To call this a 'diet' would be a shame. This is a lifestyle. Choosing overall wellness should be on top of everyone's to-do list. After lots of contemplating, researching and experimenting, I think I have discovered the simplest lifestyle change to bring on a pattern of health, mental clarity and physical well being. Not only will this system give you tons of wiggle room to eat what you want, it'll help you to be more creative in the kitchen, and make more wise food choices; all while sustaining plenty of energy for your daily activities.
Guidelines: Oatmeal, Broth, Salad, Hydration, Choices, Balance
Oatmeal, Broth, Salad
For breakfast eat oatmeal. You can put anything in your oatmeal, whatever will make your heart content and your tummy satisfied. If you are in a chocolate mood, add some bittersweet chips. You could add dried fruits, fresh fruits, frozen fruits, a scoop of almond butter, a dash of brown sugar.
You can cook your oatmeal over night in a crock pot, or with yogurt in the refrigerator. Do some experimenting and find what you like best, your options are endless.
This is your carbohydrate base.
For lunch, eat broth. You can add anything you want to this broth, as long as it is within the healthy spectrum. Chicken, rice and vegetables with chicken base. Rice, beans and seasoning with veggie base. Zucchini, herbs and green tea with chicken base. Soup is such a versatile concept, you can make it anything you want! If you work 9-5, this is a do-ahead meal, however, don't be discouraged because soup is the easiest and fastest do ahead meal! It literally only takes 20 minutes to make a weeks worth of lunches.
This is your second hydration and electrolyte base.
For dinner eat salad. Salad, is of course, on par with the versatility of the other two options. Put steak, chicken or fish on it. Accessorize your salad with nuts, fruits and vegetables. Top it off with a simple home made dressing, or just a drizzle of olive oil.
This is your vegetable base.
I'm sure you have read time and time again how important water is to your overall health. Thankfully, this diet adds a lot of hydration at lunch time, but it is important to also drink a ton of water throughout the day.
You are what you eat. This diet will really show that. It might seem like you are limited in food choices, but considering the versatility of all of these bases, you can still eat the flavors you love, but must adapt it into a different, healthier form. The choices you make of what foods to add into these bases will make or break your success. For example: If you add chocolate syrup and chocolate chips to your oatmeal, a pound of pasta to your soup, and half a cup of thousand island dressing to your salad, you're not going to have very much success.
Another important thing to remember about your choices is EVERYTHING IN MODERATION. This means limited sweets and carbs.
- 1 dessert per week: Must be actual serving size, not your craving size.
- 3 alcoholic beverages per week: You can save these for Saturday night if you wish, but I would spread them out. Again, you choose whether or not you have a healthy beverage, if you want 3 pina coladas with chocolate syrup, go for it, but you won't see positive results.
- 3 coffees per week: Limit your Starbucks!!
This diet will teach you how to balance your food groups. Don't worry about carbohydrates/grains, you are getting exactly what you need from the oatmeal. The main things you need to balance are meats and vegetables. Be sure to add a variety of meats and vegetables to your soups and salads. You can do this by creating a different theme for every week. For example, one week do Italian, the next try Mexican- this will make you a very well rounded cook, you'll use vegetables and spices from those regions, and you'll learn how to best work with those new ingredients through trial and error.
Following this diet will not only help you lose weight, but will spark your creativity gene! Get to cooking, you have no excuse not to!