My Virgin Diet Experience, Part 4
I have a tendency to over analyze things a bit. Let’s face it, I work in I.T. and I wouldn’t be as good at my job if I didn’t. J.J. Virgin has a formula for ‘The Virgin Diet Plate’ and I knew I’d be cooking mindfully. So, the computer nerd that I am, had to put it into a spreadsheet. I used one of the Microsoft Excel spreadsheet templates as a tool to keep track of my dinners for the week. I’ve added some examples for you so that you’ll have an idea of how I’m keeping track of everything.
When creating my spreadsheet, I added the items I’m pulling out of my diet during cycle one in red. I wanted to make sure I didn’t accidentally cook something with a restricted ingredient. Once I have my meals planned out I post this to my refrigerator so that I don’t forget the meal plan for each day.
I added a tab to the worksheet that lists out my healthy food options. This list reminds me of all the food options I have that I otherwise might not consider for a typical meal. Each week I glance over the spreadsheet before planning out my week and grocery shopping.
As you can see by the tabs at the bottom of the page, I list out a few more details as follows…
The dinner plan sheet lists out each portion to ensure I have a complete plate. I didn’t add the ‘nuts’ portion since I know if I don’t add it to my meal I’ll just snack on a few before dinner.
Included is a sheet where I list out recipe ingredients to help me get my shopping list together quickly. I highlight the ingredients I don’t have and add those to my digital shopping list.
And last but not least, one sheet to keep track of the weekly goals of the program. I don’t really reference it but it’s nice to have it there in case I lose track.
Ok, now that I’ve bored you with my geekiness, let’s get on to the fun stuff…kitchen tools. I’ve found that a few simple tools make kitchen duty much easier. You probably already have these in your kitchen but if you don’t you may want to consider purchasing them.
Blender or Ninja (my dream blender)
Mandolin (for zucchini noodles or to sliced potatoes)
Mini cutting boards that will go in your dishwasher
Salad Dressing container (for homemade dressing)
Small food processor and or chopper
Storage containers (small and med)
I think the blender is self-explanatory, you will be making smoothies daily and need a cheap blender at the very least. The garlic press is so much quicker than slicing or chopping garlic. If you make hummus or guacamole you will definitely need the lemon press. I bought my lime press first which is slightly smaller than a lemon press. You can squeeze limes in a lemon press but it’s really difficult to squeeze a lemon in a lime press. Since you will be making your own dressing, you’ll need a container for storage and easy pouring.
At this point you should have everything you need. Once I get back to the office, I intend to food prep my lunches. I’m not even considering making my lunch every day unless I have left-overs. Maybe I’ll do an article on that later. Next time I’ll talk to you about my experiences dining out while on The Virgin Diet. It’s not easy but it can be done.