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Natural Living

The Biggest Gainers!

Our makeover contestants are on the path to true health gains. Here's a quick peek at their food plan.

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Sample Jump-Start Menu

Breakfast: Tarragon scrambled eggs and organic chicken sausage

Lunch: Decadent meal salad with flax crackers

Dinner: Grass-fed meatloaf (see recipe below) and creamed spinach

Dessert: Coconut flour brownies

GRASS-FED MEATLOAF: Using a meatloaf recipe you like, upgrade the crackers or breadcrumbs you normally mix into the meat with coarsely ground French Meadow Bakery Hemp Bread and any additional herbs you want in a blender. The meat upgrade I suggest is grass-fed ground beef. Upgrade any ketchup with tomato paste. Ramp up the herbs. I am particularly fond of a lot of sage in meatloaf, but have been known to go crazy with fennel, rosemary, and lots of chili powder. See The Truth About Beauty for the more recipes and menu ideas.

Back in October, Better Nutrition issued a challenge to readers to participate in its annual Redo YOU! contest, a real-life race to amazing health, using the strategies in my book, The Truth About Beauty, and real-time coaching from me. Last month, you met the finalists who will compete in this ongoing “reality show” of transformation that will unfold here on these pages throughout 2010. The winner, our Biggest Gainer, will receive my 5-Day Total Transformation program in idyllic Lake Lure, N.C., a makeover photo shoot with me, and a spot on the cover of Better Nutrition. Our contestants have begun their journey to health and weight loss. Check back in our March issue to see how they are doing. Meanwhile, here’s a brief look at the program they are following.

The Most Common Mistakes

Transformation is in the details. The things we do with the most frequency and regularity-day in and day out-are the actions that have the greatest impact on our quality of life and the way we look. Before our contestants can begin to cultivate their true radiance, they must first recover and reconnect with it by removing the barriers that stand in their way. Most of these folks have gotten caught up in a merry-go-round of problem-causing self-care strategies, products, and practices. Examples of these include using chemical-laden shampoos, cosmetics, and lotions; relying on caffeinated beverages and sugar to get through the day; and eating low-quality “diet” foods that have no real nutritional value. There is a mistaken notion that these foods will lead to health and weight loss. My goal is to teach our contestants to first recognize the assaults and then stop them, reverse them, and recover from them in order to reclaim their true potential and take off in a new direction. To do this, the contestants are using the following food plan.

What to expect, day by day

Day 1: As contestants upgrade all high-impact (blood sugar-spiking) foods, and take their supplements faithfully, they should have fewer cravings and more energy.
As their pendulum quickly loses momentum, energy swings are noticeably reduced.

Days 2-3: As the pendulum slows further, cravings and energy dips have been dramatically reduced. Bloating has greatly reduced. Taste buds have begun to resensitize, and real food starts to take on a new taste appeal.

Days 4-6: These are the days when most people realize they are starting to seriously transform; looser clothing, incredible energy, stable moods, clearer skin, brighter eyes, and improved digestion, and even more comfortable joints are among the common experiences.

Days 7-14: Most people have lost several pounds at this point. Skin is usually less dry, and any redness is reduced. If contestants have achieved a solid week without any blood sugar spikes at all, they have likely stopped the pendulum completely and become familiar with that amazing feeling of stable energy and zero cravings.