Friday, February 22, 2013

Fad Diets



The "infamous" Cabbage Soup diet:

Ok, so I finally decided to try this diet after much hemmmming and hawinnnnng, about how totally unhealthy it is. I figured that for 7 days I could deal with unhealthy and jump start a weight loss plan for the New Year. This diet plan has supposedly been around since the 1950's and is popular for a quick drop of 7 - 10 pounds over 7 days. If you follow it, you will lose the weight, but put it right back on when you are done. 

After looking over the original diet and multiple spin-offs, I was left wondering why would you make it so nasty and unpalatable? So, with a few weeks, some cooking skill and seasoning, I came up with the following, that works for immediate flushing and cleansing of your body and a jump start to healthier eating, at least for me.

After following the diet for 7 days, I adapt it to a more balanced eating plan by rounding it out with oatmeal with fruit for breakfast, lean protein and salads at dinner, and the soup at lunch. I always use the Soup as a "go to" when hunger, boredom or aggravation set in.

Vegetable Soup Recipe/Cabbage Soup

1 onion chopped
2 cloves garlic chopped
2 celery stalks diced
1 chopped green pepper
2 carrots, peeled and diced
1 cup fresh green beans cut bite sized
1/2 head broccoli in small florets
1 zucchini chopped
1/2 head cabbage shredded
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 cup chopped fresh kale
1/2 cup chopped green onions
Fresh Herbs and Spices of choice: parsley, marjoram, curry powder, cumin, red pepper flakes
Spicy V-8 Juice
Lipton Onion Soup Mix

In a large soup kettle, saute onion, garlic, and celery in 1 tablespoon of olive oil. When soft, add carrots, peppers, broccoli, green beans, zucchini, kale, cabbage, mushrooms and green onions. Stir to coat vegetables. Add Onion Soup mix, 4 cups of V-8 Juice and 2 -3 cups of water. Stir to mix, add seasonings to taste and simmer until veggies are cooked.

You can add whatever veggies you prefer, as long as they are not starchy like; corn, beans, potatoes, etc. I like the kale and cabbage because they really fill you up. Escarole, broccoli rabi, cauliflower would also do well in this soup. Basically, if I use what I like, and it tastes good, I will eat it and not feel like I am being totally deprived.

The actual 7 day plan is as follows:

Day 1 - 
Soup - as much as you want
fruits - no bananas
*I make a fruit salad with melons, apples, mixed berries, grapes

Day 2 -
Soup - as much as you want
Vegetables - as much as you want
Baked Potato with butter
*On this day I stir-fry some veggies and have them with the potato for dinner

Day 3 - 
Soup - as much as you want
Fruits and Veggies
*I usually do a salad with apples, mixed greens and strawberry balsamic dressing

Day 4 -
Soup - as much as you want
6 - 8 Bananas
Skim Milk - as much as you can drink
*I usually max out at 1 banana, 1 glass of milk, and soup for the day

Day 5 - 
Soup - as much as you want
Steak, Chicken, Fish or other lean protein
Sliced Tomatoes
*This day is ok, just as long as you can find decent tomatoes, I found excellent ones that come in a yellow box with cello wrap, don't forget to drink water throughout the day

Day 6 - 
Soup - as much as you want
Steak, or lean protein of choice
Vegetables
*Sometimes I will mix it up with a stir-fry using a light spray of olive oil in the wok. I love broccolini, snow peas, bean sprouts, mushrooms, onions, with lean steak or pork

Day 7 - 
Soup - as much as you want
1 cup brown rice
Fruit Juice

It is a very restrictive diet. I do have coffee in the morning with non-dairy creamer, and I do use small amounts of olive oil in cooking and salad dressings. You definitely feel lighter after a week of this, and as I said, with a little modification I find it to be a fairly easy diet regimen. I use it as a guide, a fall back plan and a way to feel healthier tool. Of course you need to drink water throughout to stay hydrated.

So much for my thoughts and experience with the Cabbage Soup Diet, any suggestions or comments welcomed.

Cheers!