January is all about starting over, beginning the new year with a fresh new perspective and bucket loads of motivation. For many, this means just one thing: starting a new diet plan.
With so many different diets out there, including ones that focus on drinking only juice or eating only meat, it’s hard to find one that’s healthy and attainable. Instead of starvation and elimination, create a daily menu like this one, which is full of protein rich meals, sweet and savory produce and fiber enriched whole grains to give you a healthy weight loss and a lot more energy!
This menu isn’t part of a structured diet, but following a lower calorie diet, you will see a healthy weight loss (around one to two pounds a week), especially when paired with an exercise plan. When making your own meals for a 1,500 calorie diet plan, remember these main calorie breakdowns: 350 calorie breakfast, 400 calorie lunch, 450-500 calorie dinner and 100 – 150 calorie snacks (drinks included!).
Breakfast: Tofu scramble recipe with whole wheat toast
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so it’s imperative to carve out enough time to eat it. A great way to add protein without fat to your breakfast is to use tofu! This delicious recipe for tofu scramble looks just like scrambled eggs, but is healthier and will keep you full until lunchtime. Enjoy with one piece of lightly buttered toast and a cup of coffee with skim milk for a delicious 350 calories.
Serves 2 – 3
- 1 block extra firm tofu, drained and pressed
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1 cup mushrooms, finely chopped
- 1-1/2 teaspoons turmeric
- Liberal dashes of salt and pepper
- 1-1/2 tablespoons light cream cheese
- 1/3 cup fat-free yogurt
- 1 tablespoon butter
- Chives for garnish
- 1 piece whole wheat toast and 1 tablespoon butter
- Drain tofu and press (place tofu under paper towel and press gently with a heavy object) to get all extra liquid out. Chop into mini bite size pieces.
- Melt a tablespoon of butter into a medium saucepan over medium high heat. Add onions and mushrooms, cook until browned and soft, about four minutes. Add tofu and let marinate in the caramelizing vegetables, about four minutes. Add spices and cook another minute longer. Add cream cheese and yogurt, mix to combine. Heat for about five minutes until cheese is fully melted and mixture is combined.
- Serve with a garnish of chives and enjoy with a piece of buttered toast.
Lunch: Fried egg salad recipe with tea
For your lunch option, you want something hearty to keep you fuller longer and something light so you don’t get sleepy. You also want to avoid high-sugar soft drinks, candy and sweets, as those will cause you to crash just 30 minutes after you eat them. Enjoy this fresh salad, made with red skinned potatoes, spinach, chick peas, onions and a fried egg for a boost of protein. Enjoy with caffeinated tea and honey for 400 calories.
- 1 large red potato
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup spinach
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 3/4 cup chick peas, canned
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup Gorgonzola cheese
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- Bring about two cups of water to boil in a pot. Add potato and cook until just soft, about five minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. Once cooled, chop into quarter size pieces.
- In a medium pan over medium-high heat, heat oil. Add onions and cook until softened, about four minutes. Add spinach and cook until just wilted, another three to four minutes. Remove from heat. Combine potato, onions, spinach, cheese and chick peas, careful not to mash the potato.
- In a small frying pan, fry egg sunny side up, about four minutes. Remove from heat and place on top of salad mixture. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and enjoy with a cup of tea with one teaspoon of honey!
Afternoon snack: Avocado toast recipe
The key to healthy eating is to eat smaller amounts more times a day, versus the traditional three larger meals. To beat the afternoon slump and stay full until dinner, enjoy a delicious and easy 150 calorie snack, like this savory avocado toast. The healthy fat from the avocado and the fiber from the toast will keep you full until dinner!
- 1/2 avocado, ripened
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1 teaspoon lime juice
- 1 piece whole wheat bread, toasted
- Using a spoon, remove the seed from the middle of the avocado and discard. Scoop out the insides of the avocado and place in a bowl. Mash the fruit with a fork until desired consistency. Add salt, lime juice and pepper. Stir to combine. Scoop mashed avocado onto the toast and enjoy!
Dinner: Chicken tortilla soup recipe with a glass of red wine
For many, 450 calories doesn’t seem like much, but when you look at exactly how many calories are in certain foods, you find that it’s actually quite a bit. For example, this delicious, filling and very fresh chicken tortilla soup only has 278 calories per serving (one bowl)! Pair with a fresh slice of avocado, one tablespoon of sour cream and a glass of heart healthy red wine and you have a filling and tasty meal!
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 3/4 pound chicken breasts
- 4 (3-inch) corn tortillas, finely chopped
- 1 (14 ounce) can diced tomatoes
- 1 (6 ounce) can green chilies, diced
- 1 medium red potato, diced
- 2 (15 ounce) containers low-sodium chicken broth
- 1/2 avocado, sliced
- 1 (14 ounce) can corn
- 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- Sour cream for garnish
- Cilantro for garnish
- Heat oil in a medium size pot over medium heat. Add onions and cook until soft, about four minutes. Add chicken, tortillas, tomatoes, corn, green chilies, potato and broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and let simmer for at least 10 minutes.
- Ladle soup into a bowl and garnish with avocado, cheese, sour cream and cilantro.
Dessert: Greek yogurt with blueberries and granola recipe
The best thing about this “diet” plan is that you don’t have to give up dessert just to lose weight! You can eat two 150 calorie snacks a day, and luckily, one of them can be a sweet! Forgo the excess sugar and calories of ice cream for an equally delicious and more nutritious creamy dessert, Greek yogurt! Top this recipe with honey granola and blueberries for added sweetness.
- 1 cup skim Greek yogurt
- 1/4 cup fresh blueberries
- 1/4 cup honey granola
- Mix granola, blueberries and yogurt in a small bowl and enjoy!
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