January – Week 2 phase 3

January – Week 2 phase 3

I know, I skipped a post about Week 2, phase 2. That is because I have been consumed by getting the Oakland house ready to sell and haven’t had time to write a post. This is going to be a very short one.

The diet is going well and my friends and I are already seeing results. Clothes that haven’t fit in months now do, pounds have been lost, and our waists are whittled. There are complaints about grogginess in the morning without caffeine, I miss my morning cup of black tea as well. We are hopeful that will slowly disappear. The expanded menu in phase 3 makes it easier on the weekend, reason to start the Fast Metabolism Diet on a Monday.

Tomorrow is the Women’s March, it is predicted to be a big one in Oakland. Our temporary home is only a few blocks from the end of the march, which will be fun.

Menu for today:

Phase 3, week 2

Breakfast – sprouted wheat toast with almond butter and sliced tomato

Snack – I admit to going off diet here and going for the easy, handful of mixed nuts which is the snack from phase 2

Lunch –  roast chicken with greens (salad from down the street), apple

Snack – more nuts

Dinner – Salmon with mashed cauliflower and sweet potato, green beans

Have you tried the Trader Joe’s frozen sweet potato “pellets”, they also have frozen cauliflower. They are not bad. I combined the two together for a fast sweet potato and cauliflower mash. I found them in the frozen section. Let me know if you have tried them. I think either would be excellent combined with the frozen mashed potato “pellets”. I admit to using them for a quick mashed potato side (not on the diet) with cheese and butter.

I will stop by the store on the way home, tomorrow will be better.

This was the day 2 of phase 3 breakfast

egg, toast and tomato

January – Fast Metabolism Week 2 phase 1

January – Fast Metabolism Week 2 phase 1

Here we go again, back at phase 1 for two days. How are you doing? The waist on my jeans is looser, yippee!

I did an experiment last night with cooking oatmeal sous vide. I found that the overnight cooking did not require a change in the recommended oats to liquid ratio. And, I much prefer the steel cup oats to regular rolled oats (even the more expensive organic type). Another recommendation is to try and find unsweetened oat milk and replace half the recommended liquid with oat milk. Of course you could also use regular milk or half and half (rice milk didn’t do much) or coconut milk…oh my the possibilities. But in phase 1 stick to oat milk. This time I didn’t add any fruit. The freeze dried fruit is definitely better. If using any other type (including raisins) add them after the oatmeal is cooked.

Breakfast: Overnight oatmeal with fresh blueberries and cinnamon

Sous Vide Overnight Oatmeal

Snack: Pear

Lunch: Open faced turkey sandwich with mustard, tomato, cucumber, red onion and arugula.

Snack: Apple

Dinner: 5 Hour Beef Stew with Brown Rice

5 Hour Beef Stew

I miss that morning dose of caffeine but don’t have a headache, just find I am a tad slower first thing.

Remember your exercise, some form of aerobic activity today. And drink lots of water.

January – 5 Hour Beef Stew

January – 5 Hour Beef Stew

This recipe was first posted in November 2013, but I think it is due for a re-write. As well I wanted to adapt it to the Fast Metabolism Diet, which was amazingly easy to do. You don’t need to be on the diet to appreciate this wonderful meal. It is so easy, you just mix everything together in a large bowl, pour it into a casserole dish, cover and leave in a low oven for 5 hours. Time to catch up on some of the Harry Potter movies that are playing in marathon session on TV this weekend. Your whole house will be filled with wonderful smells. This recipe is good enough to serve company. It is appropriate for phase 1 or 3.

The original idea came from a cookbook (mine now well-used, stained, and tattered) called Cold-Weather Cooking by Sarah Leah Chase. She was one of the co-authors of the Silver Palate Good Times Cookbook. She lives in Nantucket and the recipe is perfect for stormy, cold evenings.

 Serve it with mashed potatoes, or pasta, or mashed fat-free cauliflower (recipe to follow).

Note: I would not transfer this recipe to a slow cooker, it will have far too much liquid. Slow cooker recipes need an entirely different formula for success. Also, please check your tapioca label if you need this recipe to be gluten-free, not all of them are. Minute Tapioca is gluten-free.

5 Hour Beef Stew

5 Hour Beef Stew


(6-8 servings)


  • 2 ½ lbs of lean beef stew meat, cut into 1 – 1 ½ inch cubes
  • 6-8 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks the size as the meat
  • 3 parsnips, peeled and cut into chunks the same size as the meat
  • 6-8 shallots, peeled and left whole
  • 4 cloves of garlic, 2 finely chopped and 2 peeled but left whole
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, or 1 teaspoon dried
  • 1 tablespoon herbs de Provence
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional if your family does not like spicy food)
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 ½ cups of sugar-free vegetable juice, tomato juice or a large can of tomatoes, puree in your blender with additional water to make 2 1/2 cups if necessary
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine, water or broth
  • 1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard
  • 3 ½ tablespoons of tapioca, I used Minute Tapioca
  • Chopped parsley for serving


  1. Preheat your oven to 275 degrees F
  2. In a large mixing bowl combine the beef with all the vegetables. Season with the garlic, herbs, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. No, you don’t need to pre-brown the meat! I know, I didn’t believe it either but I’ve made this many times and it works.
  3. In a small bowl whisk together the tomato juice, wine or water or broth, mustard, and tapioca.
  4. Add this mixture to the meat and vegetables, stir to blend well.
  5. Transfer the stew to a large casserole or Dutch oven. Cover tightly and cook 5 hours without opening the lid or disturbing.
  6. Taste for salt, some tomato juices are very salty. Add more freshly ground pepper as desired.
  7. You can serve this directly or refrigerate overnight and reheat the next day.
  8. Garnish with chopped parsley


5 Hour Beef Stew

5 Hour Beef Stew

5 Hour Beef Stew

Use your imagination as far as vegetables. I used carrots, parsnips and shallots this time. In the past, I’ve added turnips, potatoes, boiling onions, kohibrabi, celery root and elephant garlic. Use this recipe as your canvas for what you find at the market or in your garden.

Serve with mashed potatoes, baked potatoes, pasta, or this amazing fat-free cauliflower mash. 1/8 (about 1 cup) of the recipe would be a phase 1 dinner with some brown rice or pasta. A sweet potato would also be nice with it.

If you have some, serve the pickled mustard seeds on the side. I did and it was a good counterpoint to the richness of the meat. Horseradish would also be good.

Add a salad freshly gathered from the garden, you have an easy weeknight dinner which feels much fancier than it is.

Fat-free Cauliflower Mash

Fat-free Cauliflower Mash with Beef Stew

2 – 3 servings


  • 1 head of fresh cauliflower, washed and broken into florets. Woody stems peeled and chopped
  • 1 head of fresh garlic, peeled and left whole
  • 1/2 bunch of green onions or scallions, roughly chopped, white and light green parts only
  • 4 cups of chicken or vegetable broth
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste


  1. Add the cauliflower, scallions and garlic to a large pot.
  2. Add the chicken or vegetable broth
  3. Bring all back to the boil and simmer for 20-25 minutes until everything is very tender
  4. Pour into a colander over a large bowl, saving the broth.
  5. When slightly cooler, puree in your blender or food processor, adding broth as needed until you have a smooth mash.
  6. Taste for salt and pepper.
  7. Save the cauliflower cooking water for soup.

This is creamy, and delicious. But…it is not rich mashed potatoes. You could add cream and butter but that would be defeating the purpose. If not restricting dairy, I might add some cottage cheese to the blender with the cauliflower. I think that would up the flavor profile a bit. Puree both until very smooth and creamy. Make sure you add enough salt, that is a key element.




January – Winter Coconut Curry

January – Winter Coconut Curry

This simple curry dish is perfect for cold winter evenings, and quick enough for a mid-week dinner. Add chickpeas for a vegetarian version and leave out the chicken. I used leftover roast turkey breast and it was delicious.

Winter Vegetable Coconut Curry

Winter Vegetable Coconut Curry

Serves 3 – 4


  • 2 tsp. coconut oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp. peeled and grated fresh ginger
  • 2 – 3 tsp. Thai red curry paste (depending on how how you like your curry)
  • 1 tablespoon tamari
  • 1 sweet potato, about 1/2 lb. (250 g), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch (12-mm) chunks
  • 1 celery root, about 1/2 lb. (250 g), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch (12-mm) chunks
  • 1 can unsweetened coconut milk – do not use lite coconut milk
  • 1 delicata squash (or other winter squash), about 1/2 lb. (250 g), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch (12-mm) chunks
  • 1 chicken breast, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 2 limes
  • 2 Tbs. finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 chopped scallions, optional


1. In a saucepan over medium heat, warm the oil. Add the garlic and ginger and sauté until fragrant but not browned, about 1 minute. Add the curry paste and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the tamari, sweet potato and celery root and stir to combine. Reduce the heat to medium-low, pour in the coconut milk and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. Add the delicata squash plus the cubed chicken breast and cook until the vegetables are just tender but not falling apart, another 10 to 15 minutes. If using leftover turkey, add at the last minute just to warm through.

2. Meanwhile, finely grate the zest from the limes, then cut each lime into wedges. Stir the lime zest into the vegetables.

3. Serve the vegetables immediately, sprinkled with the cilantro and scallions, topped with the lime wedges.

Serve with brown rice, brown rice noodles or just by itself…delicious, easy and satisfying.

This can be a phase 3 dinner.

Garlic, ginger, sweet potato (or yam), celery root, delicata squash

Are you familiar with celery root, sometimes called celeriac? It has a mild celery taste and is often pureed and mixed with mashed potatoes for a wonderful side dish in French cooking.

Celery Root or Celeriac

Sweet Potato and Celery Root with Garlic, Ginger, and Curry Paste

Winter Vegetable Coconut Curry

This recipe is adapted from on published on-line by Williams Sonoma.

January – Fast Metabolism – Phase 3

January – Fast Metabolism – Phase 3

It’s time for phase 3, three days of phase 3. After phase 1 and 2 this will feel like a banquet. Phase 3 is designed to be good for your heart, hormones and it generates heat to speed weight loss. It is a high healthy-fat, moderate-carbohydrate, moderate-protein, and low-glycemic fruit phase. Frankly it is the way I could eat every day.

You can eat olives, avocados, coconut oil, olive oil, hummus, almond butter, berries, wild rice, sprouted grain bread, salmon and sweet potatoes to name a few. Oh my!

Look for my phase 3 recipe for Coconut Curry with Chicken (I will post it on Saturday or Sunday morning). It is a perfect Sunday supper and can be made completely vegetarian if you leave off any meat and add chickpeas.

Winter Coconut Curry

What does a phase 3 day look like:

Breakfast – fruit, fat/protein, grain, veggie

Snack – healthy fat, veggie

Lunch – fat/protein, veggie, fruit

Snack – healthy fat, veggie

Dinner – fat/protein, veggie, grain/starch

It’s the weekend (Friday is the beginning of the weekend isn’t it) and many of you are eating out with friends. Before you go to the restaurant, take a look at the menu and plan your meal. I am eating out tonight and realize that the place chosen does not have a lot of healthy options, but there is a dinner salad and I can add a lean protein. Ask for the salad dressing on the side, olive oil and vinegar are allowed in phase 3. Ditto you can have tomatoes and avocado, a few chickpeas, and grated carrots. Sounds like the dinner salad at most restaurants, leave off the croutons.

One of the amazing things about the Fast Metabolism Diet is the reduction of cellulite and flab. Most diets leave you with excess skin and flab to deal with. This diet seems to tighten your skin as you loose weight. At the end of the diet last May I didn’t have those unsightly rolls which require Spanx to prevent roll over.

My day is going to look like this:

Breakfast – sprouted wheat toast, half an avocado, sliced tomato and red onion. Tomato counts as a fruit here. (You can tell I like onion. James Beard used to eat onion sandwiches, I’ve always thought that sounds delicious).

Phase 3 breakfast

Snack – hummus with cucumber sticks

Lunch – tuna salad with sliced cucumber, with 1/2 grapefruit

Tuna and 4 cooked shrimp, minced and mixed with 2 tablespoons of hummus, 1 tablespoon of finely chopped red onion, red chili flakes and a squeeze of lemon. Taste for seasoning and serve with sliced cucumber dippers.

Tuna/shrimp salad

Tuna/shrimp salad with cucumber slices as dippers

Snack – hummus with celery

Dinner – mixed salad with lean protein (I will let you know how I do at the restaurant). They turned out to have a wonderful steak salad on the menu. I only had to ask them to leave off the cheese and bring me plain vinegar and olive oil for a dressing. 

How are you doing? How are you feeling?

January – Fast Metabolism – Phase 2 Day 2

January – Fast Metabolism – Phase 2 Day 2

Day 4 of the Fast Metabolism Diet. How are you feeling? I woke up this morning with more energy than usual and I don’t miss that morning dose of caffeine…progress. I am experimenting with herbal teas. Do you have a favorite for the morning? The Numi teas with turmeric have been my “go to’s” so far but I am looking forward to branching out.

As a reminder of today’s program:

Breakfast – Protein, veggie

Snack – Protein

Lunch – Protein, veggie

Snack – Protein

Dinner – Protein, veggie

My own menu looks like this for the day:

Breakfast – 2 slices of turkey bacon scrambled with 2 egg whites and a handful of baby spinach

Turkey Bacon with Egg Whites and Baby Spinach

Snack – 1/4 cup of mixed raw nuts

LunchTurkey breast with a salad of sliced cucumbers and red onions

Turkey Breast – Cooked Frozen and Sous Vide


Snack – 1/4 cup of mixed raw nuts

Dinner – 1 slice of turkey bacon sautéed with shrimp. Asparagus on the side.


Casey and Quinn get the benefit of those lovely yolks in their dinner tonight.

Egg yolks

Egg yolks? For us??? We are digesting breakfast and keeping you company while you write.

Don’t forget your water and phase 2 exercise includes some form of weight work. Take heart, phase 3 and avocado is on the horizon.

January – Sous Vide Frozen Turkey Breast

January – Sous Vide Frozen Turkey Breast

One of the wonderful things about sous vide is that you can cook your food while it is still frozen…yes, frozen solid. You only need to increase the cooking time by half. For example, if something takes 4 hours normally, cook it for 6 if frozen. Even better, the maximum timing is flexible. Need to be out of the house for 8 hours? No problem.

Cooking things frozen allows you to take advantage of periodic sales, like the one recently for post holiday season boneless turkey breasts. After all it would still take at least overnight to thaw in your fridge, no waiting for that thaw time. And it comes out as if it had been cooked fresh.

I purchased an organic boneless turkey breast just after New Year’s and popped it in my freezer. Before putting it in a bag for vacuum sealing (you can also use a heavy duty ziplock bag), I browned it…yes still frozen, and after browning rubbed it well with salt and herbs de Provence. Then I vacuum sealed it in the bag and placed it in my sous vide water bath which had been preheated to 134 degrees F. Normal cooking times for a turkey breast are 8 to 24 hours. The frozen breast will take longer of course. It could be done in 12 hours but can go much longer. It will become even more tender with longer cooking time, but don’t go overboard as it will turn to mush. I cooked mine for about 28 hours.

Browned Turkey Breast

Turkey Breast Vacuum Sealed and Ready to Cook

We Are Cooking

Be sure the water covers the top of your bag and cover your container with a lid or plastic wrap. 24 hours is a long time and the water will evaporate otherwise. You don’t want to have to get up in the middle of the night to check the water level.

It turned out tender and delicious. If you are serving it warm, I would brown it again. But because this was intended for sandwiches and cold meals I didn’t bother.

Overnight Sous Vide Turkey Breast

Sous Vide Turkey Breast – Fresh or Frozen

  1. Preheat the sous vide water bath to 134 degrees F
  2. Brown the fresh or frozen turkey breast in olive oil, concentrating on the skin side
  3. When cool, rub with salt and your herb of choice (I used herb de Provence)
  4. Seal in a vacuum bag or place in a heavy duty ziplock bag.
  5. Immerse in the water bath, using the water displacement method to force out any air in a ziplock bag. Make sure the turkey breast is covered by the water.
  6. Cover your water bath with plastic wrap or a lid.
  7. Cook for 8 to 24 hours if fresh, 12 to 30 if frozen.
  8. If serving warm you may want to brown it again.