Flexible Weight Loss Plan for New Moms

Mix-and-match meals

Breakfast (about 350 calories each)

Blueberry-ricotta stuffed french toast

Alexandra Grablewski

Blueberry-ricotta stuffed french toast: Whisk 1 egg with 1/4 cup low-fat milk, 1/4 tsp. vanilla, and 1/8 tsp. cinnamon in a shallow bowl. Dip each side of two slices of whole-wheat bread into the egg mixture. Spray a skillet with cooking spray and cook both slices of bread over medium heat until firm, about 2 minutes a side. Spread 2 Tbs. part-skim ricotta cheese on one slice of toast, top with 1/2 cup blueberries, and cover with the other slice. To serve, drizzle with 1 Tbs. maple syrup.

PB Smoothie: combine 1/2 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt, 1/2 cup low-fat milk, 1 medium frozen banana, 1 Tbs. creamy natural peanut butter, 1 Tbs. cocoa powder, and 2 tsp. maple syrup or honey in a blender, and blend on high until smooth, about 1 minute.

Apple and walnut quinoa cereal: Microwave on high 3/4 cup cooked quinoa mixed with 2/3 cup low-fat milk, 1/2 a medium apple, chopped, and 1 tsp. maple syrup until hot, about 2 minutes. Stir in 1 Tbs. chopped walnuts, and sprinkle with cinnamon to taste.

Coconut-Pear Pancakes: Top 2 cooked Van's 8 Whole Grain Pancakes with a large sliced pear, 2 Tbs. unsweetened shredded coconut, and 1 Tbs. maple syrup.

Egg, hummus, and avocado sammie: Pile 1 Tbs. hummus, 1 cooked egg, 1 cooked egg white, 1 tomato slice, and 1/4 avocado between the halves of a toasted whole-wheat English muffin. Serve with 1/2 of a large orange.

Lunch (about 500 calories each)

Bean-avocado salad: Combine 1/2 cup black beans, 1/2 cup corn, 1/2 cup shelled edamame, 1/2 cup halved grape tomatoes, 1/4 avocado, chopped, and 1 Tbs. chopped cilantro (optional). Serve over 1 cup romaine lettuce, and dress with 2 tsp. olive oil, 1 tsp. lime juice, and 1/8 tsp. cumin; season with black pepper.

Curried egg salad with crisp bread: Mash one hard- boiled egg and one hard- boiled egg white, and combine with 1 Tbs. light mayo, 1/8 tsp. curry powder, 1 Tbs. sunflower seeds, 1 Tbs. raisins, 1/4 cup shredded carrot, and 1/4 cup chopped celery. Serve with four whole-grain crisp breads (like Wasa) and 1 cup grapes.

Butternut squash and tofu bisque: In a skillet, saute 1/3 cup extra-firm tofu, cubed, in 1 tsp. olive oil until steaming, about 4 minutes. In a saucepan, heat 2 cups Pacific Foods butternut squash soup over medium-high heat. Add tofu and 2 cups raw baby spinach to soup; warm through. Pour into a bowl and top with 1 Tbs. nonfat plain Greek yogurt and 1 Tbs. chopped green onion. Serve with half a toasted 6-inch whole-wheat pita.

Strawberry and tuna salad: Toss 2 cups raw baby spinach with 1/2 cup sliced strawberries, 1/2 cup cooked quinoa, 2 Tbs. sliced toasted almonds, and 2 Tbs. crumbled goat cheese. Top with 3 oz. drained, canned water-packed tuna that's been mixed with 1 Tbs. light mayo and black pepper to taste. Dress with 1 Tbs. balsamic vinegar whisked with 1 tsp. olive oil and 1/2 tsp. honey.

Bean and Veggie Burrito: Heat an Amy's Black Bean Vegetable Burrito according to instructions and top with 2 Tbs. nonfat plain Greek yogurt and 1 Tbs. salsa. Serve with 11/2 cups frozen broccoli heated in the microwave and drizzled with 2 tsp. olive oil and 1 tsp. lemon juice.

Dinner (about 600 calories each)

Greens and chicken sausage

Alexandra Grablewski

Greens and chicken sausage: Saute 1 sliced, precooked 21/2-oz. chicken sausage until hot. Remove from skillet. Saute 1-1/2 cups kale in 2 tsp. olive oil, about 3 minutes. Stir in 1/3 cup white beans, 1 tsp. chopped garlic, 1 Tbs. balsamic vinegar, 1 Tbs. warm water, and sausage; warm through. Serve over cooked brown rice; drizzle dish with olive oil.

Simple veggie lasagna: Thinly slice 1/4 of a large eggplant and saute in 1 tsp. olive oil until soft. Remove from skillet. Saute 2 cups baby spinach until wilted. In an oven-safe dish, layer 1/4 cup marinara, 11/4 cups cooked whole- wheat penne, 1/4 cup ricotta cheese, the eggplant and spinach, 1/4 cup marinara, and 1/4 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella. Bake at 350°F for 10 minutes.

Nutty Salmon: In a food processor, pulse 2 Tbs. cashews, 1 Tbs. Parmesan cheese, 2 tsp. fresh basil, and 1 tsp. olive oil until finely ground. Place a 4-oz. salmon filet, skin side down, on a baking sheet covered with foil; rub fish with cashew crust and season with pepper. Slice half a zucchini into 1/2-inch sticks and toss with 1 tsp. olive oil. Place zucchini next to salmon; seal both with foil. Bake at 350°F 10 minutes. Remove top foil; bake uncovered 2 to 3 more minutes, until crust is browned slightly and fish is cooked. Serve with 1 cup cooked quinoa.

Steak-and-potato feast: Season both sides of a 5-oz. beef tenderloin steak with 1 tsp. black pepper and 1/4 tsp. salt. Heat 1 tsp. olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat; cook steak about 3 minutes a side (or until meat reaches 145°F internally). Remove steak from skillet; cover with foil. Lower heat to medium and saute 1 Tbs. chopped shallots and 1 cup sliced crimini mushrooms in 1 tsp. olive oil until mushrooms are lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Add 1/3 cup dry red wine and reduce heat. Cook until liquid reduces by half, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in 1 tsp. butter. Serve mushroom-wine sauce over steak, adding 1 cup steamed broccoli sprinkled with lemon juice and a medium baked potato topped with 1 Tbs. nonfat plain Greek yogurt.

Stuffed quesadilla: Cook 4 oz. ground skinless turkey breast and 1/3 cup diced mushrooms in 1 tsp. olive oil over medium heat until cooked through. Stir in 1/8 tsp. each cumin, chili powder, and onion powder. Spread turkey mixture on an 8-inch whole-wheat tortilla, sprinkle with 1/4 cup shredded Monterey jack cheese, and top with another tortilla. Cook in a skillet over medium heat 2 minutes a side, or until cheese melts. Serve topped with 2 Tbs. nonfat plain Greek yogurt and 2 Tbs. salsa.

Snacks (about 200 calories)

Berry fruit smoothie

Alexandra Grablewski

Tropical nutty trail mix: Combine 1/2 cup spoon- sized shredded wheat with 5 cashews, 1 Tbs. unsweetened dried coconut, and 2 Tbs. chopped dried pineapple.

Cheesy tomato toasts: Top 2 whole-grain crisp breads (like Wasa) each with 11/2 Tbs. reduced-fat cream cheese and 2 slices of tomato.

Hummus-cucumber pita: Spread a 5-inch whole- wheat pita with 3 Tbs. hummus and 1/4 cup cucumber slices.

'Nana and chocolate milk: Mix 1/2 cup low-fat chocolate milk with 1/2 cup nonfat milk. Sip it with a small banana.

Berry fruit smoothie: Blend one 6-oz. container Chobani pomegranate nonfat yogurt with 1/3 cup raspberries and 1/2 cup nonfat milk.

Treats (about 150 calories)

  • 1 oz. Food should Taste Good Original sweet potato chips
  • 2/3 cup Edy's slow churned Double Fudge Brownie ice cream
  • 1 Starbucks Raspberry Truffle cake pop
  • 35 Jelly Belly jelly beans
  • A 6-oz. glass of red or white wine
  • 1 small French baguette slice with 3/4 oz. of brie cheese

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