About Me

Welcome to Get Skinny, Be Happy! – a blog about losing weight, getting healthy and improving your life.


I am a 30-something creative professional from Austin, TX. I started Get Skinny, Be Happy so I would have a place to write about my ongoing adventure of losing weight with Medifast.

Since a very young age, I have struggled with my weight. I don’t think I have been at my ideal weight since elementary school. After going through a financially disastrous divorce, I began to re-prioritize a lot of things in my life. One of my decisions was to lose weight and get into good physical shape. My problem was that I knew very little about how to eat healthy, exercise or even cook food. I’ve spent most of life since high school sitting in front of computers, eating fast food and getting very little exercise.

It was time for a change.

After a lot of research, I found The Hacker’s Diet, which is an awesome (and free) resource. It put a lot of things into perspective and broke the weight loss concept down to it’s most simple foundation = Consume less calories than you use. It also outlines a simple exercise program that anybody can put into action. It worked for me. My weight started to decrease. My energy increased. I started to feel much better overall.

Earlier this year, I found myself back in my hometown for a period of several months. After growing accustomed to the amazing variety of delicious and healthy foods available in Austin, TX. I found myself thrown for a loop. I was working very long and very stressful hours and I lost some control over my diet. I was trying hard and keeping my calories down, but I felt terrible – almost poisoned – from the food I was eating.

Losing weight with Medifast


Despite having lost 30 pounds from my heaviest weight, I still about 50 pounds to go. I was ready to try something more drastic. I read about a movie director who had recently lost a lot of weight on the Optifast diet. I was ready to try anything – even a liquids only diet. The only problem was that Optifast requires medical supervision. Before starting the program, you have to attend one of their clinics, which I would have gladly done, but there wasn’t an Optifast Clinic within driving distance. I looked for other options and found Medifast.

I spent countless hours analyzing the details of the Medifast program. I read all the stories about people who had supposedly had great success losing weight with Medifast. But it all seemed too good to be true. If the food tasted terrible, I would be out $300, which is a significant amount for me these days. Finally, I bit the bullet and ordered a starter pack.

To my pleasant surprise, I really enjoyed the food (except for the scrambled eggs). After the initial 3 day adjustment period (what I like to call Medifast Detox), my energy levels returned and I felt amazing. I lost almost 20 pounds in the first months alone. Now I am gearing up for the final stretch, in which my goal is to get my weight down to 190. This will be the first time I have been under 200 pounds since before college. I am very excited.

Half blog… half therapy session…


This blog is a place to dump my thoughts and hopefully interact with other people who are on the Medifast journey. I am still getting comfortable with the whole idea of blogging and how much information to share. To be honest, I am not very comfortable talking about my weight loss in “real life.” I have always been very self-conscious about my weight and preferred to avoid the situation instead of confronting it. So the blog will be a form of therapy as well.

Thanks for reading Get Skinny, Be Happy. I would love to hear from you in the comments section or via e-mail. I can be reached via getskinnybehappy [at] gmail.com. I’m also on Twitter @getskinnybhappy.

C. Allen

{ 51 comments… read them below or add one }

Anita April 25, 2010 at 7:10 pm

Hi Christopher,
I was searching for Lean and Green recipes and came across your blog. This is great! How are you doing? I’m glad you didn’t follow Kevin Smith’s example, he has ballooned back up and was asked to get off a flight a few months ago.
I am a Health Coach with Take Shape For Life, the coaching arm of Medifast. You would make a great Health Coach – you are already doing it on here. If you would like more info, please contact me.
Be well!
Anita

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Christopher April 26, 2010 at 6:55 am

Hi Anita, Thanks for stopping by and thanks for your comment. I’m doing pretty well, my weight hasn’t ballooned up. I’ve transitioned off MF onto a pretty healthy diet. But I’m not 100% where I want to be yet.

I’ve had a few people approach me about the health coach thing, but although I love MediFast, I don’t consider myself a very good example. In fact, I may be one of the worst Medifasters ever! But, I do like sharing my experiences on this site and I love talking to everybody who comes here looking for information.

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Belinda - Healthy Affordable Weight Loss January 7, 2011 at 4:30 pm

Becoming a Take Shape For Life health coach is the secret to keeping your weight off!

You don’t have to be perfect, as I don’t think anybody, coaches or clients, out there is perfect. But you do have a natural desire to share and help people so that right there already makes you a great coach. Why not get compensated by your own personal clients and build those relationships with “real” people?

Anyway, keep it up, just wanted to let you know we coaches are far from perfect :)

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Christopher January 13, 2011 at 9:33 am

Hey Belinda – Thanks for your comment and thanks for stopping by. I’ve considered the health coach thing, but my life is so unpredictable that I have trouble just keeping this blog up to date. I’m definitely considering it though. Your site is great by the way! I just signed up for your newsletter.

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Belinda - Healthy Affordable Weight Loss January 14, 2011 at 9:05 pm

Hi Chris – Glad you enjoyed my site. I’ve been slow with the updates, but just added a link to your site on my blog page :)

Mark Hudson October 15, 2010 at 12:48 pm

Excellent website!
I’M TRYING TO HELP MY WIFE TO BE SUCCESSFUL BUT SHE’S VERY BUSY. DO YOU HAVE A PRINT FRIENDLY OPTION FOR ARTICLES?

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Christopher October 26, 2010 at 12:10 pm

Hey Mark, Thanks for your comments. I will work on a print friendly option. I’m not the most tech-savvy person when it comes to that kind of thing.

I do have a free guide coming up soon that will be downloadable and really easy to print out.

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Carissa Williams October 26, 2010 at 8:19 am

Thanks so much for posting the recipes online I just started the Medifast diet about 2 weeks ago and I’ve lost 11 pounds its a great diet and I’m sooooooo happy that you posted the lean and green recipes on here I’ve been making pretty much the same dinner for these two weeks so it really helps :D

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Christopher October 26, 2010 at 12:06 pm

Thanks for your comment. Congratulations on your awesome progress! Happy to hear you are making use of the Lean and Green recipes. Some of them are really great. I always do best when I keep it down to a few simple meals that I can repeat. Please keep us up to date on your progress!

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Diane November 2, 2010 at 1:33 pm

Hi Christopher,
So glad I found your site–I’m in Austin too! It’s great to hear about your goals. I too used MF to reach my pre-college weight. It was so simple and since I was soooo ready, easy. I’ve checked out your some of your recipes and they look yummy. I have a different muffin recipe that I LOVE and a recipe for bread that’s great. Let me know if you’d like me to share.

I look forward to learning more about your journey!

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Rosemary January 7, 2011 at 11:47 am

Dear Diane,
Hi! I am new to Medifast and at the end of my third week with a 13.5 pound weight loss. I would love your MUFFIN RECIPE and BREAD RECIPE that you mentioned on Christopher’s site. Would you please E-Mail it to me? Thanks and Happy New Year! :-)

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Sandy July 30, 2012 at 4:38 pm

Diane, I too would love your recipes . . . please! My husband is a “bread eater” and is trying to do Medifast with me. I could use some more tools in my tool belt. Thanks!

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Amy Gutschow November 8, 2010 at 9:39 am

I had to share my recipe for eating the scrambled eggs…delicious! I make egg drop soup! I look forward to it…. I boil 1 1/2 cups water adn add chicken bullion to the water, basically making a bowl of chicken soup but after I have it at a rolling boil I take it off the heat. I take a seperate coffee mug and add 5 TBLS water to the scrambled egg powder and then drizzle it into the hot soup and do NOT stir…just let it sit for 3 minutes…. I add a few seasonings but not any salt, the results is a huge bowl of eggdrop soup. The eggs are fluffy, delicious and the big bowl of soup really fills you up. Give it a try, you’ll love it too!

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Heather C January 10, 2011 at 6:13 pm

This sounds awesome! I will try it ASAP! :-)

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karrie September 20, 2012 at 9:06 pm

HI Amy-
I noticed your last name Gutschow. That is my maiden name. wondering if we are related somehow. Where are you from? I live in Vancouver washington.
Karrie

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Lisa November 19, 2010 at 5:59 pm

I just started Medifast literally 1 day ago. I am looking to lose 44 lbs which they tell me if I follow this correctly I will lose this in 14 weeks. That seems pretty amazing to me that I can lose that weight quickly and yet keep it off. I found your website by looking for recipes because I don’t want to get bored right away and I want to be able to eat with my boyfriend. So far I haven’t had any moments in the almost full 2 days where I am super hungry or longing for different food. I am definatley looking forwad to my first weigh in to keep the motivation going.
Thanks again!
Lisa

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Katie November 23, 2010 at 7:16 pm

I just started back on Medifast after an 11 month break and I’m 4 days in. Your website is great! I am already getting tired of raw veggies and chicken breast for my L&G, so I am so happy I stumbled across this site! I have struggled with my weight all my life, and Medifast is the only diet that has given me real results. Unfortunately, I have gained back ALL the weight I lost (28 lbs) last year due to the stress of my senior year of nursing school. I just skipped the transition phase and started eating like crazy like I used to, and I am determined not to do that again! Thanks for making this site, maybe with the help of your site, I can stick to it this time!

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superchick November 27, 2010 at 11:06 am

Hi! New to u & thrilled! Found u through the MF site! Awesome info all around! Looking forward to reading more!
Week 2 on MF and down 8.8 so kinda loving it! ;-)

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Catherine Medina May 30, 2011 at 8:43 am

That is great,just try to stay in touch with your coach. I have found it helps when I am having a rough day.Keep going that is great.6 weeks ago I started and my capri are now down to my ankles ,because of all the inches I have lost everywhere else, including the backside. LOL

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Belinda - Healthy Affordable Weight Loss December 19, 2010 at 6:59 pm

Hi Christopher, I found your blog when I was looking for lean and green recipes for my Take Shape For Life clients. With your personal experience and knowledge, you would make a great health coach, and could help even more people lose weight with the Medifast 5&1 program. Have you considered that?
Thanks for the info, I’m going to post a link to your blog on my site if you don’t mind.

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kay wantman January 4, 2011 at 7:45 am

try the scrambled eggs with chopped chives.

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Christopher January 5, 2011 at 2:47 pm

Sounds awesome. Thanks for the tip!

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Heather C January 10, 2011 at 6:10 pm

Hi Christopher! I too found your website looking for Lean & Green recipes. Thanks for taking the time to create & maintain this website. It will be very helpful while I’m on my Medifast journey. I’ve only begun about 10 days ago and have about a year to go!!
Thanks, Heather

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Christopher January 13, 2011 at 9:22 am

Hi Heather! Thanks for your comment. Hope some of the Lean and Green recipes come in handy. I am in the process of expanding this section out so there will be some new ones soon. Congrats on your first 10 days. Still hanging in there?

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Heather C February 11, 2011 at 8:22 am

So far, so good..I mean great!! Yesterday was 6 week check-in and I’ve lost 27.5 lbs & 39.75 inches. I love the new recipes. They are so creative and I can’t wait to make many of them….the granola especially. Have a great day!

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Melanie January 13, 2011 at 10:38 pm

Hi Christopher,
Just want to thank you for the time you spend on your blog and sharing your Medifast experiences. You give us all invaluable information and a forum to learn from each other.
All the best to you as you continue your Medifast 31 day journey. Yay on your six pounds lost on Day # 9!!
Thanks again for sharing your journey,
Melanie

P.S. I’m on week # 13 on Medifast with a 17.8 lb weight loss. For those who don’t like the puddings (like me), try making them as a blended shake. I use 2 cups of water, 8 ice cubes, and a squirt of coconut extract. It taste much better than pudding. Also for any of the soups: I let the soup “soak” in water (I tend to add more water than what the package says) for 4+ hours before I heat and eat!

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Susan January 23, 2011 at 5:14 pm

This is a great website! Thank you!

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Brenda Stemwell February 3, 2011 at 1:19 am

Hello Christopher,
First of all congrats on your weight loss and staying with the program, this is the beginning of a life change in the way you will look at food in the future.
I have struggled all my life too. I went to the doc because of terrible stomach pains. He did all the test to make sure I didn’t get a metastasized cancer from my previous cancer. All was good except he said i had fatty liver. My weight was 298 pounds. He referred me to a doctor and they put me on Medifast. I have to say this is the easiest way to get weight off and feel so much better without muscle loss like gastric bypasses will do. I lost 97 pounds and have kept it off for 2 years now by using Dr. Andersons book along with his work book. I still have about 50 to go, even though I feel great. Keep up the site, this is a great place for people to tell their story and share recipes, your recipes are great, thank you. Brenda
I am also a Certified Health Coach for Take Shape for Life along with some of the others I see on here just looking for recipes like I was. I want you to feel free to ask any one of us any questions you might have with the program. We are all trained as Health Coaches to pass on to our clients our knowledge we learn so that their program can go smoothly with optimal weight loss.

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SunnyinBham February 28, 2011 at 7:17 pm

Hello, Christopher,
Thanks for your recipes, I too, search for new recipes. I have a recipe that I think
is really good and filling.
Shrimp with Shiratake Yam Noodles
My husband cooks the Shrimp, (olive oil, garlic, onion, some cheap cooking wine.)
I put 1/2 cup Yam Noodles, in a bowl w/ 1 cube chicken Bouillon cube.
(rince Noodles first,drain)
Then I cut up, Brocoli, Cauliflower, Mushroom and Tomatoes, to make 1 cup.
Micro, them for 2-4 min. however you like them.
Add them to the Noodles and then the Shrimp. I also put 2 Tbs of Newmans Caesars dressing on it. It is really good, I have it on Sundays,
You can have 7 oz of Shrimp, add 2 fats.
If you try this , let me know how you like it. It is really filling.
Oh, I only take out the Shrimp, not the other liquid, I don’t know if it would be, MF
approved.

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joanie August 5, 2011 at 12:16 am

I have some questions do you eat the noodles?If so how much ? and the vegs to I’m new at this so I don’t know a lot yet . this does sounds so good

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wendy armas March 2, 2011 at 12:31 pm

Hello I’m so interested in this medifast diet program but mostly in the shakes. I work about 9 hours a day five days a week and I commute, so I’m always on the go! I eat a well balanced breakfast with coffee, snack twice a day, eat a healty lunch around 1pm and won’t eat dinner until I get home which is 8pm! I have a child so I make sure he has eaten, and in bed then after I can sit down and eat! And that is when I pig out!!! I eat rice plus meat and salad and a beer to help me relax! I weight 158 and I was wondering if I can drink a medifast shake before dinner so I won’t eat my whole kitchen by the time I get home!

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Catherine Medina May 30, 2011 at 8:37 am

Yes, you can and I found that it keeps me full enough,that I do not over eat . My coach said a extra meal is better than eating the wrong thing.I think about that,I work out in the pool and eat dinner later ,so I have a meal and I found it works much better.

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Sharon March 12, 2011 at 2:07 pm

I have a great lean and green recipe for fish tacos.
tilapia with a marinade of olive oil, chili powder, cumin and pinch of salt, pan cook the fish until done. make a slaw with cabbage+ olive oil, lime juice, fatfree mayo, cumin, chili powder and diced tomatoes. put it all in a romaine lettuce leaf( or a few) and it’s awesome. :) yummy and just as good as the real thing.

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Ready2Lose April 11, 2011 at 12:16 pm

Hello Christopher. This is my second week back on Medifast. I know the diet works and I am happy to be back. I have lost 11 pounds in the last week and I feel amazing! I cheated on the diet when I did before and it made me realize this time that when I cheated I only hurt myself. So now I am no longer interested in cheating on the diet. I showed my health coach your site as well and she loves it! Thank you for your help and insite. Im happy to know that there is support out there!

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suzyc13126 May 16, 2011 at 10:16 am

This is a fantastic site–thank you for posting all of the lean and green recipes. This is the start of my 3rd week. Down 11 lbs so far. I am finding everyone’s comments to be so positively motivating. I love it!!!!

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Catherine Medina May 30, 2011 at 8:33 am

I have been on the program for about 6 weeks already. I have dropped over 20 minutes,3 sizes and 8 inches in my stomach. I do not have alot of problem with the food. Except for some of the brocolli and tomatoes. Any ideas would be great. Thanks

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Paula July 20, 2011 at 3:08 am

Today is day 14, I’ve lost 20 pounds! But yes, I’m ready for a little something more. I’m going to try the shrimp for dinner tonight. Thanks! paula

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Trudy July 28, 2011 at 8:05 am

Hi Chris,
I have just started looking into this program,sounds like a graet way to make a permanent lifestyle change for me-AND loose weight in the process !!!!
Thank you for starting getskinnybehappy-its so positive : )

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Kathy Thompson July 30, 2011 at 10:03 am

I commend you on the site!! I am a health coach for Take shape for life and you are really helping people here with ideas and recipes!! Great job!!
Take care hon
Kath

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joan August 5, 2011 at 12:07 am

I just started mf august 1st I’m learning how to eat all the mf meals in one day + drink all the water to. I’m 1-2 lbs up from when I started. I go on the scale every time I go ti the bathroom.is that normal ? I feel I’m doing something wrong can any one help????????

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Suki November 1, 2011 at 6:16 am

Joan,

I weigh myself every morning when I get up because if you weigh yourself everytime you go to the bathroom you get discouraged because you think you are gaining weight when its just the food and water you have eaten and drank that day. I like seeing the results when I wake in the morning.

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Deb August 25, 2011 at 6:43 am

Is it normal to hit a plateau? Suggestions to get past that? We’ve been on it for two months.

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Lori October 24, 2011 at 3:25 am

I started Medifast April 2011-and down 30 lbs. Which is truly amazing to me. Of course not many others have noticed. I started at 254. I happened to Google today-did Medifast ever not have Lean and Green concept. Rambling here..but I wish I would have realized sooner that I could do this online. I signed up in person & do not always like talking in person about issues that have kept me heavy my whole life & how I let food sabotage me. The in person places are always too booked and feel rushed and if you ask for something else there-they forget cause there are so many people waiting-which is great-but if you were wanting help in a different way-not always time. Plus, I don’t like the whole workbook concept-once again it takes more time than I have and there are things I don’t want to share in person. I don’t want my failure to be public if you know what I mean & therefore I have told NO ONE at work either. My life is so stressed due to many factors for almost 3 years now that I am on 2 high blood pressure meds and of course one is a constipator! LOL. I am glad I saw this cause I love the comments and want to cry. I need to see success and realize the plan works for alot-I just need to be stronger. Thanks! =)

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Suki November 1, 2011 at 6:11 am

I started Medifast in May of 2011, my weight at the time was 242, I dropped down to 204 and then there was this money crunch and I’m back up to 214. I started back on my Medifast this morning, and I said let me find some Lean and Green dinner recipes when I googled that this sight came up, I don’t know why I never googled Medifast before but I am happy I did. I want to be past 204 for the New Year 2012, and I know I can do it and keep it off because its been nearly three months since I stopped going for my weigh-ins and I have taught myself to eat sensible and I’ve been maintaining 214, but I don’t want to maintain this I want to get it off and so I’m back in the saddle.

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Miss Amy November 7, 2011 at 6:58 pm

Greetings! I truly love your blog & the information you are willing & able to share. I started the 5 & 1 plan in June and as of last Thursday (21 weeks) I have lost 60.6 lbs. I have 22lbs to go to make my goal. I feel wonderful. My energy has returned & I am able to perform my job better. The TSFL plan has been a life saver to me. My Healthy Coach introduced me to your website. Thank you for creating a useful tool like this. :)

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Vicki February 2, 2012 at 9:01 am

I started Medifast last March 2011 and met my goal in June. Lost 25 pds. The mainteance is really hard. I’ve gained back about 7pds and am ordering the food again. Has anyone kept their weight off by using real food or do we have to stay on Medifast for life? I love the receipes as I have such a sweet tooth, and my biggest challenge, I’m not a big veggies eater. Suggestions?

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Michelle February 8, 2012 at 1:04 am

I’m on Medifast day 4 and lost 4lbs so far. I am thrilled. I normally don’t cook so I was worried how I was going to make my lean and green meal and then found your blog and the recipes were easy and will keep the meals interesting
and not bland. Thanks for helping someone who doesnt have any cooking skills make tasty food.

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David April 6, 2012 at 12:41 am

Hello Christopher, your website is GREAT! Lots of good recipes that I will start making tomorrow. I’m starting my 3rd month on TSFL, and, although I have deviated a few times from the prescribed program, I’ve lost 42 pounds to date, dropping from 270 lbs to 228 this morning. Like others, it has been a long time coming to lose weight, after struggling with many diets where I just gained back weight. I’m very hopeful that I can stick with this and lose another 33 lbs to meet my goal of 195.
Regarding the Scrambled eggs, I tried cooking the eggs and the Sloppy Joe mix, and made a sloppy Joe omelet, It is great! You can make a half portion of the sloppy Joe and just mix it into the scrambled eggs.

Keep up the great Blog, I’ll be following your posts!
Dave

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Mary March 11, 2013 at 5:19 pm

I’m in my 6th week and am down 17 lbs. with many more to go. I was looking for some ideas on how to be creative with the Medifast meals and was thrilled to find this web site. Like Christopher, I spend a lot of time sitting, on the phone, reading and in front of the computer.

I figured I was not spending as much on junk food at the grocery store and not spending anything at a drive through window any more, (I’m a real estate agent, so I’m on the run, eating in my car on the way to appointments often). So, I am splurging on my lean protein. Lamb chops and steaks, scallops, shrimp, veal, prime sirloin as well as chicken, turkey breast and pork tenderloin. My husband is thrilled and is happy to dine lean and green with me every night, and he says he doesn’t miss the carbs at all.

As for my meals on the go now, I take a bar or some pretzels or the cheese balls with me and a stainless steel water bottle that holds 2 cups of water and I’m all set. When I’m on the go, I tend to get some extra stairs and steps in. I highly recommend Dr. Anderson’s book and the companion workbook. For me, it really lays out the science of weight loss and maintenance. When you understand the science behind the program, it really helps to keep your motivated.

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Dawn June 13, 2013 at 3:40 pm

I have just started Medifast. I enjoy the recipes but I am unsure if the serving sizes are prior to cooking or cooked weight?

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