My wife was originally skeptical of the diet. She was taught in her undergraduate degree (B.S. in exercise science) the traditional notion of: burn more calories than you consume. When I told her that her entire education was based on an erroneous understanding of weight-loss, she wasn’t too receptive to me and my subsequent decision to do the diet. So I had to resort to mind control in order to get her to comply and cook some of the meals for us. A lot has changed in the last six months and so I asked Sarah to share her insights in a post. Enter Sarah:
Hi, it’s “the wife” here. While at first skeptical (not to the extent exaggerated by Chris), I now crave the diet! I didn’t think I would, but I feel like my body wants it. I’m not fully doing the diet because I’m still breastfeeding and don’t want to decrease the quality of my milk, but I love to eat the diet with Chris when he is home. I am so impressed by his weight loss and amazed at the health problems he has overcome. The concept of this diet has been a conversion process for me and what I’ve learned in my education, but I know it works. I thought I’d add some tips for cooking with the diet, since I’m the one who does most of the cooking and preparation of our meals.
First of all, I want to say that the splurge day diet makes cooking so simple and fast, and therefore it makes my life easier. I still like to cook with variety, but I can use my creative cooking as an outlet on Saturdays–or just get pizza!
As we’ve been doing the diet over the last few months, I’ve learned some things that have made cooking with the diet a little easier:
1. As mentioned before, buy in bulk if you can.
2. Do some basic pre-preparation when you have some extra time. For salads: Cut up carrots (unless you buy them grated), wash and dry romaine hearts and/or lettuce, cut of the ends, and place in a plastic zip-lock bag with a paper towel (if you pre-cut it as well it goes bad faster.) you can also buy pre-cut salad mixes for super fast. Pre-cut any other vegetables that you like on your salads, like peppers, onions, cabbage, cucumbers, radishes, etc. However, freshly cut things like tomatoes, avocados, and things that go bad faster. I usually do all of this at least once a week, so it’s all still pretty fresh by the time I use them. This way, you can throw a salad together pronto!
When you make quinoa for breakfast, make extra to last through the next day and keep it in a Tupperware container.
Cook extra meat; it usually makes a great leftover and can also go on your salads later.
3. Frozen vegetables are great for this diet. Frozen veggies can be as good for you as fresh vegetables because they are picked and then frozen within hours. They are easy and keep for a long time. I have made frozen vegetables by steaming them in the microwave (add a couple inches of water and cover with plastic wrap or lid and microwave until hot), boiling them, and our favorite–sautéing them in pan with olive oil. You can mix up the flavors of your vegetables by how you season them. Go sparingly on the butter. I usually skip the butter and seasonings and simply add a cooking sauce, which tastes great. However, if you are doing a very strict version of this diet, skip the cooking sauces too because they often have some sugar and/or high-fructose corn syrup in them.
4. Meats: the healthiest types of meat, in an order, are fish (especially salmon, which is high in omega-3 fatty acids), chicken (skinless), bison, turkey, pork, and then red meats. However, I wouldn’t be too concerned about the type of meat unless you are doing a very strict version of the diet to begin with. Avoid breaded meats.
I cook a lot of chicken. We buy in frozen, in bulk at Costco. Once it’s thawed, you can cut it in half length-wise for faster cooking. I also think this tastes better, and it can help with portion control. You can also mix up the flavors of the meat with cooking sauces if you desire. We really like the Panda Express orange chicken sauce and the Veri Veri Teryaki sauce from Costco, but remember, they contain sugar. A healthier meat recipe is Lemon-Herb Chicken. For super fast meat, buy pre-cooked frozen chicken or meatballs; however fresh is best.
There are so many great recipes for meat! The crock pot is a great tool for yummy, easy meat recipes. Be creative and cook what you like. Try new things.
5. Salads: you can really mix things up here. Try all kinds of salad. Add a little bit of different kinds of cheese. We love grated Parmesan or Feta cheese. Have fun with them.
It’s super easy to add the leftover meat from the night before to your salad for the lunch.
Our go-to salad has cut up romaine, fresh spinach, carrots, beans, cheese, and meat, with a little dressing. If you choose to do salad dressings, go for low-fat and use it sparingly. Vinegarettes are usually the healthiest.
6. There are several recipes that include quinoa, beans, vegetables, and/or meats that are great as well. We will be sharing some.
Quick Tip: If you crave dessert after meals like I do, chew some sugar-free gum. It usually takes care of the craving.
Please feel free to share your own recipes and tips on the comment portion of this blog, it is really helpful to those who are starting the diet and those of us maintaining the diet.
Best of luck to you!