It’s the countdown to the holidays!  So for the next 25 days, we will be exploring the various diets that are shoved down our throats in the checkout line at the grocery store.
What are we all looking for in a diet?  Quick results and minimal work!  We’ve tried low cal, low carb, no taste, and no fun with no luck!
Famed chef and restaurateur (and celebrity hottie) Rocco Dispirito is here to the rescue!  Dispirito claims he lost 1 pound per day, resulting in a 50 lbs weight loss using a low calorie, low carb approach (or VLCD).  This diet restricts users to 850 calories per day, but in his cookbook he offers tasty, savory ways to cash in on those few calories and lead you to weight loss victory!
Image result for rocco dispirito
Here is the Day One meal plan from “The Pound A Day Diet” (Calorie counts included and recipes for a High-Protein Chocolate Breakfast Smoothie, Grapefruit with Spiced “Splenda”, Salmon and Cucumber Salad with Creamy Dill Dressing, and Beef & Broccoli Stir Fry!).


High-Protein Chocolate Breakfast Smoothie (198 calories)

Grapefruit with Zero-Calorie Spiced “Sugar” (28 calories)


Super Popcorn-Kale Crumble (40 calories)


Salmon and Cucumber Salad with Creamy Dill Dressing (171 calories)


The Green Monkey (77 calories)


Beef and Broccoli Stir-Fry (193 calories)


1 cup iceberg lettuce, 5 cherry tomatoes, 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar (29 calories)


Green Tea with Lemon and Basil (4 calories)


Fresh Raspberries with Sugar-Free Vanilla Cream (83 calories)

TOTAL CALORIES: 823 calories

High-Protein Chocolate Breakfast Smoothie

Yield: Four 16-ounce servings


6 cups cold water

2 tablespoons psyllium husk powder

2 scoops fiber powder (such as ReNew Life Triple Fiber)

2 scoops protein powder (such as Daily Benefit)

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons dark unsweetened cocoa powder (such as Hershey’s

Special Dark)

24 packets monk fruit extract (such as Monk Fruit In the Raw; optional)

4 scoops unflavored egg-white powder (such as Jay Robb)

2 cups crushed ice or small ice cubes


1. Put the water, psyllium husk powder, and fiber powder in a blender and blend on high until smooth and slightly thickened, about 1 1/2 minutes.

2. Turn the blender off and add the protein powder, cocoa, and monk fruit powder, if using; blend until smooth, about 30 seconds, and turn off the blender.

3. Add the egg-white powder and blend until smooth, about 10 seconds, then add the ice and blend until smooth, about 30 seconds.

4. Pour the smoothie into 4 pint-sized glasses.

Tip: Add a pinch of salt if your diet can afford the sodium-it will really draw out the full flavor of the cocoa.

Per serving: 198 calories, 2g fat (.25g sat), 0mg cholesterol, 488mg sodium, 15g carbohydrate, 8g fiber, 30.75g protein

Nutrient content claims: Reduced calorie / Low fat / Low saturated fat / Cholesterol free / No added sugar / High fiber / High protein / Gluten free / Trans fat free

Calories Before: 499 /Calories After: 198

Fat Grams Before: 12/Fat Grams After: 2


Yield: 4 servings


2 large Ruby Red grapefruits, cut in half crosswise and flesh separated from membrane

11/2 tablespoons large-crystal sugar replacement (such as Lakanto)

1/8 teaspoon ginger powder

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon powder


1. Place each grapefruit half cut side up in a serving bowl.

2. Mix the sugar replacement well with the ginger and cinnamon and sprinkle the spiced “sugar” evenly over each grapefruit half. Serve chilled.

Per serving: 28 calories, 0g fat (0g sat), 0mg cholesterol, 0mg sodium, 11g carbohydrate, 2g fiber, 0.5g protein

Nutrient content claims: Low calorie / Fat free / Saturated fat free / Cholesterol free / Sodium free / No added sugar / Trans fat free / Gluten free

Calories Before: 392/Calories After: 28

Fat grams Before: 0.5/Fat grams After: 0


Yield: 4 servings


1/2 cup fat-free Greek yogurt (such as Fage Total 0%)

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1/4 cup fresh dill, chopped

6 cups store-prepared plain cucumber, onion, and cherry tomato salad (find it in the salad bar section or deli counter at the supermarket)

Salt and cayenne pepper

8 ounces canned no-added-salt sockeye salmon, drained


1. Mix the yogurt, lemon juice, and dill in a large mixing bowl until smooth. Add the cucumber salad, toss to coat the vegetables evenly, and season with salt and cayenne pepper to taste.

2. Divide the salad among four plates and top each with an equal amount of salmon.

Tip: Try using green or red hot sauce in place of the cayenne pepper for a little added zing.

Per serving: 171 calories, 4g fat (1 g sat), 25mg cholesterol, 104mg sodium, 17.5g carbohydrate, 1.5g fiber, 16g protein

Nutrient content claims: Reduced calories / Reduced fat / Low saturated fat / No added sugar / Low sodium / Trans fat free / Gluten free / High protein

Calories Before: 1105/ Calories After: 171

Fat Grams Before: 94/ Fat Grams After: 4


Yield: 4 servings


Olive oil cooking spray (such as Pam)

12 ounces grass-fed beef tenderloin, sliced into 1/4-inch strips

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

6 cups frozen broccoli florets, defrosted

2 cups shirataki rice, rinsed and drained (such as Miracle Noodle – substitute a different shirataki product and chop it up if the rice cut is unavailable)

1 cup cold water

2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons instant brown gravy (such as Knorr) mixed with

1 cup cold water

6 tablespoons reduced-sodium sugar-free teriyaki sauce (such as Seal Sama)


1. Spray a large nonstick skillet with 2 seconds of cooking spray and place over high heat. Season the beef with salt and pepper. Place half the meat in the skillet and brown one side evenly, about 1 minute. Remove the browned beef and set aside. Spray the skillet with 2 seconds of cooking spray and repeat with the remaining beef.

2. Spray the skillet with 2 seconds of cooking spray, then add the broccoli and rice and cook until all the water has evaporated, about 1 minute. Add the water-gravy mixture and teriyaki sauce to the pan and simmer until thickened to a sauce-like texture, about 10 seconds.

3. Season with salt and pepper, then divide the stir-fry among four bowls and serve.

Tip: Add some crushed red pepper flakes if you want to spice things up a bit.

Per serving: 193 calories, 4g fat (1.5g sat), 60mg cholesterol, 763mg sodium, 11g carbohydrate, 3g fiber, 26g protein

Nutrient content claims: Reduced calorie / Reduced fat / Good source of fi ber / High protein

Calories Before: 720/Calories After: 193

Fat grams Before: 24/Fat grams After: 4

Recipes from THE POUND A DAY DIET by Rocco DiSpirito. Copyright © 2014 by Flavorworks, Inc. Used with permission by Grand Central Publishing. All rights reserved.


25 days of diets #s 8-9: Paleo Vs Keto

I’m sure you’ve seen and heard these two food and diet-related terms everywhere. Both diets have a strong focus on meat and protein. What’s the difference?

Paleo is low in carbohydrates but is also more lenient in the consumption of carbs. The theory is that by going back to “eating like cave people,” our bodies will return to their most primal, natural, and healthy state. Paleo focuses on eating whole, natural foods. The quality of the food is extremely important. You’re going to want grass-fed meat and poultry, grass-fed butter, cage-free eggs, and organic fruits, veggies, and grains. GMO’s are a big NO-NO.

Image result for paleo diet

We all hope our food is completely genetically modified, right? It just sounds wrong.

All diet plans prefer you to eat as naturally and organically as possible. Quality is important, but not the focus of the Keto diet.

Ketones are produced in your body naturally when there is not enough glucose (produced by the carbs we eat) to give your body fuel and keep you moving. In it’s most natural state, ketosis has many benefits to our bodies including lowering blood pressure, weight loss, improving focus, stabilizing blood sugar, alleviating seizures and symptoms, and even improving cholesterol levels in the blood. This is all surprising considering the focus of the keto diet: HIGH FAT.

Image result for bacon

Yep. The Keto Diet is high fat, low carb.

There are even some who go as far as eliminating carbs altogether! (Zero Carb).  The Keto Diet is also said to help alleviate the symptoms of depression.

I’ve tried low carb and keto diets. They do work. They’re not hard to start, but they are difficult to commit to, especially during that time of the month when chocolate, Cheetos, and Coca-Cola come calling to comfort you during the week of crying and cramps.

A major benefit of following a keto diet, even though it means refraining from the 3 Cs: IRON.  The meat, poultry, fish, and dark green veggies of the Keto diet will definitely help with the tendency to have low iron during that time of the month…and putting full-fat butter on EVERYTHING!  And saying YES to bacon.

Image result for steak with butter


25 days of diets #7:  2 Day Diet!

If 4 days is too long and 3 days is testing your patience, how about 2 days?

Go Low Carb!

No bread, pasta, sweets, etc

Just 2 days a week, not necessarily consecutive.

Less than 50 g of carbs

Choose healthy carbs like green veggies, low carb-high fiber bread, fruit, and dairy.

Sample day:

Breakfast: An omelet with turkey sausage

Lunch: A salad with mixed greens and grilled chicken

Snack: sliced tomato and fresh mozzarella 

Dinner: Salmon with broccoli 

On non-diet days, don’t go overboard on the carbs! Keep it light!

Can giving your body a carb break every week lead to long lasting weight loss?

25 Days of Diets #6: The 4 Day Diet (Original)

Because there is a new 4-day diet on the block, I had to dig deep into the recesses of the interweb to find a diet I tried several times in my younger years. I even ate the eggs. I despise eggs.  I don’t know if there is a word strong enough to express my hatred and disdain for the taste of eggs.

Here goes!
Days 1-4: Breakfast
1/2 grapefruit, black coffee or plain tea

Related image

Lunch Day 1:

Broiled steak
Lettuce, and tomato salad, no dressing
1 apple
Dinner Day 1:

2 Hard Boiled eggs, green beans 1/2 graperuit

Lunch Day Two:

1 boneless, boiled, broiled, or baked chicken breast
lettuce, no dressing
6 ounces tomato juice

Lunch Day 3:

Broiled chicken
lettuce and celery salad, no dressing
1 apple

Image result for prune juice
Dinner Day 3:

1 Hamburger Patty
Stewed Tomatoes
6 ounces prune juice

Image result for boiled egg
Lunch Day 4:

2 hard-boiled eggs, green beans, 6 ounces tomato juice
Dinner Day 4:

Broiled steak, lettuce, and tomatoes, no dressing 6 ounces unsweetened pineapple juice.

No snacking, no creamers or milk, no bread.  Condiments and seasonings allowed: salt, pepper, and lemon for salad.

Beverages: Water or 2 12 oz diet sodas per day

Eat ’til you are full.

I don’t know if I can try this one again. I remember being so desperate to finish once that I blended all of the ingredients in the dinner and drank them because I couldn’t stand to eat dry steak again!

Good luck!

25 Days of Diets #5: The updated 3-Day Diet

As I reached the checkout line tonight (my basket full of dog food, “Cozy Autumn” Glade spray and scented warmers, new toothbrushes, and other toiletries), a new edition of Woman’s World Magazine caught my eye.  No, not because of Valerie Bertinelli’s Thanksgiving tips.  The article title that caught my eye:

Diet just 3 days to LOSE 12 LBS!

Oh yes, folks, another 3-day diet!  This is one is Dr. Oz-approved.

The woman in the article who tried the diet (also named Jennifer. Nice.), claims to have lost a whole size in 3 days (and 7 1/2 lbs)!

How is this diet different than the 3-day diet we’ve come to know and love?

Choices…and Protein-rich ice cream.

Image result for halo ice cream

The nutrition team at Woman’s World came up with 1,100-calorie menus to delight your taste buds while slimming your waistline.  I’ll let you in on the options I would choose:

Breakfast Day 1:

1 slice whole grain toast, 1 tbsp peanut butter, 1/2 small grapefruit or banana

Lunch Day 1:

1 single serve pouch of tuna

3 cups of salad with 1.5 tbsp light dressing

1 oz cheddar cheese

1 slice of whole grain toast or 1/2 cup green peas

Dinner Day 1:

10 medium shrimp with 2 tbsp cocktail sauce

1.5 cups mixed steamed veggies with 2 tbsp light dressing

1/2 cup brown rice


1 cup Halo or Skinny Cow ice cream

Breakfast Day 2:

1 oz cheddar cheese

1 small apple or pear

Lunch Day 2:

1 single serve pouch of tuna

3 cups of salad with 1.5 tbsp light dressing

1 oz cheddar cheese

1 slice of whole grain toast or 1/2 cup green peas

Dinner Day 2:

3 oz chicken breast

1.5 cups green veggies

1/2 cup baked sweet potatoes with 1 tsp olive oil


1 cup Halo or Skinny Cow ice cream

Image result for cheese and apple

Breakfast Day 3:

1 slice whole grain toast, 1 tbsp peanut butter, 1/2 small grapefruit or banana

Lunch Day 3:

1 oz cheddar cheese

6 whole grain crackers

1.5 cups raw veggies with 1.5 tbsp light dressing or dip

Dinner Day 3:

10 medium shrimp with 2 tbsp cocktail sauce

1.5 cups mixed steamed veggies with 2 tbsp light dressing

1/2 cup brown rice


1 cup Halo or Skinny Cow ice cream

The update gives more choices and makes the 3 days feel a bit less stringent. Would you be more likely to try the 3 day diet now?

25 days of diets #4- 3 day diet

The 3-Day Diet is also sometimes called “the military diet.” I’ve actually done this one a few times. It works. It’s a good kick-off diet, but not sustainable. You’re eating 1,000 calories or less, but you do get ice cream everyday!

Breakfast Day 1

Black tea or coffee

1/2 grapefruit 

1 slice of toast with 1 tbsp peanut butter 

Lunch Day 1

1/2 cup tuna

1 slice dry toast

black coffee or tea

Dinner Day 1

3 oz lean meat

1 cup green beans

1 cup carrots

1 apple

1 cup vanilla ice cream 

Day 2 Breakfast

1 egg

1 slice dry toast

1/2 banana

coffee or tea

Day 2 Lunch

1 cup cottage cheese or 1 cup tuna

6 crackers

tea or coffee

Day 2 Dinner

2 hot dogs

1 cup broccoli 

1/2 cup carrots

1/2 banana

1/2 vanilla ice cream

Breakfast Day 3

1 apple

1 ounce cheddar cheese

5 crackers

black tea or coffee

Lunch Day 3

1 boiled egg

1 slice dry toast 

coffee or tea

Dinner Day 3

1 cup tuna

1 cup carrots 

1 cup cauliflower 

1 cup melon

1/2 cup vanilla ice cream 

This is a slightly different version of one I’ve used before. Because I loathe eggs and would never eat cottage cheese, I would choose one of the breakfast or lunch options from a different day instead of eating the egg or cottage cheese meals. Artificial sweeteners,lemon, salt,pepper,vinegar,soy sauce,mustard,and herbs are allowed to season food and make it more palatable.

Can you last 3 days?

25 Days of diets #3: Detox water and Ayurvedic Spices

How’s the quest for body perfection?

So this article claims you can lose 30 lbs without dieting. How? 

1/2 tsp cumin seeds, coriander seeds, fennel seeds, and powdered or fresh ginger

4-5 cups of boiling hot water

Simmer for 5-10 minutes and strain into a thermos

 Menu Suggestions:

  • 1 bowl of whole grain cereal, served with fruit and milk
  • Large grilled chicken salad, full fat dressing, whole grain roll, fruit, soft serve ice cream 
  • Palm-sized portion of fish with olive oil, lemon, herbs, served with steamed broccoli and a boiled red potato.

Am I the only one buying these $1.99 magazines enticing me in the checkout line, making me rethink that bag of CheetoPuffs in my cart?

25 days of diets- #2 Dr. Oz’s 8-hour diet

Featured on the November 6th issue of Woman’s World magazine is a promise to “lose 10 lbs in 5 days just by changing when you eat!”

The only issue I have so far is that I purchased this magazine in late October, but it says November 6, 2017.

In case you’ve been living under a rock, Dr. Oz is the medical guru that Oprah discovered and launched into fame. He now his own show, a host of books, interviews, etc etc.  It seems like every week he attaches himself to a new diet plan.


This week: the 8-hour diet!

This diet claims that you can eat whatever you want, but you have an 8-hour window to consume.  You can customize by choosing your own 8-hour window, but Dr. Oz recommends that you eat during the hours of 11 AM-7 PM.

The magazine with help from their resident medical professional and nutrition team, Dr. Kellyann, created a menu of suggestions for your 8-hour menu.  This menu suggests that you choose any four menu items PLUS 1/2 cup of beans or peas per sitting.

A few of the options are:

  1. 2 eggs, unlimited veggies prepared any style with grass-fed butter, 3 slices of nitrate-free turkey bacon or turkey sausage.
  2. 1 apple, 2 tbsp of peanut butter, 1 serving of nitrate-free turkey jerky, unlimited sliced veggies.
  3. 1 slice of  “easy healthy meatloaf,” unlimited mixed steamed veggies with grass-fed butter.

The recipe for the “easy healthy meatloaf” is simple and included in the article.

It’s similar to my own recipe for meatloaf, which I’ll let you in on:

1 lb of ground turkey (or beef….not sure if it’s nitrate-free. Who can keep up?)

1 egg

tomato sauce (I just kind of pour, but let’s say 1/2 cup)

a few sprinkles of garlic powder (let’s say it’s 1/2 tsp)

a few sprinkles of onion powder (let’s say it’s 1/2 tsp)

a few sprinkles of turmeric (I put this on/in EVERYTHING) (let’s say it’s 1/2 tsp)

1 handful of diced onions

1 handful of diced green peppers

1 handful of shredded Italian cheeses (optional)

Bake at 400 degrees F until baked through (about 45 minutes to an hour)

(I bake almost everything at 400 and I watch it.)

Serves however many slices you can dish out. Bon appetit!

Dessert options:

Chocolate Mousse (Google a recipe for chocolate avocado pudding or mousse)

A couple of dark chocolate squares and a handful of nuts

Image result for chocolate avocado pudding

Let me know if you try this or have tried it. What do you think?

Is this just another form of intermittent fasting?