TT Thursday – Weight Loss Challenge Week 15 and Chef Chris Shea on losing weight

TT Thursday – Weight Loss Challenge Week 15 and Chef Chris Shea on losing weight

Chef Chris Shea loses weight – 45 pounds

So this week I’d start with healthy tips first.

Chef Chris Shea of the Wayfarer restaurant in Manhattan appeared in Season 5 of Top Chef, one of my favorite shows.  He also lost 45 pounds after hitting 220 accompanied with high cholestrol and blood pressure.  Being a chef, he created a salad that he ate everyday for months.

Chris Shea’s Chicken Paillard salad (serves 4-6)


Almond vinaigrette
1 cup sliced, toasted almonds
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 cup honey
1 shallot, minced
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
½ cup rice wine vinegar
1.5 cups canola oil
1 tablespoon almond oil
1 tablespoon salt
½ tablespoon black pepper
4 chicken breasts
2 tablespoon canola oil
Salt and pepper
1 lemon
1 shallot, minced
1 cup white wine
1 cup chicken stock
1 sprig thyme
1 clove garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil
Leaves from 1 head escarole
½ head radicchio, cubed
1 Granny smith apple, sliced

Unlike most salads, there is cooking involved with this one.  Go to New York Post’s This salad helped a ‘Top Chef’ drop 45 pounds about half way down the post for the instructions on how to make the salad.  It’s pretty cool actually.  You roast the chicken breasts in a skillet (I knew there was a reason I loved my iron skillet.  Wonder where mom hid it?).  Once roasted, you remove the chicken breasts and with the juices left in the skillet, you cook the shallots and garlic deglazed in white wine.  And then you do a few other things in the hot skillet which gets drizzled over the salad along with the almond dressing.

Oh why don’t I tell you how to do everything instead of making you go to the New York Post?  USA copyright laws say that the ingredient list of a recipe can not be copyrighted so anyone can copy a list.  However the instructions on how to make something is copyrightable if it’s not generic instructions.  So you have to write up your own instructions.  Which is all well in good but I’ve never deglazed anything in wine in my life so what if I say something wrong?  I’m going to make this as it sounds good but I’m not sure what radicchio is either — hopefully they have it at Fry’s.  So I just thought it was safer to send you to the original recipe — safer for you, lol.  Still I thought you could just copy the list here to shop and get the ingredients.

I saw another recipe Shea does called the Shrimp and Lobster Burger.  Awesome looking!  But it does have a quarter pound of butter! Sighs.  I won’t be eating it anytime soon.

Along with the salad, Shea followed a modified paleo diet, composed of vegetables, a bit of dairy, some healthy fats and a few carbs. When questioned by Noah Rothbaum at the Daily Beast about cookbooks, Shea said, “I have hundreds of books I look at, but most recently I have been drawn to diet books. (I need to keep my cholesterol low.) Books by Chris Kresser and Dr. Loren Cordain have caught my eye.”

Least you think his success was only due to changing his eating habits, he also took up Kung Fu.  He confessed to Lauren Steussy at the New York Post, ““It was the first time I wore sneakers in eight years,” he says, with a laugh. “When you’re on your feet all day, you think you’re relatively in shape, but getting back into exercising was a real challenge.”

Chef Shea gives some summer picnic tips:


On October 29th, Chris Shea is teaching cooking from 9:30am-1:30pm. Enrollment is $250 but afterwards you get a five course lunch with wine.  Check this out: Big Eye Tuna Poke (with quinoa and avocado! I’ve never seen that in Poke but would love to try it), Butternut Squash Ravioli (with scallops, bacon and brown butter — yum!), Pan Roasted Quail (with Cumin Poached Pear and Smoky Blue Cheese), Prime Beef Wellington (with Hudson Valley Foie Gras, Truffled Mushroom, Red Wine Sauce  — talk about rich! Sighs), and finally Fall Fruit Pavlova (Quince Butter, Calvados Cream, Ginger Consommé Maple Pecan Pie, Chantilly Cream, Ganache — doesn’t this sound to die for!).  Now I doubt you learn to cook all that in four hours but who cares! That sounds like an amazing lunch to finish a cooking class with.

I hope you enjoyed how another Chef lost weight successfully. You can do the same by eating the salad — not the five course lunches except in your dreams.

From Amazon:

The Paleo Cure: Eat Right for Your Genes, Body Type, and Personal Health Needs — Prevent and Reverse Disease, Lose Weight Effortlessly, and Look and Feel Better than Ever

Real Paleo Fast & Easy: More Than 175 Recipes Ready in 30 Minutes or Less

The Real Paleo Diet Cookbook: 250 All-New Recipes from the Paleo Expert

Amazon disclosure: “We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.”

Progress on my Weight Loss Challenge

So last week I was at 221.7 on Thursday. I dropped down to 220.6 on Sunday on my HealthyWage weight loss challenges, went to California for three days and came home at 221.2 so my loss for the week is only half a pound.  It’s not bad since I was eating Lori’s rich cheesy omelettes everyday I was there. It was awesome and one of those dishes that tasted great reheated.  It has spinach and seaweed in it too so it was very healthy.  I should ask her for the recipe as dishes that taste good even after being nuked to reheat it are like gold in a single person’s cooking repertoire.

Lori also made me a gorgeous salad on Monday.  Lori and I were both members of Asian American Women Artists Association when I used to live in California.  She does wonderful sculptures in bronze. She set me up on a blind date with her boyfriend’s friend, Mark.  It was fun. We talked a lot about food and photography.  He found out I was into that when I wanted to photograph the appetizers.  For some reason that was a dead giveaway, lol.

I find losing weight is much easier at home and a real challenge when I’m not at home.  The date appetizers were fried — vegetable tempura and fried calamari.  I didn’t eat a lot but I still gained half a pound. I had fun though.  Ying and Yang.  I walked more everyday but my fitbit battery died on Monday so I don’t know how much.  I forgot my fitbit charger. Maybe it’s half a pound muscle gain! I can only hope, lol.

As you know, last week I won $151.40 for my first completed HealthyWage 6% weight loss challenge. This got me so excited I joined two more HealthyWage 6% weight loss challenges even though I was late and am now playing catch up with the rest of the group.  So now I am in three HealthyWage 6% weight loss changes and the one big HealthyWager weight loss to lose 65 pounds by December 4th.  I find the smaller goals much easier to focus on than the big goal.

Going for Goal Jackpot Challenge. End date: Nov 9, 2018

Big Losers Jackpot Challenge. End date: Dec 3, 2018

So my weight loss standings:

  • Going for the Goal: I almost done.  2½ pounds to go.
  • Big Losers Jackpot Challenge:  Lost 2 pounds since I started. Started late September 13th.  Challenge actually started on the 10th but in the green but 75 more days to finish.
  • Pound Shedders Jackpot Challenge:  Lost 2 pounds since I started. Started late September 13th.  Challenge actually started on the 3rd so I was a week behind to start.  Currently in the red.  Today I’m at 221.2 but need to be at 220.2 to be caught up.  68 days to finish.
  • HealthyWager : 30.9 pounds from the start.  Currently in the yellow.  Need to be at 213.6 to be caught up


Completed challenges:

Slimming & Winning Jackpot Challenge (end date 8-27-18): Lost 15.1 pounds.  216 out of 452 participants succeeded.  Won 151.40 – $60 joining fee -$4.69 paypal fee  =$86.71 actual winnings

HealthyWage Disclosure: I generally sign up as an affiliate for things whenever I can.  I am signed up as a HealthyWage affiliate.  If you join through the links above, I’ll get a commission.  However, they also have a friends link, if you join up by clicking this friends link, it adds a $40 to your HealthyWager award if you complete your goal and $40 to my HealthyWager award if I complete my goal.  We don’t get the $40 if we fail.  The $40 is for HealthyWager challenges only and not the other ones like the 6% individual challenge or the team challenge. The HealthyWage affiliate link doesn’t matter if anyone succeeds but there is no benefit for the friend, just for the affiliate no matter what kind of challenge they join. I think joining through the friends link also lets you view your friend on the dashboard: you’ll see their name and what % they’ve lost so far but not the actual weight.  That’s private unless you make it public.


The Wayfarer restaurant

This salad helped a ‘Top Chef’ drop 45 pounds
By Lauren Steussy, New York Post, June 19, 2018

10 Dishes With Chef Chris Shea : The executive chef at New York’s The Wayfarer tackles our speed round of questions.
by Noah Rothbaum, Daily Beast, September 11, 2018

Make The Wayfarer’s Shrimp And Lobster Burger
by the Wayfarer in the Food Republic, May 24, 2017

17 Replies to “TT Thursday – Weight Loss Challenge Week 15 and Chef Chris Shea on losing weight”

  1. One of the worst things about salads besides digestion issues is the cost, especially if you aren’t going to use everything up. So it might be a good thing to include until the ingredients run out. I think I could keep these things around to except for the radicchio.
    Huffington Post has a very good article about how many people considered overweight are far healthier than those who aren’t. A lot of it is what we always knew, eat good food, don’t go nuts, get exercise and be happy with who you are.
    Unfortunately doctors and weight loss specialists set people up to fail so you are battling some pretty outdated thinking out there.

    1. If you eat vegetables everyday, you’ll use most of it up and your costs will drop. I find giving up carbs made me eat vegetables daily and I had less waste because the vegetables replaced the rice/bread/pasta I used to eat. I read the Huffington Post article. It’s main problem is the writer talks as if all overweight people are the fit overweight. Not true. I’ve read the studies on fit overweight being as healthy as fit medium weight — but the fit overweight in the studies exercised daily, especially with cardio, for a couple hours. They weren’t as high as 100 pounds overweight but in the 20-40 pound overweight area. If you don’t exercise, muscles atrophy and bones lose density. This results in knee and back problems limiting mobility. In rural areas, walking and being physical is the norm. However in urban areas, fitness has to be chased down. I take the bus to force me to walk. Since I’ve lost 30 pounds, my knee pain has decreased. Admittedly I had less body issues than many. Going to a naturist place and hanging out naked with people who don’t give a damn does wonders for body acceptance issues on the gut level. I wasn’t motivated by looks to lose weight. Before the loss, I could only stand about 10 minutes before the pain kicked in. Now I can walk 3 miles with 30 pounds of groceries in a backpack. Less pain means more walking. More walking equals more doing fun things like taking photos. Leading to more weight loss, less pressure on the knees, decreasing pain, in a spiral of change. The Post writer should’ve featured people like Coach Tulin on youtube. Coach Tulin celebrates being overweight, has no desire to be thin, slim or medium weight and is very fit. A person who cannot walk five miles comfortably without pause, whether 90 or 300 pounds, has a problem. The writer didn’t delve into fitness. The article is pointedly against HMOs forcing doctors who bring up weight when people go in for other issues; and against doctors/medical staff for making inappropriate comments. HMOs shouldn’t have that as a requirement; and doctors/medical staff should have sensitivity training to avoid making inappropriate comments about any group. Lucky for me I haven’t dealt with doctors or weight loss specialists at all for years. Problem is people who have brought up the article aren’t bringing it up to change HMO practices or sensitivity of medical staff. Nor are they showing the article to overweight people whose weight is stable. People are bringing up the article to discourage weight loss and are ignoring that it is the fit overweight that are as healthy as other fit people. Truth is people of any weight need to be fit and eat healthy; doctors and HMOs need to focus on a person’s primary medical needs; and everybody in general needs to get comfortable in their own skins and encourage others on their journey whether the journey is to stay the same or change.

    1. That is true (re: not how much you lose as long as you don’t gain). And I am not as scared of the plateaus as I used to be as they seem to go away after a couple days anyways. Thank you for the congrats!

        1. oh no! never ends! don’t say that! I am looking for the happy fairy tale ending …. with the fairy cake … oh wait, doesn’t fairy cake have no calories? I have to find that cake!

            1. Feeling a tad frustrated with the scale this week — on another plateau. I want cake but can’t have one until I drop off the plateau again.

  2. That salad looks amazing, but eating that every single day would do me in after a bit. I’d do it to get rid of the health issues though.

    You’re doing so very well. I’m so proud of you. It’s hard to lose weight.

    Have a fabulous day and weekend. ❤

    1. I think it looks amazing but I don’t think I could do what he did and eat it everyday — there is very few things I could eat everyday. Maybe cake? oooh, but that’s not healthy. Oh well.

      Thank you for the consistent support. It helps a lot.

      HOpe you’re having a great week!

        1. I remember hearing about the Subway guy. They do make healthy sandwiches. I love putting spinach in mine. One thing I like about chains is they often give you the calorie count and nutritional values which helps in making choices.

    1. I stopped by Safeway today to see if they had radicchio but no luck. I think the salad looks delicious too. Thanks for popping by!

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