08 Feb2011


I have successfully completed 4 full days on the my diet. No rice, no bread, no pasta, no potatoes… I have followed prescribed portions to the gram, though I may have added a veggie or two that wasn’t totally kosher. I received several emails asking me what I was actually eating, so I decided to post this sampling of dishes. But first, let me say, this is a TAILORED program I am on, and what is okay for me may NOT be okay for you… I don’t know all of the logic behind the meals/snacks but it seems to be working so far. Massive headaches on the first day from Diet Coke withdrawal have slowly gone away. I won’t lie, I do get hungry, but I am trying to resist any temptation and stay the course for at least four weeks until my next blood test. Up top, one of my first lunches with some skinless chicken breast and broccoli, stir fried in a little bit of Pam and seasoned with pepper. No soy sauce, salt, patis, etc.


A typical breakfast might include a poached or boiled egg, with veggies on the side.


Steamed dapa or sole on a bed of romaine lettuce and sprinkled with balsamic vinegar. This was a bleak meal. :(


Canned tuna fish in water (drained) with zero calorie mayonnaise (God knows what’s in it then…) and celery. A side salad. Two WASA whole grain crackers. I also have some fruit for snacks… mostly apples, pears, grapefruit and pomelo.


One evening I had a modest sized steak, and some steamed zucchini and onions on the side.


I was thrilled to see “pizza” on the list of allowed meals. But it turns out to be something like these… two Wasa crackers with baby arugula, tomatoes and mozzarella. When you’re hungry, this starts to taste better than you would have guessed…


…and it was a snap to make in a toaster oven.


One lunch I stretched my chicken allowance with lots of greens into soup form (it would have been brilliant with sotanghon, but alas, no noodles allowed) and Mrs. MM across the table there tortured me with her hearty bowl of spaghetti carbonara… ARRGGH. :)


And finally, some pan-fried (in PAM) prawns with a green salad on the side. Egads, this is what I used to eat as an appetizer… now its the whole meal! Oddly, the diet hasn’t been as difficult as I thought it might be… I miss the rice and noodles, but I have been good so far… Will check my weight only TWO WEEKS after I have been on the diet. :)



  1. Getter Dragon 1 says:

    Oh that doesn’t look bad at all.

    Feb 8, 2011 | 6:47 am

  2. James says:

    Good work and good luck!

    Feb 8, 2011 | 6:48 am

  3. lojet says:

    Is it gonna be 4 weeks of little/no carbs? then what after 4 weeks?

    Feb 8, 2011 | 7:15 am

  4. lee says:

    looks delish! forget rice…good luck!

    Feb 8, 2011 | 7:17 am

  5. fried-neurons says:

    No salt?? Oh, my gulay. I doubt if I can live without carbs, but I am absolutely certain I can’t live without salting my dishes.

    Feb 8, 2011 | 7:21 am

  6. joy from la says:

    Looks very appetizing though!!!!!!!!!!

    Feb 8, 2011 | 7:27 am

  7. Ging says:

    That poached egg looks fab. Can eat 3 of that for breakfast but will probably keel over by noon :-(

    Feb 8, 2011 | 7:38 am

  8. juanang says:

    looks like you’re not dieting MM…yummy!!!

    Feb 8, 2011 | 7:46 am

  9. atbnorge says:

    I’ll go for the soup! Piping hot, please. ;)

    Feb 8, 2011 | 7:58 am

  10. MiMac says:

    let me guess, you already lost at least, 5 pounds? :)

    Feb 8, 2011 | 7:59 am

  11. natie says:

    Jeez, MM…I spill more than that!!! no Diet Coke !!! torture…

    Feb 8, 2011 | 8:21 am

  12. Lei says:

    goodluck MM! just think of us who like you are also trying to lose some of those darned holiday weight gain heeheehee.

    Feb 8, 2011 | 8:52 am

  13. lurker_no_more says:

    Good luck marketman. I once lost 30 pounds by cutting my carbo and salt intake. You can do it. The battle is on keeping the loss poundage from coming back. I regained all the lost pounds, and gained some more!!!

    Feb 8, 2011 | 9:18 am

  14. Anne :-) says:

    wow! goodluck mm!

    Feb 8, 2011 | 9:29 am

  15. corianderie says:

    These dishes look appetizing and healthy. Good luck! Made me think of Junior Master Chef show from Australia.. those kids are amazing and they’re so young… Going back to dieting, is olive oil really the healthiest oil? There are so many kinds of oils in the market now and in various combinations.. grapeseed, sunflower, sunflower/olive, etc.. MM, are you familiar with those oils and what would you use–for healthy eating or otherwise? Thanks.

    Feb 8, 2011 | 10:27 am

  16. Marketman says:

    Corianderie, I suppose the best fresh extra virgin olive oil has to have my vote at this point… lurker no more… if I lost 30 pounds in two months and took two years to put it back on eating anything I wanted, that would seem like a good deal. But I need to keep at least 15-20 pounds off for the next few years ideally… Mimac, I am not checking for two weeks… lojet, when you reach your target weight, they spend a month “re-introducing carbs and other goodies” and I suppose if you eat within reason after that, you should be able to maintain the weight (or that’s the hope…).

    Feb 8, 2011 | 10:33 am

  17. Garlicky says:

    Enjoy your diet MM! I will surely enjoy the pizza, soup, and the prawns.

    Feb 8, 2011 | 10:56 am

  18. Sayong says:

    I need to lose 20 lbs for health resons too. Thanks for posting samples of your diet dishes. What’s wasa crackers made of?

    Feb 8, 2011 | 11:00 am

  19. charlie says:

    Mr. MM I noticed that you discuss your diet for the past few days but no exercise program. I lost 25 pounds thru a weight management program of diet and exercise.

    Feb 8, 2011 | 11:15 am

  20. Steph says:

    MM, have you read the Primal Blueprint by Mark Sisson (google Mark’s Daily Apple)? It actually makes sense. I have actually cut out a lot of grains (rice, wheat, etc) and noticed that I don’t get really hungry even with a small amount of food… I guess it has to do with blood sugars since it doesn’t rise that fast. It is hard to say goodbye to carbs but give yourself a few weeks and you’ll never even notice it. Habits change after 28 days. :)

    Feb 8, 2011 | 11:18 am

  21. millet says:

    the poached egg and the shrimp platter look very good. no more diet coke? Yehey! Congratulations, MM!

    Feb 8, 2011 | 11:38 am

  22. Carol says:

    Go, go, go, MM! You can do it, and congratulations for staying the course for 4 days now! Soon your tastebuds and stomach will be used to this type of food and you will crave less for the not-so-good type of food. I am glad to note that they have been asking you to eat healthy stuff, and that you can cook what will suit you and fit you. When I was on my dialysis diet, salt and any food with salt needs to be avoided. What I did was to spice up meals with more herbs (basil, parsley, cilantro, rosemary, etc.), chillies, lemons and calamansi. For my tinola, the calamansi becomes my patis :). I hope you are allowed that, since I saw they allow you to have fruits. There is also Brach’s seasoning, which has no salt, maybe that can help provide some flavor, if it’s allowed by your diet.

    Congratulations again and I will pray that you continue to stay the course!

    Feb 8, 2011 | 11:41 am

  23. Anne :-) says:

    MM, what does PAM mean?

    Feb 8, 2011 | 11:55 am

  24. jack says:

    your diet food LOOKS appetizing. good luck on your dieting MM. i wish i could do that too, but no salt at all :(

    Feb 8, 2011 | 11:58 am

  25. jo says:

    wow, all the yummy healthy food displayed here, makes me go famish again=)

    Feb 8, 2011 | 12:03 pm

  26. bearhug0127 says:

    Here’s looking at you MM after 4 weeks of a successful diet program!
    I know you can do it.

    @ Ann – PAM is a no-stick cooking spray – oil for high heat cooking. (It’s a brand name ).

    Feb 8, 2011 | 12:27 pm

  27. Mom-Friday says:

    thanks bearhug for the answer to the PAM i was about to ask too :)

    MM congrats! I can’t imagine the sacrifice considering your love for food!
    I have to show this to my hubby, thanks for sharing!

    Feb 8, 2011 | 1:08 pm

  28. marosee says:

    thanks for posting.. it’s giving me a good idea what i need to eat to lose weight although i definitely agree with fried-neurons.. i think giving up salt might make life not worth living :-(

    Feb 8, 2011 | 1:35 pm

  29. Kelly says:

    Rooting for a healthier you in two weeks! Good luck!

    Feb 8, 2011 | 1:56 pm

  30. Quillene Petite says:

    Wow! The food looks good even though I suspect, bland with very limited seasoning choices.

    Good luck MM! After this am sure you will do James Bond proud! :-)

    Feb 8, 2011 | 1:57 pm

  31. Sleepless in Seattle says:

    The food look so good,just healthy eating.Pizza with wasa crust haven’t tried it, i love wasa multigrain,just had a piece with eggplant dip.I usually use low carb tortilla for my hubby’s low carb pizza.Thanks for sharing your good eats..i am sure this diet all worth it .

    Feb 8, 2011 | 2:30 pm

  32. eden claire says:

    looks yum!

    Feb 8, 2011 | 2:45 pm

  33. Peach says:

    Marketman, your diet reminds me of Phase 2 South Beach, but without salt :-( Good luck!

    Feb 8, 2011 | 3:12 pm

  34. rizalynn says:

    i’m already starving ………hmmm..

    Feb 8, 2011 | 3:41 pm

  35. Maria Isabel Rodrigo says:

    diet aside, the food still looks appetizing!

    Feb 8, 2011 | 4:01 pm

  36. RobKSA says:

    looks like the Dr. R. Cohen’s diet.

    Feb 8, 2011 | 4:13 pm

  37. Bong says:

    …stay the course MM, stay the course!

    Feb 8, 2011 | 4:30 pm

  38. Risa says:

    Good luck MM. I have several friends who have tried this regimen, with great success. I was considering except that I did not have the bandwidth for the prep required. It essentially calls for cooking for one… and weighing the uncooked food. :) Pinaplano ko pa lang napapagod na ako haha.

    All the best of luck.

    Feb 8, 2011 | 4:46 pm

  39. fanny says:

    I am really glad some friends have convinced you to post some of your diet foods. Although they are tailored for you only, I do get ideas which help in my “trying hard diet”. hehehe! Thank you very much!

    Feb 8, 2011 | 4:56 pm

  40. thelma says:

    good luck, mm…you can do it!

    Feb 8, 2011 | 5:20 pm

  41. fionixe says:

    Good luck to us MM! I’m on diet too ~ :D will keep these wonderful meal ideas on mind.

    Feb 8, 2011 | 6:56 pm

  42. kim e says:

    ok lang sakin to go on a diet if my food looks like that! :)

    Feb 8, 2011 | 7:33 pm

  43. Nadia says:

    MM…why are the fruits in your diet all imported (except for the pomelo)? Are our local fruits just too high in sugar?

    Feb 8, 2011 | 7:40 pm

  44. Marketman says:

    Nadia, I forgot, I can have papaya too. And I suppose green melon or honeydew is probably okay. But yes, mango, chico, pakwan, bananas, pineapples are out… in most cases, probably due to the sugar…

    Feb 8, 2011 | 7:48 pm

  45. GLT says:

    Ooh yummy… where can I buy PAM here in Manila?!

    Feb 8, 2011 | 7:58 pm

  46. cumin says:

    Good luck, MM. All of us who need to lose weight and know how agonising that can be are rooting for you. But why no salt? Like a couple of other readers, I too would find that extremely hard.

    Feb 8, 2011 | 8:19 pm

  47. Rona Y says:

    If substitutions were allowed, I would replace that zero-calorie mayo in a heart beat (all those chemicals!) with 0% or 1% skim yogurt that has been drained of as much of its whey as possible. I use it for tuna or chicken salad sandwiches, and also in dips, and it’s very creamy–doesn’t seem no- or low-fat at all! Still has calories, though.

    (for the yogurt, I try to find the “purest” one possible– no cornstarch, guar gum, carageenan. . .just milk, added skim milk products (usually skim milk powder to boost the protein), and “good” bacteria)

    Feb 8, 2011 | 9:09 pm

  48. kai fernando says:

    hi marketman! im a culinary student & an avid reader of your blog. :) this article really hit me because im looking for easy to do diet meals that i can just whip up at our house. but im wondering though, if you have recipes for these dishes? :) thanks!

    Feb 8, 2011 | 9:25 pm

  49. EJ says:

    Maybe you can have some seafood sinigang? The seafood have their own saltiness.

    Feb 9, 2011 | 1:11 am

  50. Meg says:

    This is the kind of blog content that I like, all about diet food and pretty diet food. You have to eat with your eyes first, before you really eat the food. Then you are halfway full.

    Feb 9, 2011 | 2:01 am

  51. Jeff says:

    Wow… for “diet” meals those look really really appetizing. I love the balance between protein and veggies. So… is there any exercise regimen to go along with this program? I’ve found that the best way is to have both a balanced diet and work-out plan. In the end, it boils down to calories in and calories out… granted you’d want quality calories in. Good luck in your endeavors!

    Feb 9, 2011 | 4:08 am

  52. Marketman says:

    jeff and others who asked — in the early stages of this diet, NO strenuous exercise. The logic being that the exercise causes you greater hunger and you eat more calories than expended. I used to do a brisk walk of 45 minutes 4x a week but couldn’t lose any weight, so now I am trying this version. After a month, I intend to go back to the walk and once carbs are reintroduced, a bit of gym time per week, maybe 2x.

    Ej, yes, seafood sinigang would work. Tinola would work. But no patis or salt…

    kai, there aren’t recipes because the meals are so straightforward. What you see is basically what you get. And with no salt, you can see that there aren’t a whole lot of ingredients or flavor balancing going on…

    cumin, the salt I think is due to water retention. But other reasons as well I suppose. Oddly, after 5 days with no salt, I can really pick out the natural salt in foods. Sugar too. Last night was my first dinner in a restaurant and I had 120 grams of sushi (I cheated ad had 6 drops of soy sauce, and some vegetables. The veggies used a sauce with a little bit of sugar and it was noticeably sugary to my deprived palate…

    GLT, the large groceries seem to carry PAM, but I got ours at S&R…

    Feb 9, 2011 | 7:12 am

  53. chef ram says:

    MM u sure bout the zero calorie mayonnaise? wer did u get it?

    Feb 9, 2011 | 7:32 am

  54. Marketman says:

    chef ram, Mrs. MM bought it at Landmark grocery, and added, “it’s a bit mahal (pricey)” at roughly PHP200 for a small jar.

    Feb 9, 2011 | 8:04 am

  55. teacupmoments says:

    thanks for this post, MM. i’ve been on a similar diet for more than a week and trying to be creative with my meals is driving me nuts. the grilled chicken with broccoli looks great and i might make it tomorrow. lastly and totally non-food related, i used to have that polka-dotted serving bowl too. :)

    Feb 9, 2011 | 8:40 am

  56. Grace says:

    Good luck with your weight watch program! Your meals look delish pa rin naman. At least they gave us ideas on healthier food choices :)

    Feb 9, 2011 | 1:03 pm

  57. Trang says:

    I feel your pain Marketman!! I am currently on a similar diet too. With the no added sugar or salt. The only rice I eat though is brown and it’s only allowed in half cups. You can do it! You’re doing great so far!! You have to get creative with food, but it’s possible! Keep it up! This is my 2nd and I plan on making it MY LAST TIME! :-P Good luck!

    Feb 9, 2011 | 1:49 pm

  58. Jing_Bacolod says:

    MM, i love your diet…go,go,go!

    Feb 9, 2011 | 3:20 pm

  59. Garlicky says:

    MM, I guess I should try following your diet bec I got to lose weight due to knee problem. May I ask how much weight you’ve lost since you started? Thanks!

    Feb 9, 2011 | 3:30 pm

  60. Really Amazing says:

    Hey MM! Your diet is not BAD at all. I tried doing the Master Cleanse the other week, it was supposed to be torture but it wasn’t. It made me free from my cravings and I felt lighter and I was more focused. I guess what really hit you is the Coke cravings! But tea could suffice, especially some English Breakfast or Peppermint?

    Kudos to you and your team in making you healthier. It’ll be good for you in the long run! :)

    Feb 9, 2011 | 4:05 pm

  61. Cortijo says:

    Your diet is very similar to COHEN Lifestyle Program! Were you inspired by it?

    Feb 9, 2011 | 6:24 pm

  62. tonceq says:

    Haha, remembered my diet days. it was self created and self administered and let me tell you MM that yoru choice of food is much MUCH more better than what I had to eat.

    I only ate a cup of oatmeal w/ milk for breakfast (no sugar :(), 2 slices of wheat bread and tuna in water for lunch, then soup and a slice of wheat bread (sometimes replaced with fruit) for dinner. besides these, I allowed myself to munch on a 35g pack of peanuts (unsalted) for a midnight snack if i really can’t take it.

    Oh the horror of the memories! I think i need to munch on something! :)

    Feb 9, 2011 | 8:54 pm

  63. scramoodles says:

    Montignac diet? :) Without all the carbs, it sounds a bit like it.

    Feb 10, 2011 | 1:40 am

  64. Mari says:

    MM, your diet doesn’t sound bad. That looks like when I started with weight watchers altho we are allowed to have at least a dash of salt. In any case, are you allowed to sprinkle any herbs on your food like Mrs. Dash? I’ve found it to work well when you are on a low salt or no salt diet at all. I remember when my Dad had a bypass Mrs. Dash was recommended to flavor his food, which of course at that time he didn’t like it. Keep it up…

    Feb 10, 2011 | 10:36 am

  65. Jeff says:

    Hi! Where did you get the zero calorie mayo and how does it taste?

    Feb 10, 2011 | 9:59 pm

  66. Jeff says:

    Just read the rest of the comments. Saw your reply as to where you got the zero calorie mayo. But how does it taste?

    Feb 10, 2011 | 10:01 pm

  67. Marketman says:

    jeff, for zero calorie mayo, it’s not bad. Think of it more as a binder or lubricant to your food, rather than an oil and calorie rich condiment… Mixed in with tuna fish, it worked nicely…

    Feb 11, 2011 | 7:06 am

  68. krizteene says:

    MM, congrats on this big leap you took for your health. I’ve been advised a similar diet by my cardiologist last december and I have yet to start :( I couldn’t imagine how life will be without carbs and salt! But I am also to refrain from all types of meat because of my blood numbers. After reading your blog, I got inspired to start ASAP, maybe due to the fact that we’re on the same boat. Good luck to us both! Will definitely try the food that you featured above…thanks!

    Feb 11, 2011 | 8:34 am

  69. Suzette says:

    Goodluck on your diet! I would like to try this too!

    Feb 12, 2011 | 10:59 am

  70. bagito says:

    MM, I’ll be frank and say the first picture made me sad for you kasi it looked so dry (this after reading the post on the glistening adobo you ate in Coron!) but then as I read more and saw the subsequent pictures, I wasn’t sad anymore (LOL) kasi they started looking better and better (esp the steak, pizza and prawn dish)…Puwede na! (hehe) Keep up the good work and btw, they just came out with a study that too much diet soda may lead to strokes so perfect timing din your quitting. I’m sure your physician will be pleased with the results of your diet and your blood test numbers will be absolutely fab!

    Feb 12, 2011 | 11:16 am

  71. Mama Mia says:

    Don’t laugh, but that didn’t look like diet food to me. I was actually excited with this post as I’m always on the look out for healthy food options (with a little salt of course)… In the words of my lolo, “she eats like a parrot”… LOL

    Feb 13, 2011 | 2:42 am

  72. farida says:

    Hi MM, well, am on a diet too, as my cholesterol is too high. Mine is similar to yours, no carbs, no sugar, no salt, but high in protein. I am not to exercise the first 3 weeks. Fine, as I lost 7 pounds the first week but did not lose any the second week. So I am going to be very strict my third week hoping to lose some more. I am interested in what my cholesterol will be at the end of the three months on this diet. Your sample dishes above are a lot more appetizing than mine. I will have to copy those on the transition weeks ahead. Thanks, MM and good luck. The dugo-dugo recipes are very delish kaayo. I remember my Mom saying not to overcook the blood as it gets grainy. Have you heard of that?

    Feb 14, 2011 | 1:06 pm

  73. joyce says:

    sigh, been trying to lose weight as well but will try exercising first (since i don’t) and cutting back on food. the down part of dieting is it makes meeting up with friends harder, it occurred to me that a lot of the time when i meet up with family or friends its over a high-calorie restaurant meal or snack, oh and don’t get me started on those food markets in makati.

    Feb 16, 2011 | 9:32 am

  74. empressv.karen says:

    Hi MarketMan! Do you have the recipes for these dishes. You’ll save my life if you post them. I’m in a similar program too and so far it’s been working. What mayo did you use? We found 1 at healthy options and doesn’t have the tasty goodness of a mayo. We tasted it and it was TERRIBLE! That thing doesn’t deserve the name “mayo.” And do you have some recipes for “diet desserts” if there’s any? Thank you.

    Mar 4, 2011 | 6:54 pm

  75. beng says:

    MM, hats off to you, the power of discipline is immense?

    R nuts and dairy product ok, and noticed OATMEAL not mentioned in your fat loss program?

    All the best,

    Mar 11, 2011 | 11:23 am

  76. joy p. says:

    These food looked too good for a diet! And nicely photographed too. Waiting to exhale with you MM! Go,go,go!

    Jun 2, 2011 | 2:19 pm

  77. eiram says:

    congrats for losing the pounds. I like salads too except that i can’t seem to find any good low fat/no fat dressing. Any suggestions? Or you didn’t put any dressing on your salad???

    Jul 16, 2011 | 1:17 pm

  78. Marketman says:

    eiram, I use good balsamic vinegar…

    Jul 16, 2011 | 11:18 pm

  79. Parvs says:

    I have been on the diet for two weeks, and I am dying!! lol i’m a foodie i love food, i hate restricting what I eat! I love looking at everything you post on your site so it’s kinda amazingly tough! =) but, I shall survive! =)

    Feb 27, 2012 | 5:18 pm


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