Mar 20 2011

Best Diet in the Universe-Day 4 (Four): Graehm Gray

Hello my Best Diet in The Universe fans, are you ready to continue? We are at day four. Yes, you made it through three incredible days and you are almost finished with one week. How do you all feel? The feedback has been fantastic. Most of you have lost weight-the majority has lost over five pounds. Wow, just in three days. A few have lost over ten pounds! That’s amazing. Remember, on a diet like this, the weight loss is slow. This is a type of diet that can act as a maintenance program as well. Some people lose weight very quickly. While others lose slowly. It’s your metabolism ( that means how fast or slow your body burns energy) and how strict you are on this diet. Either way, this diet will make you healthy. Eating nuts, fruit, olive oil, yogurt, fish, vegetables-sounds very Mediterranean. And you are right. It is! The Mediterranean diets, in my opinion, are the healthiest diets in the world. Many studies* have shown beneficial effects of following the foods eaten in the Mediterranean countries. Helping heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and obesity are just some of the positive health benefits.

So welcome to another episode of Man (or woman) versus diet!! In the right corner here we have you-a wonderful son, father or husband; or daughter, mother, wife, ready to do battle for truth, justice and –you thought I was going to say American didn’t you? No the diet way! And in the other corner we have your arch nemesis, Mr. Diet, a loathsome, faceless sneaky, slippery individual who wants to make everyone hungry to eat bad fats and sugars in every kitchen, restaurant and dining room of the world. It’s the battle of the century. Join us now with the episode already in progress. In today’s episode, we see the battle taking shape-Mr. Diets’ associates, Mr. Hunger and Mr. Sweets. 

Well, I hope it’s not that bad. But both of these two can be tough to deal with. That’s why I want you to have the extra snacks in case you need to make sure your mouth is doing something. Remember it’s just as important to continue the exercise while you are dieting. They go hand in hand. Exercise will help burn off the calories. And these calories can be helpful in case you deal with that dreaded Mrs. Ice Cream and her sidekicks Mr. Sorbet, Mr. Ices and lastly the Candy-man!

So, hold on to your seats. Keep your hands carefully inside the vehicle at all times and buckle-up buckaroo! This roller coaster is about to begin.   

The Best Diet in the Universe

Day 4 

Breakfast:  Start with ½ grapefruit sprinkled with cinnamon. Then have a cup or one serving (a package) size of oat meal. I recommend using the brands Fit Kids, Monkey Brains, Quaker Natural or any other natural variety. Add to the oatmeal a handful of walnuts and a table spoon of raisins, dried cherries and a few prunes. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Coffee/green tea, 2 glasses (6 ounces) of water with lemon. Calorie goal: 150 

Mid morning snack: Four slices of a green or red apple, 2 mm thick, with a light smear of a natural peanut butter. Again, please use nut butter without preservatives or transfats. And you may substitute soy, cashew or almond nut butter for peanut. Coffee/green tea and one-two glasses of water with lemon. Calorie goal: 50 

Lunch: “Turkey roll ups”-start with either spinach or sun dried tomato flat roll up bread found in the deli section at your local supermarket (note-please use the ones without preservatives).  Spread a light coating of canola oil mayonnaise and yellow or brown mustard (or may use only one or the other based on preference). Place 3-4 slices of thin low sodium, preservative free turkey breast (prefer Boars Head* brand); add lettuce, tomato, hot pepper rings (as tolerated), and 2-3 dill pickle slices. Cut into four pieces. Coffee/green tea and two glasses of water with lemon. Oh, by the way-NO CHIPS!!!! But you can have 1 handful of walnuts or unsalted cashews or almonds. Yes you can have a small bow of hot air pop corn as an alternative. Calorie goal: 300 

Mid afternoon snack:  Roasted and unsalted Almonds-one handful, yes one- that’s all due to the extra calories at lunch-remember balance grasshopper: calories in must be balanced by calories out!! Decaf coffee/decaf green tea and two glasses of water with lemon. Calorie goal: 50 

Dinner: Start with a small dinner salad (use a soup bowl for measure amount) with a combination of iceberg and romaine lettuce, cherry or plum tomatoes, cucumbers, red and yellow peppers, a few walnuts chopped, shredded low fat cheddar cheese(or cheese of your choice), onions and dip and taste using  a low fat salad dressing (e.g. Thousand Island, honey mustard, honey Dijon, Caesar, etc.-your choice); then follow with Pan seared Scallops and Asparagus: use ½-1 pound of sea scallops, place in a pan with olive oil; use a pinch of pepper and salt and lemon as well as a touch of garlic. Cook until desired texture (some like them juicy, other like them dry-that’s me!). Take ½ to 1 pound of asparagus, then trim asparagus, cut stems into 1/4-inch-thick diagonal slices, leaving tips whole, then place in skillet and use olive oil to sauté, adding garlic and lemon juice. Decaf coffee/ decaf green tea. 2 glasses of water with lemon. Calorie goal: 350 

Alternatives to scallops: lean chicken breast, salmon, small steak-fat trimmed, tuna fish, tofu, veggie, turkey or sirloin burger. 

Please note that you may use a small amount (one table spoon) of cocktail sauce for the scallops or a tartar sauce. Amount: one teaspoon. Calorie goal: 50 

Best Diet In the Universe Tartar sauce recipe: 

1/2 cup canola oil mayonnaise
1/4 cup finely chopped dill pickle
3 tablespoons chopped green onion
1 tablespoon drained capers
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
21/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce

Mix all ingredients in small bowl to blend. Season with a small amount of salt and pepper. Cover-chill at least 1 hour. 

Best Diet in the Universe Cocktail Sauce:

½ cup ketchup (low sodium and natural)
3 tablespoons grated onion
3 tablespoons horseradish
21/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon

Mix all ingredients in a small bowl to blend. Cover and refrigerate sauce at least 1 hour. 

Dessert: Wait thirty minutes, and then have one slice of grilled pineapple and one slice each of grilled watermelon and grilled cantaloupe. Please note that each slice should be a wedge shape 4 inches on each side and ½ inch thick. 2 glasses of water with lemon. If you are full from the meal of the day, you may skip or cut down on this section. Calories goal: 75 

Late snack: One handful of Best Diet In The Universe Baked Cinnamon Walnuts (recipe: place walnuts on a baking sheet-spray with a natural, no preservative canola oil spray or lightly coat with Earth Balance; sprinkle with cinnamon, then bake at 250 for 10-15 minutes-until crispy; one 8 ounce glass of water with lemon. Calorie goal 75 

Exercise of the day: Today’s exercise is based on aerobics-that means continuous muscle working, oxygen consuming, physical activity.  Examples: walking 10,000 (ten thousand) steps  or walking on a  treadmill for 2 miles at  a minimal pace of between 4 to 5 mph or swimming for 30 minutes (continuous, no stopping). After this bit of aerobic fitness, proceed to do 30 sit ups, 100 jumping jacks, and air boxing for 15 minutes. Then with your last bit of energy left, finish this exhausting session with lifting 10 pound weights one for each arm and doing 25 reps for each arm. Now don’t forget, this exercise session can be split up into three separate periods. So don’t think you need to fit in an hour of physical activity all at the same time. From two 30 minute periods or three 20 minute sessions to even four 15 minute segments will do. Calorie burning goal: 300 


  1. Cinnamon*-What’s it all about? Cinnamon helps moderate blood sugar, lower cholesterol, decreases platelet stickiness in the arteries, exerts a strong antioxidant effect, reduces inflammation and is a companion to fish oil(omega-3), discourages growth of bacteria and fungus, and boosts brain and kidney function. It also has an appetite suppressant effect. Cinnamon was valued by the ancient Egyptians more than gold and they used it as a beverage flavoring, medicine and embalming agent. It was mentioned in the Bible and in a Chinese medicine text written around 2700 BC. Cinnamon was a treasured spice in Medieval Europe and was one of the first commodities traded between the Near East and Europe. There are over a 100 species of Cinnamonium-but three major varieties: Ceylon, Chinese and Indonesian. 

That concludes today’s Day 4 (four) of the Best Diet in the Universe. 

And now a bit of food humor: 

A. What are the four food groups?  Fast, Frozen, Instant, and Chocolate.

B. A friend got some vinegar in his ear, now he suffers from pickled hearing.

C. Overweight is something that just sort of snacks up on you. 

My friends stay fit and healthy The Nerdel Way!

Please send me your comments, questions and feedback to 


  1. Journal of the American College of Cardiology: Journal of the American College of Cardiology, online March 7, 2011.
  2. Best Diet In the Universe series:
  3. Boars head: 
  4. Cinnamon-Wikipedia:

  Please remember this:

  1. Avoid nuts if you are allergic and substitute hot air popcorn or veggies
  2. May substitute low sodium ham, soy, chicken, turkey or beef for tuna
  3. May substitute lean beef, pork, soy or poultry for any fish dish
  4. Follow the current Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010
  5. Eat less salt-my recommendation-keep your sodium intake less than 1500mg per day.
  6. Eat less saturated fat-eat more mono and polyunsaturated fats-this means eat more plant foods and less animal fats and proteins.
  7. Eat less than 300mg per day of dietary cholesterol
  8. Eat zero trans fats
  9. Reduce intake of solid fats and sugars
  10. Eat more whole grains and less refined grains
  11. Always check with your medical provider before starting a diet and exercise program



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