April 30, 2009

You Can Diet and Have Your Margarita Too...

The Real Housewives of New York's Bethenny Frankel encourages readers to think about eating in economic terms rather than the ooey-gooey sweet self-help jargon of typical diet books, in her new book Naturally Thin: Unleash Your Skinny Girl and Free Yourself From a Lifetime of Dieting. Here are the four basic tenets:
1. Your Diet Is a Bank Account. "Eating should be treated like a bank account - if one day you decide that you want to have chocolate cake for breakfast, you can, because there's no 'No,' but you need to account for it," explains Frankel, who confessed during our interview that she had eaten "a bite of cheesecake, a half a piece of red velvet cake and some ice cream" because she was "PMS-ing." "If you spend in one place, you need to save in another."
2. The Differential. "In the differential, you can have turkey chili and meat chili," says Frankel. "To me, the differential between the two isn't that big. I would just as soon have turkey chili as I would meat chili. But there's a huge differential for me between a piece of plain grilled chicken breast and a fatty piece of New York steak. Go for it when the differential is really great to you. You have to find where it's worthwhile to splurge."
3. The Point of Diminishing Return. Frankel explains: "For example, if you order fried calamari, you taste it, it's delicious, have another bite, dip it in the sauce, it's delicious, but then there's a point where it's as good as it's ever going to get. And that's when you stop."
4. Downsize. We need to do this in all other aspects of our lives right now, so why should our diet be any different? "We have unrealistic portions in this country and you can order an appetizer as your main course," says Frankel, who recommends "canceling your membership to the clean plate club - no matter if you're eating broccoli or fried chicken - it's good to get into the habit of leaving a little."

If the concepts are hard to grapple with, Frankel's famed SkinnyGirl margarita goes down easy. "Every single diet says alcohol is the devil," she says. "I'm not promoting it, but I'm saying people have to live their lives."

The SkinnyGirl Margarita on the Rocks
What you'll need for one serving:
2 ounces clear tequila (Sauza or clear premium tequila (count 1, 2 while you pour; no need for measuring)
A splash of fresh lime juice
A splash of Cointreau, Grand Marnier or Triple Sec
Combine all ingredients over a glass of ice.
Garnish with a lime wedge and salt (or sugar) if you'd like.

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