Monday, February 27, 2006
Recipe of the Week & Sugar
Did you all receive the LivingAfterWLS Recipe of the Week Newsletter yesterday? It featured a bistro menu of roasted chicken, steamed asparagus and balsamic strawberries for dessert. One of our astute community members, Mimo, wrote to me regarding this menu. She said,
"Greetings, and Salutations! I enjoy your newsletter and am concerned that you are offering a recipe with sugar in the first 3 ingredients! I have not used, have not craved or even wanted, sugar in any form -- with the exception of fresh and occasionally dried fruit.
I realize we each have a choice in re: consuming refined sugar. I choose to omit it from my menu."
First, I commend Mimo for her choice to omit sugar from her food selections. She is just under 3 months post-op and enjoying a terrific weight loss. She brings forward an excellent point about the sugar called for in the Balsamic Strawberries recipe. Sometimes when I work on these newsletters I'm so close to the information that I forget to include the reasons behind the menu.
This bistro style meal is designed to satisfy every taste need from the savory chicken to the spring fresh asparagus to the sweet and tangy fruit finish. Patients who address all flavor needs in a meal report feeling more satiated for longer after the meal. They also report feeling fewer post-meal cravings. That's what we are looking for in balance so we are able to sustain weight loss and maintain a healthy weight in the long-term.
The menu is designed to be high protein sided with nutrient rich vegetables and finish with antioxidant rich strawberries. The components of the meal satisfy several different nutritional and comfort needs associated with food. Four ounces of roast chicken with 1 / 4 cup of onions and mushrooms is the bulk of the meal - 34.5 grams of protein and 4.6 grams complex carbohydrates. Roasted chicken is an all-time satisfying comfort food for many people.
One-quarter cup of asparagus tips with a squeeze of lemon contains 1.3 grams complex carbohydrates and .7 grams fiber all for only 7 calories. The grassy taste with the sour lemon is a refreshing and satisfying spring taste.
The meal concludes with Strawberries in Balsamic Vinegar Marinade. To make this one cup of strawberries, rinsed and quartered, is sprinkled with 1 teaspoon granulated sugar and 1 teaspoon of balsamic vinegar. This causes the berries to release their natural sugars. After enjoying the chicken and vegetables the balsamic berries finish the meal with just enough sweetness and tang to satisfy any sweet craving. A ¼ cup of berries is 20 calories and 3.7 grams of sugar. By the way, 1.8 grams of sugar occur naturally in the berries, the other 1.4 is from the refined sugar and .5 from the vinegar. A sugar substitute such as Splenda or Equal will not result in a favorable maceration of the berries and most likely will cause a slight off-taste.
Observing the portion sizes indicated the overall nutrition for this meal is very good at 239 calories, 35.5 grams protein, 5.5 grams fat and 10.7 grams healthy carbs. That makes it 61% protein, 21% fat and 18% carbs.