Monday, August 30, 2010
Book Review and Cardamom Scented Warm Slaw
This week and next week are going to be far more busy than usual. There are far too many appointments and errands lined up in the coming days. I should be able to find time to post everyday but in case I don’t I wanted you to know that I will be back as soon as I have a chance to catch my breath. I hope to be able to keep all my balls in the air but sometimes time gets away from me.
I wanted to start this post with a book review since I literally just finished reading it. The book needs to go back to the library so I needed to get it knocked out.
Book Review: The Eat-Clean Diet Recharged by Tosca Reno
Some of you know that I think Tosca Reno is a great role model for women our age. She is three years older than I am and looks like a million bucks, IMO. It is impossible to see her and not think she appears much more youthful than someone with a birthday in 1959. I appreciate her emphasis on whole foods and exercise to be healthy. She is not a vegetarian but she has a plan for vegans in her latest book which I was quite happy to see.
Her book is organized as follows:
1. The Eat-Clean Diet Principles
2. What to Expect
3. Breakfast – An Entire Chapter
4. The Basics of Metabolism
5. Hydration – The Power of Water
6. Reclaiming Your Life
7. Shopping Clean
8. Eating Clean On the Go
9. Eating Clean in Social Situations
10. Getting Started with Exercise
11. Cellulite, Loose Skin and Saggy Bits
13. Making the Most of Superfoods
14. Meals and Grocery Shopping Lists
16. Frequently Asked Questions
17. The Eat-Clean Diet at a Glance
Things I liked:
This is a substantial book coming in at 415 pages. The author covers many topics and does a nice job of sources many of the facts she tosses out. I really appreciate that she focuses on whole natural food. Her chapter on “Eating on the Go” is useful to anyone that finds themselves out of the house for extended periods of time. She offers some great prep ahead tips that any busy person would find useful. I think it is terrific that she gives options for various levels of weight loss as well as a family, vegan and gluten free plans. The grocery lists that are included are a nice addition. I love that the author is down on sugar and refined foods. I wanted to shout “you go girl” when she was outlining the problems with both. Overall I think her program is a sensible whole food based plan. But there are a few things I would tweak. You had to know that was coming. My husband doesn’t call me “The Nutrition Nazi” for nothing. ;-)
Things I find less than ideal:
I do not agree that animal products are healthy or that they can be part of a “healthy” diet. There is a lot of science out there that backs me up but most people are unable to give up the SAD. As you all know I am not a fan of adding oil to food and the author does (though not much) so as you would expect I am not fond of that aspect either. I was very surprised to see TVP mentioned positively as an option for vegans. *sigh* Seriously soy protein isolates are not good for anyone. I also disagree with relying on protein powder. Finally my gut reaction reading the book was the author was pushing too much protein. However, when I looked at the sample meal plan for vegans it actually didn’t seem out of line so I am probably being a little harsh on this aspect. ;-)
To be fair this book promotes itself as a way to lose weight not get healthy. In my mind it doesn’t matter what you weigh if you aren’t healthy which is the why the two ideas go together for me. This book focuses on food and not exercise. There is some discussion of exercise but it is in the periphery. I agree completely with the author that diet is 80% of being healthy with the remaining 20% being evenly split between training and genetics. I am not trying to suggest that exercise isn’t important only that nutrition has a greater overall impact. The authors overall approach to whole food (not refined processed garbage) is very refreshing and I think would benefit most people. Now if only we could get her to go vegan. ;-)
Why are Monday mornings always so hectic? No matter how much I have gotten ready the evening before Mondays always have a frenetic rhythm all their own. After I made fresh veggie and fruit juice for Dan, his breakfast and packed his lunch I was almost awake, LOL. I used the end of the carrots in his juice this morning so I walked to the grocery store before it got too hot. Our fall weather has disappeared and summer has returned. It was 90 degrees by 11 am was 95 when I checked at 5pm.
This morning I opted to do a little step aerobics for cardio instead of heading outside. With the heat outside staying inside made the more sense today. After exercising it was time for my breakfast. With the heat outside I decided a smoothie would be nice but had no idea what I wanted. It ended up being what I saw when I opened the refrigerator. I would have added kale this morning but our refrigerator is packed and I didn’t feel like digging it out. Can you say lazy? ;-)
My smoothie this morning contained the following: 2 tablespoons oats (grind into flour first if not using a high powered blender), 1 tablespoon chia seeds (for omega 3’s), 1 peach, 1 frozen banana, ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon powdered ginger, 2 frozen strawberries, water and ice to taste. I always add cinnamon and ginger to my smoothies. Cinnamon helps the body process the sugar found naturally in the fruit. Powdered ginger is known to be anti-inflammatory. Both cinnamon and ginger also add antioxidants and flavor the smoothie in a way that I particularly like.
Lunch was a bit of leftover brown rice topped with the tomato artichoke sauce from last night. I have been saving the leftover lasagna for Dan to have for lunch since he likes it much more than I do.
To accompany the rice dish I lightly warmed the curried bean dish I made yesterday and had it on top of shredded romaine and topped it with yellow tomato and cashews. I liked the curried beans and shitakes on salad. Since Dan is at work I don’t know what he thought of it. But he will let me know if it isn’t one of his favorites. ;-)
For my afternoon snack I had my usual frozen grapes.I also added a few walnuts (unpictured). This was washed down with iced green tea with powdered ascorbate C.
Today I decided to make one of my favorite foods, warm cabbage slaw with apples. This is one of those dishes that could eat any time of day I just love it. Cabbage is one of those comfort foods for me. I also like knowing that it is filling, nutritious (especially when raw or lightly cooked) and low in calories. This is a dish you can eat mountains of and not put on weight. ;-) To make this serious comfort food serve it with potatoes. Here is how I made it:
Cardamom Scented Warm Slaw
½ large yellow onion, thinly sliced (allow to stand 10 minutes)
½ inch fresh ginger, grated or finely minced
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
¼ cup water
3 carrots, julienned
6 cups thinly sliced cabbage (about ½ head)
1 crisp apple, julienned
¼ cup dried fruit (could be golden raisins, julienned apricots, julienned pineapple or julienned pear, I used pear)
cardamom, to taste (I used about ¼ teaspoon)
stevia, to taste (if you think it needs to be more sweet than sour)
2 green onions, thinly sliced on the diagonal for garnish
Cook the onions, ginger and carrot in the vinegar and water. Add the cabbage after two or three minutes and cook for another 2 or 3 minutes. You want the cabbage to still have some body to it so that it retains more nutrition. The apple and dried fruit at added for the last minute of cooking. Season with cardamom and stevia to taste. The stevia is optional if you prefer this dish to be more sweet than sour. Top with green onions when you serve it.
Amount Per Serving
Calories - 73.14
Calories From Fat (4%) - 2.74
Total Fat - 0.33g
Saturated Fat- 0.06g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Potassium - 416.44mg
Total Carbohydrates - 17.59g
Fiber - 3.9g
Sugar - 8.51g
Protein - 1.74g
As you can see this stuff has a ridiculously low amount of calories. If you are not a fan of cardamom you can flavor this with fennel seeds, poppy seeds or caraway seeds any of them would work. If you use the fennel or caraway I would leave out the ginger.
If you want to make this a meal serve it over sweet potatoes. It would also be good with a cooked whole grain or soft polenta.
Dan is still swamped at work and ended up getting home later than I like to eat a big meal. I had a plate of the warm slaw to keep my hunger under control until he got home (pictured above). Once he got home we had a salad with: shredded romaine, shredded kale, cucumber, red bell pepper, fat free roasted red pepper hummus, shredded carrot, a few falafel from the freezer and a drizzle of cashew crème fraiche that I always keep on hand in the refrigerator in a squirt bottle. I also added a few raw sunflower seeds because I like the texture on salad.
I have a number of things on my agenda tomorrow. Given my schedule I know I won’t be on-line until later in the day.
I hope everyone had the best Monday possible. Initially I wrote I hope everyone had a good Monday but really is there such a thing? ;-) Talk to you all again tomorrow.