In September, Juju Chang plans to run, bike and swim her way through a sprint triathlon. That gives her just a few months to whip into shape and she wants you to join her in a healthier lifestyle.
First up: food. Try out this 15-day diet plan from Self magazine, with meal plans for breakfast, lunch, dinner and a daily snack and treat. Can you keep up?
Breakfast: Fruity muesli
Mix 1/2 cup plain, raw oats with 2 tbsp orange juice, 4 tbsp nonfat vanilla yogurt and 1/2 cup chopped Granny Smith apple. Top with 2 tbsp dried goji berries (found at health food stores) and 3 tbsp sliced pecans.
Lunch: Global feast
Toss 1/2 cup cooked quinoa with 1/4 cup cannellini beans, rinsed and drained; 1/8 cup chopped red onion; 1/4 cup halved grape tomatoes; 1/4 cup artichoke hearts; 3 tbsp fresh lemon juice; 1 tsp olive oil; 2 tbsp chopped fresh basil; and 2 tbsp feta. Serve with 1/2 cup seltzer mixed with 1/2 cup pomegranate juice.
Snack: Spicy popcorn
Toss 10 small pretzels, 1/2 tsp chili powder and 1/8 tsp red pepper flakes with a 100-calorie bag of popcorn.
Dinner: Beach plate
Prepare 1 frozen crab cake (such as Phillips), dip in 2 tbsp olive oil mayo mixed with 1/4 tsp chili powder and a splash of lime juice. Toss 1 sliced sweet potato with 1 tsp olive oil and 1 tsp Old Bay Seasoning; roast until tender. Serve with 10 steamed asparagus stalks.
Treat: Sweet and salty s'mores
Spread 2 whole-wheat crackers with 2 rounded tsp almond butter. Top each with a marshmallow. Broil until marshmallows are golden and melted.
Bonus: Superfoods you can't live without, click here.
Breakfast: Berry smoothie
Blend 1/4 cup ice, 1/2 cup blueberries, 6 oz nonfat vanilla yogurt, 1/2 cup skim milk, 1 tbsp pomegranate juice, 2 tbsp almond butter and 1 tsp honey.
Layer 3 strips bacon, 3 slices avocado, 4 lettuce leaves, 2 slices tomato and 2 tbsp olive oil mayonnaise (such as Hellmann's) between 2 slices whole-wheat bread. Eat with 1 cup strawberries drizzled with 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar.
Snack: Apple and cheese
1/2 apple; 1 oz cheese
Dinner: Chicken and chips
4 oz grilled chicken breast rubbed with 1/4 tsp chopped fresh tarragon; 1/2 cup carrot chunks and 1 cup green beans tossed with 1 tsp olive oil; 1 baking potato, thinly sliced, drizzled with 1 tsp olive oil and salt and baked until tender. Sprinkle with dill.
Treat: Oatmeal cookie
1 Kashi TLC Oatmeal Dark Chocolate cookie; 5 grapes
Bonus: The best 140 calorie bar to have for breakfast! Click here.
Breakfast: Southwest burrito
Wrap up 1/4 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained; 1/4 cup diced tomato; 1/4 cup shredded 2 percent cheddar; 1 scrambled egg; and 3 tbsp salsa in a 7-inch whole-wheat tortilla.
Lunch: Island greens
Top 1 1/2 cups greens with 1/4 cup each sliced carrot and cucumber, 1/4 cup brown rice, 1/4 cup scallions, 2 oz grilled wild salmon, 2 slices grilled pineapple and 2 tbsp Asian dressing.
Snack: Goji trail mix
2 tbsp goji berries, 1/4 cup whole-grain cereal and 2 tbsp almonds
Dinner: Pita pizza
1 whole-wheat pita topped with 2 tbsp tomato sauce, 1/4 cup sautéed kale, 3 tbsp grated Parmesan, 4 slices red onion and 10 black olives baked at 400° until cheese bubbles. Serve with 1 cup greens and 2 tbsp vinaigrette.
Treat: Broiled banana with oat topping
Cut a small banana lengthwise. Top with 1 tbsp oats mixed with 1 tsp brown sugar and 1 tsp trans-fat-free margarine. Broil until it bubbles.