Aztec Diet Day 4: Avocados!

Stats: 1 pound lost since yesterday. Total: 6 pounds since Monday morning. Total inches off my waist 1-1/2.

Breakfast: avocado/banana/blueberry/romaine Lunch: 1 cup cottage cheese Snack: Popcorn Dinner: Papaya Yum with young coconut meat and water instead of nuts Snack: none

My normal meal schedule is breakfast at 10, lunch at 2, and dinner somewhere between 6 and 8. This schedule doesn’t seem to be working on the Aztec Diet. Today I found myself ravenous at 2 and needing to get to work. I had a cup of cottage cheese instead of a smoothie for lunch. I topped this off with a cup of decaf with two tablespoons of almond milk. I obviously don’t have the hang of sipping extra water to keep full. Tomorrow I’m going to try having 1/2 my breakfast smoothie before the dog park. That worked well on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, I did have a good day writing. The newly bereaved did not act as I had planned. Good thing Peter took Brent along with him. I noticed my concentration improving. I met my writing goal more easily than usual. So maybe this omega 3 brain connection has merit.

Dr. Bob doesn’t say much about avocados. A 200 calorie avocado has a measly 3 grams net carbs with 9 grams of fiber. The fat is heart healthy. It has an almost perfectly balanced PH and an ANDI score 0f 37. Not a blockbuster, but 5 points higher than yogurt. Diane Onstad calls avocado “one of the world’s most perfect foods.” Diane’s The Whole Foods Companion is one of my favorite books. I consider it essential for anyone interested in healthy eating.

One avocado blended with one banana makes a lovely, creamy base for a smoothie. I’ve used this for years, with endless variations.

The single, biggest drawback of the avocado is that so many people lack confidence in choosing a good avocado and peeling it.

Avocados never ripen until they are off the tree. The very best way to get a perfectly ripe avocado is to buy them when they are a brilliant green, then ripen them yourself. Leave them out on the kitchen counter. It will take a few days. Check them a couple times a day. You’re looking for a brownish, blackish skin with green undertones. Feel them. If they give under gentle pressure, they’re probably good. If it still has its stem, press down on it. If it gives easily, it’s ripe. The last check is to pop the stem off. If the spot under the stem is a lovely green, you’re there. You can only pop off the stem once, though. After it’s off, the spot quickly turns brown and that test is useless.

Once they are ripe, put them in the fridge. They’ll keep for a week. So having a steady supply of avocados involves a certain commitment to timing. You’ve got a window of a day or maybe two to get them into the fridge once they’re ready.

To peel an avocado, hold it in one hand. Lay the blade of the knife along the vertical axis and cut in until you hit the pit. Rotate the avocado against the blade until you have cut all the way around it. Twist the halves to separate them. Now hold the half with the pit, take your knife and press the blade into the pit. Turn the knife gently and the pit will pop loose. Avoid cutting yourself. If you use a ceramic knife like I do, do not stick the tip of the knife into the pit and torque it or you will snap the tip off. Ask me how I know.

At this point, many people just take a large spoon and scoop the flesh out. I cut the avocado halves into slices while still in the skin, then peel the skin off with my fingers. If it is at correct ripeness, the skin will be flexible and leathery and will come right off.

I always eat a whole avocado. I’ve never found a good way to keep an avocado half without it browning and turning yucky. If you know of something that really works, please post it in the comments!

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