How to roast vegetables without oil – Phase 2

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Phase 2 is one of the toughest parts of the FMD diet but also the most rewarding for me. I tend to lose weight more on this phase than any of the others (except on week 3 when it stalled on Phase 2).

On my fourth week I made a delicious baked lemon sole filet – rubbed in spices, ginger, garlic, lemon and cilantro. To go with it I tried the below recipe for roasted vegetables.

I used a zucchini, few mushrooms (I have to admit, I did not like the mushrooms), and red bell pepper. You can add asparagus tips or quartered endives to these as well. I tossed it with salt, pepper, tiny bit of chilli powder/paprika, roasted garlic and herbs powder, 2 tsp of apple cider vinegar, 1 tsp of malt vinegar, and a splash of coconut aminos. I added some dried oregano and some freshly grated lemon zest.

If you have balsamic vinegar on hand I guess that would be best to use. Since I did not, I used a combination of apple cider vinegar, malt vinegar and coconut aminos. (it’s all about what you got in the pantry really).

I roasted the vegetables in the oven at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Took em out and tossed em around again. Then they went back in the oven, this time on broil for about 7 minutes.

I used the below video as a reference guide:

Update: 2 weeks on the Fast Metabolism Diet

Yes I know. I wrote a quick log about day 1 and then just disappeared! To be honest, I couldn’t find time to keep up with the blog along with my daily workload. Not to mention the enormous amount of planning and cooking I’ve been doing. And don’t get me started on the refrigerator, oh my god! There are days when I found it hard to just close the damn door coz it’s so damn full! But the good news is nothing has gone to waste so far, which usually happens when I buy a tonne of produce. The diet so far has been going well, I should say. So here’s a quick review on what’s happened to me so far.

I am on the last day of the 2nd week on this diet. So far, I have lost 5.6 pounds! Which is awesome! The pace of the loss isn’t as dramatic as I had feared. Averaging around 3 lbs per week is pretty good. That just means that the body at work with the whole fat burning process.

Just like most people who have tried this diet, I have to admit Phase 2 is just the worst! All that meat with no oil or carbs was just hard. Meat for snacks too was just too weird. When the phase is finished and I realize it’s Phase 3, my happiness has no bounds! That said, I also have to admit, I lose more weight on Phase 2 than any other phase. So I know I shouldn’t be complaining, but it’s hooooorrrible!!

This being a completely honest review, I do want to mention a few cheats that happened, because I am human afterall. It’s not anything too bad though. In no particular order, here’s the list.

  • Chicken and beef stock: could not find any brand in my supermarket without the sugar (which is less that 1%). So I took it anyway because I needed stock. The vegetable one of the same brand did not contain any sugar.
  • Deli meat – same thing – no nitrates, but yes cane sugar. It’s unavoidable!
  • Egg white omelettes on Phase 2 breakfasts: there are some days when the egg white decided to stick to my pan and it had to be turned into a scramble eventually, which tasted rubbery and gross. Sometimes, it turns out fine, I guess I need to be gentler with it. On a few occasions, I did use a spray or two of Pam. Yes I know it’s not right, but I couldn’t help it. Sauteing the vegetables without oil just wasn’t working well for me. I used vegetable stock once and it sucked!
  • On Phase 2, I wanted to try a sirloin beef stirfry. I had to take it to work that day as lunch, and while making it in the morning and taste testing, I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to eat it. And going hungry was not an option. So I put less than a tablespoon of ready made teriyaki sauce which I’m sure contains sugar, corn and what not. I did not have the courage to read the ingredient list lol! But it was a small amount, and there’s no way I could fee guilty about it. It tasted pretty good in fact.
  • I have eaten a phase 3 food during phase 1 and 2 this week. I had made a lovely chicken curry with tomatoes and coconut milk. Yes it had onions and tomatoes sauteed in oil and spices. It was delicious and the leftovers were begging to be eaten the next day. On phase 1 I had some for dinner. Also on phase 2 one night, I used a tad bit as dressing for my spring mix. I hate the Phase 2 salad dressing, it’s just gross and honestly it’s smell reminded me of smelly socks or feet!
  • While roasting a few vegetables in the oven once, I did spray a tiny bit of Pam.
  • Phase 3 of the first week – work and things just took over everything I was under quite a bit of stress. Also I got into an argument with my husband while making the chicken curry with the salt quantity. He always wants more while I want less. I got angry and went to bed, so I did end up skipping a meal – a big one – dinner! So I wasn’t surprised at all, when I gained weight during this phase.
  • Week 2 wasn’t as strict as week 1. Eating something within the first 30 minutes of waking just wasn’t happening. I simply cannot cook oatmeal that fast and I cannot keep my morning rituals for a later time. So every breakfast has been at least an hour after waking. Yesterday, it was almost 2 hours after waking. Because of the delay, I haven’t been able to have the snack after – because lunch is at 12. So in the end, I ended up with 4 meals a day at times. On some days, I have 2 snacks before dinner.
  • Exercise: Have to admit – haven’t done much in this department. Mainly because it’s winter and several degrees below freezing, I can’t go out for my regular walks. I did strength training once on the first week of Phase 2. The book asked to pump hard and I knew it was a mistake to take weights that are heavier than my usual for this. I couldn’t move my arms for a week! And it was PAINFUL! I will continue using my regular weights next time, but I did not do anything on the second week.
  • Stress: I get more  stressed out over the weekend than any other part of the week. So Phase 3 being in this part doesn’t help at all – because you’re supposed to de-stress and relax the body. Not happenin! It’s like “oh my gosh! I have only 2 free days and I have a tonne of things to get done before the week starts again!” Grrr.

Well I think that was it. After the 4 weeks will I continue to be on this diet for another cycle? My husband wants me to since I’ve been seeing results here. But NO and that’s because I don’t like Phase 2 and also phase 1 where you can’t even use a little bit of oil. I don’t mind continuing on Phase 3 for a few months. But I will take a break and have some wheat and dairy – I’m not intolerant to it so I don’t see the reason why I should really eliminate it. Besides, she does talk about the benefits of full fat milk in fertility and stuff so yes I will continue to use it in my regular diet. The amount of milk I consume is less – usually just a splash in my morning tea. However my main dairy consumption is in the form of yogurt. And cheese on occasion. I can reduce the intake of oil, dairy and wheat. I may try a more modified version of the diet where I use a spray of oil for all phases – meaning I’ll reduce my intake on oil. And I’ll keep dairy to a minimum too.

Day 1 log

DAY 1!! Yayy!! I woke up and I was super excited to get this diet going!

However as expected, I could not get the breakfast ready in 30 mins. of waking. So as soon as the clock hit the 30 min. mark, I ate an orange. That was the only way coz that oatmeal was not going anywhere yet. Plus I desperately needed to get in the shower. So I peeled and cut up an apple, mixed it into my overnight oatmeal and let it cook on the stove. Meanwhile I took a shower and got ready for work. Oatmeal was done by the time I got out of the shower. I separated it into two bowls. Mixed honey, sugar and milk in one bowl for my husband – who still finds it hard to swallow oatmeal!

Snack at work : Guava

Lunch : Brown rice, pumpkin-adzuki bean erissery, – it was boring but since I was eating with colleagues and talking, I was able to finish it without struggling too much. I felt odd trying to eat a fruit after that, coz people may just want to go back upstairs to get back to work. So I had my fruit – an apple at my desk. From start to finish, I think the lunch took me an hour

Then 3 hours later (4 pm) I had my last snack of the day – 2 oranges.

Then at night, oh boy this is when I was feeling really weird. I struggled to eat my dinner coz it tasted so boring. And while whining to my husband about it, he told me maybe I’m going through some kind of withdrawal. I can’t tell which one coz I’ve never been on a diet before, and now I’ve cut out so many things. I tried to think and I’m not really sure if I’ve gone a single day without a drop of oil in all my meals of the day, or a drop of milk, or a pinch of sugar. I don’t think it’s caffeine withdrawal coz I’m not craving my tea or feeling a bad headache. I was fine all day, it’s just the evening after I got back from work that I started to feel so miserable. Anyway I’m glad I did not give up. But I hate the fact that tomorrow is also Phase 1, I thought this would be my favorite phase. Anyway I cooked some more brown rice for tomorrow and also some ground meat for phase 2 meals. I also braised some cabbage but to me its very salty but my husband tasted it and he said it’s amazing. He likes more salty foods than me. Anyway I used very little salt in the ground meat, so combining the two will hopefully negate that.

Time for bed.

Pumpkin Erissery – Phase 1

Pumpkin Erissery is a south Indian curry made with adzuki beans, also known as red chori beans. I’m not sure if it’s the same as red cowpeas (called vanpayar in Malayalam). I think it’s all the same small red bean with a black eye. It’s like a vegetarian chili. Traditionally, erissery contains freshly grated coconut, and a tempering in coconut or sesame oil. However these ingredients are not allowed on Phase 1 so I modified it. They can be made with Pumpkin or Elephant yams (Suran/Chena). Pumpkin is more readily available in the US and a Phase 1 ingredient.

This would count as your protein on the Phase 1 of FMD diet.

Ingredients:

  • Adzuki Beans – 1 cup, soaked overnight or 8 hours
  • Pumpkin – a quarter piece (roughly 2 cups), cut into small chunks
  • Red pearl onions – 4 or quarter of a large onion, chopped
  • Green chillies – 2
  • Curry leaves – 1 sprig
  • Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
  • Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
  • Turmeric powder – 1 tsp
  • Salt to taste

Method:

Pressure cook the soaked adzuki beans with enought water and some salt. Cook the pumpkin with some salt and turmeric powder in another saucepan with enough water till its soft. Drain and mash it roughly with the back of a spoon. Add the mashed pumpkin to the cooked beans. Adjust salt.

Grind onions, green chillies, curry leaves and cumin seeds. Heat a small pan and toast mustard seeds. Add the ground mixture and cook it for a few minutes till the onions become brown. If it sticks to the pan sprinkle a little water, or use veg. stock. Once the mixture is dry, add it to the beans and pumpkin. Erissery is ready to be served with brown rice.

Verdict: Bla! lol!.. sorry I don’t advise anyone to try this. Its not as tasty as the authentic erissery that involves ground coconut and spices tempered in oil. This was like a boring vegetarian chili. Now I have about 5 portions worth of this stuff in the fridge. I’ll try to eat as much of it as I can.. maybe sneak some of it to my husband as well. If it lasts after the diet, I can dress it up further with ground coconut and some oil. Otherwise, I’ll just toss it out.

Shopping Day 2

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Yesterday, I completed the rest of the shopping for this diet.

I stopped at Whole Foods in Madison, NJ – I’ve been avoiding this place for a while. I love the produce and everything else in it, just not the bill. But for me, there’s no better place to get everything you need and people don’t look at you weird if you’re looking for something specific and healthy lol.

Needless to say, I got lots of fresh produce at Whole Foods. I got to the soy sauce section and on the bottom rack I saw Liquid Aminos in huge letters staring back at me. So that’s where you get Bragg’s Liquid Aminos. However I did not pick it up. I kept looking and sure enough, a few bottles next to it, I found Coconut Aminos. Bingo! So that’s what I picked up coz I want to test this thing out.

I like the meat section of Whole Foods too. I got 2 lbs. of 93% lean ground beef, and chicken breasts. I wasn’t planning on getting any sausages, coz I rarely include it in my diet. However I stopped by to see if I can find nitrate-free sausages. There were a few, but on closely inspecting the ingredients, a lot of them contain Wheat! and Corn! and Soy! Ugh! I finally got one brand that had nothing but chicken and herbs and spices in it. The brand is Brooklyn Cured – Chicken Chorizo. I got arrowroot flour by Bob’s Mills, though I instantly regretted it after finding a cheaper packet at my Indian grocery store. I knew it would be cheaper yet I reached for it! Damn you Whole Foods!

The husband bought his wheat breads, and baked goods from the bakery section. Since I had 2 days more to go on the diet, I have to admit I did try the fudge brownie he got. Heated it and put a scoop of Talenti cookies and cream ice cream…mmm Boy I haven’t had a good dessert in ages!

Then I went to my Indian grocery store, got okra, pomegranates, stocked up on my usual sesame oil brand Idhayam. Got my herbs – mint, curry leaves and cilantro. And adzuki beans (protein for Phase 1) for my pumpkin erissery – they are labeled as Red Chori beans (they look like a red moong dal, most of you will be more familiar with the green one).

Next stop was Shoprite. I did find the sprouted grain bread in the freezer aisle, just as the book said. Its in the waffles section at my ShopRite. A also saw sprouted grain bagels and the likes, so just made a note in my head for future. I also got a carton of egg whites coz I don’t have the heart to throw out yolks of whole eggs, nor do I want to feed it to my husband lol.

So I think I got all I wanted to get started with the diet. Back home,  arranging everything in my refrigerator seemed challenging as expected. The vegetable drawers were stuffed and I had to leave some on the racks above. I hate doing that coz sometimes it tends to form ice crystals and ruin the texture of the produce! After that I prepared my first Inventory post and printed it out.

Today is Day 0. A Sunday. I don’t have much time to type things out. I need to spend as much time as possible in the kitchen, so I have food at hand every time I have to eat. Wish my luck!

Inventory Day 0 Week 1

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After all the stocking up of food from my grocery shopping trips, I decided to revisit the Master Foods List and just list the items that I have in stock. That way I just need to print this out, look at it and decide what I can cook. Handy tip for you guys out there giving this diet a try. 🙂

Phase 1

Veg:

  • French beans
  • Beets
  • Cabbage – green
  • Carrots
  • Cucumbers – european
  • Green chillies
  • Green onions
  • Leeks
  • Mixed greens
  • Mushrooms
  • Onions – red
  • Bell peppers
  • Pumpkin
  • Spinach
  • Tomatoes

Fruits:

  • Apples – green and red
  • Blackberries
  • Blueberries
  • Raspberries
  • Guava
  • Lemons
  • Oranges
  • Pomegranates
  • Stawberries

Animal protein:

  • Beef ground
  • Chicken breast
  • Egg whites
  • Halibut
  • Chicken sausage nitrate free
  • Sole fillet
  • Tuna in water: solid white

Veg Protein:

  • Lentils
  • Chickpeas
  • Adzuki beans

Broths, herbs, spices and condiments

  • Veg. broth
  • Dried herbs: Oregano
  • Fresh herbs: curry leaves, parsley, mint, cilantro
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Mustard
  • Coconut aminos, tamari
  • Seasonings: black and white pepper, chili powder, cumin, garam masala, nutmeg, onion salt, sea salt
  • Vinegar: any – white, rice wine, apple cider, malt

Grains & starches:

  • Arrowroot
  • Brown rice
  • Oats steel cut
  • Quinoa
  • Sprouted grain bread

Phase 2

Veggies:

  • French beans
  • Cabbage
  • Cucumbers
  • Green chillies
  • Green onions
  • Leeks
  • Mixed greens
  • Mushrooms
  • Onions- red
  • Bell peppers
  • Shallots
  • Spinach

Fruits: Lemons

Animal Protein:

  • Beef: Sirloin
  • Beef lean ground
  • Chicken breast
  • Egg whites
  • Halibut
  • Lamb
  • Sole fillet
  • Tuna packed in water

Broths, Herbs, Spices:

  • Vegetable broth
  • Dried herbs: oregano
  • Fresh herbs:  curry leaves, parsley, mint, cilantro
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Mustard
  • Coconut aminos, tamari
  • Seasonings: black and white pepper, chili powder, cinnamon, cumin, garam masala, nutmeg, onion salt, sea salt
  • Vinegar: any – white, apple cider, malt

Phase 3

Veggies:

  • Bean sprouts: if you sprout them beforehand
  • French beans
  • Beets: greens, roots
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Cucumbers
  • Green chilies
  • Green onions
  • Leeks
  • Mixed greens
  • Mushrooms
  • Okra
  • Onions
  • Bell Peppers
  • Spinach
  • Tomatoes

Fruits:

  • Blackberries
  • Blueberries
  • Coconut milk
  • Lemons
  • Raspberries

Animal Protein:

  • Beef ground
  • Chicken breast
  • Whole eggs
  • Haibut fillet
  • Lamb
  • Sausage: chicken nitrate-free
  • Shrimp
  • Tuna in water

Veg. Protein:

  • Chickpeas
  • Adzuki beans
  • Black beans
  • Lentils

Grains:

  • Oats: steel-cut
  • Quinoa
  • Sprouted grain bread

Broths, herbs, spices, condiments, supplements:

  • Vegetable broth
  • Dried herbs: Oregano
  • Fresh herbs:  curry leaves, parsley, mint, cilantro
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Mustard
  • Coconut aminos, tamari
  • Seasonings: black and white pepper, chili powder, cinnamon, cumin, garam masala, nutmeg, onion salt, turmeric, sea salt
  • Vinegar: any – white, rice wine, apple cider, malt

Healthy Fats:

  • Hummus
  • Toum (if you prepare it)
  • Zaatar
  • Nuts Raw: Almonds, cashews. Pecans, Pine nuts, Pistachios
  • Raw nut pastes : of above (if you prepare it)
  • Oils: Olive, sesame, toasted sesame
  • Seeds Raw: sesame
  • Tahini

I went shopping!

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Today I made a quick list of foods I must have and don’t have in the pantry. I went to a local farmers market to just look at the ingredients with a new set of eyes. The eyes that read the book! Looking for all these new ingredients I never bothered to notice before.

The first section was sauces. I did not find coconut aminos or Braggs’ liquid aminos. But I found Tamari instead. I looked at the ingredients. The soy was ok because the book said Tamari soy was fine. Also it said it contained alcohol, which I thought wasn’t allowed on the diet? But you can’t really find tamari without alcohol around here, so I got it anyway.

I also got quinoa – the harmony blend from Ancient Harvest, brown rice – Nishiki brand premium brown rice, and organic low-sodium vegetable broth – all the ingredients on it was organic with no sugar. The brand is Pacific. These things weren’t too expensive in my opinion.

At the fish section, I was glad to find our favorite fish Halibut. I also got two filets of lemon sole. Now both these fish are not cheap compared to the other choices there.

I was out of red onions, so we got that. And a box of raspberries.

I saw a label that said Jicama but the vegetable underneath it was Chayote. I got the chayote anyway, I know it’s not part of the diet. No idea why, coz it seems like a healthy vegetable. Anyway I will be consuming it before I start the diet on 5th Jan, that is over the weekend.

I still have a lot more stuff to buy. Specially veggies and some meat maybe. But that’s for tomorrow. Haven’t found the sprouted grain bread yet. Also need more fruits and possibly a carton of egg whites. And arrowroot powder from my local Indian store.