It's happened again. Someone took a quick picture of me and when I saw it I realized she is back.
She is a woman of my approximate age and size, who wears my clothes. From time to time, in fact practically every time there is a camera handy, she jumps in front of me to get her picture taken. Nobody ever sees her, not even me, but she's always right there in the shot, blocking me out and looking exactly like me but older and much fatter. It ruins almost every picture ever taken of me.
I can outsmart her if I watch what I eat, but the pictures I saw on Friday convinced me it's time for a full-out diet. No cheating, no kidding myself, no snacks, no desserts. I've been loosely following Dr. Atkins for a couple of years, and over that time my weight has varied about four pounds down and then back up again. I think it's that "loosely" that did me in. I weigh once a month, and the scales were back up where I started two years ago.
The time has come for a new plan. This time I'll use "The Snowbird Diet," one I found in a bin of reduced-price books about 15 years ago. It promises 12 Days to a Slender Future -- and a Lifetime of Gourmet Dining! -- so from time to time I trot it out. It's a very low-calorie, low fat diet created by bariatric experts and Paula Wolfert, well-known cook, teacher and cookbook author. Its recipes are good and its plan, although developed for people with a more serious weight-loss need than mine, is not impossible to manage.
Today is Day One, and I just had a soft-boiled egg on a piece of my own homemade whole wheat bread (the diet specifies 2 pieces of Kavli) and a sliced kiwi fruit.
Okay, so you're not on this diet with me. I think you'll still be interested in what I'm having for dinner so I'll share the recipe. It's for the ubiquitous diet food, chicken breast, but prepared in such a light and delicious way you'll be happy to serve it to guests, your kids, or anyone. I wouldn't tell you about it if it wasn't good.
Here's the Snowbird recipe, serving 2:
2 7-ounce chicken breasts, skinned and boned
1 ounce fresh ginger root, peeled and minced
4 water chestnuts, sliced
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 cup cooked rice (I use brown rice)
2 teaspoons parsley, chopped
Place each piece of chicken in its own piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil (of course you can use parchment for this). Sprinkle each with pepper, ginger, and sliced water chestnuts. Top each with 2 whole scallions. Divide soy sauce between each packet, sprinkling evenly over all. Seal tightly and steam 25 minutes in over at 350° or in steamer. To serve, open packet and pour juices over cooked rice. Arrange chicken on the side and garnish with chopped parsley.
I am to have this with steamed fresh Chinese pea pods, which I don't care for so I'll substitute spinach (not butter today; I'll just a fraction of a tablespoon of olive oil and lots of fresh lemon juice). Also I get Swiss Chard Salad, but there wasn't any chard in the market yesterday so I'll use romaine, with a low-fat dressing; and yoghurt with fruit for dessert.
I've got 12 days ahead of me with such food, and then I'll step on the scale again. Maybe I'll show you a before and after picture, as long as that old fat woman isn't around to get in my way.