With swim season here, today I’m going to tell you how to shed some pounds, because I am the ultimate authority on how to do that.  No seriously, my neon flashing Disclaimer displays:  I’m not a nutritionist…like, at all.  I’m not a fitness expert.  I’m not a swimsuit model (shocking).  I’m not a doctor.  (“Ha!”, says the capital ‘C’ I got in 9th grade Biology.)  But, I cook a lot, I wear a size 4 to 6 jeans and have managed to kind of stay there, and there have been a few “Amee” sightings at the local 24 hour fitness, so extend a little olive branch for my whisper of credibility here.  Here are some rules to follow:

1.  Go easy on the Carbs, girl/dude!  Just cuz you aren’t eating meat, doesn’t give you the liberty to dive into a giant bag of pretzel chips for lunch.  The absence of meat should be replaced with protein rich foods and/or plant proteins.  Eat a vegetable.  Sounds ridiculous to say that to a vegetarian, but you’d be surprised.  Also, stop following “Low Fat” signage…that usually means “Tons of Sugar”  Remember, soda is “Fat Free” too.

regina george

2.  Stop with your stupid Soda addiction.  Just stop.  Diet, Schmiet.  It’s the sister of cigarettes.  Drink some water.  Proper hydration helps you process all of those good nutrients you’re trying to eat.

3.  Plan.  If you want a snack, you’ll reach for something convenient, like pretzel chips?  you’ll reach for anything in a noisy tear apart package…which is PROCESSED and probably violating rule #1.  Instead, plan ahead and prep some veggies and fruit for the week.  Believe it or not, you DO actually like fruits and veggies when they are cut up for you.  Apples and peanut butter or Cucumbers and Hummus or celery and ranch maybe? (storebought hummus does not have Extra Virgin Olive Oil.  Just make a big batch at home.  It will taste WAY better too)

4.  Start lunch and dinner with a salad.  This usually helps with a) getting the nutrients you NEED before eating the food you Looooove (i.e. CARBS) and b) You will fill up faster if Salad gets a head start, BUT beware of the dressing.  Homemade is best and you shouldn’t be afraid of “Good Fats”.  You can use ingredients like Extra virgin Olive Oil, Avocado, and/or Greek Yogurt.  As far as eating out, just assume that every dressing you are getting is crap…especially that “Fat Free Vinaigrette”   Good, quality ingredients are expensive, and restaurants aren’t going to serve those.  They just aren’t.  Click here for my favorite summer salad.

5.  Pass on food that you don’t even want/like: Look at that tray full of cookies at your lunch meeting.  Remind yourself that those are gross cookies.  They really are.  You were just eating them because they are THERE.  What a waste of calories.  Opt for the 5:30 cocktail, if you’re going to cheat.  At least you’ll enjoy it.

6.  You gotta work.  You want to shed pounds, but you don’t want to exercise?  I get it.  Who wants to…MOVE?  You’re pretty sedentary.  I understand that the working life isn’t conducive to any rotating of joints or lifting beyond a coffee mug.  Well, you need to exercise.  There’s no way around that.  Exercise isn’t just about losing weight; it’s also necessary to keep your heart healthy.  Another place you REALLY need to put effort forward is preparing good, nutritious food.  This is why healthy food is expensive, and unhealthy food is cheap.  It takes WORK.  You can’t do one and not the other, otherwise you are flushing your workout down a nasty gas-station toilet.

7. Eat delicious food with REAL natural ingredients.  We eat a week of these meals and notice a visible improvement (and the button on our jeans aren’t holding on for dear life).  Try it out and let me know how you feel!  (Click on the image for the recipe)


1.  Bun Chay (Vietnamese Noodle Salad Bar)

Bun Chay

2.  Slow Cooker Lentil Vegetable Stew

Lentil Stew

3. Rose Elliot’s Tofu & Broccoli Satay

Tofu Satay

4.   Chhole (Indian Spiced Chickpeas) with Rice and Yogurt

Spiced Chickpeas

5.  Mediterranean Tapas Night

Any combination of olives, seasoned  nuts, grapes, roasted vegetables, and artisan cheeses will work.  For something more filling, add my Spanakopita or Quinoa Tabbouleh


Quinoa Tabbouleh

6.  Minestrone Tuscan Bean Soup