Tuesday, March 24, 2009

All You Can Cook Day

I have always given myself a day off of my diet, at least once a week, calling it a "cheat day", then a "high calorie day"....playing with the wording, of course, to try and make it sound positive (nothing positive about he word "cheat"). I credit my "high calorie day" for the fact that, along with my KB training, I had never hit a plateau during my weightloss.....never! How many people do you know that can say that? I believe the reason this method doesn't work for most people is because of the fasting day that follows.....but that's another blogpost for another time.....

In the past I always reached, first, for "sweets". Sugar, in abundance, is what I crave, so on my high calorie days it was not unusual to consume a whole pint of ice cream, a whole bag of cookies, 1 lb See's candy, etc., and because I started out with sugar it killed my appetite for "real" foods, and because of that, many times, I wouldn't eat one nutritious thing on a high calorie day! But recently as I became more and more aware of the infinite food choices we all have it occured to me how much I'm cheating myself of all of the goodness of more nutritious, yet also high calorie foods, such as butter, cream, bacon, bread, pastas, cheeses, nuts, even olive oil, etc.. And since I have the ability to cook whatever my little heart desires I've decided to start eating more of all the lovely high calorie savory foods, first, and then if I have room (and I always do....but less room), then if I want sweets I eat them. I've also been making more of my own homemade sweets, like puddings (coconut rice, butterstotch, rich dark chocolate!).

I don't call the way I eat during the week "a diet", because I don't feel deprieved in any way, I love my salads and soups, in fact preferring them over fatty/salty/sugary foods, mostly because of the way those foods make me feel. My workouts come first, and there's nothing worse than feeling heavy and sluggish during a workout. Once you overeat before a 4:30pm Bikram yoga class, standing in 104 degrees burping up 1/2 loaf of cinnamon bread from 10am that morning, you never want to do that again, lol! But there are so many foods that don't make the "cut" during the week, like, sweet potatoes (or any potatoes, really, not even mashed....yum), breads and pastas, although they're not bad for me, but I can only eat so much, having to pick and chose, so I chose healthier less calorie foods as my main meals.

So, I started to use my "one day" as my day to do two of the things I love the most......eat and cook! I call my day the "all you can cook day", instead of the "all you can eat day"! On this day I can cook using all of the oil and butter I want! But I usually start out with a glass of wine, some bread and/or cheese, homemade spreads like pestos, and I'll shell some local walnuts while I prep dinner......it's turning into an "experience", not just a "pig out"!

Here's what I had on Sat.,

Spicy Crispy Sweet Potato Fries (pictured above)

Grass Fed Beef Patty Melt w/ Bacon and Smokey Blue Cheese, on sprouted wheat bread slathered in butter!

Rich Dark Chocolate Pudding

It was my intention to put some grilled rainbow chard on my patty melt, but after a couple of glasses of wine......

Yes, I did eat a Chick-O-Stick candy, and a couple of molasses cookies, from Whole Foods, too, but what can I say?

Spicy Oven Sweet Potato Fries

2-3 sweet potatoes cut into 1/2 inch sticks
olive oil (lots!)
salt & pepper
chipotle chili powder (a few pinches)

Heat oven to 400-425 degrees. Place sweet potatoes, in a single layer on a baking sheet, sprinkle salt, pepper and chipotle chili powder, toss with oil. Put them in the middle rack of the hot oven for 15 min. or until they get nice and crispy brown on one side, then turn them over and finish for another 15 minutes on the other side.

(Tip from Fawn.....put you baking sheet in the oven while it's heating up, toss you veggies in oil, s & p in a seperate bowl, and then pour them onto the hot baking sheet)


Rocks said...

So whats the deal with the fasting the day after a high calorie day.

I also eat a cheat/high calorie day one day a week, but I dont like the name cheat or high calorie. It seems like what I am doing the rest of the week is restrictive, which it is. Since I am trying to make my new restrictive my new norm, I dont want to be reminded every weekend that it is restrictive. So I am searching for a new name for that day. If you have any ideas I would love to hear them. I have come up with a few but don't really care for them, refeed, free day, or high carb day, nothing that dosent indicate some sort of release of restriction. Maybe I need to change the way I look at that day and not make it about just food, but more of an experience....hmmmm???

Tracy Reifkind said...


Great comment! I can see we have thought about this the same way!

I consider cooking my favorite hobby, so changing the focus from eating to cooking was my way to celebrate food in a way that is actually more enjoyable to me. Make no mistake, eating IS enjoyable no doubt, but the preparation of food is meditative and rewarding, to me, in a way that helps the eating of it turn into an experience....I don't know if I can accurately describe it.....but I'm having so much fun! (Polenta made with milk and cheese in the PC with italian sausage and chard last night...yum yum!)

"Release of retriction".....I like how you describe that.....I'm going to think about that and write a blogpost because I think living with long term restriction and wanting to make that "normal", hmmnn......I've had some experience similar to that....interesting.....

Mark Reifkind said...


This is Mark, Tracy's husband. As a 30 year old male you have a totally different metabolism and response to dieting than a 40 plus year old woman.The fasting she does after a high calorie day 'resets' her metabolism and allows the higher calories that were eaten the day before to be used,rather than just absorbed. SHe used this technique for many years to keep her weight down and also allow for the high calorie days, which also keeps the metabolism high instead of becoming depressed after continued low calorie days.
I got the term cheat day from my bodybuilding days which is what all the athletes called it before word association became such a hugh thing.