The Dude Diet: Forward and Onward!
How’s it hanging, dudes?
I know it’s been a while since the last official Dude Diet post, and for that I apologize. Since I literally live and breathe the Dude Diet on a daily basis, I sometimes forget that you may need some focused attention, reassurance, and updates on your not-so-humble ambassador’s progress. So again, I’m sorry, and I’m about to make it up to you in a big, BIG way. I promise.
In case you were curious, Logan really did crush it on the Dude Diet front this fall and most of the winter. Sure, things were touch-and-go over the holidays, but that’s to be expected, and the Dude and his wonderland body emerged relatively unscathed in the New Year. (Sadly, I can’t say as much for the poor finger food servers forced to endure Logan’s stalking and commentary as he terrorized the holiday party circuit. They may never recover.)
I’m ashamed to admit that Logan’s prolonged adherence to the Dude Diet lulled me into a false sense of security. Witnessing him consume actual salads (aka not chicken fingies smothered in ranch on an iceberg leaf), curb his insane snacking, and demonstrate relative portion control on a daily basis warmed my moderation-loving heart, and I praised him accordingly. He felt awesome, looked “really fucking sexy,” and even his snoring habits had improved. Miracles upon miracles!
The best (and most unexpected) aspect of Logan’s successful Dude Dieting was that he was doing it on his own. I didn’t even have to continue my usual threats of taping tennis balls to his back in his sleep, or replacing him with TR or Smash as DD ambassador. He really seemed to have internalized the Dude Diet’s basic teachings, and honestly, I was pretty high on my own genius.
Then, a couple months ago, the Dude Diet hit a rough patch, and things started to get very, very weird. No-Calorie Sunday behaviors began seeping into the work week, the meat sweats returned with a vengeance, and Logan mentioned that his moobs may be staging a comeback. It took me a while to figure out how and why the Dude was going off the rails, but I eventually boiled it down to three main factors:
1. Wedding season. In short: So many pigs in a blanket, so little time.
2. Logan has had a handful of “celebrity sightings.” The first such sighting took place at our local bagel shop. The Dude had just ordered three bacon, egg and cheeses, when a girl in line behind him commented, “You know, that’s not Dude Diet approved.” He laughed good-naturedly, reminded her that it was Sunday, and inquired as to how she knew me. She simply responded, “Oh, I don’t know Serena. Just a fan of yours.” Overwhelmed by his newfound stardom, Logan came running home, gleefully waving his sandos in the air and screaming, “Daddy is FAMOUS!!!” before launching into a lengthy monologue about how JT, Gosling and Clooney would probably compete to play him in a movie. He then asked how it felt to be dating a celebrity. No comment.
In addition to this local event, Logan was also spotted on an airplane and approached by a woman in Vegas, both of whom asked if he was “the Dude from the Dude Diet.” You’d think that being recognized as the face of a sexy health/lifestyle brand would motivate Logan to keep it tight, but unfortunately, it’s had exactly the opposite effect. According to my famous roommate, “Celebrities do what they want! Like Leo!!!” which leads me to The Dude Diet’s latest obstacle…
3. The rise of the “Dad Bod.” The glorification of moobs and beer bellies (with Leonardo DiCaprio as the face of the movement) is ruining the potential wonderland bodies of dudes everywhere. Ever since the first Dad Bod article was published, any casual suggestion that maybe Logan should pay more attention to his increasingly poor diet has been rebutted with, “I don’t even need the Dude Diet anymore. DAD BOD!”
This is clearly ridiculous, but every time I try to explain that “Dad Bod” is not a real thing, and that Leo is allowed to look however he wants and date super hot chicks because Titanic he is an international celebrity, Logan simply replies that he too “dates a super hot chick” (thanks) and is also “a celebrity.” Then he screams “DAD BOD!!!” again and runs away.
Not gonna lie, the aforementioned issues have had some detrimental effects (physically for Logan, emotionally for me), and I’m back on high alert, blocking and tackling on the Dude Diet battlefield. And as I have a sneaking suspicion that other dudes are also falling victim to the perils of items 1 and 3 above (and maybe facing the pitfalls of grilling season and/or maintenance too?), I’d like to take a moment to reiterate the basis of The Dude Diet:
The Dude Diet is a lifestyle and should be treated as such. You may fall off the wagon occasionally, but if/when that happens (i.e. you suddenly become a celebrity or embrace an unattractive and fleeting body trend), just remember to pick yourself up, wipe the barbecue sauce from your various body parts, and climb right back on there. In reality, this shouldn’t be too difficult because The Dude Diet bandwagon is awesome. It’s packed with happy people (but still feels roomy thanks to the general lack of beer bellies), and there’s a bunch of dank and nutritious meals being served. If you haven’t already, get on board.
I know some of you may be tiring of the existing Dude Diet recipes, but that won’t be the case for long because…
I’M WRITING A BOOK.
That’s right, dudes, The Dude Diet is going to be a very real hardcover book published by the wonderful and talented team at Harper Collins/HarperWAVE! Come Fall 2016, you’ll be able to hold in your hands 125 epic recipes along with food porn-y photos, kitchen tips, nutritional guides, and all kinds of insight into Logan’s on-going pursuit of a wonderland bod. Boom.
As you can imagine, I am Logan-style PSYCHED about this project. (I am also sweaty, anxious, and scared absolutely shitless, but that’s a given.) When the Dude Diet started as a one-off post more than two years ago, I never imagined it would turn into a full-blown blog series, let alone an actual book. I kept writing it because I really do believe in eradicating nutritional idiocy and moobs, but also because I love it, it provides me with endless entertainment, and all of you have been so incredibly supportive of my efforts.
Thank you for reading. Thank you for making my recipes. Thank you for commenting, and for sending me truly amazing and hilarious emails about your experiences with the Dude Diet. (Several of said emails made it into my book proposal, and I’m convinced they’re what tipped the scales in my favor). I don’t want to get overly touchy-feely, but this wouldn’t have been possible without each and every one of you, and I am beyond grateful. [Insert hearts and rainbows.]
Now that we’ve got the big announcement out of the way…PLEASE HELP ME.
I actually got this deal several months ago (I’m sorry! I didn’t know how to tell you!!), and now that I’m deep into the recipe development process, I’m in desperate need of recipe testers. If you have any interest in testing Dude Diet recipes (examples: Shrimp Pad Thai, PB&J Snack Cake, Huevos Rancheros), please drop me a line and we’ll chat about the process. No prior recipe testing experience necessary! In fact, the more domestically challenged you are, the better—I want to make sure everything in this book is 100% idiot-proof.
Last but not least, let’s quickly talk about the Dude Diet Turkey Reubens on your screen.
Choosing today’s celebratory recipe was tough, but I decided on these chronic sandos at Logan’s suggestion. He’s been begging me to make him a Reuben for years, and now seemed like the perfect time to honor that request. After all, he’s both my muse and my biggest supporter, and he’s happily letting me write an entire book exploiting his nutritional “challenges.” The least I can do is make him a boss sandwich.
Plus, this recipe pretty much epitomizes the Dude Diet philosophy. Swapping out fatty corned beef for lean turkey breast, piling it high with heart-healthy sauerkraut, and using a responsible amount of Swiss and homemade Thousand Island makes for a killer taste treat with a fraction of the fat and calories of a standard Reuben. You’ll feel all kinds of full and satisfied post-feast without worrying about swelling up like a human pufferfish, meat sweating through your shirt, or needing “alone time,” and it’s doable from start to finish in about 20 minutes. If you need further convincing, Logan’s appreciation grunts should seal the deal.
Peace, love and long live The Dude Diet!
p.s. To Logan, who is probably reading this on the subway 3 weeks in the future: I love you the most, and thank you for being the world’s greatest roommate. Fingers crossed you get the book cover…
Dude Diet Turkey Reubens: (Makes 2 chronic sandos)
¼ cup canola mayonnaise
1 tablespoon ketchup
1 teaspoon Sriracha
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon minced bread and butter pickles
2 teaspoons grated (or finely minced) yellow onion
½ teaspoon fresh lemon juice
8 ounces low-sodium turkey
4 thin slices seeded rye bread
4 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
2 ounces grated Swiss cheese
1 cup sauerkraut, drained
Preparing your Dude Diet Turkey Reubens:
-Let’s start with the Thousand Island dressing, dudes. In a small bowl combine the mayonnaise, ketchup, Sriracha, pickles, onion, and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Briefly set that dankness aside.
-Place the turkey between damp paper towels and microwave for 20-30 seconds just to warm it up.
-Brush one side of each piece of bread with a teaspoon of olive oil.
-To assemble your sandwiches: Spread the un-oiled side of each piece of bread with 1 tablespoon of dressing. (You’ll have a little extra dressing leftover, which you may use for dipping.)
-Divide the cheese among two pieces of bread. Top each cheese covered slice with half of the turkey and half of the sauerkraut. Close the sandwiches with the remaining two pieces of bread (dressing side down…duh).
-Heat a large skillet over medium heat. When hot add the sandwiches to the pan. (You can do the sandwiches one at a time if your skillet isn’t big enough.) Place another heavy skillet on top of the Reubens (to weigh them down) and cook for about 3 minutes until golden brown. Flip the sandwiches and cook for another 2-3 minutes until the second side is golden brown and the cheese has melted.
-Slice your sandos in half and get weird.
*Just to be clear, I stacked two sandwiches for food porn effect. Please only eat one, dudes. And get some salad involved.
- ¼ cup canola mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon ketchup
- 1 teaspoon Sriracha
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon minced bread and butter pickles
- 2 teaspoons grated or finely minced yellow onion
- ½ teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- Kosher salt
- 8 ounces low-sodium turkey
- 4 thin slices seeded rye bread
- 4 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil divided
- 2 ounces grated Swiss cheese
- 1 cup sauerkraut drained
Let’s start with the Thousand Island dressing. In a small bowl combine the mayonnaise, ketchup, Sriracha, pickles, onion, and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Briefly set aside.
Place the turkey between damp paper towels and microwave for 20-30 seconds just to warm it up.
Brush one side of each piece of bread with a teaspoon of olive oil.
To assemble your sandwiches: Spread the un-oiled side of each piece of bread with 1 tablespoon of dressing. (You’ll have a little extra dressing leftover, which you may use for dipping.) Divide the cheese among two pieces of bread. Top each cheese covered slice with half of the turkey and half of the sauerkraut. Close the sandwiches with the remaining two pieces of bread (dressing side down…duh).
Heat a large skillet over medium heat. When hot add the sandwiches to the pan. (You can do the sandwiches one at a time if your skillet isn’t big enough.) Place another heavy skillet on top of the Reubens (to weigh them down) and cook for about 3 minutes until golden brown. Flip the sandwiches and cook for another 2-3 minutes until the second side is golden brown and the cheese has melted.
Slice your sandos in half. Serve warm with extra dressing for dipping.
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