Summer bodies are made in winter.
As ‘mypreciouskitchen’ social media followers would know, my family is on a weight loss programme: diet and exercise.
This was initiated by my dear husband, as he is set on giving me a special gift for my birthday. Which is now 24 days away. The gift? A husband with a six pack.
No, I have not been hinting at anything. Yes, I love him the way he is. No, I’m not that superficial that physical attributes define who the person is. But let’s be honest; there’s nothing wrong with some sculpting in the right places.
So when he decided this, obviously I had to support him. And with me doing all the cooking, the diet part I had to re-enforce.
The plan: low carb; low sugar; low, as deliciously possible, fat. With a 30 min mountain cycle for my husband, a 5km run for me, at least 3 times a week
My diet plan has started quite a heated discussion on Facebook, from pro-Tim Noakes fans. Tim Noakes promotes low carb and high fat diet and I personally and professionally don’t agree with it. High fat doesn’t make any physiological sense to me when you’re trying to lose weight and want to keep it off. The body uses glucose for energy to normal cellular body functions. Simply put, the body gets this directly from sugary foods, if it can’t, second choice is converting carbohydrates into glucose. If plan B is not available, plan C is converting fat into glucose and last option protein. So if you’re trying to lose weight, fat that is, you limit plans A and B, and then the body is forced to use your fat stores to produce the necessary energy for bodily functions.
That is why the high fat doesn’t make sense, because then the body uses the fat being eaten to produce energy, not the fat stored all around your curves.
Anyway, we’re doing low sugar, low carbs, low fat and as fresh as possible always.
It’s been a week, it’s not been a walk in the park. Carbs play the biggest role in that feeling of being full.
Dinner tonight: heart warming chicken and lentil soup. Usually with noodles but low carb tonight, so no noodles.
What do you need?
1 cup of brown lentils
5 Chicken thighs
2 large carrots
half a green pepper
1 whole onion, 1 fennel stalk
6 cloves of garlic
Olive oil- 50 ml
Indian spices: dry: 3 cinnamon sticks, 4 star anise, fennel seeds, yellow and black mustard seeds, coriander seeds.
Other spices: paprika, nutmeg, chili flakes
4 Chicken stock cubes
1 tbs corn flour
What to do?
We are making a lot of soup, to be our default, go to meal in the fridge if we’re feeling hungry. It should last a week.
In a large dry pot add the dry spices and let these roast to extract the spice oil and flavours. When they start to burn a little, add with olive oil and sauté onions( roughly chopped) until soft, then soften chopped garlic. Then add chicken thighs, all the other veg roughly chopped. Then add 1 1/2 liters of water with 4 chicken stock cubes.
Let this come to a boil, then lower the heat ( on 2 on a normal electric stove) and simmer for 2-3 hrs. With 30 minutes to go, add the cup of lentils and continue cooking.
After the flavours are built and matured, the chicken ‘pull apart’ tender; we are almost done. Now taste, adjust seasoning and add sprinkles of corn flour to thicken the soup a little, not making it too thick.
And voila, all done and deliciously heart warming and perfect for this cold 10 degrees Celsius winter night.
The lentils give the soup the body it needs. And the Indian spices uplift it beautifully.
End of dinner and everyone is full!
My husband claims bread would have been a pleasant finishing touch, but I tell him to think about what’s present and not what’s absent in the meal.