#394 (2/2/2010) ALL THAI'D UP!

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Beachbody® Restaurant Rescue: Thai Edition

By Stephanie S. Saunders

Thai cuisine dates back 4,000 years, when the region that is now Thailand was part of the major North/South trade route. As a result, this vegetarian-friendly fare has been influenced by China, India, and the Middle East. The United States saw its first immigrants from Thailand in the 1800s, but our true introduction to the cuisine came after the Vietnam War, thanks to soldiers stationed there during the conflict. With its unique tastes and vegetable combinations, a good Thai meal strives to balance five flavors: salty, sweet, spicy, bitter, and sour.

Thai Food

How can one go wrong when ordering from a Thai restaurant? Well, there are several ways. Although not meat-heavy, it can be "fry-heavy," as Thai chefs prefer things "crispy." They're also fond of coconut milk in their curries, and sugary peanut sauce, which is hardly fat free. And the average noodle dish can pack a 600-calorie punch, which is quite a bit if you're having multiple dishes. So, in this installment of Beachbody Restaurant Rescue, let's pay a visit to the land of Siam.


Egg RollAs is often the case, the real danger on a Thai menu lurks in the appetizer section. If you avoid all things fried, you might enjoy one of the following appetizers without doing too much damage to your thighs. And if you must fry it up a little, stay away from the Mee krob, which is a fried caloric nightmare. And be sure to remember that all dipping sauces have sugar in them, and will add 50 to 100 calories to that starter.

For those of us who do not enjoy Thai food regularly, here is an explanation of the appetizers:

Summer rolls are baked tofu, carrots, cucumbers, and red leaf and Thai basil wrapped with rice paper. Curry dumplings are dumplings with shrimp and scallops, served in a light green curry sauce. Satay is bamboo-skewered meat marinated in coconut milk and spices, served with peanut dipping sauce. Egg rolls are fried rice paper stuffed with cabbage, carrots, mushrooms, and vermicelli. Mee krob is crispy rice noodles with shrimp.

  Calories Fat Carbs Sodium Protein
Summer rolls, 1 roll 47 1.5 grams 12 grams 279 milligrams 2 grams
Curry dumplings, 1 dumpling 110 5 grams 51 grams 324 milligrams 10 grams
Satay chicken, 1 skewer 135 4 grams 3 grams 320 milligrams 20 grams
Egg rolls, 1 roll 240 8 grams 40 grams 330 milligrams 4 grams
Mee krob, 4 oz. 443 42 grams 14 grams 312.5 milligrams 2 grams


Lemongrass SoupLike all Asian cultures, Thailand has a variety of soups, most of which are fantastic ways to begin a meal. Thanks to Buddhist influence, most Thai soups are vegetarian and fairly good for you, except when based in coconut milk. Like many soups, Thai soups pack a sodium punch, so if you are watching your sodium, try not to overindulge.

Lemongrass soup is a sour soup with oyster mushrooms, traditionally seasoned with lemongrass, lime leaves, bird's eye chili, and lime juice. Tom kha is a coconut soup with oyster mushrooms seasoned with galanga, lime leaves, lemongrass, bird's eye chili, and lime juice. Tofu vegetable soup consists of soybeans, baby bok choy, snow peas, cabbage, carrots, and green onions. Wonton soup is a wonton stuffed with chicken, and shrimp with Asian greens in a hearty chicken broth.

  Calories Fat Carbs Sodium Protein
Lemongrass soup, 4 oz. 123 4 grams 6 grams 982 milligrams 16 grams
Tom kha, 4 oz. 207 12 grams 11 grams 1,232 milligrams 31 grams
Tofu vegetable soup, 4 oz. 253 9 grams 29 grams 2,134 milligrams 15 grams
Wonton soup, 4 oz. 110 3 grams 8 grams 410 milligrams 10 grams


Papaya SaladThai salads aren't exactly iceberg, croutons, and ranch dressing. Usually on the spicy side, they tend to include fascinating food combinations. A papaya salad is flavorful, different, and full of some healthy goodness. A Yum tai combines three different kinds of protein and has a lot of kick. Just be sure to avoid the Thai chicken salad, as it is just as bad for you as its Chinese counterpart.

A papaya salad is green papaya with lime juice, fish sauce, chili, bay shrimp, green beans, and a touch of garlic sauce. Pla-goong is grilled shrimp with lemongrass, lime juice, chili, and mint. Yam tai is a green salad with shrimp, chicken, hard-boiled egg, and crushed peanuts with sweet and sour dressing. Yum nua includes slices of herb-barbecued sirloin tossed in lime juice, tomatoes, Japanese cucumber, shallots, scallions, and bird's eye chili.

  Calories Fat Carbs Sodium Protein
Papaya salad, 6 oz. 156 6 grams 22 grams 829 milligrams 4 grams
Pla-goong, 6 oz. 220 2 grams 1 gram 123 milligrams 12 grams
Yam tai, 6 oz. 290 7 grams 54 grams 720 milligrams 22 grams
Yum nua, 6 oz. 324 10 grams 33 grams 874 milligrams 25 grams

Main Course

Pad ThaiThe entrée is where Thai cuisine shows its culturally infused history with an intricate combination of noodles, curries, stir-fries, meat, and seafood. In Thailand, rice is eaten at every meal, and it is always served here in Thai restaurants. Ordering brown rice, if available, will lower the glycemic index of your food, and make you feel satiated much sooner. Again, limiting the amount of coconut milk and fried dishes you order will go a long way toward saving you some calories. Also, remember that Thai food is usually served in large quantities, to be shared with an entire table, so watch your portion sizes.

Pad Thai is sautéed Thai rice noodles with baked tofu, egg, bean sprouts, scallions, and crushed peanuts. Pad see ew features Sen yai noodles sautéed in sweet soy sauce with Asian broccoli and egg. Thai fried rice is jasmine rice sautéed with onions, tomatoes, scallions, and egg. Gra pow is sautéed meat in fresh garlic and chili with red bell peppers, yellow jalapeño, and spicy holy basil. Penang is vegetables and Thai herbs and spices blended in mild chili paste with lime leaves, simmered in coconut milk. Kang dang is meat and Thai spices blended in hot chili paste with apple eggplant, bamboo shoots, Thai basil, and red jalapeño, simmered in coconut milk. Talay Thai is a seafood medley with Thai seasonings of garlic, lemongrass, basil, galanga, lime leaves, and chili peppers. Kang ped is roasted duck in a spicy red curry with pineapple, tomatoes, and Thai basil.

  Calories Fat Carbs Sodium Protein
Pad Thai, 6 oz. 766 34 grams 75 grams 1,752 milligrams 34 grams
Pad see ew, 8 oz. 535 6 grams 103 grams 1,342 milligrams 21 grams
Thai fried rice, 8 oz. 580 17 grams 93 grams 702 milligrams 12 grams
Gra pow, 6 oz. 152 4.6 grams 9 grams 1,056 milligrams 20 grams
Penang, 4 oz. 472 40 grams 15 grams 786 milligrams 30 grams
Kang dang, 4 oz. 385 26 grams 8 grams 653 milligrams 22 grams
Talay Thai, 6 oz. 394 6 grams 33 grams 2,654 milligrams 42 grams
Kang ped, 10 oz. 535 52 grams 19 grams 328 milligrams 7 grams


Green Tea Ice CreamThere are a million real Thai dessert recipes out there, but most restaurants don't seem to serve them. Perhaps they would prefer to remain focused on the main courses, and let you fend for yourself after the meal. There's usually green tea ice cream, but that's more of a Japanese dessert. You'll usually find lychee fruit, typically covered in sugar. And a Thai iced tea has enough sugar and fat, thanks to the condensed milk, to satisfy your sweet tooth for a while. Again, if you can do without, avoid the extra calories.

  Calories Fat Carbs Sodium Protein
Green tea ice cream, 4 oz. 140 8 grams 15 grams 40 milligrams 3 grams
Lychee fruits, 4 oz. 113 1 gram 23 grams 2 milligrams < 1 gram
Thai iced tea, 10 oz. 187 5 grams 35 grams 20 milligrams 2 grams

Despite its healthy cuisine, Thailand is also being affected by an obesity epidemic that is astounding. One in five school-age Thai children is overweight, which the government attributes to sedentary lifestyles and an increase in refined sugar. Just like in the United States, children in Thailand are more interested in playing computer games than playing outside.

Unlike U.S. residents, the average Thai person eats out 13 times a week, as it is more economical and convenient than preparing food at home. And although one might think this adds to the obesity problem, eating out in Thailand is a very different experience than the typical American one. Here, we order an appetizer, a few dishes, a sugary drink, and sometimes dessert. In Thailand, eating out means a small bowl of food from a stall in a marketplace, which is eaten while in transit to work or home.

So should you have a craving for some Thai food, perhaps take a cue from the Thai people, and choose a small portion. Sometimes, savoring one dish can be as enjoyable as consuming several. And think of all the hours you will save not burning off coconut milk and peanut sauce. That alone can make any meal more appetizing.

Related Articles
"Beachbody® Restaurant Rescue: Italian Edition"
"Beachbody® Restaurant Rescue: Mexican Edition"
"Beachbody® Restaurant Rescue: Greek Edition"

Got something to say? Chat with the writers and other readers this coming Monday, February 8th, at 7:00 PM ET, 4:00 PM PT, in the Beachbody Chat Room!

If you'd like to ask a question or comment on this newsletter article, click here to add a comment in the newsletter review section or you can email us at mailbag@beachbody.com.

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Help Us Help Haiti

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By now, we’ve all seen the horrific images on television of destruction in the wake of the earthquake which struck Haiti on January 12th. Beachbody wants to help. From now until February 15th, Beachbody will be matching up to $60,000 in donations made by any Beachbody employee, Coach, or customer to a number of Haiti relief efforts. Click here for more details from CEO Carl Daikeler and please give today.

If you'd like to ask a question or comment on this newsletter article, click here to add a comment in the newsletter review section or you can email us at mailbag@beachbody.com.

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Climbing Michi's Ladder: Barley

By Denis Faye

Yes, beer is made from barley, but, no, that does not land beer in tier 1 of Michi's Ladder. Barley is actually a highly nutritious cereal grain with a nutty flavor. But to be completely honest, most cereal grains can be described as having a nutty flavor, so you should probably try it for yourself. It's a great way to get those complex carbohydrates without resorting to wheat.


The nutrition facts

The big draw when it comes to barley is the fiber hit—four times more than you'll get from an equivalent amount of brown rice or oatmeal. One raw ounce is 99 calories, with 1 gram of fat, 21 grams of carbs, 5 grams of fiber, and 3 grams of protein. As for micronutrients, you'll find 19 percent of the recommended daily allowance (RDA)* for manganese and 15 percent of the RDA for selenium, as well as thiamin, niacin, iron, magnesium, and phosphorus.

How do you eat this stuff?

Barley works pretty much like any other grain, so bread, pancakes, and muffins are all options. You can use cracked or flattened barley to make hot cereal. You can also add it to stews or soups to "beef" them up a little or just add flavor.

1 cup of barley, pearled, cooked (157 g)
Calories Fat Carbs Fiber Protein
193 1 gram 44 grams 6 grams 4 grams

Michi's Ladder is Beachbody's guide to nutritious eating. If you only ate from Tiers 1 & 2, you would have a near-perfect diet!

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"Food for Thought (Literally)"

Denis FayeGot something to say? Chat with the writers and other readers this coming Monday, February 8th, at 7:00 PM ET, 4:00 PM PT, in the Beachbody Chat Room!

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Prep Your Skin for a Flawless Makeup Application

Woman's Face with Makeup

Let's face it. Most mornings, there's no time to take the extra steps to prep our skin properly for flawless makeup application. Sometimes, we find ourselves subtracting minutes from our morning beauty routine depending on how many times we hit the snooze button on the alarm. However, taking the extra time to prime your skin for makeup when getting dolled up for special occasions, weekends, or holidays can really make a difference in creating a seamless look. Here are some ways to prime your skin for ideal makeup application:

  • Exfoliate to help slough off dead skin cells.
  • De-puff your eyes so you look more rested.
  • Apply a primer to create a protective base and prepare a smooth canvas for makeup application.

Check out the full article.

Got something to say? Chat with the writers and other readers this coming Monday, February 8th, at 7:00 PM ET, 4:00 PM PT, in the Beachbody Chat Room!

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Test Your Grain-Derived Foodstuffs IQ!

By Valerie Watson

MuesliIn this week's newsletter, you've learned quite a bit about barley. Just to keep you well rounded, though, we thought we'd toss you a few questions about some other grains—and the diverse and tasty things made from them. See if you can match the food or beverage with the grain from which it's made:

  1. Grits - Corn. Grits is a Southern staple similar to porridge in consistency. It's made by coarsely grinding dried corn, cooking it in boiling water, and seasoning it with salt, pepper, butter, pork fat, bacon bits, or anything else you care to toss in. Grits can also be made from hominy, which is dried corn that's been soaked in lye-water to remove the hulls. The technical word for this process is "nixtamalization," but my personal word for it is "blecchhy"—when it comes to food, I'd rather leave my hulls in (more fiber!) and my lye out (less corrosion of my digestive tract!), thank you very much.
  2. Sake - Rice. Sake, as most people know, is a Japanese alcoholic beverage, but not everyone knows what it's made from: rice. More akin to beer than wine in its fermentation process, sake generally has a higher alcohol content than either. The production of sake dates back to the 3rd century AD, and sake holds an important place in Japanese history and ritual. According to tradition, one should not pour one's own sake. However, if one is alone, extremely thirsty, and not expecting company for a goodly amount of time, what the rest of us don't know (probably) won't hurt us.
  3. Muesli - Oats. Muesli is a cereal made from toasted rolled oats combined with various types of fruit and nuts. A fairly recent concoction, muesli was developed around 1900 by a Swiss physician, Dr. Maximilian Bircher-Benner, for the patients in his hospital, and it really began taking off in popularity around the 1960s because the healthful nature of its ingredients meshed well with the growing international interest in diet and fitness. Nowadays, muesli is often sweetened with honey or even used as a dessert topping or ice cream mix-ins, which is probably not exactly what the health-minded Dr. Bircher-Benner had in mind, but then again, he probably never tasted it mashed into a scoop of Peanut Butter Banana Fudge Ripple, either.
  4. Couscous - Wheat. Couscous, particularly popular throughout the Mediterranean and the Middle East, is made from semolina wheat pellets steamed until light and fluffy, then served with broth, stew, vegetables, meat, or fish. Couscous is similar in form and function to pasta or rice, but is at least twice as much fun to say. (Don't take my word for it; go on and try it for yourself.)
  5. Pumpernickel bread - Rye. Pumpernickel is a dark, heavy bread made either from coarsely ground rye, or from finer rye flour with whole rye berries. Traditional German pumpernickel is characterized by its long, slow baking time; its rich, dark color; and its somewhat sweet flavor, all achieved without later Americanizations like sweetening with molasses, coloring with coffee or cocoa, and/or leavening with yeast. In a delightful example of culinary split personality, pumpernickel is often paired with upscale treats like caviar and smoked fish, even though its name derives from the German words for "to break wind" and "goblin"—it's the rude little creature-emission that made good!

If you'd like to ask a question or comment on this newsletter article, click here to add a comment in the newsletter review section or you can email us at mailbag@beachbody.com.

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