Kids are almost done school, the official start to summer is days away and you’re in your best bikini body shape yet. Right? Ugh. How does this happen to us each year? We have every intention of shedding any extra winter pounds and looking our best once it’s time to hit the beach but alas, where did all the time go? Never fear mamas, Laurie Lloyd from LivLight is a holistic health coach, nutritional consultant and wellness blogger. Laurie has hooked us up with a weeklong plan to get us to lighten up, clean up our eating habits and maybe lose a few pounds along the way. Read on…
I love to go out for dinner just as much as the next gal, but I find when I’m trying to clean up my eating and lose a few pounds, I have the most luck staying in and eating home-cooked meals. I know for some of you the thought of cooking may seem daunting, but if you take the right steps and do it more often, it becomes much easier and you’ll become more confident in the kitchen. Promise. Below I have provided a week of healthy, clean, easy recipes, which focus on real food. I encourage my clients and followers to avoid most packaged foods because as we all know, they are highly processed, and often filled with chemicals, unnecessary calories, sugar, fat, and sodium.
Below, you will find a week of recipes (3 meals/day) and a shopping list. Don’t freak out when you see the list! It is long, but many of the items are what I call “staples.” These are foods that I keep on-hand at all times and you should too. Most have a good shelf life (aside from those in the fridge) and all can be used in endless recipes. Once you have these staples, cooking becomes much more doable.
I also don’t want you to be discouraged if you don’t like something on the menu, can’t commit to the entire week or don’t cook. I never want anyone to eat foods they don’t like just because they think they are healthy. Instead, find the healthy foods that you do enjoy and eat those. Additionally, these are meant to be healthy recipes for use any time and they are perfect for both the novice and/or expert chef. If you have social or work commitments and can’t cook every meal, that’s okay too…just make sure to choose wisely on restaurant menus and always be prepared with healthy snacks in case you miss a meal while you’re on-the-go!
Here are a few pointers and notes to set yourself up for success and get your week off to a great start:
I don’t recommend you eat them but if you are very hungry between meals, stick with healthy choices such as a handful of unsalted nuts, an apple with a small amount of nut-butter or veggies with hummus.
I don’t believe in deprivation, but try to steer clear. If you can’t resist, a small square of dark chocolate should do the trick.
Who doesn’t love a good margarita? But trust me, a week off booze does wonders. Sparkling water with a few limes is a great substitute for the hard stuff but, if you truly can’t resist, order a tequila with lots of club soda and lime.
Drink at least half your bodyweight in ounces and more if you’re working out. Really!
This is the key to your week’s success. I rarely make “recipes” on Sundays, but instead prepare whole ingredients like grains and wash and prep my produce which can be used in recipes throughout the week. I am a huge proponent of chopping fruits and veggies and putting them in glass-lock containers which not only makes your fridge organized and pretty, but makes you more likely to reach for healthy options and actually use these recipes!
I wrote this menu based on how I eat – no dairy, little gluten, no poultry and no red meat. There are some recipes with animal products (salmon, shrimp, and eggs), but if you’re vegan, obviously just swap those for vegan options or if you need more animal protein in your diet, add it in! Most importantly, keep in mind, everyone is different. When choosing these products, make sure to find the best quality and stick with organic whenever possible.
I think that’s it! I promise the recipes are simple and a great way to break into the kitchen, especially if you don’t cook a lot. I hope you’ll give my week of healthy Summertime Recipes a try and let me know what you think. Also, don’t forget to post pics and tag @livlight_ and @heymamaco! Have fun!
LivLight x heymama Healthy Summertime Meal Plan & Recipes
Prepare the following on Sunday afternoon/evening to be used throughout the week.
- Overnight Oats
Prepare according to the recipe below.
Cook two cups of white quinoa according to package. Allow to cool before placing in a glass lock container and placing in the fridge.
Rinse two cups of dry French lentils. Place in a pot with five cups of water. Bring to a boil and simmer until al dente. About 25-30 minutes.
Wash and chop and store in clear glass containers.
Keep in mind, all recipes are written to serve two (some with leftovers for use at another meal). If you are serving more people, plan accordingly. Also, every day is broken out into Breakfast (B), Lunch (L) and Dinner (D).
B-Overnight Oats with Fresh Berries (make sure to save half for Wednesday)
L-Spring Kale Salad with Lentils and Quinoa
D-Baked One-Pan Salmon with Brown Rice (reserve extra salmon and brown rice)
B-Avocado Toast with Hardboiled Egg
L- Brussels Sprouts Salad (reserve leftover for Thursday lunch) with Leftover Salmon
D-Zoodles with Shrimp, Tomato Sauce, and White Beans (reserve leftover shrimp for Wednesday lunch)
B-Warmed Overnight Oats (remaining from Monday) with Almond Butter and Banana
L- Mason Jar Chopped Salad
D-Chickpea Stew with Kale and Brown Rice
B-Spring Veggie Omelette
L-Easy Green Soup
D-Spring Stir-Fry (reserve some for Friday lunch)
B-Banana Oatmeal with Nut-Butter Drizzle
B-Protein Pancakes with Fresh Fruit
D-Date Night or Girls/Guys Night Out
B-Open-Face Egg Sandwich
L-Leftover Vegan Chili (or other leftovers from the week!)
D-Cauliflower Fried Rice (better than Chinese delivery!)
Breakfast: LivLight Overnight Oats (make Sunday evening)
3 cups gluten free oats
4 cups unsweetened almond milk
½ crisp apple, chopped (I like pink lady apples)
½ cup blueberries
¼ cup roughly chopped nuts (I like walnuts or almonds)
5 dates, chopped in small pieces
cinnamon, a few shakes
fresh fruit, walnuts, and unsweetened coconut for topping
Place oats, milk and apple in a glass-lock container or bowl with lid. Squeeze lemon over apples. Add blueberries, nuts, dates, and cinnamon and stir well. Place in refrigerator overnight. Serve in bowls topped with fresh fruit, coconut, and walnuts.
Lunch: Spring Kale Salad
8 cups kale, finely chopped
1 cup cooked lentils (from Sunday prep)
1 cup cooked quinoa (from Sunday prep)
½ cup chickpeas
½ cup snap peas, cut in quarters
¼ cup red cabbage
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp dijon mustard
1 avocado, chopped
Whisk EVOO, lemon juice, and mustard in a small bowl. Place the chopped kale in a larger bowl, add lentils, quinoa, chickpeas, snaps peas, and cabbage. Top with dressing and mix well. I like to let this sit in the fridge for about a half hour before serving. When ready to serve, split between two bowls and place chopped avocado on top. Season with salt and pepper. I also like to add crushed red pepper for a little heat!
Dinner: One-Dish Baked Salmon
4 6oz salmon filets, skin removed (just ask the fishmonger)
1 yellow onion, cut in wedges
1 large zucchini
1 large yellow squash
1 cup mini grape tomatoes
1-2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 lemon, juiced
1 tsp dry ginger
1 tsp dry thyme
salt and pepper to taste
2 cups brown rice, cooked according to package