05 January 2015

Five Day Meal Plan for Fantastic Abs

Hi there, I’m not extraordinary in any way. I am just your average run of the mill 6 pack at the ripe old age of 35. I belong to Robin Hall. He is not a bad boss. In no way is he perfect and God knows, he has abused us over the years with junk food, smoking and other nefarious activities, but, bless him, he does make an effort to live well and live as an example to his clients. He is not a chef, no, not a chef at all, but he can whip together relatively healthy meals quickly and simply, and in this topsy turvy crazy age of go, go, go, I hope these recipe ideas provide you with some inspiration to get your diet a little more in line with keeping a healthy lifestyle and a trim, toned and tight torso.
 These recipes are meant to be a guide for you. When I have listed the ingredients assume it is for 2 servings. Use these meal ideas as a base structure, a foundation. Play with them but always keep this in mind: low calories and high nutrition. Although there is meat and cheese in these meal ideas; I do encourage you to be as vegetarian as possible.
 I have set the daily limit at 1500 calories. This is a great figure for a great figure for the ladies to aim for. Boys you have a few more calories to play with but better be to be on the safe side and strive for around  1,800 if you are exercising each day. Check with your doctors and check with yourself if these calorie counts are healthy for you and remember, if you keep to a diet plan and count your calories but aren’t losing weight you have two options, up the exercise or lower your calories or both!
 Abs are made in the kitchen. Your diet is important for your figure but more importantly it is vital for your long term health. In fact your diet in many ways is your health. So, peruse this diet plan and find something that works for your body and that is not hard to maintain. We want you to have abs for life, day in day out, an existence defined by doing your best.

Day 1: Breakfast (330 Calories).

Oatmeal with all the Fixins.
Oatmeal is a go to. I love this stuff. Slow burning complex carbs give you sustained energy throughout the morning.

I usually add a teaspoon of chia seeds. Chia seeds are a concentrated food containing healthy omega-3 fatty acids, carbohydrates, protein, fiber, antioxidants, and calcium. The also swell in liquid, expanding in your tummy to make you feel full longer. Bonus!
I also add some blueberries, some slithered almonds, a few raisins and if I am feeling crazy, a few slices of banana. My favorite brand is Activelifestyle.
Top Tip: Fruit are indeed your friend, but, even natural sugars turn to fat quickly so don’t go banana crazy, or as they say, bananas.
Coffee and a glass of water (or two).  I also have a glass of water first thing in the morning. Preferably two. This is important to rehydrate the body after it has been doing its thang sleeping and a cup of coffee kickstarts my heart.

Mid-morning Snack (120 Calories).
Carrots and hummus and an Apple. This never fails to please. Don’t get too crazy with the hummus. Dip those carrots in with judicious delicacy. Two tablespoons is a good measure.
2 glasses of water. That’s right, 2! Top Tip: If you are like me, sometimes you find drinking half your body weight in ounces of water is a tough ask, but that is what your body and yes, your abs require just to maintain their healthy functioning. So, if you are by the water cooler, or pouring yourself a glass, double up and pound one down. You need it! Drink water like its your favorite cocktail!

Lunch (200 Calories).
Simple Greek Salad.
Don’t you just love how easy salads are to prepare? I grab the ready washed organic mixes from Trader Joe’s. The Baby Spring Mix, The Power Greens and a bag of Spinach is my favorite base. A couple of cups of each of these and then I quickly chop up a cucumber, finely dice some red onion (up to half according to your taste or your need to maintain fresh breath), I throw in some reduced sodium black olives and then I go just a little bit crazy with some cherry tomatoes. I then crumble just a small amount of Fat Free Feta on it (just enough to give it a some sharp flavor, around 50 grams for two people) and hand toss it with a Fat Free Balsamic Dressing (two tablespoons per serving). Top Tip: hand tossing coates all the leaves with a little dressing which makes the salad more flavorful and you lose less dressing. Win win! Trader Joe’s has both a good Fat Free Feta and a good Fat Free Balsamic Dressing. Top Tip: Fat Free is a bit of a mis-labelling debacle. Even if a product is fat free it can contain a lot of sugar and or simple carbs, which turns into fat pretty quickly in the body, thus being in reality far from Fat Free. However, they are usually lower in calories. Glass of water (or two). Don’t forget that water!

Mid-Afternoon Snack (185 calories).
Dr. Rob’s Green Drink.
I love juicing. Lots of whole fruit and vegies blended up; can’t beat it.  You get a real hit of fantastic vitamins and you can feel your body tingle with the goodness you are consuming. Ingredients: I throw in some pineapple chunks, an orange, apple, cucumber, spinach, carrots, a bit of ginger and the juice of a lemon and just a bit of mint to taste and there you have it. Deelish!
Be creative! Find combinations that you love. I like to keep the pulp and fiber in my juices so I just blend it all up like a big nutritious margarita. That reminds me, be generous with the ice, it makes it extra refreshing.
I would encourage you to have a nutritious green drink each and every day! It really does provide your body with a jolt of nutritious zestiness. You body needs fresh fruit and vegetables. Give it what it needs!
Don’t forget, keep drinking that water throughout the day!
Dinner (650 Calories).
Pepperoni and Sun Dried Tomato Pizza with Side Salad.
Yes that’s right. Pizza can be enjoyed by those that want to maintain a tight and trim waistline. In fact I often prefer my homemade pizza over the more decadent and greasy products you get from the delivery boy or girl. Pick up a pizza dough, Trader Joe’s has a great whole wheat dough. You only need half a pack between two people and roll it really flat. I don’t know how to stretch a pizza base out traditional styles so I use a rolling pin and work it out until it is nice and thin. Set the oven to its highest heat, like 500 degrees and invest in a pizza stone to get a crispy base. I use a low sodium pasta sauce and use it sparingly, and then I top it with just a little cheese with a bit of basil, salt, pepper and some oregano to taste. The side salad can be a quick combination of your favorite veggies. Get into homemade Pizza. It is a great treat and it proves you can be healthy and still indulge in sensible and sensational comfort food.  A glass of wine or two and two glasses of water. I do usually have a drink or two with my meal. It helps me relax and slow down at the end of the day but remember to include your drinks in your daily calorie count. You don’t need more than two drinks on a weeknight do you? Of course not! Make sure you get a couple of glasses of water in at the end of the day. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!

Day 2: Breakfast (350 Calories).

Spinach, Tomato and Cheese Scramble.
I like to mix a bit of egg white mix with some whole eggs. If you’re cholesterol is high, you can stick with straight egg whites but I don’t mind a yolk or two. I love mixing in tons of spinach. It wilts right down in the heat so you can really pack a lot of nutrition into your scramble. I also am not shy about the tomatoes either. The more vegetables in anything the better. Use any excuse to pile em’ into your diet. They are the basis of a healthy diet and a healthy lifestyle. I add just a little cheese to taste and use ketchup sparingly to dip the eggs into. You can’t beat this scramble. It is simple, a classic blend of tasty ingredients that will never disappoint.

Banana, coffee and two glasses of water. Have a piece of fruit for breakfast too. I love bananas. You don’t? You can learn to love bananas, I know you can. And did you get that glass of water in first thing of the day? You need it.

Mid-Morning Snack (120 Calories).

Broccoli, Celery, Bell Pepper and Hummus.

Thats right, that famous combo of veggies and hummus. Top Tip: Slice up a whole bunch of peppers, celery and broccoli and then store it in your refrigerator so during the week, when you get a desire to reach for a snack, you have got something healthy ready to go. Lets face it, when you are reaching for a snack, you want something easy and at hand, if you don’t have something already prepared, you might find something convenient but unhealthy in your hand.

Lunch (350 Calories).

Veggie Masala Burgers Protein Style and Salad.
For a quick delicious lunch, grab some Trader Joe’s Vegetable Masala burgers, pop them in the microwave and top with a little cheese and tomato and serve it on a bed of romaine leaves  in lieu of a bun. Make a simple side salad and you have a quick delicious lunch. Now two processed patties may be too much for the ladies so I would stick to 1. Remember, processed foods are handy but being processed they come packed with sodium. If you eat anything from a packet and a can during the day, be very careful about adding any extra salt to your other meals. Processed food quickly maxes out your sodium budget. Are you on your way to drinking half your weight in ounces of water? Have another glass or two. Water is kinda important to your life.

Mid-Afternoon Snack (185 Calories).

Dr. Rob’s Green Drink.
I told ya. You have to drink a super juice once a day. It will change your life. Experiment. Throw in some other greens in there or a few more fruit. See how healthy and tasty you can make it. Go!

Water! Have I mentioned you should be drinking half your bodyweight in ounces of water each and everyday. I have? Is it getting stuck in your head? Good.

Dinner (250 Calories).

Texy Black Bean Salad.
Take a can of organic black beans and drain and wash it well. Drain a can of corn and wash too. Dice up ½ a red onion, a green pepper and slice up a couple of handfuls of cherry tomatoes. I dice up a quarter cup of fresh cilantro and then add that too. I use Trader Joe’s Fat Free Balsamic dressing adding half a teaspoon of cumin, red pepper flakes and just a dash of cayenne if you like a bit of heat. Lovely, wholesome and spicey.

Day 3: Breakfast (350 Calories).

Frittata with Side Salad.

Ingredients:2 eggs,2 large Egg Whites, 1/2 cup Onion, 1/2 medium raw Green-bell Pepper, 1/4 cup Cilantro, 1/8 tsp Salt, 1 tbsp Pepper, 1/4 tsp Cumin, Handful of Cherry Tomatoes,1/2 cup Part Skim Mozarella.

Just cut up all the veggies and place all ingredients in a fry pan and slowly cook at a low heat for 10-15mins, until the onion is caramelized. Stir in the seasoning. Pre-heat the oven to 350. Mix in the three eggs and two egg whites and stir well then let set and cook through until the top solidifies, sprinkle on the cheese and bake until melted. If you are up for it and like the flavor of the cumin throw in a little more. You can also add a little cinnamon to give it a more sweeter taste. Take a handful of spinach and power greens and just a few slices of cucumber and tomato for you side salad. I love adding a simple side salad for breakfast, you get that zesty green energy from the get go.
Water, Do I still need to talk about water? You already had your first glass right? You are gonna hydrate throughout the day right? How many ounces do you need per day? You know this stuff.

Mid-Morning Snack (230 Calories).

3 of my Favorite Snacks.

This is truly a magic trio. Cat Cookies at 15 for a mere 120 calories is great bang for your buck. That fulfills your sweet tooth. Pop Chips are great, a small handful is all that is required to satiate your salt cravings and then you get to top off this triple threat with some delicious fresh grapes. Now this feels like a big junk food fest though you are still doing fantastic with keeping those calories low. Whenever you get a snack attack, fight it with these three tasty treats. Small servings that hit all those areas of crunchy, salty and sweet deliciousness. It is easy to live well and savor all of life’s flavors!

A Glass (or two) of Bubbly Water. Just in case you were getting bored with water, why not grab a bubbly water? Go crazy. I have a sodastream at home which I just love. I love the feelings of bubbles in my mouth and it encourages me to hydrate even more. The bubbles make it exciting. No really!

Lunch (450 Calories).

Salmon Patties with Side Salad.
Ingredients: 15 oz Pink Salmon (tinned), 2 eggs,  1 slice Ezekiel bread, A few Scallions, Lemon juice, 2 tbsp Pure Olive Oil.

This is a very quick recipe for a super tasty boost of good protein.

Empty the can of salmon and drain it out. Buzz the slice of bread and scallion quickly in a food processor till the bread is in crumbs. Juice the lemon and add to the salmon. Zest the lemon. Stir in the eggs and then form four small patties and coat lightly with flour. Refrigerate for 5 mins then grill with a little olive oil about 5 mins each side. Serve with a slice of lemon to drizzle over the cakes and a side salad for a great light lunch.

Side Salad. Again, you should be aiming to have a salad as part of EVERY meal. I like to get some light feta, spinach, cucumber and tomatoes, drizzle some Trader Joe’s Fat Free Balsamic dressing over it and boom, a lovely little Greek Salad on the side. Get good and fast at whipping up a salad. At any time you should be able to locate and destroy a salad. Be ready with lots of salad options at all times. Also, Water, water, water!

Mid-Afternoon Snack (130 Calories).

Dr. Rob’s Green Drink.

Don’t have a fancy juicer or blender? Neither do I! In fact my blender I bought way back in the day and used it to blend Margaritas almost exclusively. I actually prefer to keep all the fiber in my green drinks. I am not so keen on just extracting the juice. Your body loves the fiber and there are a lot of vitamins to be found in the skin of any fruit n’ veggies you throw in there. Go wild with your veggie and fruit combinations! Make it delicious so you keep coming back for more and ask yourself this question, how do I feel after drinking one of these? You should have a green drink EVERY DAY!

Water: You know what I love? Yes I do love bubbly water, I also love adding a bit of lemon juice to the water to add a bit of flavor. Get that water in you. At least half your bodyweight in ounces yo!

Dinner (300 Calories).

The Rob Cobb.

Take your base of Power Greens, Spinach and Baby Spring mix and line up a handful of shredded carrots, some thinly sliced cucumber, sliced tomatoes, sliced boiled egg, sliced turkey bacon and drizzle with some Trader Joe’s Light Champagne dressing.

I like this salad for its filling properties. The Turkey bacon and egg beef it up and make it a very filling dinner. In fact you should aim to have a salad for dinner anytime it is feasible. If you have a heavier, more calorie dense meal for lunch, you get more time to burn it off during the day. If you have a salad for dinner, you will go to bed lighter and less calories will turn into fat as you sleep and your metabolism hits its daily low. A good reason to make your dinner and evening meal a salad. Also, just a friendly reminder...Aqua!

Remember these 3 rules as you plan your meals

1. Have a big salad with lots of dark green leaves each and every day for a main meal and try and have a small salad with each meal if possible.

2. Have some form of Green drink, a nutritious powerhouse of your favorite fruit and vegetables blended with ice.

3. Drink at least half your bodyweight in ounces of water each day. Do these 3 things and you give yourself every chance of having a tight torso and be well on your way to wellness

Day 4: Breakfast (370 calories).

Ingredients: Ezekiel tortilla, ½ cup of pinto beans,1/4 red onion,1/4 bell pepper, 1 egg white, ⅛ cup of cheese.

A great stomach filling, protein packed start to the day. First dice and saute the red onion until caramelized, add the peppers and cook until braised and soft and then remove. Quickly cook beans and cheese and finally cook the egg white separately. Put it all in the tortilla and fold up, pop into the microwave for a quick 30 sec reheat and then serve with a squirt of ketchup and hot sauce.
I wash this down with a cup of coffee and a glass of water.

Mid-Morning Snack (220 Calories).

Blueberry and Banana Smoothie.

To make a delicious mid-morning smoothie for 2, throw a banana, a cup of blueberries, 16 oz of nonfat greek style yogurt and a generous amount of ice and blend it all up.

Again you have my total permission to be creative. Stay away from adding sugar and keep it as natural as possible. Stay away from processed food.

Lunch (215 Calories).

Italian Style Salad.

Ingredients: 3 cups of Baby Spring Mix, ½ Cup shredded carrot, 2 persian cucumbers, 2 celery stalks, ½ cup of Garbanzo beans, 1 Sweet Italian chicken sausage link, Handful of Cherry Tomatoes, Handful of Broccoli Florets, Trader Joe’s Fat Free Balsamic dressing.

I love the extra protein and tastiness that the Garbanzo beans and Sweet Italian Chicken sausage add to a salad. It makes it a lot more filling and will keep you satiated throughout the afternoon. Make sure to give the beans a rinse and dice up that sausage into small bits and make sure you toss the salad well.


Mid-Afternoon Snack (100 Calories).

A Crudite’ and Hummus.

I give you permission to eat as many fresh green vegetables as many times a day as you want to. In fact I demand you should eat fresh vegetables as your snack foods. Fresh vegetables should be the foundation, the cornerstone, the heart of your healthy diet. Get your taste buds to like the subtle fresh delicious taste and your body to revel in that zesty light feeling you get from eating green.


Dinner (200 Calories).

Turkey Chilli.

Ingredients: 3 cans of beans (black, kidney, you choose whichever 3 beans you would like to use), ½ lp of ground lean Turkey, ½ Onion, Green Pepper, Red Pepper, 1 can of corn, 1 cartons of low sodium Chicken broth, 1 can of crushed tomatoes, 6 teaspoons of Chilli powder, 4 teaspoons of cinnamon, 2 tablespoons of Paprika, Salt and sugar to taste. Serve with a dollop of low-fat yogurt, a sprinkling of cheese and a handful of organic corn chips.

I love making a big batch of chilli. You can double the recipe and eat the leftovers over the next couple of days. It is always useful to have a meal ready to go in the fridge.

First you want to caramelize the onion, dice it up, put it in the pot and saute it until it is smelling sweet and aromatic. Then add the turkey and brown it and add the spices. Dice up the bell peppers and throw them in next, wait until the are braised and then add the chicken broth, corn, crushed tomatoes and add some salt and sugar until you get that great sweet and sour balance that works for you. Serve with a dollop of yogurt, a sprinkle of cheese and a few organic corn chips to dip in. Get a good chilli in your recipe resume. It will be a life-long friend.


Day 5: Breakfast ( 450 Calories).

Egg in a Cup Special.

Feel like a sweet treat for breakfast? I love this simple breakfast with a sweet twist. Preparing an egg in a cup is super easy and eggs make a great snack too during the day. I spray a bit of olive oil on the inside of a small ramekin, break the yolk into it and stir in some cheese, pop it in the microwave and cook for a minute or so, keep an eye on it. You can add some extra bits and pieces such as some tomato, spinach and turkey bacon if you are feeling ambitious. However, the egg with sprinkle of cheese is delish. Then with the egg you can have a slice of Ezekiel bread with Almond butter and a drizzle of honey, some grapes, an orange and for a sweet kicker, one whole gram cracker. Wash it down with some strong coffee and a glass of water and you are ready to set out for a day of kicking serious butt.

Mid-Morning Snack (185 Calories).

Dr. Rob’s Green Drink.

You now know and love the feeling of what a green drink does for you body and for your day. Play around with a few more combinations of fruits and veggies today!


Lunch ( 520 Calories).

Turkey Burgers and Sweet Potato Fries.

Ingredients: 1lb ground turkey, half a red onion, 1 teaspoon of garlic powder, ¼ black pepper, ½ salt, ¼ grated cheese, ½ chopped bell pepper, 2 teaspoons of Worcestershire sauce, 1 egg, 1 teaspoon of mustard, ¼ cilantro, freshly chopped, ½ bread crumbs.

Nothing beats a burger and fries. It is one of my all time favorite meals. This is a relatively healthy option of this feel good comfort food combo.
For the sweet potato fries, finely slice up your sweet potato into long strips and drizzle with a bit of olive oil. Place in the oven and bake for around 40 mins at 350°. Turn them from time to time until they have reached your desired mix of soft versus crunchy.

For the burgers, first finely chop the onion and saute it over a low heat while you combine the rest of the ingredients in a mixing bowl. Once the onion is caramelized add it to the mix. Mix well and then form into burgers. Cook them over a medium heat until the juices run clear, top with a little cheese and wa la! Enjoy!

P.S How is the water intake today? Why don’t you have a glass or two right now!

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Mid-Afternoon Snack (170 Calories).

Cup of Soup and Crackers.

There are many low sodium and healthy pre-made soups on the market nowadays. So easy to prepare and a healthy delicious treat for the the afternoon.

Grab a handful of Saltine crackers and again you have one of lifes perfect little combinations that will make you feel warm and fuzzy.

Wash it down with a glass of water, or if you are feeling crazy, how about a herbal tea?

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Dinner (175 Calories).

Spinach, Pecan, Blue Cheese and Cranberry Salad.

Ingredients: 5 cups of spinach, 1 tablespoon pecan pieces, 1 tablespoon of crumbled blue cheese, 1 tablespoon of dried cranberries, 4 tablespoons of Trader Joe’s Fat Free Balsamic Vinaigrette.

This is salad is a terrific, simple combination of flavors. Tons of spinach and some strong tasting delicious pangs of blue cheese, cranberry not to mention the pecans make this a wonderful fresh and light end to the day.