We've now been following The Plan for 15 days, and have learned that following The Plan requires a lot more discipline than merely watching what you put into your mouth. The menus are all based on starting with raw foods – which require cleaning at minimum. Some require seeding, coring, and chopping. Some even require research as to how to seed, core and chop in the first place. Take a new favorite vegetable – butternut squash. It’s great! No wonder Italian restaurants everywhere put it in their ravioli. And it’s really easy to prepare – just cube it and steam it for five minutes.
Just cube it. There is nothing cubicle about the shape of a butternut squash. It’s got a long neck and a little round belly – and a very thick skin. Per Wikipedia, you cut it in half lengthwise, peel the skin, scrap out the seeds, and then cut it into bite-sized pieces. Did I mention that the squash has a very thick skin? Have you watched old movies of men splitting logs? Or like me, just watched an old man splitting logs? My largest knife became the ax. I had to strike the counter – knife inside – with the squash twice for it to split. Skin removal required my sharpest paring knife; seed removal was best done with a spoon, and then it was back to the “ax” for cutting it into cubes. So after you've taken 20 – 30 minutes to prepare the squash, then you can steam it for five minutes.
I wonder how many would-be Plan followers are scared away by all the prep time. We are retired. We have the time to prepare the “everything from scratch” meals and to eat every meal and snack together – for the most part. I wonder how couples – or even individuals – follow this rigorous testing protocol while also juggling work schedules, family commitments, commutes, and the temptations of co-workers bringing donuts.
Even our schedule has some time constraints, and of course, life happens when you’re busy making plans – or busy following The Plan. We volunteer two evenings a week – starting at 4:30 PM. Before we started The Plan, it was a simple thing to stop at one of the many restaurants on the way and grab a quick bite. Now we have to plan not only our meals but our meal times to make sure we eat everything we’re supposed to for the day. We’re planning our errands around mealtimes as well.
So we grouse about the work and the time and the discipline – but we cannot argue with the results. My husband has lost 11 pounds so far. My weight loss stopped after I lost five pounds – a good thing since the kids threatened to kidnap me and hold me hostage at Red Robin until I ate a cheeseburger if I kept losing weight. We are both feeling great. We will make it the full 20 days and beyond.