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Healthy Food Menu One Week

Written By Reza Ageng on Thursday, May 19, 2011 | 8:00 AM

Healthy Food Menu One Week - While people must incorporate healthy diets into their lives for long periods of time to see results, a one-week healthy menu plan will get you on the right track. To turn the single week into a life of healthy eating, repeat the meal plan each week with slight variations in protein source, vegetable selections and preparation methods. Once you master a single healthy week, you will see that eating healthy isn't as difficult or tasteless as it may seem at first.

    Breakfasts

        Your one-week healthy menu must include nutritious, hearty breakfasts to get each day off to a good start. To create a breakfast menu, think of the foods you love and/or usually eat for breakfast. Rather than wildly change your morning menu, substitute healthier ingredients for the higher-fat items. For instance, rather than cook eggs, bacon and sausage, use egg whites, turkey bacon and turkey sausage. Have an egg white and turkey bacon breakfast the first and fourth days of the week.

        On the second, fifth and seventh days, eat a lighter breakfast of oatmeal topped with nonfat yogurt and berries. Oatmeal provides essential nutrients and also gives you a vital dose of fiber.

        For the remaining days of the week, eat sugar-free cereal that contains whole grains and has plenty of fiber. Look for bran-based cereals such as Raisin Bran. Top your cereal with fresh bananas and strawberries.

        Drink your coffee black. Sugar and cream may make coffee taste great but both contain high levels of calories that contribute to overall unhealthy diets.

    Lunches

        Too often people overeat during lunch. Use lunch as a time to recharge and prepare you for the afternoon. A healthy lunch should not leave you full, but it should satisfy you enough so you don't reach for those mid-afternoon cookies.

        Plan your lunch with lean meats and green vegetables in mind. While common sense may tell you that turkey is good for you and beef is bad, the truth depends on the source of the meat. Processed meats that contain sodium nitrite and other harmful ingredients may have less fat but are also loaded with chemicals. Look for lean meats that come from fresh sources such as oven-roasted turkey. On the days you eat a sandwich, avoid potato chips and french fries. If you must have chips or fries, look for baked chips or baked fries. A side salad is preferable though. Get a whole wheat roll rather than white bread, which is full of empty calories.

        Aim for variety by also including soups and salads into your lunch routine. Get salads with healthy vegetables such as spinach, broccoli and tomatoes. Avoid high-fat dressings such as ranch. If possible, use a simple balsamic vinaigrette. Avoid cream-based soups. Chicken noodle, tomato basil and minestrone soup are all good options.

    Dinners

        Eat fish once or twice during your healthy week. Salmon and halibut contain healthy omega-3 fatty acids and "good" polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. Avoid shellfish that is high in cholesterol such as shrimp. In order to keep your fish healthy, saute it in olive oil or broil rather than deep fry it.

        Also focus on dishes that feature chicken breast or tofu. Remove the skin from chicken breast and marinate the chicken in olive oil and garlic. Olive oil is low in "bad" saturated fat and high in "good" mono and polyunsaturated fats.

        If you like red meat, dedicate one of the week's dinners to it but do not use fatty cuts of meat. Opt instead for filet mignon or lean sirloin. For an even lower-fat red meat, look for bison steaks in your grocery store. Bison has all the taste of red meat but much less cholesterol and saturated fat.

        Serve your dinners with a variety of delicious vegetables such as steamed cauliflower or broccoli. For a few nights, create a salad with arugula, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, pepper and mangoes. Never rely too heavily on a single vegetable source. If you serve a baked potato, do not serve other starches as well. As your prepare your sides, eliminate high-fat ingredients such as cream or butter and avoid adding sugar.

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