About

Hi ! I’m Joni, a food obsessed home cook who is living a healthier life thanks for the Optifast VLCD Program.  This is a blog to keep all my Optifast Intensive recipes in the one place and provide some encouragement to others who are on the same train ! All the recipes are also vegan – grain,meat,dairy, nut, gluten and egg-free. They are basically vegetables with added flavour & technique. They are therefore very low in both calorie and carbohydrate content. They are suitable for people on vegan, keto, paleo, VLCD & VSG pre op food regimes including Optifast, Optislim & others.  

I started my journey using the Optifast VLCD program and all recipes are INTENSIVE phase suitable.

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I’ve been through a completely transformational journey. It has totally changed my life in so many ways and is still a work in progress.  When I commenced the Intensive phase of the Optifast Program I was cooking stir fries, soups and salads with little experimentation. To be honest, as a person who loves to cook, I was getting bored, annoyed and started dreading having to eat the vegetables. So, after reading the allowed list I changed it up & started experimenting !

The biggest change along the way has been that my family are now eating this way, I am simply adding protein and carbohydrates their meals. I want my 3 year old son to see me eating, and to be eating with him, rather than drinking a shake or hiding in the corner in the kitchen while he eats with his dad. So, I have integrated my meals with theirs. It means less cooking, planning and offers a far more sociable and “normal” eating environment. It has also improved the nutrition of all of us no end. 

I hope you find the recipes, hints, pictures and bits’n’ bobs useful – all out of this crazy brain of mine into yours … many of the recipes are re-inventions of family meals & take away favourites.

Opti Cook is on facebook and instagram, feel free to join me to keep in touch.

*Please note this blog or any associated content is not associated with Nestle or the Optifast VLCD program in any way*

Best of luck on your journey !

Joni x

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Comments

  1. Leave a Reply

    Julia Trallmann
    July 29, 2015

    Hi Joni
    I’m so proud of you – you are truly a role model for many and inspiration for those looking for variety while staying dedicated to the journey towards new lifestyle!
    I wish you all the best in the future!!
    Hugs from Ireland, Julia

    • Leave a Reply

      Joni Condos
      August 2, 2015

      Thanks Julia, how lovely of you 🙂 Joni

    • Leave a Reply

      Bec
      January 26, 2017

      Thanks so much Joni your cooking is amazing

      • Leave a Reply

        Joni Condos
        January 26, 2017

        Thanks Bec 🙂 glad you are enjoying the recipes ! Joni ???

  2. Leave a Reply

    Naima
    August 2, 2015

    thanks for sharing, could u pls tell me what structure u did sachets balanced with meals? Thanks

    • Leave a Reply

      Joni Condos
      August 2, 2015

      Hi naima,

      I do three products a day plus minimum of two cups of vegetables, more if I am feeling hungry. All the recipes here only use the allowed “extras” to the shakes, so in theory you can eat as much as you like. Be aware of carrots though, as their carb content is quite high to remain in ketosis. Hope this answers your question !

      Cheers, Joni ?

  3. Leave a Reply

    Wendy
    October 19, 2015

    Hi Joni
    You are my Angel, I am also on the intensive phase, I am also herring a bit bored with just stir fry and then found your blog. What joy!! Here I found recipes that were so similar to what I liked to eat. I am trying the vege fritters, hubby also loves them , so this way we can eat together.
    Thank you from bottom of my heart and my taste buds
    Wendy. ?

  4. Leave a Reply

    Wendy
    October 19, 2015

    Hi Joni
    I just wanted to say you are an Angel. I am on the intensive phase and getting bit tired of salad and stir fry Vegas. Then I found your blog, I love the recipes, finally recipes that I can eat with my hubby ( he also has meat) You have given me more motivation. And confidence being on Optifast.
    Thank you Thank you
    Wendy. ??

  5. Leave a Reply

    hazal
    December 26, 2015

    how long did it take u to lose all that weight joni

    • Leave a Reply

      Joni Condos
      December 26, 2015

      Hi hazal, the bulk was 4 months then plodding along for another 2 months, now maintaining 🙂 life is SO much better 🙂 joni ???

  6. Leave a Reply

    Kerry Greenway
    January 20, 2016

    How do I follow you? I started the shakes today and am a little confused, do you have the shakes 3 times a day and have the meal as per the recipes as well, I am extremely new to this so please be gentle on me. Thank you

  7. Leave a Reply

    Jan
    February 5, 2016

    You’re pretty amazing. Loving your recipes for the intensive phase. May I ask why you use (which I’ve gone off and bought) coconut oil? I know you don’t use a lot but I’ve read some not very flattering stuff about it. Thank you for an inspirational blog.

    • Leave a Reply

      Joni Condos
      February 6, 2016

      Hi Jan ! Thanks for the lovely words. I use coconut oil sparingly as it adds amazing flavour to recipes where you would normally use coconut milk or cream. You can also use olive oil and add 1/2 tsp coconut essence if you are unsure about it. I’ve read mixed reviews, but at such a small amount I don’t worry about it personally,

      Cheers Joni

  8. Leave a Reply

    Judith
    February 13, 2016

    Hi Joni,
    I have just found your blog and am at the beginning of a pre bariatric surgery Optifast phase.
    I feel like crying because all your recipes look FANTASTIC! Thank you. Clever lady. 🙂

    • Leave a Reply

      Joni Condos
      February 13, 2016

      Oh thanks Judith for taking the time to write to me ! Yes they are all designed for the pre op phase, so cook away 🙂 all the best with your journey 🙂 Joni ???

  9. Leave a Reply

    Olive Bawdekar
    February 23, 2016

    Thank you for helping us out with your recipes. All the best on your journey. Olive

  10. Leave a Reply

    Kel
    March 12, 2016

    Wow! Thank you for your amazing recipes. I was about to give up on the Optifast intensive phase but after finding your website and recipes I have found more motivation than ever. Can’t wait to try them all!

    • Leave a Reply

      Joni Condos
      March 12, 2016

      No worries kel ! All the best with your journey , it’s so worthwhile 🙂 Joni

  11. Leave a Reply

    Jodie
    March 13, 2016

    Hello. I just happened to find this site. Awesome. Please help. I am day 4 on intensive phase. I have emailed and messaged the “ask an expert” regarding vege portions and I have not received any response. I am not doing this under medical supervision I purchased thru pharmacy and going on the optifast site. Can you please tell me if we measure the Veges before or after cooking. Am I able to add ?konji noodles to this vege meal. Do I need to reduce Veges to make up for extra carbs. I am sorry if I sound silly. I am just not getting anywhere and want to make sure I am doing this correctly. Thanks for any help you may be able to give me.

    • Leave a Reply

      Joni Condos
      March 13, 2016

      Hi Jodie ! Just confirming up front, OptiCook is not associated in any way with Nestle or the Optifast program but definitely here to help !

      Here is the answer from the Optifast website re cooked or raw :

      “Should my 2 cups of vegetables be measured cooked or raw?
      Either is fine – as long as you consume at least 2 cups! The vegetables listed in the Allowed Foods Guidelines are very low calorie and it does not matter if you measure them raw or after you have cooked them.”

      I have an email from Optifast dieticians stating that Konjac noodles are acceptable on the intensive program and should simply be measured in with your other low starch vegetables. There are no other additions other than them to the allowed vegetables list at this time.

      I also have another email confirming 2-4 cups of allowed vegetables per day is fine. I personally ate up to 6 cups on really hungry days.

      Hope this helps 🙂

      Joni

  12. Leave a Reply

    Georgina
    April 20, 2016

    Hi Joni,
    Thank you so much for this site and your amazing recipes! I am 4 weeks into the programme and have lost 6kgs so far. Your recipes have been a lifesaver for being able to cook yummy food so I don’t fall off the wagon. You are such an inspiration – do you have any tips for the rest of the journey, like how much exercise to do? Thanks 🙂

    • Leave a Reply

      Joni Condos
      April 20, 2016

      Hi Georgina,

      Thanks for letting me know your fab success ! No real tips for exercising, I just walked my baby around in the pram for 45 mins a day and kept an eye on my step counts too using a Fitbit 🙂 all the very best ! Cheers Joni

  13. Leave a Reply

    tina
    June 3, 2016

    hi joni a bit hug and kiss from afar for wonderful recipes i am on the track of going in for gastric sleeve surgery for a number of reasons and with the help of optifast and your great meal ideas i have lost 33 kgs since end of jan this year. im a very fussy eater so boredom on this diet was always going to be the issue but with your imagination and honesty i find myself enjoying cooking and love how im feeling inside and out. thanks again

    • Leave a Reply

      Joni Condos
      June 3, 2016

      Fabulous Tina ! So glad the recipes are helping you out & congrats on an amazing loss, you must feel fantastic, all the very best , Joni ???

  14. Leave a Reply

    Glenys P
    June 14, 2016

    I have been on the intensive opti fast just finishing my 5th week and have lost 9.2kg. I have just found your site and I can’t wait to start trying your amazing recipes. I am having a hernia op and a tummy tuck at the end of August. The surgeon wanted me to lose kilos before op. I will be on intensive until then, so I am so excited to hopefully be successful in trying your recipes. THANKS

    • Leave a Reply

      Joni Condos
      June 14, 2016

      Excellent Glenys ! Hope the recipes help, it was about that time for me when I got really bored with the plain veggies & started experimenting ! Any question or comments, don’t hesitate to contact, cheers Joni

  15. Leave a Reply

    Ally McPherson
    July 18, 2016

    Hi Joni, I was in Coles the other day buying my Slendia spaghetti and the checkout lady asked me about them. She had just been diagnosed diabetic and I ended up telling her all about your fabulous recipes. I also told my dietitian about your website and she loves it and will be recommending it to some of her other clients. Just had to let you know I spreading the word wherever I go ! Ally

    • Leave a Reply

      Joni Condos
      July 19, 2016

      Oh, thanks Ally ! So glad they are helping and yes they are fab for diabetics as well. Go girl ! Joni ?

  16. Leave a Reply

    Annabel
    August 18, 2016

    I have just read your recipes and all the comments and you have clarified so much for me. Thank you…thank you…thank you!

  17. Leave a Reply

    joyce
    September 17, 2016

    hi Joni, just found you today. I feel so relieved as I was struggling with the recipes’ live in Nz and just started my journey. Bless you ! amazing recipes !! thank thank you thank you!!!!

    • Leave a Reply

      Joni Condos
      September 17, 2016

      No worries Joyce !

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