Salad Swap Meal Plan, Week 4

 LEARN MORE ABOUT THE FRESH EXPRESS SALAD SWAP
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The Fresh Express Salad Swap lets you recreate the flavors of your favorite higher calorie foods, like cheesy pizza and creamy pasta, in lower calorie salads. Swap one meal a day for a month and you’ll not only feel better, you’ll earn money-saving coupons all along the way. Our easy to use, Meal Plans make planning and participating, even easier!

This week we have highlighted seven new recipes that you can find in the  Salad Swap, listed the ingredients needed for each one and included a Staple Ingredients List.

Week 4 Meal Plan

Week 3 Meal Plan

Week 2 Meal Plan

Week 1 Meal Plan 

Weeks 1-4 in one convenient download.

 

30 Day Salad Swap Meal Planning Tips

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE FRESH EXPRESS 30 DAY SALAD SWAP

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You signed up for the Fresh Express Salad Swap. You stocked your kitchen with everything you need to make the Swap recipes. You’re following other #saladswap participants on Facebook and Twitter. So you’re all set to go, right?!  Not so fast. We want you to start the Salad Swap on the right foot so your journey will be an easy, stress-free ride. The most important thing you can do to achieve this is to plan ahead. People who plan meals and grocery shop in advance are more likely to eat healthier and avoid overeating or eating the less healthy stuff when hungry. Even if you change up the plan mid-week, having a set meal plan will help you stay relaxed and get dinner on the table even on the most stressful day. Here are five meal planning tips that will help you meet the 30 Day Salad Swap with success!

  1. Find an hour of quiet time over the weekend to sit down and create your meal plan for the week. Scroll through the Fresh Express Salad Swap app on your smart phone and choose the salad recipes you want to try for the week. You may also want to see what’s on sale at your favorite supermarket to get the most bang for your buck! Write an actual plan and hang it in your kitchen or office or log it in the app so you can refer back to it. Then you can make an associated grocery list that includes all the ingredients you need to fill in for those recipes. To give you a head start, check out the meal plans and associated shopping lists already created by the 30 Day Salad Swap team!
  2. Plan to make recipes that use similar ingredients. This way you can get the most use out of a bunch of cilantro or a red onion before it goes bad or cook a batch of grilled chicken breasts that can be added to recipes throughout the week. For example, the Chicken Tortilla Salad and the Chicken and Quinoa with Cumin Vinaigrette share ingredients, which makes them a perfect pair to have in the same week.
  3. Prep salad components in advance. Over the weekend, or whenever you have the most time, make the dressings you will be using throughout the week, hard-boil a batch of eggs, slice peppers and onions, and blanch green beans. Keep each ingredient in a separate container to last longer. You can also grill steak, chicken, and fish a day or two ahead or make a batch of Mini Burger Balls and freeze them for a busier week.
  4. Keep a well-stocked pantry. It’s easier to follow a recipe when you have everything on hand. Almost every salad dressing in the Swap calls for extra-virgin olive oil, so you’ll want to have a bottle or two in your pantry. Other salad ingredients to keep around: canned beans, raw nuts, breadcrumbs, cooking spray, vinegars, and a variety of grains.
  5. Dress your salad right before you eat. Once dressing is added, the salad won’t last as long. If you wait to add the dressing to the serving of salad you are eating, you can enjoy leftovers the next day (or two!). Another tip: don’t cut tomatoes into the salad unless eating it all at once. Once tomatoes are cut, they oxidize the lettuce and turn it brown.

 By Jessica Fishman Levinson, MS, RDN, CDN for Fresh Express

Salad Swap: Meal Plan, Week 3

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The Fresh Express 30-Day Salad Swap lets you recreate the flavors of your favorite higher calorie foods, like cheesy pizza and creamy pasta, in lower calorie salads. Swap one meal a day for a month and you’ll not only feel better, you’ll earn money-saving coupons all along the way. Our easy to use, Meal Plans make planning and participating, even easier!

This week we have highlighted seven new recipes that you can find in the Salad Swap, listed the ingredients needed for each one and included a Staple Ingredients List. Click this link to view and print the Week 3 Meal Plan Looking for more? Meal plans for weeks one and two are below.

Week 1 Meal Plan

Week 2 Meal Plan

Eat Better, Feel Better with a Well-Stocked Kitchen

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE FRESH EXPRESS 30 DAY SALAD SWAP BY CLICKING HERE

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Making changes to your diet takes work, but one easy way to reach your goals is to make sure you have the right ingredients on hand, including non-food items like kitchen tools and appliances. As you’re getting ready to start the Fresh Express 30 Day Salad Swap, take a look around your kitchen and in your pantry, fridge, and freezer to see if you have what you need to start the program. If you don’t, head out and stock up on some of the most important items. They won’t cost you a lot – we’re not talking a $500 Vitamix blender, just a couple of kitchen staples that will make it easier for you to achieve the Salad Swap goal to Eat Better, Feel Better!

Pantry Staples:

  • Extra Virgin Olive oil – used for homemade dressings and to sauté salad ingredients
  • Kosher salt – coarser than table salt, which helps reduce the amount of salt you need, thereby reducing the sodium content
  • Black peppercorns – freshly ground pepper adds more intense flavor to dishes
  • Canned beans – look for no-salt added varieties, otherwise drain and rinse before using
  • Vinegars (e.g. balsamic, red wine, apple cider)
  • Whole grain pasta
  • Dried herbs and spices – a variety are used in Salad Swap recipes to add flavor without added calories and sodium
  • Dijon mustard
  • Raw, unsalted nuts (e.g. pecans, almonds, walnuts)
  • Low-sodium soy sauce
  • Honey
  • Canned tomatoes
  • Whole grain breadcrumbs/panko
  • Cooking spray

Refrigerator and Freezer Staples:

  • Fresh Express salad!
  • Reduced fat and low-fat cheeses (cheddar, Monterey Jack, Parmesan, goat, blue)
  • Fresh herbs (e.g. cilantro, parsley, rosemary, basil)
  • Eggs
  • Low-fat plain or Greek yogurt – a great substitute for mayonnaise, sour cream, and other higher-calorie ingredients
  • Frozen shrimp
  • Frozen corn

Non-Refrigerated Kitchen Staples:

  • Lemons, limes, and oranges – often juiced for a vinaigrette dressing or marinade
  • Garlic, onions, shallots
  • Grape tomatoes

Kitchen Tools:

  • Cutting boards
  • Chef’s knife
  • Hand juicer
  • Strainers
  • Whisk
  • Prep/mixing bowls
  • Baking sheets
  • Baking pan
  • Medium to large sauté pan
  • Pasta pot
  • Sauce pan
  • Heat-safe spatulas
  • Can opener
  • Microplane zester/grater
  • Measuring spoons and cups
  • Pepper mill

By Jessica Fishman Levinson, MS, RDN, CDN for Fresh Express

Salad Swap: Meal Plan, Week 2

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The premise of the Salad Swap is already pretty straightforward: recreate the flavors of your favorite higher calorie foods, in lower calorie salads. The addition of Meal Plans makes achieving this goal even easier.

This week we have highlighted seven new recipes that you can find in the Salad Swap, listed the ingredients needed for each one and included a Staple Ingredients List. Download the Week 2 Meal Plan by clicking this link.  Also available, Week 1 Meal Plan. Print and enjoy! 

Motivational Tricks to Keep Yourself on Track

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One of the most challenging things about setting any goal is mustering up the motivation to stick with the plan for the long haul. The truth about motivation is that if you’re not actively cultivating it each day, it’s easy to lose. So make these motivational techniques a part of your lifestyle to get better results!

  1. Reward yourself—without food. Set up your own rewards system for each healthy action you take or each goal you reach. Whether it’s putting a dollar in a jar for every workout you do or gifting yourself a shopping spree for sticking to your goals for a whole month, rewards that work will be personal and motivating to YOU.
  2. Find a goal buddy. Do you have a friend who wants to reach similar goals? Set up the buddy system so you can encourage each other regularly. Sometimes, simply having someone to talk to when you have the urge to go off-plan is all you need to stick to it.
  3. Create a vision board. Use Pinterest or even a poster board at home to collect images of what your goals mean to you—or what your life will be like when you reach them. Look at these pictures often to visualize your success and remember why you set your goals.
  4. Throw “perfect” out the door. No one is perfect. You will slip up sooner or later. But by accepting that mistakes are part of the journey to any goal, you’ll be able to stay on track instead of letting a back step derail you. If you miss a workout or mess up on your diet, simply learn from it, accept it, and move on. This is by far one of the most powerful techniques to stick to any goal-setting plan!

More from SparkPeople.com: Motivational Quotes to Keep You Going

Salad Swap: Meal Plan, Week 1

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The premise of the Salad Swap is already pretty straightforward: recreate the flavors of your favorite higher calorie foods, in lower calorie salads. We want to make the swapping even easier by sharing our first Meal Plan.

We have taken seven of the recipes you can find in the Salad Swap, and supplied a list of all ingredients you will need to prepare them. Also included is a Pantry Staple list. Download Week 1 by clicking this link. Enjoy!

Successful Lifestyle Changes for the New Year

By Jessica Fishman Levinson, MS, RDN, CDN for Fresh Express

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It’s a new year, and if you’re like almost half of Americans, you’ve made some resolutions to lose weight and stay fit and healthy. Give yourself a pat on the back for deciding to make changes for a healthier lifestyle! But before you dive in and modify a bunch of habits at once, sit down and find out how you can achieve these lifestyle changes successfully.

  1. Don’t go on a “diet.” The NY Times best selling diet books and the fads you most often hear about may lead to quick weight loss, especially in the beginning, but research shows that slow, healthy weight loss is what lasts.
  2. Set long-term and short-term goals that are attainable. Goal setting is an important tool to use to help you progress on your road to a healthier lifestyle. In order to achieve the dietary and lifestyle changes you are striving for, it is important that you establish one to two long-term goals that are as specific as possible. For example, it is more reasonable to make a long-term goal to lose 15 pounds in 3 months than to set a goal to lose 50 pounds this year. Once you have long-term goals in place, make a few short-term goals that will help you get there. These goals should also be specific and ones you can measure for success. For example, “I will eat 3 servings of fruit every day this week.”
  3. Build a fan club. Studies have shown that social support helps people stick to their healthy lifestyle goals and maintain their weight once they reach their weight-loss goals.[2] Set up a Facebook fan page or start a Twitter hashtag to have friends and followers join you on your healthy lifestyle trail.
  4. Fit in activity every day. What you eat is only one part of the equation for achieving a healthy lifestyle. Exercise is a key factor that must be added daily. Whether it’s walking around the block for 10 minutes three times a day or taking a kickboxing class at the gym after work, any workout will be worth it – weight loss, stress relief, and better sleep are just some of the benefits!
  5. Plan for setbacks. It’s not pessimistic to think about what happens when you slip up; rather, it’s the most realistic outlook you can have when trying to achieve lifestyle goals. Identify potential roadblocks and strategies to deal with them before they arise. For example, dining out for your birthday may throw you off the wagon, but you can get right back on the next day, or even at the next meal, if you decide ahead of time what you will allow yourself to indulge in for the special day.
  6. Moderation is key. Any behavior change can be achieved if you have the right mindset and don’t go to extremes. The odds of being satisfied with your success if you take an all-or-nothing approach to get there are slim. More likely, you will feel restricted and over time you will have a difficult time maintaining that success. Instead, remember that making moderate changes allows you to reach your goals without sacrificing the things that make your life pleasurable.