The ‘Rein It In’ Diet

My brother is on the ‘High Fat Diet’. He says it’s working. But I’m sure that being a professional sportsman has something to do with it. Sure, you can smash through Hollondaise sauce if your day is packed with sit-ups and squats and shuffles . But can you really get away with it if your day is spent in front of a computer? I don’t really want to find out…

My January diet is this: ‘eat a bit more sensibly’.

Surprisingly, it’s not a very common strategy. Today’s Telegraph listed some more popular varieties: The Juice Cleanse Diet, The Okinawa Diet, The Fruitarian Diet. They just don’t seem that…sustainable.

My strategy is this. To cut out the moments where I think “sure, it’s ok to have the leftover apple crumble for breakfast” - or “ice cream is an acceptable mid-morning accompaniment to my mid-morning coffee, right?” - or “I’ll just add a bit more cheese to that”.

I shall call it The Rein It In Diet. It means I can still cook, and eat and enjoy food. Just in a little more moderation.

This is my first dieting attempt. Shout if you’re detoxing too, and do let me know if you have any tips. But for now, check out my ‘Rein It In’ lunch below:

Reining It In with Oven-Roasted Aubergine

1/2 aubergine
2 teaspoons of olive oil

1 red onion, sliced
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1/2 teaspoon of mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon of fennel seeds
1 x 400g tinned chopped tomatoes
1 x 400g tinned chickpeas, rinsed
1 dried chilli, chopped

1 tablespoon low fat Greek yoghurt
1/2 teaspoon of oregano/dukkah/z’atar/ground pepper

1. Halve the aubergine, and use a sharp knife to score a criss-cross pattern into it. Rub half of the oil into the flat, fleshy side. Sprinkle with salt. Put it in the oven at 180C for 35 minutes

2. After 25 minutes, start the sauce. Heat the remaining oil in a frying pan. Gently cook the onion until softened. Add the garlic and mustard seeds, and cook for a further couple of minutes. Add the fennel seeds and then the chopped tomatoes, chickpeas and dried chilli.

3. Put the half-aubergine on a plate. Top with a quarter of the sauce. (Refrigerate to enjoy at a later date, maybe with a bit of couscous, or a steak). Finally, put a dollop of low fat Greek yoghurt on top, and then a sprinkle of something exciting. I used a pinch of oregano and dukkah.

For more posts to help you Rein It In, check out:

Celery, Raisin & Mackerel Salad
Quinoa Salad with Broccoli & Beetroot
Quick & Easy Kedgeree
Pearl Barley Soup

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