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No carb Tuesdays

August 3, 2011

The thing that most makes me shudder at that thought of going on a ‘diet’ is the notion that I will have to give up my adored carbohydrates.

Since I first heard of the Atkins’ Diet when I was 17, carbs are almost always now associated with evil. And back then I did give the no carb diet thing a go, and I lasted 2 weeks without bread, pasta, rice, cereals and potatoes. It worked in that I dropped weight, but had no energy for playing sport, and I put the weight back on probably quicker than it came off.

So imagine my delight when commencing the Michelle Bridges 12 Week Body Transformation and finding that carbohydrates were not limited, but embraced. Most mornings my breakfasts includes muesli or toast, lunches often include bread and dinners have had sweet potato, pasta, rice and even regular potato at times! Naturally the portion sizes are quite small, but the humble yet often vilified carb is certainly not banned.

But then we headed into the final four weeks of the program and I started to see the words ‘Accelerator Day’ appear on my weekly menu. Yup, the last four Tuesdays had become carb unfriendly zones. This means no bread, pasta, potatoes, rice, cereals or fruit can be consumed on these days.

Surprisingly, I have found that one day per week without carbohydrates hasn’t been as difficult as I had expected. At least you know it’s only one day and only a matter of hours before you can have a nice carb-a-licious brekky. And being the day before weigh-in (the 12WBT program weighs in on Wednesdays) it certainly seems to make a difference come stepping on the scales.

So if you’re trying to shed some kilos, I’d highly recommend considering incorporating a carb-free day once per week. Here is what I’ve eaten the past 3 Accelerator Days (keep in mind that of course some carbs are being consumed, they’re just minimal and not simple carbs).

Tuesday 19 July
Breakfast: 2 eggs, 1 serve Weight Watchers bacon, 1 tomato, 1/2 cup mushrooms, 125g corn kernels, 40g spinach. (218 calories)
Lunch: Michelle’s chicken with herbed yoghurt salad (210 calories)
Dinner: Michelle’s grilled stuffed zucchini with balsamic sauce (130 calories)
Dessert: Weight Watchers white chocolate & raspberry ice cream (131 calories)
Snacks: Carrot sticks, celery sticks, hommus, yoghurt, nuts ( 357 calories)

Tuesday 26 July
Breakfast: 1 egg, 1 serve Weight Watchers bacon, 40g spinach, 1/2 cup mushrooms, 1 tomato, 1/2 tb olive oil (178 calories)
Lunch: Michelle’s chicken with herbed yoghurt salad (210 calories)
Dinner: Michelle’s chicken and broccolini laksa (301 calories)
Dessert: Yoghurt, almonds (170 calories)
Snacks: Yoghurt

Tuesday 2 August
Breakfast: 2 eggs, 1 tomato, 1 cup mushrooms, 3 slices avocado (207 calories)
Lunch: Tuna salad with olives, semi-dried tomatoes, capsicum, corn, cucumber and feta (347 calories)
Dinner:  Michelle’s grilled stuffed zucchini with balsamic sauce (130 calories)
Dessert: Weight Watchers berry mudslide ice cream (125 calories)
Snacks: Nuts, yoghurt and 1 square of Lindt dark chocolate (471 calories)

So as you can see, I certainly haven’t been going hungry!

The stuffed zucchini recipe has been my favourite no carb recipe, and so low in calories. Here is how I make it!

Grilled stuffed zucchini with balsamic sauce

Serves 2
130 calories per serve

2 medium zucchinis
2 tablespoons low fat ricotta
1/2 red onion
95g tin smoked flavour tuna
Parmesan cheese sprinkle on top

Sauce:
2 tomatoes
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

To make sauce, chop tomatoes into small pieces, put in small saucepan over medium heat with vinegar and allow for the tomatoes to break down and form a sauce. Keep an eye on this and regularly stir! Season with salt & pepper.

Halve your zucchinis lengthways, and then using a spoon or melon baller, scoop out the flesh.

Put this flesh into a small bowl and then add the ricotta, tuna and half an onion (finely diced). Combine well. Season with salt and pepper.

Place your zucchini halves on plate, cover with paper towel, and microwave on high for 2 minutes.

Once out of microwave, stuff your zucchinis with the ricotta mixture, and then top with a small amount of parmesan.

Place zucchini halves under a hot grill until golden, and then serve with the tomato balsamic sauce.

Enjoy!

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