Living a Healthy Lifestyle
“All right, I know I have said that no diets work, but I have been sucked in yet again (sigh). Just give this a chance.”
– The Uphill Skater –
I can’t count the times that I have said that all diets work and conversely, no diets work, and I am sticking by that, but—because it is the lazy, hazy days of summer—I let myself give the diet scenario one more try. I read about this diet/book/plan in a magazine, and somehow it caught my eye, and the book was not expensive, so I sent for it. I get that this is like believing that boyfriend you know is a liar and a cheater, or buying that pair of jeans one size too small promising yourself you can wear them next week, but I did it, so here goes: I am going to share!
This plan is called “The 28-Day Hearty Dash Diet Meals Plan & Recipes.” Dash stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. I found this plan to be not perfect, as is always the case, but I think what I really like about it is it’s easy to modify. As you may know, I am a vegetarian. No problem. My husband hates cukes and peppers—also, no problem. I think the plan has too many calories and too much fat—this seems to be no problem either. So, let’s talk a bit about this plan, which is, by the way, also recommended by AARP for weight loss, blood pressure reduction, and diabetes prevention.
Day one—and several of the other days—starts with oatmeal, a bagel, a banana, a cup of milk, and a tablespoon of peanut butter. This is too much for me to face first thing in the morning, so I had the oatmeal and the banana with a ½ cup of the milk. I put the other ½ cup of milk in my coffee and pretended it was a latte. I had the bagel and peanut butter for a snack at 11:00. I did the same with lunch, which was a grilled chicken sandwich and a cup of cantaloupe. I saved the cantaloupe for a snack later and used one of my vegetarian products in place of the chicken. Dinner was spaghetti with vegetarian sauce and the recipe was right there. Oh, did I say that every time there is a recipe for one of the dishes, it is right there on the same page? Convenient, yes!
Day two features a nice tuna sandwich and a zucchini lasagna with the recipe not only right on the page, but very easy. Day three has shredded wheat, a chicken salad, and roast beef with a baked potato among many other items, of course. Day 12 has scrambled eggs and hash browns as a feature, and Day 17 has pork chops. I could go on and on, but I think you get the idea. There is a huge variety of food and lots of ways to cut calories, add features, and make this plan your own.
Another thing I have really enjoyed about attempting this plan is that it’s what I call an “easy shop.” There are not a ton of exotic ingredients. I hate it when you have to go out and buy some smoked paprika or pink kosher sea salt or a jar of something you know you will never ever use again. As I first thumbed through the book, I went page after page without running across an ingredient I didn’t already have in my kitchen. That’s a real diet plan acid test for me. I have been stuck too many times.
The other thing I have found to be a huge timesaver in this plan is the recipes are easily increased or decreased. Some of the products, like the oat granola, can be made in big quantities and kept in jars or Tupperware containers. There is also a spaghetti sauce recipe that can be made for ten uses, or one very easily. Many of the repeat items in the menus are ones you will want to keep on hand, and this makes things so simple.
Check out www.skatinguphill.com for more summer tips!
Please consult your physician before starting any diet to ensure the right plan for your health.