Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Dr. Ian Smith's 90 day diet plan

During 90 day diet plan the taping of VH1's fat-fighting reality show "Celebrity Fit Club," the director pulled aside diet guru Dr. Ian Smith and confessed: He'd filched and photocopied the top-secret diet Smith had used on celebrities like Chastity Bono and Kelly LeBrock and shed 30 pounds himself.

You don't have to be a sneak or a celebrity to get your hands on Smith's secret strategy. The diet program is laid out in his new book, "The Fat Smash Diet" (St. Martin's Griffin, $12.95), already a national best seller.

But Smith stresses that his common-sense approach to weight loss is by no means designed only for the rich and famous.

"I believe all dieting should be painless, simple and inexpensive," says Smith, a medical contributor to "The View" and a columnist for Men's Health magazine.

That's why he insisted his slim book be published in paperback. He would have banished the word "diet" from the cover, too, since his four-phase, 90-day plan pushes for sweeping lifestyle changes rather than quick fixes.

Beyond unhealthy eating habits, Smith, 36, believes Americans have an unhealthy ­relationship with food. Our obsession with jumbo portions and the pride we take in our multiple trips to the buffet, he says, speak directly to our competitive drive. "Americans always like to feel like they're getting one over on the restaurateur," he says.

What's more, he says, Americans tend to use food to self-medicate. "We eat out of guilt, we eat out of joy or we eat out of sadness," he says, "but we rarely eat for sustenance."

Smith hopes his book will help people "smash" these bad habits and teach them to treat their bodies like a temple instead of a receptacle.

The four-phase plan starts with a nine-day purifying "detox," during which food intake is limited to fruits and vegetables (raw, grilled or steamed, with minimal ­dressings). Then chicken, fish, pasta, egg whites and wheat bread are gradually reintroduced. He calls his the "last diet you'll ever need" because, ideally, the fourth "phase" is more of a lifelong maintenance plan - one in which it's all right, by the way, to have a glass of wine or pizza dinner.

The doctor says his diet is more "forgiving" than most because it allows for the occasional Fluffernutter binge. "I say if you're going to cheat, then cheat all the way," says Smith, "enjoy it - and then get right back on the wagon."

Key to his diet is the nine-day detox, which yields a significant weight loss - around 10 pounds. Some in the medical community might argue that's too much, too fast, but Smith believes it's all about the jolt. Such immediate results "hook people in" from the get-go.

That's what happened to Angelene Hardaway, 30, who lost 11 pounds in nine days after Smith plucked her from the audience at a taping of "The View" last month and threw down the "Fat Smash" gauntlet.

"After just a few days of watermelon and apples, I stopped craving sugary sweets like cake," says the 5-foot-2 Hardaway.

"The nine days flew by. Suddenly I had a lot more energy. And I started doing things like kick boxing, yoga and tae kwon do, which I'd never done before."

Until recently, the New Rochelle resident owned a Subway sandwich franchise in the Bronx with her sister, Lena, 31. Over the last two years, she put on 40 pounds, she says, largely because she spent all of her waking hours at the restaurant, reaching for cookies and sugary soda whenever she needed a pick-me-up.

The pressure of being weighed on national television kept her on the straight and narrow, says Hardaway, who logged in at 158. But she started feeling "so much better, so quickly" she continued with the diet long after the cameras stopped rolling and has since dropped an additional 4 pounds.

She has become a bit of a zealot about her new healthful, "everything in moderation" lifestyle. Just last week she and her sister, Lena, who has been dieting with her, chatted up a stranger over the supermarket corn bin about how they were going to steam their corn and eat it without butter.

Lena Hardaway, who has dropped 11 pounds (from 180) says having a "buddy system" is crucial on days "when you need to be dragged out of the house to go exercise." (Exercise is central to the Smith regimen. But he stresses that walking is just as beneficial as joining a costly gym.)

In lieu of a buddy, Laura James, 21, has some serious personal motivation. Like Hardaway, the recent Rowan University grad was chosen from the audience at a taping of "The View" in June. She was carrying extra pounds she blames, in part, on "the college lifestyle: pizza at 2 a.m. and plenty of alcohol."

She says she was mentally primed to lose the weight. "I'm going to get my M.B.A. in the fall, and I was eager to get in shape for the bigger world." At 5-foot-7, James weighed in at 210 pounds and has since lost 12 pounds.

"Weight's always been a sensitive issue for me," says James. In the food journal she kept during her detox, the Rockaway Township, N.J., resident admits that she used to watch "Celebrity Fit Club" and fantasize about being famous so that she, too, could be put on a diet.

James admits she was "a little freaked out" by the meat-free detox, which deprived her of her daily piece of chicken. "But during those first nine days, I felt more energized than I've felt in my whole life," she says. "Eating things I knew were good for me made me feel good about myself, and when you feel good about yourself, you just want to keep going."



1. Bag the white bread; go for wheat.

2. Flavored seltzers, not Frappucci- nos.

3. Frozen grapes are the perfect summer snack.

4. At restaurants, leave one third of your food on the plate.

5. Red wine is the booze to choose.


Serves 4-6

2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

2 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary

2 cloves garlic

1 teaspoon low-fat mayonnaise

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

light sprinkle salt and pepper

30 asparagus spears, peeled and tough ends trimmed

Combine lemon juice, vinegar, rosemary, garlic, and mayonnaise in a small bowl. Whisk in the olive oil slowly to create a creamy sauce. Season with salt and pepper.

Bring a large sauté pan of water to a boil and add asparagus. Boil until tender. Remove the asparagus, then shock it in ice water (a gallon of water and three trays of ice) for about 2 minutes to stop the asparagus from cooking.

Drain asparagus again and place on paper towels and pat dry. Arrange the asparagus on a serving platter. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour to chill.

When it's time to serve, pour vinaigrette evenly over the asparagus.


Serves 4

1/3 cup olive oil

1/3 cup whole-wheat flour

1 cup diced onion

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup diced celery

1 cup diced green bell pepper

1 pound raw seafood, in any combination of fish or shrimp

3 tablespoons filé powder

1 teaspoon cayenne powder

11/2 quarts vegetable stock

11/2 cups okra

1 cup tomatoes

1 tablespoon each fresh oregano, basil and thyme

1/2 pound seafood or turkey sausage

cooked and sliced (optional)

8 ounces brown rice

1 quart water

salt and pepper to taste

In a large saucepan, heat olive oil over medium-low heat and add flour. Stir into a paste and cook for several minutes, stirring, until a rich nutty brown color develops. This mixture is called a "roux."

Add onion, garlic, celery and green pepper to roux and cook for approximately 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Roux will cling to vegetables.

Add seafood and cook for approximately 3 minutes. Add filé powder and cayenne pepper. Add chicken stock and bring mixture to a simmer for 10 minutes, stirring constantly.

Add okra, tomatoes and herbs (and sausage if using) and cook for 5 minutes.

Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve over brown rice. (To make brown rice, bring rice, 1 quart of water and salt to a boil in an uncovered pot. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for approximately 45 minutes.)

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