From Picture to Plate: Dr. Oz The Good Life's Art Director Tries the Day-Off Diet

'When I don't pay attention to what I eat, it's refined carb heaven.'

As the Art Director here at Dr. Oz The Good Life, I always look forward to photo shoots. I love the advance planning, collaborating with a great team, and then working out the final details on set.

Unfortunately, on the gloomy, rainy day we shot the Day-Off Diet story, I had no umbrella, got off at the wrong subway stop, and had to walk 10 blocks to get to the shoot. The day was not off to the best start.

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But when I got to Sarah Anne Ward's photo studio, the mood was peaceful and happy and I was so glad to be there. The prop stylist brought just the right props, Sarah was getting every shot after just a few takes, and the food looked and smelled absolutely wonderful. That's when I thought to myself, 'Maybe I should try this plan.'

Come January 4, that's what I did, and I have to say, the Day-Off Diet dishes don't just look and smell wonderful. They're delicious, easy to prepare, and, best of all, don't leave you feeling hungry or deprived.

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When I don't pay attention to what I eat, it's refined carb heaven. I love sugar. Bread. Pasta. I've worked at Dr. Oz the Good Life for over a year now, and in that time have learned quite a bit about finding healthier food choices. The trick is to swap in things that I actually like eating. Of course I was already aware I could make better choices, but when I tried, I didn't enjoy them.

That's what I've appreciated the most about this plan – it's easy to swap out ingredients you don't care for. (Please don't even ask me to consider eating salmon.)

For example: I love having whole grain toast with peanut butter in the morning. Because both are on the plan but at different times, I'll have that for breakfast and then have plain yogurt with fruit later in the day when my will to keep going is getting kind of dim. For lunch, instead of eating the full Open-Faced Italian Turkey Sandwich, I'd make a salad of the artichoke hearts, red peppers, greens, and turkey, and just skip the toast I was so happy to see at 6 a.m. I don't feel hungry or deprived, and on Saturday night, my day off, I shared two-dozen oysters and some great wine with a friend. A cold white Sancerre never tasted so good.

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