Good Eats: Live and Let Diet

I just caught this episode, and it looks pretty snacky.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

Too bad it’s midnight. I have a tin of smoked sprats in the cupboard just waiting to be eaten. There’s a tin of anchovies in there as well. AB’s breakfast smoothie looks tasty, but I’m not big on smoothies. I’d rather breakfast on oatmeal with a spoonful of jam in it. The almonds look addictive. Anyway, here are the recipes as I typed them from the show:


• Soy milk – low fat, enriched with protein + B12
• Frozen fruit – blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, peach, mango, bananas (peeled, wrapped, frozen)
• Acai or pomegranate juice
• Blender

4 oz each (by weight) of four fruits, soy milk, juice. Stash in fridge overnight to thaw the fruit a little. Blend on low 30 seconds. Boost to vortex stage. 30 seconds. Go to high for 1 minute. 24 oz (by weight) for breakfast each day.


Smoked sprats or brislings – eat with chopsticks (to eat slowly) out of the tin
~ or ~
2 cans of brislings.
¼ tsp fresh lemon zest
¼ tsp lemon zest
Lemon juice
1 ripe Haas avocado
1 tbsp Sherry vinegar
1 tbsp Parsley, plus more for garnish

Drain oil into two bowls. To one bowl add 1 tbsp sherry vinegar, 1 tbsp freshly-chopped parsley, ¼ tsp fresh lemon zest, freshly-ground black pepper,. Add fish and marinate 15 minutes to an hour. Put oil from other bowl onto four ½” slices of sourdough bread and toast. Mash one Haas avocado. Spread avocado onto bread. Top with fish, parsley, coarse salt, and lemon juice. Not sure of the intended serving size.


1 tbsp ground ginger
1 tsp kosher salt
2 tsp olive oil
1 tsp dark sesame oil
1 dried arbol chile
1 tbsp low-sodium Soy sauce
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 lb. almonds

Heat oven to 250º. Combine ginger and salt in a large bowl. Heat oils in sauté pan over medium-low heat. Add crumbled chile, seeds removed, and cook for 30-45 seconds. Add almonds and toss, cooking for 5 minutes. Add soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce. Cook for 1 minute. Toss in ginger & salt. Transfer to parchment-covered sheet pan. Cook in oven 20 minutes. Cool 30 minutes. One ounce, once or twice per day.

I made the almonds the other day. They’re not bad, although I need to be little more careful when I toast them; a few of mine are what my mother called “overly brown.”

He looks like he’s slimmed down a bit lately. While I’m glad he’s eating healthy and promoting healthy eating on his show, I’m implicitly wary of a skinny cook. Sure, perhaps they have an amazing metabolism, but perhaps they’re just not eating enough of that delicious, indulgent food.

That’s why I like Mario Batali…

I just tried his Sherried Sardine Toast just two days ago. Couldn’t find sherry vinegar though, so I used standard wine vinegar.
Delicious! I’ll definitely be making this one again.

Also tried the smoothie and it’s quite good, though I used rice milk instead of soy milk.

As much as I like Alton, the diet show did little for me.

Smoothy like that for breakfast is about ten times the breakfast I need. Plus, I didn’t like how on the one hand, he’s telling you NOT to drink sodas, but juice is just fine. I don’t buy it; juice, no matter how many nutrients it has in it, is sugar water.

Sardines & Avocados don’t look at all appealing to me.

The almonds look good, but salty. I’m fine with a handful of unsalted roasted nuts.

But that’s just me. If I want to lose some weight, I’m all about portion sizes. It’s actually better if the nuts aren’t so darn tasty that I want to snack on them all day. Hmm… maybe I should go for the sardine/avocado thing, I’m guessing I’d keep the portion size small!

I think that Alton mentioned (don’t hold me to this) that he used the “purple” fruit juices for the anti-oxidant value.

The sardines recipe made a big meal for two people, but I modified the recipe slightly by using a half avocado per each piece of bread as there was enough sardines (two cans) for four pieces of bread. One tip - toast both sides of the bread. If you toast just the oiled side, the un-oiled side is too moist and the topped bread too “floppy” to hold.
The result was a very mild flavor - not really what I was expecting when I hear about “sardines” in a recipe.

I made a salad with this meal, and the salad was too much.

Yeah, he did.

I guess I just don’t buy the anti-oxidant thing. Or, at least, I don’t buy it as an essential ingredient to weight loss.

1/2 a cup of Pomegranate juice has 80 calories, most of which come from sugar - more calories and sugar than the equivalent volume in Coke (49 cals for 1/2 cup). I’d rather have the raw fruit, which comes with fewer calories, more fiber, and nutrients too.

I have no doubt that Alton lost weight - it’s easy to see he’s much slimmer than he was a year ago - but his diet is just not for me. Which is the tricky part about diets; ya gotta find what works for you.

I’m glad people have tried these things. Many times people post recipes here and no one but the OP has tried them yet.

I think a lot of people believe sardines are ‘too fishy’. I find that generally sardines are about as ‘fishy’ as oil-packed tuna; that is ‘very mild’. I’ve had some that are too mild. I really like Riga Smoked Sprats.

Thanks for the serving size. I forgot it used two tins of fish, so it looks like a maximum of two ‘smörgås’ would be ‘a serving’.

I heard this about anti-oxidants: You take in enough, and your body says ‘Oh. I don’t need to make as many.’ So it reduces production and you’re back to where you started.

As I said, I’m not a fan of smoothies. A tasty way to get your fruit, but from what I’ve seen at Jamba Juice they have 600 Calories or more. They’re packed with vitamins and minerals; but when it comes to it, the ‘trick’ to losing weight is consuming fewer Calories than you burn.

As far as his diet, these three things are not the only things he ate. There’s only so much that will fit in a half-hour show. I choose to ignore the ‘diet’ aspect. The recipes in the show just look tasty. Even the smoothies. But especially the fish.

Alton is currently a spokesman/commercial shill for Welch’s grape juice, who I guess would frown on him recommending against fruit juice on his show.

His smoothie would be expensive to make every day. The prices for Acai or pomegranate juice are huge for 32 oz bottles.

I don’t drink juice. How much is it? (32 oz is eight days’ worth, following the recipe.)