As I approach day number 5 of self imposed, “The 5 Day Challenge”, I am happy to report that in the last 4 days, I have successfully lost 4.5 pounds. I swear to you all that I have not been “dieting” in the traditional sense of the word, but rather applying my non-scientific approach of, by simply avoiding carbs, the weight will melt off.
Just to give you an idea about what I have stuffed my face with, please review below what I ate yesterday:
- Breakfast – I started off with 2 homemade flax-seed meal cranberry muffins slathered in butter (only 2 carbs!),
- Lunch – A hefty chef salad with lots of ham, turkey and cheese dressed with a very generous dose of Dijon vinaigrette
- Dinner – We ate out at our local pub, “Walkers” ,where I treated myself to an entire order of Buffalo Chicken Wings with Blue cheese dressing – followed by an entrée of seared tuna steak with garden greens – accompanied by my NO CARB cocktail of choice – Vodka Martini, straight up, very dry with 3 olives.
Now, a word on cocktails. While most clear liquors contain zero carbs, you need to be mindful of what kind of mixer you use. Something seemingly innocent as an 8 oz glass of Orange Juice has a whopping 26 grams of carbs. A similar sized glass of Cranberry juice contain 37 grams of carbs. And forget about Gatorade. For a mere 12 ozs of that “electrolyte filled thirstade”, has an astronomical 78 grams of carbs!!! Just to give you an idea about how much that little bottle has, 78 grams of carbs is the equivalent of 2 cups of regular pasta!
I prefer to mix my vodka with tomato juice, squeeze of lime and lots of spices – A la BloodyMary. Not only is this cocktail flavorful and filling (usually Bloody Marys are served with a nice crispy stalk of celery) but at only 10 grams of carbs per 8 ozs, this is a no brainer. It’s almost like starting your meal with a refreshing cold soup, similar to gazpacho. When you start your meal off with this libation, it becomes an “amuse bouche” starter to your meal.
Another AMAZING mixer is Diet Tonic. I literally stock up on cases on this stuff. Not only does this bubbly beverage have ZERO calories and ZERO carbohydrates, it’s also surprisingly tasty and satisfying. I often drink this mixer straight on the rocks. Sometimes when I am feeling a little bit decadent, I will throw in just a splash of orange juice, just to give it a little more sustenance. Obviously as mentioned, this Diet Tonic works wonderfully with Vodka or Gin.
When I am out at a bar or a restaurant, and in a celebratory mood, I always order a Vodka Martini. There are so many vodkas out in the market and while I tend to stick to Absolut or Grey Goose, the truth is that unlike some people, I do not swear by any particular brand. I have often found, that it is not the brand per se that makes a great Martini but rather the method in which that clear liquor is prepared. I have experimented with all types of Vodka and believe it or not have often found that the lowly Smirnoff Vodka makes a great refreshing Martini
The key is to use A LOT of ice and stir the liquor with the ice very, very well. I like my martinis “very dry” and barely use even a hint of Vermouth. In fact, when I ran out of vermouth at home, I simply omitted it altogether and quite preferred the clean, crispness of the ice-cold drink. The olives used are also very important. I prefer the simple pitted green olives that you buy in the jar, rather than the stuffed olive. I don’t like pimento in my food and I certainly do not like them in my drink. However, after forking over up to $14.00 for this cocktail, you better believe I am going to eat that olive, pimento and all.
The last word on Martinis, are that they are quite frankly the perfect diet cocktail. They do not bloat up your tummy like beer and wine may do, they are usually potent enough to order just one, thereby easing up on your wallet, and lastly they are served in those simply divine fancy Martini Glasses. Pose elegantly at the bar with your pinky extended while holding this requisite glass and channel your inner James Bond. If , “Bond, James Bond” can do it, so can you.
Chow for now!