You asked for it. You got it.
It has finally arrived in print!
I present your 6-week meal plan with recipes and shopping lists to help you implement the way of eating that was critical to my own weight loss, a meal plan approach that I call "The Ridiculously Big Salad." It is a one-meal-a-day ketogenic meal plan that was a game-changer for me in my decades-struggle with weight loss. I am "half my size," down to 140 pounds from 280 due to this eating framework. I am proud to say that many other very excited older women are following in my path, changing our lives completely.
When I started the Eat Like A Bear! group in July of 2018, I had little self-awareness that I had a distinct model of eating to lose the 140 pounds. I tell people I eat keto foods and use intermittent fasting. That is indeed the case, but there are many possible models of implementing keto and intermittent fasting. In fact, there is a lot of confusion and many misconceptions in the world of ketogenic dieting that The Ridiculously Big Salad cuts right through.
Distinct in the Keto Diet World
It turns out that what I ate all of those months really followed a distinct and highly-replicable model, with elements we probably should not dismiss or take for granted, especially as people implement variations of this concept with a little less success. In fact, what made me realize The Ridiculously Big Salad might have been a key tool for me is noticing two things:
- The people joining the Eat Like A Bear! group in Facebook in 2018 having the most success were those eating The Ridiculously Big Salad.
- Some people’s implementation of The Ridiculously Big Salad did not fit what I considered to be my model of The Ridiculously Big Salad and they seemed to have less success. (Some might eat a lot of protein on top of a few green leaves, for instance.)
These observations sent me to my kitchen for about 8 weeks, pondering the details of The Ridiculously Big Salad framework.
If you know my story, you know that when I started my dive into this weight loss, I had no real plan. I started with an extended water fast and then began eating "one meal a day." I decided that if I was only going to eat once, I would eat a whole lot of bulk with fewer calories and so I bulked up on salad greens. I added calories via homemade salad dressings and protein toppers. As I was deconstructing my salad-making this past spring for this book, I discovered that, with no real planning, my salads predictably had about 500 calories tied up in salad dressing, made with a healthy fat. The salads have a predictably giant bed of salad greens. The have a healthy protein on top.
I ate this "meal type" about 80% of the time in my most intensive phases of weight loss. In maintenance, I eat The Ridiculously Big Salad just about as often, though I do often add another item or two to my daily eating. In any case, I continue to rely on The Ridiculously Big Salad. I feel better when I am eating it and miss it when I haven't had it for a couple of days.
The "Ridiculously Big Salad" Makes the News!
When I was on NBC news affiliate KGET, news anchor Maddie Jannsen was pretty amazed by the ridiculously big size of the bowl I use to eat The Ridiculously Big Salad.
The Ridiculously Big Salad is its own framework
The Ridiculously Big Salad has an actual, specific framework, a key point that blew my mind since I was really just flying blind all of those months, grinding out the weight loss from 2017 into 2018. I had no intention whatsoever to be here in 2020 writing a book about it all, or leading a mini-revolution among the women on Facebook and YouTube. Heck, I just wanted to be able to walk across my house without limping and to hike with my sons in the forest near our home in California's Giant Sequoia National Monument. My desperation was deep and my goals were basic.
All that said, you know my mantra in the Eat Like A Bear! group: You don't need surgery, drugs, or branded products to succeed with this weight loss approach. All you need is your own bootstraps. Reach down and pull yourself up.
As I say in the original e-book on this website, The Bear Bones Blueprint, you do not need this book about The Ridiculously Big Salad. I discuss "The Ridiculously Big Salad" LIVE on Facebook regularly, in the Eat Like A Bear! group on Facebook, and anywhere else I happen to be. Fellow moms at my sons' school see me and my actual real-life salads regularly. The salad is no secret. The book has no secrets. I am not going to tell you that there are three hidden secrets in the book that will unlock your weight loss dreams. You don't need me or this book for that because you already have yourself and, it turns out, that is really all you actually need.
However, for some months I have gotten feedback that people want more specific details about the salad. From that feedback, I holed up in my kitchen weighing and measuring things like I never do (and hope not to have to do all that often) and realizing, by golly, this salad thing really is an actual framework. I lay the framework out in this book.
Do I need this book if I know how to make salads?
More so, there is a specific way I prepare the salads using very basic bulk cooking strategies, to ensure that I always have a 10-minute salad at my disposal every single day that tastes different from yesterday's salad.
The book is laid out according to these bulk cooking strategies: Each week you will bulk cook one or two protein items. You will eat some this week and freeze some. I instruct you how to do so.
Do I need this book if I know how to make salads?
When I started to work on this book, I said to people, "Anyone who knows how to make a salad does not need this book."
I gave an earlier draft to a few core Bear members, all of whom know how to cook and make salads. One of them had been stalled and frustrated. She's an excellent cook. I noticed that despite her skills, reading the book prompted her to implement the strategy with new gusto and she's already down a few pounds as a result.
Maybe sometimes it's not really about the recipe, but about the motivation and inspiration. The book describes why the framework works and why you should try it.
What's in the book?