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Friday Five: Tools to Help You Stay on Track

Friday Five:  Tools to Help You Stay on Track

We are officially just over halfway through January and coming on the third week of healthy resolutions, goals, and plans for many people, myself included. In my opinion, this is the time it really starts to get hard. The novelty of the goal is starting to wear off, the end results/goals feel incredibly far away, and the difficulty of living differently day to day is starting to get challenging. Let’s face it – change is hard. Usually around this time, knowing I need some extra inspiration, I try to do a few things to stay motivated.

First – I do a quick assessment of how far I have come so far. Personally I am down about 4 pounds since January 1st. While that doesn’t feel like a lot now, if I play that forward to where I will be by the end of March – I am really excited. More importantly, I feel much better since I am eating better. I have more energy, sleep better, and have stopped beating myself up about poor diet choices because I am just not making them as often.

Secondly around this time, I usually set up some kind of reward for myself if I make it to the end of the month. Small steps. This could be anything that will keep you motivated – a massage (my choice!), a new outfit, a new kitchen appliance, whatever will keep you going.

Lastly, I usually do some goal related retail therapy. I know it’s not the best way, but sometimes buying something to help me reach my goal gets me excited again. For example, a few years back when I bought the portion plate below – it just made meal time easier, no more measuring. Last year I got a fitness tracker and I found myself motivated to reach the daily goals. The numbers on the screen were motivating. This year, I will probably go with a new spiralizer since mine is on the outs. Whatever it is, sometimes these tools really make a difference. So with that, here are some of my favorites! What are yours?

1. Meal Measure Portion Control Plate – Two years ago this plate was the first thing I tried that really helped me change my habits when it came to portion sizes. The set-up makes it incredibly easy to portion things out without lots of scales and measuring cups and it’s dishwasher safe. If you struggle with portion size, this is a great investment for under $15.

2. Spiralizer – I use my spiralizer 2-3 times a week to make vegetable noodles for replacing pasta, creating yummy side dishes, and salads. I truly couldn’t live without this.

3. PB2, Powdered Lower Calorie Peanut Butter – PB2 is a lower calorie peanut butter powder that can be great for people who tend to over do it with nut butters. It doesn’t have the same protein benefits of regular nut butters but has fewer calories and tastes great.

4. Fitness Trackers – Last year I invested in my first fitness tracker (a Fitbit) and I love it. Even though I never thought I would be one of those people, I am totally motivated to reach my daily goals for working out and steps.

5. New Cookbooks – Whenever I get bored with food, I usually look into a new cookbook. This gets me excited to prepare meals and also exposes me to new ideas.

6. Meal Plans – Meal plans, like the ones we provide on Slender Kitchen, can be a great way to stay on track and motivated. It exposes you to lots of delicious and new recipes and makes staying on a healthy eating plan really simple. The saying is true, “fail to plan, plan to fail.”

7. Quest Bars – I tend to shy away from any kind of bars, but I do cave and have Quest bars from time to time. They are low in carbohydrates and sugar which I find appealing and they have a cult like following of people who bake them, microwave them, and make all sorts of crazy desserts using Quest bars.

8. Amazing Grass Green Powders – For quick protein and nutrients, I always add something extra to my smoothies and lately I have been obsessed with the Amazing Grass powders. They are packed with good for you nutrients and the flavors are pretty great too.

9. Stevia – Stevia can be pretty polarizing but personally I use it a lot. Mostly I add it to smoothies, oatmeal, and sometimes in place of sugar in sauces when cooking. Although I didn’t love the taste at first, now it doesn’t bother me at all.

10. Eat Smart Scale – I have a love hate relationship with scales because I can easily get obsessive. However I do try and weigh myself weekly and then hide the scale the rest of the week so I don’t step on it daily. I have had this one for awhile and it’s great.

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Caramelized Baked Banana Oatmeal

Caramelized Baked Banana Oatmeal

Baked oatmeal has been one of my favorite breakfasts and on cold mornings I can’t think of anything better to make. It’s hearty, filling, and packed with more richer flavors than an instant or quickly prepared bowl of oats. This version deepens the banana flavor by letting it caramelize on top and you could add any number of things to pack in even more flavor. Nuts, chocolate chips, more fruit, coconut, or nut butters would all be delicious.

Caramelized Baked Banana Oatmeal
Servings: 1
Serving Size: whole recipe
Nutritional Info: 344 calories, 6.5g of fat, 65.5g of carbohydrates, 9/9g of fiber, 8.5g of protein, 21g of sugar
Weight Watchers® PointsPlus®: 8 * (more…)

* PointsPlus® calculated by Slender Kitchen; Not endorsed by Weight Watchers International, Inc.

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Cabbage Fried Rice

Cabbage Fried Rice

Personally I love cauliflower rice and especially cauliflower fried rice, but recently after hearing a friend boldly state that she couldn’t eat one more bite of cauliflower anything (she has been Paleo for 2 years), I set out to create another veggie version of her favorite fried rice. Putting our heads together we considered carrots, jicama, celeriac, and squash; but finally decided on cabbage since it’s something that is easy to prepare, affordable, and is a constant in Asian recipes. From there we simply threw together the typical cast of characters and made a delicious side dish. To save time, we just used bagged shredded cabbage but if you want things more rice like you can pulse the cabbage in a food processor.

Cabbage Fried Rice
Servings: 4
Serving Size: 1 cup
Nutritional Info: 104 calories, 6g of fat, 8g of carbohydrates, 3g of fiber, 6g of protein, 1g of sugar
Weight Watchers® PointsPlus®: 3 * (more…)

* PointsPlus® calculated by Slender Kitchen; Not endorsed by Weight Watchers International, Inc.

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Simple Garlic Roasted Potatoes

Simple Garlic Roasted Potatoes

Garlic roasted potatoes may be one of my all time favorite side dishes. Now this probably began way back when my grandmother used to make them with leftover beef or pork fat. They are the best. Seriously amazing, but not so much for your waistline. Every great once in awhile my Mom or Aunt will make them, it’s a great day. However since they are definitely not diet friendly, I make a healthier and still delicious version that I can feel great about having in the regular rotation. Usually I stick to just potatoes but you can add carrots, parsnips, onions, Brussels sprouts, or any hearty vegetable. Don’t be shy with the herbs either if you love them. A few sprigs or thyme or rosemary on top while baking add a great layer of flavor. This recipe is delicious with sweet potatoes as well for folks on a Paleo diet.

Simple Garlic Roasted Potatoes
Servings: 4
Serving Size: 2/3 cup
Nutritional Info: 110 calories, 2g of fat, 20g of carbohydrates, 3g of fiber, 2g of protein, 1g of sugar
Weight Watchers® PointsPlus®: 3 * (more…)

* PointsPlus® calculated by Slender Kitchen; Not endorsed by Weight Watchers International, Inc.

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Last Day for $25 Meal Plan Special!

Last Day for $25 Meal Plan Special!

Today is the last day of the $25 yearly membership sale for meal plans. Take advantage of this offer today and get meal plans all year long for less than the cost of a cup of coffee a month! This $25 meal plan membership gives you access to the regular, vegetarian, and low carb meal plans for 2 or 4 people as well as the new Dinner Only plans! You can easily change between plans if your diet changes throughout the year. All the meal plans include nutritional information, Weight Watchers PointsPlus ®, a complete categorized shopping list and more.

Click here to learn more about the meal plans, read FAQs, and download a sample.

Still not sure? Here is what some of our current members have to say about the plans.

  • “I just want to say that I absolutely love your website and your meal plans.. They are very well done and you cannot beat the price. In the past I have subscribed to Fresh 20 and Emeals. Yours are far better, first and foremost because you have breakfast, lunch, and supper and because I can switch between meals. Please don’t change. I love the low carb meals (that is my resolution, to eat less carbs and sweets).”
  • “Got my husband to go with me to shop for the week! Love the shopping lists and choices for 2 or 4 and low carb options!!! I can’t wait to get started! I think my whole family will benefit from this! I also think this is the first time I have ever gone to the grocery store and finished without purchasing 1 extra thing or something processed!!! THANKS!!”
  • “Just wanted to say that I am loving the meal plans so far. We already saved more on groceries than the yearly plan cost! And my family is loving the food so far. The chicken parm with spaghetti squash is our new favorite! My husband didn’t even notice it was squash instead of pasta until he was halfway done.”
  • “I absolutely love printing the shopping list, checking my fridge and pantry and going to the store knowing I don’t have to go again for a week. I am loving the recipes. This has been such a time saver. I look forward to the new plan each week. Thanks for taking away the part I disliked the most about cooking — figuring out what to cook. Those Korean beef tacos were amazing!!”

Want to see more testimonials? Read more here or on our Facebook page.

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Spinach Meatballs

Spinach Meatballs

I don’t know about you, but my intentions of endless salads for dinner to kick start the new year and lose the post holiday chub, usually ends about one day later. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good salad, but between the cold weather, early sunset, and general tummy rumblings – I am ready for something hearty and satisfying when dinner time rolls around. Luckily there are so many ways to incorporate tons of veggies and lean proteins into a delicious, light, and healthy meal that will still satisfy. Today’s recipe is a perfect example of that. We pack yummy meatballs with spinach, onions, and garlic that bring tons of flavor without a lot of calories. Paired with zucchini noodles, spaghetti squash, high fiber pasta, or quinoa and some simple marinara and you have a perfect meal.

Spinach Meatballs
Servings: 4
Serving Size: 4 meatballs
Nutritional Info: 194 calories, 7g of fat, 5g of carbohydrates, 2g of fiber, 28g of protein, 0g of sugar
Weight Watchers® PointsPlus®: 5 * (more…)

* PointsPlus® calculated by Slender Kitchen; Not endorsed by Weight Watchers International, Inc.

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