Meal Plans

The editors of SELF partnered with nutrition experts to create a new, healthy-eating plan that anyone can follow.

SELFstarter RECIPE SAMPLES


Our recipes are packed with vegetables, fruits, whole grains, dairy, oils, and protein–all the essentials needed to energize, strengthen, and restore your body.

No need to count calories... we do the math for you. Your meals will total a balanced 1,700 calories per day. Easily add or remove recipes to your grocery list based on your personal dietary needs.

Breakfast


Kick the day off with the essential nutrients needed for an all-day boost. This hearty egg white oatmeal is packed with both protein and flavor–all for under 500 calories.

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Egg White Oatmeal

  • ½ cup rolled oats
  • ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon unsweetened almond milk
  • 6 large fresh (or frozen, thawed) strawberries, cored and chopped
  • 2 tsps honey
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
    pinch of salt (Optional)
  • ⅓ cup liquid egg whites (or 3 large egg whites)
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter (preferably natural, unsweetened)

DIRECTIONS

In a small pot, heat oats, 1/2 cup almond milk, 1/3 cup water, strawberries, honey, vanilla, and salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture is thick and oats are plump, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from heat.

In a bowl, whisk egg whites until slightly bubbly. Add cooked oatmeal to egg whites a spoonful at a time, whisking between each addition, until oatmeal is fully incorporated.

Pour mixture back into pot and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until oats are thick, 2 to 3 minutes. Be careful not to turn the heat too high so eggs don't scramble.

Egg White Oatmeal

NUTRITION FACTS

412 calories, 13 g fat (2 g saturated), 51 g carbs, 8 g fiber, 20 g protein

Servings: 1 | Active Time: 15 mins | Total Time: 15 mins

  • ½ cup rolled oats
  • ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon unsweetened almond milk
  • 6 large fresh (or frozen, thawed) strawberries, cored and chopped
  • 2 tsps honey
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
    pinch of salt (Optional)
  • ⅓ cup liquid egg whites (or 3 large egg whites)
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter (preferably natural, unsweetened)

In a small pot, heat oats, 1/2 cup almond milk, 1/3 cup water, strawberries, honey, vanilla, and salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture is thick and oats are plump, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from heat.

In a bowl, whisk egg whites until slightly bubbly. Add cooked oatmeal to egg whites a spoonful at a time, whisking between each addition, until oatmeal is fully incorporated.

Pour mixture back into pot and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until oats are thick, 2 to 3 minutes. Be careful not to turn the heat too high so eggs don't scramble.

412 calories, 13 g fat (2 g saturated), 51 g carbs, 8 g fiber, 20 g protein
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Lunch


Grilled cheese is the ultimate comfort food, especially when you add a little fruit and veggies to the mix. This pear and brussel sprout grilled cheese is the perfect combination of sweet and savory.

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Pear & Brussel Sprout Grilled Cheese

  • 1 tsp olive oil, divided 
  • 3 brussels sprouts, thinly sliced 
  • 2 slices whole-grain bread 
  • 1 oz soft goat cheese, at room temperature 
  • ½ medium pear, cored and thinly sliced, divided 
  • 1 oz Parmesan, grated 

DIRECTIONS

In a nonstick skillet over medium heat, heat 1/2 tsp olive oil. Add brussels sprouts and cook, stirring, until soft and bright green, about 2 minutes. Remove from skillet. Spread 1 slice of bread with goat cheese. Assemble sandwich with cooked brussels sprouts, 1/2 pear, and Parmesan. Wipe out skillet and return to medium-low heat. Heat remaining 1/2 tsp oil. Add sandwich and cook until underside is toasted and cheese starts to melt, about 3 minutes. Flip and cook until browned and cheese is melted, about 3 minutes more. Serve with remaining pear slices. 

Pear & Brussel Sprout Grilled Cheese

NUTRITION FACTS

538 calories, 21 g fat (10 g saturated), 60 g carbs, 18 g sugar, 11 g fiber, 28 g protein 

Servings: 1 | Active Time: 15 mins | Total Time: 15 mins

  • 1 tsp olive oil, divided 
  • 3 brussels sprouts, thinly sliced 
  • 2 slices whole-grain bread 
  • 1 oz soft goat cheese, at room temperature 
  • ½ medium pear, cored and thinly sliced, divided 
  • 1 oz Parmesan, grated 
In a nonstick skillet over medium heat, heat 1/2 tsp olive oil. Add brussels sprouts and cook, stirring, until soft and bright green, about 2 minutes. Remove from skillet. Spread 1 slice of bread with goat cheese. Assemble sandwich with cooked brussels sprouts, 1/2 pear, and Parmesan. Wipe out skillet and return to medium-low heat. Heat remaining 1/2 tsp oil. Add sandwich and cook until underside is toasted and cheese starts to melt, about 3 minutes. Flip and cook until browned and cheese is melted, about 3 minutes more. Serve with remaining pear slices. 
538 calories, 21 g fat (10 g saturated), 60 g carbs, 18 g sugar, 11 g fiber, 28 g protein

Dinner


Wrap up the day with these flavorful sweet potato falafel lettuce cups. This recipe is loaded with protein and high in vitamin A, giving you a balanced dinner that’s both delicious and filling.

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Sweet Potato Falafel Lettuce Cups

  • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and finely grated 
  • 1 ¾ cup (1 15-oz can) chickpeas, rinsed and drained 
  • ⅔ cup rolled oats, ground to a fine powder in a blender or food processor
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley, finely chopped, divided 
  • ½ small yellow onion, minced
  • 1 large egg, beaten 
  • 2 tbsps peanut butter (preferably natural, unsweetened) 
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced 
  • ½ tsp paprika 
  • ½ tsp curry powder 
  • salt
  • pepper 
  • ¼ cup Greek yogurt, plain, 2-percent-fat 
  • pinch lemon zest, optional (Optional) 
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • 1 tbsp fresh dill, chopped
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 10 butter lettuce leaves 

DIRECTIONS

Heat oven to 350° and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

Wrap grated sweet potatoes in a sheet of cheesecloth or a kitchen towel, and, working over the sink, wring out as much excess moisture as possible.

In a bowl, lightly mash chickpeas with a fork. Add sweet potato, oats, 2 tbsp chopped parsley, onion, egg, peanut butter, garlic, paprika, and curry powder. Season liberally with salt and pepper. Use your hands to mix everything together into a thick paste.

Form the mixture into 8 to 10 patties roughly 3 inches wide and 1 inch thick, placing each on baking sheet. Bake 40 minutes, flipping falafels halfway through cooking, until outsides are crunchy and starting to brown.

In a bowl, combine yogurt, zest, juice, dill, olive oil, and remaining parsley. Season with salt and pepper.

Serve each falafel in a lettuce cup topped with yogurt sauce. Store leftovers in the fridge, keeping falafel, yogurt sauce, and lettuce cups separate until ready to eat.

Sweet Potato Falafel Lettuce Cups

NUTRITION FACTS

529 calories, 18 g fat (4 g saturated), 64 g carbs, 14 g fiber, 25 g protein 

Servings: 2 | Active Time: 20 mins | Total Time: 1hr

  • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and finely grated 
  • 1 ¾ cup (1 15-oz can) chickpeas, rinsed and drained 
  • ⅔ cup rolled oats, ground to a fine powder in a blender or food processor
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley, finely chopped, divided 
  • ½ small yellow onion, minced
  • 1 large egg, beaten 
  • 2 tbsps peanut butter (preferably natural, unsweetened) 
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced 
  • ½ tsp paprika 
  • ½ tsp curry powder 
  • salt
  • pepper 
  • ¼ cup Greek yogurt, plain, 2-percent-fat 
  • pinch lemon zest, optional (Optional) 
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • 1 tbsp fresh dill, chopped
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 10 butter lettuce leaves

Heat oven to 350° and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

Wrap grated sweet potatoes in a sheet of cheesecloth or a kitchen towel, and, working over the sink, wring out as much excess moisture as possible.

In a bowl, lightly mash chickpeas with a fork. Add sweet potato, oats, 2 tbsp chopped parsley, onion, egg, peanut butter, garlic, paprika, and curry powder. Season liberally with salt and pepper. Use your hands to mix everything together into a thick paste.

Form the mixture into 8 to 10 patties roughly 3 inches wide and 1 inch thick, placing each on baking sheet. Bake 40 minutes, flipping falafels halfway through cooking, until outsides are crunchy and starting to brown.

In a bowl, combine yogurt, zest, juice, dill, olive oil, and remaining parsley. Season with salt and pepper.

Serve each falafel in a lettuce cup topped with yogurt sauce. Store leftovers in the fridge, keeping falafel, yogurt sauce, and lettuce cups separate until ready to eat.

529 calories, 18 g fat (4 g saturated), 64 g carbs, 14 g fiber, 25 g protein 

Snack


Satisfy your sweet tooth with a tasty treat. This surprisingly simple 3-ingredient snack with bananas, Greek yogurt and peanut butter is 100 percent delicious–and totally healthy.

Learn more about our philosophy

3-Ingredient Banana Fro-Yo

  • 2 medium ripe bananas, peeled, cut into chunks and frozen
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt, plain, 2-percent fat
  • 1 1/2 tbsp peanut butter (preferably natural, unsweetened)

DIRECTIONS

In a food processor, puree all ingredients, scraping down sides occasionally, until a smooth, fluffy paste forms, about 1 minute. For harder froyo, freeze 20 minutes before serving.

3-Ingredient Banana Fro-Yo

NUTRITION FACTS

216 calories, 7 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 32 g carbs, 4 g fiber, 10 g protein

Servings: 2 | Active Time: 5 mins | Total Time: 5 mins

  • 2 medium ripe bananas, peeled, cut into chunks and frozen 
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt, plain, 2-percent fat 
  • 1 1/2 tbsp peanut butter (preferably natural, unsweetened) 
In a food processor, puree all ingredients, scraping down sides occasionally, until a smooth, fluffy paste forms, about 1 minute. For harder froyo, freeze 20 minutes before serving. 
216 calories, 7 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 32 g carbs, 4 g fiber, 10 g protein 
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