If anyone is wondering, here's an update on The 7 Week Cure to the Middle-Aged Middle.
First of all, I think it's expensive. The first two weeks are supposed to be for cleansing the liver of fat, and it consists of drinking three low carb whey protein shakes a day and eating one fairly normal meal. When I first read that I thought it was a lazy dieter's dream come true. I could drink them for breakfast, lunch, and snack, and then fix the normal meal to share with Hubby so he wouldn't have to suffer. Perfect, right? After doing the diet for almost a week, I went back and read the fine print, and no where did it say the shakes were delicious, or even good. It's really even a stretch to call them shakes.
My little town doesn't have a health food store or anywhere else that sells nutritional stuff except the usual big box stores and drug stores. Walmart had a couple of protein powders but none that met the requirements. So I bought a container of the stuff from Whole Foods Market when we were in Tulsa, along with another ingredient the book said was recommended. Since I was determined to do it right and stick it out, I grimaced at the $60.00 price tag but paid it.
Then I had to have a multivitamin with 100% of the RDI. Since I couldn't find one with all that, I bought a generic multivitamin with most of list at 100% and bought a few supplements to bump all the requirements to 100%. Another $90.00.
So then I was set, and got up December 1 ready to take off the weight. The first shake of the morning consisted of the whey protein, frozen strawberries, a little cream, a pasturized raw egg, a packet of stevia, another protein powder, and ice. It looked good, but looks are deceiving.
It made two full glasses, probably because the blender and ice fluffed out everything. The ice also hit every raw nerve in my teeth, and I finally managed to drink and swallow quickly so it didn't have a lot of time to touch my teeth - or my taste buds. I decided to take a few of the supplements after each shake so I wouldn't have them all rattling around together.
I left the ice out of the second shake, and it tasted much worse but at least wasn't painful to drink. Same with the third. The meal I chose for dinner was grilled flank steak with broccoli. It was really good, even Hubby liked it.
All that day I felt good, never hungry and was really optimistic.
The second morning, I tried a chocolate shake. Despite what the label says, chocolate and whey are not a good mix. It was so awful I thought I wouldn't get it all down. And then I really didn't feel good and spent the next hour in the bathroom which will be referred to as "the library" from here on.
At lunch, I had another strawberry shake, with the same results as my breakfast shake. Also, the taste of whey seems to be getting worse with every shake. I dreaded drinking the afternoon shake, but I did, and repeated the trip to the library. Dinner was good, but even after it, I couldn't escape the library.
Day three started out with time in the library, and I decided to cut the amount of whey powder to one scoop even though the diet recommends two scoops for my weight. It didn't taste quite as bad with one scoop, but it was still hard to swallow. The faster, the better, I found. On this day, I spent nearly all day in the library. I was really running short of reading material by the end of the day. I've always wondered why anyone would want a magazine rack in the bathroom, but now I know why. Or I think I do.
The authors of this plan have a website with a discussion board and I searched it to find out if this was a common problem and found that for some it is. The recommended solution was to put flax seed powder in the shake. I had some flax seed I was going to use in a microwave heating pad until my sister-in-law stole my idea, so I dug that out and used Hubby's coffee grinder to pulverize it into a powder.
The next morning, day four, I mixed the flax powder with the shake, but still spent most of the day in the library. I guess this shows my lost optimism because I had put a couple of books and magazines in there the night before. Also on day four, I discovered that blueberry skins don't get chopped up in the blender. They made it much harder to swallow the shake quickly. Raspberries taste okay in a shake, but the seeds settle to the bottom of the glass which can be a good excuse not to drink the last of the shake. Having only one scoop of the whey protein left me with a slightly hungry feeling, but not hungry enough to want the shakes. I put off my lunch shake as long as possible and then decided if I had the snack time shake, I wouldn't want dinner, so I skipped it for the greater good of making sure Hubby had a good dinner. Hey, that's my story and I'm sticking to it.
The next morning, Saturday (day five), I mixed the flax powder with the shake once again, and once again, I had to seek out the library. That's when I called it quits. At that point I didn't really care if I never lost another ounce, I could not let these shakes keep me hostage any longer. I wanted to go to church on Sunday, and I had plans for the next week, so the situation had to change.
Also, a throat problem I already had, was getting worse. I didn't know if it was the shakes or all the vitamins and supplements, but I quit taking all of it. By Saturday night, after two normal meals, I was feeling much better, and decided I could continue on with the recommended menus for week 1 & 2, just not the shakes and pills. Whatever cleansing my liver got in those four plus days was all it was going to get.
The next morning I weighed before breakfast, and amazingly I have lost four pounds. Whether it will stay off once I resume life outside the library remains to be seen.
I have to say that this part of the diet is a really bad thing except for people with a cast iron stomach, and I don't know many middle-aged people who have one. Most people I know have to be careful of something. Both in the book and on the discussion board (which seems to have been created to discuss the diet created by a prior book Protein Power) they talk about this diet not causing any problems for most people. I know I am not most people (no brag, just fact as Walter Brennan would say) because I have always had an irritable stomach. I have battled candida albicans for years and even when I think I have it beat or at least under control, I know it has spies lurking in the dark recesses of my gut waiting for a reason to wage war.
Also, the throat problem I mentioned started when I took Fosamax. I was waiting for it to go away by itself, and had intended to see a doctor in December if it hadn't. Why it suddenly got worse, I don't know, but it changed from a slight feeling of discomfort you get when you swallow a pill and it gets stuck in your throat, to a feeling that there is an object pressing against my throat. I hoped after a day and a half of no shakes or pills that it would be better today, but it wasn't, so I made an appointment with an ENT. Amazing that they had an opening tomorrow.
I know the Adkins Plan and other low carb diets work, at least for awhile, but I worry about being on that kind of diet for any length of time. When I started this diet, I had no intention of making it a new lifestyle. I thought I would lose as much weight as I could, and then start eating normal, healthy food. This diet has a lot, and I do mean a lot, of fat in it. Heavy cream in the shakes, heavy cream on fruit for dessert, red meats, pork, and bacon. Oddly enough, as much as I love bacon, I really don't want to eat it again for a very long time. It will be interesting to see if I continue to lose weight, plateau, or start gaining again.
Until next time, may you have blessings and a well-stocked library,
12/8/09 Update to my update. Went to the ENT today and he thinks I have Dysphagia, Odynophagia...whatever that is. Some kind of spasms of the esophagus. Probably not good, but still a big relief after the things I've been thinking. Tomorrow I go for an upper GI.