Stricter dieting leads to better results

By Dr Walter Vermeulen. 11 December 2022, 1:00PM

In our previous column we gave hints on how to deal with the many celebrations this month that you might have to attend and that inevitably could lead to having to eat fatty, animal based foods.

This should be avoided if you suffer from non-communicable diseases (NCD) like diabetes, high blood pressure or heart disease or if you want to keep the momentum when you are following the whole food plant based (WFPB) diet. 

One of these was for you to have a ‘WFPB snack’ before you go to the party. In this way, you would not be tempted to overindulge in the unhealthy foods, while at the same time allowing you to taste the food as if it were a ‘treat’ that you can occasionally enjoy. 

For any of the readers that suffer from these NCD conditions but have not yet started on the METI WFPB nutrition program, in fact, this might also be a good time to become acquainted with the strategic foods that make up the WFPB diet. 

Basically, it is a low-fat, high fibre, minimally processed, starch-based diet composed of fruits and vegetables, legumes (which are beans, peas or lentils), seeds and nuts. Optimal health is achieved by eating this diet predominantly, but ‘treats’ (usually at Sunday’s ‘toona’i’ or on special occasions) of animal products are allowed once the NCD conditions have been brought under control or as we call it: ‘reversed’. 

It is our experience that the stricter you follow the WFPB diet, the better and the sooner the resulting improvements. In this and the next few columns till the end of the year- we will give details of some ‘WFPB snacks’ that you can prepare in a short time and that you can consume before going to a gathering where only high fat, animal based foods would be available. 

The simplest of all –especially if you are in a hurry- would be to open a tin of Wattie’s Baked Beans and to eat some of it on a toasted slice of wholemeal bread. But if you have the time you can have a more satisfying large bowl of soup. 

Here we present the recipe for Curried Pumpkin Soup with Tofu. Tofu is one of the strategic foods we recommend as a substitute for meat products. It is highly versatile in its uses and will readily absorb the spices or dressings it is soaked in. The recipe we present here will serve 6 persons, will only take 10 minutes to prepare and about 20 minutes to cook. 

What you need as ingredients are: 4 1/4 Cups Water; 1 Onion, chopped; 3 Cloves of Garlic, minced; 1 Tbsp. Soy sauce; 2 tsp Cumin; 2 tsp Coriander; 1 or 2 tsp Curry powder; Pinch of Cayenne; 2 Cups Pumpkin, peeled and diced and 1 Cup chopped tofu- defrosted (in anticipation for preparing  this recipe, we recommend that fresh tofu (locally produced or imported) be put in the freezer for at least 24 hours and then allowed to defrost. 

The tofu then will have developed a consistency akin to minced meat: which will be appreciated by those trying to shake the meat-eating habit!) To make the soup, first place 1/4 cup of the water in a large soup pot. Add the onion and garlic and cook, at medium heat, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes. Stir in the soy sauce, cumin, coriander, curry powder and cayenne (add other spices if you so desire). Add the remaining water, the pumpkin and the tofu. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and cook for 10 minutes until the pumpkin is tender. 

If you want a creamier soup, you can puree the soup mix in batches in a blender and return to a pan. Add 1 Tbsp Lemon juice. Heat through and serve. Enjoy!   In the meantime, we invite you to visit METI’s Healthy Living Clinic at House No. 51 at Motootua (across from the Kokobanana Restaurant) and purchase METI’s WFPB Cookbook written in English and Samoan and featuring 50 delicious recipes. 

Become acquainted with METI’s whole food plant based diet and Lifestyle Change program. You can call us at 30550. Learning how to follow these Programs might be your ‘game changer’!


By Dr Walter Vermeulen. 11 December 2022, 1:00PM
Samoa Observer

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