Taste of Health Lara Richardson | one year ago

A Taste of Meal Planning

A different kind of fast food: Meal planning sets you up for success by arming you with a stash of easy, go-to meals that will help answer the all-important question of the day: What should I eat?

To get you started on the road to success, Alicia Fogarty, a registered dietitian/nutritionist with Carolinas HealthCare System, shares a week’s worth of fast and easy meals designed around a typical 2,000-calorie-a-day plan. Note: Portions are for one serving. Simply multiply up to feed your family.

Day 1

Breakfast
  • 1 whole grain English muffin with 1 tablespoon natural peanut butter
  • 1 small apple
  • 8 ounces low-fat milk
Snack
  • ¼ cup hummus
  • 5 whole grain crackers
  • ½ cup sliced cucumbers
Lunch
  • 1 whole grain wrap, with 1 ounce lean turkey, 1 ounce 2 percent provolone cheese, lettuce, tomato and 2 tablespoons light salad dressing
  • ½ cup baby carrots
  • 1 banana, mixed into 6 ounces low-fat plain Greek yogurt
Snack
  • 3 cups light popcorn
  • 1 orange
Dinner
  • 3 ounces baked salmon
  • ½ cup mixed bean salad
  • ½ cup brown rice or quinoa
  • Small salad with 2 tablespoons light salad dressing
  • 1 cup skim milk
Snack
  • ½ cup light ice cream
  • 1 cup mixed berries
  • 3 graham cracker squares

Day 2

Breakfast
  • 1 cup cooked oats with 2 tablespoons raisins, 1 teaspoon honey; add cinnamon and vanilla to taste
  • 6 ounces low-fat Greek yogurt
  • ½ cup OJ
Snack
  • 1 banana
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter
Lunch
  • 1 lean microwave meal of choice, 300-400 calories
  • 1 apple
  • ½ cup baby carrots, grape tomatoes or sugar snap peas
  • 8 ounces skim milk
Snack
  • 8 whole grain crackers
  • 1 ounce of 2 percent cheese
Dinner
  • 2 small whole grain tortillas filled with 2 ounces grilled chicken, ½ cup black beans or low-fat refried beans, and a ½ cup sliced green and red peppers
  • Top with ½ cup of lettuce, tomato, and salsa, and ½ ounce low-fat cheese
Snack
  • ½ cup low-fat pudding
  • 1 cup raspberries

Day 3

Breakfast
  • 2 slices whole grain toast
  • 2 scrambled eggs
  • 1 ounce 2 percent cheese
  • ½ grapefruit
  • 1 cup skim milk
Snack
  • Low-fat granola bar (100 calories)
  • Tangerine
Lunch
  • Top 1 cup of lettuce or spinach with a ½ cup of mixed vegetables, 1 ounce lean meat, 1 ounce low-fat cheese and ½ cup chickpeas
  • Add 2 tablespoon light salad dressing, 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 cup low-sodium, low-fat soup
  • 5 whole grain crackers
  • 17 grapes
Snack
  • Low-fat Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons dried cranberries
Dinner
  • 3, 1 ounce beef meatballs made with 90 percent lean meat
  • 1 cup cooked whole grain pasta
  • 1 cup tomato sauce with mushrooms, zucchini and plum tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon parmesan cheese
Snack
  • 1 cup mixed melon
  • ½ cup low-fat cottage cheese

Day 4

Breakfast
  • Fruit and Yogurt Parfait
    • 6 ounces Greek vanilla low-fat yogurt
    • ¼ cup low-fat granola
    • 1 cup mixed berries
    • 6 sliced almonds
Snack
  • Banana or large apple
  • 1 tablespoon of natural peanut butter
Lunch
  • Chicken salad sandwich: 2 ounces grilled chicken with 1 tablespoon light mayo on 2 slices of whole grain bread, lettuce and tomato
  • 1 cup low-sodium veggie soup
  • 1 cup skim milk
  • Baby carrots
Snack
  • 1 ounce part-skim string cheese
  • 17 grapes
  • 5 whole grain crackers
Dinner
  • 3 ounces roast turkey
  • 1 cup mashed potatoes, preferably with skins on
  • 1 whole grain roll
  • 1 cup fresh broccoli, broiled
  • 1 cup baked apples with cinnamon
Snack
  • ½ cup dried apricots
  • 4 walnuts
  • ½ cup skim milk

Day 5

Breakfast
  • 2 whole grain waffles or pancakes
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • ¾ cup blueberries
  • 1 ounce lean turkey sausage
  • 1 cup skim milk
Snack
  • ½ cup no-sugar-added peaches
  • ½ cup low-fat cottage cheese
Lunch
  • 1 cup edamame with 1 cup cooked pasta, sprinkled with feta cheese and 2 tablespoons of Mediterranean-style light dressing
  • 6 ounces flavored Greek yogurt
  • ½ cup pineapple
  • Carrot sticks
Snack
  • ½ sandwich with natural peanut butter and all-fruit jelly on whole grain bread
  • 1 cup skim milk
Dinner
  • When you opt to eat out:
    • Order grilled, baked or broiled chicken or fish, no added fat, limit to 3 ounces
    • Side options: brown rice, baked potato, baked sweet potato
    • Consider two vegetable options that are not fried or do not come with added fat
    • Keep portion sizes controlled, bring leftovers home
    • Ask for dressings and sauces on the side
    • If they serve bread, ask for it to brought with the meal to help control portion sizes
    • Don’t hesitate to ask questions or ask for substitutions
Snack
  • 3 cups air-popped or light microwave popcorn with no added salt
  • 12 cherries
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