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Thursday, July 28th, 2011

Healthy Lunch Ideas for Weight Loss

Thursday, July 28th, 2011

Three Steps to Lose the Weight and Keep it off…for GOOD!



As you all know, I am the Queen of fast, easy meals. My only other stipulation is that they taste DELICIOUS. What’s the point of eating if it doesn’t taste good?! In my opinion, that’s where so many diets miss the mark. Sure, you can eat nothing but bland diet food for a month and lose weight but YUCK!!! …who wants to do that?! NOT ME.

Health and lasting weight loss come from creating a lifestyle, not crazy restrictive yo-yo diets.  I’ve done the diet pill, restriction, fad diet, fat-free-everything, lose weight then gain it all back and then some routine and it sucks. It’s defeating and miserable. You feel like a failure when in reality you were just following a diet or a fad that was destined not to work long term anyway.

Linda Wagner's Detox E-Books are HERE!!

There have been several times throughout my journey when I was sure that I was destined to be FAT and I would NEVER, EVER lose the weight. It’s a depressing place to be. That’s why I was, and am, SO HAPPY to have found a lifestyle that works, is healthy and has helped me (and my clients) to keep the weight off for GOOD!


Step 1: Get Real

One major component to my success throughout the years has been getting REAL with myself.  In all honesty, if there are more than 10 ingredients or it takes longer than 30 min to make a recipe, then I’m not going to take the time to make it. I know that about myself. That means it’s very important that I find simple recipes that are easy to make and  still taste great.  If I can’t find them, I make them up or modify them to fit into my busy lifestyle.

Most people are intimidated by veggies but in REALITY veggies are so FAST & EASY to make!!  Throw a potato in the oven/toaster oven @ 400deg. for 30mins (let cook while you’re working, playing with the kids, walking the dog, etc) that’s pretty easy, no one can/should dispute that!  A quick scrambled egg dish, or summer salad takes 15mins tops! Steamed veggies take about 10mins to prepare.  Avocado toast takes less than 5 mins and tastes like a dream come true!!

Get real with what you WANT and what you need.  Stop making excuses like “I don’t have time” and find a way to make it work! I know that my dishes need to be quick, easy, and most importantly they need to TASTE GOOD. So I stick to simple recipes and use decadent ingredients like REAL butter, sea salt, LOTS of goat cheese, garlic, and chocolate to make things delicious!


Step 2: Always be prepared

Like I’ve said before, another HUUUUUGE factor to a successful diet is ALWAYS BE PREPARED! If you are hungry and there are no healthy options around, you are very likely to grab the first thing you can put your hands on.  The answer: ALWAYS STOCK YOUR FRIDGE with healthy options!!

The same thing applies if you are out running errands. If you know there is nothing for you waiting at home, you are 10 times more likely to run through the drive through or pick up some processed, readily available crap to satiate your hunger. On the other hand, if you’ve got something prepared at home, you know it’s there waiting for you and all you have to do is heat it up.

Another great way to make life easier is to prepare food ahead of time. Set one day of the week aside and make (for example) a huge container of salad, 5 chicken breasts, several portions of cooked veggies, a big pot of quinoa, and containers of sliced fruit & veggies to last through the week. The reality is if it’s there, you’ll eat it.


Step 3: You can always have it if you want it

When I first started to change my diet I would play a little game with myself. If I had a craving for something I would tell myself that I could have it AFTER I ate something healthy.  For example, lets say I was craving something sweet like a brownie.  I’d tell myself that if I ate a healthy sweet (like fruit or healthy chocolate shake) and still wanted the brownie, then I could have it. Nine times out of ten, the healthier option would satisfy my craving and I would no longer desire the fattening dessert I was craving.

That being said, I still think it is extremely important to enjoy your food. Sometimes that means eating a less than perfect meal.  I’ve shared my stories about jumping off the wagon.  I do enjoy treats like Crème brûlée, flour-less chocolate cake, chocolate mousse, pizza, fries etc. but I savor them. I make sure to taste each delicious bite, eat my meal slowly, and pay attention to each and every one of my senses.  If you’re going to have it, savor it, ENJOY it and then get right back on track!


Sweet Potato with Herbed Goat Cheese & Greens


Here’s a recipe that is so simple it’s almost ridiculous. I have this for lunch all the time. I’ll throw the sweet potato in the oven while I’m writing an article or responding to emails. When I start to notice the sweet smell of the potato I’ll quickly steam some broccoli and grab some greens (from my already prepared salad bag – remember preparation is KEY!) and lunch is ready!



You’ll need:

  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 1/2 – 1 broccoli floret
  • greens – I used a mix of Romaine & Red Leaf lettuce
  • Vinaigrette of choice for the salad
  • Goat Cheese – I used a Garlic & Herb Chèvre
  • sea salt

Simply bake the sweet potato in the oven or a toaster oven at 400-420 for 30 mins or until soft. The higher the temp, the faster it will cook.

When the potato is almost done you will notice the lovely aroma start to fill your house. This is the time to start steaming the broccoli. My extra fast steaming method = In a pot bring 1/2 cup sea salted water to a boil. Add cut broccoli florets and cover. Let cook for about 4 mins or until they reach desired tenderness.

Remove the sweet potato from the oven. Cut open and top with goat cheese. Serve with steamed broccoli and salad.



Yesterday I ate this right here at my desk. The whole cooking process took about 10mins and I was right back at my desk ready to chow down and get back to work!

Long term weight loss can be easy…once you get the hang of it. That means getting real, always being prepared, and ENJOYING yourself!!


I’d LOVE to hear from you!! Leave me a comment and tell me:

  • What are your favorite fast, healthy recipes? Obviously, I love how easy it is to make a baked sweet potato and veggies! But this summer I have also really loved caprese salads and Cauliflower w/marinara. I won’t tell you how many times I’ve eaten those same meals over and over again…but it’s a lot!!
  • Are there any recipes that you love so much that you make over and over again? I am such a creature of habit. I find one thing that I like and I could end up making it almost everyday for weeks!! Anyone else do this?!
  • If you’ve lost weight what were the top 3 things that helped you keep it off?

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