Read an Excerpt
COOKING WITH JOY: THE 90/10 COOKBOOK (Chapter One)
As you know all too well if you've tried one diet after another in your quest to lose weight--from a pill-popping regimen to a protein-to-carb ratio--there is no magic formula for effortlessly shedding unwanted pounds. The only genuine, time-tested principle of healthy, long-term weight loss is to take in fewer calories than your body burns. That said, the best way to sustain a calorie-controlled diet is through portion control and cravings satisfaction. These must be perfectly balanced in order for a plan to be successful--portion control doesn't work in the long run if you constantly feel hungry and deprived.
To come up with a plan that would guarantee weight-loss success without that starved, weak feeling that frequently goes hand in hand with a "restrictive" diet, I created a weight-reduction regimen that would meet my clients' health needs while simultaneously satisfying their appetites. This is also a highly workable, satisfying plan to follow even if you don't need to lose weight. All of us, whether or not we want to lose weight, should take pride in what we put into our bodies. And if you are trying to coax your family into eating more healthfully, this may be just the inspiration you need to start cooking nutritious, delectable meals your partner and your children will love.
An Overview of the 90/10 Weight-Loss Plan
My original book, The 90/10 Weight-Loss Plan, was written for those who want to lose weight. The book presented three solid meal plans that promote fast, effective, long-term weight loss. Each plan was calculated to include all types of food in a healthy balance so you wind up feeling satisfied--and motivated to stick with it.
Many trendy fad diets focus on omitting entire food groups or on simply counting fat and/or carbohydrate grams. But 90/10 is a scientifically designed, flexible plan that allows for a substantial amount of personal choice. Each daily menu is calculated to provide generous amounts of nutrition, while still keeping the total calories low enough so that you will lose weight. Here's where my fun foods come in. About 10 percent of the calories in a typical day come from fun food choices, though the ratio can vary. In fact, it can vary from 0 to 20 percent, depending on which plan you follow and which fun foods you choose or don't choose to plug in. Fun foods are all portion controlled at 250 calories or fewer and include favorites such as chocolate, ice cream, potatoes, cookies, and more. Furthermore, each day I give the option of forgoing the fun food and instead adding 250 calories of healthier options. The choice is yours. You'll also note that some fun foods offer not just fun but nutrition as well. Frozen yogurt, cheese, nuts, and peanut butter are some of these foods that offer a double bonus. In this new book, packed with all types of delicious recipes, I also present healthier fun food options that offer nutrition along with indulgence--for example, homemade guacamole, a good source of monounsaturated fat as well as beta-carotene, and low-fat, low-sugar chocolate mousse, packed with calcium.
My food philosophy doesn't focus on exact math; instead it promotes an overall weight-loss strategy. It's a realistic food plan, one that works beautifully because it concentrates on the behavioral changes that are so important for permanent weight loss--changes that will indeed transform your life. Thanks to a balance of the foods you crave and the foods you need to be healthy and feel good, followers of the 90/10 plan feel satisfied both physically and emotionally. No matter what your dieting history, you'll soon discover that this is a plan you can commit to for life. The original meal plan (now with the recipes in this book) enables you to get all the nutrients your body needs and is designed to provide you with the most vitamins and minerals possible for the controlled amount of calories consumed.
The menus in The 90/10 Weight-Loss Plan are low in dietary cholesterol and saturated fat, and high in fiber, antioxidants, and phytochemicals, all of which can help reduce your risk of heart disease and some cancers, promote healthy digestion, and improve circulation. Of course, the recipes in Cooking with Joy all follow suit. Once you start to follow the 90/10 plan, you'll most likely feel more positive and energetic. That's because you're feeding your body with the right mix of food, and you're in complete control. No more bouncing from restrictive plans to bingeing on "forbidden" foods. All the foods you need and crave are part of the program.
With the recipes in this book, I've done all the calorie crunching, so that every recipe is presented in portion-controlled servings. What's more, all the breakfast portions within a specific plan are calorie-equivalent, as are the lunches, dinners, and snacks. Thus, you never have to eat anything you don't like and you can certainly repeat recipes as often as you like. These recipes are all interchangeable with the menus and recipes in the fourteen-day meal plan outlined in my original book, as well as any other calorie-controlled plan you may be following. They are all healthy, delicious, and satisfying dishes to add to your repertoire of mealtime fare.
Because success is based on maximizing nutrition and controlling calories, you need to know the right amount of calories for your personal weight-loss goals. If you've followed my plan in the past, you're set. For newcomers, determine your appropriate caloric level by considering the following criteria.
How Many Calories Do You Need?
The fewest amount of calories recommended for good health is 1,200 per day. My 1,200-calorie plan is for women who either don't exercise or exercise two hours or fewer per week and don't work in a physically demanding job. Also, if you are postmenopausal and over age fifty, you might want to consider this plan as well. Short women, five foot two or less, with a small amount of weight to lose should also consider starting on this plan.
My 1,400-calorie plan works well for nearly all women. Consider this one if you have a moderately active lifestyle, if you are between the ages of eighteen and fifty, and/or if you have from two to fifty pounds to lose. The 1,600-calorie plan works well for nearly all men, although it may not be enough food for men taller than five foot six. Women above five foot six may also choose this plan, as taller people automatically have additional lean body mass and thus a higher baseline metabolism (more calories to play with). Even if you are shorter, if you are a diligent exerciser who works out at least five times per week, you may want to follow this plan, as it will help to fuel and optimize your vigorous workouts. My 1,800-calorie plan is for active men, and my 2,000-calorie plan is for tall men who are very active, as well as for other 90/10 followers who've already lost the weight and are determined to keep the pounds off but want a more liberal eating plan.
No matter which plan you opt to follow, remember that the 90/10 philosophy is not written in stone! Obviously, there will be days when you will go off your plan completely, either at a meal or at snacktime. My advice is: Don't give up on the entire day! Just count the excessive food as a "meal plus your fun food." Then carry on with healthful food choices. In fact, throw in some extra exercise to rid yourself of those extra calories and clear your head of any guilt or remorse.
What if you feel hungry or hypoglycemic while following the 90/10 plan? Certainly you can spread out your meals or add an extra snack when your body requires it. A small additional snack should not impede your weight-loss effort. Suggestions for reasonably sized snacks include a serving of fruit or a vegetable, a nonfat yogurt, or a slice of reduced-calorie whole wheat bread with a teaspoon of peanut butter or a slice of low-fat cheese. If you consistently feel hungry and light-headed, you may need to be eating more. Some people start at one calorie level and move to another, depending on their weight loss and hunger. Remember, this is not a race. It's a lifelong way of eating.
Often it can be helpful to know the exact calorie breakdown for each plan, so check out the box below that presents the math for each of the five plans. This can help when certain foods are not available or practical. For example, say you are in a situation where you can't cook a 90/10 meal from scratch and your only alternative is a frozen entrée from the supermarket. This is perfectly okay, provided that the substituted meal falls within the correct caloric range. So long as you stay within these caloric guidelines, you may alter a few 90/10 meals to fit your personal tastes. Of course try to keep these substitutions to a minimum. I designed these menus to provide well-balanced nutrition, and to replace nutritious meals with less-than-healthy alternatives is counterproductive.
Calorie Breakdowns for 90/10 Weight Loss Plan
Breakfast: 200 calories
Lunch: 300 calories
Snack: 100 calories
Dinner: 350 calories
Fun food: 250 calories (or fewer)
Breakfast: 250 calories
Lunch: 350 calories
Snack: 100 calories
Dinner: 450 calories
Fun food: 250 calories (or fewer)
Breakfast: 250 calories
Lunch: 400 calories
Snack: 150 calories
Dinner: 550 calories
Fun food: 250 calories (or fewer)
Breakfast: 300 calories
Lunch: 500 calories
Snack: 200 calories
Dinner: 550 calories
Fun food: 250 calories (or fewer)
Breakfast: 350 calories
Lunch: 500 calories
Snack: 250 calories
Dinner: 650 calories
Fun food: 250 calories (or fewer)
Some Things to Keep in Mind
You may drink unlimited plain coffee or tea throughout the day, but if you are caffeine-sensitive, limit your consumption. (If you're taking medication or have a preexisting medical condition, ask your doctor what caffeine allowance is suitable for you.) You may substitute low-fat soy milk and/or Lactaid milk for skim milk on any of the 90/10 food plans. You may also enjoy as much water and noncaloric seltzer as you like. Try no-calorie flavored varieties of seltzer, or squeeze in your own fresh lemon. If you enjoy chewing gum, you may have one standard pack per day of any sugarless chewing gum you like. Just the act of chewing can be enough to keep you from eating high-calorie foods.
Each dinner recipe has a suggested "side" of a salad, vegetable, or both. All vegetables listed with any dinner may be substituted with any of the following vegetables on a given night (the portion size stays the same): asparagus, beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, cucumbers, eggplant, green beans, greens (collard, mustard, and turnip), kohlrabi, leeks, lettuce, mushrooms, okra, onions, pea pods, peppers (red, yellow, and green), radishes, rutabaga, spinach, tomatoes, water chestnuts, and zucchini. And if you're feeling extra hungry, you can always increase these vegetable servings on any given day.
Spicing Things Up
Whenever you feel like spicing up a dish with herbs and other seasonings, you may use unlimited amounts of any of the following: basil, bay leaves, celery seeds, chervil, chili powder, chives, cinnamon, cumin, curry, dill, flavoring extracts (such as almond, vanilla, and walnut), garlic powder, hot pepper sauce, lemon juice, lemon pepper, lime juice, minced onion or onion powder, oregano, paprika, parsley, pepper, pimiento, rosemary, sage, low-sodium soy sauce, tarragon, thyme, turmeric, and vinegar.
Vegetarians may substitute tofu or tempeh for appropriate recipes that include meat, chicken, or fish. When substituting tofu, just double the ounces listed for meat, chicken, or fish. For tempeh, the ounces remain the same as those listed for meat, fish, or chicken. Soy cheese or vegetable cheese may be substituted for regular low-fat/nonfat cheese, and low-fat soy milk may be substituted for skim milk (the amounts remain the same).
Above all, keep in mind that the 90/10 strategy is designed to help you feel good about your ability to control and choose your food while at the same time allowing you to indulge in those daily fun foods. This plan dares to acknowledge that we love cake, cookies, rich desserts, and starchy carbs. Therefore, I have portion-controlled these favorite indulgences right into the plan. All foods can now work for you. And keep in mind that once you've reached your weight-loss goal, you can effortlessly incorporate the 90/10 plan into your life. Enjoy eating a whole lot of healthy foods...mixed with a bit of fun.
Now that you understand the 90/10 philosophy, Cooking with Joy offers a tremendous bonus for both dieters and folks who want to maintain good health with great tasting food. In the following chapters, I'll provide you with the ultimate guide for shopping smart and present step-by-step cooking techniques that will help you prepare sensational low-calorie meals on a daily basis. But, before we begin, enjoy reading a few 90/10 success stories. They are quite inspirational!
I'd like to thank the following 90/10 participants for sharing their motivating stories. Use their success to help you get started and for constant inspiration. I'm sure you'll find a few similarities in their journey, which may move you toward a healthier relationship with food and help you achieve long-term weight management.
Sara didn't have a weight problem until she entered middle school. Before that she was so active that she could eat whatever she wanted and not gain excess weight. But once she got into the sixth grade and the homework piled up, the pounds piled on. She spent a lot of time studying and grew more sedentary with each year. High school was even worse--Sara just kept gaining weight, until by graduation day she was so ashamed of the way she looked that she didn't even want to dress up in a cap and gown. Although she loved eating just about anything, her real weakness was chocolate bars and anything salty.
Sara tried numerous weight-loss regimens. But every diet she tried ended in dismal failure. After seeing commercials for various pills and potions that promised magically to melt off the pounds, she'd try yet another plan. She wanted a quick fix, but those stubborn pounds refused to budge.
At just five feet tall, Sara has a small frame, and soon after she entered college, she ballooned up to 180 pounds. Besides feeling desperate about her appearance, Sara hated that she didn't have any energy at all. It took her forever to climb up three flights of stairs to some of her classes. She finally began to take the service elevator just so she wouldn't arrive winded, flustered, and sweaty. But there was a big sign on the elevator: "Unless you are in a wheelchair or carrying something very heavy, you're not permitted to ride on this." Of course, whenever she got off the elevator and there were people around, she was embarrassed.
Around Christmastime, Sara happened to see me talking on a local Tulsa TV program about my 90/10 program. A few months went by before she started the plan herself. By the end of the summer, after six months on the plan, she had lost sixty pounds.
Sara found that following the 90/10 plan was practically effortless. The key to her willpower was knowing that at the end of the day, she could still unwind and enjoy a fun food--her chocolate bar fix! Like so many 90/10 followers, she quickly figured out how to make this plan work for her. For Sara, that meant saving the fun food for later in the night. She never felt deprived. The days turned into weeks, which turned into months, and before she knew it, she was feeling great, looking great, and destined never to be overweight again.
At the same time, Sara began exercising. A history buff who loves to read, write, and surf the Internet, her lifestyle tends to be sedentary. Although she can't run because she has trouble with her knees, she took up walking. Before long, Sara was doing five or six miles each night. In addition to helping her lose weight, that sixty to ninety minutes of walking five days a week did wonders for her stress level and muscle tone! She now feels better both physically and mentally.
Now that she has lost the weight, Sara has been very successful in sticking to a maintenance plan. Although she started out on the 1,200-calorie plan, she now eats between 1,400 and 1,800 calories per day. Recently accepted into law school, she's looking forward with confidence to lifting heavy books, putting in sixteen-hour days--and running up the stairs to her classes instead of sneaking off to take the freight elevator!
Douglas, fifty-three years old, is five foot eight and weighed more than 300 pounds. He'd been a big-time high school and college football player who got on the spiral of gaining and gaining. Suffering from high blood sugar and cholesterol, along with elevated triglycerides, he was on medication for hypertension. Because of his high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes, his doctor (and his wife, who is a nurse) urged him to lose weight. A senior executive with a big consulting company, Douglas is constantly traveling. As a "road warrior" who lives on airplanes, in hotel rooms, and in conference rooms, he has no time whatsoever for himself, but he made time to see me.
After our initial consultation I genuinely felt he'd be a tremendous success. We created a meal plan around airplanes, traveling, and long days and nights; we became a dynamic team. Because Douglas had so much excess weight, he lost 10 pounds in the first two weeks. A month later, he was down 20 pounds. By the end of the next month, he'd shed 28 pounds, his blood glucose was normal, and his cholesterol level was under 200.
Five months later, Douglas had lost 70 pounds. He is aiming to get down to 200 pounds, and I have no doubt that he will accomplish this, too. Often at night, for his fun food, he has a mug of low-fat ice cream, and he typically plugs in extra fruit here and there during the day as needed. (Believe me, that bowl of ice cream and the extra fruit are nothing compared to the amount of carbs he used to consume!) Other times his fun food is automatically worked into his daily menu with unexpected "extras" at business meetings, client dinners, and visits to the late-night hospitality suite in his hotel.
Written by an extraordinary client who conquered a battle of disordered eating.
I've learned a valuable lesson over the years. Weight is not as uncontrollable as many of us think it is. I've been on both extremes of the scale: I've been referred to as "big boned" and "solid" any number of times, and I've also been called "skinny Minnie" and "lollipop."
In grammar school, while my friends were joining Girl Scout troops, I was happy to stay home and financially support bake sales by eating. I was lively and opinionated, but I didn't understand deeper emotions. Instead, I ate.
In high school, I never lost my desire for thinness, but I did falter many a time in my active pursuit of it. Southern California is well stocked with the kind of long-legged blondes who will give any ordinary person a complex. It wasn't long before I'd developed as solid a relationship with my toilet bowl as I had with the kitchen pantry. Bulimia seems like a great idea to most overeaters, but the truth is that it does little more than destroy your internal organs. For the most part, I reached a point where I could control it, but the overeating never stopped.
By the time I reached college, I'd come to see myself as a failure-riddled second-class citizen who didn't have much to offer the world. I spent most of my days at Barnes & Noble, huddled over a scone with my head in a book. Of course, I spent all kinds of time pitying myself that I couldn't get a date, but it never occurred to me that it had anything to do with never talking to anyone. I was stuck in a terrible cycle: assuming that being overweight made me less attractive, then acting less attractive, which simply made me what I imagined, and I felt bad because I was treated accordingly. Weight is such an easy defense, no matter what the game.
The summer after freshman year of college, I worked at a restaurant. Every day I showed up for work with my knees shaking, and every night when I got into my car I burst into tears of relief. When I finally gathered up the courage to give my two-week notice after a month of complete turmoil, I was forced to admit utter defeat. I was an official failure; I couldn't even survive the most basic of jobs. Then something inside me clicked, and I decided that I was going to take control of my life.
Over the next two years, I changed just about everything in my life. I went from a C average to a 4.0 GPA, got a great internship at a major magazine, and lost more than 60 pounds. I went from a size fourteen to a size zero in Gap jeans and still felt like a cow. At the same time, I developed a rather complex relationship with the outside world. I reveled in the inevitable compliments but resented what felt like reinforcement of my previous ugliness. Aside from the time I spent studying, I think it's safe to say that I never ever stopped thinking about food. It had become my best friend. I took long New York City walks and taunted myself, staring into the windows of bakeries and wandering the aisles of gourmet grocery stores. "Look at all that food I can't eat." I'd sit and read cookbooks at Barnes & Noble, constructing some imaginary feast at which I gorged on all the forbidden foods. Coconut rice! Olive oil focaccia! Apple pie! Gruyère fondue, chocolate layer cake, buttermilk biscuits, chocolate ganache!
Despite how seriously ill I was becoming as my anorexia persisted, it took a series of events for me to stop the starvation. It took an angry brother, a gossipy friend, and an assortment of physical side effects like bone loss and amenorrhea (lack of menstruation). It took professional help to really change my habits. It took time to establish non-emotional eating habits that were still psychologically rewarding. That was the most important thing--learning to eat in a way that acknowledged my body's needs for fuel and moderation but also my mind's need for satisfaction and pleasure.
Joy calls her plan a "90/10 food strategy." I call it "spinach and ice cream." By the same token, nothing was more beneficial than establishing a middle ground with my food.
I now take long walks, I drink a lot of water, and I eat food that's good for me. However, moments of spontaneity are equally important, and I try to keep life interesting with random dance classes, weekday movie matinees, Twizzlers, and other portion-controlled foods that used to be off-limits.
These days, I make it a point to be aware of my strengths and abilities. I'm a success at many things, and I don't need to prove myself through my eating habits anymore. Life is hard, food should be easy.
By the fifth month on my plan, Douglas was motivated to begin a formal exercise regimen, which he has continued to maintain. He also walks to and from appointments much more than he ever did before, and he reports feeling much less winded when he takes the stairs (amazing achievement!). Douglas's long-term goal is to knock off another 50 pounds, feel and look better than he did in college, and start playing football again for fun with friends. Douglas brags that he is now able to zip up an old, favorite aviator jacket. He feels better than he has in a long time and loves seeing the transformation in himself. He is looking forward to getting off his blood pressure medication ...and shopping for new clothes.
Now that you understand how real people have changed their lives with my 90/10 plan, you're ready to dive in and give your kitchen a makeover. The following chapter will show you how to make smart choices in the grocery store and how to navigate your way through the aisles with the best bets in low-fat dairy, grains, produce, meat, fish, poultry, and condiments.
COOKING WITH JOY: THE 90/10 COOKBOOK Copyright © 2004 by Joy Bauer, M.S, R.D., C.D.N.s