Thursday, May 30, 2013

Taking It All Off, Hardcore Edition

I am not a big fan of the winter.  I detest cold weather.  Honestly, the only thing good about the colder months is the food.  I love to cook and baking is just so satisfying in so many different ways.  It makes your house smell good, it makes people feel warm and cozy and the pleasure it brings to the palate goes without saying.  The fall harvest is always a good jumping off point--apples are in season and they give rise to all manner of apple-crispy-cobbler-type concoctions.  Oh so yummy when it's warm out of the oven with the all important vanilla ice cream on top.  Let us not forget the pies and cakes and muffins--all warm from the oven, all dressed with the requisite sweet, creamy something on top.  Oh Lord, my mouth is just watering at the thought.

It's not just about the baking, daily soul food is just as satisfying to cook and eat.  I don't get overly fancy about it, it's the simple culinary masterpieces that people always seem to enjoy.  Savory stews, meatloaf, buttery mashed potatoes, soups of every kind--it's all good, it's all comforting and its all responsible for putting junk in my trunk!!

It was a 20lb delicious adventure but now it's time to take it all off!  I've got a plan and it's not for quitters.  This is hardcore and healthy and I hope you'll follow my journey as I succeed in changing my life!!

First and foremost, this is NOT rocket science.  I'm not going to tell you anything you didn't already know.  You've heard most of this before--you may have even subscribed to a similar eating plan somewhere along the way.  I'm going to share my journey with you and maybe you'll be convinced to come along for the ride.  If you do, I hope you'll comment on your progress or your pitfalls as I will right along with you.  You'll get full on disclosure from me.  You'll see the before pictures and the after pictures when all is said and done.  I WILL succeed!!  I will share my successes and my struggles along the way.  Why?  Because it's a battle that most people fight at one time or another and no one is alone in this.  It can be done and it will be done so come along on the journey and let's do it together!!

In my Butts & Bikinis piece I talked about getting a personal trainer and I promised to talk to you about the strict diet I was following along with the hardcore training I was engaged in.  Here we go....

A group of my gym babes and I are involved in a diet competition.  I use the term competition loosely because personally I'm only competing against myself.  The way I look at it, if I come out healthier and stronger in the end then I WIN!  It's called GAME ON.  There are a variety of rules and food lists and blah, blah, blah.  You can google it for the details but I'll give you the generic framework to get you started.

1.  Eat 5 small meals a day that consist of a protein, a carb and a fat.
2.  Portion control.  Proteins can be no larger than the palm of your hand, carbs can be no larger than
     the size of your fist, fats can be no larger than the size of your thumb from knuckle up to the end.
3.  Acceptable proteins, carbs and fats are found on the GAME ON food list (google it or email me).
4.  Meals must be eaten every 3 hours, no sooner than every 2 hours and no greater than every
     4 hours.  Just eat every 3 hours and your good.
5.  You must drink 3 litres of water a day.
6.  Artificial sweeteners sparingly (don't use them, you don't need them).
7.  No processed food, white bread, white flour, pasta, sugar, etc (you knew this).
8.  Eat whole food!  Whole grains, fruit, vegetables, chicken, fish, lean meat, eggs, greek yogurt, 
     etc., (you knew this too).

That is essentially the diet portion of the competition. There are other rules as well for example you must get 7 hours of sleep per night, you must give up a bad habit and take on a new, healthier habit, you must exercise at least 20 minutes per day, etc.  If we are being honest about things then in the interest of full disclosure I totally blew off the habit thing but I've been hardcore with the rest and I am seeing results.

Ok so it's all fine and dandy to give you the rules but I'd be willing to bet that you are asking yourself--"Sooooo what do you eat?".  Here are a few of my favorite meals:
I'm a carnivore so this one is my favorite.   Hamburger on top of a salad.  You can eat unlimited lettuce, spinach and cucumbers.  I use spicy mustard for salad dressing (no fat, no carbs, 5 calories in one teaspoon and you don't need much). 

Grilled chicken with steamed veggies.  I marinated the chicken with fresh herbs, lemon juice and a bit of honey.

I'm a busy mom and I'm always running so I use a whey protein isolate powder as my protein for many meals.  I like this particular brand because it tastes good and has everything I need-- one scoop gives you 114 calories, 1.5g fat, 24g protein, 2g carbs, and a bunch of other good stuff.  I make a shake with one portion of frozen fruit (usually bananas), one scoop of protein powder, water and ice and I'm good to go.  I have other shake recipes where I incorporate veggies too.  All of them taste like ice cream so it goes down real easy.  My kids even love them!

Learn from my mistakes.  I was on a road trip to visit a friend in another state and I found myself without food at meal time so I ran into CVS and grabbed one of these..........They call it Muscle Milk.  I didn't take the time to read the label but instead just tore into it and took a big gulp.  DISGUSTING!!  I turned the product around to see that it had 7 grams of fat and it tasted like I had a mouth full of oil.  Do not try this at home!!

Week #4 of Game On started this morning so wish me luck and join me on the journey! 

+Michelle Morrissette Cucchiaro
+My Baked Stuffed Life



  1. Good luck Michelle. AND, don't forget to incorporate weight training into your regimen. It's a miracle for women over 40. Builds lean muscle - helps your metabolism! And - good fats are OK - and satisfying! Avocados...yummy on salads. Enjoy!

  2. Hi Mary!! Absolutely on all of the above!! See my segment on Butts & Bikinis. I'm working with a fantastic personal trainer named Chris Engel of Engel Fitness. She works me hard with a variety of cardio, weight training and class exercises. We are doing Barre, TRX, Tabata-- it's all good!! Thanks for commenting and stop by again!!