Posts Tagged ‘ 6 Points ’

Blast from the Past: SpaghettiO’s

Oh the foods of our youth. Growing up, one of those was Spaghetti-O’s, a staple of the daycare I went to as a young-un. Well, recently, Campbell’s latest marketing campaign has been about not telling kids that the pasta rings in tomato goop is actually good for them. I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t check this out right?

Well, cue a trip to my grocery store with my trusty Weight Watcher’s slide rule, and me hunching down in the aisle as mom’s shovel the cans into carriages for a look-see.

Looking into it, each can has 2 servings, but I combined the nutrition as I polish off a can myself. For sheer points, I looked at a can of the “Plus Calcium” because why not? More calcium? Sure! Nutritionally we’re talking 340 calories, 2g of fat, and 6 g of fiber per can giving us a point value of 6. Not too bad at all for a 66 cent price point.

What’s more amazing is what else these can’s have to offer. With my workout, I’m always looking to add more protein to my diet. These cans are packing a whopping 12 g per pop, not to mention 60% of my daily calcium, and 50% of vitamin D as well as other basic vitamins and minerals. This stuff is good…for you.

Well, I’ll be the first to admit it folks, as an adult, Spaghetti-O’s have become my staple go-to quick meal when I don’t have much time to cook dinner. I serve them up with a chopped up 98% Fat Free turkey dog, and some green beans and I am good to go. Freakishly nutritious, and childishly delicious. Hey, whatever works right?


Weight Watchers Goes Out: Taco Bell Fresco Decoded

Oh chain restaurants, how America loves thee. Still, I’m not here to trash them. I won’t lie, I enjoy going out to them, and even rocked some Taco Bell last evening for dinner.

Taco Bell is still a novelty too me, so I’m almost always good to go there. Growing up, the nearest “Big” town had the classic three: McDonald’s, Burger King, and Wendy’s. I was always a big Wendy’s guy, but now I favor BK, and the Wendy’s is getting replaced by a DQ…I digress. What I’m really here to talk about is how to stay on the Weight Watchers wagon at a place like Taco Bell. Luckily, Taco Bell has joined the health craze with their Fresco Diet Menu.

Weight Watcher’s Points for Fresco Menu

  • Fresco Bean Burrito: 7 Points
  • Fresco Burrito Supreme – Chicken: 7 Points
  • Fresco Burrito Supreme – Steak: 6 Points
  • Fresco Crunchy Taco: 3 Points
  • Fresco Grilled Steak Soft Taco: 3 Points
  • Fresco Ranchero Chicken Soft Taco: 3 Points
  • Fresco Soft Taco: 4 Points

So there you have it: nothing on the Fresco Menu is particularly crippling, and you can actually fair better than at some of the Bell’s competitors. Still, the key here is that when you start combining items, you can lose that fiber bonus as most of these items are loaded fiber already. The Bean Burrito alone boasts 11g of the stuff. Mmmmm fiber. Still, walk away with a burrito, and a chicken soft taco, and you’re doing pretty well for a trip to the fast food place. I know where to go when I want to be bad and good at the same time now.

Grocery Store Sushi?

I know what you’re thinking; buying sushi from a large commercial grocery store just sounds like a bad plan. I’ll admit, I had the same reservations myself. I wondered if the fish would be OK, if anything would be spoiled, if it would be plain nasty, the works. I am happy to report that I am wrong.

All day yesterday, I had a hankering for sushi. These things happen, but I had fallen off of the diet wagon for a few days, and refused to stay on that downward slope. I will stick to my diet, and all that motivational stubbornness. Well, with my trusty weight watchers slide rule, I went to my local Stop & Shop (Malden, MA) to get stamps, and checked out the sushi selection. I was most surprised by the variety they had. They had more than just the standard Cailfornia roll, and several specimens of non-rolled sushi as well. On top of that, they looked good. I was able to find one of my favorites as well: Smoked Eel and Avocado Maki. It looked just like it came from a restaurant.

Now for the great part: for $6.99 I was able to get 12 pieces (2 orders) of my favorite sushi. This normally costs a lot more at a sushi restaurant. The kicker: the whole box was only eight points; exactly what the doctor ordered. I could have my cake and eat it too…well sushi anyways. So, moving pat the excellent deal, and weight watchers winning moment, how was it? The sushi was fine. I’ll admit it wasn’t the best sushi that I’ve ever had, but it was on par with several restaurants that I’ve gone to, and I wasn’t disappointed. I’ll definitely get this again, and it doesn’t even need to be a special occasion. As a side note, the California rolls (12 pieces) were only six points. talk about awesome.

The image is courtesy of another person who found the sushi at Stop & Sop to be good as well.

Subway: Jared has it Right

For a few years now, we have been seeing ads for Subway, with their poster boy Jared talking about their healthy offerings. Well, he is right, the 6 Grams of Fat or Less menu is a healthy way to get fast food. Here’s a breakdown of the menu:

6 Grams of Fat or Less Subs
6″ Ham (Black Forrest w/o cheese) : 5 Points
6″ Oven Roasted Chicken Breast: 6 Points
6″ Roast Beef: 6 Points
6″ Subway Club: 6 Points
6″ Sweet Onion Chicken Teriyaki: 7 Points
6″ Turkey Breast: 5 Points
6″ Turkey Breast & Ham: 5 Points
6″ Veggie Delight: 4 Points

Looking at the menu, it’s easy to see that Subway is a great choice for fast food dieting. The key is not to miss the fine print. According to Subway’s nutrition site, these point values are based on the sub being on 6 inches of their 9-Grain Wheat Bread with lettuce, tomato, onions, and green peppers. Note the fact that these subs DO NOT include cheese, or any form of condiment. Don’t lose hope. Since the subs are so reasonably pointed, it won’t cripple you to get 1 slice of cheese, and add 2 Points to your overall sub value. Even an 8 Point sub is reasonable. If you’re like me, and can’t stand a dry sandwich, then there is the fat free honey mustard which you can ask for. It tastes great, and only adds about a point for a healthy serving. There you have it, a decent sized meal for a reasonable amount of points. You just need to let go of the foot long chicken bacon ranch sub, my own personal weakness.

Dieting with a Dunk’s Addiction

I am fortunately no longer dependent on caffeine. To my knowledge, I haven’t had a drop all this week. That may seem like something small, and some people may say “pfft, No Problem”, but millions of people are dependent on things like their morning coffee, of lunch soda to get them through the day. Well, the drawback of this addiction is that it usually entails extra calories, and fat throughout the day. Add to that, most people are in a hurry, and rely on places like Dunkin’ Donuts or Starbucks for their fix. Luckily, Dunk’s has hopped on the healthy bandwagon with some good alternatives.

With their DDSmart menu, Dunkin’ Donuts has taken some of their customers favorites, and given them a healthy twist. This does not mean that every thing on the Smart menu is Weight Watchers safe, but there are some great contenders. Following is a Smart menu to point breakdown:

DD Smart Menu
Small Coffee Coolatta with Skim Milk: 3 Points
Freshly Brewed Unsweetened Iced/Regular Tea: 0 Points
Small Iced/Regular Coffee with Skim Milk: 0 Points
Small Iced/Regular Latte Lite: 2 Points
Egg White Veggie Flatbread: 6 Points
Egg White Turkey Sausage Flatbread: 6 Points
Egg & Cheese on English Muffin: 7 Points
Ham, Egg & Cheese on English Muffin: 8 Points
English Muffin: 3 Points
Multigrain Bagel (No Cream Cheese): 8 Points
Reduced Fat Blueberry Muffin: 9 Points

Well, there you have it. The drink menu is fairly safe for the Weight Watcher crowd, but saying the food menu is smart doesn’t mean that it’s not high in points. This is something to look out for in health ad campagns from corporate chains. Some of the items offered may very well be healthy, but something that is healthier doesn’t make it good for you. Exhibit A would be the Blueberry Muffin. Yes, there’s less fat in it than the original, but its still sporting 10g. My personal vice is a Coolatta on the weekends, and the skim milk makes it taste better in my mind. Its always good to check your addictions and see what they’re actually costing you.

Healthy Chicken Hash

Living on my own could very well encourage laziness in the kitchen. For example, feeling slightly under the weather, last night I simply had some vegi chili and hot dogs. Quick, easy, and definitely not very exciting. On my better nights, I like to be a little more creative. An easy recipe is one for a healthy form of hash. It’s cheap, filling, healthy, and relatively easy to make.

1 medium baked russet potato
1/2 chicken breast (3 to 4 oz) or ground chicken burger
1 medium onion (whatever kind you like)
1/3 can of low sodium fat free chicken broth

To start, when you wake up in the morning and you’re getting ready for work, wash and poke some holes in a potato, and toss it in the microwave for seven minutes, turning it over after five. Let it cool wrapped in a paper towel, and toss it into your fridge on the way out the door. Definitely not too challenging. If you’d like to be extra prepared, pull a half breast of chicken (three to four ounces) out of your freezer, and throw it into the fridge to defrost all day. If you forget, you can just use the defrost feature on your microwave when you get home.

After work, preparing dinner may be the last thing that you want to do, but I promise this is easy. Begin by cubing up your chicken (I advise 3/4 inch). Through this into a fry pan with some calorie free cooking spray, and cook the chicken through. This should only take a couple minutes. While the chicken is cooking, cut your baked potato from this morning (still cold) into 1/2 inch cubes, and finely chop an onion. Now put your chicken that should now be cooked off to the side, and start cooking the potato and onion in the same pan over medium heat. Make sure to add a healthy dose of salt, and some black pepper to taste.

Once the potatoes are looking gold and cooked, re-add your chicken, and then add about a third of a can of low sodium chicken broth. Cook the mixture until the broth has cooked down, the hash looks golden. Serve and enjoy. I suggest a side of frozen vegi’s to keep the meal balanced, but a fresh salad would be even better. Looking at the hash, it makes about six points of food, and tastes like 10. This is one of my favorite quick and easy meals, so hopefully it will be one of yours as well.