All about the points

If you are around me very much you will surely hear me talk about “the points”.  I am a total Weight Watchers convert. We did it in India after I had Cian and I lost 30lbs and Paul lost 50lbs. Granted, we also had a personal trainer and worked out 3-5 days a week, but the crux of it all was WW. It also helped us completely change our eating habits. We almost never ate fruits or vegetables before WW (besides potatoes), but now every meal we have is at least 50% fruit or vegetables.

When we moved back to the US we had unfettered access to TONS of fatty foods and restaurants that we had missed for years. The pounds piled on quickly as they do these days. So we finally buckled down after Thanksgiving and got back on the program. My initial goal was to lose 20 lbs before the 3 month WW “trial” was up. I made a deal with myself that if I managed that, I would continue with the program through the year and see if I could shed all of the weight I put on in my 8 years in India.  It has been 4 months and I have lost more than 20+ lbs so far with a few setbacks around the holidays and my birthday. But overall i am quite pleased with the progress…and this is without doing much exercise. I know if I get busy on the treadmill, the pounds will shed a bit quicker… but one day at a time is all I can manage for now!

In India we only managed to do the program consistently for about 4 months before we starting loosing our way. I realized the same thing was happening to us again here.   I think it is boredom. We eat the same foods over and over again with little variation. A throw back to our days in India I am sure when we didn’t have wide access to a variety of foods.  But this time, we have a new weapon, enter: Skinnytaste.com.  I am in love with this website and so far everything I have made has been excellent. All of her recipes have the WW points plus values already listed, so I know in advance if I should even look at the recipe! It has been really great adding variety to our diet and in getting me (and everyone here) to try new things and giving me a little excitement in the kitchen trying out new recipes.

If you have an iphone/ipod/ipad you can download the app ziplist which connects with skinnytaste.com (and many other food websites) to save your recipes and produce shopping lists. I wish this app had the ability to share recipes with other ziplist users – I would be adding people left and right!

I have also been trying to mix up our breakfast routines with smoothies, some of which come from my friend Jaime’s instagram posts or from her recent article on Babble.   I usually alter the smoothie’s just a bit to make sure I have the least amount of points as I can manage without ruining the taste or “fullness” quotient. I try not to exceed 4-5 points for breakfast. Our most recent “Jaime smoothie” as we call it,  was the peaches n cream smoothie from her babble article. I took out the honey and added a banana instead and also left out the antioxidant powder because that added another 2 points.   Everyone here loved it. Maybe next time I will take out the flax seed and try the antioxidant powder. Choices choices.

I also try to keep lunch around 4-5 points so that I can have a more filling dinner. Since I don’t eat much meat, it makes it harder to find recipes that aren’t high in points, but offer good “value” for fullness.  So here we go back to my love of Skinnytaste – today we made Gina’s Mayo-less tuna salad which was pretty great. Although I do have to say that I didn’t feel as full as I would from some of my regular lunchtime meals. I think the way it is, is perfect for a party or as a pot luck dish. It is 7+ points, which is on the higher side for lunch. But it sure was good!

And tonight we had an entire Gina meal – Bangin Grilled Shrimp with Skinny Buttermilk Mashed potatoes (our first potatoes in MONTHS!) and Roasted Parmesan Green Beans. All of these flavors might not have been the best together, but each individual dish was EXCELLENT! Seriously I’m in love and cannot wait for her cookbook to come out next year.

 And just to keep sharing the love, our other favorite dishes from Gina so far are:

  • Thai green curry shrimp. At the end before serving, I mix in some steamed broccoli and carrots as well just to add a bit more ‘weight’ to the dish.
  • Butternut Squash and Leek Spaghetti. This is my favorite favorite so far. I always want to cook with butternut squash, but never do for some reason. I love that I can buy pre-cut packets of it at trader joes (and the local Albertsons) which makes this an easy quick dinner that everyone enjoys. Luckily I have sage growing in the yard, so I don’t’ have to worry about getting other ingredients. Also a good trick is to keep frozen leeks in your freezer so all you need to pick up at the shop is the squash.
  • Cheesy Spaghetti squash. This was my first time making spaghetti squash. Gina’s instructions were great and easy to follow. My only recommendation on this one would be to strain and wring out the spaghetti strands before mixing it with the cheesy sauce. It was a little watery when hot and when we reheated it for left overs.

I could probably ramble on for ages about all of the new meals we are trying, but that should get you all started for now. Happy Eating!

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