abdominal-strengthNothing like an upcoming high-school reunion to get one on a fitness plan, am I not right? I have one coming up in October of this year, and when I heard about it in February or March, I started thinking, “Umm … I should probably start working out again … .” Yeah—and you know I got right on that!

Prevention June 2009I’m sorry to say that thinking about working out isn’t the same as literally working out. Just when I was about to say, “Aw, who cares, anyway? I’m healthy. I’m happy. What am I trying to prove to my former classmates?” along came our mail carrier with the June 2009 issue of Prevention magazine.

I’ve had a subscription to Prevention for a couple of decades. I get a lot of good info from it. Every issue has healthy seasonal menus, all of which sound yummy, but for one reason or another just wouldn’t work well for my unpredictable schedule each week. The June 2009 issue’s menu hit the bull’s eye for me, though. It falls in line with the Mediterranean heart-healthy way of eating, and the thing that makes me really happy about it is that it includes the things I just can’t live without.

avocado_3The components of this way of eating are plant-based and rich in MUFA (“moofah”), or mono-unsaturated fatty acids.) The base ingredients are olives, healthy oils including olive oil, avocados, nuts & seeds, and DARK CHOCOLATE!!!

Prevention has put these items into five weeks worth of meals that can serve as either a lunch or a dinner for me. A lot of the things in the meals are grab and go, which helps keep me on the right path with sack lunches for work days and quick meals as soon as I get home from work. The MUFA-rich ingredients are rounded out with fresh fruit and vegetables and whole grain breads and crackers. I substituted a few things, like fat-free Chobani Greek yogurt for the cottage cheese, and chutney for salsa, but this doesn’t change any of the good things about the meals.

flat abdomanSo I’m feeling pretty good about the prospects of going to my reunion with an especially healthy glow, I can’t imagine I won’t drop a few pounds with this meal plan, and maybe I will be verging on “buff,” if I get busy at the gym before the big night.

Abdominal strength graphic from topendsports.com via the Web
Flat stomach photo from ehow.com via the Web