Step 1: Calm down!
I got all the info from Dr. Neale. The quick start guide is 78 pages. Quick start. PDF. 78 pages. I read it. It feels more overwhelming than maybe it is, I don’t know. I did the quick test (only 5 questions) to figure out what level I should do. It looks like I should do level 3, but ramping up might be less overwhelming, especially for my husband. I checked with Dr. Neale, who said go right ahead. It’s okay to do level 1 during the first week, level 2 the second, then level 3 the last week.
I was looking at and starting to freak out over the meal plans. I hate meal plans. I’m not sure why, but I’ve always been this way. It just looks like so much freaking work. And there are so many of the recipes I have to adjust because of the olive oil, lemon/lime juice, avocado, and coconut everything. Even when I find subs online for coconut, a large number of them are avocados or other fruits. Ack!
Anyway, I’ve been having nightmarish visions of running all over town for specialized ingredients and cooking all day and cleaning up after all the cooking. I’ve been spending a lot of time wondering how other people do it without going broke or insane or both. And then a big fat A-HA!
I can still have my daily beet smoothie for breakast. Ka-ching! I can still do chicken or an egg and salad for lunch! Ka-ching, ka-ching! So really, I just have to come up with dinners, and even then not actually seven because, hello! Leftovers! DING DING DING! We have a winner! Tell her what she’s won, Don Pardo!
Step 2: Take control, make your own rules
I went to Barnes & Noble and got the book. It’s much easier for me to hold something in my hands and flip back and forth from one section to another than to scroll around. This is super helpful, because I can put stickies and dog-ear pages and write notes directly on the pages. Also, and this is a biggie, if I’m going to follow all these rules, I have a few rules, too. They might be weird, but I do actually have some standards:
- As few ingredients as possible;
- No more than one countertop appliance involved;
- I’m not turning on the oven for an individual ingredient within a recipe, only the final dish;
- No broiler. I realize that’s weird, but the last time I used my broiler, the overly-sensitive smoke detector went off and terrified my dog. Actually, traumatized him is more like it. When he hears the stove vent he hides and shakes, which upsets the other one and then she hides and shakes and pees on herself;
- No more than 2 ingredient swaps;
- An ingredient swap can’t be a major component. For example, if a recipe can’t be made without green-tipped bananas, I’m not doing it;
- No hard-to-find, single-use ingredients;
- I refuse to refer to a second recipe for a major component of the first recipe. A spice blend, I can get behind. But I’m not going to do an entire recipe for a roast just for a few shreds of meat for a taco. Just no.
Step 3: Write it down
I looked through the book with my rules in mind and wrote down some recipes that actually look doable and pretty tasty. Also, there’s a recipe in this book for shrimp pad thai that has no tamarind in it. I’m sorry, what? You can’t have pad thai without tamarind. Final straw on that one.
There’s also this meal math thing in there. Really, it’s just 1+1+1+1=4. 1 protein + 1 fat + 1 veggie + 1 “flavor” = a meal or a snack. So I can do a green salad with veggies, some toasted nut oil, sunflower seeds, and some chicken, and call it lunch. Cut veggies, a boiled egg or some jerky, a handful of almonds, and a few Bubbies pickles = snack time.
Totally got this.
- Day 1: Bacon-veggie root hash (from the book, 4 ingredients!) with Dr. Neale’s turkey sausage
- Day 3: Tomato-basil quiche with bacon (from the book)
- Day 5: Bolognese with zucchini noodles; Oh yeah, get out your spiralizer! (More on this awesome gadget later!)
- Day 7: Sausage and rutabaga rice with brussels sprouts; Again, the spiralizer, and more of Dr. Neale’s turkey sausage)
- Days 2, 4, and 6 are leftovers.
Oh my word, I think I just made a meal plan! I didn’t even use all the recipes I earmarked. And the grocery list is smaller than I thought it would be.
Seriously, I’m pretty sure I can actually swing this!