Weight Loss, Day 1…. and Greek Salad with Grilled Chicken

At the Emmy Awards! Next up: The Tonys
May 11th….. I have exactly 1 month + 1 day to look fabulous in a form-fitting knit dress. Mike and I have been invited to a Tony Awards party here in Los Angeles on June 12th, hosted by the fabulous Carol Channing (YES, she is still alive and kicking at age 90!), and as usual I’m feeling ill-prepared to hang out with the stars and starlets of Beverly Hills. Mike, in the meantime, is 5 pounds from his target weight, and he’ll be fitting into his size 34 black jeans any day now. He and 7 of his colleagues had a weight loss contest from January through April. Why oh WHY didn’t I buckle down and participate along with my laser- focused husband?

Fear not! Arbonne has an amazing 30-day fitness program, and as of this writing I’ve decided to give it a go. Mike and I have had previous success with weight loss and fitness programs that are most closely aligned with the South Beach diet. The 20/20 program at the Pro Club in Bellevue and Seattle WA and the Arbonne program both focus on similar nutritional formats: 5 smaller meals each day, increasing metabolism, along with weight training and cardio. The hardest part, whether we’re talking about weight loss, being successful in business, or attaining any long-term goal, is simply deciding to “just do it”.

When we were on the 20/20 program, my morning protein shake contained 335 calories and 3.5 g of fat. Somehow I’ve added a “few” things along the way, and I’m now consuming a SHAKE that has 410 calories and a whopping extra 7 g of fat…. I think it’s time to RE-think my morning shake recipe! I’ve also added Mona Vie, an antioxidant drink that has its own calories and sugar content (courtesy of the fruit). Well, at least they’re not empty calories!

Want to join me in my quest to be the biggest loser? First step: DECIDE to do it. Second step: get rid of the cookies, candy, ice cream, cheese & crackers (my personal favorite snack), any fast food like Ramen noodles. This is the get-ready phase for those of you who like to start things on a Sunday or Monday. I’m a “decide and do it now” kind of person, so I’ve already tossed the extra tempting foods from my pantry and refrigerator.

What you’ll want to have on hand:
Natural Peanut or Almond Butter
Fresh or frozen berries (straw, rasp, blue, black, marion)
Arbonne (Vegan) Protein Powder
Arbonne (Vegan) Fiber Powder
Multi-vitamins and extra Calcium
Omega 3 gel tabs
Filtered water
Water bottles
A Blender (if you don’t have one, a BULLET Blender is pretty inexpensive. You can find them in Target or most drug stores.)

*** Let me know if you want to order the vitamins and protein & fiber powders at a discount * If you order today you should have them by Friday if you live in SoCal, or early next week if you’re in Seattle or NJ ***

I’ll include my progress in my almost-daily postings, but please don’t expect me to tell you my starting weight! I’ll tell you that my overall goal is to lose a total of 15 pounds, 10 by June 12th. Putting myself out there is NOT my idea of fun. I hate even telling Mike that I’m trying to lose weight, because then he seems to watch me like a hawk (and since he’s an obsessive-compulsive exerciser, he nags me to death if I’m not in the gym for 3 hours a day)!

Per the request of my friend Jen Blume, I’m also going to include 1 recipe per day. Before we moved to California, I had begun collaborating with the dietitians in the 20/20 program on a collection of recipes, and I had gathered quite a few of our favorites. And now to begin…..

Who’s with me??? Close your eyes. Get on the scale. Open your eyes. Don’t scream. Write down your weight. Hide the piece of paper so only you know where it is. (Like where you keep the cleaning supplies because God knows your husband won’t think to look there….). A good rule of thumb is to strive to lose about 2% of your [current] body weight per week. So, let’s say you weigh 150 (I’m still not admitting my current weight, mind you): your goal would be to lose 3 pounds per week. When you weigh in NEXT WEEK (not every day), that’s the number that you’ll want to see, plus or minus.

Two insidertips: Upon waking, immediately have 1 Tablespoon of Peanut Butter or Almond Butter and at least 8 ounces of water. When your body senses that there’s fat to burn, your metabolism “kicks in”. And the water is essential to losing weight. Plus it actually keeps you from getting fatigued. Have at least 8 glasses of water every day.

I’ll give you tibits every day. Today: get ready, and drink water.

Here’s a delicious entrée salad that we love. I get a ton of recipes from Cooking Light. Their cookbooks are organized by month, so you can get great seasonal recipe ideas for the entire year. I’ll be skipping the Feta cheese in the following, at least for the first few weeks.

Greek Salad with Grilled Chicken
Serves 4
from Cooking Light Annual Recipes, 2002

Total time: 35 minutes

Quick tip: prepare salad dressing up to a week in advance; cover and store in refrigerator. Try making a double or triple batch to have on hand for quick, throw-together salads or to use as a marinade.

¼ cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
4 (4-oz.) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves

Cooking spray

8 cups torn romaine lettuce
1 cup sliced cucumber (about 1 small)
8 pitted kalamata olives, halved
4 plum tomatoes, quartered lengthwise
2 (¼ -inch-thick) slices red onion, separated into rings
¼ cup (1 ounce) crumbled feta cheese

1. Prepare grill or broiler.
2. Combine first 8 ingredients in a small bowl. Brush chicken with 2 Tablespoons dressing; set remaining dressing aside.
3. Place chicken on grill rack, grill pan or broiler pan coated with cooking spray; cook 5 minutes on each side or until chicken is done. Let rest for 10 minutes, and then cut into ¼ -inch slices.
4. Combine romaine lettuce and next 4 ingredients in a large bowl; toss with remaining salad dressing. Divide salad evenly among 4 plates; top each serving with feta cheese.

Serving size: 2 cups salad, 3 ounces chicken, 1 Tbls. Feta cheese
CALORIES: 231 (30% from fat); FAT: 7.7 g (sat 2.1g, mono .9g, poly 1g); PROTEIN 30.3g; CARB 10.3g; FIBER 3.4g; CHOL 72mg; IRON 2.9mg; SODIUM 613mg; CALC 110 mg.

Here’s to a happy and healthy Spring!


2 thoughts on “Weight Loss, Day 1…. and Greek Salad with Grilled Chicken

  1. Sorry, Yvonne. I’m exhausted from reading all of the comments on your blog, and trying to read (never mind return) comments on FB! What did Steve call you? Ninja something-or-other? INDEED! Sooo…. I did pretty well in the eating department today, but I skipped exercising in favor of a much-needed chiro adjustment & therapeutic massage! Tomorrow it’s workout day one way or the other! Want to take a walk to the beach in your spare time??? Haha!


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