Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Fat Belly!

Walk into any bookstore today, and the words "Flat Belly" will be staring you in the face. But when I look at the word "flat," my eyes drop the "l" and all I see is "FAT." And since I have one big FAT BELLY, I take this assault personally.

And I should.

Research shows that those of us with fat bellies are prone to diabetes, heart disease and certain cancers. I'm just praying it is not too late to do anything about mine.

I have never had a waistline. Even when skinny -- and there have been a few times in my life I fit this category -- I was not curvy, but more up and down. In fact, before the days when the PC police ruled all, I had a city editor who told me I had an ass like a man. (Barry, you out there? It's my blog, it's payback time, and sometimes life is sweet.)

Yesterday, Jack and I went to Borders, and I finally gave in and bought a copy of the "Flat Belly Diet!" by Liz Vaccariello and Cynthia Sass. I was actually looking for Jorge Cruise's version, but Borders did not have it. My buying the book now is interesting since last week I joined Weight Watchers, to put all of my wellness coach, Heather's Pierce's advice, into the context of portion control.

Practical Jack asked me why I would be buying another diet book, and my answer was simple: I want to start finding out about the foods that researchers think make us hold onto mid-body flab. This is a matter of life and death. Mine.

Like every other diet book I ever buy, it's the recipes that have to win me over or I know my relationship with that diet will be short lived. The recipes in the "Flat Belly Diet!" are terrific, and I am a pushover when it comes to new recipes.

My plan is simple: Avoid the foods that cause flat to go fat, eat within the Weight Watchers POINTS plan, and see Heather for support. behavior modification, and gentle reminders of the foods I should be eating and those to avoid. It's my three-pronged attack, and if this doesn't work, I've failed. And for those of you who know me, a failure is something I never want to be.

This is one recipe from the "Flat Belly Diet!" -- actually the first one I saw when I opened the book. Since I am having a love affair with scallops right now, I thought someone was sending me a message. As for the Bok Choy -- it was the present Heather Pierce gave me at our first session. Memories!

2 bags chai tea
2-4 heads baby bok choy, quartered lengthwise or halved if small (about 3/4 pounds)
1 Tblsp. finely chopped fresh ginger
1 lb. sea scallops, halved horizontally
1/4 tsp. salt
1/3 cup light coconut milk
1/2 cup cashews
1 lime, cut into quarters
  • Bring 1/2 cup water to a boil. Remove from the heat and steep the tea bags for 3 minutes. Remove and discard the tea bags. Reserve the brewed tea.
  • Sprinkle the bok choy with ginger. Steam over rapidly boiling water in a covered steamer for about 8 minutes, or until bright green and easily pierced with the tip of a knife.
  • Pat the scallops dry and sprinkle with salt. Warm the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the scallops in a single layer. (Work in batches if necessary.) Cook for 2 minutes on each side, or until opaque. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  • Add the tea and coconut milk to the skillet. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes, swirling the pan and allowing the sauce to thicken. Divide the sauce evenly among 4 shallow bowls. Top with the bok choy, scallops, and cashews, and serve with the lime wedges.
  • Makes 4 servings. Per serving: 250 calories, 23g protein, 12g carbohydrates, 13g fat, 2.9g saturated fat; 37mg sodium; 1g fiber. Make it a flat belly meal: serve with 1/2 cup steamed brown rice (109 calories) and 1 cup grapes (60 calories), which would make the total meal 419 calories. (The premise of this diet is to eat four 400-calorie meals a day.?

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