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Power Dieting for the Executive

What makes the approach to dieting taken by executives different from the way the average person goes about calorie watching? Quite a bit, according to June Roth and Harvey M. Ross, authors of “The Executive Success Diet” (McGraw-Hill Book Co.: $16.95, hardcover, 205 pages).

While most people generally are concerned about getting an adequate supply of vitamins and minerals while maintaining weight at a desirable level, the nature of the executive’s business day makes this task significantly more difficult. It isn’t that a business person has different needs or exerts energy any differently; but power breakfasts, lunch and dinner meetings, discussions over cocktails and a plethora of meals eaten on airplanes and at conventions are all obstacles that are added to dieting plans of an executive.

As a result, the way in which these business types tackle dieting is often different from the approach taken by the average person. In addition to typical recommendations to reduce fat, cholesterol and sodium intake while getting sufficient vitamins, minerals and exercise, the authors give suggestions on how to manipulate meals at important events, how to have healthier in-flight meals, how to avoid the problems associated with eating on the highway, how to deal with hotel breakfasts and how to handle stress.

The book begins with an eight-point plan designed to step up health control for the executive: Step One differentiates between simple and complex carbohydrates, detailing some hidden sources of the former and offering good to excellent sources of the latter; Step Two discusses fat consumption, explaining the sources, types and digestion of the substance; Step Three recommends eating adequate protein, defining its bodily function, how much is recommended and where to find it; Step Four unfolds the mysteries of excess sodium; Step Five focuses on calorie counting; Step Six is devoted to nutritional supplements; Step Seven is designed to help the reader control profile--items like blood and urine tests; and Step Eight educates on emotional stress reduction techniques.

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In the next part of the book, executives learn the basics of a successful diet plan--how to incorporate the preceding eight steps into a healthy diet for weight loss or maintenance--plus recipes and a list of foods that may be interchanged without increasing uptake of fat or calories.

The remaining chapters focus on various parts of successful health management: choosing the right exercise method, assessing weight-loss diets and the particular problems of business people. One basic guideline stressed by the authors is against the adult tendency to omit breakfast. See if this passage sounds familiar:

“What happens at breakfast? Do you skip it in a rush to get to the office? That could be our worst mistake of the day. Your morning energy level is going to depend on the quality of the first meal of the day. Be sure it’s low in fat, high in complex carbohydrates (grains and fruit), and provides adequate protein. This type of breakfast will set you up for several hours of sustained energy to cope with your business morning. You’ll digest this type of breakfast quickly--no great amounts of fat that take longer to digest, lingering in the stomach and leaving you with a dragged-down felling.”

Here are a few recipes high in complex carbohydrates that are ideal for the adult breakfast.

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GRAPEFRUIT CRUNCH

8 grapefruit sections, drained

2 tablespoons pina colada flavored low-fat yogurt

1 tablespoon granola with almonds

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Arrange grapefruit sections in shallow bowl or on salad plate. Top with yogurt and sprinkle with granola. Makes 1 serving.

EASY BREAKFAST PARFAIT

1 1/3 cups applesauce

Pitted prunes

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1 pint unflavored yogurt

1 1/2 cups granola

Combine applesauce and 1 cup prunes. For each serving, layer 1/4 cup yogurt, 1/2 cup applesauce mixture and another 1/4 cup yogurt in 9- or 10-ounce stemmed goblet. Top with 2 tablespoons granola and garnish each with 1 prune. Serve immediately, or refrigerate up to 4 hours before serving. Makes 4 servings.

WINTER BREAKFAST WARMER

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1 (12-ounce) package small prunes

1 pear, cored and sliced

1/2 cup dried apricot halves

2 cups orange juice

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1 tablespoon honey

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cinnamon stick

2 tablespoons chopped walnuts

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Combine prunes, pear, apricots, orange juice, honey, vanilla and cinnamon in 2- to 3-quart saucepan. Bring to boil, then reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes. Cover and let stand 1 to 2 hours to plump fruit. Before serving, warm over low heat. Sprinkle each serving with walnuts. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

GROWN-UP GORP

1/4 cup butter or margarine

1/4 cup honey

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1/4 cup maple syrup

2 cups whole grain cereal flakes

1 cup unsalted cashews

1 cup quick-cooking oats

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1 cup puffed wheat cereal

1 cup dried banana chips

1 cup dried mixed fruit pieces

1/2 cup sunflower seeds

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1 1/2 cups diced Gjetost cheese

Melt butter in large shallow baking pan in 325 degree oven. Add honey and maple syrup and blend well. Add whole grain cereal, cashews, oats and puffed wheat. Toss to blend. Bake 45 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. Remove from oven and add dried fruit and sunflower seeds. Cool to room temperature. Add cheese. Makes 8 cups.

LOWER-FAT FRITTATA

1 cup julienned chicken breast

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1 cup sliced mushrooms

2 tablespoons butter or margarine

1 small zucchini, thinly sliced

1/2 cup green pepper strips

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1/2 cup sweet red pepper strips

3 egg yolks

2 tablespoons skim milk or water

1/2 teaspoon salt

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1/8 teaspoon black pepper

6 egg whites

1 1/2 cups shredded Jarlsberg cheese

Brown chicken and mushrooms in butter in large skillet. Add zucchini and peppers and cook until tender, stirring often.

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Meanwhile, beat egg yolks with milk, salt and pepper. Beat egg whites until stiff but not dry. Fold in egg yolk mixture and 1 cup cheese. Add to skillet, then bake at 350 degrees until puffed and golden. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Serve immediately. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

EXECUTIVE FRENCH TOAST

4 eggs, lightly beaten

1 1/2 cups skim milk

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1 cup shredded Jarlsberg cheese

1 teaspoon grated orange zest

8 thick slices bread

1/4 cup butter or margarine

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Powdered sugar

Orange marmalade, apricot or strawberry preserves

Beat eggs and milk in shallow bowl or pie plate. Add cheese and orange zest. Dip bread into cheese mixture to coat both sides.

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in skillet or on griddle. Add bread and grill until golden on both sides. Add remaining butter as needed. Sprinkle with sugar and top with marmalade. Makes 4 servings.

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HEARTY HASH

1 medium onion, chopped

2 tablespoons butter or margarine

3 cups diced cooked corned or lean roast beef

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2 cups diced cooked potatoes

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

2 tablespoons chopped parsley

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

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4 eggs, optional

1 cup shredded Nokkelost cheese

Cook onion in butter in large skillet over low heat 5 minutes, stirring often. Add beef, potatoes and Worcestershire sauce. Cook 10 minutes or until browned on bottom. Turn and cook 5 minutes longer, to brown other side. Add parsley and pepper.

Make 4 indentations in hash. Break eggs into wells and top with 1/2 cup cheese. Bake at 350 degrees 5 minutes or until eggs reach desired doneness. Top with remaining cheese. Or, eliminate eggs and top with entire cup cheese. Bake just until cheese is melted and bubbling. Makes 4 servings.

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