Posts Tagged ‘Weight Watchers’

Weight Watchers Simple Start List of Power Foods

Oh….boy. Ever step on the scale after a LONG hiatus of not going near the god-forsaken thing (other than to trip over it) and are just utterly SHOCKED at the 3 numbers staring you in the face? Me either. Just kidding, nope, that was me just a few Get in my bellydays ago, after the December HOLIDAZE and month before of new love LaLaLand caught up to me and suctioned a spare tire to the body that just over the summer had been the least of me anyone’s seen in QUITE awhile. Let’s guesstimate a fun-ish 25ish lbs? Some of it water weight (hahaha, we all know better), some of it Homemade Portillo’s Chocolate Cake, most of it just an ocean of booze and fields of Christmas cookies. My entire lifestyle since Labor Day has basically been that of Austin Powers’ “Fat Bastard.”

One time, in grad school, I got really fat, then I moved to Chicago and decided to lose weight. I used Weight Watchers, and I went to meetings, and it really worked. I stayed motivated, I lost over 30 pounds, and it’s been a lifestyle I’ve been living at least 75% of the time since. I just…it’s just that I’ve been 25% really horrible in eating the last 25% of 2015. Oh, and remember when I used to get 10,000 steps everyday, obsessively, with my Fitbit for over a year and a half EVERY DAY?! I stopped doing that, and it was shockingly easy to just sit around and eat instead of side step like a lunatic while having conversations with people while checking my Fitbit every two seconds. Who would have thought? Ah, well, you win some, you lose some. 

It’s time to lose some. 

I’m going back on Weight Watchers, using the Simply Filling program, which a) works and b) is awesome for people like me, who somewhere along the way just get flat out resentful and tired of having to count the points of every little thing I eat. That shiz is tedious, yo. On the Simply Filling “lifestyle”, you get to eat foods off a list, as many as you want until you’re full, which coincidentally is probably not the entire box of whole wheat ziti. There’s protein, grains, fruits, veggies, light breads, and ooo, frankencheese, also known as fat free cheese, of which the only remotely acceptable kinds are cottage, cream and ricotta. Fat free shredded cheese is….well, it’s just awful, but when your cheese-starved mind and body are whispering devilish things to you regarding sneakily stuffing most of a full bag of regular fat shredded cheese into your mouth, just substitute it with fat free and you’ll magically eat about an 1/10 of the amount of cheese you were going to force down your gullet. Read on »

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I don’t think it’s exactly a secret the grocery store is one of my favorite places. Having grown up the daughter of a grocery store manager, it only makes sense that I feel quite at home in the aisles of Jewel. I like to think all that time spent in the supermarket gives me a sixth sense about new products I’d like to try, and there’s no aisle I’m more familiar with than the frozen “Meals for One” section. Since adhering mostly the Weight Watchers Simple Start/Core Foods program, I’ve tried to eat more fresh foods and rely less on frozen meals for lunch, so these days I’m typically zooming through this aisle, past the green Healthy Choice boxes, the red Smart Ones and the white Lean Cuisines.

Recently I noticed a new line of products (just past the sea of green, red and white) from Jimmy Dean that looked pretty good, and sold me with their low calories. Additionally, for the most part, they used mostly Core foods ingredients, so I didn’t have to worry that I was veering too far off the nutritional course.

Jimmy Dean Delights

Jimmy Deans Delight Golden Roasted Turkey

I had a chance to try three of the new varieties of the Jimmy Dean Delight bowls, including the Southwest Style Grilled Chicken, Hickory Smoked Ham and Golden Roasted Turkey. I really liked the Hickory Smoked Ham and the Golden Roasted Turkey, and for 250 calories or less, there’s a lot to love. I think one of the highlights was the sauce in each of these dishes – not overwhelming in quantity, but delicious and certainly added to the flavor. I love ham, peas and potatoes together, and ham is not a protein usually featured in frozen meals.  The turkey dish seemed like the filling of a pot pie, and was my favorite of the three meals. The Southwestern Chicken was good, but not as good as the other two. If I bought it again, I’d definitely jazz it up with hot sauce and sour cream.

Jimmy Dean Delight Golden Roasted Turkey

 

In the realm of Healthy Choice, Smart Ones and Lean Cuisines, I think the Jimmy Dean Delights line is a serious contender. Inventive ingredient combinations and well-executed flavors make these frozen meals worth a try, and I’ll be adding them into the rotation.

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Smart Soup? You might as well just call this soup brilliant. At the beginning of the year, the wonderful people at Smart Soup reached out to me to see if I would be interested in trying their line of flash-frozen soups in conjunction with their (also brilliant) campaign to donate “Meal for Meal” to the Greater Chicago Food Depository. Until February 28, 2015, Smart Soup will donate the cost of a meal to the GCFD. Great soup for a great cause – of course I was excited to try it.

And just like that, a box of soup arrived to my office!

Smart Soup Variety Pack

Yay soup! Soup is great, but what I noticed right off the bat is how amazingly low in calories these soups are. For the consistently “on a lifestyle change” blogger, low-cal lunch options are my favorite. All of the varieties of Smart Soup are 160 calories or less, and are 3 grams of fat or under. The line of soups was created by Anne Chong Hill, who was inspired by her childhood in Brunei where she grew up eating flavorful ethnic dishes. As an adult, Chong Hill was diagnosed with hypertension and sought to change her lifestyle by creating healthy meals she and her family would enjoy. Each flavor of Smart Soup is inspired by Anne’s childhood and travels, and all of their products are vegan, gluten-free, all-natural with no preservatives and are American Heart Association Certified. Definitely smart.

The first flavor I tried was the Vietnamese Carrot Lemongrass.

Smart Soup Vietnamese Carrot Lemongrass

The soup has sharp, layered flavors with vegetables – potatoes, carrot, edamame, ginger and coconut. The flavors are fantastic, and unique – I wish I could cook like this at home for so few calories and fat. I paired this with a side salad, but the portion is generous enough to eat as a lunch alone. The pureed soup is thick and satisfying. Definitely zippy, zingy, and I didn’t need to use my trusty salt shaker.

The next flavor I tried was the French Lentil:

Smart Soup French LentilThe lentil had definite curry undertones, and didn’t have the zip of the carrot soup, but was still flavorful and also didn’t need the salt shaker.

The next flavor I had was the Greek Minestrone:

Smart Soup Greek Minestrone

Totally delicious, super low in calories (110!) and full of veggies and flavor.

Next up was the Santa Fe Corn Chowder:

Smart Soup Santa Fe Corn Chowder

This soup has so much flavor, and was my personal favorite. I love Mexican-inspired food, and I think this would be even better with a touch of cheese and a dollop of sour cream.

The last flavor I tried was the Thai Coconut Curry:

Smart Soup Thai Coconut Curry

Really bright flavors in this red curry soup made with coconut water. The bamboo shoots and water chestnuts give it great texture and crunch, and the bits of mini corn on the cob will remind you of the movie Big (or at least they always do for me).

I highly recommend this soup for anyone watching their weight. In fact, because these soups are all vegan, they fit in seamlessly with the Weight Watchers Simple Start plan! So eat up, Simple Starters, and calorie-counters alike!

Smart Soup is available in Chicagoland at Costco. Remember, for every unit purchased until the end of February, they’ll donate the cost of a a meal to the Greater Chicago Food Depository.

To learn more about Smart Soup, visit their website or connect with them on Facebook and Twitter.

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To be honest, you can eat this for lunch or dinner, even for a snack. It’s got quinoa (what IS quinoa? I read the entire first paragraph of the Wikipedia entry and still didn’t understand), which I cannot get enough of lately, and a poached egg, which is one my true food loves. Throw some salt and pepper on this, and it’s a real thing. Even though I’m confused about quinoa, I know they put it in everything at Protein Bar, so it’s gotta be good. This breakfast bowl keeps me full for awhile, and fits into the Weight Watchers Simple Start plan.

Quinoa Breakfast Bowl

 

At this point I know what you’re thinking – why do these photos look so good? My only answer is they were taken using the magical powers of sunlight, the one thing that can’t be found in my office or in the average Chicago garden apartment.

Here is the official recipe for the Quinoa Breakfast Bowl, in case you’d need such a thing.

Quinoa Breakfast Bowl

Ingredients:

  • Quinoa (tri-colored quinoa is pretty fun)
  • Egg
  • Optional: anything else you’d want to put in, like green onions, spinach, tomatoes – you know, whatevs.

Directions:

Cook the quinoa. It takes approximately 20-25 minutes, so cook a bunch, because who has time for THAT? If you’re using leftover quinoa, put a big scoop into a bowl and microwave for 1 minute, then salt and pepper it (a lot). Ok, you also should have started boiling some water at this point for your poached egg. Once the water is boiling, drop an egg in it, eyeball it for doneness, and bring it out of the water with a slotted spoon. Put it on your quinoa. Take a picture, photo edit, write a blog, eat. It really is delicious.

Quinoa Egg Breakfast Bowl

Quinoa with egg

 

 

 

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Ok, December 3, 3 blog posts AND I’ve actually made this recipe, so we’ve got 2 out of 3 that I can personally endorse. This post is brought to you with love from Nashville, the city where my bff lives. She signed up for a CSA box this year, and was apparently up to her ears in butternut squash this fall. She found this delicious and healthy soup recipe, and fed us for days on a recent visit. We ate soup for lunch, soup for snacks, and late night soup instead of late night drunk food. Yay us!

Butternut Squash Turkey Chili

I was so impressed with this tasty soup that I turned around and made it when I got home. It really is healthy, and would actually qualify on the Weight Watchers Simple Start program, if you’re into that kind of a thing.

A few quick notes – super kudos to the bff for peeling, scooping and cutting up the squash from the CSA box – thank you for all your hard work! I bought my squash peeled and cut, cause I’m lazy. Also, she found the fresh sage the recipes calls for – I did not, so I just threw in a bunch of dried. I added a can of butter beans – a mistake. Their skins peel off and get a bit weird – stick with Northern white beans. One other note – I do have a hard time calling this chili. It’s definitely more of a soup, but if you want to make it chili, just add some chili powder (that’s what makes chili chili, right?).

Per my honor system, I’ll direct you over to Foodie Crush for the full recipe, but here are the ingredients to get you started:

Roasted Butternut Squash & Turkey Chili

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups butternut squash, bite size dice
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 2 cans white beans, rinsed and drained, I like great northern variety
  • 4 cups chicken stock (32 ounces)
  • 3 pasilla peppers, roasted, seeded and sliced into 1/4” ribbons
  • 1/2 cup fresh sage leaves, cut into ribbons with scissors or diced
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper

Directions: for the rest of the directions and full recipe, please visit the full recipe on Foodie Crush.

Butternut Squash White Turkey Chili

Images courtesy of Foodie Crush

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Weight-Watchers-SimpleStart-App

I officially started the Weight Watchers Simple Start program 2 weeks ago. I can’t even tell you how hesitant I was to just eat off a list of Power Foods until I was “satisfied” and expect to lose weight. I’m an old school Points-counter; how could this work? Do the good people of Weight Watchers know how much I can eat?!

I decided to take to Twitter to inform my gazillions of followers (um, please follow me) of my progress. It was humorous journey, obviously best told through embedded tweets. If you want to know if the Simple Start program worked, just read until the end!

 

 

 

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