How to Adapt My Recipes If You Are on One of My Programs

Healthy Fish Tostada Tacos

How To Adapt My Recipes If You Are on One of My Programs

Many of you coming to my website may already be on one of my programs—the Fast Metabolism Diet, one of the Burn plans, one of the programs in Fast Metabolism Food Rx or Metabolism Revolution, or one of my various cleanses or challenges. If this is you, I want to assure you that you can use many, if not all, of the recipes on this website and in Cooking for a Fast Metabolism to further expand your options while on these programs. 

If you aren't on one of my other programs but you're considering one, this blog post will provide a sneak preview into how you might use the recipes along with those plans. Don't be intimidated It may sound complex, but once you learn about these program, it will make much more sense. This guide is really for those who are working through a program and want more options.

Adapting the recipes on my website to your program isn't complicated. It just takes a few extra minutes of planning. Let's start with some basic recipe adaptation rules that apply across the board.

Easy Substitutions

In many of my programs, there are phases or parts where you are more limited in what foods you choose, such as days when you limit fat and focus on carbs or limit carbs and focus on protein. Here are some basic rules that apply to many of the recipes that you may need to adapt:

Choose Your Recipe Wisely

When adapting a recipe, look at the protein and grain requirements on your particular program part, or phase. This will help you choose a recipe that will be the easiest to adapt. For example, if you're on a phase with only seafood or vegetable protein options (as on the I-Burn), find seafood or vegetable-based recipes rather than trying to adapt a recipe that depends on steak. If you're on a phase where beef and chicken are allowed but not grains, gravitate more toward the meaty recipes as well as soups and salads where grain is less likely to be featured, rather than trying to adapt a rice dish or oatmeal. If you're on a carb-heavy phase with low fat, look for vegetarian and grain-based recipes rather than a recipe that depends on avocados or olive oil or coconut. 

Turkey, White Bean, Kale Soup

What if the Recipe Has Oils or Fats?

You can still use a recipe that contains oil or fat-rich foods even if your program prohibits the use of oil or fatty food for certain parts of the week by using the following tips:

  1. "Sauté" in water or broth instead of oil (stir frequently and add more liquid as it cooks off—this really works and is technically more like braising than sautéing).
  2. Substitute 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce or pureed pumpkin for each egg or in equivalent measurements for any oil in any baked recipe.
  3. Use parchment paper on your baking sheets, baking pans, loaf pans, or muffin tins instead of greasing them.
  4. Replace one whole egg with two egg whites.

What if the Recipe Has Grains or Starches?

You can use a recipe that contains grains or starches even if your program prohibits the use of grains or starchy foods for certain parts of the week by making the following modifications:

  1. Use spaghetti squash, spiralized zucchini or broccoli stems, or shredded cabbage to replace pasta.
  2. Use cauliflower or broccoli "rice" (chopped to resemble rice) to replace rice, quinoa, or any other grain.
  3. Use slices of cooked sweet potato or jicama or hollowed-out mushroom caps or cucumbers in place of bread or buns.
  4. Leave the grain out of a recipe and increase the vegetables.

Bun-less turkey burgers with sweet potatoes, tomatoes, and onions.

It's usually a good idea to reserve truly grain-based dishes like bread or oatmeal for those days when you can have grains.