So just how popular is the Digest Diet that Liz Vaccariello, editor-in-chief of Reader’s Digest, devised? Here’s some anecdotal evidence. On Saturday, the Midlife Second Husband went grocery shopping with me at Whole Foods in Central Virginia to stock up on the items we knew we’d need. (He’s going to do one-third of the diet with me, which is to say we’ll eat the same dinner.) According to the nifty shopping list for Days 1-4 available on the Reader’s Digest website, I was to buy one 16-ounce box of nonfat milk powder—an essential ingredient in the “Fast Release Shake” (more on that in a moment). I wanted to buy an extra box for my pantry so I wouldn’t have to drive back to Whole Foods. Guess what? I bought the last one on the shelf. I asked the associate who helped me find it in the first place: “The Digest Diet?” “Yep,” he replied. “This is the last one we have left.”
Can you believe it? Powdered milk, for crying out loud. I’ve never bought powdered milk in my life yet here I am feeling like a bride-to-be who ended up with the short end of the veil at Filene’s Basement “Running of the Brides,” and all because I can’t buy more than one container of powdered milk.
Quite a few people have written me, or shared comments on last week’s post, that they’re trying the diet, too. (Do y’all live in Virginia?) I feel as though I’m leading a small army into battle. And yes, you know I have to say it: It’s the Battle of the Bulge.
So here’s some of what I bought at Whole Foods. I also pinned the Digest Diet list on my Pinterest board, which I’m ever-so-slowly building.
1 green bell pepper
1 small head Romaine lettuce
1 head broccoli
1 pint grape tomatoes
1 head celery
These are snacks, people. SNACKS. No candy, no chips, no nothin’ I’ve ever called a snack before.
While we’re in the produce section, I’ll also mention that I bought zucchini, garlic, kale, and Swiss chard to make two amazing sounding soups I’ll be having for dinner the first four days. Plus strawberries for the shakes I mentioned earlier. Since I’ll be preparing my first shake this morning, after going for a one-mile walk, here’s the complete recipe as I’ll be making it.* (The key ingredients, yogurt, coconut milk, fruit/fiber, healthy fats, and honey, are considered “fat releasers.”) I’ll also have another shake for lunch. I might even kick up my heels and swap out the strawberries for a banana!
Fast Release Shake (Days 1-4)
Hands-On Time: 10 minutes | Total Time: 10 minutes | Makes: 1 shake
3/4 cup (6 ounces) nonfat yogurt
1/4 cup light coconut milk
3 tablespoons nonfat milk powder
FRUIT/FIBER (I’ll use 8 fresh strawberries PLUS 1 tablespoon flaxseed meal)
HEALTHY FATS (I’m opting for 1 tablespoon natural peanut butter)
2 teaspoons honey
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
FLAVORINGS (These are “optional” but I’m definitely adding both of them. And I’m pleased with the choices: 1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder and/or 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon.
4 ice cubes
Combine all the ingredients in a blender and blend until nice and frothy.
*There are other variations on the theme—I could use banana, apple, red grapes, or mixed berries instead of strawberries. And one can choose among healthy fats—I love peanut butter, so that’s what I’ve opted for.
A typical shake contains the following:
395 calories | 16 g protein
18 g fat (5g saturated)
9.5g fiber | 430mg calcium
40mg vitamin C
I’ll send out a tweet later today to let you know if I loved this shake, or if it’s left me shaking my head. I’ll also be posting updates on Facebook. You can keep up with this great weight-loss adventure by following me on Twitter @midlife2wife or on the Facebook page for The Midlife Second Wife.
See ya later! I’ve got a date with the walking path!
Other than providing me with a copy of The Digest Diet, Readers’ Digest is not paying me to blog about my experience on the program. (If I lose the weight I hope to lose, that will be compensation enough.)