Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Say Cheese

I am always on a diet. Well, except for the times when I am cheating on my diet or searching for a new, better, faster, easier diet. I would say this has been the case my entire life, but technically I did make it to the ripe old age of four before it hit me. My mom went to buy size 4 clothes for her baby girl, and lo and behold, they didn't fit. Size 5s were too snug, too. My poor mom, a string bean her whole life, had to go all the way up to a 6X, which is basically code for big girl clothes. And so it began.

I have done low fat, low cal, low carb, South Beach, Abs Diet, the DASH diet, liquid fasts....I even took Slim Fast, wrapped in aluminum foil to keep it cold, in my lunch box during the elementary school years (which I convinced the unknowing skinny kids was a tasty milkshake and traded for Doritos on more than one occasion--what can I say? I come from a family of salesmen). Some people are suckers for get-rich-quick schemes; I am powerless to resist anything that claims to shed unwanted pounds.

My friend Jen has been doing something called the Omni diet, and I have to say she is looking summertime svelte at this point. Thus, my interest immediately turned towards this Omni plan, on which an "actual customer" lost 12 pounds the first week* (*results not typical). On this slim down, you eat 30% protein and 70% fruits and veggies. You avoid as many processed foods as possible, including sugar, soy, gluten, and some other stuff I blatantly glossed over, like cocktails (I'm keeping those, for everyone's sake). I don't really know what gluten is, but let me tell you the stuff is in practically everything--even mustard. But with the potential to lose a dozen pounds in a week or two, I will kick gluten to the curb like a Rockette lineup at Radio City Music Hall.

I did raise an eyebrow when I came to a recipe which called for Vegenaise. Apparently, this is a vegan version of mayonnaise, which skips the eggs. I would personally like to know why the use of Duke's Light mayonnaise is not approved on this plan. It is light, after all, and being that it is Duke's, it is delicious. If Duke's mayonnaise is wrong, I don't want to be right.

So whatever, no gluten, get away from the sugar, put that baguette down and back away. And then I get to the part where it says no dairy. No milk? Never liked the stuff all that much anyway. No cottage cheese? I will gladly do without. And since bagels aren't allowed, who cares about skipping the cream cheese? Done, done and done. Am I getting thinner yet?

And then I saw it. Just casually tossed out there like it is no big thing: no cheese. No cheese? Wait a second. Did that really just say no cheese? Surely, mine eyes have been deceived. How can a person live in a world without cheese? Not even part skim string cheese or a smidgin of blue cheese on a salad? Think of what you are giving up: grilled cheese sandwiches (which, on this plan, would be made on gluten free bread), cheeseburgers, brie and crackers (sprouted grain crackers, right, Omni plan?), macaroni (or not) and (you guessed it) cheese. I can't! I won't! Faster than you can say freshly grated Parmesan, my flirtation with the Omni diet was over.

And I'm left to wonder--are other people really willing to make this sacrifice? We are now living in a world where New Yorkers are paying $100 a piece for a cronut, for Pete's sake. Am I supposed to believe that John Q. Public is switching to Vegenaise and happily chugging almond milk? That the average dieter is ready and willing to say ciao to cheddar, farewell to feta, goodbye to gouda? It's just all a bit too much, even for this habitual dieter.

There is good news, however: while looking online at the Omni diet, I saw a banner ad for some meal replacement shakes with a natural appetite suppressant. And appetite suppressants are even higher on my must-have list than fad diets. The shakes will be here in three to five business days, so in the meantime, I'm feeling like some mac and cheese. Or cheese toast. Or cheese pizza. Or nachos....Say cheese!

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