Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Thanksgiving Cheat Sheet from Weight Watchers

Weight Watchers has a good Cheat Sheet to use when choosing between Holiday dishes.  This article provides good tips and an interactive Thanksgiving plate that you can load up with the choices you might make.

Here's the article:

Thanksgiving Cheat Sheet
Article By: Leslie Fink, MS, RD

For some of us, Thanksgiving is a simple turkey dinner and a time to give thanks. But for many, it's an eating orgy and a six-week countdown to the same lose-weight-and-get-back-in-shape New Year's resolution that we make year after year…after year.
Break the cycle this holiday season. Enjoy Thanksgiving but don't overindulge; head into the New Year feeling confident, slimmer and in control.

Ready, set, eat
Consider the worst-case scenario: If you were to eat a serving of dark-meat turkey with all the fixings and sides on the plate above, it would total a whopping 40 PointsPlus® values. Here's how to slash that number:

Continue Reading on Weight Watcher's Site Here.

Chex Party Mix Points

I've been planning for Thanksgiving over the past few days, and I'm sure you have been too.  Even though I know I'll rack up a bunch of WW points on Thursday, I've been good and staying the course since I started back up on Weight Watchers. Today was my weekly weigh-in and I'm happy to report that I lost 1 1/2 pounds.

Today I started making the snacks I'll serve to my family, one being our traditional Chex Mix which will get snacked on before and after dinner.  As I posted earlier, I'm calculating every dish I'm making for Thursday so I won't have to do that then, or eat something with a mystery point value and feel surprised and guilty afterward.  Also, I'm not necessarily trying to reduce points for a traditional dish, because I'd rather eat less of something I love than more of something that tastes wrong.  Of course, I will substitute where it doesn't matter.

Here's how our Traditional Chex Mix turned out (calculation may be slightly off):

9 cups Chex (I just used Rice this time)
1 cup Cheerios
2 cups zero fat pretzel sticks
2 cups Cheezits
1 1/2 cups cashews
6 tablespoons Smart Balance
2 tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
2 teas seasoning salt
3/4 teas garlic powder
1/2 teas onion powder

Appx Total Points:100
Appx Per cup: 6

Now I know what I'm getting myself into when I start snacking on this goodie.  If you adjust this recipe to lower points successfully, please post your changes! Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

WW Points for My Thanksgiving Feast

Images provided by Morguefile.com

My daughters and I are already planning the menu for Thanksgiving.  I know that day will be a day filled with tempting food with lots of WW Points, but I don't dread it.  As I posted before, I plan to enjoy it.

I recently started tracking using the iTrackBites app on my phone just to get in the habit of tracking, intending to really limit points after the holidays, but as soon as I started tracking, I started caring again and have stayed within my 26 points for 3 days.  I guess I'm on the wagon again!

I've already looked up the WW pts for the foods we will be serving.  No matter how I might gorge myself, I vow to track all the points I consume all day.  Basically, these are the foods we are now planning to serve for our Thanksgiving and their WW pt values:

Ham, per slice                                     3 Pts         

Scalloped Potatoes, 1/2 cup                5 Pts

Green Bean Casserole, 1 1/2 cups       4 Pts

Roasted vegetables, 1 1/2 cups            2 Pts

Stuffing, Stove Top 1/2 cup                  5 Pts

Gravy, Heinz HomeStyle, 1/2 cup        1 Pt

1 serving is 1/8 of a 9 inch pie:

Pecan Pie                                           14 Pts

Pumpkin Pie                                       11 Pts

Caramel Apple Pie                              11 Pts

I figure my meal point total will be between 30 and 35 points. Of course we'll have other goodies like a cheese ball and crackers, plus some snacks when we play games later in the day.  I can track that as I go.

My rule is to calculate everything ahead of time, so I can choose how to best use my points. I'm okay if I use my daily and all of my weekly points on Thanksgiving.  This is NOT a day to stress over Points...but I find KNOWING helps me choose better during the holiday and feel better afterward!

Hope your Thanksgiving is full of family, food, and fun!

New Food Find: Banquet Cheesy Potato Bake

I just started buying this product.  I used to buy a similar meal made by Lean Cuisine (Cheddar Potatoes with Broccoli), but I haven't been able to find it anymore.  When I saw this in the Banquet section I figured I'd give it a try. It is very similar to the Lean Cuisine version and is much cheaper at $1.00! The iTrackBites scanner give a WW point value at 5 which is the same as the Lean Cuisine meal.  The nutritional content is somewhat different however...it has 2 g more fat  4 g less protein, 6 g less carbs, and 180 mg more sodium, with 10 less calories.

Overall I say .... Score!


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Cabbage and Bacon

This is one of my favorite side dishes or quick meals.  I love cabbage cooked this way.

WW+ Pts 5 for the whole batch (I eat it all in one sitting for dinner!)

Fry 2 strips of Bacon, cut up
Reduce bacon grease to 1 Tablespoon (eyeball it)
Add 1/2 head thinly sliced Cabbage
Season with Seasoning Salt and Pepper
Stir fry on medium heat until crisp tender
Cover and cook to preference, stirring frequently

Note: I sometimes add a tablespoon or so of hot water if needed.

Alternate Veggies to try: If you don't like cabbage, I also use frozen french cut green beans or thinly sliced brussel sprouts.  It tastes equally good with all 3 of these vegetables!

That's it! It's yummy!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

iTrackBites iPhone App for Weight Watchers

Happy Day! In keeping with my earlier post about starting again to track my food intake and activity, I had to figure out how I was going to do that without being signed up for the Weight Watcher's online program.  I do have the books, but that is not very easy.  I lost my little handheld calculator months ago, and I can't use the mobile app since I don't currently have an online membership

So, I did some research in the app store and discovered a great tool if you have an iPhone, iPod or iPad.  It's available in the iTunes Store too so it can be synced to your computer. The iTrackBites app is very similar to the system that is available online at Weight Watchers, plus the convenience of the mobile app. Only $2.99....Here is an online preview of this app:


I just started using it today, so I'll let you know what I think after a week.  So far, it has worked great! If this works, I may not sign up online in January, but instead track daily using this app! I accumulate recipes using OneNote on my laptop, so I think I'll create a new section in it for saving possible WW recipes...and then add them to this blog once I've adapted them.

Losing weight and saving money? Cha-ching Weight Watchers!

Note: I downloaded this app in a package that included a "bites value" slider and I have no clue what it's for or how to use it....so do a better job than I did and look for just the iTracksBite app by itself.  I paid an extra dollar for that unneeded app!

Happy Holidays? How Do We Watch our Weight with Weight Watchers Right Now?

Well, it's that time of year...The Holidays...Friends, Family, Parties, and a time when all those tempting goodies will be right there in our face.

I've slacked off the past six months and I need to get back on the wagon, but let's face it, this isn't the best time to try to lose weight.  However, it is a good time to remind ourselves of the WW principles and find ways to get back in control if we've lost our way.  So, I've made a plan today that includes the next 6 weeks and after the holidays are over.  Making a plan makes me feel better.  Here's my plan:

Make soups.  I love my Crockpot soups...the potato and broccoli are my favorites.  It's soup season, and I plan to have more soups for my meals.

Look for more recipes in which vegetables are the stars. Sprouts is filled with lots of winter vegetables like winter squash, cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli. And I see yummy recipes all the time on Facebook and I've tried a bunch of them that were very good.  I vow to focus on the ones that primarily use vegetables and adapt them to lower WW points. Likewise, I will look for fruit based recipes that fit the WW model to stave off my craving for sweets during the holidays.

Stock the freezer with low point frozen dinners and WW frozen deserts.  I really need these.  Sometimes I am too lazy to cook for myself. I love most of the Lean Cuisine dinners and they provide WW points on every box, so I'll be stocking up. I'll always make sure I have some kind of frozen WW sweet treat in there too!

Start tracking points again and weighing myself regularly.  I'm going to go easy on myself, but it's time to start tracking again, to get my mind in gear.  I think I'll set my daily point goal at 35-40 a day during this time period, so it will be easy to feel in control. I'm also going to start stepping on those dreaded scales. It's time to click on our brains and have the right attitude!

Enjoy the holiday dinners. Yes, I'll be eating and enjoying! I won't be worrying about WW Points on Thanksgiving Day or for Christmas dinner....if I do I'll feel too deprived.  However, every OTHER day, I will put on my WW thinking cap.  And after the dinners, I'll make everyone else take home high point leftovers!

Sign up for Weight Watchers online again after the holidays. Come January, it will be easy to slip into weight loss mode and hopefully, lose the pounds I've gained. I find using the website helps me stay focused.

I'll be sharing the good ideas I discover over the next 6 weeks, so check back. I hope you'll share your ideas for how to stay a Weight Watcher during this time too!

Happy Holidays everyone.  Enjoy, but keep watching your weight!