Friday, August 15, 2014

Ideal Protein Phase 1 Recipes

     It's not hard to tell from my blog that I LOVE cooking AND eating, and while I try to eat a well balanced, organic diet I'm constantly fighting the battle of the bulge. I work out 3-4 times a week with a fabulous and dedicated personal trainer who has become my friend, confidant and cheerleader. We were both flummoxed as to why I wasn't shedding weight. I'll tell you why: CARBS and too much RED WINE. I honestly don't want to be an over sharing sort of person, but people like me who derive reward and pleasure from food while suffering a slow metabolism face an uphill battle. Americans are getting fatter and unhealthier than ever before and I place a lot of blame on sedentary lifestyles, overly busy and stressful schedules, enormous serving portions and the constant barrage from the food and restaurant industry to eat, eat, eat. Our brains are wired to seek pleasure and reward and to prefer foods high in sugar, fat and salt (some of us are genetically predisposed to enjoy this more than others).

     Remember the size of a large coke at McDonald's back in the 80s (those of you alive then)? It was close to the size of a SMALL coke now.  Eating out was an occasional treat, but now has become the norm as our society is racing around trying to keep up with insanely packed schedules. Though I complained royally while growing up, I ate dinner with my parents every evening in the dining room with candles and relaxing music in the background. We unfurled from the day's stresses together over a thoughtfully prepared meal; a rarity in today's American society. (Ok, so as a teen I rolled my eyes a lot, instigated squabbles and couldn't wait to get back on the phone with friends ). Look around you next time you are driving- how many people do you see eating and drinking in their cars? Or walking around with gigantic sugar laden coffee drinks? That is almost unheard of in Europe.

     Recently I was dining at the Cheesecake Factory for a lunch meeting and couldn't help notice about 3/4 of the guests were overweight or obese. I remember as a child that there was typically one overweight boy or girl in my class, yet now I notice close to half the kids unloading from the school bus are pretty husky. They race right home to sit idle in front of the computer and rarely are spotted playing outside. I don't think I've seen a teenage boy in over a decade mowing a yard in my neighborhood??

     Soooooo.... I read a very interesting book that really uncovers the psychology of over eating and the obesity dilemma in America. The book The End of Overeating, was written by former FDA commissioner David Kessler and explores exactly why this has become an epidemic in America and how we can take control and stop it. We really have been taken advantage of by the food industry and this book was a major eye opener which caused me to explore pretty extreme measures to get my weight back on track. I have seen several people successfully lose weight and keep it off with the Ideal Protein diet. On a recent trip to my fabulous doctor, she informed me I looked to be on the border of becoming insulin resistant, or pre-diabetic. This was alarming and inspiring all at the same time. I need accountability to achieve success and I use it with my personal trainer, in my business and quickly realized that I needed it with my diet as well. So I chose to follow the Ideal Protein diet and confess I wasn't a huge fan of my coach the first time I met her because she is NO NONSENSE and I saw her as a sadist. Now I think she is an angel. The first few days were ROUGH and I was grumpy or "Hangry" and feeling remorseful and deprived, until day number four when I woke up feeling energetic and vibrant. That was two weeks ago and I'm down ten pounds and eight inches and have not had this much energy since I was in my early twenties. Cutting out ALL sugar and carbs has made a magnificent transformation and I hope I have the willpower to stick with this for two more months until I hit my goal weight.

     A few things I do not like about the diet is that the shakes and soups are very high in sodium and contain artificial ingredients- but I see it as temporary until my system has rid itself of the fat and I can begin to transition back into a healthy and regulated diet. As much as I love my red wine and gluten free carbs, they are not good for me, so I need to make a lifestyle change to prevent health issues down the road. As I mentioned, the first three days were pretty tough, but I kept my head in the game, faced the challenge and am reaping the rewards. I am allowed 4 cups of raw veggies (except starchy ones), 8 ounces of lean protein for dinner and the rest is shakes and soups. Kind of rough at first since my career involves wining and dining, but as they say, "Nothing tastes better than thin AND healthy". Sparkling water and celery sticks please!!

Here are a few IP dinner meals I've made that have been delicious and rewarding.

6 oz.  Grass fed, local beef patty with watercress dressed in meyer lemon and a dash of oil along with roasted cauliflower and broccoli.

Cold Water Lobster? But of course!!
I'm not going to "sugar coat" things, I'm pretty ravenous once dinner rolls around, so I don't have time to set up a shoot and make it all pretty- I need to tuck in! But this little wonder pictured above was an 8 ounce grilled lobster tail with charred, grilled brocollini and fresh lemon. Excellent!

Pan Roasted Chicken wrapped in Prosciutto

Chicken Wrapped in Prosciutto
I marinaded some chicken cutlets in Greek seasoning and lemon, wrapped in prosciutto and roasted in a 400 degree oven for 25 minutes. I made a pan sauce for the hubby by deglazing the pan with some brandy and chicken stock. Served it on a bed of mashed potatoes for him, but for me I had steamed broccoli and made my own mashers with half a packet of Ideal Protein potato soup mix pureed with cauliflower braised in fat free chicken stock. It was actually pretty good! I have a huge salad every night dressed with fresh lemon and one teaspoon of olive oil. I'm thankful for the Whole Foods salad bar for offering up great daily variety.

Another hearty dinner was flash grilled skirt steak marinaded in sherry vinegar, onion powder, fresh garlic and parsley with grilled veggies.

I found this interesting way to serve cauliflower on the internet. Yes, I cheated a bit by brushing the head with Greek Yogurt as dairy is forbidden, but I need to give myself a break! I steamed the cauliflower for 15 minutes then marinaded it 3 hours in Greek yogurt, 1 tsp curry powder, 1 tsp tumeric, 1 tbs onion powder and 1 tsp garlic powder and lemon juice. Grilled it indirectly at 400 degrees for 40 minutes. It was super and fed me as a side dish for 4 days.
 You could puree leftovers with the IP leek soup for a velvety smooth and rewarding lunch served with, you guessed it- a big fresh salad. IP only approves Walden Farms salad dressings and in my opinion they are disgusting. So I make my own with cider vinegar, fresh herbs, dijon, shallots and a dash of olive oil. Speaking of disgusting.... the IP Omelet powdered mix is repulsive. I cried a little when I first tasted it, the texture was foamy and unnatural, so I've "cheated" by eating 3 organic local egg whites and still lost weight. I have to draw the line somewhere and the clever little rebel Catholic school girl in me inwardly smiles :-)

Speaking of naughty... I never fancied myself one with a sweet tooth as I prefer savory foods, but let me tell you I eagerly anticipate my evening Ideal Protein pudding. Two great options to spice them up a bit:

Spicy Salted Chocolate Pudding
Blend 4 oz cold spring water with dark chocolate pudding mix, a dash of cayenne pepper, pinch of stevia and sprinkling of sea salt.

Spiced Butterscotch Pudding
Blend 4 oz cold spring water, packet of butterscotch pudding mix, pumkin pie seasoning and pinch of stevia. Sprinkle of sea salt. 

This blog has several recipes that could easily be adapted for a low carb diet such as Ideal Protein, so here's to our HEALTH!!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for your comment! All comments must be approved by the Beecave Kitchen before posting. Happy Cooking!