A Michelin star chef who admits to having a food addiction has penned a book in hopes of helping others who face similar weight-loss struggles. Michael Psilakis, who owns seven New York restaurants, recently published “Live to Eat: Cooking the Mediterranean Way,” and said his recipe for success revolves around seven key ingredients and weekly healthy meal prep.
“I’ve literally gained and lost hundreds of pounds,” Psilakis, a father of two, told Fox News. “At my heaviest, I would say that I was a little over 300 pounds. I’m only 6 feet tall, so, [that’s] pretty big. And then I’d say if I’m in my ‘right shape,’ I would probably be about 175 pounds.”
Psilakis, who is down four belt sizes and counting, tapped into his Greek heritage and began crafting a week’s worth of meals using what he calls his “magnificent seven” ingredients. The list includes Mediterranean diet staples like blanched vegetables, Greek yogurt and tomato sauce. He also replaces butter with garlic confit for his recipes, which helps to add more flavor to the dish.
“Every week you need to dedicate about two hours of your time to get all of this stuff ready,” Psilakis said. “We would call it ‘mise en place’ in the restaurant — how we cook in a restaurant is going to be how I want you to cook at home. If you prepare yourself and you have all your ingredients ready, all of your ‘mise’ in place, all of your stuff is right in front of you, then to make the dish is really just assembling.”
Psilakis’ meals include delicious ingredients that can be used in multiple dishes. For instance, one recipe calls for you to roast cherry tomatoes with minced garlic and extra virgin olive oil. Add oregano, salt and pepper before putting it in the oven at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes. Once complete, tomatoes can be stored in an air tight container and later added to dishes like spicy roasted salmon with chipotle yogurt sauce, or pasta with chicken and roasted tomato pesto.
While many of the book’s dishes incorporate vegetables, Psilakis said it’s important to keep a healthy balance in life.
“I don’t want to live a life without ice cream, so I can be ‘uber’ healthy,” Psilakis said. “I’m not the kind of guy who is going to go to the gym for two hours per day, every single day for the rest of my life. I can’t do that.”
He also said a key to having weight-loss success is to avoid repetition in your meals.
For more information, go to MichaelPsilakis.com.