Thursday, September 23, 2010

Cooking and planning

It's the third day in my Weight Watchers week and I've only used 1 of my weekly points so far.  That might not sound like much of a victory, but for me it is.  I had been just sort of going along through my day, making food choices on the fly, and hoping that the points would add up and I'd have all my Good Health Guidelines.

Guess what? That doesn't work. Shocking, I know.

So, usually after breakfast, I've been figuring out the whole day ahead.  And earlier this week, I planned dinners for the week and made a grocery list so I would have all the things I needed to make those recipes. Then I bought all the stuff.  Pretty elementary, I know.

I have a few meals this week where I'm not going to be able to plan, which is why I'm saving up those weekly points and trying to earn a few activity points too. I'll be out of town for training this weekend, and who knows what they will feed us?

One other thing I did was to pull out all my healthy eating cookbooks. I have a bunch of Weight Watchers cookbooks and also some others, like the Eating Well cookbooks. And remember Eat, Shrink, and Be Merry, which I reviewed here a while ago? I tried another recipe from it, a spicy Thai chicken with light coconut milk ("Thai Beau"), and it was amazing.  Because it was a little high in points (7 points per serving), I made some steamed broccoli to go with it in addition to some brown basmati rice. The broccoli recipe is from Alton Brown's show and requires no steamer basket -- you use the stalks of the broccoli to keep the florets out of the water. It takes 6 minutes and the broccoli tastes just like what you would get from a Chinese restaurant.  Because I had a big portion of the (0 point) broccoli and the chicken portions turned out to be huge, half a serving with the broccoli and half a cup of the rice was plenty for dinner. I'm looking forward to trying other recipes from this book, since I haven't found a loser yet.

Last night we did the broccoli trick again to go with General Tso's Chicken from my absolute favorite cookbook -- not my favorite healthy cookbook, my favorite cookbook period -- Weight Watchers Take Out Tonight.  I have the old version in the previous link, but there is a newer version too. It has sections for different ethnicities: Chinese, Greek, Italian, etc. It even has some diner-type recipes.  What I like about the Weight Watcher cookbooks, as opposed to some of the recipes handed around in meetings, is that all the recipes are regular food, not fat-free-sugar-free-chemical-pumped weird foods. Most make around four servings.  Usually I eat one serving, my husband has two, and then he takes the fourth serving for lunch the next day. I know there is a new plan coming out in the fall (you can even preorder the new cookbook). The rumor is that the points will be figured differently, so I hope there will be some way to get the points for recipes in the old cookbooks.

It can feel like a big pain to plan out recipes for the whole week, do the shopping, etc., but I find that it is actually more of a pain to come home with no idea what I'm going to have for dinner and then try to figure out what I can do that would be low-calorie, tasty, and quick, especially if there is nothing much in the house. The other nice thing about doing all of the planning and shopping ahead of time is that it means that if my husband gets home before I do, he will actually make the dinner we planned and have it ready for me when I get home.

Hope you're having a good week. I'm planning to. 


  1. Hmmm I gotta try that broccoli technique, looks good! I am starting to think that plain old planning really is the tip top secret... i mean you can read every book and try every method or theory under the sun but being organised and having the healthy food around - healthy food that you actually WANT to eat and can be botehred to prepare after a long day in the saltmines - seems to be the most fundamental thing.

  2. Hmmmmm . . . do I detect an attitude improvement - LOL??

  3. Not using weekly points by day 3 is AMAZING!! Go you! I blew through mine on MONDAY because the boyfriend ordered pizza for dinner.

    Go you!

  4. Congratulations on the improved attitude and usage of weekly point allowance.

  5. I have a vivid memory of the woman who sat next to me in a WW meeting saying in a shocked tone "Oh, I NEVER use my weekly points!"

    I felt like I'd been caught doing something Very Wrong, but on reflection I think the thing I did that was wrong was to sit next to that woman in the first place.

  6. That Thai chicken curry sounds amazing!! Yum! Might have to look into this cookbook!

    I have to admit, I'm a little confused. I think you in the US are following something a little different to us in the UK already. The fall change - that I know absolutely NOTHING about ;-) - I think will bring everybody in line together.


"Count your calories, work out when you can, and try to be good to yourself. All the rest is bulls**t." -- Jillian Michaels at BlogHer '07