Friday, April 12, 2013

More Dr. Oz green grub

I enjoyed last week’s smoothie based cleanse so much, I went on to try another Dr. Oz created diet this week. This 3-day formula claims that if you eat the same 3 meals, at about the same time each day, you will lose 3 pounds. The three meals required are specifically designed for weight loss. One of the ideas behind this diet, is to consume most of your calories early in the day when you’ll be most likely to expend them.

I like the idea of having my meals all planned out, but eating healthy does have its price. The pre-diet trip to the grocery store is not an inexpensive one. Whole, organic foods can translate to whole paycheck without much effort. I’m looking forward to summer when some of these veggies can be harvested from my own garden.

I talked my husband into participating in this diet with me. I thought it would be fun to have someone to commiserate with. I think he enjoyed knowing what he was having for each meal, and even more, having all his meals made for him.

Breakfast consists of protein (egg), dairy (reduced fat swiss cheese), monounsaturated fats and fiber (avocado), salsa (a plethora of vitamins), carbs (whole wheat English muffin). This was filling. I usually grab a piece of toast and slather it with peanut butter or almond butter with my coffee in the morning, so this is more than I usually eat before noon. I was full until after lunchtime.

Did you know that avocado is a superfood? Two-thirds of the fats in avocados are monounsaturated, which helps lower bad cholesterol and maintain, or increase good cholesterol. They’re a rich source of vitamin E too, which is a powerful antioxidant. A two-tablespoon serving contains 2 grams of fiber and an entire fruit contains about 10 grams.

Lunch is the largest meal of the day on this diet, and a bit too much food for me to consume at one time. Not sure who Dr. Oz had in mind on this one. It would have been the perfect amount if I had run a marathon in between breakfast and lunch. Unfortunately, I had not.

I opted for one bean burger instead of two. I’ll give you specifics on the nutritional values to look for when purchasing these prepackaged veggie burgers a bit later.

A side of sweet potato fries go with lunch. They were my favorite part! Sweet potato (or yam), sliced, drizzled with olive oil, sprinkled with oregano, baked until crispy. 

Dinner is a green smoothie. Fruit and vegetable drinks are a really good way to get plenty of fruits and veggies into your system. Imagine trying to chew as many fruits and vegetables as you can drink. Your body is able to digest them and absorb the nutrients so much easier in liquid form. If you tried the green lunch smoothie I posted last week, and found it to be somewhat hard to swallow, you’ll love this one. Really! Trust me on this. The addition of banana and vanilla whey protein powder make it creamy and delicious. If I didn’t know what was in it, and I had my eyes closed while drinking it, I never would have guessed it was green.
You should consume the least amount of calories at dinner time. This shake will burn fat and help to build lean muscle. The recipe makes about 4 cups, which was about 2 cups too much. It really was delicious, but I was too full to finish it, so on subsequent nights, my hubby and I shared the single serving amount.

The Recipes: 

Breakfast: Tex-Mex Egg and Cheese Muffin
1 egg
1/2 tbsp olive oil
1 slice of reduced fat Swiss cheese 
2 slices avocado 
1 tbsp medium salsa 
1 whole wheat English muffin 
Lightly oil a small ramekin with some olive oil and crack an egg into it. Use a fork to scramble the egg a bit, or at least pierce the egg yolk so the egg won't explode. Ladle one tsp of salsa on top of egg and layer the cheese slice (folded in half) over it. Microwave on 50% power for 1 minute and 20 seconds (time may vary depending on strength of microwave). Carefully remove ramekin from microwave – ramekin may be hot, use potholders if necessary – and let sit a few minutes to settle. Run a small knife around the rim of the cooked egg and gently invert over the toasted muffin half. Top with the remaining 2 tsp of salsa, remaining olive oil and slices of avocado, and the top half of the muffin.

Lunch: Double Bean Burger
2 pre-made bean burgers (see note below)
Iceberg or butter lettuce (2 whole leaves)
1 portobello mushroom, sliced into 1/2 inch strips
1/2 yellow onion, sliced into rings
1/2 tbsp olive oil
When mushrooms are done, remove to a plate and add onions. Add half the oil to a large non-stick saut√© pan and cook the mushrooms in one layer on medium heat, flipping over once until nicely browned on both sides. Add remaining oil and cook the onions until softened and browned, about 10 minutes. Add back mushrooms and stir together.

Buying Guide for Bean Burgers:

  • Beans must be listed in the first two ingredients
  • 150 calories or less per serving
  • 5 grams fat or less per serving
  • 400 mg sodium or less per serving

Side: Baked Sweet Potato Fries
1/2 sweet potato, skin on 
1/2 tbsp olive oil 
1/2 tbsp dried oregano 
Pre-heat oven to 425°FScrub potato under cold water until clean. Cut potato in half and save for later use. Cut potato half into long wedges. In a bowl, combine potato wedges, olive oil and dried oregano. Spread on a rimmed cookie sheet and bake until browned and cooked through, about 30 minutes, turning halfway through.

Dinner: Lean Green Supper Shake
3 cups of green veggies – kale, spinach, chopped romaine, celery 
1 green apple 
2 cups of ice
1/2 banana  
1 scoop vanilla whey powder 
3/4 cup of unsweetened almond milk 
Combine all in a blender and blend well. Pour into glass, garnish with a celery stick or slices of green apple. 

Thoughts and tips:

• The almond milk selection out there is confusing. Choose one that’s unsweetened. I liked Blue Diamond brand. It’s available in two lines, sweetened and unsweetened. In each line they offer three flavors: original, vanilla and chocolate. I like the vanilla flavored, and since it wasn’t specified, you could go for the chocolate flavored.

• The selection of bean garden burgers is even more confusing. I found several, most of which did not fit the criteria for Dr. Oz’s buying guide. I picked up several brands and mixed and matched to get to where they needed to be in terms of fat, calories and sodium intake. 

• I loved the green shake! It’s rich and creamy!

• The baked sweet potato fries are a great snack!

• The meals are substantial. I gained a pound after the first day. You can alter the amounts to suit your own appetite. 

• Just to be clear, I am volunteering to do this Dr. Oz diet, but I am not affiliated with him, or anyone representing his ideas in any way.

• After the diet, my weight was exactly the same as when I started. I can’t recommend this for weight loss, but it’s great for eating healthy meals, and I’ll be saving the green drink and sweet potato fries recipes for future use.

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