I attended an unusual luncheon today, courtesy of Alli, with Chef Richard Blais, winner of Bravo’s Top Chef All-Stars, book author, and he has his own new show called “Cook Your Ass Off” on UpWave on HLN Sundays 7pm EST. The show is a healthy twist on a cooking competition show where Blais is the host, and three chefs battle it out each week to transform lives by spinning unhealthy dishes into nutritious eats. In the end only one chef will walk away with the Grand Prize of $50,000.
Blais is not only adorable, he is one of the most personable chefs you could ever hope to find. No wonder Alli has tapped him as a spokesperson. But the talented chef says he used Alli to help him deal with his own weight issues.
Alli (Orlistat capsules) is an over-the-counter medication that can be used to help people lose weight. It works by blocking the absorption of about 25% of the fat consumed. I’m not going to go into details right now because I don’t have all the facts, but I am hoping to review the medication, later on, perhaps in early 2014. It seems to have a lot of promise for adults over age 18 who can also manage to follow a low fat weight loss plan, and do exercise. There is no magic pill that will help you lose weight if you lie around, and stuff your face with whatever you want. But medications like Alli, can help when you’re ready to take weight loss seriously.
At this lunch, Blais told editors about his own battle with the bulge, and how Alli (plus healthy eating and exercise) helped him shed all those excess pounds. And then he showed us how to make an incredible, three course meal using healthy ingredients and cutting fat and sugar. I’ll go into this in greater detail when I have more time and information about Alli, but since the holidays are coming, here are three “to tips” from this top chef that really help you deal with holiday eating:
1. Make Healthy Smart Food Choices – swap out the high fat ingredients in your favorite holidays recipes for a more balanced meal with fewer calories, For example, prepare your favorite sweet potato pie with low fat milk and egg whites instead of the full fat stuff.
2. Use bold flavors. Use spices like cinnamon and cloves to give the sense of “sweet” and “spicy” that we all associate with the holidays. Blaise also suggested vanilla bean –yummy!
3.. Get moving. This one is a no brainer. Exercise. Park farther away from the store and walk a little more of the distance. Get off a stop early on the bus or train. Enjoy a stroll to see the holiday lights.
4. Consider adding salad to your meals — it doesn’t have to just be leafy greens. Our lunch was a jicama salad with raw beets and cilantro, and apple & mustard dressing, no boring cucumbers and lettuce in sight!
5. Drink plenty of water and eating some foods with fat if you are going to drink alcohol. While drinking is not recommended as part of a healthy diet, we know you’re going to do it, so stay hydrated and full by drinking a full glass of water between every alcoholic beverage, or drink water along with that glass of bubbly. Keep your stomach full. Better yet, drink sparkling water with fruit in it and ditch the alcohol entirely, Your entire body will thank you.
Raw beets with jicama, apple & mustard dressing ; rack of lamb with date syrup & Swiss chard ; Whipped buttermilk with lavender & clementine