Monday, June 2, 2014

Teleclass with Chef AJ and Some of Your Questions Answered

Through Facebook and blog comments, many people in our community have been asking a lot of questions about Chef AJ's Ultimate Weight loss. I'm going to share a few questions here with my answers, but I want to tell you that AJ has agreed to do a free teleclass for us this Wednesday night at 9 pm EST/6 pm PST. How cool is that?

Just call this dial–in number: (712) 432-1212 at 9 pm EST/6 pm PST
the Meeting ID is 263-629-008

After you call in, you must hit the "mute" button on your telephone or the call will be very difficult for everyone else to hear (lots of static). You will be listening to a discussion between me and AJ that is based on your questions, so . . .

Please leave your questions for Chef AJ as comments to this blog posting. We will be using your questions as the foundation of the teleclass!

But since I know that some of you can't wait until Wednesday night, I'm answering a few of your questions (as best as I can--I'm a beginner) right here today.


I am going to try to mimic your eating plan beginning Monday. I have lost 40 pounds since Jan 1st, but have slowed to only 3 pounds for the entire month of May. I have been eating a bit more fats such as hummus and avocados, plus going out to eat, which I am sure has oil. I have been following Chef AJ for a while and truly admire her. I think your plan is reasonable and healthy.

To my questions:

1. Are the snacks all optional, or are you eating the snacks because you need them to keep satiated.

2. You mention healthy desserts. Could you give me examples of what you mean by that?

Thank you and Veg On!"

As far as I can tell, snacks are totally optional. I find that I cannot eat enough calories at one sitting (stomach space and just general life hecticness) to keep me pretty satisfied until the next meal. But, snacks consist of only fruits and vegetables.

Except for one very specific snack that AJ suggested to me which consists of a piece of sweet potato (or a banana) when I step in the door from work. This high carbohydrate snack helps to regulate my brain chemicals in a way that took away my urge to graze all night long.

AJ recently suggested that I add a second pound of greens before dinner. I can't see eating both the sweet potato or banana snack and then a pound of greens before dinner. That sounds like a full dinner to me! I'll see where these suggestions take me, I don't do the same exact eating pattern each day.

As far as desserts go, since I am a sugar addict, I really love sweet food! Having a very small dessert at the end of my day signals the end of eating for the day and does make me feel good (it's the carbs!).

I'm not a fan of the WIAW (what I ate Wednesday) blog postings. In fact, I think they smack of a disordered approach with food, that even I, as someone with a disorder, can see. Taking photographs of everything that you eat on one day and then blogging about it does not seem like a healthy think to do with your creative and mental energy. So I would hate for this posting to come across as anything approximating a WIAW post.

But, I do understand that a lot of readers are very curious about what I am learning from my coaching experience with Chef AJ, and even in going through that process, I am figuring this out as I go! Also, AJ realizes that people tend to do better making one change at a time that an abrupt overnight 180 in eating patterns, so I know that she is easing me into her style of eating and not giving me all of the information at once. It would be overwhelming to try to make all of the following changes in one fell swoop:
  • no more oil
  • no more salt
  • no more sugar, except from fruit
  • no more processed carbohydrate of any kind, including whole wheat flour (oat flour that you grind yourself seems to be the rare exception)
  • nuts, avocado and tofu only in very small amounts and only extremely occasionally (they are not unhealthy, just very high in calories and this is a plan based simply on calorie density and recovering from food addiction; the less you eat of them, the faster you lose weight)
  • no more making "accommodations" about your food in restaurants and other people's homes
  • and of course, no meat or dairy!
It would be impossible to be perfect at this. But given what's at stake here for those of us with eating disorders and carbohydrate sensitivity, we can, over time, make real and lasting changes to our diet that totally alter our mental health, our relationship with food, our relationship with other people and best of all, our relationship with ourselves.

So, given all of that, I will try to explain what a typical day on Chef AJ's Ultimate Weight Loss looks like for me. Well, on second thought, given how nutty life is from day to day, let's not call it "typical." It's just an idea of what a day could look like on this plan.

7:30 am: one pound of plain steamed string beans or any other thing you could do with green vegetables that does not oil or salt them. You could add potato and grain if you need to, but you might get to the place where that is unnecessary. Each breakfast can be different. Today I made vegetable broth sauteed shredded Brussels sprouts with chopped apple and dates. That's the fanciest this get. Most days are really just something like a bag of heated up frozen broccoli with an herb sprinkle. It takes about 5 minutes to make most of my breakfasts.

Mid-morning snack: This happens on the days when my breakfast is simply greens with no fruit or grain. I get hungry by mid morning and usually eat either a piece of fruit or some more raw vegetable, like raw snap peas.

Lunch (usually starts anywhere between 11:30 am and 1 pm): Most days I grab some cooked grain and a small jar of homemade dressing and head out to the Whole Foods salad bar to complete a Hugh Jass salad for myself. Sometimes we will go to a sit down restaurant and I will bring my grain or potato and homemade dressing and order either raw or steamed vegetables, whatever the restaurant can accommodate.

Afternoon snack: Generally I don't eat again until I get home from work. I might have a banana, a piece of cooked sweet potato (Japanese sweet potatoes are the best!), or even better another pound of greens, like pressure cooked kale with aged balsamic vinegar (one of my favorites).

Dinner: And dinner that meets the above criteria. Including a whole grain like brown rice or quinoa or a potato is very important to sticking to the plan. There are certainly no lack of amazing recipes out there, but since I am feeding 3 kids right now, I am choosing to keep dinnertime very plain and simple these days. You can see lots of dinner ideas in my last blog posting or in Chef AJ's video.

Dessert: Things like Banana Soft serve, fresh fruit, or AJ's Almost Instant Pumpkin Pudding. I tend to need only a very small portion of any dessert to keep me totally satisfied and happy. We're all going to have to wait until AJ publishes another cookbook for the full compliment of Chef AJ's Ultimate Weight Loss approved dessert recipes!

I know you've got a lot more questions, so leave them here in the comments section and don't forget to call in on Wednesday night to hear the answers! 

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