The Flat Abs Diet
(excerpted from Katherine Tallmadge’s SHAPE Magazine article)
Just can’t get rid of your flabby belly, even though you do sit-ups and crunches until you’re ready to drop? Or maybe you’re so mortified by the condition of your fat abs that you’ve relegated your best suits, bathing suits and skinny jeans to the dark recesses of your closet.
Before you dump on (or just plain dump) your workout for not giving you killer abs, you should know the real culprit could be your diet-and even your high-stress lifestyle.
When it comes to going from fat to flatter abs, new research shows that what you eat is just as important as how–or even how much– you work out. And lifestyle counts, too, because while stress doesn’t just mess with your head-it can also induce a pooch.
As a longtime weight-loss specialist, I can assure you that flat abs aren’t an impossible dream or something seen only on fitness models. In fact, I’ve helped thousands of people (myself included) whittle flabby middles into beautiful flatter bellies by combining an eating plan especially designed to decrease fat and bloating with aerobic exercise, strength training and stress management.
Following are eight strategies from the country’s leading weight loss, nutrition and stress experts, all designed to take you from fat abs to flatter abs in just four weeks, plus delicious recipes that fill you up without making you feel or look bloated. With my plan, you’ll build show-off abs that are the center of attention when you’re wearing a fitted suit, a bathing suit, a pair of skinny jeans–or nothing at all!
Tired of going undercover every summer to avoid exposing your less-than-ripped abs? From analyzing your protein needs, eating more fiber and less salt to reducing stress, the following eight strategies are all the secrets you need to build a better, bare-it belly worthy of any bathing suit. So make this the summer you finally ditch the beach shifts and baggy shorts you’ve been hiding behind.
Tip 1. Personalize Protein Intake!
When you lose weight or body fat, unfortunately, you lose muscle along with it, so even if you lose weight, you’ll still be flabbier! But new research has found that finding the right amount of protein to eat, distributing it strategically through the day, and before and after work-outs, is essential for not only effective weight loss, it’s more likely to minimize muscle loss and maximize fat loss, taking you from fatter to flatter abs. Keeping muscle stores high is critical for several reasons.
“Losing muscle decreases resting metabolic rate, making it harder to maintain a healthy weight and lose body fat,” says William Evans, director of the Nutrition, Metabolism, and Exercise Laboratory at the Donald W. Reynolds Center on Aging at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.
In addition, bone health, muscle function, muscle strength, muscle mass and immune function – all are impaired with an inadequate protein intake.
But, how much protein do you need? And, how can it be maximized to protect – and even build – muscle as you lose body fat?
In Pursuit of Protein
Although for most Americans the recommended dietary allowance of protein may be adequate, if you’re losing weight or are worried about the inevitable bone and muscle loss which accompanies aging (starting in your 30s!), consider increasing your protein.
Protein can be found in a wide range of foods. Animal protein is in seafood, dairy, meat, poultry and eggs. Vegetarian protein can be found in legumes, soy, vegetables and grains. And while it’s true that high-protein foods often bring fat and calories along as uninvited guests, it doesn’t have to be that way.
The lowest-calorie animal protein sources are the leanest. Go for seafood, poultry with no skin, lean veal cuts, pork tenderloin, lean beef cuts such as the round or tenderloin or 95 percent lean hams (less than 3 grams of fat per ounce), fat free dairy products such as skim milk, yogurt and cheeses. Soy products also provide great low-calorie options. Toss two to four ounces of lean beef, chicken or seafood or 12 ounces of spiced tofu into your salad and gain 14 to 28 grams of high-quality protein and no more than 100 to 200 calories.
How much protein do I need?
At present, the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for protein is computed using the following formula:
0.37 grams of protein per pound of ideal body weight (this usually means people are eating about 15 percent of their calories as protein). Though, this may not be enough if you’re trying to build muscle or prevent muscle loss while dieting, exercising heavily or aging.
New evidence suggests that to protect bones and muscle, to achieve flatter abs and a fitter, more muscular body, we should consume more, though the amount of protein should never be more than 35 percent of daily calories (we’re not talking Atkins Diet levels here). Balance is everything. It’s important to avoid eating too much – or too little!
Personalized Protein Formulas
If you’re trying to maintain muscle, multiply your ideal weight by 0.45 grams of protein per pound
Sample for a (ideally) 200-lb man: 200 lbs x 0.45 grams protein per pound = 90 grams protein daily (in no more than 30 gram increments per meal *see below)
Sample for a (ideally) 130-lb woman: 130 lbs x 0.45 grams protein per pound = 59 grams protein daily (in no more than 20 gram increments per meal *see below)
If you’re trying to build muscle, and you’re weight training, multiply your weight by 0.55
Sample for a (ideally) 200-lb man: 200 lbs x 0.55 grams protein per pound = 110 grams protein daily (in no more than 30 gram increments per meal *see below)
Sample for a (ideally) 130-lb woman: 130 lbs x 0.55 grams protein per pound = 72 grams protein daily (in no more than 20 gram increments per meal *see below)
If you’re a serious body-builder, multiply your ideal weight by 0.69
Sample for a (ideally) 200-lb man: 200 lbs x 0.69 grams protein per pound = 138 grams protein daily (in no more than 30 gram increments per meal *see below)
Sample for a (ideally) 130-lb woman: 130 lbs x 0.69 grams protein per pound = 90 grams protein daily (in no more than 20 gram increments per meal *see below)
How is protein most effective?
You cannot eat a large amount of protein in one meal and expect it to be effective. Protein must be distributed through the day in no more than 20 gram increments per sitting (for women) and 30 gram increments for men. A “sitting” is separated by at least two hours. Eating an amount above these levels at any one meal or snack cannot be utilized as protein in your body, so it is wasted as pure calories. To maximize the availability of protein to your muscles (and not waste it) you’ll need to distribute it more evenly through the day. For most of you, that means finding ways to eat more protein earlier in the day and less in the evening (when most of you get the lion’s share of your protein). And possibly even adding high protein foods, such as nonfat yogurt, a skim latte or even edamame (fresh soy beans) to your mid-morning and afternoon snacks.
There is also evidence that if you eat protein 30 minutes before your workout and a little immediately after, this will enhance muscle-building. But remember, don’t bother exceeding the total of 20 grams for women or 30 grams for men, unless there is at least two hours between feedings. For instance…
Women: eat 10 grams before the workout and 5 – 10 grams aferward
Men: eat 10 – 15 grams before the workout and 10 – 15 grams afterward
WHERE DO I GET PROTEIN?
8 ounces milk/yogurt . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 grams protein
1/2 cup cooked beans/tofu . . . . .. . . . . . 8 grams protein
1 ounce meat/fish/chicken/cheese (the leaner the meat,
the more protein and the fewer calories). . 7 grams protein
1 large egg . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . 7 grams protein
1/2 cup cooked or one ounce
dry (1 slice bread) grain . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 grams protein
1/2 cup cooked or 1 cup raw vegetables . . 2 grams protein
Tip 2. Eat more fiber
Not eating enough fiber may be a major reason people are getting fatter and flabbier, says leading fiber researcher David Jenkins, M.D., Ph.D., professor of nutrition and medicine at the University of Toronto, and a member of the National Academy of Sciences’ Food and Nutrition Board. To ditch the fat and show off firm, beautiful abs, you need to eat at least 25 grams of fiber (women) daily (38 grams for men) he says. Fiber, which is the indigestible part of fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole-grain foods, helps give you flat abs for three reasons:
- The “bulk” factor Imagine a dry sponge. That’s what fiber is like. When it fills with water in your digestive tract, it makes everything move through more quickly. Not eating enough fiber causes constipation, which can make your stomach stick out and add up to five pounds more on the scale.
The “fill” factor Because high-fiber foods like fruit and vegetables add bulk to your meals without adding a lot of calories, they keep you full longer and help you lose weight, say researchers at the Human Nutrition Research Center at Tufts University who concluded that lowfat diets work only if they’re also high in fiber-rich foods like fruits, vegetables and whole-grain foods, all of which fill you up on fewer calories and less fat. Lowfat diets that are also low in fiber and high in sugar, salt and preservatives can lead to bloating and weight gain.
In a study conducted by Barbara Rolls, a professor at Pennsylvania State University and author of Volumetrics (Avon, 2000) subjects who ate vegetables with their meals consumed about 100 calories fewer without making up for the caloric deficit later. While saving 100 calories a day may not sound like much, it translates into losing 10 pounds in one year. Use just this one trick–and there goes your tummy!
The “chew” Factor The psychological “chew” factor also plays a role here. “High fiber foods require more chewing and take longer to eat,” explains Leslie Bonci, R.D., author of The American Dietetic Association Guide to Better Digestion (Human Kinetics Press, 2002). “Because your mouth is more involved in the eating of high-fiber foods, you feel more satisfied with a high-fiber meal that provides fewer calories but tons more food than a low-fiber meal,” she says.
How to add fiber to your diet comfortably One cautionary note: It’s important to add fiber slowly but consistently to prevent side effects. “Make higher fiber choices throughout the day, don’t have all your fiber in one bunch,” says fiber expert Jenkins. “This is particularly important with ‘viscous’ fiber–a type of soluble fiber found in beans, oats, barley, and rye, which also has the benefit of lowering blood cholesterol,” he says. For best results, increase your fiber intake slowly over the course of two months and drink plenty of water to keep your food moving. Below is a 4-week guide on how to up your fiber intake from 3 to 26/38 grams without developing uncomfortable side effects. In fact, the only change you’re likely to notice is your stomach getting flatter and flatter.
4-Week Fiber-Up Guide
Add one to two servings of Whole Grain Cereal (adds 4 – 8 grams of fiber) as your breakfast cereal every morning. Enjoy one cup of fresh fruit on the side (adds 2 – 6 grams of fiber)
*Fiber countdown: 6 – 14 grams daily
For lunch, make a sandwich every day using two slices of 100 percent whole-wheat or whole rye bread instead of white bread (adds 4 – 6 grams of fiber). Add 1 cup vegetable salad on the side (adds 2 grams of fiber)
*Fiber countdown: 12 – 22 grams daily
For dinner, sprinkle 1/4 Cup to 1/2 cup garbanzo, pinto or black beans in a salad, soup or stew (adds 4 – 8 grams of fiber). Add 1/2 cup sautéed greens on the side (adds 2 grams of fiber)
*Fiber countdown: 21 – 26 grams daily.
(Note: To reduce discomfort and bloating, the key is to keep your fiber high consistently every day and throughout the day. You may experience gas if you’re eating a low fiber diet with the occasional high fiber food. Your body doesn’t get a chance to get used to it. If you have problems, try nonprescription products like Beano)
Add 2 cups or pieces of fruit as a mid-morning and afternoon snack every day (adds 4 – 12 grams of fiber).
*Fiber countdown: 25 – 38 grams daily! See how easy that was?
Tip 3. High Quality Carbohydrates
Consuming too many carbs promotes fat abs. For flatter abs, make 45-65 percent of your total daily calories carbs. Balance is the key here, so don’t go below 45 percent (You NEED at least 120 grams daily for brain functioning as carbs are the only fuel your brain uses) or above 65 percent which can lead to water retention, bloating and temporary weight gain that shows up in your middle.
When you eat carbs, they break down into glucose, which is stored as glycogen in muscle and the liver. When glycogen is stored, it carries with it four times its own weight as water, compared to no water at all for protein and fat, according to Peter Garlick, Stoneybrooke University professor of nutrition. If you eat an extremely high-carb diet or in one meal eat more carbs than usual, you’ll store excess water, experience bloating and gain temporary water weight. (This is why people who go on no to very low-carb diets lose weight so quickly. They’re really just losing water.) To avoid bloating and weight gain caused by consuming too many or the wrong kind of carbs, follow these tips:
- Fill up on fruits and vegetables These are the least bloat-promoting foods because they contain plenty of water and fewer carbs and calories for their volume.
- Avoid high-carb/empty calorie foods like fast food, snack cakes, cookies, chips, crackers, candy, etc. These foods are high in carbs, sugar and sodium, which causes bloating and weight gain, and are low in fiber and nutrients.
- Focus on balanced eating. To get flat abs, it’s essential to eat the right amount of healthy carbs-or 202 – 292 grams daily (based on eating 1,800 calories daily). For best results, eat at least three to five 4-ounce servings of veggies (15 to 25 grams of carbs); two to four 4-ounce servings of fruit (30 to 60 grams of carbs) and about 1 cup (8 ounces cooked or 2 ounces dry, the equivalent of 2 slices of bread) of whole grains per meal (90 grams per day).
- To determine how many healthy carbs you need to build flatter abs, multiply your daily calorie intake by 0.45 (if you want the lowest amount of carbs recommended) or 0.65 (if you want the highest amount recommended) then divide by 4 calories per gram. If you eat 1,800 calories daily, for example, that’s 202 – 292 grams of carbs per day Tip 4. Drink up!
Many people believe that drinking too much water will give them puffy abs, but just the opposite is true. Not drinking enough water will leave you bloated. That’s because when you get dehyrated or consume excessive salt, your body produces the hormone aldosterone. which causes your kidneys to retain sodium to restore normal blood volume. Since water naturally follows sodium, water retention increases-and you wind up with fat abs.
“Even though we associate water with being bloated, drinking more water can help to flush sodium out of the body, and that reduces the bloat,” said Jeff Hampl, Ph.D., R.D., nutrition researcher and assistant professor at Arizona State University. An easy way to tell if you’re drinking enough is by checking the color and quantity of your urine. If it’s pale yellow and high volume, you’re doing OK. If it’s dark and scant, you are probably dehydrated. And if you’re thirsty, you’re already dehydrated. Follow these tips and you’ll stay hydrated and healthy:
- Drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day. If you are trying to lose body fat, why fill up on high calorie beverages? If you eat a lot of high water-containing foods such as fruits, vegetables and low sodium soups, you can count half the volume as water. Plus, you get the benefit of filling up with fewer calories!
- The National Academy of Sciences’ Food and Nutrition Board says you require a millileter of water for every calorie. So, to determine your water needs, simply divide your daily calorie need by 30 ml/ounce. If you need 1,800 calories daily, your water need is 60 ounces per day. Add at least 50% more water if you’re extremely active or you’re spending time in hot weather.
- · Go for cold or iced beverages rather than warm or hot ones. Choose cold liquids like plain, cold water. These empty from your stomach more quickly than warm or hot beverages because the cold temperature stimulates your intestines to contract and liquids keep moving through faster to reduce bloat.
- Avoid carbonated drinks Fizzy drinks, including soda pop and spritzers, slow down stomach emptying and increase bloating BECAUSE…. of the excess air trapped in the bubbles creates gas and slows down stomach emptying.
- Watch your intake of alcohol and caffeine Both are natural diuretics, which increase fluid loss and don’t replace your body fluids as effectively as water, juice and caffeine- and alcohol-free beverages. Because they promote dehyration, alcohol and caffeine can also fatten abs.
Tip 5. Watch the sodium!
Sodium may have a bad rep, but it’s actually essential for regulating body fluids and blood pressure as well as for nerve transmission, muscle function and absorption of important nutrients. We just don’t need much for all this to happen. According to the NAS’ Food and Nutrition Board, the average person needs just 500 milligrams of sodium a day. Most of us consume five times that, or 3,000 to 6,000 milligrams per day. The consequence of all this sodium-most of which is consumed as salt and preservatives in processed foods, fast foods and restaurant foods–isn’t pretty for your abs. That’s because where sodium goes, water follows. When you eat a high-sodium meal, say, from your favorite Chinese take-out at 3,000 mg per entree, your body responds by retaining water. This results in edema and, possibly, a rise in blood pressure. Sodium’s visible traces are outlined the next day when you stand sideways in your full-length mirror: major B-L-O-A-T! Even though bloating is temporary, it’s hardly any consolation if you want to wear something fitted that day. Here’s how to keep your sodium intake at a healthy level.
- Limit salt to 1 teaspoon daily. The American Heart Association recommends you consume no more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium daily-roughly 1 teaspoon of table salt- which you will get while eating natural foods through the day. That’s enough sodium to replenish your supply even if you’re working up a major sweat.
- Choose fresh, natural foods over fast foods, commercial or packaged foods Instead of ordering French fries ( 290 mgs of sodium) have a baked potato (10 mgs). Instead of a pickle (1,730 mgs), enjoy a fresh cucumber (6 mgs). Instead of store-bought tomato sauce (1/2 cups has 520 mgs), try topping your pasta with fresh, diced tomatoes (10 mgs per tomato). And beware of cured meats. Three ounces of ham packs in 1,180 mgs of sodium, compared to just 30 mgs for the same amount of roast pork. Soups are also notoriously high in sodium; some canned varieties contain more than 1,200 mgs per cup. Read labels carefully and stick with low-sodium brands like Healthy Choice. Tip 6. Eat lite at night
It never fails. If you have a heavier-than-normal evening meal or snack and weigh yourself the next morning, you’ll be up by several pounds. But as depressing as it may seem at the moment, a quick gain like that is always water weight; you simply cannot gain that much fat overnight. So if you eat lighter the following night, it may all just disappear. But eat heavily too many nights in a row and that temporary water gain becomes permanent fat gain-and fatter abs.
Evening eating is problematic for most people, as it can be related more to emotional issues than real hunger. You’re tired, lonely, bored, anxious, you want to relax, want a reward, want to party, etc. There are tons of reasons for eating too much at night which have nothing to do with hunger.
In a study conducted by C. Wayne Callaway, M.D., a former metabolic specialist in Washington, D.C., people who skipped breakfast or lunch and ate their largest meals later in the day had lower metabolisms, meaning they were burning fewer calories making it harder to lose or maintain body fat..
Some tips to get you started: ·
Evenly distribute your calories/meals throughout the day. Eat 1/3 in the morning, 1/3 at lunch and no more than 1/3 of your calories in the evening. For most people, it means doubling up their breakfast and lightening up their evening meals considerably. By staying full and energized, you’ll avoid hunger pangs, maintain an even energy flow, and make better food choices (no bingeing or craving) and enjoy the most efficient burning of calories.
Studies show people who eat proportionately more earlier in the day end up eating fewer overall calories, and that helps turn fat abs to flatter abs.
If you absolutely have to eat at night because you’re hungry, pick something low in calories, but high in protein/nutrients so it doesn’t produce a pooch in the morning! Try fruit, vegetables, or maybe a hot cup of skim milk with a dash of honey, vanilla, and/or cocoa powder. It may not be what you’re craving, but once you eat it, you’ll realize it hits the spot perfectly. You will go to bed feeling light and will wake up hungry for a nice, big breakfast – a great start to the day!
Tip 7. Reduce Stress!
How you eat and exercise is not the only thing affecting whether your abs are fat or flat. New research shows that stress triggers the hormone cortisol to turn up your appetite and deposit fat around the organs in your abdomen. This weight is associated with heart disease, diabetes and cancer. It particularly becomes a problem after the age of 30 because of the natural shift in hormones already occurring.
Simple stress that goes away rapidly doesn’t cause much of a problem–think quick traffic jam. But if you’re ruminating and worrying over an issue that will not go away, this can lead to prolonged increases in your cortisol, one heck of a stress-related appetite–and fat abs. To reduce stress-related eating, try incorporating the following suggestions:
- Move it or lose it A recent study conducted at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center in Seattle showed cardiovascular exercise is especially effective in reducing midsection weight gain.
- Chill out. When you feel stress building, take a few moments to breathe deeply and regroup. Then consider some enjoyable alternatives to eating that can ease your tension. Consider taking a bubble bath, getting a massage, listening to some soft music, making a phone call to a loved one, taking a yoga class, walking around the block-whatever it takes to get out of the high stress lane and into the relaxation zone.
- · Listen to your body signals. If you’re hungry, eat! If you’re craving food but you’re not sure if you‘re hungry, wait a little while. You’re probably not. (Hunger is a lot like love – if you’re not sure, you’re probably not!)
- Make sure you eat enough calories To lose weight without sabotaging your metabolism or experience low metabolism bloating, keep your caloric intake as high as possible but still slightly lower than what you need to maintain your healthy weight. Never cut your calories so that you’re eating more than 250- 500 calories below the calorie level necessary to maintain your weight, according to the metabolic experts.
- Cardiovascular exercise burns body fat and calories, and improves health. Studies show that simply walking is ideal for losing belly fat. As you improve cardiovascularly, your body becomes more efficient and burns more fat with each exercise bout. I’ve found that a minimum of 4 – 5 miles per day or 10,000 steps (if you’re using a pedometer) is necessary for flatter abs and a leaner body,
- Strength training: metabolism is dependent on lean body mass so muscle-building is important to increase your metabolism permanently and keep your need for calories high, And since muscle mass naturally declines as you age (starting in your 30’s!), building muscle is essential to keeping lean. In fact, as you become stronger and use heavier weights in your workout — an indication that you‘ve gained muscle — you can eat more food because your need for calories naturally increases with muscle gain. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends strength training all of your major muscle groups twice a week.
8. The One-Two Punch: cardio and strength training
To keep your metabolism firing and flab loss consistent and predictable, regular cardiovascular activity is a must.
Katherine Tallmadge’s Favorite Stirfries
Stir Fried Shrimp and Vegetables
(excerpted from Diet Simple)
Shell and clean 1 lb. uncooked shrimp; dredge with a mixture of 2 T soy sauce, 1 t fresh ginger, chopped, and 1 T sherry. Heat pan, add 2 tsp oil and saute the dredged shrimp. Remove shrimp from pan.Reheat pan, add 2 tsp oil, and partly saute 1-1/2 C onions, sliced lengthwise, and 1 C celery, cut in 2-inch lengths. Add 12 water chestnuts, sliced lengthwise, 1/2 lb. (3C) fresh bean sprouts or snow peas or 1 can (1 lb) drained bean sprouts and the sauteed shrimp. Add a mixture of 1 T cornstarch and 1/2 C soup stock or water. Cook until thickened, stirring constantly. Serve hot over rice or vermicelli.
calories: 110, fat: 3 g, sat fat: 0, carbohydrates: 9 g, fiber: 2g, protein: 11 g
Stir Fried Pineapple Chicken
Dredge one pound of uncooked chicken meat, cut in one-inch pieces, with a mixture of 1 Tbsp cornstarch, 2 tsp cold water, and 1 Tbsp soy sauce. Saute 1-1/2 cups onions, 1 cup celery 10 water chestnuts, sliced lengthwise, in 1 Tbsp sesame oil for 2 minutes or less and remove from pan. Saute the dredged chicken in 2 tsp oil until brown. Add the vegetables, 4 large slices of canned pineapple, cut in wedges, and finally 4 Tbsp pineapple juice to the chicken and simmer until thoroughly heated. Serve hot over rice or vermicelli. Serves 6.
calories: 230, fat: 11g, sat fat: 2.5g, carbohydrate: 16 g, fiber: 2g, protein: 17 g
These recipes are adapted from the out of print “The Art of Chinese Cooking” by the Benedictine Sisters of Peking (Charles E. Tuttle Company, 1956)
The French Culinary Institute’s
Veal Stew with Carrots, La Boutarde
excerpted from Diet Simple
This Veal Stew is one of my favorite all time recipes. I have served it several times to guests, who most of the time ask for seconds. It’s the perfect meal for a brisk Fall or Winter day, sitting in front of the fire with a nice glass of wine and a good piece of bread. The aromas fill the house with comfort., they make you feel like your (fantasy) French grandmother is whipping something up for you and your friends in the kitchen.
This is also a very simple recipe. The preparation time is not long. But you do have to smell those wonderful aromas for an hour or two before you can take your first bite. I add at least an hour extra to the cooking time because I double the vegetables – and the herbes de Provence. I also use wine only (no water). But this is the beauty of a recipe like this. The measurements are not precise. You can cook to your own taste.
The veal rump can be found at a butcher’s or a specialty market, if you can’t find it at your grocery store. A substitute would be veal shoulder, which is typically used for veal stews, but is not as lean as the rump. If you’re on a budget, beef round is an excellent — and very lean — substitute, than the veal shoulder.
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil.
2 Pounds Veal Rump, well-trimmed and cut into 2” cubes
Salt and Freshly Ground White Pepper
2 Medium Carrots, cut into 1/2″ slices
1 Medium Onion, chopped
1-1/2 Cups Dry White Wine
1 Cup Water
2 Medium Very Ripe Tomatoes, peeled, cored, seeded, and chopped
2 teaspoons Herbes de Provence*
1 Bay Leaves
3 Small All-Purpose Potatoes, peeled and quartered
Warm the oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. When hot, add no more than half of the veal and sear for 3 minutes, or until the veal has evenly browned on all sides. Do not crowd the pan or scorch the meat. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the veal to a Dutch oven. Continue searing the veal until all of the meat has been browned. Season with salt and pepper.
In the same saute pan over medium heat, saute the carrots and onions for 3 minutes, or until the onions are translucent. Reduce the heat and stir in the wine. Using a wooden spoon, stir vigorously to lift the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Pour into the Dutch oven. Add the water, tomatoes, herbes de Provence, and bay leaf.
Place the Dutch oven over medium heat and bring the stew to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for one hour. Add the potatoes and simmer for 35 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Remove and discard the bay leaf.
Place an equal portion of the stew in each of 4 warm shallow soup bowls.
Chef’s Note: Herbes de Provence is a mixture of dried herbs that often includes basil, lavender, rosemary, sage, thyme, and others. Look for it in the spice section of your supermarket.
Per Serving:437 Calories, 12 g Total Fat, 4 g Saturated Fat, 149 mg Cholesterol
For more fabulous tips and simple, effective ways to lose weight,
buy her book, Diet Simple!