Aztec Diet, Day 3: I’m Borscht

Stats: This morning I weighed in with a 1 pound loss. Total loss: 5 pounds. Another 1/2″ off my waist. My BMI is down .7 since Sunday!
Breakfast: Avocado/Banana/blueberry/Spinach Lunch: Borscht Snack: 9 Triscuits Dinner: Papaya-Raspberry Yum Snack: 3 cups air-popped popcorn

I am a sometimes lab rat for North Cliff Consultants. I had an appointment with them after the dog park, so I had half my breakfast smoothie before the dog park and saved the rest for when I got back. This seems a much better plan than waiting until 11 am to eat.

What kind of appointment, you ask? Sorry, confidentiality rules. If I told you, well, you know the drill.

While I was waiting, I opened today’s paper to the food section. No, I didn’t want to torment myself. I was looking for the crossword puzzle. Really. It’s not my fault they tuck it in with the recipes on Wednesdays. On the front page in living color was a life-sized photo of a stack of 13 pancakes, dripping with syrup, topped with whipped butter. The lead article featured “wholesome” pancakes. There I sat, ambushed by an image of softly textured cakes, soaked with melted butter, oozing with sweetness, flavor bursting in my mouth . . . you get the picture. I turned the page.

The Aztec Diet is essentially a low-carb diet with some lovely bells and whistles thrown in. Dr. Bob talks extensively about “carb-bombs.” If you are interested in the Aztec Diet, you’ll find knowledge about cutting carbs helpful. Phase I includes a high percentage of raw foods, one of the things that attracted me to the diet. My biggest quibble is that Dr. Bob errs on the side of many people who are new to raw food by overdoing fruit.

All of the smoothie recipes except one feature fruit and a sweet taste. His only savory smoothie is the Gazpacho Gratitude. Even that has cantaloupe in it. For true satiation, you need savory and sour tastes as well as sweet. Thus my search for vegetable smoothies. Does that sound yucky? Call them “cold-soups-you-make-in-a-blender-and-drink-from-a-cup” if you like.

I love gazpacho, but tomatoes don’t like me. They cause excruciating joint pain when I eat them, so I don’t. Otherwise I would live on gazpacho and we would be very happy together. It’s a little known fact that nightshade vegetables (these include tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, chiles and eggplant) exacerbate symptoms of arthritis in some people. If you have joint pain, try cutting these out and see if you feel better.

I’ve got some beets my landlord dug up from the garden, so today I decided to make borscht. Raw borscht. Never having made borscht or even tasted borscht, I was not sure how to go about it. I asked Rudy (my landlord). Being Hungarian, he is an expert. He said beets and sour cream are essential. Everything else is up for grabs. I checked a couple recipes online. The ones I saw emphasized cabbage, carrots and vinegar.

I don’t have any cabbage on hand. I do have kale, a relative which is high on Dr. Bob’s list. Then I remembered some dusty jars in the top of my cabinet (Okay, they aren’t really dusty. That’s poetic license). A few years ago (3? 4?), I put up a batch of raw sauerkraut and forgot about it. Last fall I started eating it. A good raw sauerkraut ages like fine wine. It is sweet and sour and tender and delicious. It bears no resemblance to the slimy stuff they put on hot dogs. My version of raw sauerkraut has cabbage, carrots, celery, garlic and ginger in it, along with other things I’ve forgotten but hope I’ve recorded somewhere in this computer. And it comes with it’s own vinegar. So this is what I made for lunch:

I’m Borscht

    1/2 cup plain yogurt (or more, to taste)
    1 4-5″ pickling cucumber, peel on*, diced
    3 kale leaves, stemmed and torn up
    1 cup diced peeled beet.
    1/4 cup raw sauerkraut with an extra 2 TBSP brine
    2 TBSP ground chia seeds
    1 pinch Real Salt or Celtic sea salt.
    1-1/2 cups water.

Toss in the blender. Adjust to your personal taste. The result is chewy. This is fine, as long as you moderate your expectations. This is lunch, not desert.

*These are thin skinned and not waxed. I get them around the corner at Francis International Market. You can find the at many Asian markets.

Meanwhile, I’ve got to get back to my Work-In-Progress. On Friday I left poor Detective Dourson contemplating the joys of asking the next-of-kin for dental records. I mean, How do you tell someone that not only do you believe their missing loved one is dead, but that the remains are unrecognizable? Not an enviable task, and he’s been stewing on it for five days while I’ve been so obsessed with the Aztec Diet. I know the poor man just wants to get it over with. Then there’s that rash of Drano bombs at the local high school. The man needs me.

Papaya-Rasperry Yum

1/4 of a football sized papaya, seeded and peeled
1/2 6 ounce container of raspberries
1 handful cashews (raw, if you can get them)
1 handful walnuts
1 handful spinach
12 ounces water
2 TBSP ground chia seeds

dump it all in the blender and hit that button!

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