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Fight belly fat with The Flat Belly Diet. Get Flat Belly Diet recipes, sample meal plans from the Flat Belly Diet, and Flat Belly diet information.

Get the fab abs you’ve always wanted with this revolutionary eating program—it’s healthy, it’s easy to follow—and shedding harmful abdominal fat not only protects your health but could save your life!

Flat Belly Diet Jumpstart

Lose the pooch fast beginning with the Flat Belly Diet 4-Day Jumpstart. Avoid these foods to reduce bloat, water retention, and belly puff.

The Anti-Bloat Jumpstart isn’t just about beating bloat; The 4-day plan includes a prescribed list of foods and drinks you can eat that will help flush out fluid, reduce water retention, and relieve digestive issues like gas and constipation, which can make your belly puff unnecessarily. You’ll drink Sassy Water (a signature recipe developed by Cynthia Sass, MPH, RD, creator and coauthor of the Flat Belly Diet®) while eating healthy foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

Here is a partial list of the foods you’ll need to avoid during the first four days:

1. The salt shaker, salt-based seasonings, and highly processed foods
Water is attracted to sodium, so when you take in higher than usual amounts of sodium, you’ll temporarily retain more fluid—which contributes to a sluggish feeling, a puffy appearance, and extra water weight.

2. Excess carbs
As a backup energy source, your muscles store a type of carbohydrate called glycogen. Every gram of glycogen is stored with about 3 grams of water. But unless you’re running a marathon tomorrow, you don’t need all this stockpiled fuel. Decreasing your carbohydrate intake temporarily can train your body to access this stored fuel and burn it off. At the same time, you’ll be draining off all that excess stored fluid.

3. Bulky raw foods

A half-cup serving of cooked carrots delivers the same nutrition as one cup raw, but it takes up less room in your GI tract. Eat only cooked vegetables, smaller portions of unsweetened dried fruit, and canned fruits in natural juice. This will allow you to meet your nutrient needs without expanding your GI tract with extra volume.

4. Gassy foods
Certain foods simply create more gas in your GI tract. They include legumes, cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, onions, peppers, and citrus fruits.

5. Chewing gum
You probably don’t realize this, but when you chew gum, you swallow air. All that air gets trapped in your GI tract and causes pressure, bloating, and belly expansion.

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Cook for a Flat Belly

se these cooking techniques not only to eat healthier but to lose belly fat! From the new Flat Belly Diet Cookbook

You know by now that the healthy fats and other nutrients that make MUFA foods heavyweight champs nutritionally and gastronomically also make them dense in calories. By their very definition, MUFA foods are high in fat—albeit the good-for-you variety. So when it comes to following the Flat Belly food plan and staying within the daily calorie and sodium guidelines, it’s especially important to have a full arsenal of cooking techniques that don’t add unnecessary fat and calories.

Here are our favorite quick-and-easy, low-fat and low-sodium cooking methods. They’re well suited to bringing out the full flavor of MUFA foods, and we’ve provided a few key tried-and-true test kitchen tips for each one.

ROASTING TRANSFORMS VEGETABLES

Virtually any vegetable benefits from being tossed with a little canola oil, a pinch of kosher salt, and some freshly ground black pepper and then roasted at fairly high heat (400°F+) for 30 to 45 minutes or until nicely browned, with crisped edges and tender middles (poke with a fork, skewer, or small knife).

Make sure to roast in a shallow baking dish—the bottom of a broiler pan or even a rimmed cookie sheet is fine—so the hot air surrounds the veggies and browns them nicely. Avoid deep casseroles and don’t cover the dish, or you won’t get the desirable color or crispiness.

If you’re new to roasting, here are some of our favorite transformations: Pale, bland cauliflower caramelizes to golden brown and takes on rich nutty flavor. Brussels sprouts lose the bitterness that turns so many of us against them in childhood; gone, too, is the mushiness that often results from stove-top steaming—roasted sprouts are sweet and pleasingly crisp-tender. Carrots go from run-of-the-mill to savory-rich. Sliced first into thin circles, potatoes emerge from the oven with a crispy chiplike crust surrounding a tender center and prove a worthy rival of french fries; combine with similarly slivered yams for a more colorful, flavorful, and nutrient-rich side dish.

POACHING IS PERFECT FOR FISH

Poaching is a superbly simple way to quickly and gently infuse flavor without adding fat. Immerse fillets of any mild-flavored, firm-fleshed fish in barely simmering liquid and cook until just opaque all the way through—typically, 20 to 30 minutes, depending on thickness.

Our favorite poaching fishes include salmon, sea bass, cod, and halibut. For a quick poaching liquid: Roughly chop a carrot or two, a stalk of celery, and an onion; add to a pan of water with a splash of vinegar or lemon juice; and toss in a few whole black peppercorns, a bay leaf, a sprinkling of kosher salt, and fresh herbs (like dill) you happen to have around. Remove the fish and vegetables when done and turn up the heat to reduce the poaching liquid to a sauce.

SLOW-COOKING MAKES THE WHOLE MEAL–AHEAD OF TIME

Slow cookers have earned a permanent position on many a kitchen countertop because they offer a combination of convenience, taste, and versatility that no other appliance can match. They’re veritable miracle workers for cooks looking to maximize flavor and minimize fat—low-fat proteins, lean cuts of meat, and dried beans alike slow cook to succulent perfection.

There are a few basic rules to consider: For example, cut raw meat into pieces and place them at the bottom of the slow cooker so that it heats up relatively quickly, and make sure cooking times are specific to your appliance (they’re different for 3-quart versus 6- quart). It’s most important to acquaint yourself with the instructions that come with your slow cooker, especially those concerning food safety, before using.

GRILLING CAN’T BE BEAT

For fast, low-fat, flavorful meat, grilling is the way to go. Cooking over a flame drains off fat while imparting delicious smoky flavor to meat, chicken, and seafood. For speed and simplicity, select proteins that cook within about 25 minutes over direct heat, such as steaks and chops, chicken pieces, fish steaks, tofu, and burgers—or skewer variations of these in cubed or meatball form.

Keep foods moist and flavors full by searing on all sides to lock in juices and marinating proteins before grilling. If you like, baste with marinade a few times while cooking. Cook seafood just until opaque at the center, but don’t rely on visual appearance to judge doneness of meat or chicken. Instead, invest in an instant-read thermometer, which is much more reliable. Remove meat from the grill when it’s within 10 degrees of doneness. Set it aside for several minutes while the temperature continues to rise. It’s ready to serve when the thermometer reaches the temperature for doneness.

STIR-FRY FOR A SWIFT, ONE-DISH MEAL

A little oil and a lot of heat add up to a superfast, low-fat cooking method. Stir-frying requires some slicing and dicing up front but pays off big with meals that cook up in as little as 10 minutes. It’s the ideal route for cooks who like to prep ingredients in advance and then throw a delicious dinner together at top speed when mealtime comes.

No time to chop veggies? Buy them prewashed and precut—consider raiding the supermarket salad bar for a wide variety
of ready-to-cook veggies in whatever proportion and quantity you fancy. Another advantage of stir-frying: It allows you to experiment with infinite combinations of proteins and vegetables. Thin strips or slices cook quickly and evenly over high heat—vegetables retain flavor and crisp-tenderness, while proteins stay tender.

Here are our favorite stir-fry secrets: Roll tofu cubes or strips of chicken in sesame seeds for a delicious crunch. Use baby vegetables, which are sweet (to look at and to taste) and require little to no prep. Stir in a cup of frozen chopped spinach (slightly thawed) for 1 minute before your stir-fry is done to add color, iron, and flavor.

Eat and Think Your Way Thin

What you eat is only half the equation. The other half is your attitude toward food. Follow these simple rules for trimming that tummy!

The idea that fat can help you slim down isn’t new to the Flat Belly Diet. In 2001, Harvard researchers reported a that moderate-fat diet actually produced better weight loss results in the long run than a low-fat diet. But not until the Spanish study did researchers uncover the notion that a single type of dietary fat targets such a specific area of the body.

Monounsaturated fats (MUFAs for short, pronounced MOO-fahs) come from the healthy oils found in plant foods such as olives, nuts, and avocado. MUFAs have been linked to overall weight loss in previous studies, including a report published in the British Journal of Nutrition, which found that a MUFA-rich diet helped people lose small amounts of weight and body fat without changing their calorie intake. Another report found that a breakfast high in MUFAs could boost calorie burn for 5 hours after the meal, particularly in people with higher amounts of belly fat.

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