Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Halibut for Dinner (different)

Posted by PicasaI never seem to get enough fish...I love it year round. I thoroughly enjoyed this halibut and everything about this is totally appropriate for a pre-competition diet!
This is 6 ounces (uncooked weight) of fresh halibut that I have patted dry then sprinkled with smokey Spanish paprika and black pepper. Pat onto the flesh to make sure it adheres.

I heat a cast iron skillet over very high heat until very hot, spray with olive oil cooking spray then sear on each side 2 minutes, then lower heat and cook 1 minute longer on each side. It will be moist and just barely cooked though.
I topped it with a wonderful puree of bar-b-qued tomatillos.

Take a large bag of tomatillos, remove the papery husks then rinse with cool water. Bar-B-Que them until they are blistered and hot, some may start to split, take them off as soon as they do this. You can alternatively roast them in a hot skillet indoors, or broil them.
Place them in a blender with a small amount of water (about 1/2 cup for a pound of tomatillos), blend until nicely pureed.
This makes a great salsa with no added salt.  The salsa went over the fish, then a nice pop of fresh cilantro leaves. Yes tomatillos have some calories and carbs, they are a vegetable after all, but I used 2 Tbsps, it was like having a little extra vegetable.
I also have  roasted golden beets. Scrub beets to remove all debris, place in a small baking dish and add about a half cup water, cover with foil. Bake in a 400 degree oven until very soft when pierced with a knife, anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour depending on size and freshness.
When the beets are done, remove the skins with a paring knife, they will pull off easily, as long as you do not use the red beets, your fingers won't get stained.

Cut the beets into quarters or even more pieces if large, place in a bowl and add black pepper and red wine vinegar, about 3 Tbsps for a pound of beets. Allow them to macerate for at least a half hour or as long as you like.
Par boiled green beans, plain.

I squeeze lemon all over everything, it goes great with all of the flavors.
Do you notice I have no starch? Yes, this is true.
It's my way of "carb cycling" and it's not even close to what most people have heard of.
I think carbs are good for you. I do not believe that extremely low carb diets are healthy for many reasons.
The first reason is I don't think that any diet that is so restrictive that you cannot maintain it, or something very close to it year round is  ever going to be successful. My definition of success is not a weight loss that is regained, it is a change in body composition forever.
If you cut carbs extremely low, you cannot or will not sustain it long, most people just won't do it. Most people will also feel extremely deprived and will binge and not stay on the diet.
Also, carbs make your body function properly, you need them for brain function and for energy.  Your muscles look full when you have eaten carbs, your body looks healthy.
Without them you look thin, emaciated, tired, not a look I can recall ever striving for.

However,  there are times when I need to lose some bodyfat and by a certain time, so that's when I will manipulate my carbs.
First, I never ever cut them really low, it doesn't work for me. I have met people who swear by it, but I have not yet met anyone who can live with it very long.

I maintain a clean, healthy diet year round. I of course will go though periods of eating completely unhealthy things a couple weeks after a competition, then it's back to a balanced diet, all the time.
I will not deprive myself in the off season, but I will make the right choices most of the time. I aim for 90% compliance.

I feel that eating right year round ensures I never gain a tremendous amount of weight like many competitors do, I don't have to struggle to lose it, and my "pre-competition diet" is really not much different than my "off-season diet", I just cut out some higher fat, higher sugar items and limit portions a bit more.
I eat carbs (starches) at every meal except my final meal immediately prior to bed. At that meal I have some vegetable, which has a very small amount of carbs, but not much.
When I am close to competition time, I eliminate those carbs (it is usually one cup of spinach). And then, I will cycle just a little in and out in my 5th meal (dinner).
So tonight, no carbs at dinner. It's ok, I won't be exercising, I don't need the energy. I will do this three nights, then the fourth, have carbs for dinner again (3 ounces rice or potato). Then three nights no carbs with dinner, and add them again on the fourth.

If I am stuck and not losing weight, and I have made sure I am eating the correct protein and vegetables, and am doing extra cardio, I may reduce my starches at other meals for a few days also, no more than one ounce though. If I do this, is it typically no longer than 2 weeks.
This very small change makes a difference, but I will never suffer, I will never look gaunt, I will remain full and healthy looking.
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