November 2, 2013. Let's eat! Well. All day.
Here are three days of meal options that add up to full-day Glycemic Loads of Way less than 80. 80 is regarded as the high end of a 24-hour Low Glycemic Load. A load that's not likely to add belly fat to your waistline.
Sure, we'll do the calorie math, too. But all calories are not created equal, so we'll start Better Cheaper Slimmer by eating a low-glycemic diet. This is not a low-carb diet. It's a Better-carb diet that carefully chooses its carbohydrates. Let's make some good choices. I'll add some of them to our Better Cheaper Slimmer menu-in-progress.
My everyday breakfast is a bowl of the world's best granola. I'm bragging because it's that good. 2.5 ounces of my Olive Oil-Maple Syrup Granola with an apple and a half-cup of whole milk. Glycemic Load: 7. Calories: 400. Convenience: takes 10 minutes of preparation time to make a 10-day supply of the granola. Less than 10 seconds each morning to scoop it out of its container.
Time for lunch. The time of day when I really appreciate convenience. So I rely on leftovers or batches of make-ahead dishes that I prepare during weekend kitchen time. Today: hummus, that luscious puree of chickpeas, sesame paste, olive oil, lemon and garlic. Four very satisfying ounces of it with a big and very fresh raw carrot. GL = 0. Really. Add a big handful of good, whole-grain, organic yellow corn tortilla chips for the complete protein you get from corn and beans. Glycemic Load: 6. Calories: 375. Convenience: keeps perfectly in the fridge. Make a week's worth on Sunday.
What's for dinner? Satisfaction, not deprivation. How about Shrimp & Grits? A full cup of whole-grain yellow corn grits with four big shrimp in a luscious sauce. Glycemic Load: 14. Calories: 240. Sure, you'll have a vegetable side course that adds 30 - 50 calories without adding to the glycemic load.
And you'll have dessert. I'm going with a slice of that Chocolate Cream Pie. Glycemic Load: 8. Calories: 220.
What a day! All satisfaction, no deprivation. Three wonderful meals with a total glycemic load of 35. That's less than half the Low Glycemic Load threshold of 80. Sure, you'll have beverages and snacks throughout the day. But if you choose well, you'll still be Way under 80. I'll dedicate future Ways to beverages and snacks.
Calories? These three meals add up to 1,235, not including beverages. Size matters, but most of us will do fine with a daily intake of 1,500 - 2,000 calories. And when you're burning an extra 300 - 500 calories with your future daily aerobic exercise, you'll do just fine.
Now, if you really don't like granola, hummus and/or shrimp & grits, consider some options. I'll assume everyone wants Chocolate Cream Pie for dessert.
A 2nd Way
A satisfying serving of Sunnyside Potato Pancakes for breakfast. A potato pancake that's crisp and brown on the outside, soft and buttery on the inside. With a sunny side-up egg on top. Glycemic Load: 7. Calories: 110. Convenience: I make the pancake with leftover mashed potatoes. 10 minutes in the frying pan. Less time for the egg.
Leftovers for lunch. A quarter-pound of chicken. This time of year it's probably roasted chicken. A little potato salad any time of year, but especially now when the potatoes at the Farmers Market are fresh-dug and deeply flavorful. Throw in a fresh raw carrot. Glycemic Load: 7. Calories: 275. Convenience: leftovers plus a raw carrot. Takes more time to put in an order at KFC.
Now I'm thinking about a thick, juicy grilled tuna burger for dinner. Glycemic Load: 2. Calories: 250. Add 50 calories for vegetables with zero glycemic load. Plus 220 calories and a GL of 8 for dessert.
Totals for three meals: a glycemic load of 24 with 905 calories. Wow! I'd increase my portion sizes.
One more set of sample meals:
A 3rd Way
Pie for breakfast. Really. Apple Graham Tart. Delicious, satisfying and nothing but whole grain and fresh fruit. OK, some butter in the Graham cracker crust. Glycemic Load: 11.7. Calories: 175. Convenience: make one pie, get 8 or 10 breakfast or dessert slices.
Another great lunchtime leftover: spinach-and-onion frittata. Delicious chilled, room temperature or warmed up. Keeps well in the fridge for two or three days. Glycemic Load: 0. Calories: 200. Convenience: complete.
Let's finish with a big blowout of a dinner: my favorite short ribs. With a lot of carrots, fennel and garlic. Served on top of whole-grain corn polenta or grits. GL: 17. Calories: 710. Plus 220 calories and a GL of 8 for dessert.
Totals for three meals: a glycemic load of 37 with 1,305 calories. Another delicious, healthy day.
Better is Better. Better is Cheaper. Better's bound to be Slimmer.
Let's compare 3 BCS Low-Glycemic/Low-Calorie meals with meals from Kellogg's, McDonald's and Red Lobster.
Breakfast: Olive Oil-Maple Syrup Granola with an apple and a half-cup of whole milk. Lunch: Leftover roasted chicken and potato salad. Dinner: Shrimp & Grits. Dessert: Chocolate Cream Pie. Total Cost: $8.70. Glycemic Load: 36. Calories: 1,135.
Kellogg's Corn Flakes with a banana; McDonald's Premium Grilled Chicken Club Sandwich and Medium Fries; Red Lobster's Crunchy Popcorn Shrimp with Mashed Potatoes and Warm Chocolate Chip Lava Cookie. Total Cost: $31.62. The "cheap" convenience food is 3.5 X more expensive than Better Cheaper Slimmer. Glycemic Load: 217. Calories: 3,020.
If you still think it's really convenient to eat badly, think again. Think about the time you'd take to go to "convenient" and "fast" food joints, to place your order and, finally, eat a high-glycemic, high-calorie diet of crappy food that leads to the inconvenient truth of a load of belly fat. Compare that with the time you'd take to make the "leftovers" and easily-cooked meals in these sample BCS days. I think it takes less time to make the good stuff that's actually worth eating ... Slowly.