Start your morning strong with a bowl of rice cereal. For a crunch, opt for the puffed variety. For something creamier, cook up a serving of hot cereal (look for pre-ground packages in the cereal aisle). Cook with almond, soy, or skim milk to amp up the flavor and nutritional content, and top with nuts or dried fruit. Hot or cold, rice cereal is an awesomely low-fat, gluten-free breakfast option.
An Easy Side Dish
Brown rice makes a great side dish for lean proteins like chicken or salmon. To make it more flavorful, substitute low-sodium chicken broth for the cooking water. (Rule of thumb: use twice as much liquid as rice—for example, two cups of broth for one cup of rice.) The rice may take a while to cook—about 45 minutes—but you don’t have to play an active role. Once the both boils, add your rice, reduce to a simmer, cover, and walk away.
A Lean Lunch
<p>Sick of sandwiches? Stop by Whole Foods and pick up a sushi roll or two, opting for brown rice instead white. By packing tuna, salmon, or avocado inside, you’re getting both lean protein and heart healthy fats, all wrapped up in easy-to-eat little packages. (Yes, we give you full permission to use your hands.) Bonus: <a href="http://www.mensfitness.com/search/apachesolr_search/seaweed">seaweed</a> is one of the only dietary sources of iodine and will give you a solid dose of magnesium, too.</p>
A Simple Stir-Fry
This stir-fry is a quick-and-easy dinner. While the rice is cooking, sauté snap peas, peppers, onions, mushrooms, garlic, and ginger in olive oil. For a protein boost, add chicken, tofu, or a fried or scrambled egg. Toss all ingredients together with a low-sodium soy sauce, and you’re ready to eat.
A Satisfying Snack
Rice cakes are the ultimate grab-and-go snack, but they sometimes get a bland rep. Make yours more interesting by slathering on peanut, sunflower, or almond butter and raisins or apple slices.
A Healthier Burrito
For a fiber-filled lunch, stuff a whole-wheat tortilla with brown rice, black beans, spinach, tomato, grilled onions and zucchini, low-fat cheese, and salsa. Ground turkey or lean beef adds even more protein. You’ll stay full and fueled all afternoon. It definitely tops take-out.