From the couch to the trails

Tag Archives: Ideal Protein

When I started out this blog I was doing Ideal Protein.  Which is a High Protein, Low Cab, Low Sugar, Low Calorie Diet.  It is a toughie!!  I mean a real toughie.  It is similar to the Adkins Plan where in you are forcing your body into Ketosis and keeping it there.  This means NO CHEATING!  Or you have just ruined about 3 days of fat burning.  

This diet worked GREAT!  I did not have to exercise.  It took the weight off quickly.  And I did not have to think too hard about what I was going to eat.  They provided 3 meals a day and I got to pick 8oz of protein and 4 cups of veggies a day.  When I started this diet I weighed the MOST I have ever weighed (including pregnancy) and I had little motivation to get me going.  A friend of mine was doing amazingly on IP so I decided to give it a whirl. They have a FREE workshop you can attend that gives you a feel for what the diet is about and how it works.  It is a bit pricey but for what I needed it for it worked great.

I still go there every week to weigh in and get advice from the coaches and I still buy some of their food because there are some that I enjoy and are a healthy alternative to other foods.  But, I decided to stop the diet for two reasons.

1.  I will be going back to school to take a class soon.  Seems like a silly reason right?  Yeah well not really because this diet left me feeling foggy headed.  There were times when I just could not think straight.  This is actually pretty common symptoms of this particular diet.

2. The second reason is that I went on vacation to Michigan and while we were there I decided I was going to take a break from the diet.  While on this break I realized I had SOOOOO much more energy and endurance with carbohydrates in my body.  We went on several hikes and I felt like a million bucks.  I would have some good days after a hike on IP but for the most part a 4 mile hike would wipe me out for the day.

I have slowly been adding carbs back into my diet… but now I am at a place where I don’t know what to eat???  

Where do I stop?  

How many carbs are too many carbs?  

Am I taking in too much protein?

I hear that low calorie diets are not the best for you?

I hear that you will for sure lose weight if you stay under 1200 calories?

The scary part is that ALLL of the arguments for all of these theories make perfect sense.  This makes it harder to figure out what is right and what is wrong?  Is it as simple as eat less and be more active?  Or should I be paying more attention to what actually goes into my yapper?  

I don’t want to spend weeks doing a diet plan that is not going to help me lose weight or worse cause me harm.   So its back to the good old internet to look for answers.

I was wondering what have you done that you find works best for you? 



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I don’t know, it’s like we just can’t seem to get these hikes right.  HA HA!  This week we set out to do a 10 mile hike around Prettyboy Damn.  All of our hiking info so far has come from the internet.  Well this hike info must have been posted n 1992??  We arrived and the route suggested was not even close to a trail.  There was however a trail just steps away from were this one started so we followed that one, thinking that they could possibly join once we got there.  Yeah, no such luck.  We hiked for about 2 miles down to and along the Reservoir.  (MapMyHike lost us for a bit on its GPS so it reads a little less) Then we attempted going through the forest trying our very hardest to make a path to where the other trail was said to begin.  We ended up with lots of scratches and thorns on our legs and a dead end to our trail.   I will tell you I am PRETTY sure that you burn more calories and work up more of a sweat trying to get through that brush.  I would have sworn that we climbed much higher and for longer than the MapMyHike recoreded.    I was super tired any my heart rate was definitely up.

This small hike was a bit of a tease.  A tease because first of all the trail no longer existed but also because the second trail we found lead us down to the water which was beautiful and blue and deep.  PERFECT water for swimming in but it is protected.  It is one of the water sources used to hydrate and bath us Baltimorians.

For all of you Ideal Protein dieters I had an egg before setting off as well as a dash of Vanilla shake in my coffee and a Blueberry Cran Protein drink.  I did not feel very strong this hike.  I felt tired almost instantly and my heart was pounding on the inclines which were very manageable.  I think the difference for me this week and last week was that I made sure to hydrate a LOT the day before last week and this week not so much.  I only added a few ounces to my daily dose of about 80oz.

If you are looking to get a pretty secluded glimpse of the reservoir this is a small hike that will allow that.


On our GPS we plugged in the address

2230 Tracey Stores Rd, Baltimore MD

We followed Tracey Store Rd until we reached  Gate 5.  (There is an area where Tracey Store Rd meets Tracey Store Rd turn right and follow Tracey Store Rd to the dead end.   The path to the water is an easy cleared walk downhill and an uphill walk back but, like I said before very manageable.  I’d say it’s about .60 miles each way.   Once you get to the water there are only remnants of a trail.  But you can follows the waters edge for a bit.  We turned right at the water.  This right turn is what lead to the thorns and the scratched up legs so I don’t really recommend it unless you plan on wearing pants and feel like blazing a trail of your very own.  🙂

As we pulled away from this hike I was feeling itchy, tired and deflated.  First of all my son did not come along this week so I was bummed about that and then the trail did not really exist.  AND the part that did exist tuckered me out almost instantly!  I even said to my husband maybe I am not really cut out for this hiking thing.  So he says well you had another 8 miles planned into your day how about we just take a walk.  Little did I know what he was getting us into……

To Be Continued……………………………………….

Today we figured we would step it up a notch.  Little did we know how many notches we would actually go up.  It was a fairly mild day so we slept in and got a later start on the trail.   It was so easy to get to to the trail.  I was amazed to know that this little jewel was just a few miles from where I work 3 days a week.  I had NO idea!

We took 695 and exited on the Belair Rd ext going North.   The parking lot was about 6 miles down on the right (Just after you cross the Gunpowder River).  We had no problem parking and the trail was easy to find.  We went through a tunnel that lead to the trail.  Just on the other side of the tunnel you can opt to go straight and follow the river or turn right and go into the “wildlands”.  We went right.  We followed the pink trail markings


up and down and up and down the hill.  For as much of a work out as I did not get last week this week made up for it this week.  This part of the hike was mostly just hilly.  No stream crossings.  The pink markings lead us to the next trail which were the blue markings.   We followed the blue trail.  The blue trail comes to a fork in the trail.  We stayed stayed right.  At about this time I was pooped!


We used an app called MapMyHike.  At this point MapMyHike said that we had gone about 2 miles.  It was not long before we came to another fork in the road.  This is where the blue trail(Stocksdale Trail) met the yellow trail (Sweathouse Trail).  We stayed right and followed the yellow trail.  This is where we got to really cross the streams and play in the water.  As we were walking a bug PUFF of butterflies showed up.  They were flying all around us.  It was so cool.  I thought we saw a lot of butterflies last week at Falling Branch Trail but  that was NOTHING compared to today.


We played in the stream for a bit.  The water was about 2-3 feet deep.  We were disappointed to see that the watering hole that we had read about was so low and was not really great for swimming.  But the butterflies made up for it.

After playing in the stream for a bit we climbed up and down and up and down some more.  The hills are not super steep but they are enough to get your blood pumping for sure.  MapMyHike says that that the steepest hill was about 3.4% grade.  At this point we thought we were winding down our hike.  We THOUGHT we were looping back and meeting up with the blue trail again.  As we sweated our way to a clearing we looked up and what did we see????  The actual watering hole.


And boy was it welcome.  We were all sweaty and ready for a dip.  The water here was about 5-8 ft deep.  There were fish swimming around and the water was very clear.  When standing in the water up to just about my waist I could see my feet.


After spending about 30 minutes swimming and trying to teach the dog to swim…  Yes teach the dog, the Labrador Retriever, how to swim.  He was not a natural.   He was about as graceful as Honey Boo Boo.  He clunked around in the water, we are not even sure that he ever kicked his back paws.  It was great entertainment for us but I don’t think that he enjoyed it much.  He opt’d to spend his time back on the land.  On a side note, we learned today that dogs need foot protection when hiking.  Oh poor Boh’s paw pads are so sore swollen and even torn in some spots.  He is home now with medicine on his paws all wrapped up and healing.  Poor guy 😦


After the cool off and fun around the watering hole NOW it had to be smooth sailing heading back to the smaller trail along the river side…  Yeah…. no such luck.  It is here that we later realized that we took our wrong turn.   At the watering hole we were unable to find the markings that showed us which way to go.  So we reasoned that we were supposed to follow the yellow trail back to the blue trail and then back to that fork in the road where we bore right, and go left instead…. so off we went.  We were just about half way back through the yellow trail when MapMyHike announced that we were now on our 5th mile.  Hmmmm…. that is interesting.  The entire loop should have been just under 5 miles???

Oh well nothing to do about it now but to continue on.  We made it to that blue fork in the road and followed it left, getting a little pep in our step thinking now we MUST be close to the end.  It was about then that we came to another fork in the road.  To the right was blue markings and to the left was orange markings.  My husband said that we would follow the orange trail.  Good thing too,  had we taken the blue trail it would have lead us right back to that watering hole, and I am pretty sure I would have had a melt down just like a 2 yr old if I had ended up back there.  At this point my feet hurt, I was tired and I did not have any water left.  I was pretty close to panic mode.  You see just days ago I ended up in an Urgent Care Center with confusion and fatigue the cause…. dehydration.  Well dehydration and the diet that I am following is a low carb/high protein diet and I had skipped the high protein part by not staying on protocol.   I did not want that feeling back and I was so afraid we were going to have to back track all of our steps to get out, there would be a good chance dehydration.

Crisis averted though, thanks to my sweet dear husband.  We followed the orange trail which looped us back to the blue trail but it was the part of the blue trail that was heading us in the right direction along the Gunpowder River.   The last mile back on the trail my phone died and the dog slowed down a bunch.  It was here that we learned about his poor paws.  He made it to the car though and we were not on the road home soon enough!!  🙂

Today was the first time I used the MapMyHike and I messed up a little bit.  The trip was split into two trips and then my phone died before the end of the hike but here is the gist of the hike.


ImageSo we traveled a total of 8 miles.  On our 4.5 mile trek.  Above is what we did (minus the last mile or so when my phone died)  and below is the what we should have done.


If you have small children you could hike the blue trail (bare left instead of right at the first split) and travel along the riverside up to the watering hole.  It is about a 1 mile hike each way with easy terrain.

However if you are looking to work up a sweat with a reward at the end I would follow the path stated above UNTIL you get to the watering hole.  I’d look a bit harder to find the path that leads you back to the blue path….

OR if you really want to sweat do it the way we did it… but pack more water.  🙂

For my Ideal Protein friends I started out the day with a restricted bar and an egg.  I drank lots and lots of water along the way.  Immediately after finishing the hike I had a pink lemonade drink.  My coach recommended that I follow up my hike with an absorb-able protein (ie. a drink).  Then had lunch, dinner and snack according to protocol.  I have to say I am feeling pretty good so far.  I was expecting to be a bit more fatigued following the hike but thanks to my awesome coaches advice I feel like I CAN DO this while on Ideal Protein.