Eat these five expert-approved weekday lunches to lose weight! 

If you think eating less or skipping meals completely will aid in weight loss, it is time to reevaluate your nutritional plan. We spoke to an expert, Svetlana Kogan, MD, specializing in holistic and integrative practices. She created Diet Slave No More! “a fun literary journey into yourself, offering readers a brand new approach to healthy living and to handling weight issues”. Read her top lunchtime meals to stay full longer and lose weight.

Tilapia with Veggies

Spa Week healthy tilapia

Photo: Recipe Hubs

Nutrition Breakdown (per serving):
Calories: 180
Fats: 7 grams
Carbs: 7 grams
Fiber: 2 grams
Sugar: 3 grams
Sodium: 423 milligrams
Protein: 24 grams

½ cup diced summer squash
½ cup thinly sliced red onion
6 green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
5-6 pitted and coarsely chopped large black pitted olives
1 tablespoon lemon juice
½ tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon capers, rinsed
½ teaspoon salt divided
½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided
½ pound tilapia fillets, cut into 2 equal portions

Preheat grill to medium. (No grill? See Oven Variation, below.) Combine tomatoes, squash, onion, green beans, olives, lemon juice, oregano, oil, capers, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a large bowl. Lay two 20-inch sheets of foil on top of each other (the double layers will help protect the contents from burning); generously coat the top piece with cooking spray. Place one portion of tilapia in the center of the foil. Sprinkle with some of the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper, then top with about 3/4 cup of the vegetable mixture. Bring the short ends of the foil together, leaving enough room in the packet for steam to gather and cook the food. Fold the foil over and pinch to seal. Pinch seams together along the sides. Make sure all the seams are tightly sealed to keep steam from escaping. Repeat with more foil, cooking spray and the remaining fish, salt, pepper and vegetables. Grill the packets until the fish is cooked through and the vegetables are just tender about 5 minutes. To serve, carefully open both ends of the packets and allow the steam to escape. Use a spatula to slide the contents onto plates.

Tofu and Broccoli Stir-Fry

Spa Week healthy lunch:Tofu

Photo: Delectably Free

Nutrition Breakdown (per serving):
Calories: 275
Fats: 13 grams
Carbs: 23 grams
Fiber: 14 grams
Sugar: 8 grams
Sodium: 665 milligrams
Protein: 14 grams

Ingredients (2 servings):
½ cup of vegetable or organic chicken broth
1/4 cup dry sherry or rice wine
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons cornstarch, divided
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper,or more to taste
1 14-ounce package extra-firm water-packed tofu, drained
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoon olive oil, divided
½ tablespoon minced garlic
½ tablespoon minced fresh ginger
3 cups of broccoli florets
3 tablespoons water

Combine broth, sherry (or rice wine), soy sauce, 1 tablespoon cornstarch, sugar and crushed red pepper in a small bowl. Set aside. Cut tofu into 3/4-inch cubes and pat dry, then sprinkle with salt. Place the remaining tablespoon of cornstarch in a large bowl. Add the tofu; toss gently to coat. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add the tofu; cook, undisturbed, until browned, about 3 minutes. Gently turn and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned all over, 2 to 3 minutes more. Transfer to a plate. Reduce heat to medium. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, garlic and ginger; cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add broccoli and water; cover and cook, stirring once or twice, until tender-crisp, 2 to 4 minutes. Stir the reserved broth mixture and add to the pan. Cook until the sauce has thickened, 1 to 2 minutes. Return the tofu to the pan; toss to combine with the broccoli and sauce.

 Grilled Chicken and Vegetables

Spa Week healthylunch

Photo:Steve Giralt; Food Styling by Anne Disrude; Prop Styling by Shana Faust

Nutrition Breakdown (per serving):
Calories:  273
Fats: 12 grams
Carbs: 13 grams
Fiber: 3 grams
Sugar: 6 grams
Sodium: 260 milligrams
Protein: 30 grams

Ingredients (3 servings):
¾ lbs boneless, skinless thin sliced chicken cutlets
1 tbs of pesto sauce (homemade or store-bought)
 ½ clove crushed garlic
 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
 juice from ¼ lime
 1 tbsp olive oil
 1 ½ tbsp balsamic vinegar
 ½ tbsp raw honey
 kosher salt
 ½ lb asparagus (1/2 bunch), tough ends removed
 1 medium zucchini, sliced 1/4-inch thick
 ½ red bell pepper, seeded and sliced into strips
 Olive oil cooking spray

Marinate chicken with pesto, garlic, red pepper flakes, lime juice and ¼ teaspoon salt at least 1 hour, or overnight for best results.
Mix oil, balsamic vinegar, honey and 1/4 tsp salt in a small bowl.
Heat a grill over medium-high, be sure grates are clean and well oiled to prevent sticking.
Put veggies on 1 large grill tray or 2 smaller trays (or cook in batches), spray with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and cook, turning constantly until the edges are browned, about 6 to 8 minutes. Set aside on a dish. Cook the chicken about 4 to 5 minutes on each side, until grill marks appear and the chicken is cooked through, transfer to a platter with the veggies and pour the balsamic dressing over everything.

Grilled Turkey Salad With Dijon Mustard Dressing

Spa week turkey salad

Photo: Adriana Martin

Nutrition Breakdown:

 Calories 300
 Fat 14 grams
Carbs: 12 grams
Fiber: 33 grams
Sodium: 71 milligrams
Proteins 33g

Ingredients (2 servings):
Homemade Dijon Dressing:
1/6 cup of white wine vinegar
1 tsp of Dijon-style mustard
¼ tsp garlic juice or ½ garlic clove peeled and minced
¼ tsp sugar
salt and pepper to taste
¼ cup of olive oil
½ pound of turkey breast tenderloins or cutlets, grilled
6-8 cherry tomatoes cut in half
6-8 small mushrooms , cut in half
½ small red onion,peeled thinly sliced into rings
½ medium sweet red pepper, cored, seeded and cut into long strips
¼ cup parsley coarsely chopped
¼ cup Dijon Mustard dressing
2 cups of torn mixed salad greens
salt and pepper to taste

Whisk the first 5 ingredients into a small bowl. Gradually whisk olive oil into the mixture until thickened and thoroughly blended.

Cut grilled turkey into strips. In a large bowl combine turkey, tomatoes, mushrooms, onions, sweet red pepper, and parsley. Add Dijon dressing and toss.


Toasted Ezekiel Bread with Avocado Spread

Spa Week lose weight lunches

Photo: Two Peas & Their Pod

Nutrition Breakdown (per serving-serving size is two tablespoons of spread on 1 slice of Ezekiel Sprouted bread):
Calories:  146
Fats: 4 grams
Carbs: 23 grams
Fiber: 2 grams
Sodium: 150 milligrams
Protein: 5 grams

Ingredients (8 servings: use 1 serving and refrigerate the rest):
1 ripe avocado peeled and pitted
1/2 cup nonfat plain yogurt
1/3 cup packed fresh cilantro leaves
2 tablespoons chopped onion
1 tablespoon lime juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper


Place avocado, yogurt, cilantro, onion, lime juice, salt and pepper in a food processor. Process until smooth. Smear on a bread as a thick layer.



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