Monday, July 25, 2011

30 Days of Blogging: Five Flat-Belly Days

Here it is! I have finally decided on a food plan to try to help all of you stay trim and tummies feeling satisfied! At around 1,500 calories for each day, your taste buds will be happy with your choices! I will be the first to tell you that eating right ALL the time, is very difficult. So each day deserves a treat (non-skimpy snacks) plus possibly dessert? Wine? Yum!

Day One


Guiltless Egg Sandwich (336 calories, 31g protein, 4.5g fiber)

1 whole wheat English muffin, fork-split
2 egg whites
2 turkey sausage links (may substitute ham)
1 slice low-fat cheddar cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

Toast English Muffin. Cook turkey sausage in microwave according to directions. Place the egg, meat, and cheddar on English muffin and cook for another 10 seconds or until cheese has melted.


3/4 cup cottage cheese* with 1 Tbl. unsalted peanuts (140 calories)

*Cottage cheese is low in calories and high in filling protein and calcium. Try it mixed with vanilla extract and cinnamon, or white horseradish and scallions. If you really despise cottage cheese, eat some low-fat Greek yogurt.


Open-Faced Tuna Sandwich (355 calories)

3 oz. canned chunk light tuna mixed with 1 tsp Dijon mustard, 1 Tbl. plain nonfat yogurt, and 1/4 tsp dill
1 slice seven-grain bread*

Side Salad

1 cup chopped romaine lettuce
1/4 cup sliced carrot
1/4 cup halved cherry tomatoes
1/4 cup quartered artichoke hearts (in water)
1 tsp olive oil
1 small Granny Smith apple, sliced and served on the side

*Don't skimp on the carbs. A diet rich in whole grains has been associated with a lower BMI along with a smaller waist circumference.


(185 calories)

1 cup sliced raw veggies (carrots, bell peppers, cucumbers...)
2 Tbl salsa*
2 crackers
2 wedges Laughing Cow light cheese

*Go as hot as you can stand. The hot peppers in salsa contain the antioxidant capsaicin, which can temporarily boost calorie burn.


Salmon with Veggies (460 calories)

4 oz. grilled salmon (seasoned with dried oregano)
1 cup grilled vegetables (zucchini, eggplant, and bell peppers) drizzled with 1 tsp olive oil
1/3 cup brown rice with 1 Tbl pumpkin seeds*
1 cup blueberries for dessert

*Add crunch and texture with pumpkin seeds, which contain mono-unsaturated fatty acids that may help decrease belly fat.

Indulge Without the Bulge:

Add: 2 chocolate chip cookies (140 calories)
Subtract: At breakfast, have only one egg white and one turkey sausage

Day Two


Barley with Walnuts and Maple Syrup (345 calories)

3/4 cup barley, cooked*
1/2 cup nonfat milk
10 walnut halves
1/2 Tbl. maple syrup

*Give barley a shot. This whole grain is better than whole-wheat flakes at reducing hunger.

Snack (211 calories)

Make a smoothie by blending...

1 small peach, pitted and peeled
1/2 cup 0% Chobani yogurt
1 Tbl. sunflower-seed butter*

*Sunflower-seed butter has all satisfying protein and fiber of peanut butter but only a third of the saturated fat.


Salmon Salad (446 calories)

4 oz. canned sockeye salmon*
2 Tbl. nonfat plain yogurt
1 tsp fresh dill
1 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 cup mixed greens
1 Thomas' 100 calorie English muffin

Avocado and Tomato Salad

1/2 avocado, diced
1/4 cup diced tomato
1 Tbl. lemon juice
1/4 clove garlic, minced

*Salmon is a belly-flattening powerfood. People on a calorie-controlled diet who eat salmon are satisfied for two hours longer. It contains the fish's omega-3 fatty acids which helps keep you full!

Snack (182 calories)

1 carrot, sliced
1/2 cucumber, sliced
5 Tbl. black bean dip*
2 Thin Crisp crackers

*Black beans have appetite-suppressing fiber and protein.


Chicken Kebabs (316 calories)

4 oz. lean boneless chicken breast, cubed*
1/2 medium red pepper, cut into 1 inch squares
3/4 Vidalia onion, cut into 1 inch squares
2 portobello mushrooms, cut into 1 inch squares
1 Tbl. olive oil

Lightly brush chicken, pepper, onion, and mushrooms, with olive oil; add salt and pepper to taste. Grill or cook in the oven at 320 degrees for 8-10 minutes, rotating 2-3 minutes.

*Lean protein such as chicken is vital when you are cutting calories because it fills you up without a lot of fat and helps build muscle too.

Indulge Without the Bulge:

Add: 100 calorie Hershey's Pretzel Bar
Subtract: Thomas' English muffin

Day Three


Oatmeal with Pecans and Berries (351 calories)

1 packet Original Quaker Oats instant oatmeal* made with 1 cup skim milk (or 1 cup Quaker Oats)
2 Tbl. chopped pecans
1/2 cup raspberries
1/2 cup blueberries

*Soluble fiber in oatmeal will help keep you full well past the time when you should be thinking about lunch!

Snack (167 calories)

1 medium banana
2 tsp peanut butter*

*Natural nut butters provide filling protein and healthy fats. Consuming nuts in the AM causes you to eat fewer calories throughout the rest of the day.


Turkey Pita (395 calories)

4 oz. fresh roasted turkey (about 4 medium slices)
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/4 cup spinach
4 small tomato slices
1/8 cup sprouts
1 small whole-wheat pita
1/2 cup strawberries for dessert

Side Salad

1 cup chopped romaine lettuce
1/2 cup chopped cucumber
1/2 cup chopped red pepper
1/2 cup heart of palm*
1 tsp olive oil

*Tossing surprising ingredients into a salad is the key to preventing "same-old salad" syndrome. Spice up your greens with unexpected extras such as hearts of palm, artichokes, capers, etc.

Snack (150 calories)

1 skim latte (6oz. skim milk* and 6 oz. coffee) sprinkled with cinnamon
1/2 oz. 70% cacao dark chocolate

*Skim milk is your best friend! Not only is it fat-free and low-cal but the calcium you get from two daily servings of dairy is associated with lower body weight!


Healthy Chicken Parmigiana with Penne (437 calories)

4 oz. grilled chicken, diced
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1 cup cooked spinach* (sauteed in 1 tsp olive oil)
1/2 cup whole-wheat penne
1 1/2 Tbl. grated Parmesan

*Spinach contains lipoic acid, which plays a role in energy production and may help regulate blood sugar levels.

Indulge Without the Bulge:

Add: 1/2 cup Edy's Slow Churned Vanilla Bean Light Ice Cream
Subtract: The penne and 1 Tbl. Parmesan at dinner. Sprinkle 1/2 Tbl cheese on veggies or chicken

Day Four


Egg and Lox on an English Muffin (389 calories)

3 egg whites and 1 whole egg* scrambled with 2 oz. lox and 1/4 cup chopped onion
1 whole-wheat English muffin
1 cup blackberries (on the side)

*The protein in eggs can help build muscle, plus eggs contain vitamin B12, which is vital for breaking down fat. People who eat two eggs in the morning eat an average of 164 fewer calories for lunch.

Snack (180 calories)

5 1/2 oz. nonfat Greek yogurt
20 shelled pistachios*
1 tsp agave or honey

*Eating nuts twice a week may help keep off weight gain. Pistachios have less fat than most other nuts.


Taco Salad (344 calories)

4 oz. lean ground turkey cooked with taco seasoning
1/4 cup black beans
2 Tbl. salsa
1 1/2 cup chopped romaine lettuce*
1/4 cup chopped yellow pepper
1/4 cup chopped tomato
2 Tbl guacamole

*Romaine is rich in nutrients- and water! Water helps fill you up and may reduce the overall number of your caloric intake.

Snack (170 calories)

1/2 head endive
1/4 cup hummus*
6 olives

*Chickpeas, the main ingredient in hummus, are high in fiber, which can help stabilize blood sugar and ward off cravings.


Pork and Veggies (417 calories)

4 oz. roasted pork tenderloin
12 spears roasted asparagus, brushed with 2 tsp olive oil
1/2 baked sweet potato


1 small baked apple (core apple, pour 1 tsp lemon juice on top and sprinkle with 1/2 tsp cinnamon, then bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes)

Indulge Without the Bulge:

Add: 4 oz. red wine (My favorite is Pinot Noir!)
Subtract: The nuts and honey from your Greek yogurt snack. Just simply sprinkle it with cinnamon.

Day Five


Yogurt and Grapefruit Parfait (252 calories)

8 oz. Greek yogurt
1 Tbl. wheat germ
1/2 tsp honey
1 tsp ground flaxseeds
1 medium grapefruit*

*Most of grapefruit's three grams of fiber is found in the walls (thin skin between segments). Keep the walls intact for a more filling meal!


Garlic Parmesan Popcorn (116 calories)

2 cups air-popped popcorn
1 Tbl. grated Parmesan cheese
2 tsp. garlic powder
10 sprays of nonstick butter-flavored spray

Place 1/2 cup of whole popcorn kernels in a brown paper lunch sack. Fold over a few times to seal bag shut. Microwave 1-2 minutes, depending on your microwave. Note: Not all kernels will pop. Once they're popped, add nonstick butter flavored spray, Parmesan, and garlic powder. Shake bag well and serve.


Tuna and Bean Salad (353 calories)

3 oz. chunk light tuna packed in water
1/3 cup cannellini beans
1/4 cup diced tomato
1/4 cup diced red onion
1/4 cup canned corn
2 hearts of palm (canned), sliced
1 tsp fresh parsley
2 tsp olive oil*

*Monounsaturated fat, the kind found in olive oil, can increase fat oxidation.


Trail Mix (224 calories)

3 dried apricot halves
15 raw almonds*
1/2 cup Health Valley organic oat bran flakes

*Take your time with this treat. The longer you chew almonds, the more of their satiety-boosting healthy fats you may absorb.


Butternut Squash Soup and Beef Stir-Fry with Bulgur (450 calories)


1/2 cup Pacific Natural Foods organic light-sodium butternut squash soup


3 oz. steak tenderloin fillet, sliced thin
1/2 cup sliced shiitake mushrooms
1/2 onion, sliced
2 tsp olive oil

Serve over 1/3 cup cooked bulgur.*

*Bulgur is quick-cooking, nutty-tasting whole grain that's lower in calories and fat than brown rice.

Indulge Without the Bulge:

Add: Chocolate VitaMuffin
Subtract: Garlic, Parmesan, and spray from AM snack

What are some of your favorite healthy recipes?? How do you indulge without the bulge??

**Disclaimer: I am not a dietician  or nutritionist. These are recipes found/modified from my own personal interest as well as the Ultimate Shape-Up Guide from Women's Health.

Get cooking everyone for the weekend party you want to rock your new jeans or sexy top! Today is the start of your new and healthy life...and living on your own two feet...

Until the next step bloggers...

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