Welcome to Day 1! You should have your shopping list (PDF shopping list here if you missed it) and, ideally, even have your groceries. I whip up the salad for you in the video below and discuss the questions to ponder.

Video Transcript

Welcome to Day 1. This is so very simple. I am going to make the Day 1 meal right here for you right now. So you’ve got your shopping list. You went and you got all this stuff and you’re ready for Day 1. Day 1 is a very simple salad. Now, this is not a gourmet salad. There is nothing about this that is gourmet. You’ve got to choose your protein and you’re going to see mine is a very low on the totem pole protein today. But let’s get started.

So your directions are tear one and a half romaine hearts into a bowl. Now, we do big bowls around here, so this is my bowl. This is a mixing bowl. It’s a big one, right? Okay. I specifically said one and a half romaine hearts. I wanted to keep this simple. You can easily buy a three pack of romaine hearts. So if you have one and a half today, you will have one and a half leftover for Day 3. That makes the shopping easy. I have three romaine hearts right here. This was actually a bigger package, so however it works out for you is fine.

Romaine hearts also tend to be very clean. So I’m going to do something that kind of skeeves people out. I’m not even going to wash this. My point in being really simple is to show you it can be very simple. I do this in the trunk of my car sometimes. My friends in food safety actually approve of this. The romaine that’s been in the recalls has not been the hearts, just to let you know. Now, if you do this and your lettuce is all sandy, it probably did need to be washed. So there’s that. This is one romaine heart. All you do is tear it up into your bowl just like so. I mean you can chop it. I never chop it.

I usually take the outer leaves off and then leave the inner core and I get that too. All romaine hearts, like the different brands, are different sizes and depending on the season. So sometimes if they’re really super skimpy, I eat two. I never eat less than one. Well, I plan on really always eating more than one. But in this case, these are some super healthy, robust romaine hearts, and so one and a half is a really good number. If yours are all skimpy, you might actually want two. When I’m going for the half, I just pull off the outer layers and then I’ll leave this for Day 3 salad.

For Day 3, I have one and a half romaine hearts left, easy peasy. That’s Day 3. So Day 1, we’re still working on Day 1. All right. This was the base of it. That gets composted. We have a big bowl of greens. Okay, let’s set that aside. Next, I’m going to make the dressing. This is ranch dressing. Ideally, you’re going to get mayonnaise and Greek yogurt or some kind of yogurt that’s very low in carbs, so a nondairy yogurt, like maybe a cashew or a coconut is very good. Look at the carb amount. But today you just have some high-carb mayonnaise. Don’t worry about it. You’re tasting this. That’s all you’re doing. Let’s not make it more complicated.

The recipe calls for a quarter cup of mayonnaise. This, by the way, is most of the fat in this salad right here in this mayonnaise. And then we have the Greek yogurt. You can see I’m measuring this super carefully. I’ve made so many dressings. I don’t even really measure anymore unless I’m developing a recipe or something, then I have to measure. This is the mayonnaise and the Greek yogurt. That’s the key part of it. But it’s not going to taste good if you just leave it like that. So my cousin Steven was here helping me with this kitchen and he said, “I made some ranch and it was terrible.” It turns out he didn’t even salt and pepper it. So he tasted mine.

All I had done was added the salt and pepper. All right. So we got the salt and pepper. He tasted it and he’s like, “Oh wow. That’s really good.” I’m like, “Steven, it doesn’t even have any herbs in it.” But if you don’t have the dill, you don’t have the parsley, that’s okay. It’s Steven approved just with salt and pepper. So let’s not make today’s salad complicated. If you don’t have those things, don’t even worry about it. I just put some salt and pepper in. How much? To taste, okay? How do you know? Taste it, add some more salt. Okay. That’s it. You’re probably going to salt your salad in the end too, so you can make adjustments at the very end. But that’s it.

Now of course, I like to have a little bit of seasoning in your mine, but how fancy does that have to be? Look, this is some old dill that was in the cupboard. This is dry dill. I’m going to put it on my hand because when it’s old, you can actually release the flavors better by squeezing on it, crumbling it in there. That’s it. This is not fancy. This is just old dry dill. We almost got there with the salt and pepper, adding the dill makes a big difference. Now, would it be even better if, I don’t know, if we used fresh dill? Yeah. I mean, this is fabulous. But you can always step it up, but you don’t have to. So this is the dry deal version.

Now the other thing is, look, that’s more like a dip. You might like it like that on your salad. You might want it diluted a little bit. That’s easy to solve. Water, give it a little stir. This is the new consistency. Let’s go ahead and pour it onto the salad. See how that pours so nicely. I’m just going to pour it all on there. This is quite a bit of dressing. You might find it’s too much. That’s okay. It gets you in the ballpark. It gets some good fat on your salad. That is the purpose of the dressing, fat and flavor. Got some nice dill flavor going on in there and some salt and pepper, and it has that creamy consistency.

Already, so just with the romaine and the salad dressing, this is pretty good. Now we are going to get super fancy and put our protein. On the handout I said you could get rotisserie chicken or cubed ham or cook up some ground beef or get some lunch meat. So what I have here is the super fancy Costco lunch meat. Each of these little packages that’s in here is apparently 11 ounces. My salads tend to have six to eight ounces of protein. Your mileage may vary. But I’ve got an 11-ounce portion here. I’m going to open it up. This is it. I’m going to take the extra super fancy approach of doing this, cutting it right in half. This gives me five and a half ounces. This gets me in the ballpark and I’m simply going to toss it onto the salad. Here we go.

It’s getting tossed onto the salad in ribbons. I could lay it out and make it look like a Cobb salad, looking all legit and all that. Realistically, when we’re just home alone in our kitchens and just want to eat, we’re not going to lay it out all fancy like a Cobb salad. But this kind of is Cobb salad. Next. I love red onion. So I’m going to add some red onion. I’ve got a little leftover in the fridge, just going to slice it up a bit. Red onion has some carbohydrates and we tend to reduce carbohydrates in our diet. But it is also loaded with antioxidants and other nutrients, so I think red onion is kind of a win. Really, I’m not adding a lot. So while it does have the carbs in it, this much red onion is not really that high in carbs. So it’s all kind of relative, and that’s it.

I’m going to do this. We could have the same concern about tomato being too high in carbs. You’ve got to watch the tomato, especially when it’s things like tomato paste. But this is a little tomato here. This is not a lot of carbs. It will add like a nice little flavor punch and freshness to the salad. So I’m going to toss that on here too. The fact is, I just had the tomato and so why not use it and enjoy it a little bit? This actually came out of the garden. This is it. Now that I have all this stuff on here, there’s things like the tomatoes that might require some more salt. So I’m going to just take a big old bite, see where we are. Get some lettuce in there.

That’s pretty good. For a super not fancy salad, it’s kind of amazing what you can create. There’s so many variations of this and all these variations are why I have been able to eat these for two and a half years now. Not every day, but many, many days I find I’m most satisfied with this. Okay. So just to be clear, I eat this salad in one meal. That’s what I ate to lose the weight and to lose the 140 pounds, one meal a day. This thing is over 1000 calories. It’s giant. It is truly giant. I would eat it in one meal a day, one hour. That is my framework. That is a framework that’s working very, very well in the group. But I can appreciate this is truly giant. Some people are extending that hour to two or to three hours.

They’re basically having it in two meals, maybe four hours apart or something like that. The tighter your eating window, the more effective this program is going to be. But clearly you have to be able to implement it. So if it means that you’re implementing it in three hours, that’s great. This is a huge improvement over probably what you’ve been doing. So I want you to make up this giant salad and I want you to attempt to eat it in an hour. If you can’t, that’s fine. Take two hours. But as you eat it, I want you to consider some things about it. First of all, yes, it’s giant. It’s completely giant. But also notice what it’s not. This does not have much sugar in it at all. It’s certainly not unnatural sugar, but not the natural stuff either. This is all very low carb fare.

This has a lot of fiber. Now, depending on what protein you had it’s possible if you have some kind of processed protein on there that has some sugars in it, you might have some hidden sugars in there. Your mayonnaise may have some hidden sugars in there as well. These are all things that you can fine tune as you go through this. There is very specific information, for instance, in the Ridiculously Big Salad Book. So you can get educated about some of those details. Notice there’s no noodle in this. There’s no bread in this. There’s a lot of things that are not in this. Some of those things that are missing are missing for a reason. That’s an important detail. So there’s a lot of detail about the salad, but this is the basic framework.

Look at this. I want you to think about why it is that you feel like you need to lose weight. Now, it might just be because you don’t fit in your pants. Many people who find me have some really pretty big reasons they need to lose weight, like me. I couldn’t walk. I was so desperate. I was 280 pounds, completely desperate. I’ll tell you what, I would have eaten the bark off a tree. I mean I would have eaten just about anything to lose the weight. So I look at this and I say, “Wow, I can eat all that in a day? That’s my one-hour meal and do this for a year and walk? Yeah, I’m in. I mean I am in.” I want you to look at the salad. I want you to taste it. Think about it. Think about your goals. We all want to eat what we want to eat, but I think ultimately many of us, we get to that point, we want to walk more.

Even if you’re not a big salad fan, taste it. Think about how this is in the world of diet food and also what your goals are. You guys, this is working really well for us. So I want you to taste it. I want you to balance your eating experience against your goals. That’s your Day 1 exercise, and that’s it. It’s very simple. I’m going to catch you tomorrow. We are going to cook something instead tomorrow. And then on Day 3, you’re going to actually eat this again. So stay tuned and I’ll be back. You take care and good luck.