The don’t eat so fast rule

Sounds obvious but have you ever checked the clock at the beginning of the meal and then again at the end? It’s frightening. “They” say you should stretch out your meals to last 20 minutes, because that is apparently how long it takes your stomach to tell your brain it’s full. A good idea. Harder than it sounds. But worth trying.

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The brush-your-teeth rule

Brush your teeth after eating and you will be less inclined to eat between meals.

This is a popular ploy. Some go further by recommending that you use a strong mint-flavored toothpaste–apparently the mint kills appetite.

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The small bites rule

Taking small bites apparently results in consuming 52% fewer calories.

I think this is simply a variant of the good old “don’t eat so fast” rule.

Related rules: Cut your food into small pieces. Chew each bite 20 times (I find this one rather disgusting). Put down your fork between bites.

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Rule no. 1 of the perpetual diet

Fidget as much as possible. Fidgeting burns calories. Fidgeting gives your hands something to do other than to stuff fat piggy food into your fat piggy face. Fidgeters are slender.

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Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic

You will find tons of recipes on the Internet for Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic.

Some versions call for as much as a cup of oil. I feel this is insane and not worth it, calorie-wise. In fact I omit the oil entirely, and even remove the skin from the chicken. To partly make up for this I use all chicken thighs (instead of a whole chicken), because thighs are tastier and fattier than white meat. They are also the easiest of all the chicken parts to skin (and skinning the chicken is the very hardest part of this recipe).

I also like to use parsnips instead of the more traditional celery, for two reasons: (1) I don’t use celery a lot and I don’t like buying a whole bunch of it and then watching the rest go limp in the fridge, and (2) I love parsnips! They are yummy and add a tantalizing sweetness.

The great thing about this recipe is that it’s a whole meal in one dish. You do need to think ahead though, as it takes an hour and a half to bake. But it reheats very well so you have really made two meals, depending on how many people you’re feeding.

Please note that my version doesn’t actually call for “40” cloves of garlic. This is around two bulbs. We like garlic but cannot get through this much, so it ends up being wasted. Around half a bulb works for us. But you can put in as much as you like. It is nice to spread on bread.

  •  6 chicken thighs, bone in
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 large parsnip
  • 2 large carrots
  • 2 potatoes
  • 1/2 bulb garlic
  • 8 sprigs parsley
  • 1 ½ t salt
  • ½ t freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 t tarragon
  • ½ c vermouth
  • fresh nutmeg

Preheat oven to 375.

Dice onion. Chop parsnip, carrot, and potatoes into hunks about the size of a large grape. Layer these in the bottom of a casserole. I use my trusty 9 x 13 glass Pyrex.

Skin the chicken thighs and arrange them over the bed of vegetables. Break up the garlic bulb and tuck the unpeeled cloves, along with the parsley sprigs, into the spaces between the chicken pieces.

Drizzle the vermouth over everything. Then sprinkle on the salt, pepper, and tarragon. Finish with one grind of nutmeg for each chicken thigh.

Cover with foil and bake for one hour. Remove foil and bake for another 30 minutes until the chicken is nicely browned.

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