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Weekly Diet News Digest

by John McGran, Columnist

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For people who are tired of counting calories, carbs, fats, and points, there's a new cookbook and diet book wrapped in one makes nutrition count instead!

Whole foods are nutrient-rich foods â€" those foods that offer a complete balance in nutritional value while in their natural, unrefined, unprocessed state. They are high in antioxidants, phytochemicals, and essential fats, devoid of trans fats and low in saturated fats and sugar.

The Whole Foods Diet Cookbook is the ultimate whole foods, healthy lifestyle, weight-loss cookbook. With six medically sound information-packed chapters that educate and inform and recipes that are delicious and satisfying, you’ll learn how to get down to the nuts and bolts of making nutrition count.

Includes such recipes as Slow Cooker Summer Citrus Salmon, Made-from-Scratch Manicotti Crepes, Pumpkin Pie Smoothie, Chili-Spiked Oven-Baked Onion Rings, and Tex-Mex Deep Dish Polenta Pizza with Chipotle-Black Bean Hummus, Cilantro and Rotisserie Chicken, home cooks will fight over who gets to make supper!

The health benefits of becoming a “flexitarian” â€" a part-time vegetarian who still eats moderate portions of high quality animal foods such as organic and pastured eggs, meat, and dairy in addition to fish and shellfish â€" are also explored.

Fresh ideas and recipes for today’s food tastes range from elaborate to simple, including a mix of upscale comfort foods, ethnic cusine, and gourmet meals for just about any occasion and anytime of day. The Whole Foods Diet Cookbook provides a wide variety of over 200 flavor-forward recipes and complete menus for everyday family meals, entertaining, special holidays, and even a trendy “Taste of the World” themed appetizer section replete with a wine flight guide.

For the sweet tooth in everyone, the book also includes an entire chapter of decadent, but nutrient-spiked, desserts.

You'll learn why:

• Processed food pumped with vitamins and antioxidants will never be as healthy as the whole food.

• Dietary patterns matter much more than individual foods.

• Calories from different foods do not metabolize the same way.

• Some fats can facilitate weight loss.

• Fiber-rich foods actually lose calories during the digestion process.

• Nutrient-rich foods help prevent cancer and heart disease.

For more information, check out www.The2Larsons.com.

Ivy Larson was kind enough to provide three of her favorite whole foods recipes.

BREAKFAST: Individual baked omelet soufflés with leeks and mushrooms

serves: 4

Extra virgin olive oil cooking spray
1 stalk leeks, washed and sliced into 1-inch rounds
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 ounces gourmet mushroom blend (such as shiitake, crimini, baby bella, oyster, etc.)
Unrefined sea salt, to taste
White pepper, to taste
1/2 cup frozen petite peas
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
6 cage-free organic omega-3 eggs
1/2 cup crumbled low-fat feta cheese, divided

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spray 4 (1-cup) jumbo muffin cups with cooking spray.

Working in small batches, place the sliced leek rounds into a food processor and pulse to shred. Set the shredded leeks aside.

Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet to medium-high. When oil is hot, add the garlic and sautĂ© for 1 minute. Add the shredded leeks and sautĂ© for 2â€"3 minutes, or just until soft. Add the mushrooms and sautĂ© for 2 minutes, or just until wilted. Season the leeks and mushrooms with salt and pepper to taste. Add the peas and cook for 1 minute. Gently stir in the basil. Remove the skillet from the heat.

Place the eggs, 1/4 cup of the feta cheese, plus salt and pepper to taste in a blender; mix on high for 30 seconds. Divide the leek-mushroom mixture into the centers of the 4 prepared jumbo muffin cups. Carefully pour the egg mixture on top of the vegetables, dividing the mixture evenly among the cups. Bake for 15 minutes.

Remove the omelet soufflĂ©s from the oven and divide the remaining 1/4 cup feta cheese onto the top of each soufflĂ©. Return the soufflĂ©s to the oven and bake for an additional 5â€"8 minutes. The omelet soufflĂ©s will be puffy and slightly brown when done. Allow to cool for 5â€"10 minutes and serve warm.

LUNCH: Slow-cooker mexican-style vegetarian stuffed peppers

serves: 4

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1 (8-ounce) package tempeh, crumbled
Unrefined sea salt, to taste
1 teaspoon paprika
2 pinches cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon cumin
1 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
11/2 cups good-quality, all-natural prepared marinara sauce
1 (4.5-ounce) can chopped green chiles
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 (14.5-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
4 red bell peppers, tops removed and seeded
1/2 cup shredded, low-fat organic cheddar cheese

Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet to medium-high; add garlic and onion, and sautĂ© until onion is just tender, about 3â€"4 minutes. Add the tempeh and sautĂ© for 3â€"4 minutes. Season onion and tempeh with salt to taste. Mix in the paprika, cayenne pepper, cumin, and corn kernels.

In a small bowl, whisk together the marinara sauce and green chiles. Pour the marinaraâ€"green chile mixture into the skillet with the tempeh; mix well to combine. Stir in the cilantro and black beans.

Stuff the peppers with the tempeh mixture. Arrange the peppers in a 5- or 6-quart slow cooker. Cover and cook the peppers on high for 2 hours or on low for 4 hours. Remove the lid and top the peppers with the shredded cheese, replace the cover, and cook on high for 15 to 20 additional minutes. Allow peppers to cool 10â€"15 minutes before serving. Serve warm.

DINNER: Calamari salad with basil aioli and golden croutons

serves: 4

Golden Croutons
1 1/2 cups whole-grain spelt bread cubes (crust removed)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Unrefined sea salt, to taste
Black pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Toss the bread cubes in oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and spread on a baking sheet. Toast the cubes until golden, about 10 minutes, turning once. Set croutons aside to cool.

Basil Aioli
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/3 cup canola oil mayonnaise
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/3 cup packed fresh basil (you can also substitute fresh dill)
1/4 teaspoon unrefined sea salt
Pepper, ...    Continue

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@ 11:14am ET on June 10, 2009
hi im Ayat in Jordan
i wont to be then give me some advice

@ 11:17pm ET on June 10, 2009
omelet soufflés --- sounds great!! :x mmm! Yum!

@ 2:13pm ET on June 11, 2009
can you please tell me how to losse weight pls

@ 2:15pm ET on June 11, 2009
can you please tell me what exercises i have to do??

@ 8:15pm ET on July 11, 2016
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@ 8:32pm ET on July 11, 2016
That's really cool. I would be interested in seeing more graphs of different information you pull from these logs.
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