Jewish World Review March 3, 2003 / 30 Adar I, 5763

SLIM CHANCES: It's time to reassess your resolutions



By Bev Bennett

http://www.NewsAndOpinion.com | One look at the calendar, and you realize you can't hide behind bulky winter clothing much longer. If you haven't yet gotten around to tackling your new year's diet goals, March is the month to do so. Two new books offer relief from fad diets with practical solutions to your weight-loss obstacles.

"People are tired of the quick solution or the gimmick,'' says John Hastings, author of "ChangeOne: The Breakthrough 12-Week Eating Plan: Lose Weight Simply, Safely, and Forever". "People want to learn about how to eat. With some diets, you start one day and eat completely differently the next. You may eat all vegetables or all proteins. You go on the diet and go off, and back to your former habits. You don't get practice adapting a diet to your way of life.''

Hastings suggests that you slow down and make small changes in your diet one day at a time. That way, you have time to adjust. He uses his own experience as an example. "I wasn't fat, but I strayed beyond what I wanted to weigh,'' he says. "I stopped using butter on my rolls. I ate only half a bagel. I picked one or two things and focused on them.''

For starters, he maintains, eating breakfast is important. "We work on breakfast for a week. So many people don't eat breakfast. But once they start eating breakfast, everything else falls into place.''

Another book, "Dr. Shapiro's Picture Perfect Weight Loss Cookbook" also shows readers how to make adjustments without setting up impossible diet regimens.

"Food should be fun,'' says Howard M. Shapiro, M.D.., a weight-loss specialist in New York City. "You should have variety. You should make the choice of what to eat so you're empowered, not deprived.''

Using food photography for comparisons, Dr. Shapiro shows readers how they can substitute appetizing low-calorie dishes for their typical high-fat food choices. What's more, readers see they can eat more food for fewer calories when they make the switch.

"I've used food-comparison pictures in my practice for 20 years, and I've confirmed that they work. If you show someone a picture of one slice of pumpkin pie and five servings of pumpkin pudding they could eat for the same number of calories, it works for shock value.''

The following pan-grilled chicken from Dr. Shapiro's book weighs in at 195 calories and 4 grams of fat, for half breast and about a half-cup of fruit sauce. He compares that to a single Buffalo chicken wing with a dollop of sauce for the same calories, but 14 grams of fat.

The fruit smoothie with English muffin and peanut butter is one of the breakfast options from "ChangeOne.''

PAN-GRILLED CHICKEN WITH GRAPES AND THYME

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves

2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 cups halved seedless red and/or green grapes

1/2 cup vegetable broth
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
2 teaspoons cold water

Sprinkle the chicken with 1 1/2 teaspoons of the thyme and the salt and pepper. Coat a stove-top grill or skillet with olive-oil cooking spray, and heat over medium heat for 2 minutes. Place the chicken in the pan. Grill for 4 minutes per side, turning once, or until a thermometer inserted in the thickest portion of the chicken registers 160 degrees F. and the juices run clear.

Place the chicken on a platter, and cover loosely with foil to keep warm.

Heat the oil in the same pan over medium heat. Add the grapes and cook, shaking the pan often, for 3 minutes, or until the grapes are hot and begin to give up some juices. Place the grapes in a bowl.

Pour the broth and wine into the skillet and stir well. Increase the heat to medium-high, and bring to a boil. Boil for 4 minutes, or until reduced to about 1/3 cup. In a cup, combine the cornstarch and water, and stir until dissolved. Add to the sauce in the skillet. Cook, stirring, until the sauce thickens and boils.

Stir in the grapes, any chicken juices from the platter and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon thyme. Cook for 30 seconds; remove from heat.

On a cutting board, cut the chicken diagonally into 1-inch pieces, and arrange on the platter. Top with the sauce. Makes 4 servings.

Each serving has:195 calories; 4 grams fat; 27 grams protein; 11 grams carbohydrates; 73 milligrams cholesterol; 515 milligrams sodium; and 0.5 grams dietary fiber.

TROPICAL SMOOTHIE

1 mango, cut into cubes
1 banana, cut into large chunks
1 cup pineapple chunks
1 kiwifruit, peeled and sliced
2 cups plain nonfat yogurt
1 cup ice cubes

Combine the mango, banana, pineapple, kiwi, yogurt and ice cubes in a blender. Puree until smooth and thick. Pour into 4 tall glasses. Serves four.

Each serving has 160 calories; 0.5 grams of fat; 8.5 grams protein; 32 grams carbohydrate; 83 milligrams sodium; and 2 grams dietary fiber.

Bev Bennett is co-author of "The Dictionary of Healthful Food Terms'' Comment by clicking here.

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