing weight on the plan, you should skip the splurge and you will lose even more weight.  You are more than welcome to give it a try.  However, if you are like me, you are doing this plan because you are not the most disciplined person in the world who never ate processed foods anyway and only crave healthy, whole foods.  Let’s face it- you wouldn’t be interested in what I have to say if you were that way.

The Splurge Effect, in my experience, does the following:

1) Allows you to shock your body with excess food which helps keep you from a weight plateau where you seem to hit a brick wall and just can’t lose past it.

2) It allows you to eat the foods you have been craving and helps you have a short-term relief plan for those days when the emotional cravings for foods gets a little out of control.  If you know that in three or four days you can have the food that your mind is obsessing about, it is easier to get through the craving without giving in… but if you had to tell yourself that you could NEVER have that food, you might not make it.

3) It makes you feel miserable, which is great! It is great because you have such a stark contrast that shows you what the processed foods and sugars are doing to your body.  It makes you actually WANT to go back on the plan after Sunday lunch because you will be bloated, sluggish, and in a brain stupor.  (Every other diet plan I have ever done made me feel deprived and made me want to eat anything and everything that wasn’t on the plan.  And if I ever gave in and fell off the diet wagon, nothing made me want to get on it again.)

Over time, you may begin to modify what you eat on the splurge.  These are splurge-related questions I have gotten in the past couple of weeks:

1) Do I have to splurge?  I don’t want to eat sugar and processed foods! 

No, you don’t have to eat sugar and lots of processed foods, but yes, you need to splurge.  You can simply eat MORE food.  Eat double the brown rice serving you usually have, eat pasta, eat white potatoes and corn.  If you make your own yeast rolls or biscuits with white flour, eat them.  (I know white flour is processed, but these are just ideas.)  If you’re like me, though, you will have a Krispy Kreme doughnut.  Just saying.

2) I want to split my three splurge meals up because I am going out with friends in the middle of the week.  I want to eat one splurge then and save the other two meals for Sunday.  Is that okay?

Unfortunately, no.  I have tested this thoroughly and it doesn’t work.  If you must move your splurge, you have to move the full three splurge meals.  It is a 24 hour splurge of an increase in food that shocks your body into releasing more fat.  It isn’t a shock if you spread the meals out, and your body will likely just store that mid-week meal as fat.

3) Do I have to eat like this forever?  Once I reach my goal weight, I don’t have to splurge on the weekends and follow the rules during the week anymore, right?

Sorry, but you [mostly] have to eat this way forever.  But, really, is it that hard?  Yes, you will be able to have an extra splurge meal occasionally during the week as long as you watch the scale closely.  (I have found, however, that once you start taking extra splurges it is easy to keep rationalizing more and more of them until you are no longer on the plan at all.) The weight will come back if you go back to eating like you used to- which is pretty logical and goes without saying, I think.

I hope this helps deepen your understanding of The Splurge Effect and encourages you to take the challenge with us!  If you have further questions, send me a message and I will do my best to help you find the answers.

Corrie Mims

 

The Joy Dare continues…

127. 128. 129. Three Gifts White…  SweetHeart’s first-thing-in-the-morning smile when she sees me; soft clean sheets on my bed; the brightest, clearest stars that go on for miles over our farm.

130. The 11! third and fourth graders I taught last night at church.

131. Hand-me-down clothes painstakingly sorted and stored by Cowboy’s Mama which bless us over and over again as SweetHeart and BraveHeart move into the-next-bigger sizes.  I can’t remember the last time I bought clothes for either of them.

132. The new church outfits Mama surprised me with for BraveHeart and SweetHeart.  They are precious.

133. TenderHeart’s birthday plans finalized and his good friends who are coming to join him.  I cannot believe he will be ten years old tomorrow!

 

 

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12 Snack Ideas for Corrie’s Health Plan… and Joy Dare #121-126

Some of you have asked for more ideas for snacks which fit the rules of my health plan, and I realized I pretty much eat the same snacks over and over.  In general, I am not hungry at snack times and I eat just to keep my blood sugar levels from taking a dive.  The not-being-hungry makes me not-very-creative.  Thanks to members of our secret group on Facebook (Join us? Click here, “like” my page, and comment with a request to join. I will add you to the secret group which can only be seen by members!) I am stepping out of my comfortable box and sharing some great ideas for snacks which fit my plan… and which are easy and tasty so I will actually eat them.  These are my faves so far:

1) One small pear and one string cheese. Slice pear into 8 slices and cut them in half again to make 16 chunks.  Cut string cheese into 8 pieces and make skewers of pear/cheese/pear on toothpicks.

2) One Greek yogurt with 1/2 cup frozen berries, stevia to taste or very small drizzle of raw honey, and a handful of whole, raw almonds.

3) One small apple with a tablespoon of natural peanut butter and small handful of whole, raw almonds.

4) 1/2 cup of cottage cheese (not reduced fat!) and half cup of berries. (Okay, so I personally hate cottage cheese.  But there are lots of people who love it and you might be one of them… and this snack would be a great choice for you.)

5) Beef or Turkey Jerky (low sodium with no sugar used in preparation) with a small navel orange or 6 green grapes.

6) 1/2 cup of pumpkin seeds with 6 raw baby carrots.

7) Lettuce deli wrap:  One large piece of leaf lettuce layered with two slices of low sodium deli meat (not the honey kind!), a sprinkle of shredded cheese and slice of tomato, sea salt and pepper… roll up and enjoy.

8) Lettuce bean burrito:  1/2 cup black beans mixed with one tablespoon of no-sugar-added salsa.  Mash with fork and heat in microwave.  Roll up in piece of romaine lettuce with sprinkle of cheese.

9) Open-faced banana sandwich:  1/2 of a 100% whole wheat “bagel thin” spread with natural peanut butter (Smuckers is the only kind I use) and toasted in toaster oven.  Top with 1/2 sliced banana and 4 raw pecan halves.

10) A few celery sticks filled with almond butter and topped with whole almonds.

11) Two tablespoons of hummus with celery, carrots, and snow peas.

12) 1/4 cup of old fashioned oats cooked on stove with 1/2 cup of water, sprinkle of cinnamon and nutmeg, one packet of stevia, and whisk in one egg during last minute of cooking. You won’t taste it! Top with a handful of walnuts or almonds and 1/4 of a thinly sliced apple.

I will look for more gourmet ideas and do some taste testing for future posts, but the above are snacks I either have had pretty regularly on my health plan or that I know I would like (minus the cottage cheese one, but I gave that disclaimer already!) Please comment below if this helps and if you have other ideas for great snacks which follow the general rules of the plan!

Now, for more Grace Counting:

121. 122. 123. A Gift in Losing, Finding, Making Something... I lost my closest friend a long time ago.  The broken heart almost killed me and I used it as an excuse to become mean, ugly, bitter for a time.  But You found me, dug me out of the pit, and helped me find me again, too.  And then you made something beautiful out of nothing, convicted me of sin and cleansed me, healed my broken heart.  When the scar aches now, I remember Your faithfulness when I wasn’t faithful to You.  Thank You for loving me enough not to leave me in that place.

124. The sweetest date night with Cowboy Saturday, even including the scary drive home in the fiercest snow-so-thick-we-couldn’t-see-the-road-at-all. I love being anywhere with him.

125.  Clothes for church that do not have to be completely removed for me to nurse BraveHeart!  Thankful for Cowboy’s sister who kept the older Hearts, Cowboy’s mom who went with me to care for BraveHeart while I tried on clothes, thankful there were some that fit, and truthfully, thankful the shopping trip for the next few months is over.

126.  Thankful for my mom, who (though sick with a nasty cold) is picking up TrueHeart from tumbling for me tonight so I would not have to make two trips to Florence in one day.  I don’t know what I would do without her, Lord.

 Corrie Mims

 

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Perfect Brown Rice Recipe

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Here is my recipe for the most perfectly nutty, slightly chewy brown rice and the way I serve it in single portions to fit my healthy eating plan.  You may use any brown rice you like as long as it is not quick-cooking rice.  It is so easy and delicious, you will wonder why you have been eating white rice all this time!  Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

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First, you need a Tablespoon plus a teaspoon of real butter.  And a 9 x 13 casserole dish.

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Now, you need to pour 4 2/3 cups of water into either a small pot to heat on the stove or a microwaveable bowl.  Add your butter and 1 teaspoon of sea salt.  Use filtered water if you have funky tasting water.  Put it in the microwave or on the stove and heat until just boiling and butter is melted.

 

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While it is heating, pour 3 cups of brown rice into a 9 x 13 casserole dish.  Spread it out evenly over the bottom of the dish.

 

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Give the water/butter/salt mixture a good stir and pour over rice in dish.  (And by all means, turn baby in Maya Wrap away from the hot water.)  Stir the rice gently to settle any displaced rice back into an even layer.

 

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Cover dish wish a DOUBLE layer of foil and seal carefully with your hands all the way around.  Place in oven and bake for 1 hour.

 

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Remove from oven and carefully remove foil.  Fluff rice with fork and cover with a clean kitchen towel. (I know, sounds crazy, but it is important!  Just do it!)  Let rest for 5 minutes.  Set your timer.  Then, uncover rice and fluff again.  Allow to sit for 5 more minutes before serving.  If I am not eating right away, I allow it to sit for 15 more minutes and then begin the packing and freezing process.  This is how I do it:

 

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One heaping 1/3 of a cup spooned into a cheap plastic sandwich bag.  Don’t use the nice thick ones.  Really.

 

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Flatten and seal by patting vigorously with your hand, creating a single layer of rice.  Burp the bag a couple of times to get most of the air out.

 

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Stack the bags of flattened rice (you should have at least 17, up to 20 of them) and store them just like this in your freezer.  When you are ready for a serving, grab one of the bags, poke a few holes in it with a fork, and microwave just until it begins to puff up like the bag is going to explode.  Remove carefully from microwave and pour onto plate.  You may also add it to a hot skillet as an alternative and it will be ready in seconds.

It really is the perfect brown rice!  Try it and let me know what you think.

The pictures are courtesy of TrueHeart who blogs pictures only over at http://www.developedphotography.wordpress.com  She wasn’t happy with the rushed job in poor lighting I was requiring her to do, so check out her regular work.  She will be thrilled to see her blog stats rise with number of views, and I love it when she is happy!  Thanks a bunch.

Corrie Mims

 
 

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Eating Out, Working Out, Reaching Out… Joy Dare #107-110

Please forgive me for not getting this posted the last couple of days.  We have had much sickness at our house which makes it hard for me to find the time to type a post.  I have tried to answer individual questions on Facebook and texts, but know many of you are anxiously waiting for more details!

Let me start with the good stuff!  I weighed Saturday morning because that will be my weekly weigh-in day.  (Oh, that reminds me, you should weigh yourself once a week ONLY, at the same time of day, naked or with very light clothing preferably :-), and before breakfast.  Write your weight down!  I use the Wii Fit because it charts my weight and lets me set my goal weight, shows my BMI, etc.  It is a great tool, but don’t go out and buy it if you don’t already have it.)

From Tuesday when I started the plan until Saturday, I lost 3.3 pounds!  I weigh around 137.5 now.  Something about dropping below 140 made me want to squeal. Which I did.  And so did TenderHeart and TrueHeart.  They are amazing encouragers, always in my corner.  K. has been very, very sick.  I think she has pneumonia after listening to her lungs with my stethoscope, and she it at the doc this morning.  Even with all of that, she stuck to her plan, and has lost a total of almost 8 pounds since her start date!  Her original weight was 214 and she is down to 206.8.  So, so proud of her!  Would you join us in making your weigh-in days on Saturdays?  I promise not to post your actual weight if you do not want me to, but would love to post pounds lost every week and total pounds lost for all those following the plan.  Talk about a boost!  That would certainly be one.

Which brings me to us Reaching Out.  I have created a secret group on Facebook for only those following the plan or who are seriously wanting to start following the plan.  None of the posts will be visible to anyone who is not a member of the group and everything will be completely private to our group.  This will be a great way for us to encourage one another, a place for me to answer questions, and will provide accountability as well (and relationship!  We were made for relationships!) I will have to add you personally to the group because of the nature of its privacy settings, so if you would like to be added, you will need to contact me in some way (Facebook, text, or whatever!) so I can add you.  For those who are not my friend yet on Facebook, here is a link to become my friend:  https://www.facebook.com/corrie.c.mims

Now, for Eating Out, I wanted to give you an idea of what my meals look like when I have to do fast food during the week because I am stuck in town for an appointment or errands.  The truth is that I only eat one of three places:  Chic-fil-A, Zaxby’s, or Wendy’s.  This doesn’t mean you can’t eat other places, but these are my picks and you can decide what to eat at other places based on how I eat at these.  At Chic-fil-A, I order the grilled chicken nuggets (8) with a side salad and a diet lemonade.  I don’t use the croutons or honey-roasted sesame seeds that come with the salad, and I eat hot sauce on it as my dressing (though you could take your own dressing as well).  Sometimes, I get the fruit cup instead of the salad.  Occasionally, I order the grilled chicken sandwich which comes on a whole wheat bun with lettuce and tomato, but when I do, I don’t get any sides with it because the bun is pretty large and carby.  You could always remove the top to help with that, but what can I say, I like a sandwich now and then and I don’t want to eat it with a fork.  When I eat at Zaxby’s I order the grilled chicken salad and ask them to hold the crunchy topping.  Again, I use their Tongue Torch as dressing or take my own.  It is unfortunate but I haven’t found a dressing in a packet yet that fits my eating plan.  At Wendy’s, I have their chili and a side salad.  You get the idea.

K. is keeping a food journal for me, and she and I sat down Saturday and went over her week of food choices.  It helped us find where there were some questionable (though unintentional) choices and we corrected them for this week.  I am more than willing to help any of you find solutions and possible sabotages in your eating, but to do so, I will need a completely honest account of everything you put in your mouth.  If you try this and don’t lose weight but have no record of what you are eating, I can’t help you find the culprit.  (You can send it in a private message to me and I will answer privately.  I will never share your eating journal without permission.)

I am getting lots of questions by private message, facebook comments, and texts, and I want to address a few today.  The most asked questions involve Working Out.

My workout is very simple because I am not one of those people who love exercising.  I do love the way a workout makes me feel and how it makes me look, however!  The most important part of working out on this plan is strength training.  I don’t go to a gym and I don’t have much time on my hands, so I do a simple 15 minute workout using my body as the resistance.  I printed out a workout years ago that I bought online, but I have modified it somewhat.  I am going to post separately today the first week’s workout plan with free links of how to do the exercises.  The workouts increase in intensity but gradually (thank goodness!) and I will walk you through it step by step.

K. and I also take a 30-40 minute walk on the farm three times per week, but don’t ever skip your strength training in order to walk. If you only have time for one exercise, make it the strength training one. When you walk, don’t use a treadmill if at all possible.  Get outside with sunlight on your face.  Look straight out while you walk instead of at your feet.  You will be amazed at what sunlight can do for you emotionally and mentally, and you definitely need it physically for Vitamin D!  Here’s an offer for my local peeps… You are more than welcome to come take a walk with K. and me on the farm and pick my brain while we walk!  Just message me privately and we will set up a time.

Again, Reaching Out, for those who aren’t close by- maybe you could find a friend on the Facebook group who lives close to you or maybe you know a friend who would partner with you in this challenge.  It does help so much to have the encouragement and accountability of not doing this alone!

I am planning a marathon of posting today, since I am behind… so stay tuned for the first workout post, a question and answer post, and the much-anticipated brown rice recipe post (TrueHeart took pictures of me making it this weekend, so all I have to do is type up the instructions and upload the pics!)  Also, don’t forget to message me if you want to be a member of our secret group.  Oh, and one more thing… Any ideas for a good name for my plan?  I named the group “Corrie’s Health Plan” but surely there is something more creative out there I could be calling it.

Bless you all for reading and taking this journey with us!  I can’t wait to start hearing how many pounds you dropped your first week on the plan.

Now, for more Joy counting…

107. 108. 109. 110. Four Times I Heard Laughter… The text conversation I thought I had with Victoria but was really with Ashley and the hilarity of it when I realized it.  I haven’t belly laughed like that in a long time!  SweetHeart laughing hysterically at Granddaddy’s silliness.  The sudden fall in our hens’ egg production and the discovery by Cowboy of the clutch of 13 eggs hidden by our porch.   We laughed together thinking how our hens needed to be closer to their humans for protection of their eggs! And lastly… how do I say this… a cousin farmer dropped his gorgeous Australian shepherd female dog (who happens to be deaf) off for a “visit” with our male border collie Rocket.  That’s about all I can say here, but the courtship has been hilarious in. every. way.  And whatever you’re imagining, it is funnier than that.  Seriously. 

Corrie Mims

 

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THE Eating Plan Overview… and Joy Dare #101-103

First, let me say I had more hits on my blog yesterday than any other day since I have been blogging except for one (which was the day I wrote about my funeral– go figure– people really want to lose weight, but more than that, want to see me dead!  Just kidding.)  I have also had so many personal e-mails, comments, and texts about it and I realized just how important this plan really might be if it can help all of us to become healthier.

It has overwhelmed me… in the most glorious way.  And humbled and encouraged me that you would want to take this journey with us.

I am going to give a brief overview of the plan today.  I know some of you are in a hurry to start, but I recommend you wait until Monday so I will have a few more days to write all the information you will need.  (BraveHeart had shots today, so I will write as much as I can as often as I can.  Please be patient with me.)

I also need to give a disclaimer:  This is not intended to diagnose or cure any diseases and may or may not give you the same results it has given me.  Also, I have done years of research, but I didn’t know I would be writing this so I didn’t write down the references.  I will try in the weeks to come to point you to scientific studies which support this plan of eating, but today I am just giving you the framework as simply as I know how.  It can easily be adjusted to fit special diet needs, like gluten-free/dairy free, etc. but my plan is not either of those.

I am going to start with my favorite part about the plan, and K.’s favorite part, too.  This is the core that keeps me committed, though if you are an all or nothing kind of person… you may balk when you read it.  Ready?

You get Saturday supper through Sunday lunch OFF.  Completely.  You eat whatever you want.  I am totally serious!  Pizza, french fries, lasagna, fried cheese sticks.  I know, I know– not healthy eating.  But here’s the thing… if you get those meals off you are more likely to stick with the plan during the week, and believe it or not, after a couple of weeks you will feel so miserable on your day off and realize even more how important the healthy eating during the rest of the week really is!  There is also science behind this, well at least the sudden change in number of calories and kinds of food you are giving your body for one day a week.  It shocks your body somehow and helps you not to plateau and get frustrated.  You don’t have to believe me, you just have to follow the plan and then tell me if it works for you!

Here is my other favorite part (notice I’m starting with the good stuff?)…

Every single night, you get to eat one small piece of very dark chocolate.  Now, now… you may think you don’t like dark chocolate, but once you are eating on the plan I can almost promise you that you will learn to appreciate it.  I eat high quality 85% cacao chocolate (such as Green & Black’s organic chocolate bar) which I buy at WalMart.

Important note:  Everything I eat I buy from WalMart or Aldi.  I don’t generally buy expensive foods.  The chocolate is eaten in very small little blocks over 10 days, so paying 3 dollars for it isn’t a big deal.  Trust me, having this treat slowly melt in your mouth an hour or so before bed will be a huge highlight of your day.  Not only that, the cacao actually helps the body to release belly fat per some study I read recently and is full of antioxidants (the chocolate, not the sugar, hence the darkest of dark chocolates!) Whatever- it just helps me get through my eating plan the rest of the day.

Now, this is when things get a little harder… but completely doable.

You must eat real food from Sunday afternoon until the following Saturday afternoon.  No quick packaged meals or chips or snacks.  The good news about this is that those foods are expensive anyway, and the way I will teach you to eat will be much better for your body.  You will feel the difference at least after 48 hours on the plan… Your system will literally feel clean and your energy level will begin to improve.

You must eat 3 meals and 3 snacks per day, around 2-3 hours apart.  For example, I have to take my thyroid medicine on an empty stomach and wait an hour to eat, so I eat breakfast at 8 am, snack at 10ish, lunch at 12, snack at 3 pm, supper at 6 pm, and have my chocolate bite around 9 pm.

You must eat protein and fat with every meal and every snack (except with your chocolate mini-snack). You are unlimited in which proteins (not how much) you can eat, and forget what you were told in those low-fat diet books.  Chicken skin should be left on your chicken when possible.

You will consume only natural fats.  NO margarine. (Don’t even get me started on that non-food.)  You will use real butter to cook your eggs, coconut oil if you like it (I do!), extra virgin olive oil, and the fats naturally found in meats like salmon filets and chicken thighs.

You will eat carbohydrates, but only certain ones and in small servings (other than some veggies, which are unlimited) along with your protein and fat.  You will eat the carbs that digest more slowly in your system.  Examples include half of a whole wheat bagel (or one whole wheat bagel “Thins”), a slice of 100% whole wheat bread (or other high fiber bread with minimal sugar added), one small whole wheat tortilla, a small sweet potato or 1/3 cup of cooked brown rice (I have the recipe for brown rice that makes it perfect which I will blog about in the next couple of days.  You can make a huge casserole of it and split it into single serving freezer bags, which I will show you how to do.  Then you can have it ready in 45 seconds.  No kidding.)

You will eat as many low-sugar vegetables as you want.  Roast them, steam them, or eat them raw.  Examples include broccoli, cauliflower, baby spinach, turnip greens, green bell peppers.  You may eat a small serving of higher sugar vegetables like red or yellow peppers, carrots, and tomatoes with each meal.

You may eat only lower sugar fruits during the week, and up to two servings per day.  These include an apple, a pear, and any berries.  (Eat your fruit whole, no canned pears or applesauce, even if they are unsweetened!)  Apples will keep an eternity in your fridge and you can buy bags of frozen berries at WalMart– so no excuses here on not being able to get to the grocery store often enough.  (Trust me– I shop as little as possible.  I hate to shop.)

You may drink anything that does not have an artificial sweetener or sugar, corn syrup, or anything that pretends to be that.  There is one exception.  You may have 1-2 packets of stevia per day.  Also, an occasional Splenda (sucralose) sweetened drink is acceptable, but don’t do it more than once a day, and count it as one of your two allowable servings of artificial sweetener.  (Once again, I will give research and explanations in future blogs– but trust me– They will stall your weight loss.  Ever notice so many people who struggle with their weight are addicted to Diet Coke? True story.)

No carbonated, artificially colored drinks during the week.  You can have your coffee with stevia and a splash of cream (real cream, not that artificial flavored stuff they call creamer made from oils and yuck).  You can drink water with a raspberry tea bag thrown in (this is what I do all the time) which adds a hint of fruit with no sweetener or calories.  You can have unsweetened tea (I know– for this Southern girl that was a real challenge at first… but I did get used to it and almost like it.  If I throw a raspberry tea bag in with it, it is even more tolerable. And I drink my sweet tea on Saturday-Sunday.)

Still with me?  I know this is a lot and my hands are cramping… but if I don’t explain the rules, you can’t adapt your own meals to the plan.  I cook almost every night for my family and they don’t need to lose weight nor are they game for big changes in their eating habits.  I had to learn how to cook a protein and vegetable we could all eat, and then a carb for them that they love but that I would not eat.  I just pull a serving of brown rice out of the freezer for me, or bake a small sweet potato alongside their white potatoes, for example.)

My favorite snacks include a handful of almonds, walnuts, or pecans (not roasted and salted, but raw and whole) along with an apple or pear.  However, as long as you have a natural, solid protein with a slower carb at the same time, you will be fine. 

No sugar (except your small piece of chocolate).  Just avoid it.  It wreaks havoc on your body, affecting every organ and system.  (Again, research will follow in the future.)

Okay, I know this is all over the place but I have a very unhappy two month old who can’t take much more of my typing.  Tomorrow I will cover how you need to move and one of my daily menus to give you an idea of what you can do with this.  I will also try to cover meals you can eat out as well. Oh, and dairy items.  Wow… there is still a bit to go.

Please comment below with questions and your own personal challenges/struggles.  I will use your questions to know what I still need to cover in the next few blogs.  I know this plan so well that I may be leaving out important facts!  Let me know where the holes are so I can fill them in…

And then there is the JOY!

101.  All of the special people behind the e-mails, texts, and comments I have received about my eating plan… many of them sharing stories of their lifelong weight struggles.  I am honored they would share with me!

102.  Another set of shots checked off for BraveHeart, and the allergist referral for next week for TenderHeart.

103.  Nana-in-law who is holding BraveHeart and comforting him after his shots while I frantically type this.  She helped me keep my promise to post this today.

Corrie Mims

 

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The Before on the Way to the After… Joy Dare #90-100

I started again today.

After every baby, and between the babies and before the babies, I have struggled with my weight. I have tried every diet out there, it seems, every crazy trick and some non-FDA-approved-mail-order stuff in my distant past that I am not proud of. I have done all the fad-like workouts (for a while) and even tried Christian hypnosis a long time ago. (Again, not proud of this fact. Just being transparent so you can feel the weight of all of this…)

I can’t blame my bad habits on any one thing. Stress, joy, sadness, unfulfilled expectations, wild success… I have had all of these. And all of these have one thing in common, one thing I did during each of these drastically different circumstances…

I ate.

I am a Southern girl with Dixie in my blood and I was raised to see food as love, comfort, celebration, fellowship, and the way to a man’s heart. No one ever told me these things because it wasn’t necessary to say them. It was a way of life. It was shown to me.

I can’t deny it. I love food. It makes me happy when I am down, and even happier when I am happy. Except…

I don’t like being overweight. I don’t like being tired and sluggish and I don’t like being controlled by my addiction to food.

The good news is that about three years ago, I found the plan that worked for me. I began eating a very simple way in an effort to regulate my body so I would be healthy enough to get pregnant. It worked so quickly (just a month of eating this way) that I was pregnant and scratching my head as to how it had influenced my body in such a dramatic way in such a short time. I hadn’t had a cycle in a year, and suddenly my ovaries were working again.

I didn’t stick with the plan for my entire pregnancy, but after SweetHeart was born, I began eating this way again in hopes to lose the baby weight (and before-baby weight). It worked so fast and was so easy it made my head spin. How could it be so simple? I lost down to my goal weight, losing 2-3 pounds a week, and without ever feeling deprived or stressed or hungry.

And to make it even better… I felt AMAZING. Energetic. Fit. Sleeping soundly. Breathing better.

Oh, yeah. That. Breathing better…. until. Until I was diagnosed with the rare lung disease that rocked my entire world and caused me to focus more on what I wanted my children to know before I died and, internally, wondering who Cowboy would marry next and would she love him and our children the way they deserve?

Just being painfully honest here. And the treatment for the disease was crazy high-dose steroids for 6 months (which made me want to eat a house and a cow) and made me swell up like a balloon… and the self-medicated treatment for my emotional pain was what it always had been…

Food.

So I ate. And ate. And gained back 15 pounds. And then was diagnosed with Cancer. (I know. Sounds like I must be making this up. But I’m not.)

What kind of cancer? Oh, just thyroid cancer. Completely treatable! We just have to take out the organ in your body that regulates your metabolism. No biggie.

Ugh. The loss of my thyroid proved to be a huge obstacle in my weight loss. Even with my numbers in the correct range (TSH, T4, T3) the weight would not let go. I tried my eating plan, and though it made me feel much better, the weight did not respond. I scoured the internet for a solution, but I could only find entry after entry of thyroid-less people saying they couldn’t stop gaining weight no matter what they ate or how much they exercised. Clearly, Google was not the encourager I was counting on.

Even so, the eating plan did one thing it had done before. My endocrinologist at The Hollings Cancer Center at MUSC told me she would wait on radiation so I could try to have one more baby, but warned it really wasn’t likely that my cycles would return after losing my thyroid… It had been months and no sign of them. She said this was sometimes a side effect and, of course, I should be thankful for life.

But, I ate on my plan for just a couple of weeks and it woke my ovaries up. Five weeks after going back on my eating plan, I found out I was expecting my fourth and final baby, BraveHeart. It can’t all be attributed to how I ate. He was a miracle sent straight from God, a miracle I had pleaded with the Lord to give us… an heir for Cowboy, a brother for TenderHeart.

I do feel certain this eating plan (designed by me by combining much research, not a plan in a book) was also His leading in my life as I had begged Him to help me find something that actually worked…and it really, really did.

Which brings me to now… the before on the way to the after. BraveHeart was born a little over two months ago and my weight loss has stalled at 141 pounds. I would love to weigh 115 pounds, but could settle joyfully for 120. At my height and build, this is a realistic and healthy BMI to shoot for.

Back on the eating plan I go! I started today. Not only that, but my amazing niece K. is taking the health challenge with me. I am super proud of her commitment as she has been following the plan since last Thursday and has already lost 6 pounds! She has been dealing with some health issues and has gained a great deal of weight. She wanted to find something that could work for her and in our talking, decided she wanted to try my special plan. I told her I would do it with her and coach her through it (while hopefully benefiting from it myself, regardless of my lack of thyroid). Her current weight is 208 lbs (which she told me “You can post my weight cause I’m gonna be proud that I weighed that much and lost it!) We decided I should blog our journey to health and include, along and along, the details of my plan in the hopes it might inspire others to take the challenge while giving us accountability and a record of our progress.

So, what do you think? If I told you an easy way to eat and move that was not crazy expensive and would help you lose weight and feel better and sleep better without feeling deprived or hungry, would you be willing to try it with us?

I know I don’t usually get many comments on my blog that YOU can see, but I have been so shocked and completely touched by the private e-mails I have been getting from so many of you. (I haven’t been able to respond to everyone yet as I read the e-mails from my phone and texting a reply with one hand while holding BraveHeart with the other has proven challenging!) I never would have thought so many of you would take the time to read my writing, and even more so, take the time to write me personally and thank me. I cannot tell you how greatly your words have blessed and encouraged me. Thank you, thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Now, I saved this til the end and still feel sick about posting it. I am doing so, though, because of the inner strength, confidence and bravery of my sweet niece K. who said I could post hers along with mine. So, without further disclaimer and in the spirit of full disclosure… our befores on the way to our afters.. (I even took my makeup off and messed up my hair, and threw spit up all over my shirt to make this more dramatic.  Yeah, right.  This is a regular morning look for me lately. Don’t tell anyone.)

Corrie Before

Corrie Before 2

K. Before

And now for the gratitude…

90. 91. 92. Three Gifts Found On Paper... My Bible.  How I love Your Words to me, my Lord!  It is life.  And letters from friends who take the time to drop a note. And a box I hide under my bed of keepsake cards and very brief notes from my Cowboy who doesn’t like to write but, occasionally, does so just for me. The sacrifice makes it even sweeter.

93. 94. 95. Three Gifts Found When Bent Down… Looking in SweetHeart’s eyes and feeling her arms clasp around my neck; the tuck of a wet nose on my shoulder from our border collie, Rocket, when I take our leftovers outside for him; and dirt.  farm dirt.  our farm dirt. There is nothing that smells like it, nothing that makes me feel more at home and at ease, nothing that gives back as much as it does.  Thankful Cowboy’s Daddy knows how to love it properly and make it grow life over and over and over again.  It is the miracle outside my window and under my feet every single day and it grounds me.  I am a farmer’s daughter and granddaughter, after all.

96. 97. 98. A Gift Stitched, Hammered, Woven… My sewing machine which helped me mend Cowboy’s pajama pants yesterday, TrueHeart’s workshop built next to her little garden thanks to Cowboy and Cowboy’s Daddy, and the beautiful blanket lovingly crocheted by Rhoda for BraveHeart which I use almost daily.

99.  My time with K. The challenge she has taken with me and the encouragement she brings of not doing this alone!  Our long walks on the farm have been very special.

100.  Cowboy’s day job and his commitment to do it.  So thankful for how hard he works for our family.  We missed him like crazy this week while he was on call… so thankful today he should be home at a normal hour.  Home just doesn’t work right when he isn’t here!

Corrie Mims

 

 
 

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