Friday, February 26, 2010

The Best Way To Lose Weight- What Works?

I was reading a health article today that talked about the MASSIVE amounts of health and weight loss information that's out there and how confusing it is to decide what to follow. The article said "If you did what you were told by every expert out there, you'd eat more of everything and less of everything, and you'd eat it earlier, later, and not at all. Fat would save you and kill you, carbohydrates would make you skinny and fat, and protein would turn you into Adonis and put you on dialysis."

I felt like that made a lot of sense. I hear conflicting information ALL the time. And I'm sure, with the right regimen, it all works or has it's place.  But what are the basics? How can an ordinary person keep it simple and lose weight without getting sidetracked with all the advice out there. The article simplified it into simple "Weight Loss Rules That Work".
  • Cut calories. Kind of a Duh thing. Regardless if you are going low carb or low fat, the end result is eating less calories.  In it's most basic form, weight loss is a math equation. Burn more calories than you take in= lose weight. Take in more calories than you burn= gain weight. So regardless how you go about it, the first and most critical step to weight loss is cutting calories.  My tip- keep a food journal for a few days without changing your eating habits to get an idea of how many calories you are consuming on a daily basis.  Then figure out how to cut back from there.
  • Eat Protein to Burn More Calories. "When you eat, your body has to expend calories to digest the food. Protein causes this inner fire to burn the hottest, followed by carbohydrates, followed by fat. Animal proteins increase thermogenesis more than vegetable proteins, so the best calorie-burning foods are lean meats. So eat some protein at each meal—build your dinner around lean chicken, beef, or pork. That way, you're burning the most calories through digestion at the end of the day, when your metabolism is slower." This was news to me! But the concept makes sense and I believe eating some protein at all meals is important to keep your energy up and avoid the sugar high crashes that can be caused by eating too many carbs.
  • Don't Eat Fried Food. (or obvious junk food of sugar and empty carbs!) Why? Because pretty much every diet plan agrees it's terrible for you. They cause your blood sugar to spike then crash, leaving you hungry and cranky, which usually leads to eating more junk which starts the cycle all over again. Even in a world with Atkins- no one has come up with the Fried Food diet yet- it's just not possible to lose weight and have your french fries every day too. (Sorry Nat!)

  • Eat Fiber! You know I loved this tip! :) The reasoning the article gave was: that fiber's effect is the opposite of snack foods'. When you have fiber in your stomach, food takes longer to enter the bloodstream, and your blood-sugar level stays steady. If you missed my Fiber blog- check it out HERE.
  • Omega 3 Fats won't make you a fatty! The heath benefits of omega-3 polyunsaturated fats just keep growing. These healthy oils are found in in fish, nuts, seeds, and flaxseed and fish oils. Perks? They reduce inflammation throughout the body, which is not only good for cardiovascular health- but if you're working out? Bigger, less-inflamed muscles mean a faster metabolism, and speeding up your metabolism is crucial when you're trying to get lose weight. I currently take a daily fish oil supplement.
  • Make A Plan.  A successful diet isn't created out of luck, or by winging it.  Find or create a system that works for you and stick to it! The best plan (according to the article) is likely to include these elements:
    •  Meals and snacks are based on some lean protein source—fish, eggs, dairy, meat.
    •  More meals are better than fewer. Five or six meals and snacks a day is ideal.
    •  Low-fat and high-fat diets can both work, but one that cuts almost all fat is doomed.
    •  Nobody ever became obese from eating the best carbohydrates—fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. And nobody ever died from skipping potatoes, pasta, rice, popcorn, and Wonder Bread.
Hopefully this helps you break through the overwhelming masses of info out there- it helped me to refocus on the core principals of weight loss.  I am BEYOND happy that today is Friday. Have a fun and healthy weekend!
PS. Article is available here if you want more info:
PPS. Picture at the top is from the Biggest Loser. I LOVE before and after pics- they are so inspiring!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Dear Food Journal,

How I have not missed you. Not even for one second. In fact, I was grateful when you were not there Saturday night as I enjoyed ridiculous rock shrimp tempura sushi and short ribs at Katsuya or to see me eat delicious Pizza Port margarita pizza when I was fighting a hangover on Sunday. And the pot roast last night? I barely even glanced at the nutrition label. In fact, we haven’t spent any quality time together (half days don’t count) since before Cabo. You are even starting to gather dust on my nightstand.

But this morning I woke up knowing that I may not like you- but I need you. You help keep my pants fitting and my snacking in check. So welcome back. Once again you will be my silent witness and constant companion and I will write EVERYTHING down no matter how bad, small of a bite- anything and everything that crosses my lips.

XOXO Sincerely,

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The March Issue

One of my favorite days of the month is when my Cooking Light Magazine arrives!  I seriously sit down with it and read the entire thing cover to cover- marking my favorite pages and recipes.  The March issue arrived Sunday, and by Sunday night I was already cooking. It was a cold rainy day and Chris and I were in recovery mode from a big night out in LA the night before- obviously Bacon, Ranch and Chicken Mac N Cheese was in order.  And it totally hit the spot. And since it was a Cooking Light version- it was reduced guilt!
8 ounces uncooked elbow macaroni
1 slice applewood-smoked bacon I used two. Ok fine I used 3 :) Really the more the merrier (unless you are in calorie counting mode)
8 ounces skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into 1/2-inch pieces Cutting up raw chicken is so gross. I was really having trouble with this. However- it tastes good and adds protein to the dish.
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups fat-free milk
1/3 cup condensed 45% reduced-sodium 98% fat-free cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
3/4 cup (3 ounces) shredded six-cheese Italian blend (such as Sargento)
1/2 teaspoon onion powder I didn't have onion powder so I doubled the garlic powder.
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh dill I didn't have this and it was fine without.
1/2 teaspoon salt
Cooking spray
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded colby-Jack cheese
1. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat; drain.
2. Cook bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan, reserving drippings in pan. Finely chop bacon; set aside. Increase heat to medium-high. Add chicken to drippings in pan; sauté 6 minutes or until done. As I'm cooking the bacon, I hear Chris giggling to himself in the living room and asked him what was funny.  Apparently the smell of the cooking bacon was so amazing he literally he couldn't help himself "You're making bacon!!" he kept saying.  If that's all it takes to keep him happy- I wish I'd figured this out earlier!
3. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat; sprinkle flour evenly into pan. Cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly with a whisk. Combine milk and soup, stirring with a whisk; gradually add milk mixture to saucepan, stirring with a whisk. Bring to a boil; cook 2 minutes or until thick. Remove from heat; let stand 4 minutes or until sauce cools to 155°. Add Italian cheese blend, onion powder, garlic powder, dill, and salt, stirring until cheese melts. This part was fun! The mixture literally turns into a cheese fondu like cheesy goo- yummm Stir in pasta and chicken.
4. Preheat broiler.
5. Spoon mixture into an 8-inch square baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle evenly with reserved bacon and colby-Jack cheese. Broil 3 minutes or until cheese melts. I topped with some fresh ground pepper.
Nutritional Information- Makes 4 servings 2 cups each.
Calories:497 Do I get that that's a lot of calories?  Yes- but for a favorite like Mac and Cheese it's worth it and WAY less than you would find in a restaurant version. Also- the servings are huge! You could just have a cup and it would be about 250 calories.
Fat:17g (sat 9.2g,mono 4.7g,poly 1.4g)

Cooking Light is also great becuase they list all their recipes online. Check out the link: March 2010 Recipe Index. I think I'm also going to try to make the Blue Cheese Stuffed Chicken with Buffalo Sauce, Chicken Curry and Spicy Shrimp and Grits.
Also in this month's Issue was Top 25 cooking mistakes people make. I'm not going to list them all- but I'll share a few that stood out to me (because I tend to make them!)
-Pre-heat the pan before adding oil.  The pan should be hot when you add oil, and then let the oil heat before adding food.
-Taste the food at all steps of the process.  Not take huge bites, but have quick tastes to make sure your recipe is on track.
-Let meat rest. Once you finish cooking meat, always let it sit for a few minutes before cutting it so it doesn't lose all the juices.
-Measure your ingredients- don't eyeball it!
Happy Cooking!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Splenda: Not So Splendid.... :(

Hi All! I am SO excited about Today's blog, because I didn't write it! :) I asked my good friend Jen to write about her learnings from the Boot Camp Nutiritional Seminar becuase I had gotten so much out of it a few months back and could use a refresher! Take it away Jen-

As some of you know, I decided to submit myself to the torture of a bootcamp class that Chelsea had told me about to get in shape for my upcoming wedding this September. A part of the bootcamp is a nutrition seminar and a grocery shopping trip to Vons and Trader Joes. I thought I already ate pretty healthy, but our instructor (Jessica) opened my eyes up to so many bad things I hadn't realized I was putting into my body!

One thing I learned is to treat your body like it deserves to be treated. If you put crap in your body, it is going to run like crap. If you put good things in your body, it is going to run smoothly and you are going to feel great. I didn't realize how true this was until looking at my food journal and keeping track of how I felt throughout the day after eating certain things.

My first sad moment was when I asked Jessica about splenda and my Coffee Mate Sugar Free-Vanilla Creamer that I use as a staple every single morning in my coffee. Apparently "splenda" is the trade name for "sucralose". SAD! Splenda is basically sugar modified by adding chlorine atoms. The Coffee Mate on the other hand had corn syrup and partially hydrogenated soybean oil as well as a bunch of other things I couldn't pronounce. Moral of the story: don't buy things that have ingredients you are unfamiliar with or that have fake sugars. :( So sad....The good news is, there are alternatives without making your coffee too miserable. At Henry's or Whole Foods they sell coconut milk creamers (hazelnut and regular). Not the same as my beloved coffee mate, but make my coffee milky. I use stevia packets now instead in my coffee as well.

On the same topic of splenda was my favorite way to make myself consume more water: crystal light to go packets. Found out that this is another no no in the land of eating clean. My instructor had a great alternative though that I have switched to and continue to get my eight glasses a day. Cut up fresh lemons at the beginning of each week and put them in a tupperware. Put three to four lemon wedges in your water bottle along with six to eight drops of the stevia that is in liquid form. It tastes like lemonade and is zero calories!! The liquid stevia can be purchased at Henrys or Whole Foods and comes in a dropper bottle.

Yogurt was another one of the things that was shot down by my instructor. If you look at the sugar content or ingedients in any of the light yogurts (Light N Fit, Vons brand light, eating right, etc.) there are many grams of sugar as well as things like aspartame. Switch to Greek Yogurt which is full of protein (sometimes up to 20 grams a serving depending on what brand you buy!) and add some berries and agave nectar (which tastes like honey) to sweeten it up a little bit. Fake sugars make you crave more fake sugars and also increase your desire for salty foods believe it or not!? Who would have thought.... During my first couple days of cutting out my light yogurt, splenda, and coffee mate I really did notice that I wasn't wanting my afternoon salty snacks...
I could go on forever with everything that I learned, but so I don't end up writing a novel I will list my top ten favorite pieces of advice I have picked up on:
1) Try to grocery shop the same time every week and at least one to two times a week at that. Go on a day where you know you can get home, wash and chop all of your fruits and veggies, and prepare a few meals for the week. I make a big batch of steel cut oatmeal now at the beginning of the week and put my individual servings in little tupperwares topped with frozen berries so that every morning I can grab one, nuke it for 1 minute in the microwave and BAM! Healthy breakfast done.
2) Pack a cooler if you are going to be gone all day. Then you will be less tempted to stop at the drive thru on your way home from work
3) NEVER grocery shop hungry. Eat something before you go so you don't spend too much mula
4) Breakfast should be 25% of your daily calories believe it or not. Dinner should be your smallest meal and try to keep it around 300 calories. Do not eat within three hours of going to bed if you can help it
5) Best bread/tortillas to buy are Ezekial brand or Sonoma Tortillas from Trader Joes. Ezekial brand is all natural and contains many good nutrients for your body.
6) Buy clear containers and stock them with pantry essentials like almonds, roasted vegetable chips, steel cut oats, ezekial pasta, kashi cereal, etc. Then tape the label with nutrition content on the side. You can easily see what you need to stock up on at the grocery store the next time, and place the proper measuring device into the container so it is a no brainer. For example; a serving of almonds is 1/4 cup and is 160 calories. I keep a 1/4cup measuring cup in the bin with them and know I can do one scoop into a ziplock and I am good to put it in my lunch box.
7) Best veggie burger I have found: Dr Praegers (Found at trader joes). Put on a sandwhich thin with a piece of low fat cheese and it reminds me of a mcdonalds cheeseburger!! Yum!
8) Buy organic everything you can afford, but most importantly things you bit into: berries, apples, bell peppers, pears, etc. Okay to skip organic prices and get regular if has outer layer such as oranges, bananas, grapefruits, etc.
9) Instead of soy milk, buy almond milk. My favorite is the unsweetened vanilla Almond Breeze brand by Blue Diamond. 1 cup has only 40 calories!! So delicious mixed with kashi cereal. Found usually in the baking aisle at grocery stores.
10) Try to eat as clean as possible. Fill your day with in season fruits and vegetables and feel more energized and slender within weeks! Costco sells 100 calorie packs of hummus now which is great to throw in a lunch box with some cucumber slices. Pack an apple and a tbsp of almond butter. Smart and Final sells to go ramikins (like what you put your salsa in at Rubios....) and i use them daily now to put salad dressing, serving of almonds, tbsp of almond butter, my special coconut milk creamer, etc. so i have no excuses when I am at work to not use my healthy alternatives.
I'm doing my best to switch to anything organic that I can afford and do away with my old habits of just throwing a lean cuisine in my work bag and calling it a meal. Preparing your meals on Sundays before your week begins really makes a huge difference and you will find that you have more time to spend with your friends or honey if you have prepared, pre-portioned meals at your fingertips. I have already lost five pounds in four weeks and feel better than ever. You can too!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Fun, The Sun, and the FOOD!

Coming back from an amazing vacation is REALLY hard to do. I think I'm having a FUN hangover. The realization that lying in the sun all day laughing, eating and drinking to my heart's content must be replaced with work catch-up, eating well and working out is quite a shock to the system.  Chris and I have been discussing (with increasing frequency) that we feel our real talents lie in our ability to relax, have big fun and do vacations right. Now we simply need to find a way to make that skill profitable! While we work on that...  I'll share my Cabo trip from a food point of view! Quite a story to tell!

As soon as we arrived, we headed straight for The Office, practially a Mexican Restaurant institution.  FRESH fish served right on the Beach under bright blue umbrellas.  Toes in the sand, buckets of beer on the table... we actually ate here 3 times during the trip! I had fish and lobster tacos, shrimp enchiladas another and  butterflied grilled shrimp. WOW. They bring you a platter out of the fresh catch's of the day and you pick what you want. The scene and the food can't be beat.
First night was sushi at Nikki Beach restaurant at the ME Hotel which was a couple of doors down (or a walk on the beach) from Casa Dorado where we were staying. The fish was fresh and the presentation was fantastic. However- maybe I'm just lucky to live at the beach full time, but I've had better sushi.
Saturday night dinner was at Mi Casa right in the heart of Cabo.  Chris and I ordered the Mexican Sampler and I only WISH I could remember everything it came with. I know we started with a delicious Mexican soup (with hunks of fresh mozzarella) El Mole Poblano, Chili Reino, carnitas, and more with a finale of Tres Leches Cake which was a big hit with the whole table. This place was amazing with an open air rooftop & live entertainment. Tiburon Tiburon!

Lots of Poolside meals- see Chicken tacos.  Yes I ate those while in my swim suit. It's amazing how comfortable you can feel in a bathing suit when you've had 4 margaritas by noon. (2 for 1! What are you going to do??)
Valentine's Day Dinner was at one of the most romantic places I've ever been to. The place was called Edith's Restorante and it was lit lanterns and filled with waterfalls and greenery. We had our dinner in a private wine room that looked straight out of a movie. I had the steak fajitas, which was literally a New York steak fire grilled to perfection then sliced and served with fresh tortillas, guacamole and all the fixings.  Chris had the lobster which was probably the best lobster I've had in my life. Dessert was a Mexican tequila coffee and banana's foster, both prepared en fuego (on fire :) tableside.

Final night dinner was at a restaurant appropriately titled "No Worries" down on the Cabo Harbor.  We ordered the lobster and shrimp bucket for the table and this monstrosity of lobster halves  huge shrimp arrived! SO good.
As for working out... well, not so much. But if you count Ziplining (actually a MAJOR hike and a half!) and Jet Skis, oh and lots of dancing- then I'll just call it even.  Not weighing myself for at least a week. Tomorrow I'll blog about lent and how I plan to get back to healthy eating, but for now I'm just going to enjoy my memories and try  to figure out how to get back!
PS The pic below is Chris and I on "Lovers Beach" on Valentine's Day... we were the only people on the beach and took it ourselves with our camera propped on a rock.  My favorite :)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Soon I leave Soup behind for Margaritas, but till then...

48 hours from now I will be on a plane to Cabo!! I could not be more excited to be in WARM weather (forecast temp is 79 degrees & sunny!) with a swim up pool bar and a shut off Blackberry! Does it get any better??
Food is the last thing from my mind (unusual), I've been eating lunch at my desk the last two days trying to get a ton done before I go. Recommendation- Subway is running their special where all sandwiches are $5 for any footlong, not just select meats- I am living off them.
But I have made two ridiculously good meals in the last two days that I HAD to share!
One was a Cooking Light version of Chili, for Superbowl Sunday. I followed that recipe fairly exactly- so here's the link to the recipe:
Cooking Light Crock Pot Chili
It was really filling and didn't taste like a "light" version at all,  but each serving only has 240 calories or 5 weight watchers points. If you make it- PLEASE use non fat plain Greek Yogurt in substitution of sour cream.  Just try it. I promise it will not disappoint and you will be happy about the heaping scoop you can dump on top and not have to feel guilty about!  We also topped with chopped green onions and cilantro. Delish! PS- the recipe calls for lean beef, not turkey (po mans beef) and is still good for you!

The second, which I made last night was White Bean Soup (which doesn't sound that great- I get it) But it was seriously AMAZING, healthy and really easy to make. Here's the Recipe, which I found on William Sonoma online.
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped pancetta
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 cans (each 15 oz.) cannellini beans, drained Nearly had a grocery store breakdown when I couldn't find these.  However- thanks to the magic power of Google I was able to learn that cannellini beans can be interchangeable with "Great Northern" and "Navy Beans" in recipes.  Who knew?
  • 5 cups chicken broth
  • 3/4 tsp. finely chopped fresh thyme I used a little extra.
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste Mmmm Pepper!
In a 3 1/2-quart Dutch oven over medium heat, warm 2 Tbs. of the olive oil. (I used a big sauce pot but make sure to make it a big one- this makes LOTS of soup). Add the pancetta and cook, stirring occasionally, until crispy, about 5 minutes. Add the onion, carrot and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to soften, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the cannellini beans, broth and thyme and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook until the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. 
Remove the pan from the heat. Using an immersion blender, puree the soup until smooth.  (I used a blender to puree and then poured it back in the pot) Stir in the cheese and season with salt and black pepper. Ladle the soup into warmed bowls and serve immediately.
Serve it with a side salad and crusty bread and you have an amazing meal! Chris and I both had seconds and still have tons of leftovers.  One of the things that is so great about this soup is that it has the rich consistency of a cream based soup, but NO cream which makes it MUCH healthier for you.

Also- just a side note, I am slowly learning that it can be fun to cook together. Like with other people in the kitchen.  I have always been a slight.... ok, major kitchen nazi (meaning I like my space, and don't you dare try to taste something before I serve it) but I am slowly coming to the realization that it can actually be nice to share the stirring and mincing duties with someone else. I guess it just takes the right person. :) Baby steps..  Don't get any crazy ideas (Julia...)
Have a wonderful Wednesday!
PS. One of my favorite people in the world just started a VERY funny blog about her quest to become America's Next Top Hipster (or something along those lines..) Check it out!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

I Have A Confession To Make

I'm a fiber addict. I have been holding out on you all with a VERY important factor in my personal weight loss & overall health because I was too embarrassed to blog about it! I've attempted to write about it a few times but always get stuck when I type "Colon Cleanse".  I figure, you don't really want to hear about my bathroom habits & I really don't want to share them on this public forum. BUT- I believe that fiber has been playing a large role in my ability to maintain my current weight- so it would be wrong of me not to fill you in.
Why Fiber?
Many diets (Weight Watchers for example) rely heavily on fiber as part of the calculation of how much you can eat.  Why is that? Fiber is the indigestibile part of plant based foods.  Because our bodies can't digest it, it passes through us without providing nutrition or calories. There are three main weight loss & fiber intake are linked.
  1. Fiber helps move fat & other foods through our bodies more quickly, so that less of it is absorbed.
  2. Fiber makes us feel full sooner and stays in our stomach longer than other substances we eat, slowing down our rate of digestion and keeping us feeling full longer.
  3. Fiber helps keep your bowel healthy & free of toxins. = Easier processing of nutrients.
Various studies have found that the average woman should eat between 20-27 grams of fiber per day.  The average American woman is only eating 15 per day.  How many are you eating?
My Life with Fiber:
My fiber kick (addiction) started when Chris came home from work with a bottle of this Original Colon Cleanse.  A co-worker of his had strongly recommended it to him as a great weight loss supplement. Obviously I'm game for any of those so I tried it. I'm not going to go into detail (if you want to read reviews, there are some pretty graphic ones out there- google it) but let's just say it definitely got things moving :) This particular Cleanse is made of psyllium husk is known to pull over 10 times it's weight in toxins from your colon. Each serving (tablespoon) has 6 grams of fiber, and you mix it with water and drink it 30 minutes prior to meals, up to 3x per day.  Currently I only take it in the morning but when you first start, it's good to do at least 2x a day.
As you know I'm also taking a Greens Supplement daily, and that also has 6 grams of fiber. (Read more about my daily supplements here: Supplements Everyone Should Take) So by 8am, I've had 12 grams of fiber. And those Zen Bakery Blueberry or Apple Cranberry Fiber Cakes I'm always raving about from TJs? 13 GRAMS of FIBER in an 80 calorie muffin. So- if I have one of those for my mid morning snack, I'm up to 25 grams before lunch.
See... I told you I'm obsessed.
How to Eat More Fiber:
Obviously you can take supplements to add fiber to your diet but it's also great to eat food that is naturally high fiber (it's all healthy stuff as well!) Below are some examples.  Keep in mind that meat & dairy have ZERO fiber, so if you are trying to eat low carb, it's even more important to make sure you are getting enough fiber daily.
  • Legumes (lentils, dry beans and peas)
  • Vegetables
  • Brown rice
  • Whole grains (wheat, oats, barley)
  • Raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, strawberries (1 cup provides up to 1/3 of your goal of at least 25 grams of fiber per day)
  • High-fiber crackers (just 2 Ak Mak® crackers contain 3.5 grams fiber)
  • Fiber One®, All Bran®, or Kashi® Cereals (Go Lean Crunch®)
  • 100-percent whole-wheat bread (at least 3 grams of fiber per serving)
  • Thomas' Multi-Grain Lite English Muffins® (only 100 calories and 8 grams of fiber with 5 grams of protein ... a nutrition bargain!)

Just to be clear, Fiber alone will not make you lose weight. Adding fiber either through supplements or food–only seems to assist weight control when it leads to an overall intake of less calories.
I hope you will come to love fiber as much as I do! Check for it on nutritional labels, try a supplement and make sure you are eating at least 20 grams a day. 
P.S. I hope you all got a lot out of that, becuase I literally cringed every time I wrote colon (bowel is even worse) Maybe I'm 12 but still.. MEHR.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Flat Belly Foods!

With my Cabo trip LITERALLY 10 days away today I'm talking "flat belly foods" because this way- if I am strangely unable to lose 10 pounds in the next 10 days, a flatter stomach will help me deal with putting on a bathing suit in the dead of winter!
So I've researched the topic and come to a few conclusions and found some good product recommendations.
-Overall, stay clear of carbs for a flat stomach.
-Drink lots of water!
-Cut out sodium, it "puffs" you up.
-Caffeine is ok! It speeds up your metabolism (16% higher than people who drink decaf)
-Lean proteins are a good choice. Pork is just as good for you (if not better than chicken)
-Eggs are a superfood.  People who eat eggs for breakfast (vs carbs) lose more weight and feel fuller during the day. I've even had omelets for dinner!
-Nuts.  Nuts were on EVERY list that I read for flat stomach foods.  I personally have a problem setting limits with nuts, so I need to eat them sparingly!
What to skip? Anything fried, sugar, white flour based products, alcohol, soda (even diet) and red meat.

Chris is going to Miami for work tomorrow through Sunday, the poor guy... (do you sense my sarcasm?) Anyway, I'm going to devote those days to really buckling down on my eating and sticking to veggies, lean proteins and all the healthy foods on the list above. THEN... on Saturday I am going bathing suit shopping. Yikes...  Wish me luck!

PS. Final season of Lost premiers tonight!! 2 whole hours... I can't wait! Sorry. I get that's not food related, I'm so excited!! :)