Supercharge Your Slim-Down
SPECIAL OFFER: - Limited Time Only!
(The ad below will not display on your printed page)

Fitness

Supercharge Your Slim-Down

Diet doesn't have to be that kind of four-letter word. Ours lets you eat five times a day, which means you'll feel satisfied, not starving. And because every meal and snack contains at least one energy-boosting superfood, you'll have more than enough get-up-and-go for your workouts. Follow the plan and do the moves and you'll drop 10 pounds this month. Except for a celebratory "Hell, yeah!" there will be no more swearing as you slide into your skinny jeans.

Breakfast

Each recipe clocks in around 300 calories. Get your morning started the right way.

Banana-Walnut Pancakes

Combine 1/3 cup just-add-water whole-grain pancake mix and 1/3 cup water; stir in 1/2 banana, diced, and 5 chopped walnut halves. Mist a nonstick skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium-high heat. Spoon batter into skillet to make 2 pancakes and cook for 2 minutes a side, or until golden. Top with 2 tablespoons 2 percent plain Greek yogurt, 2 teaspoons maple syrup, and 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon.

Mango-Oat Smoothie

In a blender, puree 1 cup water, one 6-ounce container 2 percent plain Greek yogurt, 1/2 cup fresh or frozen mango chunks, 1/2 cup fresh or frozen sliced strawberries, 1/2 cup chopped kale leaves, and 1/3 cup rolled oats until smooth.

Avocado Eggs Benedict

Mash together 1/3 avocado, juice from 1/2 lemon, and 1/8 teaspoon dried dill. Top 1/2 toasted whole-grain English muffin with avocado mixture, 1 tomato slice, 1 slice warmed Canadian bacon, and 1 poached egg; season with salt and pepper.

Quinoa Breakfast Bowl

Stir together 1/2 cup warm cooked quinoa, 1/2 cup chopped pear, and 2 teaspoons honey or agave nectar. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons sunflower seeds and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon.

Kale-and-Egg Breakfast Wrap

Mist a nonstick skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium heat. Saute 1/4 cup chopped onion and 1 cup thinly sliced kale leaves for 4 minutes. Beat 1 egg with 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes and a pinch of salt and pepper and pour over kale; scramble until eggs are set. Spoon egg mixture into center of a warmed 8-inch whole-grain tortilla. Top with 2 sliced cherry tomatoes and 1 tablespoon crumbled goat cheese and fold like a burrito.

 

Lunch

Avoid a midday slump with these lunches -- each meal is about 400 calories.

Kale Grilled Cheese

Mist a nonstick skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium-high heat. Saute 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic, 1 chopped artichoke heart, and 1 cup thinly sliced kale leaves for 4 minutes, or until kale wilts. Top each of 2 slices sprouted whole-grain bread with 1 slice 2 percent cheddar and divide kale mixture between the two. Mist same skillet with cooking spray, heat over medium heat, add bread and cook for 3 minutes, or until cheese melts and underside is golden. Press slices together to make a sandwich and serve with 14 baby carrots and 1 tablespoon hummus.

Shrimp Tacos with Avocado Dressing

In a nonstick skillet, heat 1 teaspoon coconut or canola oil and 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes over medium heat. Add 6 peeled and deveined large shrimp and saute for 2 to 3 minutes, or until opaque. Mash together 1/3 avocado, juice of 1 lime, and 1/4 cup chopped cilantro; season with salt and pepper. Divide shrimp, 1/2 cup broccoli slaw, and avocado dressing between 2 warmed corn tortillas. Serve with 1/2 mango, cubed.

Edamame Sushi Bowl

Whisk together 2 teaspoons reduced-sodium soy sauce, 1 teaspoon honey, 1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar and 1/4 teaspoon minced ginger. Arrange 1/2 cup warm cooked brown rice, 1/2 cup warm shelled edamame, 1/2 cup shredded carrots, 1/2 cup cucumber slices cut into matchsticks, and 1/3 avocado, diced, in a bowl. Top with soy sauce mixture and 1 sheet toasted nori seaweed cut into 1/4-inch strips.

Chickpea-and-Walnut-Stuffed Pita

Combine 1/3 cup 2 percent plain Greek yogurt, 1/3 cup grated English cucumber, 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice, and 1 teaspoon dried dill; season with salt and pepper. Toss together 1 cup chopped romaine lettuce, 1/3 cup rinsed and drained canned chickpeas, 2 tablespoons finely diced red onion, and 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts. Cut a whole-grain pita in half; fill each half with salad mixture and top with yogurt sauce.

Chicken, Feta, and Strawberry Salad

Whisk together 1 tablespoon 2 percent plain Greek yogurt, 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard, 1 teaspoon honey, and 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice; season with salt and pepper. Toss together 3 cups baby spinach, 3 ounces sliced grilled chicken breast, 1 cup sliced strawberries, 2 tablespoons sunflower seeds, 1 tablespoon crumbled feta, and yogurt dressing until well combined.

 

Dinner

Ace your evening meal with these 500-calorie recipes.

Kale Caesar Salad with Grilled Chicken

Whisk together 2 tablespoons 2 percent plain Greek yogurt, 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar, 1/4 teaspoon minced garlic, 1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard, and 1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce. Toss together 3 cups thinly sliced kale leaves, 2 tablespoons shredded Parmesan, 3 ounces sliced grilled chicken breast, and yogurt dressing. Top with 1 toasted whole-grain pita torn into small pieces.

Peanutty Soba Noodles with Edamame

Cook 2 ounces soba noodles according to package directions. Heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add 1/2 cup red bell pepper strips, 1/2 cup thinly sliced carrot, 1/2 cup broccoli florets, and 1/4 cup shelled frozen edamame and cook for 6 minutes, or until vegetables are crisp-tender. Whisk together 1 1/2 tablespoons smooth natural peanut butter, 1 1/2 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar, and a pinch of cayenne pepper. Toss together noodles, vegetables, and peanut butter mixture. Garnish with 1/2 teaspoon sesame seeds.

Turkey Chili Fries

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Mist a baking sheet with cooking spray. Cut 1 medium potato into 1/2-inch-thick strips, arrange in a single layer on baking sheet, mist with cooking spray and bake for 30 minutes, flipping halfway through. In a skillet over medium heat, cook 4 ounces 99 percent fat-free ground turkey, 1 tablespoon taco seasoning, and 2 tablespoons water for 4 minutes, or until turkey is cooked through, breaking up chunks with a wooden spoon. Add 1/2 cup diced green bell pepper and 1/4 cup rinsed and drained canned kidney beans and saute for 4 minutes more. Top potatoes with turkey mixture; 1/4 cup shredded cheddar; 1/2 cup diced tomato; 1/2 green onion, thinly sliced; and 2 tablespoons 2 percent plain Greek yogurt.

Walnut-Crusted Tilapia with Cranberry Barley and Garlic Green Beans

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Place 5 ounces tilapia on a foil-lined baking sheet. Spread 2 teaspoons honey Dijon mustard over fish and press 1 tablespoon finely chopped walnuts into mustard. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes, or until fish flakes easily with a fork. Meanwhile, toss 3/4 cup warm cooked barley with 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar, 1 tablespoon dried cranberries, and 1/2 green onion, thinly sliced. Heat 2 teaspoons olive oil and 1 teaspoon minced garlic in a skillet over medium heat. Add 1 cup green beans and saute for 6 minutes, or until crisp-tender; season with salt and pepper.

Apricot-and-Cinnamon-Glazed Pork with Roasted Vegetables

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Mist a baking sheet with cooking spray; arrange 1 cup quartered brussels sprouts and 1 cup quartered fingerling potatoes in a single layer on sheet. Mist with cooking spray, season with salt and pepper, and bake for 30 minutes, flipping halfway through. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add 4 ounces lean pork tenderloin and cook for 3 to 4 minutes a side, or until internal temperature reaches 145 degrees. Whisk together 2 tablespoons 100 percent fruit apricot preserves, 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar, and 2 teaspoons cinnamon. Coat pork with apricot mixture and cook for 2 minutes more.

 

Snacks

Eat two of these 150-calorie options each day.

1 ounce Rhythm Superfoods Honey Mustard Kale Chips

Ginger-wasabi trail mix: Chop 6 pieces candied ginger and mix with 2 tablespoons Seapoint Farms Spicy Wasabi Dry Roasted Edamame

2 tablespoons Eat Well Enjoy Life Edamame Hummus with 1 cup jicama sticks

Cinnamon-sugar popcorn: Mist 3 cups air-popped popcorn with cooking spray and toss with 2 teaspoons brown sugar and 1 tablespoon cinnamon

Sunflower seed chocolate bark: Microwave 2 tablespoons chocolate chips until melted. Pour chocolate onto a plate lined with parchment paper, sprinkle with 1 tablespoon sunflower seeds and refrigerate for 10 minutes, or until set

1 cup apple slices spread with 1 tablespoon sunflower seed butter

1/4 cup The Good Bean Sweet Cinnamon Roasted Chickpea Snacks

Mini cheese plate: Arrange 4 walnut halves, 1/2-ounce wedge Havarti, and 12 grapes on a plate

Chocolate chip-dipped strawberries: Stir 1 tablespoon mini chocolate chips into 1/2 cup vanilla 2 percent Greek yogurt; use as a dip for 6 strawberries

Avocado tartine: Spread 1/3 avocado, mashed, onto 1 Wasa Crispbread, season with salt and pepper and serve with 8 grape tomatoes

 

Eat for Energy

If your body were an engine, the foods highlighted in our recipes would be high-octane gasoline. Here's why:

Kale: The healthy plant nitrates in this leafy green increase blood flow to tired muscles.

Cinnamon: This spice has been shown to regulate your blood sugar, meaning that your energy level won't spike only to come crashing down.

Yogurt: Even a slight vitamin B12 deficiency can make you feel zonked. Luckily, one cup of yogurt fulfills nearly half your daily quota.

Strawberries: They're 92 percent water, which (duh!) staves off energy-zapping dehydration.

Walnuts: Omega-3s lower fatigue-inducing inflammation; walnuts are the only nuts that contain a significant amount of them.

Edamame: Iron transports oxygen throughout your body, and these are packed with the mineral as well as with vitamin C, which helps your body absorb it.

Sunflower seeds: These are a top source of magnesium, a mineral that helps you work out harder and longer.

Avocados: Their folate and vitamin B6 are key for converting food into fuel. Bonus: The nutrients may also boost your mood.

Originally published in FITNESS magazine, February 2014.

 
shim