Being Less Fat – Part Deux

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In my last post, I recounted my frustrations with being fat. I’m tired of being this way, of not being able to at myself in the mirror without feeling sad, disgusted, disappointed.

A good (male) friend of mine wrote this to me yesterday: “Interesting what we use for inspiration. My moment of truth was when I sprinted down some steps and realized my boobs were giggling. I can live with a beer belly, but I don’t want tits. “

That made me laugh out loud, but of course I feel his pain. On occasion, I can feel a chin giggle a bit, or (more often) I feel the back of my hips wobbling. Ugh.

The Engineir’s comments about how quickly I apparently eat pushed me over the edge from contemplating taking action (which I’ve been doing for a month now,) into taking it. It’s hard to get motivated to do something having tried really hard previously… and failed. Still, I’m having at it. Applying my stubbornness to my own advantage.

My first phase is to do meal replacement shakes for two meals per day. I know I just lost a bunch of you with that, but hear me out. If I have simple rules that don’t require a lot of fuss/muss, I can stick to them. A shake for breakfast, a shake for lunch – EASY. I don’t have to tediously plug foods into a calorie counter, or add up fat grams, et cetera. I know what I’m getting. I have to set myself up for success in these crucial first weeks, when it will be so easy to give up.

To get started, I need a pretty fast result. I need that rush of “this is working!” to carry it off. When I start seeing some results, my resolve will strengthen, and I can make some other appropriate changes, but in the beginning, I have to make it easy.

Under my new plan, I can supplement with raw veggies as often as I like if I struggle with being hungry (which I’m sure I will.)

Mm, salad! This is a far better salad than we make around these parts. Yum!

“But why not just make up your own shakes instead of paying for a powder?” I will, eventually. But first, I have to get this wagon rolling and started off on a positive note. I don’t want to struggle with trying my own gross shakes and giving up, and I also want to be sure I’m getting a complete nutritional profile. Eventually, I’ll plug everything in to a food calculator (eggs, milk, kale, spinach, whatever else we have on hand) to figure out my own. But it has to be easy at first.

I began researching meal replacement protein powders, and had three requirements: Non-dairy, non-soy, organic. Unsurprisingly to those of us in the whole/real food arena, such things are not cheap. I want a powder derived from whole foods as much as possible, without contamination from pesticides or growth hormones from commercial milk/whey products.

Spiru-Tein vegan protein powderThe first I’m trying is Spiru-Tein. It’s the healthiest option I could find locally, while waiting for the others I ordered online to arrive.  While this powder does have soy, it is labeled “non-GMO” soy. Whether that’s true, who knows. While the GMO issue is huge for me, I’m also not wild about the estrogen issues which can be caused by consuming a lot of soy, so I likely won’t buy this stuff again.

Still, it’s quite tasty. When I brought it home two days ago for a late breakfast, I was fairly certain it would taste awful and chalky, so I threw it into the blender with 8 ounces of raw milk, and half a frozen banana for body. After I whirled it up, I noticed a very light green tinge to the shake. The powder had blended well. It tasted really good! The natural vanilla flavor shined through with a light sweetness.

For lunch, I skipped the banana and tried mixing the powder up with the milk using a fork – did not work. Even though the package says “mixes instantly,” I think they must mean with a blender. The powder clumps up on the fork. Once I got that issue sorted, it still had a very pleasant taste and body.

For dinner, I had a salad and a shake with bok choy, spinach and lettuce blended in. The pleasant vanilla flavor and sweetness covered up the taste of the greens completely. When I didn’t join The Engineir in eating the main course, he asked why not.

“So I can stop being so fricking fat,” I said. He paused, thought for a moment, and then said, “Yeah, we should both probably get back on the bikes.” Not “I love you just the way you are,” or “you’re still beautiful to me.”


He is nothing if not honest, my Engineir. This is a good thing, even when it stings.

The overall satiety for the Spiru-Tein product is decent. Immediately after drinking the shake, I am not “full.” In fact, the first thing I want to do is to look for is Actual Food. However, if I wait 15 minutes or so, I do get a pleasantly-full feeling for about an hour or two, after which point it seems to vanish rapidly if I’ve just had the powder alone, and have stuck with the 8 ounces of mixing liquid.

When I supplement with veggies, however, the satiety lasts much longer. When I woke up yesterday morning at 7:30, I made a shake with a bunch of bok choy and spinach. I also used more milk, almost 16 ounces instead of 8, because I was pretty stinking thirsty. At 11am, I was still feeling fairly full, and at about 12:30, I started getting noticeably hungry. At 1pm I had my lunch shake with more spinach and bok choy.

I realize since I’m using whole, raw milk there is more fat than many folks would consider “healthy” for a single meal. However, this milk makes my body very happy – when I drink it, I can tell my cells just know what to do with it immediately. An extra 8 ounces of milk is better than, say, five pieces of beef bacon, or a bowl of cereal.

The ingredient list for Spiru-Tein is not overly-daunting: Proprietary non-GMO protein blend (rice protein, pea protein, and soy [isolated soy protein and fermented soy]), Fructose, Di-Calcium Phosphate, Xanthan Gum, Natural Vanilla Flavor, FOS (Fructooligosaccharides), Guar Gum, Psyllium, Maltodextrin, Potassium Citrate, Magnesium Oxide, Oat Bran, Microcrystalline Cellulose, Spirulina, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Choline Birartrate, Inositol, apple pectin, Bee Pollen, Niacinamide, Vitamin A Palmitate, Zinc Oxide, Manganese Sulfate, Ferrous Fumarate, Calcium Pantothenate, Lecithin, Lemon Bioflavonoids, Papaya, Bromelain, Chlorophyll, Pyridoxine HCI, Riboflavin, Thiamin (Vitamin B-1) (as Thiamine HCl), Vitamin B-12, Ergocalciferol, Folic Acid, Biotin, Potassium Iodide, Chromium Chloride, Sodium Selenate, Sodium Molybdate.

Not perfect, but not bad.

The other three blends which will be arriving later this week are Vega All-in-One Vanilla Chai, Chocolate SunWarrior, and a “build your own” mix of non-GMO pea, hemp, and rice proteins from

The Spiru-Tein was $21.99 for 1.2 pounds, which contains 16 servings. I bought it at the Rite Aid and didn’t bargain-hunt for it (it’s cheaper on Amazon.) That works out to be about $1.38/serving, which is pretty spectacular. The greens I blend in are practically free, since we grow them ourselves, and the glass of milk is … oh, maybe about $0.60 for 8 ounces.

Vega Vanilla Chai protien powderThe Vega Vanilla Chai was on sale at the local GNC for $46.99. Yikes! Still, that’s only $2.14/serving, plus the cost of milk. Most meals made at home will cost at least that much in our house. This seems to be a really nice option, and more complete nutrition information is available on the GNC website.



sunwarrior chocolate protein powderThe Chocolate SunWarrior is $39.11 for 2.2 pounds, but I’m not certain how many servings there are per package. This product also seems very nutritionally balanced and generally very healthy. I think all the products in SunWarrior are raw as an added bonus.


The TrueNutrition blend was $20.87 for 3 pounds, and again I’m not certain how many servings there will be in my package.

As I try each product, I’ll let you know how they work out. 🙂

I’m not sure if this is a side-effect of being on the powder for one day, but if you were to place a wind turbine near my butt, I could probably generate enough electricity to power our home. All day. It’s not making me feel bloated or uncomfortable, apart from having to endure the farting itself. >.<

I hope that passes (ack, no pun intended.) (I wrote this post on the first day, but didn’t finish it. On day two, the gas was gone.)

During my Internet Research, I see that’s a common side-effect, and that it may be temporary while my body adjusts to increased levels of fiber, et cetera, or it may be a long-term effect if the proteins and fibers used are of sub-optimal quality (thankfully, it passed quickly!)

While the Spiru-Tein shakes are tasty and satisfying for awhile, I can see how one might get sick of them, or of the endless, undressed salads I see stretching out before me.

Gotta stick with the program!

To supplement the shakes and reduced food intake, I’ll be riding my bicycle as often as I can manage. Right now, my goal is just 2 hours per week – I should be able to exceed that pretty regularly, I think, especially if I want to cheat on a given day and eat something I shouldn’t oughta. I’m aiming for that not happening often; however, I know sometimes I’ll fall down on this journey.

I started yesterday with 10 miles in about an hour. Today, we’ll see what I can manage!, Inc

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12 responses to Being Less Fat – Part Deux

  1. Hey.

    Good for you. I have so many “I need to improve areas” that it is really good to have goals you can manage.

    I have a good protein shake recipe I will get to you. It was my “go to” breakfast all through pregnancy and while I was working out of the home. I think you’re right that it might need a few things added to it, but it was the recipe of my “home birth…natural just about everything…Cheerios are ‘junk’ pediatrician.”

    So….hang in there and let’s all take the steps we need. 🙂

  2. -B

    -55+ pounds since October. Still going.

    I found that simply logging what I was shoving down my gullet worked for me. Enter it into MyFitnessPall (dot com) before eating it and before too long I got the idea that some things had short returns (pleasure) for the investment (going without and being hungry). I don’t track fat, sodium, or anything (even exercise) other than calories, so I truly think I’m under-reporting (which is a good thing).

    Over the long haul (which is what trying to lose 150+ pounds is all about), it’s the re-education and behavior modification that comes with knowing what the results of my choices are BEFORE I make that choice.

    The next step was staying after it even after a set back. A day blowing out the top of my target calories is nothing more than that… A SINGLE DAY. Getting back on track is the next and following days instead of giving up.

    i only measure weight monthly. I only measure size (neck, hips, waste) less frequently (only 2 or 3 times since I started). In the end, the slight variations aren’t discouragements. Measure your good days (after a series of good days and when you know you’re at your best). POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT ALWAYS.

    -1.5″ in the neck
    -5+” in the hips
    -8″ in the waist

    I’m back to pre-2003 clothes and still going.

    You can too.

    • Erin D.

      Wow, Bownse – that’s fantastic! Great work, keep it up. 🙂

      MFP is surely a wake-up call for how many calories/grams of fat are in a given thing. A tablespoon of peanut butter? Forget about it!

      Thanks for the advice for how to handle it when I screw up – I tend to dwell on stuff like that. The biggest area I have to watch is snacking right before bed, after I’ve taken my “judgment goes out the window” pills. Last night, I stood in the kitchen and snarfed down a bunch of chips and salsa. And a small piece of meatloaf.

      I can remember doing it, but in the moment, I don’t even really care.

      Doing an SS1000 tomorrow with two friends, so I won’t have much time to eat there! 🙂

  3. -B

    Oh yeah. The MFP has a smart phone app that scans bar codes so no need to do manual entries. If we go out somewhere, I hit the location’s nutritional page and figure out what I’ll order before we ever leave the house.

    If I start to get hungry before lunch… an apple or banana or a 1/4 cup of low fat yogurt. Same in the afternoon.

    If I get hungry early, I can often wait and it’ll go away; sometimes drinking another glass of water helps too. When the hunger comes back again it’s usually quick onset and then I know it’s real.

    Since starting on this I’ve had no hypoglycemic episodes of low blood sugar either.

    • Erin D.

      Excellent advice, thanks. 🙂 I’ve been trying to drink more water or iced tea (non-caff) to help myself feel fuller, as well as supplementing the protein shakes with raw greens.

      • -B

        One trick is not to have ANY chips in the house. G will come in a drop a family pack of crunchy Cheetos in my lap and it’s about the same as water boarding at Gitmo; it’s nearly impossible to resist.

        Find your kryptonite and remove it from the house. Keep things that take fixing time to reduce impulse eating events.

        I keep a 20 oz bottle of water at my desk and drink at least 1 between b’fast and lunch, another 2 between lunch and quitting time, and keep one at hand all evening.

        Water good.

        Great weight loss may require great weight gain. 🙂 or maybe 🙁

        • Erin D.

          This is very true – having junk in the house usually means I’ll eat it!

          Chips aren’t a big weakness for me, and I’m actually starting to turn to Mrs. Renfro’s salsa and a small number of tortilla chips as a lower-calorie snack. The salsa is sweet enough to satisfy the sweet tooth, and the whole deal comes out to about 200 calories for a filling treat that I don’t want to eat the hell out of.

          My kryptonite is sweet stuff, GF pastries or ice cream, especially. Also, crackers and cheese. I’ve stopped getting our weekly delivery of cream, because I would always make a batch of ice cream with it. It’ll save us money, too. 🙂

          • -B

            Thanks for the reminder. Since I started (and limited my calories to originally 2170 a day and now down to 1800 and change), the money I’ve saved on just food in general was a real surprise.

  4. Awesome! Starting is the hardest part. I started with MFP and found it really useful. Definitely made me think about what I was eating.

    At this point I’ve lost a good 50 pounds. And more quickly. But that’s because I was forced to give up gluten… then corn… then soy and yeast. My stomach has healed enough that I have yeast back but gluten, corn and soy may never come back. It has radically changed my eating habits and forced me to be mindful of what I’m eating.

    I cook from scratch. I bake from scratch. Every ingredient is carefully considered. On the rare occasion I forget to be mindful… Well it’s not pleasant for anyone. *laughs*

    I applaud your efforts and I hope you’ll keep it up!

    • Erin D.

      Hi Catherine! Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

      You’ve done some great work, too, wow! 50 pounds! It sounds like you have a whole host of health issues to deal with… I can’t imagine baking without gluten, corn, soy OR yeast, holy smokes. Trying to make tasty stuff without the gluten is bad enough – still very much learning in that department.

      Are you doing a lot of bone broths (if you eat meat?) They’re one of the best things to help heal your gut – that, and probiotics from fermented foods, like homemade yogurt, saurkraut, et cetera.

      I have a *ton* of whole food resources I could send you if you like, but I don’t want to presume you know about them already. 🙂

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