My favorite jeans are feeling a little snug this week. I think, no, I know, the holidays were too much fun. I reveled in the homemade truffles, infused oils, my weakness for good wine, cooking with my hubby, and so many meals out, I think I overdid it. How about you? Are you as grateful as I am for the big sweaters of January?
I hate diets. They make me grumpy and resentful. Besides, I like food too much. So I’ve got a plan. It’s my own diet created in the wee hours of the morning as I ran on freezing cold, dark roads this past week. A few miles in and my mind really gets cranking. I become pretty much invincible. That’s when this plan was hatched. So you’ll need to keep your perspective as you read this. But mostly you have to open your mind to the distinct possibility that it can be done.
I’m calling it the 2-ingredient diet. The original diet was 1 ingredient, but then the sun came up and it dawned on me (so to speak) that cheese and butter have two ingredients, and while I know I could make both cheese and butter, I don’t want to. And then there’s wine – grape juice and yeast. Some things we can’t do without.
So he are the 2 rules for 2 Ingredient Diet:
1. Eat only things that have 2 ingredients or less. Orange – fine. Pop Tart – nope. Cheese – good (as long as it isn’t processed) Macaroni & Cheese – nope (unless you make it yourself – including the pasta!).
2. No processed food unless you process it yourself. Ahh! Here’s the brilliance of this plan! You can eat ice cream, bread, cookies, and anything else you can make yourself using ingredients with no more than 2 ingredients. I’m already pouring over recipes for crackers and I ordered a tortilla maker so I can make tortillas, chips, and burrito shells.
Simple, huh? I figure even if I can’t stick to it exclusively, it will slow me down, make me think about what I’m eating and more importantly, what goes in to what I’m eating.
After my second child, I had some serious weight to lose, so I signed up for Weight Watchers. Great program and it worked for me because it was flexible. You could save up points (I stock piled mine for the Orioles games each weekend). This made nothing off limits. I want the 2 Ingredient Diet to have an element of this. Plus, I know there are certain foods I can’t make myself, and I just might not be able to function without them. So I created the exclusion clause. Gone are my idealistic days of youth, nowadays I’m all about reality. And no one will join me on this diet if I don’t provide a little slack.
You can exclude 2 foods from the rules. Now, if you really want this to work I wouldn’t recommend you exclude Reese’s Cups and cheesecake, but there are probably foods that could be diet-busters for you. One of my exceptions is going to be Trader Joes Tomato and Red Pepper soup. I love this soup and this time of year, it’s unreasonable and unaffordable for me to make it. That will be next summer’s project, but for now it’s one of my exceptions.
I haven’t decided on the other exception yet. I’m thinking maybe pasta, but then I remember that my mom gave me her old pasta maker last year and I have yet to try it out. I’m only one day in to this diet, so I’m saving my other exception for emergencies.
The other problem with the 2 Ingredient Diet is eating out. How can you eat out? Very few options. Could be tough, so I’m allowing one meal eaten out each week.
The diet started off great yesterday until I fixed a salad for lunch and opened the fridge for a dressing. I counted not one, but five store-bought dressings that only I will eat. (the kids stick to that gnarly Hidden Valley Farms Ranch Dressing and NOTHING else) Now my Scot-Irish heritage (or my depression era raised mother) have instilled in me that you don’t throw out useful things. So…here’s another clause in my 2 Ingredient Diet. (I’m all about flexibility). If it’s already opened and/or it will expire soon, you can finish it off. So once those dressings are gone, I will stick with the ones I make (which I usually like better anyway). Same with the trail mix and black licorice. No one else will touch those.
Yeah, I know my diet isn’t very strict. And yeah, I know I won’t lose ten pounds this month. But my goal is to feel better, eat better, and fit better in to my jeans. I’m not going to judge my success by the scale. That’s a dangerous way to live.
In case you’re curious how the 2 Ingredient Diet works out, I’m going to add a box to my blogsite with regular updates, including recipes for processed food you’d be surprised you can make yourself. Santa brought me a book filled with recipes for things like pop-tarts and ritz crackers. That could be a fun challenge – can there be a way to make pop-tarts “healthy”? I’ll share my successes and failures and observations periodically on the side bar of my blog.
So, are any of you game for the 2 Ingredient Diet?? I’d love to hear from you and you don’t have to “go public,” you can e-mail me directly if you want. Tell me what you think, what works, and even if it all sounds crazy. Maybe it is. But I’m sure we’ll learn something about who we are and the food we eat. And hopefully, we’ll find ourselves feeling better and looking better by spring!