As a dietitian, I answer a lot of questions about weight loss. A LOT. Lately, the majority of questions are about short-cuts to weight loss in the form of body wraps, metabolism boosters, meal replacement shakes, low/no-carb diets, the Medical Weight Loss© program, eliminating food groups, etc. Here are my thoughts. (I originally wrote this over a year ago, and I haven’t changed my mind, so here it is again)…
Last week I got my hands on a diet that a local doctor has been handing out to her patients. It goes a little something like this…You can eat gobs of mayo, a quarter pound of cheese a day, unlimited amounts of sausage, bacon, hot dogs, and pork rinds, and wash it all down with as much diet soda as you want but you must completely avoid fruit, beans and whole grains. What the eff??? People look to their doctors for reliable health information, so to hand out a bullshit diet like this is irresponsible AT BEST.
Here are a couple of things to consider before going on any diet:
- Don’t. Diets suck. They’re restricting and unsustainable. If you go ‘on’ something, it would stand to reason that you eventually have to go ‘off’ it, right? What happens then? Usually, it’s back to square one (or worse).
- If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. I don’t care where the info comes from; your physician, a fancy TV doctor, Facebook or your great-aunt Margaret. If someone touts a diet plan or magic pill, use common sense. Deep down you know that people who live to be 100 years old don’t get there because their diets are rich in hot dogs, fat blockers and artificial sweeteners.
- Carbs don’t make people unhealthy. Too many calories, too much processed food and too little exercise make people unhealthy.
- There is no miracle fad diet, body wrap, pill, injection, supplement, etc. to make you healthy. Like it or not, it comes down to eating clean and exercising. I wish there was a way around it because I would love nothing more than to gorge myself on pizza and chocolate at every meal, but there’s not.
- Just because something causes weight loss doesn’t mean it’s good for you. Sure, there may be some initial weight loss with miracle ‘cures’, but that usually comes at a price. Fat blocker pills can cause stomach cramps, constipation, or “intestinal gas with discharge”. In other words, bring a change of underwear with you when you leave the house. Low-carb diets are so restrictive (not to mention unhealthy), that they’re hard to stick to. Can you really go the rest of your life without eating an apple, a piece of bread or a bowl of ice cream? Probably not. If you can’t see yourself doing it forever, don’t do it at all.
- And finally…Can we PLEASE stop making this about weight? When we do that, we lose sight of what’s really important, and that’s good health. Eating clean and exercising make you FEEL good and give you energy to do the things you love. What good is losing weight if your insides are rotting, you have no energy or you’re so hangry no one wants to be around you?
I’ll end with this. Eat fruits and vegetables, lots of them. Eat whole grains, like quinoa and oats. Drink plenty of water. Eat healthy fats, like avocados and nuts. Eat lean sources of protein, like beans, yogurt and/or unprocessed meats. And please, for the sake of your sanity and those around you, eat a cookie once in a while.
I was feeling extra “earthy-granola” one day when I went grocery shopping so I came home with a shit-ton of wheat berries. A year later and they were still sitting here like, “Hey dumbass, you should really make something with this 4-pound bag of bird seed you bought.”
So I did. And I have to say, I rocked it. I made the most delicious mushroom soup (which got eaten so fast I didn’t get a picture), and an even better cold salad. We didn’t eat ALL of it (but only because there are consequences for eating that many garbanzo beans), so I was able to get a picture.
I just kinda threw a bunch of shit together and, not thinking it would be anything special, didn’t write it down. Well, wouldn’t you know it, I created a frickin’ masterpiece. So I scrambled to write down what I could remember before I got distracted (SQUIRREL). Here goes….
Wheat Berry Cucumber Salad
1 cup cooked wheat berries
1 can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
1 medium cucumber, seeded and diced
2 tablespoons reduced-fat mayonnaise
2 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
1/2 teaspoon dill weed
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon salt
Throw it all in a bowl and stir. You can store it in the fridge for up to 3 days, but it won’t last that long.
This is a fun little game called “Ice Cream or Intestines?” where I show you a picture and you guess if it’s a bowl full of ice cream or intestines (or freshly ground beef). I made the game up when I saw this monstrosity come out of my Yonanas last night. (Generic Yonanas machine, of course, because I’m not paying $50 for a name when I can get the same generic thing at Shopko for $30.)
This is actually the coolest thing ever. You literally throw frozen banana chunks and whatever other frozen fruit you want down the cute and BOOM. Frozen deliciousness. It’s tastes more like frozen yogurt than ice cream. Either way, WHO CARES? I can eat all I want!! Mwahahaha! Never mind the fact that it looks like innards; this shit is GOOD. So good, that my ice cream-snob husband and daughter both horked down an entire bowl and the daughter was scrounging around for more when she finished…”Mom, I know it’s Mother’s Day but are you gonna eat all that?” Hell yeah, I’m going to eat all that. And probably some of dad’s too. So back off.
2 frozen bananas cut into 1 inch chunks
1 cup mixed berries (I used cherries, strawberries, blueberries and raspberries)
Throw it in a Yonanas or similar generic machine, alternating the bananas with the other fruit.
Here’s a picture from the show yesterday. I ended up running into a trainer I know who was also doing a segment on the Racine & Me show. It was like our own little party. Our own little CATERED party because we had food! And lots of it. The host of the show, April Dovorany, was unbelievably sweet and SO funny. She should take Michael Strahan’s place. She could give Kelly a run for her money. Anyway, watch us eat tomorrow at 6:30 a.m. on CBS 58!
Blueberry muffins and chocolate chip granola bars. Mmmmmm. I’m filming two segments for a show called Racine and Me today. Since I never go anywhere without food, they’re getting pesto pasta, hummus, veggie dip, almond sugar cookies, granola bars and blueberry muffins. I must’ve been really hungry when I planned this because holy shit that’s a lot of food. I actually have to work my day job so I’m going to leave right from there and drive up to Milwaukee (to film a show about Racine). They’re going to air the segments on Saturday morning at about 6:30 a.m. so fingers crossed that anyone is up early enough to see it.
About once a month, I’m on a show called Real Milwaukee on Fox 6. I love it. The hosts are great, I get to plug my book, and I get to eat things like brownies for breakfast. The only bad part is that in order to not get completely washed out by the bright lights, I have to wear make-up. A LOT of make-up. And I hate it. My face feels all cakey and gross and my eyes burn. I can’t wait to get home and chisel it off.
Alright. I’m done bitching about trivial stuff. The show went well today (I think). I don’t like watching it. It’s weird to me. You know how your voice sounds different and you see yourself from angles you normally don’t? I’m like, Damn. I forgot to straighten a section of hair in the back of my head. Ooops. Noah was my helper. We decided to have him try separating an egg for the first time while he was on live TV. It didn’t work but it made for great TV. He was a good sport about it. Here were are in the studio…
and here’s the link to the segment. Now I have to do all the dishes from this morning. I don’t wanna!!!!!!!
Get the kids in the kitchen: Fresh, flavorful recipes the whole family can help make
Son of a bitch. This is what happens when I meal prep. This is why I wear what I call “homeless clothes” when I cook. Because then nothing good gets ruined. And to top it off, my daughter took the dog for a run so now I have to clean this shit off the floor myself.
But it wasn’t a total bust. I made lentil soup in the pressure cooker, threw together some broccoli slaw, roasted Brussels sprouts, and cut up veggies for the week. Have a great night!