About 3 years ago, I was introduced to Tim Ferris’ book The 4 Hour Body by one of my colleagues M. She had just spent a lot of time in the Philippines for her previous job and was not happy with the weight she had gained. I thought she looked great, but she showed me several photos of her pre-Philippines leaner physique to show me that her current shape was not normal state (I think the lesson here is to not go to the Philippines?).
In order to lose that weight, she picked up Ferris’ book and was religiously following his “slow-carb” diet where for 6 days a week, you were not allowed to eat any carbs, fruit, sugars, dairy (but cottage cheese was fine), or alcohol (though red wine was apparently OK). On the 7th day, you got to gorge yourself in croissants, pizza, and all the Ben and Jerry’s you desired.
At the time of M’s diet, our team at work was also pretty attached at the hip. We were a new and small team based out of Singapore. We ate our meals together, went to happy hours together, and even went to the gym together. It just seemed easier for all three of us to join her on her diet to not make eating together so difficult. So, for almost a year I was on Tim Ferris’ slow-carb diet.
I wish I could say I lost a ton of weight and looked like the lean, muscular women he features in his book. I looked about the same and weighed about the same. The one big difference? I ate a lot more deli meat. (M however did return to previous physique.)
I know that sounds weird, but I was traveling a ton at that time, and I didn’t always have the resources to grill up chicken breasts for lean protein. I lived out of hotel rooms mostly and when I was home in America, I was so jet lagged I could barely function in the kitchen. Slicing up deli meat was something I could easily do from anywhere.
Since there were no carbs allowed, sandwiches were out, so one of the ways I incorporated this new staple into my diet was in salads, and I ate a ton of cobb salads that year. Even though I have been off the slow-carb diet for the last few years and now am happily enjoying carbs, fruit, dairy, and alcohol 7 days a week, I still turn to the deli cobb salad every so often as an easy dinner. The difference now? I get to enjoy it with a creamy cilantro yogurt-based dressing. Recipe below.
- To learn how to cube avocados, go here
- Shave kernels off corn this way. When corn season is over, you can use frozen and just nuke it for a minute in the microwave.
- Don’t stop at salads! Deli meat can also be used in omelets or breakfast sandwiches and burritos. Make sure to buy deli meat using organic nitrates (more on that here).
- Eggs – 4
- Deli meat – 1 lb., chopped (your choice – I like turkey)
- Cherry tomatoes – ⅔ pint, halve
- Corn – 3 cobs, kernels shaved off
- Romaine hearts – 2, chopped
- Yogurt, plain or Greek – ¼ cup
- Olive oil – ⅓ cup
- Lemon juice – ⅓ cup.
- Garlic cloves – 1, peeled
- Cilantro – ¼ bunch
- Avocado, small – 2, cubed
- Make hardboiled eggs – Cover eggs with cold water and some salt. Bring to a boil and then turn off heat. Let eggs sit in hot water for 11 minutes and then run in cold water for easier peeling. Roll egg against a hard, flat surfact to break up shell, and then peel. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Deli meat / Tomatoes / Corn / Romaine – Prep as directed. (Can be done up to 3 days ahead)
- Make dressing – Blend yogurt, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and cilantro in a blender or using an immersion blender. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be done up to 3 days ahead)
- Cube avocado and chop eggs.
- Form a bed of romaine lettuce and layer all other ingredients on top. Let everyone dress their own salad.