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7-Day Feel-Good Meal Plan

This week-long plan is loaded with nutrients that can help decrease moodiness and up your energy levels. At the end of week one, start again and follow the plan for four weeks; you can lose up to 8 pounds, depending on how much you exercise. (The recipes can be doubled, tripled or quadrupled if you're making them for more than one person.)


MONDAY

Breakfast
•2 whole-wheat waffles, toasted and topped with 3 tablespoons fat-free sour cream and 2/3 cup blueberries

•6 ounces grapefruit juice

•Coffee or tea (mid-morning)

Lunch
•1 / 2 turkey sandwich:
1 slice whole-wheat bread, 2 ounces turkey breast, and 1 tablespoon canned cranberry sauce

•Tossed salad:
1 1 / 2 cups chopped romaine-lettuce leaves, 4 sliced mushrooms, 6 fresh raspberries, and 2 tablespoons fat-free raspberry vinaigrette

•1 tangerine

•Sparkling water

Dinner
•Linguine With Tomatoes and Clams:
Simmer 1 / 2 cup chopped onion, 8 ounces stewed tomatoes, 2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley, 2 minced garlic cloves, 1 / 2 teaspoons marjoram and salt and pepper in a nonstick skillet until onion is tender. Add 1/4 pound fresh, shelled steamer clams and cook for 10 minutes over medium-high heat. Pour sauce over 1 cup cooked linguini noodles.

•1 cup steamed broccolini or broccoli

•2 slices Roasted Eggplant with Mozzarella & Basil:
Slice eggplant into half-inch rounds, spray with olive oil spray and roast at 425o F, turning once, for approximately 20 minutes or until browned and cooked through, but still firm. Cool. Top each slice with a thin slice of fresh mozzarella cheese and a fresh basil leaf. Drizzle 2 teaspoons low-fat balsamic vinaigrette dressing over the slices.

•1 mango, peeled and sliced, topped with 6 ounces nonfat lemon yogurt and chopped mint leaves

Snack
•2/3 cup Cheerios with 4 tablespoons dried cranberries and 1 tablespoon candied ginger


TUESDAY

Breakfast
•2 omega-3-fortified eggs scrambled with 1/4 cup diced red peppers and 2 tablespoons diced onion

•1 slice whole-wheat toast topped with 1 teaspoon butter

•1 cup nonfat milk

•Green tea (mid-morning)

Lunch
•Black Bean Burrito:
Fill a whole-wheat tortilla with 1/3 cup drained black beans, 1 ounce low-fat cheddar cheese, 3 slices avocado, 2 tablespoons diced cilantro, and 2 tablespoons salsa.

•1 sliced red bell pepper and 10 baby carrots dipped in 1 tablespoon low-fat ranch dressing

•2 small oatmeal cookies

•1 cup nonfat milk

Dinner
•4 ounces grilled chicken breast, marinated in wine, garlic, and herbs

•1/2 acorn squash, baked and drizzled with 1 teaspoon honey and 1/2 teaspoon rum extract

•Tossed salad:
2 cups lettuce, 1/2 pear, sliced, tossed with 2 tablespoons fat-free vinaigrette 2/3 cup steamed green peas and carrots

•Chocolate fondue:
Dunk 1 cup strawberries and 1 sliced kiwi in 1/4 cup fat-free chocolate syrup.

Snack
•1/2 whole-wheat bagel with 1 tablespoon fat-free sour cream and 1 teaspoon all-fruit jam


WEDNESDAY

Breakfast
•1 cup instant oatmeal, cooked in 1 cup nonfat milk and topped with 2 tablespoons toasted wheat germ and 1 tablespoon brown sugar

•1 banana, sliced and sprinkled with cinnamon

•6 ounces calcium-fortified orange juice

•Green tea or coffee (mid-morning)

Lunch
•Pita-Jack Sandwich:
Fill 1 whole-wheat pita bread with 1 ounce jalapeno Jack cheese, 1 medium diced tomato, 1 /2 cup drained kidney beans, and 3 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro

•1 medium orange

•1 cup grapes

•Iced herbal tea

Dinner
•4 ounces grilled salmon, seasoned with lemon juice and fresh dill

•15 asparagus spears, lightly steamed and sprinkled with red pepper flakes

•1 cup yellow squash, lightly steamed

•1/2 cup whole-grain couscous

Snack
•2/3 cup berry sorbet topped with 1 cup mixed berries

THURSDAY

Breakfast
•3-ounce whole-wheat bran muffin topped with 1 tablespoon nut butter (cashew, peanut, or almond)

•1/2 cup juice-packed pineapple chunks

•1 cup 1% lowfat milk, steamed and flavored with cinnamon and your favorite artificial sweetener

Lunch
•Zesty Grilled Cheese Sandwich:
Assemble sandwich using 2 slices whole wheat bread, 1 ounce cheddar cheese, 1 large canned and drained green chili, 1 medium sliced tomato. Coat nonstick pan lightly with vegetable spray. Prepare the night before and reheat at work in the microwave.

•1 1/2 cups canned tomato soup made with 1% lowfat milk

•Carrot Salad:
Combine 2/3 cup grated carrots, 1 tablespoon raisins, 2 tablespoons fat-free mayonnaise, 1 teaspoon lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste

•Water or diet decaffeinated soda

Dinner
•Mango Chutney Chicken:
Top a 4-ounce grilled chicken breast with a mixture of 3 tablespoons chutney and 1/4 cup diced mango

•1/2 cup steamed fresh green beans

•1 cup romaine lettuce with 1 tablespoon low-calorie dressing

•1 small slice angel-food cake topped with 1/2 cup fresh strawberries

Snack
•1 cup air-popped popcorn sprinkled with cinnamon sugar


FRIDAY

Breakfast
•Make-Ahead Breakfast:
The night before, mix 2/3 cup low-fat granola and 2/3 cup plain soymilk in a bowl. Place in refrigerator. In the morning, add 1 /2 diced green apple (such as Granny Smith) and mix. Top with 1 /2 sliced banana. Eat cold or warm.

Lunch
•Tuna salad sandwich:
Mix 3 ounces water-packed tuna (drained) with 1/4 cup chopped celery, 1 tablespoon diced onion, 1 teaspoon mustard, 2 tablespoons lowfat mayo, and dill and black pepper to taste. Serve with lettuce on 2 slices whole-wheat bread.

•Tomato-Corn Salad:
Mix two chopped tomatoes, 1/3 cup corn kernels, 2 tablespoons diced red onion, and 2 teaspoons chopped cilantro with rice wine vinegar and salt to taste.

•1 cup broccoli florets dunked in 2 tablespoons lowfat ranch dressing

•Sparkling water

Dinner
•3 ounces grilled flank steak

•4-ounce baked potato topped with chives and 2 tablespoons low-fat sour cream

•Grilled Vegetables:
Mix together 2 teaspoons olive oil and garlic powder, salt, and pepper to taste. Add 1/3 cup peeled and cubed eggplant, 1/3 cup green bell peppers sliced into 1 /2 -inch strips, 1 /2 cup zucchini cut into 1 /2-inch rounds and toss to coat. Grill or broil for 5 to 10 minutes, turning occasionally.

Snack
•2 whole-wheat fig bars and a 6-ounce glass of apricot nectar


SATURDAY

Breakfast
•Breakfast-in-a-Glass Smoothie Blend together:
1 cup 1% low-fat milk, 1/4 cup toasted wheat germ, 3/4 cup whole grain flake cereal (bran flakes, Special K, etc.), 1 peeled banana, 2 tablespoons maple syrup, and 1 /2 teaspoon maple extract.

Lunch
•Bagel and lox:
1 toasted whole-wheat bagel topped with 3 ounces smoked salmon (lox), 2 tablespoons low-fat cream cheese, 1 slice red onion, 1 slice tomato, and 2 tablespoons alfalfa sprouts

•10 baby carrots

•1 cup low-sodium vegetable juice

Dinner

•Turkey cheeseburger:
3 ounces grilled or broiled turkey breast, 1 ounce cheddar, lettuce, tomato, and red onion on a whole-grain bun

•Sweet Potato Fries:
Cut 1 medium sweet potato into wedges, sprinkle with salt (if desired) and spread on a vegetable-sprayed cookie sheet. Bake at 425 degrees until slightly crispy (about 20 minutes).

•Wild green salad:
2 1/2 cups mesclun, 1 tablespoon sliced red onion, 1/4 cup raspberries, and 2 tablespoons fat-free raspberry vinaigrette

Snack
•Open-Face Creamy Peach Sandwich:
Blend 2 tablespoons fat-free cream cheese, 1 teaspoon honey, and 2 juice-packed peach halves, drained and chopped. Spread on a slice of whole-wheat bread and sprinkle with 1 /2 teaspoon chopped walnuts.


SUNDAY

Breakfast
•Veggie Omelet:
Lightly coat a medium skillet with vegetable spray and saute 1 /2 carrot, peeled and thinly sliced, 1/4 cup broccoli florets and 2 tablespoons sliced yellow onion over medium heat until heated through but still firm. Whip together two medium whole eggs (choose ones fortified with the omega-3 fat DHA) and salt and pepper to taste. Pour over vegetable mixture, top with 1 ounce grated cheddar cheese, cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook until firm (about 15 minutes).

•1 piece whole-wheat toast with 1 teaspoon butter

•1/2 broiled grapefruit:
Cut grapefruit in half, top with a pinch each of sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg, and broil until the sugar melts.

•Caffe latte:
coffee with 1 cup warmed 1% lowfat milk

Lunch
•Spinach-Chicken Wrap:
Fill one whole-wheat tortilla with 3 ounces grilled or roasted chicken breast, 1/4 cup baby spinach leaves, 1/4 cup roasted red peppers (from jar), and 2 tablespoons low-fat cream cheese. Heat in microwave. Top with 2 teaspoons salsa.

•1 cup sliced canned peaches or apricots, topped with nutmeg

•1 cup 1% lowfat milk

Dinner
•3 ounces grilled halibut topped with lemon juice and fresh basil

•Green mashed potatoes:
Cook and mash one 6-ounce baking potato. Mix in 2/3 cup chopped chard, 2 teaspoons butter, and 1/3 cup fat-free half-and-half. Add salt and pepper to taste.

•Cole Slaw:
Toss 1 cup pre-shredded cabbage with 1/4 cup drained canned pineapple chunks and 1 Tbsp. low-calorie cole slaw dressing.

Snack
•1 2/3 cups blueberries (fresh or frozen) and 2 graham crackers