Here’s a delicious sample day of meals for 2000-2200 calories or omit snacks for 1600-1800 calorie plan; think of it like a compass to help you navigate your way around the Mediterranean Diet. This will get you started down the path to a new way of eating and a healthier way of living! If you’re like most of us, you’re all about getting the most bang for your buck when it comes to healthy eating; and that means maximum flavor for minimal effort. Look at all the tasty options you have; clearly enjoying a nutrient-dense diet doesn’t have to be boring! See which ones you can mix and match to satisfy your taste buds while still meeting your nutritional goals.
Go Greek Scramble
- 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
- ½ cup sliced mushrooms
- 1 egg and 2 egg whites
- 2 tablespoons low-fat milk
- 1 cup baby spinach
- 2 tablespoons feta cheese
- 1 slice 100% whole grain toast
- Heat EVOO in a skillet over medium heat and cook mushroom for 2-3 minutes. Pour in eggs (beat with milk prior) and scramble until desired doneness is achieved.
- Remove from heat, stir in spinach, top with feta cheese, and serve with toast.
Nutrition facts: Cal: 518 Fat: 29g Protein: 37g Carbohydrates: 29g Sodium: 897mg Potassium: 1435mg
(omit for 1600-1800 calorie plan)
“Almond Joy” Trail Mix
- ¼ cup almonds
- 1 tablespoon chopped dark chocolate, at least 70% cocoa (or buy dark chocolate chips to save time)
- 1 tablespoon unsweetened shredded coconut
Add ingredients into small plastic container or sandwich bag and shake—great on the go sweet treat! Sweets are “treats,” not daily indulgences. Always monitor your blood glucose levels and make adjustments as necessary.
Nutrition facts: Cal: 310 Fat: 27g Protein: 9g Carbohydrate: 14g Sodium: 136mg Potassium: 336mg
- ¾ cup cooked whole-wheat or bean pasta
- 1 tablespoon EVOO
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 4 oz. frozen and thawed cooked medium-size shrimp
- 2 tablespoons sliced black olives
- ¼ cup artichoke, canned, without added salt
- ¼ cup chopped red bell peppers
- Fresh parsley
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Cook pasta of choice in boiling water.
- Heat 1 tbsp. of EVOO, minced garlic, and prawns in saucepan.
- Toss olives, artichoke and red bell peppers into pan with prawns on low heat.
- Mix pasta with saucepan ingredients in bowl and garnish with parsley.
Nutrition facts: Cal: 402 Fat: 18g Protein: 27g Carbohydrates: 38g Sodium: 414mg Potassium: 291mg
(omit for 1600-1800 calorie plan)
Crave-worthy Roasted Chickpeas
- 14 oz. can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 tablespoon of a healthy fat like EVOO, divided
- 1/3 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika or paprika
- Preheat oven to 400 F. Dry chickpeas by laying them out on a paper towel and removing any loose excess shells. Make sure they are completely dry!
- Toss chickpeas with ½ tablespoon of the EVOO and then place on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet.
- Bake for 15 minutes, mixing chickpeas around while baking to help them cook evenly.
- Remove from oven and toss chickpeas in remaining ½ tablespoon of EVOO. Add salt, pepper, garlic powder, and smoked paprika and then place back in oven for another 10-15 more minutes, checking them frequently so they don’t burn (they should be nice and crunchy when they’re done)!
Nutrition facts: Cal: 159 Fat: 8g Protein: 6g Carbohydrates: 20g Sodium: 438mg Potassium: 102mg
WHAT IS IT GOOD FOR? ABSOLUTELY, SOMETHING!: Well-known for being whipped into that creamy dreamy hummus we all know and crave, chickpeas (also known as garbanzo beans) really don’t get as much praise as they deserve for their stellar nutrient content. Did you know just 1 cup of chickpeas gives you 15 grams of protein and 12.5 grams of dietary fiber? That’s half of your recommended intake of dietary fiber for the day! They are also high in important minerals like folate and manganese, which help with bone and brain health. And to top it all off, they’re delicious, inexpensive, and easy to prepare! Make these lovely legumes a staple in your cabinet.
- 1 whole wheat pita
- 1 small tomato, chopped
- 1 tablespoon minced red onion
- ½ cup of yellow bell peppers
- ½ tablespoon sliced mushrooms
- ¾ cup black beans (unsalted), drained and rinsed
- 2 tablespoons low-fat, plain, Greek yogurt (add a pinch of fresh minced dill to give it extra flavor)
Mix everything into pita.
SIDE NOTE: Check your post-prandial blood glucose levels, you may need to cut back on the beans and add chicken—if blood glucose peaks without animal protein, up the Greek yogurt serving or cut back on the black beans to 1/3 cup and add 1/3 cup of lean chicken.
Nutrition facts: Cal: 459 Fat: 4g Protein: 30g Carbohydrates: 81g Sodium: 369mg Potassium: 1178mg
Tropical Dessert Pizza*
- 1/2 pineapple, sliced into rounds (or 1/2 small watermelon) sprinkled with:
- ¼ cup raspberries
- 2 tablespoon unsweetened shredded coconut
*Don’t forget to test your postprandial blood glucose levels, if you respond highly to a dessert, cut back on the carbohydrate and add in some heart healthy nuts.