1314. The Nourished Belly Diet/Tammy Chang/2016


Author Preface

Welcome! The fact that you’ve picked up this book means that you are interested in something new for your health. Yes! Whether you are just starting on the journey or you’ve been on this path for a while, I’m excited that you are here. Each of us is here for different reasons: maybe you want to lose a few pounds, crave more energy, or just need some inspiration in the kitchen. Our common connection is a target of optimum health. I have my own evolving target, and every day is a practice for me to get as close as possible. Today, writing this book is a wonderful reminder of what I’m working on.

This book is my opportunity to share what I’ve learned throughout my life from various teachers, self-directed study, dear friends, and of course my clients! With loving guidance and experimentation, I discovered that pretty much everything I wanted to change about my health can be transformed by how I eat.

The Nourished Belly Diet is a 21-day guide to what I’ve discovered; it consists of 21 days of eating whole, traditional foods. There are different levels of participation, and if you are open to following it, I have a strong feeling you will see a shift in your health and body. Eating in this way has stabilized my weight, cleared my break-out-prone skin, and made me feel strong and grounded. This is not about being perfect; it’s about knowing how to come to a way of eating that can bring you back into balance.

I’m so thankful that I’ve come to where I am because before, my mind-set about food was very toxic. When I was a child, I spent a lot of time trying to be what others thought I should be. I played instruments from a young age, competed in sports, and studied hard in school. I was a “good” kid, and I felt successful in many of these areas. However, there was one area that I felt like a failure—I was a chubby child.

Society treats people who have extra weight on them horribly. Instead of seeing a person, the tendency is to judge people on their weight and make assumptions about their self-control or general health. (In reality, many different shapes and sizes can be healthy. Plus, it’s about finding and maintaining the size where you feel your best, not where society tells you to be.)

By the time I reached high school, I had an obsession with my body and what I ate. I regarded my body and my eating addictions as the enemy. I was either doing something “bad” and eating something bad, or I was being “good” and eating something good. I would compare myself to my girlfriends and wish that I had their body or that I could wear bikinis without feeling self-conscious.

I tried as hard as I could to follow the conventional wisdom at the time, which was to eat low-fat foods, carb load before swim meets, and exercise exercise exercise. I was a competitive swimmer from a young age, and if you know anything about swim teams, it’s that they practice…a lot. We had morning practices before school and two-hour practices after school. I simply thought that I would burn off anything I ate, so I ate no-fat ice cream and peanut butter before practices, thinking hey, I was going to work it off!

Whatever I was doing was detrimental. My weight fluctuated back and forth, my sugar intake was insane, and I didn’t feel in control of my eating. Most importantly, I didn’t feel good about myself. Truly loving the body that we are given is not a common thing. People often feel the need to have better hips, a smaller gut, less jiggly arms…it doesn’t end!

In my twenties, I was in the middle of living one of the worst, most stressful years of my life. Having just moved to New York City, I was an inexperienced, first-year teacher in a “hard to staff” school in Brownsville, Brooklyn.

Luckily, this was also the time I discovered a way of moving that I loved: capoeira (a Brazilian martial art that has now become a large part of my life). Through class, I met a holistic health coach named Molly. The first time I heard about what Molly did (oh, you counsel people on what they should be eating?), my first impression was surprise that this was actually a thing. As the year went on and I realized how out of control I felt, I decided that maybe this was something I needed. I began seeing her as a client, and in hindsight, to have someone hold the space for me to examine my life when the outside was so utterly chaotic was a blessing.

Working with a health coach set me on a path of learning how to cook for myself, experimenting with different foods that I had never eaten before (what is this quinoa?), and getting hip to the fact that food and mood are connected.

Most importantly, I began to look at food in a different way. Instead of always seeing food as something to control, I started to see food as healthful and nourishing. When I made a meal for myself and others, I felt a sense of accomplishment. I saw that making meals together was a wonderful way to connect with people—and real food tastes amazing!

This set me on a voracious path reading every possible book on nutrition. I moved to North Carolina and life slowed down enough for me to experiment in the kitchen. I made an effort to buy high-quality produce from the farmers markets.

One day, I decided that I had had enough of the public school system, and I decided to take a road trip with a couple of girlfriends across the country; this turned into my springboard for deep discovery about good food. I’ve cooked and shared many wonderful meals since I left North Carolina and found my way to California. I have harvested and eaten myself silly with peaches and snap peas and apples as I worked on an organic farm and did little experiments with my health as I went through holistic nutrition school at Bauman College in Berkeley.

Throughout all of this, my body image issues still surface (being overly critical), but it’s overpowered by a love of food. I love food. I love seeing food grown, I love picking it, I love cooking it, I love sharing it. And all those things that I used to care about have resolved themselves. My weight is stable, I’ve cultivated a movement practice that keeps me strong, and my skin, which always gave me anxiety, is clear and smooth.

I’m now in my late thirties, and although I don’t know everything, I have experimented enough with food to find out there is not only ONE way to eat. Even though this book has the word “diet” in the title, let’s look at a diet as a way to eat. Not the way that I used to look at the word, which meant restriction, counting calories, and being “good.” In my life and with my clients, I have found these things to backfire. It pits food against us, which is not its role at all. Food nourishes us. It energizes us. It is a way to love, not only ourselves, but others. So let me share with you what I’ve learned about nourishing our bellies and souls with The Nourished Belly Diet.

With love,




Introduction 1


Why the Nourished Belly Diet? 5


The Nourished Soul and Body 14


Bank Your Body 29


21-Day Guide to Eating Whole, Traditional Foods 58


Weekly Meal Plans 67


Recipes 83

The Basics 84

Cooking Meat 85

Bone Broth 87

Whole Chicken Broth 88

Veggie Mineral Broth 89

Cooking Grains 90

Mushroom Garlic Quinoa 92

Creamy Polenta 93

Perfect Eggs 94

Simple Vegetable Saute 96

Sauerkraut 98

Ghee 100

Homemade Yogurt 101

Snacks 102

Kale Chips 103

Sardine Nori Wraps 104

Cilantro Mint Hummus 106

Chicken Liver Pate 108

Seasonal Fruit Parfait 109

Breakfast 110

Sweet Millet Cereal 111

Power Oatmeal 112

Savory Oatmeal 113

Power Smoothie 114

Coconut Banana Squash Pancakes.. .115

Quinoa Bites 116

Hearty Rice Porridge (Congee) 118

Huevos Pericos 120

Salads and Sauces 121

Super-Basic Vinaigrette 122

Seasonal Pumpkin Seed Pesto 123

Tahini Miso Dressing 124

Honey Miso Dressing 124

Cashew Garlic Cream 125

Mango Cilantro Salad 126

Quinoa, Mint, and Red Onion Salad 127

Massaged Chicken and Kale Salad

with Honey Miso Dressing 128

Colorful Cabbage Salad 129

Tomato Corn Basil Salad 130

Carrot Beet Salad 131

Veggie Sides 132

Bok Choy, Mushrooms, and Garlic .. 133

Bacon and Collards 134

Summertime Gazpacho 135

Eggplant and Peppers with Cashew Garlic Cream 136

Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Bacon 137

Garlic Cauliflower Mash 138

Coconut Kale 139

Aloo Gobi 140

Basic Roasted Winter Squash 141

Basic Roasted Sweet Potato 142

Sweet Potato Home Fries 143

Sweet Potato Mash 144

Baked Portobellos 145

Entrees 146

Sausage Lentil Broccoli Soup 147

Homestyle Black Beans 148

Coconut Red Lentils 150

Classic Seaweed Soup 151

Homestyle Ground Beef 152

Peanut Oxtail Stew 153

Comforting Russian Borscht 154

The Perfect Steak or Lamb Chop … 156

Roasted Rosemary Chicken Legs … 157

Stewed Chicken 158

Chicken Curry Collard Wraps 159

Taiwanese Corn Soup 160

Vermicelli Noodle Soup 161

Chicken Miso Soup 162

Kabocha Squash and

Coconut Soup 163

Taiwanese Tacos 164

Slow-Cooked Pork Ribs 165

Miso-Glazed Dover Sole 166

Lemon Salmon 167

Salmon Stew 168

Garlic Shrimp 169

Sweet Treats 170

Avocado Chocolate Mousse 171

Zucchini Bread 172

Fudge Bumpkins 173

Coconut Chia Seed Pudding 174

Summer Fruit and Mint

Yogurt Lassi 175

Cashew Milk Shake 176

Date Almond Milk 177

Mexican Plot Chocolate 178


Holistic Nutrition 101 179

Appendix A: Guide to Healthy Cooking Oil 189

Appendix B: Guide to Antioxidants 191

Appendix C: Complete List of Belly Boosters 194

Appendix D: Protein in Common Foods 202

Appendix E: Tea It Up! 204

Recommended Resources 208

Index 210

Acknowledgments 217

About the Author 218


Posted on 07/2019