Low Fat Low Cal Healthy Diets Under 200 Calories


This article, “Low Fat Low Cal Healthy Diets Under 200 Calories”, will present you with some most popular low fat and low calorie diets, which are easy to prepare, healthy, nutritious and simple.

The diet recipes in this article can be classified into 4 categories, soups, salads, chicken dishes and desserts. Three Asian recipes with various herbs and spices as ingredients are also introduced in this article .All in all, every diet recipe is low fat and not more than 200 calories per serving. All flavors of food are there in these dishes. Try them in your home and enjoy the taste!

1.Fat Burning Soup


Ingredients

2 Stewed tomatoes (large cans)
3 Onions (large green)
1 Can beef broth 14 ounces (397 grams)
1 ½ cups Water
35 ounces (1kg.) Chicken noodle soup mix
1 bunch Celery (6-8 stalks)
2 cans Green beans
2 pounds (0.9 kg.) Carrots2 Large red or green peppers Pepper and salt (to taste) (As per requirement)
1 teaspoon Curry powder

Directions

1. Cut all the vegetables to medium size chunks.
2. Add all ingredients into a pot.
3. Boil on high heat for 10 minutes.
4. Simmer until all vegetables reaches to desired consistency.
5. Fat Burning Soup is now ready to serve. It can be stored for 7 days in cold place.


2.Thai Chicken and Mushroom Soup

Ingredients

0.26 gallon (1 liter) Hot chicken stock
1 tablespoon Thai red curry paste
1 tablespoon Thai fish sauce
2 teaspoons Sugar
2 limes Limes zest and juice
3.5 ounces (100 grams) Portobello mushrooms (sliced)  Bunch spring onions , sliced (keepwhites and greens separately)
7 ounces (200 grams) Leftover chicken (shredded)

Directions

1. Tip the stock into a pan, then stir in the curry paste, fish sauce, sugar, juice and most of the zest.
2. Arouse the boil. Add the mushrooms and whites of the onion. Cover, and then simmer for two minutes.
3. Stir in the chicken and most of the onion greens to heat through carefully, then hand out ladled into bowls and scattered with the remaining lime zest.
4. Serve with additional juice, sugar andfish sauce.

3.Low Fat Caesar Salad

Ingredients

2 Cloves garlic (finely chopped)
2 Tinned anchovies
½ teaspoon Black pepper
2 tablespoons Lemon juice
2 tablespoons Mustard
2 tablespoons Honey
1.4 ounces (40 grams) Parmesan (grated)
3.5 ounces (100 grams) Low fatplain yogurt 2 Lettuce
4 ounces (115 grams) Croutons (low fat)

Directions

1. First of all make the dressing. Put garlic, ground pepper, anchovies, lemon juice, honey, mustard, parmesan and yogurt in a blender and process until smooth.
2. Chill for at least 2 hours.
3. Wash the lettuce then drain and spin dry.
4. Cut crossways and cool it until needed.
5. Toss the lettuce with croutons and dressing. Now the recipe is ready to serve

4.Thai Grilled-beef Salad with Grapes

Ingredients

1 teaspoon Chopped fresh chives
1 teaspoon Toasted sesame seeds
4 ounces (113 grams) RocketMediterranean edible plant, stalks removed
6 Kaffir lime leaves, rolled and finely shredded (optional)
3-4 stems Lemon grass, very finely sliced
2 teaspoons Palm sugar or light brown soft sugar Grated zest 1 lime, plus 3 tablespoons Lime juice (juice of about 2 limes)
3 tablespoons Thai fish sauce
1 Sprig fresh mint, plus 3 tablespoons Chopped fresh mint
6 Sprigs fresh coriander, plus 3 tablespoons Chopped fresh coriander
1 inch (2.5 cm.) piece Fresh root ginger, peeled
2 Cloves garlic, peeled
2-3 Medium red chilies, halved and deseeded, or 3-4 Bird eye chilies, whole
6 ounces (170 grams) Red or black seedless grapes, halved
1 pound (450 grams) Rump steak in1 piece,
1 inch (2.5 cm.) thick

Directions

1. Grill the beef and rest it for 10 minutes before cutting into smaller chunks.
2. Add ginger, coriander, mint and chilies and chop them together.
3. Add lime juice, fish sauce and sugar to the chopped items.
4. Pour this dressing over the steak and drizzle lemon grass, lime zest and lime leaves and herbs over the dressing.
5. Add grapes and toss.
6. The dish is ready to serve.

5.Easy Cook Pizza

Ingredients

For Base:-
2 cups Flour
1 teaspoon Yeast
1 teaspoon Caster sugar
1 teaspoon Milk powder
4 tablespoons Oil
½ teaspoon Salt
1 Egg

For Pizza Sauce:-

1 tablespoon Oil
6-8 Prawns (large)
½ cup Fish chunks (boiled)
1 Onion (cubed)
1 Capsicum (cubed)
2 tablespoons Tomato paste Cheese (As per required)
1 teaspoon Oregano (for sprinkle)

Directions

1. For making base, knead all the ingredients in warm water and keep in an oily bowl in warm place for 1 hour.
2. For making sauce, fry prawns, boiled fish chunks and tomato paste in oil.
3. Add capsicums and onion when done,cook until sauce becomes thick.
4. Roll the pizza bread. Put sauce on top and shake over some cheese and oregano.
5. Keep for 15-20 minutes and then bake at 180°F for 10 minutes or until golden.

6.Instant Chicken and White Bean Stew

Ingredients

1 Onion (chopped)
2 Cloves garlic (minced)
2 teaspoons Olive oil
2 cups Reduced sodium chicken broth
2 Medium zucchini
1 Cannellini beans (can 19 ounces/540 grams)
1/8 teaspoon Ground black pepper1 ½ cups Cooked diced chicken
2 tablespoons Prepared pesto

Directions

1. Heat a nonstick frying pan on medium. Put onion and garlic in the oil and cook until soft.
2. Put in broth, beans, zucchini and pepper and boil for 2 minutes.
3. Add chicken to boil, and then remove from the heat.
4. Add pesto, let stand for 2-3 minutes to blend the flavors.
5. Instant Chicken and White Bean Stew is now ready

7.Citrus Soy Chicken Drumsticks

Ingredients

2 pounds (900 grams) Chicken drumsticks (skinned)
1 teaspoon Fresh ginger (finely chopped)
¼ teaspoon Salt Cooking spray
½ cup Rice wine
¼ cup Fresh orange juice
2 tablespoons Sugar2 tablespoons Low-sodium soysauce
1 teaspoon Fresh lemon juice
¼ cup Green onions (chopped)

Directions

1. Combine chicken, ginger, and salt in a bowl, agitated to coat.
2. Heat your frying pan at medium-high.
3. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add chicken and cook for six minutes or until brunet on all sides.
4. Add rice wine, orange juice, sugar, soy-sauce and lemon juice and cook for one minute. Cover, scale back heat, and simmer for ten minutes or until thechicken is completely braised.
5. Take away chicken from pan, keep heat. Bring sauce to a boil. Cook until the sauce is reduced to ½ cup (about five minutes).
6. Coat and sprinkle chopped onions over chicken

8.Jerk-Style Chicken

Ingredients

1 teaspoon Grated lime rind
¼ cup Fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon Ground allspice
1 teaspoon Brown sugar
2 tablespoons Jalapeño pepper (finely chopped)
2 tablespoons Olive oil
1 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1 teaspoon Dried thyme1 teaspoon Ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon Ground nutmeg
3 Garlic cloves (chopped)
½ cup Onion (chopped)
6 (about 1 pound/450 grams) Chicken thighs (skinless and boneless)
3 (size 6 ounces/170 grams) Chicken breast halves (skinless and boneless) Cooking spray Parsley sprigs (optional) Lime slices (optional)

Directions

1. Mix the first twelve ingredients in a blender, method until well blended.
2. Pour mixture into a zip-top plastic bag, add onion and chicken. Seal bag, infuse in refrigerator for one to two hours, turning bag sometimes. Prepare grill.
3. Take away chicken from bag, discard marinade.
4. Place chicken on grill rack coated with cooking spray.
5. Grill chicken, covered, five minutes on both sides or until done.
6. Garnish with parsley and lime slices (optional).

9.Spiced Roasted Chicken

Ingredients

3.75 pounds (1.7 kg.) Whole roasting chicken
1 teaspoon Dried oregano
1 teaspoon Cumin seed (crushed)
1 teaspoon Bottled minced garlic
2 teaspoons Olive oil
½ teaspoon Salt
½ teaspoon Ground cumin Cooking sprayDirections
1. Heat up your oven to 375°F (190°C). Take away and discard giblets and neck from chicken, trim excess fat.
2. Beginning at neck cavity, loosen skin from breasts and drumsticks by inserting fingers (gently pushing between skin and meat). Mix oregano, cumin seed, garlic, oil, salt, and ground cumin in a small bowl.
3. Rub seasoning mixture below untangled skin and over breasts and drumsticks. Tie ends of legs beside twine.
4. Raise wing tips up and over back, tuck below chicken.
5. Place chicken breast face up on a rack coated with cooking spray. Place rack in a pan and bake at 375°F (190°C) for forty minutes.
6. Increase temperature to 450°F (230°C). Do not take away chicken from oven. Bake further for twelve minutes.
7. Take away chicken from pan. Let it stand for fifteen minutes.
8. Take away skin from chicken. Discard.

10. Asian Chicken and Cabbage

Ingredients

2 tablespoons Hoisin sauce
1 teaspoon Bottled minced garlic
1 teaspoon Bottled ground fresh ginger
4 ounces (113 grams) Skinless, boneless chicken breast halves Cooking spray
1 teaspoon Vegetable oil
½ cup Chopped onion4 cups packaged coleslaw
1 teaspoon Dark sesame oil
½ teaspoon Salt
½ teaspoon Black pepper

Directions

1. Heat up broiler. Mix Hoisin sauce, garlic and fresh ginger. Unfold equally over each side of chicken.
2. Place chicken on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray. Broil six minutes on both sides or until done. While cooking, heat edible fat in pan at medium-high, add onion and sauté two minutes.
3. Add slaw, deep-fry one minute or until coleslaw begins to wilt. Place slawmixture in a medium bowl.
4. Add oil, salt, and pepper, agitated to coat.
5. Serve slaw mixture with chicken.


 Low Fat Low Cal Healthy Diets Under 200 Calories

Juicing Recipes For Weight Loss and Healthy Living

All-Fruit Juices

Sweet and Salty Pineapple

Yield: 1 glass

Ingredients:

½ cup fresh pineapple chunks
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon iodized salt
1 cup filtered water

Preparation:

1. Mix sugar and salt in a cup of water. Stir until melted.
2. Put pineapple chunks in sugar and salt water. Soak for 10 minutes.
3. Pour pineapple and water in a juicer and run juicer on high speed for 30 seconds.
4. Pour juice into a glass and drink fresh.

Variation:


  • For a thicker and cooler alternative, add ½ cup crushed ice to pineapple and water mixture before running the juicer.
  • Add 2-3 mint leaves to the recipe for extra flavor.

Weight loss benefit:

This simple juice recipe is a superb fat buster because pineapples aid in digestion and help ease inflammation in the body by ridding the stomach and intestines of fat. Pineapples are also a great source of Vitamin C, whichprovides protection from flu.


Honeyed Guava

Yield: 1 glass

Ingredients:

1 whole medium ripe guava
½ cup cold distilled water
2 tablespoons Honey

Preparation:

1. Wash guava and cut into halves. Remove seed core and cut into 2-inch pieces.
2. Process guava and cold water in a juicer.
3. Mix honey in guava juice. Drink immediately.

Variation:


  • Use natural, unprocessed honey for better health benefits. Increase or decrease honey to suit your taste.

Weight loss benefit:

Guava is excellent for weight loss because it contains just a small amount of calories packed in with loads of dietary fiber.


Strawberry + Banana

Yield: 1 glass

Ingredients:


  • 8 whole strawberries
  • 2 medium sized ripe bananas

Preparation:

1. Pluck leaves and stems from strawberries.
2. Peel bananas and cut into 2-inch slices.
3. Put everything into juicer. Drink fresh.

Variation:

  • Add crushed ice before running in the juicer for a cold treat.
  • Add 10 pieces of pitted dates into the recipe for extra punch in taste.
  • For a sweeter taste, add 1 piece apple (cored and cut into wedges) into the recipe. This will also infuse your juice with the toxin removal properties of apples.

Weight loss benefit:


  • Strawberries are high in antioxidants, which slows the aging process by blocking free radicals from the body’s system.
  • Bananas are high in resistant starch, a type of fiber found in carbohydraterich foods, that enhances fat burning.


Lychee + Pomegranate

Yield: 1 glass

Ingredients:

1 cup lychee
½ whole pomegranate
1 teaspoon food-grade vanilla essence

Preparation:

1. Remove skin and seeds from lychees.
2. Peel pomegranate and slice into 1-inch cubes.
3. Process lychees, pomegranate and vanilla essence in a blender until mixed well.
4. Pour into a glass and drink fresh.

Variation:

  • Throw in some crushed ice before blending ingredients together to make a refreshing smoothie.
Weight loss benefit:

1. Lychees are low in cholesterol, saturated fat and sodium but high in copper, potassium, Vitamin C and dietary fiber.
2. Pomegranate is considered by many health experts as a superfruit when it comes to weight loss. It contains a huge array of vitamins and minerals that breaks up and eradicates harmful body wastes and toxins, prevents the hardening and clogging of arteries. It helps lower bad cholesterol and raises good cholesterol in the blood, develops healthier skin, reducedental plague, fight fatigue and increase energy levels.


Watermelon + Mango + Pineapple

Yield: 2 glasses

Ingredients:

½ small watermelon
1 whole ripe mango
1 ½ cups fresh pineapple chunks

Preparation:

1. Remove the green outer rind from the watermelon. Slice the watermelon into 2-inch chunks.
2. Peel mango and cut away the inner seed from the flesh. Cut flesh into 2- inch slices.
3. Process mango, watermelon and pineapple together in a juicer.
4. Chill juice for half an hour, then serve over ice.

Variation:

  • Add one cup of cold filtered water to juice to thin its consistency. Adding water will yield to three glasses of juice.
Weight loss benefit:

Watermelon is cholesterol-free, high in water content, low in sodium and very rich in anti-cancer phytochemical lycopene. Watermelon will help you retain much needed water without making you feel bloated.


Loquat + Muskmelon + Pineapple

Yield: 1 glass

Ingredients:

10 whole loquats
1 small wedge of muskmelon
2/3 cups fresh pineapple chunks
2 tablespoons honey
½ cup cold distilled water

Preparation:

1. Wash loquat and remove skin. Cut into 1-inch pieces.
2. Remove outer rind and seeds from muskmelon. Cut into 2-inch slices.
3. Process loquat, muskmelon, pineapple and water in a juicer for 15 seconds. Pour into a glass.
4. Add honey and stir until fully dissolved into the juice. Drink fresh.

Variation:

1. Serve chilled or over crushed ice for a refreshing drink perfect during hot days.
2. Substitute pineapple and honey with one whole red apple and one whole lemon for a more citrusy, less sweet taste.

Weight loss benefit:

1. The combined properties of tropical fruits loquat and muskmelon makes this juice a potent mix for removing excessive fat around the body andreducing cellulites naturally.
2. Loquat is high in fiber and low in saturated fat and cholesterol. It is also a good source of Vitamin A, which is vital to maintaining visual and dental health.
3. Muskmelon is packed with beta-carotene, sodium, magnesium, potassium and vitamins A, B and C. It has great amounts of dietary fiber and has zero cholesterol. Muskmelon also has a sweet taste, which can satisfy a dieter’s craving for desserts and other sweet treats.


Papaya + Apple + Dates

Yield: 1 glass

Ingredients:

1 small papaya
1 whole red apple
5 whole pitted dates

Preparation:

1. Wash, skin and remove the seeds of the papaya. Cut into 2-inch slices.
2. Wash and core pineapples. Slice into wedges.
3. Put all ingredients in a juicer or blender until a smooth juice is produced.
4. Drink chilled or over ice cubes.

Variation:

  • Add a teaspoon of finely chopped mint leaves to juice before drinking to add a burst of color in your juice and to make it more refreshing.
  • Dilute the juice with ¼ cup lime juice instead of water to further enhance the taste of papaya.
Weight loss benefit:

1. Papaya is packed full of vitamins A and C, calcium, iron, niacin, potassium, riboflavin and thiamine—something you cannot say of most fruits! It is also low in calories and full of energy boosting compounds that make it perfect for a breakfast that will start your day off.
2. With just 23 calories in a single date, the fruit is very low and caloric content. It also has none of the cholesterol and saturated fat that are a baneto dieters. Aside from that, dates are also full of fibers and have more than 20 different amino acids that aid in digestion and help the body absorb carbohydrates easier and manage blood sugar levels.


Muskmelon + Apple + Lemon

Yield: 1 glass

Ingredients:

1 small wedge muskmelon
1 whole red apple
1 whole lemon
½ cup ice cubes

Preparation:

1. Skin muskmelon and remove seeds. Cut into 2-inch slices.
2. Wash, peel and core apple. Cut into 1-inch slices.
3. Peel lemon and remove seeds. Cut into half-inch slices.
4. Process muskmelon, apple, lemon and ice cubes in a juicer until a smooth juice is created.
5. Serve and drink immediately.

Variation:

  • Add a dash of cinnamon or cayenne pepper to enhance the juice’s metabolism boosting properties.
Weight loss benefit:

The combination of muskmelon and lemon helps ease symptoms of high blood pressure and regulates the body’s sugar absorption.


Apple + Kiwi + Orange + Pineapple

Yield: 2 glasses

Ingredients:

2 medium red apples
4 whole kiwis
2 medium oranges (preferably seedless)
1 medium pineapple

Preparation:

1. Core apples and slice into wedges.
2. Peel the kiwis. Cut into one-inch thick slices.
3. Remove the outer rind of the oranges but leave as much white skin intact as these are rich in nutrients. If oranges are not seedless, be sure to remove seeds as these will make your juice bitter if left intact.
4. Peel, core and cut pineapple into spears.
5. Remove the outer rind of the lemon and lime quarters.
6. Run all ingredients into juicer. Stir or shake before serving.

Variation:

  • Add ¼ lemon fruit and another ¼ lime into the recipe to make your juice more tangy and citrusy. Remember that adding fresh lemons to your juice will help increase weight loss because the citric acid in lemons helps regulate the body’s metabolism and sugar absorption.
Weight loss benefits:

1. Apples are terrific for everyday juicing because they are rich in pectin, an enzyme that removes toxin in the intestines.
2. Oranges are packed with virus-fighting Vitamin C, relieve constipation and help inhibit kidney ailments.
3. Kiwis are rich in antioxidants and strengthen the immune system. Kiwis contain more Vitamin C than oranges, as much potassium as bananas and high levels of appetite-suppressing fibers—truly a weight loss gem!


Grape + Cactus + Muskmelon + Mango

Yield: 1 glass

Ingredients:

1 cup seedless grapes
¼ cup cactus pear fruit juice
2 small wedges of muskmelon
2 whole medium ripe mangoes
½ cup ice cubes

Preparation:

1. Wash grapes thoroughly.
2. Skin muskmelon and remove all the seeds. Cut into 2-inch slices.
3. Peel mango and cut away the seed from the flesh. Cut flesh into 2-inch slices.
4. Put all ingredients, including cactus juice and ice cubes, in a juicer. Drink fresh.

Variation:

  • If you cannot find seedless grapes, do not fret. You can juice whole grapes with seeds intact for additional antioxidant properties derived from grape seeds.
  • Use 2 whole, skinned fresh cactus pear fruit in place of fruit juice indicated in this recipe to get more raw fiber from the fruit.
Weight loss benefit:

1. Grapes offer loads of benefits aside from helping you lose weight. It is also packed with Vitamin C, boosts energy, improves vision and inhibits the growth of cancer cells.
2. Cactus pear fruit (also called prickly pear) is an excellent appetite suppressant because it is rich in dietary fiber that will make you feel full. The fruit also lowers blood pressure and improves the health of the vascular system.



 Juicing Recipes For Weight Loss and Healthy Living



Balanced Raw Combine Raw and Cooked Foods for Optimal Health,Four-Week Program


ADOPTING THE BALANCED RAW LIFESTYLE

 A diet in which canned or cooked foods are considered void of nutrients. A diet in which bottled condiments like salad dressings, marinades, and concentrated oils made from soybeans, peanuts, and corn are excluded. This diet is rich in raw and organic vegetables, fruits, seaweeds, nuts, sprouted grains, seeds, and legumes. In most cases, animal products are omitted, but some followers choose to supplement their heavy roughage intake with raw beef, dairy, and fsh.



This diet is known as “raw” because it includes only those foods that are unaltered, made from scratch, and eaten in their most natural form. Although some raw foodists eat a small portion of cooked foods, to preserve the nutritional content most fare is eaten cold, at room temperature, or warmed to heats never exceeding 118°F (48°C).

” believe eating mostly uncooked and unprocessed foods is the gateway to a disease-free existence and by doing so they thrive from eating a Living Foods Diet, a name interchangeable with “raw.” To some, and even you, this diet may sound perfect. But is it?

A new raw food approach, or as I like to call it, “Balanced raw,” is gaining momentum and being recognized as the program of choice for optimum health, sustainability, and balanced nutrition because it includes a variety of both raw and cooked foods that are low in fat and rich in enzymes, macronutrients, vitamins, and minerals. even some of the most respected and steadfast raw foodists are converting to this new approach, and their swing from “high raw” (75 percent raw or more) to “balanced raw” (50 percent or more) is due to the belief that cooked foods are nourishing and grounding and that cooking enhances the absorption of nutrients in certain foods, as is the case with tomatoes.

A balanced raw diet is lower in fat than a 100 percent raw diet because it is not heavily reliant on high-fat nuts for protein, and instead includes cooked legumes and grains. This is essential as low-fat diets help to protect against high cholesterol, heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and even cancer. Furthermore, a balanced diet of raw and cooked foods is common in Asian cultures, which include some of the healthiest and longest-living people on the planet.

And in a 2012 article in The Hufngton Post, author Isaac eliaz, M.D., M.S., L.Ac., suggests that eating cooked foods brings warmth to the gut and increases digestive fre, resulting in more efcient digestion and assimilation—something you will come to understand is essential for optimum health.

In a January 2012 interview in veg News, victoria Boutenko, a pioneer of the green smoothie movement and follower of a 100 percent raw diet for more than a decade, shared her conversion to a part-time raw approach. She said, “What is more nourishing: steamed asparagus or cashew nuts? Lightly cooked red cabbage or an ounce of raw almond butter? A baked apple or a slice of a raw dessert? I know now these cooked foods are nutritionally superior, but I didn’t know then to ask these questions.” victoria afrms that by eating some cooked foods we are exposed to variety, and that eating cooked vegetables is better for our health than eating a cup of nut butter.

Chad Sarno, a revered chef who for years developed raw menus for restaurants around the globe, has also recently changed his rawtarian tune. After getting a complete blood panel, he found his cholesterol and triglyceride levels to be deep in the unhealthy range. He attributed the disappointing results to eating a traditional raw foods diet. He believed for many years that an abundance of nuts provided a healthy source of fat and protein. However, after receiving the results of his blood work, he realized the negative health consequences of eating these foods in excess.

He immediately put himself on a part-time raw diet consisting of mostly vegetables (raw and cooked), cooked grains, and legumes, and was astonished when after only four months his cholesterol dropped one hundred points and his triglyceride levels came back into the healthy range. This book isn’t just for people who eat only raw foods and want to enhance their diet with cooked foods. If you have been eating a diet composed mainly of cooked foods and want to convert to a greater percentage of raw, you will also be enlightened because this book is all about balance.

Whether shifting from high raw to balanced raw, or the opposite, the goal is to help you fnd middle ground. The program and recipes will be your guides to health transformation and will support you no matter what your eating habits are today. Through these pages you will be introduced to lifestyle tools, resources, and meals that will bring equilibrium to your scales.

Manage Your Macronutrients for a Strong and Healthy Body


weighed down by too many fats. They also lack macronutrient variety. According to respected medical professionals such as John McDougall, M.D., and T. Colin Campbell, Ph.D., fat consumption should be limited to only 10 percent of your total daily caloric intake, and fats should come from whole food sources, such as olives, seeds, and avocado, and from small amounts of nuts, if at all.


Traditional raw diets have focused on using nuts and oil to create richness, creaminess, and texture in plant-based sauces, desserts, and dressings. However, legumes, healthful seeds, and starchy vegetables can also add decadence to a tart, silkiness to a cream sauce, and increased emulsifcation for dressings.


So just how do you use these other ingredients to achieve the same richness and texture that oil provides? To bring this into view, visualize making a salad. you have chopped up lots of fresh veggies, selected your greens, and perhaps added some chickpeas, cooked quinoa, or steamed beets. rather than making a traditional dressing of one-third citrus or acid and two-thirds oil, omit the oil and season the citrus or acid with dried or fresh herbs, minced garlic and shallots, sea salt, and fresh cracked pepper. Then, to bring a touch of fat to your fresh meal, garnish with one-fourth of an avocado that has been cut into small cubes.

If you prefer a creamy dressing, add the avocado cubes to the other dressing ingredients and purée in a high-speed blender until smooth. The silkiness of the avocado will go a long way toward adding creaminess to the dressing without the use of oil.

When making sauces, experiment with using cooked beans or starchy vegetables to thicken and emulsify. In the case of the shaved roots and herbed Parsnip stack (page 85), I suggest blending cooked parsnips with fresh herbs and garlic for a savory and versatile purée. other legumes and vegetables that are ideal for sauce and dressing bases are black beans, chickpeas, peas, and cooked cauliflower, parsnips, and sweet potatoes. When used in moderation, hemp, pumpkin, flax, and chia seeds are also excellent for thickening and adding creaminess to your sauces and dressings.





Full-Flavored reduced-Fat tip


another way to lower fat is to pulse nuts such as pistachios, almonds, brazil nuts, or walnuts in a spice grinder and then just sprinkle a teaspoon or two on your dish. You will use far less this way, yet still beneft from the added flavor, crunch, and touch of healthy fat.


The Balanced raw diet encourages an 80:10:10 macronutrient ratio, with 80 percent reserved for carbohydrates and 10 percent allocated to both fats and protein. extensive research conducted by renowned cardiologist Caldwell B. esselstyn Jr., M.D., showcases a reduction in heart disease, obesity, diabetes, and even the reversal of cancer when this ratio is adhered to.  In addition, this approach appears to be most similar to the diet followed in Asian cultures, where inhabitants have historically lived long and thriving lives.

you will see in chapter 4 how okinawans, the society with the largest number of documented centurions, eat a diet rich in carbohydrates, and use fat and protein to enhance a meal as a condiment, and not as the main attraction. In the provocative 2008 documentary eating, director Mike Anderson interviews experts in health and nutrition such as esselstyn and Joseph Crowe, M.D., who describe how our ancestors ate a diet rich in carbohydrates and low in fats and protein. Prior to the agricultural revolution, humans survived on an abundance of fresh vegetables, greens, roots, herbs, fruit, protein-containing grains and legumes, minimal game meat, and nuts and seeds in limited quantities.

It was only after the agricultural boom that humans began indulging in processed and refned foods and eating concentrated fats such as vegetable oils. If you think about the foods available to our ancestors, greens, root vegetables, and fruits were most abundant, meat was sparse because of the need to hunt for game, and nuts and seeds were either unavailable or difcult to harvest. Take cashews, for example. Shelling cashews is a time-consuming process that is achieved by using wooden mallets and sometimes wire to extract the kernel from its hard shell.

Then the cashew kernel must have its thin resin coating, known as the testa, removed before consumption. This is achieved by heating the kernels until the testa dries and becomes brittle and thus easier to remove. It is essential that those harvesting be protected from the poisonous ivy– like shell oil, which can damage mucous membranes and severely burn the skin. When you consider this lengthy and somewhat risky process, it is unlikely our ancestors were enjoying cashews or any nut by the handful, and neither should we.

As a Balanced raw foodie you will easily be able to navigate the complex world of carbohydrates, feeling confdent about which are most healthful and nourishing to your body. I am giddy for grains and after you read about how powerfully nutritious and versatile they are, my hope is that you will be, too. There are so many varieties of these glorious morsels, and the dishes that can be made using these gems are endless. Here are some examples:

Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah), a grain native to the Andes, literally means “the mother of all grains” in the Incan language. Quinoa has been a sacred crop of South American inhabitants for centuries. It has superior digestibility, a high protein content, and a full amino acid profle—it contains all eight essentials acids that your body does not manufacture. It is a mainstay of many South American meals just as rice is of Asian fare.

This light and gluten-free grain is technically a seed and a relative of spinach and beets. In addition to being enjoyed as a side harvest. Take cashews, for example. Shelling cashews is a time-consuming process that is achieved by using wooden mallets and sometimes wire to extract the kernel from its hard shell. Then the cashew kernel must have its thin resin coating, known as the testa, removed before consumption.

This is achieved by heating the kernels until the testa dries and becomes brittle and thus easier to remove. It is essential that those harvesting be protected from the poisonous ivy– like shell oil, which can damage mucous membranes and severely burn the skin. When you consider this lengthy and somewhat risky process, it is unlikely our ancestors were enjoying cashews or any nut by the handful, and neither should we

or main dish, cooked quinoa can replace oats or cracked wheat in breakfast porridge, may be tossed with fruits, vegetables, or legumes in a grain salad, can be ground into flour for baked goods, or be used to add texture and volume to a veggie burger. you will soon experience the nutty taste and health qualities of quinoa because it is used in a number of dishes included in this plan.

Prepare Your Body, Kitchen, and Mind for the Balanced Raw Plan


Perhaps you have role-played for an upcoming interview, enrolled in classes to pursue a specifc career, taken lessons to learn how to play an instrument, or started training in preparation for a race. you may not even realize all the foundation building you have been doing to support the weight of demanding tasks, goals, and responsibilities.


Adopting a sustainable Balanced raw lifestyle is no different from these other endeavors and also requires a frm and steady foundation. This foundation includes a pantry that is free of junk and instead stocked with foods that nourish and support your health goals; kitchen tools and equipment that make Balanced raw meal prep a breeze; a support system of people who encourage and keep you motivated; and most important, a clear intention about why you desire to live this way.

may become weake ned and your dedication can lose its oomph. you have likely seen examples of this in the frst month or so of each new year. The new year typically starts with an explosive rise in gym memberships, diets, workout programs, and sky-rocketing sales of get-thin-quick pills. Millions are suddenly dedicated to losing weight, giving up their smoking habit, saving more money, or being more kind and loving to their spouse or children. But then what happens? Why, after only a few weeks or months, are commitments broken and dedication diminished? Why do the once devoted give up?

More often than not, it is not because these devotees want to fail at achieving their goals; most really do want to be slim, smoke-free, and more loving. What makes them give up is a weak or nonexistent foundation. It happens when the person committed to losing weight signs up for the gym or purchases a weight loss supplement but does not eliminate junk food from his pantry. It happens when a lover or spouse sets a goal to be more kind and loving but fails to forgive hurts from the past or fails to learn how to communicate and show love in the way her child or spouse will best receive it.

A stable foundation and clear intention are the keys to success when altering your lifestyle for the better. Have you stopped to consider why you are committing to this four-week program? Is it for weight loss? Are you an athlete looking to achieve peak performance? Do you want to fnally be free of digestive pain, headaches, insomnia, or allergies? Are you fed up with battling diabetes, heart disease, or chronic fatigue? Have you “tried everything, but nothing has seemed to work”?

Whatever your purpose is for following the Balanced raw system, put pen to paper and clearly defne your intention. Display this written reminder prominently on your refrigerator, computer, bathroom mirror, or anywhere you will see it throughout the day. you can even set an alert on your cell phone to remind you each day of your purpose for choosing the Balanced raw way.

The support system I spoke of earlier is essential for building a frm foundation. Maybe you will turn to a spouse for support, or a caring friend. Consider joining a Meetup group in your area whose focus is on health and wellness. These local groups host potlucks, seminars, and other gatherings and get you rubbing shoulders with some people who may be making a similar transition or are already living the Balanced raw way. Being around like-minded people, or engaging those nearest to your heart to keep you motivated and on track, will ease you through the changes.

If you feel safe and comfortable doing so, speak freely about the physical, mental, and emotional changes. Share your goals and milestones and ask for help when needed. With a clear intention and a supportive network, you can begin building the foundation that will serve you during this transition and set you up for success in achieving your goals.

In the next chapter, you will give your kitchen a complete makeover—a healthy overhaul, if you will. your refrigerator, freezer, and pantry will be stripped of all garbage food that brings harm to your body and will be restocked with an abundance of nourishing, whole, and natural foods to enjoy in your home cooking. you won’t feel deprived after learning how incredibly tasty and satisfying whole and natural foods can be.

Have you ever gone to the store and picked up a bag of brightly speckled beans or colorful rice you had not seen before only to get it home, put it in your pantry, and completely forget about it? If so, you are not the only one. Many do this with the intent to prepare the new food, but without it prominently displayed, and without some guidelines for preparation, it could end up living for years in your cupboard completely neglected.

Part of the process of building your foundation includes storing and displaying your foods in a way that makes them more appealing and appetizing, and that puts them front and center so you are more likely to eat them. Decoratively display the jars of dried, whole foods in your pantry and refrigerator and on countertops so they stare back at you, enticing you to eat them up.

you should also begin to shop the bulk aisles of your markets for dried goods such as grains, legumes, seeds, fruits, flour, and spices. Buying from bulk bins saves you money and encourages you to either purchase large quantities if you have the storage to do so, or smaller quantities more frequently while still reaping the benefts of bulk pricing. Following are some key dried ingredients you will want to have on hand.





The Tapping Solution for Weight Loss & Body Confidence A Woman’s Guide to Stressing Less


For many years, I was sure that losing weight was the answer to all my problems. Once I could fit into that dress or those jeans, I’d be happy, my career would take off, and I’d start dating. But only after I’d lost the weight. Only when I no longer looked like … this.

The Tapping Solution for Weight Loss & Body Confidence A Woman’s Guide to Stressing Less

Until then, I’d continue to panic every time someone took my picture, strategically placing my hands over the parts I hated. Or cropping the picture so only my face showed if my hands weren’t big enough to cover those parts. Until then, I’d cancel plans. I’d shrink emotionally so people wouldn’t notice how big I felt physically. I’d continue to buy books on weight loss, exercise equipment, and diet food. One day I’d be happy, but not today, not until I lost this weight.

How Tapping Helps You Lose Weight

Standing tall at six feet five, Dawson Church, Ph.D., is a hard man to miss. I had just walked into a conference in London where Dr. Church and I were both scheduled to speak on tapping. Happy to see him at the other end of the hall, I stood on my tippy toes to wave hello. (At five feet two, I’m rarely in his direct line of sight.)

I’d had the pleasure of working with Dr. Church several times since we first met in 2007 while I was filming The Tapping Solution. I’d always appreciated his jovial nature—he has a laugh so jolly, it could make Santa Claus jealous—so I was excited when he excused himself from the crowd that had gathered around him and came rushing over. Right away I could tell he had something exciting to tell me. After some quick “how’s the family?” chitchat, Dr. Church explained that he’d just returned from a medical conference where he’d presented the test results of his latest study for the first time.

He explained that the research had confirmed the science behind what I’d experienced myself and seen in thousands of others—that tapping is an incredibly effective way to decrease the negative impacts of stress on the body.

Dr. Church’s research, which I’ll share in this chapter, and several other groundbreaking studies help explain why tapping helps us lose weight and keep it off without dieting, deprivation, or extreme exercise. Tapping and Weight Loss Dr. Peta Stapleton is a clinical psychologist in Queensland, Australia, who has spent the past 20 years treating eating disorders in her patients and researching weight loss and specific eating behaviors. At the time of our interview, she had concluded the first (and most important) phase of her study on how tapping impacts food cravings and weight loss.

The results were, and still are, incredibly exciting—proof of what I’ve seen repeatedly in my clients and students. In doing this study, Dr. Stapleton wanted to find out whether tapping affects weight loss and food cravings, and if so, how effective it is. Because of the weight loss success she and her team had documented in study participants, Dr. Stapleton had actually released some of her findings to the international medical community before they were scheduled to be published.

All of the 89 women in her controlled study were between 31 and 56 years old, and had a body mass index (BMI) that qualified them as being obese. Over an eight-week period, they completed approximately two hours of tapping per week, which averages out to just over 15 minutes per day. Just by doing the tapping—without dieting or exercise—participants lost an average of 16 pounds by the end of the study!

While Dr. Stapleton expected that participants would lose weight from doing the tapping, she admits to being surprised by how much weight these women lost. What’s even more exciting is that the weight loss they achieved during the initial eight weeks seemed to last for six or more months afterward, even though most of the study participants stopped tapping once the initial eight-week period ended. How is that possible? How can tapping lead to such dramatic and lasting weight loss in such a short period of time? To understand Dr. Stapleton’s research results, let’s first take a look at how stress affects the body.

Your Body’s Weight Gain Cocktail You have a pharmacy inside you. At all times, your body is pumping out the hormones and chemicals it needs to function properly. Unfortunately, many of us are taking a drug that, in excessive amounts, causes weight gain. We take it daily, and that drug is called stress. Stress begins in the amygdala, an almond-shaped component located in the limbic system, or midbrain. The amygdala has been called the body’s smoke detector. When it senses danger, it tells our brain to initiate a physiological stress response called the fight-or-flight response.

This creates an overproduction of a hormone called cortisol, which studies have linked to increased appetite, sugar cravings, and added abdominal fat. Even mild stress, like worrying about why your jeans feel too tight or that you’ll never lose the baby weight, can cause your body to go into the fight-or-flight response. This same stress response happens when you experience common negative emotions like anger, fear, and guilt.

Quick Start Tapping Guide

Nancy’s stress levels were at an all-time high. A 53-year-old entrepreneur trying to run her business while relocating from New York City to San Francisco, she stepped on the scale one day while packing the contents of her bathroom. She was horrified to see that she was at her highest weight ever. This wasn’t the first time she’d felt surprised and heartbroken while looking at the scale. Nancy had trouble remembering a time when she wasn’t stressed about her weight. She ran the pattern of starting the latest diet trend, working hard, losing some weight, and then gaining it back.

When she did manage to lose weight, she often felt like “the wolves were at my door,” as she put it. One false move around food and she’d be back to her old ways of eating, and then she’d regain the weight. As she began her new adventure in San Francisco, she decided she was ready to leave her pattern of chronic dieting and stress in New York. “I kept saying to myself that there had to be another way. I wanted to end this pattern.” Nancy had heard me speak at an event and soon learned that her brother had been using tapping to manage stress. When she heard about my weight loss program, she decided to take a leap of faith and signed up for it in the midst of her move.

By the time Nancy was settled in San Francisco, she had been tapping for four months, often using my tapping meditations. Although moving was stressful, she was able to use tapping to find relief every step of the way. When she finally got around to unpacking her scale, she was surprised once again—pleasantly surprised! She had lost weight during a time when she was unable (and unwilling) to follow a strict diet plan.

I came across Nancy’s story because she was so thrilled by her results that she decided to blog about it on a website for female entrepreneurs. This is what she wrote:

I no longer crave sugar, sweets, and carbs. I rarely eat them and don’t miss them one bit. And when I do, I savor a small portion guilt free, and it’s not a big deal. All the drama around food, weight, and body image has simply been unplugged. I’ve also lost 16 pounds, pretty effortlessly, I might add! And, most important, now I really understand how stressing about dieting and weight—and especially negative self-talk—only fuels the problem. Finally I get what I’ve been doing wrong all these years! This is the only program I’ve ever found that nails the emotional stuff that is really at the root of it all.

Are you ready to “nail” the emotional stuff like Nancy did? It begins with learning how to tap.

Let’s Start Tapping!

First let me just say that if you’re new to tapping, I understand that it seems weird. Here’s how I think of it. You know those times when you try to think yourself out of a thought? You’re an intelligent, self-aware person, and you feel like you should be able to use positive reasoning to get rid of that thought or emotion, but you can’t because you feel

it in your body. It might be anxiety in your chest or a panicked feeling in your stomach. What tapping does is bridge that gap between your body and your mind. When you tap while focusing on the thought or feeling, you relax the body and send a calming signal to the brain, telling it that it, too, can relax.

In addition to its effectiveness, one of the reasons my clients have such success with tapping is that it works so well with their busy schedules. It’s easy, convenient, and makes you feel great in a matter of minutes. So let’s dive right in. Here are the basic steps for tapping:

• Step 1: Choose your tapping target, and create a reminder phrase (Step 1).
• Step 2: Rate the intensity of your target on the 0 to 10 Subjective Units of Distress Scale (SUDS).
• Step 3: Create a setup statement (Step 3).
• Step 4: Tap on the karate chop point (Step 4) while repeating your setup statement three times.
• Step 5: Tap gently through the eight points in the tapping sequence (Step 5) while saying your reminder phrase out loud. Tap five to seven times on each point. Repeat this until you begin to feel relief.
• Step 6: Once you’re feeling better, take a deep breath and again rate the intensity of your issue using the 0 to 10 SUDS.

It’s that simple! I’ll lead you through the process in more detail in the rest of this chapter; however, if you’re a visual learner, you can watch a video on how to tap where I cover all Of the steps. from here



Ending the Pattern of Panic

Now that we’ve learned how stress negatively impacts the weight loss and body confidence journey and how tapping helps us overcome the damaging impacts of stress on weight and the body, we need to address the most common roadblock women encounter when they’re beginning this journey: panic. Feeling panicked about the need to lose weight and feel good can take many forms and be triggered by a variety of circumstances.

The Pattern of Panic

“I feel like I need to lose 50 to 80 pounds in the next three weeks,” Analisa wrote. In a few weeks’ time she would be seeing a friend she hadn’t seen since she’d gained the weight. She was sure her friend would see her as nothing more than “fat,” and she couldn’t stop playing an imaginary movie in her head—her friend calling their mutual friends to tell them how fat she’d become. Overwhelmed by fear and anxiety, she wanted nothing more than to fend off the silent ridicule she was sure her friend would pile on her.

Analisa was in a panic. For me, the panic to lose weight and feel good in my body began when I was 14, always while facing my then archenemy, the mirror, which never failed to display my body’s so-called flaws. By my early 20s, the slightest glance at my reflection was enough to turn me into a drill sergeant. I would pinch and prod every inch of my body to prove my point—that I wasn’t good enough.

The panic would hit me like a shot of adrenaline, and in a flash I’d be on the latest diet, dragging myself to the gym to try some new class. Nearly every time, I lost the weight—and then gained it all back. It was a pattern I couldn’t seem to stop, but each time, I returned to my brutal but familiar old friend, panic. I worked myself up to playing the part of the drill sergeant, and then tore myself down until I couldn’t help but dissolve into a puddle of desperate tears. I was never skinny enough, which to me meant I wasn’t good enough. I felt like a failure everyone could see.

Years later, I began to understand the role panic had played in my tortured relationship with my weight. When I was in the heat of the moment, panic seemed like the only thing potent enough to get me to deal with the reflection in the mirror. Each time, panic forced me into action, and each time, I ended up right where I started.

On some level I knew I was repeating a tired old pattern of short-lived weight loss, but surely, I told myself, if I worked hard enough, deprived myself often enough, I would arrive at lifelong thinness … wouldn’t I? I just couldn’t quiet that abusive voice in my head that seemed to think so.

Like so many women who struggle with weight, Analisa and I both got stuck in what I call the pattern of panic. However common it may be, it’s a pattern we must break free of to achieve long-term body confidence and weight loss. First, however, we need to take a closer look at what it is and why it happens.

The Two Sides of Panic

Often when clients come to their first session with me, on the surface they seem to be having different experiences. Some seem ashamed that they need help losing weight, others are scared they’ll be disappointed again, and still others seem prepared for some mild form of torture, ready and willing to do “whatever it takes.” Beneath the surface, however, they’re having very similar experiences. They’re all stuck in the pattern of panic, convinced they need to shed the pounds now—right now.

We tend to react to the pattern of panic in one of two ways—fight or admit defeat. While these tactics may seem like polar opposites, they’re both reactions to the underlying panic we’re feeling about needing to lose the weight and feel confident in our own skin. Some of us tend toward one reaction while others vacillate between the two reactions over time.

THE “FIGHT” PATTERN OF PANIC

The “fight” reaction to panic around losing weight often comes on very suddenly, triggered by a specific memory or event, like Analisa’s realization that her friend’s visit was only three weeks away. In the fight reaction, we’re overwhelmed by a feeling of desperation to lose the weight now at (almost) any cost. In those moments we’re convinced that weight is the full measure of our value as individuals. Nothing else about who we are, what we have to offer, or what we’ve accomplished can possibly have as much worth as our weight.

That’s what happened to Analisa. Overcome by shame, fear, and anxiety, she couldn’t imagine enjoying her visit with her friend; all she could do was feel threatened by it. The story running through her head was the only outcome she could envision. Every time Analisa thought about meeting her friend, she was preparing herself mentally and emotionally to fend off the backstabbing, judgmental attack that seemed inevitable.

When we’re experiencing this fight reaction, we tell ourselves that we need the panic—no matter how painful it is—because panic is our last hope. If we stop panicking, we are giving up on losing the weight. We believe that we have to be hard on ourselves because when we’re not, we gain the weight back. The panic itself becomes a reason to believe that we can still somehow lose the weight.



How I Lost 90 Pounds -- My Plan for Lasting Weight Loss and Self-Acceptance


Imagine waking up one morning and being thin. Wait, let’s back up a minute. First, imagine having a lifelong history of weight problems, dating back to childhood, spending decades agonizing over what to eat and how much you weigh, struggling like hell to lose even an ounce, and being ninety pounds overweight. Now imagine waking up one morning and being thin. Sound impossible? Well, it happened to me.

Okay, so it wasn’t exactly like that, but I wanted to get your attention. What actually happened is that I started making small, incremental changes in my life, things that in some ways were almost imperceptible. Once I got used to one, I’d make another. All the while, I went on about my life. I wasn’t agonizing. I didn’t spend every meal adding up a different set of numbers, from calories, to carbs, to points. I just lived.

Some of the changes involved food. Some involved exercise. Some had nothing to do with either one of those things, but contributed to my overall happiness. I spent a lot of time focusing on my happiness. How great is that?

I’m not a completely clueless dope, so of course I noticed changes. My clothes started fitting better. I’d step on the scale and go “ooh,” instead of “ugh.” When I would give myself a break and indulge in some of my old favorite snacks, they’d kind of make me nauseous, which is never the feeling you want from your comfort food. So, yes, I knew something was afoot. But I had no clue to what degree.

success story How I Lost 90 Pounds -- My Plan for Lasting Weight Loss and Self-Acceptance

Chapter I

THE FORMULA
Stumbling Upon Success


Before giving birth to my daughter, I had grand plans for losing the baby weight. I set up a little workout area in the basement and made an arrangement with my husband. He agreed to watch the as yet born baby for half an hour every morning before he went to work so that I could exercise. I wanted to work out first thing in the morning, as a way to kick off each day of my maternity leave. In fact, I had an orderly and wellorganized schedule for the entire day. If you’re a parent, please stop laughing. I had no clue.

When the baby came it was like a tornado hit my house. I have never been so bewildered in my entire life, from the moment they put that gray, squirmy, gooey bundle of joy directly into my arms just seconds after birth (You mean they don’t clean her off first?! I thought to myself). Having a newborn turned everything upside down. The house was a disaster, from dishes stacked in the sink to piles of laundry. Most days I would almost completely forget to shower or feed the dog. I was also breastfeeding, and my entire day revolved around creating food for my baby.

I was literally feeding or pumping every ninety minutes, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. My life was reduced to one simple goal: make milk. Needless to say, every single one of our plans went right out the window. Before my daughter was born, we decided not to use a pacifier. No binky for our baby! But within two hours of coming home from the hospital, that restriction went out the window, as we shoved bottle nipples into our daughter’s mouth to keep her from screaming, until we could get to the store in the morning and raid the pacifier section.

We’d decided against having her sleep in the bed; she needed to be in the bassinet. Well, she didn’t end up in the bed, but she didn’t sleep in the bassinet, either. Where, you might ask, did our precious baby girl slumber? In the only place where she would actually sleep: the car seat. That’s right, the car seat, in the house, anytime she closed her eyes.

We would just strap her in and carry it from room to room. We joked that she probably thought we traveled an awful lot, though we never actually left the house. And as for my well-laid fitness plans? Well, I exercised in the basement exactly once.

The problem was, I still needed to lose the baby weight. I’d gained forty pounds during my pregnancy, mostly due to an insatiable desire for salt. I ate macaroni and cheese like it was going out of style. I devoured ramen noodles several times a week. I put table salt on already salted potato chips. Extra salt on potato chips! Keep in mind, the forty pounds of baby weight were on top of the fact that I was already forty-​five pounds overweight before my pregnancy. So after having the baby, I was the heaviest I’d ever been by far, and I didn’t want to stay that way.

But I also quickly realized that when it came to my life at that moment in time, there was no way I could do anything but tread water. Trying to get to the gym was simply too much, let alone summoning the energy to actually exercise. I was tethered to my baby via the boob. So I did theonly thing I could. I focused solely on what I was eating. Right from the beginning, I made sure I was eating healthy foods in reasonable portions that I would prepare myself at home. (I’ll detail specifically what dietary changes I made in the next few chapters.)

Much to my surprise, by doing that alone, I lost all of the baby weight by the time I went back to work three months later. I’m not someone who has ever dropped weight effortlessly. In the past, every single ounce I’ve lost has been hard won. Yet there I was, forty pounds lighter from one simple and seemingly effortless modification to my lifestyle. This was a major breakthrough.


I could have stopped there, but I’d already changed my eating habits, so I thought, Why not just keep going? Four months later—seven months after my daughter was born—I was down another ten pounds for a grand total of fifty, all without ever stepping foot inside the gym. That’s when I had my first and most important epiphany: It’s all about the food. As my daughter got older, my life settled into a routine, and I wanted to start exercising.

I asked my friend Jenna Bush Hager about a Spinning class that she loved, called SoulCycle. She encouraged me to try it. So, one sunny Saturday in July I stepped into their Spin studio and clipped my feet into the bike. Let’s just say the workout kicked my butt. The class is what you’d get if a regular Spin class had a baby with a wild night at the club, and then that baby drank a case of Red Bull. It is extremely intense cardio with great music, and some strength training and dancing thrown in. I left soaked in sweat. I mean, absolutely drenched. But it was a ton of fun. It didn’t feel like a chore, the way most exercise always had for me.

It felt like a party and went by in a flash. What’s better than a fun workout? So instead of going to the gym, I became a SoulCycle junkie. I went as often as possible, up to four times a week. You know how you have those times where you’ll totally fall off track with your eating and exercise, and it just spirals down, getting worse andworse? One day off the wagon turns into a week, which turns into a month, and before you know it, your jeans no longer fit. It’s a cycle many of us know all too well, especially me.

But the good news, which I started to realize as I changed my life for the better, is that momentum works just as easily the other way. Once you get going, it starts to feel like rolling downhill, and that’s exactly what began happening with me. The more I exercised, the more I wanted to exercise. As I started to get fit, I wanted to be more fit. It was a cycle of positive feedback. That’s when I decided to start strength training and began going to another killer workout in New York called Barry’s Bootcamp. Barry’s is a combination of high-intensity sprints and incline runs on the treadmill and strength training with free weights.

It’s a lot like cross training, which is offered at many gyms. I thought I was in pretty good shape with all of the Spin I was doing, but this workout definitely humbled me! I barely made it through the first class, taking breaks repeatedly just to catch my breath. Lucky for me, also in the class were two fitness angels. Sascha Shutkind looks like she stepped out of a health magazine. The day I met Sascha she was wearing what she always does in class, nothing but a sports bra and biking shorts, and simply put, she was shredded.

Arms, abs, legs, from head to toe, this woman was cut. Fortunately, she was as encouraging as she was fit. Even though we were complete strangers, she cheered me on the entire class. She pushed me to keep going. She congratulated me after every tough interval.

The other angel was the instructor. Noah Neiman looks like an action movie star: young, handsome, and ridiculously cut. Go do yourself a favor and Google “Noah Neiman shirtless.” You’re welcome. Anyway, underneath Noah’s granitelike exterior is a big ol’ soft heart. Sure, he did his best to kill me during the class, but he did it with love, finding the perfect balance between pushing me to do better, and praisingwhat I’d already done. Thanks to the two of them, I made it through, which goes to show just how important it is to surround yourself with the right people. That first class was grueling.

I would even go so far as to call it torturous. But I left feeling ten feet tall, and just like with SoulCycle, I wanted to go back. I felt challenged, as though I’d just been presented with a new mountain to climb. Sure, feeling good was great and all, but it didn’t hurt that I started to notice results, beyond weight loss. I’d lost weight before, so getting smaller, while nice, wasn’t novel. But for the first time in my entire life, I was becoming defined. You mean there were actually muscles under there? I would stand in front of my full-length mirror and flex like a bodybuilder, mouth open, stunned that I could actually see them.

Is that a bicep? Are those abs? I couldn’t believe my body was actually changing. I also noticed that I was growing in other ways. I could run faster, for longer. I could lift heavier weights. I could Spin at a higher resistance. Working out started to become the best part of my day. I didn’t feel complete without it. My husband had to convince me to take one day off each week so my body could rest. It was then that I realized how futile my workouts had been in my previous life, going through the motions and barely breaking a sweat. The exercise changed me as a person more than anything else. It changed my body’s tone and definition.

It vastly improved my mood, overall happiness, and general energy level. I never saw any of those benefits from my prior halfhearted days at the gym. Epiphany number two: Train hard or stay home. As I began exercising more, I wanted to eat in a way that supported my fitness goals. I no longer wanted to be thin; I wanted to be fit. There’s a huge difference. I began reading everything I could find about fitness and nutrition. What should I eat before a workout for the most energy? What should I eat afterward? What should I eat to build muscle? How muchprotein did I need? I wanted to be smart. If I was going to work my butt off at Barry’s Bootcamp and SoulCycle, I didn’t want to blow it all on breakfast later.

So I made some major dietary changes, cutting out pretty much all flour, dairy, and grains. I’m not saying that’s for everyone, but it was something I wanted to try and when I did, I felt liberated. Okay, to be totally honest, the sense of liberation came after six weeks of whiteknuckle suffering. I won’t lie to you about that. Anyone who doubts the addictive properties of certain foods need only try to kick the habit to realize how real that is. Ditching flour was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, but also one of the single most important. Don’t worry, I’ll detail just how I did it in the rest of the book.


With all of the nutritional changes, though, my life was suddenly much more complicated. I had a very restrictive diet, on top of working out six days a week, sometimes twice a day. Remember, I’m not some independently wealthy socialite with a chef and a trainer. I’m a working mom with a very demanding career. For me to make everything work, I had to have a plan. Every single day. So that’s exactly what I did. I started planning. Each and every single day I’d ask myself two questions: What am I going to eat? When am I going to exercise? Every Sunday I’d go online and order my groceries for the week (I’m a New Yorker, that’s normal here).

I’d plan my workout schedule for the week and sign up for classes days in advance. Every night I’d look in the fridge and mentally plan out what I would eat the following day, as well as when I’d cook it. I’d pack my exercise clothes for the next day, and often my work clothes, too, including my entire makeup kit, several brushes, combs, and a flatiron. When you work in television, there’s no such thing as rolling into work. You must be camera-ready from the moment you hit the door. That meant packing a lot of stuff for the gym. Then there was laundry.

I waswashing sweaty sports bras and running tights and socks around the clock. This probably sounds like a lot of work. The bad news is that yes, it absolutely is a ton of work. The good news? It’s become completely routine. While it took some thought and effort initially, now I don’t even think about it. Packing my gym bag is a ritual, like brushing my teeth. Figuring out what I’m going to eat involves a ten-second scan of the refrigerator, and sometimes a pop into the freezer to pull something out for defrosting. Like I said, momentum works both ways.

But I learned that when I didn’t have a plan, everything would fall apart. I’d end up with a fried chicken wing in one hand and a powdered doughnut in the other, watching Oprah’s Next Chapter on the couch after having skipped my SoulCycle class, thinking, “Wait a minute, how did this happen?!” Epiphany number three: Planning is key. The last piece of the equation is my favorite. In doing my research on fitness and nutrition, I kept coming across guidance on the importance of sleep.

I continued to discount it, because it’s something we all hear all the time, and who doesn’t want more sleep? It’s not like anyone says, “I’d really like to be exhausted all the time.” But we do the best we can, right? Yet again, and again, fitness experts all said the same thing. Adequate sleep is crucial. So I decided to give it a shot and sleep as much as possible, guilt-free. When my daughter napped, I’d nap, dirty dishes be damned. If I had to be up for work insanely early (which in the television world is really, truly insanely early),

I’d go to bed insanely early the night before, which in the summer often meant turning in while it was still daylight. I’d even duck out of social engagements so I could go home and sleep. Yes, I became that girl, even though I’d always been the one to shut down the joint. I’ve never met a party I didn’t like! But I made rest a priority.

So how did it work out? Wow! Those fitness folks are really onto something. I noticed a difference immediately. I mean, it was instant. Besides all the science-y stuff your body does when you sleep, like rebuild and repair muscles (blah, blah, blah), the benefits were much simpler than that. When I was well rested, my workouts were better. I had tons more energy. I made better food choices. I had fewer cravings for carb and sugar-heavy foods.

Most important, I was better able to cope with all of life’s stresses, which would normally send me to the nearest pizza joint. Anxiety, irritation, long hours, someone’s dumb remarks, none of that bothered me nearly as much. The best part? When something did really bother me, I’d handle it by going to sleep! What’s better than that?! I knew that a nap would make me feel better. At this point you probably think I’m a nut; the idea of napping during the day is crazy. Normal people don’t have time to nap on a regular basis. I get it. Most days I couldn’t, either.

I’d do my best to soldier through until I could get to the nearest bed and collapse into it. But I knew that if I could just make it to bedtime, everything would be okay, and just knowing that sleep was the solution to whatever problem I was facing was a huge plus. In the past, I’d almost always turned to food for whatever was bothering me, often because I couldn’t pinpoint the problem. Now I know exactly what it is. Most of the time, I’m simply tired. I began having the kind of internal conversations with myself that one would have with a child. “I know you’re cranky. It’s time for your nap.

Are you ready for your nap?” Believe it or not, that self-talk really worked, precisely because I was tired. I was speaking to my true needs. The other thing I realized about sleep is that when you look for the time and really make it a priority, you’ll find it. It’s amazing how much more time is in the day when you turn off the TV, log off Facebook, put off chores for another day, and go to sleep. A lot of us live by the “I’llsleep when I’m dead” mentality. We consider it a virtue to slog through the day with a minimal amount of rest, as though life is some test of exhaustion endurance.

Many of us also feel guilty about sleeping too much, equating it with laziness. But that makes no more sense than thinking of breathing too much as being greedy. There’s no such thing as breathing too much. You take what you need. Sleep should be no different. Epiphany number four: Sleep is a necessity, not an indulgence. So that, my friends, is how I stumbled upon what I now affectionately refer to as “the formula,” knowledge that led to my losing ninety pounds, dropping six dress sizes, and being able to lift something heavier than a can of soup while working out.

I never planned on changing my whole lifestyle, and even if I had, I certainly would have gone about it a different way. As I’ve mentioned, I’d spent years working hard to lose weight, but not being smart. I wanted to do the right thing but I didn’t know how. I was putting my efforts into the wrong things, often giving 50 percent to food, 50 percent to exercise (and not doing either very well, incidentally), and 0 percent to planning or sleep. But now, armed with the right numbers, I was ready to change my lifestyle in ways I’d never dreamed possible, all thanks to the formula.

Mara’s Magic Formula

+ 70%        Food    
+ 10%       Exercise
+ 10%      Planning
+ 10%       Sleep      

100% Weight Loss and Fabulosity

Take a moment to really focus on those numbers. Do they surprise you? They sure surprised me, and as I share the formula with others, I find they often have the same reaction. I mean, think about it, if you just focus on the food alone and getting enough sleep, you’re 80 percent there. Add in a few minutes of thoughtful planning each day and you’re 90 percent there. The battle is practically won. No wonder it felt effortless.

I’m not anti-exercise at all. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. No one believes more strongly in the mental, physical, and spiritual benefits of a good workout than me. Plus, you’ll never get those Michelle Obama arms without some time in the gym. But I think exercise needs to be put in the proper perspective, and most of us don’t do that. We hear that for sustained weight loss, we should focus on diet and exercise, so we equalize them. But it’s not DIET & EXERCISE; it’s more like DIET & EXERCISE. Food is by far the bigger factor. So, let’s start there.

More about how to lose 90 pounds - my plan for continuing weight loss and self acceptance

Chapter 2: Memory Lane
Chapter 3: It’s All About the Food
Chapter 4: Eat Outside the Box
Chapter 5: Food Addiction
Chapter 6: Sleep
Chapter 7: Fitness
Chapter 8: Planning
Chapter 9: Feeding the Spirit
Chapter 10: Overcoming a Stall
Chapter 11: For My Sistas
Chapter 12: Parting Wisdom


 How I Lost 90 Pounds -- My Plan for Lasting Weight Loss and Self-Acceptance

The relationship between the Stop Light Diet and weight loss

The Low Glycemic Index Diet
Introduction

The LOW GLYCEMIC INDEX DIET is a healthy diet that is based on foods that are low in sugar and starch. It has been helpful for some people who are trying to lose weight



The Glycemic Index

° The GLYCEMIC INDEX of a food tells us how much insulin a certain food causes the body to make. The more insulin we produce, the more calories we store as fat

° Foods with a high glycemic index are those that contain lots of sugar or that are made from processed grains like white bread and white rice and starchy vegetables like potatoes and carrots. When we eat these foods:

         ƒ More insulin will be produced
         ƒ More of the food will be stored as fat.

° Foods like high fiber fruit, non-starchy vegetables, beans, nuts and whole grains have a lower glycemic index. When we eat these foods:

         ƒ Less insulin will be produced
         ƒ Less of the food will be stored as fat.

The Low Glycemic Index Diet

° Helps your child eat foods low in sugar and starch
° Helps reduce the amount of insulin being produced
° Helps reduce the amount of food and extra calories being stored as fat

You can determine if a food has a High or Low Glycemic Index by:

° Referring to the stoplight list of foods:
         o Green means low – eat these foods every day
         o Yellow means moderate – eat these foods sometimes—about three times a week
         o Red means high – eat these foods rarely
° If the food is not on the list, find a food that is similar to one that is on the list—the glycemic index will probably be similar

° Understand that most fruits and many vegetables have a low glycemic index.
° Most starchy foods like potatoes, carrots, breads, cereals, crackers, have a high glycemic index.

° Foods that are low in carbohydrate like meats, eggs, milk, cheese and other dairy products have a low glycemic index, but the portions of these need to be moderate, since too much fat and too many calories can overcome the benefits of the low glycemic index diet

Good Hints to Healthy Eating Habits

° What kind of food your child is eating may be as important as how much he or she eats, but
° Your child should not over eat any foods-- even those that have a low glycemic index; one serving of each food and no second helpings should be the rule
° Most food should be eaten during meal time; providing three meals a day with very limited between meal snacks is best
° Snacks, like foods eaten at meals, must be low in sugar and starch (green light foods)
° Soda pop and Fruit Drinks should be eliminated completely
° Whole fruits have lower glycemic indexes than fruit juices and are healthier choices
° Meal time and snack time drinks should be low fat or skim milk, water or unsweetened beverages
° Eating while watching TV, playing video games, working on the computer, or reading should be discouraged.

Helpful Hints When Planning a Meal

° Refer to Stoplight food lists (Green, Yellow, Red)
° Provide meals and snacks from green group
         o Fruits, non-starchy vegetables, lean meats, low fat dairy products
° Limit foods from the yellow or red groups
         o Potatoes, carrots, refined breads, doughnuts, bagels, crackers, cakes and cookies.

Activity and Exercise are Important!

° Limit sedentary activities (TV, video games, and computer time) to no more than two hours a day.
° Sitting around causes more fat storage
° Activity (playing outside, walking or other exercise) reduces the amount of insulin produced and helps the body use up extra food so it is not stored as fat

Food Choices for Healthy Eating

The Low Glycemic Index Traffic Light System

Breads, Grains and Cereals


Fruits


Vegetables


 Meats, Eggs, Beans, Nuts


Milk and Dairy


Fats & Condiments


Snack Foods


Beverages



Preparation Makes a Difference

° Adding fat will make a yellow choice a green or red choice a yellow.
° Extra sugar or sweetened sauces will make a green or yellow food a “red” choice.