The Digest Diet Kick Off: Phase One

When I received an email from Reader’s Digest a few weeks
back after BlogHer’12 asking if I would be interested in joining their TheDigest Diet three week blogging event, I ignored it. First, many “diets” don’t
seem to work for me, plus being a vegetarian with a gluten sensitivity who
leans vegan, it’s usually pretty hard to follow plans like these.

But, then I got a second email a week or so later from their
public relations manager, asking about it again. Instead of ignoring this one,
I replied back explaining my dietary issues. To my surprise, a few hours later
I got an email back explaining that they’ve had people with similar
restrictions participate before, and how the diet can be modified to many situations.

For some reason I figured why not – let’s try it! Plus, I
had tried one of the shakes at their BlogHer room, and it was really good.

Before even opening the book they sent me, I had done some
research and liked what I saw. You were eating real foods, there were no crazy
powered drinks, points to count or calorie limit. When I opened the book, it
fell even more in line with what I believe, and is based on research about
combining foods that are fat releasers and work to help your body function.
As part of the blogger group, I was sent a copy of the book,
but am not being compensated in any other way. I’m buying all my food, tracking
my weight loss and writing how I truly feel about the diet. I think it’s
important to give an accurate account of this, because other people in similar
positions will get an idea of how well , or not well, the plan works.  Despite forgetting to weigh myself this
morning, I will post stats later, so we can track it together.
Now that the legal stuff is out of the way,  let’s talk about weight. My weight  is complicated, and one that I typically don’t talk about, but think it’s important going
I have PCOS – polycyctic ovary syndrome – which can cause unexplained weight gain, and makes it difficult to lose it. It’s not fun.

After years of suddenly gaining weight despite eating
a healthy diet, and no doctor being able to explain it, I was finally diagnosed
at the end of last year.  While, I will
write more about PCOS at another point, in my effort to be more open with my readers, what I will say is that I am healthy. The doctor who finally listened
to me about the possibility of PCOS, did all kinds of blood work, and tests for the past
year, and unlike many people who have PCOS, I’m not pre-diabetic, my cholesterol,
blood pressure and enzyme levels are all perfect. He attributes it to my
vegetarian lifestyle.

That said, it will be interesting to see how this
diet works with that.  I’ve been doing a
lot of reading about PCOS, and much of the basis of this diet meshes with some
of the same advice given to those with PCOS. I have a high hopes that this could
help those with PCOS, which really pushed the decision to try this over the

The Plan
The diet consists of three phases, and week one is the fat
release. You are drinking more than eating, but , you are filling up on soups
and shakes that so far taste fabulous – and  ones I would be interested in trying anyway.
Last night I made the lemony lentil and chard soup. I didn’t
have a bay leaf, or sun dried tomatoes, but as long as I used something else from
that fat release list that was comparable, it was ok. So, I added a little
extra fresh ground pepper and used a fresh chopped tomato from my garden.

Look at how amazing this looks! And, making it was a pure
joy.  I’ll be posting photos on Facebook,
Twitter, Tout and Instagram (search mmaskaly) of what I’m eating during this, so make sure you are
following me there. Also, make sure you follow the hashtag #DigestDiet to follow all of us participating.  
I’ll also be sharing how I modify the recipes to make them
either gluten-free, vegetarian or vegan. For example, while I am snacking on
part-skim mozzarella right now, I don’t really eat yogurt. So, to make today’s
shake I substituted coconut “yogurt” from Trader Joe’s instead of regular.
It tasted great, and was super filling. The shakes allow you
to mix and match the protein and fiber. So today I used an apple and almond
If you order the book, you will see my modifications to fit my
dietary needs, but here is my tentative meals for the day:
Snack: Red pepper slices from the garden with ground pepper
& part-skim mozzarella
Lunch: 1 cup of the soup
Dinner: 1 cup soup.  Another
shake combination.  (I might try an avocado
combination that I’m soooo looking forward to!)
Several modifications I made: You are supposed to have two
cups of the soup, but that’s a bit too many lentils at one sitting for me, so I’m
splitting it up. Also, you are supposed to have ricotta with the peppers, but I’m
subbing mozzarella, because I have an open one in the fridge.
Speaking of the fridge, another plus of this diet is that I
already eat most of the things used, but I don’t eat them in this combination –
and in some cases never likely would. Coconut milk and avocado? I would have
never thought of that, so I’m really excited to learn some new cooking
combinations that I’m sure will become staples in my future recipe developments,
if this works.
Hope you enjoy reading about this journey! Oh, and in future
posts, I’m changing the word diet, to plan, because I think it’s really a plan,
change of mindset and attitude. Plus, I hate the word diet. 🙂 

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