The Double Energy Diet: The Eight Greats
by Judi Zucker and Shari Zucker

 We have found that incorporating these eight great energy foods into your diet will give you increased stamina:

     1.  Flaxseed: Flaxseed is a terrific source of fiber and alpha-linolenic acid (a type of omega-3 fatty acid), which serves as an anti-inflammatory agent.

 2.  Berries: Berries are full of fiber and cancer-fighting antioxidants. Blueberries are particularly high in antioxidants.

3.  Nuts: Most nuts contain monounsaturated fat, which helps lower LDL ("bad") cholesterol, reducing the risk of heart disease. Eating nuts also helps prevent type 2 diabetes. Almonds are especially high in fiber, protein, vitamin E, magnesium, potassium, monounsaturated fat, and flavonoids. Walnuts are high in omega-3 fatty acids.

4. Sprouts: Sprouts (like alfalfa, radish, and broccoli sprouts) are filled with antioxidants, protein, and enzymes that aid healthy digestion.

5. Apples: Apples are a great source of fiber; one apple has 5 grams, which is 20 percent of the daily recommended amount. Apples are high in pectin, a fiber component that aids digestion and helps reduce the absorption of cholesterol, as well as vitamin A, C, and niacin, and minerals such as phosphorus, iron, and potassium. These flavonoid-filled fruits contain pyruvate, which helps reduce the risk of heart disease. Pyruvate forms in the body when carbohydrates and protein convert into energy. Pyruvate appears to work as a weight loss aid by cranking up the resting metabolic rate, which is the minimum number of calories the body burns. Other fruits that aid digestion include papaya and pineapple.

6. Water: Water keeps your body hydrated, moving, and energized.

7. Oatmeal: This grain is rich in selenium, zinc, thiamin, phytochemicals and fiber.

8. Soybeans: These legumes are a complete protein source, rich in potassium, folate, iron, magnesium, thiamin, fiber, and calcium. Tofu and other soy products are high in vegetable protein and complex carbohydrates that burn slowly, balancing blood sugar levels and sustaining energy for an extended period of time. Natural isoflavones found in soybeans have been shown to function similarly to estrogen replacement therapy to help ease symptoms of menopause.

In summary, we recommend that you ease yourself into the Double Energy Diet by:

- Avoiding "downer" foods: meats (which are high in saturated fats and cholesterol), large amounts of any kind of fat, and foods filled with sugar and fat.

- Dropping all "downer" beverages-alcohol, caffeine-containing beverages and soft drinks-from your diet.

- Training your body to be "stress-ready" in order to minimize the energy-depleting effects of stress.

- Eating a wide variety of "upper" foods-complex carbohydrates and low-fat or nonfat dairy products to promote high energy.

- Drinking plenty of water (about eight glasses a day) to keep your body operating in high gear.

Yummy Apple Flax Muffins

Yield: 16 muffins

These muffins are so moist and good (and they're good for you, too). Apples are one of the eight great energy foods.

1/2 cup warm water

3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons flaxseed meal

3 green apples (Pippin or Granny Smith), peeled and shredded

3/4 cup dairy or nondairy milk

1/2 cup liquid sweetener of your choice

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

11/2 cups unbleached pastry flour

3/4 cup oat bran

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 cup raisins

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place the water in a medium bowl, stir in the 2 tablespoons flaxseed meal, and let sit for 5 minutes. Place 16 fluted muffin liners in 2 muffin tins.

     Add the shredded apples, milk, sweetener, and vanilla to the flaxseed mixture and stir to blend.

     Place the flour, remaining 3/4 cup flaxseed meal, oat bran, cinnamon, and baking powder in a large bowl, and whisk to combine. Add the milk mixture and stir with a spoon until blended, then add the raisins and stir to combine.

     Fill the prepared muffin cups 3/4 full and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until a paring knife inserted in a muffin has moist crumbs clinging to it. (We like our muffins moist, so we bake them for the shorter amount of time.) Let the muffins cool briefly in the tins, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

Carob Fudge Balls

Yield: 50 (1/2-inch) balls

Sometimes it is fun to have a no-bake, quick, cold treat in the refrigerator. These confections are great on-the-go snacks, high in potassium and riboflavin. Some people enjoy substituting carob in their diet instead of chocolate because chocolate contains caffeine, theobromine and oxalic acid.

3 tablespoons liquid sweetener

of your choice

1 cup warm water

2 cups dry roasted, unsalted

sunflower seeds

3/4 cup carob powder

1/2 cup diced pitted dates

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut (optional)

Dissolve the sweetener in the water in a large bowl. Process the sunflower seeds in a blender until they become a powdery meal. Add the sunflower seed meal, carob powder, dates, vanilla, and cinnamon to the sweetened water and stir well to combine. Roll the mixture into bite-size balls, then roll the balls in the coconut (if using). Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Tempting Tempeh with Soba Noodles

Yield: 4 servings

Soba noodles are Japanese noodles made with buckwheat. Tempeh, made from fermented soybeans, is filled with soy isoflavones, known to strengthen bones, ease menopausal symptoms, and reduce coronary heart disease. Together, the noodles and tempeh make a fiber-rich, protein-packed meal.

3 tablespoons tamari (soy sauce)

3 tablespoons rice vinegar

2 tablespoons sesame oil

1 tablespoon liquid sweetener

of your choice

2 teaspoons chili paste

2 garlic cloves, minced

8 ounces tempeh, cut in 1-inch cubes

8 ounces soba noodles or any spaghetti-type pasta

8 ounces sugar snap peas,

rinsed and trimmed

1/2 cup diced red bell pepper

1/4 cup sliced green onions

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Bring 3 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot. Place the tamari, rice vinegar, sesame oil, sweetener, chili paste, and garlic in a large bowl and whisk to combine. Add the tempeh cubes and gently toss to coat all sides.

     Cook the tempeh cubes in a large skillet over medium heat about 5 minutes, or until they turn light brown, stirring often. Return the cooked tempeh to the bowl.

     Add the soba noodles to the boiling water and cook, uncovered, for 5 minutes or until almost al dente. Add the peas and bell pepper and cook for 1 minute more. Drain well and transfer the hot noodles, peas, and bell pepper to the tempeh-sauce mixture. Toss in the cilantro and green onions. Serve warm.

Variation: Sprinkle 1/2 cup slivered almonds over the noodles for added crunch.

Egg-ceptional Eggplant Parmesan

Yield: 4 servings

Enjoy this baked, not fried, version of an Italian favorite!

1 large eggplant, peeled and sliced

1/2 inch thick

1/2 cup warm water

2 tablespoons flaxseed meal

1/2 cup plain dairy or nondairy yogurt

1 cup dry bread crumbs

1 1/2 cups tomato sauce

1 cup sliced white mushrooms

1 can (3.8 ounces) sliced black olives, drained (about 1 cup)

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 teaspoons dried Italian herb blend (basil, parsley, and oregano flakes)

4 ounces mozzarella cheese or nondairy mozzarella-style cheese, shredded (1 cup)

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese or nondairy Parmesan-style cheese

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.    

Place the sliced eggplant in a large bowl, add enough warm water to cover, and let the slices soak for 20 minutes. Drain the eggplant, then press each slice between paper towels to remove any excess liquid.

     While the eggplant soaks, place the 1/2 cup warm water in a medium bowl, stir in the flaxseed meal, and let sit for 5 minutes. Stir in the yogurt. Dip the eggplant slices into this mixture and then sprinkle each side with breadcrumbs. Place the breaded slices into a 9 x 13-inch pan.

     Place the tomato sauce, mushrooms, olives, garlic, and herbs in a medium bowl and stir to blend. Spread evenly over the eggplant slices. Distribute the shredded cheese over the sauce and sprinkle with the Parmesan. Bake for 45 minutes, or until the tomato sauce is bubbling and the cheese is lightly browned. Serve immediately. Note: When buying bread crumbs, read labels and avoid brands with preservatives, additives and sugars. You can also make your own bread crumbs from stale bread. Just cut slices of bread in small squares and toast the bread in a toaster oven at 350 degrees F for 10 minutes, or until the bread is slightly browned.

Irresistible Lasagne Roll-ups

Yield: 5 servings

This is a quick version of traditional lasagne.

10 plain or spinach lasagne noodles, cooked according to package

directions

1/4 cup warm water

1 tablespoon flaxseed meal

1 large bunch spinach, chopped fine (about 2 1/2 cups)

1 cup low-fat dairy or nondairy

cottage cheese (ricotta cheese

can be substituted)

1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese or nondairy Parmesan-style cheese, plus extra for sprinkling

1/4 cup diced yellow onion

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon fennel seed

3 cups tomato sauce

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.    

Place the water in a large bowl, stir in the flaxseed meal, and let sit for 5 minutes. Add the spinach, cottage cheese, Parmesan, onion, garlic, nutmeg, and fennel, and stir the ingredients together with a large spoon. Spread a couple of spoonfuls of the filling onto each cooked lasagne noodle and roll up the noodles carefully. Place each roll on end in a 9 x 13-inch casserole dish. Cover with the tomato sauce and extra Parmesan. Bake for 25 minutes or until the sauce starts to bubble. Serve immediately.

     Excerpted from "The Double Energy Diet," by Judi Zucker and Shari Zucker (2008; Book Publishing Co., $14.95) Order at your favorite bookstore, on-line or through The Mail Order Catalog 800-695-2241.