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Guest Kaypix

Frozen Dinners versus From Scratch

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Guest Kaypix

So I'm in a tough spot, I don't have a lot of time in my day to cook the weight watcher friendly meals, so I tend to get Frozen TV Dinners that are low in points (I.E. Healthy choice steamers, 5 pts) and pair it with V8 Fusion Lite to drink, which has half a serving of fruit and half a serving of veggies and is one point for an 8 oz glass, so 16 oz = 1 full serving fruit, 1 full serving veggies, 2 WW Pts. I'm concerned whether or not this is a healthy alternative to focusing only on homemade food. I've never been big on sodium concerns so am not sure about the sodium content, and I do drink milk with my breakfast and such, then have other servings of fruits/veggies as snacks throughout my day. I do try to cook the WW Friendly meals once a week or so, mostly just counting all the points of things as I'm making a meal and substituting here and there, usually using the 2 tbsp of oil in that meal. Any thoughts??

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Here's what I have. When you rely on the boxed fronzen dinners you aren't really reprogramming you brain on how to eat, what to eat and how much, because it has been done for you. I used those heavily the last time I did weight watchers and I could have used Jenny or Nutra's prepacked meals and lost the same. I have Smart Ones in the fridge freezer they taste really great and they are convenient. I eat sandwiches made from the double fiber bread for a great quick daytime meal. Cook a pot of Pinto Beans and keep them handy. Good fiber, flavor and again easy easy easy. Scrambled eggs are good. I love scrambled egg sandwiches on High Fiber bread.

 

The thing I didn't do last time with my 75 pound weight loss with WW is carve out for myself a food world for myself. I tried to adapt my diet instead of adopt a new one. I am trying to re-memorize the point count for foods I would be willing to eat. I figure once i learn those I can go anywhere and do anything and still know how to order a filling delicious meal for myself. You probably have this website already but in case you don't this is the general point/food list I have been using.

 

Most of all, make the changes you can and some of them may have to wait. It's how I am rolling these days. lol

http://quiddity.cc/rachel/diet/wwfoods.htm#V


http://momentarian.blogspot.com

 

My blog focusing on understanding and inspiring myself hopefully to become a better human and a place to share what I have figured out for myself.

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Tex - GREAT point - I can't believe I have never thought of it that way. It will be easier to get back into the "real" world if we are already living that lifestyle. Smart!

 

Kay - I'm thinking though that if you HAVE to choose a frozen dinner that the ones with vegetables would be just as healthy, minus the sodium and cholesterol content, etc. You can always flush out sodium with water, though. A lot of people eat canned vegetables even when they cook WW friendly meals, so I don't see what much difference would be, KWIM? That's just my prerogative though.


Trish HW: 190 SW: 170 CW: 164.2 GW: 135ish

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Guest Kaypix

texman:

Thanks so much for your insight! Yeah I spend lots of time finding out what meats and such are the best options for me, and do know a lot about "if" i cooked what I'd use, I keep a loaf of Sarah Lee 45cal honey wheat bread in my breadbox, and 1pt chocolate pudding (sugar free jell-o brand) in the fridge to keep me from caving and buying a candy bar at work (cuz let's face it, no where on Snickers does it say "good for you") and so far that's working, I do make toast, and nuked-egg sandwiches for breakfast (2 slices toast, 1 egg put into bowl and microwaved 1 minute with a tsp of milk, slice of cheese on top and a tomato for moisture) which are 4 point breakfasts if I do that, instead of a Smart One omelet etc. so I do that, my problem is the lunch/dinner, but like i said, i'm pretty good about finding options when i'm out and about, just while i'm sitting at work debating "what to eat today" and see the delivery menu, i sometimes panic, so for now my TV Dinner has a place in the work freezer, just in case they decide "meatlovers stuffed crust from papajohns" instead of "tuna wraps from the local deli" lol. Thanks for all the great advice, I'll work on learning the general rules so I know what to snack on / lunch on when I DON'T have my Healthy Choice around :) Thanks again :)

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Guest Kaypix

Classy - Thanks for the tip on the sodium! I do drink a ton of water, at least 3 20 oz bottles a day at work (to avoid that pesky pop machine!) not to mention while I'm at home, so I hope that helps with my sodium content. Also, when I do cook more at home I'll try to remember that canned veggies are OK too as long as we hydrate :) thanks again!

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Personally, I don't care for frozen dinners in either taste or quality. I find that grilling up a turkey burgher takes the same amount of time as popping in a frozen dish give or take a few minutes. I know what I've put into my meal and can control sodium and not have to deal with all those additives. If I want to rethink how and what I eat, I can't accomplish that with pre-packaged foods. I can't know how many days my meat has been at the butcher's but it's got to be less than the months a frozen food has been in the freezer somewhere.

 

Everyone has to make their own choices but I find that my crockpot is my friend and time saver.


Grainne

 

3/16/02- Made WW Lifetime

4'11"...SW 176lbs CW 154 lbs WGW 115

Rejoining weight 11/17 154 lbs

 

 

weight.png

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If you look under Restaurant on the tool bar atop this page, you can find plenty of things for eating on "the outside". lol I can always go for a chicken soft taco from Taco Bell. I also noticed that Long John Silver's is wayyyy more point friendly than I assumed it would be. Oh, if you have a sweet tooth, take a french vanilla Slimfast, 2 teaspoons of spenda and a dash of vanilla, put in blend and fill up with ice. Blend. I eat it with a spoon and its fantastic, plus it takes a long time to eat it so its great for watching TV with one. Almonds are my friend. Blue Diamond makes lunch size mini bags. Nuts will satisfy hunger like crazy because of the good fats inside it.


http://momentarian.blogspot.com

 

My blog focusing on understanding and inspiring myself hopefully to become a better human and a place to share what I have figured out for myself.

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Guest Kaypix

Thanks so much for the ideas everyone! I will definately go for the slimfast "shake" as I am a movie-nut and like to watch a movie every couple nights with my husband. So I'll definately try that. I do actually enjoy TV dinners if they are the high quality ones like Healthy Choice, Lean Cuisine is just too small portions for the points I end up eating, and I'm a sucker for lean pockets for lunch as well. I'll see what I can star whippin' up with my crockpot, cuz yes even I have that. Well, off to play with my pup some before bed, thanks for the tips everyone and goodnight!

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I'll start out by saying that this is my "soapbox" issue so take everything I say with a grain of salt. :bcb_smile

 

Those frozen meals are *not* food. They are processed chemicals made to look like food. They are all empty calories. Our bodies get sick trying to digest the MSG, preservatives, additives and everything else that went into making those meals. I won't even start with the moral/political diatribe on how those corporations treat farmers, animals and their employees!!

 

You'd be surprised how easy it would be to turn your own kitchen into a Lean Cuisine!! Maybe it might mean watching one less movie a week or carving out an afternoon on the weekend. BATCH COOKING is the key. You can set aside one chunk of time in a week and make ONE dish in *massive* quantity and then package it individually (in a ziploc baggie or the like) and write down how many points it is. You can make enough servings to last you a month. Do that once a week and you'll build up a stockpile so you only have to do it every other week after a while. Some things I cook-- chili, pasta casseroles, soups, stews, homemade pizzas (I've got celiacs so I tend to use frozen brown rice pasta tortillas and make tortilla pizzas on the spot but we used to make our own pizza dough and then make batches of them to freeze for the kids to eat), stews, curries, bean/veggie burgers (we're vegetarians), etc.

 

Just start by making a list of 3-4 foods that you would consider STAPLES in your diet-- something you'd take to work each day or have for dinner each night. Pick your favourite and multiply the recipe by 4-5. If you start with a WW recipe, you'll know the points per serving and then you'll just divide the batch into that many servings and freeze. Yes, it does front-load the work somewhat but you'll find it's not that much more work to quintuple a recipe as it is to just make one batch of it and it will pay off in spades. Not only in terms of your health but you'll be AMAZED how much money you save too!!

 

Take baby steps. Use frozen vegetables over canned. Think about getting a pressure cooker to cook your beans instead of using canned. Buy fresh tomatoes instead of using canned ones in recipes. Make your own stock instead of using the chemical laden boxes/jars for soups (or just use "tap stock"-- water!). When you take things one step at a time, you'll be amazed how easy it is to make some major changes!!


Kimberley

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I moved recently and have no microwave. At first it was simply because I ran out of money but now I realize I simply don't need it. I am now forced to 'cook' and I pass by the frozen dinner section without a thought now. I realize this is a radical approach in our day and time but its working for me. I have also found that since I have gotten into the mode of cooking from scratch I have gotten faster at it. Its like anything else, practice makes perfect.

 

I second the idea of the batch cooking. Its something I'm just getting started on and so far so good.

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Guest Kaypix

Oky dokey guys, I can do this! Batch cooking it is! Although I have to wait til' next Friday to start (payday) I will start finding some stuff that I can make in batches. I might start simple, spaghetti and meatballs or something, cuz I have a ton of Ronzoni smart noodles, and maybe move up to casseroles ... my crockpot is my friend so maybe I can start making stews and have a few slices of my calorie friendly bread... This is daunting! But I can and will do it! I know my husband appreciates when I home cook all the time! lol this will be good, this will be possible, even if it is a little scary :)

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You can do this!! Just take it one step at a time! And get DH to help. It's a great way to bond as a couple. My DH and I handle the prep, cooking and clean up together. It's quality time to talk to each other and work together as a couple! Just pick simple meals that are easy to prepare and that you'll enjoy eating. I very rarely make anything too complicated as it's not worth my time. I'm all about quantity over quality! LOL :bcb_grin


Kimberley

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Guest Kaypix

:bcb_upThanks for the motivation Kim!

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Love what Kimberley had to say. The only part I'd disagree with is I think canned tomatoes and canned tomato sauce and paste are great! More lycopene than fresh. I don't like many things canned, but I like canned tomato.

 

If you want to make a VAT of cooked beans, just fill your crockpot to within the top few inches with COLD WATER; add your package dry beans; turn on "LOW" and let cook overnight (Do it during the day the first time to see how many hours it takes until they are cooked perfectly in your crockpot. After that, you can do it at night.) Drain. You can then use those cooked beans in one recipe, or several recipes, OR freeze some for a later recipe. :salut

 

There are batch-cook recipes on the WW website. I think they're called "Cook Once; Eat All Week"...or something like that. Anyway, they are a great resource, too.

 

If you see something frozen at the grocery store, that means you can MAKE it and FREEZE it for yourself, at home. :salut :bcb_smile

 

 

.


May you be happy. May you be well. May you be free from suffering.

 

Check out my website! Plant-Powered.com :bcb_smile

 

 

 

 

 

 

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"how do you eat an elephant?" answer one bite at a time. When I ask that question about the frozen meals a couple years ago, I GOT HAMMERED by the food police.. .lol You got a much gentler response than I did. Good luck and post how its going.


http://momentarian.blogspot.com

 

My blog focusing on understanding and inspiring myself hopefully to become a better human and a place to share what I have figured out for myself.

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Guest Kaypix

Well so far so good! I'm still stuck finishing my last few frozen dinners at work, but I'm making simple casseroles at home before I go and freezing them, for lunch the next day, unfortunately I do'nt get time to eat the casserole the day I make it but *shrug* my leftovers are good :) And yes Kim, the hammer was more of a plushie hammer so I'm not hurt :) This summer I intend to plant me a garden with my favorite veggies to cook, green peppers, carrots and tomatoes, love love love cooking with them! Peas and green beans too, but have a very small place to plant. I've stayed on point all week, splurged last night on a cheeseburger from mcdonald's cuz i had 9 points left over on my way home from work, just drank water with it, but it really felt like a treat! :) My exercise is start and stop, but I'm taking that day by day, have a hard time keeping at it, but it is getting easier. I weigh in on Tuesday and will post up and update my new signature with my new "current weight", but so far I've not cheated or slipped up once, so woot! Just need to keep tweaking my food down to homemade instead of frozen and itll be all good. Now I'm off to search for recipes using those crockpot beans, never honestly cooked with beans, pinto or otherwise, before aside from chile :S wish me luck!

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Great job!! One step at a time does make a difference! Just look at that little guy in your signature. He still can make great progress over time!!


Kimberley

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Guest Kaypix

Thanks so much for the motivation! tonight I had my leftover Chicken Casserole that I made yesterday, and talked to my mom. She's going to pay for me to get a gym membership at a gym that is literally RIGHT by my house. I am having a hard time motivating myself EVERY day to the exact same 20 min. routine, so hoping a personal trainer can shed some light on it and help me stay motivated!! I have a lofty goal, my 10% mark in 2.5 months! I'm actually striving for a bit faster, but will just take it as it goes. I have weddings to hit this summer, and am riding from South Dakota (SE corner of the state) to Chicago in June, then to the twin cities (minneapolis/st paul MN) in July, and I think less weight would make the ride smoother, and more muscle would cause me to cramp less, so here's hoping :) No frozen dinner for me at all today, day 1 and counting!

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Try this!

 

"This is a family favorite.

 

Cheesy chili-mac

 

POINTS® value | 6 and CORE

Servings | 8

Preparation Time | 20 min

Cooking Time | 25 min

Level of Difficulty | Easy

 

Main meals | Adults will love how easy this chili-based meal is to prepare. Both kids and adults will love its taste.

 

 

Ingredients

 

 

 

1 serving cooking spray (5 one-second sprays per serving)

2/3 pound raw extra lean ground beef [i use ground turkey breast]

2 medium onion(s), chopped

29 oz canned stewed tomatoes, Mexican-style

2 1/2 cup canned tomato juice [i think tomato juice is not Core; maybe use 1/2 tomato sauce and 1/2 water?]

4 oz canned green chili peppers, diced, drained

2 tsp chili powder

1 1/2 cup uncooked whole wheat macaroni, elbow [i had some small whole wheat pasta...not elbow...worked great]

31 oz canned pinto beans, drained and rinsed

1/4 cup low-fat shredded cheddar cheese [fat-free cheese for Core! ]

 

 

Instructions

 

Coat a large skillet with cooking spray. Cook ground beef and onion over medium-high heat until meat is browned, about 10 minutes; drain off fat.

Stir in stewed tomatoes including juice, tomato juice, chili peppers and chili powder. Bring mixture to a boil.

 

Stir in macaroni and beans; return to boiling. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until macaroni is tender, about 15 minutes. Spoon chili into bowls and sprinkle with cheese. Yields about 1 cup of chili and 1 1/2 teaspoons of cheese per serving."


May you be happy. May you be well. May you be free from suffering.

 

Check out my website! Plant-Powered.com :bcb_smile

 

 

 

 

 

 

.

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Guest Kaypix

Thank you soooo much for the recipe! I will definately try it this week!

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Kaypix, I just wanted to let you know that your initial question really got me thinking and helped open the door to fact I have to try foods I have never tried before. I have to create a tasty, comfortable, healthy, entirely new menu for my life if I really want this time to be any different than the last time. Thanks and keep posting because if it is an issue for you, it is for someone that may not know it yet. lol


http://momentarian.blogspot.com

 

My blog focusing on understanding and inspiring myself hopefully to become a better human and a place to share what I have figured out for myself.

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Guest Kaypix

Well, I weighed in today, my first official weigh in of this round...drumroll please???

 

187.2! Lost 3.8 pounds last week, I know the curve will drop after a few weeks and that whole 3.8 won't be my norm, but for now I'm super excited. I have a fridge and freezer full of frozen leftovers for the week (It's my Sunday today and I work today thru everyone else's ACTUAL Sunday), all I can say is, yay crockpot and my WW Cookbook, and a calculator! I joined a gym yesterday, my mom's supporting me in my goal, but her jaw kinda dropped when I told her the price of a personal trainer ($930 for 12 sessions, kind of up to me how many sessions I use) + the $30/month membership fee. However, the gym is ON MY WAY HOME FROM WORK, so talk about not being able to avoid that particular goal, have to see it even if I want to skip, I have to consciously think "No, I don't want to work out, get healthy and slim" lol, so I hope that'll help. I just couldn't motivate myself enough at home, when I'm here, I'm in "veg" and "hangout" mode, once I'm out of the house, I'm already outside of my comfort zone, so I'm hoping this will help break the cycle. I'll post about how the athletic side of all this is going, told the trainer what I lost last time I did WW and she seemed impressed, even saying that I could get down to a size 8 by the end of summer if I stay focused! (End of summer cuz I told her I didn't want to break myself, starve myself, or do something that wouldn't achieve long term results), She was thinking I can be a size 10 by the weddings I have to go to. But I digress, I got all sorts of Chicken this week, next week, I'll branch out into fish and lean beef! Woot Woot! Oh, and the trainer said my WW food choices are perfectly great, she might add some more protein as I'll be doing strength training, but I can balance that with my flex points, I usually don't use them throughout the week. So fingers are crossed!

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That's great, Kaypix! And Etexman, too, I wanted to mention: Dr. Oz is working on weight loss with a celeb who has all her meals delivered; he wants her to cook meals on the week-ends to "celebrate the sacredness of food". So I think you can look at home cooking in that way, too. :bcb_smile:salut

 

:wave:

 

 

.


May you be happy. May you be well. May you be free from suffering.

 

Check out my website! Plant-Powered.com :bcb_smile

 

 

 

 

 

 

.

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Congrats on the loss!! Don't be too shy to take on the classes at the gym once the personal training expires. I get just as good of a workout taking classes!


Kimberley

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