Menu Making for 400 Calorie Meals (or less)

Sunday, January 19, 2014

This all started because I was watching "The Doctors" on television during lunch. As their guest they had Rocco Dispirito, a chef, touting his new book, Now Eat This! Diet! I was so taken with the whole premise--eating delicious food that was visually appealing, made from real ingredients, tasty AND good for you. It seemed too good to be true. When in doubt, I research! I got on line to learn more about him and his books. It seemed legit--he is a chef who started experimenting with ingredients to make recipes healthier and yet keep the taste appealing and the amount reasonable. He even did a stint for "The Biggest Loser" helping come up with better alternatives for long time favorites of the contestants. His book seemed worth a try!

I have now tried his recipes, as have my husband and daughter, and we are all loving the food! I have not been reduced to "cheating" once. I do get hungry and always have that late afternoon craving, but what I eat is so satisfying I do not need more. I think his premise of eating 6 times a day is key. I can't not eat between my three big meals a day. And one or two of the snacks are often cookies, Popsicle or muffins (with low glycemic indexes). I don't just get to eat carrots, celery and apples!

We are currently using his 14 day meal plan. All the recipes are good but the daily menu planning is a little wanting. Yesterday, for instance, we ate two breaded recipes--a Filet-O-Fish sandwich for lunch and a breaded Chicken Amandine for dinner. I love planning weekly menus so I am looking forward to creating new weekly menus this next week and sharing them. The new goal will be to plan daily menus with a total of 1200 - 1300 calories. The recipes will come from 4 cookbooks I have found which all focus on eating well, eating lighter and where the portion sizes are no more than 400. The books are:

Now Eat This  by  Rocco Dispirito
Now Eat This! Diet  by  Rocco Dispirito
Light & Healthy 2011  by the Editor's of America's Test Kitchen
400 Calorie Fix  by Liz Vaccariello

All the menus will come from these resources. I plan on noting the resource and the page number for those who want to use my planning. Eventually I want to see how I can share my shopping lists as well...stay tuned!

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