So I've been asked by a lot of people about HCG and the diet. It is not easy. You have to have willpower and you have to possibly start to eat things you wouldn't necessarily eat. But if you were at the point where I was in my weight loss where I was disgusted with myself and was willing to do almost anything to get it off so I could feel better about myself-you make the sacrifices and you just stop making excuses for your out of control behavior and just do it! I reached a very depressing moment when I got on the scale and really looked at myself in the mirror and did not like what I saw at all. Especially when I would see myself on video footage from the shows in Los Angeles. In my mind-I really thought I looked good going onto that stage. Then we would watch back the video and the embarrassment I felt watching myself on the tv did not feel good at all. So I started the diet the night we did the House Of Blues gig in LA and committed to it for 40 days. In that 40 days I lost 25 lbs. Since the 40 days-I have just maintained the weight loss and I will be going back on the diet one more time to get off the rest on August 27th. I wanted to share my secrets with any of you that wanted to try it. What worked for me may not work for you so don't get mad at me if HCG doesn't work for u. I would consult with your doctor before you start it and ask them any questions like if you have any other health issues. I have an under active thyroid- hypothyroid-and also a glucose intolerance problem. So not only is it really hard for me to lose weight cause of my thyroid not working properly-but I don't process sugar in my body well at all so I can gain 5 pounds by just eating a sandwich! Seriously! I had tried Jenny Craig-but always chose my menus filled with carbs...I would get the breakfast sandwich and the chicken fettucini and the popcorn and would lose maybe 1/2 a pound a week. I was advised that it was better to lose slower. Well-not if your career is depending on it! Getting a job singing in any town-it's not just about your voice. It's also about how you look. It's how the world turns...so you can either not work-or do something about it. So I realized I was a "special" case. I had to do something more extreme. Here is exactly what I did...
First of all-I did not work out at all :O) One time I tried to-and I was way too tired so don't even try to!
The first two days of the diet I took the drops (7-10 drops, 3 x a day-hold on the tongue for 30 seconds before swallowing the drops) and got to eat ANYTHING I wanted. Fun! I had pizza...chocolate peanut butter ice cream (my favorite) ...pasta...cookies...potato chips and onion dip....french fries...you name it-I ate it! After the two days-on day 3...the diet began ;o(
In the mornings:
Breakfast- 1/2 grapefruit with Stevia sprinkled on top and 4 sea salt crackers from Trader Joes (less than 2 gms of sugar) or 2 grissani bread sticks. Realize that your carbs are pretty much over after the morning until later at dessert...so eat your crackers slow! Seriously...I rationed them out every 20 minutes. Then I would make myself an iced coffee with one stevia and sugar free french vanilla creamer-1 teaspoon full- with a couple drops of Walden Farms Chocolate Syrup-it's zero calories, no sugar, just a little something to make it taste more like a mocha from Starbucks. If you don't like grapefruit-you should really learn to like it cause you can have an apple, orange or 9 strawberries instead of the grapefruit-but I really think the grapefruit makes you lose quicker.
Lunch and Dinner:
3 ounces of cooked meat. Chicken, turkey, steak, lean beef, fish (no salmon or tuna-too fatty) crab, shrimp. 3 egg whites and 1 egg with the yolk can also be used-but try not to substitute it more than twice a week.
Veggies- cucumber, tomato, spinach, asparagus, celery, broccoli, cauliflower, zuchini, squash, mushrooms, bell peppers, onions and garlic is what I ate. Some people say to only use certain veggies-but as long as it isn't a carb veggie like corn or peas-I say go for it. The more variety-the longer you stick to it.
Here are some tricks I used...cut up cucumber & tomato and red onion and get sugar free rice vinegar, garlic salt, pepper, italian seasoning and always have it in your fridge. I would make a big salad with spinach and lettuce-throw my meat on it and mix in my cucumber/tomato salad. Then I discovered Walden Farms Blue Cheese and Thousand Island dressings. Again-no calories. So I would pretend that I was having a crab louie salad with my crab meat and my 1000 island...or that I was having a blue cheese wedge salad-with my chicken.
My other thing I would make up and have in the fridge ready to heat up was ground beef or ground turkey with chopped up tomatoes (you can get the canned kind) and I would chop up onions and garlic-throw chilli powder and cayenne pepper in there and it would taste like a turkey/beef chilli. Easy to heat up and eat. Trader Joes actually sells turkey bolognese in the frozen section and that is quick and easy too. I also finally tried spaghetti squash! I threw the turkey bolognese over the squash and was in heaven!!! Being italian and really into my pasta for so many years-I never wanted to think that a squash could ever replace my pasta. But I finally caved in and you know what? I like it better than pasta! I like the crunchy texture-since I've always liked my pasta al dente-the squash is firm and crunchy just like I like it!
You are not supposed to eat cheese-butter-or oil of any kind. Yes even Olive oil. So I got used to using Pam Olive Oil cooking spray. The barbeque becomes your new best friend. You can season till your hearts content and should always include some sea salt into your day some way, some how. Eating the juice from a lemon-is also very good. So you could do what I would do for my dessert which is up next...
Dessert- Strawberry Lemonade freezie! In a blender-put 9 strawberries and the juice of one lemon with 2 stevia's , 1 cup of water and 5 ice cubes. Blend and drink. Yummy. Or you could marinate your 9 cut up strawberries in some stevia-let it sit all day in the fridge-and you wouldn't believe how sweet and exciting it is at the end of your day. You can also have a delicious orange or cut up your apple-throw some cinnamon and stevia on it and bake it in the oven till it starts to carmelize. It's like hot apple pie! Towards the 1/2 way point of my diet I added in a 1/2 bag of 100 calorie popcorn to my dessert. It did not hurt my weight loss at all and it made me feel a ton more satisfied that I could have the carbs in the morning-sacrifice them for my lunch and dinner-and be rewarded at the end of the day with something sweet and the carbs that I was longing for all day long! Basically the rule of thumb-no more than 100 calories of carbs a day. So the 4 crackers in the morning totaled around 50 calories and then 1/2 the bag of popcorn was 50 calories.
The big talk on HCG is that it's 500 calories and that is scary and dangerous. I did not count calories. I knew by the way I was eating and what I was eating and how I was re-learning how to cook everything without butter and olive oil-that I was substantially changing my eating habits and my calories. I would honestly say I ate probably between 700-900 calories and still lost. The other thing with HCG is that it's supposed to reach those stored areas of fat in our body that we can never seem to burn. I believe that. Especially around my belly. It's definitely smaller. My inches that I lost were even more impressive than the amount of weight!
I would also take a multi vitamin-B and C.
Another great invention is Braggs Liquid Amino Acids. It has a teriyaki flavor and you can marinate your steak, turkey burgers, or chicken in it and throw some peppers, onions, garlic, mushrooms on top and it tastes awesome!
Another great recipe- chicken tenders! Take your chicken tenders-soak them in milk-grind up garlic flavored Melba Toast in the blender and coat your chicken with the bread crumbs and some seasonings. Then bake them. Don't overcook them though. You want to make them up-weigh them and put them in little baggies of 3 ounces a piece. Then when you are hungry for some chicken fingers-heat them in the microwave and get Walden Farms BBQ sauce. You can also throw some shrimp on skewers with onions and peppers and the BBQ sauce and you got shrimp on the barbie! It's awesome!
You can also have salsa.
NO Carrots- NO bananas-too much sugar in those two.
I drank a ton of green tea iced tea sweetened with stevia. I also drank a ton of ice water-a ton of it! Whenever I was hungry i would just drink more water. I also did drink diet soda-although I noticed I would retain weight and wouldn't lose as much when I did drink diet soda.
So why am I telling you all this? Cause I care. I know how hard it is to lose weight. I want to help people who felt like I did-defeated and unhappy. Like it just wasn't possible. Well it is. Since I'm getting ready to do it again in another week- I wanted to remind myself of everything I did the first time around to reach my goal so I can jump back on the diet with ease. I have not been the weight that I am now in about 13 years. On my next round I am hoping to get to the weight that I was 20 years ago when I met Prince. I owe a lot to him for giving me a job regardless of how I looked when he hired me back after those 20 years. I really needed to work and I had a family to support and I just wanted to sing!!!! I saw myself on the video footage from the shows and really "saw" myself. I wasn't happy and I decided to make a really good effort to do it and I'm very proud of myself and what I've finally accomplished after so many times of trying and failing before. So thank you Prince for opening my eyes and for giving me the opportunity to sing and find myself again. I also appreciate that he gave me the summer off cause being on the road and doing the diet would have been too hard. I needed to be home in my kitchen and I needed to dedicate the time to myself and my family. Now when the fall comes-I will be Sooooooooooooooo ready to strut my stuff and sing with the confidence I haven't had in soooooo many years. I hope that this helps any of you that are considering the diet. I know it can be done. So hopefully my story will help inspire you to do it too. If you don't know someone who sells the drops, I can refer you to my friend Suzanne Condray who can send them to you. But please talk to your doctor first and make sure they advise you to do it. The bottle costs $55.00 and lasts for about 25 days. By the way you have to commit to the diet for at least 23 days. The longest you can do it is 40. Email Suzanne if you are interested at: firstname.lastname@example.org