My 5$-A-Day Pasta Diet

Nutrition and Fitness

Ode to Food

   Weight gain,
   Financial strain,
   Feeling lame, and
   Cloudy brain.

That summarizes my feelings towards over-eating. Nonetheless, maintaing a healthy diet and exercise routine remains a constant struggle for me. I developed the following plan to address my lifestyle needs.

It’s based on the concept of intermittent fasting, whereby you spend the majority of the day not eating, and then do all of your eating at once in a few hours.

This is a pretty controversial dieting style, so take it or leave it. The research I’ve done into the matter supports that intermittent fasting helps dieters stick to their diets, which is one of the reasons I like it. I find it easier to not eat at all than to eat responsibly, especially when I’m at work or otherwise stressed. I also find it easier to stick to eating at home if I’m only eating in the evening, after I get home.

I will add the disclaimer that some research suggests women may not respond very well to intermittent fasting. Again, research is preliminary, so make your own choices.

The Diet

The plan is simple. Once a day, in the evening, cook a big batch of pasta, make it taste good, make it nutritious, and eat it all within a few hours.

I buy all my ingredients from Walmart, because moral qualms about their evil corporate structure doesn’t change the fact that they do have the cheapest prices for just about everything. The total cost for one day’s worth of food comes to $5 for about 2,650 calories. That’s a reasonable number for me, but you can scale the recipe up or down to fit your needs.

Concerning spices: you can do all of this without adding spices, but I don’t recommend it. Spices have no calories and can turn even the blandest foods into something palatable. If you’re crazy enough to try a diet where you’ll be eating the same meal every day, you had better make sure that meal is damn tasty. Buy your spices in bulk whenever possible, as they are much cheaper that way.

Ingredients

  • 300 g dry pasta
  • 15 frozen meatballs
  • 1 can of pasta sauce
  • 4 tbsp of olive oil
  • 50g shredded cheese
  • Spices (e.g. cumin, chili pepper, dill, or whatever you like)

Preparation

Total cooking time should be under half an hour.

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 °F.
  2. Put a large pot of cold tap water on to boil. Optional: salt the water.
  3. The water should reach a boil just as the oven is finished preheating. Add the pasta to the water and put the meatballs in the oven.
  4. Add 2 tbsp of olive oil to a frying pan and place on medium-high heat.
  5. When the oil is hot, throw in all your spices.
  6. After a minute, add the cheese to the pan.
  7. When the cheese is melted, pour the pasta sauce into the pan and mix.
  8. Set the pan aside on low heat.
  9. When the pasta is cooked to taste, turn off all elements including the stove, and drain the pasta.
  10. Add the sauce to the pasta.
  11. Remove the meatballs from the oven and add them to the pasta as well.
  12. Eat all the pasta within 4 hours of preparation.
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