Fast Lane

The road to weight gain is a fast one. I consider myself a “successful dieter”having lost almost one-fourth of my body weight and keeping it off for almost 2 years. But fat can come back with a vengeance and the arrogance of being a successful loser lulls you into complacency to “bring on the pounds anyway I can lose them easily”.

I do have that metabolism, one of the unlucky ones who gain weight from eating a spoonful of rice. So, once again, I call on the diet gods (and stay I way from Midgie Cajayon’s and Ria Henares’ Food for the Gods -best in VA and DC, respectively), as this renewed effort to get out of this Life in the Fat Lane fast requires divine intervention.

A favorite prayer of mine which I ran into when i was just about 13 years old.

Give me strength, O Lord, I pray
Help me make it through the day
Deliver me from snacks and sweets
Keep my mind off high-cal treats
Tempt me not with French cuisines
Bid me flee soft-drink machines
Turn my eyes from ice-cream bars
Stay my hand from cookie jars
Til’ I’m back in shape again
Hang in there with me, Amen!


Imagine, 30 years ago, people who wrote poems like this chose to remain anonymous. Here we are today, announcing to the world, “I’m fat and marvelous and going on a diet!”


The 550 Day Diet

I started my 17 Day Diet in September 2011 and I have been on it for 550 Days… and counting. 17 days, huh.

People often ask me, “Are you still on a diet? When are you going to stop?”. Unfortunately, I was not blessed with a metabolism that would allow me to down plate-fulls of yumminess and not have it show up on the scale. I have that a-moment-on-the-lips-forever-on-the-hips kind of metabolism that whatever I eat, I keep. Dr. Mike Moreno of the 17 Day Diet fame, says it in the book… one will have to be on some kind of diet forever. A diet is one of the few things that you just can’t “let go and let God”. I can easily gain 4 lbs over one weekend and that’s just from adding an afternoon snack (which can’t don’t do while I’m at work).

Losing weight does not simply involve a change in eating habits, it is a change in lifestyle. Those who have struggled through attempts at weight loss are too familiar with skipping meals – I don’t do that anymore. I try to eat dinner by 6:00 pm, no more midnight snacks either. If I think I’m hungry, I drink water.

So when asked if I am still on a diet and when I can to stop, I have to say yes and never. That’s the reality I have to live with.

I found this recipe on Pinterest pinned from this blog. Some things can make this “healthy eating” gig more tolerable.

Lemon Garlic Brussel Sprouts

2 lb Brussel Sprouts
4 tbsp olive oil
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 lemon, juiced and zested
3 tbsp gruyere, grated
sea salt
Clean the brussel sprouts by trimming off the ends and peeling the outer layer of the sprout off. Cut each one in half.
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.
Once heated, add the halved brussel sprouts to the pan and saute for about 7-8 minutes on each side until the outer part is a caramelized brown and the inside is soft and fully cooked.
Add the garlic half way through the cooking.
Reduce the heat to low and add the lemon zest, juice, salt and pepper.
Stir to combine and taste. Adjust seasoning if needed. Add the cheese on top and serve.

Been there. Done that.

I’ve been on diets forever. 3-Day Diet, Cabbage Soup Diet, South Beach Diet and so many others. Some of them worked, and some of them, well, just made me miserable. It was late September 2011 when a co-worker said 3 words I have never heard of before. 17 Day Diet.

I was never thin. Well, maybe except for that one brief episode in college. But I have always been that “chubby” kid. The chubby teen, the chubby young adult… you get the drift. I weighed in the 120lbs in my early twenties, jumped to the 150s in my early thirties. I was a size 14 on my wedding day. I don’t recall how it crept up on me but soon enough, I progressed to a size 16, then size 18. Before I knew it I was 40 and weighed 180 lbs! To put things in perspective, the ideal weight for my age and height is 120 — I was 60 lbs overweight!

Then in the summer of 2011, noticing a slight pinch and tightness in my size 18 clothes, I tipped the scale at 190lbs (unfortunately, I was part of a big group of cousins who went on a vacation in Canada and there are hundreds of photos to prove my claim)!

Fast forward to that fateful September day with Annabelle, with her pink 17 Day Diet book. I just copied what she got for her lunch that day and I declared, I start my diet today.

Here’s a recipe from Healthy Living that made this diet a bit more appetizing:

Creamy Salmon Rolls

Bagels are the traditional accompaniment to lox and cream cheese, but since you can’t eat bagels until later on the diet, here’s an amazing alternative that will satisfy your taste buds while waiting. From The 17 Day Diet Cookbook by Dr. Mike Moreno.
4 ounces thinly sliced lox or smoked salmon
1/2 cup yogurt cheese made from fat-free, plain Greek yogurt (see recipe here)
1/2 teaspoon fresh dill
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 large cucumber, sliced into 1/4-inch disks
1. Lay a large piece of wax paper on your work surface. Lay the smoked salmon slices on the wax paper, overlapping them to make a large rectangle. Spread the yogurt cheese on top of the salmon; sprinkle evenly with the dill, lemon zest, and garlic powder. Using the wax paper to lift the salmon up, roll the fish like a jelly roll, taking care that the wax paper is only a guide and doesn’t get caught inside the roll. Wrap the log in plastic wrap; refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours.
2. Unwrap the roll; lay on a cutting board. Use a serrated knife to slice into 1/2-inch-thick pinwheels. Place each piece on top of a cucumber disk.
YIELD: 2 servings
TIP: Make ahead, slice off as much of the log as you want, then rewrap the rest of the log and refrigerate