Natalie and I had quite the lengthy and fun chat. 😀 I’m sure a lot of you would love watching and reading about the interview where she shared some details about her health struggles, diet journey, and her experience with P3tolife and what she loves about the program. You can see the current episodes available here.
If you were to explain to an hCGer in just a few sentences why the P3 program has been valuable to you, what would you tell them?
I feel like I wanted to do this “right” the first time!
Having the meal plans and recipes already laid out for me was a huge help since my creativity and knowledge of what is “good” for me is clearly altered from years of fad diets, failed weight loss attempts, and even successful attempts that were short lived due to my regression to eating patterns that are thought to be healthy but in the incorrect combination of foods.
With P3 meal plans I have not had any weight fluctuations more than 1-2 lbs., no panic that I messed up again, and the food (while ingredients are much different than what I would normally buy) is delicious!
What did the P3 program provide to you that you feel like you didn’t have before without in on past Phase 3s?
Prior to P3, I was concerned I did not have the proper knowledge of how to nourish my body effectively to curb cravings, avoid bloating or weight fluctuations, nor the “know-how” to maintain my loss effectively.
P3 has educated me in more ways that I would have dreamed! I now know that my body cannot tolerate a certain amount of bread (because I tried to sneak it in there one day and gained 2 lbs overnight!) It has taught me that a single day of experimenting with other foods is beneficial and educational to know and feel how other foods affect my body and that another day back on P3 foods balances my body back out right away.
She found out that the sugar is not affecting her as much as the bread and cheese. She ate 3 Reese’s eggs at Easter and she didn’t gain a pound but when she had the cheese and roll she gained 3 lbs the next day. That is just the testament to the fact that it really does pay to try things out with your body and see how it responds because not everything will be a no across the board or yes across the board. Not just because it has carbs or low carb doesn’t make it the deciding factor for you.
How did you end up following the program – did you do the original plan, the simplified, or build your own meal plan or just tweaks to one of these? Can you give a few details of how you utilized the program and tailored it to yourself and your circumstances?
I followed the original protocol for the shots and added the LIPO/B12 shots as well.
I started out trying P2 recipes and found that many of them were just not palatable for me with the aminos and cider vinegar in a lot of them. I just didn’t care for the aminos. What I ended up doing is saving the melba toasts and fruit servings for very last or emergency servings. Those moments I mentally or emotionally needed a “snack”, I would nibble on the melba toast for as long as possible. I also saved an apple to satisfy my late night sweet tooth by baking it with cinnamon/stevia/lemon juice sprinkled over it. I have a huge late night sweet tooth, so that helped keep me from sabotaging my efforts.
For my meals, I ended up making salads a lot since the greens allowed larger portions since they are so low in calories. The one thing I did do that I think saved me from boredom with the food was to get flavored balsamic vinegar and use a lot of fresh herbs.
Two of my favorite salads were a shrimp and strawberry with a strawberry peach balsamic, and a baked chicken cilantro salad with a garlic cilantro vinegar. YUM! I would add cucumber, celery, cherry tomatoes, onion, or green onion to them on various days to mix up the flavors.
Can you share your results – how your weight has been, while following the P3 program?
I was worried that Phase 3 was going to be a roller coaster ride with days of fasting or steak days, but I have been super pleased to say that I have not once had to fast! I was also scared to introduce fats and other foods in the week one meal plan, but just decided to go for it! A friend of mine has been telling me how much she trusts all your research and recommendations so I was eager to “try” your P3.
I was trying to gather my own recipes and prepare, but felt so overwhelmed doing so. I was also very excited because all the thought and experimenting was taken out of my P3 by following someone who has “been there, done that”. I thank you!
The P3tolife Program you have developed has made this vital P3 phase of the HCG diet seem “easy peasy”! I feel like I had a lot of trepidation about P3 or the possibility of messing up, and with your P3 all the guess work is removed.
Every day, my weight stayed the same for the 1st week of P3. I was super relieved and felt like P3 was a breeze and super fun to try all these new foods!
How did you feel about the portion sizes & taste of the P3 meals? Did the portions and taste of the food make any difference in how you felt about eating/relationship with food while on p3?
Portion sizes for me were actually quite large. But I have had the gastric sleeve surgery and my stomach is smaller than most. In all honestly, each of your P3 weeks has lasted me a week and a half to two weeks. I am just now starting week three of meals and I am actually in my 4th-week post-transition phase.
Some of the foods are not my particular taste or not something I would normally choose to eat, but I went ahead and made the foods, had my kids taste test them with me and we all found new things we like! My kids have been eating the P3 meals with me! I have learned more on the HCG diet about food and how it affects my body than I did going through the medical dietary education.
I would also say that losing weight with HCG is so much easier than any weight loss surgery. With surgery you are on liquids, then purees then soft foods, each phase of the post-op diet is grueling! Not so with HCG; it’s more educational and exciting to see progress and the decision to make positive food choices rather than be forced to eat certain portions or consistency of food.
Can you share a little about your personal life- ie work full time/part time, kids or hubby or school? Would love to hear how you made the logistics work of cooking the program with whatever time constraints you deal with. How did you manage to fit in preparing the meals with your schedule each week?
I am a single mother of three children ages 5, 5, 8 (yes, twins!). I have the children 100% of the time, I work more than full time as a dispatcher for a police department, and I go to college three-quarter time. I started my final semester in June for my BA in Psychology.
My time is SUPER limited and I worried I would mess up! I was a HUGE coffee with International Delight creamer, or should I say a creamer drinker with a little coffee 😉 But I just dove in a tried a bunch of different caffeinated tea flavors to find what I liked and used tea for snacks, breakfast, etc during P2. It wasn’t until the last week of P2 that I tried a cup of coffee with 1 milk serving and stevia. By that time I was in heaven with the tiny bit of milk in my coffee instead of the other way around.
To save time meal prepping I would bake an entire bag of frozen chicken breasts with various seasonings on top; lemon pepper, Pappy’s, steak seasoning, taco seasoning, etc. I would pre-portion it all and still have enough to feed the kids with it. I would buy the cherry tomatoes, and other easy “approved” veggies, and a giant container of mixed baby greens. This made it easy for me to grab a couple handfuls of greens, a few tomatoes, snip some green onion or herbs and grab my pre-portioned chicken and a bottle of vinegar and toss it in a bowl and into my lunch thermal and off I went. I would make up two to four salads at once so I could grab and go!
Now on P3 I will double the recipes to feed the kids with me or portion out more meals for grab and go. I will make a breakfast and 2 lunches/dinners in one morning and those will last me a few days. I will toss in my lunch thermal for work the ingredients for the dessert smoothies and whip them up with our mini bullet (at work) on my late shift to help curb my late night sweet tooth or munchies.
My favorite smoothie is the coconutty mango!
Have you struggled on past p3’s and if so what were your struggles? Did the P3 program help address these struggles/how so?
This was my first round. But if my past diet experiences are any prediction of how a P3 would have gone without your program, I would have failed miserably!
Were there any positive results from following the plan that surprised you, that you weren’t expecting? Have you learned anything new from the program?
I was surprised that each day my weight was stable! More so than it has ever been in my whole life! I have learned how to love my coffee with better choices to dress it up.
I have learned to pay attention to why I am becoming hungry or feeling like munching. It is usually out of boredom, or it’s actually time to eat something that I already have prepared and not try to power through my day. Having portions made up and sitting in the fridge is SUPER helpful!! Especially when I have two or more choices.
I have found that the order I eat P3 meals in a day doesn’t matter either! If I want breakfast for lunch or two breakfasts in a day for that matter, my weight stayed stable and I was able to feed a craving. I have had chocolate chia pudding for breakfast and late night sweet tooth and LOVE that I can do that!
What were one or two of your favorite recipes in the plan?
I can’t pick just two…..The bacony egg cups are amazing!! I love the Chocolate chia pudding and all of the smoothies. I was very surprised to find how much I loved the buffalo chicken salad. I really only thought I could love buffalo on a fried wing dipped in a ton of blue cheese! lol.
I also never thought in a million years that I would like coconut milk in any form…. but I LOVE it! Especially in my coffee and the creamy mushroom chicken!
Okay, so a week one favorite meal plan day would consist of the bacony egg cups (or chocolate chia pudding depending on my taste for that day), the deconstructed pork eggroll bowl, creamy mushroom chicken and the blackberry lime zinger.
A favorite week 2 meal plan day would be the pork-cauli fritters, balsamic steak w cauli mash & tomato salad, buffalo chicken salad, and mango smoothie.
So far on week 3 I made the “blueberry” cobbbler mug bread (instead of blackberry), and the chocolate peanut butter cup smoothie. I have yet to try the main meals in week 3 (that is coming up next week for me).
Any other closing thoughts that you want to share about your experience with the program, or that might help others considering whether or not to give it a try?
I recommend to rid your home and car and any hiding places of all junk or processed foods and candies.
I recommend making a “to-do” list of anything and everything that can or needs to be done or things you want to do and refer to it when feelings of “now what” pop into mind or when you would normally find yourself reaching for a snack. This will help keep idle minds and hands busy with tasks and not pushing food into your mouth mindlessly. I personally wrote prayers and scripture throughout the special tracking log I made with pages from your book so I can refer to them when I was struggling.
My personal struggle was mostly mental, so having the Lord to turn to was huge for me.
The first week was the worst, but by the last 5 days I was a pro and barely referred to my tracking log. The log I made consisted of a fillable folder with selected pages from your book (I copied and hole punched) that I felt I would need the most. This made it smaller and the cover was discrete so I could take it anywhere with me easily.
I also looked ahead at my calendar for any events or activities that would have me away from the kitchen during a meal time and packed my own food. I once took my salad into the movies just so I would eat that and not be tempted by the popcorn! Totally saved me. Being prepared like that for what life will tempt me with was a HUGE success factor for me. I had to be one step ahead in all meal situations.
I now have a friend who is going to start HCG protocol through your program and has asked me to come to her home and help her prepare. She also came to my home and we made and tested some foods together and I made her a little folder like mine with scriptures and doodle pages since I know she loves to doodle.
I love that I am able to show others by example and they want to achieve success as well. Reaching out to me personally is a huge compliment and it is an honor to me that someone chose me to help them by sharing my own experience.
What type of hCG did you use?
I purchased my HCG from one of your recommended hCG sources. My recommended dosage was 175, but I stayed at 170 for the majority of my journey (I tried 160 a few times and felt better at 170) and I was on P2 for 26 days.
I also used the LIPO/B12 shots in conjunction with HCG. I felt like I had enough energy to start walking and increasing my distance. Now that I am in P3 I am up to 4 miles a few days a week and now jogging some of it.