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Weight Watchers (Part 1)


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Hi Guys. :smile:

I am starting to really look forward to checking in with this thread in the morning. Thanks. You're cool.

Jensen, congrats on the loss! 10 lbs. is great. You go!

Nanuqe, good luck. Going off the plan for a week kind of scared me, especially since we were in Maine part of the time, but when it was all said and done I only gained .5 lbs. Whew. I'm sure you'll be just fine too.

O.k. Good news and bad news for me today. The good news, pushing a reel mower burns 422 calories an hour! http://www.peoplepoweredmachines.com/info/faq.htm

Half an hour behind mine got me 4 aps yesterday. Plus two good long walks 2 points each (um, and some fun sex, 1 pt. :blush: ) I managed to earn myself an activity points total of 9. A record high for me.

The bad news is that if you take your brother out for his birthday and drink 1/2 a bottle of wine, a crown and diet, a gin and tonic and a light beer you set yourself back 15 points. Ugh. I'm too old for that kind of thing. But it was fun, he had a very happy birthday.

Jensen: Two tips on the meringue (I would call what you described a schaum torte), they are very difficult to make in the summer as the humidity makes them dense and chewy rather than light, crisp pillows. You need a dry day before trying it. With the splenda, you might want to add some other flavoring to the recipe. Make them strawberry, almond or lemon flavored or whatever, but plain I think the very slight, but still present, splenda taste might come through.

And, finally, I had a great dinner last night...

Gingered Shrimp and Soba

I subbed edamame and broccolini for the broccoli, left out the apple juice and only used 2 tsp. of oil instead of a T. This was really delicious and core. The only bummer is that if I want to have sushi for dinner tonight I can't have the leftovers for lunch today. Too much starch. I'll add a photo when I get it downloaded.

Edited by Cusina (log)

What's wrong with peanut butter and mustard? What else is a guy supposed to do when we are out of jelly?

-Dad

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Hi Folks,

After an almost year long break from WW, this thread inspired me to sign back up (online). I had a similar experience to many of you: I just couldn't relate to many of the people at the meetings, but I found that doing it on my own without any comraderie was not that effective. So I am very excited to have found you all!

I am doing Flex for my first week back, because I already knew that plan and it was easy to start with, but I think I am going to give core a shot. I am concerned because I am a little too excited about the fact that avocados and edamame are considered core, as well as skinless chicken thighs, which I find so much more appealing than breasts. And Cusina, is soba really core? I guess that makes sense. Geez louise, I hope this works and I don't overeat just because I love this stuff.

So I have a question: how do you count points for wine that you use in cooking? Since some of the alcohol cooks off, do I have to count a full 2 points for 1/2 c?

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Congratulations, Jensen! That looks delicious, Cusina. I'm liking this thread a lot too.

Yesterday, my fourth core day, was different because I ended up eating two meals out. At lunch I was able to find a vegan vegetable sandwich and only eat one slice of the bread, but I still gave myself 5 points for the bread and the spread that was on that one slice. At dinner I had ceviche and pinto beans - all core except for a point's-worth of queso fresco sprinkled on top. Interestingly enough, while I racked up 6 non-core points (being very conservative, as it may really have been only 4-5), I came in under points for the day, going by my Flex allowance. I think that was mostly because I wasn't home much at all, otherwise I would have filled in with some extra protein. But I felt ok, and managed to eat out without a big excursion into my points allowance, so I feel quite good about that.

Those beans were so good. I think I'm going to go stick some in the crock pot and by dinner they should be ready. And I have some pork tenderloin, and lots of fresh corn, and tomatoes - I sense a core chili coming on.

Cooking with wine is one thing I've never really resolved for myself. I often deglaze a pan with wine and don't count it at all, because it's a small amount, and it's pretty much sizzled into oblivion before it goes in my mouth. But something like a meat braised in cups of wine, I don't know. I guess I tend to give myself half of the "raw" points for the wine I use. WW says to count it all, but what do they know?

Soba is core, but you can only eat it once a day.

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Yes, schaum torte is crispy on the outside, a bit gooey on the inside. One of my mom's "signature" desserts, and she often made it in the summer (even with high humidity) so as to take advantage of fresh peaches. She baked one part of the meringue so that it lined a tall springform, and then baked a separate piece flat. Once the meringue was cool (overnight in the oven) she filled the "shell" with whipped cream and fruit, and then put the flat "lid" on top. So it looked sort of like a conventional layer cake (from the outside) when it was done.

Served in slices (a bit fiddly, sharp long serrated knife helpful), very impressive.

Can you pee in the ocean?

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So I have a question: how do you count points for wine that you use in cooking? Since some of the alcohol cooks off, do I have to count a full 2 points for 1/2 c?

See this chart from Hormel, which shows approximate percentages. A thirty minute simmer will remove 65% of the alcohol. A reduction would probably remove 99%. This is all highly dependent on pan size, etc. But if you're simmering I wouldn't count the full value.

Walt

Walt Nissen -- Livermore, CA
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Inspired by Laksa's blog and by an article by Russ Parsons in last Wednesday's LA Times, I thought I'd be a little adventurous when I went to the market this morning. I ended up buying several vegetables I've never had before and tonight one of them made the menu...sriracha-marinaded halibut (grilled), zaru-soba (but made with udon noodles), steamed bok choy, and stir-fried vegetables (including gobo, daikon, and carrot).

The soba (for 3 points/serving):

zarusoba.jpg

The plated meal:

meal1.jpg

I went into more detail on my blog but the gobo didn't really cut it. It didn't really have much flavour at all. The zaru-soba was wonderful though and made up for the gobo gaffe.

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I feel like my life is pretty darn active, and on the flex plan if I didn't give myself extra APs for things like yardwork (I work up a serious sweat with that reel mower, honestly) and playing hard with my kids at the park, keeping up with my son on his bigwheel etc... I was absolutely ravenous and ended up eating all the wrong things. I don't often get a chance to really "work out". My kids are little and it's summertime, there just isn't opportunity. But I'm far from sedentary.

Maybe I'll have to shift that mentality now that I'm doing the core plan though. It is set up differently. During the flex plan those points basically went into my 3 squares and healthy snacks. With the core they are more about indulgences. If I'm not losing that will be something I change. So far I feel like I'm down a bit this week, my clothes are fitting well, so we'll see.

I'm experimenting with core baked oatmeal bars this weekend. The first batch were pretty darn good. Next time I want to try blueberries and peaches instead of apples and bananas. I started with a cooking light recipe, but changed a lot of stuff, so I feel like it's my own. You could probably reduce the splenda even further, though they aren't terribly sweet to begin with.

2 c. quick oats

1/4 c. splenda

1 diced apple

1/2 t. cinnamon

1 t. baking powder

1 12 oz. can evaporated skim milk

2 T ff plain yogurt

1/4 cup egg substitute

1 mashed ripe banana

Combine wet and dry ingredients separately, add wet to dry and mix till blended. Bake at 375 for 20 minutes.

I'd take a picture, but you know, they just aren't that pretty. :smile:

What's wrong with peanut butter and mustard? What else is a guy supposed to do when we are out of jelly?

-Dad

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So, I've come up with a simply fantastic modification of WW: One A Day Weight Smart vitamins. In addition to the usual vitamins and iron and calcium, these contain chromium and green tea extract, both of which are advertised as promoting weight loss.

So since I'm taking a multivitamin daily anyway (usually one of my daughter's chewables, which is fun because we get to compare flavors: monkey vs. elephant, etc.) I figured I'd try the One A Day.

Well, I can definitely state that they'd probably result in weight loss, because they result in intense nausea, such that I'm not going to count a point for the peach I'd eaten right before taking it this AM, and likely won't need to count points for anything else for breakfast, as I remain mildly nauseated and unable to ingest anything more nutritious than sips of black tea.

On the other hand, I'm not feeling too enthusiastic about going to the gym. Maybe if I can keep lunch down...

Anybody else have a similar experience?

Edited by therese (log)

Can you pee in the ocean?

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Therese

I have not used those vitamins but I have read on the ww boards of similar experiences to yours. I guess if you can't eat(or lose what you have eaten) you will definitely lose weight.

The last couple of nights I tried a new recipe from the ww site.

Breakfast apple cinnamon couscous

1/4 cup couscous

1 small apple, peeled, cored and sliced

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1/2 cup fat free evaporated milk

1 pkt splenda

1/2 tsp vanilla(not on the original recipe)

Mix all together and microwave for 2 minutes. Stir and microwave another 30 seconds. Best if you let it sit for about 5 minutes.

Reminds me a little of rice pudding

On core it's free or 6 points on flex.

I've been on core for a week now. While I have not lost weight, I have not gained like I normally do at this time of month. Since I hit goal, I gain at least 2 up to 4 pounds when I ovulate and it stays there until tom is over. My leader yesterday said she didn't really want to try core but had to. She lost 3 pounds in two weeks.

Sandra

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It sounds like I'll stick to my regular multivitamin and 2 cups of green tea in the morning!

For lunch I made whole wheat couscous (I can just about not tell any difference from the white couscous) then added chopped green onions, chopped tomatoes, avocado chunks (less than a 1/4 avocado's worth), and about 2 teaspoons crumbled blue cheese, which I should count, but didn't. I made the couscous without added oil, and dressed the whole thing with rice vinegar. I'll have to make sure to eat some protein at dinner. I think everything but the cheese was core.

I'd love to hear what you all have come up with as standby core dishes, like the congee for instance! Couscous salad is very very easy, the couscous is ready in 5 minutes, and one could easily not cheat like I did and NOT put in the blue cheese, but just some smoked chicken or leftover steak or shrimp or something like that.

Thanks to the recipes/ideas already posted.

to Cusina and everyone about the baking, couldn't real eggs also be used on core? I've never bought egg substitute and my snotty food attitude propels me towards veganism if I find I have to. Please educate/enlighten me about egg substitute, I feel this is a safe place to profess my ignorance/be snotty about substitute foods.

thank you, -cg

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I tend to go through "phases" of eating the same thing frequently. Then I get tired of it and move on to the next "phase" recipe.

Right now, I'm eating a fair number of corn salads. The corn right now is so good that I make an extra ear or two with dinner and just let it cool off. The next day, I slice the kernels off and scrape the cob. Add to that some other "stuff", depending on what I have in the fridge at the moment, it might include finely chopped onions, green onions, peppers, roasted peppers, and/or whatever your heart desires. I usually have some parsley and/or cilantro to chop up and add to it and then I dress it with lime juice.

I did try this the other night with vinegar instead of the lime juice. Mistake. Next time, I'll try it with lemon juice (although the rice vinegar might be nice too). Plain old white vinegar was just not the right flavour for the veggies.

Therese: I've had similar problems with high-potency B-complex vitamins. For years, I used to take them in the morning and then one morning, they made me throw up. I switched to taking them at night and that seemed to take care of the problem.

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I did a whole wheat couscous salad last night too, with a good olive oil, sherry vinegar, lemon, diced tomatoes, and lots of chopped fresh basil. First time on core that I've really overeaten too - I'm not sure that couscous will be able to stay on my core list. I also had a whole salmon to grill last night, so lunch today was cold salmon crumbled into a pile of tiny blanched green beans, grape tomatoes, piquillo pepper strips, and dressed with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.

That corn salad sounds yum. Isn't it a luxury to be able to eat corn freely again?

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That corn salad sounds yum. Isn't it a luxury to be able to eat corn freely again?

I'm still doing Flex Points so I have to count the points for corn, usually 2 points for one serving of the salad. I really think I could do Core with no trouble but the Spouse and the Spawn would probably have some issues with it.

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I decided to switch over to core this week and see what happens. For dinner tonight:

Pan-Seared Flank Steak w/ Spice Rub: A friend gave me a gift box of spice rubs from The Spice House, so I used one of them on the flank steak. Instead of putting oil in the pan, I brushed a very thin layer of canola oil directly onto the meat and lay it in the hot, dry pan. I have been doing this with chicken breast too, and find that it works much better than using a tiny bit of oil in a non-stick pan because you get more even coverage and browning. Sliced thin against the grain, this was delicious and a huge hit with my husband. We also ended up wrapping some of the strips in bibb lettuce from the salad.

Bulgur and Mushroom Pilaf: My first experience cooking with bulgur, and I must say I really liked it. Easy to like and not overpowering. My husband thought it tasted too "whole" though.

Avocado, Tomato, and Red Bell Pepper Salad w/ Lime Vinaigrette: The recipe I used recommended serving them in bibb lettuce leaves. Very attractive and very delicious. My husband loved this one too.

The only modification I made to any of these recipes was to reduce the amount of oil used (~1-2 tsp per dish that served 4) with no difference that I could tell.

Edited by Jujubee (log)
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Chardgirl, chicken eggs are core. I'm not fond of egg substitute either, but I didn't realize that real eggs were on the list at first. Thankfully I was wrong. I'll definitely use a real egg next time. 1/4 c sub = 1 egg. Still very much in the learning curve with the core program. Sorry.

Therese, what a bummer with the vitamin nausea. I have a really hard time with multivitamins too. I take Scooby Doo vitamins with my kids for just that reason. I usually end up with the orange Fred as he doesn't appear to be popular. Poor guy.

The weather has definitely turned cooler here. (North Eastern Wisconsin) Fall is arriving, which makes for a shift in the way I cook. I'm thinking about grilled sweet potatoes for dinner tonight. And some salmon, glazed with apple horseradish. Maybe some homemade applesauce too. I have a bag of very green, tart apples my kids insisted on at the farmer's market this weekend. And I'll probably try another batch of the baked oatmeal. No splenda this time, more banana.

Must go menu plan and grocery shop. Enjoy your day. :smile:

What's wrong with peanut butter and mustard? What else is a guy supposed to do when we are out of jelly?

-Dad

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Cusina: thanks for the egg note. I just wanted to make sure I wasn't missing something on this new core thing, I think we're all at the beginning of our learning curve.

I take all my vitamins after breakfast. (oncologist has me on a regimen to try to prevent the *&^%# cancer from RETURNING) I know some of them might be better at other times of the day, but I just can't remember to take them so I hope for the best. Now I WANT to try the weight smart ones! When/if I do I'll report back.

Tonight will be my first dinner for guests while I'm on core. My plans: mushroom soup, baked chicken, tomato salad (all core.) NOT core will be my favorite Joyce Goldstein zucchini recipe: first you brown the zucchini coins then dress them with vinegar, garlic and mint. I'll do an hour of aerobics for that recipe! I'm also pondering some great ice cream for dessert so I don't make my family and guests suffer through my own regimen.....

cg

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Tonight will be my first dinner for guests while I'm on core. My plans: mushroom soup, baked chicken, tomato salad (all core.) NOT core will be my favorite Joyce Goldstein zucchini recipe: first you brown the zucchini coins then dress them with vinegar, garlic and mint.

I'm really looking forward to hearing how your dinner turns out. I had this strange little idea last night that we ("we" being the WW threadgoers) could post our ideal WW-compatible dinner party menu. Then I realised that you all probably have lives... :laugh:

So, I will be happy with hearing how cg's dinner party turns out.

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There are some hysterically funny things that are listed on the WW site. Bear, for instance. Did you know that 3 and 3/4 ounces of polar bear meat is 3 points, whereas 3 and 3/4 ounces of brown, grizzly, or black bear meat is 4 points? This seems counterintuitive to me, as the polar bear seems like it should have more fat. Maybe it depends on the time of year.

I can't believe I missed this before!

My bet would be that the polar bear has more subcutaneous fat (which can be easily trimmed...it did say 3-3/4 oz with visible fat trimmed, didn't it?) than the brown, grizzly, or black bear.

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But the really big question here, I think, is whether bear meat is a core food. Given that both seem relatively lean then, yes, bear meat is likely core. Just imagine: ground bear chili, bear carpaccio, bear stroganoff...

Who wants to call the WW hotline and ask?

And I actually think that the difference has more to do with the various sources from which WW obtains its nutritional content for various items. Somehow I just don't see teams of WW scientists intently poking around with calorimeters, etc.

Can you pee in the ocean?

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I scrapped the salmon last night as I forgot to remove it from the freezer. Made provencal beef stew in the slow cooker instead. It turned out really well, very flavorful. I used peas instead of carrots and tossed in a few handfuls of pasta during the last hour of cooking. Also added some adobo sauce and wosterchire at the table.

I'm kind of regretting tossing in the pasta though, as it would have been nice to have the leftovers for lunch today. I should have served it over pasta instead.

Chardgirl, how was your party? Your menu sounded very good, I'm sure everyone went home happy. Why isn't that zucchini recipe core? Lots of butter?

Therese, I'm glad to hear that your vitamin problems are over. :)

School starts the day after tomorrow here and I have to say I'm ready. It feels like fall and we all could use a little more structure. I also am looking forward to a few feet of personal space, whew. The kids were so loopy at the grocery yesterday I could hardly think. :blink:

What's wrong with peanut butter and mustard? What else is a guy supposed to do when we are out of jelly?

-Dad

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Dinner for Guests! It was also my children's first day of school so I won't call it an official dinner party as I didn't tidy up enough, but they were understanding friends who came over.

Yes, the zucchini recipe could EASILY be lightened up, I'll try that next time. I like the idea of broiling it with oil spray. Here's a link to the original recipe: Concia Zucchini Recipe

the only thing that makes it NOT core is the 4-6 Tablespoons of oil. I'll try it the CORE way next time. Maybe tonight.

I made simple baked chicken with rosemary, it was a hit and also core. My husband made the tomato salad with olive oil, so I counted an extra point for eating that. It was yummy though: great ripe tomatoes drizzled with olive oil, slivers of basil and S & P. Summer Essence!

I never got the mushroom soup made, but I will make it today and make a larger effort to make a core-ish soup whenever we have company, I missed it.

Dessert was ice cream (premium full monty stuff from the store) I had a half scoop I counted as 3 points and everyone else, including all other adults, helped me out by having seconds so there's barely any left over, I will serve all of it to kiddos when they return home from school today. Ice cream in the freezer is one of my downfalls....

I also was extra active (for me) yesterday so I got 4 activity points, this really helped with the meal. And breakfast and lunch I stayed core, so all and all I think it went ok. I could do a much better job making a yummy nearly all core meal for guests if my husband weren't helping in the kitchen, but who's going to say no to help in the kitchen!? The real test will be my Thursday weigh in...

What would y'all make for dinner guests?? I think I'll try that recipe Cusina linked to, I'm getting back into eating more meat.

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Your blog's great, Jensen. Interesting fusion of Italian and Asian components for the ravioli---seems like the wontons would be a bit thinner than usual ravioli pasta sheets, so you could use a few more. Hmm, wonder if there's a core option available. Buckwheat wonton wrappers?

And I'm extremely jealous of your being able to go outside and pick peaches right then and there.

I haven't entertained yet while on WW, chardgirl, but already tend to cook things that are Core and/or Flex friendly and also appeal to the varied tastes of my guests. One of the easiest is kebabs, as you can prepare the skewers ahead of time and make different versions for the red meat eaters (lamb or beef---I just avoid pork altogether unless I know for sure I won't offend anybody), non-red meat eaters (chicken or shrimp), and vegetarians (eggplant, onion, and mushroom). Whole grain bread (from a local bakery, Alon's, really great, not Core, but not outrageously bad either). Tomato salad, green beans or asparagus depending on the time of year. Some sort of fruit shortcake (make it last minute) which I serve with fruit and cream only (no ice cream, that is, and no cream either for me).

Obviously a summer meal.

Another summer meal I like to make is vitello tonnato. Except that I make it with pork tenderloin, and now I'm going to have to find a WW-friendly way to make tonnato sauce. Hmmm... Good things summer's almost over.

Edited by therese (log)

Can you pee in the ocean?

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Your blog's great, Jensen. Interesting fusion of Italian and Asian components for the ravioli---seems like the wontons would be a bit thinner than usual ravioli pasta sheets, so you could use a few more. Hmm, wonder if there's a core option available. Buckwheat wonton wrappers?

They're about the same thickness as when I make real pasta but they have a different feel to them. They're sturdier. It's a great cheat for when you want homemade ravioli but don't feel like making the pasta. The WW book says that they are 1 point for 5 skins but the packet I bought calculated to 3 points for 8.

I wonder if homemade buckwheat pasta would be core. Hmmmm, I might have to switch over after all!

Therese, I love the idea of kebabs for entertaining. I think I owe a few neighbours a dinner party here so I will definitely keep that in mind. I bet it would help with portion control too.

Now, I'm off to google "vitello tonnato"... :biggrin:

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Now, I'm off to google "vitello tonnato"... 

Actually, now that I think about it, making a vitello tonnato core isn't really an issue, as you don't add any fat to the already lean meat, and though the sauce is a tuna mayonnaise, if you make it from scratch all you'd have to count would be the olive oil.

It's also a great party dish because you slice the meat and dress it with a layer of the sauce ahead of time, keeping it in the fridge until you're ready to serve. Garnish with the platter with lemon slices and cornichons, particularly if you want your guests to make "martha stewart" comments.

Goes nicely with corn salad-stuffed tomatoes (late summer). Dessert of fresh fruit (fresh figs if you can find good ones) and cookies. Cookies non-core, so they'd better be great. But not too great, because you can only have a couple.

Can you pee in the ocean?

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