As a writer of romantic suspense, I spend a lot of time sitting in front of my computer dreaming up dangerous adventures for my heroes and heroines. Which means I spend a lot of time SITTING. And even though I am pretty faithful about exercising, putting on extra pounds is always a hazard.
Which was why I got excited when some of my writing buddies at Novelists Inc. started discussing a new diet called the Fast Diet or the 5-2 Diet.
You eat normally five days a week; and on each of two non-consecutive days, you restrict yourself to 500 calories. (Guys get 600.) It’s not complicated or elaborate. You just have to keep those calories low two days a week.
Maybe it was too good to be true. Why not give it a shot?
Losing four pounds on the first try got me was hooked. But unfortunately, there wasn’t a lot of interesting food to eat on diet days. After a couple of boring weeks, I set out to remedy that failing.
In addition to writing romantic suspense novels as Rebecca York, I’ve also written sixteen cookbooks under my own name, Ruth Glick, most with low-cal recipes, so I was pretty sure I could come up with good diet-day selections. And after my initial successes, my next thought was—this diet needs a good cookbook.
Because I knew it would be more fun to work on the project with a friend, I asked my longtime cookbook co-author to join me. And in January, Nancy Baggett and I published The 2 Day a Week Diet Cookbook, since we think the concept of a 2 Day a Week Diet is easier to understand than a “Fast Diet.”
Nancy and I have written nutrition-oriented cookbooks for Rodale, Surrey Books, and the American Diabetes Association. And Nancy also writes for Eating Well Magazine. Both of us firmly believe that no one will eat low-cal meals unless they taste good. For the book, we worked on over 100 recipes and put in the best 75, along with 50 color photographs. All are 200 calories or fewer per serving, so they fit easily into the 2-day diet. And with the selection of tempting dishes available, we persuaded our husbands to join us on the new lifestyle adventure. We’ve all lost weight. I’ve lost seventeen pounds, Nancy (who never loses on any diet) has lost six, and I had to punch another hole in my husband’s belt so his pants would stay up.
Here’s one of my recipes.
Manhattan Clam Chowder
Canned clams and fresh vegetables team up to make a hearty main-dish soup. This classic recipe is low in calories, high in flavor, and quick and easy to prepare.
Makes 3 170-calorie servings, about 1 2/3 cups each--
1 6.5-oz can minced clams, including juice
2 1/2 cups 99 percent fat-free chicken broth or bouillon
3/4 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup diced sweet green pepper
1 cup cubed red-skin potatoes
1 cup chopped green cabbage
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 15.2-oz can tomato sauce
2 to 3 drops hot pepper sauce, or to taste
Salt to taste
1. Drain clam liquid into a large, heavy saucepan or small Dutch oven, reserving the clams in a small bowl. To the pot, add chicken broth, celery, green pepper, potatoes, cabbage, and Italian seasoning.
2. Bring to a boil, cover, lower heat and simmer 12 to 16 minutes, until potatoes are very tender when tested with a fork.
3. Add clams, tomato sauce, and hot pepper sauce. Bring to a boil. Lower heat, cover, and simmer about 5 minutes longer until flavors are well blended.
The 2 Day a Week Diet Cookbook is available for Amazon Kindle.
Rebecca York’s latest romantic suspense novel is Diagnosis Attraction, out this month from Harlequin Intrigue.
Ruth/Rebecca will give away a copy of her Intrigue, Carrie’s Protector, to one U.S. resident who comments.