Thursday, August 9, 2012

A Day in the Life

The collection of water bottles in my office.
My daily assignment is to drink all four bottles
before I head home in the evening.
Well, I "went public" with this blog and have been overwhelmed by the positive response I've gotten.  I didn't get the snark I was expecting and only got a couple of criticisms that I took in stride.  I was overwhelmed and feeling blessed by the whole experience.

The criticisms I received are from people who don't understand the diet (or weren't really listening to what I had to say about it - just looking to knock it down for some reason).  I think they were concerned that I was dropping the weight too fast, that this is another fad diet or it was somehow dangerous to my health.  So as promised in my last blog, here's what a typical day on the Ideal Protein (IP) entails.  This may answer a few questions.

I wake up most mornings between 4 and 5:30 am and get the coffee started.  On weekends and days when I am off work, I'll enjoy a couple of cups of coffee and watch the sun rise.  On work days, I will pour one cup of coffee and mix into the brew one of the IP protein packets (Chocolate, Cappucino or Vanilla Drink Mix) and drink that for breakfast.  It makes a tasty breakfast and is surprisingly satisfying for the first meal of the day.  I also take some vitamins and fill up a 32 oz water bottle and try to drink it empty before I jump into the shower at 7.

On weekends, I will prepare an IP omelet or crepe so I can sit down and have breakfast with my husband.

Before I leave for work I fill up four water bottles (equalling about 104 ounces) and put them in my bicycle's pannier bag so I can drink them during the day at work.

At noon I eat my lunch.  Lunch consists of 2 cups of vegetables and another protein packet.  When the weather was cooler, the protein was one of the soup mixes (I really like the broccoli cheese soup and tomato basil soup) but now that it's warmer, I am drinking a lemonade or other drink packet.  Workday lunches are usually 2 c. of baby spinach with a no calorie, no sugar, no fat dressing.  When I am at home lunch is more creative and I roast or stir fry some veggies and prepare an IP chicken patty or other selection.

After work is when I used to snack the heaviest and we are allowed one snack (sometimes two) during the day.  So when I get home I have my snack, usually the IP crisps or cheese puffs.  They're pretty tasty and come in generous portions.  I fill up a 32 oz. water bottle and drink a couple more until bedtime.

Dinner is usually late, around 7-8 pm, and consists of two cups of vegetables and 5 oz. of an approved meat.  The vegetables I can eat right now are pretty limited.  Among the approved veggies are cauliflower, broccoli, zucchini, leeks, peppers, spinach, turnip, collard greens, raw onion and various other green leafies.  My current favorite veggie is cauliflower (which I used to think of as bland and uninteresting) because it is so versatile.  

My favorite way to cook cauliflower is to break it into florets, put it in a pan, sprinkle it with sea salt and curry powder and roast it in the oven until it gets a little crispy on the outside.  I swear, I'd eat it like that every day if I knew my husband wouldn't rebel against it.  I have also discovered a way to use cauliflower as a rice substitute (more on that later).  Broccoli and leeks are also really good roasted. 

This diet has made me a better cook in some ways, since I've had to get creative and resourceful to keep things interesting and palatable while staying within the confines of what I'm allowed to eat.

Both at the afternoon snack time and with the evening meal there are vitamins to take and more water to drink.

Bedtime is around 10 pm.

The diet is extremely restrictive, even when it comes to the veggies you can eat.  My husband's dietician was disturbed when I told her I could only have tomatoes once a week and there were some veggies, like carrots, I couldn't eat at all.  This diet is NO sugar, extremely low carb and low fat. My guess is the reason behind restricting certain veggies has to do with the sugar and fat content.  Even with the restrictions I haven't had much trouble following the diet.  After the cravings of the first couple of weeks were past (I was in detox!) I haven't been hungry. 

The protein packets range from snack bars to protein drinks.  There are soups, chips,  cookies, puddings, chili, spaghetti and more.  Most of what I've tried from the selection (there are so many I haven't tried them all yet) have been tasty and easy to prepare.  I absolutely detest the crispy cereal and wasn't a big fan of the blueberry-cranberry drink, but I've liked the rest of what I've tried.

Another thing that's restricted is the kind of exercise I can do.  Strenuous exercise, the kind that makes you breathe heavily is discouraged.  Up until two weeks ago I was still riding the bike to work.  I stopped riding when I noticed my fat percentage wasn't going down but my lean mass was.  I was afraid I was overdoing it on the bike, and one of my diet coaches thought that might be the case, too.

I did get to talk to one of the doctors at the clinic last week, and he said my mile and a half ride to work shouldn't be much of an issue so I'll get back on the bike when the weather cools off a bit.  Right now, the climb up the hill between work and home may be considered too strenuous. :)  He also suggested drinking an extra IP protein drinks a bit before I head home to make sure my body had something to consume for energy.

I'll be happy to get back on the bike!  I've missed it!

You may be wondering about all the water I'm drinking.  The diet says to drink at least 64 oz. a day, More is preferable. The diet coaches all say that the people who are good about drinking water are the people who loose weight the fastest. I wanted to do whatever I could to boost my results, so I did some reading on how much water I should be drinking and the consensus seems to be this formula:

Take your weight and divide it in half.  That number should be the number of ounces of water you drink in a day.  I figure if I drink 32 oz. in the morning, plus the 104 oz. at work that should cover the requirement and the 64 (more or less) I drink in the evening is a bonus.

It's an easy diet to follow.  I don't have to count calories or think much about what I can or cannot eat.  I've found restaurants in town that serve salads that fit within the diet, so when I get to go out for dinner I haven't had any trouble sticking to the plan.  (I do need to remember to carry my own salad dressing in my purse, though.)

So that's what a day in the life of an Ideal Protein dieter is like.   I hope this answers some questions/concerns that folks might have about this program.


  1. Hey Lanza, I am wondering..what happens when you reach your goal weight? Do you go back to a 'normal' diet, albeit healthier/ smaller portions? I don't think anyone can live on packets of protein stuff forever. Does this diet prepare you for the eventual change over?

    1. This is how I understand it so far: When I reach 90% of my goal, I start going off the protein packets and introducing fruits and other items to my diet. This phase lasts about two weeks. Then I go into Phase 3, which I haven't found out much about - but I think that's where I'll be learning how to eat out in the "real world." Phase 4 is the end of the diet, aka maintenance - No more packets.

      It's my intention to learn about healthy eating and portions now so that I never have to go back on another diet and maintain a healthy size and lifestyle for the rest of my life. However, if I do fall off the wagon, I can always go back on the strict Phase I to get back to where I need to be.