cheating is bound to happen. You can’t pretend life is perfect and that nobody will fall off the horse occasionally



The temptation to cheat is part of everyday living everyday in the real world. We just spent
several minutes disagreeing with each other about this subject and what we should suggest in
this article. We both think our points are more valid of course, so we’ll give you both of them
and try to get to the truth of the matter.

Pearl chats: Serene, cheating is bound to happen. You can’t pretend life is perfect
and that nobody will fall off the horse occasionally. I don’t think we should say, “never

 Serene chats: So you’re calling me a nobody? I’m not going to fall off the “horse.” And
why are you calling healthy eating a “horse”? Some people like me cannot enjoy a cheat.
How does something feel like a treat if you know you are poisoning your body, adding to
the aging process, and having to work out harder tomorrow?

Pearl chats: They’re unique thought processes to you. I don’t have those thoughts
when cheating. I’ll have a bag of popcorn when my husband and I do movie dates about
once a month or so, (even with that fake butter stuff they pour all over it). I’ll eat a
small bag of potato chips when I’m on vacation, or a real sugar brownie or two every
now and then, and I am not going to spend the two days of Christmas and Thanksgiv-
ing denying myself anything, and I mean anything! Most people feel this way, and it
is so easy to start back on plan the next day. I have had no problems doing this. Life
should not be all about rules and restrictions.

Serene chats:
Pearl, why does a treat always have to be junk? Why do you have to say
you are denying yourself to not partake of junk foods? I splurge at Christmas as well,
but with more expensive and gourmet foods that I normally would not purchase. These
treats are not going to damage me. Christmas and Thanksgiving can be full days of
Crossovers which make me more than satisfied.



Pearl chats: Well, we agree to disagree. Serene, you’ve always had super human self-
control when it comes to what you eat. Most of us are not born with such ability.
Feeling weighed down with shame for cheating can create a worse situation for some
people. I know a few people who feel so awful about themselves for messing up now and
then that they start to self sabotage. Healthy progress is hindered from self punish-
ing choices. They figure, “I can’t get this right, I already messed up so I might as well
drive through and order a large Fry and a Frosty to dig a deeper grave.”
For those who want to eat some forbidden foods once in a while, I say it is fine if
you can handle it. Make sure this doesn’t become a way for you to slip back into your
old habits though. Serene has a point. Some cheats I wouldn’t do because they are so
unhealthy for the body. If at all possible, I urge you to stay away from fast food fries
or onion rings, large amounts of potato chips, or other trans fatty foods. But, if you
do find yourself eating birthday cake and loading up on all that other crazy stuff I just
mentioned, do not say, “Well, I might as well throw this whole program away now. I just
can’t stick to it.”
No, way! Our plan is forgiving and you must offer yourself that same forgiveness.
Shake yourself off and make sure your very next meal is right on plan. You don’t even
have to wait until the next day. Getting back on target is a meal away. Please, don’t
beat yourself up too much. If I find myself cheating, I make sure to have eggs alone
the next morning. I fry up two or three eggs in butter and this somehow tells my body
to get back in line, thank you very much. This is a sure way to help reduce the excess
sugars in my cells and get me back on track.

Serene chats:
If our readers aren’t going to beat themselves up, I will do it for them.
Why? Because sometimes love has to be tough. They may say they only cheat on birth-
days, but family birthdays can come several times a month. If they are part of a large
family, or even extended family, they could end up cutting loose all the time.
How can you enjoy the holiday season if you know you are getting heavier and
out of shapier! Okay, I just created a new word, but I am getting heated up on this

Pearl chats:
Trim Healthy Mama
On that you are right, Serene. I agree we shouldn’t take whole seasons
to cheat. Choose the one or two seasonal parties or occasions and use a sense of
commitment to plan the rest of the time. Many people get colds and flus around the
holiday seasons because they binge on sugars, and this lowers immune defenses.
Some may know how to cheat well and have no problems getting back on plan. For
others, cheating may be a ticket to disaster. Figure out who you are and know your
limitations. Be honest with yourself. It seems I can cheat and jump back on plan easily.
My husband can do this, too. He takes at least three full days over Christmas and
eats to his heart’s content all the things he normally wouldn’t eat. I think he goes
overboard and I’m always relieved when that time is up. I constantly have to zip my lips
and not nag, although somehow my lips open and nagging just pops out—oops!
There will always be temptations. You cannot live in a sheltered balloon. On a daily
basis there will be candy at the gas station . . . yeah, it even calls to me sometimes.
Instead, I tell myself it is not real food and say to myself, “I don’t eat that.” Self talk
works for me.
There will always be cupcakes at a friend’s birthday. There will be all kinds of ridicu-
lous options at the church pot luck. We can’t cocoon ourselves away from it all. But,
it’s not like you can’t make commitments and keep them! And the great thing is that
we have wonderful options of healthy “cheat like” food on our plan. That’s why you can
stick to it; you can have all the indulgences at home.
On the whole, this is a good mindset to keep: be faithful to the plan, but if you
cheat, forgive yourself and don’t dwell on the “Oh No’s” and a mindset of failure that
prevents you from jumping back on the horse—just wrote that for Serene’s sake.


list of specialty foods that help to make Fuel Pulls more doable.

Specialty Items

Pearl chats:
Below is a list of specialty foods that help to make Fuel Pulls more
doable. Most of them are healthy, but some are more short-cut inspired. Serene is
leaving this list to me since her purism stamp of approval is not on all of them. Not
all of them will be necessary, but we urge you to purchase glucomannan as soon as
possible in order to include quick desserts on your menu. It is also the base to many
of our sauces.
It’s doubtful you’ll feed your children full Fuel Pull meals, so some of these items
may be purely for your own needs. You shouldn’t feel like you have to purchase the fish
and chicken items mentioned in the list since it may be more budget friendly to buy in
bulk and cook up your own. But, if you’re the Drive Thru Sue type and can spare the few
dollars they cost, they might make quick prep Fuel Pull meals more realistic.

We have a couple of quick and easy Fuel Pull soups in Lunches, Chapter 20, but
if five or 10 minute’s prep is too much of a bother for you, consider any of the Light
Progresso Soups you can buy from your local supermarket. They do not contain any
artificial ingredients or MSG, and fit our Fuel Pull criteria since they are low enough
in carbs, fat, and calories. Best of all, you can eat one whole can for a quick lunch and
still easily be in Fuel Pull territory.
You’ll notice some of the items are repeats since they appear on both our S and E
lists. They really shine when involved in a Fuel Pull meal or snack so I think they need
to be featured here again in their own setting.

A perfect example is konjac noodles, which are on both S and E lists since they
don’t contain a primary fuel. They are tasty with a sauce that contains fat for an
S meal, e.g., a peanut based satay sauce. But, if you have stubborn weight, it is the
smartest idea to save items like konjac noodles for Fuel Pull meals where they can
do deep damage to defiant pounds. If you use them in a meal that strips back both
fat and carbs, like our tasty Sweet and Spicy Asian Stir Fry, you will gain the most
effectiveness. Add some diced chicken breast and Asian style veggies. Wow, a full bowl
of this goodness is very filling, yet extremely low-calorie. This is called trick fasting!
It’s taking the idea of “dietary changes” to the fullest extreme to ensure a hotter
metabolism! (I take my bow to all the imaginary applause)!

unsweetened almond or flax milk (for puddings, smoothies, shakes, and coffee)
glucomannan powder (for puddings, sauces and gravies, muffins, smoothies and shakes,
available at or
konjac noodles/yam noodles (available at,,
or international stores)
fat free chicken broth (as the base to most Fuel Pull sauces and soups)
0% Greek yogurt

1% cottage cheese
carton egg whites or Egg Beaters
whey protein (Swanson Premium or Jay Robb)
oat fiber (for making our Fuel Pull friendly muffin and other baked goods, available
defatted peanut flour (for adding in small amounts to Fuel Pull stir fry sauces, or to
include in a our Fuel Pull friendly muffin, ice cream, and pudding recipes—we recom-
mend Protein Plus Peanut Flour and Byrd Mill Peanut Flour Dark 12%, available at
whole psyllium husk powder (for making egg white wraps, available online under Now
brand or at health food stores like Trader Joe’s)
Laughing Cow or Weight Watchers light cheese wedges
Wasa crackers (these work for snacks smeared with a Laughing Cow wedge and topped
with tomato)
GG crisp bread crackers (for snacks with lean toppings, available at www.netrition
Joseph’s pitas
Gorton’s grilled Tilapia (handy low-calorie lean protein source that tastes great for an
easy lunch idea, available at most grocery stores)
Tyson grilled and ready chicken breast and lean steak strips (for use in salads or stir
fries, half a package is one serving of 3 oz., the perfect amount for Fuel Pulls)
Light Progresso soups
Fat Free Reddi Whip (This goes great with some of our Fuel Pull desserts. While
we don’t approve of the Cool Whip product since it has a bunch of chemicals and
high fructose corn syrup, Fat Free Reddi Whip is a healthier and overall more natural
option, but still not up to Serene’s purist standards. But, it tastes creamy, even though
it has very little fat and is super low in calories. Used in moderation, it can make Fuel
Pull desserts like our Muffin in a Bowl feel a lot more decadent. It also goes perfectly
with E fruits).
Zero or light calorie dressings. Green Valley Ranch is zero calorie, does not have sugar,
fat, gluten, or artificial flavors and colors. It is available at Walden
Farms calorie free dressings and Wishbone Salad Spritzers are more readily available at
most supermarkets. They also work great for Fuel Pull salads, but have some less than
pure ingredients

Your New Friendly Recipes and about The Beans

Our Trim Healthy Pancakes (Morning Meals, Chapter 18) and Trim Healthy Pan bread (Muffins,
Breads and Pizza Crusts, Chapter 19) are your perfect E meal companions. These two recipes
are quick and easy to make, delicious, and filling. You can eat the pancakes with fruit or berries  and 0% Greek yogurt for breakfast. At lunch, you can make a sandwich or two out of the pan
bread using a little light mayo, mustard, dijonaise or horseradish sauce, lean deli meats, or
leftover grilled chicken breast and lettuce.
Foods, like pancakes, are usually incredibly high in carbs, have little protein, and quite
simply, they make people fat. Our recipe may resemble IHOP pancakes, but they will help
slim you down since they have just enough whole grains to aid in energy, heaps of protein to
cause your body to burn more calories, and only a small amount of fat. They are perfect E style
foods, and their carb count still leaves room for you to add a little fruit without going over the
45 gram carb threshold. Woohoo!


Pass The Beans

Beans are the cheapest carbohydrate to use in an E meal. If you have a tight budget, you’ll love
beans for their price alone. You can feed a houseful with a bag or two of beans or lentils for less
than a couple of dollars. But beans have more than just bang for your buck going for them.
They contain what is known as resistant starch, which has a much more gentle impact on your
blood sugar than other starches. As a result, you can eat larger servings of beans than grains in
your E meals, if you desire.
They are also very high in antioxidants, especially beans with vivid or dark colors like red
kidney beans or black beans. While beans do have some protein, it is important to remember
that they are predominately a carbohydrate. Adding a little bit of lean animal protein to your
bean meal in the form of some diced chicken breast, a dollop of Greek yogurt, or a sprinkle of
low-fat cheese will boost the protein content of your meal and keep you more satisfied.

Soak beans well as this resistant starch is known to cause a lot of gas for some of us. If you
are not the “from scratch,” type cook and prefer ease and speed, then canned beans are accept-
able too, only avoid canned beans with sugars or starchy sauces. Also, endeavor to use cans
without BPA—a chemical we’ll talk about later in the book.
Be sure to check out the information we provide in our Foundation Foods, Chapter 17 on
a legume/bean called chana dahl. It is a very low glycemic bean and is perfect for you if you
are pre-diabetic or full diabetic and your response to most starches is poor. It is a great food for
everybody else too.