Jersey City food blogger and cookbook author Ali Maffucci became an internet sensation when she launched Inspiralized, dedicated to showcasing a new way of eating by taking everyday fruits and vegetables and turning them into “noodles” with a spiralizer. Along the way, she also went from “170 pounds and miserable” to confident and happy, all by changing up how she consumes food.
In a new blog post, Ali writes about her own weight loss journey culminating in losing 30 pounds, emphasizing that changing your diet, not exercising more, is the key to keeping it off. She notes, “I follow a strict 80/20 rule, where I eat real, whole foods 80% of the time and let myself indulge 20% of the time.”
One of the keys to making sure she stayed on track was meal planning, rather than just winging it. She writes, “In my meal plans, I ate something spiralized for 100% of my dinners and about 75% of my lunches. For breakfast, it was usually a smoothie, granola, avocado toast, oatmeal, or something quick like banana and almond butter. Spiralizing is great for weight loss for a few reasons, but most importantly, you don’t feel like you’re eating diet food while eating #inspiralized. Sometimes when I look at some of these diet plan meals, it’s like steamed chicken and broccoli every night. The key to being successful with a healthy lifestyle is making sure you’re not falling victim to boredom.”
To help those who want to commit to eating healthier do so easily, she’s now selling downloadable meal plans following gluten free, Paleo or vegan diets for $2.99. This way, you don’t have to feel stuck eating the same thing over and over or having to choose amongst a seemingly endless array of up recipes when you’re already hungry (Ali’s are organized on her site by food item, ranging from apple to zucchini and summer squash).
Ali challenged her readers to eat like she did for just one week and see what a difference it makes, writing on her blog, “I encourage you to follow along with me – these are the types of weekly meal plans I made for myself when I was trying to lose weight – they’re full of vegetables, lean proteins, and you’ll feel like you’re eating something completely different every day.”
With each meal plan, she lets you know exactly what it contains, so for the week 1 vegan meal plan, you’ll be making dishes like coconut green curry, buffalo cauliflower with Sweet Potato Noodles and vegetarian fajitas with black beans plus other healthy delights.
The Paleo week 1 meal plan includes sweet potato noodles with chicken and tomato basil, garlic kale and sweet potato noodles with pork and bacon shrimp scampi with zucchini noodles, among other dishes.
You can see more of her meal plans and purchase them here.
These are great options for those who want to try new approaches to cooking and add a healthier spin to their culinary repertoire, whether you plan to stick with it for the whole year or experiment for a week or two. What’s also great is that while Ali did lose weight using these recipes, she’s not trying to market an unrealistic, dramatic drop in numbers on the scale. In fact, she herself has posted that she’s not making a New Year’s weight loss resolution for the first time. Instead, she wrote that healthy eating is a “lifestyle,” not a see-how-fast-you-can-shed-pounds race, noting, “It’s about saying to yourself, ‘This is the first day of the new me!’ instead of ‘This is the first day of my diet.”
You can also join the over 4,000 members of the Inspiralized Facebook Community group to help you stay on track.