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Thursday, December 31, 2020

When Eat Healthy + Exercise ≠ Healthy Body/Weight

I feel like for years I’ve been doing ALL THE THINGS to get healthy, and yet I kept running into a wall. I’ve gained and lost the same 10-20 pounds countless times in the last few years. 

I was following the formula. I knew what to do. Eat healthy + exercise = healthy body/weight. It should have worked. 

But it didn’t. 

I spent a lot of time listening to my body to determine what foods hurt and what didn’t. I forgot to find the foods that helped.

When eating healthy + exercise ≠ healthy body/weight, even when I was doing everything “right”, I told myself I must not be trying hard enough, and to keep trying. I worked out at ridiculous-dark-o’clock every morning. I cut some foods out of my diet, and added others. I ate less (then more). I tried intermittent fasting. I bought all the vitamins and supplements to try to feel better and feel healthy. I was sleeping like crap, exhausted, and barely surviving on caffeine. 

It wasn’t working. NOTHING was working. I kept hitting that wall. I needed a new formula. I found it in October. I am going into the new year more than 40 pounds lighter and feeling a million times better than just 2.5 months ago. I FEEL AMAZING and I WANT THIS for all my friends who have not only struggled with their health, but are also doing the mental gymnastics to simply keep your head above water. I would love to help you find your health!




Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Optavia Week 11 Weigh-In 12/29/20

I forgot to do my measurements yesterday, so I'm a day off on my post today - so it's really Week 11 + 1 Day

This is going to be short but AWESOME this week. I made it through the Christmas holiday on plan, with only mild cookie temptation. I hit the 40 pound weight loss mark. I'm excited to share this program with people in 2021. 

It was a good week!









Average weight loss on the Optimal Weight 5&1 Plan is 12 pounds. Clients are in weight loss, on average, for 12 weeks. 


Monday, December 28, 2020

Post-Holiday Weekend Exhaustion?

How are you feeling after the holiday weekend? Are you tired and exhausted and worn out from all the holiday excitement? Did you take a nap? Did the stress and chaos give you a headache? Are you rejuvenated and ready to go today?

I used to *need* a strong kick of caffeine just to get through the day - that afternoon slump around 3pm was awful. When I had several busy and/or stressful days in a row, I’d tell myself I earned a nap - and then I would prioritize that nap on weekends. I have never had a lot of luck with sleeping in (so I’m always up around the same time every day), but for a long time (years!) I would wake in the middle of the night, and lay in bed for an hour or more trying to fall back asleep. No matter when I went to bed, I wasn’t getting enough sleep. That constant cycle of being tired, and needing caffeine, and then being even more tired, and then getting a headache from being so tired, was…exhausting. 

I didn’t even know it was possible to break that cycle…but I did! I changed my diet. I prioritized myself. I am sleeping solidly and soundly 8-9 hours a night (yes, for real!) now. I take Natural Vitality Calm, a powdered form of magnesium, at bedtime and I swear it helps with my sleep. I haven’t had a headache in months. 

Look at my eyes in these pictures. There’s no filters on them. Look how tired I am in the photo on the left, with circles under my eyes. I wasn’t healthy! My sleep wasn’t healthy! I was so bloated and inflamed! 

Look at me on the right - awake, alert, and I feel like my eyes are brighter and clearer. It’s not just about surviving each day, it’s about living each day. Join me in living each day, I would love to share this program with you and help you feel amazing and get the good sleep too!



Saturday, December 26, 2020

Christmas on Optavia

I love cooking and baking. I especially love the tradition I have with my children to bake holiday cookies - peanut butter blossoms, cut-out sugar cookies with frosting, snickerdoodles, oatmeal chocolate chip, and sometimes even more. We bake everything dairy-free, and often gluten-free also, and it is something we all enjoy. 

I'm not going to lie, it was REALLY difficult this year to not taste-test the batter (especially the oatmeal chocolate chip batter) or the cookies (the peanut butter blossoms are my favorite!) but I asked myself one simple question and it helped me refocus: "What do I want more - that cookie, that I already know how it tastes (and honestly, it's probably not as good as I'm imagining it to be), OR to keep feeling amazing and not destroy my stomach by eating foods it isn't used to?" The answer was simple at that point. Maybe some day it won't be simple, but this year, it was easy to choose ME over the cookies. It was easy to put myself first, and break that habit, and remind myself it was things like those cookies that got me to where I was in the first place. There is a time and place for choosing to indulge in a sweet treat, but I am not at that time nor that place right now, and I made a very conscious and intentional choice to NOT taste-test the sweets this year. 

But what about dinner? 

I know there are tons of ways to create Optavia-compliant holiday meals and side dishes. Several are listed here. Much like Thanksgiving, I just don't have the same sentimental attachment to holiday foods that a lot of people seem to have. I don't need the meat and cheesy side dishes. As a kid, I would only eat mashed potatoes (no gravy) and pumpkin pie and cookies. 

I know a lot of people make the conscious choice to go off-plan for the holidays, to splurge a little bit, or take small tastes of foods that they would normally not eat while following Optavia. All of that is fine, especially when it is an intentional decision. 

So what did I eat?

I had my five Fuelings - I added a dash of nutmeg to a creamy vanilla shake and it was delicious! - and I ate seafood and spaghetti squash, with salad, for my Lean and Green. It was yummy, it was filling, and it kept me in Fat-Burn!



Wednesday, December 23, 2020

A Tale of Two Dresses

I bought the dress on the right to wear for an event a few years ago. I loved it - the material, the fit, the way the bottom hem looks. When I got home though, it was a little too snug to wear comfortably. I called all over town looking for another store with the same dress in a bigger size - found it - and went and bought it. That's the dress on the left. I don't have many occasions to get dressed up (especially this year), but I last wore the larger size dress to a Roaring 20s party last December, and absolutely loved being dressed up and out with my friends and felt good in what I was wearing (despite hiding behind a shawl). 

I tried on dresses last night so my daughter and I could take silly pictures in front of the tree (you've seen the pics from the 50s and 60s floating around of women decked out posing with their trees, right?) and the larger size dress was falling off me, so I tried on the smaller size, and that's what I'm wearing in the picture. It actually has too much room in it now, but I still love the material and the way the dress flares, and that's the dress my daughter chose for me to wear last night for our silly pictures because she likes the hem too. 

So, I'm officially retiring the dress on the left, and probably need to retire the dress on the right too, and buy myself some new fancy clothes for the off-chance of getting dressed up and going out someday ever again. If you're like me and have a closet full of clothes you hold on to, on the off chance of maybe possibly fitting into them again someday, let me help you get your someday sooner rather than later. It took me 2 years to decide to commit to this program, and choose myself and my health; don't wait as long as I did. Give yourself the gift of health this holiday season. I'd love to celebrate you fitting into your "someday" clothes in a few weeks!



Monday, December 21, 2020

Optavia Week 10 Weigh-In - 12/21/20

I don't know if I've mentioned it recently, but I LOVE THIS PROGRAM. I love that I don't feel hungry. I love that I'm learning new habits about food. I love that I FEEL SO GOOD. I love that I'm sleeping well. I love that I'm fitting into clothes I haven't worn in years. In fact, those clothes I was excited about fitting into last week, are almost too big already. WHAT?!

If you had told me back in October when I was starting this program, that I'd be on track to lose 40 pounds by the end of December, I would have laughed you right out of the room. If you had told me I'd lose 38.3 pounds in ten weeks, I would have laughed even harder. It seems surreal. It feels like I should be working hard to lose weight and get healthy, and it should be consuming my thoughts, but it's not. It's just...normal. This program is just part of my life, and even though I know it is temporary until I reach transition and maintenance, it isn't stressful or all-consuming. 

I had a little bit of a weird week. I was hungry for Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday last week - which is odd, because I haven't been hungry since my first week on Optavia. I think it had something to do with my hormones. I talked to my coach, added in a little bit of extra protein and healthy fat, and after three days I was back to feeling like I usually do. I suspect something somehow kicked me out of Fat-Burn (even though I still lost weight this week), which is odd because I weigh all my food and follow the program exactly, but I guess strange things can happen when hormones go wacky. 

With the holidays coming, it has been a huge temptation to eat the sweets and cookies we are constantly baking in my house, but I keep asking myself - what do I want more - a cookie that I know what it tastes like (and honestly it probably doesn't even taste that great now that my taste buds have adjusted to the low-glycemic foods on Optavia), or to keep on feeling good? When I ask myself that question, the answer is easy - I want to keep on feeling good. I know what those cookies taste like. I don't need them right now. I can have them next time if I want to, but right now I am choosing MYSELF over the cookies. 







Average weight loss on the Optimal Weight 5&1 Plan is 12 pounds. Clients are in weight loss, on average, for 12 weeks. 


Sunday, December 20, 2020

What is Fat-Burn? When am I in Fat-Burn on Optavia?

EXPLANATION OF FAT-BURN from Nutrition Support:

What is Fat Burn?

This program works by putting you in a “fat burning state”. This is more technically known as a very mild "dietary ketosis." Ketosis is a stage of metabolism where your body has depleted the reserves of its main form of energy – glycogen. Once those reserves are gone, your liver will begin breaking down stored fat in the body for use as energy. Breaking down the fat yields fatty acids and three types of ketone bodies (hence, the name ketosis). The ketones are then burned by the cells in your body as an alternative fuel. We try to stay away from the name “Ketosis” because of the negativity associated with it. We will call it “Fat Burning” or the “Fat Burning State”. 

The fat-burning state or ketosis refers to a metabolic state where your body is burning fat instead of its preferred fuel of carbohydrates. 

Carbohydrates exist in two forms when you are eating normally - "free" or accessible carbs, and stored carbs called glycogen. When your body needs fuel, it will burn the free carbs first (like when you eat a bagel or drink a glass of OJ - full of sugar/carbs). When all the free carbs are gone, your body will burn the stored carbs (glycogen). Glycogen is made and stored primarily in the cells of the liver and the muscles, and contains carbs and water stored together. Once the glycogen and stored water is gone, your body turns to burning fat.

In the first week of this program, people usually lose 3+ lbs. Most of that is a result of using up the glycogen, because every gram of stored carbs ALSO stores 3 grams of water. If the glycogen is used, the water is released. Result? Large weight loss.

This is ALSO why, if you have a high carb meal at some point, your weight goes UP UP UP. Every extra gram of carbs will be stored with an extra 3 grams of water. This is why if you eat 1 lb of chocolate, your weight goes up by 4 lbs (at least! 1 lb carbs + 3 lbs water).On a side note, when your body burns fat as fuel, ketone bodies are produced and are released in your urine, sweat, and saliva - this is the reason some people experience a sweet taste in their mouth. Additionally the brain loves ketones, so sometimes people have a euphoric "runners high" type feeling. The more fat that is burned, the higher the concentration of ketone bodies. Since this is a "mild" ketosis most people do not experience the taste in their mouth, but many do get that little energy "high".

Our program produces a MILD ketogenic, or "fat-burning" state. For diets that invoke a SERIOUS ketosis, like the Atkins diet, your carbs are limited to less than 20g per day (not what we would consider balanced). On the 5&1 program, we are eating just about 80g of carbs daily - JUST enough to keep your brain functioning well, and JUST enough to put you into mild ketosis.

You will KNOW that you are in ketosis IF you have been 100% ON PLAN for 3 days. This is because your body only stores enough glycogen to provide fuel for 3 days. Once the glycogen is GONE, after 3 days, you will be in mild ketosis.


Getting Into the Fat Burning State

Arguably, the worst part of being on the program is getting into FB. Our bodies have done what they’ve always done for millions of years – they’ve adapted to life as they know it. Our lives have led to us being overweight by indulging in bad foods in bad quantities. Our bodies are now used to that type of existence. Introducing a new nutritional paradigm (ketosis) to our bodies will necessitate it’s adapting to the new condition. This adaptation is stressful for the body and we will feel the effects.

First, your body will notice a dramatic drop in caloric intake at first. We’ve gotten our bodies used to abundant calories and carbohydrates for long periods of time or to an up and down pattern of calories/carbs which our bodies see as “feast or famine”. Either way, when we take the calories/carbs away, our bodies will react:

    1. Hunger – you’re going to feel hunger because your body is used to having more than it has now. Not atypical for dieting in general.
    2. Fatigue – you’re taking in dramatically less fuel (food) than you used to and your body will probably try to compensate by getting you to slow down your expenditure of energy. It does this by decreasing your metabolic rate. This can make you feel tired, even dizzy. It’s a type of warning that your body’s giving you saying “if you don’t get some food, I’m going to start burning fat!”
    3. Headache – some report headaches associated with “carbohydrate withdrawal”. Whether it’s truly withdrawl or not, I don’t know. However, it certainly seems that way to those who suffer its effects. The typical headache relief methods (ibuprofen, acetaminophen, aspirin) are allowable while on Optavia, however your stomach may seem more sensitive to them because it’s no longer loaded with food. Try to use such products soon after having a meal and drink plenty of water.
    4. Irritability – when you're hungry, tired and/or have a headache…you can be understandably irritable. Try to keep in mind that you may be more inclined to react negatively to things during this short time and don’t go off on those who don’t deserve it.

The good news is that this transition generally lasts only 2-4 days. Once you’re in Fat Burn, you’ll feel a difference in your energy level. It will go up significantly as your body begins to enjoy having an alternative fuel source – fat stores!


Being in Fat Burn

As the ketones pervade your bloodstream to supply the cells with energy, your state of Fat Burn begins to manifest some side effects. Some of those side effects are disquieting, but they’re not bad for you.
Ketones will show up in your urine, which are sometimes able to be detected with Ketostix, but the state of ketosis that OPTAVIA evokes is so mild that often such tests won’t show a positive result on the Ketostix.

One of the three types of ketones is permeable to the lungs and can pass from the blood through the lung walls and becomes incorporated into your exhalations, the same way that carbon dioxide passes out of the body. This can cause “ketosis breath” and a slight metallic taste in the mouth. This is unpleasant, but can be easily overcome with frequent brushing of teeth (a few times a day) and sugarless gum/mints.

Menses can also be affected while in ketosis. Your cycle may be disrupted or cease all together. While this is an odd occurrence for a woman, it is not completely unexpected while in this state.

Happily, once you're in Fat Burn, your hunger dissipates, and you get the best of both worlds: faster weight loss AND reduced hunger. You may occasionally feel hunger while in Fat Burn, but it should be more mild than normal. Since you’re eating every few hours, you shouldn’t feel that gnawing sensation associated with hunger prior to being in ketosis. As your body adapts to the new circumstances, it may even develop an internal clock that will make you mildly hungry right around meal time. For some, there is no hunger at all and people need to remember or even be reminded that they need to eat!

Another side effect for some is an increased sensitivity to cold. Hands and feet can be particularly effected. I am normally very hot blooded, yet my hands and feet became ice cold when in Fat Burn. Hot drinks (tea, coffee, Optavia cocoa/mocha/cappuccino), sweaters, heat packs, etc can all help with this.

Breaking Fat Burn

Staying in Fat Burn revolves around keeping your body from getting excess carbohydrates. If your body comes to the conclusion that there are enough carbohydrates available to use as its main fuel source, it will end the Fat Burn state and resume using carbohydrates. This crash out of Fat Burn has some side effects as well:
  • Hunger – your body will assume that since you’re getting enough carbs to end Fat Burn, there must be ample food available. Coming out of Fat Burn and having food available is exactly the type of situation that the body has adapted for over the millennia - “Feast or Famine”. Now, it sees it as a time to feast so that you can replenish the glycogen that you depleted while getting into Fat Burn. That replenishment requires more fuel – more food! Therefore, your body tells you to eat, eat and eat. You’ll be almost insatiably hungry.
  • Immediate and dramatic weight gain – As your body restores its glycogen, you’re gaining weight…quickly. Several pounds in a period of a couple days is not uncommon.

Resuming Fat Burning

If you fall out of Fat Burn for some reason, the best thing to do is to start working to get right back in it. Follow the program as if you didn’t do anything to fall out.

If you “cheated” and had a candy bar or a hoagie or cookie or a slice of bread or whatever, resume the program as if you hadn’t had it at all. Keep on your meal schedule and get in your 5 Optavia meals and a Lean and Green. Don’t abandon the day, weekend or week by just giving up on it because you’ve “screwed it up”. Just get right back into the program immediately!

Doing this helps to significantly reduce the amount of time it takes to get back into Fat Burn. The longer you stay out of Fat Burn, the longer it takes to get back into it. So, hop right back on the wagon! 

Here’s a video to explain a bit about FAT BURN with Doug Wood: 

Bottom line? To be in a state of Fat Burn, you need to be 100% on plan. If you aren't, you will still lose weight (because you'll be eating fewer carbs every day than normal) - but it will be more slowly, and hunger and cravings are likely. The more CARBS you eat over 100g, the less BODY FAT your body will metabolize as fuel. And since fat carries 3500 calories per pound of energy, it is high octane fuel!

If you eat lots of extra fat- 1 cup of nuts, 1 lb of cheese, an entire avocado- you WILL stay in ketosis, but your body will metabolize the "free" fat because it is more easily accessed than your stored body fat. This could lead to slower weight loss, or a plateau. *This is still a better option than indulging in too many sugary treats!

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

A chart of my health and weight

I started tracking my weight using an app about 4 years ago. I didn't even own a scale before that, because I didn't care about weight, I cared about how I felt, and how my clothes fit. This is still true for me today. Being healthy is my goal. The weight is a side-effect of the health. I care more about my overall health and how I feel, than a number on a scale. Today, I looked at my overall graph of my weight (which, to me, indicates my overall health), and I realized I am at the lowest point I've been since I started tracking in early 2017. That was about the time I started really addressing my health and being conscious of what foods I was eating and how they affected me. I've said elsewhere on this blog how I was gaining and losing the same weight, sometimes in very short amounts of time, and I felt bloated, inflamed, and like my body was irritated with me. The ups and downs in this graph definitely reflect the ups and downs in my overall health. 

LOOK AT THIS GRAPH THOUGH. 

What even is this almost straight down line since October 12, 2020? Holy cow! I almost can't believe that's the difference this program has made on my health. That green arrow is where I am today, and it's lower than any other dip on that graph. 



Average weight loss on the Optimal Weight 5&1 Plan is 12 pounds. Clients are in weight loss, on average, for 12 weeks.

Monday, December 14, 2020

Optavia Week 9 Weigh In - 12/14/20

I had a really good week. I feel good, I'm sleeping so well, and I went through all of my clothes and pulled out dozens of items to donate or give away. I'm even wearing jeans that I haven't worn in the 5.5 years since I moved into this house - so my "I'll maybe wear these someday" jeans are finally being worn because "someday" is TODAY! It's funny to think that they probably won't last very long though, maybe just a few weeks. I don't have any smaller sizes, so I need to start buying a few things at a time, just to get me through until I find where my body naturally stops and feels healthy. 

Today I noticed I was hungry. Not bored hungry, but tummy growling hungry. It was strange, because I haven't been hungry in a long time. I made sure to drink my water, and I had an extra Ultima electrolytes and that helped. 

Also, this is a total NSV (non scale victory) but I am fastening my watch band on the third setting instead of the fifth - that's a big difference! 





Average weight loss on the Optimal Weight 5&1 Plan is 12 pounds. Clients are in weight loss, on average, for 12 weeks. 

Saturday, December 12, 2020

I lost 35 pounds on Optavia 5&1!

Let me be completely honest. When I started this program, I didn't know what exactly I was getting into, I just knew that I needed to do something. I was sick and tired of feeling sick and tired. I was never feeling rested. I had all the tools to eat healthy, but I didn't know how to use them. I was skipping meals because I was too busy to stop and eat, and then overeating when I did eat. I was snacking on stuff I didn't actually want to eat because it was quick. I had days I felt OK but I never really felt GREAT. I really wanted to lose 20 pounds so I'd fit in my clothes better and because I knew I'd feel better with that extra weight gone. 20 pounds was my goal. I told my coach that number, and she said, well what's your BIG GOAL? And I was like, I dunno, maybe 50 or 60 (all while thinking to myself, yeah right!). I never actually thought I'd lose that much. I thought a healthy weight and healthy BMI was something that was not possible for me to achieve. I'm still not quite there, but now I not only feel like I CAN get there,  I know I WILL get there. 


Today I crossed the 35 pound weight loss mark (and hit 35.5 pounds lost - in just over 8 weeks!). I have a confession - I set my big goal in my Happy Scale app at 70 pounds - that seemed like such a huge goal at the time, but the app breaks it down into smaller goals. I split my big goal (70 pounds!) into 20 smaller goals. Today I crossed the halfway point in my journey. I've met 10 of my 20 smaller goals. I want to shout it out - I have lost over 35 pounds! I have lost over half of my BIG goal, the goal I didn't think I would ever even come close to achieving. I am just over 50% of the way there. 

I am so glad I CHOSE ME. I'm giving myself the gift of health, and that's pretty darn awesome. And you know what? I feel GREAT. Not just good, not just okay, but GREAT. 







Average weight loss on the Optimal Weight 5&1 Plan is 12 pounds. Clients are in weight loss, on average, for 12 weeks.

Friday, December 11, 2020

60 Days on Optavia 5&1 - 12/11/20

Today is Day 61, and marks the end of my second month on Optavia. I took photos this morning to document my progress. I never intended to share the original photos with anyone, but the difference is just so drastic I can't keep it to myself. I took the original photos on Day 1 - October 12, 2020. I've completed 60 full days of Optavia. 

Some of the differences I notice every single day:

  • I am sleeping amazingly well at night. It is sound, deep sleep - unlike what I've ever experienced before as an adult, especially with kids (even though my kids are 10 and 15). I am well-rested when I wake up and even though I can remember what it is like to wake up tired, it isn't happening for me anymore, unless something is really wacky with my schedule and I'm thrown off my routine. 
  • My tastes have changed, because I don't have cravings for sweets, or really anything. I used to want a piece of dairy-free chocolate at night before bed, or some gummies, or something else sweet. I do usually eat a sweet Fueling at bedtime - my favorite is the pudding, but I like the shakes, the brownies, and the cookies too! 
  • I am not hungry. I eat every 2.5-3 hours every day, throughout the day, and I am completely satisfied. I know if I'm getting close to the time to eat, but it's more of a reminder from my body that it's time to eat, rather than being hungry (or hangry!)
  • I don't have the afternoon slump where I want to take a 20 minute nap mid-afternoon. THIS IS HUGE FOR ME. It means I'm not supplementing with mid-afternoon caffeine to keep myself going. 
  • I wake up refreshed and ready to go, because I'm sleeping so well. I wake up ready for the day. The impact of this on my daily life can not be understated. It is so amazing to wake up and not want to stay in bed all day. 
  • I wasn't drinking a lot of coffee before, but I was getting caffeine through hot tea (that I was sweetening with dairy-free flavored coffee creamer). I don't even miss it. Sometimes I'll have a few ounces of cold brew coffee blended with a chocolate shake or caramel macchiato shake in the morning for my first fueling, but that's an exception, and not a daily occurrence. 
  • My stomach isn't bothering me. I have spent years dealing with gut issues and to have almost none for the past two months is something that is very obvious to me. This is a low glycemic program, and I think that is the part I was missing for all the past years. 
I am so happy I started this program. I am so proud of myself for it, even though it is ridiculously easy to stay on program. I am spending less time cooking, less time shopping, and less money overall on food, drinks, and groceries - which is crazy to me. The cost was so intimidating to me, but when I think back, I can't come up with a good reason to NOT invest in myself. I AM WORTH IT. 

If you are looking to feel better, sleep better, and GET THE WEIGHT OFF, I would love to coach you on the path I'm following, and help you create your own path to a healthier you! Please reach out to me, this program is life changing, and I am so excited for what the future holds. I feel confident and excited to keep going on this path to a healthier me. 

As of today, after 60 days on program, I am so proud to say I have lost 34.5 pounds! 










Average weight loss on the Optimal Weight 5&1 Plan is 12 pounds. Clients are in weight loss, on average, for 12 weeks.

Optavia Fueling - shake "hack"

 I know I have gone on and on about how I prefer not to "hack" the Fuelings, and I still choose not to add stuff to them - I eat my five Fuelings plus my full Lean and Green every day. 

HOWEVER, I saw this hack come up over and over and had to try it. You mix a shake with 1/4 cup of water, pour it into a silicone candy mold, and freeze it. 

The first time I did this (earlier this week) I made it with the Dark Chocolate Covered Cherry shake and it was OK. It wasn't great, but that isn't my favorite flavor shake anyway. It made four heart shaped "candies" in this Wilton silicone mold



They aren't really easy to eat when they're frozen, but once they soften enough to eat them, they're sticky and messy and it just seems like more work than it's worth for the benefit. 

Then I decided to try it again, but this time with a Creamy Chocolate Shake and a Silky Peanut Butter Shake, and do each mold half and half - and the taste is amazing! It's still a mess to eat, but it is definitely the chocolate/peanut butter flavor combination I enjoy. 

Creamy Chocolate Shake + Silky Peanut Butter Shake 

This isn't something I'll do often at all, but it was fun to try it and see that it does work. 


I also did this with a Brownie Fueling and PB2 - you can see that here: http://www.myjourneytoahealthyme.com/2021/02/optavia-fueling-hack-peanut-butter.html


Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Sugar inflammation and low glycemic foods

 I've been reading more and more about how sugar affects the body, and how low-glycemic foods, like the foods on the program I'm following, benefit the body and reduce inflammation. I really feel like this was the missing piece on my path to being healthy. 

I spent nearly the past two years trying to sort out what foods bothered me. I was following a pretty strict elimination diet, basically ovo-pesco vegetarian eating gluten free, dairy free, peanut free, mostly soy free, plus avoiding a bunch of random stuff (artificial sweeteners, canola oil, apples, beer, most wine, mushrooms, black beans, yeast, celery, and probably some other stuff I forgot about). I spent over a year carefully adding things back into my diet and noting my body’s reaction. At the same time, I gained 20ish pounds, and my weight would fluctuate 10 lbs at any time (sometimes even within a day or two 🤯). I gave my gut time to heal while I was following the elimination diet and figuring out what I could and couldn't eat, but I was still having random flare ups of bloating and other gut problems. 

When I started this program, something clicked in my body. The low glycemic foods seemed to be the key. I could suddenly tolerate - in limited quantities - foods I had been avoiding because they made me bloated (gluten in particular), AND the bloating and inflammation was going away, which resulted in my clothes fitting better and the not-unwelcome effect of weight loss (which has resulted in basically a new wardrobe).

I am now eating a low-glycemic, healthy, well balanced diet full of all the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients my body needs. I am building healthy habits, like eating every 2.5-3 hours to maintain my blood sugar levels, and reducing the number of empty carbohydrates and added sugars I eat to help stabilize the sugar levels in my body. 

I am so happy I started this program, and I'd be happy to share it with anyone who can relate to what I've been through. 

P.S. Recommendations are for adult women to have no more than 25g of added sugar each day. Men can have up to 36g of added sugar. 

One 12 oz can of soda has 39g of sugar. Coffee drinks aren't better.






Monday, December 7, 2020

Optavia Week 8 - Weigh-In 12/7/20

It has been a crazy week. Between sick kids, the death of my grandfather (in another state), and chaos to my work schedule, things have been anything but normal this past week. 

That said, Optavia fits perfectly into my life, no matter what is going on. I have had zero issue eating my Fuelings every 2.5 hours or so (give or take a few minutes), eating one delicious healthy Lean and Green meal each day, and getting enough sleep at night (for the most part). 

I am so glad I found this program. I am so glad I have quick and easy Fuelings to eat throughout the day, and I am so glad the Lean and Green meals are so easy to customize to fit my schedule and I am still able to eat whatever sounds good that day. 

When I first started this program, I was expecting a loss of maybe a pound or two each week. After 8 weeks, I have lost 32.8 pounds, which averages to over 4 pounds per week. I know that is slightly skewed because the first week was a huge loss for me, but still...wow. WOW. I am amazed at myself, and I am amazed at the simplicity and ease of the Optavia 5&1 program. 

I kinda want to shout it from the rooftops just how easy it is to follow, and how incredible the results are for me. 


Optavia Week 8 Weigh-In



Those are the same jeans, just 8 weeks apart. Wow!





Average weight loss on the Optimal Weight 5&1 Plan is 12 pounds. Clients are in weight loss, on average, for 12 weeks. 

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Progress Post!

 I like numbers. I like tracking my progress. I take weekly measurements as well and always love seeing inches drop too! This program was not about the weight-loss for me, it was about learning healthy habits to eat and be able to learn and adopt those habits for the rest of my life. The weight-loss is an added benefit. 

I compiled my first seven weekly weigh ins into two graphics - one for October, and one for November. 

Does anyone have a good way to track everything? I have part of it in my Lose It app, and all of it in a Note on my phone, but I'd love to have one place to document all of my progress, so I can refer back to it for motivation and inspiration. 



Average weight loss on the Optimal Weight 5&1 Plan is 12 pounds. Clients are in weight loss, on average, for 12 weeks.

Monday, November 30, 2020

Optavia Week 7 - Weigh-In 11/30/20

It is amazing to me that I've been on this journey for just seven weeks, when these new habits of health have already become such a normal and integral part of my life. 

I feel AMAZING. I love the changes in my sleep, my energy, my hunger (or lack thereof), my eating habits, what I eat, and the fact that I have made it through November - a month of celebrations - while remaining on plan the entire time, without even stressing about it. 

I really like starting my day with a Fueling, most days it is a shake blended with water, ice, and a few ounces of cold brew coffee, but sometimes it is oatmeal or even a brownie, because why not?!

I still alter when I eat my Lean and Green. My normal schedule to eat is 8 am, 10:30 am, 1 pm, 3:30 pm, 6 pm, and 8:30 pm. I don't usually eat it first or last, but I have eaten it at any of the other times throughout the day, depending on how things are going with my schedule. 

A big milestone happened this week too - I passed the 30 pound mark for weight loss! If you had asked me when I started this program - just 7 weeks ago - how long it would take me to lose 30 pounds, I would have said about 4 months. If you had asked me seven weeks ago what my goals were through the end of November, I would have said to learn healthier eating habits, and lose some bad eating habits. My long term goals were for my clothes to fit better. I am so proud of myself and so excited for this program, and the ability to share it and coach others along their journey to health. 






Average weight loss on the Optimal Weight 5&1 Plan is 12 pounds. Clients are in weight loss, on average, for 12 weeks. 

Saturday, November 28, 2020

Lean and Green Recipe - Crustless Vegetable Quiche Breakfast Casserole

I love breakfast. Crustless Vegetable Quiche Breakfast Casserole, is one of my favorites. It's so versatile and easy to pull together with whatever vegetables I have on hand. 

I adapted my normal recipe to make sure it is completely Lean and Green friendly. It's so simple, and easily customizable to fit your preferences. I don't eat cheese, so this recipe suits my needs perfectly. I noted what the options are, if you choose to include cheese with your quiche, just be sure to make the appropriate substitutions. 

Crustless Vegetable Quiche - Lean and Green



Crustless Vegetable Quiche Breakfast Casserole - Lean and Green 

*This makes 2 full Lean and Green servings! 

INGREDIENTS:
  • 16 oz (2 cups) of liquid egg whites or liquid egg substitute (1 Leanest)
  • 3 whole eggs (1 Lean)
  • 1 cup unsweetened plain almond milk (1 Condiment)
  • Vegetables, cut to small bite size pieces - mix and match - CHOOSE 6 (6 Greens)
    • 1 cup spinach
    • 1/2 cup mushrooms
    • 1/2 cup asparagus
    • 1/2 cup swiss chard
    • 1/2 cup cauliflower
    • 1/2 cup kale
    • 1/2 cup summer squash
    • 1/2 cup zucchini
    • 1/2 cup broccoli
    • 1/2 cup bell pepper
    • 1/2 cup tomatoes
    • 1/2 cup hearts of palm
  • Healthy Fat - mix and match - CHOOSE 2  (2 Healthy Fats)
    • 5-10 black olives
    • 1 wedge Original Laughing Cow Cheese, softened and diced to small pieces
    • 2 wedges Laughing Cow Light cheese, softened and diced to small pieces
    • Alternatively, 1.5 oz of avocado added as a topping AFTER your quiche is cooked
  • Seasonings as desired (follow the condiment guidelines) - I like plain old salt, pepper, and garlic powder, and sometimes like to top with hot sauce before eating
DIRECTIONS:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Whisk liquid egg/liquid egg whites and 3 eggs together until well mixed. Add seasonings if desired.
  3. Add in 1 cup of unsweetened plain almond milk and whisk until well combined.
  4. Add in your vegetables, 6 Greens required for this recipe - remember, only choose six from the list, there are so many options! 
  5. Add in your Healthy Fats, 2 Healthy Fats required for this recipe. Again, you can mix and match and choose your favorites. *If one of your Healthy Fats is 1.5 ounces of avocado, don't add that into the egg and veggie mixture! Save it to cut up and top your quiche with once it is finished cooking!
  6. Pour your mixture into a glass baking dish. Mine is 11"x7". 
  7. Bake at 350º for 40-50 minutes, testing with a toothpick to determine if the egg is cooked through. 
  8. Let cool, serve, and eat!
  9. Makes TWO FULL LEAN AND GREEN MEALS
NOTES:
  • For the quiche I made (pictured), I whisked 2 cups of liquid egg whites and 3 whole eggs together, added 1 cup of unsweetened plain almond milk, 1/2 cup diced green bell pepper, 1 cup broccoli, and 1/2 cup diced hearts of palm. I mixed all of that together. I put 2 cups of fresh spinach in the baking dish, and poured the egg and veggie mixture over the spinach, and gently mixed it all together to make sure everything was coated in the egg mixture. It took right at 45 minutes for it to bake in a 11"x7" glass baking dish at 350ºF. I debated over adding black olives to the mixture for the Healthy Fats, or holding out to slice some avocado when I eat it, and ultimately decided on the avocado. Next time I'll add in black olives though! 
Crustless Vegetable Quiche - Lean and Green

Do you have any favorite quiche or breakfast recipes that you eat or make on the Optavia Program? 
Do you have any other suggestions or ideas to modify this recipe?
Leave a comment!



Friday, November 27, 2020

Optavia Black Friday - Cyber Monday Sale / Wellness Credits

I gave myself the gift of health. I have learned to change my mindset and my habits, and it has made a huge difference mentally and physically. I would love to share $60 in wellness credits with the first three people to make the decision this weekend to gift themself a healthy holiday season and life, and join me on this journey to health. 

The Gift of Health with Optavia


Thursday, November 26, 2020

Thanksgiving and Optavia

 I love cooking and baking. I love it so much, I spent the day baking five pies, cooking different side dishes, and enjoying being in the kitchen. 

I know there are tons of ways to create Optavia-compliant holiday meals and side dishes. Several are listed here. I just don't have the same sentimental attachment to holiday foods that a lot of people seem to have. As a kid, I would only eat mashed potatoes (no gravy) and pumpkin pie. 

I know a lot of people make the conscious choice to go off-plan for the holidays, to splurge a little bit, or take small tastes of foods that they would normally not eat while following Optavia. All of that is fine, especially when it is an intentional decision. 

I chose to remain on plan today. I didn't even lick my fingers (well, there's COVID to thank for that restraint also!) but I did not have a single lick or taste or bite of something that wasn't one of my Fuelings or my Lean and Green. Honestly, I didn't even really consider not staying on plan. Turkey doesn't like me, and I prefer to not feel like crap from eating foods that don't like my body. 

What did I make? 

My daughter and I made vegetable quiche for breakfast. She is dairy free, so everything we made today is dairy-free. 

We made a loaf of bread.

We made FIVE pies - three pumpkin pies, one apple crumb pie, and one pecan pie. (We have 4.5 pies leftover)

We made sweet potato casserole, and garlic mashed potatoes. 

We made bacon-wrapped scallops. 

We made candied pecans. 

There was stuffing, and turkey, and cranberry sauce, and rolls, and deviled eggs. 

There was a lot of food here. I'm sure all of it tasted delicious. We have a lot of leftovers (apparently I don't know how to cook for just my family - we could have easily fed 15 people with the food we have). 


So what did I eat?

I made myself a salad, with avocado and seared scallops and a drizzle of Walden Farms French dressing. 


And you know what? Scallops with salad and avocado is one of my all-time favorite meals, and I was perfectly happy and content to eat it today. It was delicious! 


I hope everyone enjoyed their Thanksgiving meals!


Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Lean and Green - Scallop Stacks

 Today I adapted a recipe for Shrimp Stacks for my Lean and Green, and it was delicious! I cooked 1.25 cups of cauliflower rice, diced .25 cups of cucumber (3 servings of my green), mashed 3 oz of avocado (2 servings of healthy fat), and cooked 7 oz of scallops (1 serving of leanest). Then I layered the cucumber, avocado, scallop, and rice, in that order, in a small measuring cup (1/4c and 1/3c both worked) and flipped the cup over onto a plate, tapped the bottom, and had a really amazing looking scallop stack on my plate! I topped with a tiny bit of Walden Farms chipotle mayo (1 condiment). You could top with 1T of soy sauce (1 condiment), or 1 tsp sesame seeds (1 condiment), or another creamy spicy sauce (check nutrition info and amounts) as well. 

The original recipe calls for shrimp, but this would easily work with any seafood - tiny bay scallops would be good also, but so would sushi-grade salmon or tuna (in the proper amounts). 

This satisfied my sushi craving too!

Scallops Stack Lean and Green
Scallops Stack Lean and Green


Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Transformation Tuesday - Face to Face!

Six months between these two photos. The pic on the left is after 6 weeks on Optavia. What a difference in my face! I am down over 27 pounds and seeing and feeling the changes in my body. I love this program - it is SO EASY to follow! 



 


Average weight loss on the Optimal Weight 5&1 Plan is 12 pounds. Clients are in weight loss, on average, for 12 weeks.

Monday, November 23, 2020

Optavia Week 6 - Weigh In 11/23/20

 I just finished up week 6 of the Optavia 5&1 program.

I feel really good - like surprisingly good. I have my hunger under control, my portions under control, and I'm not even a little stressed about the holidays and meals. I'm not much for turkey, but I do love some side dishes, but I decided that it is more worth it to me right now to be healthy, and I can have mashed potatoes or pumpkin pie another time. I even pureed fresh pumpkin to freeze, so I can make another pumpkin pie in a few months when I move into optimization. 

This past week was my birthday, so I was eating out more than I normally would. I had dinner out the weekend before my birthday, then the night of my birthday, and then the weekend after my birthday I was out of town. I know all the sodium just from eating at restaurants, plus the travel and being off my normal schedule, played a part in my body not making much changes this past week. I still ended the week down a full pound, which is awesome!

I still tend to stick to seafood for my protein in my Lean and Green, and I prefer salads over cooked veggies the vast majority of the time. Overall, this program has really fit quite nicely into my life, and it has been super easy to maintain following the guidelines. I'm really happy I decided to move forward, and I'm excited to see what the future holds for me. 

P.S. It feels GREAT to purge some of the clothes that don't fit me anymore, because I'm not going to wear them again! 



Average weight loss on the Optimal Weight 5&1 Plan is 12 pounds. Clients are in weight loss, on average, for 12 weeks. 

Friday, November 20, 2020

Reflections on 40 days of Optavia

 Today I am celebrating 40 days of taking charge of my health with Optavia. Some reflections and things I have noticed...

  • If I go out to eat, or eat foods I don't prepare myself, I feel bloated, and the scale doesn't move much. I think this is partly because there is just more sodium in foods that restaurants prepare. 
  • I have had cold brew coffee a few times in the mornings, mixed with a Fueling shake. I don't drink coffee everyday, and I actually don't ever drink much caffeine at all. I've noticed that on the days I have coffee, I tend to sleep worse at night. I think I am going to cut out the coffee and see if it makes a difference. My sleep has been so amazing since I started this program, it is weird (yet helpful) to see the nights that it isn't really good sleep, and link it to the days I had caffeine. I use my Apple Watch to track my sleep, and the app AutoSleep. 
  • My weight loss has slowed, which is expected. I had pretty significant weight loss the first 5 weeks, so I expect it to taper off to more reasonable loss (1-3 lbs a week). Right now, my average is still 3.11 lbs a week, but I bet that average drops off even more as time goes on. 
    • On that note, I am 36.7% to my overall goal. I've met and crushed my first smaller goals, and I still have smaller goals set, but I also have a big goal in mind. I love the app Happy Scale to track these stats for me. I weigh myself every morning, and the app is really good about looking at overall trends and not the ups and downs of day-to-day. 
  • I have completely adjusted to eating every 2-3 hours. My body starts to feel hungry right on cue, and I eat, and then I'm good until the next time to eat. I love that it is happening this way! It is so easy to plan ahead and make sure I have fuelings ready to go - regardless if I'm home or if I'm out. This is probably my favorite thing about this program, that I don't have to think about eating or what to eat or prep hardly anything. It is so easy to follow and keep up with. 
  • I've talked to a lot of people about my journey. It's definitely out of my comfort zone, but I am just so excited about it, it's hard not to talk about it. People are starting to notice the physical changes - my face, my waist - but also I've had a few people say they can see it in my skin, and my energy. Those changes are more important to me than the physical ones. I feel healthy on the inside, so it radiates out of me. 
  • Drinking 64-100oz of water has been ZERO problem for me. I always drank a lot of water, so I'm tracking it now with my pitcher, but I easily drink it all every day. 
  • Non-scale victories
    • I've dropped down two sizes in jeans! 
    • I fasten my Apple Watch band on a smaller setting! 
    • My clothes are too big - I'm wearing clothes I haven't worn in years!
    • I don't have any interest in foods that I know will make me feel like crap!

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Goals! 6 weeks til 2021!

Short, but important post for me today. I am setting goals. I am making plans to be a better, healthier me in 2021. We have SIX WEEKS left in 2020. I haven't even been on this program for 6 weeks and it has already changed my life. Who knows where the next 6 weeks will lead?! I'm planning for awesome things. 


How are you going to use the next six weeks, to get to where you want to be on the first day of the new year? 

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

25 pounds! Happy birthday to me!

Five weeks ago I set a goal to lose 10 pounds by my birthday. That worked out to 2 pounds a week, and seemed completely reasonable. Well, I lost more than 10 pounds in the first week, so I changed my goal to 20 pounds, and when I hit that, I changed my goal again to 25 pounds by my birthday.

Yesterday was my birthday, and I am happy to say, I totally crushed that goal too. I lost over 25 pounds before my 40th birthday yesterday. I'm giving myself health for my birthday, and that's pretty darn amazing. Tooting my own horn 🎉 because 25 pounds is like the size of the average 2 year old, or 5 bags of flour, or 6 bags of sugar, and that's awfully impressive to me. Here's to my 40s and my health!




Average weight loss on the Optimal Weight 5&1 Plan is 12 pounds. Clients are in weight loss, on average, for 12 weeks.

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Cheese and Dairy on Optavia - How does it count?

Cheese is tricky! It can count different ways when you're on the Optavia 5&1 Program. Here are some guidelines on cheese and dairy options. 

Source | Source

Cheese is considered many things: fat, protein, and dairy. On the Optimal Living 5&1 Plan, you can work cheese and dairy into the plan as a condiment, a healthy fat, or as part of your Lean. 

Cheese and Dairy as a Lean:

  • 1.5 cups (12 oz) 1% cottage cheese = 1 Leanest serving (2 healthy fat servings needed)
  • 1.5 cups (12 oz) 2% cottage cheese = 1 Leaner serving (1 healthy fat serving needed)
  • 12 oz. non-fat (0%) plain Greek yogurt (<15g carb per 12 oz.) = 1 Leanest (2 healthy fat servings needed)
  • 12 oz. low-fat (2%) plain Greek yogurt (<15g carb per 12 oz.) = 1 Leaner (1 healthy fat serving needed)
  • 6 ounces (1.5 cups shredded) low-fat cheese (1.5 gram fat/oz) = 1 Leaner serving (1 healthy fat serving needed)
  • 4 ounces (1 cup shredded)  reduced-fat or part-skim cheese (3-6 grams fat/oz) = 1 Lean serving (no healthy fat serving needed) 
  • 8 oz. (1 cup) part-skim ricotta cheese (2-3 grams fat/oz.) = 1 Lean (no healthy fat serving needed)
  • 1 wheel (1 oz) Babybel light or Babybel mozzarella wheel = 1 oz protein
Cheese and Dairy as a Healthy Fat:

  • 1 wedge of Original Swiss Laughing Cow 
  • 1 original Babybel
  • 1 tablespoon regular cream cheese
  • 2 tablespoons low-fat cream cheese
  • Milks
    • 2 cups Almond (refrigerated, unsweetened original or unsweetened vanilla)
    • 2 cups Cashew (refrigerated, unsweetened original or unsweetened vanilla)
    • 2 tablespoons Coconut (canned, regular)
    • 0.25 cups Coconut (canned, light)
    • 1 cup Coconut (refrigerated, unsweetened original or unsweetened vanilla)
  • 0.5 tablespoon Margarine (regular)
  • 1 tablespoon Margarine (reduced-fat)
  • 0.5 tablespoon Mayonnaise (regular)
  • 1.5 tablespoon Mayonnaise (light)
  • 1 tablespoon Mayonnaise (reduced-fat with olive oil)
  • 0.5 tablespoon Butter
  • 3 tablespoons Cream (half & half)
  • 2 tablespoons Sour cream

Cheese and Dairy as a Condiment:
  • 1 tablespoon low-fat cream cheese
  • 0.5 tablespoon regular cream cheese
  • 1 tablespoon regular blue cheese, feta cheese, parmesan cheese (grated or shredded)
  • 2 tablespoons light blue cheese, feta cheese, parmesan cheese (grated or shredded)
  • 1 wedge Laughing Cow spreadable cheese (any flavor other than Original Swiss, including Light versions)
  • 0.5 teaspoon Butter Buds®
  • 0.5 teaspoon Cream substitute (liquid or powdered, regular)
  • 1 teaspoon Cream substitute (liquid or powdered, sugar-free)
  • 2 tablespoons Greek yogurt (plain, nonfat or low-fat)
  • 1 tablespoon Sour Cream (regular or light)
  • 1 tablespoon Whipped Topping (Cool Whip®)
  • 2 tablespoons Whipped Topping (pressurized, Reddi-whip®)
  • Milks:
    • 1 cup Almond (refrigerated, unsweetened original or unsweetened vanilla)
    • 1 cup Cashew (refrigerated, unsweetened original or unsweetened vanilla)
    • 1 tablespoon Coconut (canned, regular)
    • 2 tablespoons Coconut (canned, light)
    • 0.5 cup Coconut (refrigerated, unsweetened original or unsweetened vanilla)
    • 1 tablespoon Cow milk (unflavored)
    • 1 tablespoon Rice (unsweetened)
    • 2 tablespoons Soy (unsweetened)

*Mayonnaise is not a dairy item, but is sometimes used in substitutions so it is included above. 

How do I count Coffee Creamer?
We do not have a particular brand of creamer that we recommend, but you may use any creamer that fits either of the guidelines below, and count it accordingly:
Healthy Fat:
                4- 6 grams fat
                45-60 calories
                < 5 grams carbohydrates
Condiment:
                < 30 calories
                < 1 g of carbohydrates

Monday, November 16, 2020

What do I eat on Optavia? Can I eat out?

 When you're following the Optavia 5&1 Program, each day you will eat/drink:

  • 5 Fuelings (meals and snacks you purchase from Optavia directly). Each fueling is nutritionally interchangeable and contains high-quality protein which helps retain lean muscle mass, probiotic cultures which help support digestive health, and all of the essential vitamins, minerals, fiber needed as part of a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle.
  • 1 Lean and Green (see this link for specifics on how to calculate your Lean and Green)
    • Up to 2 Healthy Fats, determined based on your Lean
      • A Healthy Fat should have 4-6 grams of fat, less than 5 grams of carbohydrates, and between 45-60 calories
    • Up to 3 Condiments (optional)
      • A condiment serving should contain no more than 1 gram of carbohydrate and be under 30 calories
  • 1 Snack (optional) such as:
    • 3 celery stalks
    • 1 fruit-flavored sugar-free Popsicle®
    • ½ cup serving sugar-free gelatin, such as Jell-O®
    • Up to 3 pieces of sugar-free gum or mints
    • 2 dill pickles spears
    • ½ oz of nuts: almonds (10 whole), walnuts (7 halves), or pistachios (20 kernels)*
      • *Be mindful that nuts are a rich source of healthy fat and additional calories — choose this optional snack sparingly.
    • OPTAVIA Puffed Snacks or OPTAVIA Popcorn
    • 2 Tbsp PB2 powder
  • 64 ounces of water

Can I dine out while on Optavia? 
YES! Optavia has made it super easy to accommodate dining out while on program. Here is a list of restaurants and compliant meals in the Dining Out Guide. When dining out, you should have your typical lean and green meal consisting of 5 to 7 ounces cooked lean protein, 3 servings of non-starchy vegetables, and 0-2 servings of healthy fats depending on your lean choices. Request that your meat be prepared/served without sauces and/or added fats; switch out starchy vegetable options (like potatoes) for lower carbohydrate choices (like steamed broccoli or a salad). Ask your server to skip the breadbasket or bowl of chips, and always get your salad dressing on the side.

How do I count cheese and dairy?

How do I count Coffee Creamer?
We do not have a particular brand of creamer that we recommend, but you may use any creamer that fits either of the guidelines below, and count it accordingly:
Healthy Fat:
                4- 6 grams fat
                45-60 calories
                < 5 grams carbohydrates
Condiment:
                < 30 calories
                < 1 g of carbohydrates

How do I count other foods?

I am compiling some of this information from Facebook posts from coaches, who have shared what Nutrition Support has told them. As with any information on this website, please confirm it yourself to ensure accuracy. If you have any comments or feedback, please comment so I can adjust as needed!

OYSTERS
Per nutrition support, 13 ounces of oysters counts as 1 LEANEST portion on Optavia. Be sure to add 2 Healthy Fats!

SPARKLING OR FLAVORED WATER
Any zero calorie, zero carbohydrate beverages (LaCroix, Bubly, Aha, etc.) are permitted IN ADDITION TO the 64 oz of water each day. These do not count as anything, just a beverage in addition to the plain water. There is no limit to the amount of these beverages you may have each day, although we recommend using them in moderation. 
Plain UNFLAVORED sparkling water and plain regular water may count towards your 64 oz of daily water intake. Keep in mind, we want to limit caffeine intake to 300mg or less per day. 

CALI’FLOUR FOODS
  • Traditional Cauliflower Pizza Crust (any flavor except plant based): 1 whole crust = 1 LEAN + 3 GREENS https://www.califlourfoods.com/collections/traditional-pizza-crusts
  • Cali Lite Cauliflower Pizza Crust (any flavor except plant based): 1 whole crust = ½ LEAN + 3 GREENS https://califlourfoods.com/products/calilite-italian
  • Cauliflower Flatbreads: 2 flatbreads = 1/3 LEAN + 2 GREEN https://www.califlourfoods.com/collections/flatbread
OUTER AISLE
  • Cauliflower Pizza Crust: 1 whole crust = 1/3 LEAN + 1 GREEN https://www.outeraislegourmet.com/products/cauliflower-pizza-crust
  • Sandwich Thins: 3 thins = ½ LEAN + 1 GREEN https://www.outeraislegourmet.com/products/cauliflower-sandwich-thins
KBOSH FOODS
  • Pizza Crust (Cauliflower, Zucchini, Italian Spinach, Broccoli, Mexi Cabbage & Kale flavors): 1 whole crust = 1/3 LEAN + 3 GREEN https://kboshfood.com/
REAL GOOD FOODS (all are high in fat & sodium so best used only on occasion)
  • Chicken Crust Pizzas: 1 whole small pizza or ½ large pizza (1 serving) = 1 LEAN https://www.realgoodfoods.com/product/personal-7-pizzas/
  • Enchiladas (all flavors except cheese enchiladas): 2 enchiladas = 2/3 LEAN https://www.realgoodfoods.com/product/enchiladas/
  • Poppers: 4 poppers = 1 LEAN https://www.realgoodfoods.com/product/poppers/
  • Chicken Alfredo Italian: 1 serving = 1 LEAN https://www.realgoodfoods.com/product/cannelloni-chicken-alfredo/
JIMMY DEAN
  • Turkey Sausage Patties: 2 patties = ½ LEAN -or- 5 patties = 1 LEAN https://www.jimmydean.com/products/fully-cooked-sausage/links-and-patties/fully-cooked-turkey-sausage-patties
  • Turkey Sausage Simple Scrambles Cup: 1 serving = 2/3 LEAN https://www.jimmydean.com/products/simple-scrambles/turkey-sausage-simple-scrambles
TRADER JOE’S
  • Shrimp Burgers: 3 patties = 1 LEAN
  • Salmon Burgers: 2 patties = 1 LEAN
  • Tuna Burgers: 2 patties = 1 LEAN
  • Mahi Mahi burgers: 2.5 patties =1 LEAN
  • Turkey Burgers: 1.5 burgers= 1 LEAN
  • Chili Lime Chicken Burgers: 2 burgers= 1 LEAN
  • Crab Cakes: 3 crab cakes = 1 LEANER
  • Turkey meatballs: 5 meatballs = 1 LEAN (limit to 1x a week due to sodium)
  • Meatless Meatballs: 10 meatballs = 1 LEAN
  • Langostino Tails: 7 oz = 1 LEANEST
  • Riced cauliflower: ½ cup = 1 GREEN
  • Riced cauliflower stir fry: ½ cup = 1 GREEN
  • Jicama: ½ cup = 1 GREEN
  • Green Goddess Dressing: 3 Tbsp = 1 HEALTHY FAT or 1 Tbsp = 1 CONDIMENT
  • Organic Tomato Basil Sauce: ¼ cup = 1 GREEN
  • Cauliflower Things = 2 thins = 1/3 LEAN + 1 GREEN
Bertolli Reduced Fat Alfredo Sauce: ¼ cup = 1 HEALTHY FAT https://www.bertolli.com/pasta-sauces/reduced-fat-alfredo/

Better Than Good Snacks:  1 bag = ½ LEANER https://betterthangoodsnacks.com/

Buc-ee’s Turkey Stix (currently only in Texas): 2 sticks = 1.5oz of PROTEIN

Butterball All Natural Turkey Burger: 6 oz = 1 LEAN https://www.butterball.com/products/turkey-burgers-and-meatballs/all-natural-white-turkey-burger

Cereal School: 1 bag = 1/3 LEANEST https://thecerealschool.com/products/cereal

Chompie’s Low Carb Multigrain/Cinnamon/Sesame Bread: 2 slices = 2oz PROTEIN https://chompies.com/product/low-carb-multigrain-bread/

Crepini Egg THINS with Cauliflower: 2 thins = 1 GREEN https://www.crepini.com/egg-thins-with-cauliflower (recommended to use on occasion because it is not very nutrient dense)

Crepini Egg WRAPS with Cauliflower: 1 wrap = 1 GREEN https://www.crepini.com/all-products/egg-wraps-with-cauliflower-large (recommended to use on occasion because it is not very nutrient dense)

FitCrunch Protein Puffs: 1 bag = ½ LEANER https://fitcrunch.com/puffs/

Healthy Choice Simply Steamers: Grilled Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo = 1 LEANER + 2 GREENS https://www.healthychoice.com/simply-steamers/grilled-chicken-broccoli-alfredo

Healthy Choice Simply Steamers: Grilled Chicken, Pesto, and Vegetable = 1 LEAN + 3 GREENS https://www.healthychoice.com/simply-steamers/grilled-chicken-pesto-vegetables

Healthy Noodle: 1/2 cup = 1 GREEN https://healthynoodle.com/products

ISO Poofs Cereal:  1 cup = 1/2 LEANER https://mpasupps.com/products/iso-poofs?variant=12582210863209

Jicama Tortillas: 2 tortillas = 1 GREEN https://centralmarket.com/product/fresh-jicama-tortillas7-5-oz/

Lifetime Cheese: 4oz = 1 LEANEST https://northwoodscheese.com/lifetime-cheeses/

Member’s Mark Pulled Pork or Chicken: 6oz = 1 LEAN https://www.samsclub.com/p/members-mark-pulled-pork-2-pounds/prod21051154 / https://www.samsclub.com/p/members-mark-seasoned-pulled-chicken/prod22131896

Morey's Marinated Wild Alaskan Salmon Fillet Seasoned Grill (Costco): One 6oz fillet = 1 LEAN https://www.moreys.com/product/seasoned-grill-wild-alaskan-salmon/

Palmini Noodles/Rice: 1 serving (75g) = 1 GREEN https://eatpalmini.com/

Peanut Butter Powder (PBFit or PB2 or Trader Joe's):  1 Teaspoon = 1 CONDIMENT;  2 Tablespoons = 1 OPTIONAL SNACK https://pbfit.com/product/pbfit-original/ / https://shop.pb2foods.com/products/pb2-original-powdered-peanut-butter-peanut-butter-powder

Premier Protein Clear Protein Drink: 1 bottle = ½ LEANEST https://www.premierprotein.com/segment/clear-protein-drinks

Quest Protein Chips: 1 bag = ½ LEANER https://www.questnutrition.com/collections/quest-chips

Rao's Sauces:  Tomato based sauces: 1/4 cup = 1 GREEN;  Alfredo sauces: 2 Tablespoons = 1 HEALTHY FAT or 1 Tablespoon = 1 CONDIMENT https://www.raos.com/

Skinny Pasta: ½ cup = 1 GREEN http://skinnypastausa.com/

Trident Pacific Salmon Burger (Costco): 1.5 burgers = 1 LEAN https://www.tridentseafoods.com/browse/products/trident-seafoods-alaska-salmon-burgers-3-lb/

Tyson Fully Cooked Blackened Chicken Breast Strips: 6oz = 1 LEANER https://www.tyson.com/products/blackened-flavored-chicken-breast-strips/

Two Good Greek Yogurt: 2.5 servings (total of 13.25 oz) of any flavor = 1 LEANER http://www.goodyogurt.com/lower-sugar-yogurt/ (Each 5.3oz container is one serving)

Walden Farms: ALL PRODUCTS: 1 serving = 1 CONDIMENT (check label for 1 serving) https://www.waldenfarms.com



Optavia Week 5 - Weigh In 11/16/20

Week 5 felt a lot slower to me than other weeks. It's my birthday tomorrow (it's a big one) and I went out to dinner on Saturday and my salad with salmon had mushrooms in it, and I haven't eaten mushrooms in a few years, and I think they made me bloated. I also spent the several hours yesterday doing yard work, cleaning up the leaves, and exerted more energy than I normally do, so I'm not sure how that will play into things this week. 

Some of the things I worked on this week - the mental work is necessary for my success. 

  1. Really feeling in tune with my body. I like knowing what I put into my body, and the effect it has on me. 
  2. Planning out my Fuelings. I had to place another order this weekend, and although I have enough Fuelings for two weeks, I am trying to make sure I eat a variety each day, and still limit my bars to 1 or 2 at the most per day. 
  3. Planning out my Lean and Green earlier in the day, so I'm not scrambling to eat. 

So here's my Week 5 details from my weigh in:

I lost 3.8 pounds this week! 

That brings my total in five weeks on Optavia to -24.3 pounds. Holy crap. I can really see and feel the difference in my bust and my waist. I tried on smaller jeans this weekend - and they fit! TWO sizes smaller than what I started in! And, my face is much thinner too - noticeably so. 



Average weight loss on the Optimal Weight 5&1 Plan is 12 pounds. Clients are in weight loss, on average, for 12 weeks. 

Sunday, November 15, 2020

How to Calculate Optavia Lean and Green

Lean and Green Nutritional Parameters


This seems to be a struggle for some people. The way I calculate it - look at the nutritional label/facts on the food you're eating. Note the serving size. 
  1. Calculate if it is a Lean, Leaner, or Leanest based on Calories, Carbohydrates, Protein, and Fat content per serving. Some packaged items you can have more than one serving, some will be less than one serving, so make sure it fits the proper parameters. 
  2. Check the fat content for your serving size - this will determine if it is a Lean, Leaner, or Leanest. 
  3. Determine if you need to add in Healthy Fats based on #2
  4. Figure out your Greens for the meal. 

For the complete Lean and Green meal (protein + veggies):

Calories must be between 250-400
Carbohydrates must be less than or equal to 20g total carbohydrates (preferably less than or equal to 15g)
Protein should be greater than or equal to 25g
Fat should fall between 10g and 20g
Sodium should be less than 1000mg

For the Lean portion of the Lean and Green meal:

Calories should be between 180-300
Carbohydrates should be less than or equal to 15g
Protein should be greater than or equal to 25g
The fat content will determine if it is a Lean, Leaner, or Leanest (see below)

If the total fat content for your lean portion is 0g-4g, this is a LEANEST. Portion size is 7oz, and add in two healthy fats.
If the total fat content for your lean portion is 5g-9g, this is a LEANER. Portion size is 6oz, and add in one healthy fat.
If the total fat content for your lean portion is 10g-20g, this is a LEAN. Portion size is 5oz, do not add in any healthy fats.

What is a Healthy Fat?
A Healthy Fat serving should contain 4g-6g of fat and less than 5g of carbohydrates, with 45-60 calories. 
See the source link for examples of what counts as a healthy fat. 

Don't forget your Green portion! 

Choose 3 servings from the Green Options List:
1 serving = 1⁄2 cup vegetables (unless otherwise specified) with ≤ 25 calories and ≤ 5g carbohydrates.
See the source link above for examples of what vegetables are included, and the serving size. 

I prefer to weigh my greens - it is more accurate! Here is a conversion chart for vegetables. Keep in mind the raw weight represents how much raw vegetable equates to a 1⁄2 cup portion, and the cooked weight represents how much cooked vegetable equates to a 1⁄2 cup portion. 

Condiments Count, Too!

You can have up to three condiments per day. See this link for what is considered a condiment, and the quantities/amounts permitted. 
In general, condiments have <30 calories and <1 g carbs.

How do I count cheese and dairy?


How do I count other foods?

See THIS POST for details on what to eat each day, information from Nutrition Support regarding frozen/packaged grocery store items and how they count as a Lean and Green, and dining out while on Optavia. http://www.myjourneytoahealthyme.com/2020/11/what-do-i-eat-on-optavia-can-i-eat-out.html

NOTE: If you're mixing and matching your proteins, be sure to calculate it appropriately. I like to do this by percentage. So if I'm having 3 oz of a LEANER, that is 50% of my protein (3 oz out of 6 oz portion size). That means I can have 3.5 oz of a LEANEST, 3 oz of a LEANER, or 2.5 oz of a LEAN to complete my protein portion. 
That also means I need to have 1/2 of a Healthy Fat for the original 50% of protein as a Leaner, plus any additional healthy fat determined by if the other 50% of protein is a Leanest (1 Healthy Fat), Leaner (1/2 Healthy Fat) or Lean (no additional Healthy Fat).



Here's a handy graphic to save with these guidelines, and bookmark this page!
Lean and Green Guidelines - OPTAVIA 5&1 - MyJourneyToAHealthyMe.com