A Personal Message from Mitchell Gold
If you’ve read our Who We Are statement, you know one Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams mantra is we never miss a meal. Great words to live by, but with a few caveats. You see, something happened recently that has changed my life, and I want to share it with you all.
I sort of live in the public eye. That means there are often pictures of me on social media, in the press and at other photo ops. In 2015, after seeing one Facebook post in particular (a photo of me with my best friend Reed) I said: “I wish there had been a better picture of me to post. I don’t really look like that. I look chubby.” Tim’s response? “I love you, but yes, that’s how you look.”
Now it was in my head. And at this point, in the process of consulting with at least five different doctors about separate health issues from my sinuses to my heart condition, I had heard from each one that I was at least 40 pounds overweight. I thought to myself, “Mitchell, you’re not the dumbest guy around. Why aren’t you listening?”
I didn’t know where to start, so I sought the help of a wonderful doctor in New York—a nutritionist AND psychiatrist—who could help me get where I needed to be. He asked a lot of questions about life: who I am, what I do, what a typical day is like, how I celebrate special occasions. I told him about my amazing husband at the time, my best friend and business partner Bob, my incredible company and staff, and some of the things I love (carrot cake, cookies, a juicy steak on my birthday). As we neared the end of our first appointment, he turned many of my words to me: “Mitchell Gold, you are one lucky man. You’ve built a successful company. You have dedicated employees, a great partner, and a loving husband at home. And—“ here he raised his voice somewhat teasingly but also VERY seriously—“you’re willing to risk all that—for a cookie? You know what cookies taste like…you’ve already eaten plenty of them…and you’re wearing them!!!!”
So at the start of the December 2015 holiday season, just as most people were setting their diets aside, I started mine. My reasoning? I’d have a much higher mountain to climb if I waited. I really believe in this and strongly suggest it to anyone beginning this journey. Don’t wait, start NOW.
For those of you who struggle with weight, I’m sharing what I’ve learned so we can all get more comfortable…and HEALTHY in our own skin—TOGETHER. With my doctor’s help I’ve lost 40+ pounds in just six months and am already so much healthier. I’m never looking back because now I know how to eat more smartly. Here are my tips for successful, healthy weight loss, plus some of my favorite recipes to get you started. I’ll be sharing more as I continue my journey and with my “maintenance” program. Remember: think about eating to live longer and to be around for the ones you love. Think about learning to love different foods….and you will. If I can, anyone can. (I’ve always been a bit of a picky eater.)
KEEP A JOURNAL:
Write down what you eat every day and track calories and carbs. You’ll be surprised by how they add up, and you’ll be less likely to indulge. As my doctor said to me, “Would you rather eat retail or wholesale?” Get the most bang for your buck! Eat at a discount…things with less calories and carbs.
A man looking to lose 2-2 ½ lbs. a week should eat no more than 1200 calories/day. Women should not exceed 1100/day, and we should all stay below 100 grams of carbs.
Thanks to the internet, calorie counts are easy to find nowadays. You can use an app, but I’ve found it helpful to set up an Excel spread sheet. It’s a pain and I don’t always do it, but it was this tool that really got me to understand the simple fact that if I was cheating, I was only cheating myself. It was a huge breakthrough for me to understand my calorie intake AND where I could shave away calories I didn’t need. Perfect example: the cheese in my omelet AND cream cheese on my half-piece of whole wheat flatbread in the morning. I cut out the cheese in the omelet and saved 80 calories. That’s eating wholesale!
WEIGH YOURSELF DAILY:
This is another great way to stay accountable and celebrate success. Do it at the same time every day, under the same conditions (I love to do this in the morning before I’ve had anything to eat or drink). Remember, it takes 7 days to lose or gain weight. This is another reason the journal is important. You can see what you’ve eaten that caused weight gain or stalled your progress. It helped me see that eating white fish at least once—if not twice—a day, cutting out alcohol and keeping to 700-800 calories was possible. I started losing weight much more quickly. Of course, journaling isn’t always easy for me, but when I committed it made a big difference.
TRY SUBSTITUTIONS & SEASONINGS:
We all like the things we like, but substituting with healthier alternatives softens the blow and reminds you that you can still enjoy your food, even on a diet. One of my favorite things is my delicious “secret sauce,” which I’ll share with you in a bit. I can put it on almost any protein to give it a fantastic taste. It actually tastes better than things that are more calories. Another example: I make a broccoli and cauliflower puree…something I NEVER thought I’d eat…which satisfies my cravings for mashed potatoes. I added some black pepper, garlic powder, sea salt and onion powder, and experimented until I found the taste that satisfied me. The point is, look at recipes and adjust them to be low calorie.
DRINK LESS ALCOHOL:
The average scotch or glass of wine has 150 calories, AND it’ll lower the heck out of your inhibitions if you’re out at a party with friends, making you vulnerable to eating more than you should. I realize this is not easy for even casual drinkers like me so I at least tried to do this 3-5 times a week.
DRINK MORE WATER:
This is critical. It’s another thing I didn’t think I could do. But now I’m kinda addicted to drinking water! Start your day by drinking 2 full 8 oz. glasses with lemon with a dash of sea salt—preferably room temperature. Drink 8 oz. of cold water before every meal or snack, but try not to drink much (if at all) during, as it can dilute helpful digestive enzymes. Bonus: water keeps you feeling full and energized, plus it makes your skin look healthier.
Along with a higher water intake, savoring your food will help with cravings. Snacks aren’t essential, but if you find yourself getting desperate in the afternoon, go for a medium-size apple or—even healthier— some cucumber slices at less than 20 calories per serving. To curb or delay appetite, iced or hot water with lemon usually works. The 130 calorie Built Bars or Chocolate candies can help satisfy taste and curb appetite.
MAKE YOUR FOOD LOOK PRETTY
My doctor suggested that because I’m a visual person, to make my plated meals look pretty and appetizing to me.
It takes some organization, but it’s more than worth it. Ask in advance if you are going to someone’s house for dinner. Tell restaurants you’re “allergic” to certain ingredients like butter to make certain the element of surprise won’t compromise your diet. Know what you’ll be eating for the next several days and plan accordingly. When eating at home, shop ahead for ingredients so you won’t end up eating the wrong foods out of hunger and convenience. As a rule, simply purge your home of fattening foods. If you have family who can have these foods, ask them to support you by storing them someplace where you don’t have to see them. I now have a separate section for my foods, away from other foods in the house.
SHARE YOUR GOALS WITH FRIENDS & FAMILY:
Make it clear that you’re serious and ask for their help and support. You don’t need extra temptations or teasing while you’re going through this process, and if your friends are like mine, they’ll be happy to help. At first they might think it’s a bit of a joke, but not for long. During my 6 month crunch diet, when eating out, I would get up and walk around during dessert. I would do it discreetly…often chatting with other friends in the restaurant.
WEIGH THE COST/BENEFIT:
Eating healthy can sometimes be more expensive, but you’ll pay way less in doctor bills. Plus, unhealthy foods start to look unappealing when you realize you might not make it past middle age. I’m a pretty happy guy. I was 65 (now 70+), and I want to live another 30 years. When I’m 95, I’ll be thinking 100 doesn’t look too bad. How often do you see an overweight 95-year-old?
With all this in mind, we can eat for the right reasons: for life and for love. Not just the love of food, but of our families, our hobbies, our goals and dreams. We never miss a meal, right? Hopefully now we’ll have less chance of missing one because we’re lying in the hospital with something preventable.
I am living proof that a sensible diet can work: my cholesterol has never been lower, and my blood pressure is perfect. My hope is that this will inspire you to begin your journey toward healthier living. If you aren’t sure where to start email me and I’ll try to answer your questions whenever possible. Read on for two simple recipes I love to get you started. Start today!
MITCHELL’S TOP RECIPES:
These are my go-to, can’t-live-without ones. They help me take control over my meals. Learning to enjoy cooking at home is the key to accomplishing this project that could seem overwhelming.
This is key to a successful diet for me. Makes almost anything taste better. Incredible on fish, poultry, or meat, it’s what made me LOVE white fish. It’s also great on zucchini or squash slices baked in the oven at 450 for about 20 minutes.
Mix, apply and enjoy.
Gourmet “Mashed Potato” Puree
¾ cup steamed broccoli or cauliflower florets (or combo of the two)
½ cup chicken broth
1/3 cup low-cal, low-fat whipped cream cheese (less dense, so fewer calories)
1/4 cup low-fat parmesan cheese
Pepper & garlic salt to taste
Purée all ingredients to your preferred consistency. To make this even tastier and a bit thicker feeling,
sauté flavorful red onions with a bit of garlic paste or chop fresh tomatoes and add to the puree after putting on plate. (Don’t put in the blender.)