We've found a new secret weapon for healthy weight loss. It's not gimmicky or expensive but all natural, delicious, and sure to give you fast results: It's your local farmers' market.
We designed a week's worth of delicious menus that add up to about 1,500 calories a day (breakfasts about 300 calories each, lunches about 400, dinners about 500, and snacks and desserts around 150). Pair the diet with this fitness plan and you'll lose up to 10 pounds in five weeks.
Farm-Stand Oatmeal: Cook a packet of plain instant oatmeal. Top with 2 tablespoons almonds and 1 cup blackberries; drizzle with 1 teaspoon honey.
Top 6 ounces plain low-fat yogurt with 1⁄2 cup blueberries and lemon zest.
Chicken and Arugula Salad: Marinate 1 quartered apricot in balsamic vinegar; grill until softened. Brush a 4-ounce skinless chicken breast with olive oil, cut in strips, and grill. Top arugula with chicken, apricot, and 2 tablespoons fresh Parmesan. Drizzle 1 tablespoon each olive oil and balsamic vinegar; season with salt and pepper.
Produce takes off the pounds: In a recent study, people who increased the amount of water-rich fruits and vegetables they ate, while lowering their fat intake, lost one-third more weight over six months; they also felt less hungry.
Serve 1 1⁄2 cups raw summer squash rounds with 1⁄4 cup hummus.
Grilled Portobello Mushrooms: Brush 2–3 portobello mushroom caps (stems removed) with olive oil; season with salt and pepper. Cook 5 minutes per side in a grill pan. Mix fresh chopped basil, corn kernels, peas, and minced garlic; drizzle with olive oil. Serve mushrooms and vegetables with 1 cup whole-wheat couscous.
English Muffin With Peanut Butter: Top a whole-grain English muffin with 1 1⁄2 tablespoons natural peanut butter and 2 teaspoons fruit preserves.
A healthy mix is what you need: Combining protein, good fats (like the ones in fish), and fiber will help you feel satisfied and keep your blood sugar level stable, which means you won't be reaching for the cookie jar.
Combine 1⁄2 cup low-fat cottage cheese with 1 cup fresh cherries.
Chopped Green-Market Salad: Top shredded green leaf lettuce with grape tomatoes, diced cucumber, 1⁄4 cup diced avocado, 2 tablespoons feta, chickpeas, and diced red onion; drizzle with 1 tablespoon each olive oil and lemon juice.
Spread 11⁄2 tablespoons natural almond butter on 2 whole-grain crisps.
Arugula and Blueberry Salad With Seared Red Snapper (see recipe)
Farmers' Yogurt Parfait: Top 6 ounces plain low-fat yogurt with 1⁄4 cup granola, diced apricot, and 1 teaspoon honey.
Enjoy 1⁄4 cup raw, unsalted almonds.
White Bean and Tuna Wrap: Mix 1/3 cup cannelini beans and 3 ounces chunk light tuna with red onion, diced tomato, and 1 tablespoon pecorino Romano cheese. Season with salt and pepper, and drizzle with balsamic vinegar and 1 teaspoon olive oil. Fill a whole-wheat wrap with mixture.
Grilled Chicken With Pesto Asparagus: Brush 2 (3-ounce) chicken breasts with olive oil; cook in grill pan. (Save 1 breast for Thursday's lunch.) Mix 1 tablespoon pesto with halved cherry tomatoes and 1 cup each steamed aspara-gus and roasted fingerling potatoes.
Honey-Roasted Peaches With Lavender (see recipe)
Toast and Berries: Top 2 slices whole-grain raisin toast with 1 ounce goat cheese and 3⁄4 cup sliced berries.
Fiber helps you stick to any diet: It makes you feel full longerand our fruit-and-veggie-packed plan serves up about 24 grams of fiber a day.
Combine 1 1⁄2 cups cubed honeydew with fresh mint and 2 tablespoons flaked coconut.
Market-Table Pasta Salad: Cook 1 ounce penne pasta; cool. Mix pasta with fresh basil, diced chicken, 1 cup diced tomatoes, 2 tablespoons grated pecorino Romano cheese. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil.
Top apple slices with 1 ounce aged Gouda cheese (about 2–3 thin slices).
Spiced Turkey Burger With Moroccan Carrots: Mix 4 ounces lean ground turkey with 1 tablespoon feta cheese, 1⁄4 teaspoon dried oregano, 1⁄8 teaspoon red chili flakes. Form into a patty; grill. Top with sliced tomato and 1⁄4 cup tzaziki sauce. Serve burger on a whole-wheat bun, with a side of Moroccan Carrots (1 1⁄2 cups steamed carrots, 1⁄4 teaspoon cumin, garlic, lemon juice, and 2 teaspoons olive oil).
Hearty Cereal With Fresh Berries: Combine 1 cup whole-grain cereal with 1 cup raspberries and 3⁄4 cup skim milk.
Market Lunch Box: Pack up 2 slices multigrain bread with 2 hard-boiled farm-fresh eggs, 6 steamed asparagus spears, and 1 ounce fresh Parmesan cheese.
Spread 1⁄2 ounce part-skim ricotta on 2 whole-grain crisps, top with 2 fresh figs (quartered), and drizzle with 1 teaspoon honey.
Sugar Snap Pea Saute With Free-Range Chicken Breasts (see recipe)
Strawberry-and-Rhubarb Compote: Mix 1⁄2 cup each chopped strawberries and rhubarb with 2 teaspoons sugar, a dash of lemon juice, and 1⁄4 teaspoon vanilla extract. Simmer for about 5–8 minutes. Cool. Top with 1⁄2 cup plain low-fat yogurt.
Multigrain Pancakes With Peaches: Prepare batter from a mix, and cook 3 silver-dollar-size pancakes. Top with sliced fresh peaches, and serve with 1 cup plain low-fat yogurt. Drizzle 2 teaspoons maple syrup and 1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla extract.
Spread 1 cup plum slices with 1 ounce farmer's cheese.
Steak Salad With Red Peppers and Ginger Vinaigrette: Cook 4 ounces lean flank steak on a grill or in a grill pan. Slice steak into strips. Top a bed of spinach with steak, red bell pepper slices, orange slices, and sliced scallion. Make dressing with 1 teaspoon sesame oil, 1 tablespoon grapeseed (or canola) oil, 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar, minced ginger, and garlic. Sprinkle salad with sesame seeds.
Artichoke-and-Caper Dip With Fresh Vegetable Crudites (see recipe)
Heirloom Tomato and Goat Cheese Tart (see recipe)
Poached Eggs With Vine-Ripened Tomatoes and Chives: Poach 2 eggs, and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon minced chives. Serve with fresh tomato slices, seasoned with salt and pepper, and 2 slices turkey bacon.
Top 1 cup mixed melon (watermelon, honeydew, cantaloupe) with 1⁄4 cup granola.
Grilled Vegetable and Goat Cheese Sandwich: Brush zucchini and red onion slices with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Cook on a grill pan for 8–10 minutes. Spread 1 ounce herbed goat cheese on 2 pieces toasted multigrain bread, and top with roasted red peppers, zucchini, and red onion. Serve with 2 cups mesclun greens, drizzled with fresh lemon juice and 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil.
Enjoy 1 fresh nectarine and 1 small iced latte.
Grilled Salmon With Avocado Salsa: Brush a 5-ounce salmon fillet with olive oil, and cook in a grill pan. Mix diced avocado, red onion, cilantro, fresh lime juice, and a dash of salt. Top salmon with 3⁄4 cup salsa, and serve with mixed greens drizzled with extra-virgin olive oil.