Jewelry Blog

Winter Warming Menus

Write By: Valentin Rosca on


In this article, you’ll find 10 menu suggestions for the cold, dark winter months. Consume these meals as needed when the days are short and the nights are long. They will help to boost mood, reduce cravings, and warm you up during the winter months. Use them as an adjunct to the 4-week menu options, mixing them into your weekly repertoire as needed. 

Three Features of the Winter Warming Plan

1.ALL OF THESE MEALS CONTAIN UP TO DOUBLE THE D. It’s much more important to optimize D during the winter months, especially if you live north of Atlanta. During these months of the year, there just isn’t enough sunlight for you to keep your D stores up to normal. As the days grow short, your body will steal D from various tissues and you will eventually become suboptimal or deficient. That’s why these menus are all super dosed with D. Some provide more than 1,000 IU per meal, whereas the lowest D suggestions still offer a good 300 IU.

2. THESE MEALS WILL STICK TO YOUR RIBS.  I don’t know about you, but two of the last things I ever want to eat during the long winter months are salads and smoothies. Yet most diets absolutely require you to subsist on such foods no matter the time of year. This is not one of those diets. Your winter menu is loaded with the very foods you will crave during the winter months. The following 10 recipes and meals are all hearty, warming meals. We’re talking soups, stews, and heavier, satisfying flavors.

3.THERE ARE BIGGER PORTIONS FOR BIGGER APPETITES. These meals are heartier than many of the 4-week options. They will help you to feel more satisfied during the months when you are usually the most tempted to overeat.


How to Follow the Winter Menus

THE WINTER MENUS are designed to help you get suboptimal levels of D up to normal during the winter months, when you can’t rely on sunlight for help. For best results, follow these pointers: COMBINE THIS PLAN WITH A SUPPLEMENT. Everyone, no matter their skin type, should be taking a 1,000 to 2,000 IU vitamin D supplement between the months of November and March. If you are a person of color, opt for the higher dose. If you are light skinned, you might be able to get away with the lower dose. The menu options are all calorie and portion controlled. It’s important to make and consume the correct portions. Little cheats can add up and slow your results. Also, remember to purchase the right foods.



japanese-warm-foodSupercharge Your Results Even More. TWO THINGS HAPPEN during the winter months that make it harder to stick to your diet. The first is that it gets cold! You’re more likely to be bundled up in lots of layers and wanting to cuddle up with a hot bowl of macaroni and cheese than you are to be picnicking outdoors with a fresh salad. The second is that the darker days trigger seasonal depression, which can lead to cravings and an effort to comfort yourself by giving in to those cravings. These cravings can be for crunchy and salty, sweet and creamy, or a combination. The winter menu will help to prevent the winter munchies because you will be dosing yourself with enough D to bolster your mood and reduce cravings. Here’s some additional advice to stoke those fat-burning fires and keep you on track. Use warming herbs. Certain types of herbs can really warm you up. They include: ginger, cayenne, cardamom, cinnamon, and garlic. To make a really super warming ginger tea, use fresh gingerroot, found in most supermarkets. Grate it and simmer in hot water for 5 to 10 minutes before straining. You can also use herbal tea bags. As I’ve already mentioned, cayenne not only warms you up, it also speeds your metabolism. Add a sprinkle of hot red pepper to any dish to boost your results and keep cravings under wraps. Opt for snacks that satisfy. Don’t make the mistake of eating around a craving. If you need some crunch, then have it. If you need a little sweet and creamy, find the right snack, and enjoy the recommended portion. The worst thing you can do is eat and eat and eat so-called healthy foods—and still go over your calorie limit. Whenever possible, try to stop winter cravings by having a cup of warm tea before indulging. Stay warm. Invest in silk underwear or a cashmere wrap. The more you can stay warm and comfortable, the less likely you are to reach for food that will mimic this feeling of comfort. Treat yourself to a nonfood reward for sticking to your plan, like shearling-lined slippers—a toasty reminder of your progress! 

The Winter Soup Maker

SOUP IS A STAPLE in my home in the winter. Once a week, I love to make a huge pot of it that I store and dip into for the rest of the week. There’s just something about it that satisfies every part of my being. It smells lovely, which lifts my mood. It’s also warm. And it’s high in volume, but low in calories—which helps to turn down that vicious winter appetite. Various studies done at Penn State have shown that soup is a wonderful addition to a weight-loss menu. When dieters consume it regularly, they lose weight because it fills them up on fewer calories. You’ll find several soup and stew recipes and menus in this article. To create your own soups, use the following formula: Start your soup by sautéing any onions, garlic, and root vegetables in a little oil. Then add your liquid base and build the soup from there. Cook any pasta or starchy vegetables separately and add them to your soup just before serving. This will ensure they remain al dente and do not overcook. You can purchase stock or make your own. 



This formula yields one large serving of soup for one person. Each serving equals 400 calories. Double, triple, or quadruple the amounts to yield as many servings as you’d like to prepare.



1-2 cups water + one of the following

1 cup reduced-sodium vegetable stock

1 cup reduced-sodium chicken stock

1 cup reduced-sodium beef stock

1 cup fish stock


(Pick two)

1 cup mushrooms

Onion, to taste

Garlic, to taste

1 cup diced carrots

1 cup diced celery

1½ cups chopped kale

3 cups chopped spinach

1½ cups green beans


Match your protein to your liquid base. (Pick one)

3 ounces wild salmon

4 ounces shrimp

4 ounces boneless skinless chicken breast

3 ounces extra-lean ground beef or ground poultry


(Pick one)

¾ cup diced potatoes

½ cup cooked pasta

½ cup cooked beans (white, red, black, garbanzo, etc.)

¾ cup corn off the cob

¾ cup sweet potato or yam, cubed

1½ cups winter squash

½ cup cooked barley

½ cup cooked lentils


Use any herb or spice, to taste + one of the following (optional):

1 Tbsp. reduced-fat sour cream (add at end after removing soup from heat and allowing to cool for 4-5 minutes)

1 Tbsp. reduced-fat cream cheese (add at end after removing soup from heat and allowing to cool for 4-5 minutes)

1 Tbsp. tomato puree

2 tsp pesto


Winter Menu Plan

Add these savory meals during the winter months to boost your Vitamin D intake.

Wild Mushroom and Beef Stew with Wild Rice and Carrots

 1 serving Wild Mushroom and Beef Stew with ½ cup cooked wild rice and 1 cup steamed carrots


500 calories

638 IU vitamin D

253 mg calcium

43 g protein

60 g carbohydrates

12 g fat (4 g saturated fat)

626 mg sodium

12 g fibre


Beef Barley Soup and Whole Grain Crackers

 1 serving Beef Barley Soup with 120 calories’ worth of whole grain crackers (i.e., 1 serving Kashi Heart to Heart Original Crackers)


488 calories

338 IU vitamin D

74 mg calcium

35 g protein

57 g carbohydrates

16 g fat (4 g saturated fat)

857 mg sodium

10 g fibre


Chicken Scaloppini with Garlic Mushroom Sauce and Artichoke

 1 serving Chicken Scaloppini with Garlic Mushroom Sauce plus 1 large steamed artichoke with 2 tablespoons melted Smart Balance Light Buttery Spread or any D-fortified soft tub trans fat-free margarine mixed with lemon juice and zest, for dipping


418 calories

789 IU vitamin D

49 mg calcium

31 g protein

28 g carbohydrates

19 g fat (4 g saturated fat)

753 mg sodium

12 g fibre


Sesame Crusted Salmon with Green Beans and Tomato Salad

 1 serving Sesame Crusted Salmon plus ½ sliced or chopped tomato drizzled with 1 teaspoon olive oil, 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper to taste, and topped with 1 tablespoon chopped basil

Eat-Out Tip: Swap a basic green salad (no cheese, no croutons) for the tomato salad if tomato salad isn’t on the menu.


475 calories

628 IU vitamin D

126 mg calcium

38 g protein

19 g carbohydrates

28 g fat (6 g saturated fat)

421 mg sodium

6 g fibre


Orange Poached Salmon with Star Anise, Spinach, and Roasted Cauliflower

 1 serving Orange Poached Salmon with Star Anise and Spinach plus 1 cup roasted cauliflower


396 calories

800 IU vitamin D

266 mg calcium

41 g protein

25 g carbohydrates

15 g fat (2 g saturated fat)

244 mg sodium

4 g fibre


Catfish Fingers with Spicy Mayonnaise and Sweet Potato

 1 serving Catfish Fingers with Spicy Mayonnaise plus ½ baked medium sweet potato


542 calories,

1,174 IU vitamin D

121 mg calcium

46 g protein

42 g carbohydrates

20 g fat (3 g saturated fat)

1,131 mg sodium

4 g fibre


Halibut with Asparagus and Shiitake Mushrooms and Roasted Potatoes

 1 serving Halibut with Asparagus and Shiitake Mushrooms plus ¾ cup roasted diced red potatoes drizzled with 1 teaspoon olive oil and salt and pepper to taste


377 calories

607 IU vitamin D

26 mg calcium

41 g protein

38 g carbohydrates

6 g fat (<1 g saturated fat)

512 mg sodium

15 g fibre


Miso Soup with Tofu and Shrimp and Edamame

 1 serving Miso Soup with Tofu and Shrimp plus 1 cup boiled edamame (in the pod)

Eat-Out Tip: A great choice in Japanese restaurants, this will save you money and calories. Combine the miso soup appetizer with the steamed edamame for a light meal.


398 calories

370 IU vitamin D

457 mg calcium

39 g protein

32 g carbohydrates

13 g fat (2 g saturated fat)

972 mg sodium

14 g fibre


Broiled Mackerel in Lemon Mint Sauce with String Beans Almandine

 1 serving Broiled Mackerel plus 1 cup steamed string beans drizzled with olive oil, 1 tablespoon toasted slivered almonds, and salt and pepper to taste


429 calories

1,011 IU vitamin D

96 mg calcium

30 g protein

12 g carbohydrates

29 g fat (6 g saturated fat)

318 mg sodium

5 g fibre


Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms with Roasted Butternut Squash

 1 serving Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms plus 1 cup baked butternut squash drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with cinnamon


374 calories

804 IU vitamin D

450 mg calcium

20 g protein

36 g carbohydrates

20 g fat (5 g saturated fat)

866 mg sodium

9 g fibre


Summer Light Menus


Summer is the time of year when cravings are low, energy is high, and appetite isn’t much of a concern. It’s also the time of year when the sun is shining and D levels tend to naturally return to normal for many people. And finally, it’s the time of year when you will want lighter fare that you don’t have to cook. After all, when it’s hot out, who wants to turn on an oven? I sure don’t. In this article, you’ll find options designed specifically for the summer months, so you can keep your D levels high without any unnecessary effort.

Four Features of the Summer Light Plan



They are obviously higher in D than you would find elsewhere, but lower when compared them to the winter plan. Depending on your skin color, you probably don’t need as much D in the summer as you do in the winter. By providing you with lighter D fare, I’ve ensured you have more variety in the summer.



Many require no cooking at all, so you don’t have to worry about heating up your kitchen in order to make a meal. Many of these options are also served cold, so they’re a refreshing change of pace from the heavier, stick-to-your-ribs winter meals.



These options are all lighter in calories than your winter options. That doesn’t mean they are not filling. Many are loaded with low-calorie, high-volume ingredients. You will feel just as satisfied, yet you won’t feel weighed down at all.



As the winter menu does, these menu options work in conjunction with your 4-week plan. You can mix and match them into the meals you are already consuming.

How to Follow the Summer Plan

THE SUMMER PLAN is designed to shake things up, provide a variety of choices, and lighten up your mind-set during the time of year when it’s relatively easy to lose weight. Because you are getting plenty of sunlight during the summer, your mood will be better and you’ll experience fewer cravings. And the actual temperature of summer works to reduce your appetite because you are too hot to feel like cooking or eating. For best results, follow these pointers.

 IT’S OKAY TO REDUCE YOUR SUPPLEMENT. You absolutely need a D supplement during the winter months, but the summer is another story. If you have a lighter skin and practice safe sun exposure (roughly 15 to 20 minutes of no sunscreen sun time a day), you may not need your supplement during the summer.

 WATCH THOSE LIQUID CALORIES. This can become a problem in warmer months when you’re constantly reaching for a cool glass of lemonade or a can of soda. Be aware of how many calories are in that Frappuccino you’re grabbing each morning. A soda here and an iced latte there can really put you over your caloric limits quickly and reverse the direction the numbers are headed in on the scale. Keep the 90/10 principle in mind and choose your liquid refreshments carefully. Iced green tea and water are always the best options to help you feel full and hydrate you in the heat.


 MODIFY THE PLAN AS NEEDED. Summertime often calls for impromptu backyard barbecues and spontaneous trips to the beach. Don’t’ forget to use the eating out advice and other tips for modifying the plan in.


The Summer Salad Maker

I’M ALL ABOUT great big salads during the summer months. I sometimes eat them twice a day! This is primarily because they are easy. There’s no cooking required and very little cleanup. They are also cold and crispy—which is exactly what my taste buds prefer during the hot summer months. And finally, don’t let the word “light” fool you. These salads are chock-full of filling ingredients that are incredibly low in calories but high in fiber. They fill you up quickly and keep you satisfied for hours.

Use this formula to customize your own delicious, healthy creations!




Fill your plate with one variety or a combo. Lettuce is unlimited.







Mustard greens





Top the salad with 4-5 ounces. Bolded items are preferred because they are high in D.

Beans, ½ cup (chickpeas, kidney, edamame, etc.)

Chicken or turkey, skinless (baked or grilled)

Eggs, hard-cooked (2)

Halibut, baked

Salmon, canned

Shrimp (about 10 medium)

Tofu (baked or grilled)

Tuna, canned


Add 1-2 cups of one or more. Sliced mushrooms are preferred.


Bell pepper






Mushrooms, sliced

Onion, red




Add no more than one of the following (optional)

Apple or pear, sliced (1)

Artichoke hearts, marinated (3)

Avocado, ¼-½, sliced

2-4 Tbsp. Cheese, crumbled, (feta, blue, gorgonzola)

1-2 Tbsp. Nuts or seeds (sunflower, pumpkin, etc.),

Olives, halved (5)

Pasta, ½ cup cooked


Add one:

1 tsp olive oil + 2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar

2 Tbsp. reduced-calorie dressing

2 tsp olive oil + lemon juice

2 Tbsp. lemon juice + Dijon mustard

150-calorie serving of any commercially prepared dressing


The Summer Smoothie Maker

AS WITH SALADS, smoothies are also a great summer option. They are easy, portable, and filling—not to mention yummy! The smoothie recipes in this article are all low calorie and most work as snacks, not meals. However, the following smoothie formula is heartier and fit for a meal. Have it for breakfast, lunch, or dinner—whenever it’s too hot to cook.



Add one:

Cottage cheese, ¾ cup 1% or fat-free

Ricotta cheese, ¾ cup fat-free

Ricotta cheese, ½ cup reduced-fat

Tofu, 4-5 ounces extra-firm

Whey protein powder (1 scoop)

Yogurt, 8 ounces fat-free flavored


Add one:

Banana (1)

Berries, 2 cups mixed

Cantaloupe, 2 cups

Honeydew, 1½ cups

Mango, 1 cup

Watermelon, 2 cups


Add one:

Agave syrup, 1 Tbsp.

Honey, 1 Tbsp.

Sugar, 1 Tbsp.


Add one:

Kefir, 1 cup nonfat

Milk, 6 ounces, fat-free, D-fortified

Milk substitute, 6 ounces, D-fortified (soy milk, almond milk, etc.)

OJ, 6 ounces, D-fortified


Freebies are unlimited.



Ice cubes


Tea, unsweetened, herbal, green, or black

Vanilla or almond extract


Summer Menu Plan

Salmon Corn Chowder and Salad

1 serving Salmon and Corn Chowder plus 2 cups mixed greens, 8 cherry tomatoes (halved), ½ sliced cucumber, 2 tablespoons garbanzo beans, 1 tablespoon crumbled feta cheese (optional) tossed with 1 teaspoon olive oil and 2 tablespoons balsamic or red wine vinegar (or 2 tablespoons reduced-calorie dressing), and salt and pepper to taste.


457 calories

276 IU vitamin D

254 mg calcium

28 g protein

49 g carbohydrates

17 g fat (4 g saturated fat)

709 mg sodium

8 g fibre


Chilled Salmon Pasta Salad

4 ounces canned wild salmon (drained and mashed), 1⁄3 cup asparagus pieces, ¾ cup cooked farfalle pasta, 1 teaspoon capers, 2 teaspoons chopped dill, lemon zest, and salt and pepper to taste, tossed with 1 tablespoon olive oil and lemon juice.


470 calories

529 IU vitamin D

394 mg calcium

35 g protein

36 g carbohydrates

21 g fat (4 g saturated fat)

927 mg sodium

4 g fibre


Tuna Salad Nicosia

4 ounces light tuna packed in water (drained and mashed), over 2 cups mixed greens with 4 olives (pitted and halved), 2 ounces steamed string beans, 2 cooked new potatoes (halved), 1 sliced D-fortified hard-cooked egg, and ½ cup cherry tomatoes drizzled with 1 tablespoon olive oil, 2 tablespoons lemon juice and Dijon mustard whisked together, and salt and pepper to taste.


447 calories

285 IU vitamin D

130 mg calcium

40 g protein

25 g carbohydrates

21 g fat (4 g saturated fat)

947 mg sodium

7 g fibre


Oysters on the Half Shell with Gazpacho and Crackers

6 raw oysters with 1 tablespoon prepared cocktail sauce, horseradish to taste (optional), lemon, plus 1 bowl Gazpacho with 120 calories’ worth of whole grain crackers (i.e., 1 serving Kashi Heart to Heart Original crackers).


349 calories

282 IU vitamin D

150 mg calcium

16 g protein

51 g carbohydrates

13 g fat (1 g saturated fat)

696 mg sodium

12 g fibre


Seared Shrimp with Stir-Fried Vegetables, Brown Rice, and Orange Slices

1 serving Seared Shrimp with Stir-Fried Vegetables plus ¾ cup cooked brown rice and 1 orange, sliced.


448 calories

268 IU vitamin D

150 mg calcium

17 g protein

69 g carbohydrates

12 g fat (1 g saturated fat)

878 mg sodium

11 g fibre


Rigatoni with Summer Squash and Mushrooms and Tomato Mozzarella Salad

1 serving Rigatoni with Summer Squash and Mushrooms plus ½ sliced tomato with 1 ounce reduced-fat mozzarella cheese (cubed), drizzled with 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar and seasoned with salt, pepper, and dried oregano to taste.


21 calories

204 IU vitamin D

332 mg calcium

19 g protein

55 g carbohydrates

14 g fat (5 g saturated fat)

570 mg sodium

5 g fibre


Halibut Tacos with Black Bean Soup

1 serving Fast and Easy Halibut Fish Tacos plus 1 cup low-sodium store-bought black bean soup (i.e., Health Valley Black Bean and Vegetable) or 1 cup any low-sodium soup.


445 calories

215 IU vitamin D

147 mg calcium

30 g protein

58 g carbohydrates

12 g fat (2 g saturated fat)

893 mg sodium

12 g fibre

How to Stay Slim for Life



really want this to be the last diet you ever start. I want you to finally reveal the slim, toned, gorgeous shape that’s there inside you! As a result, I offer a different approach than what you may have tried in the past. If you reached your goal weight on a low-carb plan, there was a scary moment when you had to add the carbs back in without going overboard. If you followed a calorie-counting diet, then you had to increase your calories to maintain, rather than lose—but not too much! It was a stressful and frustrating experience, especially if you had lost weight but then saw the numbers on the scale start to rise.

Fortunately, with this plan you didn’t cut anything out, so there’s nothing to add back in. You didn’t give up meat. You didn’t give up carbs. You didn’t give up fat. You didn’t even give up sugar or alcohol or coffee. So, this time, you don’t have to worry about having that fearful moment when you “break” the diet and have your first taste of something that you’ve been craving for months because you’ve been eating in a balanced way all along.

Indeed, all you need to do to keep the weight off for life is this: Transition from following this diet to living it. That’s what this article is all about, helping you to shift from thinking of this plan as a temporary fix and to thinking about it as the nutrition plan you will be following for life.

And there are at least four compelling reasons to turn this diet into a rest-of-your-slim-and-sexy-life.

Four Reasons to Become a Lifer

UNLIKE OTHER DIETS you might have tried, there’s absolutely no reason to go off this diet and plenty of reasons to stay on it—for life. Following are four of them.

YOU’LL LIVE LONGER. Unlike some other popular diets, you don’t have to worry about this diet raising your cholesterol, saddling you with heart disease, or giving you a case of constipation that just won’t quit. To the contrary, this diet is loaded with foods that fuel both weight loss and good health. The optimal amounts of vitamin D, calcium, and omega-3 fatty acids in particular will help to boost heart health, bone health, brain health, immunity, and more.

YOU WON’T STOP SMILING. I’m willing to bet that your mood has never been better. You are waking ready to face the day—even during those dismal winter months. You’re feeling this happy for a reason—and it goes well beyond those skinny jeans that you finally slipped into with ease. Again, the vitamin D and the omega-3 fatty acids work together to boost mood, especially during the long, dark winter months.

YOU FEEL FANTASTIC. Other diets might have left you feeling tired, moody, and listless. Not this one. Again, the D helps to reduce muscle and bone soreness, so you should be feeling more energetic and in the mood to exercise.

THE PLAN WORKS WITH YOUR LIFE—NOT AGAINST IT. Perhaps most important, this diet is versatile. You can adapt the plan as needed to suit your lifestyle. You can take it out to eat. You can follow it at dinner parties. And you can mix things up in the name of culinary excitement. From work lunches to a romantic dinner to a Caribbean vacation, you’ll be able to take the 7-Day Slim Down with you anywhere so you can stay slim for life.

Rather than sticking to a narrow and rigid set of menu options and eating rules, living this diet means that you’ll be able to make your own decisions about what and where to eat, where to vacation, what to do on your birthday, and how to celebrate the holidays. Rather than following a set of menus and recipes that I designed for you, you will create your own menus and recipes. In short, you will transition from sitting in the passenger seat on the diet to sitting in the driver’s seat as you navigate the rest of your slim and beautiful life.

Three Steps to Become a Lifer

SO NOW YOU have the motivation to become a lifer. Let’s talk about how you make that a reality. It’s all really very simple. Just keep doing what you are doing. Follow these three steps for a lifetime of success.



The recipes in this article are all calibrated to nourish you with 1,400 to 1,500 calories a day. This number of calories, combined with all of the fat melters in the various dishes should get you all the way to your goal weight. Once you reach your goal, do not change your eating. For 95 percent of you, now is not the time to increase your portions, add another snack, or otherwise increase the amount of food you are eating. That’s a recipe for weight gain. There are two exceptions to this basic rule of thumb.

EXCEPTION #1: You’re not yet at your goal weight. You’d like to lose more weight, but you’ve hit a plateau and you can’t get past it. Plateaus are frustrating, but they are also often temporary. Most plateaus are actually an illusion caused by slow weight loss. For instance, if you are losing one-quarter pound of fat a week, it will seem as if you are not losing any weight at all. Then, after 4 or so weeks, you’ll get on the scale and see that you’ve dropped a pound. Stay the course for a few weeks and see what happens. You might just start losing again. But If that doesn’t work, I recommend you do one of the following:

 Decrease your daily calories by omitting one or both daily snacks.

 Increase your metabolism by drinking 6 cups of green tea a day.

 Start a fitness plan or increase your exercise.

EXCEPTION #2: You’ve reached your goal but you are still losing. What a good problem to have! In this case, you will want to add a little food back in. It’s possible that you are very tall, have a faster than normal metabolism, or are getting a lot more exercise than the average woman. In any case, double up on one or both of your snacks and see what happens.



There are going to be times when you just don’t want to follow the recipes in this article. During those times you might want to cook your own recipes or design your own meals. That’s perfectly fine. I encourage you to make this plan a part of your lifestyle. A big part of success is having the freedom to put your own personal stamp on your eating plan.



There are a few tips and tricks that make weight maintenance a whole lot easier. You’ll discover all of them these article.

Three Steps to Become a Lifer in the Kitchen

You will at some point want to adapt your own favorites. When creating your own slimming meals at home, follow these steps.



This step is optional, but highly recommended. When you give your recipes a calorie shrink, you are creating the opportunity to consume a bigger portion. With summer dishes, this might not be as important because your appetite during the summer probably isn’t as demanding. It’s much more important with winter dishes. Swap out full-fat dairy for nonfat or fat-free. Do the same with meat, opting for extra-lean cuts and varieties. For instance, extra-lean ground turkey is a much better option than regular ground beef. As a compromise, consider mixing a lower-fat option with a higher-fat option. For instance, mix lean ground beef with extra-lean ground turkey. Finally, extend higher-calorie ingredients (especially meat) with lower-calorie ones. Experiment by adding chopped veggies or even tofu to various meat dishes. One exception: It’s better to consume whole eggs because the D, antioxidants, and omega-3s are all housed in the yolk.



Here are a few ways to pump up the D with various high D foods.

 Milk: Add fat-free milk to dishes that call for water. For instance, use it to make a broth-based soup creamy.

 D-fortified tofu: Tofu will take on the taste and texture of any dish, making it an extremely versatile way to add more D and drop the number of calories in nearly any recipe. You can mix it into everything from lasagna to casseroles to burgers. You can even use silken tofu in smoothies and soups.

 Mushrooms: Mushrooms serve as a great topping, filling, and extender. Add them to soups. Use them in sauces. Grind them up to create fillings for burgers, crab cakes, and more.

 Egg: Perhaps you can mash up hard-cooked ones and mix them into a cold salad. Or you might mix cooked scrambled egg into soup or a rice casserole.

 D-fortified yogurt: Use it in place of sour cream. Add it to smoothies. Use it to give soups a creamy consistency.



You want your portion to total no more than 400 calories for any given meal. To figure out the correct portions, sign up for a calorie analysis site such as Type your ingredients into the online calculator to get a caloric value for the total meal, then calculate the correct portion from there.


The Plate of a Lifer

Whether you are creating breakfast, lunch, or dinner, use the following chart to ensure that you end up with a D-rich meal. Each meal you consume should include three items: a protein, a wild card (starch or dairy or nuts or healthy fat), and produce. In every meal, at least one of these should be a high-D option. Give yourself bonus points if you create a meal with two high-D options; give yourself a gold star if you manage to include three.



Choose one or more high in D.

PROTEIN (120-200 cals)


4-5 ounces salmon (sockeye)

4-5 ounces halibut

4-5 ounces catfish

4-5 ounces tuna (Bluefin)

4 ounces steelhead trout (canned)

6 ounces cod (Atlantic)


6-8 raw Eastern oysters or 3 Pacific oysters

½ pound medium shrimp


4-5 ounces skinless chicken or turkey breast

4-5 ounces lean beef


6 ounces tofu

2 eggs

WILD CARD (100-150 cals)


½ cup cooked barley

2 slices D-fortified bread (1-oz slices)

1 English muffin

2 soft flour whole wheat tortillas (6”) or 1 soft flour whole wheat tortillas (8”)

½ cup cooked millet

½ cup cooked brown rice

¾ cup whole wheat cooked pasta

2 mini whole wheat pitas or 1 large whole wheat pita

½ cup oatmeal or D-fortified hot cereal (uncooked) or 1 cup D-fortified cold cereal


½ medium potato, baked

1 cup diced potatoes

¾ cup sweet potato

1 medium corn on the cob or ¾ cup kernels


½ cup cooked beans

½ cup cooked lentils

1 cup peas (sweet, sugar snap)

2⁄3 cup edamame (shelled)


1-2 Tbsp. nuts or seeds


1 oz. low-fat cheese

2 Tbsp. low-fat cream cheese

1 cup fat-free milk

¾ cup fat-free or ½ cup reduced-fat ricotta cheese

¾ cup 1% or fat-free cottage cheese or ½ cup 2% cottage cheese


½ sliced avocado

5 olives, halved

1 Tbsp. olive oil

PRODUCE (80-100 cals)


1 whole fruit (plum, nectarine, peach, pear, apple)

2 or 3 figs

1 cup mango

2 cups cantaloupe

1½ cups honeydew melon

2 cups watermelon

¼ cup dried fruit

1 large banana

2 cups mixed berries


1 whole artichoke


Bean sprouts

Bok choy


Brussels sprouts


Carrots (1 cup)



Collard greens



Green or red peppers

Iceberg (head) lettuce


Mesclun greens


Mustard greens


Onions (½ cup chopped)

Romaine lettuce



Turnip greens


Wax beans

Winter squash (1 cup, 40 calories)


Your Lifelines for Lasting Success

LIKE THE PHONE-A-FRIEND option on game shows, the following lifestyle strategies will help you find the right answer and stay the course. The longer you maintain your success, the easier maintenance becomes. DO: IF YOU HAVEN’T ALREADY STARTED A FITNESS PLAN, START ONE NOW. Exercise helps you maintain your success by keeping you in a healthy state of mind. Numerous studies show that people who exercise tend to eat fewer fattening foods and make healthier food choices overall. DO: STAY VIGILANT. People who weigh themselves are more likely to maintain their weight loss. Getting on the scale regularly—I recommend once a week—gives you important feedback. Another way to measure yourself is just to keep a close eye on how your clothes fit. Are your jeans a bit tight? Maybe you need to cut back. Cocktail dress feels almost a size too big? Make sure you’re eating enough, so you avoid a rebound binge. DO: READ AS MUCH ABOUT HEALTH AND NUTRITION AS YOU CAN. Think of it as bibliotherapy. Subscribe to health magazines (like Women’s Health). In addition to helpful advice, your reading will help keep you in a healthy frame of mind DO: HANG WITH THE RIGHT FRIENDS WHO SUPPORT YOU. Various studies show that our friends’ habits can rub off on us. If you spend time with friends who are overweight, or just tend to eat and gab, it can derail your success. This certainly doesn’t mean that you should ignore all of your girlfriends who love food! But be mindful of the time you spend together. DO: COME UP WITH A NEW GOAL. You’ve lost weight. You’ve done one of the hardest things any human can do. You are capable of anything and everything. Why stop now? What else can you improve in your life? The more you improve your life, your relationships, your career, and other aspects of personal happiness, the more likely you will remain on the plan. Positive emotions such as joy and contentment have been associated with weight maintenance. The better your life, the better you’ll feel, and the more likely you will be to keep off the weight. So pick a new challenge. Put a date on the calendar. Sign up for a 5-K. Plan a great vacation that involves a physical activity like snorkeling or skiing. Find what motivates you and go after it. 

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