Weight Watchers Thanksgiving Cheat Sheet

Weight Watchers cheat sheet for Thanksgiving. Enjoy the holiday and still stay on track!

The holiday season is upon us, and that means so are the holiday meals, baked goods, candies, parties, and everything in between.  The holiday season can be a bit of a nightmare for Weight Watchers members.  We want to partake in the delicious festivities, but it’s hard to stay on track when we’re surrounded by so much goodness.  First up is the mother of all giant meals: Thanksgiving dinner.  In order to make this holiday a little less daunting, I compliled a little cheat sheet for you with some of the most popular Thanksgiving dinner items so you don’t have to spend time in your Weight Watchers app figuring out your plate before it gets cold.

Some notes before we get started:

  • I updated this list to include Smart Points, since that is the plan that most Weight Watchers are using, but I left the Points Plus values from when I originally wrote this post.  
  • While I used the Weight Watchers website to gather all of the Smart Points values, I’m sure the actual values of what’s on your plate will vary a little bit.  Use these values as a rough estimate, rather than your 100% accurate SP assessment.  Some recipies might actually costing you a little more, or if you’re lucky, a little less.

Alright friends, lets dive in!

Main Dishes

Turkey

-3oz light meat with skin= 3 sp (3 pp)
-3oz breast, skinless= 1 sp (2 pp)
-3oz giblets, white or dark meat, no skin= 2 sp (3 pp)
-3oz dark meat, with skin= 4 sp (5 pp)

Ham

-Spiral 3oz= 4sp (3pp)  (lean is 2sp)
-Honey baked, bone-in, 3 oz= 3 sp

Side Dishes

-Turkey gravy, canned 2 Tbsp=  0 sp (0 pp)
-Gravy, brown 2 Tbsp= 2 sp (1 ppv)
-Stuffing 1/2 cup bread, from mix, prepared=  6 sp (5 pp)
-Corn 1/2 cup cooked kernels=  2sp (2 pp)
-Green bean casserole 1 cup 7 sp (6 pp) *It varies a lot by recipe.*
-Sweet potatoes 1/2 cup  mashed= 5sp
-Cranberry sauce 2Tbsp canned=  3 sp (1 pp)
-Mashed potatoes 1/2 cup=  3 sp (3 pp)
-Biscuits with butter =  Biscuit alone: 4sp, with 1 tbsp butter: 9 sp (6 pp)
-Corn bread 1 slice, from mix, prepared= 7 sp (5 pp)
-Corn casserole 1/4 cup= 7 sp (5 pp)
-Sweet potato casserole 1/2 cup= 9 sp (6 pp)
-Creamed corn 1/2 cup canned= 3 sp (3 pp)
-Creamed spinach 1/2 cup=  3 sp (5 pp)
-Scalloped potatoes 1/2 cup= 4 sp (5 pp)
-Roasted potatoes 1/2 cup= 2 sp (4 pp)
-Brussel sprouts with bacon 2/3 cup= 3 sp (4 pp)
-Macaroni and cheese 1/2 cup= 7 sp (5 pp)
-Sausage stuffing 1/2 cup= 6 sp (5 pp)

Desserts

-Apple cake 1 slice= 10 sp (6 sp)
-Pumpkin pie 1 slice= 14sp (12 pp)

2 Tbsp whipped topping= 1sp
-Fruit pie 1 slice= 13 sp (11 pp)
-Fruit salad 1 serving (red and green apples, 2Tbsp dried cranberries, 2Tbsp pecan halves)= 6 sp (4 pp)
-Cheesecake 1 slice= 18sp (11 pp) with fruit topping= 19 sp (12 pp)
-Pecan pie 1 slice=  21 sp (14 pp)

Beverages

-Wine 5oz= 4 sp (4 pp)
-Mixed drinks 5oz vodka cranberry=7 sp (5 pp)
-Beer 12oz= 5 sp (5 pp)
-Punch 8oz fruit punch= 7 sp (3 pp)
-Soda 8oz sweetened= 6sp (3 pp)
-Iced tea 8oz sweetened= 5 sp (3 pp)
-Water 8oz= 0!

There you go!  Even if you are going to load up your plates with too much of a good thing you can at least say you made the informed choice.

A few other helpful tips and tricks:

  • Keep a glass of water in your hands.  If your hands are occupied, you can’t snack at the appetizer table
  • Distance yourself from the food.  Ask that your favorite dish be on the other side of the table and when it isn’t dinner time, be in a different room than the food all together if you can help it.
  • After dinner, before dessert comes out, take the family and go out for a walk.  It will get the digestion going, distract from the food and get you a little bit of activity.
  • Bring a dish that is Weight Watchers friendly to begin with
  • Eat slowly.  Set down your fork and sip water in between bites.  You’ll be surprised at how much sooner you’ll feel full.

 

Most importantly, remember that it is one day.  Work a little harder a few days before and after, save your weekly Points and get your joy out of your Thanksgiving.  Hint: the joy doesn’t necessarily come from the food!

 

Be happy, be healthy.

Fitbit Flex Activity + Sleep Wristband

Diet Friendly Betty Crocker Pumpkin Spice Cookies

Pumpkin Spice cookies

Thanks to a pumpkin spice themed gift from my aunt our pantry ended up being the proud owner of a Betty Crocker Pumpkin Spice Cookie Mix. As per usual, I took a look at the ingredients to see what I could substitute my lower calorie (and thus, lower Points Plus value) options for and decided this was another Betty Crocker mix worth experimenting with.

IMG_2506

As usual, the substitutions were 100% pure canned pumpkin instead of butter (removing 24 Points Plus from the batter), and an egg white instead of an egg (removing 2 more Points).

IMG_2504

So the recipe is as follows:

1 Package of Betty Crocker Pumpkin Spice Cookie Mix

1/2 Cup of canned pure pumpkin

1 egg white (this ends up being about 1/4 of a cup of the All Whites. I weigh mine and one egg is 46g

2 Tbsp Water

Preheat your oven to 375. Mix all ingredients.  Yield should be 18 regular cookies or 16 large ones.  I somehow got 19 large cookies..

Since I managed to yield the serving size on the package, I was able to calculate the Points Plus value of the cookies: 3 PPV for one (rather large) cookie.

IMG_2510

IMG_2512

I will say this: They did come out much more cakey than chewy cookie style.  That’s the only problem with eliminating all of the fat in the recipe.  However, they did end up more like “muffin top” type treats, which Erik and I are finding satisfaction with anyway.  If I could do it again I would change one or two elements.  It’d be an experiment worth trying to see if either of these help:

  • Use a real egg, yolk and all, rather than the egg white
  • Go for a combination of butter and pumpkin, maybe using 1/4 cup of each to help balance things out a bit better.

These do satisfy my pumpkin flavored sweet tooth, so for that I am grateful.  They’re also the right consistency to warm up un the microwave before eating (and then maybe putting some Pumpkin Spice ice cream with them.. Yum!!).

What are your favorite fall treats to diet down?  Have you tried anything similar to this, or something even better? Let me know in a comment below!

Happy munching!

A Weekend With Me: Saturday

It was one of those mornings where 8 hours of sleep just didn’t feel like enough.  The snooze alarm and I meet frequently, though only once today.  I had a lot to accomplish today.

Just like yesterday I got up (dragged myself begrudgingly is more like it), made some tea and sat down for some quiet time with my prayer journal and God.  My thoughts today were on the phrase “Love is patient” but not talking about love between Erik and I (though we have had many lessons in that verse), but I thought about it in regards to my relationship with God.  With a task list of many things whirling through my head, it was very easy for me to sit down and have the mindset of this writing time as a task I should speed though, check off and move on.  ..which of course is the completely wrong approach.  It takes effort to sit and focus on a task such as heartfelt prayer; to get all of the “to dos” to quiet down for a second and give me time to spend with the Lord.  Things change when you don’t treat prayer as a chore, but more like having morning coffee with a close friend.  Enjoy the conversation.

 

Meal time!  Breakfast today was brought to me by Suja juice.  They’re organic, cold pressed juices that are really delicious and super nutritious.  Since juices count as Points I had to account for the nutrition info, despite the fact the only ingredients are organic fruits and veggies, so it cost 4 Points Plus.  I love everything about these juices except the price.  At $8 a bottle at Whole Foods, they’re definitely treated as a special way to spoil myself every so often.  I’d love to try their 3 day cleanse someday, when I actually have that kind of money to spend on something  like yummy juice.

IMG_2292

I went on a cleaning rampage making sure things were neat and dusted, including my bedroom (Erik’s room I don’t touch.  That he can deal with on his own..) so my man would have a beautiful apartment to come home to.  I wrote “Happy Sweetest Day” on our dry erase board, grabbed a south beach diet bar (we don’t follow the diet, but the nutritional content is impressive) and was out the door for my last visit to the various cat-filled apartments.  Frank was chatty as always.  He stood on the breakfast bar and started nibbling on my hairline playfully when I was paying more attention to my texts than to him.  He is a pretty awesome kitty.  Then I went to Katie’s to check up on the monsters, and she ended up coming home while I was there.  Kitty-sitting missions accomplished.  Now i am back to no fur babies to love on.  At least I get to go see my 4 dogs in less than a week.  I’m looking forward to some love from them.

I ran out of time to actually go to the gym (which I decided was okay since my ActiveLink sat satisfied at 50% already from my running around) so I went back to the apartment to get ready for my Weight Watchers Innovations event.  It’s the get together where the employees learn what new and exciting things are coming to the program.   While I was in the process of beautifying myself I got emails saying packages had come.  Turns out a package from home (including some Halloween decorations ) and my Bulu Box had arrived.  Expect my Bulu Box post within the next few days.

The receptionist at my Thursday meeting, Sharon, and the leader from today’s meetings were letting me tag along with them so I didn’t have to drive.  We went to an Embassy Suites where we enjoyed a late afternoon lunch and a presentation on whats to come.   Obviously I am not going to say anything about it here…sorry to those who thought I’d tell you. :-p

Check out the menu.  I wish every menu came like this, with the Points Plus values written right there.

IMG_2295

..now that I look at the pic I’m not entirely sure you can read that..

9 Points for the entire lunch/dinner, and that included dessert!

have I mentioned how nice it is to eat at Weight Watchers functions? 🙂

IMG_2297

IMG_2299

(there was a salad too, but I forgot to take a pic of it)

After Innovations I came home to find Erik’s stuff, but no Erik.  Apparently he went out for a run which made for an anti-climatic arrival home, but eventually he came back.  We caught up with each other a bit and now he’s unpacking while I write my post.

The rest of the evening is going to be quite eventful: Curled up on the couch in sweats and the arms of my love, watching Pirates of the Caribbean (# 3 I think..) so we can continue to play the Lego version of the movie on Playstation.  See? Eventful! (I hope you can sense the sarcasm).  We’re nerds, we know it, and we aren’t afraid to show it :-p

Have a blessed Saturday evening my friends.  Stay warm, stay safe, and be happy!

Crunching on Kale

KaleChips

I am not a girl who loves her veggies.  In fact, I basically force myself to eat them because I know they are healthy and the are 0 PointsPlus, so they’re great for bulking up meals at no extra cost to my PointsPlus tracker.  Fruit I will eat all day; veggies, not so much.   That being said, I am a fan of figuring out ways to get those veggies into my belly and actually enjoy them.  I’ve been hearing of kale chips for quite some time, and I decided it was finally time for me to join in the craze and try them myself.

What’s nice about them is you can enjoy them guilt free.  All you’re doing is crisping this really healthy leafy green and adding a bit of salt.  I was skeptical at first, but these babies do crisp up, and so much so that the chip practically dissolved once it hits your mouth.  There is definitely still a green veggie taste to the chips, but they crispy texture and the salt helps me trick my brain into believing I am eating something much more sinful than a bunch of leafy greens (rather than greasy fried potato chips).

All in all the kale chips are a healthy, easy to prepare snack that could help you curb your salt cravings.  I imagine you could use some garlic powder instead of salt to offer a different flavor, but below is the basic recipe.

Ingredients: Kale, olive oil cooking spray, salt.

IMG_1736

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees

Take a cookie sheet (I lined mine with foil) and give it a quick spritz with the cooking spray

Wash your kale and just rip it off of the stem into pieces.  The kale does shrink while it’s in the oven, so don’t make them to small.  Put the pieces on your cookie sheet and spritz the kale itself with one quick spray of the olive oil cooking spray (other recipes I’ve seen use amounts of oil that would add PointsPlus to the recipe.  Keep it really light here) and then sprinkle with salt to taste.

Put your pretty greens in the oven for about 15 minutes, adjusting cook time based on desired crispness.

Let cool and enjoy your healthy snack.  Crunch away and be guilt free 🙂

IMG_1738