Twinks Gets Fit...

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Eat Smart [Ones]

I've mentioned that I've discovered how easy frozen lunches and snacks are to control portion sizes and keep my points in check for the day. Yes, they have sodium, but my goal right now is to drop the poundage. I've tried Lean Cuisine and found a lot of their entrees to be particularly salty, which has turned me off from the brand. I do eat Banquet meals on a regular basis simply because they are cheap, cheap, cheap. Here's a quick review of them:

Banquet meals are great when you don't want to spend a lot or you want a back-up lunch on hand at work so you don't go hog wild if you forget your lunch one day. They're about a buck each. The one I eat the most is the chicken nugget meal w/ mac/cheese and corn. It's okay, by which I mean the chicken strikes me as being a bit mystery-meat-ish. The nuggets can also come with fries. Again, it's okay. Nothing fantastic. The fries always turn out mushy because I think it's unreasonable to cook these in the oven. If I'm having one, I want a max microwave cooking time of 2-2 1/2 minutes.

One thing I will say is that there isn't a huge difference in point values for Weight Watchers for these than "healthier" frozen food alternatives. They average about 5-8 pounts per meal. Sooo, if you're wanting to do WW, but don't want to spend the extra money on those alternatives, like Smart Ones, South Beach, and so forth, these are awfully cheap. I'll keep buying these to have on-hand, but long-term, I'll probably cut these out.

Now for the main event: Smart Ones. I've made it clear that I'm a bargain shopper so at first these struck me as being pricey. I did find that if you do a little comparison shopping and watch for sales, you can get them cheaper. I just stocked up for $1.88 each plus they have $1 off five coupons on their website. Not the greatest coupon ever, but it helps a little. Considering that I bought "Anytime" versions that have multiple portions, that isn't bad.

I'll start with the two I didn't particularly care for: Canadian Bacon Breakfast Muffin and the Chicken & Cheese Quesadillas...perhaps we have a super powerful microwave, but my canadian bacon (AKA: ham) was tough and difficult to chew through. I do plan to try some of their other breakfast options though. Second is the Chicken & Cheese Quesadilla. I just wasn't terribly fond of the flavor. Plain and simple.

Now, for my favs:

The newest thing from Smart Ones is Mini Cheeseburgers. Oh. em. gee. I couldn't tell you the difference between it and a frozen White Castle. Actually, I could: These aren't horrible for you. The reason I bought them is because when I suddenly have a need for a snack and not just any snack will do, I can grab one of these. Also because a stop at BK for a Buck Double (a double cheeseburger with one slice of cheese instead of two) will cost you 10 WW points. Minimum. These? 4.

Next up is Pepperoni Pizza Minis. These are more of a snack a la Pizza Bites or Pizza Rolls, but they could easily be lunch. I was convinced there were 4 in the box, meaning 2 per serving. Nope. There are 4 per serving and they're pretty tasty too. (I just bought some regular pizza varieties and will report back.

For a more "entree" style meal, I've had the Fettuccini Alfredo a few times now. There's no meat in this one--it's just noodles, sauce and broccoli, but I like it. I have a fondness of alfredo and white know, the italian sauces that are the worst for this fulfills that craving. It's not going to taste like dinner at Maggiano's, but it's good and it's pretty filling.

Orange Sesame Chicken caught my eye because I adore Panda Express. For a brief reality check, this is not Panda Express Orange Chicken. I know theirs is wonderful (and 12 points per serving without rice or chow mein), but this is a great alternative. It's cheaper too.

I didn't think I'd care for the Slow Cooked Turkey. This was one of the varieties the Hubs picked up on sale. I was thinking--this is soo not the genre of lunch for me--this is like a miniaturized Thanksgiving meal...but I gave it a whirl. Not bad at all. It's pretty good, actually. I especially enjoyed the potatoes.

I'm always trying different varieties of these and there are certainly a lot to choose from. In my McFatty Monday posts, I'll maybe make some recommendations of new kinds. This week, I'm planning on trying out some of their new creations, as well as their pizzas and other snack options.

Restaurant point values courtesy of Dotti's Weight Loss Zone , which I use constantly. It's a great resource.

Non-disclaimer disclaimer: I wasn't paid to recommend Smart Ones. I follow the WW points (flex) plan, but admittedly don't pay for a membership. Thanks to the internet, I found the info for free. I do agree, however, that the meetings would probably provide a great support system.

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