Day 30 of the 17 Day Diet

Well, it has been a month that we've been on this diet. At first we were following The 17 Day Diet by Dr. Mike Moreno and just tweeking it to meet our needs. Switching out some fruits based on what was in season and allowing ourselves to have a beer and some chicken wings. The biggest change was eliminating starchy vegetables, bread, pasta, rice and almost all carbs. This seemed to work for the first week when we both lost about six pounds without much additional effort. Except the effort cutting up vegetables for all our meals. Lots and lots of cutting. If you don't use a cutting board everyday, you have an opportunity to improve your eating and possibly lose weight. That's all I'm saying about cutting boards.

Anyway, today the last day of the month I weigh the same as I did after a week on the diet, just over six pounds lost. So I'm not calling it the 17 day diet anymore, its just lifestyle weight watching. Sure, I'm trying to lose more weight but I know my weak areas that need improvement, and its not giving up cookies and ice cream. Its not giving up carbohydrates, and its not eating that special yogurt or drinking green tea.

So here are some lessons I've learned to get through this weight loss plateau and start losing more weight:

Drink lots of water – I know I don't drink enough water like they say to in the diet books. I drink a bottle of water in the morning and have a diet soda at lunch and then a bottle of water after work. So that's like only 40 oz, and I should drink 64 oz of water every day! I need to drink more but the bathroom at work is about a ½ mile away on the other side of the facility and it's a disruption to get up and pee every hour. So my plan is to drink two bottles in the morning, and to finish my daily water allotment in the evening before I'm allowed to have a beer.

Alcohol – On a hot summer day after a long work day and a five mile bike ride in the 95F beating sun, against the 15 mph headwind, I'm a little thirsty. I usually drink some water, but then a cold bud light sure does hit the spot. It's yummy to drink a frosty cold draft beer while floating in the pool to cool down. But on cloudy rainy days, its not so refreshing to have a beer. In fact, I sometimes skip it. I need to do this more often. Like maybe not allow my self to have a beer if I didn't exercise first to burn up the excess calories it will give me. That's my plan anyway – burn it first.

Dinner Hour – at our house we like to enjoy every minute we can outdoors after work before it gets to be dusk and the mosquitoes come out to attack (and they are 15% more likely to bite us since we drink beer). This means the cutting board dinner preparations don't start until after 7:00 or 7:30pm, and we eat around 8:00 pm or later. Eating this late is almost like eating right before bed since we typically hit the hay about 10:30. I don't eat a night time snack, but who needs to when we eat dinner so late? Anyway, I know it would be better to have more time to digest dinner if we ate earlier. So my new goal is to try to get dinner going around 6 pm. So, don't call during dinner now that you know when we eat.

Exercise Alternatives – On the days it might rain, I drive to work and miss my daily hour of bike riding. I still manage to take two 15 minute walks on my breaks, but I need to incorporate another exercise into my day that is a little more vigorous. If its not raining, we usually go to Busch Gardens and do a quick lap around the park. But on days we don't get to the park we usually just do a grocery shop or walk the dog to the library. I've decided to try to incorporate some water exercises into my day since the pool is right in our backyard. I bought these Speedo Barbells after trying them out at my neighbors house when we were using her pool. They are a great way for me to try to improve my tone in my upper arms. I'm also going to start treading water instead of floating on a floaty when I'm in the pool. We also got a new anti vortex pool grate (so you can't become disemboweled when you do butt touches on the bottom) that is a lovely trap for little berries that drop off the Indian Cherry trees, and the leaves love to stick there too. Anyway, diving to the bottom to pick up the cherries and leaves will have to be a new chore exercise until we figure out how to put our old flat grate back on, or find one with different hole patterns.

The more you know, the bigger the pay-off. Educate yourself; consider getting an online university degree in nutrition and see great opportunities open up for you. Challenge yourself to improve and keep current, using quality online education  for all areas of your interests.

How to get Free Gas

If you're in Florida, make time to get to Publix starting Thursday 6/30 to buy your groceries and use this coupon for $10 off $50 gas card! Thats a 20% savings on your next gas tank. It's a great time to use your publix peelie from the Sunday paper too.

You can find this coupon in the newspaper today in the Publix Ad, and in the stores starting Thursday. Grab a few extra ads to repeat the deal throughout the sale because they will disappear in a couple days from the stores. They also will likely run out of gas cards so be sure to get a raincheck from customer service.

#Publix $5/$30 coupon

There is a $5 off $30 #Publix coupon peelie on the front page of the Tampa Tribune and St Pete Times Sunday paper. Expires 7/4/11. Store copies have it too!

My New Dell Duo

In my boredom at work, I often shopped the deals and eyed all the cool new toys out there. One thing I've wanted for a long time is a tablet PC that had a touch screen. I didn't want the Ipad because it didn't support external storage or flash, and the Android tablets out there are basically just big smartphones. I really wanted a tablet that ran on both Android and Windows, but the only one out there I could find was the Viewsonic Viewpad and it didn't have that great of reviews. So, I kept my eye on the Dell Duo which is a laptop with Windows 7 OS, but also has a flipping screen that becomes a tablet touch screen. I saw an extreme couponer on that stupid TV show who had a tablet in the store to modify her spreadsheet based on what products she was finding. That would be handy. But for now I just use my Grocery Tracker app on the android.

Anyway, there was a deal on Slickdeals where I could get a refurbished Dell Duo from the Dell Outlet and apply a $100 coupon, to get it for $299. That was a deal for me, since they go for $599 on Amazon. So, I pushed the button and got it. Just arrived Monday and I've been getting acquainted this week. I have to say, its a nice little machine, very portable and I just might someday bring it with me to the grocery store, if I had a big enough shop. The greatest thing I've realized is, I can now print a bunch of coupons that I've previously printed on all my other computers and they've not reset.
I really like the flipping screen.

My Publix Trip - Under A Buck

Well this week I've been stretching myself by trying to do deals at Kmart and Walmart, and Publix. Its way too much sorting, finding, clipping and shopping. The most wasteful part of it all is wasting time with the crabby cashiers at the marts who don't even know whats going on. I did four trips to Kmart this week and I ended up with lots of free product, but in hindsight I'm thinking its not worth it. Same with Walmart - my time and peace are worth more than the hassle of that store. So, I went and had a nice predictable trip to Publix and managed to find the new Smart Savings booklet at my TT store which was a score. Lots of great coupons in there like the Athenos yogurt PQ and the Caribou coffee PQ.

My trip was again mostly produce for our salads (we're still on our diet, more about that to come) and also trying to score some of the elusive deals on the Green Advantage Flyer before it expires on Friday. Again there were no Tylenol Precise heat patches or cream, so they were nice enough to write a couple rainchecks so I can attempt to find this product next month. We did get some of the free flashlights though. I was the coupon fairy today, handing out some $5 off $30 WD coupons to a friend we saw shopping, and then to the guy who stepped behind me in line and didn't mind waiting when I warned him off of the longer wait due to my coupons.
23-Jun
3779.2119.7658.50tax0.9528-98.80%
ProductqtypricesubtlB1G1-QtotalQ#Q details
lettuce11.691.691.69
romaine11.991.992.00-0.011$2/1 PQ stockingspree.com
mushrooms11.991.992.00-0.011$2/1 PQ stockingspree.com
onions10.600.600.60
cucumber10.750.750.75
raspberries22.004.004.000.002$2/1 PQ stockingspree.com
carrot matchsticks11.991.992.00-0.011$2/1 PQ stockingspree.com
tyson anytizer BOGO23.296.583.292.001.292$1/1 printable
shrimp cooked 41/5012.162.162.16
garrity flashlights62.5915.5418.00-2.466$3/1 PQ YAF
olay regenerist facial cleanser24.498.988.000.9843/1 PG 6-5 + $1/1 PQ stockup
Crystal Light 10 ct BOGO62.9917.948.978.000.974$1/3 TQ + $1/1 6-12ss
Powerade BOGO121.2515.007.507.500.006BOGO MQ
$/$$ coupon0.000.005.00-5.001$5/$25 competitor x6/28

Blogging Hurdles

Remember last week when I mentioned I got a virus at work? My PC got totally wiped out and the tech team had to replace it. The next day I go to work, and try to sign on and all my google rss feeds and gmail are blocked. All blogs and social media have always been blocked but not google stuff. So I mention it to my tech guy buddy who works for another company about being blocked and he warned me that I'm probably on the tech team watch list since I got the virus. He said they're lining me up, and/or will continue to block where ever I go online. He said he does that for his company.

Well, I decided to go cold turkey and not even log in online anymore at work, even though we're allowed to for breaks and lunch. I'm so glad I have my smart phone because I can do most of my information gathering with the phone. However, one thing that will have to wait for evenings is blog updates. I have to admit, its difficult to think creatively after a long work day - so I'm not sure how its going to work out. But I just wanted everyone to know the reason for things to slow down. Everything's okay, but I'm taking a blogging sabbatical until I figure out a way to fit this activity into my own personal time and not have it be an imposition.

How to Get in Shape Without Going Broke

It often seems that in order to get in shape you need to spend a lot of money on equipment, personal fitness trainers, a nutritionist, health food, and a gym membership.

The fact is that it doesn't have to be this way. You can lose weight, get fit, and improve how you look and feel without spending a fortune in the process. Here are some tips on how to do just that:

1. Do home workouts – The biggest fitness expense you are likely to have is your monthly gym membership. This is a regular payment that you make whether you visit the gym or not.

I have nothing against gyms, but lately I've been doing all my workouts at home. I'm saving money each and every month because I don't go to the gym. You can do fantastic workouts at home or outdoors. A gym is not a must.

2. Stick to basic equipment – You may be tempted to buy the latest ab gadget that you see on TV or imagine that a treadmill in your home is all you need to get in shape. However, you don't really need fancy or expensive equipment to get in shape. You can do cardio outdoors and all you need to do powerful home workouts are some dumbbells, a stability ball and a workout mat, neither of which should prove too expensive.

3. Stick to fresh food – The notion that health food must be expensive is a myth. Often, buying processed and industrialized food is more expensive than fresh food and provides less nutritional value. I recommend sticking to fresh produce and simple foods to both save money and lose weight.

4. Forget about equipment entirely – The simplest way to get fit without going broke is to do bodyweight workouts. Your body is the best weight that you'll ever own and you can do complex and effective exercises using it as resistance. You may need to spend a little money on learning how to train with your bodyweight effectively (I recommend the Shapeshifter Body Redesign Pm lan) but other than that it is a totally free way to get in shape.

I hope these tips help you see how easy it is to get in shape in an affordable and sustainable way. Now it's time for you to take action.

Jonathan Dunsky is a writer for a World Of Diets, a site dedicated to helping men and women get fit in a healthy way.

Frugal Frustration

I'm struggling with spending a lot of money this week. Last weekend I was upset with myself for spending $5 (despite saving $90) at the grocery store when I figured I should have skipped the extra item I actually had to pay for, instead of getting it with my overage on the next trip.
 
Then we decided its time to re marcite our pool. It's way past due and the water is harder to keep clean. A friend at work is getting theirs done and the contractor is doing a good job and its a fair price, so we checked it out. But fair is not always frugal. When we got our bid on Monday, the number came out to be in the neighborhood of $4K, with over a thousand of that just for the waterline tile replacement - 150 measly tiles costing me a thousand dollars is tough to swallow. I need time to ponder spending money - about a day for every $100, so this pool project needs about forty days and forty nights of thinking for me. But no, everyone else wants to do it now because of the dry weather. So, many checks will be written out this week as the work progresses. And many times I will be under duress thinking about spending so much money.
 
On Tuesday the final house payment was electronically sent to the lender and our house is now paid for. It will be nice to not have any mortgage payment anymore, but right now I'm lacking appreciation for that. We took a chunk of savings to pay it off after we calcualated we would pay more in interest on the house, than we would make on the savings account. I also forgot the motorcycle insurance policy is due this month and yesterday had to pay over $1000 for that for the year.
 
When I spend a lot of money on things that have to be paid but are not fun things (mortgage, insurance, home maintenance) I tend to get really tight with the little bit of money I do have. I don't want to go out to eat, I skip the beer at a concert, or pass on getting that item on sale. I miss my cushion of cash just sitting there not needing to be spent.
 
Now to top it off, both DH and I are getting 3% pay cuts starting in July. The idiot governor and his cowboys decided Florida state workers need to pay into the pension fund now, even though it is well invested and profitable without our contributions. 2014 will not come soon enough to get that dude out of office.
 
So, there's my rant. I hope no street panhandlers bother me today, I'm not feeling very charitable.

My Publix Trip - Just Paid Tax

Last nights trip to #Publix was pretty good, basically just paying tax. I also had to remember to get a duplicate receipt for my Conagra rebate where you spend $25 on their products (peanut butter and chef boyardee) and at least another $25 on other groceries and they will send you a $20 Publix GC. Someday that will come in my mail as a nice surprise. I just got my $10 GC this week from their last promotion. Anyway, with the $2 produce coupon I decided to pick up some of the produce we need for our salads and meals. The produce coupon LU# was not in the store system yet so the cashier had to get manager override to use it. It was really tough for me to buy Egg Beaters with no coupons, but I emailed the company and they are sending some my way. So my plan is to shop the last day of the sale and see if I can find an out of stock situation to allow me to get a raincheck to save for using when the coupons come.
 
9-Jun 57   101.87 21.01 83.00 tax 0.29 53 -99.72%
Product qty price subtl B1G1 -Q   total Q# Q details
lettuce 1 1.49 1.49       1.49    
romaine 1 1.99 1.99   2.00   -0.01 1 $2/1 PQ print
bananas 1 0.70 0.70       0.70    
cucumber 1 0.65 0.65       0.65    
mushrooms 1 2.99 2.99   2.00   0.99 1 $2/1 PQ print
strawberries 1 2.50 2.50   2.00   0.50 1 $2/1 PQ print
Peter pan pb BOGO 10 1.97 19.70 9.85 8.00   1.85 13 0.50/1 print + $1/3 PQ storm bk
Chef Boyardee  6 1.00 6.00   1.00   5.00 1 $1/5 PQ + $0.50/3 MQ
Power bar 20 1.00 20.00   22.50   -2.50 20 BOGO PQ + BOGO MQ 5/1MQ
Egg Beaters BOGO 4 2.79 11.16 11.16     0.00    
Tylenol Precise heat patch 1 4.99 4.99   5.00 0.35 0.34 1 $5/1 print
Combat ant traps 2 4.69 9.38   10.00 0.66 0.04 4 $3/1 PQ YAB + $2/1 print
Suave Lotion 2 2.39 4.78   4.50 0.33 0.61 3 BOGO 5/22ss + (2)0.75/1 TQ
Garrity Flashlight 6 2.59 15.54   18.00 1.09 -1.37 6 $3/1 GAB PQ
Publix $/$$   0.00 0.00   3.00   -3.00 1 $3/$30 PQ x6/19
$/$$ coupon   0.00 0.00   5.00   -5.00 1 $5/$25 SAL x6/14



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