It’s Mardi Gras!

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Time to Overeat?  No!  Instead, it’s time to prepare for a 40-day diet starting tomorrow.

Which diet is this?  It’s “The Lenten Diet”!  Why?  Because the season of Lent is what follows Mardi Gras.  Lent lasts for 40 days, and so does this diet.

Here are the basic rules of “The Lenten Diet”:

  1.  Do not eat meat on the first day (Ash Wednesday) of the diet.
  2.  Do not eat meat on any Friday during these 40 days.
  3.  Only eat 3 times a day, having nothing in-between meals except for fluids.
  4.  Only have 1 normal sized meal a day, nothing excessively large.
  5.  The other 2 meals for the day should both be smaller than the 1 normal meal.

That’s the plan!  Happy Mardi Gras, and Good Luck using “The Lenten Diet” to help you lose weight over the next 40 days. If you need any provisions, party supplies, housewares, or any other products during the next 40 days, do what I do, and Shop at Amazon.com!

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Check back each day to see how things are going on “The Lenten Diet”.

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Copyright (c) 2016 – Open Thought Software, Inc – All Rights Reserved

 

 

 

Savory Water with Sliced Mushrooms

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After adding a bouillon cube in a flavor you like to some very hot water, add thinly sliced mushrooms. 

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You can also stir in a dark green leaf that cooks quickly in hot water, like spinach.  If you like scallions or hot chili peppers, add some thin slices of those to give your soup a little bite.

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Savory Water, with sliced mushrooms, dark green leaves and a few slices of red chili pepper.  If you like a more tart soup, add a few drops of your favorite vinegar.

What a delicious way to have a healthy, satisfying snack or meal!

Copyright © 2016   Open Thought Software, Inc
All Rights Reserved

Savory Water

Do you feel your stomach rumbling, but do not want to eat yet?

Try adding a bouillon cube to a cup or two of hot water, and enjoy some great-tasting “Savory Water”.

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I learned this trick from old-time ocean cruises, which had a scheduled “Bouillon Event” between breakfast and lunch.

Savory Water – So simple yet so satisfying!

Whenever I feel that it’s “Time To Weigh Less”, I have some satisfying “Savory Water”.

Copyright © 2016 – Open Thought Software, Inc
All Rights Reserved

Not all Vegetables are Created Equal!

Whenever it’s time for me to weigh less, I focus on eating leaves accompanied with high quality protein, such as hard boiled eggs.

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Romaine lettuce, Bibb lettuce, Arugula, Spinach, Kale and Watercress are my favorites, with some parsley, dill or cilantro on top.

Forget the “starchy” vegetables for now.  When it’s time to weigh less, eat leaves!

 

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Copyright (c)  2016 – Open Thought Software, Inc

All Rights Reserved

 

Make Water a Priority for 2016

Are you lucky enough to have access to a clean water supply?

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If so, take advantage of it. Don’t let a day go by without drinking enough water to fully quench your thirst.

Clean water is delicious.

Your body needs you to drink water because your body can not produce water.

If you want to splurge and also get some unexpected benefits, throw some lemon or lime slices into your water.

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Water.  The simple solution.

Perhaps the most important change you can make in 2016 is to focus on drinking enough water each and every day.

 

 

Copyright (c) 2016  Open Thought Software, Inc
All Rights Reserved

 

 

 

 

 

Basic Lentil Soup, with Several Variations Given

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If you have these basic ingredients in your pantry, you can make a warm and satisfying lentil soup.

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You will need these ingredients:

  • 4 cups chopped vegetables (Usually 2 cups onion, 1 cup celery and 1 cup carrots)
  • 1 cup of lentils  (rinsed, drained and picked over as per package instructions)
  • 6 cups of bouillon (Vegetable to keep things vegan, otherwise chicken works well)
  • A little oil (1or 2 tablespoons depending on type of pan you are using)
  • Salt and pepper, about 1/4 to 1/2 tsp each

To cook, follow these steps:

  1. Heat oil in pan at medium high temperature
  2. Add 4 cups chopped vegetables to pan.
  3. Sprinkle salt and pepper over vegetables and stir togetheradd-salt-and-pepper-to-veg-in-pan
  4. Stir-fry until vegetables soften, about 5 minutes
  5. Add lentils and stir for a few minutes to combine add-lentils-to-veg-mix-in-pan
  6. Add bouillon and stir until it boilspour-bouillon-into-pan
  7. Cover and simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour until lentils are tender
  8. Note:  While simmering, check if more liquid is needed and add if it is needed.

To serve, you can leave the soup as it is right now, where you can still see some of the individual components (below).  Or, you can blend half to be smooth, and keep half as is.  Or, you can blend all of it for a totally smooth lentil soup.

This is the way I like to serve my soup, garnished with leaves from the celery stalks:

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There are many variations possible to this basic lentil soup, including:

  • If you like garlic, add 1 or 2 minced garlic cloves to oil
  • If you like cumin or coriander, add 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. of each to oil
  • If you like bacon, use scissors to cut 1 slice into ~20 thin vertical strips and render fat out in hot pan, leaving pieces flabby, not crispy.  Cook the chopped vegetables in the bacon fat, adding extra oil if needed, and leaving bacon pieces in pan.
  • If you like tomatoes, up to 2 of the 6 cups of bouillon can be replaced with your overripe tomatoes, canned tomatoes, tomato sauce or marinara.
  • If you like the flavor of bay leaves, add a bay leaf to the liquid before simmering

Whenever I feel that it’s “Time to Weigh Less”, I stick with this basic lentil soup recipe.

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Copyright © 2016  Open Thought Software, Inc  All Rights Reserved

Cabbage Poriyal (Cabbage Stir-Fry with Curry Leaves)

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A simple cabbage and onion can be turned into a magnificent dish, when perked up with some fresh curry leaves, ginger and spices.  I was delighted to find this dish at my local Indo-Pak restaurant, where the chef explained to me that it was stir fried, not cooked in a heavy sauce, since today’s diners prefer to eat lighter dishes.

cabbage-rotatedAs with any stir fry, prepare your ingredients before starting to cook, and line them up in the order you will add them to the hot pan:

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Starting from the right side above, ready to go into the hot pan, the ingredients are:

  • 1 tsp black mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp yellow mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tsp white lentils (urid dal), soaked in hot water for ~10 min.
  • 10 to 15 curry leaves
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 tsp fresh ginger, chopped or grated
  • 2 or 3 green or red chili peppers  (Omit if you prefer a mild dish)

You will also need 4 cups of shredded cabbage and 2 Tbsp of vegetable or nut oil.

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Ready to Start Cooking?   Remember, it’s a stir fry, so keep the ingredients in motion in the hot pan by stirring frequently.

  1. Heat oil in pan over medium-high heat until hot
  2. Add mustard seeds until you hear them pop
  3. Add cumin seeds and white lentils, stir until lentils are slightly browned
  4. Add curry leaves and onion, stir together until onion softens
  5. Add ginger and chili peppers, stir together until combined
  6. Add shredded cabbage and pinch of salt to taste
  7. Continue to stir-fry until cabbage is tender-crisp
  8. Serve and Enjoy!

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This dish can be eaten while following nearly all popular diets, except those that require zero carbohydrates. There are only 8 calories in a half-cup of shredded cabbage, so whenever I feel like it’s “Time To Weigh Less”, I stir-fry a batch of this delicious dish.  I’ve even eaten it cold for breakfast!

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Hope you enjoy this dish as much as we do, made as mild or spicy as you like.

Many of the ingredients needed for this recipe can be found on-line at:
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Copyright (c) 2016  Open Thought Software, Inc  All Rights Reserved

Cucumber Kim Chee (Kimchi)

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Cucumber Kim Chee was our favorite side dish during the first week of 2015.  See how wholesome and appetizing it looks?

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Cucumbers have a very low glycemic index and only 8 calories per half cup.  They are delicious and very refreshing.  You can add very spicy to that list if you make a cucumber Kim Chee out of your cucumbers.

The easiest way to make an outstanding cucumber Kim Chee is to buy small cucumbers and add this Korean Kim Chee mix to them: NOH Korean Kim Chee Base, 1.125-Ounce Packet, (Pack of 12)One packet calls for 4 pounds of cucumbers.  Kim Chee is one of those foods that gets better with time, so I usually don’t eat mine until it’s been in the fridge for at least 2 or 3 days.

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I fell in love with the local Korean cuisine when I traveled to Seoul and Pusan in South Korea.  The red chili pepper gives a distinct flavor to many Korean dishes, including Kim Chee, which can be made using a variety of vegetables.  My favorite is cucumbers (with the peels on), but cabbage and radish are popular Kim Chee’s too.

So whenever I realize it’s “Time to Weigh Less”, I know that cucumber Kim Chee is a very pleasant way of getting me there.

Can you find the cucumber Kim Chee on this dinner table?  We did!

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Hope you enjoy your Kim Chee experience as much as we have.

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Copyright (c) 2015  Open Thought Software, Inc  All Rights Reserved

2015 – New Year’s Day, with Motivational Words by Plato and Lao Tzu

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On many occasions in my life, I felt that it was “Time to Weigh Less.”   So how do you pick what to eat to weigh less? Many people say:  “Just eat healthy unprocessed foods”, yet it is still possible to get very overweight following this advice.  Others say “If you can’t pronounce it, you shouldn’t be eating it.”   But if someone can’t pronounce “Ascorbic Acid”, does that really mean they should never take Vitamin C? After trying nearly every diet ever published, I know you can lose weight on just about any diet, as long as you stick to it.  So now that I feel it is time to weigh less, I first want to remember what the great philosopher Plato (427 BC – 347 BC) said about human nature:

“For a person to conquer themselves is the first and noblest of all victories.”  (Reference 1)

On this first day of 2015, I have set myself in motion on a path to this victory. Roasted vegetables, grilled filet mignon and leafy salads graced our table today, with raspberries and blueberries for dessert.  Hydration is important too, so we enjoyed our calorie-free chilled Pellegrino, spring water, diet sodas, Oolong tea and decaf coffee all day as well. So far we’re off to a great start in 2015, choosing to follow a low-carb, high-protein diet to weigh less.  I’m not saying it’s going to be easy, because for any diet to succeed, the dieter needs to follow the diet. I fully understand what the famous philosopher Lao Tzu (604 BC to 531 BC) meant when he said:

“People who control others may be powerful, but people who have mastered themselves are mightier still.”  (Reference 2)

This is another great reminder that the power to lose weight is in my own hands. Now it’s time for a good night’s sleep, knowing that I have lean meat brining in the fridge, a pork roast slow cooking in the crock pot, and lots of fresh eggs for breakfast.

Reference 1 and 2 Source: Famous Quotations Revised to be Gender-Neutral

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Copyright (c) 2015 Open Thought Software, Inc  All Rights Reserved