Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Philosopher's Diet

Today we're featuring a blog entry from our wonderful intern Melanie:

The Philosopher's Diet: How to Lose Weight and Change the World, a toothsome classic, takes on the combined challenges of discovering the meaning of the universe and eliminating fat at the same time. Its topic sentence contains a promise that should sell millions: "In this book, I tell how to take weight off and keep it off. The book also embodies a philosophy of life. The weight program is the content of the book, the philosophy of life is its form."

Personally, I could stand to put author Richard Watson’s platform of eating and living well into practice. Like the rest of America, my New Year’s resolutions lasted all of two weeks. In fact, at this very moment, I’m chowing down on McNuggets and fries. My excuse? The total for this fried feast was only $2.17! (And I am an intern, so I’m not exactly making the big bucks.) How to cut back my shameless consumption of fatty foods? Watson offers a few solutions: “ . . . you could live in a monastery cell where exactly 1200 calories – no more, no less – were provided each day for seventy-five days . . . ” (Problem: I think the monks would object, seeing as I’m a girl.), “ . . . pitch your microwave oven into the garbage and swear off processed foods” (Problem: My husband would object.), or remodel the kitchen so that cooking is more enjoyable (Problem: My landlord would object.).

Thankfully, Watson recognizes we aren’t all in a position to make such grandiose life changes. For us, he offers more practical suggestions – simple recipes that won’t break the bank.

The office favorite: The Philosopher’s Recipe for Bran Muffins, page 41.

Set the oven at 425 degrees. Grease a 6-hole muffin tin.

Mix together dry:
one cup of bran
one-half cup of whole-wheat flour
one-half cup of one of the following:
whole-barley flour
whole-rye flour
whole-buckwheat flour
whole-wheat flour
one-half teaspoon of baking soda
one-half teaspoon of baking powder
a pinch of salt (optional)

Push the mix to one side of the bowl and into the space provided break one egg, add two tablespoons of animal or vegetable oil (e.g., butter, lard, safflower or corn oil).

Beat with a fork until egg yoke and white are mixed. Add one cup of yogurt or buttermilk or sour milk or sweet milk to the mix.

Stir with wooden spoon only enough to mix the ingredients together and so that everything is damp.

Spoon into muffin tin. Bake for 20 to 24 minutes.

These muffins contain about 150 calories each. If you eat two of them a day, you will get enough bran to fill normal roughage requirements.

The way to make these muffins sweet, if you want, is to add raisins or blueberries or any kind of dried or fresh fruit. A mashed banana added to the mix makes the muffins taste and smell delicious. You can add wheat flakes or oat flakes or wheat germ or germinated whole grains or sunflower seeds or nuts. Better use an 8-hole tin if you add much fruit.

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