I recently realized that Garfield shaped my impression of diets. That happily sedentary cat said that “diet” was just “die” with a “t,” and that pithy comic strip concept lodged its way into my psyche. I’ve tried many, many diets that felt like death, but I was never able to stick with them. It wasn’t until a recent meeting and interview with The Biggest Loser’s Bob Harper that a different message began to hit home. Diet doesn’t have to mean deprivation. It can just mean making different choices.
Bob Harper was at the SELF Magazine Workout in the Park to teach an exercise class and promote his new book, Skinny Meals – Everything You Need To Lose Weight FAST. One of the concepts he discusses in there is portion size and deprivation – and instead of just driving home the message that we need to eat less, he recognizes the reality of hunger. Which is why he doesn’t want you to eat some of the vegetables. Bob Harper wants you to eat ALL of the vegetables.
His “Harpersized” salad is all about giving you more of what you’re looking for. In an interview with Parade, he suggests that we “rethink the portion size (and make your portions huge!) of high-fiber, low-calorie foods that fill you up. In fact, when it comes to vegetables and most fruits, you can forget portion size altogether. Eat what you want!” I’m about that life, Bob. Harpersized salads have been changing my life.
The recipe he includes in Skinny Meals is basically as follows:
- Chopped red bell pepper
- Shredded carrot
- Shredded yellow squash
- Chopped broccoli
- Asparagus spars, steamed and chopped
- Shredded red cabbage
- Shredded roasted chicken breast
Harper recommends a lemon/basil/white wine vinegar dressing, but when I tried it, it left me wanting more. We ain’t got no room for boring, for boring we ain’t got no room – I needed a dressing I could get behind. The beautiful thing about the Harpersized salad is, it can be anything you want it to be. The best bet is to stay away from processed dressing and whip up your own dressing, but in a realistic world you may just want to have your favorite low calorie, organic dressing on standby. You can make this salad Greek by adding cubed cucumber, red onion, chickpeas and a touch of feta cheese with a garlic dressing. You can make it Mexican by adding black beans, avocado and Trader Joe’s cilantro dressing. You can make it an Italian panzanella type of salad by adding white beans, tomatoes, basil and a cubed baguette. You can Harpersize any salad you want for a killer lunch and/or dinner.
Thanks, Bob! You changed my perception of dieting with just one salad!
Contributing Editor, Patrice Grell Yursik is the creator of Afrobella.com, one of the first blogs to celebrate the beauty of natural hair and ladies of all skin tones and sizes. Affectionately called the Godmother of Brown Beauty Blogging, Patrice takes her readers inside unique beauty, fashion and cultural experiences.