The time to announce the Winner of 1st Weight Loss Challenge.
The Winner is Gloria Nunez!
CONGRATULATION TO GLORIA!!!
Yesterday I have given her t prize which consisted of:
– Dinner in one of the best Shanghai Seafood Buffet
– Cup with note ‘Gloria Winner”
– Wallets with different currencies for a good luck to continue dropping weight while increasing the wealth
We have spent a wonderful evening in this fantastic seafood restaurant.
I invited her to seafood buffet to show that really even eating in the buffet but lean, mainly seafood and lean meat and raw or grilled meat, may cause weight drop or at least no weight gain, if you keep carbohydrates under control.
This buffet is in form of hot pot. Today by occasion of sharing the 1st weight contest winner, I wanted to explain what is really Hot Pot? This is something I learned while living in China and actually love it.
The Chinese hot pot (also known as steamboat) has a history of more than 1,000 years. It is common in many countries of Asia: Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Hot pot seems to have originated in Mongolia and Jurchen where the main ingredient was meat, usually beef, mutton or horse. It then spread to southern China during the Tang Dynasty and was further established during the Mongolian Yuan Dynasty. In time, regional variations developed with different ingredients such as seafood. By the Qing Dynasty (AD 1644 to 1912), the hot pot became popular throughout most of China. Today in many modern homes, particularly in the big cities, the traditional coal-heated steamboat or hot pot has been replaced by electric, propane, butane gas, or induction cooker versions.
Hot pot refers to several East Asian varieties of stew, consisting of a simmering metal pot of stock at the center of the dining table. While the hot pot is kept simmering, ingredients are placed into the pot and are cooked at the table. Typical hot pot dishes include thinly sliced meat, leaf vegetables, mushrooms, wontons, egg dumplings, and seafood. Vegetables, fish and meat should be fresh. Frozen meat is sliced thinly to prepare it for hot pot cooking. Slicing frozen meat this way causes it to roll up during cooking, and it is often presented as such. The common meats used include lamb, beef, chicken, duck, mutton, and others. I like the most lamb and beef, as well fresh fish and seafood. Me and my daughter we add a lot of mushrooms, I also use different kind of leaves.
The cooking pot is often sunk into the table and fueled by propane. Or alternatively above the table and fueled by a portable butane gas stove or hot coals. Meat or vegetables are loaded individually into the hot cooking broth by chopsticks, and cooking time can take from 1 to 15 minutes, depending on the type of food. Meat should be cooked at the very least 20 seconds depending on the thickness of meat. Other hot pot dishes include leafy vegetables, mushrooms, seafood, and noodles.
You can find fish, shrimp and squid noodles too. First time my husband thought such noodles are normal noodles of fish, shrimp or squid taste so he did not want to order. After I had ordered we realized that it apparently was minced fish, shrimp or squid meat, which you need to squeeze to your ‘hot pot’ (soup /broth) thru the small whole out of plastic ball, by going out it had just noddle shape only.
My daughter did not want to take rice cake as she thought it would be a sweet cake with rice flavor and here again we had surprise as a rice cake was simply kind of pressed dumpling in rectangle shape which most tasted like a rice dumpling or pasta. Of course such misunderstanding may result from poor translation of the dishes as in China there is still low % of people who speaks and writes English fluently
The cooked food is usually eaten with a dipping sauce. In many areas, hot pot meals are often eaten in the winter during supper time. Before I was eating mainly hot pot with my family in restaurant close to Carrefour. Now after finding this great buffet, which was recommended by one of my employee who knows where are the good restaurants. All kinds of food cooked It can be eaten bland to very spicy, depending on how much spice has been put in the stew.
I also eat the broth (soup) as I believe the cooked meat leaves there a lot of good minerals and vitamins, it is kind of a soup, which is also healthy and during winter time warming you up. Very good after the party, I usually add to my broth garlic, and venerate sauce, my husband takes spicy broth and likes sesame dipping sauce, while my daughter usually takes mushroom broth and no sauce.
I strongly believe that cooked meat is much leaner from the fright one, if you are dieting you may skip source and just eat the cooked meat. When I tried to drop the weight, I used to eat mainly seafood and fish cooked, and no soup & no sauce. What can be leaner than cooked fish or seafood?
There are often disagreements between different styles of hot pot enthusiasts. Some like to place items into the hot pot at a relaxed, leisurely pace, enjoying the cooking process, while others prefer to put everything in at once and wait for the hotpot to return to a boil. Occasionally due to evaporation the boiled water needs to be refilled. Usually the stew is strong and zesty enough to not require adding more condiments.
There are many regional versions of hot pot throughout China. What makes one different from another is the broth and the specific meats used. In colder Northern China, lamb is a common choice. I have learned from my Chinese friend that lamb is the type of meat that warm you up this is while is the type of meat very common and often eaten in the North of China. Cantonese hot pot, is has plenty of fresh seafood, including live shrimp, oysters, and squid. Mongolian-style hot pot is known for its flavorful broth, which contains ingredients like goji berries, jujubes, and a mix of herbs. The city of Chongqing is famous for its use of Sichuan peppercorns and other very spicy ingredients. The Sichuan food is very well know from its spicy taste. There is whole world of other hot pot traditions, like Japan’s shabu-shabu, Thailand’s Thai suki, and more.)
There are different styles of hot pot around Asia, and even within a given country, each household will do it a little differently, but if there’s one universal hot pot rule, it would be this —you don’t “hot pot” with people you don’t like. Like fondue, hot pot is one of the most social of dining formats. Not only are you gathered at one table sharing a meal, but you’re cooking your food together in a shared pot. It is important to respect Hot-Pot etiquette. Every Chinese would appreciate that you know and respect the rules. For example do not ruin broth: My daughter does not like spicy food, and is very sensitive, if I would touch with my spicy chopstick non spicy broth, I could ruin her not spicy one. It is also not nice to begin cooking a piece of food in one broth and then finish cooking it in the other broth. You should also be careful inviting business guests, as explained above the eating hot pot together is very social gathering and not everyone may feel conformable to share broth and eat that way, so be careful. You think you may offer exotic, unusual dinner, it may happen not everyone enjoys it. One of my friend sim ply hates this type of dining, so you need to know somebody’ s preferences before inviting for the hot pot.
To make a hot pot at home requires little more than some planning, preparation work, but most important certain type of equipment and of course ingredients. If you are really interested how to make it and what type of equipment you need let me know I may explain in the next post
I think overall you may notice that Chinese are slim, maybe not the younger generation, due to spending too much time sitting and eating the fast food. In the typical Chinese restaurant you may hardly find deserts, Chinese for desert would eat fruits, or kind of healthy stuff, not very sweet.
Until 25 years ago, before the advent of fast-food in China, Chinese people have the lowest obesity rate. What is their secret to maintaining a trim waistline given their great obsession with food? If you look at their way of life, it revolves around food. Their common traditional greeting, “Have you eaten?” (Ni chi bao le ma?) and the number of people in the family is defined by the number of mouths to feed (kuo-mouths) show the emphasis on food. They even qualify the ability to eat as a blessing. I try to analyze the way Chinese people eat and their whole approach to food and come up with some observations as to why they generally weigh a whole lot less.
I have also incorporateD some of my tips from after my observation, which I successfully apply:
1. Forget Calories eat Balanced food
To the ruler, people are heaven; to the people, food is heaven ~ ancient Chinese proverb.
Somebody told me that Chinese people don’t have a word for “calories.” Chinese do not map out their meals in terms of how many fat calories. They do not count calories. To be honest with you even before coming to China I have never counted calories, why because I am too lazy. I also do not believe in the amount of calories you consume, but the quality of food yo9u intake. Chinese people view food as nourishment and enjoyment, they tend to eat a more balanced meal—a little meat, some vegetables and always, rice or noodles. I strongly believe that the calorie-controlled, low-fat diets are less effective than low glycemic load diets, which is exactly what a traditional Chinese diet is. You would be surprised how fat may be some of the Chinese dishes. Again here I will keep repeating:
– Eat proteins!
– Your carbohydrates should consist only from healthy choices: rice, preferably brown, quinoa, buckwheat. Whole grains include barley, corn, oats, rice, wheat and any other grain that contains all parts of the original grain: the bran, germ and endosperm of the grain. They are high in fiber, vitamins and minerals, and contain some antioxidants that are not found in fruits and vegetables. Remember vegetables & fruits are classified to carbo as well, so sometimes if you want to drop weight, is ok to eat proteins and veggie only. Pls. ref to Dukkan diet.
– If you want to maintain your weight, instated of sweet desert eat: dark chocolate and fruits, mainly berries. Great combination is raspberries and dark chocolate. One of Polish celebrity (Tatiana Okupnik) eats that and looks great.
– If you are not in burning phase diet, I mean on weight loss, eat a well-rounded meal with the 3 main groups of foods—some carbs, some proteins and lots of vitamins and minerals (i.e. vegetables and fruits). Avoid waist-enhancing sugary, nutrient-deficient foods. Select the best, less processed foods. It is better to eat cooked or raw meat, instead of canned or packed in foil processed mean in form of ham.
Chinese traditional symbol for the opposing, yet complimentary forces of yin and yang, sometimes described as 2 fishes swimming head to tail.
Yin and Yang are synonymous with the Chinese take on life—they believe in balance—even in their food preparation. Yin “cools” the body whereas Yang “heats” it up. In their food preparation, they often use (wet and moist) to balance yang (dry and crispy). A popular dish comes to mind—Szechwan beef—strips of crispy beef stir-fried with cooling celeries and carrots. Some restaurants (common in Asia) even employ this concept when serving their foods. They actually do a thorough examination (by means of questioning and taking pulses) to determine your yin-and-yang status and then they proceed to prepare a meal for you based on their findings to restore the balance of yin and yang in your body. Why the emphasis on balance? “Most protein foods are seen as yang, carbohydrates as yin. The combination of these two helps stabilize blood sugar, which is key to good energy (chi) and minimizing weight gain. Balance is key—as in a well-balanced diet, so utilize this concept in your diet plan.
2. Desserts, eat or not?
Chinese people love desserts too. But desserts is often looked upon as a side, an after-thought kind of arrangement unlike Westerners who view desserts as the grand finale to their meal.
Eat first, talk later ~ common Chinese saying
For most part, Chinese also like to end their meal with desert, but instead of crazy sweet Cheese cake they take a plate of fruits. I doubt some of their dessert choices I would ever name a dessert -red beans soup, mung beans with sliced dough sticks, almond jelly with lychees, banana fritters, glutinous rice balls with sesame paste, and mango pudding. With the exceptions of some, most Chinese desserts are not terribly sweet and some desserts are made with medicinal value in mind—Ginseng sweet soup with red dates and eggs, bird’s nest soup. They are not heavy cream or very sweet. When you are trying to lose weight skip dessert, if you are trying to maintain your body weight choose a very healthy alternative—eat fruits as desserts.
3. Replace your sweet drink with tea
Chinese tradition of drinking the tea is one in the world.
Better to be deprived of food for three days, than tea for one ~ Ancient Chinese proverb.
Since the chance discovery of tea by Emperor Shen Nung back in 2700 B.C. when some leaves fell into his cup of hot water, tea is almost always serve with food. Growing up, the pot of tea was always near, in the kitchen, and instead of soda or juice with a meal, hot tea is often the beverage of choice (actually the only choice with the exception of water in my house). My husband and daughter loves sparking /soda/ water. I drink both, sometimes I have really taste for sparking, but most often I drink tea or just water or water with squeezed lemon.
Tea has plenty of health benefits:
– it eliminates toxin,
– aids digestion (that’s why it is often consumed at meal times),
– fights damaging free radicals (because of its potent supply of catechins—powerful antioxidants)
– reduces risks of cancer and cardiovascular diseases. Tea, especially green tea is a fat burner and it can also freshens breath (another fringe benefit)
– tea’s catechins and its naturally occurring caffeine help to reduce weight. both catechins and caffeine increase metabolic rate and rev up the body’s ability to burn fat. If you do not believe I am the best example. Last Saturday I invited my Chinese friend, who was keeping asking me how I managed to loose so much weight, and since she stayed overnight for breakfast I have served her Purer Tea with the body detoxifying supplement. I took as well, the next day my weight dropped by 1 kg. I will promote everywhere the healthy benefits of Pu-Earth (Puer) Tea. Please ref. to my one former post where I explain all healthy benefits. I guarantee if you replace you sweet soda with this tea plus green tea you immediately drop in your weight body mass. 100% Guarantee!
– X-out soda and juices or fancy drinks to go with your meal. Elect to drink tea (black, green, white or red) for that extra fat-burning boost. At the time in a day you may have taste for different kind of tea.. Important to remember some kind of teas (green, black) may work like coffee and you may have hard time to sleep. Before going to bad you may choose chamomile tea.
4. Do not afraid of soup
Chinese people love soups—in the morning, noon and night. After I moved to China and took one of my first business travel staying in the Chinese hotel, I was really surprised that the hotel restaurant serves for breakfast the soup. It seemed strange but quickly I started to adapt and now cannot imagine when traveling not to take soup in the hotel. It is prepared similar to hot pot, you may pick different kinds of veggies, meat, seafood and the hotel servant will quickly boiled for you in a broth. You may add muddles, eggs and some spices. There are also other ingredients to add no need cooking like tofu, garlic, chive, soy sauce, vinaigrette.
He that takes medicine and neglects diet, wastes the skills of the physician ~ Chinese proverb.
Very important, they do not eat the creamy, heavy version of most western diet but light, liquid based soup with an assortment of vegetables, meat and often, herbs. For instance, they use goji berries, dates, ginseng, galangal, lemon grass and ginger—among others, to flavor their soups. They generally don’t add up to many calories, since water has zero calories and they fill you up to induce a feeling of satiety. Chinese herbs used when preparing soups have various health benefits—from improving immune system, detoxifying toxins to maintaining good eye-sight.
Do not afraid to enjoy the soups with your meal. Very crucial – make it light, make it healthful to enrich health without taking a whole bunch of supplements to make up for nutritional lack.
5. Raw or cooked veggie?
Sure salads are healthy and rightly so, if they are prepared with nutrient-rich fresh vegetables and healthy dressing. Chinese people don’t like raw vegetables for the most part. They like to rock their woks with their stir-fries—lightly cooking their vegetables with intense heat. It may not necessarily healthier however sautéing vegetables can make the nutrients easier for the body to take on, as: the stomach finds it hard to digest too much raw food and this can lead to bloating and weight gain. If you have enough raw, Increase amount of vegetables by different preparation, use Chinese way of cooking them. Try lightly sautéing your vegetables instead—one more creative way to eat your vegetables and you may be doing your body a great service—since lightly cooking vegetables make nutrients easier to digest and at the same time to absorb.
6. Eat rice or not?
Chinese people love their rice, especially white, fluffy rice. In fact, if a woman cannot cook good fluffy rice, her culinary skills are often called to question
The rice is cooked ~ Chinese saying (It’s too late to change, or to regret something. The English equivalent—don’t’ cry over spilled milk)
Chinese also love noodles and they carry auspicious meaning: eating noodles on your birthday ensures a long life. Their love for simple carbohydrates doesn’t sound like a good diet plan. You would point is against what I keep recommending on my blog. So yes it is partially true the rice does not help weight loss, although rice is high in carbohydrates, it is also low in fat and high in nutrient. it will fill you up quickly, so you are not snacking on low-carb and high fat foods, which can translate to weight gain in the long run. From the other hand remember when you want to loose weight eating white rice will not help much, while you should not afraid when you are trying to maintain your weight. Overall white rice and noodles may not be the best thing about the Chinese diet but if you watch the portion size (should be no more than a quarter of your plate or no more than a small bowl of rice), it can actually fill you up, thereby preventing unnecessary snacking later to quell hunger pangs. One of my Chinese employee say he cannot imagine dish without rice as he would not feel filled up without a portion of rice.
The best alternative is to replace rice and noodles with brown rice or the healthier whole-grain version. Which I recommend over and over here on my blog.
Chinese way of eating with chopsticks may be another add to the Chinese way of diet control solution, you cannot pick a bunch of food can you pick up with a pair of skinny bamboo contraption.
So start from buying the chopsticks and train using it with every dish, half of the weight battle may be won, just by using them
Now coming back to the Weight Loss Competition.
Be ready, coming soon the next round. This time I give you more time to sign up:
1. The sign up period starts 1st of July and ends 15th of July. The earlier you sign the more time for weigh loss battle you have.
2. You sign register as a user with the statement: ‘I am in your 2nd weight loss challenge’
3. I respond to your email, important your email must work, and you send me your photo and current body weight, please have a witness to confirm your body weight as of the date of and ending the competition
4. The competition will last this time longer, a full quarter. so up to 1st of September.
5. Again you will have 5 days, from 1st to 5th of September to send me your new photo with new weight with % of body weight loss during the weight loss contest.
6. Please get your witness confirmation.
7. The 2nd Weight Loss Competition Winner Announcement will be 1st of October. I realized I need more time for gift idea and preparation.
8. Again I will sponsor the prize.
Good luck and do sign up starting 1st of July!
Look how happy was Gloria and hope she got another motivation kick.
Looking forward to see you in 2nd round!