Summer Weight Loss Menu Planner

In the “dog days” of summer, not many of us like to cook, or be in a hot kitchen. And most cooked food tends to be on the heavy side—not good for a hot summer day. There are the typical summer foods such as salads, fruit, and sandwiches. Are there any other summer foods that do not involve meat? What about planning a menu around these great summer foods? And is there a lower calorie, higher satisfying meal plan?

The opinions sprinkled throughout this document are coming from a vegetarian viewpoint. If you like your meat, by all means, enjoy it for the summer.

In the “dog days” of summer, not many of us like to cook, or be in a hot kitchen. And most cooked food tends to be on the heavy side—not good for a hot summer day. There are the typical summer foods such as salads, fruit, and sandwiches. Are there any other summer foods that do not involve meat? What about planning a menu around these great summer foods? And is there a lower calorie, higher satisfying meal plan? Never fear—the Summer Weight Loss Menu Planner is here!

The typical American summer picnic meal usually consists of some type of meat, starch, and maybe a vegetable if you’re lucky. Or maybe, if you are really lucky, some fruit as well. And then, we also can’t forget the pop, cookies, pies, etc. Oh, and the ice cream! Summer is famous for ice cream! Which, by the way, is my favorite dessert. What if I told you that you could have your ice cream, and enjoy fewer calories? Or, that you can have your hot dog with fewer calories?? Would that be a blessing in disguise? Read on, and you will learn different substitutes for your favorite foods, and you can save half the calories.

Veggie hot dogs have become a little more popular in the last few years, and there are some that taste great, and others that you can use as a mini baseball bat. First of all, let’s just look at the calories of a chicken hot-dog (the healthy alternative to pork or beef, right?) versus a vegetarian hot dog. One chicken hot dog has 120 calories. Not bad, compared to the other hot dogs, right? Not really, when you consider that one vegetarian hot dog contains only 40 calories. (This depends on the brand you buy, but they are generally around the same amount.) This may something to think about when you are planning your picnic meal.

Then, let’s look at the different brands of hot dogs. Morningstar Farms makes a variety of vegetarian alternatives, which are great tasting, and healthy. However, their hot dogs are less than desirable. When heated, they are okay; but when they cool down, they have the consistency of plastic. Not a very good alternative when you are trying to make the switch from meat to meat alternatives. There are other brands that taste better, including Super Links and Big Franks made by Worthington and Loma Linda. These brands are a little hard to find in a regular store, but there is a web site that carries these products, and more! http://www.nomeat.com carries a wide variety of products and brands, including the brands you see in the stores. They also have a recipe section where you can find recipes in which you can use the products you buy there.

So, you have a place to buy your vegetarian alternatives to meat; now what do you serve with them? Most people like to serve potato salad, macaroni salad, etc. Or you can have more food for fewer calories if you choose fruit. Most of us like fruit, so this is not a big switch. If you like potato salad, go ahead and have some. The point to this? Use fruit, with all of its fiber, to fill you up, and have a little taste of the higher calorie foods. Any fruit would be fine for weight loss, and summer is the prime season for the best tasting fruit.

So what about dessert? Most everyone knows that frozen yogurt has less calories than ice cream. What if you are cutting out all dairy products? You can still have your frozen dessert treats, if you choose a tofu-based treat. But isn’t tofu a main dish sort of thing? As I have touched in another article, tofu is a blank slate, and does not have any flavor before it is worked with. Tofu can be made into cheesecakes, ice creams, puddings, etc. It truly is a versatile food. Tofutti makes excellent ice cream! I just recently began buying that instead of the dairy ice cream, and it has even passed a picky eater’s approval–my kids!

You can also make your own cakes and cookies without all the extra fat and calories. How, you ask? Well, take a look at your favorite cookie or cake recipe. Do you notice the eggs and hard fats? Take out many calories and unhealthful items in there and replace them with lower calorie, healthier alternatives. If you are wondering what you can replace them with, I will show you in future recipes and articles. (Don’t forget to look for more vegetarian, lower calorie recipes coming soon in a paid report!) One alternative you can use right now is egg substitutes, such as Egg Beaters. They have the same properties as eggs, but have only 30 calories per serving. So all you are adding to your recipes with egg replacers may be 60 calories at the most. As far as the butter, you can make your own nut butters, or coconut butter, and save yourself some calories. You can even you more flour and water.

There are just a few suggestions in this article. But, if you look around and keep your options open, I am sure that you can come up with even more appetizing suggestions for me.

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