Happy New Year! I’m excited to kick off 2017 with a post I’ve been holding onto for a while.
Last year around this time I stumbled across the Rapid Fat Loss Handbook by Lyle McDonald and was introduced to the idea of Protein-Sparing Modified Fasting. PSMF was developed by doctors in the 1970s to achieve rapid fat loss in obese patients. It’s a crash diet, not a lifestyle, but is often used by bodybuilders or as a jump-start into the ketogenic lifestyle.
The basic principle is to eat only enough protein to prevent loss of lean body mass. Fat and carbohydrates are limited to those that come along with your protein, fiber, and supplementation (fish oil, calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium). PSMF is also lovingly known as “Protein Strictly, MoFo.”
It is not a diet I’m recommending to readers. Anyone interested should consult a doctor or read McDonald’s book – there’s a lot of science and careful tracking that goes into making this a safe, effective way of eating – even over a short period of time.
For folks already following a PSMF program, however, meals can get a little boring. Chicken breasts and broccoli is the usual joke. Well, you guys know how much I love the challenge of making delicious meals within strict dietary constraints. Over the course of my month of PSMF, in addition to losing 20 pounds, I developed tons of recipes to add flavor and variety to the fast. In June I published an ebook with my and my recipe testers’ 36 favorite PSMF recipes. PSMF Meals is available for $2 here. There is also a Kindle edition available on Amazon.
These recipes are so good Brad and I continued making them even after my fast was over. This Zesty Fiesta Chicken Soup is one of our staples – mainly because it’s so easy to make. When I come home tired after work it’s so easy to raid the pantry and freezer, throw ingredients into a pot, and sit down to a warm bowl of zesty soup 45 minutes later. It’s also perfect for cold and flu season.
This recipe is naturally gluten-free and paleo-friendly. Also, because it was specifically developed to be low-carb, low-fat, and high protein, it fits perfectly into keto diets including Dukan and Atkins. Alternatively, if you don’t have dietary constraints, jazz it up even more by adding a can of drained black beans and two cups of frozen corn while cooking. Serve garnished with tortilla chips, sour cream, shredded cheese, and diced avocado.
- 8 c nonfat chicken broth
- 2 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast
- 1/2 c onion, finely diced
- 2 tbs garlic, minced
- 1 jalapeño, minced, more or less to taste
- 1 14-oz can fire-roasted tomatoes with green chilies
- 1 c water
- 1 cube vegetable bouillon
- 1/2 tbs cumin
- 1 cup cilantro
- salt, salt substitute and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Combine all ingredients except cilantro in a large pot and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until chicken is cooked through, about 20-30 minutes.
Remove chicken and shred in a stand mixer or using two forks.
Return shredded chicken to pot and continue to simmer 5-10 more minutes. Season to taste and serve garnished with 1/4 c cilantro.
As a variation for those not on PSMF or keto, add a can of drained black beans and 2 cups of frozen corn with the shredded chicken. Serve garnished with your choice of sour cream, shredded cheese, crumbled tortilla chips and avocado.
Total Fat 7.0g
Trans Fat 0.0g
Total Carbohydrates 6.3g
Dietary Fiber 1.1g