Saturday, December 8, 2012

The Japanese Diet: Sample Meal Plan

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Whether you are planning to lose weight or you simply want to adopt healthier eating habits, the Japanese Dietis definitely something that you should consider. This type of diet is inspired by the traditional eating habits of the Japanese. The Japanese have the world’s longest life expectancy and Japan has the lowest rate of female obesity. Contrary to what some may believe, the Japanese Diet is not as restrictive as other diets. In fact, this diet highlights the importance of eating a wide variety of foods but in smaller portions. Here is a sample meal plan to give you a glimpse of what the Japanese Diet is all about.

Power Breakfast

Breakfast is considered the most significant meal in Japan and is often the largest among all meals of the day. To start off your day right, a good meal plan would include:
  • a cup of white rice
  • one egg
  • Miso soup
  • strips of Nori seaweed
  • green tea
Making Miso soup is quite easy if you are familiar with the recipe. In a pan, put in several cups of dashi soup stock and heat until it comes to a boil. Cut a block of tofu into cubes and add them to the boiling mix. Next, scoop out some of the soup stock from the pan and dissolve about 4 tbsps of miso in it. Return the mixture in the pan and proceed to stir the soup gently. Top off the soup with some chopped green onions.

Fish for Lunch

Whether you’re eating at home or packing a lunch for work, the Japanese Diet allows you to create a tasty and filling meal that uses plenty of healthy ingredients. A good Japanese Diet lunch includes:
  • a cup of rice
  • Japanese tuna steak
  • greens
  • green tea
If you like the taste of Japanese raw fish dishes then opt of sushi or sashimi instead of tuna steak. However, if you’ve never eaten raw fish before then it might take some getting used to. You can start instead with a Japanese tuna steak. To cook this dish, mix grated ginger, 2 tbsps of sake, 4 tbsps of mirin, 4 tbsps of soy sauce and a tbsp of sugar in a bowl. Next, cover your tuna slices with corn starch. On a skillet, heat some vegetable oil and fry the coated tuna slices for about a minute before flipping to the other side. Without turning off the heat, pour the mixture in the bowl over the slices until the tuna absorbs the sauce. Serve on a plate and top with a sprinkle of sesame seeds.

Chicken Dinner

Just like in many cultures, dinner is also an important meal in Japan. When preparing summer for your family, consider the following dishes:
  • a cup of rice
  • Miso soup
  • Chicken teriyaki
  • Tofu with sea vegetables
Sea vegetables are particularly popular in Japan. Aside from Nori seaweeds, another common sea vegetable found in the Japanese Diet is the kombu which refers to kelp in Asia. If you can’t find these sea vegetables, opt for readily available vegetables instead such as mushrooms, spinach and carrots.

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