Review of HCG diet and weight loss

Ok, it has been a while since I posted any updates on the HCG diet.  First off, I did NOT do the hormone injection therapy of the diet I used homeopathic drops which I really liked.  I am beginning my last week of the maintenance period before I start adding back starches and sugars.  At this time I don’t know if I want to add back sugar but I definitely have to add back starches which is the reason I only did 30 days of the diet and not 40.

Our family observes the biblical Feasts in which I have to consume a small portion of starch for a total of 8 days.  I have read online of past HCG dieters who came off maintenance too early and starting gaining significantly when they ate starches but didn’t have much of a problem when they ate sugar.

During my first round I lost a total of 31 pounds; I lost 10 doing a modified Phase 1 by just cutting out sugar and then the rest while taking the drops.  I have a history of low blood sugar which I thought would be a problem while on the diet but it turned out to be a mute concern.

Ironically while in my stage of determining if this is the diet I want to do, I spoke with my birth mom who told me of her diabetes problems when she turned 40, of which I am two years away.  Two days into this diet I found out that she passed away due to her weight issues, which really encouraged my decision to do something about my health now before it was too late.

I was able to carry on my normal job responsibilities without any undue stress and came away with a new understanding of my body and food.  I found several good recipes online for my meals but mostly I just ate things raw.   Foods and mainly vegetables that I haven’t liked in the past, I now enjoy adding to my meal.   Overall I have to say that I really like this “diet” and look forward to the next round.

Remember that whatever you decide to do in your journey to regain your health, you have to find what works best for you.  This diet is very limiting on food but for me in many ways I have now discovered especially in P3 what foods affects me the wrong way and what foods my body really enjoys and thrives on.

In my previous post I made mention of a very enlightening video about the future of our food.  Since I have started Phase 3 or the “maintenance” phase in which I am maintaining the weight I have lost so far that the foods I am allowed to eat right now are ones that are not as processed or known to be genetically engineered.    For example: in Phase 3 you can have mayonnaise, cream cheese, salad dressing etc.   I have yet to find mayonnaise without sugar or any starches, I have found one salad dressing without any additives.  This has led me to open up my cupboards and start making my own food, it is like going back to your roots.  🙂

If you want to conquer your weight problem without drastic measures then my first piece of advice is to stop buying processed food, put on an apron, open your cupboards and start making things from scratch.   Not only will you know what is in your food but you will notice your body responding to the change in a positive light!  I also challenge you to try new foods, don’t try to many at once until you know if your body will have a reaction but maybe once a week try a new vegetable or fruit you’ve never had before.

Before starting the diet, I had never heard of chicory or chard and beet greens were something I thought you tossed away once you used the beets.  In some ways, this experience was like a science project – searching the internet to see what part of the plant can be eaten and what is dangerous…

I’m really pleased with the weight and inches lost!!  In my next post, I will post some of the recipes that I have come to enjoy. 🙂

Until next time!

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Video about the path our food is taking

A friend shared a very important video with me about how our food is now containing more GMO or GE (genetic engineering) components than before and what we can expect to see in the future.

The video is titled “The Future of Food“.  You can watch it free online at hulu.com.

If you have ever wondered how our food managed to be under the control of so much GMO or GE this educational film will inform you on how it started, and what the end result just might become.  Have we seen the end of our food being mass produced and chemicalized or is this just the beginning?  Is there anything we can do about it either?  Will our food continue to sustain us or kill us?

After watching this video by myself and again with my children I am more determined now to teach them and myself the importance of recognizing what real food should look and taste like.

I hope you enjoy!

Hay Bale Gardens

I received in a dollar saving email group that I am on.  Click on the links below to read more about this option. This is a clever way to get a garden if the other means are not feasible for you:

To read this article on the homepage, click here

Raised bed gardens are a great solution for growing plants if you can’t bend easily, your dirt is poor, or you don’t even have soil. But if the cost of construction supplies like wood and nails won’t leave much room in your budget for important gardening supplies like seeds and plants, consider using a hay bale garden instead.

Hay bale gardens provides several advantages:

  • There is no need to rotate crops, since each season you start with new hay bales.
  • The plants grow in a complete organic environment. Organic soil-free potting media will help hold nutrients and water more efficiently for faster growth.
  • Hay bales create an environment similar to gardening hills in soil. The plants will have good drainage.
  • Weeding time is minimized.

Select bales of hay or straw from fields that have not been treated with herbicides that contain clopyralid or picloram such as tordon, surmount or garzon. These weed killers will stay in the bales and can affect the growth of the plants.

Straw bales typically have fewer weed seeds than hay bales, since the straw comes from cereal grains that have been harvested. The best bales come from wheat, rice or barley straw. These types of bales have good drainage. If you must choose hay bales, choose Bermuda, fescue, ryegrass or a grass native to your area. Select rectangular bales that are firm and tied tightly.

Place the bales in a sunny location. Most plants need at least six hours of sunlight each day. Plants such as tomatoes that do not receive this much sun will not produce as much fruit. Once the garden is in place, you will not be able to move the bales.

The surface where you put your garden should be a place that can accept runoff. If you are gardening on concrete or on a rooftop, you will need to provide a place for the runoff water to go. You can place the bales on a tarp. This will divert the water to other areas so that it is not concentrated directly in one spot.

Place the bales so that the bindings are facing upward and the grain of the straw or hay is parallel to the ground. Do not cut the bindings.

Completely soak the bales with water from a garden hose once or twice every day for three days. If you are gardening on a rooftop, be aware that a 50-pound bale will hold 125 pounds of water. Make sure the surface you are gardening on will hold this weight.

On the fourth day, add two cups of dolomite lime and 1/2 cup ammonium sulfate to the bale. Mix this fertilizer into the top of the bale by scratching it into the grain of the hay or straw fibers with a gardening fork and water it in by once again saturating the bale.

Add fertilizer to the bale for the next five days. If you are gardening organically, use a manure tea as your fertilizer. If not, use 1/2 cup ammonium sulfate. The ammonium sulfate or manure tea will activate microbes that decompose the bale in the center of the hay.

On day 10, add 1/2 cup of a balanced 8-8-8 fertilizer or one cup of a 10-10-10 fertilizer. The numbers on the package represent the total amount of nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium in the fertilizer. Add another 1/2 cup of this fertilizer once per month as your plants grow. Never fertilize the bales more than once per month after they have been planted.

The bales should be ready to plant on day 11. Create a top cap of soil for the bale garden by mixing bagged potting soil and bagged, composted manure from your local garden center. Spread this over the top of the bales in a four-inch layer. Manure must be composted to eliminate weed seeds.

Plant vegetable transplants by pushing aside the top cap and pulling the straw fibers open. Place the root ball of the plant directly into the straw fibers. Then push the fibers closed around the root ball and move the top cap back in place. A bale of hay is large enough for two tomato plants or four pepper plants, but you may plant any type of vegetable in your garden. Spring gardens may be planted just after the last yearly frost date in your region. A fall garden may be planted by midsummer.

Check the bales daily once they are planted to see if they need watering. Even if the outside of the bales are moist, the inside must remain as damp as a rag that has been wrung out.

When the season ends, simply remove the bales.”

Sources:

Take the Next Step:

  • For more on gardening, please visit here.
  • See what others are saying about raised bed gardening in the Dollar Stretcher Community.
  • Tell us your experience with hay bale gardens or other raised bed gardens in the Comments section below. We’d all benefit from hearing your great ideas, so don’t be shy!