3 Dinner Recipes for the Total Body Diet

By Victoria Shanta Retelny, Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics

The last meal of the day may not seem as important as the first, but on the Total Body Diet, getting the nutrients your body needs to restore and replenish itself is vital. However, because your body slows down in the evening to accommodate your natural sleep cycle, it’s important not to overdo it with excess calories after dark.

Here are a few healthy habits to get into for dinnertime:

  • Eat earlier in the evening to give your body a chance to digest. Evenings can be hectic and getting a meal on the table can be stressful, if you haven’t planned ahead. Making simple meals ahead of time or knowing what you’re going to eat prevents unhealthy eating.

  • Balance meals with all the foods groups — lean protein, fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and/or lowfat dairy products and some healthy fats — for a moderate dinner that fuels your body well for the seven- to nine-hour fast ahead, restorative rest for your mind and body, and rejuvenation for the next day.

  • Eat light at night. The saying, “Eat like a king in the morning, a prince in the afternoon, and a pauper at night” has a lot of truth to it. Try to eat most of your food earlier in the day because you’re typically more active during the day, and your metabolism is humming along well — which bodes well for weight management over the long run.

  • Eat mindfully in the evening. Sit down, savor your food, and turn off the outside world. By taking the time with your meal at night, you start the latter part of your day in a restful way. Without distractions, you can fully taste your food, participate in the meal, and connect with your hunger and fullness better. Food is more satisfying when you eat with mindful intention instead of gobbling it down. And when you’re satisfied by your meal, you won’t feel the need to eat more and more.

Rosemary Lentils and Tomato Stuffed Peppers

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 1 hou

Yield: 3 servings

3 large bell peppers, washed, seeded, and membranes removed

1 cup dry lentils, rinsed and drained

2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 cup mushrooms, diced

1 small shallot, diced

1 garlic clove, diced

2 sprigs fresh rosemary, coarsely chopped

One 15-ounce can fire-roasted tomatoes, undrained

1 tablespoon smoked paprika

Parmesan cheese shavings (optional)

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place the bell peppers in a baking dish and set aside.

  2. In a medium pot, add the lentils and broth. Bring to a boil and then lower the heat; simmer for about 20 to 30 minutes and cover. Allow the lentils to absorb the liquid, stirring occasionally.

  3. In a small sauté pan over medium-low heat, add the oil, mushrooms, shallots, garlic, and rosemary. Stir together until heated through and the shallots are translucent. Add to the cooked lentils; gently stir. Pour in the tomatoes; mix well and add the paprika. Heat the mixture through. Remove from the heat.

  4. Spoon the mixture into each of the hollowed-out peppers. Place the peppers in the oven for 20 to 30 minutes or until the peppers begin to brown. Remove from the oven and top with shaved Parmesan (if desired). Serve immediately.

Per serving: Calories 362 (From Fat 61); Fat 7g (Saturated 1g); Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 340mg; Carbohydrate 57g (Dietary Fiber 24g); Protein 23g.

Lemon Pepper Chicken

[Credit: ©iStockphoto.com/juliia_n]
Credit: ©iStockphoto.com/juliia_n

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 25 minutes

Yield: 2 servings

Two 5-ounce boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 medium lemon, juiced

1 teaspoon black pepper, ground

1 clove garlic, minced

Pinch of salt

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

  2. Place the chicken breasts in large plastic resealable bag. Add the lemon juice, pepper, garlic, and salt to the bag. Gently shake the bag to coat the chicken breasts with the lemon juice mixture. Set aside for 10 minutes.

  3. Place the chicken breasts with the juice mixture in a lightly greased baking dish. Bake for 15 minutes. Flip the chicken and cook an additional 10 minutes or until the juices run clear. (Use a food thermometer to verify that the chicken is cooked through; the internal temperature should reach at least 165 degrees.)

Per serving: Calories 167 (From Fat 33); Fat 4g (Saturated 1g); Cholesterol 91mg; Sodium 242mg; Carbohydrate 2g (Dietary Fiber 0g); Protein 30g.

A simple way to juice a lemon with a knife and fork only (no reamer needed) is to roll a room-temperature lemon on the countertop to pre-juice it. Then, using a sharp knife, halve the lemon lengthwise. Place a small strainer over a bowl to catch the pits, and squeeze each half of the lemon in your hand. Using a fork, scoop around to extract the additional juice.

Broiled Maple Dijon Salmon

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 10 minutes

Yield: 2 servings

Two 4-ounce salmon filets

2 tablespoons pure maple syrup

1/2 shallot, minced

1-1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika

Pinch of salt

1 tablespoon minced flat leaf parsley

  1. Preheat the broiler. Line a baking sheet with foil and lightly coat it with cooking spray or extra-virgin olive oil.

  2. Place the salmon filets on the baking sheet.

  3. In a small bowl, stir the maple syrup, shallots, mustard, thyme, smoked paprika, and salt.

  4. Brush the maple mixture over the salmon filets.

  5. Place the baking sheet under the broiler and cook the filets approximately 10 minutes or to an internal temperature of 145 degrees. Be sure not to overcook, or the fish will be dry.

  6. Transfer the salmon to plates and garnish with parsley. Serve and enjoy!

Per serving: Calories 191 (From Fat 40); Fat 4g (Saturated 1g); Cholesterol 59mg; Sodium 155mg; Carbohydrate 14g (Dietary Fiber 0g); Protein 23g.