Pareto’s Law For Better Health And Easy Weight Loss

You may be familiar with Pareto’s law which states that 20% of the effort yields 80% of the results. This is applies to health and weight loss too.

Let’s face it, everyone wants to be healthier, and for many that includes losing weight. But not everyone makes it a priority and takes action. Maybe because of the time and energy it may require, which are at a premium in this busy bustling world, when being stretched too thin (no pun intended) is half the problem in the first place.Screen Shot 2014-09-25 at 9.39.03 PM

When you get right down to it, failure to act on improving your health is based on only two things; fear of the pain you believe will come with your efforts, and the disassociation to the pleasure you will gain. In other words, the fear that it will be “hard and no fun” eclipses the vision of the desired result.

But if we consider Pareto’s principle, we can transform this belief almost instantly. If 20% of the effort yields 80% of the results, we can just focus on a few high yield items and call it a win.

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No matter where you are in the health spectrum I’ll bet you could think of at least 20 things you could do to be healthier and lose weight. If you pick 3-4 items off the list to focus on, you will likely get almost as good of a result as if you did them all. Drinking more water may seem like too easy of a way to get out of going to the gym 5 days a week, but if you are not drinking enough, it may give you more benefit than the exercise. Walking for 30 minutes per day may seem like a copout compared to running a marathon, but the benefits to your overall health may be pretty comparable.

Just for fun make a list of 20 different things you could do to achieve your health and weight ideal. Then divide a piece of paper into 4 quadrants. Label the upper left quadrant “Difficult/high yield” and the quadrant below “Difficult /low yield”. Label the upper right “Easy high yield” and below that “Easy/low yield”.  For example, going for a relaxing evening walk may be easy, but it is high yield. Starving yourself is certainly difficult–and it is ultimately low yield.

Sort your list into the four different Screen Shot 2014-09-25 at 10.17.07 PMcategories. The first place to look for your “to-do” items, as I’m sure you realize, is the easy with high yield results list.

Now take it one tiny little step further. Look at your whole list, and with a highlighter if you have one, or maybe just underline if you don’t, select the items that you find the most FUN. With the filter of easy and fun, select the 3-4 items that will do the most to give you the body, energy, and life you want. I would call that a win.

 

 

 

 

Japanese Vegetable Seafood Hot Pot – Nabemono

This dish is more of a method than a recipe. Basically it involves preparing an assortment of meats, seafood, vegetables, noodles, tofu, etc, and cooking them in broth. The actual cooking time is very short and aside from selecting and cutting the ingredients, it almost makes itself.

Nabemono

The first step is to make the broth. The basic broth takes minimal effort and is made by steeping seaweed and fish flakes in water. I guess I should mention that you should begin this endeavor with a trip to an Asian market where you can get the necessary but not-always-easy-to-find-in-regular-grocery-store ingredients which are as follows:

  • Benito flakes (fish flakes)
  • Kombu / kelp (seaweed)
  • Sake (rice wine)
  • Seasoned rice vinegar
  • Mirin (sweet cooking sake)
  • Shiritaki noodles (zero calorie) or mung bean threads (cellophane noodles)
  • Some nice mushrooms like shitake, enoki, or oyster. (Figure a 2-3 mushrooms per person plus some enoki)
  • Napa cabbage
  • Organic tofu
  • Other items you will need are fish and seafood (see below), green onion, carrot, and sweet onion but these can be found anywhere.

This is an easy broth to make. It’s more like making tea than like making chicken or beef stock.

How to make the broth:Kombu & Benito flakes

  1. Rinse 3 oz Kombu in cold water.
  2. Place kombu in a pot with 5-6 cups of water.
  3. Simmer over a low to medium heat for about 10 minutes.
  4. Just before the water comes to a boil remove the kombu.
  5. Add 1/2 cup benito flakes and let steep for 5-10 minutes.
  6. Strain out bonito flakes.

Then add:

  • 1/4 cup sake
  • 1/4 cup mirin
  • a few drops of soy sauce for saltiness (to taste)

While your broth is steeping, you’ll have time to cut up all of the other ingredients. There are no exact measurements here, but I will give approximate amounts that you can adjust according to your preferences. This will serve 4 people.

  • 1/2 pound  fresh fish such as cod, rock fish, salmon, halibut, or whatever you prefer, cut into large chunks
  • 1/2 pound shrimp, cleaned, but not peeled
  • 1 pound clam or mussels, washed
  • 8 oz tofu (1/2 package), cut into 1/2 slices
  • 1 medium sweet onion, cut into 1/2 inch moons
  • 1 package shiritaki noodles, blanched and rinsed (these are the zero calorie noodles)
  • 8-12 shitaki mushrooms, stems removed (mushrooms can be left whole unless they are very large)
  • 1 package enoki mushrooms rinsed, root ends removed
  • 1/2 head Napa cabbage cut into large pieces
  • 1 carrot, slices into 1/4 inch rounds
  • 1-2 bunches green onions, cleaned and cut into 3 inch lengths, thick pieces cut in half the long way

Nabemono, arrangedArrange all of the ingredients neatly in a shallow pot large enough to hold everything. Pour the broth gently over the arrangement so as not to disturb the items, reserving 1/2 cup for ponzu sauce. Place pot on stove and bring to a boil. boil gently for 5-10 minutes until the clams are just opening up. Do not stir.

Bring the pot to the table. Serve with rice and Ponzu sauce for dipping.

 

Ponzu Sauce:

  • Juice of one lemon and one lime, more to tastePonzu sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons  cup rice vinegar
  • 1/2 cup good-quality soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Sake
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 cup dashi broth
  • 2 tablespoons chopped green onion
  • dash of cayenne