The beauty of this 7-day menu plan from feel great weight dream team RD Marissa Lippert? You can mix and match to create your own customized diet (we did promise it would feel great, after all).
Choose one breakfast, one lunch, one dinner, and two snacks a day. Your total calories will be around 1500 (roughly 300 for breakfast, 400-450 for lunch, 450-500 for dinner, and 100-200 per snack).
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Enjoy 3/4 cup museli cereal with dried cherries and pecans with 1 cup skim, low-fat or unsweetened soy milk.
Spread 2 tablespoons of light cream cheese on 2 slices of pumpernickel bread and top with 3 to 4 pieces of smoked salmon and sliced red onion or capers.
Warm up and get energized with 1/2 cup quinoa cooked with 1 cup skim, low-fat or soy milk and 3/4 cup diced apple. Mix in a dash of cinnamon and 1 teaspoon of brown sugar.
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Whole-wheat pancakes and baked eggs
Indulge in 3 silver-dollar sized homemade whole wheat-oatmeal pancakes (half whole wheat flour, half rolled oats) topped with 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts and 1 small barely ripe banana, sliced. Drizzle 2 teaspoons maple syrup over top. Enjoy with a small skim, low-fat or unsweetened soy latte.
In medium-sized ramekin, sprinkle 1 egg with salt and red pepper flakes and drizzle 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil over top. Bake at 375° for 10 minutes and serve with 1 cup sliced onions and red bell pepper mixture sautéed in 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil and 2 pieces turkey bacon. Pair with 1 slice rye toast.
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Yogurt, scrambled eggs, and a breakfast wrap
6 oz plain low-fat yogurt topped with 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds, 1 tablespoon sliced almonds, 2 teaspoons ground flaxseed meal, and 1 teaspoon honey.
Wrap 2 scrambled eggs, 1/2 cup cooked spinach, 1/3 cup sautéed mushrooms, and 1 tablespoon goat cheese in whole grain, high fiber wrap (like Ezekiel).
On the run? Order a Spinach-Feta Egg Wrap from Starbucks to go.
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Morning or afternoon snack
1 ounce of brie with 1 cup of apple slices
15 blue corn chips (like Food Should Taste Good) with 1/3 cup guacamole
2 wholegrain crackers (like Wasa) with 1 Tbsp nutella spread and 1/2 medium sliced barely ripe banana
12 oz skim latte sprinkled with cinnamon and nutmeg
2 dried apricots dipped in white chocolate and 8 walnut halves
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Granola bars, veggies and yogurt dip, cookies, and crackers
1 all-natural granola bar (like 18 Rabbits or Kashi)
1 1/2 cups fresh cut red bell pepper strips and asparagus spears with cucumber-yogurt-chive dip (1/4 cup whole fat yogurt mixed with 2 tablespoons grated cucumber and 1 teaspoon minced chives; salt to taste)
2 oatmeal raisin cookies (like Newman’s Own) and 1 cup skim, low-fat or soy milk
12 brown rice crackers with 2 tablespoons roasted garlic hummus
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Toss 2 cups baby spinach with 4 oz diced grilled chicken breast, 1/2 cup sliced pears, 2 tablespoons gorgonzola cheese and 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon balsamic vinaigrette.
Open-faced turkey Reuben: 3 or 4 slices of fresh roasted turkey with 1/4 cup sauerkraut, sliced tomato, light Russian dressing (2 teaspoons light mayo, 1 tsp ketchup, 1/4 tsp relish) topped with 1 slice Swiss cheese on 1 slice rye bread. Toast in a toaster oven or in the oven at 375° until cheese is melted. Serve with 2 cups mixed greens and 1 teaspoon olive oil, 1 teaspoon lemon juice.
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Veggie couscous and lentil soup
Toss 1/2 cup whole-wheat couscous with 3/4 cup diced cooked beets. Mix in 1 teaspoon minced mint, 2 teaspoons chopped scallion, and drizzle with 1 teaspoon olive oil and 1 teaspoon lemon juice.
Make ahead! Sauté 1/2 diced yellow onion in 2 teaspoons canola oil and add in 1 cup each of chopped tomato and yellow squash. Add 1 cup red lentils, 1/2 teaspoon each tumeric and cumin, 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, and 2 teaspoon minced garlic. Simmer ingredients in 1 cup water and 1 cup light coconut milk for 20 to 25 minutes. Makes 3 to 4 servings; spoon each serving over 1/2 cup brown basmati rice.
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Quiche and grilled shrimp salad
Whisk 6 eggs seasoned with 1/3 cup grated fontina, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste. Sauté 1/3 cup chopped leeks and 3 small baby potatoes (already boiled) in 1 tablespoon unsalted butter for 3-4 minutes. Pour egg mixture over top and cook for 4 minutes until set. Place pan under the broiler to finish for 3 to 4 minutes. Makes 3 servings.
Toss 2 cup mixed greens with 1/2 cup steamed asparagus, 1/2 diced red bell pepper, 1/4 cup shredded carrots and 4 oz grilled shrimp. Drizzle 2 tablespoons peanut dressing over top. (For dressing: 1 1/2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar, 1 teaspoon sesame oil, 2 teaspoons all-natural peanut butter, 1/8 teaspoon Asian chili sauce, 1/8 teaspoon minced ginger). Garnish with 2 teaspoons crushed peanuts and a sprinkle of sesame seeds.
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Poached eggs and sushi
Poach 2 eggs in water for 3 to 4 minutes and serve with cold kale-sweet potato salad (2 cups finely chopped kale, lightly steamed for 1 to 2 minutes, tossed with 1/2 cup diced and roasted sweet potato, 2 teaspoon chopped roasted almonds, 1 tablespoon grated parmesan cheese and tossed with 2 teaspoon Dijon vinaigrette). For vinaigrette: 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard, 1/2 teaspoon minced shallot, 2 teaspoon white wine or Champagne vinegar, 1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Order 1 salmon-avocado sushi roll with brown rice. Have with 1 cup miso soup and 1 small salad with ginger dressing.
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Eating out? Choose a burrito “bowl” from Chipotle or Qdoba: 2 cups lettues, 1/4 cup salsa/pico de gallo, 1/2 cup black or pinto beans, 1/2 cup grilled chicken, and 2 tablespoons shredded cheddar or Monterey jack cheese.
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Serve 4 oz grilled salmon filet with 3/4 cup black bean and corn salsa (1/4 cup each black beans and corn mixed with 1/4 cup diced red and green bell pepper, 1 teaspoon diced jalapeno pepper, 2 teaspoons lime juice, 1 teaspoon chopped cilantro, salt to taste). Serve with 8 spears grilled asparagus.
Rub 3 ounces flank steak with a mix of cumin, paprika, salt and red pepper flakes. Serve with 1 cup diced sweet potato sautéed with 1/2 clove garlic, 1/4 cup sliced onion and 2 teaspoons olive oil, then cooled. Pair with 1 1/2 cups steamed green beans.
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Baked chicken and polenta
Place a 4 oz chicken breast in small baking dish with 2 teaspoons each fresh rosemary and thyme, 1 teaspoon olive oil, 3 lemon slices, 1 tablespoon minced shallot, salt and pepper to taste. Arrange 1 1/2 cups cremini mushrooms around chicken and bake at 375° for 30 minutes until cooked through. Serve with 3/4 cup cooked polenta mixed with 1/4 teaspoon white truffle oil and 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese.
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Roasted cod and potatoes
Drizzle 4 oz cod with 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast at 450° for 10 minutes until cooked through. In a medium saucepan, sauté 1/4 cup chopped kalamata and mixed green olives, 1/4 cup thinly sliced shallot, and 1/4 cup orange segments with 2 tsp olive oil for 5 to 6 minutes. Spoon mixture over cod and serve with 2 baby potatoes, quartered and tossed with salt, pepper and 1 tsp olive oil and roasted at 450° for 20 minutes. Pair with 2 cups kale sautéed in 1 teaspoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon low-sodium chicken broth with 1/2 clove minced garlic.
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Eggplant pasta and a grab-and-go option
Set oven to 400° and roast 3/4 cup diced eggplant and 3/4 cup chopped tomato with 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil and 1 clove minced garlic, salt and pepper to taste for 20 to 25 minutes. Toss with 1 cup cooked whole wheat penne and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons ricotta salata cheese (or pecorino romano cheese).
Grab a quick all-natural frozen entrée (like Kashi, Amy’s Kitchen, or Organic Bistro). Serve with 1 1/2 cups broccoli sautéed with 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic and 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil.
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Stir-fry 1/2 cup pre-cooked brown rice with 2 teaspoons peanut oil, 1 clove minced garlic, 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger, 2 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce, 1/2 cup diced red bell pepper, 1/2 cup green peas, and 1/2 cup diced tofu OR 2 oz peeled shrimp. Scramble 1 egg and lay over top of mixture. Garnish with 1 tablespoon diced scallions.
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1 tbsp peanut butter mixed with 1 tbsp dark chocolate chips and divided, roll each ball in old-fashion oats, wheat germ, or ground flaxseed meal.
8 oz almond milk puréed with a frozen banana and 1 tbsp chocolate syrup
1/2 cup canned pumpkin purée mixed with 1 teaspoon each agave nectar and maple syrup and sprinkled with pumpkin pie spice. Place purée in a small ramekin and top with 2 tablespoons graham cracker crumbs and bake at 375° for 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown.
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Poached pears, ice cream, and apples and caramel
1 peeled Bartlett pear poached in mixture of 1 cup water, 1 cup ruby port wine, 1 tablespoon sugar, and 1 teaspoon orange zest for 20 to 25 minutes or until tender. Simmer an extra 10 minutes to reduce liquid to a syrup.
1/2 cup low-fat vanilla bean ice cream drizzled with 2 teaspoons butterscotch and topped with 1 tablespoon chopped pecans.
1 cup apple slices topped with 2 tablespoons caramel sauce or dip.
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