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"One must eat to live, not live to eat", the old proverb goes.
The Feel+® nutritional advice has been conceived as guidance to accompany you for as long as possible, and was founded on principles of common sense and making long-term lifestyle changes for your better, balanced health.
The Feel+ programme does not provide you with a specific diet, because diets are founded on deprivation and only last for a specific amount of time. The danger with diets is, in fact, the concept of compensation, those moments in which you move your diet to the back of your mind for a few hours or days of excesses. Every now and then Feel+ gives you the right to exceptions (a doughnut, hot chips or cake), but not to excesses!
Feel+ has provided a few balanced menu ideas below based on ‘variable geometry’. You must read them all as they will give you an idea of what a balanced diet looks like - breakfast and light snacks left aside - over the course of a 2-day period or four meals. This will give you a general sense of how to continue this balance yourself and continue to eat a pleasant, varied and healthy diet.
Remember - every now and again you have the right to exceptions (a doughnut, hot chips or a big cake), but not to excesses!
Day 1 / Lunch 1
A copious lunch is detrimental to your daily activities. If you have completed your morning exercise session and are not planning on going for your walk straight after lunch, you may however replenish your strengths at the table.
- Starter: Start with crudités – grated carrots (with or without dried raisins), endive salad (with or without nuts), beetroot, tomatoes, avocado (which is very nutritious), butter lettuce, cress, lamb's lettuce. These will ease the hunger and help with digestion. Opt for a dressing with olive or colza oil with a bit of lemon, salt and pepper.
- Main course: Vegetable pie is equally acceptable, but mind that the dough corresponds with a small ratio of starch. Meat takes a long time to digest, which means it is preferably eaten for lunch. Grilled or minced and sautéed beef or chicken with vegetables, lean pork or veal casserole (filet mignon with vegetables) are other possible options. All these recipes are good, but try to avoid gravy and sauce-heavy dishes. Pasta, rice and potatoes will give you energy for what comes next.
- Dessert: Desserts prepared with fresh fruit (cakes, sorbets, fruit salads) are recommended, as are yoghurt and light dairy products.
Day 1 / Dinner 1
In order to digest and sleep well, it is recommended to dine lightly. If you have completed your exercise session late in the afternoon, you are likely to be hungry: do not throw yourself onto the appetisers or bread and butter, and limit seeds, salted almonds and cashew nuts.
- Starter: Whether it is eaten cold in summer or hot in winter, soup is an ideal starter. You may however prefer vegetables or legumes (green beans, peas, dried beans), or a lentil salad. The latter contains the least calories, and is also an excellent source of slowly released carbohydrates, protein, vitamin B, mineral salts and fibres.
- Main course: Proteins? Exactly what you need but we are avoiding meat tonight. A small omelette (accompanied by whichever vegetables you like, maybe some shredded bacon, but without going overboard on melted cheese), boiled eggs - in the shell or poached - with green vegetables (green beans, spinach, lettuce).
- Dessert: There have been few slow sugars in this meal so far, which allows you to top it off with cake: sponge cake, muffin or chocolate cake. In other words, the kind of sweetness that you can quickly and easily bake at home. Herbal tea will slowly carry you from the table to the duvet!
Day 2 / Lunch 2
On this second day, a little trip to Italy is sure to brighten your spirits! Starters are called antipasti and 200 pages would not suffice if one were to write a list of all the marvellous antipasti there are. Treat yourself to an Italian cookbook to discover the vast array for yourself.
- Starter: Capsicum (bell pepper) can be cooked in the oven, pealed, cut in slices and sprinkled with lemon juice and pressed garlic. Leave it in the fridge overnight before serving. A rocket lettuce-mozzarella (or feta) salad, grilled eggplant with some oil and vinegar.
Pasta on the side? Escalope Milanese (meat coated with breadcrumbs, serve with lemon), osso bucco (veal knuckle, cooked as a casserole with tomato, herbs and the zest of an orange), steak served with coulis of the house (some simmering tomatoes with herbs, onions and a splash of white wine). There you have it, the Italian sun at your feet.
Pasta as a single course? Be careful about the sauce you choose – carbonara contains bacon, eggs and parmesan. Choose pesto, bolognese (minced meat in tomato coulis) or Spaghetti alle vongole (cook some clams with onion, garlic and parsley and serve atop of spaghetti) in preference.
Dessert: If you are still a little hungry, you could eat some fruit.
Day 1 / Dinner 2
Fish night! Decide which course (starter or main), which fish (all fish is good, but be careful not to eat too much herring in oil - because of the oil), in what kind of dish.
- Starter: Sardines, marinated mackerel, sea fruit (but not too much, it may increase cholesterol), tuna mousse on bread, anchovies and tomatoes. All of these can perfectly be eaten cold.
- Main course: Since you are going out to buy fish, why not serve a nice pot of calamari, shrimp or mussels as the main course? They can also be eaten as a starter. No mussels without chips? Here's a little trick: quarter potatoes length-wise, add herbs the Provence, sprinkle some oil on top and put them in the oven at 180°C. Tasty and not fried! As for the choice of fish, vary your choices yet all the while avoiding threatened species. In the oven, steamed, seared on one side, or gratinated: it's all about what you like best. Just remember not to overcook your fish. Serve with blanched fennel, mixed fried chard, endive or leek, and all your preferred herbs, dry or fresh.
- Dessert: Red fruit in a bowl of yoghurt puts a perfect ending to this meal.