Did your new year start off with fantastic plans for a healthier and trimmer you only to dissolve into old habits returning and dietary plans being discarded? Well, it’s never too late to get back on track. If you can follow a new lower calorie plan for 7 nights, chances are you will be on your way to reclaiming your commitment to a healthier and happier you.
1. Stir fry chicken and fresh veggies
Begin by cutting 3 skinless chicken breasts into cubes. Season with pepper and cook with a tablespoon chili oil until juices run clear. Add your veggies beginning with the hardest vegetables first. Add broccoli, asparagus, cabbage, celery, onion, and then mushrooms. When vegetables begin to lose some of their crispness, you are almost done cooking (about 3- 5 minutes after adding the last vegetable). Add 2 tablespoons light and/or reduced sodium soy sauce to pan. Sprinkle with red pepper flakes. If available, grate a few shavings of fresh ginger on top. Serve with white rice and add cashews to top.
2. Open face lean burger and baked potato
Purchase a pound of lean turkey mince at grocer or butcher. Fashion into 4 hamburger patties. Season well and grill. When finished cooking, arrange on plate atop 2 large lettuce leaves, one large slice of red onion, and a dollop of ketchup. Bake your potatoes (baking makes for a crunchier and more satisfying skin). Add a dollop of fat-free sour cream and an even larger dollop of your favorite salsa. Enjoy!
3. Tuna and rice
This meal is as delicious as it is unexpected! Cook one package of yellow rice per directions. On top of hot rice, add one large can of albacore tuna and mix in with rice. Now sprinkle with peanuts for crunch and enjoy! This meal also heats well the next day and is a perfect take to work lunch.
4. Spicy chicken tacos
Bake or boil 3 lean and trimmed skinless chicken breasts. Use cutting board to shred the chicken. Add chicken to a large skillet coated with a product like Pam and brown while adding garlic, salt and pepper. Meanwhile prepare toppings for the taco as you like; lettuce or cabbage, tomatoes and slices of avocado. Lay out tacos shells or tortillas and fill with chicken mixture and top with your ingredients. To save more calories, skip the tortilla and add the chicken mixture and toppings to any green salad. Use salsa as a dressing and enjoy!
5. Cheatin’ lasagna
Prepare lasagna as you would for any typical lasagna recipe. However, here switch out the higher fat and higher calorie ingredients with these “fakes”. For ricotta cheese; use non-fat cottage cheese. For meat; add cooked vegetables. For provolone cheese; cut the amount to half of what the recipe calls for and use a low fat mozzarella. Bake until bubbly!
6. Summer vegetable lentil soup
Cook dry lentils according to package instructions. When tender, add cut carrots, sliced onion, garlic, and a bag of frozen spinach. Add a teaspoon of chili powder, pepper, and a sprinkle of salt. Cook for at least one hour. Enjoy this hearty and low, low calorie soup.
7. Filling tuna salad on mixed greens
Begin by emptying one large can of Albacore tuna in a bowl. Add the chopped egg whites of two hard boiled eggs. Chop lots of celery and onion (to taste and preference) and add to bowl. Add one tablespoon lemon juice and 2-3 tablespoons fat free mayo of your choice. Add a sprinkle of Lawry’s season salt and several shakes of pepper. Stir well and refrigerate. Make whatever type of green salad you prefer (spinach is a great choice). Top with two mounds of tuna salad. Top with cashews.