Recently, Iíve received several books for review offering dieting advice, some with excellent suggestions, others that make it seem much too complicated.
One of the most interesting books that appeared on my desk is
The Golden Gate Diet (Midsummer Press ) by Adam Brook, M.D.,
Ph.D, a Harvard-educated surgeon and weight loss authority. The diet Dr. Brook has developed is easy to follow and doesnít call for extreme measures. It is a way to lose weight and a way to eat healthy, based on his clinical experiences with his patients and upon his extensive knowledge of the scientific literature relating to weight issues.
You can check out his website at www.goldengatediet.com for some excerpts from the book. Youíll learn about Sleep-Wake and Hunger-Satiety Rhythms, Popular Diets that Donít Work, plus a sample meal plan.
Dr. Brook told me, "The Golden Gate diet is the natural way to lose weight. It is based on the latest research from the leading centers and my experiences with my patients. People on The Golden Gate Diet will lose weight and reduce their risk of heart disease, cancer, and diabetes."
His experience treating people with weight problems has shown that itís best to keep things as simple as possible. He offers the following advice to his patients trying to lose weight, yet stay healthy while doing it:
* If you eat foods with a low caloric density, you will lose weight; if you eat foods with a high caloric density, you will gain weight.
* Eat solid food with caloric densities less than 2. Itís okay to eat solid food with caloric densities between 2 and 3, but go easy.
* Donít eat solid food with caloric densities greater than 3.
* Donít drink liquids with caloric densities greater than 0.4.
* Use common sense.
So what is caloric density?
It is the number of calories in the food divided by the weight of the food. For example, chocolate pudding has a caloric density of 1.3. (1/2 cup contains 150 calories and weighs 113 grams). An apple has a calorie density of 0.6. (1 apple contains 81 calories and weighs 142 grams).
Donít panic - you donít need to do the math! Dr. Brook has done it for you in the comprehensive charts that appear in his book.
Itís easy to get the hang of the Golden Gate Diet. Vegetables, fruits, fish, skinless chicken all have low caloric density. Candy and snack foods have a high caloric density. The higher the number, the more fattening the food is.
The Golden Gate Diet provides you with delicious and healthy meal plans developed by Alise
Arato, an exciting young chef and food stylist from California. Alise is the daughter of Rona (Ronnie)
Arato, an author of childrenís books who lives in Toronto.
There is a 1200 calorie a day plan for losing weight and a 2000 calorie plan for maintaining a low weight. Here are some of the wonderful menu offerings:
For breakfast, you can have: egg white scramble with cream cheese, cream of wheat, berries, bananas, an apricot-pineapple smoothie, oatmeal, raisin bran, Meusli cereal, French toast, waffles, pancakes (low-fat, of course)!
For lunch, you can have a turkey burner, pizza with nonfat mozzarella, tuna with mayo stuffed into tomato halves, curried chicken salad, a roast beef or turkey sandwich with arugula, roasted peppers and pesto mayo. You can enjoy spaghetti with chunky tomato sauce and cubed chicken, salmon salad with cucumber and herbs, a grilled Portobello mushroom sandwich with roasted peppers, baby spinach and pesto. Try turkey and black bean chili or Moroccan sliced chicken breast salad with olives, figs and orange slices...yummy!
For dinner, you can have braised veal chop, seared halibut kebabs, skinless barbecued chicken breast, zucchini lasagna with nonfat mozzarella, poached salmon with cumber dill sauce, chicken vegetable stir-fry, low-fat turkey meatloaf or grilled turkey breast with roasted tomato salsa, even honey orange glazed salmon.
For dessert, you can have a piece of blueberry, cherry or lemon meringue pie, mixed berries with frozen yogurt, a red wine poached pear, grilled fruit kebab with honeyed yogurt, apple cinnamon crumble, roasted plums, pineapple grilled with lemon and honey, chocolate, vanilla or rice pudding, angel food cake with half a sliced peach sprinkled with cinnamon.
My only complaint is that the
Golden Gate Diet does not include recipes, which could always be added in a future edition. So Iíve included a couple of my own quick, delicious and healthy recipes from my book
Healthy Helpings( Whitecap Books). Healthy Helpings replaces
MealLeaniYumm! (no longer in print). I hope they help you in your quest for healthy recipes and help you lose weight in the process. Enjoy these simply delicious dishes that are perfect fare for summertime - or anytime!
CAJUN CHICKEN BREASTS
Source: Healthy Helpings by Norene Gilletz
Add a little spice to your life. Simply fantastic and so versatile!
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. lemon juice
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. cayenne
1/2 tsp. dried basil
2 cloves garlic crushed
1. Rinse chicken and pat dry. Trim off excess fat. Combine oil, lemon juice, seasonings and garlic in a mixing bowl. Add chicken and marinate for an hour at room temperature, or up to 24 hours covered in the refrigerator.
2. Preheat oven to 400įF. Remove chicken from marinade and arrange in a single layer on a foil-lined baking sheet. Pour marinade over and around chicken. Bake uncovered for 20 minutes, turning chicken pieces over at half time. Baste occasionally with pan juices. When done, chicken will be springy when lightly touched. If overcooked, chicken will be touch.
Yield: 4 servings.
Fowl Play! Marinate a batch of chicken breasts, then freeze in meal-sized packages for up to a month. (Never do this with chicken that was previously frozen, then defrosted.) When needed, thaw chicken overnight in the refrigerator (or in the microwave), then cook as directed.
Grilled Cajun Chicken
Breasts: Preheat BBQ or broiler. Marinate chicken as directed. Remove from marinade and pat dry. Grill or broil over medium to medium-high heat about 5 to 7 minutes on each side. Baste chicken frequently with marinade; donít overcook. Cooking time on the BBQ will be shorter than
under the broiler because of the higher, direct heat. Cook chicken over heat, not flame, to prevent flare-ups!
MICROPOACHED SALMON FILLETS
Source: Healthy Helpings by Norene Gilletz
This is a winner in my cooking classes! Other fish fillets (sole,
roughy, snapper) can be used. Salmon is very high in Omega-3 fatty acids, which help fight heart disease. This recipe is so quick and scrumptious, itís no problem to cook fish two or three times a week.
Iceberg or Romaine lettuce leaves
4 salmon fillets, skinned (1 1/2 lbs./750 g)
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 tbsp. fresh lemon or lime juice
1 tbsp. fresh dill, minced (or 1 tsp. dried)
Additional dill and lemon slices, to garnish
1. Wash lettuce; shake off excess water. Arrange a layer of lettuce leaves in the bottom of a glass pie plate. Arrange fish in a single layer, with thicker edges of fish towards the outside edge of the dish. Season with salt, pepper and lemon juice; top with dill. Cover with another layer of lettuce.
2. Microwave fish on HIGH for 3 minutes. Rotate the plate 1/4 turn and cook fish 3 minutes longer. Fish should be even in color. Let fish stand for 3 to 4 minutes. It should flake when lightly pressed. If undercooked, microwave 1 or 2 minutes more. Discard lettuce. Garnish salmon with fresh dill and thinly sliced lemon. Delicious hot or cold.
Yield: 4 servings. Leftovers keep 2 or 3 days, or can be frozen.
* Note: Instead of dill, vary the herbs used to season the fish (e.g., tarragon, parsley, basil, thyme or oregano). If using dried herbs, use 1/3 of the amount.
Norene Gilletz is a cookbook author, cooking teacher and food consultant. For information about her cookbooks, cooking classes, bridal showers and kidsí birthday parties, call 416-226-2466 or visit her website at