What’s on My Plate Wednesday: My Go-To Sandwich

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

I love sandwiches. Let’s get that out of the way right now. I’d have a mayo-slathered BLT every single day if I had my way, but with 18 PointsPlus values, that’s not exactly the most Plan-friendly meal. So instead of a boring turkey on wheat with sprouts, I present my go-to midday meal.

A toasted whole wheat roll, deli-sliced buffalo chicken (your store probably has it — just ask!), muenster cheese, chipotle mayo (I like Sir Kensington’s), lettuce and the best tomato I can find. I pair with yummy in-season fruit (today was pink grapefruit and cherries). It’s crunchy, spicy, sweet and tart. I want for nothing and feel no guilt.

Here’s the PointsPlus value breakdown:

Roll: 5
¾ oz of cheese (2 thin slices): 2
2 oz chicken (4 slices): 1
1 tsp mayo: 1
Lettuce, tomato, grapefruit, cherries: 0

My Plate’s total PointsPlus value: 9

I use full-fat mayo and never buy low-fat cheese. To me, it makes a big difference — especially when it comes to not feeling deprived. I’d rather an ounce of the real stuff than a pound of the fake.

And while we’re talking about measurements, let me take a minute to plug the food scale. We have one here in the kitchen at Weight Watchers HQ. To be honest, I’ve always felt a little weird about weighing my food. There’s the whole “out-of-sight-out-of-mind” thing. You think you can just guess how much you’re eating (in the back of my head I’m always a little scared that I’m drastically under-estimating). But you might be surprised at what an ounce actually looks like — I was.

What’s on your plate today?

-Mary Elizabeth Hurn, associate editor

Categories: General


Comments (see all 7 comments)

NMWJMW (Joanne)

7/19/2014 11:38 AM
I finally got one myself.. It is so nice to know for certain how much my chicken weighs. I found it at Fred Meyers for less than 15 dollars...It may not be the best but it gets close enough for me....

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Monday, July 14, 2014

Is it just me, or are chia seeds having a serious moment? I’ve seen them on salads, yogurt, oatmeal and cookies, just to name a few. This weekend, I decided to see what the buzz is about.

I did a little research first: For one tablespoon of the seeds, you get 6g of fiber and 3g of protein, all for 1 PointsPlus value. Now, they had my attention.

When it comes to taste, there’s nothing to be afraid of. They add great crunch to whatever you put them in (I sprinkled some in my oatmeal), but don’t have much flavor. But, buyers beware. One 10-serving pack of black chia seeds from The Chia Co runs about $7.19, so they’re not exactly the cheapest.

Overall verdict: They’re easy to incorporate into your meals for added health benefits and are relatively low in PointsPlus values. I give chia a thumbs-up!

What new food trends have you tried?

—Mandy Rich, editorial assistant

Categories: Food


Comments (see all 8 comments)

KDAVIE3 (Kathy)

7/19/2014 7:11 PM
My husband brought me chia seeds he bought at SAMs club , big container. I had never heard of them, they are good to add to salads . I am glad to hear they are a GOOD. Item! Thanx for post!

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Who makes up these food holidays?

Friday, July 11, 2014

Evidently, Monday, July 7th was National Chocolate Day – at least that’s what on I read on the internet. Who makes up these “holidays”? I usually fall into the category of never wanting to pass up a celebration, so I couldn’t get chocolate off my mind.

I brought a healthy lunch to work, had an apple and a pear, coffee and water – totally recovered from the Fourth of July weekend. But there it was in the back of my head – chocolate, chocolate, chocolate. C’mon it’s practically patriotic! It’s a National holiday! The internet says so!

I needed a diversion and a bit of a break from sitting at my desk so I went for a walk outside. I reached into my handbag for something and there it was – a coupon for…chocolate. Okay, not just any chocolate, I had a coupon for Weight Watchers chocolates by Whitman Candies. Because they are Weight Watchers, I didn’t feel as guilty.

I picked up a box of the Red Velvet chocolates at a local drugstore and resisted the temptation to rip open the box until I got back to my desk. They have a red velvet cake center, covered in dark chocolate – 3 PointPlus® values per pouch (about 5 pieces).

I just love them. They’re so yummy! They’re sweet and totally satisfied my chocolate craving. I ate them slowly so the pouch lasted over an hour. At home I keep them in the fridge and go back and forth for a piece at a time.

I shared some of the pouches (there are 6 per box) with my co-workers and still had a couple to take home.

You don’t need a holiday to enjoy a chocolate treat and these portion-controlled chocolate bites are a perfect way to satisfy the craving while staying on track.

How do you handle unexpected cravings?

~ Anita Sado – Community Editor

Categories: General


Comments (see all 2 comments)

Melanee Roper

7/14/2014 11:51 PM
I usually get a Fiber One Granola. This helps with the sugar cravings.

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What’s On MyPlate Wednesday: Monkey Oatmeal

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

I consider myself to have a pretty adventurous palate (I think snake meat on a stick and grasshopper salsa give me some street cred). But sometimes, I have the same food cravings as, well, a kindergartener: and by that, I mean, I am a major sucker for anything and everything containing peanut butter and chocolate. Ice cream, sandwiches, candy—you name it, I love it. But I’ve realized, I probably shouldn’t be having it in abundance.

Thus, Monkey Oatmeal was born. It is one of my absolute favorite breakfasts, and I enjoyed it this past Sunday morning along with a cup of tea (0 PointsPlus value). It’s filling, hearty, chocolaty, peanut buttery—and all for 6 PointsPlus values. Can you say score?

Monkey Oatmeal
-1/2 c old-fashioned oats
-1 c water
-1/2 medium banana
-1 tsp natural peanut butter
-1 tsp Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa
-1 tsp sweetened coconut flakes
-1 packet Stevia

1. Bring the water to a boil and add the oats, making sure to stir.
2. Cut the banana into small pieces and stir into oats along with the peanut butter, Stevia and cocoa powder.
3. Once everything is cooked through, scoop into a bowl and top with coconut flakes and banana slices.

If you like having milk with your oatmeal, top with ¼ c of fat-free milk and increase the PointsPlus value by 1.

How do you satisfy your morning sweet tooth?

—Mandy Rich, editorial assistant

Categories: Food


Comments (see all 6 comments)

PATRICIA899 (patricia )

7/17/2014 7:08 PM
I'm a little confused. You have 1/2 medium banana listed, then say to cut the banana into small pieces and stir into oatmeal and cook. The last thing is to top with banana slices. Where does the extra banana come from??

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What are your words to lose by?

Monday, July 07, 2014

Do you have a mantra or motivational quote that you say to yourself that helps you stay on Plan? We know a lot of you do.

Now’s your chance to shout it from the rooftops and help inspire others.

We’re rounding up our favorites for a feature in the September/October issue of Weight Watchers magazine and we want to hear from you. Leave your favorite saying or motto in the comments below!

Categories: My weight loss


Comments (see all 28 comments)


7/21/2014 9:21 AM
Old WW meeting topic. 17 Words that will never fail you. Prepare, care, believe, forgive, change, risk, listen, choose, relax, pray, persist, smile, focus, act, trust, accept, wait. I have it up in my dressing area in beautiful calligraphy so I can pick the word I need for the day and as a reminder all those attitudes are available to me.

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What's On MyPlate Wednesday: Cheesy Egg Breakfast

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

My typical work breakfast is a yogurt parfait, but I switch it up every now and then to prevent boredom. This morning, I was craving eggs. So I reached into my deskside food cupboard and grabbed a microwaveable portion of Weight Watchers Cheesy Scrambled Eggs (4 PointsPlus values). I paired this with a sliced apple and 1 Tablespoon peanut butter (5 PointsPlusvalues).

To stay accountable, I like to weigh everything I prepare, which is why I keep a food scale at my desk. I used it to weigh the peanut butter (1 Tablespoon = 16 g). The bonus is that by weighing, I don't dirty any measuring spoons.

To make the desk meal more attractive (and exciting to eat!), I removed the eggs from their cardboard container and placed them on a plate with the other items. I added cracked pepper to the eggs and cinnamon to the other items. Yum!

What breakfast essentials do you keep at your desk?

--Amy Gorin, senior editor

Categories: Food


Comments (see all 7 comments)

SR090101 (Shannon)

7/8/2014 1:27 PM
Eggs are my go-to breakfast ! Second option would be some yogurt and fruit / that's usually what I take on gym days bc it's easy with no real prep- ! Putting it on a plate does make it more "official" and maybe it helps remind us to slow down while eating ! I know I can down a yogurt in a minute flat if I wasn't thinking about it lol

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The Wonders of Watermelon

Monday, June 30, 2014

It’s finally summer. The grass is green, the skies are blue, the days are long and there is no way to celebrate like a meal featuring the stars of the season.

That’s why I try to incorporate watermelon into the majority of my summer dinners and snacks. Watermelon is a fantastic, refreshing sweet treat to reach for when I want to keep cool on warm summer days, and it’s a much better choice than a margarita or ice cream. Not only is it delicious, it’s 0 PointsPlus values and jam-packed with nutrition. I love tossing watermelon into salads, mixing it with Greek yogurt and a little honey, or just enjoying it as is.

One of my favorite ways to use the summer fruit is in Watermelon Salsa. Each serving is only 1 PointsPlus value and it tastes great with grilled fish or chicken.

What produce do you look forward to enjoying in the summer?

—Mandy Rich, editorial assistant

Categories: Food


Comments (see all 7 comments)

ANITAJ47 (Anita)

7/9/2014 4:19 PM
Me too, but then I found out 0 pts. Haven't had watermelon in years. Bought a seedless one last week and loved every bite :)

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I Went to Summer Camp—Sorta!

Friday, June 27, 2014

Last week, I spent a few days in Nantucket, MA with the folks at Cercone Brown Company, a PR firm that organizes a summer excursion allowing editors to try out several new food, fitness and health products. The experience was like summer camp for adults. It reminded me that one of the greatest things about this season is the opportunity to stay active while having fun. Of course, doing so also helps in burning off all the delicious foods that summer offers!

The trip kicked off with a delicious lunch featuring Sabra's newest products. (I'm crazy for the Mango Peach Salsa and this line of Greek yogurt dips, which I ate with crudité. They're all 1 PointsPlus value per 2 Tablespoons.) Then I got to try my hand at several activities. A favorite: a tennis boot camp organized by New Balance Tennis. I spent about two hours doing drills of hitting and serving, as well as volleying (striking down balls before they hit the ground). The key, I realized, is watching the ball instead of simply anticipating where it will go. I had so much fun dressing for the part; I wore a tennis skirt (this one!) for the first time in my life. It's adorable, but I learned that tennis attire serves a purpose beyond being cute. While serving, for instance, you can stuff extra balls into the shorts layer of the skirt; and tennis shoes are super important because they offer added stability for all the side-to-side movements.

We also had a field day, probably my first since middle school. I got to try out the TomTom Runner Cardio, a pretty nifty heart-rate monitor that measures through bloodflow from the wrist--and not a bulky chest strap. To test out the watch, I first ran a quarter mile. This was my first time running in years, and I was happy that I was able to do it without stopping or breathing too heavily. Then we broke off into two teams and did a tug of war and a relay race. My heart rate got up pretty high!

I also took advantage of the house's half-mile proximity to the beach, waking up early to walk there and also taking a stroll during afternoon down time. I love squeezing in activity whenever I can, especially when it involves beautiful scenery.

Now that I'm home, I'm giving serious thought to taking tennis lessons. It would be great fun to be good at the sport (and considering how much I improved during my two-hour lesson, I think that's possible!), plus I simply love wearing a skirt while working out.

How are you staying active this summer?

--Amy Gorin, senior editor

Categories: Fitness


Comments (see all 5 comments)


6/30/2014 11:33 AM
Biking running and some swimming - that TomTom watch sounds cool! Do you know if it measures heart rate while swimming? Couldn't find that on their website.....thanks!

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Run for a Cause this Summer!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

I’m proud to admit that I have conquered a phobia of mine: running outside during the daytime. I was always scared of doing this because I thought I just looked like a fool. I may still look like one, but I decided to stop caring, and just started running one afternoon. Next step: Trying a 5K. My plan is to start training for one in September, the Born to Run 5K Run/Walk (details below). Won’t you join me?

There are so many 5Ks that benefit such great causes, and I’ve listed a few of my favorites from around the country below. It’s time to run (or walk) FOR GOOD!

Race: 2014 Run for Refugees 5K
Date: June 28, 2014
Benefits: MORE, an organization that empowers people of many races, cultures and ethnicities to live and work in peace.
Fee: $35
Register here.

Race: Hope with Every Step Concord 5K Run/Walk
Date: Saturday, July 12, 2014
Benefits: The A-T Children’s Project, which raisesfunds to find life-improving therapies and a cure for ataxia-telangiectasia (A-T), a rare, fatal disease that gives children the combined symptoms of muscular dystrophy, cystic fibrosis, immune system problems, and cancer. 
Fee: $35
Register here.

Race: Summer Glowstick 5K
Date: Saturday, July 12, 2014
Benefits: The American Cancer Society
Fee: $30
Register here.

Race: 6th Annual Run for Africa 5K
Date: Saturday, July 26, 2014
Benefits: Children of the Nations to help build a library in Malawi, Africa.
Fee: $25-$35
Register here.

Race: Royals Charities 5K Run/Walk
Date: Saturday, August 2, 2014
Benefits: Variety Children's Charity of Greater Kansas City and Royals Charities
Fee: $30-$35
Register here.

Race: Melon Dash 5K
Date: Saturday, August 2, 2014
Benefits: North Texas Cat Rescue for the humane and compassionate treatment of cats.
Fee: $35-$45
Register here.
Race: 2014 Four Seasons Run of Hope
Date: Sunday, September 7, 2014
Benefits: Pediatric cancer care and research at the Massachusetts General Hospital for Children.
Fee: Raise a minimum of $150; fundraising page provided.
Register here.

Race: 5th Annual Born to Run 5K Run & Walk
Date: Sunday, September 21, 2014
Benefits: The Bruce Eckrote Memorial Fund which benefits local organizations and those in need, as well as the Bruce Eckrote Memorial Scholarship awarded to a high school senior.
Fee: $20
Register here.


Race: Run Fur Rescues 5K
Date: Sunday, October 5, 2014
Benefits: Raise funds for local animal shelters and help homeless animals/rescues find shelter and get adopted.
Fee: $35
Register here.

Race: 2nd Annual Tiburon by the Bay 5K
Date: Sunday, October 5, 2014
Benefits: The Heartland Hospice Memorial Fund, which provides financial assistance for terminally ill individuals and their families.
Fee: $40
Register here.

Search for more 5K’s in your area at Active.com. Happy running!

Which 5K will you be doing in the next few months?

—Katerina Gkionis, assistant editor

Categories: Fitness


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What's on MyPlate Wednesday: Freekeh Tabbouleh

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

I’m always looking for interesting recipes to replace the “same-old-salad” lunch or the “not-rice-again” side dish that’s low in PointsPlus® values and filled with Power Foods. Back in May I found this recipe for Freekeh Tabbouleh in the Weight Watchers Weekly and thought it just might be what I was looking for.

I generally love Mediterranean flavors like this, so I was excited to give it a try. The results exceeded my expectations:

¾ cup uncooked freekeh (can be replaced with bulgur)
1¼ cups water
¾ tsp kosher salt, divided
1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp minced garlic (I added 2 tsp)
4 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp lemon zest (I added 2 tsp)
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
½ medium English cucumber, diced
½ medium red onion, minced
1/3 cup minced mint (I reduced the mint)
1/3 cup minced fresh parsley
½ cup crumbled feta cheese
½ lemon, cut into wedges

In a small saucepan, combine freekeh, water and ¼ tsp salt; bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, until water is absorbed and freekeh is tender, about 20-25 minutes. Remove from heat and spoon into a serving bowl; let cool.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine oil, lemon juice, zest, garlic and remaining ½ tsp of salt; set aside.

Add tomatoes, cucumber, onion, mint and parsley to cooled freekeh; drizzle with dressing and toss to coat. Garnish with feta and give a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Yields about ¾ cup per serving. Each serving has a PointsPlus value of 4.

I’ve made this dish twice; the first time with bulgur because I couldn’t find freekeh. If you can’t find it locally you can buy it online here. The freekeh has a nuttier flavor than the bulgur, but either grain works well. Note, that when preparing with bulgur the PointsPlus value per serving is 3.

What I love about this dish is that you can use it as a side dish or as a main. You could even get creative and add grilled chicken or shrimp!

Bon appétit!

~ Anita Sado – Community Editor

Categories: General


Comments (see all 2 comments)


7/9/2014 8:41 AM
I loved this recipe, but my DH not so much!

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