Sample text for Getting thin and loving food! : 200 easy recipes to take you where you want to be / Kathleen Daelemans.


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Counter Introduction

Are You Skinny Yet? Me Neither!

Just because I lost some weight doesn"t mean I get to hang up my hat and
retire from eating right and exercising, although I do think somebody ought to
hurry up and invent that solution. For me, it"s a day-to-day challenge to trick
myself into making all the right, or mostly right, food decisions. Talking
myself into exercising and actually getting myself out the door to sweat
require more energy and effort than building a house from scratch with sticks
and stones.

Twelve years into this and counting, I"ve learned that there"s no time off for
good behavior and that you can"t quit once you "reach your goals." This isn"t
a forty-eight-hour chocolate diet. But it"s not a book of boot camp can"t-haves
and must-dos, either. This book is all about what you can do, what you can
eat, and what you will achieve if you keep your eyes on the prize and take
baby steps each day — or at least hold down the fort until you can get
yourself back on track.

Taking control of your body, your mind, and your health is a totally awesome
experience — resulting in feelings of true self- love so rich, they"re worth the
effort to hold on to. You"ll get a taste of this. And you"ll chase it. Just as I do.
Because achieving your best health is definitely something you can
accomplish. We"re all born into the winner"s circle. It"s up to us to keep our
crowns. Realize that you positively cannot fail at this, and you won"t. All you
have to do is commit to committing. Perseverance always pays off, and it"s
free.

Self-sabotage costs more than even the Rockefellers can afford. We can all
fall asleep every night reviewing everything we didn"t accomplish or adding up
all we"ve conquered. People who achieve success don"t get to the finish line
by being lazy; they work. Plain and simple. You"ve got to work at this. But
work doesn"t have to be unfun, unsexy, or unbelievably hard. Achieving
success is as simple as mastering the task at hand, which, when
approached with passion, energy, and enthusiasm, becomes play.

I don"t care if you don"t believe me now; this will all make sense to you
someday. Until then, you"re just going to have to take my word for it. I
promise you; I"m living this every day. I"m obsessed with unearthing,
reinventing, and creating from scratch livable, doable, tolerable, and fun-filled
solutions for all of us.

Think thin, cook thin, be thin

Getting Thin and Loving Food! can end dieting disasters. This sumptuous
feast of grab-and-go tips and super-simple recipes is all you need to get a
very healthy jump-start on the easiest way to lose weight, realize your best
health, and stay that way until you"re eighty-eight. I figure if I make it to
eighty-eight, I"m probably gonna ditch the health stuff and go for butter pecan
ice cream meals. And anything else I want. In any quantity I want, at any
time of day or night I want. (Let"s just hope I don"t alienate my caregivers.
Can you imagine being eighty-eight and having to beg someone to let you eat
what you want?) Unless you"re eighty-eight, though, you need to get started.
All you have to do is swallow four nouns and pass a four-question quiz.
Motivation, accountability, and support go down easily enough; it"s the
commitment part that takes a few chugalugs. But once the medicine goes
down, my oh my, what a wonderful day.

Zippity-do-duh. All you have to do beyond that first "feast" is set realistic
goals, invent rules you can live by, and come up with rewards you will
actually collect. Don"t worry, I"ll show you how I did it, how I do it, and how I
renew my vows whenever I need a good kick in the bloomers, which can be
hourly sometimes. But so what? It doesn"t matter how many times you have
to sow new seeds, it just matters that you get out there and scatter a handful
every time you need to. My grandma Breezy taught me that the seeds you
plant on the darkest days always bloom first.

Hip-huggers

So it"s bye-bye to burgers, shakes, and pies. Kidding! There"s room for
everything, but if you don"t let yourself have a few treat calories, laziness and
denial will rear their ugly heads on your hips and thighs. Your old ways aren"t
working for you, or you never would have picked up this book. But you did.
There"s no divorcing this lifestyle, because it"s so much darn fun you won"t
want to. I promise. I didn"t have to give up outrageously delicious food to lose
the weight, and you don"t have to either.

I"ve been described as a forensic diner, probably because I deconstruct every
meal and recipe I come across in an effort to identify ingredients that are
necessary for taste, texture, and nutritional content and those that rob the
finished dish of its potential, tastewise and healthwise. I"m sure I think about
food more often than men reportedly think of the "s" word, which is, what,
every seven seconds? Come on. I can have a virtual buffet consumed in
seven seconds. Seventy-five pounds and eight dress sizes smaller than I
used to be, I"ve got this figured out as much as anyone can. Sure, I"ve
yoyoed a bit, but I"ve managed to stay in the five- to seven-pound range
instead of the twenty, thirty, forty, and up club I used to belong to. Mastering
perfect performances day in and day out is something I"m still practicing.

Two, four, six, eight, what you must appreciate

And no, I didn"t include calorie counts in this book. I"m a cook. I"m a woman
who lost weight and works to keep it off. I"m not schooled in nutrition, I"m not
a doctor, and I"m not a shrink. Besides, even if Einstein were alive and
invented a program to calculate nutritional information quickly and accurately,
I don"t know that I"d include it. When I sit down to eat, I want to look at a
beautiful plate of food and the people sitting across from me. I want to taste
and savor the food I"m eating and experience the true joy of sharing a meal
with family and friends. Staring at fat facts before a meal is positively
unnerving to me and takes away the pleasure. I know that cheesy baked
enchiladas are something I should eat a moderate portion of and that I can go
hog-wild with pineapple cilantro coleslaw. I know baked chicken is better for
me than deep-fried. I know I occasionally need to work in desserts and snack
foods. I know holidays are a time I need to increase my exercise, because I
almost always decide to stray and play.

A reader of my first book, Cooking Thin with Chef Kathleen, said it
best: "Nutritional information? Duh! This book gives you all you need to know;
these are healthy recipes that will enable weight loss. The problem with
some people is that they think they need to know an exact amount of grams
or calories in order to stay within the range of healthy eating. If they were that
concerned with what went into their mouths, they wouldn"t have gotten
overweight in the first place. Quit complaining. Quit counting points. It makes
food too important and too time-consuming in your life. Eat in commonsense
moderation. If you have any problems with that concept, make a fist; your
portions should be about the same size."

Fads make infomercial people rich

I"m repeatedly asked to give my opinion on various diets — the low-fat, the
low-carbohydrate, the protein diets, the this diet, the that diet. Some of them
seem to work for some people — for a while. I can say with certainty that
they all have one thing in common: they become boring and hard to maintain
over time. People usually give up on them and go back to their old ways of
eating, the ways that got them in trouble in the first place.

Commonly accepted medical research seems to indicate that our bodies
need a balance of proteins, carbohydrates, and good fats and recommended
amounts of vitamins and minerals, so a varied diet is the way to lose weight
safely and keep it off for life. What I"m offering is not a diet as such but a way
to eat all the foods you like. You may not be able to consume the quantities
you"d like, and you certainly can"t have gooey desserts every night, but there
isn"t anything you have to give up for the rest of your life.

What goes in must come off

It"s up to you to make room for the foods you love by exercising and by
practicing portion control and moderation. To lose weight, you must burn off
more calories than you consume. To maintain a healthy weight, you need to
burn off and consume roughly the same amount of calories each day. This
book is chock-full of grab-and-go tips and practical advice to keep you
motivated, ways to create accountability, and ways to seek support — the
foundation you need to build and nurture for the rest of your life to enjoy good
health. Maintaining this base takes little more effort than maintaining a four-
season wardrobe. Most of you are maintaining wardrobes for more than just
yourselves. I know you can do this too.

Just how many calories you need to consume in a day is between you and
your doctor. That"s information you need to get. We"re all individual and
require different varieties and combinations of foods in different quantities,
depending on age, weight, lifestyle, and health requirements. To lump all
women or all men together is irresponsible. To guess for you is irresponsible.
Ask your doctor, make an appointment with a nutritionist, or, at the very
least, utilize the National Institutes of Health (NIH) as a resource until you
have the time to speak to a real live medical professional you trust. Simply
described, the NIH is one of the world"s foremost medical research centers
and the federal focal point for medical research in the United States. The
easiest way to explore all that it offers is to access its Web site online at
www.nih.gov. You can call the NIH at (301) 496-4000 or write to National
Institutes of Health, 9000 Rockville Pike, Bethesda, MD 20892.

If you want to count calories, a good place to start is to think twice about any
food that upon, during, or after consumption causes some kind of guilt or
regret. Most of these foods come from a drive-through joint, takeout palace,
or vending machine. This is the most important nutrition fact you should
know. Obsessing over how many calories are in beet slaw or carefully
portioned and thoughtfully prepared meals is silly.

Death by waistband asphyxiation

My yoyo diet years taught me that the only way I could eat healthily for life
was to teach myself how to make good food choices in all situations. There
are no calorie counts attached to the sumptuous plates of food served at
family gatherings, PTA meetings, church socials, or picnics. Office cakes
aren"t labeled either. And who knows what restaurants put into things?

I read labels, I pay attention to the latest health findings in the news, and
I"vetlearned to tune in to what my body is truly asking for and to listen to the
voice of reason inside my head. My wake-up-and-reevaluate-my-program
calls come in all sorts of blatantly obvious forms. When I feel sluggish,
cranky, or way too tired, when I"m hungry at the wrong times, or when my
pants are too tight, it"s time to regroup and reevaluate the quality of the
calories I"m consuming versus my exercise output. That doesn"t mean I whip
out a calculator. Going through the list of foods I"ve eaten that Mrs.
Duganheimer, my high school nutrition teacher, would have given me an A
for, including meals and snacks, and the ones she"d have issued a detention
for is pretty much all it takes for me to get real. That, and a quick evaluation
of my exercise week. Halfhearted or skipped workouts, an "it won"t hurt me"
cookie-plate break here, and a "you deserve it" cocktail excursion there can,
if unchecked, lead to death by waistband asphyxiation. Clearly, I don"t
always make the best decisions, but for the most part I"m able to practice
what I preach and stick to this lifestyle with relative ease, because with all
the tricks, tips, shortcuts, and quick recipes I"ve learned along the way, it"s
not that hard. I promise. If I can do it, you can do it.

Voice food

I haven"t included shame-on-you monologues about how you can"t eat a pint
of ice cream in a single sitting, how you shouldn"t eat a whole sleeve of
Oreos at once or drink ten Diet Cokes a day. You don"t need to be told when
you"re eating too much of a good or bad thing. Who doesn"t know when
they"ve had too many french fries, too many pieces of pizza, or too many
slices of cake? Surely I can"t be the only one who has eaten "voice food."
Voice food is food that calls your name until you consume too many
portions. Fruits and veggies are not voice foods. Chocolate, cakes, chips,
and pies are voice foods. As soon as you consume voice food in any quantity
beyond the recommended serving size, a choir takes over your brain and
sings I-told-you-so tunes louder than a symphony orchestra, until you fall
down on your knees and swear off voice foods for good. Which works only
until you hear the whispers of the next voice food. In this book, you"ll learn
how to enjoy voice foods without the concert.

I didn"t lose weight eating boring, bland, Band-Aid–colored foods swimming in
salt-free broth. I love to eat. If I had to choose — and thank goodness I"m way
beyond this and don"t — but if I had to choose between eating totally
delectable food and achieving a healthy weight, I"d have stayed fat. I"m
thankful I"ve lost weight and kept it off for over ten years, but I honestly
wouldn"t have if I hadn"t figured out a way to make food that"s good for me
taste really great.

Twenty-five years in kitchens have taught me a lot. I"ve been lucky enough to
work alongside some of the country"s most talented chefs and cooks
throughout my career. I"ve learned how to take excess calories, sugar, and
fat from recipes, stopping just short of compromising flavor, and I"ve learned
how to build new recipes around naturally healthful ingredients layered with
easily accessible, affordable ingredients with high flavor impact.

Confessions of a volume eater

My goal is flavor first, health second. I want to leave the table deeply satisfied
after every meal — I want to feel full, or at least not so hungry I feel the need
to eat the leg of the chair I"m sitting on. A recipe isn"t printworthy if it isn"t
something I liked so much that I called my mother to tell her about it or
bragged to my neighbor.

We all have certain expectations for taste and flavor, and if they aren"t met
when we sit down to eat, we leave feeling deprived. Deprivation can lead to
bingeing or rebellious eating (not that I"ve ever experienced that personally or
anything). We want to taste sweet, sour, bitter, and salty. We want things
that are supposed to be creamy to be creamy. We want velvety-smooth
soups and sauces — unless they"re supposed to be chunky. We want to
experience crispy, crunchy, rich, and delicious precisely where the culinary
gods intend us to.

In this book, I tell you every single culinary secret I know. I"ve included a list
of the tools and flavor ingredients I use and two hundred great-tasting, easy
recipes for healthy weight loss. There"s no reason not to leave the table
Henry-the-Eighth happy and satisfied every time you sit down to eat. It really
is possible to eat outrageously scrumptious foods and lose the weight for
good.


Library of Congress subject headings for this publication: Reducing diets Recipes, Weight loss, Nutrition