Carb Cycling for Weight Loss: 21-Day Meal and Exercise Plan 9781648769740, 9781648762826, 1648769748

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Carb Cycling for Weight Loss: 21-Day Meal and Exercise Plan
 9781648769740, 9781648762826, 1648769748

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Table of contents :
Title Page
Copyright
Dedication
Contents
Introduction
PART ONE: Break the Dieting Cycle
CHAPTER ONE: Carb Cycling and Weight Loss
CHAPTER TWO: The 21-Day Meal and Exercise Plan
PART TWO: Carb Cycling Recipes
CHAPTER THREE: Breakfast
Blueberry Baked Oatmeal
Banana Nut Muffins
Apple Pie Overnight Oats
PB & J Protein Oats
Fluffy French Toast with Ricotta and Raspberries
Potato and Bell Pepper Skillet
Mango Coconut Yogurt Bowl
Spinach and Feta Omelet
Egg and Veggie Muffins
Chocolate Peanut Butter Breakfast Smoothie
Shakshuka
Vegetable Frittata
CHAPTER FOUR: Lunch
Turkey Burrito Bowl
Tuna Salad Sandwich
Chipotle Turkey and Hummus Wrap
High-Carb Bento Box
Bagel TLT with Avocado
Summer Salmon Pasta Salad
Loaded Protein Grain Bowl
Chicken Avocado and Corn Salad in a Jar
Chicken BLT Salad
Low-Carb Bento Box
Chicken Shawarma Salad Bowl
Turkey Pesto Pinwheels
Sun-Dried Tomato, Broccoli, and Chicken Caesar Salad
Roast Beef and Swiss Cheese Wraps
CHAPTER FIVE: Dinner
Creamy Chicken and Chickpea Stew
Lemon Pasta with Shrimp, Spinach, and Tomato
Skillet Chicken Fajitas
Sweet Teriyaki Salmon
Sheet Pan Chicken Souvlaki with Potatoes
Korean BBQ Beef with Rice
Beef Marinara with Spiralized Butternut Squash
Italian Herb Chicken Meatballs with Spiralized Zucchini
Sheet Pan Miso Salmon with Baby Bok Choy
Zucchini Noodles with Beef Bolognese
Turkey Taco Salad with Guacamole
Low-Carb Turkey Chili
Sheet Pan Chicken and Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Feta
Chicken Enchilada Soup
CHAPTER SIX: Snacks and Smoothies
Chocolate Chip Granola Bars
Roasted Chickpeas
Hummus and Lox Toast
Golden Date Smoothie
Pumpkin Spice Latte Protein Smoothie
Fresh Guacamole with Sliced Peppers
Grain-Free Granola Yogurt Parfait
Savory Spiced Nut Clusters
Raspberry, Blackberry, and Coconut Smoothie
Superfood Protein Smoothie
Measurement Conversions
PART THREE: Carb Cycling Exercises
Exercise Routines
Resources
References
Acknowledgments
About the Author

Citation preview

Copyright © 2021 by Rockridge Press, Emeryville, California No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, scanning, or otherwise, except as permitted under Sections 107 or 108 of the 1976 United States Copyright Act, without the prior written permission of the Publisher. Requests to the Publisher for permission should be addressed to the Permissions Department, Rockridge Press, 6005 Shellmound Street, Suite 175, Emeryville, CA 94608. Limit of Liability/Disclaimer of Warranty: The Publisher and the author make no representations or warranties with respect to the accuracy or completeness of the contents of this work and specifically disclaim all warranties, including without limitation warranties of fitness for a particular purpose. No warranty may be created or extended by sales or promotional materials. The advice and strategies contained herein may not be suitable for every situation. This work is sold with the understanding that the Publisher is not engaged in rendering medical, legal, or other professional advice or services. If professional assistance is required, the services of a competent professional person should be sought. Neither the Publisher nor the author shall be liable for damages arising herefrom. The fact that an individual, organization, or website is referred to in this work as a citation and/or potential source of further information does not mean that the author or the Publisher endorses the information the individual, organization, or website may provide or recommendations they/it may make. Further, readers should be aware that websites listed in this work may have changed or disappeared between when this work was written and when it is read. For general information on our other products and services or to obtain technical support, please contact our Customer Care Department within the United States at (866) 744-2665, or outside the United States at (510) 253-0500. Rockridge Press publishes its books in a variety of electronic and print formats. Some content that appears in print may not be available in electronic books, and vice versa. TRADEMARKS: Rockridge Press and the Rockridge Press logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Callisto Media Inc. and/or its affiliates, in the United States and other countries, and may not be used without written permission. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Rockridge Press is not associated with any product or vendor mentioned in this book. Interior and Cover Designer: Angela Navarra Art Producer: Hannah Dickerson Editor: Kelly Koester Photography © 2021 Marija Vidal, food styling by Oscar Molinar, cover; © Marija Vidal, pp. II, 48 (bento box); © Darren Muir, pp. VI, XII, 19; © Andrew Purcell, pp. 13, 65, 82, 95; © Nadine Greeff, pp. 14, 31, 66; © Jennifer Chong, p. 34; Shutterstock, pp. 48 (peanut butter, chicken), 102; © Hélène Dujardin, p. 48 (vegetables, guacamole); © Elysa Weitala, p. 48 (berries). Illustrations © Charlie Layton, cover, back cover, and pp. 103–106. Author photo courtesy of Anchor & Lace Photography. ISBN: Print 978-1-64876-974-0 eBook 978-1-64876-282-6 R0

To Elijah and Josh, for teaching me that moms really do make magic happen.

CONTENTS Introduction PART ONE: Break the Dieting Cycle CHAPTER ONE: Carb Cycling and Weight Loss CHAPTER TWO: The 21-Day Meal and Exercise Plan PART TWO: Carb Cycling Recipes CHAPTER THREE: Breakfast Blueberry Baked Oatmeal Banana Nut Muffins Apple Pie Overnight Oats PB & J Protein Oats Fluffy French Toast with Ricotta and Raspberries Potato and Bell Pepper Skillet Mango Coconut Yogurt Bowl Spinach and Feta Omelet Egg and Veggie Muffins Chocolate Peanut Butter Breakfast Smoothie Shakshuka Vegetable Frittata

CHAPTER FOUR: Lunch Turkey Burrito Bowl Tuna Salad Sandwich Chipotle Turkey and Hummus Wrap High-Carb Bento Box Bagel TLT with Avocado Summer Salmon Pasta Salad Loaded Protein Grain Bowl Chicken Avocado and Corn Salad in a Jar

Chicken BLT Salad Low-Carb Bento Box Chicken Shawarma Salad Bowl Turkey Pesto Pinwheels Sun-Dried Tomato, Broccoli, and Chicken Caesar Salad Roast Beef and Swiss Cheese Wraps

CHAPTER FIVE: Dinner Creamy Chicken and Chickpea Stew Lemon Pasta with Shrimp, Spinach, and Tomato Skillet Chicken Fajitas Sweet Teriyaki Salmon Sheet Pan Chicken Souvlaki with Potatoes Korean BBQ Beef with Rice Beef Marinara with Spiralized Butternut Squash Italian Herb Chicken Meatballs with Spiralized Zucchini Sheet Pan Miso Salmon with Baby Bok Choy Zucchini Noodles with Beef Bolognese Turkey Taco Salad with Guacamole Low-Carb Turkey Chili Sheet Pan Chicken and Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Feta Chicken Enchilada Soup

CHAPTER SIX: Snacks and Smoothies Chocolate Chip Granola Bars Roasted Chickpeas Hummus and Lox Toast Golden Date Smoothie Pumpkin Spice Latte Protein Smoothie Fresh Guacamole with Sliced Peppers Grain-Free Granola Yogurt Parfait Savory Spiced Nut Clusters Raspberry, Blackberry, and Coconut Smoothie Superfood Protein Smoothie

Measurement Conversions PART THREE: Carb Cycling Exercises Exercise Routines Resources References Acknowledgments About the Author

INTRODUCTION Welcome! I’m so glad you’re here, because I want to tell you something. You can eat carbs and still lose weight. You may not believe me yet, and for a good reason—maybe you’ve been cutting out carbs for ages and barely seen any progress. If you had to eat a burger without a bun again, it’d be too soon. Ugh! Carbs are frustrating, right? You probably love carbs as much as I do. The thought of giving them up to lose weight is a hard pill to swallow. Nobody wants to blow out the candles on a low-carb birthday cake. Yet still, you’ve done every low-carb diet out there with little to show for it. In fact, you may be heavier now than at the start of your first low-carb diet. So, would your ears perk up if you heard you could have your cake and lose weight on a weight-loss diet, too? Carb cycling has been around the bodybuilding and fitness world forever. I remember using the concept myself when training for a fitness competition back in 2005, shortly after graduating from college. At that time, it was a means to meet weight goals in a short period. I used to look forward to high-carb days—some days, it kept me going. And from a science standpoint, the high-carb days gave me the energy I needed to get through tough workouts and cardio sessions. Did it work? Sure did. Anyone familiar with bodybuilding and fitness competitions knows the goal is to lose as much body fat as possible to show off your gym-built muscles. I did that with carb cycling. Over the years, my knowledge of carb cycling has moved from anecdotal to based on research and practice. After college, I followed through on my goals, became a registered dietitian, and then pursued my specialty certification in sports nutrition. I’ve written countless articles about carb cycling for various fitness magazines, and I’ve developed individualized carb-cycling plans for several clients with different goals. I’ve seen carb cycling work

when applied appropriately—not just for athletes, but for clients wanting to lose weight. You can finally lose weight without having to give up carbs. It is possible, and I am going to show you how to make this happen for yourself. I’ll walk you through the process step-by-step until you fully understand the formula and have mastered the tools to reach your weight-loss goals. I’ve mapped it out for you—everything you need to know about carb cycling, a 21-day meal and exercise program to jump-start weight loss, and plenty of recipes to keep it up. You won’t find a magic pill or fast track to weight loss in this book. While it is possible to see results quickly with carb cycling, the truth of the matter is that there’s no guarantee without showing up and putting in the work. If you’re ready to lose weight, feel great, and eat carbs, I challenge you to dive right in. Thank you for choosing me to accompany you on your health and weight-loss journey. Good luck!

PART ONE: BREAK THE DIETING CYCLE

CHAPTER ONE

CARB CYCLING AND WEIGHT LOSS Carbohydrates have a long history of being blamed for obesity, heart disease, and even cancer. While it’s true carbs may contribute to these health conditions, fear of them is out of control. Carbs are not the evil nutrient many people believe them to be. In fact, carbohydrates contribute to a healthy weight-loss diet as much as protein and fats. With carb cycling, I’ll show you how to benefit from and enjoy eating carbs while losing weight.

WHY CARB CYCLING? Carb cycling is alternating the number of carbs you eat throughout the week. For example, today you may eat mostly low-carb foods, and tomorrow you follow a high-carb approach. Carb cycling is often planned around your exercise schedule, allotting more carbs on the days they’re needed the most. Carb cycling has long been used by elite athletes, bodybuilders, and those requiring more detailed weight-loss protocols for their lifestyle. As the popularity of advanced diets grows in the

mainstream market, so has the interest in carb cycling. Now more than ever, people want fast weight loss without having to give up their favorite foods, especially carbs. Carb cycling provides all the benefits of a low-carb diet without the restrictive nature of a lowor no-carb approach. Instead of abiding by strict rules to see results, carb cycling is about strategic eating. You’ll focus on eating carbs when you need them, understanding carbs aren’t “bad” for you; they serve a purpose in a healthy weight-loss program. Carb cycling maximizes the benefits of eating carbs while promoting weight loss or helping bust through plateaus. Because carbs provide energy, they’re needed for physical activity and workouts. However, low-carb eating forces the body to learn to use fat as fuel, which burns stored fat faster. Staying on an extended low-carb diet can cause difficult cravings, so it is not good for longterm fat loss. Carb cycling is the best of both worlds. Not only do you get to enjoy higher-carb, satisfying meals, but you’ll also boost your metabolism and have more energy for workouts—win-win.

HOW IT WORKS In the short term, low-carb diets might seem like a better option for fat loss, especially because they’ve been shown to help the body use fat as fuel. But if you stay on a low-carb diet too long, you’ll end up doing more harm than good. Sticking with a low-carb diet beyond the beneficial phase leaves no carbohydrates available for your body to use for workouts. This makes you more susceptible to injury and a compromised immune system. Let’s not forget about the restrictive aspects of low-carb diets partnered with a calorie deficit—this is a recipe for hunger and rapid weight gain. While high-carb diets are optimal for maintaining energy levels and training intensity, they make losing weight in a timely and efficient manner challenging. On low-carb days, the body utilizes stored carbohydrates in the form of glycogen. Low-carb diets reduce the amount of insulin the body produces, making your body more sensitive to the amount of

insulin circulating in your bloodstream. That means when you do eat carbs, your body uses them efficiently as fuel rather than storing them as fat. If you eat a low-carb diet for too long, you may end up feeling tired and hungry. That’s where high-carb days come in handy. Toss in a strategic high-carb day, and you’re instantly replenishing carbohydrate stores. This also reignites your metabolism by triggering the production of leptin, a hormone that tells your brain to burn energy. High-carb days are metabolic boosters that give you energy for quality exercise. Optimal and efficient carb cycling programs place high-carb days around your most intense exercise during the week. On the flip side, low-carb days are placed on rest days or low-impact workout days where less energy is required. Making use of the carbs you eat (for workouts and diet compliance) is an integral part of the program and why carb cycling works.

CARB CYCLING FAQ Here’s everything you need to know about carb cycling, so you can get started on your weight-loss journey with confidence and ease. Is carb cycling right for me? Carb cycling is great for many people: those who want to lose weight while still eating carbs; those who need to maintain a leaner physique while still performing at their best in their sport; and those who prefer a low-carb diet but need to maintain an active lifestyle. Carb cycling is also great for someone who has reached a weight-loss plateau. Do I have to do it forever? Like any diet, carb cycling is not a long-term diet approach. Studies show that taking breaks from dieting is more effective for weight loss than continuous dieting, and keeps weight off longer. For practical application, consider two-week breaks for every

two to four weeks of dieting. What does the research say? While there’s little research on carb cycling specifically, we can combine the benefits of timing your carb intake around physical activities with a low-carb approach for fat loss. Low-carb days produce an overall calorie deficit and help the body use fat as fuel, creating weight loss. High-carb days improve diet adherence and provide energy for workouts. Do I have to exercise for it to work? While you don’t have to exercise for carb cycling to work, the diet is best when paired with a consistent exercise program. If you decide to do carb cycling without an exercise routine, be careful not to overdo your high-carb days, so you don’t end up eating yourself out of the calorie deficit required for weight loss. What about coffee and alcohol? Beverages that contain calories, regardless of what they are, can quickly increase your carb intake and negatively affect low-carb days. Coffee has very few calories (about 5 kcal). It’s the sugar and creamers where additional carbs and calories come in. Aim to limit coffee to 1 to 2 servings per day and reduce sugar intake for faster results. Even low-carb beers and alcohol aren’t calorie-free. For best results, limit alcoholic beverages to 2 servings per week. Can I use condiments and spices while carb cycling? Absolutely! Carb cycling should fit into your lifestyle, including the foods and flavors you enjoy. Cook your food as desired while opting for low-sugar or no-sugar-added condiments, marinades, herbs, and spices. What if I can’t exercise on a high-carb day? Sometimes life gets in the way, and that’s okay! If you need to skip a workout but have already started eating the foods allotted for your high-carb day, simply swap what’s left on the menu for your next high-carb day, and vice versa. Are there any cheat meals? Let’s call them free meals, and

the answer is yes. You’ll be able to enjoy up to two free meals each week, preferably on a high-carb day. Remember to plan ahead and use these meals for special occasions, social functions, or events you have coming up if desired.

CARB CYCLING 101 While carb cycling is an easy nutrition program to follow, it can be a bit overwhelming or confusing to start. By the end of this section, you’ll have a clear understanding of what to eat and when—for both high- and low-carb days. Here’s what you can expect your week to look like: MONDAY TUESDAY WEDNESDAY THURSDAY FRIDAY SATURDAY SUNDAY LC

HC

LC

HC

LC

HC

LC

HIGH-CARB DAYS As stated, high-carb days are placed on your most intense workout days; this is to provide the energy for strenuous sessions and help replenish energy stores used up in previous workouts and on lowcarb days. Plus, high-carb days help satisfy cravings and prevent any weight-loss plateaus that can happen from staying too long on a low-carb diet. Calculating Macros for a High-Carb Day Carbohydrates: Your weight x 1.5 grams = grams of carbohydrates Protein: Your weight x 0.6 grams = grams of protein Fat: Your weight x 0.25 = grams of fat So, what is that in calories? Carbohydrates and proteins contain 4 calories per gram, and fats contain 9 per gram. Fill in your numbers below to calculate your macros in calories.

Carbohydrates: x 4 = calories from carbohydrates Protein: x 4 = calories from protein Fat: x 9 = calories from fat Nicole weighs 175 pounds: Carbohydrates: 175 x 1.5 grams = 262.5 grams x 4 = 1,050 calories from carbohydrates Protein: 175 x 0.6 grams = 105 grams x 4 = 420 calories from protein Fat: 175 x 0.25 grams = 44 grams x 9 = 394 calories from fat Nicole’s total daily calorie intake for a high-carb day should be: 1,864 calories Andrew weighs 250 pounds: Carbohydrates: 250 x 1.5 grams = 375 grams x 4 = 1,500 calories Protein: 250 x 0.6 grams = 150 grams x 4 = 600 calories Fat: 250 x 0.25 grams = 63 grams x 9 = 563 calories Andrew’s total daily calorie intake for a high-carb day should be: 2,663 calories

LOW-CARB DAYS Low-carb days help your body become more efficient at using fat as fuel and improve insulin sensitivity—both needed for fat loss. Lowcarb days are perfect for when you’re not working out or for lowintensity exercise like taking a walk, light jogging, or yoga, because the energy required for these activities is minimal. Calculating Macros for a Low-Carb Day Carbohydrates: Your weight x 0.5 grams = grams of carbohydrates Protein: Your weight x 0.6 grams = grams of protein Fat: Your weight x 0.4 grams = grams of fat So, what is that in calories? Carbohydrates and proteins contain 4 calories per gram, and fats contain 9 per gram. Fill in your numbers below to calculate your macros in calories. Carbohydrates: x 4 = calories from carbohydrates

Protein: x 4 = calories from protein Fat: x 9 = calories from fat Here’s our example of Nicole weighing 175 pounds: Carbohydrates: 175 x 0.5 grams = 87.5 grams x 4 = 350 calories from carbohydrates Protein: 175 x 0.8 grams = 140 grams x 4 = 560 calories from protein Fat: 175 x 0.4 g = 70 grams x 9 = 630 calories from fat Nicole’s total daily calorie intake for a low-carb day should be: 1,540 calories Here’s our example of Andrew weighing 250 pounds: Carbohydrates: 250 x 0.5 grams = 125 grams x 4 = 500 calories Protein: 250 x 0.8 grams = 200 grams x 4 = 800 calories Fat: 250 x 0.4 grams = 100 grams x 9 = 900 calories Andrew’s total daily calorie intake for a low-carb day should be: 2,200 calories

WHAT TO EAT Calories are made up of three macronutrients: protein, carbohydrates, and dietary fats—all perform essential metabolic functions in the body. Some proteins, carbs, and fats may not be as good for your body as others, but there is room for all foods in your nutrition program. To maximize fat loss and minimize future weight gain, prioritize quality foods over quantity and timing. Fill your day with nutrientdense foods (lean protein, complex carbs, fiber, and healthy fats) to keep you full and satisfied longer. Not only do nutrient-dense foods provide lasting energy throughout the day, but they also help maintain blood sugar and prevent poor choices or overeating. → Protein: Lean proteins include fish, shellfish, chicken breast, turkey breast, lean cuts of red meat like sirloin, filet, shoulder, and 93 percent lean ground beef, pork, eggs, egg whites, low-fat or nonfat dairy, tofu, soy, and protein supplements.

→ Carbs: Think of carbohydrates as either simple or complex. Simple carbs are generally low in fiber and are easy for your body to break down rapidly: sugar, bread, and pasta. Complex carbs take longer for your body to digest because they’re rich in dietary fiber: whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. → Fat: Choose poly- and monounsaturated healthy fats most often: nuts, seeds, nut butter, olive oil, avocado, cheese, and low-fat dairy. About 10 percent of your daily fat intake should come from saturated fat. Read labels and look for about 2.5 grams of saturated fat per serving on average.

FIVE MEALS A DAY Trying to figure out how many meals you should eat per day can be confusing. There are so many differing viewpoints, and the research does not point in any one clear direction. Most people are successful when eating five smaller meals throughout the day. You can lose weight no matter how many meals you eat when carb cycling, but frequent meals are beneficial. The five-meal strategy helps curb hunger and control appetite, which is important for weight loss. Allowing too long between meals can lead to poor food choices and overeating. Plus, when consuming adequate protein, frequent meals can help you preserve muscle mass while losing body fat. This means your body weight might not change, but your body composition will—more muscle and less fat. Ultimately, more muscle equals a more efficient metabolism, which helps you maintain a leaner frame.

HAVE YOUR CARBS AND EAT THEM, TOO Super strict diet programs are no fun and create restrictive behaviors. Eating foods that aren’t “allowed” on your diet can make you feel out of control. So instead of cutting out

foods and food groups, give yourself permission to eat anything you’d like. There are no good or bad foods. It’s your decision to eat in a way that supports your goals while knowing you can have those foods at any time. And it’s true, you can. On two of your high-carb days each week, feel free to include a free meal—anything you’d like to eat. It’s not a free day; it’s a free meal. Not convinced the diet will still work if you have free meals? I promise it will. The meal plan is designed to allow for the higher-calorie portions of a free meal, so you’re good to go. You don’t have to use these meals, but if you do, make sure they’re on a high-carb day, and try not to exceed one regular portion (about 500 to 600 calories). Feel free to swap out high-carb days for low-carb ones. What this means is you can move your high-carb days as desired throughout the week. So, if you have a date night on lowcarb Friday, and want to enjoy a free meal, simply move one of your high-carb days to Friday. Replace that highcarb day with Friday’s low-carb meal plan. Make sense?

FITNESS AND CARB CYCLING Carb cycling allows you to maximize calories burned during tough workouts while reaping the benefits of a low-carb diet. This carbcycling plan includes a workout routine of cardio, HIIT (highintensity interval training), and strength training to help you build muscle and reach your weight-loss goals.

CARDIO, HIIT, STRENGTH Each form of exercise (cardio, HIIT, and strength training) serves its own purpose:

→ Low-intensity cardio burns body fat and requires little energy, making it ideal for pairing with low-carb days. → HIIT workouts are efficient fat burners requiring an abundance of energy to complete the work and are paired with high-carb days. → Strength-training workouts build muscle when paired with adequate calories; they’re also on high-carb days. You’ll find exercise examples for each type of workout in the back of this book.

EXERCISE TIPS Get the most out of your workouts with these simple exercise tips: Timing is important. The best time to work out is whenever it accommodates your lifestyle the best. If early in the morning or your lunch break is the only time you’re free, that’s when you should work out. If workouts are inconvenient or rushed, you’re less likely to do them. Avoid plateaus. Bust through inevitable plateaus by increasing the weights you’re using, reducing rest periods, or changing the intensity of your workouts. Prevent injury. Listen to your body, and if something is too difficult to perform with good form, reduce the weight or use a modification to help you accomplish the movement better. Don’t skip rest days. Allow adequate rest between workouts to prevent overtraining, reduce the risk of injury, and promote strength gains. Stay hydrated. The loss of fluids and electrolytes from sweating during exercise can cause dehydration. This leads to fatigue and an increased risk of injury, causing you to have a disappointing workout or ditch it altogether. Take the talk test. How do you know if you’re working hard enough during a cardio workout? Take the talk test. If you can

converse while doing cardio, you’re not working hard enough. Increase the intensity by adjusting your speed, incline, and the like. Be consistent. Find ways to be consistent with workouts by scheduling them into your weekly calendar, putting on your favorite music, finding a training partner, and making it a priority.

MORE SECRETS TO WEIGHT-LOSS SUCCESS When it comes to weight loss, what you eat is only half the battle. What really matters is changing your habits for lasting behavior change. Start slow and give yourself some grace. Do the minimum required to see results and increase your effort as you do. If you throw all your eggs in at once, when you hit a plateau or get burned out, you’ll have nowhere to go from there. Don’t skip meals or snacks. Allowing too many hours between meals and snacks means you’re more likely to make poor choices or overeat when you do finally get to the food. Instead, set timers and take breaks so meals and snacks don’t get forgotten. Don’t suffer. Nutritious food does not have to be bland or boring. Make food that you enjoy eating so that it’s easier for you to follow the diet and see it through. Identify food behavior. While emotional eating isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it doesn’t serve your weight-loss goals. Find ways to reduce stress and satisfy emotions that are not food related. Change your mindset. A negative attitude about weight loss could be a self-fulfilling prophecy. Instead, believe you can, and good things will happen.

Nix food rules. While it may feel like you’re doing something good for your body by cutting out a particular food, it’s doing the opposite. Remind yourself that there are no good or bad foods, just healthy and less healthy. Be patient. It takes at least three weeks to form a new habit—that’s why our meal plan is 21 days. Once the new habits are formed, the new way of eating becomes second nature and takes less effort to follow.

MAINTAINING YOUR WEIGHT LOSS Want to know the biggest secret to maintain lasting results? Diet breaks. That’s right, taking a break from dieting can help you maintain your weight loss longer and give your brain a breather, too. How does it work? For every two to four weeks of dieting, take two weeks off. That means if you’re following a program for eight weeks, you should be taking at least four to eight weeks off dieting before you begin something new. And if you don’t plan to diet again soon, that’s okay, too! In fact, the best diet is not really a diet at all; it’s a maintainable meal routine that works for you and your lifestyle. It’s normal for your weight to fluctuate three to five pounds, but if you feel uncomfortable with your weight, it may be time to reevaluate your eating and exercising level. Ideally, though, you’ll want to maintain your workout routine throughout the year with short breaks in intensity to prevent plateaus or burnout. Feel free to repeat the program outlined in this book or incorporate some of your other favorite ways to get moving, too! If you enjoy what you’re doing, you’re more likely to make it happen.

CHAPTER TWO

THE 21-DAY MEAL AND EXERCISE PLAN After learning a bit about what carb cycling is, it’s time to put it in action with the 21-Day Meal and Exercise Plan. First, you’ll find out what you can expect from the plan and how to tailor the workouts to your fitness level. Don’t miss the Tips for Success section for valuable strategies to help you reach your weight-loss goals.

MANAGING EXPECTATIONS The meal plan was developed for one person in mind—someone wanting to lose weight while eating carbs. It was designed for a 175pound individual looking to combine physical fitness and diet. This person may have minimal experience working out but can perform basic exercise movements or is even a more advanced lifter. Or maybe this individual hasn’t worked out in ages but wants to get back into it. After a few days, you can expect to feel less bloated, and you may see movement on the scale. Because you’re still eating carbs, your energy levels will remain the same or could improve. Remember,

you’re exercising, which means you’re also building muscle. So, if you’re losing weight and building muscle simultaneously, you may not see the numbers on the scale change as dramatically as you’d like. That’s why it’s important to focus on non-scale victories that show progress, such as weekly waist measurements, progress photos, or tracking your strength improvements.

TAILORING TO YOUR FITNESS LEVEL Because all bodies are different, what one person can do may not be possible for another. That’s why it’s important to know your own abilities and limitations and tailor your workouts accordingly. I won’t leave you hanging—the exercises in the back of the book include options for varying experience levels. Be sure to consider any past injuries, as well. More advanced? Are you someone who’s been working out fourplus days per week for many years? Or maybe you’re a competitive athlete. If you know what you’re doing when it comes to physical fitness, and you’ve tried all the routines in the book, then adjust the intensity, add weights, increase the duration of workouts, or reduce the time between sets or rounds. Those changes can make this program more challenging. More beginner? Are you new to exercise or at least the movements in this program? If so, expect a learning curve. Take workouts slow and prioritize your form over anything else. If an exercise is causing you pain, modify it to meet your needs. For example, perform push-ups against a wall or with your hands on a chair; and perform triceps dips with your knees bent.

TIPS FOR SUCCESS Using these simple strategies each day will improve your chances of weight-loss success. Timing. Before beginning, determine the best time for you to start the plan that doesn’t coincide with stressful events or previous obligations.

Use the weekly prep advice. Try to prep food and meal components in advance to save time and energy during the week. Plus, leaving mealtime unplanned provides more opportunity for veering off-plan. Track your progress and your workouts. It’s easy to forget where you were when you started, and accomplishments are a huge motivator. Take time to track your progress and your workouts and review them at the end of the day. Don’t beat yourself up. Change takes time. You’ve spent many years becoming who you are now; progress doesn’t happen overnight. If you make a misstep, give yourself some grace and try again tomorrow. Stay hydrated. Not only is drinking plenty of water necessary to prevent dehydration, but it also plays a role in better workouts and burning fat, and can help suppress appetite. Focus on portions. While the basis of this program is to alternate between low-carb and high-carb days, portion sizes are just as important. Overeating anything means you’ll have a hard time reaching your goals. Use the hunger scale. Use the hunger scale to gauge how hungry you are when faced with the urge to eat. Ask yourself, “How hungry am I on a scale of 1 to 10?” If you’re closer to a 10, you’re really hungry and should definitely eat. But if you’re closer to a 1, you’re probably not that hungry and could benefit from finding something else to occupy your time for a little while; then you can revisit your hunger later. This will help you avoid overeating, so you stay on track for weight loss.

WEEK 1 For the first week, we’ll focus on using up items from your pantry, so they don’t go to waste. You may feel a bit hungry on low-carb days this week, but don’t worry, more carbs are coming! The meals in italics are leftovers from a previous day. BREAKFAST

SNACK

LUNCH

SNACK

DINNER

MONDAY LOW-CARB

TUESDAY HIGH-CARB

Egg and Grain-Free Chicken Fresh Zucchini Veggie Granola BLT Salad Guacamole Noodles Muffins Yogurt with Sliced with Beef Parfait Peppers Bolognese Potato Roasted Tuna Chocolate Sheet Pan and Bell Chickpeas Salad Chip Chicken Pepper Sandwich Granola Souvlaki Skillet Bars with Potatoes

Leftover Egg and WEDNESDAY Veggie LOW-CARB Muffins

2 hardLeftover Leftover Leftover boiled Chicken Fresh Zucchini eggs and 1 BLT Salad Guacamole Noodles ounce of with Sliced with Beef cheese Peppers Bolognese

Leftover Leftover Leftover Leftover Potato and Chocolate Tuna Salad Roasted Bell Pepper Chip Sandwich Chickpeas THURSDAY Skillet Granola Bars HIGH-CARB

FRIDAY LOW-CARB

Leftover Egg and Veggie Muffins

FREE MEAL! or Leftover Sheet Pan Chicken Souvlaki with Potatoes

Leftover Low-Carb ¼ cup Leftover Grain-Free Bento Box storeZucchini Granola bought Noodles Yogurt mixed nuts with Beef Parfait Bolognese

Leftover Hummus Potato and and Lox SATURDAY Bell Pepper Toast HIGH-CARB Skillet

Loaded Protein Grain Bowl

Leftover Chocolate Chip Granola Bars

FREE MEAL! or Skillet Chicken Fajitas

SUNDAY LOW-CARB

Leftover Superfood Chicken Leftover Leftover Egg and Protein Shawarma Grain-Free Zucchini Veggie Smoothie Salad Granola Noodles Muffins Bowl Yogurt with Beef Parfait Bolognese

SHOPPING LIST

PRODUCE → Avocados (3) → Bell peppers (2 red, 2 green, 1 yellow) → Carrots (2) → Celery (1 stalk) → Cherry tomatoes (1 pint) → Cilantro (1 bunch) → Cucumbers (2) → Fresh vegetables of choice, whatever you have left over in your kitchen (2 cups) → Jalapeño pepper (1, optional) → Kale, 1 (16-ounce) bag → Lemon (1) → Lime (1) → Mushrooms (10 large) → Onions (5) → Radishes (2) → Red onion (l) → Red potatoes, small (1 pound) → Romaine lettuce, chopped (4 cups) → Spinach, baby, 1 (16-ounce) bag → Yukon Gold potatoes (1 pound) → Zucchini, spiralized (4 cups) DAIRY AND EGGS → Cheese, cheddar, pepper Jack, or Swiss, shredded (2 ounces) → Eggs, large (22) → Greek yogurt, nonfat plain (12 ounces) → Nonfat milk (3 tablespoons) MEAT AND SEAFOOD → Beef, 1 pound 97 percent lean ground

→ Chicken, ½ pound boneless, skinless thighs → Chicken, 1 pound boneless, skinless breasts → Chicken, grilled breast (12 ounces) → Smoked salmon (4 ounces) → Turkey bacon (4 strips) FROZEN → Cauliflower florets (1 cup) → Kale (¼ cup) → Spinach (¼ cup) HERBS AND SPICES → Black pepper, freshly ground (2½ teaspoons) → Cayenne pepper (¼ teaspoon) → Chili powder (½ teaspoon) → Cinnamon, ground (½ teaspoon) → Cumin, ground (1¼ teaspoons) → Everything bagel seasoning (2 teaspoons) → Garlic powder (1¼ teaspoons) → Italian seasoning blend (2 teaspoons) → Onion powder (¾ teaspoon) → Oregano, dried (1 tablespoon) → Paprika (2¼ teaspoons) → Salt (3½ teaspoons) → Turmeric (½ teaspoon) PANTRY → Almond milk, unsweetened → Almonds, slivered → Barbecue sauce → Cashews, chopped → Chickpeas, 2 (15-ounce) cans

→ Chocolate chips, mini → Coconut oil → Coconut, unsweetened shredded → Flaxseed, ground → Garlic, minced → Honey → Hot sauce (optional) → Hummus → Kalamata olives → Lemon juice → Lime juice → Molasses → Nuts, mixed → Oats, rolled → Olive oil → Olive oil mayonnaise → Peanut butter, or nut butter of choice → Pepitas → Quinoa → Relish → Salsa → Sesame seeds → Sunflower seeds, shelled → Tahini → Tomatoes, fire-roasted, 1 (14½-ounce) can → Tuna, solid white in water, 2 (4-ounce) cans → Tzatziki (optional) → Vanilla extract → Walnuts, chopped OTHER → Multigrain bread (8 slices) → Protein powder (2 scoops) → Puffed rice cereal

→ Tortillas or whole wheat wraps, 2 (8-inch) PREP AHEAD → Make 4 hard-boiled eggs in advance to use for snacks and for the Chicken BLT salad; feel free to peel them before storing, but this is not necessary. → Make Fresh Guacamole. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Then clean, seed, and slice the bell peppers; store them in single-serve resealable plastic bags in the refrigerator for grab-and-go convenience. → Prep the Egg Muffins and Vegetable Frittata ingredients, wait to cook until the night before or morning of (pages 44 and 47). → Make Chocolate Chip Granola Bars, Roasted Chickpeas, and the Grain-Free Granola. Store as recommended. → Make a large batch of quinoa for use in the Protein Grain Bowl. → Grill or bake 2 pounds of chicken breasts; then prepare the chicken for the Chicken Shawarma Salad Bowl. → Preslice or chop all vegetables for recipes and snacks for the week ahead (optional). → Freeze one serving of Sheet Pan Chicken Souvlaki with Potatoes so it doesn’t go to waste on your first FREE meal day. → Prepare 2 (single-serving) smoothie bags with all the ingredients needed for the Superfood Protein Smoothie and store in the freezer until ready to use. → Portion out ¼ cup store-bought mixed nuts and put in a resealable bag until ready to use.

WEEK 2 By week two you’re into a groove. Now it’s time to iron out the kinks and try some new recipes. This week you can expect to feel energized and encouraged. BREAKFAST

SNACK

LUNCH

SNACK

DINNER

MONDAY

Spinach and Feta Omelet

Leftover Leftover Superfood Low-Carb Protein Bento Box Smoothie

LOW-CARB

Fluffy Leftover French Hummus TUESDAY Toast with and Lox HIGH-CARB Ricotta and Toast Raspberries Leftover Spinach and WEDNESDAY Feta Omelet LOW-CARB

1 string cheese and 1 small apple

Leftover Loaded Protein Grain Bowl

1 string cheese and 1 small apple

Sheet Pan Miso Salmon with Baby Bok Choy

Leftover Leftover Chocolate Skillet Chip Chicken Granola Fajitas Bars

Leftover Spiced Leftover Chicken Nut Sheet Shawarma Clusters Pan Miso Salad Salmon Bowl with Baby Bok Choy

Leftover Leftover Summer Pumpkin FREE Fluffy Chocolate Salmon Spice MEAL! or French Chip Pasta Latte Creamy THURSDAY Toast with Granola Salad Protein Chicken HIGH-CARB Ricotta and Bars Smoothie and Raspberries Chickpea Stew Shakshuka

FRIDAY LOW-CARB

Leftover Turkey 6 ounces 2 Chicken Spiced Nut Pesto percent Enchilada Clusters Pinwheels cottage Soup cheese and 1 tablespoon shredded coconut

PB & J Protein Oats SATURDAY HIGH-CARB

Leftover Leftover Pumpkin Summer Spice Latte Salmon Protein Pasta Smoothie Salad

Leftover FREE Chocolate MEAL! or Chip Leftover Granola Creamy Bars Chicken and Chickpea Stew

Leftover 6 ounces 2 Leftover Leftover Shakshuka percent Turkey Spiced Nut cottage Pesto Clusters SUNDAY cheese Pinwheels and 1 LOW-CARB tablespoon shredded coconut

SHOPPING LIST PRODUCE → Apples (2) → Bell peppers (2 green, 1 red) → Bok choy, baby (⅔ pound) → Cauliflower (2 heads) → Cherry tomatoes (1 pint) → Cilantro (1 bunch) → Cucumber, English (1) → Onions (3) → Parsley (1 bunch) → Raspberries (½ cup) → Red onion (1) → Spinach, baby (5 cups) → Tomato (1)

LowCarb Turkey Chili

DAIRY AND EGGS → Butter, unsalted (1 tablespoon) → Cheese, Mexican blend, low-fat, shredded (1 cup) → Cheese, provolone (2 slices) → Cheese, string (2) → Cottage cheese, 2 percent (12 ounces) → Cream cheese, low-fat (2 tablespoons) → Eggs, large (17) → Feta cheese, crumbled (¾ cup) → Greek yogurt, plain nonfat (²/³ cup) → Nonfat milk (¾ cup) → Plant-based milk, nonfat milk, or unsweetened → Ricotta cheese, low-fat (½ cup) MEAT AND SEAFOOD → Chicken, breast, boneless, skinless (2 pounds) → Salmon (8 ounces) → Turkey, 93 percent lean, ground (1 pound) → Turkey breast, sliced (6 ounces) FROZEN → Green peas (1 cup) HERBS AND SPICES → Allspice, ground (¼ teaspoon) → Black pepper, freshly ground (1 teaspoon, plus more for seasoning) → Chili spice mix (2 tablespoons) → Cinnamon, ground (1 teaspoon) → Coriander, ground (½ teaspoon) → Cumin, ground (¾ teaspoon)

→ Dill, dried (1 teaspoon) → Garam masala → Garlic, powdered (1 teaspoon) → Ginger, ground (½ teaspoon) → Nutmeg, ground (¼ teaspoon) → Onion powder (1 teaspoon) → Paprika (1¾ teaspoons) → Salt (1¾ teaspoons) PANTRY → Almonds, whole unsalted → Beef or vegetable broth, low-sodium → Brown rice → Cashews, unsalted → Chicken broth, low-sodium → Chickpeas, 1 (15-ounce) can → Coconut milk, light, 1 (14-ounce) can → Coconut, unsweetened shredded → Elbow macaroni, penne, or rotini → Garlic, minced → Green chiles, diced, 1 (4-ounce) can → Honey → Lemon juice → Miso, light → Oats, rolled → Olive oil → Peanut butter → Pecan halves, unsalted → Pesto → Pumpkin puree, 1 (15-ounce) can → Red enchilada sauce, 1 (10-ounce) can → Rice vinegar → Salmon, 1 (6-ounce) can → Soy sauce, low-sodium

→ Sriracha (optional) → Strawberry preserves, no-sugar-added → Tomato paste → Tomatoes, fire-roasted, 3 (14½-ounce) cans → Vanilla extract OTHER → Coffee, cold brewed → Multigrain bread (4 slices) → Vanilla protein powder (4 scoops) → Whole wheat tortillas (4) PREP AHEAD → Store leftover brewed coffee or make cold-brew coffee and store in the refrigerator for the Pumpkin Spice Latte Protein Smoothie. → Make Spiced Nut Clusters and store in an airtight container. → Prepare the Creamy Chicken and Chickpea Stew and Low-Carb Turkey Chili and freeze until ready to use, optional. → Wait to assemble the Turkey Pesto Pinwheels until the night before or morning of. → Freeze three out of the four portions of the Chicken Enchilada Soup, so they don’t go to waste. → Preslice or chop all vegetables for recipes and snacks for the week ahead, optional. → Portion out two 6-ounce servings of cottage cheese and shredded coconut in small jars or storage containers; store in the refrigerator until ready to use.

WEEK 3 Hopefully by now, carb cycling has started to feel more intuitive.

This week, expect to feel stronger and more efficient during your workouts, which means more fat-burning potential. Now’s not the time to get comfortable—keep on going! BREAKFASTSNACK

LUNCH

SNACK

DINNER

WORKOUT

Chocolate 2 hardRoast Leftover Leftover Peanut boiled eggs Beef Spiced Nut Lowanytime MONDAY Butter and 1 ounce and Clusters Carb Turkey LOW-CARB Breakfast of cheese Swiss Smoothie Cheese Chili Wraps Leftover PB & J TUESDAY Protein HIGH-CARB Oats

Leftover Chocolate Chip Granola Bars

HighCarb Bento Box

3 cups air- Sweet Strength popped Teriyaki popcorn Salmon anytime

Leftover 2 hardLeftover Leftover Leftover Chocolate boiled eggs Roast Spiced Nut Lowanytime WEDNESDAY Peanut with 1 Beef and Clusters Carb ounce Swiss Turkey LOW-CARB Butter Breakfast cheese Cheese Chili Smoothie Wraps Apple Pie 3 cups air- Leftover Leftover FREE Strength Overnight popped High- Chocolate MEAL! Oats popcorn Carb Chip or THURSDAY Bento Granola Leftover HIGH-CARB Box Bars Sweet anytime Teriyaki Salmon

FRIDAY

Vegetable 2 SunLeftover Leftover Frittata tablespoons Dried Spiced Nut Lowanytime peanut Tomato, Clusters Carb butter with Broccoli, Turkey

LOW-CARB

sliced celery

Leftover Apple Pie Overnight Oats SATURDAY HIGH-CARB

Leftover Vegetable Frittata SUNDAY LOW-CARB

SHOPPING LIST PRODUCE → Apples (3) → Asparagus (⅔ pound) → Bell peppers (2) → Broccoli (1 bunch) → Carrots (2) → Celery (2 stalks)

and Chicken Caesar Salad

Golden Bagel Hummus Date TLT with and Lox Smoothie Avocado Toast

Chili

FREE Strength MEAL! or Leftover frozen anytime Creamy Chicken and Chickpea Stew

¼ cup Leftover Raspberry, Leftover Rest day! storeSun- Blackberry, Chicken bought Dried and Enchilada mixed nuts Tomato, Coconut Soup Broccoli, Smoothie and Chicken Caesar Salad

→ Cherry tomatoes (8) → Cucumber (1) → Mushrooms (8) → Onions (2) → Red onion (1) → Romaine lettuce (2 heads) → Spinach, baby (3 cups) → Tomato (2) DAIRY AND EGGS → Cheese, cheddar, or your choice (2 ounces) → Cheese, Mexican blend, low-fat, shredded (1 cup) → Eggs, large (12) → Greek yogurt, plain nonfat (2⅓ cups) → Nonfat milk (2¼ cups) → Parmesan cheese, shaved (2 ounces) → Swiss cheese (2 slices) MEAT AND SEAFOOD → Chicken, breast, boneless, skinless (1½ pounds) → Roast beef (8 slices) → Salmon, 2 (3-ounce) fillets → Salmon, smoked or canned (4 ounces) → Turkey breast, smoked (8 ounces) FROZEN → Banana (1) → Blackberries (¼ cup) → Raspberries (¼ cup) → Spinach (2 cups) HERBS AND SPICES

→ Allspice, ground (⅛ teaspoon) → Black pepper, freshly ground (¾ teaspoon) → Cinnamon, ground (1¼ teaspoons) → Everything bagel seasoning (2 teaspoons) → Garlic powder (1¼ teaspoons) → Ginger, ground (¼ teaspoon) → Onion powder (1 teaspoon) → Salt (½ teaspoon) PANTRY → Bourbon → Brown sugar, light → Caesar dressing, light → Chicken broth, low-sodium → Cocoa powder, unsweetened → Coconut water, unsweetened → Dates, pitted → Dijon mustard → Horseradish (optional) → Hummus → Lemon juice → Maple syrup → Nuts, mixed → Oat bran and/or rolled oats → Olive oil → Olive oil mayonnaise → Peanut butter → Pineapple, chunks, canned in their own juice → Red enchilada sauce, 1 (10-ounce) can → Sesame oil → Soy sauce, low-sodium → Sun-dried tomatoes (jarred) → Tomatoes, crushed, 1 (14½-ounce) can

OTHER → Bagel of choice (2) → Multigrain bread (4 slices) → Pita pockets or naan bread, mini → Popcorn kernels or air-popped popcorn → Protein powder, vanilla, peanut butter, or chocolate (6 scoops) → Tortillas, whole wheat (2) PREP AHEAD → Make 6 hard-boiled eggs and 6 cups air-popped popcorn for snacks during the week; prepare two 3-cup resealable-bag portions of the popcorn and store in the pantry. Store eggs in the refrigerator and peel in advance if desired. → Prepare elements of the High-Carb Bento Box and store separately in the refrigerator. Wait until the night before or morning of to make the egg salad and assemble the bento box. → Wait to assemble the Roast Beef and Swiss Cheese Wrap until the night before or morning of. → Cook 8 ounces of chicken breast for the Sun-Dried Tomato, Broccoli, and Chicken Caesar Salad in advance; store in the freezer until ready to use. Remove from the freezer the night before and place in the refrigerator to defrost before assembling the salad. Wait to assemble the salad until ready to use. → Make 2 (single-serving) smoothie pouches for the Raspberry, Blackberry, and Coconut Smoothie; store in the freezer until ready to use. → Portion out ¼ cup store-bought mixed nuts and put in a resealable plastic bag until ready to use. → Wait until the night before to prep the Apple Pie Overnight Oats and store, covered, in the refrigerator. → Remove a portion of Chicken Enchilada Soup from the freezer the night before. → Preslice or chop all vegetables for recipes and snacks for the

week ahead (optional).

PART TWO: CARB CYCLING RECIPES

Fluffy French Toast with Ricotta and Raspberries

CHAPTER THREE

BREAKFAST Blueberry Baked Oatmeal Banana Nut Muffins Apple Pie Overnight Oats PB & J Protein Oats Fluffy French Toast with Ricotta and Raspberries Potato and Bell Pepper Skillet Mango Coconut Yogurt Bowl Spinach and Feta Omelet Egg and Veggie Muffins Chocolate Peanut Butter Breakfast Smoothie Shakshuka Vegetable Frittata

BLUEBERRY BAKED OATMEAL  HIGH-CARB  SERVES 6  PREP TIME: 10 MINUTES COOK TIME: 28 MINUTES

Hearty oats paired with sweet blueberries and tart, plain Greek yogurt make this wholesome baked oatmeal recipe a high-carb breakfast of champions. Bake up a batch of this and have it for breakfast after rigorous morning exercise to keep you full all morning long. If you can’t find fresh blueberries, frozen ones work well. Nonstick cooking spray 2 cups rolled oats 2 tablespoons honey 2 teaspoons baking powder ¼ teaspoon salt 1½ cups plain nonfat Greek yogurt ½ cup nonfat milk 2 large eggs 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries, divided

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper and lightly spray with nonstick cooking spray. 2. In a large bowl, combine the oats, honey, baking powder, and salt. 3. In a medium bowl, stir together the Greek yogurt, milk, eggs, and vanilla. 4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and stir with a spatula to combine. Fold in three-quarters of the blueberries. 5. Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan and sprinkle with the remaining blueberries. 6. Bake 25 to 28 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Allow the oats to cool in the pan before using the liner to transfer it to a wire rack to cool completely; cut into 6 squares. 7. Refrigerate in an airtight container for 4 to 5 days. TIP: To make this recipe dairy-free, use 2 cups of nondairy milk in place of the yogurt and milk. PER SERVING (1 SQUARE): Calories 293; Carbohydrates: 50g; Fiber: 6g;

Protein: 13g; Fat: 2g

BANANA NUT MUFFINS  HIGH-CARB  SERVES 12  PREP TIME: 10 MINUTES  COOK TIME: 18 MINUTES

Cake flour, mashed banana, and Greek yogurt make these beauties sweet and moist, a winning combination for any muffin recipe. Nonstick cooking spray (optional) 1¾ cups cake flour or all-purpose flour ½ teaspoon baking soda 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature ¼ cup coconut sugar 2 large eggs ½ tablespoon vanilla extract 1¼ cups low-fat plain Greek yogurt 2 medium overripe bananas, mashed ¼ cup chopped walnuts

1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a muffin tin with silicone muffin liners or spray with nonstick cooking spray. 2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and baking soda. 3. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar with an electric hand mixer on the medium setting for about 2 minutes, or whisk vigorously by hand. 4. In a small bowl, whisk the eggs and vanilla until blended, then beat into the butter mixture on low speed. 5. Add the Greek yogurt, mashed banana, and flour mixture and beat on low for about 1 minute, or whisk vigorously by hand. 6. Gently fold the chopped walnuts into the batter. Spoon the batter into the muffin tins. 7. Bake for 16 to 18 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan 2 minutes before transferring to a wire

rack to cool completely. 8. Refrigerate in a sealed container for 2 to 3 days or freeze for up to 30 days. TIP: Allow the butter to sit at room temperature for 2 hours before baking. PER SERVING (1 MUFFIN): Calories: 195; Carbohydrates: 31g; Fiber: 1g;

Protein: 5g; Fat: 6g

APPLE PIE OVERNIGHT OATS  HIGH-CARB  SERVES 2  PREP TIME: 10 MINUTES, PLUS SOAKING OVERNIGHT

These oats are made overnight, so all you need to do is grab-and-go to start your morning. The secret to making this recipe as sweet as apple pie is the combination of crunchy apples, maple syrup, and warm spices. Busy mornings are no match for this easy recipe—it will keep you full and satisfied for hours. 1½ cups rolled oats 1 scoop vanilla whey protein powder 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg ¼ teaspoon ground ginger ¼ teaspoon salt ⅛ teaspoon allspice ⅔ cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt ¼ cup nonfat milk 2 teaspoons maple syrup ½ apple, diced

1. Divide the oats, protein powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, salt, and allspice evenly between two single-serve containers, like a resealable bowl or mason jar. Stir with a spoon to combine. 2. Divide the Greek yogurt, milk, and maple syrup between the two containers. Stir well to combine. 3. Fold in half of the diced apple to each container, cover, and store in the refrigerator overnight. TIP: You’ll need two small single-serve containers with lids for this recipe. For best results, prep this recipe the night before so that the oats have plenty of time to absorb the liquid and fluff up. In the

morning, stir to assess the consistency and adjust if necessary. If you prefer thinner oats, simply add more liquid. If you prefer them warm, heat up the oatmeal in the microwave for 90 seconds. PER SERVING (1 CUP): Calories: 377; Carbohydrates: 61g; Fiber: 8g;

Protein: 25g; Fat: 1g

PB & J PROTEIN OATS  HIGH-CARB  SERVES 2  PREP TIME: 10 MINUTES COOK TIME: 90 SECONDS

Mixing the oats, protein powder, peanut butter, and strawberry preserves gives you a high-carb, high-protein breakfast that tastes more like a dessert. It’s everything you need in one bowl to wake up your metabolism, start the morning right, and help fuel your day. 1 cup oat bran or rolled oatmeal 2 scoops vanilla or peanut butter–flavored whey protein powder ¼ teaspoon salt ½ cup nonfat milk 2 tablespoons all-fruit no-sugar-added strawberry preserves 2 tablespoons peanut butter

1. Combine the oat bran, protein powder, and salt in a small microwaveable bowl. 2. Stir in the milk until well combined. 3. Microwave on high for 90 seconds. Stir, and microwave an additional 15 seconds, if needed. 4. Top with strawberry fruit preserves and peanut butter and serve. TIP: Feel free to swap the fruit preserves or peanut butter for your favorite similar alternative in the same portion size. PER SERVING (¾ CUP): Calories: 354; Carbohydrates: 54g; Fiber: 8g;

Protein: 31g; Fat: 12g

FLUFFY FRENCH TOAST WITH RICOTTA AND RASPBERRIES  HIGH-CARB  SERVES 2  PREP TIME: 10 MINUTES, PLUS 4 MINUTES SOAKING TIME COOK TIME: 8 MINUTES

With fresh raspberries and creamy ricotta cheese generously loaded on top of two hearty slices of wheat bread—you simply cannot go wrong. A drizzle of honey or maple syrup completes this perfect high-carb meal. 4 egg whites, lightly whisked 2 tablespoons nonfat milk ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon ¼ teaspoon salt 4 slices wheat bread Nonstick cooking spray ½ cup low-fat ricotta cheese 2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup ½ cup fresh raspberries

1. In a small bowl, whisk the egg whites, milk, cinnamon, and salt. Pour the mixture into a 9-inch square shallow baking pan. 2. Set the pieces of bread into the egg mixture to soak for 4 minutes, turning halfway through. 3. Heat a medium skillet over medium heat and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Once warm, add half of the bread and pour in half the remaining egg mixture over the top. Cook about 1 to 2 minutes per side until golden. Repeat with the remaining bread and egg. 4. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the ricotta cheese with honey. 5. Plate the French toast and top with the ricotta cheese mixture

and fresh raspberries. 6. Refrigerate the cooked French toast, ricotta cheese mixture, and berries separately for up to 3 days. Reheat the French toast in the microwave at 30-second intervals until warmed through. TIP: Top with fresh or frozen blueberries for more variety. PER SERVING (2 SLICES): Calories: 368; Carbohydrates: 53g; Fiber: 6g;

Protein: 23g; Fat: 8g

POTATO AND BELL PEPPER SKILLET  HIGH-CARB  SERVES 3  PREP TIME: 10 MINUTES COOK TIME: 15 MINUTES

This diner-worthy skillet recipe is so delicious it will transport you to one right in your own kitchen. Potatoes, onions, bell peppers, and eggs come together to make up this hearty breakfast all in one pan! Try making a double batch and store it in the freezer for use later in the month. 1 tablespoon olive oil ¾ pound Yukon Gold potatoes, quartered 1 small red bell pepper, seeded and chopped 1 small onion, diced ¾ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper ¾ teaspoon smoked paprika ⅓ teaspoon salt ⅓ teaspoon garlic powder ⅓ teaspoon onion powder 3 tablespoons water (optional) 6 large eggs ¾ tablespoon nonfat milk

1. In a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil. Add the potatoes, cover, and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, or until potatoes begin to brown and soften. 2. Add the bell pepper and onion, pepper, paprika, salt, garlic powder, and onion powder. Cover and cook an additional 8 to 10 minutes, or until potatoes are tender and vegetables are soft. Use water to deglaze the skillet, if needed. 3. In a large bowl, lightly beat the eggs with the milk. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. 4. Pour the eggs over the potato mixture. Cook, stirring

occasionally, until the eggs are cooked through, 3 to 5 minutes. 5. Refrigerate any leftovers in a sealed container for up to 5 days. TIP: Be sure to cut the potatoes and vegetables in uniform size, so they cook evenly. PER SERVING (10 OUNCES OR ABOUT 1¼ CUPS): Calories: 285;

Carbohydrates: 26g; Fiber: 3g; Protein: 16g; Fat: 13g

MANGO COCONUT YOGURT BOWL  LOW-CARB  SERVES 2  PREP TIME: 5 MINUTES

This refreshing yogurt bowl has so much natural sweetness you won’t miss the carbs. It’s layered with high-protein, low-fat Greek yogurt, creamy coconut milk, and tropical mango. Top it all off with shredded coconut to really take you away. 2 cups plain nonfat Greek yogurt ½ cup light coconut milk 1 cup diced mango, fresh or frozen ¼ cup unsweetened shredded coconut

In a small bowl, mix the yogurt and coconut milk until blended. Top with mango and shredded coconut before serving. TIP: If using frozen mango, allow it to defrost in the refrigerator overnight, or heat in the microwave for 15 to 30 seconds. TIP: The medium-size container of Greek yogurt at the supermarket is generally 17.6 ounces or 2 cups. You can purchase one and eliminate the need to measure this ingredient! PER SERVING (1 BOWL): Calories: 287; Carbohydrates: 24g; Fiber: 2g;

Protein: 27g; Fat: 10g

SPINACH AND FETA OMELET  LOW-CARB  SERVES 2  PREP TIME: 10 MINUTES COOK TIME: 7 MINUTES

The perfect omelet starts with a base of fluffy eggs complemented by a flavorful blend of fresh and healthy fillings. This spinach and feta version is just that—a nutritious low-carb breakfast amplified by a pop of feta cheese in every bite. Feel free to have this omelet on a high-carb day—simply serve it alongside two slices of multigrain toast or a fruit smoothie. 3 large eggs 3 large egg whites 2 tablespoons nonfat milk ¼ teaspoon salt ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 4 cups baby spinach 1 tablespoon butter ½ cup crumbled feta cheese

1. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg whites, milk, salt, and pepper. 2. Heat a medium nonstick skillet over medium heat, add the spinach and sauté until wilted, about 1 to 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. Transfer to a plate and set aside. 3. Place the skillet back on medium heat and melt the butter. Once melted, pour in the egg mixture and cook for about 1 minute. 4. Sprinkle the eggs with the wilted spinach and feta cheese. 5. Fold the omelet over, if desired, and continue to cook until heated through. TIP: Use 8 ounces of frozen spinach instead; just omit the second

step. Make sure you squeeze the thawed spinach out well before using it. PER SERVING (½ OMELET): Calories 410; Carbohydrates: 7g; Fiber: 2g;

Protein: 26g; Fat: 31g

EGG AND VEGGIE MUFFINS  LOW-CARB  SERVES 2  PREP TIME: 10 MINUTES COOK TIME: 24 MINUTES

Egg muffins are an easy, grab-and-go breakfast option for any kind of morning, especially busy ones. Personalize them with your favorite mix-ins like fresh vegetables, crumbled or shredded cheese, lean turkey, and your favorite seasoning. Make a double batch in advance and eat them all week. Nonstick cooking spray (optional) 12 large eggs 2 tablespoons nonfat milk ¼ teaspoon salt ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper ¼ cup shredded cheddar, pepper Jack, or Swiss 1 cup diced fresh vegetables of choice

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with silicone muffin liners or spray with nonstick cooking spray. 2. In a large bowl, beat the eggs, milk, salt, and pepper with a whisk. Stir in the cheese. 3. Add a bit of your chosen vegetables to each muffin cup. Then pour the egg mixture over the top of each until full. You will have enough to fill each slot. 4. Bake 20 to 24 minutes until eggs are just set and a toothpick comes out clean. It’s normal for the eggs to look slightly wet when you pull them out of the oven, they will firm up as they cool. 5. Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 4 days or portion into sealed plastic bags and freeze for up to 1 month. Take out the muffins the day before and thaw them in the refrigerator overnight.

TIP: Try using your favorite frozen precut vegetable blend instead of fresh for an even faster prepping time. PER SERVING (3 MUFFINS): Calories: 253; Carbohydrates: 2g; Fiber: 0g;

Protein: 21g; Fat: 17g

CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER BREAKFAST SMOOTHIE  LOW-CARB  SERVES 2  PREP TIME: 5 MINUTES

Breakfast smoothies are a great way to pack nutrients into one meal. And this one doesn’t disappoint with 32 grams of protein, 12 grams of healthy fats, and the winning flavor combination of chocolate and peanut butter to get your morning started off on the right foot. Whip up this recipe in only 5 minutes, and you’re out the door. ⅔ cup nonfat milk 2 scoops vanilla, peanut butter, or chocolate whey protein powder 2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder 1 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt 4 tablespoons peanut butter 2 cups frozen spinach Ice (optional)

Add the milk to the blender first, followed by the protein powder, cocoa powder, yogurt, peanut butter, and spinach. Blend until smooth. Add the ice (if using), and blend until desired consistency. TIP: Try freezing the Greek yogurt in an ice cube tray for a creamy frozen treat and omit the ice. PER SERVING (½ RECIPE): Calories: 349; Carbohydrates: 20g; Fiber: 3g;

Protein: 32g; Fat: 18g

SHAKSHUKA  LOW-CARB  SERVES 2  PREP TIME: 10 MINUTES COOK TIME: 20 MINUTES

This one-pot recipe is a traditional Middle Eastern dish. 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 small onion, diced ½ red bell pepper, seeded and diced ¼ teaspoon salt 1 tablespoon tomato paste 1 teaspoon minced garlic 1 teaspoon smoked paprika ½ teaspoon ground cumin ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 1 (14½-ounce) can crushed, fire-roasted tomatoes, undrained 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro 6 large eggs ¼ cup crumbled feta cheese 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. 2. In a medium oven-safe nonstick (or cast-iron) skillet over medium heat, heat the olive oil. Add the onion, bell pepper, and salt. Cook, stirring often, until the onion is soft and translucent, about 6 minutes. 3. Add the tomato paste, garlic, paprika, cumin, and black pepper and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 to 2 minutes. 4. Add the tomatoes and cilantro to the skillet. Stir while bringing to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low and cook an additional 5 minutes. 5. Remove from heat. Carefully make 6 small wells in the tomato mixture with the back of a spoon and crack an egg directly into each. Gently spoon a bit of the tomato mixture around to help

contain the egg. 6. Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake for 8 to 12 minutes. It’s done when the egg whites are opaque, and the yolks have risen but are still soft (they will continue to cook when you take them out). 7. Top with feta and parsley before serving. 8. Store leftovers in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days. PER SERVING (1 BOWL WITH 3 EGGS): Calories: 414; Carbohydrates: 30g;

Fiber: 9g; Protein: 20g; Fat: 22g

VEGETABLE FRITTATA  LOW-CARB  SERVES 2  PREP TIME: 10 MINUTES  COOK TIME: 20 MINUTES

A lighter and quicker version of the classic quiche, frittatas are an easy breakfast dish you can always count on. Literally, add whatever vegetables you have left in your refrigerator, or try the ones used in this recipe—either way, you can’t go wrong. Frittatas are the perfect addition to a weight-loss program because they’re packed with protein and fiber to keep you full and energized for hours. 6 large eggs 1 tablespoon nonfat milk ¼ teaspoon salt ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 1 tablespoon olive oil 2 cups baby spinach ½ small onion, diced ¼ cup sliced mushrooms 3 large asparagus spears, cut into bite-size pieces ¼ cup halved cherry tomatoes

1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. 2. In a medium bowl, lightly beat the eggs, milk, salt, and pepper with a whisk. 3. Heat the oil in a small oven-safe nonstick (or cast-iron) skillet over medium heat. Add the spinach, onion, mushrooms, and asparagus and sauté until soft, about 3 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently. 4. Carefully pour the egg mixture over the sautéed vegetables. Season with more salt and pepper, if desired, and scatter the tomatoes over the egg.

5. Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake until the eggs are set in the center, 10 to 15 minutes. 6. Refrigerate the leftovers in a sealed container for 3 to 4 days or make ahead and freeze for up to 3 months. TIP: Got leftover vegetables from the week? Toss them into your frittata! It’s the perfect vessel to use up those leftovers and get a delicious and nutritious meal. PER SERVING (½ FRITTATA): Calories: 297; Carbohydrates: 7g; Fiber: 2g;

Protein: 21g; Fat: 22g

Low-Carb Bento Box

CHAPTER FOUR

LUNCH Turkey Burrito Bowl Tuna Salad Sandwich Chipotle Turkey and Hummus Wrap High-Carb Bento Box Bagel TLT with Avocado Summer Salmon Pasta Salad Loaded Protein Grain Bowl Chicken Avocado and Corn Salad in a Jar Chicken BLT Salad Low-Carb Bento Box Chicken Shawarma Salad Bowl Turkey Pesto Pinwheels Sun-Dried Tomato, Broccoli, and Chicken Caesar Salad Roast Beef and Swiss Cheese Wraps

TURKEY BURRITO BOWL  HIGH-CARB  SERVES 6  PREP TIME: 10 MINUTES  COOK TIME: 25 MINUTES

This high-carb recipe is loaded with essential nutrients and big on flavor. 2⅔ cups water 1⅓ cups white rice 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 small onion, diced 1 pound 99 percent lean ground turkey 1 teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 1 teaspoon ground cumin ½ teaspoon garlic powder ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika 1 (14½-ounce) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed 4 cups cooked white rice 1 cup shredded Mexican blend cheese 1 cup shredded lettuce 1 small tomato, diced 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

1. Add 2⅔ cups water to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Stir in the rice and a pinch of salt. When the mixture is boiling, cover, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 17 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the rice sit 3 minutes before fluffing with a fork and serving. 2. While the rice is cooking, in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, heat the olive oil. Add the onion and sauté until the onion begins to soften, about 3 minutes. 3. Add the turkey and break it up with a wooden spoon or spatula.

Add the salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the turkey is cooked through and no longer pink, about 10 minutes. 4. Add the cumin, garlic powder, and paprika. Stir constantly for 1 minute while it cooks. 5. Add the tomatoes and black beans. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, and let simmer for 15 to 20 minutes to thicken. 6. Remove the turkey mixture from the heat and assemble four plates. Serve about ¾ cup of the turkey on top of ⅔ cup white rice, and about 2 tablespoons each of the shredded lettuce, cheese, diced tomato, and cilantro. 7. Refrigerate the leftovers in sealed containers separately (until ready to serve) for up to 4 days. PER SERVING (1 BOWL, ABOUT 14 OUNCES): Calories: 401; Carbohydrates:

46g; Fiber: 5g; Protein: 29g; Fat: 10g

TUNA SALAD SANDWICH  HIGH-CARB  SERVES 2 PREP TIME: 5 MINUTES COOK TIME: 5 MINUTES

Sometimes you must bring back a classic dish—like tuna salad—to remember how nutritious and satisfying simple food truly is. This recipe is chock-full of lean protein, crunchy vegetables, and tangy relish. Stuff it between two slices of hearty whole-grain bread, and you have a winner. Lunch is served! 2 (4-ounce) cans solid white tuna in water, drained 2 tablespoons olive oil mayonnaise 1 tablespoon relish (optional) 1 tablespoon chopped red onion 1 tablespoon chopped celery 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice Salt, for seasoning Freshly ground black pepper, for seasoning 4 slices bread (7-grain bread or wheat bread), toasted (if desired)

1. In a medium bowl, combine the tuna, mayonnaise, relish (if using), onion, celery, and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper. 2. Scoop half of the tuna mixture between two pieces of bread. Repeat with the remaining filling and bread. 3. Refrigerate the leftovers in a sealed container for up to 4 days. TIP: Store the tuna salad separately to prevent the bread from becoming soggy. PER SERVING (1 SANDWICH): Calories: 374; Carbohydrates: 31g; Fiber: 4g;

Protein: 35g; Fat: 12g

CHIPOTLE TURKEY AND HUMMUS WRAP  HIGH-CARB  SERVES 2 PREP TIME: 5 MINUTES

Warm up your senses with this tasty wrap that contains a lovely smoky flavor without intense spicy heat. The easy homemade Southwestern mayonnaise combined with a spread of creamy hummus makes a regular wrap into something out of this world. ⅓ cup olive oil mayonnaise 1 chipotle chile in adobo sauce (from the can), chopped, plus 1 teaspoon of sauce 2 whole wheat tortilla wraps ½ cup hummus 8 ounces sliced smoked turkey ½ cup shredded lettuce 1 small tomato, diced

1. In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, chipotle chile, and adobo sauce with a spoon. 2. Spread the mayonnaise mixture evenly on tortillas, followed by the hummus. Divide the turkey, lettuce, and tomato between the tortillas. 3. Fold the bottom of each tortilla over the filling. Then fold each side in. Roll the tortilla up, forming a sealed cylinder. Cut the wrap in half before serving. 4. Refrigerate in an airtight container assembled overnight, or unassembled parts for 4 days. TIP: Classic hummus is delicious, but feel free to use whatever flavor you’d like! Or jazz up the classic version with a sprinkle of everything bagel seasoning, cayenne pepper, or smoked paprika.

PER SERVING (1 WRAP): Calories: 499; Carbohydrates: 33g; Fiber: 7g;

Protein: 31g; Fat: 25g

HIGH-CARB BENTO BOX  HIGH-CARB  SERVES 2 PREP TIME: 10 MINUTES

Bento box lunches are a convenient way to pack a nutritious and portable lunch that satisfies your taste buds and doesn’t need to be heated up. With a healthy balance of ingredients, this high-carb lunch will keep you full for hours and energized until your next meal. 2 large hard-boiled eggs, peeled and diced 2 tablespoons olive oil mayonnaise Salt, for seasoning Freshly ground black pepper, for seasoning 8 mini pita pockets or mini naan bread ¼ cup nut butter of choice 2 small apples, cored and sliced ¼ cup sliced carrot ¼ cup sliced celery ¼ cup sliced bell pepper ¼ cup sliced cucumber ¼ cup hummus

1. In a small bowl, combine the eggs and mayonnaise and season with salt and pepper to taste. 2. Arrange the remaining ingredients in a bento box or preportioned container. 3. Store in the refrigerator for up to 4 days until ready to serve. TIP: To hard-boil eggs, place 10 to 12 eggs in a large pot. Fill the pot with water until the eggs are just covered. Bring the pot to a boil over high heat. Once the water reaches a rolling boil, reduce heat to low and cover the pot. Set a timer for 10 minutes. At the 10-

minute mark, drain the pot and immerse the eggs in an ice bath until cool. PER SERVING (1 BENTO BOX): Calories: 616; Carbohydrates: 54g; Fiber:

8g; Protein: 18g; Fat: 39g

BAGEL TLT WITH AVOCADO  HIGH-CARB  SERVES 2 PREP TIME: 10 MINUTES COOK TIME: 2 MINUTES

Did you know bagels can be a part of a weight-loss program? That’s right—you get to eat bagels and lose weight, too. This variation on a classic BLT slashes the saturated fat and calories by replacing bacon with smoked turkey. The Dijon mustard adds a tang, and the lettuce and tomato add a satisfying crunch. 2 bagels of choice, halved ¼ cup Dijon mustard 8 ounces sliced smoked turkey 4 romaine lettuce leaves 4 tomato slices ½ avocado, thinly sliced

Lightly toast the bagel halves, if desired. Spread Dijon mustard evenly on one side. Arrange the turkey on the bottom half, followed by the lettuce, tomato, and avocado. Finish with the top half. TIP: There’s no need to scoop out the bagel—you can still lose weight—just try to make sure you’re eating them on high-carb days. PER SERVING (1 SANDWICH): Calories: 420; Carbohydrates: 53g; Fiber: 7g;

Protein: 33g; Fat: 6g

SUMMER SALMON PASTA SALAD  HIGH-CARB  SERVES 2 PREP TIME: 10 MINUTES COOK TIME: 12 MINUTES

This recipe boosts the protein content of your typical summertime pasta salad by using convenient canned salmon. Ready in just about 20 minutes, this recipe will satisfy hunger in a flash. 4 ounces dry elbow macaroni, penne, or rotini pasta 1 cup frozen green peas 1 (6-ounce) can water-packed salmon, drained ½ English cucumber, diced ½ cup quartered cherry tomatoes ¼ cup diced red onion 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice ¾ teaspoon chopped fresh dill ½ teaspoon minced garlic ½ teaspoon salt ⅛ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1. Heat a large pot of water over high heat. Once boiling, add the pasta and stir with a spoon. Continue to cook the noodles according to the package instructions. Drain. 2. Place the warm noodles in a large bowl. Mix in the peas. The heat from the noodles will help bring the frozen peas to room temperature. 3. Toss in the salmon, cucumber, tomatoes, and onion. 4. In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, lemon juice, dill, garlic, salt, and pepper. Pour the dressing over the pasta and salmon. Toss gently to combine. Serve cold. 5. Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 4 days.

TIP: Cut the vegetables, drain the salmon, and prepare the dressing while the pasta is cooking to save time. PER SERVING (13 OUNCES/ABOUT 1½ CUPS): Calories: 536; Carbohydrates:

58g; Fiber: 7g; Protein: 30g; Fat: 20g

LOADED PROTEIN GRAIN BOWL  HIGH-CARB  SERVES 2 PREP TIME: 5 MINUTES COOK TIME: 15 MINUTES

This hearty grain bowl is everything lunch prep dreams are made of. Not only is it high in lean protein from grilled chicken, but it’s also an excellent source of dietary fiber. You will keep full and satisfied for hours. Save even more time by making batches of grains like quinoa or brown rice to have with meals all week. 2 cups water 1 cup quinoa, rinsed 4 ounces diced grilled chicken 2 cups chopped kale ½ cup diced cucumber ½ cup canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed ¼ cup diced red onion 2 small radishes, thinly sliced 2 teaspoons sesame seeds ¼ cup tahini ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice ¼ teaspoon garlic powder ¼ teaspoon salt ⅛ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1. Combine the water and quinoa in a large saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed. Fluff with a fork before serving. 2. Arrange the quinoa, chicken, kale, cucumber, chickpeas, onion, and radishes in a large bowl. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. 3. In a small bowl, whisk together the tahini, lemon juice, garlic powder, and salt. Drizzle the sauce over the grain bowl. Season with salt and pepper.

4. Refrigerate the components separately in sealed containers for 3 to 4 days. Assemble before serving. TIP: Try making your own bowl variations by following this ratio: ½ cup protein, 1 cup cooked grains, and 1 to 2 cups vegetables. Prep the ingredients in advance, so it’s easy to assemble the bowl before serving or packing lunch for a long day. TIP: Add flavor to the quinoa without extra calories by cooking it in chicken or vegetable broth instead of water. PER SERVING (1 BOWL/15 OUNCES): Calories: 513; Carbohydrates: 56g;

Fiber: 13g; Protein: 31g; Fat: 21g

CHICKEN AVOCADO AND CORN SALAD IN A JAR  LOW-CARB  SERVES 2 PREP TIME: 10 MINUTES

This gorgeous salad in a jar tastes just as good as it looks! The layers of fresh vegetables and diced chicken make it colorful and full of flavor but with minimal carbs. ½ avocado, diced, plus ¼ cup mashed avocado (for dressing) 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice 2 tablespoons olive oil 2 tablespoons water ½ teaspoon minced garlic ½ teaspoon salt 6 ounces leftover or store-bought cooked chicken breast, diced 1 green bell pepper, chopped 2 cups chopped romaine lettuce 1 cup canned or fresh corn 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes

1. In a blender, process the ¼ cup mashed avocado, lime juice, olive oil, water, garlic, and salt until smooth. Add more water if a thinner consistency is desired. 2. Layer the ingredients in two 32-ounce wide-mouth jars starting with the dressing on the bottom, followed by the grilled chicken breast, avocado, bell pepper, lettuce, corn, and cherry tomatoes. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve, up to 3 days. TIP: Mix in the dressing right before serving to avoid wilting the lettuce. PER SERVING (1 JAR): Calories: 442; Carbohydrates: 30g; Fiber: 9g;

Protein: 25g; Fat: 27g

CHICKEN BLT SALAD  LOW-CARB  SERVES 2 PREP TIME: 10 MINUTES

Enjoy the mouthwatering flavors of a classic BLT sandwich minus the carbs with this refreshing salad-based version. It’s also packed with protein, making it ideal for a weight-loss meal plan. Staying true to the signature sandwich, this salad doesn’t skimp on the bacon. Just toss the ingredients together, and you’re set! 2 tablespoons barbecue sauce 2 tablespoons olive oil mayonnaise 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice Salt, for seasoning Freshly ground black pepper, for seasoning 2 cups chopped romaine lettuce 2 cups chopped kale or spinach 2 hard-boiled eggs, sliced (see here) ½ cup halved cherry tomatoes 6 ounces grilled chicken breast 4 turkey bacon strips, cooked and crumbled 2 tablespoons diced red onion

1. In a small bowl, whisk together the barbecue sauce, mayonnaise, and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper. 2. In a large bowl, add the lettuce, kale, eggs, tomatoes, chicken, turkey bacon, and onion. Drizzle with the prepared dressing and toss to combine. 3. Refrigerate in an airtight container until ready to serve, or up to 2 days. TIP: Any flavor of barbecue sauce will do for the dressing. Be sure to read labels; look for single-digit sugar grams whenever

possible. PER SERVING (1½ CUPS): Calories: 355; Carbohydrates: 15g; Fiber: 2g;

Protein: 32g; Fat: 18g

LOW-CARB BENTO BOX  LOW-CARB  SERVES 2 PREP TIME: 15 MINUTES

The homemade smashed guacamole is the star of this low-carb bento box. The crunchy vegetables in the dish serve as a vessel for the dip and the scoop of peanut butter. And to balance it all out, a serving of lean protein rounds out the lineup. 1 avocado 2 tablespoons salsa ½ teaspoon hot sauce (optional) ½ teaspoon freshly squeezed lime juice ½ teaspoon salt 1 cucumber, diced ½ cup halved cherry tomatoes 2 tablespoons diced red onion 2 teaspoons olive oil 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice Salt, for seasoning Freshly ground black pepper, for seasoning 2 cups sliced fresh vegetables (carrots, bell peppers, celery, cucumbers, snap peas) 4 ounces diced grilled chicken breast 2 tablespoons peanut butter

1. In a small bowl, mash the avocado with a fork. Stir in the salsa, hot sauce (if using), lime juice, and salt and set aside. 2. In a separate small bowl, toss together the cucumber, tomatoes, onion, olive oil, and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper. 3. Arrange the dressed salad, sliced fresh vegetables, chicken breast, peanut butter, and avocado mixture in two bento boxes or preportioned containers. 4. Refrigerate in an airtight container for 3 to 4 days.

TIP: Don’t be afraid to use fruit in your low-carb bento—it’s amazing what a few slices of kiwi or handful of berries can do visually and for the flavor profile of the meal. PER SERVING (1 BENTO BOX): Calories: 379; Carbohydrates: 23g; Fiber: 9g;

Protein: 20g; Fat: 26g

CHICKEN SHAWARMA SALAD BOWL  LOW-CARB  SERVES 2 PREP TIME: 10 MINUTES, PLUS 30 MINUTES TO MARINATE   COOK TIME: 30 MINUTES

The secret to making slow-roasted chicken shawarma in only 30 minutes is the spice blend. Savory spices meld together to give you the juiciest homemade version you’ll ever have. Finish this nutritious dish with your favorite tzatziki or tahini sauce and some kalamata olives. For the chicken ¾ teaspoon ground cumin ¾ teaspoon smoked paprika ¾ teaspoon ground black pepper ½ teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon turmeric ½ teaspoon garlic powder or 2 teaspoons minced garlic ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper 2 tablespoons olive oil Juice of ½ lemon 1 small red onion, peeled and quartered ½ pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut thinly into bite-size pieces

For the salad 2 tablespoons olive oil Juice of ½ lemon ½ teaspoon oregano Salt Freshly ground black pepper 2 cups chopped romaine lettuce 1 small red onion, diced ½ cucumber, diced ¼ cup halved cherry tomatoes Optional toppings: kalamata olives, tzatziki, and tahini

To make the chicken: 1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and set it aside. 2. In a small bowl, combine the cumin, paprika, black pepper, salt, turmeric, garlic powder, and cayenne. 3. In a large bowl, stir together the oil, lemon juice, and the onion. Add the spices and stir. 4. Add the chicken and toss well to combine. Allow it to marinate overnight in the refrigerator or for at least 30 minutes before cooking. 5. Spread the marinated chicken and onion on the baking sheet in an even layer. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and golden brown. To make the salad: 6. In a small bowl, combine the oil, lemon juice and oregano, and season with salt and pepper. 7. In a large bowl, toss together the lettuce, onion, cucumber, tomatoes, and dressing. Top with warm chicken and toppings (if using) just before serving. 8. Refrigerate the components separately in sealed containers for 3 to 4 days. Assemble just before serving. TIP: Allowing the chicken to marinate overnight will really enhance the flavor. PER SERVING (1 CUP): Calories: 481; Carbohydrates: 15g; Fiber: 4g;

Protein: 28g; Fat: 36g

TURKEY PESTO PINWHEELS  LOW-CARB  SERVES 2 PREP TIME: 10 MINUTES

An easy low-carb lunch option, these pinwheels are packed with lean protein and healthy fats to keep you full and satisfied for hours. The pesto cream cheese spread is what makes this meal so exciting—loads of flavor minus the guilt. Roll these up and take them to go. 2 tablespoons low-fat cream cheese 2 teaspoons store-bought pesto 2 whole wheat tortillas 2 slices provolone cheese 6 ounces sliced turkey breast 1 cup baby spinach leaves 4 tomato slices

1. In a small bowl, stir the cream cheese and pesto until combined. 2. Place the tortillas on a flat surface. Spread the pesto mixture across each with a spatula or spoon. 3. Layer the cheese on top, followed by the turkey, spinach, and tomato. Roll the tortillas up tightly, then cut into 1-inch slices. 4. Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 2 days. TIP: For easier slicing, chill the rolled-up wrap for at least 30 minutes before cutting. PER SERVING (1 WRAP OR ABOUT 7 PINWHEELS): Calories: 334;

Carbohydrates: 20g; Fiber: 8g; Protein: 32g; Fat: 17g

SUN-DRIED TOMATO, BROCCOLI, AND CHICKEN CAESAR SALAD  LOW-CARB  SERVES 2 PREP TIME: 10 MINUTES COOK TIME: 5 MINUTES

The traditional Caesar salad just got a makeover! While this favorite is often high in calories, this recipe is a lighter variation you can feel good about eating. The broccoli gives you an added crunch, while the sun-dried tomato provides a healthy sweetness you didn’t know you needed. 1 cup broccoli florets 4 cups chopped romaine lettuce 2 ounces shaved Parmesan cheese 8 ounces shredded or diced leftover or store-bought cooked chicken breast 6 oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, rinsed and sliced ¼ cup light Caesar dressing

1. Fill a large bowl of water with ice and set it aside. 2. Bring a small saucepan of water to boil over high heat. Add the broccoli florets and cook for 1 minute. Immediately drain the broccoli and transfer it to the ice water until it cools. Remove the florets from the water and pat dry with paper towels. This step is optional. 3. In a large bowl, toss the broccoli, lettuce, Parmesan, chicken, and sun-dried tomatoes. 4. Toss with dressing before serving. 5. Refrigerate in an airtight container for 3 to 4 days. TIP: Refrigerate the sun-dried tomatoes for easier slicing. You can also use grated Parmesan cheese instead.

PER SERVING (1⅓ CUPS): Calories: 257; Carbohydrates: 15g; Fiber: 4g;

Protein: 33g; Fat: 8g

ROAST BEEF AND SWISS CHEESE WRAPS  LOW-CARB  SERVES 2 PREP TIME: 10 MINUTES

Believe it or not, this classic sandwich combination is a wellbalanced meal that fits perfectly in a weight-loss nutrition program. The tangy Dijon mustard and spicy horseradish complement the roast beef and Swiss cheese to wake up your senses when you need it most—in the middle of the day! 2 whole wheat tortillas 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard 2 tablespoons horseradish (optional) 8 slices roast beef 2 slices Swiss cheese 1 cup baby spinach 4 tomato slices 4 thin slices red onion Freshly ground black pepper, for seasoning

1. Arrange the tortillas on a flat surface. Spread the Dijon mustard and horseradish (if using) on the tortillas. 2. Layer the roast beef, Swiss cheese, spinach, tomatoes, and onion across the tortillas. Season with pepper. Fold in the sides of the tortillas over the filling and roll them up tightly. 3. Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 2 days. TIP: To make a melted version, place the wraps in a panini press or on a skillet for a few minutes before serving. You can also sweeten up the onions by caramelizing them in a skillet first.

PER SERVING (1 WRAP): Calories: 338; Carbohydrates: 20g; Fiber: 8g;

Protein: 21g; Fat: 21g

Creamy Chicken and Chickpea Stew

CHAPTER FIVE

DINNER Creamy Chicken and Chickpea Stew Lemon Pasta with Shrimp, Spinach, and Tomato Skillet Chicken Fajitas Sweet Teriyaki Salmon Sheet Pan Chicken Souvlaki with Potatoes Korean BBQ Beef with Rice Beef Marinara with Spiralized Butternut Squash Italian Herb Chicken Meatballs with Spiralized Zucchini Sheet Pan Miso Salmon with Baby Bok Choy Zucchini Noodles with Beef Bolognese Turkey Taco Salad with Guacamole Low-Carb Turkey Chili Sheet Pan Chicken and Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Feta Chicken Enchilada Soup

CREAMY CHICKEN AND CHICKPEA STEW  HIGH-CARB  SERVES 6 PREP TIME: 10 MINUTES COOK TIME: 28 MINUTES

Tender pieces of chicken are simmered in a creamy coconut tomato sauce, with chunky cauliflower and nutritious chickpeas. This stew is rich and robust with warm spicy flavors. It will be your new favorite. 1½ cups water 1 cup brown rice Pinch salt Nonstick cooking spray 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch pieces 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained 1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes or fire-roasted tomatoes 1 head cauliflower, coarsely chopped 1 tablespoon garam masala 2 teaspoons minced garlic ½ teaspoon paprika ½ teaspoon ground coriander ¼ teaspoon ground ginger 1 cup light coconut milk, canned

1. Bring water to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Stir in the brown rice and a pinch of salt. When boiling again, cover, reduce the heat to low, and simmer undisturbed for 30 minutes. Remove the lid and fluff with a fork. 2. While the rice is cooking, spray a large stockpot or Dutch oven with nonstick cooking spray and heat over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and sauté until golden, about 6 minutes. 3. Stir in the chickpeas, tomatoes, cauliflower, garam masala, garlic,

paprika, coriander, and ginger. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, and simmer until thickened, about 10 to 15 minutes. 4. Stir in the coconut milk and simmer for 5 minutes. 5. Serve warm over brown rice. 6. Refrigerate in a sealed container for up to 4 days or portion and freeze for up to 1 month. TIP: Can’t find garam masala spice? Replace it with 2½ teaspoons ground cumin and ½ teaspoon ground allspice. PER SERVING (1 BOWL/16 OUNCES): Calories 366; Carbohydrates: 49g;

Fiber: 9g; Protein: 27g; Fat: 7g

LEMON PASTA WITH SHRIMP, SPINACH, AND TOMATO  HIGH-CARB  SERVES 4 PREP TIME: 5 MINUTES COOK TIME: 20 MINUTES

This one-pot seafood dish serves up a hefty dose of lean protein from the shrimp for muscle building and fat loss, vitamin C from tomatoes for a healthy immune system, and calcium from the spinach for strong bones. 8 ounces dry gemelli noodles or rotini, penne, or elbow pasta 1 tablespoon olive oil 2 teaspoons minced garlic 1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined Salt, for seasoning Freshly ground black pepper, for seasoning 1 (14½-ounce) can fire-roasted or diced tomatoes 2 cups baby spinach ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes Juice of ½ lemon ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook according to the package instructions. Drain and set aside. 2. In a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil. Add the garlic and sauté for about 30 seconds, until fragrant. Add the shrimp and cook, stirring occasionally, until the shrimp begin to turn pink but are not cooked through, about 1 to 2 minutes per side. Season with salt and pepper. 3. Add the tomatoes, spinach, and red pepper flakes. Stir to combine well. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes, or until the liquid in the pan has reduced a bit.

4. Add the cooked noodles to the skillet and toss to combine. Add the lemon juice and season with more salt and red pepper flakes, if desired. Top with grated Parmesan cheese (if using) before serving. 5. Refrigerate in a sealed container for up to 3 days. TIP: To cut time, use frozen cooked shrimp instead of fresh. Defrost overnight in the refrigerator. PER SERVING (1 BOWL WITH 5 TO 6 SHRIMP): Calories 437; Carbohydrates:

54g; Fiber: 6g; Protein: 35g; Fat: 8g

SKILLET CHICKEN FAJITAS  HIGH-CARB  SERVES 2 PREP TIME: 10 MINUTES COOK TIME: 15 MINUTES

One bite of these fajitas will take you back to your favorite Mexican restaurant. Because you can make this in under 30 minutes, it’s a great option for meal prep. Serve with warm tortillas or on a bed of rice and beans. ½ tablespoon olive oil ½ teaspoon minced garlic ½ pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips ½ teaspoon chili powder ¼ teaspoon onion powder ⅛ teaspoon paprika ⅛ teaspoon ground cumin ⅛ teaspoon salt 1 small onion, sliced 1 small red bell pepper, cut into strips 1 small orange or yellow bell pepper, cut into strips

1. In a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil. 2. Add the garlic and sauté for about 30 seconds until fragrant. Add the chicken and cook for about 6 minutes, until just cooked through and golden brown. Add the chili powder, onion powder, paprika, cumin, and salt. Stir to combine well. 3. Add the onion and bell peppers and sauté, stirring often, until the vegetables are soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. 4. Refrigerate leftovers in a sealed container for up to 4 days. TIP: Serve with two (8-inch) tortillas or 1 cup of white or brown rice. Add the juice of a lime wedge before serving and hot sauce as

desired. PER SERVING (2 FAJITAS): Calories 493; Carbohydrates: 58g; Fiber: 2g;

Protein: 36g; Fat: 13g

SWEET TERIYAKI SALMON  HIGH-CARB  SERVES 2 PREP TIME: 10 MINUTES COOK TIME: 15 MINUTES

Bourbon and pineapple take this foil packet dinner to the next level. Prep the packets ahead so they’re ready to toss in the oven whenever you are. ¼ cup canned pineapple chunks, plus ¼ cup of the juice 2 tablespoons water 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce 2 teaspoons light brown sugar 1 teaspoon bourbon ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper ¼ teaspoon garlic powder 1 tablespoon sesame oil 2 (3-ounce) salmon fillets ½ pound asparagus spears, ends trimmed

1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. 2. In a medium bowl, combine the pineapple juice, water, soy sauce, brown sugar, bourbon, pepper, and garlic powder. Stir well to dissolve the sugar. Add the oil and stir. 3. Tear off two 12-by-18-inch pieces of foil and layer to create a pouch. Repeat to create one more pouch. Divide the pineapple chunks equally and place them in the center of each foil. Place each salmon fillet on top of the pineapple chunks. Divide the asparagus equally and arrange next to the salmon on each piece of foil. 4. Fold up the edges of the foil to create a bowl. Pour the bourbon mixture evenly over each piece of salmon and asparagus. Close the foil packets tightly. Place each packet on a baking sheet to prevent any juices from leaking.

5. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until the fish is tender and flaky. 6. Serve with a side of white or brown rice. 7. Refrigerate leftovers in a sealed container for 3 to 4 days. TIP: If the fillet is on the thicker side, you may need to increase the cooking time, or decrease for a thinner fillet. PER SERVING (1 PACKET): Calories: 249; Carbohydrates: 15g; Fiber: 3g;

Protein: 23g; Fat: 11g

SHEET PAN CHICKEN SOUVLAKI WITH POTATOES  HIGH-CARB  SERVES 2 PREP TIME: 10 MINUTES COOK TIME: 25 MINUTES

This simple high-carb sheet pan recipe packs a ton of herbaceous flavor using simple pantry staples inspired by traditional Greek souvlaki. Juicy chicken and crispy potatoes infused with lemon, garlic, and oregano flavors are sure to get your mouth watering and satisfy cravings. 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 tablespoon dried oregano 1 teaspoon minced garlic 1 teaspoon salt, divided ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 8 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into ½-inch cubes 1 pound small red potatoes, halved

1. Arrange the rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with foil and set it aside. 2. Combine the lemon juice, olive oil, oregano, garlic, ½ teaspoon of salt, and black pepper in a small bowl. 3. In a large bowl or resealable plastic bag, add the chicken and the marinade and toss well to coat the chicken. Marinate for at least 30 minutes or overnight. 4. Arrange the chicken and potatoes on the baking sheet. Season the potatoes with the remaining salt. Roast in the oven for 15 minutes; then flip the chicken and potatoes. Return to the oven and roast another 10 minutes until the potatoes are fork-tender and the chicken is cooked through.

5. Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days. TIP: Aim to cut the potatoes and chicken in uniform pieces to ensure even cooking. PER SERVING (1½ CUPS): Calories: 366; Carbohydrates: 40g; Fiber: 5g;

Protein: 30g; Fat: 10g

KOREAN BBQ BEEF WITH RICE  HIGH-CARB  SERVES 4 PREP TIME: 5 MINUTES COOK TIME: 15 MINUTES

The beef in Korean barbeque is typically made with paper-thin slices of tender cuts and then grilled. Using ground beef instead achieves the same tenderness while making it easier to prepare at home and stay on budget. The sweet and spicy flavors stay true. 1 cup long-grain white rice 2 teaspoons sesame oil 2 teaspoons minced garlic 1 pound 97 percent lean ground beef ¼ cup low-sodium soy sauce 2 tablespoons brown sugar ¼ teaspoon ground ginger ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes 2 scallions, both white and green parts, coarsely chopped

1. Cook the rice according to the package directions. 2. In a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, heat the sesame oil. Add the garlic and sauté, about 30 seconds, until fragrant. Add the beef and cook, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon or spatula and stirring frequently, until the meat is almost browned. 3. Add the soy sauce, brown sugar, ginger, and red pepper flakes to the skillet. Stir to combine well. Continue to cook until the meat is cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes. 4. Garnish with scallions and serve with the rice on the side. 5. Refrigerate in a sealed container for up to 4 days. TIP: Feel free to use the same amount of brown rice or jasmine

rice instead. PER SERVING (1 CUP): Calories 360; Carbohydrates: 44g; Fiber: 1g;

Protein: 30g; Fat: 6g

BEEF MARINARA WITH SPIRALIZED BUTTERNUT SQUASH  HIGH-CARB  SERVES 4 PREP TIME: 5 MINUTES COOK TIME: 20 MINUTES

Making your own marinara sauce is easier than you’d think— especially with this recipe. In this dish it’s served on top of spiralized butternut squash. 1 teaspoon olive oil 2 teaspoons minced garlic 1 medium onion, diced 1 pound 97 percent lean ground beef ½ teaspoon salt, divided 1 (14½-ounce) can diced tomatoes, preferably Italian herb or plain 1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste 4 cups spiralized butternut squash 4 teaspoons chopped fresh basil (optional)

1. In a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil. Add the garlic and sauté, about 30 seconds, until fragrant. Add the diced onion and sauté until the onion is soft and translucent, 4 to 5 minutes. 2. Add the beef. Break it up with a wooden spoon or spatula and cook, stirring frequently, about 1 minute. Add ¼ teaspoon salt. Continue to cook until the meat is just pink, 3 to 4 minutes. 3. Add the diced tomatoes and tomato paste. Stir to combine. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 5 more minutes. 4. Meanwhile, bring a large saucepan of water with ¼ teaspoon salt to a boil. Add the butternut squash and cook for 2 to 4 minutes, until the squash is tender. Avoid overcooking, or it will become too soft. Drain.

5. Serve the squash topped with marinara sauce and sprinkle with fresh basil (if using). 6. Refrigerate remaining squash noodles and sauce separately for up to 4 days. TIP: If you can’t find spiralized butternut squash, feel free to swap for equal portions of spiralized sweet potato. PER SERVING (2¼ CUPS): Calories 279; Carbohydrates: 32g; Fiber: 7g;

Protein: 29g; Fat: 5g

ITALIAN HERB CHICKEN MEATBALLS WITH SPIRALIZED ZUCCHINI  LOW-CARB  SERVES 4 PREP TIME: 10 MINUTES COOK TIME: 30 MINUTES

Using spiralized zucchini in place of spaghetti noodles in a dish is a great way to reduce carbs without risking portion size. Nonstick cooking spray 1 pound ground chicken 1 large egg ¼ cup seasoned or plain bread crumbs ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese 1 teaspoon Italian blend seasoning 2 tablespoons salted butter 1 teaspoon minced garlic 2 cups fresh baby spinach 4 cups spiralized zucchini noodles Salt, for seasoning Freshly ground black pepper, for seasoning Lemon wedges, for serving (optional)

1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with foil, lightly spray it with nonstick cooking spray, and set aside. 2. In a large bowl, using your hands, combine the chicken, egg, bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, and seasoning. Form the mixture into 12 (2-inch) meatballs. Arrange them on the baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden brown and cooked through. 3. Melt the butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the spinach and sauté until wilted, tossing frequently. Toss in the spiralized noodles and cook until soft and tender, 2 to 4 minutes.

Season with salt and pepper. 4. Add the cooked meatballs and a squeeze of lemon (if using) before serving. 5. Refrigerate leftovers in a sealed container for up to 4 days. TIP: Use ground turkey breast or lean ground beef instead. PER SERVING (1¼ CUPS): Calories 274; Carbohydrates: 10g; Fiber: 2g;

Protein: 32g; Fat: 12g

SHEET PAN MISO SALMON WITH BABY BOK CHOY  LOW-CARB  SERVES 2 PREP TIME: 10 MINUTES COOK TIME: 10 MINUTES

Miso is a traditional Japanese fermented paste that packs a ton of umami flavor. Baby bok choy is a cruciferous vegetable that provides a balance of flavors enhanced by a crunchy finish of golden sesame seeds. This one-pan meal means less mess and almost no carbs. Nonstick cooking spray 4 teaspoons light miso 4 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce 2 teaspoons rice vinegar 2 teaspoons honey ¼ teaspoon sriracha (optional) ¼ teaspoon salt 8 ounces salmon, cut into 2 fillets ¾ pound baby bok choy, washed, trimmed, and halved lengthwise 4 teaspoons olive oil 2 teaspoons sesame seeds Freshly ground black pepper, for seasoning

1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with foil. Spray with nonstick cooking spray and set aside. 2. In a small bowl, whisk together the miso, soy sauce, rice vinegar, honey, sriracha (if using), and salt. Arrange the salmon on the baking sheet. Cover the salmon with half of the miso glaze (set aside the remaining glaze for later use). Arrange the bok choy around the salmon and drizzle olive oil over the vegetables, then sprinkle them with sesame seeds and black pepper. 3. Roast for 8 to 10 minutes, until the salmon is flaky and tender.

Cover the salmon with the remaining glaze before serving. 4. Refrigerate the leftovers in a sealed container for up to 3 days. TIP: When grocery shopping, look for bright green bok choy with no wilting. The stalks should be firm with no brown spots. PER SERVING (1 SALMON FILLET AND ¼ OF THE BOK CHOY): Calories 323;

Carbohydrates: 16g; Fiber: 3g; Protein: 30g; Fat: 17g

ZUCCHINI NOODLES WITH BEEF BOLOGNESE  LOW-CARB  SERVES 4 PREP TIME: 10 MINUTES COOK TIME: 20 MINUTES

This chunky Bolognese is full of tender vegetables and lean ground beef. It would also make an excellent base for lasagna, but in this recipe it is perfectly lightened up with spiralized zucchini. Plus, no cooking of the noodles is needed—simply toss them in the sauce before serving, and they’re ready to go! 1 teaspoon olive oil 1 teaspoon minced garlic 1 small onion, diced 1 pound 97 percent lean ground beef 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning blend 1 (14½-ounce) can fire-roasted or diced tomatoes 1 cup diced carrots 1 cup sliced mushrooms 4 cups spiralized zucchini 2 cups baby spinach

1. In a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the diced onion to the skillet and sauté until just soft and slightly translucent, 2 to 3 minutes. 2. Add the ground beef and break it up with a wooden spoon or spatula. Cook, stirring occasionally, until no longer pink, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the seasoning to the meat and stir to combine. Add the tomatoes, carrots, and mushrooms. Cover, reduce the heat to low, and simmer 10 to 12 minutes until the vegetables are soft and tender. 3. Before serving, toss in the zucchini noodles and spinach for about

1 minute to heat them up. 4. Refrigerate the leftover meat sauce in a sealed container for 5 days or freeze for up to 1 month. Add the zucchini noodles just before serving. TIP: If you love a spicy sauce, feel free to add some red pepper flakes. PER SERVING (2¼ CUPS): Calories 229; Carbohydrates: 17g; Fiber: 6g;

Protein: 27g; Fat: 5g

TURKEY TACO SALAD WITH GUACAMOLE  LOW-CARB  SERVES 4 PREP TIME: 10 MINUTES COOK TIME: 8 MINUTES

Taco salads are great for weight loss, because you still get all the excitement and flavors of tacos, but without the extra calories or carbs. Plus, they’re so flexible and versatile, they can easily be personalized with your favorite spices, garnishes, and sauce. 1 teaspoon olive oil 1½ teaspoons minced garlic, divided 1 pound 93 percent lean ground turkey 1⅓ cups chunky salsa, divided 1 avocado, peeled and pitted ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro Juice of ½ lime ¼ teaspoon salt 4 cups chopped romaine lettuce 1 cup canned corn kernels 1 cup shredded low-fat Mexican blend cheese

1. In a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil. Add 1 teaspoon garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the turkey, breaking it up with a wooden spoon or spatula. Cook, stirring occasionally until the meat is cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes. 2. Add 1 cup salsa to the turkey and mix to combine. Continue to cook for 2 to 3 minutes to marry the flavors. 3. In a small bowl, mash together the remaining salsa, avocado, garlic, cilantro, lime juice, and salt until combined well. 4. Assemble four bowls as follows: 1 cup chopped lettuce, one-

quarter of the turkey mixture, ¼ cup of the corn, ¼ cup of the cheese, and ¼ cup of the guacamole. 5. Refrigerate leftover components separately in airtight containers for up to 4 days. TIP: Try garnishing with pickled red onion, sliced radish, sliced bell pepper, or add some heat with fresh jalapeño peppers. PER SERVING (1 SALAD BOWL): Calories 389; Carbohydrates: 18g; Fiber:

6g; Protein: 32g; Fat: 23g

LOW-CARB TURKEY CHILI  LOW-CARB  SERVES 4 PREP TIME: 5 MINUTES COOK TIME: 23 MINUTES

Chili can warm you up on a cold night and on game day. Classic beef chili is transformed into this low-carb turkey version that ditches the beans for fresh, chunky vegetables. Put your own stamp on this recipe and get creative with seasonings or swap in your favorite vegetables. 2 teaspoons olive oil 1 small onion, diced 2 teaspoons minced garlic 1 pound 93 percent lean ground turkey 1 (14½-ounce) can fire-roasted tomatoes 1 cup low-sodium beef or vegetable broth 1 head cauliflower, coarsely chopped 1 large red or green bell pepper, seeded and diced 2 tablespoons store-bought chili spice mix 1 (4-ounce) can diced green chiles

1. In a large stockpot over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil. Add the onion and garlic and sauté until fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the turkey and brown until no longer pink, about 10 minutes. 2. Add the tomatoes, broth, cauliflower, bell pepper, chili spice mix, and green chiles and simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes. 3. Refrigerate leftovers in a sealed container for up to 5 days or portion the cooled chili into smaller resealable plastic bags and freeze for up to 3 months. TIP: If you don’t have a chili blend, use 1 teaspoon ground cumin, 1 teaspoon chili powder, 1 teaspoon celery salt, and ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper.

PER SERVING (2¼ CUPS): Calories 337; Carbohydrates: 29g; Fiber: 11g;

Protein: 27g; Fat: 13g

SHEET PAN CHICKEN AND BRUSSELS SPROUTS WITH BACON AND FETA  LOW-CARB  SERVES 4 PREP TIME: 5 MINUTES COOK TIME: 30 MINUTES

This sheet pan dinner makes chicken thighs the star of the show. While chicken thighs may have a bad rap, they’re actually very good for you and an excellent choice for a low-carb weight-loss program. They’re rich in protein and fats—a flavorful combination that helps your body burn more fat. 1 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved lengthwise 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided 1 teaspoon salt, divided 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided 1 teaspoon paprika, divided 1 teaspoon dried oregano, divided 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs 4 slices turkey bacon, chopped 4 ounces crumbled feta cheese

1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with foil and set it aside. 2. In a large bowl, toss the Brussels sprouts with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, ½ teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon pepper, ½ teaspoon paprika, and ½ teaspoon oregano. Arrange the Brussels sprouts on half of the baking pan. 3. In the same bowl, toss the chicken with the remaining olive oil and spices. Arrange the chicken on the other half of the baking sheet with the turkey bacon. 4. Roast for 26 to 30 minutes, rotating the pan and flipping the Brussels sprouts halfway through, until chicken is cooked

through. 5. Sprinkle with feta cheese before serving. 6. Refrigerate the leftovers in a sealed container for up to 4 days. TIP: If you find the vegetables are cooked before the chicken, feel free to remove them from the oven and continue cooking the chicken until done. PER SERVING (1¼ CUPS): Calories 270; Carbohydrates: 13g; Fiber: 5g;

Protein: 17g; Fat: 18g

CHICKEN ENCHILADA SOUP  LOW-CARB  SERVES 4 PREP TIME: 5 MINUTES COOK TIME: 18 MINUTES

A great way to cut carbs from traditional chicken enchiladas is to make it into a soup instead! This dish isn’t short on flavors and is ready in less than 20 minutes. You can use leftover chicken breast instead of raw, make it in advance, and toss it in the freezer to use the next week! 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 small onion, diced 1 medium green bell pepper, diced 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into bite-size pieces 1 teaspoon garlic powder 1 teaspoon onion powder 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth 1 (14½-ounce) can crushed tomatoes 1 (10-ounce) can red enchilada sauce 1 cup low-fat shredded Mexican blend cheese

1. In a large stockpot over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil. Add the onion and green pepper to the pan and sauté until softened, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the chicken, garlic powder, and onion powder and cook, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is cooked through, 6 to 7 minutes. 2. Add the chicken broth, crushed tomatoes, and enchilada sauce. Stir to combine well. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer, covered, about 10 minutes. 3. Top each bowl with ¼ cup shredded cheese before serving. 4. Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5 days and freeze for up to 3 months.

TIP: Cut cooking time in half by using 16 ounces of precooked shredded chicken breast instead of raw. Remember to add the seasoning that’s used for cooking the chicken to step 2. PER SERVING (2 CUPS): Calories 333; Carbohydrates: 17g; Fiber: 3g;

Protein: 38g; Fat: 14g

Superfood Protein Smoothie

CHAPTER SIX

SNACKS AND SMOOTHIES Chocolate Chip Granola Bars Roasted Chickpeas Hummus and Lox Toast Golden Date Smoothie Pumpkin Spice Latte Protein Smoothie Fresh Guacamole with Sliced Peppers Grain-Free Granola Yogurt Parfait Savory Spiced Nut Clusters Raspberry, Blackberry, and Coconut Smoothie Superfood Protein Smoothie

CHOCOLATE CHIP GRANOLA BARS  HIGH-CARB  SERVES 8 PREP TIME: 5 MINUTES COOK TIME: 10 MINUTES

High-carb days call for plenty of fiber-filled foods—like these chewy bars. Grab one an hour before a workout for a delicious energy boost or toss one in your bag to nourish you during a long day. A smidge of mini chocolate chips provides just the right amount of sweetness without going overboard on sugar. Nonstick cooking spray 1½ cups rolled oats ½ cup puffed rice cereal ¼ cup ground flaxseed ¼ teaspoon salt ¼ cup honey 2 tablespoons coconut oil 1 teaspoon vanilla extract ¼ cup mini chocolate chips

1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line an 8-inch square or 9-inch square baking pan with parchment paper, then coat with nonstick cooking spray and set aside. 2. In a large bowl, combine the oats, rice cereal, flaxseed, and salt. 3. In a small microwave-safe bowl, heat the honey and coconut oil at 15-second increments, stirring in between, until you can easily combine them. Stir in the vanilla. Pour the wet mixture over the dry ingredients and stir to combine well. Let stand until slightly cooled and stir in the chocolate chips. 4. Press the granola mixture into the prepared baking pan, using another piece of parchment paper and your hands. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until lightly golden brown. The granola bars will seem soft when you remove them from the oven, but they will

continue to firm up as they cool. 5. Remove the baked mixture from the pan and cool before cutting it into 8 bars. 6. Store the bars in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks at room temperature. TIP: For a quicker version, combine the oats with the honeycoconut oil mixture and spread it out on a prepared baking sheet. Toast in the oven for 3 to 5 minutes until fragrant. Allow to cool slightly before combining with the remaining ingredients and then pressing firmly into the prepared baking pan. Store in the refrigerator to firm up before cutting. PER SERVING (1 BAR): Calories 177; Carbohydrates: 25g; Fiber: 3g;

Protein: 3g; Fat: 5g

ROASTED CHICKPEAS  HIGH-CARB  SERVES 2 PREP TIME: 10 MINUTES COOK TIME: 28 MINUTES

Crispy roasted chickpeas are easy to make and personalize—think salty, savory, sweet, or spicy. Just toss with your favorite flavor or spice blend, spread out on a baking sheet, and bake until golden brown. 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed 1 tablespoon olive oil ½ teaspoon salt 2 teaspoons spices of your choice (paprika, cayenne pepper, curry powder, garlic powder, onion powder, cinnamon-sugar, etc.)

1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Arrange the rack to the middle of the oven and line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. 2. Pat the chickpeas dry by rolling them between two paper towels or a dish towel; or allow to air-dry for a few minutes. They should be dry to the touch. 3. Toss the chickpeas in a bowl or resealable plastic bag with olive oil and salt. Arrange them on the baking sheet and roast for 20 minutes, stirring halfway through. The chickpeas are done when they’re golden and slightly browned. 4. Toss the chickpeas with your favorite flavor blend; serve warm when you can, because they’re delicious that way. 5. Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week. TIP: Be sure to dry the chickpeas well to ensure they become as crispy as possible.

PER SERVING (1 CUP): Calories 247; Carbohydrates: 29g; Fiber: 9g;

Protein: 11g; Fat: 11g

HUMMUS AND LOX TOAST  HIGH-CARB  SERVES 2 PREP TIME: 5 MINUTES COOK TIME: 3 MINUTES

Toast is the ideal high-carb vessel for a variety of toppings. This toast recipe uses hummus and lox to mash up two popular toppings. It’s perfect for breakfast, lunch, snacks, or even dinner. Plain hummus works best for this variation. 4 large slices multigrain bread ½ cup hummus ½ cucumber, thinly sliced 4 ounces smoked salmon or canned salmon, drained 2 teaspoons everything bagel seasoning ½ lemon

1. Toast each slice of bread to the desired doneness. Spread equal parts hummus on each slice of bread. Then top each with cucumber slices and 1 ounce of salmon. Sprinkle with everything bagel seasoning and a squeeze of lemon juice before serving. 2. Best served immediately; refrigerate components separately in sealed containers for up to 3 days and assemble just before serving. TIP: Take it up a notch by adding a few of these extras: fried egg, thinly sliced red onion, capers, hot sauce, sliced jalapeño peppers, flaky sea salt, or red pepper flakes. PER SERVING (2 SLICES): Calories 250; Carbohydrates: 19g; Fiber: 3g;

Protein: 26g; Fat: 8g

GOLDEN DATE SMOOTHIE  HIGH-CARB  SERVES 2 PREP TIME: 5 MINUTES

Pitted dates are a great natural sweetener—so they are the perfect addition to a smoothie. Turmeric is the main spice found in curry, but here it gives this smoothie its beautiful golden color. It’s a powerful anti-inflammatory that helps boost recovery after a tough workout. 1½ cups unsweetened nonfat milk or plant-based milk 2 scoops vanilla protein powder 4 pitted dates 1 medium frozen banana 1 tablespoon freshly grated turmeric, or 1½ teaspoons ground ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

1. Add the milk, protein powder, dates, banana, turmeric, and cinnamon to a large blender. Process until smooth or the desired consistency. 2. Refrigerate leftovers in a sealed container for up to 2 days or freeze for up to 2 weeks or until ready to serve. TIP: Add your liquid base to the blender first to prevent ingredients from sticking to the bottom of the blender. PER SERVING (1 SMOOTHIE): Calories 331; Carbohydrates: 64g; Fiber: 5g;

Protein: 21g; Fat: 1.5g

PUMPKIN SPICE LATTE PROTEIN SMOOTHIE  HIGH-CARB  SERVES 2 PREP TIME: 5 MINUTES

The flavors of fall really come through in this smoothie recipe. And with 26 grams of protein and 31 grams of carbs, it’s the perfect recovery fuel after a tough workout. Portion the ingredients in single-serve plastic bags in advance and freeze, so they are ready when needed. 1½ cups cold coffee or cold-brew coffee ⅔ cup (5.3 ounces) plain nonfat Greek yogurt 1 cup canned pumpkin puree 2 scoops vanilla protein powder 1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup ½ teaspoon vanilla extract ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon ¼ teaspoon ground ginger ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg ¼ teaspoon ground allspice Ice, if needed

1. Add the coffee, yogurt, pumpkin puree, protein powder, honey, vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, and ice (if using) to a large blender and process until desired consistency. 2. Refrigerate leftovers in a sealed container for up to 2 days. TIP: Freeze pumpkin puree and leftover coffee in ice molds in advance to eliminate the need for ice in future smoothies. PER SERVING (½ RECIPE): Calories 229; Carbohydrates: 31g; Fiber: 4g;

Protein: 26g; Fat: 1g

FRESH GUACAMOLE WITH SLICED PEPPERS  LOW-CARB  SERVES 2 PREP TIME: 10 MINUTES

You don’t need fancy equipment to make fresh guacamole—if you’ve got a bowl, a knife, and a fork, you’re all set. Serve this up on game day, taco Tuesday, or just for a delicious low-carb snack anytime. An extra squeeze of lime over the top before storing it in the refrigerator will help prevent browning. 1 avocado, peeled and pitted 2 cherry tomatoes, diced ½ small onion, diced 1 jalapeño pepper, diced (optional) ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro 1 teaspoon minced garlic ¼ teaspoon salt Juice of 1 lime 2 large bell peppers, seeded and sliced

1. In a medium bowl, use a fork to mash the avocado to your desired consistency. Add the tomatoes, onion, jalapeño, cilantro, garlic, salt, and lime juice. Stir until well combined and serve with sliced peppers. 2. Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days. TIP: To pick a ripe avocado, grab one that still has the stem attached. Gently press on each end; it should be firm but have a slight give. PER SERVING (½ CUP GUACAMOLE): Calories 179; Carbohydrates: 19g;

Fiber: 9g; Protein: 4g; Fat: 11g

GRAIN-FREE GRANOLA YOGURT PARFAIT  LOW-CARB  SERVES 3 PREP TIME: 10 MINUTES COOK TIME: 20 MINUTES

Grain-free granola is a nutritious low-carb choice—perfect on its own, in a bowl of ice-cold milk, or paired with yogurt for breakfast, snack, lunch, or even dinner! Nonstick cooking spray 2 tablespoons slivered almonds 2 tablespoons chopped cashews 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts 2 tablespoons unsweetened shredded coconut 2 tablespoons pepitas (pumpkin seeds) 2 tablespoons sunflower seeds ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon ⅛ teaspoon salt 1 tablespoon molasses 1 tablespoon melted coconut oil 12 ounces plain Greek yogurt, divided into 3 equal portions

1. Preheat the oven to 275°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spray with nonstick cooking spray; set aside. 2. In a blender, pulse the almonds, cashews, walnuts, and coconut into small pieces. Do not over-pulse. 3. Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl and add the pepitas, sunflower seeds, cinnamon, and salt and stir to combine. Pour in the molasses and coconut oil and stir to combine well. 4. Spread the granola evenly on the baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from the oven. It will continue to harden as it cools. Allow to cool before serving.

5. Assemble parfaits by layering equal portions of yogurt and granola in three bowls or containers. 6. Wait to assemble parfaits until ready to eat, or if you prepare in advance, store them in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Store leftover granola in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks. TIP: If you don’t have a blender, place the nuts in a large resealable plastic bag and crush with a rolling pin. PER SERVING (¾ CUP): Calories 373; Carbohydrates: 18g; Fiber: 4g;

Protein: 19g; Fat: 27g

SAVORY SPICED NUT CLUSTERS  LOW-CARB  SERVES 12 PREP TIME: 5 MINUTES COOK TIME: 20 MINUTES

Low-carb snacks don’t have to be boring. This recipe for savory spiced nut clusters is made with a hint of spice and uses egg white instead of honey to hold it all together. If you want, bake them in a muffin tin to help them hold a uniform shape. Nonstick cooking spray 1 egg white ¼ teaspoon to 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper or chili powder ¼ teaspoon paprika ¼ teaspoon salt ¼ teaspoon ground cumin 1 cup unsalted whole almonds 1 cup unsalted pecan halves 1 cup unsalted cashew pieces ¼ cup sesame seeds

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside. 2. In a large bowl, whisk the egg white until frothy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the cayenne, paprika, salt, and cumin and gently fold to combine. Add the nuts and sesame seeds to the bowl and stir well to coat. 3. Drop large tablespoons of the nut mixture onto the baking sheet, taking care to keep the clusters together. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until lightly browned. The clusters will continue to harden and firm up as they cool, so avoid overcooking. 4. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks at room temperature or in the freezer for 2 months.

TIP: If you’re short a type of nut, simply swap it for another you have on hand. PER SERVING (¼ CUP, ABOUT 1 LARGE NUT CLUSTER): Calories 256;

Carbohydrates: 10g; Fiber: 3g; Protein: 8g; Fat: 22g

RASPBERRY, BLACKBERRY, AND COCONUT SMOOTHIE  LOW-CARB  SERVES 2 PREP TIME: 10 MINUTES

Berries can be part of a low-carb meal plan—that’s because 1 cup of berries has about 15 grams of carbs, and they’ve been shown to help control blood sugar levels. This is important for maximizing your fat-burning potential. This hydrating smoothie will replenish energy stores and cool you off on a hot day. 1 cup unsweetened coconut water ¼ cup fresh or frozen raspberries ¼ cup fresh or frozen blackberries ⅔ cup (5.3 ounces) plain nonfat Greek yogurt 1 scoop vanilla protein powder Ice, if desired

1. Add the coconut water, raspberries, blackberries, yogurt, protein powder, and ice (if using) to a blender and process until smooth. 2. Refrigerate leftovers in a sealed container for up to 2 days. TIP: For a creamier consistency with no added carbs, try unsweetened coconut milk instead of unsweetened coconut water. PER SERVING (½ RECIPE): Calories 160; Carbohydrates: 23g; Fiber: 5g;

Protein: 18g; Fat: 1g

SUPERFOOD PROTEIN SMOOTHIE  LOW-CARB  SERVES 2 PREP TIME: 10 MINUTES

Smoothies can be a nutritious part of your weight-loss journey by adding plenty of fruit, vegetables, lean protein, and healthy fats. And with frozen ingredients, there’s no need for ice. There are no rules when making this smoothie except you need a serving of protein—other than that, the options are endless. 1 cup unsweetened almond milk 2 scoops protein powder 1 cup frozen cauliflower florets ¼ cup frozen spinach ¼ cup frozen kale 1 avocado, peeled and pitted 1 teaspoon ground flaxseed

1. Process the almond milk, protein powder, cauliflower, spinach, kale, avocado, and flaxseed in a blender until desired consistency. 2. Refrigerate the leftovers in a sealed container for up to 1 day. TIP: For meal prep, make single-serve smoothie freezer bags that contain all the ingredients for your smoothie except the liquid and protein powder. Or give this recipe a chocolate spin by adding a tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa powder. PER SERVING (½ RECIPE): Calories 256; Carbohydrates: 18g; Fiber: 6g;

Protein: 20g; Fat: 12g

MEASUREMENT CONVERSIONS

PART THREE: CARB CYCLING EXERCISES

EXERCISE ROUTINES CARDIO Aim for 10 to 30 minutes of low-intensity cardio 3 to 4 days per week. If you’re new to exercise or haven’t done any in a long time, start slowly to avoid injury.

BEGINNER: → Walking to Jogging Exercise: Warm-up walking at a comfortable pace for 3 minutes; increase the intensity and continue at this pace for 4 minutes, then cool down for 3 minutes—total time 10 minutes. Increase the intensity and time by 5 minutes every week until you reach a light jog. → Running Exercise: Start with 2 to 3 minutes of brisk walking. Then go for a light jog for 30 minutes. Cool down with 2 minutes of leisurely walking. If you cannot jog for 30 minutes total, opt for small goals of running until the next stop sign, then walk until you reach the following stop sign. Or running for 2 minutes, then walking for 1 minute, etc., until you reach the full 30 minutes.

INTERMEDIATE: → Running Exercise: Start with a brisk 1 to 2 minute walk or light jog, run for 30 minutes at a comfortable pace, then cool down with a 1- to 2-minute walk. → Rowing or Stair Climber Exercise: Start with a 5-minute lowintensity warm-up, then row or climb the stairs for 10 to 20 minutes at an intensity high enough to make talking challenging. Cool down for 5 minutes at a low intensity. Increase the time of steady rowing or climbing by 5 minutes each week.

ADVANCED: → Running Exercise: Start with a brisk 1- to 2-minute walk or light jog. Run for 40 minutes at a pace that makes talking challenging, then cool down with 1 to 2 minutes of walking or light jogging. If running is not your thing, feel free to opt for any other cardio workout, including bicycling, elliptical, stair climber, rower, and the like.

HIIT WORKOUTS Perform a HIIT workout 2 to 3 times per week immediately after your strength-training workout.

BEGINNER: → 10-minute Jump Rope Interval Exercise: Jump rope for 1 minute at greatest effort, followed by 1 minute of complete rest; repeat until you reach 10 minutes. If you cannot jump rope or need an alternative, try one of these in the same work/rest interval: jumping jacks, burpees, box jumps or box step-ups, running/walking, etc.

INTERMEDIATE: → Running Sprints: Perform 12 minutes total of 30 seconds of max effort/30 seconds low-effort running until you reach 12 minutes total or 12 complete intervals. Feel free to try rowing, biking, or swim sprints instead in the same interval pattern.

ADVANCED: Advanced Tabata: Tabata training is 20 seconds of high-intensity exercise, followed by 10 seconds of rest, and repeated 8 times for a

total of 4 minutes. Perform all the following for a total of 16 minutes: → Tabata Round One x 4: 20 seconds of burpees; 10 seconds of rest; 20 seconds of jumping jacks; 10 seconds of rest → Tabata Round Two x 4: 20 seconds of squats; 10 seconds of rest; 20 seconds of push-ups; 10 seconds of rest → Tabata Round Three x 4: 20 seconds of mountain climbers; 10 seconds of rest; 20 seconds of high knees; 10 seconds of rest → Tabata Round Four x 4: 20 seconds of plank; 10 seconds of rest; 20 seconds of flutter kicks; 10 seconds of rest

STRENGTH-TRAINING WORKOUTS Here are three effective strength-training workouts that can be performed at home, in the gym, or even when traveling. You’ll find instructions and illustrations for each exercise, then use the following beginner, intermediate, and advanced options to learn the rep ranges and rest periods for your training level. Remember to warm up for 10 minutes with a light jog or incline walk. Complete your training for the day with your chosen HIIT workout as prescribed. Be sure to rest for 90 seconds between sets and exercises. → Beginner: Two sets of each for 8 to 10 reps or as many reps as possible; modify to your skill level; for example, perform pushups against a wall or on your knees if needed. → Intermediate: Three sets of each for 8 to 10 reps. → Advanced: Superset the exercises by pairing two back-to-back; for example, perform 10 push-ups followed immediately by 10 shoulder presses with no rest in between. Complete 3 to 4 sets of each superset for 10 reps of exercise (or as many reps as possible) with 90 seconds of rest in between.

UPPER BODY PUSH-UP Start on the floor with your hands directly under your shoulders. Lift your body into a plank position with your weight evenly distributed on your hands and feet. Draw your shoulder blades back and down your back, while keeping your elbows close to your body. Lower your body until your chest touches the floor. Make sure your abs and glutes are still engaged and exhale as you push yourself up.

SHOULDER PRESS Start by standing with your feet hip-width apart and a dumbbell (or sturdy weight) in each hand. Raise the weights to shoulder height and bring your elbows to a 90-degree angle. Brace your abs and extend through your elbows to raise the weights together directly above your head. Pause at the top and then slowly return to the starting position.

BENT-OVER ROW Start by standing with your feet hip-width apart. Hold a dumbbell in each hand, palms facing each other. Bend your knees slightly and bring your chest forward by bending at your hip. As you bend, make sure to keep your back straight until it is almost parallel to the floor. Brace your abs and lift the dumbbells to your sides, keeping your elbows close to your body. Squeeze your back muscles at the top, hold for a second, and then slowly lower the weights to the starting position. This counts as one repetition.

TRICEP DIP Start by sitting on the floor in front of a step, bench, or sturdy chair. With your knees slightly bent and feet planted firmly on the floor,

grab the edge of the elevated surface behind you, and place your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Bend your arms to a 90-degree angle, keeping your elbows close to your body. Brace your abs and straighten your arms, pushing through your heels. Lower yourself back down to a seated position. This counts as one repetition.

LOWER BODY SQUAT Start by standing with your feet hip-width apart or slightly wider. Extend your hands straight out in front of you for balance. Brace your abs and sit back and down like you’re sitting into an imaginary chair. Keep your chest up and look straight ahead. Go as far down as you can without dropping your chest. Once you reach your depth, press through your heels and spring back into the standing position, squeezing your glutes at the top. This counts as one repetition.

LUNGE Start by standing with your feet a bit wider than hip-width apart. Brace your abs and take a big step forward with your left foot. Make sure your knees, hips, and shoulders all face forward. Keep your chest up, brace your abs, and sink straight down until your left knee makes a 90-degree angle and your right knee is pointing straight down toward the floor. Ensure your left knee does not go past your toes. Shift the weight onto the ball of your right foot as you push back up, and step back into the starting position. This counts as one repetition.

WALL SIT Start by standing with your back against a wall. Slowly slide down the wall until your thighs are parallel to the ground, making a 90degree angle. Make sure your knees are directly above your ankles, keep your back straight, and hold your arms straight out in front of you. Hold the position for 8 to 10 seconds. This counts as one repetition.

GLUTE BRIDGE Start by lying on your back on the floor with your hands by your sides and your knees bent. Your feet should be hip-width apart. With your weight on your heels, breathe out as you lift your hips off the floor while keeping your back straight. Hold at the top for a few seconds and then slowly lower back to the floor as you breathe in.

FULL BODY AND CORE PLANK Start on your stomach on the floor. Place your forearms on the floor with your elbows aligned directly under your shoulders, forming a 90-degree angle. Raise your knees off the ground, supporting your weight on your toes and forearms. Your body should form a straight line from your head to your feet. Set your gaze at a point on the floor about a foot in front of you, and make sure your neck is in line with the rest of your body. Breathe as you hold this position, squeezing your core and glutes, for 30 to 60 seconds, depending on your ability.

BICYCLE CRUNCH Start by lying on your back on the floor. Bring your knees to your chest and place your hands behind your head, interlocking your fingers. Lift your shoulders off the floor, tighten your abs, and tuck your chin into your chest. Touch the inside of your right arm to the inside of your left thigh while straightening your right leg. Alternate and touch the inside of your left arm to the inside of your right thigh while straightening your left leg. This counts as one repetition.

MOUNTAIN CLIMBER Start on the floor in a push-up position. Maintain a slight arch in your back and raise one knee toward your chest. Pause, return to the starting position, and repeat with your other leg. This constitutes one repetition. Alternate until you have completed all your reps.

HOLLOW ROCK Start by lying on your back on the floor. Contract your abs while pressing your lower back into the floor. With your legs straight and toes pointed, raise your legs off the floor a couple of inches. Straighten your arms above your head and raise them off the floor so they are aligned with your ears. Keeping your lower back on the floor and abs engaged, rock back and forth without allowing the shape to break. This counts as one repetition.

RESOURCES WEBSITES → Nutrition.gov: source for sound nutrition and general fitness information → MyPlate.gov: the USDA’s excellent resource for defining food groups with complete lists and examples. → BioMedCentral.com: database of scientific journals where you can search topics to find research studies. → ExRx.net: well-rounded database of physical fitness exercises with video and descriptive demonstrations. → ScienceDaily.com: excellent web resource featuring breaking news about the latest discoveries in science, health, the environment, technology, and more, from leading universities, scientific journals, and research organizations.

JOURNAL → Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition (JISSN): leading authority on sports nutrition research and application.

REFERENCES Ahima, R., D. Prabakaran, C. Mantzoros, et al. “Role of Leptin in the Neuroendocrine Response to Fasting.” Nature 382 (1996): 250– 252. doi.org/10.1038/382250a0. Byrne, N. M., A. Sainsbury, N. A. King, A. P. Hills, and R. E. Wood. “Intermittent Energy Restriction Improves Weight Loss Efficiency in Obese Men: The MATADOR Study. International Journal of Obesity 42 (2018): 129–138. Nature.com/articles/ijo2017206. King, N. A., K. Horner, A. P. Hills, et al. “Exercise, Appetite, and Weight Management: Understanding the Compensatory Responses in Eating Behavior and How They Contribute to Variability in Exercise-Induced Weight Loss.” British Journal of Sports Medicine 46 (2012): 315–322. dx.doi.org/10.1136/bjsm.2010.082495. La Bounty, P. M., B. I. Campbell, J. Wilson, et al. “International Society of Sports Nutrition Position Stand: Meal Frequency.” Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition 8, no. 4 (2011). doi.org/10.1186/1550-2783-8-4. Winwood-Smith, H. S., C. E. Franklin, and C. R. White. “LowCarbohydrate Diet Induces Metabolic Depression: A Possible Mechanism to Conserve Glycogen.” American Journal of Physiology-Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology 313, no. 4 (October 2017): R347–R356. doi.org/10.1152/ajpregu.00067.2017.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS To my husband Rich, thank you for your support throughout writing this book. You encouraged me to jump in with both feet and entertained the kids so I could write, and most importantly, helped me choose the names of the examples. Thank you, Elijah and Joshua; you brighten my world. In business, it’s easy to feel like a little fish in a big sea. Thank you to Rick Collins and Erica Stump for giving me guidance and reminding me that I am worth more than I think. To my publisher, Callisto Media, thank you for believing in me, especially my incredible editor, Kelly.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Shoshana Pritzker is a registered dietitian and certified sports nutritionist in private practice. She works with clients within her specialties, including weight loss, sports nutrition, and pediatric nutrition. With over 15 years in the health, nutrition, and fitness industries, Shoshana has worked with and written for brands including Nature’s Bounty Company, Joy Bauer (“the Today show dietitian”), Oxygen Magazine, Jenny Craig, Eat Clean Bro, and others. She has written and published countless weight-loss, sports performance, and muscle-building meal plans with accompanying recipes. Shoshana’s nutrition philosophy includes the mantra that “all foods fit,” making room for a healthy balance while building (or repairing) a healthy relationship with food. She makes fitness a priority and spends much of her spare time sharing tips, videos, and tricks for feeding her two toddlers while trying to manage it all— meltdowns, messes, laughter, and love—you name it. Find out more about Shoshana at www.nutritionbyshoshana.com.