To keep it interesting, MFers like to buy cool gadgets like mandolin slicers and the Veggetti (which turns zucchini into zoodles, or zucchini noodles) and do strange things to food like chiffonading -- just like real chefs. Before they know it, they find themselves enjoying the process of preparing whole fresh foods far more than yelling into a crackly speaker at a fast food drive in.
Reflecting on this change, Pat sent me this personal vignette that reveals how profoundly her relationship to food and meal prep has evolved since she and her husband started Medifast:
Saturday. No office routine. Hubby away for the day. Morning chores dispatched quickly and then off to my Happy Hunting Grounds -- the food store. Normally we like to prep as much of our week's food on the weekends as we can. We are recovering fast-food-aholics, and when we want to eat, we don't want to wait. Prepping keeps us on plan.
I started on the cucumbers -- slicing on the mandolin, brining in vinegar and water -- a cool side treat with most meals. I moved on to creating the cole slaw, marveling at my new and improved knife skills. Feeling the need for more slicing and dicing, I decided to sauté the mushrooms and onions.
Now let me tell you: no one can resist the enticing aroma of sautéing mushrooms and onions. My dinner plans evaporated as I realized I had to incorporate those yummy little brown nuggets into my meal somehow. With no hint of my ulterior motives, I casually asked my husband if he'd like an omelet for dinner. Sure, said he, blissfully unaware that I hadn't a clue in the world how to make an omelet. My visions of eggy goodness topped by lovely sautéed mushrooms and onions would carry me through. Besides I saw the movie Julia. She had issues with the eggs, and I have egg beaters -- so how hard could this be?
I started getting my ingredients ready first, not because I have a clue about mise en place but because I'm an OCD accountant who needs to know where things are -- and they'd better be tidy. I rolled my baby spinach leaves and realized I was chiffonading them. Moi? Chiffonading? Valiantly carrying on, I diced a tomato taking care to dump the goo and seeds. I weighed 7.3 oz of cooked ham (serving two, remember?) and diced it.
So far so good.
I'll pause here for a second while the experienced chefs out there finish guffawing.
Now I cooked, waiting for the eggs to stop being so runny. And I waited. I turned off the heat and put a lid on the pan. And kept waiting.
Eventually I had to give up and pray to the cooking angels that when I flipped the omelet, somehow the interior would cook.
Now the real fun began: the frying pan is a 15" stir fry pan. Ever try flipping a 15" anything?? So, after it broke into three or four pieces, all I wanted was to get the damn thing out of the pan any way I could. Maybe if I put enough mushrooms and onions on top of each serving we'd never notice that it looked something like scrambled eggs on steroids.
Gotta say though -- it was mighty tasty!
My thoughts: What I love about the Take Shape for Life approach to Medifast is that it really teaches healthy new habits. As Pat's story shows, meal prepping is key to ensuring we always have something healthy to eat in the fridge, quelling the habit of buying take-out food on the way home from work. Even when our home-cooked meals don't turn out quite as planned, they still taste great because they're prepared with loving hands and high-quality ingredients.
More from Diet Skeptic:
Why I'm Addicted to Chia Seeds
Why Fat Head Pizza Is the Holy Grail of Low Carb Pizzas
The Shocking Truth About Imported Olive Oil
Making Cauliflower Rice in the Vitamix
Why WebMD Doesn't Want You to Get Well
Follow Nancy's board Low Carb Recipes on Pinterest