Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Kale. It's what's for dinner.


My poor kids. Tonight I made baked whole yams & sweet potatoes, rice, homemade wheat bread - made earlier in the day...

and kale.

They've eaten it before, but it's been awhile. Oh, I told them how good it was for them...
how it is quite possibly the most nutritious food in whole galaxy
how Superman was probably fed it as a child
how it would fight off all the germs trying to fester in their body from school today
and how after all THAT it doesn't even really taste THAT bad...

They didn't buy it.

But they all ate it.

Except the youngest, who truly gagged and was almost crying with the green stuff hanging out of her mouth.

I told her fine go and spit it out.

Oh, the untold truths of the dinner table.

McDougall's Maximum Weightloss Program

...and how I made it work for me.

I have several friends and family members who have used the MWL Program with great success to lose unwanted body fat. There is more than one way to make it work for you, but since I get asked so often, I decided to outline how I did it without spending lots of money -and while still feeding the rest of my family.

(For a full explanation of the MWL, go here - recommended, as this post is NOT comprehensive)

Here is a quick overview of McDougall's MWL Program. Nothing faddish. Still eating a starch based diet, just limiting flour products and processed sugar - until you loose the desired body fat, then you can go back to the Regular Program.

Warning: It takes a few weeks for your taste buds to get used to not eating added fat.

So give yourself some time.

I promise, you will start to really enjoy the flavors of simply prepared meals. But it is really important to make sure you are eating enough starches (potatoes, rice, corn) so you are feeling satisfied and not starving!

If you are a beginning cook, or just don’t enjoy it or have the time, here are some ways to still practice the McDougall guidelines while minimizing your time in the kitchen.

All of these ideas are things you can pack up and take to work too!

  1. Go to the grocery store and read labels, finding fat free (no more than 10% of calories from fat) & animal product free:

Soups - For example: split pea, minestrone, lentil, chili etc. Or make a big pot of your own for the week.

Sauces - Ketchup, BBQ sauce, sweet chili sauce, teriyaki sauce, hot sauces, hoisin sauce, soy sauce, packaged fat-free gravy mixes.

Rice - brown short grain, brown basmati, white sticky (asian kind), any other ones that you like

Potatoes - all varieties: russet, red, sweet, fingerling etc. , Frozen hash brown style (fat free)

Veggies - Lettuce & other ingredients to make salads (including frozen corn, canned beans etc.), bagged spinach, bagged coleslaw, bags of frozen mixed veggies, or stir-fry type or if you prefer, other fresh veggies

Cereals - oatmeal, high fiber cold cereal

Rice/Soy Milk- for use on puffed whole grain cereals

  1. Cook a big batch of brown rice in a rice cooker or a lot of baked potatoes in the oven, or boiled potatoes on the stove top at the beginning of the week.

  1. For lunches first eat a big salad. Dress it with your favorite fat-free dressing or (my favorite) plain balsamic vinegar or rice vinegar with a little salt and pepper. Then choose a soup, pour it over your rice or baked potato and viola! instant lunch that will fill you up (make sure and eat as much as you want).

For lunches on the run, or in the car, I often packed a plain baked potato cut in half sprinkled with salt & pepper and raw veggies. Sounds super plain - but I got used to it and it was so satisfying - for when I just needed a quick meal on the go.

  1. For dinner, start with another salad. Then for your main dish, heat up frozen or fresh veggies by sauteing them in a non-stick pan with a little water. Adding any fat-free sauce: sweet chili sauce, teriyaki, soy sauce, or crushed ginger & garlic. Eat the veggies over rice for a quick stir-fry. Or, brown hash browns in a non-stick skillet (you can use a little non-stick oil spray, to prevent sticking if you don’t have a good pan). Top hash browns with ketchup, BBQ sauce, or your own seasonings.

  1. Snacks & Desserts: *eat flourless toast (Ezekiel brand) with jam,*Chocolate Love Pudding (a super easy dessert, you can make ahead and eat whenever) - it is high in sugar, but hits the craving and a modest “cheat”, fruit (no more than 2 per day on MWL) - but I ate 3 if I wanted to, and still lost weight consistently. *Raw veggies with fat-free dips/hummus. *Toasted tortilla chips (put corn tortillas in toaster) and salsa. * Popcorn sprayed with Bragg's Liquid Aminos (you can pop popcorn in a plain brown lunch sack in the microwave - put in 1/4 cup kernels micro for 2 1/2 minutes - depends on micro).* Puffed Grain Cereals with low fat rice or soy milk.

  1. Other meal ideas: No-cheese bean burritos, with or without rice. (Can get them at mexican fast food places) , Bean n' Rice Bowls topped with salsa, Whole wheat pasta w/ marinara (not too often on the MWL -maybe once a week) Gnoucchi (pre-made potato dumplings available at Trader Joe’s and elsewhere) w/ fat-free marinara, Baked Potatoes, Yams or Sweet Potatoes with rice and other veggies on the side.

Once you get tired of these meals, then you can start experimenting with different recipes - but this can get you started and keep you going for quite some time - and remain your back up meals for nights/days when you don’t have time to cook.

Of course I cook a great variety of meals, because I love to cook. But if you don't, just find 7 meals you can eat over and over and add new ones when you get bored. You don't have to be a gourmet chef to make healthy food taste good.

Oh, and if you have little carnivores in your house too (still trying to win them over with your healthy ways) it's easy to have butter for breads (I at least try to sneak in Earth Balance - a vegan margarine) or grated cheese for topping soups and tacos, or throw a chicken breast in the George Forman for them. My kids did well very well transitioning to a plant-based diet by doing these few things. I still have a few of their favorites available - and will cook them up a burger once in a while so I'm still their favorite cook.

Items I can't live without...

Potatoes - All kinds!! Hashbrowns (the shredded kind with no oil added), baked, boiled or mashed, they are filling, comforting and a super healthy food staple.

Corn - Fresh is my favorite, but frozen comes in handy for everyday use. I add corn to salads, tacos, corn bread, and use as a side dish with plenty of thyme, lemon and a dash of sugar.

Bragg's Liquid Aminos - I use this seasoning in soups, on top of rice or potatoes, or my favorite, sprayed on popcorn sprinkled with cayenne pepper.

Rice, Soy, Almond milks - for use in cereal, or to whip up mashed potatoes instead of butter, can be used in any recipe that calls for milk.

Ener-G-Egg Replacer - (It's just potato starch - like corn starch) Use in baked goods to substitute eggs. Available in natural food stores, 112 eggs for about $5 !! Great for food storage. Lately I have been subbing the potato starch for cornstarch and haven't seen a difference in baked goods!!

Gnoucchi - Italian potato dumplings usually found shelf stable or in the freezer section. Top with your favorite marinara sauce, or your own low-fat creation.

Applesauce - Also used alot in baking to substitute fat. I use in my muffin and quickbread recipes alot! I buy huge jars as Costco and never run out.

Puffed Grain Cereals - The healthiest cereal you can buy - cheapest too! I ate this alot when I was on the MWL Program, topped with sliced bananas and a sprinkle of sugar. I like the puffed wheat and puffed kamut the best. Choose whole grain cereals when you can.

Oats/Oatmeal - My breakfast standard. I just vary the toppings on my oatmeal for variety. I could eat it every day! Some of my favorite toppings are: Fresh or frozen berries, bananas, Grape-Nuts cereal, and of course a bit of your favorite sweetener - I just use brown sugar.

Fresh/Canned Soups: If you have the time, make a yummy soup once a week and eat it for lunch on top of brown/white rice or potatoes (all kinds). If you don't have time, then find some healthy low-fat (less than 10% of calories from fat) soups to heat up on the go.

Cocoa - I love chocolate!! When I need a fix, I either make some Chocolate Love Pudding, or some chocolate cookies made with cocoa. I've even sprinkled it in my oatmeal (with brown sugar of coarse) !! I like the brand called "Wonder Cocoa" it has a richer flavor than other brands.

Flourless Bread - Ezekiel's Sesame is my favorite! Great on the MWL Program, if you are cutting back on flours for some quicker weightloss.

Veggie Broth - Available in cubes or powders, essential for soup bases, making gravy, and jsut general all-purpose seasoning.

Seasoned Rice Vinegar /A Good Aged Balsamic - I use as salad dressings with salt and pepper. The easiest way to go!

Homemade Salsa - I love my recipe, but use your favorite one. I make a double batch once a week and we use it on everything. I put it on my salads with rice vinegar, brown rice, corn and beans for a hearty lunch.

Corn Tortillas - Pop a few in the toaster for quick "chips" to dip in salsa - or if you have a little more time, sprinkle with a little water and salt, and broil on top rack for 7 minutes - delicious!!

Spices - Depending on how much you cook from scratch, you will just buy them as needed, you'll find the ones you use most. I have found turmeric (for color) , garlic powder, chili powder, cumin, and a good quality curry to be essentials in my cupboard. Smoked Paprika is on my wish list...

Nutritional Yeast - I mostly use this in Susan Voisin's Mac n' Cheez recipe, it's lovely!! But I'm experimenting with other uses as well.

track traffic
British Air Line