14 Day Weight Loss Healthy Eating Meal Plan (with Recipes!)

23 Sep 2017 no comments Mathildeb

 

Get a Flat Belly Now!

Have you always wanted to eat healthier and lose weight but haven’t had a simple-to-follow meal plan to make it happen?

Well worry no more, your friends at Good EATS Meal Plans have hand-picked 14 weight loss healthy eating meals to guide you along your journey. Try to do any combination of the below 14 days for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack or add a few of the recipes to your existing diet.

Meal Plan Notes:

Healthy Ingredients Only:

Most of the recipes we link to have really healthy ingredients. For you, this means shopping for local, organic, or non-processed options whenever possible. If the recipes call for a lot of salt or fatty foods (like mayonnaise), sub them out with something else or pass on them altogether.

Menu Items are HandPicked:

All of these menu items are actually part of the Good EATS Meal Plan created by a Registered Dietician Nutritionist. While the recipes we link to are not necessarily the recipes we use, they are really great sources of healthy eating.

Keep an Open Mind:

If you see ingredients that you are allergic to, can’t find at the store or just don’t like, that’s ok. Just sub it out with some other similar food (ex. chicken instead of fish) so you stick to the diet.

Eat and Move:

If you want the best results, combine your meal planning of healthy eating with exercise. This will ensure you are setting yourself up for the best possible weight loss lifestyle shift possible.

Day 1

Breakfast

Apple Cinnamon Protein Oatmeal

We are a big fan of protein-enhanced breakfasts that also include carbs. When we wake up, our muscles need to be replenished with amino acids in the form of protein as well as foods that will provide us energy – carbs. This is a simple recipe that can also be used as a snack later in the day.

http://thelittlehoneybee.com/2013/07/17/apple-cinnamon-protein-oatmeal-wiaw-5/

Lunch

Avocado Chicken Salad Wrap

For a great blend of healthy fats (avocado) and energy-sustaining protein (chicken), the avocado chicken salad wrap is a simple-to-make lunch that is both filling and delicious. Unlike traditional chicken salad, this recipe calls for non-far Greek yogurt, an excellent source of protein that doesn’t contain all the fat as mayo.

http://www.yummyhealthyeasy.com/2016/03/avocado-chicken-salad-wrap.html

Dinner

Lemon Pepper Chicken Zoodles

Zoodles are noodles made from zucchini rather than pasta. You can use a veggie peeler to make them, or, if you have a fancier set of kitchen tools, get a spiralizer. The beauty of this healthy recipe is that it is really low in calories (the below recipe is less than 300 calories per serving) and is high in protein (29 grams).

http://www.rockchefrolls.com/recipe-lemon-garlic-chicken-zoodles/

Snack

Greek Yogurt with Fruit

The thing with snacks is that they should be easy to make and delicious. That’s why using the Greek yogurt you bought for the chicken salad wrap above can be convenient for your snack. Just add blueberries or your favorite fruit and some locally sourced honey for a protein-rich, convenient snack.

http://eatingrichly.com/greek-yogurt-with-blueberries-and-honey-recipe/

Day 2

Breakfast

Chicken & Egg White Breakfast Bowl

Eggs without the yolks, or egg whites, are a healthy option that became popular for diets that were trying to avoid cholesterol. This recipe, with chicken sausage and veggies, is a great option for those days where you’ll need lots of sustained energy throughout your day.

http://dinnersdishesanddesserts.com/egg-white-breakfast-bowls/

Lunch

Grilled Chicken & Berry Salad

After eating a hearty chicken and egg white breakfast bowl in the morning, you may not want to pack on a bunch more calories for lunch. This is why a lunch salad is a healthy, refreshing choice that is actually really easy to make or take to work. This recipe includes two different types of lettuce, chicken, berries, feta cheese and almonds.

http://ourbestbites.com/2011/06/grilled-chicken-berry-salad/

Dinner

BBQ Chicken, Rice and Beans Lettuce Bowls

Using the same lettuce as you used in your lunch (except not chopped up), you can make a killer dinner that explodes with flavor in the mouth. The diced mangos provide some nice texture while the BBQ chicken really brings home some cooking that you wouldn’t traditionally see with healthy recipes. Still, when selecting your BBQ sauce, try to find something that is free of high fructose corn syrup, an ingredient linked to unwanted weight gain.

http://withsaltandwit.com/mango-black-bean-bbq-chicken-rice-lettuce-bowls-with-chile-lime-vinaigrette/

Snack

Chocolate Chip Energy Bites

These energy bites will be your go-to recipe when you need a quick snack or even something tasty for breakfast. The good news is this recipe is no-bake, meaning you can get the ingredients together, mix them, and eat.

http://www.gimmesomeoven.com/no-bake-energy-bites/

Day 3

Breakfast

Low Carb California Scramble

When you want a breakfast that combines taste, nutrition and freshness, this option is hard to beat. The eggs provide much needed protein while the asparagus and tomatoes give this recipe some much-needed texture and tons of vitamins and nutrients.

http://livinlavidalowcarb.com/blog/fresh-low-carb-california-asparagus-scramble-recipe/3845

Lunch

Low Carb Chicken Burger

These are low carb because the recipe calls for Portobello mushroom caps as a substitute for the bread. This recipe will fill you up with fiber to keep your metabolism moving and the other vegetables provide you with awesome vitamins and minerals to make you look and feel great.

http://fitmencook.com/epic-low-carb-chicken-burger/

Dinner

Heather’s Turkey Chili   

Chili is a great option because it is super hearty, and lasts for a while if you make a decent serving size. Thus, you can actually use the food for leftovers for lunch or dinner the next couple of days. This recipe calls for lean ground turkey (rather than fatty beef) and takes less than an hour to prep.

https://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detail.asp?recipe=1294242

Snack

Chocolate Chip Protein Cookies

That’s right! Cookies in a healthy, weight loss meal plan, and chocolate chip nonetheless. But no, you can’t eat these for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The secret to these cookies is vanilla protein, coconut flour (to keep the carbs down), and a sugar and butter substitute.
http://www.noexcusesnutrition.com/chocolate-chip-protein-cookies/

Day 4

Breakfast

Paleo Veggie Frittata

The frittata is a good breakfast option because it can actually be stored for a later lunch or dinner option if you don’t eat it all. This option is full of veggies, making it a great source of vitamins and minerals as well as fibrous foods such as spinach and kale.

http://www.thepaleomom.com/recipe-veggie-frittata/

Lunch

Grilled Vegetable Wrap

Keeping up with the vegetable theme for the beginning half of the day, the grilled veggie wrap is smeared with hummus and filed with hearty good-for-you vegetables eggplant and bell peppers. If you want some extra protein, sprinkle in some feta cheese and enjoy this new, simple to make lunch or dinner option a couple times a week.

http://www.cookincanuck.com/2014/04/grilled-vegetable-wrap-recipe-with-hummus/

Dinner

Low Carb Mediterranean Chicken 

Eating right doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice on flavor or adding 20 hours of cooking into your week. That’s why this low carb Mediterranean chicken meal is a personal favorite. This recipe calls for high flavor chicken thighs which are ok after a breakfast and lunch of veggie options; but feel free to sub them out if you want a less fatty option.

http://alldayidreamaboutfood.com/2015/06/low-carb-easy-mediterranean-chicken-bake.html

Snack

Deviled Eggs

These deviled eggs do take a bit of prep – like 15 minutes – but are well worth the wait. You’ll notice that the recipe subs out standard mayonnaise, a commonly unhealthy ingredient, with a more health-conscious option.

http://fluffychixcook.com/deviled-eggs-low-carb-devilishly-delicious/

Day 5

Breakfast

Berry Chia Overnight Oats

This overnight oats recipe is great because it can be used again and again, making breakfast easy for those of us on-the-go. Because it contains almonds, yogurt, blueberries, chia seeds, and of course, rolled oats, it is an excellent source of calcium, fiber, protein and potassium.

http://www.elliekrieger.com/recipe/blueberry-chia-overnight-oats/

Lunch

Chicken BLT Wrap

You might have some chicken left over from yesterday’s meal, making this an easy lunch option if you plan accordingly. You can’t go wrong with chicken and bacon, although the Ranch dressing the recipe calls for should be subbed out for something healthier, like this Greek yogurt-based recipe.

http://www.food.com/recipe/chicken-blt-wraps-160276

Dinner

Hand Carved Turkey

Who doesn’t like turkey that only takes 15 minutes to prep? Plus, the turkey will yield all sorts of yummy leftovers (see tomorrow’s lunch) so the time it takes to get all the ingredients together is well worth it.

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/good-eats-roast-turkey-recipe.html

Snack

Homemade trail mix

Trail mix is an amazing snack because it provides healthy fats as well as protein, giving your body energy boosts throughout the day while also helping it to burn fat. Now, there are a lot of ways to make trail mix, some of them healthier than others. We like a nice mix of nuts, seeds, dried fruit (not the kind that is doused in sugar) as well as a crunchy (pretzels) or sweet (dark chocolate) contrasting flavor.

http://www.thehealthymaven.com/2015/08/how-to-build-a-healthy-trail-mix.html

Day 6

Breakfast

Egg & Avocado Breakfast Wrap 

A protein-rich, low-carb option, this egg and avocado breakfast wrap is easy to make and helps jump start your metabolism for a fresh start. If you want even more protein or calories, you can add chicken (or some of that leftover turkey) to the wrap to spruce it up a notch. Combined with the avocado, this wrap is super-filling and will keep you feeling light all morning long.

http://ahealthylifeforme.com/egg-and-avocado-wrap-low-carb-high-protein/

Lunch

Hand Carved Turkey Club   

Ready to put that leftover turkey to use with some convenient lunch options? This recipe calls for another unhealthy mayo option so you’ll want to avoid that. It also calls for white bread which you know is full of simple carbs and would be better replaced with whole wheat. But hey, if you want a cheat day by all means indulge!

http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/turkey-club-sandwiches-with-herb-mayonnaise

Dinner

Chicken Parmesan

We found this great “skinny chicken parm” recipe that is only 225 calories per serving. Used with whole grain pasta, this can be a real winner at the family dinner. Pair with some broccoli and you are good to.

http://www.the-girl-who-ate-everything.com/2011/03/skinny-chicken-parmesan.html

Snack

Bananas & Almond Butter

Snacking should be quick and easy and that is exactly what you’ll get with this recipe. You can always just stick to the two-ingredient bananas and almond butter (or peanut butter), but if you are really looking to spruce things up try following this recipe that includes cinnamon and pistachios.

http://www.popsugar.com/fitness/Banana-Almond-Butter-Snack-38746836

Day 7

Breakfast

Turkey Sausage & Egg White Breakfast Bowl

The egg whites in this recipe are optional, and if you have any turkey left over you can use that instead of the turkey sausage the recipe calls for. Mix your cheese options up a bit too if you want some different flavor or health options; we love feta cheese when melted.

https://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detail.asp?recipe=538528

Lunch

Chicken Meatball Wrap

Chicken is great in this recipe because it is lean. When cooked correctly, if retains lots of moisture and is simply amazing. If you must, ground turkey is also a great option or you can add in a little pork but you know the lean meats are what is best if you’re looking to also get lean. The salad wrap keeps these low carb too, meaning this recipe is a 30-minute from prep to finish meal that you’ll want to make again and again.

http://www.justataste.com/baked-asian-chicken-meatball-lettuce-wraps-recipe/

Dinner

Blackened Salmon

Salmon is chalk-full of health benefits and provides tons of healthy omega-3 fatty acids (like fish oil), is an excellent source of protein, potassium, and includes antioxidant amino acid taurine. Plus, it is really easy to make and tastes amazing. This recipe calls for a bunch of seasoning for blackening but you can just buy a pre-made mix if you want to keep things simple. Then, all you really need is some olive oil, salt and lime juice for the homemade dressing.

http://picturetherecipe.com/index.php/recipes/blackened-salmon-homemade-seasoning/

Snack

Cucumber Salad & Edamame

We just love edamame because it is loaded with protein, fiber, carbs and tons of amino acids, making it one of the most comprehensive foods you can possibly eat. Paired with water-rich cucumber and a few other ingredients, this salad is a real crowd-pleaser but is also good when it’s just you and a cold bowl.

http://www.snixykitchen.com/2015/06/06/sesame-ginger-miso-cucumber-salad/

Day 8

Breakfast

Fruit and Granola Bowl

This breakfast option calls for a couple of ingredients – cottage cheese, fruit, and granola – and can be made in a matter of minutes. It’s loaded with fiber and protein, making it a great morning pick-me-up that will provide quick and sustained energy throughout your day.

http://www.nutsaboutgranola.com/blog/healthy-snack-idea-fruit-cottage-cheese-and-granola-bowl/

Lunch

Goat Cheese Grilled Cheese

Grilled cheese is generally a comfort food that involves white bread, cheddar or American cheese, and lots of butter. In keeping with our weight loss meal plan, we’ll want to sub out these unhealthy options and go for some better ingredients that don’t sacrifice any flavor.

http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/goat-cheese-grilled-cheese

Dinner

Pot Roast

If you have a Dutch oven or slow cooker you’ll love this amazing recipe that really is “set-it-and-forget it.” Using your favorite source of protein – the author of this recipe opts for sirloin tip roast over pot roast – all you really need to do is prep some veggies and throw them in the pot. Using simple ingredients like carrots, fennel, potatoes and onion you can have a ton of food for the week and an amazing smelling home. Plus pot roast freezes really well so you can reheat when you’re craving it again.

http://stupideasypaleo.com/2016/02/28/pot-roast-recipe/

Snack

Oatmeal Raisin Protein Cookies

With shredded coconut, applesauce, vanilla and cinnamon, it’s hard to believe that this recipe is healthy. But who said that cookies have to be put on the no fly zone anyway? With these oatmeal raisin cookies, not only will you have a healthy snack but you’ll also have energy-packed protein to keep you alert throughout your day.

http://proteinpow.com/2014/02/oatmeal-raisin-protein-cookies.html

Day 9

Breakfast

Blueberry Protein Pancakes

Pancakes on your list of diet food? That’s right! Sometimes it’s not the food, it’s the way you prep it that matters. With this recipe, you can actually enjoy this amazing breakfast option without worrying about carb overload and ruining all your hard work. It calls for uncooked rolled oats, egg whites, protein powder, Greek yogurt, or of course, disease fighting blueberries to make your morning amazing.

http://skinnyms.com/oatmeal-blueberry-protein-pancakes/

Lunch

Grilled Shrimp Salad

A little more seafood on the docket never hurt anyone. This summer-friendly lunch or dinner option is completely out of this world tasty and really good for you too. Shrimp provides an excellent source of protein and the added ingredients in your salad – tomatoes, avocado, corn, black beans, and cheese – make this a real winner with less prep time than you think.

http://www.closetcooking.com/2013/08/chipotle-lime-grilled-shrimp-salad-in.html

Dinner

Chicken Stir-Fry

Asian food on the mind tonight? Well, get ready for a little chicken stir-fry on the menu and a simple recipe that calls for healthy ingredients and brown rice to provide a great mix of protein, carbs and healthy fats.

http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/stir-fried-chicken-broccoli-brown-rice 

Snack

Paleo Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

Another amazing little paleo snack, these muffins provide you with some nice bite-sized treats that will help provide you a good source of fiber as well as protein and carbs to get you through that 2 o’clock lull. At a 10 minute prep time, you’ll make this great snack again and again.

http://sunnysideups.org/paleo-chocolate-chip-pumpkin-mini-muffins/

Day 10

Breakfast

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Protein Pancakes

Here’s another amazing protein pancake recipe you can use because we know one is not enough. Instead of fruit, this one calls for peanut butter, a well-known protein source that also tastes amazing. It also calls for a peanut butter cup but we won’t tell if you decide to eat two.

http://justins.com/recipes/peanut-butter-chocolate-chip-protein-pancakes

Lunch

Grilled Portabella Panini

A great meat-free lunch option, this Portabella mushroom panini has meat-like characteristics without the meat. The prep time is rather long at over three hours, but that is because you’ll be marinating the mushrooms in vinegar and olive oil to really bring out the flavors. Throw in a nice side salad into the mix and you’ll have a healthy, happy meal that makes lunch fun.

http://ohmyveggies.com/recipe-grilled-portabella-panini-with-artichoke-tapenade/

Dinner

Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

Let’s keep with the meat-free trend for Day 10, without sacrificing calories or eating boring foods. This butternut squash summer time mac and cheese is amazingly creamy, and because you aren’t using meat protein, the cheese won’t smash your caloric intake. For butter, we like to opt for something like Earth Balance non-GMO, vegan butter, a gluten-free, lactose free option that doesn’t load you up on the fats of typical butter.

http://www.kitchenkonfidence.com/2015/10/butternut-squash-mac-and-cheese-recipe

Snack

Paleo Brownies

Paleo recipes are great because they are grain-free and dairy-free, making them easy-to-digest and great for those with food sensitivities. True, paleo recipes call for some creative ingredients like almond flour in lieu of traditional flour, coconut sugar instead of the normal stuff, and creativity if you’re trying to avoid eggs, but the result is a great snack that is actually pretty easy to make.

http://www.glutenfreebaking.com/the-best-paleo-brownies-grain-freedairy-free-recipe/

Day 11

Breakfast

Pumpkin Protein Oatmeal

There’s nothing wrong with some tasty pumpkin oatmeal to get your day started off right. This recipe is perfect for those chilly fall mornings that call for something warm and sweet to begin your day. Because this recipe also calls for protein powder, it is full of carbs, fiber, and energy-packed goodness that makes energy lapses an afterthought.

http://www.pancakewarriors.com/protein-pumpkin-oatmeal/

Lunch

Tuna Salad Sandwich

Tuna salad is a pretty easy lunchtime meal to make and this recipe makes it a really awesome choice, even while at work. It calls for a mashing of the avocado and Greek yogurt (instead of mayo) and can be used on whole wheat bread, a wrap, or crackers if you’re into that kind of thing. Plus, this is the type of recipe you can make ahead of time and store in some Tupperware in the refrigerator at home or at the office.

http://www.organizeyourselfskinny.com/2014/06/20/avocado-and-greek-yogurt-tuna-salad-recipe-no-mayonnaise/

Dinner

Sirloin Steak

Where’s the beef? Right here! This pan roasted recipe uses a cast iron pan to cook the steak indoors, restaurant style, starting on the stove top and finishing in the oven. Just season with a little olive oil and salt and pepper and you’re done. Cook up some spinach or broccoli and perhaps a sweet potato to round out this meal.

http://www.thehungrymouse.com/2009/06/22/steakhouse-style-pan-roasted-sirloin-steaks/

Snack

Feta-Ricotta Dip

If you love dips, this is a new and interesting take on an old favorite. The mix of feta and ricotta makes the dip super creamy while the added ingredients of olive oil, thyme, oregano, crushed red pepper and Kalamata olives bring this bad boy home. Grab some pita chips and enjoy!

http://picturetherecipe.com/index.php/recipes/feta-ricotta-dip/

Day 12

Breakfast

Veggie & Egg White Breakfast Bowl

This recipe combines superfood quinoa and egg whites to make a breakfast bowl that works on those days you have a little extra time for breakfast. It also combines broccoli and mushrooms as well as cheese to provide a healthy, hearty breakfast option for those slow-moving Sunday mornings.

http://www.reclaimingprovincial.com/2013/03/06/veggie-quinoa-breakfast-bowl/

Lunch

Turkey Burger

Turkey burgers are great because they are lean, retain moisture better than chicken, and taste amazing with the right seasoning. This hand-picked recipe calls for the addition of Granny Smith apples, romaine lettuce, and cranberry sauce for what will be one of the most flavorful burgers you’ll ever wrap your hands around.

http://www.delish.com/cooking/g2127/turkey-burgers/

Dinner

Chicken Greek Salad

Greek salad is a personal favorite at Good EATS, and this recipe includes some chicken to satisfy any hunger. Greek salad includes just a few ingredients – romaine lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, red onion, feta cheese, Kalamata olives, pepperoncini – plus the chicken, and you’re good to go!

http://aggieskitchen.com/greek-grilled-chicken-salad/

Snack

Traditional Hummus w/ Whole Wheat Pita

Probably the simplest snack on this meal plan, hummus and pita can all be store-bought but you can, of course, make it at home. Homemade hummus gives you the added benefit of negating the preservatives typically found in pre-packaged dips. Either way, it’s a healthy, convenient option that provides you with healthy fats and is nice and filling.

http://www.cookinglight.com/food/quick-healthy/hummus-recipes/quick-healthy-lemony-hummus-spicy-whole-wheat-pita-chips-recipe

Day 13

Breakfast

Veggie & Egg White Breakfast Wrap

Loaded with tasty veggies like bell peppers and red onions, this is a crowd-pleaser that provides sustained energy throughout your morning. The recipe also calls for turkey bacon, but that is optional if you want to keep the meat out and cut down on your prep time. A nice whole wheat tortilla wrap rounds out this healthy breakfast that can be nicely complemented with some fresh orange juice.

http://www.beachbody.com/beachbodyblog/nutrition/recipes/egg-white-breakfast-burrito

Lunch

Veggie Quesadilla

When placed on a whole wheat tortilla, these vegetable quesadillas are surprisingly delicious. Combine onion, diced mushrooms, bell peppers, zucchini and whatever else you’re craving and perhaps a healthy fat like avocado or hummus, and you’ll have a tasty lunch option that is low on calories and big on flavor. Include cheese for even more flavor but more calories.

http://www.100daysofrealfood.com/2011/08/31/recipe-vegetable-quesadillas-on-whole-wheat-tortillas/

Dinner

Chicken Caesar Wrap

Chicken Caesar wraps are always a welcome option around the dinner table, especially when you use a juicy chicken breast or marinated chicken. This recipe in particular calls for an interesting take on the traditional chicken Caesar wrap, subbing out romaine lettuce for kale and including some other contrasting flavors like carrot and chickpeas. The author also opts for rotisserie chicken to make things simple, yet delicious.

http://www.budgetbytes.com/2015/07/chicken-kale-caesar-wraps/

Snack

Dinner

Strawberry Energy Bites

These are truly one of the most awesome, healthy snacks you’ll ever have. They taste like strawberry shortcake but don’t require baking and don’t have any sugar. Whatttt?? Yup, the secret is in the nonfat Greek yogurt (seeing a trend here yet?), the macadamia butter, and stevia extract. Just mix the ingredients, refrigerate, and enjoy.

http://dessertswithbenefits.com/healthy-strawberry-shortcake-energy-bites/

Day 14

Breakfast

Strawberry Banana Protein Pancakes

On your last day of our clean eating meal plan, let’s put a little Jack Johnson in our day with banana pancakes. Well, these are actually strawberry and banana protein pancakes mixed with an egg substitute, and a few other choice ingredients. You can even do the prep work the night before so you can just enjoy the next morning.

http://www.cleaneatingveggiegirl.com/2013/08/21/guest-post-strawberry-banana-protein-pancakes/

Lunch

Chicken Kale Caesar Salad

Last night’s dinner called for a tasty kale Caesar salad recipe and you can use it again for today’s lunch. Or, here is another more traditional Caesar salad recipe that uses kale but forgoes the carrots and chickpeas.

http://www.cleaneatingmag.com/recipes/classics-made-clean/kale-chicken-caesar-salad/

Dinner

Pasta Primavera

Who’s ready for Italian night? This “spring pasta” calls for a plethora of veggies, cream, and parmesan cheese. There is quite a bit of chopping involved but the preparation is half the fun (plus you can enjoy raw veggies which are really good for you). This particular recipe is no-meat, but you can throw in some chicken if you are in need of more protein.

http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/pioneer_womans_/

Snack

Apple & Peanut Butter Smoothie

We actually eat a lot of smoothies internally at the Good EATS Meal Plan so it’s no surprise that you’d see us recommending them on your meal plan. This one is more of a “dessert in a glass” but we figured you deserved something nice for getting through these two weeks. We’d definitely recommend almond milk for this recipe, as well as vanilla protein powder. The recipe does not call for frozen banana – it calls for ice – and we are of the school that if it doesn’t provide flavor we don’t use it. The whipped cream is to be used sparingly my friends!

http://withsaltandwit.com/peanut-butter-oatmeal-apple-smoothie/

THE END!

That’s all she wrote! If you are interested in eating healthier and having a dedicated diet coach to help you along the way, check out Good EATS Meal Plans (currently only available in Long Island, NY). All of these recipes are actual menu items (somtimes they rotate), created by a nutritionist and world-class chef.

Alkaline Water; Does it Live Up to the Hype?

24 Jul 2017 no comments Christine Galgano

If you have spoken to someone drinking water out of a large glass bottle, they have probably told you how amazing alkaline water is and that you have to try it.

When you ask if it tastes different, they respond “no,” but then proceed to tell you there are numerous health benefits anywhere from being more hydrating and giving you more energy all the way to curing cancer!

So is Alkaline water a new miracle drink or a just the latest fitness fad? As a nutritionist, I speak to people every day that tell me they know they should be drinking more water but fail for a variety of reasons. I usually don’t buy into most health trends but if having a ½ gallon of water just in front of you creates an environment where you are drinking more water throughout the day then I am all for it!

What is the significance of the pH level?

The difference between alkaline water and regular tap water from your sink is the pH value. pH values measure how acidic or alkaline something is. These values range from 0-14. A pH value of 7 is neutral with values of 0-6 being acidic and values of 8-14 being alkaline. Our blood has a pH of approximately 7.4, slightly alkaline while our stomachs have a pH of 1.5 to 3.5, acidic.

Alkaline water has a greater pH value ranging from 7.5 to 9.5. It can be made by adding electrolytes to water or passing water through a water ionizer. Our bodies are naturally designed to maintain the proper pH levels needed for optimum functioning but with the standard American diet there is belief that the foods we eat are contributing to our bodies being more acidic than normal.

Some preliminary research shows that Alkaline water is more hydrating that regular water, it can ease acid reflux, reduce body fat, support healthy bones and neutralize acid in the bloodstream. The claim that has shown the most scientific evidence of being true is relief of acid reflux. Researchers tested alkaline water with a pH of 8.8 and found it inactivated pepsin, a digestive enzyme that is one of the main causes in reflux disease. However, there hasn’t been enough research to scientifically back any of these claims.

So should I be drinking more Alkaline water?

Based on scientific evidence the answer is not very clear cut. However, you SHOULD be drinking more water! Our bodies are 60% water and drinking more of it is beneficial for everyone looking to improve their health. Drinking more water can increase your energy levels, keep your skin healthy, aid in digestion, help flush out toxins in your body, and help with weight loss. Often when you think you are hungry you a really just thirsty and substituting high calorie drinks with water is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to shed a few pounds.

The health claims for Alkaline water may still be inconclusive but drinking more water has been a health craze before there were health crazes. Keeping a large bottle of water near you to encourage you to drink more is a tip I give almost everyday. So walking around with a large glass bottle seems to be a fad that has real benefits; it is not just a new fitness accessory. Not only is it good for you to drink more water but to drink out of glass bottle has benefits in itself. Plastic bottles can contain many harmful chemicals such as BPA, phthalate, PVC, and polycarbonate. These chemicals and substances have the potential to leach into your water and make you sick. Glass is made from all natural, sustainable raw materials that is 100% recyclable. So not only is drinking out of glass better for your health but its better for the environment! Americans buy an estimated 29.8 billion plastic water bottles every year, and nearly 8 out of every 10 bottles will end up in a landfill. Once there, it takes over 500 years for plastic bottles to break down.

The bottom line: A big part of the hype surrounding alkaline water and its health benefits is simply the hydration factor. Staying hydrated makes you feel better, period. There may be some extra health benefits to drinking Alkaline water that haven’t been fully proven by research but drinking out of glass over plastic has been proven to be better for your health and better for the environment. So drink more water, drink out of glass, and stay hydrated!

 

What are the different kinds of meal plans

04 May 2017 no comments Dana Fletcher

The food we ingest fuels our body and our ability to function daily. To be the best version of ourselves, we must be mindful of what we eat by making an active effort to make healthy choices. Healthy eating isn’t limited to an overly strict diet or depriving yourself of the foods you enjoy for the sake of being thin. Rather, its purpose is to improve health, increase energy and stabilize your moods.

With so many articles focused on nutrition and diet advice, it is easy to feel overwhelmed and confused. This article will present some simple tips to guide you in creating a delicious, healthy and varied diet that is good for both your mind and body.

Meal plans for weight loss

There is no shortage of fad diets to help you shed pound rapidly. These unsustainable extremes leave you feeling hungry and deprived. The best way to lose weight, is to make simple tweaks for a gradual loss.

1. Eat a balanced breakfast

Many people believe that skipping breakfast is a great way to cut calories and lose weight. This common misconception has the opposite effect as the subsequent hunger usually leads to people eating more throughout the day to satisfy their hunger.  Eating a proper breakfast helps boost metabolism, stabilizes blood sugar levels in addition to improving concentration and overall productivity.

For a nutritious start to your day, try having a bowl of whole-grain cereal with low-fat dairy topped with fruit.

2. Eat more produce

According to the U.S. government’s 2005 Dietary Guidelines, adults should consume 7-13 cups of produce daily. You can do so by introducing more low-calorie, high volume fruits and vegetables to your diet. Try starting your lunches and dinners with a salad or bowl of soup. Opt for fruits and vegetables as healthy snacks. By doing so, you are skipping the high fat, high calorie alternatives while also enriching your diet with vitamins and minerals.

3Eat more grains

Add more fiber to your diet by swapping refined grains such as white bread, pretzels, cookies and cake for whole grain options such as whole-wheat breads and pastas, bran flakes, popcorn, whole-rye crackers and brown rice. Eating fiber leaves you feeling more full, making you more likely to eat more reasonable portions.

4. Eat low-fat protein as a snack

Consuming low-fat proteins as snacks is a nutritious way to keep you feeling full and curb your appetite. Some healthy options are low-fat yogurt, peanut butter with banana, nuts, and eggs. To avoid overindulging, experts recommend eating small portions every 3-4 hours to keep a steady blood sugar level.

5. Switch to lighter alternatives.

Dieting to lose weight doesn’t necessarily mean skipping out on foods altogether.

The easiest option to trim calories is to opt for low-fat versions of things you already eat such as dairy products, salad dressing, mayonnaise, etc. Some smart substitutions include hummus or salsa as a dip for your chips, using skim milk instead of creamer in your coffee, drinking water instead of juices and sodas, eating roasted sweet potatoes instead of loaded white potatoes and tossing your salads with vinaigrette instead of creamy dressing. Each substitution is a step closer to your ideal weight.

Meal plans for building muscle

When we think of gaining muscle, the first thing that comes to mind is spending countless hours in the gym lifting weights. Just as important as your time in the gym, is your diet. To build muscle, you need a high caloric intake to nourish your body as it grows in muscle mass. Here are some suggestions.

1.  Add more protein to your diet

Generally, you need to consume 70% – 80% of your body weight in grams of protein. As an example, someone who weighs 180 pounds, you would need to consume between 126 and 144 grams of protein daily to gain muscle. If you’re overweight, choose to calculate this number based on your ideal body weight. Good sources of protein include:

  • Lean red meat: beef, lamb, pork, bison, venison etc.
  • Fish: l salmon, tuna, trout, bass, mackerel etc.
  • Poultry breast: chicken, duck, turkey etc.
  • Eggs
  • Dairy:  milk, cheese, yogurt, etc.

Some vegetarian options include:

  • Quinoa
  • Soy
  • Chia
  • Hempseed
  • Buckwheat
  • Rice with beans or legumes

2. Add more carbohydrates to your diet

Carbohydrates play an important role as they allow your body to access the glycogen (energy) stores within your muscles while exercising. A diet with insufficient carbohydrates will break down muscles due to a lack of energy reserves. To gain muscle mass, carbohydrates should make up 40% – 60% of your diet, or an estimated 1500 calories daily.  Opt for carbohydrates with a low Glycemic Index as these are healthier and release their energy more slowly.  Some examples include:

  • Rolled Oats
  • Sweet Potato
  • Brown Basmati Rice
  • Wholemeal Rye Bread
  • Wholemeal Spaghetti

3. Eat healthy fats

A well-balanced diet gets 20%-35% of its calories from fats. As you know, not all fats are good for you. In fact, when choosing which fats to incorporate into your diet seek monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. These healthier options are actually good for you.  These include:

  • Fish
  • Flaxseed and pumpkin seeds
  • Nuts
  • Olive, sunflower, canola, coconut, peanut, and avocado oils
  • Soy products like soy milk and tofu

Stay away from the unhealthy fats which include:

  • High-fat cuts of meat
  • Butter, lard, margarine and vegetable shortening
  • Fried foods
  • Ice cream, candy and packaged snacks

Eating well is a necessary step to feeling strong and having a great, healthy body. With these suggestions, you are on your way to a happier, healthier you.

Five Foods For Energy Now

12 Apr 2017 no comments Christine Galgano

Do you find yourself at work trying to power through the day? Small 150- 200 calorie snacks can be the key to replenishing your energy between meals.

Next time you’re feeling that midday slump, skip the coffee and try these 5 healthy foods for a quick boost.

Bananas

Rich in natural sugars, bananas pack a powerful punch.  Not only are they a good source of fiber, which helps promote long-lasting energy, they’re packed full of vitamin B-6 which improves cognitive function.

Almonds

Almonds are an easy to pack snack, making them perfect for that midday pick-me-up. Packed with protein, manganese, copper and riboflavin, ounce for ounce these are some of the most nutrient-rich nuts. The copper and manganese keep energy flowing by neutralizing cell toxins while riboflavin spurs oxygen-based fuel production.

Apples

High in fiber, these colorful treats will give you a more sustained boost than many other fruits. These easy to tote snacks are loaded with vitamins, minerals and good carbs, making them an ideal feel-good option.

Dark Chocolate

Rich in antioxidants, this yummy treat contains caffeine to help keep you alert and productive throughout the day. It’s also great for your skin!

Greek Yogurt

This portable snack contains twice the amount of protein of other yogurts, making it a great source of delicious energy. It’s also the perfect snack for slimming your waistline!