Easy diet, great food and a hot body

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There are endless diets out there that preach the virtues of smoothies and offer recipes to lose weight, but if they are complicated and require exotic ingredients, it is likely that the diet change won’t be sustainable.

This isn’t the case with Harley Pasternak’s new Body Reset Diet Cookbook. The much-anticipated follow-up to his bestselling Body Reset Diet, this cookbook follows the same principles but includes an additional 150 tantalizing recipes.

The great thing about Pasternak is that he’s a no-nonsense trainer with a science background. His plan isn’t a magic-bullet solution for rapid weight loss that often sees dieters packing the pounds back on the minute they resume their old habits.

Instead, this cookbook is a solid guide for the nutrition novice that serves up easy-to-understand information about the nutrients your body needs and how to prepare them.

Pasternak guide will help jumpstart weight loss through a healthy diet and exercise plan. It’s easy to follow and maintain with a mix of smoothies, solid meals and satisfyingly crunchy snacks.

Pasternak demystifies the smoothie experience, providing basic recipes that are ideal for those who may be new to preparing their own food.

The cookbook makes it easy to transition from pre-prepared diet beverages and frozen meals because anyone can quickly use these recipes that don’t require hard-to-find ingredients but are still deliciously satisfying.

A huge bonus is that his food plan can save you money because its uses everyday ingredients such as frozen fruits, whole grains like oatmeal, barley or quinoa, milk or non-dairy milk alternatives and simple meats.

Here are a few recipes to try, courtesy of Penguin Books.

Blueberry Quinoa Smoothie

Quinoa Smoothie

Serves 1

The Peruvian super-grain quinoa is nearly a complete food in and of itself. It’s a complete protein (meaning it provides all the essential amino acids), it’s high in water-soluble fibre, and it contains healthy fats.

2 tablespoons (30 mL) cooked quinoa (preferably white)
1 cup (250 mL) unsweetened almond milk
½ large frozen banana, chopped
½ cup (125 mL) frozen raspberries
¾ cup (175 mL) frozen blueberries
½ serving unsweetened protein powder
1 tablespoon (15 mL) wheat germ
Ice cubes (optional)

Place all ingredients in a blender in the order listed. Add ice if preferred. Blend until desired consistency is reached, adding water to thin out if necessary.

Modified version
For men or those 170 pounds (77 kg) and up, increase ingredients by one-third.

Nutritional information (per serving)
Calories 307 • Carbs 52 grams • Protein 17 grams • Fat 6 grams • Fibre 12 grams

BBQ Chicken Chili

ChilliServes 5
I like to double or triple this recipe and freeze the extra for those days when my wife and I don’t have even five minutes to throw some dinner together.

1 tablespoon (15 mL) olive or other oil
1 cup (250 mL) chopped onions
3 cloves garlic, minced
8 ounces (225 g) ground chicken breast
1 cup (250 mL) chopped fresh peppers (such as Anaheim, Hatch, bell, jalapeño)
2 cans (14 ounces/398 mL each) beans (such as black, pinto, kidney), drained and rinsed
1 can (14 ounces/398 mL) diced tomatoes
1 can (14 ounces/398 mL) puréed tomatoes
2 tablespoons (30 mL) chili powder
1 tablespoon (15 mL) ground cumin
2 tablespoons (30 mL) Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons (30 mL) cider vinegar or other vinegar
1 teaspoon (5 mL) stevia or sweetener of your choice
Shredded fat-free cheese and chopped green onions, for garnish

1. Heat a soup pot over medium-high heat. Add olive oil.
2. Add onions, garlic, and chicken; sauté until chicken is cooked through and lightly colored, about 7 minutes.
3. Add peppers; sauté until soft, about 4 minutes.
4. Add beans, diced tomatoes, puréed tomatoes, chili powder, cumin, Worcestershire sauce, vinegar and stevia; stir to combine.
5. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 20 to 45 minutes. The longer it cooks, the more the flavour develops.
6. Divide among bowls and top with cheese and green onions, if desired.

Nutritional information (per serving)
Calories 348 • Carbs 54 grams • Protein 28 grams • Fat 4 grams • Fibre 14 grams

Fruit and Nut Popcorn Bars

Popcorn BarsServes 20

If you’re craving a crunchy yet chewy treat, these bars are for you. They travel well in a sandwich bag.

Cooking oil spray
7 cups (1.75 L) fat-free air-popped popcorn (6 tablespoons/90 mL kernels)
2½ cups (625 mL) bran buds cereal
2 cups (500 mL) old-fashioned rolled oats
½ cup (125 mL) raisins
6 tablespoons (90 mL) unsweetened shredded coconut
¼ cup (60 mL) ground flaxseed
24 raw almonds, chopped
10 dried apricots, thinly sliced
½ cup (125 mL) brown rice syrup
½ cup (125 mL) honey
1 tablespoon (15 mL) vanilla extract
⅓ cup powdered peanut butter (or 2 teaspoons/10 mL reduced-fat peanut butter)
¼ teaspoon (1 mL) salt

1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Spray a 13×9-inch (3.5 L) baking pan with cooking oil.
2. In a large bowl, combine popcorn, bran cereal, oats, raisins, coconut, flaxseed, almonds and apricots; stir well.
3. In a small saucepan, combine brown rice syrup, honey, vanilla, peanut butter and salt. Cook, stirring, over medium-low heat for 5 minutes.
4. Pour over popcorn mixture and stir until all ingredients are coated.
5. Pour mixture into the baking pan. Cover with wax or parchment paper (or use slightly wet hands) and firmly press mixture into baking pan.
6. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before cutting into bars.

Nutritional information (per serving)
Calories 187 • Carbs 36 grams • Protein 4 grams • Fat 5 grams • Fibre 8 grams

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