Sunday, February 12, 2012

Stocking up for Success!

"Fail to plan, plan to fail."

If you've ever sat in a Weight Watchers meeting (which you should be doing, week after week, whether you've lost, gained, or stayed the same), then you've probably heard this phrase once or twice...or a million times.  Maybe we hear it all the time because it's true.  It's just as true as "Nothing tastes as good as thin feels" (although ice cream cake does come pretty close). Or "If you do what you always did, you always get what you always got."  Or "Wow, Eric's butt looks a lot nicer since he started working out."

So, how do we plan?  I've decided to not ramble on about how great I feel about hitting 9 months lifetime again...or how awesome my journey has been...again.  Because I'm sure you all GET that I am kind of a big fan of Weight Watchers.  In talking to someone who has started Weight Watchers after giving birth, she told me to find a balance between talking about how awesome I am (and humble, apparently) while also giving tips so that my readers can be confident in their journey.

Before I start, let me just say I'm not perfect.  Yesterday might have been one of the biggest food blackholes I have ever fallen into.  It had started earlier in the week...for whatever reason, no matter how many Power Foods I shoved down my gullet, I just wanted to eat more.  Unfortunately, as a man, I can't blame it on pregnancy or my period.  I just blame it on the tapeworm...I mean, that' HAS to be the explanation for being able to eat an entire box of Special K Cheddar Crisps, right?!?!? Runway All-Stars and a whole lot cheddar cheese powder on my fingers.  Talk about a shame spiral...
...but yesterday, I ate and drank like it may have been the last day that food existed on Earth.

However, today...I am in control.  I had a great breakfast and lunch, tracked it all, and that gluttonous Saturday is already a distant memory (although the nachos and Japanese hot dog were pretty damn good.)
But, how do I get back into control?!  I plan to succeed.  One of the first things I do after my meeting is go to the supermarket right next door.  This allows me the opportunity to stock up on what I need to make it through the week.  I then plan for a mid-week quick trip to the supermarket to stock up on anything else that I've run out of since Saturday.

And besides all the great inspirational messages we get from leaders and members, one thing I hear from a lot of different people is that Points Plus has changed their relationship with food...and I have to agree with them.  I eat differently...I look at food differently...and I recognize that food has value.  I make better choices because I know what food helps me succeed and feel good and what food does nothing for me.

So, here are some of the staples that I MUST have in my kitchen in order to succeed -

Fat-Free Chobani Greek Yogurt 

I honestly cannot tell you the last time I ate "normal" yogurt.  The biggest benefit of Greek yogurt is that it's a packed with protein, which makes it an incredible way to feel full.  Also, a cup will help you knock out one milk serving a day.  I go with the standard Vanilla in the big containers and scoop out a cup at a time when home and go with the smaller packages for the flavors when I'm on the go (Black Cherry and Honey being my favorites) with most being 4 Points+.

The Plain variety is great for savory applications and a lot of my fellow members use it as a dip or as a substitute for sour cream in recipes!

If you can't handle the consistency, mix Vanilla Greek yogurt with a packet of hot cocoa mix.  It smooths it out and gives you a nice chocolate mousse to enjoy for a dessert.  Or you can always crush up some chocolate chip merengue cookies and frozen cherries (if you can find some, let me know...Shop Rite hasn't had bags of frozen cherries in MONTHS) if you want a WW friendly Black Forest Cake experience.

Also, I still love junk cereal...Lucky Charms, Count Chocula, the new Krave cereal (it's like little pockets of chocolate for your mouth), so I'll throw a serving of those in with the yogurt for the sweetness that I crave.

I will warn you...not all Greek yogurt is the same.  Avoid Yoplait...their Greek yogurt is gross.  We're talking a sick cow whose milk must've been left out in the sun for a few days sour.

Pre-Cut Vegetables

For the lazy sloth in all of us!  Remember, most vegetables are 0 Points+ why not go for convenience and stock up on vegetables that require you to do absolutely nothing?!?!?!?  Seriously, you're running late for work, all you need to do is take a handful of your pre-cut broccoli and your pre-cut whatever else you have, throw on some light dressing, and you are set for the afternoon.

I recommend broccoli most of all because it may just be one of the most versatile vegetables out there.  You can eat it can boil goes great in a stir fry.  You can also throw'em in the oven for a half hour after tossing in some Olive Oil, panko breadcrumbs and shredded parmesan for a great salty side.  Again, you're knocking out two Good Health Guidelines in one dish!

I go with pre-sliced broccoli, cauliflower, peppers, and mushrooms most of the time...but it also helps to have pre-cut onions or celery on hand too.

Also, since the veggies are fresh, I know I need to eat them, so it forces me to integrate them into my lunches and dinners so I don't throw them out if they go bad.

Also, I try to avoid frozen veggies, because most of the time, they are tossed with some butter or some cheese sauce, which ups the Points+ needlessly.  The only veggies I buy frozen are corn (in steam bags) and peas (because I am not about to sit there and get peas out of I said, lazy sloth.)  As a reminder, peas and corn do have a Points+ value, but still count towards your veggie servings.

Weight Watchers Fresh Meals

Okay,, this is if you're feeling INCREDIBLY lazy. I like these better than Smart Ones (except for the Smart Ones hamburger sliders...those things are made with crack, I think) and Lean Cuisines because they taste fresher...and are refrigerated, not frozen.  

I recommend these if you are in a rush and don't have time to make lunch.  HOWEVER, the salt level is pretty high, so definitely don't opt for these more than once or twice a week.  Also, if I have one of these for lunch, I drink a lot of water and pack a pretty large salad so that I'm not going through a meal without meeting some of my Good Health Guidelines.

At Stop and Shop, I get them for $3.29 which is a pretty good price...and you don't feel like you're wasting your money if you don't like one of the varities.  The Meatloaf is good, as is the Curry Chicken and the Turkey and Stuffing.  I'd pass on the Turkey Chili and the Raviolis. 

K Cups and Bailey's Fat Free Coffee Creamer

Where would I be without my Keurig?!?!  Coffee is great...because it's 0 Points+...and helps me maintain a healthy caffeine addiction that I've had since childhood because of my ability to suck down Coffee Coolatta's in record time (again, are we shocked that I had a weight problem?)
The reason K Cups are key is because you are in control over what goes into your coffee.  They come flavored at no additional Points+ value...and we all know that flavor at Starbucks and DD comes with some extra sugar and some astronomical Points+ values!!!

I died a little inside last year to learn that a large Gingerbread Coffee was something like 8 Points+!!!!

When I used to have a DD-A-Day habit, I'd ask for skim and sugar...and figure they weren't putting enough sugar in the coffee for me to bother counting it...even as I scraped the layer of sugar on the bottom of the cup with my straw.  Also, my Keurig doesn't offer me a free donut like those evil Dunkin' Donuts employees do.

I love the Fat Free Bailey's Creamer, and at 1 Points+ for 2 Tablespoons, it's phenomenal.  Most creamers are 1 point for each Tablespoon and really lack in any flavor.  Throw in some Truvia, and I'm good to go (don't get's crap.)

WW Smoothie Mix

WW Smoothie, thy name is versatile!!!
As packaged, throw it in with some skim milk and lots of ice, and you knock out both dairy servings and the shake tastes pretty damn good.

Throw some fruit in and you've got something even better.

Also, you can blend in a teaspoon of canola, and knock out one of those oil servings and you can't even taste it!!!!

I like to make mine with 2 Tablespoons of coffee syrup...totally worth the additional 2 Points+.

What has been circulating recently in meeting rooms is the Smoothie Crepe recipe.  You take one packet of smoothie mix, 3 egg whites (or 1/4 cup of Egg Beaters egg whites) and a little bit of water...and pour onto a griddle.  They.are.phenomenal and you can use any flavor of smoothie mix...Chocolate, Vanilla, and I'm sure the newest flavor will add a tropical flair to it.

What I like to do is throw some berries in a pan with lemon juice and 1/2 Tablespoon of sugar to make a great, filling syrup to pour on top. 

Another great use for the WW Smoothie Mix is to blend it as normal with lots of ice, throw some fresh fruit in, and then freeze it for dessert!  It's like you're eating italian ice, and since it's sooo cold, it will take you forever to eat it...

WW Weekly Recipes

These are amazing.

Read your out the and enjoy.  I don't even need to write anything else about how awesome these are.  I'll just provide some photographic proof at 3 Points+ each -

'nuff said!

Happy Tracking!

Feel free to post what some of your Standbys are!!!  I'm always looking to stock up for success!!!


  1. you are funny as hell....but you're becoming like Uncle Artie...You got to get obsessed and stay you

  2. You are so funny! The path of our journey is not always smooth, (I believe an occasional rocky road gets in my way). I've learned that there are times that food does taste better than thin feels (at least for about 30 seconds). I've learned to dust myself off (powdered sugar, or Special K Cheddar Cheese powder) and move on. I am trying to remember that since WW I rule my choices, my choices don't rule me. I'm in a much healthier and happier relationship with food. I'm also learning to embrace my "black holes" (or donut holes) as a chance to learn and reflect. Thanks for sharing your journey Eric, your wisdom, your humor, and helping us all grow (figurately, not literally) :)Marci