Diet: Lose 5lb in five days on the brainboosting plan
Want to think smarter, plus lose 1lb a day? New research from America claims that eating a 70 per cent plant-based diet – whole grains and veg, not refined carbs – boosts body and brain
1 Experts are suggesting that
a plant-focused diet, made up of vegetables, whole grains and just a small amount of lean protein, is the best eating plan for body and brain health. In tests carried out by researchers in the US on 200,000 health care workers, it was found that eating this way long-term helped them lose weight and stay lean, while helping to keep their memories and minds sharp.
2 The key is to follow the right
type of vegetarian-based diet – one loaded with good plant food sources like whole grains, nuts, seeds and fruit, rather than one that relies on starchy white bread and pasta. Test subjects who stuck closest to the plan were least likely to suffer health problems, stayed slimmer and had more energy.
3 Cara Anselmo, US
nutritionist and dietitian, advises that eating the right balance of whole grains, veggies and good fats maintains your blood-sugar levels, so you’re less likely to binge-eat. In addition, steering away from refined carbs and heavy red meats helps protect the brain from age-related problems like poor memory.
4 Our veggie-friendly plan
contains around 25 per cent of lean protein from oily fish and dairy sources. Follow it for five days and you could be slimmer – and smarter – by Friday!
DAY 1 Start smart breakfast
1 slice wholemeal or rye bread, toasted with
1 small ripe avocado, mashed, and grilled tomato slices. Lean and mean lunch Grilled halloumi stacks: Brush 4 slices halloumi, 1 each yellow pepper and courgettes, cut into chunks, and drizzle with basilinfused olive oil, then grill for 5-7 mins. Load veggies on the halloumi base and drizzle with lemon juice.
Think fast supper 1 sweet potato, baked, with 2tbsp crème fraîche, mixed with 1tbsp sweetcorn. Green salad with chia seeds.
DAY 2 Start smart breakfast
Pineapple and cucumber smoothie: Blend together ½ fresh chopped pineapple, ¼ cucumber, handful spinach leaves, 2 stalks celery, dash of lime juice, handful of ice. Lean and mean lunch Beetroot and
feta salad: Add 2 small chopped beetroot to a bag of salad leaves with 30g crumbled feta cheese and handful chopped walnuts. Drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice.
Think fast supper Bunless veggie burger, handful sweet potato wedges, red onion and tomato slices, 2tbsp fresh salsa. 1 banana.
DAY 3 Start smart breakfast
Small bowl granola, handful blueberries, 3tbsp Greek yoghurt. Lean and mean lunch 1 large carton vegetable soup. Green salad. 1 wholemeal roll. Think fast supper Leeks in red pesto with
tofu: Trim and wash 2 leeks, slice in half and steam/lightly boil for 10-15 mins until soft. Mix 2tbsp red pesto with 30g tofu, 100ml hot vegetable stock and lemon juice. Pour over drained leeks, scatter on 2tsp Parmesan and grill until cheese melts.
DAY 4 Start smart breakfast
2 scrambled eggs with spinach, grilled tomatoes and mushrooms. Lean and mean lunch Wholemeal pitta with rocket leaves, small can tuna, drained, red onion slices, lemon juice. Think fast supper Feta, tomato and bean
stir-fry: Heat wok, add handful pine nuts, toast and remove. Add 3tbsp cooked green beans, 6 chopped tomatoes, 1 small can red kidney beans, drained, handful each basil and chopped olives. Simmer for 5 mins. Add 50g feta cheese and pine nuts, stir and serve.
DAY 5 Start smart breakfast
1 small slice can wholemealbaked beans. toast, 1 glass unsweetened orange juice. Lean and mean lunch Herby frittata made with 2 eggs, handful each cooked broccoli florets and mushrooms. Watercress. Think fast supper Toss 1 bag mixed salad leaves, Avocado1 choppedand couscous avocado, salad: green pepper and cucumber slices, 1 small tub couscous with roasted veg, handful chopped walnuts. Drizzle with olive oil.