Putting the Life in Healthy Living: Cooking, Out of Order

Russ Lane proves that a real diet is about understanding, respecting, and truly enjoying high-quality, well-made real food. By paradoxically merging the world of foodies and dieters, he’s found the sweetest of sweet spots for which everyone has been longing.
— Anne Bramley, “Eat Feed Autumn Winter: 30 Ways to Celebrate When the Mercury Drops”

Food helped put you to sleep – literally and figuratively. I’m here to say that food can also, finally, wake you up.

Originally intended to be a wtiter, he began teaching when hiscooking and knowledge of maintaining had groups, private students and organizations asking for his exerptise.

When others struggle with their diet food, or simply want to feel more creative in the kitchen, the kneejerk responses include “I don’t know what goes with what,” or after years of conditioned with “the right” diet method or the “right” exercise form, drown in the minutiae of technical cooking. Or they simply emotionally short-circuit by talking about food and eating, again.

And let’s not forget fat prejudice or the scorn the obese receive: in times past, chefs, doctors, trainers and nutritionists looked at us and our needs with condescension or repulsion – even as we were paying them. Charming. After years of that treatment myself, I can’t blame anyone for shunning them.

But when you take all that out of the equation as I do, it reveals a secret hiding in plain sight all the while: chefs had the “weight loss secret” all along. “Learning what goes with what” is a lifelong process, much like weight management – except it brings life to an acrid process.

My method streamlines the process I stumbled upon by fate, and as time passed neurology, food trends and years of studying maintainers confirmed it. I combine what foodies call “pantry cooking” – essentially making it up as you go along – within the parameters of a controlled diet.

In restaurant lingo, we’re like the back cook’s coming up with tonight’s specials, using whatever’s on hand to make something new, flavorful and fascinating in an environment that promotes creativity and ingenuity.

That can happened with a tuna sandwich or egg white omelet as much as it can the latest gastronomical wonder. Simple does not mean stupid.


Flavor combinations are key in this: you can think of cooking not as recreating the past by wrote, but simply mixing and combining flavor combinations with some basic techniques tailored to your diet. After all the fruitless searching, cooking actually teaches the thrill of discovery.

It also reinforces a running theme among happy, existing maintainers: after years of following someone else’s plan for you – it could your parents or a dietician, you’re charting your own path through practical exploration and healthy experimentation.

The results of simply exploring the world of flavor within your diet has produced some extraordinary results in students for whom I was the missing ingredient:

  • With a bevy of medical providers and trainers, simply teaching oil infusions allowed a 60-year-old man to lose 80 pounds, turn around a heart and diabetic condition, and have an a more active social life than both you and I, combined.

  • Austere number-minded accountants who wanted nothing, but didn’t have anything they valued, begin tossing around cinnamon and black pepper.

  • A dash of light and creativity propels a struggling unemployed maintainer into a film career

  • Busts just-the-facts-ma’am scientists and grumpy journalists out of decades-long celibacy and enters extreme sports.

…all while keeping their weight off after three years and some giving “real” chefs a serious run for their money. Take that, fat prejudice!

You’re putting the “life” in healthy living, on your terms. I help usher that forth by honing in what makes the biggest difference for you.

Russ Lane