07 Dec The Secret Sauce
“The only secret is that there are no secrets. Just hard work and consistency.”
True as that may seem, the fact of the matter is that until you discover the solutions to the critical errors you’re making, they might as well be secrets.
Today, you’re going to discover the secret sauces that the leanest individuals use to give their food maximum taste with zero interference with their diet and physique.
When dieting, we want to maximize food volume, satiety, and flavor while minimizing any excess calories beyond our essential requirements.
When looking for an appropriate condiment to provide that taste satisfaction, we want it to do two things:
- Add tons of flavor.
- Contribute zero or minimal (less than 10 calories per serving) caloric content through sugars or fats.
These two requirements seem to be quite conflicting at first since most sauces depend on sugar and fat to trick you into thinking whatever they’re being poured on tastes good. In reality, adding salt, sugar, and fat to anything will make it taste good since it appeals to our primitive need for energy. It simply doesn’t count.
Let’s now unveil the real powerhouses of flavor.
#1. Hot Sauce (Cayenne Pepper Sauce)
With simple ingredients like spicy cayenne pepper and tangy vinegar, hot sauce is a minimalist master of versatility. Fortunately, most hot sauces aren’t prohibitively hot, just rich in flavor.
Put that #!$@ on everything.
Eggs, meat, veggies, rice, beans. Just make sure you don’t put it in your ice cream…because you won’t be able to stop.
Personal Favorite: Frank’s Red Hot
Suggested Use: Use it to enhance classic physique-friendly staples like lean chili, eggs / egg whites / omelets, rice and beans, or ground beef/turkey.
CAUTION: Be sure to avoid buffalo sauces that typically use a base of canola oil or any other fat source. Also look out for unnecessary thickeners like xanthan gum, corn starch, or maltodextrin, which invite unnecessary carbohydrates to your flavor party.
#2. Spicy Brown Mustard
The classic, the staple, this condiment packs a punch of flavor with zero caloric contribution. The taste of the ballpark, the burger joint, and the deli, all wrapped into one. The classic taste of mustard will make whatever you’re eating taste like a hamburger.
As an added bonus, like most of the sauces on this list, it never really expires either!
Personal Favorite: Gulden’s Spicy Brown Mustard
Suggested Use: Spicy brown mustard goes with many things, but did you know it works well when mixed into a salad dressing base? Try making burger patty salads – the mustard-based dressing is magical.
Also try munching on fresh sweet carrots with a little brown mustard. Guilt-free snacking at its finest.
CAUTION: The ingredient list should be truly simple: mustard seed, vinegar, turmeric, and salt are really all you’re looking for here. Avoid honey mustard or variations that are sneaking sugar in along with them.
A southwestern staple, it’s more mild than hot sauce but richer in flavor. And what’s not to like about a sauce based around veggies?
Your meat and veggies love salsa. Boring old broccoli and chicken breast comes alive when salsa joins the party.
Personal Favorite: Tostito’s (Medium or Mild) Salsa
Suggested Use: Scoop out some salsa to accompany otherwise boring scrambled eggs. Use it to top your chicken breast, black/pinto beans, mixed veggies or even potatoes.
CAUTION: Look out for sweeteners and preservatives like sodium benzoate. Salsa is a pretty simple item, don’t let the food companies mess it up.
#4 Tamari (Gluten-Free Soy Sauce)
While soy sauce is effectively “flavored liquid salt,” don’t let its simplicity fool you. Any sauce that can turn a microwaved bowl of frozen vegetables into something delicious deserves its time in the spotlight.
Personal Favorite: San-J Tamari – Gluten-Free Soy Sauce
Suggested Use: Do you like the taste of wasabi or horseradish? If you can find some Chinese hot mustard powder, the mixture of the two gives birth to a bold Asian dressing that can be used to season your oversized portion of broccoli, carrots, and pea pods with pure excitement. It will even bestow superpowers of flavor unto your favorite cuts of lean steak or fish as a savory marinade.
CAUTION: Watch out for cheaper store-brand soy sauces that will use wheat as a primary ingredient, sweeteners such as corn syrup, and unnecessary artificial colorings and preservatives like sodium benzoate.
#5. Szechuan Sauce
Continuing our homage to Asian cuisine is Szechuan sauce, a derivative of soy sauce that was first introduced to me by the MountainDog himself, John Meadows. I promptly hunted for this item in the nearest grocery market in utter disbelief that until that point, I’d never even heard of it.
Paying no attention to the fire-breathing dragon cartooned onto its label, I unwittingly doused a steaming bed of broccoli and chicken with my new sauce. It wasn’t until after the surprise-lesson in fire-breathing, requiring a beach towel to mop up my eyes and nose, that I first noticed the dragon on the label.
If spicy food isn’t your thing, don’t write it off just yet! Make no mistake, this sauce is a kick in the teeth, but just the right amount can add a world of flavor while leaving your smoke alarms silent.
Personal Favorite: San-J Gluten-Free Szechuan Sauce
Suggested Use: Drizzle a bit over your next stir-fry of lean beef cuts and tons of veggies. Or, drizzle a bit over rice and veggies in tupperware that you’ve prepared to take with you to work. The spice will calm down over time and seep deep into the rice and vegetables for rich flavor!
CAUTION: This sauce is super spicy. Look out for sugars and oils in the ingredients that are near the top, and most prevalent ingredients. This product shouldn’t be adding more than 5-10 calories per use (the nuclear spiciness should help to offset that).
#6. Fat Free Plain Yogurt
Here is a gift to all the lovers of ranch dressing, mayonnaise, creamy heavy-handed salad dressings, and fully loaded baked potatoes.
Plain yogurt is a perfect alternative base for those creamy salad dressings and sauces, ready to be seasoned to your liking. It provides texture and tang while preventing your otherwise boring salad from being dull and dry (and adding needless calories).
By choosing the fat free variety, we keep additional calories to a minimum and flavor to a maximum. Not only that, but plain yogurt (especially Greek yogurt) also adds valuable protein to the overall content of your meal, which will keep you fuller and help to retain your lean muscle tissue while on a phase of lower calories.
Personal Favorite: Store-brand Fat-Free Plain Yogurt
Suggested Use: Mix a generously whopping dollop of yogurt (a small bowl, really) with salt, pepper, garlic powder, paprika, and curry powder as a sauce that will complement a meal of shredded chicken, cucumbers, and chickpeas or hummus. This would work well enclosed in a wrap or as a salad too.
Experiment with flavoring – get creative!
CAUTION: Your yogurt’s ingredients list should be super simple and contain only cultured milk/non-fat milk and several live cultures of active bacterial strains (like L. Acidophilus). Look out for additional sweeteners, sugars, starches or thickeners, and extra protein additives like whey concentrate.
That’s it, the secret’s out! Now that you know about the secret sauces, you can no longer call them secrets. It’s now up to you to apply them and make your fat loss phases more enjoyable.
If you have a special recipe idea or like a physique-friendly sauce I didn’t mention, COMMENT below!