We visited an old friend over the weekend, and I offered to bring fresh bagels for breakfast. She emailed back, “I don’t want to have to hurt you! I’m on a d— (yes, the dreaded “d word”).”

We got there with a bag of farmer’s market vegetables instead, which she was happy to have. Some acorn squash, green peppers and tomatillos. Not your usual veggies. I also had printed a copy of my acorn squash recipe from last week, that you already have.

So I was curious about this diet she was on. Doctor prescribed, it consists of a protein and fruit shake for two meals a day (kind of the “meal replacement” thing), two “entrees” (vacupack tiny boxed lasagna, ravioli, tuna, etc.) she heats those up in a microwave. Then, five servings of fresh fruits and vegetables a day.

Clearly, this is what dieticians call a Very Low Calorie Diet. But is it healthy? Other than the fact that my friend has lost 27 pounds in little less than two months, she’s not very happy with it. She says it’s “depriving, and not the best way to lose.”

I see plusses and minuses with it. While it does incorporate lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, the protein sources are very dead: powder and vacupack meals made months or years ago. There are basically no carbohydrates in this diet, which isn’t a bad thing, I guess. Fiber? That’s obtained from the vegetables. So, I guess we don’t really need grains.

So why is she on it? It’s because she doesn’t have to think much about what to eat, and its almost totally ready-made so there is not much cooking, other than the shakes and vegetables. It’s not only doctor approved and monitored, it’s through her job, so it’s not very expensive and some of her coworkers are also on it. So there is fellowship.

More tomorrow about the spiritual and emotional aspects of this VLCD, the Very Low Calorie Diet. Don’t miss it! bookmakr this blog and return daily, please.

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