The World's Healthiest Foods are health-promoting foods that can change your life.

Try the exciting new lunch recipe from Day 5 of our upcoming 7-Day Meal Plan.

The George Mateljan Foundation is a not-for-profit foundation with no commercial interests or
advertising. Our mission is to help you eat and cook the healthiest way for optimal health.
The Healthiest Way of Eating Plan

Part l - Discover the Powerful Healthiest Way of Eating Plan that Provides All the Health-Promoting Foods You Need for Optimal Health Everyday

Part II - Healthiest Way of Eating Plan

Part I Discover the Powerful Healthiest Way of Eating Plan that Provides All the Health-Promoting Foods You Need for Optimal Health Everyday...

Welcome to the Healthiest Way of Eating Plan—your guide to the Healthiest Way of Eating. I believe that everyone can lead a healthy life and that eating healthier affects how you feel, how much energy you have, and how healthy you are. I have created a complete Plan to help you gain more control of your health, supercharge your immune system, and help rejuvenate your entire body. In this Plan you will discover some of the most nutritious foods around—The World's Healthiest Foods. This could be the most important Plan you will ever find regarding your health and is so powerful you may even start seeing results after the first week; adapting this Plan can help empower you to change your life for the better!

If you've been wondering what foods you should eat to stay healthy, you need not wonder any longer. I have worked for years on developing a great Plan that covers how the nutrient-rich World's Healthiest Foods can help you eat healthier each and every day.

It is created to meet many of the nutritional requirements (the Daily Values set by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The Plan is the gateway to more energy and better health through the Healthiest Way of Eating. And you may even lose a few of those extra pounds in the process!

The Plan can help protect you from the many health problems associated with nutrient deficiency because each day the Plan fulfills 100% of your Daily Value (DV) for 18 or more nutrients from foods you enjoy. The Plan is powerful because these nutrients work at a cellular level to promote optimal health. And all of this for the least number of calories without the use of multivitamins.

The Plan is not a diet nor an expensive, time-consuming program. It is a way to begin a lifestyle change to the Healthiest Way of Eating. And we've done all the work for you so it's easy! I provide you with recipes that not only taste great but take only minutes to prepare—most take 7 minutes or less and you can make an entire meal in just 15 minutes! You just have to do the shopping and you don't have to break the bank to buy the foods called for in these recipes.

This Plan is So Powerful Because It Is Made Only of Nutrient-Rich World's Healthiest Foods—and No Nutrient-Poor Foods

This Plan is powerful because the World's Healthiest Foods are at the foundation of the Plan, and they are among the most nutrient-rich foods in the world. When I refer to nutrient-rich foods I am referring to what scientists traditionally call "nutrient-dense" foods. The World's Healthiest Foods are nutrient-rich because when you compare their absolute nutritional content to their caloric content they have significant nutritional value. In other words, the World's Healthiest Foods are very high in one or more nutrients, but very low in calories.

For example, broccoli is considered a nutrient-rich food when it comes to vitamin C because you get 60 mg of vitamin C (the current Daily Value) by eating only 18 calories worth of broccoli! Nutrient-rich World's Healthiest Foods contain an abundance of nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, and phytonutrients (nutrients only found in plants, many of which are antioxidants)—a combination of nutrients that gives you a boost towards better health. These nutrient-rich foods have also been documented to bring you many health benefits.

Enjoying the nutrient-rich Worlds Healthiest Foods in the Healthiest Way of Eating Plan means we are not just fueling our bodies with calories but providing our bodies with the nutrients they need to grow, create energy, and maintain their physiological function. Nutrient-rich World's Healthiest Foods can help you enjoy improved memory and stay sharp, focused, and feel more alive all day, everyday. They help reduce inflammation and protect your body from free radical damage, which can cause disease.

Here are some of the many ways research studies have discovered nutrient-rich foods, like the World's Healthiest Foods, found in this Plan can help improve your health:

  • Boost your energy
  • Promote healthy skin
  • Build strong bones
  • Build healthy lungs
  • Promote healthy heart, joints, eyes
  • Promote healthy digestion
  • Build a strong immune system
  • Promote stronger circulation
  • Decrease inflammation
  • Promote good HDL/LDL cholesterol ratio
  • Support healthy blood pressure
  • Fight oxidation of fats in your blood vessels
  • Protect cells from free radical damage
  • Support healthy triglyceride levels
  • Promote low homocysteine levels
  • Support your lungs
  • Support healthy joints
  • Slow aging throughout your body
  • Promote better health and healthy weight loss

You Should Know What Happens When We Eat Nutrient-Poor Foods

Another reason this Plan is powerful is because it doesn't contain nutrient-poor foods. A diet comprised of nutrient-poor foods—processed foods, foods high in sugar, rich in saturated fats, which may also contain refined and artificial ingredients—can result in nutrient deficiency as well as extra calories. A good example of this is the difference between the nutrient-richness of processed white bread and 100% whole wheat bread. You would have to eat between 2-1/2 to 5 slices of white bread in order to get the same amount of vitamin E as found in one slice of 100% whole wheat bread. And those slices would cost you as much as 320 extra calories!

Nutrient deficiency means you are lacking in health-promoting nutrients necessary for your body to function optimally. A diet primarily consisting of nutrient-poor foods can become damaging to your body and eventually take a toll on your health. Nutrient deficiencies can cause symptoms of low energy, insomnia, fatigue, and poor memory. You can also end up on the road to serious health problems such as heart disease and diabetes. The effects may go unnoticed for a while as they may be very subtle or they may take a long time to fully develop but can create unwanted health consequences in the long run.

Here are some examples:

  • Lack of potassium (an electrolyte) in your foods can increase your chances of high blood pressure.
  • Lack of soluble fiber in your food can increase your risk of high cholesterol levels.
  • Lack of omega-3 fatty acids in your food can increase your chances of joint pain due to excess inflammation.
  • Lack of zinc in your food may impact your sense of smell and taste.
  • Lack of iron in your food may contribute to low energy because you need iron in your food to enhance oxygen distribution throughout your body.
  • Lack of calcium in your food can increase your risk of osteoporosis because you need calcium-rich foods for strong bones.
  • Lack of vitamin A in your food can contribute to potential problems with eyesight; vitamin A-rich foods can help to improve eyesight.
  • Lack of iodine can cause thyroid function problems.
  • Lack of antioxidants in your food can leave you more susceptible to colds and the flu because your immune system is weakened. To have a stronger immune system and to help prevent colds and the flu you need to have immune-boosting antioxidants in your food.

The lack of nutrients that results from eating nutrient-poor foods can cause deficiencies, disease, and even death. It is estimated that over 1 million people die every year in the United States from diseases that can be prevented. And research continues to find that many of them can be avoided by eating a healthy diet, which includes nutrient-rich foods such as the health-promoting World's Healthiest Foods.

Healthiest Way of Eating Plan Contains 100% or More of the Daily Value (DV) of Many Essential Nutrients

This Plan is powerful because you get 100% or more of the Daily Values for many nutrients. Through the years I have been told that I could not meet 100% of most of my nutritional needs from eating healthy foods alone. With the Healthiest Way of Eating Plan, I have proven this to be wrong.

The Healthiest Way of Eating Plan is the perfect Plan for fulfilling many of the Daily Values for health-promoting nutrients because it is composed of nutrient-rich World's Healthiest Foods. The menu has been analyzed for over 50 different nutrients including vitamins, minerals, protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and others to ensure that you are getting 100% or more of many of the essential nutrients you need on a regular basis to help you look and feel your best, have plenty of energy, and to give your body the power to be truly healthy.

The Plan is so powerful that it meets or exceeds the USDA's recommendations for healthy eating by providing nine servings of good-tasting fruits and vegetables to help improve your immune system, reduce inflammation (for less joint pain), promote a healthy heart, protect your body from free radical damage, and much more. And all of this for around 1800 calories per day! Combine the Plan with regular exercise and after only one week, you may begin to enjoy the benefits of the Healthiest Way of Eating Plan.

Why You Need Many Nutrients Everyday

The plan is powerful because it provides many of the nutrients we need on a regular basis. We live in a new age of self care where we are looking more and more to the foods we eat to take charge of our own health. Nutrient-rich foods such as the World's Healthiest Foods are increasingly seen as the best source of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytonutrients, fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, and protein that our bodies need. So by emphasizing the World's Healthiest Foods in your diet and following the Healthiest Way of Eating Plan you can start improving your health dramatically.

The Plan helps replenish water-soluble vitamins on a daily basis. Vitamin C and vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, and B6, folic acid, many flavonoids, and many antioxidants are not made in the body, can only be stored in the body in limited amounts, and need to be consumed in foods rich in these nutrients everyday for your health to be at its best. (B12 is the exception as while it is a water-soluble vitamin it can be stored in the liver for a period of months.) All in all the nutrient-rich World's Healthiest Foods in the Healthiest Way of Eating Plan can be some of the best multi-vitamin and mineral (as well as other nutrients) supplements on earth!

These are some of the nutrients you need everyday:

Cellular Nutrition Chart

Synergy—the Key to the Healthiest Way of Eating Plan

The Plan is powerful because it provides a combination of nutrient-rich foods that contain many nutrients that work together synergistically. And never underestimate the importance of the health benefits from the synergistic effects of whole nutrient-rich foods because food is the cornerstone of nutrition. Synergies among the matrix found in nutrient-rich foods add up to much more than sum of their individual parts. If you want to be on the cutting edge of the Healthiest Way of Eating, enjoy delicious meals composed of a variety of nutrient-rich foods like those in the Healthiest Way of Eating Plan.

Hundreds of epidemiological studies have looked at the relationship between whole, nutrient-rich foods, such as the World's Healthiest Foods, and chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer. What they have consistently found is that nutrients working together provide greater health benefits than those working alone. What that means is that there is no miracle food or miracle nutrient. There is only the miracle of how the different aspects of your nutrient-rich foods work together to provide you with optimal health. Recent research on the Mediterranean diet is just one of many examples of such findings:

Researchers studying the benefits of the health-promoting Mediterranean diet conclude that it is not any particular nutrient (like omega-3 fatty acids or dietary fiber) that explained the protective effects of the diet. Nor was it solely any particular food—even olive oil, which they named specifically as a food of benefit in their research write-up. Rather, it was the unique combination of the foods consumed that seemed to account for the unusual health benefits of the Mediterranean style of eating. Over a hundred million people eat the Mediterranean diet and they are among the healthiest people on earth.*

Maintain strong bones is another example of the result of the synergistic interaction of nutrients found in health-promoting foods. While calcium is highlighted as the "bone-building" nutrient, in actuality it cannot build strong bones without the help of many other nutrients including vitamins K, C, and D as well as magnesium, manganese, boron, copper, zinc, and phytonutrients. All of the above nutrients, including the necessary phytonutrients, can be provided from the World's Healthiest Foods.

*Sofi F, Cesari F, Abbate R et al. Adherence to Mediterranean diet and health status: meta-analysis BMJ 2008;337:a1344.

40,000 Nutrients Yet to be Discovered

Another important reason to include many of the nutrient-rich World's Healthiest Foods in the Plan as a regular part of your Healthiest Way of Eating is that many of the nutrients found in food (as well as their mechanisms) are still unknown. An estimated 40,000 phytonutrients are yet to be identified! Therefore enjoying the nutrient-rich World's Healthiest Foods not only ensures that you are benefiting from those nutrients that are already recognized as important components for a healthy body but even those with functions that have yet to be discovered.

The Healthiest Way of Eating Plan Provides Everything You Need for Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, and Snacks

The Healthiest Way of Eating Plan is powerful because it helps you enjoy breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks made from some of the most nutritious foods—The World's Healthiest Foods—which are combined into quick-and-easy, exciting recipes using my innovative new cooking methods.

My Healthiest Way of Cooking methods reflect a new wave of cooking for the 21st century! They ensure the recipes used in the Plan not only deliver you great flavor but also retain the maximum number of nutrients. This is compared to traditional cooking methods, which have been found to lose from 50-80% of the nutrients when preparing vegetables. Myal dentemethod of cooking vegetables results in vegetables that are tender on the outside and slightly crisp on the inside ensuring you the maximum number of nutrients and flavor while softening their fibers for easier digestion.

You also don't have to give up your favorite foods with the Healthiest Way of Eating Plan. There are outstanding fish, chicken, lean meat, vegetarian, and crisp salad recipes as well as recipes for healthy breakfasts and even healthy dessert recipes! Most of these delicious recipes can be prepared in 7 minutes or less, while the snacks rarely require any preparation at all.

This is a complete Plan that fulfills many of the Daily Values for nutrients. In this Plan you can swap any breakfast, lunch, or dinner from any of the 7 days and still enjoy the health benefits provided by following the Plan as posted.

Healthiest Way of Eating Plan for Healthy Weight Control

When it comes to food and nutrition, there is no subject that attracts more attention than the subject of weight loss. With so much emphasis on losing weight, studies continue to show that only 5% of the people who diet maintain their weight loss for five years or more. The Healthiest Way of Eating Plan is a great way to achieve better health and healthy weight loss at the same time; it is not a diet, it's the Healthiest Way of Eating, which focuses on eating nutrient-rich World's Healthiest Foods.

A recent study found that subjects eating a larger physical amount of food actually did better with their weight management. While their findings may first seem illogical, they make very good sense when you realize their focus was on the energy density (ED) of foods. ED is a term referring to the amount of calories provided in a diet in comparison to the physical amount of food that a person actually eats. The trend from these types of studies is clear, the lower the ED the better (which actually makes more sense if you consider that low-ED foods contain less calories per volume so you can eat more low-ED foods than high-ED foods, which will lead to satiety and appetite control). And one of the best ways to enjoy foods low in ED, while also obtaining the maximum number of nutrients, is to eat nutrient- and fiber-rich, low-calorie foods like fresh fruits and vegetables. These foods allow you to eat more food without taking in too many calories— a great formula for health and healthy weight loss. My Healthiest Way of Eating Plan helps make this easy for you.

How Much Will the Healthiest Way of Eating Plan Cost?

The money you spend on the Healthiest Way of Eating Plan is like purchasing health insurance because every penny is being spent on optimally nourishing foods that provide an abundance of nutrients; you aren't wasting any money whatsoever on low-quality, highly addictive, highly processed (high in sugar, fats, and cholesterol) empty-calorie foods. You will also avoid unnecessary processing, unnecessary packaging, and unwanted contaminants so it's also good for the environment. With the Healthiest Way of Eating Plan, you are only paying for foods that promote health.

My Commitment to the Healthiest Way of Eating

I have no products to sell, no association with any commercial companies—only a commitment to sharing what I have learned by traveling the world (to 5 continents and 80 different countries). Through researching cultures renowned for their health and longevity where large segments of the population have very few of the problems of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and cancer that we experience in the United States, I discovered the healthiest and most nutritious foods—the World's Healthiest Foods. My Foundation extensively reviews on-going, cutting-edge research studies conducted worldwide on the benefits of nutrient-rich foods and the Healthiest Way of Eating.

The gift of good health is what I want to share with you in this Plan. The information I share with has only one purpose—to help you eat healthier. I have devoted my life to helping others. I never compromise. I want the very best for you, and I won't settle for anything less. The World's Healthiest Foods are health-promoting foods that I feel can benefit nearly everyone. I tested the Plan on myself with great results. Today these are the foods that comprise my personal way of eating because they give me all the benefits of health without increasing caloric intake.

The World's Healthiest Foods website (www.whfoods.org) currently has over a million visitors per month. Many of these Readers have written to tell me how much adopting the Healthiest Way of Eating has benefited them. They have reported on restored health, weight loss, and much more. Over the last 10 years I have helped thousands of people to eat healthier and have been told that I have helped improve (and even save) many lives. I want to help do the same for you.

How The World's Healthiest Foods and the Healthiest Way of Eating Plan Have Helped Our Readers

The most amazing health book I've ever read!! This not only teaches you about what your body needs to perform at its best, but it also helps you to make a transition into a healthier lifestyle VERY EASILY! There are menus you can follow and there are enough for about a month. I've been following the menu for 4 days now and these are my results so far:

  1. I've lost 5 lbs!
  2. My energy is through the roof!
  3. I don't feel weighed down after any meal!
  4. My intestines love me!
  5. I've gained time because these recipes are so fast and simple to prepare.
  6. My appreciation and knowledge of veggies that used to scare me at the supermarket are opening up new flavor doors!
  7. I'm never hungry with this plan so I don't crave unhealthy things!

Have I mentioned it's only been 4 days! I can't wait to see what I'll look like in a month! - CT

I've lost over 60 pounds. I have more energy than I can use and better skin than I ever would have thought possible. Thanks for your years of dedication to create this book and for taking me to the highest level of eating! - Rosemary

For 4 weeks straight I ate nothing but food from your book and I suddenly felt amazing. I can gladly say that now, with the help of your recipes plus yoga and Pilates that I weigh 145 lbs! Not only did I lose weight but my entire metabolism changed. I no longer had any desire for sweets or high-fat food and the occasional time I do I find that I don't gain weight as quickly. I have lost weight in the past from other diets but always gain it back once I go back to eating badly but this is not a diet, it's a way of life. I swear by your book and make recipes for all my friends. They are picky eaters and they love your recipes! - Amy

I would love to hear your success stories as well. link to e-mail

How to Get Started

The Plan consists of 7 days of the Healthiest Way of Eating. Everyday contains a menu for that day, benefits gained from that day's menu, and a lesson of the day. The lessons will help you learn more about the Healthiest Way of Eating and help you feel better and address problems such as low energy, memory loss, a weak immune system and more:

  • Day 1 - Breakfast
  • Day 2 — Lunch
  • Day 3 — Dinner
  • Day 4 — Snacks
  • Day 5 — Appetizers
  • Day 5 — Desserts
  • Day 7 — Beverages

In this Plan you will learn about all the foods to nourish yourself as well as the best selections for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. And the Plan does all of this for you! Start with day 1 and after 7 days you will have a complete week's worth of menus, with meals that you can mix and match as you so desire. Fresh ingredients can be substituted for other fresh ingredients, and dairy products can be substituted with soy or rice milks (or other dairy-free beverages).

You can adopt the Plan at the pace that feels most comfortable to you. If you don't have time to follow the Plan for an entire week, try following it for one day. If you don't have time for an entire day, try one meal. Another way to approach the Plan that I believe works well is to practice changing just one meal of the day for an entire week. For example, for the first week focus on following the breakfast menus, on the second week focus on following the lunch menus, and on the third week focus on following the dinner menus. However you choose to follow the Plan, you won't have anything to lose, just everything to gain.

The Healthiest Way of Eating Plan is also designed to easily adjust to fit your personal tastes and lifestyle. Enjoy the first day's breakfast on the fifth day and you will still receive most of the nutrients you need for the week. Or if you are having an exceptionally busy schedule, substitute a very quick recipe for one that may take a little longer to prepare. Even when you swap meals or snacks between the different days in the menu you can be assured that you will be receiving most all of the nutrients you need to feel great.

Part II—The Healthiest Way of Eating Plan

Are you trying to get healthier and want to know how much of the essential nutrients you are getting from the food you eat each day? With the Healthiest Way of Eating Plan, I take all the guess work out of eating healthy because each day's Feeling Great Menu is analyzed for its nutritional value. That's how I know the Plan provides nutritionally balanced meals so you can enjoy all of their health-promoting benefits everyday. This Plan is a revolutionary, nourishing way to help you avoid nutrient deficiencies. If you follow the Plan you are likely to enjoy gain:

  • More energy and vitality
  • Stronger immune system
  • Improved cardiovascular health
  • Better protection from inflammation
  • A life of fewer colds
  • Better memory
  • Healthier looking skin
  • Greater protection from disease
  • And much more ...

The Plan is a celebration of the Healthiest Way of Eating. It's like no other Plan I have ever experienced before.

Day 1—Feeling Great Menu

For the first day of the Healthiest Way of Eating Plan I created an easy-to-prepare menu for you, which offers exciting flavors and good nutrition. For breakfast you'll enjoy Energizing Oatmeal with cinnamon, for lunch a Caesar salad topped with turkey, and for dinner tasty Salmon with Dill Sauce. These meals are composed of nutrient-rich foods that give you many of the health-promoting nutrients you need every day. Along with today's menu you will learn the importance of eating a healthy breakfast, the most important meal of the day. as well as what makes a perfect breakfast— one that will help you stay strong, sharp, focused, and energized all day long.

Day 1—Health-Promoting Benefits

Day 1 of the Healthiest Way of Eating Plan provides you with 100% and more of the Daily Value for 19 health-promoting nutrients and all of their health benefits for maintaining good health. The Plan will help you avoid nutrient deficiencies because, as you can see, it is built around nutrient-rich foods—rich in vitamins, minerals, hard-to-find omega-3 fatty acids, protein, fiber, antioxidants and many other nutrients—over 8000 mg of nutrients that promote optimum health. The nutrient-rich foods in the Plan can provide nutrients in forms that are more available to you than most nutritional capsules. It is an anti-inflammatory and immunity plan because it helps protect against inflammation, reduces free radicals, and strengthens the immune system.

Nutrients in the daily menu perform many health functions in your body:

100% DV for proteinhelps maintain healthy skin, hair, and muscles
100% DV for fiberhelps support intestinal regularity
100% DV for vitamin Ahelps promote vision health
100% DV for thiamin B1helps maintain energy supplies
100% DV for riboflavin B2helps protect cells from oxygen damage
100% DV for niacin B3helps promote cholesterol level balance
100% DV for vitamin B6helps support your nervous system
100% DV for folatehelps support heart health
100% DV for vitamin Chelps protect against free radical damage
100% DV for vitamin Ehelps protect skin from ultraviolet light
100% DV for vitamin Khelps blood to clot normally
100% DV for calciumhelps build strong bones
100% DV for copperhelps promote proper thyroid function
100% DV for ironhelps keep immune system healthy
100% DV for magnesiumhelps relax nerves
100% DV for manganesehelps supports your nervous system
100% DV for phosphorushelps in energy production
100% DV for potassiumhelps lower risk of high blood pressure
100% DV for seleniumhelps protect cells from free radical damage
11.84g insoluble fiberpromotes healthy bowel regularity
7.37g soluble fiberhelps lower cholesterol levels
6.38 mcg pantothenic acid helps turn carbohydrates and fats into useable energy
1.93 mcg vitamin B12helps prevent anemia
44.00 mcg molybdenumhelps protect against inflammation
11.14 mg zinc helps support sense of smell and taste
2.32 g omega-3'shelps reduce inflammation
0.78 g tryptophanhelps promote better sleep
27924 mcg beta-carotenehelps protect cells from free radicals
lutein&zeaxanthinhelps support vision health
lycopenehelps protect cells from free radicals
anthocyaninshelps protect cells from free radicals

Calories, carbohydrates, fats, saturated fats, cholesterol, and sodium are lower than 100% DVs, which is desirable for most individuals.

Analysis for the following nutrients are not readily available: biotin, chromium, and iodine (found in sea vegetables).

You can get vitamin D from the sun; 15 minutes in the middle of the day will provide you your DV for vitamin D. Or, you can add 3.5 oz of sockeye salmon, which provides 247% DV for vitamin D, or 3.5 oz of ahi tuna, which provides 101% DV to your menu for the day.

Since there are no Daily Values for tryptophan, omega-3 fatty acids, beta-carotene, lutein/zeaxanthin, lycopene, and anthocyanins (the Plan is an great source of all phytonutrients) the absolute amounts of these nutrients found in the Day 1's menu are indicated in the chart above.

To increase your intake of omega-3 fatty acids include more salmon, sardines, flaxseeds, and walnuts into your daily menu.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration's "A Food Labeling Guide" (US FDA, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition/Office of Nutrition, Labeling, and Dietary Supplements, April 2008) was used as a foundation for the Daily Values we use to evaluate the Healthiest Way of Eating Plan. When you see the phrase "100% DV," it means that you are getting 100% or more of the Daily Value (DV).

Day 1—Lesson of the Day—Healthy Breakfast

Breakfast is the Most Important Meal

In Day 1 of the Healthiest Way of Eating Plan you learn how to prepare healthy breakfasts that are full of nutrition and taste great. Making time for a healthy breakfast sets the stage for healthy eating throughout the day. For most people, breakfast time comes at least 8-10 hours after their previous meal. So, in essence, while sleeping you have also been "fasting." In fact, the word itself, when broken down, means to "break a fast." When you wake up in the morning your blood sugar may be low or you may feel hungry. A general guideline is to have your breakfast contribute from 350 to 500 of your daily intake of calories.

I want to recommend that you eat a breakfast like the those described in the Healthiest Way of Eating Plan, which contains a good source of protein, complex carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, and good fats from nuts and seeds that will help nourish your body and help your blood sugar rise at a steady pace throughout the morning and provide your cells with the energy they need to carry out your morning activities. Breakfast should contain around one-quarter of your protein requirements for the day. You can do this by enjoying nuts, seeds, eggs, complex carbohydrates, and whole grain cereals as part of your first meal of the day.

When you select cereal it is best to look for one that is made from whole grains and has 5 grams of fiber per serving and not too much sugar or salt.

Try not to eat foods that are high in refined carbohydrates (for example sugary cereals; pancakes, waffles, bagels, and muffins made from white flour; or white flour-based breakfast rolls or bars) first thing in the morning. These foods can cause a rapid spike in your blood sugar and may give you a short burst of energy but may cause you to "crash" an hour or two later.

What happens if you skip a healthy breakfast? If you don't give your body some real nourishment first thing in the morning, you may experience many unwanted consequences, including insufficient blood sugar levels and metabolic imbalances that leave you feeling sleepy or fatigued. And by the time lunch rolls around you will probably be so hungry that you will eat anything in sight! Several studies have found that skipping breakfast is a risk factor for becoming overweight or obese.

Many people say that they are not hungry first thing in the morning, which makes it difficult to eat breakfast. Eating a smaller meal for dinner will help increase your appetite for breakfast. If you don't have much of an appetite in the morning, begin the habit of eating breakfast by starting with something very small, such as a half a piece of whole grain toast with nut butter or a small bowl of whole grain cereal (with no added sugars!) with milk. As your body gets used to digesting food in the morning, you might notice a bigger appetite in the morning. Latest scientific studies show that those who eat breakfast everyday lost more weight.

Breakfast is the most important meal in many traditions:

  • Japanese breakfast
  • Mediterranean breakfast
  • English breakfast
  • Mexican breakfast

An example of a good breakfast:

Green Tea (healthy lifestyle tea) with one of the following: Energizing Oatmeal made with milk (or soy or rice milk) topped with blueberries and almonds; whole grain, breakfast cereal with fruit and nuts or seeds (sunflower or pumpkin); Poached Eggs over Spinach; or Healthy Breakfast Frittata.

Day 2—Feeling Great Menu

On Day 2 of the Healthiest Way of Eating Plan you enjoy a great bagel breakfast, a tasty turkey salad for lunch with our own Blue Cheese Dressing, and our flavorful Mediterranean Cod with a tomato and basil sauce for dinner. Today's lesson focuses on how to prepare a healthy lunch that is full of nutrition and tastes great—a lunch that will provide you with the energy to remain sharp and focused and that will carry you through the rest of the afternoon until dinner. A good lunch should contain from 400-500 calories. For many of us it is also the meal we have the least time to prepare, and the time when it is the most tempting to grab quick and easy fast-foods. What you eat for lunch affects how you will feel for the rest of the day.

Day 2—Health-Promoting Benefits

Day 2 of the Healthiest Way of Eating Plan provides you with 100% or more of the Daily Value for 21 health-promoting nutrients and all of their health benefits for maintaining good health. The Plan will help you avoid nutrient deficiencies because, as you can see, it is built around nutrient-rich foods—rich in vitamins, minerals, hard-to-find omega-3 fatty acids, protein, fiber, antioxidants and many other nutrients—over 8000 mg of nutrients that promote optimum health. The nutrient-rich foods in the Plan can provide nutrients in forms that are more available to you than most nutritional capsules. It is an anti-inflammatory and immunity plan because it helps protect against inflammation, reduces free radicals, and strengthens the immune system.

Nutrients in the daily menu perform many health functions in your body:

100% DV for proteinhelps maintain healthy skin, hair, and muscles
100% DV for fiberhelps support intestinal regularity
100% DV for vitamin Ahelps promote vision health
100% DV for thiamin B1helps maintain energy supplies
100% DV for riboflavin B2helps protect cells from oxygen damage
100% DV for niacin B3helps promote cholesterol level balance
100% DV for vitamin B6helps support your nervous system
100% DV for folatehelps support heart health
100% DV for vitamin Chelps protect against free radical damage
100% DV for vitamin Ehelps protect skin from ultraviolet light
100% DV for vitamin Khelps blood to clot normally
100% DV for panothentic acid helps turn carbs and fats into useable energy
100% DV for calciumhelps build strong bones
100% DV for copperhelps promote proper thyroid function
100% DV for ironhelps keep immune system healthy
100% DV for magnesiumhelps relax nerves
100% DV for manganesehelps support your nervous system
100% DV for phosphorushelps protect cells from oxygen damage
100% DV for potassiumhelps lower risk of high blood pressure
100% DV for seleniumhelps protect cells from free radical damage
100% DV for zinc helps support sense of smell and taste
19.28g insoluble fiberpromotes healthy bowel regularity
11.13g soluble fiberhelps lower cholesterol levels
3.26 mcg vitamin B12helps prevent anemia
60.21 mcg molybdenumhelps protect against inflammation
1.16 g omega-3'shelps reduce inflammation
1.06 g tryptophanhelps promote better sleep
31062 mcg beta-carotenehelps protect cells from free radicals
lutein&zeaxanthinhelps promote strong immune system
lycopenehelps protect cells from free radicals
anthocyaninshelps protect cells from free radicals

Calories, carbohydrates, fats, saturated fats, cholesterol and sodium are lower than 100% DVs, which is desirable for most individuals.

Analysis for the following nutrients are not readily available: biotin, chromium, and iodine (found in sea vegetables).

You can get vitamin D from the sun; 15 minutes in the middle of the day will provide you your DV for vitamin D. Or, you can add 3.5 oz of sockeye salmon, which provides 247% DV for vitamin D or 3.5 oz of ahi tuna, which provides 101% DV to your menu for the day.

Since there are no Daily Values for tryptophan, omega-3 fatty acids, beta-carotene, lutein/zeaxanthin, lycopene, and anthocyanins (the Plan is an great source of all phytonutrients) the absolute amounts of these nutrients found in the Day 2's menu are indicated in the chart above.

To increase your intake of omega-3 fatty acids include more salmon, sardines, flaxseeds, and walnuts into your daily menu.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration's "A Food Labeling Guide" (US FDA, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition/Office of Nutrition, Labeling, and Dietary Supplements, April 2008) was used as a foundation for the Daily Values we use to evaluate the Healthiest Way of Eating Plan. When you see the phrase "100% DV," it means that you are getting 100% or more of the Daily Value (DV).

Day 2—Lesson of the Day—A Healthy Lunch

What I have discovered as the answer to the dilemma of not having enough time to prepare a healthy lunch is to prepare a salad meal for lunch. Salad meals can provide you with all of the nutritional benefits of the Healthiest Way of Eating without having to cook! They take little time to prepare and the varieties you can enjoy are only limited by your imagination. To prepare a salad meal, you just need to assemble all of ingredients you want to include. These salad meals are not the "salads" that many of us grew up with consisting of a bowl of iceberg lettuce topped with tomatoes and French dressing. These are nutrient-rich, nourishing meals that can be prepared in just minutes using easy-to-find fresh ingredients.

I rediscovered the lost history of the classic Mediterranean-style salad while traveling the world to more than 80 countries, visiting people and cultures where there were traditionally few, if any, instances of the modern diseases that plague us today. These were countries where the people had come to expect the natural enjoyment of a long and vigorous life such as the Mediterranean countries, including the Greek Island of Crete. Salad meals were a large part of the diets in these areas. The Romans called them salatas.

Mediterranean-style salad meals are fresh, crisp, and delicious and there is absolutely no nutrient that cannot be obtained from them. It can be one of the most enjoyable meals of the day. In fact, a salad meal with a foundation of different types of lettuce and containing a wide variety of foods will often be closer to a "complete meal" than many other food possibilities. However, not all lettuce is created equal. The darker leaf lettuces provide you with more vitamins. And the lettuce in salads provides you with plenty of fiber so you feel satisfied and satiated. In addition, if you limit the amount of dressing, they can also be low in calories!

Here are some of your best salad green choices.

  • Green leafy lettuce
  • Red leaf lettuce
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Boston lettuce
  • Arugula
  • Watercresss
  • Endive

Topping lettuce and salad greens with chicken, seeds, nuts, fish, shellfish, or beans can provide you with more protein than a hamburger, twice as many nutrients as a traditional "entrée" plus two "side vegetables" as well as contributing hard-to-find omega-3 fatty acids to the salad meal. They can also be very low on the glycemic index.

Even small amounts of "garnish" type ingredients—like a tablespoon of pumpkin seeds or a sprinkling of walnuts instead of croutons—are a very worthwhile addition in terms of nutrients. Trace minerals and small amounts of high-quality omega-3 fats are nutrients that most U.S. adults don't get nearly enough of, and it doesn't take many pumpkin seeds or walnuts to bring some of these vital nutrients into the day's Healthiest Way of Eating.

Think of a salad meal as a canvas upon which you can mix the different "colors" of foods. Depending upon your mood, the season, and the content of your refrigerator, you can make a salad with a mixture of your favorite lettuce. Starting with a nutrient-rich lettuce like romaine and adding a mesclun or spring mix variety of lettuces will create a great foundation for any salad. From there you can add in a selection of leafy greens, root vegetables, or other vegetables.

The sky's the limit as to what combination of nutrient-rich foods you can use. From there, you can add fruit, nuts, seeds, beans, legumes ... the list of what you can add to a salad meal to make it delicious and nutritious goes on and on. Mix up a lot of different foods that feature a spectrum of nutrients and your salad bowl may one day replace your multivitamin supplement.

And don't forget the dressing. The reason is that the fats in dressings are necessary for our bodies to absorb carotenoids—the red, yellow, and orange pigments in fruits and vegetables, which act as antioxidants and prevent free radical damage that promotes aging and chronic disease. This is because carotenoids (along with vitamins A, D, and E) are fat-soluble, so our bodies cannot absorb them unless fat is present. Studies have shown that adding just a little fat to your salads can make a big difference in the amount of the protective compounds you absorb. People using full-fat dressing absorb twice the nutrients than those using reduced-fat dressing. And there was no absorption found among those using non-fat dressing!

Eating a salad meal is one of the most healthful eating habits you can adapt and one of the simplest. In just 5 minutes and you can have a health-promoting meal rich in enough protein, healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, and powerful antioxidants to carry you through the entire afternoon.

Day 3—Feeling Great Menu

On Day 3 of the Healthiest Way of Eating Plan you will enjoy fresh blueberries with cereal for breakfast, an Italian-Style salad for lunch, and tangy Spicy Asian Shrimp for dinner. Today you will learn what the best foods are to prepare a healthy dinner that tastes great. According to the Healthiest Way of Eating Plan it is best to have our caloric intake evenly spread throughout the day. While we expend the least amount of energy after our evening meal, unfortunately, for most of us in this culture it has become the largest meal of the day. Today you will learn about some basic dos and don'ts that you may want to consider for when you sit down for an enjoyable dinner meal. You'll also learn how those choices can even affect how your sleep.

Day 3—Health-Promoting Benefits

Day 3 of the Healthiest Way of Eating Plan provides you with 100% and more of the Daily Value for 19 health-promoting nutrients and all of their health benefits for maintaining good health. The Plan will help you avoid nutrient deficiencies because, as you can see, it is built around nutrient-rich foods—rich in vitamins, minerals, hard-to-find omega-3 fatty acids, protein, fiber, antioxidants and many other nutrients—over 8000 mg of nutrients that promote optimum health. The nutrient-rich foods in the Plan can provide nutrients in forms that are more available to you than most nutritional capsules. It is an anti-inflammatory and immunity plan because it helps protect against inflammation, reduces free radicals, and strengthens the immune system.

Nutrients in the daily menu perform many health functions in your body:

100% DV for proteinhelps maintain healthy skin, hair, and muscles
100% DV for fiberhelps support intestinal regularity
100% DV for vitamin Ahelps promote vision health
100% DV for thiamin B1helps maintain energy supplies
100% DV for riboflavin B2helps protect cells from oxygen damage
100% DV for niacinB3helps promote cholesterol level balance
100% DV for panothentic acid helps turn carbs and fats into useable energy
100% DV for vitamin B6helps support your nervous system
100% DV for folatehelps support heart health
100% DV for vitamin Chelps protect against free radical damage
100% DV for vitamin Ehelps protect skin from ultraviolet light
100% DV for vitamin Khelps blood to clot normally
100% DV for calciumhelps build strong bones
100% DV for copperhelps promote proper thyroid function
100% DV for ironhelps keep immune system healthy
100% DV for magnesiumhelps relax nerves
100% DV for manganesesupports your nervous system
100% DV for phosphorushelps protect cells from oxygen damage
100% DV for potassiumhelps lower risk of high blood pressure
100% DV for seleniumhelps protect cells from free radical damage
19.03 g insoluble fiberpromotes healthy bowel regularity
8.8 g soluble fiberhelps lower cholesterol levels
7.23 mcg vitamin B12helps prevent anemia
6.09 mcg panothentic acid helps turn carbs and fats into useable energy
52.92 mcg molybdenumhelps protect against inflammation
10.27 mg zinc helps support sense of smell and taste
2.39 g omega-3'shelps reduce inflammation
0.78 g tryptophanhelps promote better sleep
36286 mcg beta-carotenehelps protect cells from free radicals
lutein&zeaxanthinhelps promote strong immune system
lycopenehelps protect cells from free radicals
anthocyaninshelps protect cells from free radicals

Calories, carbohydrates, fats, saturated fats, cholesterol and sodium are lower than 100% DVs, which is desirable for most individuals.

Analysis for the following nutrients are not readily available: biotin, chromium, and iodine (found in sea vegetables).

You can get vitamin D from the sun; 15 minutes in the middle of the day will provide you your DV for vitamin D. Or, you can add 3.5 oz of sockeye salmon, which provides 247% DV for vitamin D or 3.5 oz of ahi tuna, which provides 101% DV to your menu for the day.

To increase your intake of omega-3 fatty acids include more salmon, sardines, flaxseeds, and walnuts into your daily menu.

Since there are no Daily Values for tryptophan, omega-3 fatty acids, beta-carotene, lutein/zeaxanthin, lycopene, and anthocyanins (the Plan is an great source of all phytonutrients) the absolute amounts of these nutrients found in the Day 2's menu are indicated in the chart above.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration's "A Food Labeling Guide" (US FDA, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition/Office of Nutrition, Labeling, and Dietary Supplements, April 2008) was used as a foundation for the Daily Values we use to evaluate the Healthiest Way of Eating Plan. When you see the phrase "100% DV," it means that you are getting 100% or more of the Daily Value (DV).

Day 3—Lesson of the Day—Three Basic Do's and Don'ts When It Comes to Dinner

From a nutritional research perspective, there are three basic don'ts when it comes to dinner and how it might affect your sleep. First, don't make your dinner meal too large in size, especially when it comes to volume of food and amount of fat. It just takes too long for your stomach to empty large amounts of food. For example, some studies have shown that approximately 10-15 grams of fat in food can be processed in the stomach and passed on to the small intestine in one hour. It's not unusual for there to be 20 grams of fat in one fried chicken breast and another 30 grams of fat in one large serving of French fries. The 50 grams of fat found in those two foods alone might drag out digestion time in the stomach to 5 hours! If you ate these two foods for dinner at 8:00 pm, it might be 1:00 am before they even left your stomach. (During the nighttime, too much secretion of gastric acid in your stomach can be a factor that disrupts sleep.) As a general guideline, you'll usually want to keep your dinners in the 350-550 calorie range, and you'll want to keep your dinner food fats to about 10-15 grams. Typically, that will mean no fried foods and only a few tablespoons of fat-containing sauces and salad dressings.

The second don't is related to the glycemic index. Although we've seen some research and some Internet discussion of high-glycemic index foods and their benefits for sleep, we believe that the best research here and the most healthful approach is to stick with low-glycemic index (low-GI) foods at dinner (and at other meals as well). Repeated studies have made it clear that low-GI foods at dinner can improve blood sugar reactions following breakfast the next morning and can help the entire next day start out in a way that is better for your blood sugar balance. When you eat breakfast and lunch, your food needs to provide you with the nourishment and energy to get you through the rest of the day. When you eat dinner (unless you work a late shift, or have responsibilities that force you to change your schedule from the natural cycle of waking hours in the daylight and sleep hours in the dark), you are no longer trying to gear up for your day's activities. Instead, you are trying to prepare for a good night's sleep and wake up with a refreshed start to the next day. We believe that low-GI foods are the best way to help you accomplish this task. Green leafy vegetables, cruciferous vegetables, and salad-type vegetables (including lettuce, tomatoes, celery, bell peppers, radish, and cucumbers) have the lowest GI values of any food group and can be especially good choices here. On the don't list, however, would be processed and refined grain products (like breads and pastas not made from 100% whole grains) and sugar-added foods or drinks. For more on the glycemic index see What is the Glycemic Index?

The third and final don't involves timing. You don't want to eat your dinner meal too close before bedtime. Your digestive tract works best when you are upright and sleep is not a good time for your stomach to be working in overdrive. If you keep your dinner meals in the 350-550 calorie and 10-15 grams of fat range we recommend, you should be able to eat your dinner meal approximately 3-4 hours before bedtime and have it work compatibly with your sleep.

Three Basic Do's When It Comes to Dinner

As mentioned earlier, low-GI foods and moderate fat foods are good choices when it comes to dinner. In the low-GI category, you will want to focus on the type of vegetables described earlier: green leafy vegetables, cruciferous vegetables, and salad-type vegetables including lettuce, tomatoes, celery, bell peppers, radishes, and cucumbers. If you're going to include starchier vegetables like potatoes or green peas, we recommend keeping them to the ½-1 cup range in terms of serving size. Whole grains can also make good choices here, kept once again in the 1 cup range.

A second "do" when it comes to dinner is protein-containing foods. The combination of low-GI carbs and protein at a dinner meal has been shown in some research studies to help improve sleep, and there is some evidence that one particular amino acid— called tryptophan—has a better chance to play a helpful role in our sleep-related nervous system activity when we combine dinner foods that provide protein and low-GI carbs. One very good protein choices here would be fish (but stay away from fried or breaded fish). If you enjoy and do well on lean meats, they can also be a healthy protein source and should be kept in the 4-6 ounce range at dinner.

A final "do" when it comes to dinner meals is the importance of a relaxed, enjoyable meal! Since dinner is coming at a time that is relatively close to bedtime, it's especially important to do thorough chewing of your dinner food and to relax in a way that will allow your body to engage in optimal digestion. This is one of the best time to savor the smells and textures and flavors of the World's Healthiest Foods.

Stick with some healthy protein choices (like non-fried fish) and low-GI (glycemic index) foods (like fresh green vegetables) at dinnertime. As a general guideline, keep your dinner meal in the 350-550 calorie and 10-15 grams-of-fat range. Don't go overboard on amounts for any food and leave a period of 3-4 hours between your dinner and your bedtime. And equally important, treat your dinner as the kind of meal that is designed to be especially relaxing and enjoyable.

Day 4 —Feeling Great Menu

On Day 4 you will enjoy a combination of spinach and mushrooms served with a poached egg for breakfast, a Greek salad for lunch, and Quick-Broiled Salmon with a tasty Ginger Mint Salsa for dinner. Today you will learn about what foods are best for snacks that add a balance of nutrients to your Healthiest Way of Eating Plan and give you the energy to carry you through the day. Snacks are the way to ensure that you don't wait too long between meals because it's difficult to avoid overeating if you go longer than four to five hours without eating (you want to ensure that the snacks that you eat between meals are filling and nutritious and consist of around 100 calories).

Day 4—Health-Promoting Benefits

Day 4 of the Healthiest Way of Eating Plan provides you with 100% and more of the Daily Value for 20 health-promoting nutrients and all of their health benefits for maintaining good health. The Plan will help you avoid nutrient deficiencies because, as you can see, it is built around nutrient-rich foods—rich in vitamins, minerals, hard-to-find omega-3 fatty acids, protein, fiber, antioxidants and many other nutrients—over 8000 mg of nutrients that promote optimum health. The nutrient-rich foods in the Plan can provide nutrients in forms that are more available to you than most nutritional capsules. It is an anti-inflammatory and immunity plan because it helps protect against inflammation, reduces free radicals, and strengthens the immune system.

Nutrients in the daily menu perform many health functions in your body:

100% DV for proteinhelps maintain healthy skin, hair, and muscles
100% DV for fiberhelps support intestinal regularity
100% DV for vitamin Ahelps promote vision health
100% DV for thiamin B1helps maintain energy supplies
100% DV for riboflavin B2helps protect cells from oxygen damage
100% DV for niacin B3helps promote cholesterol level balance
100% DV for vitamin B6helps support your nervous system
100% DV for folatehelps support heart health
100% DV for vitamin Chelps protect against free radical damage
100% DV for vitamin Ehelps protect skin from ultraviolet light
100% DV for vitamin Khelps blood to clot normally
100% DV for calciumhelps build strong bones
100% DV for copperhelps promote proper thyroid function
100% DV for ironhelps keep immune system healthy
100% DV for magnesiumhelps relax nerves
100% DV for manganesehelps support your nervous system
100% DV for molybdenumhelps protect against inflammation
100% DV for phosphorushelps protect cells from oxygen damage
100% DV for potassiumhelps lower risk of high blood pressure
100% DV for seleniumhelps protect cells from free radical damage
10.08 g insoluble fiberpromotes healthy bowel regularity
7.08 g soluble fiberhelps lower cholesterol levels
2.37 mcg vitamin B12helps prevent anemia
8.09 mg panothentic acid helps turn carbs and fats into useable energy
12.82 mg zinc helps support sense of smell and taste
2.4` g omega-3'shelps reduce inflammation
0.67 g tryptophanhelps promote better sleep
35822 mcg beta-carotenehelps protect cells from free radicals
lutein&zeaxanthinhelps promote strong immune system
lycopenehelps protect cells from free radicals
anthocyaninshelps protect cells from free radicals

Calories, carbohydrates, fats, saturated fats, cholesterol and sodium are lower than 100% DVs, which is desirable for most individuals.

Analysis for the following nutrients are not readily available: biotin, chromium, and iodine (found in sea vegetables).

You can get vitamin D from the sun; 15 minutes in the middle of the day will provide you your DV for vitamin D. Or, you can add 3.5 oz of sockeye salmon, which provides 247% DV for vitamin D or 3.5 oz of ahi tuna, which provides 101% DV to your menu for the day.

Since there are no Daily Values for tryptophan, omega-3 fatty acids, beta-carotene, lutein/zeaxanthin, lycopene, and anthocyanins (the Plan is an great source of all phytonutrients) the absolute amounts of these nutrients found in the Day 2's menu are indicated in the chart above.

To increase your intake of omega-3 fatty acids include more salmon, sardines, flaxseeds, and walnuts into your daily menu.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration's "A Food Labeling Guide" (US FDA, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition/Office of Nutrition, Labeling, and Dietary Supplements, April 2008) was used as a foundation for the Daily Values we use to evaluate the Healthiest Way of Eating Plan. When you see the phrase "100% DV," it means that you are getting 100% or more of the Daily Value (DV).

Day 4—Lesson of the Day—Healthy Snacks

Healthy snacks contain an appropriate amount of protein, fats, fiber, and accompanying nutrients that will not only satiate your appetite so you will be less hungry between meals, but they also provide you with health-promoting nutrients to provide you with long-lasting energy.

Snacks should also provide energy and the feeling of satiety for the least number of calories. That's why I don't recommend popular snacks like energy bars because they contain excess amounts of fats and sweeteners, which contribute empty calories to your daily quota of calories. While a small amount of fat helps to maintain satiety, excessive amounts of fat can slow down your digestion to the point where it takes too long for you to derive energy and nourishment from your food. And excessive amounts of simple sugars can digest too quickly so you will be hungry in a very short time—much before the next meal. They also do not contain any fresh ingredients, which can help increase your energy and vitality.

An example of a healthy snack is fresh fruit (such as apples, pears, and blueberries) combined with nuts (such as almonds, walnuts and cashews) as it provides a good combination of fiber from the fruit and protein from the nuts (the latter increases the "holding power" of the snack). The fats from the almonds are a good addition to help slow digestive process and stretch the snack's impact. Fresh fruit and yogurt is also a great combination for a healthy snack. These snacks are not just good for you; they are less expensive than pre-packaged energy bars.

I'd like to add one last set of observations about individuals who find they snack too frequently. It's important to think about the pattern of your entire day in terms of enjoyment and activities. You may or may not want to make healthy snacking the solution to a daily pattern that just isn't working for you in terms of balance and enjoyment. In some cases, planning a larger, more nourishing meal before a difficult snack period time—and then shifting activities to turn a former snack period into a period of time focused on other enjoyable pursuits—can be a more effective way of "tiding yourself over" than experimenting with your snack content.

Day 5—Feeling Great Menu

On Day 5 you will enjoy Perfect Oatmeal for breakfast— a perfect way to start the day. For lunch Healthy Veggie Salad with turkey, walnuts and our French dressing will carry you through to Quick-Broiled Halibut for dinner. Today you will learn the benefits of enjoying healthy appetizers before dinner as a regular part of your Healthiest Way of Eating Plan. When I have dinner with friends I always serve appetizers because they give us a chance to talk before the meal, making the dining experience more pleasurable and relaxing. The more relaxing a meal, the more satiated you will feel both physically and emotionally and the less likely you will want to eat again soon afterwards.

Day 5—Health-Promoting Benefits

Day 5 of the Healthiest Way of Eating Plan provides you with 100% and more of the Daily Value for 18 health-promoting nutrients and all of their health benefits for maintaining good health. The Plan will help you avoid nutrient deficiencies because, as you can see, it is built around nutrient-rich foods—rich in vitamins, minerals, hard-to-find omega-3 fatty acids, protein, fiber, antioxidants and many other nutrients—over 8000 mg of nutrients that promote optimum health. The nutrient-rich foods in the Plan can provide nutrients in forms that are more available to you than most nutritional capsules. It is an anti-inflammatory and immunity plan because it helps protect against inflammation, reduces free radicals, and strengthens the immune system.

Nutrients in the daily menu perform many health functions in your body:

100% DV for proteinhelps maintain healthy skin, hair, and muscles
100% DV for fiberhelps support intestinal regularity
100% DV for vitamin Ahelps promote vision health
100% DV for thiamin B1helps maintain energy supplies
100% DV for riboflavin B2helps protect cells from oxygen damage
100% DV for niacinhelps promote cholesterol level balance
100% DV for vitamin B6helps support your nervous system
100% DV for folatehelps support heart health
100% DV for vitamin Chelps protect against free radical damage
100% DV for vitamin Ehelps protect skin from ultraviolet light
100% DV for vitamin Khelps blood to clot normally
100% DV for calciumhelps build strong bones
100% DV for copperhelps promote proper thyroid function
100% DV for ironhelps keep immune system healthy
100% DV for magnesiumhelps relax nerves
100% DV for manganesehelps support your nervous system
100% DV for phosphorushelps protect cells from oxygen damage
100% DV for potassiumhelps lower risk of high blood pressure
100% DV for seleniumhelps protect cells from free radical damage
18.48g insoluble fiberpromotes healthy bowel regularity
12.56 g soluble fiberhelps lower cholesterol levels
7.65 mcg panothentic acid helps turn carbs and fats into useable energy
2.25 mcg vitamin B12helps prevent anemia
44.26 mcg molybdenumhelps protect against inflammation
11.63 mg zinc helps support sense of smell and taste
1.03 g omega-3'shelps reduce inflammation
0.88 g tryptophanhelps promote better sleep
6205 mcg beta-carotenehelps protect cells from free radicals
lutein&zeaxanthinhelps promote strong immune system
lycopenehelps protect cells from free radicals
anthocyaninshelps protect cells from free radicals

Calories, carbohydrates, fats, saturated fats, cholesterol and sodium are lower than 100% DVs, which is desirable for most individuals.

Analysis for the following nutrients are not readily available: biotin, chromium, and iodine (found in sea vegetables).

You can get vitamin D from the sun; 15 minutes in the middle of the day will provide you your DV for vitamin D. Or, you can add 3.5 oz of sockeye salmon, which provides 247% DV for vitamin D or 3.5 oz of ahi tuna, which provides 101% DV to your menu for the day.

Since there are no Daily Values for tryptophan, omega-3 fatty acids, beta-carotene, lutein/zeaxanthin, lycopene, and anthocyanins (the Plan is an great source of all phytonutrients) the absolute amounts of these nutrients found in the Day 2's menu are indicated in the chart above.

To increase your intake of omega-3 fatty acids include more salmon, sardines, flaxseeds, and walnuts into your daily menu.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration's "A Food Labeling Guide" (US FDA, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition/Office of Nutrition, Labeling, and Dietary Supplements, April 2008) was used as a foundation for the Daily Values we use to evaluate the Healthiest Way of Eating Plan. When you see the phrase "100% DV," it means that you are getting 100% or more of the Daily Value (DV).

Day 5—Lesson of the Day—Appetizers

Even when I prepare dinner for myself I prepare appetizers such as broccoli and cauliflower florets, cucumbers, red bell peppers, and zucchini and serve them with a health-promoting dip such as guacamole or hummus. These are among the most healthy and easy appetizers to prepare. Extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, low-fat yogurt, and nut/seed butters—such as almond butter or tahini (sesame seed butter)—also make great dips that require very little preparation. I enjoy these more than the more traditional soup and salad appetizer, and they can be more healthy and easier to prepare.

Even though it is not highly time-consuming to do the cutting and chopping of the vegetables yourself, you might want to consider the added convenience of pre-chopped and pre-sliced vegetables (although they are a bit more expensive). Many stores offer organically grown, pre-cut vegetables that could provide just the right amount of extra convenience to get you going on some improved appetizer options.

You will often find that it is often recommended to soak vegetables in ice water one hour before serving. I would avoid this practice as soaking leaches out many (about 20) of the nutrients found in the vegetables.

Appetizers consisting of vegetable-plus-dip combinations will take the edge off of your hunger and also help prevent overeating once the meal is served. Healthy appetizers will usually contain about 100 calories.

My recommendations for best healthy appetizers include fresh vegetable crudités served with:

  • hummus,
  • guacamole
  • tahini
  • salsa
  • tapenade
  • nut butters

The list is endless.

Day 6—Feeling Great Menu

On Day 6 you will enjoy my Healthy Breakfast Frittata for breakfast, Chinese Chicken Cabbage Salad for lunch and Salmon with Mustard for dinner. Today you will learn how to prepare desserts that take little time to make and are delicious as well as nutritious additions to your Healthiest Way of Eating Plan.

Day 6—Health-Promoting Benefits

Day 6 of the Healthiest Way of Eating Plan provides you with 100% and more of the Daily Value for 20 health-promoting nutrients and all of their health benefits for maintaining good health. The Plan will help you avoid nutrient deficiencies because, as you can see, it is built around nutrient-rich foods—rich in vitamins, minerals, hard-to-find omega-3 fatty acids, protein, fiber, antioxidants and many other nutrients—over 8000 mg of nutrients that promote optimum health. The nutrient-rich foods in the Plan can provide nutrients in forms that are more available to you than most nutritional capsules. It is an anti-inflammatory and immunity plan because it helps protect against inflammation, reduces free radicals, and strengthens the immune system.

Nutrients in the daily menu perform many health functions in your body:

100% DV for proteinhelps maintain healthy skin, hair, and muscles
100% DV for fiberhelps support intestinal regularity
100% DV for vitamin Ahelps promote vision health
100% DV for thiamin B1helps maintain energy supplies
100% DV for riboflavin B2helps protect cells from oxygen damage
100% DV for niacinhelps promote cholesterol level balance
100% DV for vitamin B6helps support your nervous system
100% DV for folatehelps support heart health
100% DV for vitamin Chelps protect against free radical damage
100% DV for vitamin Ehelps protect skin from ultraviolet light
100% DV for vitamin Khelps blood to clot normally
100% DV for calciumhelps build strong bones
100% DV for copperhelps promote proper thyroid function
100% DV for ironhelps keep immune system healthy
100% DV for magnesiumhelps relax nerves
100% DV for manganesehelps support your nervous system
100% DV for molybdenumhelps protect against inflammation
100% DV for phosphorushelps protect cells from oxygen damage
100% DV for potassiumhelps lower risk of high blood pressure
100% DV for seleniumhelps protect cells from free radical damage
14.71 g insoluble fiberpromotes healthy bowel regularity
6.11 g soluble fiberhelps lower cholesterol levels
7.79 mg panothentic acid helps turn carbs and fats into useable energy
2.10 mcg vitamin B12helps prevent anemia
10.28 mg zinc helps support sense of smell and taste
2.49 g omega-3'shelps reduce inflammation
0.67 g tryptophanhelps promote better sleep
27000 mcg beta-carotenehelps protect cells from free radicals
lutein&zeaxanthinhelps promote strong immune system
lycopenehelps protect cells from free radicals
anthocyaninshelps protect cells from free radicals

Calories, carbohydrates, fats, saturated fats, cholesterol and sodium are lower than 100% DVs, which is desirable for most individuals.

Analysis for the following nutrients are not readily available: biotin, chromium, and iodine (found in sea vegetables).

You can get vitamin D from the sun; 15 minutes in the middle of the day will provide you your DV for vitamin D. Or, you can add 3.5 oz of sockeye salmon, which provides 247% DV for vitamin D or 3.5 oz of ahi tuna, which provides 101% DV to your menu for the day.

Since there are no Daily Values for tryptophan, omega-3 fatty acids, beta-carotene, lutein/zeaxanthin, lycopene, and anthocyanins (the Plan is an great source of all phytonutrients) the absolute amounts of these nutrients found in the Day 2's menu are indicated in the chart above.

To increase your intake of omega-3 fatty acids include more salmon, sardines, flaxseeds, and walnuts into your daily menu.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration's "A Food Labeling Guide" (US FDA, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition/Office of Nutrition, Labeling, and Dietary Supplements, April 2008) was used as a foundation for the Daily Values we use to evaluate the Healthiest Way of Eating Plan. When you see the phrase "100% DV," it means that you are getting 100% or more of the Daily Value (DV).

Day 6—Lesson of the Day—Healthy Desserts

When someone asks if we want dessert, our initial reaction may often lean towards "Should I?" or "Can I afford the calories?" Desserts are often attached to feelings of indulgence and even guilt because they are associated with dishes that are high in sugar and fat content and of little nutritional value. But this does not have to be the case.

In fact, traditionally, in China and Mediterranean countries, fresh fruit desserts have long been recognized as a healthy addition to their meal. They were served not only to add sweetness to the meal but also to help digestion. According to Ayurvedic medical philosophy, digestion is a key indicator and determinant of good health and since fruits enhance the finest by-product of digestion they are a great choice for a healthy dessert. Both on the website and in our book, we feature many health-promoting no-bake, no-guilt recipes prepared with fresh fruits that both look and taste great!

Day 7—Feeling Great Menu

On Day 7 you will enjoy our time-saving High Energy Breakfast Shake for breakfast, a great-tasting Lentil Salad for lunch and Herbed Chicken Breast with Sauteed Mushroom and Green Peas for dinner. Today you will learn about some of the healthy beverages that fit well into your Healthiest Way of Eating Plan.

Day 7—Health-Promoting Benefits

Day 7 of the Healthiest Way of Eating Plan provides you with 100% and more of the Daily Value for 19 health-promoting nutrients and all of their health benefits for maintaining good health. The Plan will help you avoid nutrient deficiencies because, as you can see, it is built around nutrient-rich foods—rich in vitamins, minerals, hard-to-find omega-3 fatty acids, protein, fiber, antioxidants and many other nutrients—over 8000 mg of nutrients that promote optimum health. The nutrient-rich foods in the Plan can provide nutrients in forms that are more available to you than most nutritional capsules. It is an anti-inflammatory and immunity plan because it helps protect against inflammation, reduces free radicals, and strengthens the immune system.

Nutrients in the daily menu perform many health functions in your body:

100% DV for proteinhelps maintain healthy skin, hair, and muscles
100% DV for fiberhelps support intestinal regularity
100% DV for vitamin Ahelps promote vision health
100% DV for thiamin B1helps maintain energy supplies
100% DV for riboflavin B2helps protect cells from oxygen damage
100% DV for niacinhelps promote cholesterol level balance
100% DV for vitamin B6helps support your nervous system
100% DV for folatehelps support heart health
100% DV for vitamin Chelps protect against free radical damage
100% DV for vitamin Ehelps protect skin from ultraviolet light
100% DV for vitamin Khelps blood to clot normally
100% DV for calciumhelps build strong bones
100% DV for copperhelps promote proper thyroid function
100% DV for ironhelps keep immune system healthy
100% DV for magnesiumhelps relax nerves
100% DV for manganesehelps support your nervous system
100% DV for phosphorushelps protect cells from oxygen damage
100% DV for potassiumhelps lower risk of high blood pressure
100% DV for seleniumhelps protect cells from free radical damage
20.60 g insoluble fiberpromotes healthy bowel regularity
3.85 g soluble fiberhelps lower cholesterol levels
2.53 mcg vitamin B12helps prevent anemia
10.27 mg panothentic acid helps turn carbs and fats into useable energy
51.53 mcg molybdenumhelps protect against inflammation
13.27 mg zinc helps support sense of smell and taste
2.24 g omega-3'shelps reduce inflammation
0.89 g tryptophanhelps promote better sleep
2584 mcg beta-carotenehelps protect cells from free radicals
lutein&zeaxanthinhelps promote strong immune system
lycopenehelps protect cells from free radicals
anthocyaninshelps protect cells from free radicals

Calories, carbohydrates, fats, saturated fats, cholesterol and sodium are lower than 100% DVs, which is desirable for most individuals.

Analysis for the following nutrients are not readily available: biotin, chromium, and iodine (found in sea vegetables).

You can get vitamin D from the sun; 15 minutes in the middle of the day will provide you your DV for vitamin D. Or, you can add 3.5 oz of sockeye salmon, which provides 247% DV for vitamin D or 3.5 oz of ahi tuna, which provides 101% DV to your menu for the day.

Since there are no Daily Values for tryptophan, omega-3 fatty acids, beta-carotene, lutein/zeaxanthin, lycopene, and anthocyanins (the Plan is an great source of all phytonutrients) the absolute amounts of these nutrients found in the Day 2's menu are indicated in the chart above.

To increase your intake of omega-3 fatty acids include more salmon, sardines, flaxseeds, and walnuts into your daily menu.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration's "A Food Labeling Guide" (US FDA, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition/Office of Nutrition, Labeling, and Dietary Supplements, April 2008) was used as a foundation for the Daily Values we use to evaluate the Healthiest Way of Eating Plan. When you see the phrase "100% DV," it means that you are getting 100% or more of the Daily Value (DV).

Day 7—Lesson of the Day—Healthy Beverages

Most people recognize, to varying extents of course, that what they eat (or don't eat) impacts their overall health. And, because of this recognition, many people try to eat more fruits and vegetables as well as less saturated fat and cholesterol while also cutting out junk foods.

However, it is important to remember that what you drink (or don't drink) also impacts your health. If you are careful to eat well, but drink excessive amounts of soda, fruit beverages, coffee, and/or alcoholic beverages you may not be as healthy as you could be. That is because such beverages contain a variety of substances that, when consumed in excess, are not health-giving. These substances include refined or artificial sweeteners, artificial flavorings, artificial colorings, synthetic preservatives, caffeine, and alcohol. In order to keep your beverage choices at the same peak nourishment level as your food choices, here are my recommendations:

Water: You can't go wrong with high-quality water. This beverage is not only at the top of my list, it is in a category all its own. While your water intake needs will vary from day to day, in its Dietary Reference Intake (DRI) recommendations, the National Academy of Sciences recommends about 13 cups of water each day for men and 9 cups for women. Space your intake throughout the day, make sure to rehydrate during and after exercise, and steer clear of excess water drinking during meal times if you find that practice to be personally helpful. For the highest quality water, I recommend attaching a high-quality filter to your tap water supply and drinking this filtered tap water as your primary source of water. To give yourself plenty of easy access to home-filtered waters, you may want to purchase an easy-to-carry water bottle and refill it whenever you are home so that you can have water with you when you are on the go. Look for glass or stainless steel ones. If you're getting a hard plastic (polycarbonate) bottle, be sure to purchase a "BPA-free" one. (BPA stands for bisphenol A, a problematic toxin that has often been added to polycarbonate plastics).

For more on drinking water with your meals, see Is it okay to drink water while eating or will it negatively impact my digestion?.

100% fruit juices: Fruit juice can be healthy when it is 100% fruit juice, with no added sweeteners. But, keep in mind, that juice can pack a powerful punch in terms of calories and sugar, so it may not be wise to consume a lot of juice, even 100% fruit juice, if you are trying to drop a few pounds or have blood sugar regulation concerns. To take full advantage of the nutrients available in the fruit, press or juice the fruit at home and consume it immediately. If you want to buy fruit juice at a grocery store, keep in mind that 100% fruit juice is harder to find than you might think as many fruit beverages sold in supermarkets contain only a small percentage (usually less than 10%) of actual fruit juice. For a special occasion, instead of serving soda, make a refreshing and healthy punch by combining sparkling water with 100% cranberry juice, ice, and orange slices in a large bowl. (Remember though that while 100% fruit juice may be a healthful beverage, it shouldn't be thought of as a substitute for whole fresh fruit).

Iced herbal tea: Instead of regular iced tea, treat yourself to a cool drink of herbal iced tea. Many herbs are rich in powerful antioxidants, which support the immune system and overall health. Brew the tea stronger than you would if you were planning to serve the tea hot and then add ice and a sprig of mint or a slice of lemon. Peppermint tea is wonderful when served cold. Or, try a combination of various herbs: chamomile, hibiscus flower, lemon grass, orange peel, rose hips, and strawberry leaf.

Healthier Lifestyle Tea: Healthier Lifestyle Tea is the name I have given to a delicious and health-supporting beverage made of one cup of green tea and one teaspoon of lemon juice. Green tea is not only delicious but is renowned for its health-promoting properties. These have been linked to its high concentration of catechin phytonutrients, which have a wide variety of protective benefits, many related to their potent ability to fight free radicals. Adding 1 tsp of lemon juice per cup of green tea not only gives it a refreshing taste but additional benefits. Lemon juice is a concentrated source of vitamin C, and hot water and lemon is a very cleansing and energizing beverage. If you are sensitive to caffeine, you can drink decaffeinated green tea.

Green tea is best enjoyed hot without sweeteners, however if you want to sweeten your green tea, stevia, agave nectar, or honey are your best choices. For more on green tea, see Green tea.

Red Wine: Always drink with meals. Current recommendations are 1 glass for women and 2 glasses for men per day if it agrees with you. If you cannot tolerate alcohol you can benefit from the resveratrol found in alcohol by enjoying alcohol-free red wine or purple grape juice.

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