Meal Replacement in a Can or a Box? I don’t think so…

Slim Fast vs. Medi-Fast vs…. REAL FOOD!

We’ve all been through stages where we didn’t have time to cook or just thought it was simpler to count calories by eating something from a box or a can. Slim Fast started first (or at least in my lifetime it was first…). I don’t know how popular it is now, but I do know how popular Medi-Fast is. I can’t begin to tell people who feel they are only successful losing weight on these plans that they are WRONG, but I do think the approach is misguided. Again, I suppose if you are very overweight and this is the only thing that has worked for you… My problem is that I don’t like to judge. What I do like to do is provide better options.

That’s my shtick.

Substitution is your strategy.

So I’m suggesting a substitution for your (meal) substitution. If you’re going to replace a meal with a drink, do it right. Consume real nutrients and not just high fructose corn syrup in a glorified milk shake. Sometimes people aren’t even trying to lose weight. They just don’t have time to deal with it, so they pick up a can or bar, thinking that because the label says it has protein, it’s a good choice.

(Those commercials for giving the “nutritious” shakes to kids make me crazy. This is obviously a larger conversation, but if you’re that desperate, make them a shake yourself with whole food ingredients, like cacao that contains tons of antioxidants. You can even sneak in some greens and they won’t know. Try finding an antioxidant in a children’s Ensure or Boost shake. Again, this is a larger conversation we can have another day…See below for more on this topic and of course my upcoming book will have lots of recipes and ideas.)

If you think that the only way you can lose weight is by replacing 1 or more meals with a shake, at least make it yourself so you can include real nutrients and live foods in it. I’m all about the green smoothie for breakfast. That’s not what I’m talking about here. I’m talking about lunch and dinner. I even have a great example for you. I know there are a million green smoothie recipes out there. Some people will just never be into that. Okay, so eat a huge salad. Your body will register that you’ve eaten (much better than only drinking a meal), you can throw in high fiber and high protein beans, add healthy fats, like a nut or avocado based dressing, and you are set. But when you really just want to grab and go, you can make a few shakes at a time and keep them in your fridge, or even freeze them in mason jars.

Here is a great recipe, from the Reboot Kitchen (That’s Joe Cross from the “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead” movies…). Serve it in smaller amounts to your kids for an awesome after school snack. This is a much better “car snack” for the way to soccer practice than anything processed or from a drive-thru. And if the drive-thru was going to be dinner – give them a big serving of this instead.

Goji Cinnamon Almond Smoothie (Plus Greens!)

(Image from

This is a smoothie that contains greens, but it doesn’t actually turn out GREEN, so it doesn’t seem to be a “green smoothie.” This helps some people who just have an aversion to them. It is rich and filling. Truthfully, I’ve been trying to like almond butter (as a more healthful replacement for peanut butter) for years. Haven’t succeeded yet. However, I love it in this smoothie! I love everything about this smoothie. It is rich, creamy, filling, yummy… and now I know how I can use up all that almond butter I bought and never used for Passover!

Give it a shot and let me know how you like it!

Do you use meal replacements from the store or your doctor? Are you willing to try a new way? More book news coming very shortly…but I will be conducting workshops around the book release. Let me know what you are looking for. Dinner on the table in 15 minutes or less. How is that? What else?

p.s. About the kids…continued from above. I hear from many parents whose children are newly vegetarian that they have no idea what to feed them. I’m considering putting together a workshop or teleseminar/webinar or e-course on the topic. Please let me know what your questions are so I can answer them!