Healthy Chinese Food and Diets Haven’t Changed in 100 Years

Lets Talk Health Cooking
I’ve been getting requests to make more meat dishes. Last night I had a Chinese theme dinner that was very tasty.
Enjoy the recipes
Wonton Soup
Serves 4
3 soaked dried Chinese mushrooms
couldn’t find these mushrooms, I minced brown mushrooms instead 
7oz raw prawns
7oz raw ground pork
I omitted the pork, that doesn’t mean you have to
1 pinch of salt
1 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
1 tsp sesame seed oil
5 finely chopped spring onions
1 piece ginger, freshly grated
2 tbsp chopped water chestnut
7oz wonton wrappers (ready to use)
1 quart low sodium chicken broth
Peel, gut, and boil shrimp in salted water, finely chop when cool
Saute prawns, mushrooms, ground meat, salt, soy sauce, sesame oil, half of the spring onions, ginger and water chestnuts thoroughly
Use the wonton pastry sheets quickly, covering unused sheets with a damp cloth to keep them from becoming dry 
Put 1 heaping teaspoon of the filling in the middle of a wonton wrapper Moisten the edges of the wrapper with some water fold the square into a triangle, pressing the edges together a little. Place the little wrapped parcels on a flour dusted board or a paper towel
Bring plenty of water to a boil. Allow dumplings to cook for 4-5 minutes in vigorously boiling water
Boil the chicken broth in a separate pot. Add remaining finely chopped spring onion and 2 tablespoons of soy sauce

Remove the boiled wonton from water, allow to drain and keep warm. Put the wonton in bowls or deep plates and put the boiling broth over them
Serve soup right away.

My wonton soup came out pretty good. Make sure not to over boil the wontons, or let the soups simmer all together.  I made that mistake and a few of my wontons busted, which was even better, tasty bits of shrimp and vegetables were floating around the soup.
Szechuan Style Beef
Serves 4
Generous 1lb skirt steak
1 egg white
1 tbsp cornstarch
4 tbsp soy sauce
2 onions
2 pressed garlic cloves
1 red and 1 green pepper
2 chilies
1 small leek
1 small eggplant
I omitted the eggplant
1 piece of fresh ginger
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp rice vinegar
2 tsp rice wine
oil for frying
1 pinch of salt
Cut beef into thin slices. Mix egg white with cornstarch and 1 tablespoon of soy sauce and marinate the beef in this mixture
Peel the onions and garlic, cutting the onions in fine rings. Clean, wash and finely chop the peppers and chilies. Clean and was the leek and cut into thin strips. Clean wash and dice the eggplant. Peel and chop the ginger.
Mix the sugar with the remaining soy sauce, rice vinegar and rice win and put aside
Heat the oil in a wok. Stir-fry the beef at a high temperature, season with salt and pepper. Take out and put aside.

Heat some oil and fry the eggplants, onions, ginger, and the rest of the vegetables. Add the pressed garlic. Stir-fry at a high temperature, add the meat. Pour in the sauce and mix all the ingredients well.
Goes well with rice
I didn’t get to taste this recipe by my taster said it was spicy and savory. Next time I tackle this recipe I’m going to add more seasoning to the beef marinade. It needs a little more love than low soduim soy sauce.
Lets talk NY Times

In Struggle With Weight, Taft Used a Modern Diet

By GINA KOLATA, Published: October 14, 2013

William Howard Taft, the only massively obese man ever to be president of the United States, struggled mightily to control his weight a century ago, worrying about his health and image, and endured humiliation from cartoonists who delighted in his corpulent figure. But new research has found that his weight-loss program was startlingly contemporary, and his difficulties keeping the pounds off would be familiar to many Americans today.
On the advice of his doctor, a famed weight-loss guru and author of popular diet books, he went on a low-fat, low-calorie diet. He avoided snacks. He kept a careful diary of what he ate and weighed himself daily. He hired a personal trainer and rode a horse for exercise. And he wrote his doctor, Nathaniel E. Yorke-Davies, with updates on his progress, often twice a week. 
In a way, he was ahead of his time. Obesity became a medical issue by the middle of the 20th century, around the time the term “obesity” rather than “corpulence” came into vogue, said Abigail C. Saguy, a sociologist at the University of California, Los Angeles, who specializes in the study of obesity. Taft’s story shows that “at least in some cases, corpulence was already treated as a medical problem early in the century,” she added. 
Like many dieters today, Taft, 6 feet 2 inches tall, lost weight and regained it, fluctuating from more than 350 to 255 pounds. He was 48 when he first contacted Dr. Yorke-Davies, and spent the remaining 25 years of his life corresponding with the doctor and consulting other physicians in a quest to control his weight. 
Taft’s struggles are recounted by Deborah Levine, a medical historian at Providence College in Rhode Island. She discovered the extensive correspondence between Taft and the diet doctor, including Taft’s diet program, his food diary, and a log of his weight. Her findingswere published Monday in The Annals of Internal Medicine.
His story, Dr. Levine said, “sheds a lot of light on what we are going through now.”
Obesity — often said to be a product of our sedentary lifestyle and fast foods — has been a concern for over a century. 
Obesity experts said Taft’s experience highlights how very difficult it is for many fat people to lose substantial amounts of weight and keep it off, and how little progress has been made in finding a combination of foods that lead to permanent weight loss. 
“Maybe we are looking for something that doesn’t exist,” said David B. Allison, the director of the Nutrition Obesity Research Center at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
Doctors today would most likely offer Taft weight-loss surgery — which could have a big effect on weight — or drugs, which have a small effect at best. But the diet he was advised to follow would be largely unchanged, Dr. Allison said. 
Dr. Levine became interested in Taft’s story when she read old newspaper articles that mentioned he was working with Dr. Yorke-Davies to lose weight. She found their letters in the Library of Congress. 
Dr. Yorke-Davies was known for creating strict personal diet plans for his patients. In a relationship sustained entirely by mail, he advised Taft to lose at least 60 to 80 pounds. 
Meals were to be eaten at certain times and meats were to be weighed. Taft was to eat a small portion of lean meat or fish at every meal, cooked vegetables at lunch and dinner (no butter), a plain salad, and stewed or baked fruit (unsweetened). He got a single glass of “unsweetened” wine at lunch. The doctor also allowed his own diet product, gluten biscuits, that were produced to his specifications in London. Taft bought them and had them shipped to the United States.
Taft tried to adhere to the program and also employed a personal trainer, known at the time as “a physical culture man.” 
By April 1905, six months after he first wrote to the doctor, Taft had lost 60 pounds. But even though people told him he looked good, he was “continuously hungry,” he wrote the doctor.
Taft began to gain back the weight and stopped writing to the doctor, who asked Taft’s friends and family what was going on. After learning Taft had regained 19 pounds, he told Taft he needed to return to his diet program or “in another three or four years you will be almost back to your original weight.” 
By the time Taft was inaugurated as president in 1909, he had indeed regained all he had lost, and more, weighing 354 pounds. He became the butt of jokes, with many relishing a story that he had gotten stuck in a White House bathtub.
But Taft never gave up. When he died in 1930, he weighed 280 pounds. 
The tale is strikingly modern, obesity experts said. The self-monitoring — weighing himself daily, keeping a food diary — are “the fundamental tenets of changing behavior,” said Dr. Kimberly Gudzune, an obesity researcher at Johns Hopkins. “Keep yourself accountable.”
In some ways Taft got the sort of medical care doctors today wish they could provide. He was in constant touch with his doctor over a period of many years. 
“That is really a model we try to strive for today,” Dr. Gudzune said. She sees her patients once a month, a frequency that, for most primary care doctors, “is almost unheard-of.” 
She and others were also struck by Taft’s persistent hunger pangs. 
Dr. Jules Hirsch, an obesity researcher at Rockefeller University, said losing a substantial amount of weight and keeping it off amounts to telling the body it is starving. He saw this in his own pioneering studies decades ago. Fat people agreed to live in a hospital ward while they dieted to a normal weight. But they were ravenous and almost every one of them eventually succumbed to intense hunger and regained the weight that was so painfully lost. 
“One of the most important drives we have is to prevent starvation,” Dr. Hirsch said.
A version of this article appears in print on October 15, 2013, on page A16 of the New York edition with the headline: In Struggle With Weight a Century Ago, a Diet From Today.
This article is eye opening. Weight loss/keeping weight off has been a mystery for centuries. They even ate gluten free snacks in the 1900s. Wow! I didn’t know that.
That’s all today folks

References: New York Times, October 14, 2013, Gena Kolata, Wok, NGV publishing  

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