Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Weight-Loss Wednesday: 3-Day Diet

I recently found the 3-Day diet on Pinterest.  At first, I was really excited.  Then I was really frightened.  There is no way I can do this, I told myself.  The more I looked at it, the more I realized that it's very, very little food.  Much less than I eat in a day.  Then I thought about how I feel physically ill when I'm hungry, and that made me think that I couldn't do it even more so.  But then again I thought, it's only 3 days.  I was really skeptical, mostly because of my past history with diets.  But I decided to bite the bullet and try it.  I kept a diary of my experience and I also took pictures of all of the meals, which you will find below.

According to the original link, this diet is based on chemical breakdown.  You must eat exactly what is listed.  Nothing more, nothing less.  It was created by a military person in order to lose pounds/get in shape quickly.  Personally, I don't really have a reason to have to lose pounds quickly, other than the fact that I have been dieting and exercising religiously for the past year and a half with little to no results and I'm desperate to find something that works.  Anyway, the diet is safe and can be repeated after a 4-day break.  It doesn't say that exercise is required, but I am sure it doesn't hurt.  I exercised each day of the diet, but I just made sure not to overdo it.  I walked on my treadmill for 30 minutes each day at a medium-fast pace.  With the small amount of food you will be eating, you may not have a whole lot of energy to exercise.
A note about water: it is the only thing you are allowed to drink on this diet (other than coffee or tea on day one if desired).  I recommend drinking at least a gallon of water each day.  It helps somewhat with the hunger.  Not to mention it's very good for you.

Any other questions, please REFER TO THE ORIGINAL LINK.  Thanks!

No eating between meals
No substitutions
No seasonings other than salt and pepper

Day 1:



Day 2:



Day 3:



My Experience on the 3-Day Diet
Day 1:
I put off eating breakfast for as long as possible.  I ate my breakfast at 11:00.  It was actually a fairly satisfying breakfast.  Half of a grapefruit... this was the first time I had ever eaten grapefruit without any kind of sweetener on top, but hey, it wasn't bad.  2 tbsp of peanut butter was actually too much for one piece of toast though.  But I still slathered it on there and ate it since the diet says to eat everything on the list exactly as it's written.
Then 2:00 rolled around and it was lunchtime... ok, that was disappointing.  A piece of toast with tuna on top.  Yes, it's edible, but really, is that all?

Then came the most challenging part of the day.  The 5 hours between lunch and dinner.  I did manage to exercise for 30 minutes during my lunch break...since I didn't have to spend a lot of time eating anyway.  I was EXTREMELY hungry the entire time.  Then I started feeling very weak, shaky, and lightheaded.  But I just kept telling myself that eating was not an option.  Nope, not until dinner time.  Ahhhhh... dinner.  Even though it was almost all healthy food, I was sooooo happy to eat it.  And look at that plate of food, it's actually quite a bit of food to eat for being on such a strict diet.  I guess they're making up for the agonizing afternoon of nothing.  And you get to eat ice cream too!  Honestly, I felt pretty guilty about the ice cream.  But hey, the diet says you have to eat it, and who am I to disobey the diet?  Okay, okay, I'm lying a little bit here.  As you can see, that is broccoli on my plate, not green beans like the diet says.  I am sure that just about everyone will have at least one thing on the list that they absolutely cannot tolerate.  For me, that thing was green beans.  Surprisingly, I liked everything else on the list (except for coffee and tea, but luckily that was optional).

Oh, and another note about today: I had no problem whatsoever drinking the gallon of water that I put in the fridge the night before.  I just drank the water whenever I felt hungry (which was pretty much constantly).  I really don't know whether or not it helped because I was still extremely hungry, but maybe I would have felt worse if I didn't drink it, who knows.  If I could describe the first day of this diet in one word, it would be KILLER.

Day 2:
I woke up feeling okay today.  I really wasn't going to weigh myself, but I saw the scale sitting there and I just did it.  Boy, was I glad I did.  I lost SIX, count them, SIX pounds in that first day.  When I first read about this diet and it said you can lose up to 10 pounds in 3 days, I was very skeptical.  I thought, if normal people can lose 10 pounds, maybe I could lose 2 or 3.  It's better than nothing.  Because diets normally don't have the same effect on me that they do on others.  But it was very refreshing and encouraging to know that all of the agony I went through yesterday paid off.  I am still skeptical about how the rest of this diet is going to go... will I continue to lose more weight?  And will I be able to keep it off?  I guess we will see.  You have to understand my past history with diets and why I don't trust them. 
Anywho... breakfast this morning was okay.  It was about the same amount of food as yesterday. 
Lunch was actually a little more food than yesterday.  And since it was a high-protien lunch, it made it a little easier to make it to dinner time.  (I said a little easier... still not easy though).  I do like cottage cheese... I know not everyone does, but I like it.  I don't usually eat a whole cup of it at a time though.  It's one of those foods that I can only take in small amounts.  So one cup was a bit difficult to choke down, but I did it. 

I again walked on the treadmill for 30 minutes today.  I made it to dinner... to be honest, I was a bit irritable by dinner time due to the lack of food.  But I made it.  And dinner actually wasn't too bad tonight.  Plenty of fruits and vegetables, hot dogs and ice cream, yum!

Day 3:
I went ahead and weighed myself this morning since I had such good results yesterday.  Maybe that wasn't such a good idea.  I weighed one pound more than I did yesterday morning.  Even after starving myself all day.  I have no idea how that happened.  Even if you take into account the "water weight" from drinking a whole gallon of water in one day, it seems like I should not have weighed one pound more first thing in the morning.  But oh well... we will see what the final results are tomorrow morning.  I have to say today was easier than Day 1 but harder than Day 2.  Because the allowed food today, well, it stinks.  It is much less quantity than the first 2 days.  And in my opinion, it was less quality too.  The only meal I actually enjoyed today was breakfast.
 Lunch was kind of a joke... one hard boiled egg and one dry piece of toast?  Are you kidding me? 

But guess what... I did it.  I managed to eat only the food that was allowed today (not to mention ALL THREE DAYS of the diet).  I almost gave in at dinner time tonight.  I started to think... I made it this far, eating a regular dinner isn't going to make a difference now.  Plus I wasn't looking forward to eating all of that dry tuna.  I love tuna, but this diet was the first time I have ever eaten it plain with nothing else mixed it.  Let's just say I like it better as casserole or salad.

The bottom line is... I really did not think I was going to be able to do this diet.  BUT I DID!!  And if I can do it, believe me, ANYONE can.  I still don't know how I managed to do this for 3 days, let alone 3 hours.  I endured extreme hunger pains, weakness, shakiness, diziness, and a persistent headache due to food withdrawal.  I honestly felt like I was going to die that first day.  I knew I would feel better if I ate, but I reached deep inside myself and found willpower and strength that I didn't know I had.  I decided that I wasn't going to give in.  Because I realized something... hunger is a bully.  It tells me to eat, or else it's going to beat me up and make me feel crappy.  And I have been giving into that bully for years and years now.  I finally realized that I don't have to give into my bully.  I can stand up to it and say NO.  I know more than anyone, it's much easier said than done.  This was one of the toughest things I have had to do.  But it is possible.
Now I know what I am capable of.  I was able to complete the 3-day diet successfully.  And by the end of 3 days, I LOST 9 POUNDS.  How satisfying is that?  I plan to keep repeating the diet as directed (3 days on, 4 days off) to keep losing weight.  Hopefully it will continue to work, as I have a lot more weight to lose.  But I am very happy with the results of this diet.  It gave me hope that there is something that will work for me.  It gave me a boost of confidence and self esteem.  And it left me 9 pounds lighter. ;)

Sunday, August 19, 2012

DIY Foaming Hand Soap

I recently shared a post on how to make your own liquid hand soap.  This is another twist on cheap and easy soap making.  I actually had heard about this idea quite awhile ago, but just never tried it.  I guess maybe I was skeptical about how well it would work.  I also tend to prefer the liquid soap to the foaming soap.  But anyway, I had several empty foaming soap dispensers that I had saved up, and instead of throwing them away, I decided to give this a try. 
This method costs only pennies more than the other method, but it is much quicker and easier.  All you need is an empty foaming soap dispenser, a small amount of liquid dish detergent, and running water.
Fill the soap dispenser with about 1 inch of liquid dish detergent. 
Fill it up the rest of the way with water.  Put the lid back on.  Don't shake it up, but gently tilt it from side to side to mix the soap and water together.
That's all.  Your foaming hand soap is ready to use.  As I mentioned, I was skeptical as to whether this would work, but it works just fine.  I can't tell the difference between this soap and the kind that originally came in the soap dispenser.

 Also, I figured out the cost.  You use about $0.10 worth of dish detergent, so these cost about 10 cents per bottle.  This cost can vary based on what brand of dish detergent you buy, if you buy it on sale, if you use coupons, etc.  Still way better than $2-3+ per bottle at the store.

***UPDATE 8/22/12***  After using my homemade foaming handsoap for a few days, I noticed that it can make your hands a bit dry.  I came up with a solution to this problem:  Use Dawn Hand Renewal dish soap.  This may raise the cost per bottle of soap a bit, but I was happy to find that my grocery store carries a store brand of Dawn Hand Renewal, and it only costs $0.30 more than the kind I normally buy.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana French Toast Sandwiches

This idea popped into my head as I was making Angie a peanut butter banana sandwich the other day.  I thought, this would be really good with a few chocolate chips mixed in.  And then I thought, it would be even better if it were grilled so the chocolate chips melted.  And then I took it one step further and thought, why not make it French toast on the outside too?  And so the chocolate peanut butter banana French toast sandwich was born.

All you need is:
Peanut butter
2 eggs
chocolate chips
1 banana
1/2 cup milk (I substituted almond milk because it's what I had)

First, crack your eggs into a shallow bowl.  Add the milk and stir.

Set the bowl aside.  Now it's time to make your sandwiches.  (While you are making the sandwiches, it's a good time to heat up your griddle on the stove.  Set on medium heat and spray with cooking spray.)
Spread a thin layer of peanut butter on both pieces of bread. Slice the banana into very thin slices and place over the peanut butter.  Sprinkle some chocolate chips on top.

Put the second piece of bread on top of the one with the bananas and chocolate chips, peanut butter side down.  Carefully dip the sandwich in the milk and egg mixture (both sides) and place on the heated griddle.

Cook evenly on both sides.  Repeat this process for as many sandwiches as you need.

Sprinkle powdered sugar on top.
This can be eaten as a sandwich, or with a knife and fork.  You can put syrup on top if desired, but it really doesn't need it.  This makes a delightful Saturday morning breakfast (I know it did for us!)

Friday, August 17, 2012

Pop Tab Bracelets

These bracelets were really pretty simple to make.  I had been saving up pop tabs for awhile (well, actually my husband has been saving them for me... if you remember I gave up pop several months ago) so I had plenty of them.  All you need is about 20 pop tabs, give or take, some thin ribbon or string, and a plastic bead.

Start by cutting your string.  You'll want to make it longer than you need.
First, fold your string in half and tie a knot at the folded end, making a loop about 1/2 inch long.

Start stringing the pop tabs on the string, overlapping them and weaving them in and out as you go.
(Refer to the picture... you'll get it.)

  Once you get to the end, tie a knot.  Then string your bead over it and tie another knot.  Cut the string close to the knot.

Put the bracelet on your arm and pull the bead through the loop.  Now you have a super easy, cute bracelet that cost next to nothing to make!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Milk Carton Wallets

I started making these when I saw the instructions in Family Fun Magazine last year.  It's a really simple craft and a great way to recycle and reuse would-be trash.  Now whenever I get a milk or juice carton with the screw-on spout, I save it to make one of these.  It's a great project to make with older kids.  And if nothing else, you can keep making them and save them for stocking stuffers or party favors for birthday goody bags.  I have a large supply of them in my downstairs closet.  You never know what you might be able to use them for.

You start with an empty milk or juice carton like this:

(It has to have the screw-on spout)
Rinse it out thoroughly and dry.

Open it at the top.  Cut down the back side, cutting off the back panel and the bottom.
Then you will need a template to place on top of the milk carton and trace.
You can find the template on the original instructions here.

Place the template on top and trace around as instructed.  Cut out the wallet and cut out the hole for the spout.  Then you will need to fold on the lines as indicated.  The most difficult part is the accordion fold on the inside of the wallet.  You may need a butter knife or other sharp object to help make the creases so that the wallet will fold correctly.  You can find further instructions as well as a video here.
Here is a finished wallet:

Just another cute and easy way to reuse and cut down on waste!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Easy Beaded Necklaces

This is my 100th blog post!  I started this blog at the end of December 2011 as a kind of New Year's Resolution.  I have really enjoyed continuously making new things and sharing them on this blog.  I hope you have enjoyed reading it so far!

Anyway, here's what I have been working on the last day or two.

They look so fancy and pretty when you put them on, but they are so easy!  I made these while I was sitting at my computer doing other things, and each one took maybe 2 hours to make.  It would probably only take an hour if you made it and had your full attention to give to it.  These are so easy, I almost don't even need to give you instructions.  But I will anyway. =)

You will need some beading thread, a beading needle and some glass beads to start with.

Also, not pictured, you will need a couple of bead tips, jump rings, a necklace clasp and some needle nose pliers.

*Start by cutting a length of thread.  You will want to make it quite a bit longer than you want your necklace (at least 6 inches longer).  Tie a knot at the end and thread it onto the needle.  Thread the needle through one of your bead tips.  Then string your beads on.  Keep going until your beads are as long as you want the necklace.  I think mine ended up being about 20-22 inches long.  Leave the end open for now, but make sure you have your work laying on a flat surface so it won't come undone. **

Then repeat from * to **, threading each length of thread through the same bead tip. 
Repeat 5 times. You will have 6 strands of beads all the same length.
BTW, I would have taken more pictures, but my camera doesn't do very well with close-up detailed pictures.  I know, I know, I need a new camera.

Then, once you have all 6 strands of beads threaded, you will need to thread the other ends through another bead tip.  Once you have threaded all 6 strands through the bead tip, tie them in a knot, as close as possible to the bead tip.  Then cut the leftover string off the ends of the knots on both ends and close the bead tips with needle nose pliers.  I always use a teeny tiny dot of glue on the knots before I close the bead tips, just to make sure they don't come undone.  Then attach the jump rings and clasp to each side. 

Here is me modeling one of the necklaces I made:
(I need to get a new model)

And these are the 3 necklaces I made.  I totally love them!  So pretty and easy to make.  Even my husband was impressed with these.  He said, "Wow, you made those?" when I showed them to him. 
I know I will be making more of these.  Hobby Lobby has these packs of beads for $3.97 each, and they often go on sale for 50% off.  The cost of the other supplies is minimal.  So you can make yourself a gorgeous, glamorous necklace (or give one to someone as a gift) for as little as $2.50.