Category Archives: Detox

Shikanji – Homemade Lemonade

Traditional Indian lemonade, this is a summer favourite … and with current sweltering days and soaring temperatures … a welcome relief !

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Shikanji
  • 1.2 litres of water
  • 6 tbsp sugar
  • Juice of 3 lemons
  • black salt to taste
  • Pepper powder, to taste
  • A pinch of powdered cumin or ginger or chaat masala spice blend
  • Mint or basil, to garnish

 

Gently heat water and sugar together, stirring to dissolve.

In a jug, mix the lemon juice, powdered black salt, powdered pepper and sugar water and stir well. Chill in the fridge.

Flavour with a hint of cumin or ginger (powders) or a pinch of the chaat masala spice blend (available in stores).

Serve over ice, garnished with mint or basil.

Aaaaah !

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Pix off the web, as always, with thanks.

Sangeeta’s Quinoa, Chia & Flaxseed crusted Chicken

Another from Sango’s kitchen, table, imagination, research, cookbook …

  • 200 gms chicken breast boneless
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chicken fillet
Marinade
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tbsp Coleman’s double superfine mustard powder,  into a paste with 1 tbsp cold water
  • salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
  • 6 cloves of garlic finely grated
  • finely chopped herb of your choice, basil or coriander
Crust  
  • 2 tbsp quinoa raw, whole
  • 2 tbsp chia seed raw, whole
  • 2 tbsp flax seed raw, whole
Grind the above very coarse together – best to start with the flax seeds before adding the quinoa and chia.
  • 2  tbsp almond meal
  • 3 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp dehydrated cheese flakes (optional)
Mix all the above four dry ingredients together.
  • 2 to 3 tbsp cold pressed oil
  • 20 gms butter (optional)
  • 1 whole egg beaten with 1 tbsp of water
  1. Slice the chicken breast in half, lengthwise, so it is thinner and will cook quicker.
  2. Place between two sheets of cling film and use a meat hammer to beat it out to make it a little more thinner. The ideal thickness should be 1/2 an inch. Marinate a minimum of 2 hours up to overnight, in the fridge.
  3. Heat a pan and add 2 tbsp of any cold pressed oil.
  4. Take the chicken out of the marinade and hold up so the excess marinade is removed.
  5. Dip in the beaten egg, and again drain of excess egg wash.
  6. Place gently on the dry crumb mixture, coating both sides.
  7. Just before putting it into the hot pan, add 20 gms of butter (optional) to the heated oil, and as it melts and amalgamates with the oil, place the crumbed chicken gently into the pan, lower heat and keep the pan closed , flip the side gently and cook till both sides are a golden brown.

Pix off the web, and with thanks.

Sangeeta’s Beet Hummus

I have the very very good fortune of knowing gifted, intuitive cooks who – apart from being close friends – are willing to share recipes, thoughts, innovations, suggestions.

Sangeeta is one such, and one of my dearest treasures is the handwritten cookbook she gifted me over 30 years ago.

Now a passionate advocate of Intermittent Fasting (IF) and healthy eating, Sangeeta continues to experiment and tweak, and this hummus recipe is the first of many to come (I hope) from her current kitchen.

  • Half a cup of chickpeas, soaked overnight (none of the canned stuff)
  • Salt
  • half a sliced onion
  • 2 pearls sliced garlic
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Sesame seeds, roasted and soaked for at least an hour
  • Beetroot,
  • Whole garlic
  • Italian seasoning
  • pickled lemon
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  1. Cook the chickpeas on low heat in plenty of water, adding a little salt halfway through. Keep skimming the top of water to remove any grey foam.
  2. Add the onion, garlic and bay leaf to the water.
  3. Roast beets in oven with the whole garlic, salt and some Italian seasoning, covered, for the first 20 minutes and then open, so it caramelizes a bit.
  4. Once everything has cooled down, blend the lot with some pickled lemon ( I chuck  them in some salt and leave  them to pickle for about 2 weeks … tastes good in so many things).
  5. Adjust seasoning and serve drizzled with olive oil.

Served it with crudites, wholewheat pita grilled with olive oil, minced garlic, salt and pepper and chicken kebabs.

Thanks much Sango, as always !

Pinhead or steel cut oats for Brekkers

The Sangeeta version.

 

A bowl of slow cooked pinhead oats, lavished with thick coconut milk, bananas, pomegranate and some macadamia nuts !

Delicious !!

My mantra is soak everything for at least 7 hours !

Pix off the net, with thanks …

A Green and Delish Breakfast

So, no grains. Nothing acidic. Light yet filling. Tasty.

This is entirely Veron’s creation and it was so good, so good.

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Boiled eggs, halved. Yolk discarded.

Avocado into guacamole sans tomatoes (and it tasted better).

Organic kale chopped, freshened with a simple olive oil/lemon juice/salt/pepper dressing.

Roasted pine nuts.

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And for those who wanted grains and yolk, a different version. Wholemeal walnut bread. The yolks atop the guacamole.

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Try it for that sense of total well-being after the meal !

Ambrosia

This quintessential southern American salad (or dessert) was a light and refreshing to end a light and refreshing plated dinner at the peak of Singapore’s hot, humid, steamy summer (having jettisoned the traditional cherries, marshmallows and cream).

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I don’t know where I discovered the recipe years ago, but the slip of paper in my book had excellent scrawled beside it, so obviously it had been tried, tested and had come out tops …

It was fun rediscovering it : sourcing the freshest coconut in the wet market, watching the grim and focused vendor balance the coconut on a tin can, use a small knife in swift, precise, clean strokes to strip the brown pith off, slice through the meat, release the coconut water ; quartering it in two quick movements. (Fresh coconut is an absolute imperative, I gathered, from reading an interesting piece on ambrosia).

Examining a pile of pineapple from Malaysia. Seedless grapes from Chile. Black. Mandarins, tangerines, murcotts from Florida, Pakistan, Australia. Picking and choosing.

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  • 4 oranges, segmented, seeds and pith removed
  • grated zest of 1 orange, and juiced
  • 1 tbsp clear honey or light muscovado sugar
  • small bunch of small seedless grapes, halved
  • 1 small pineapple, cubed
  • chunk of fresh coconut, shaved into thin slices or a handful of fresh grated coconut
  • handful pecan halves
  1. Add honey or sugar to the zest and juice, mix well.
  2. Add grapes and pineapple to the orange segments and juice.
  3. Stir coconut into salad.
  4. Sprinkle with pecans before serving.

Ambrosia is traditionally served as part of the Thanksgiving meal in America. It is a perfect dessert after a rich main course.

Saturday Lunch

When family visits, its food, drink and long conversations well into the afternoon.

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Menu :

  • Bubbly
  • Roast chicken with pumpkin and sweet potatoes
  • Blanched asparagus spears with brussel sprouts and diced prosciutto
  • Greek Salad (a variation)

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The leaves were fresh and crisp, the avocado just right. Added pomegranate arils, cubed feta, sliced button mushrooms and quartered cherry tomatoes. And kalamata olives, black and green. With a dressing of olive oil, salt, pepper and a dash of raspberry vinaigrette.

 

Veronica’s Chicken ‘Aroma’

Cutting calories and food portions gets  repetitive and boring : its the same old, same old with some slight variations, at least as far as I am concerned. Its a drag to explore new variations on 100 or 150g of chicken per meal, month in and month out. Veronica, who is a part of the how shall we cook the chicken today dilemma produced this absolutely delish dish, skewered and very lightly pan fried – from watching a TV program on Indonesian food.

Measurements are, as they say in India – andaz se – or as per your preferences – increase or lessen as you desire.

Boneless chicken breasts, cubed

Coriander powder

Cumin powder

Chili powder

Turmeric powder

Garlic, minced

Shallots, minced

Ginger, minced

Curry leaves

Salt

  • Marinate the chicken pieces in the coriander, cumin, chili and turmeric powders for at least an hour.
  • In a dash of oil, fry the onion, garlic and ginger till fragrant and just browned.
  • Add the chicken pieces and marinade, and a bit more oil, if necessary. Stir fry till just done.
  • Season with salt, add the curry leaves, give it another good stir and its ready to eat.

 

 

400 Calorie Lunches

These may hold a few surprises – so little yet so much … or vice versa.

Guacamole & Pita

  • 2 tbsp guacamole with 1 wholemeal pita,85g rocket and 1 tbsp olive oil / vinegar dressing.

Salad

  • Salad leaves, a few cherry tomatoes, 1/2 sliced avocado, 50g goat’s cheese, 1 tbsp pistachios and a drizzle of olive oil.

Year: 2008 Month: 07 Page: 165-184Chickpea & Chorizo Salad

  • 3tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1½ x 400g tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 125g (4oz) chorizo, skinned and diced
  • ½ red onion, finely sliced
  • 1 large red pepper, finely sliced
  • ¼ cucumber, deseeded and diced
  • 3tbsp each roughly chopped mint, flat-leafed parsley and coriander

Mix together the vinegar, oil, garlic, lemon zest and juice in a large bowl. Add the chickpeas, chorizo, onion, pepper and cucumber. Season, toss everything together, then add the herbs. Toss lightly again and serve.

Year: 2005 Month: 06 Page: 204Roasted Tomato Salad

  • 900g (2lb) plum tomatoes, halved
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 5tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 red chilli, finely chopped
  • 2tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 3 ripe but firm avocados, peeled, stoned and thickly sliced
  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C (180°C fan) mark 6. Put the tomatoes into a shallow roasting tin, cut side up. Season, scatter with garlic and drizzle over 2tbsp olive oil. Roast for 40 45min.
  2. Meanwhile, make the salad dressing. Mix together remaining oil, chilli and balsamic vinegar in a large bowl.
  3. Transfer tomatoes and any cooking juices to a large serving platter and leave to cool. Add avocado to the dressing and toss to coat. Spoon over tomatoes.

Year: 2012 Month: 08 Page: 148Deluxe Fig & Ham Salad

  • 200g (7oz) fine green beans, ends trimmed
  • 3tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 slices white sourdough bread, cut into large cubes
  • 4 Little Gem lettuces, quartered lengthways
  • 85g pack Parma ham
  • 4 figs, quartered
  • 1tsp Dijon mustard
  • ½tbsp cider or white wine vinegar
  1. Bring a small pan of water to the boil and cook the beans for 4min or until tender. Drain and leave in a colander to steam dry until needed.
  2. Heat 1tbsp oil in a large frying pan and fry bread cubes, tossing frequently, until golden and crisp. Season with salt and set aside to cool.
  3. Arrange lettuce quarters cut-side-up on a large platter. Roughly rip the Parma ham slices in half lengthways and weave among the lettuce quarters. Dot over the figs, beans and toasted bread cubes.
  4. In a small jug, mix together the Dijon mustard, vinegar, remaining oil and some seasoning. Drizzle over the salad and serve.

Chicken & Feta Frittata (with leftover chicken)

  • ½tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium red onion, sliced
  • 1 red pepper, deseeded and sliced
  • 100g (3½oz) baby spinach
  • 225g (8oz) cooked skinless chicken, cut into bite-sized chunks
  • 2tbsp roughly chopped fresh basil
  • 6 large eggs, beaten and seasoned
  • 100g (3½oz) feta
  1. Heat the oil in an ovenproof 20.5cm (8in) frying pan. Gently fry the onion and pepper for 10min until softened.
  2. Preheat grill to medium. Add spinach to onion mixture and leave to wilt for 30sec. Add chicken and basil, then pour over the eggs. Cook over a low heat for 8-10min until just set.
  3. Crumble feta on top, then grill until cooked through. Cut into wedges. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Year: 2012 Month: 02 Page: 152White Bean Salad

  • ½tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ red cabbage
  • 2 courgettes
  • 410g tin cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • ½ red onion, finely chopped
  • 100g (3½oz) stale unsliced bread, torn into small chunks
  • 125g ball low-fat mozzarella, torn into small pieces
  • Handful basil leaves, chopped
  1. In a small bowl, whisk the red wine vinegar and olive oil together with plenty of seasoning and a splash of water to make the dressing.
  2. Cut out and discard the tough core from the cabbage, then finely shred the leaves and put into a large serving bowl. Peel the courgettes into ribbons, using a y-shaped peeler, and add to the cabbage bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and dressing, and toss well to combine. Serve.

All recipes, information and pictures from http://www.goodhousekeeping.co.uk/

Are all changes good in a food programme ?

There will be changes to your body when you start a food programme – that is the whole point. But are all these changes for the good ?
lettuce-variety

A friend wrote in about her spouse who lost 10 kg on his nutritionally controlled diet but developed painful hemorrhoids, possibly because he did not vary his vegetable intake, or consume sufficient greens. Another friend found her nails getting brittle, but the nutritionist upped her calcium intake and that was sorted out.

The takeaway from these shared experiences is that one must be aware of changes to one’s system while on a food programme, and more importantly, share this with the nutritionist or doctor or whomever is guiding the programme.

Some points to keep in mind :

  • Rotate your fruits – eating the same one most days (like apples, because they are convenient) with perhaps a pear/papaya for relief may not provide a balance. Include softer fruits like peaches, bananas etc.
  • Eat leafy vegetables even if these are not favourites. Green vegetables are insufficient, they need to be supported by the leaves – spinach, sprouts, lettuce. Have them as soups or salads.
  • Have a bit of rice occasionally. A little change always helps.
  • Monitor the intake of dairy products – milk can contribute to insufficient bowel movements, if your body is inclined that way.
  • Don’t change your diet too drastically and suddenly – it will show on your skin and face.
  • Lastly, look out for warning signals and tell your dietician so that they can modify your diet. Nothing is too frivolous or serious not to warrant mention.

As another of the gang sagely commented, “every body responds differently and that’s why there are so very many theories out there. its a matter of finding the one right for you.”

Emails were exchanged, all with good tips, suggestions.

“… go for the water, the greens and the feedback, and I personally would recommend a laxative or two.”

“Try adding a lot of lettuce, sprouts (the leafy ones like alfalfa, pea, wheatgrass), and how about wheat grass powder in water ? First thing in the morning ?”Blog-27-Image

“pl do consume yr full quota of water and salad”

That’s the whole point of this blog. Shared information for better results !

Check these posts :

15 Healthy benefits of Wheatgrass Juice you never knew.

Pictures from http://www.dillnerfamilyfarm.com/catalog/i149.html and www.getsomezen.com.

 

Strangely beautiful Veggie Mix for Wraps

Just cooked my 1/2 cup veggies for lunch. Yum.

I doubled the quantity (for tomorrow as well) so I’ll just give you ingredients.

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Handful of green beans diced in 1 cm pieces
Handful of corn kernels
Handful of peas
1 red onion
Chili flakes
Panch Phoran
Garlic flakes
Pinch of Za’atar – Middle eastern spice mix with lots of parsley, oregano, sesame etc.
Mint sauce (bought – no oil)

So, I dry fried the onions on a low fire, then sprinkled a generous few dashes of chili flakes, 4-5 garlic flakes, pinch of panch phoran and the za’atar.

Meanwhile microwaved the beans, corn and peas for one and a half minutes. Tossed the vegetables into the pan. Added a generous dash of mint sauce and salt to taste.

Piled it onto my warmed up pita bread, topped it with a slice of cheese.

Strange but beautiful.

Sunshine on a Plate : tian of tomato

Came across this recipe by Chef Reynaldo Arriola of Halia Restaurant in Singapore. Haven’t tried it, but reads delicious and sounds healthy !

Vine-ripened tomatoes have the perfect balance of sugars and acids, as well as flavour. Teamed with ripe mango and avocado, and just a dash of seasoning … sounds mmmm.

1 vine-ripened tomato, blanched, peeled, de-seeded and diced, mixed with 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1/2 ripe avocado, diced,  mixed with 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling

salt, pepper

2 slices each of green and yellow courgettes, blanched

1/2 stalk chive, chopped (optional)

1 sprig chevril for garnish (optional)

  1. Keep all ingredients separate. Season tomatoes and avocados with salt and pepper.
  2. In a round glass mould (or individual glass ramekins), place tomatoes at the bottom, then the avocados and top with the mangoes.
  3. Garnish with the courgette slices on the side, chives and chevril. Drizzle a bit of olive oil over it.

 

A page from Marc Perry’s BuiltLean website

Came across this while googling images … very informative (and reassuring … we are doing it right !!!)

Marc is the creator of the BuiltLean Program and Editor-in-Chief and Producer of the BuiltLean blog and videos. A fast rising fitness star, Marc has appeared on NY1, NBC and various print and online media including Men’s Fitness, Self, BusinessWeek, and BusinessInsider. A former Wall Street Finance Analyst who gained over 30 pounds from a sedentary lifestyle, Marc’s mission is to develop efficient, sustainable approaches to getting lean and fit and help educate and inspire others to improve their health. Marc earned his B.A. from Yale University and holds numerous exercise certifications.

Many readers have been asking about foods that they can incorporate into their daily diet that can help promote fat loss and create a feeling of fullness. Well you asked for it, now I am delivering!

In my opinion, the best fat loss foods are not just “healthy”, but must pass the following checklist:

(1) Not calorie dense (I have one exception)
(2) Help fill you up
(3) Create only a small release of insulin
(4) Easy to procure/prepare

So let’s get started…

Fat Loss Food #1: Egg Whites

egg white fat loss Top 10 Fat Loss Foods

This is a favorite of many natural body builders and fitness models because it’s 100% pure protein, containing 4 grams of protein, 0 grams of carbs and fat, and only 16 total calories. Want 10 egg whites for breakfast? Sure why not, it’s only 160 calories and will fill you up. An egg white omelet with some veggies and low fat cheese makes for a great breakfast, while a few egg whites from a hardboiled egg can make for a great snack any time (add some high fiber fruit, like an apple, or blueberries for extra bonus points).

Fat Loss Food #2: Low Fat Yogurt

yogurt fat loss Top 10 Fat Loss Foods

Low fat yogurt is a great way to get a compete protein source, a lot of calcium, and a nice tart flavor to help satisfy your cravings. There are a variety of yogurts, but I would go for those that are not too high in added sugars. For example, it’s better to get plain yogurt and add in the fruit yourself. You should also consider non-fat Greek yogurt, which contains a solid 22 grams of protein in only a 1 cup serving and a mere 120 calories.

Some studies have found that eating yogurt can help in fat loss. It may be due to the fact that calcium reduces a fat cells’ ability to store fat. Or, it may be due to the branched chain amino acids present in dairy products. Either way, low fat, or non fat yogurt deserves to be part of the Top 10 Fat Loss Foods.

Fat Loss Food #3: Low-Sodium Turkey

turkey fat loss Top 10 Fat Loss Foods

Turkey without the skin is among the lowest fat meats available on the market. You also don’t have to worry about cholesterol, because it has none. To cap it off, it’s also pretty easy to eat on the go. Want to eat 8 ounces of turkey breast? Why not, it’s only about 240 calories and packs a protein punch. I recommend removing the skin, which is all fat, but if you have the skin, just eat in moderation.

Fat Loss Food #4: Apple

apple fat loss Top 10 Fat Loss Foods

This is a favorite of mine, because it’s easy to carry around and eat on the go, but it’s also very nutritious and high in fiber, so it helps fill you up. An apple contains 24 grams of carbs, 3 of them being from fiber, and around 80 calories in a medium sized apple. I personally like the taste of green apples the most, but the various types of apples don’t make much of a difference in terms of calorie content.

I do, however, suggest you try to get organic apples when you can. I can’t handle tasting chemicals in the skins of apples that are not organic anymore. Blueberries came very close to making it on to the list because they are so high in fiber and antioxidants, but I think an apple is just easier to eat on the go.

Fat Loss Food #5: Lettuce

lettuce fat loss Top 10 Fat Loss Foods

While lettuce is not that high in fiber, it requires more calories for your digestive system to digest than the lettuce contains. Pretty cool, huh? This is known as a negative calorie balance.

The main reason lettuce made this list is that you can put as much lettuce as you want in a big bowl, fill it up with veggies, lean meats, maybe some beans for some starch, and you’re good to go. The other great quality of lettuce is that it takes a long time to eat, which is a good thing. It takes up to 20 minutes for our brains to sense that we are full. Ideally, the darker green the lettuce, the more antioxidants and the more nutritious.

Fat Loss Food #6: Low-Sodium Chicken/Vegetable Soup

soup fat loss Top 10 Fat Loss Foods

Similar to lettuce, drinking soup at a meal can slow you down, which helps your brain register that you are full. It also helps fill you up and is very low in calories because most broth based soups are low in fat, assuming they haven’t been doused in oil.

Like lettuce, you can throw in a lot of veggies and lean meats to make it more nutritious and filling. Healthy Valley has some pretty good low sodium soups, just be careful because some soups have outrageous amounts of sodium, like over 900mg of sodium per 1 cup serving, which is 40% of the suggested daily intake of 2300mg.

Just be careful if you order soups at a restaurant they don’t have any cream added.

Fat Loss Food #7: Almonds

While very calorically dense, almonds snuck onto the list because healthy fats are great in moderation, and almonds are among the best healthy fats. An almond is technically the seed of the fruit of the almond tree and is a great source of vitamin E and manganese. While almonds are not a “complete” protein source, a quarter cup of almonds offers solid 6 grams of protein.

almonds fat loss Top 10 Fat Loss Foods

Some weight loss studies have shown that the calories from nuts like almonds don’t seem to add weight as compared to other foods with the same amount of calories. The theory is that our bodies do not absorb calories from nuts very efficiently.

Either way, be careful not to munch on almonds all day long, because calories can add up fast. Only a quarter cup of almonds contains 140 calories and 15 grams of fat, which means one cup is a solid 560 calories and 60 grams of fat! A handful (about a quarter cup), on the other hand, makes for a great snack.

Fat Loss Food #8: Oatmeal

oatmeal fat loss Top 10 Fat Loss Foods

I love oatmeal because it’s filling, but doesn’t provide many calories. My favorite oatmeal is Kashi Go Lean vanilla, which only has 160 calories per serving, but you’ll be amazed at how much it fills you up because it has 6 grams of fiber. For you hardcore types, McCann’s Steel Oats and Traditional Quaker Oats have almost no sugar, but provide natural carbohydrates that will help fuel your workouts, without spiking your insulin levels. One more thing, if eating enough protein at breakfast is a problem area for you, then consider mixing in some whey protein, use skim milk instead of water, or a cup of egg whites.

Fat Loss Food #9: Low-Sodium Tuna

tuna fat loss Top 10 Fat Loss Foods

There’s a joke that many natural bodybuilders smell like tuna fish, because they are always eating cans of tuna all day long. The tuna you get at the Deli that’s filled with mayo does NOT count. In fact, mayo is a fat loss disaster, because it’s so calorically dense. I chose tuna because it’s easy to carry around for a high protein snack on the go. Of course, a tuna steak, and most fish for the matter are great sources of protein and healthy fats as well.

Fat Loss Food #10 Broccoli

I never used to eat broccoli as a kid, but fortunately I started eating broccoli after college and I developed a taste for it (as long as it’s steamed, I can’t stand raw broccoli!). Feel free to add it to your salads, or as a side with your lean meat, but you can’t go wrong with broccoli. Well, actually, let me clarify that.

broccoli fat loss Top 10 Fat Loss Foods

If you smother it with sodium/sugar filled teriyaki sauce and stir fry it, broccoli can lose its appeal. Sautéed broccoli is still a heck of a lot healthier than French fries, but steamed is ideal. In general, vegetables are phenomenal fat loss foods and more veggies could have easily made it on this fat loss list.

As you probably started to notice, you can mix and match these 10 fat loss foods to create a number of different healthy, low calorie, nutritious snacks and meals to help you reach your fitness goals.

Delicate, yet filling Chicken Soup

Chicken soup can be quite bland but this one has some oomph to it. I made it last weekend while we stayed over at some friends home in the Barossa (South Australia). You make it in two stages but it’s really simple.

Makes 4 Man serves or 6 for smaller helpings (as recommended for right living!)

One large organic chook (I bought mine at the famed Schultz Butcher’s in Angaston)

4-5 large pods of garlic pounded to a paste

1/2 a small onion also chopped and pounded to a paste

1/2 tsp salt flakes

1 tsp coarse ground pepper

Small dash of olive oil

Rosemary sprig

First Stage : Mix all the marinade ingredients together. Pat the chook dry and massage this marinade all over and into the cavity. Leave for couple of hours. If longer, stick it in the fridge.

Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees. Before putting the chook into pre-heated oven, drizzle a very small amount of olive oil over it (in a roasting dish) and cook for 35 – 40 minutes. Check from the 20 minute mark onwards to ensure it is not browning too much. Lower the heat if required. Remove when mildy browned and before the meat starts drying out.

Stage 2 : This is where we cheat a bit.

2 litres of store bought chicken stock.

I leek sliced (white part only)

1 large potato peeled and cubed

1 tbsp olive oil

Freshly milled black pepper (a few generous twists of the grinder)

250gms Brussels sprouts finely sliced (or use spinach instead)

In a large casserole dish gently saute the leeks in olive oil. When wilted and starting to get brown edges, add the pepper, potatoes and stock. Bring to a boil and let allow to simmer until the potatoes are cooked through. Set aside until ready to serve.

To serve : Carve approximately 200 gms of chicken breast meat (discarding the skin) per serve of soup. Bring the soup/stock back to the simmer, toss in the sliced Brussels sprouts and give them 3 minutes to cook through. Add the chicken pieces to the soup and stir very gently until the chicken is warmed through.

Serve in warmed bowls and pass around some finely chopped parsley on the side.

Enjoy !

There is usually enough chicken (dark meat) leftover for sandwiches the next day.

Tortilla Hotdog

One of the most satisfying ‘lunches’ on the food programme.

The nutritionist asked me what I would like to eat and when she suggested sausages, I practically prostrated with gratitude. And a whole wheat tortilla, she said.

Got big, fat, juicy chicken-baked apple sausages (and she could even out the calories somewhere else during the day), grilled them, doused them with zingy mustard, smothered them with grilled onion rings and wrapped the whole lot up in a hot tortilla.

Bliss comes in many forms, especially when you finally feel you are not ‘dieting’ or ‘re- balancing’ !!

The Dalia Dosa

Bursting with health !

Whole wheat, broken up, she said, do you get it in Singapore ? Hmm, I do get the ‘dalia‘ I replied and she said, perfect. Though dalia is normally eaten at night because it is ‘light’, I would prefer that you had it in the morning because I believe it is better absorbed when taken for breakfast. So :

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Dalia, soaked for a few hours or overnight, ground to a batter

chopped tomatoes

chopped onions

couple of pods garlic, crushed

fresh green chili, to taste, chopped

curry leaves in slivers

a dose of hing or asephoetida

salt

chopped coriander to garnish

  1. Mix everything except the coriander into the dalia batter.
  2. Heat a non-stick pan, add half a teaspoon of olive oil, pour in batter and make a savoury dalia pancake – brown lightly on both sides. It cooks faster if briefly covered with a lid, much like an omelet.

Garnish, and enjoy hot, either by itself or with a tomato-onion chutney.

Dalia, as it is known in India, is also known as bulgur elsewhere in the world. Thanks, Ms Dalal.
Picture borrowed from http://www.nandyala.org/mahanandi/?p=401

Preparing yourself for a new food programme

Having recently embarked on a new food regime to re-balance and recalibrate one’s metabolism for optimal functioning, we had to undergo a week of preparing the body – a kind of cleansing or detox. Here are the fundamentals.

8 – 10 glasses of water a day.

6.15 a.m. : One glass of water before coffee

Green tea, twice a day

2 cups of vegetable salads every day

  • Use low fat salad dressings like vinegerettes, salsa, herbs, no/low oil dressings
  • Use onions, tomatoes, radish, cucumbers, lettuce, carrots, capsicum / coloured bell peppers, sprouts, salad leaves

200ml of milk and 100gm yoghurt every day

Cooked dishes

Use low fat bases like tomato-onion, spice, coriander-mint or vinegar based gravies.           No high fat bases with almonds, cashews, cream, coconut, cheese, other nuts and/or garnishes like raisins, extra ghee etc .

  • Breakfast is HEAVY and dinner is LIGHT
  • Salad with every breakfast – bigger, heavier vegetables
  • Salad with every dinner – using salad leaves

Non-Vegetarian

  • Chicken – only lean cuts – no skin and fat, no organ meats.
  • Fish – fatty fishes like king fish, pomfret, sardines etc, NO shell fishes – prawns, mussels, crabs, lobsters etc
  • No Red meat

Grilled/Tandoori chicken and fish are excellent ways to cook

Do not overcook, do not use butter or other fats to bast, cook or marinate the meat.         Use a tsp of oil as an option.

Good Fats

Include walnuts, almonds, pistachios, sunflower seeds, flax seeds and virgin olive oil or cold pressed flax seed oil

Calcium : Very important – do not have with a meal, or with tea or coffee