Friday, October 31, 2014

Aria Woman's Protein in Vanilla

I've been on a smoothie kick lately so I decided to give another protein powder I had been waiting to try a shot. Since I ran out of my vegetable based protein powder - I decided to give the Aria Woman's Protein - Vanilla a try.
I do want to note, this particular protein powder does have whey in it - so if you're sensitive to whey this would not work for you.
The directions state to add 2 level scoops to 1 cup of water or skim milk. I added the powder to water and tried it ... and it tasted chalky, very bland and just not something I'd throw in a shaker and chug down. There wasn't an immediate vanilla flavor ... more of a plain mildly chalky beverage. I dumped the protein powder mixture over some ice, frozen strawberries, a banana and a few pieces of frozen mango along with a green yogurt and blended it up. The first time I made it, I eliminated the mango and it was just not the right flavor -- I find the mango added a bit of sweetness that it needed otherwise it was a bland drink.
I don't mind whey proteins, but I do find they make my tongue feel dry. The Aria powder (along with a Greek yogurt) was very filling and kept me satisfied up until lunch time - so I can't complain. All I can say is it needs to be jazzed up by some fresh/frozen fruits in order for it to be an intriguing protein smoothie.
A serving, 2 level scoops, is 90 calories or 2 points plus values.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Tumaro's New York Deli-Style Wraps - Everything Low Carb Wrap

I've heard and seen so much about the Tumaro's New York Deli-Style Wraps that I searched high and low for them. I wasn't able to find them for weeks ... until I randomly nearly walked into a display of them at my local Hannaford's grocery store. Since everything bagels are my favorite I opted to get the Tumaro's Everything Low Carb Wraps.
Even through the plastic you could smell the wraps. If you're familiar with everything bagels then you can imagine what they smelled like ... onion, garlic and assorted spices. I will say, they are a bit pricey but overall not too bad. At my local store they were $3.59 a pack and each pack contains 4 wraps.
The wraps are a decent size. They have the texture of a flour tortilla and hold up pretty well when being stuffed with sandwich fillers. The flavor isn't overwhelming and complimented my deli chicken sandwich fabulously. I've had them both straight out of the bag, while I've also had them grilled. Grilled was undoubtedly my favorite way to have these because the wrap grilled up beautifully leaving a nice, crunchy, yet chewy texture. They're great because the flavor definitely jazzes up any plain ole sandwich one would have for lunch or dinner.
Each wrap is 80 calories or 2 points plus values.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Trader Joe's Chile Relleno

I enjoy Mexican food ... but I don't go out for Mexican food much at all. While shopping at Trader Joe's I typically glance over the packaged Mexican/Spanish inspired foods. One dish that I've looked at numerous times and finally decided to pick up was the Trader Joe's Chile Relleno.
The picture on the box looks very appetizing. I don't typically eat many frozen dinners just due to the sodium content (and the fact I tend to prefer to cook meals ... but convenience is nice on occasion). Since I'm the only person in my household that truly enjoys chile relleno it was just easier to have a frozen version of it.
Taking the container out of the box, I poked some holes into the plastic and popped it into the microwave for 5 minutes ... and just like that dinner was done. Allowing the dish to cool I then sat down to enjoy.
Flavor wise it was delicious- cheesy, slightly spicy and probably the closest to Mexican food I'd get before going to a restaurant. The only downside was the poblano pepper was SO tough. And by so tough I mean I had to break out a steak knife to cut it up! Some parts of the pepper weren't bad, but others were sooo difficult to chew I had to toss some in the garbage. Not sure if that's how most of these frozen poblano peppers tend to be .. or if I just got a dud ... but that fact alone was disappointing. If the pepper was "on point" I would strongly recommend the dish. I mean it is vegetarian and has a whopping 22 grams of protein in it.  Just drink a bunch of water afterwards to help flush some of the added sodium out of you.
The dish is 350 calories or 9 points plus.

Haul: Weight Watchers All-American Comfort Cookbook

I had been eying this cookbook at my local Weight Watchers meeting for weeks. I know cookbooks tend to go on sale so I waited ... and waited .... and finally decided to not wait any longer and picked up the Weight Watchers All-American Comfort Cookbook. I purchased ... and the next week it went on sale (HA!).
My leader had been raving about some of the recipes in the cookbook and with fall upon us and comfort food being the dishes most people gravitate towards I figured why not? After skimming through the cookbook I decided to give at least one of the recipes a shot right away. I found a meatloaf recipe that I decided to give a shot and it's truly one of the most delicious meatloaves I have had. With comfort foods being the dishes most people want in the fall/winter time ... I see myself reaching for this more so when I'm out of ideas and want something different and  "easy" (meaning I don't have to calculate points for it and figure out serving sizes).
Just skimming some of the other recipes I'm looking forward to giving them a shot. I'm sure this will become one of my "go to" cookbooks when I'm feeling a little stumped in the cooking department.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Fiber One Oatmeal Raisin Soft Baked Cookies

When I heard that Fiber One had come out with cookies I was on the hunt. I love cookies but I especially love cookies (or snacks in general) that come in prepackaged portioned containers. I picked up the chocolate chip and loved it ... so I knew of course I had to try out the Fiber One Oatmeal Raisin Soft Baked Cookies because sometimes a soft baked oatmeal cookie is all one needs as a snack.
The cookies themselves are pretty decent in size. They're larger than your average packaged cookie and come in its own sealed wrapping to keep the cookie as fresh as possible. The oatmeal cookie is soft, chewy and filled with bits of oatmeal and raisins.
With some of the fiber filled products, it can have that "fiber taste" but these certainly don't have that result on my taste buds. I don't notice any extra fiber flavor and they don't give me a belly ache. I really enjoy them and I have them from time to time when I'm in the mood for a cookie but I don't want to open an entire package of cookies.
A serving size is 1 cookie, which is 120 calories or 3 points plus values.

Lightened Up: Cuban Sandwich

I've grown to really enjoy Cuban Sandwiches. In my area there's a diner that makes one of THE best Cuban Sandwiches around. It's made on a special cut of bread they have delivered to the diner ... while it's also loaded with cheese, butter and packed with delicious cuts of meat that it can be a very, very heavy meal. Never mind the fact it's served alongside a plate of french fries.
If you've never had a cuban sandwich it's a sandwich that's made of ham, roasted pork, swiss cheese, mustard, sliced pickle and sometimes salami. In my area, the salami is nixed and is instead replaced with sliced turkey. The sandwich is then grilled to a crispy perfection and the sandwich is plain magical.
In order to skip on the bulky bread, I tend to try to lighten it up. This time I used a lavash bread, which I grilled up with some sliced deli ham, deli pork and deli turkey alongside a slice of fat free cheese. I added some mustard, sliced pickle and for a little more oomph I added a few pieces of romaine lettuce.
I folded the sandwich up, gave is a spritz of spray butter and grilled it on a grill pan. When done it was a perfect, crunchy sandwich which was all cuban sandwich without the added heaviness.  Quite the winning combination if you ask me!  The whole sandwich was only 7 points plus values.
You can make it more like the original and make it on an italian stick bread that's grilled ... but to save a few calories/points I make it on flat bread to boost up on the protein aspect of the sandwich.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Pepperidge Farm Milano Pumpkin Spice Flavored Cookies

Since I am a certified pumpkin addict ... when I spotted these Pepperidge Farm Milano Pumpkin Spice Flavored Cookies I had to give them a shot. Admittedly, the Milano cookie isn't necessarily one of my favorites from the Pepperidge Farm line but it's a decent treat from time to time.
The pumpkin spice flavor is spread along the classic chocolate filling between the two cookies. Upon first bite the pumpkin spice flavor is evident. You can even taste it if you inhale while taking a bite. It's more spice over pumpkin - but the flavor is there and it's definitely different from your classic Milano cookie.
I can't say they were a favorite cookie of mine ... and I could get away with eating with just 1 without wanting more. They just weren't quite my thing. They're decent, but there's something about them that I wasn't doing back flips over. If these are still around this time, next year, I'm positive I won't be giving them another shot. Not because they're gross ... but just because they're not quite my cup of tea.
A serving is 2 cookies, which are 130 calories or 4 points plus values.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Caramel Apple Salad

I saw a recipe on Pinterest that immediately caught my attention. I like dessert, but I'm usually on the hunt for something that's lower in points that's "manageable" to have after dinner. But what was even better about this dessert was the fact that it contained only 4 ingredients and came together in very little time.
The end result is quite tasty - there's a nice crisp bite from the apples, while the pineapple doesn't really shine (I thought it might be a little overbearing over the apples, but it seems to be used to keep the apples from turning brown). The pineapple does add a softer texture to it, while the butterscotch pudding and the cool whip create a nice creamy layer which bring out that caramel type flavor alongside the apples.
The recipe is quite easy and delicious ... and would definitely be a good side dish to bring to a family gathering if a "healthier dessert" would be needed.
Serves 8. 4 Points Plus per serving (roughly 2/3 cup).
* 5 large apples, cored and chopped
* 1 box Jell-O Butterscotch Pudding
* 8 oz tub, Fat Free Cool Whip
* 8 oz can crushed pineapple
Wash,  core and chop apples (you can peel or leave the skin on - I chose to leave the skin on) and place into a large bowl. Toss apples with crushed pineapple.
Begin to fold in cool whip and sprinkles of butterscotch pudding, mixing evenly to ensure all apples are coated. Repeat until all cool whip and dry pudding mix is added into the mixture.
Cover and set in the refrigerator for at least 1-hr before serving.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Apple 'pie' ala Yogurt

I had some Greek yogurt in the refrigerator but it didn't sound so good to have on its own. I didn't have any fresh berries in the house and I wanted a little extra oomph with my protein packed snack. That's when the light bulb went off in my head and I realized ... hey, I have apples galore. Why not cut up an apple, sprinkle a little cinnamon over it and nuke it in the microwave for a minute?
So that's exaftly what I did. I cut up a medium sized apple into bite size pieces, sprinkled it with a touch of cinnamon, drizzled in 1 tsp of water and popped the bowl into the microwave for 1 minute. When done I set the bowl in the refrigerator to cool down a tad for a few minutes. When removed (the apples were warm but not scalding hot) I topped them with some caramel apple Greek yogurt and it was one of the best snacks/desserts I've had in a long time. A guiltless snack that only cost me 2 points plus values!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

EAS Fruit Smoothie - Fruits & Super Greens

Walking through Target one day I decided that I wanted to switch up my breakfast routine. For the longest time I've been in a bit of a breakfast rut - eating some of the same foods over and over again and I started to get bored. I didn't want to go to foods like cereal, etc., because I don't find those to be very satisfying in the morning - as I try to keep my breakfast protein packed (it helps me balance my appetite during the day/night). I spotted a bag of EAS Fruit Smoothie in Fruits & Super Greens.

What got me to pick up the bag was the "18g of protein" written on the front of the bag. Picking it up, I quickly checked out the nutrition facts. Pretty good stats, moderate amount of protein (not 18g - it's only that if made with 1 cup of skim milk, but 10g) and it contained greens which I've found I enjoy having made green juice a number of times.

The bag of smoothie mix is slightly pricey - $9.99 for 11 servings, but overall it's not terrible in price when divided out over that time period. The protein powder is made of vegetable based protein - so there is no whey in it, it's main ingredient is soy protein isolate.

I have been quite enjoying this protein powder. I've made a smoothie for myself for breakfast for almost 2-weeks and it's been satisfying and filing up until lunch time. I mix the protein powder with 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk and 1/2 cup water. It could be dropped into a blender bottle and consumed that way ... but I prefer to make a smoothie out of it. I add 5-6 ice cubes to a blender, toss in a banana, add in the mixed up smoothie mixture and usually a few blueberries or 2 strawberries (if I have any on hand). I also add in a container of Greek yogurt (I've used banana, strawberry banana, coconut, mango lemonade, etc.) and it helps thicken it up a bit more while adding a good boost of extra protein to the drink. I think you could easily add some extra greens (spinach, cucumber, romaine, kale, etc.) to it without it really changing the flavor of the protein powder itself which provides good flavor.

It's satisfying, delicious and one of the best smoothies I've made in the morning because it stays nice and thick without watering down because of the added ice cubes. I'll definitely be picking up another bag to have on hand.  The only downside, which is a minor one, is the packaging. With it being a zip-lock container your hand gets covered in some powder retrieving the scoop and filling the scoop. Again, not a big deal, but I figured I'd share.

A serving is 2 scoops of powder, which is 90 calories or 2 points plus values.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Yoplait Caramel Apple Greek Yogurt

I had seen the new Yoplait Caramel Apple Greek Yogurt posted all over the place but I had the hardest time finding it. It was finally on one of a few trips to Walmart that I was able to pick up a few containers. Yoplait Greek yogurt is one of my favorites, alongside Dannon's Light & Fit ... so whenever I see a new and unique flavor out I have to give it a try.
The Caramel Apple is a limited edition flavor for fall. With fall come caramel apple (and pumpkin) flavored everything. The consistency is in line with the other Yoplait Greek yogurts where it's moderately thick but not too thick ... it's also not remotely as tangy as some other Greek yogurts on the market.

Flavor wise, the caramel flavor I find to be what I notice first. And it's one of those artificial caramel flavors, not like a true sweet rich caramel. It's not overly offensive but it's the flavor that I get right off the bat. The apple is there and the two do blend together well. It's a tasty yogurt, but it's not slam dunk out of the park fabulous. I found it's good on its own while it's also quite delicious over fruit.
A container is 100 calories or 2 points plus values.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Limited Edition Pumpkin Spice Oreo's

As a certified pumpkin lover ... I tend to "get my pumpkin fix" during the fall season. I mean, how could I not since everything is turned into a pumpkin flavor?  On a quick run through the grocery store to get a few things needed for the week - I spotted a table of Oreo's. Initially I didn't pay much mind to it because I assumed they were the Caramel Apple Oreo's ... but then did a double take when I realized they were actually the Limited Edition Pumpkin Spice Oreo's.
After that double take ... the cookies made a temporary home in my shopping cart, into my car ... and into my home. The end result, ended up in my stomach (but not the whole pack! only 2!).
Opening the package you're awarded with a pumpkin aroma. It's not sickeningly sweet ... it's a nice rich sweet pumpkin scent. Flavor wise ... these are pretty much spot on. That is, with the cookie surrounding it. The flavor of the cream on its own without the cookie is a sweet, cinnamony pumpkin cream. The cinnamon flavor is cut down and the sweetness is reduced when you eat it with the cookie. Truthfully, I quite enjoyed these. So has everyone else I've shared these with (niece, nephew, mother, cousin, etc.).
A serving is 2 cookies, 150 calories or 4 points plus values.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Pillsbury Pumpkin Cookies

My niece was spending the night and I made the "mistake" of shopping with my mother and niece at the same time. Knowing I'm a pumpkin aficionado my mother picked up a package of the Pillsbury Pumpkin Cookies to 'show' me them ... that's when my niece -- a miniature pumpkin aficionado - got all bright eyed and bushy tailed. I stated "No, not happening, put them back." That's when my niece (who's 5) said "That's okay, gramma, we can hide them from auntie." Attempt: Failed.  That's when the night turned into 'baking cookies with auntie Shannon' - which admittedly was fun and I'm glad to make cookies with her.
The package stated the pumpkin cookies had cream cheese flavored chips. The chips resemble white chocolate chips - but do have a bit of a cream cheese flavor to them. The easiest part, with little fingers, was the cookie dough comes in little pre-portioned sections making for easy baking and even portion sizes. All that was left for me to do was open the package, lay down a baking sheet and my niece broke up the cookie dough and layered it onto the tray. A few rearrangements and the cookies were into the oven for baking.
Since my oven cooks extremely fast, I lowered the oven temperature and cooked for a few minutes less and they came out perfectly. The edges were light brown, the bottoms were cooked, the cookies were soft yet had a slight bit of bite to them. Better yet they were a hit with my niece and my mother enjoyed them. I had one cookie. They're good ... they do have a chewy pumpkin flavor to them and the cream cheese bits add an extra boost of sweetness. Overall, they're truly not that bad and an enjoyable, different way to have pumpkin.
A serving is 1 cookie for 120 calories or 4 points plus values.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Trader Joe's Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

Last year I saw the Trader Joe's Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins for sale when fall time (aka pumpkin season). I didn't pick them up last year but I decided to give them a shot this year.
The muffins are pretty decent in size - they're slightly bigger than your "average size" muffin. Flavor wise - they're a very mild pumpkin. I think I was expecting them to be spiced as most pumpkin baked goods tend to be. But these are not spicy, cinnamony, sweet or nutmeggy - they've got a true mild pumpkin flavor to them and frankly are on the plainer side of the equation. The muffin itself is not sweet at all. They're topped with crunchy pumpkin seeds which give them a bit of added crunch. While the cream cheese that's in the middle of the muffin - I found to be slightly odd in texture. It's got a gummy quality to it, but overall it's not a bad flavor. I do have texture issues with food so the texture of the cream cheese really threw me off. Regardless, it does compliment the pumpkin muffin and gives it a very mild sweetness.
I wouldn't go out on a limb and say these are the best pumpkin desserts I have tried from Trader Joe's. They're decent ... but I think next time around I'll stick to buying a box of pumpkin bars or pumpkin cake mix.
Each muffin is 330 calories or 9 points plus values.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Trader Joe's Mini Ginger Pumpkin Ice Cream Mouthfuls

On my last trip through Trader Joe's it was very much pumpkin season. A lot of old favorites and a lot of new items on the shelves. One of those new items that I opted to pick up was the Trader Joe's Mini Ginger Pumpkin Ice Cream Mouthfuls.  I figured it was a double bingo because it would kill my want for an ice cream sandwich while it would also give me a taste of delicious pumpkin ice cream.
I had these tucked away in the freezer and my sweet tooth got the best of me so I pulled out the box last night. Size wise, I'd say the sandwiches are slightly bigger than the size of an Oreo cookie. The cookies have a little bit of a sugar 'crust' on the outside of them. Truthfully when I purchased them I didn't notice it was a ginger cookie - I thought it might be spiced pumpkin ice cream. But upon first bite, I learned they are very much ginger cookies .... and a spicy ginger cookie at that. They do pack quite a bit of heat in them, so if you're not a fan of spice or ginger, you're probably not going to be a fan of these. I wouldn't say the ginger is all around overwhelming but it is noticeable and at the forefront. The sandwich filling is a delicious pumpkin ice cream. The ice cream is smooth, creamy, deliciously fragrant with pumpkin flavor and very reminiscent of pumpkin pie. It's a very rich pumpkin ice cream which is what brings the whole dessert together. When eaten together it does give the flavor effect of a spiced pumpkin pie but it's not as overwhelming on the palette as I find spiced pumpkin pie to be.
Overall, they're pretty good and are quite refreshing ... but I found that by the second sandwich my taste buds were getting zinged here and there from the ginger flavor. Admittedly, that effect does help in stopping at a serving size possible.
A serving is 2 sandwiches, which are 120 calories or 3 points plus values.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Lay's Cappuccino Chips

When Lay's launched their Do Us a Flavor chip selection ... the one I was most hesitant about was the Lay's Cappuccino chips. Truthfully, I refused to buy them because when they were first launched they were only available in the big bags. I wasn't going to "waste" my money by buying a big bag and having to potentially throw it in the garbage.  So when I found a smaller bag at one of my local stores for $1 I decided to pick it up and give it a shot.
Now, I'm a coffee fan. I love coffee - hot or cold. I enjoy an occasional coffee ice cream. I enjoy an occasional cappuccino here or there. But I could not wrap my head around a cappuccino flavored potato chip. They're just two worlds that should never collide.
Opening up the bag ... there's an immediate cinnamon, cappuccino scent. There's no greasy smell from the potato chips ... just coffee. Something about the combination makes me incredibly weary. The chips are covered in a slightly brownish gray flavoring coating the chip, which makes them look daunting. Like they're dirty, old potato chips.
Taking the first bite you get an immediate burst of cappuccino/coffee flavoring ... and as you chew that flavor dissipates and it tastes just chemicals. The chemical taste is more apparent if you inhale as you put the chip in your mouth. It's quite weird, odd, and makes you think "what am I eating?!" A mouth full of odor-filled chemicals. Admittedly though if you eat 2 ... the flavor kind of goes away - or perhaps your taste buds just go on strike?
I'm not a fan of these, not even a bit. I think they're the worst idea in a potato chip flavor. Just ... wrong...
A 1 ounce serving (if you can even eat that many) is 160 calories or 4 points plus values.

Skinnygirl Chocolate Peanut Butter with Sea Salt Nutrition Bars

Every once in a while I'm in the mood for something satisfying but I also want something that's nutritious at the same time. Since I'm a huge fan of the banana oatmeal bars I decided to give the Skinnygirl Chocolate Peanut Butter with Sea Salt Nutrition Bars a try.
The bars are pretty decent in size (roughly the size of a candy bar). They're chewy yet slightly firm. The peanut butter flavor is mild, where the chocolate that coats the bottom of the bar and is drizzled over the top in a way, steals the show. It really gives it that candy bar vibe with a hint of granola bar in there. Although, I can't quite say the sea salt flavor was that noticeable, maybe a bit here or there.
These are good ... but they're no where near as good as the banana oatmeal which I have to say are hands down my favorite Skinnygirl bar.
Each bar is 170 calories or 5 points plus values.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Limited Edition Caramel Apple Oreo's

On a quick jaunt through Target I spotted and ended up picking up a package of the new Limited Edition Caramel Apple Oreo. With fall upon us, caramel apple and pumpkin is making its appearance everywhere. Since I do enjoy an occasional Oreo I figured I'd give them a shot ... after all I find the flavored golden Oreo's to be less of a temptation for me (when compared to the chocolate Oreo's that is).
Opening the package I was rewarded with a caramel scent. The best I can describe it is when opening a bag of caramel apple lollipops ... that sweet caramel with a minor hint of apple. Intrigued upon first bite it truly does taste like a caramel apple. The cookie doesn't take away from the flavor. Spot on it tastes like it should.
Although if you separate the cookies and try the cream ... the cream is a lot lighter in texture when compared to traditional Oreo cream. This is light and almost airy in texture. It's so soft that when you take a bite it kind of squishes out of the other end of the cookie. Not quite what you expect when you're eating an Oreo cookie.
The caramel portion of the cream (brownish cream) is pretty pungent in the sweetness department and the apple (green cream) is more sweet than tart/sour. I find I enjoyed the cookie a lot more as a whole cookie than split apart. Split apart the texture of the cream was kind of a turn off for my palet.
2 cookies is a serving, which are 140 calories or 4 points plus values.

Staying on Plan While Eating Out and Away from Home

At the end of April I went away on vacation to Florida. I was determined to stay on plan, enjoy myself and hopefully lose weight/stay the same by the end of the week. I packed a few essentials in my carry on that I knew I would use during the week. There were a few essential items I brought with me to help me during the meals I was going to have and ake myself. These items were: tablespoon measuring spoon, 1/4 cup & 1/3 cup measuring cups, food scale, food tracker and my cell phone/tablet. I also packed a few food items in my carry on: wheat flax pita bread, sugar free instant oatmeal packages, Luna bar, Trader Joe's brownie bar, Weight Watchers aloha bar, Weight Watchers smoothie package, and a few sugar free Hawaiian punch water packages.
The items themself didn't take up a lot of space in my carry on ... but they made me have peace of mind going into my vacation with a plan of action. I had my breakfast packed for the week and it was something I enjoyed at home. I had some of my favorite pita bread for sandwiches, I had snack bars that were "point comfortable" for me because I knew I'd want a little treat while others were snacking on goodies like Hostess cupcakes, bags of chips and donuts from Dunkins.
I went into it stating that I'd go with the flow ... but I'd eat a simple meal, like breakfast, at the house. A filling, satisfying breakfast that would put me on the right foot at the jump start of the day. I also said I'd probably eat out 1 if not both meals a day. Truthfully, I tried to stick to eating out 1 meal per day (if at all each day), not only to save some cash but to be able to have a back-up plan just in case.
Upon landing in Florida and dropping off luggage, we made a trip to the grocery store to get some items for the week. I did some minor grocery shopping to make some foods for myself. I picked up items like: Salad stuff, hamburger, deli meat, veggies, fruit, soda, water, chips, frozen vegetarian burger patties, condiments, etc. Foods I could have on hand, that were foods I enjoyed and found to be satisfying.
Then when it came to going out to dinner/lunch and even eating in an amusement park I decided to order what I felt like eating, enjoying myself, but making smarter choices instead of going all in and feeling sluggish and gross afterwards. I didn't want to truly go "balls to the wall" and make it an eating fest. Afterall I do want to still be able to fit into my clothes ... and I don't necessarily like being sick for days after eating foods my body isn't used to eating.
The "trickiest" part of my plan of attack was the long hours at the airport. Truthfully, there aren't very many "healthy" restaurants or really even "healthy restaurants" at airports. There are some, but from the three airports I visited they were overwhelmed with customers and the folks waiting on the customers were less than thrilled to be serving pretty much anyone. My plan of attack was to scan all available options in the area of the airport I was in ... see what was available and weigh my options. What did I want to eat not "had to eat" because if I went with "I HAVE to eat this" I would have ordered the fattiest thing on the menu ... you know, just because!
Boston airport, I opted for Wolf Gang Puck's chain and ordered the barbecue chicken salad - opting for no dressing, no tortilla chips, no cheese (and asked for more lettuce). I popped over to Red Robin and asked if I could have a fat free italian/light italian dressing and my lunch was set. In the New Jersey airport I found a restaurant that sold tex-mex type foods and after having to wait 10 minutes for the lunch menu - I order my salad bowl ... the way I wanted it. Unfortunately this meant the person who took my order put it into the computer wrong and I was presented the wrong meal three times. But instead of just eating it, I politely asked for my money back, and when the manager had to step in to reconcile my transaction my meal was completed the way I ordered it.
Here are some of the food choices I made while on vacation.

Boston Airport - Wolf Gang Puck - Barbecue chicken salad (skipping on some additions to the salad to make it 'friendlier')

Dinner "in" - 2 Morningstar quinoa burger patties, sour cream fat free pringles and pickles.

Lunch - Sonic. Chargrilled chicken sandwich (no mayo, or toppings - ketchup on the side), apple slices (I had to pay extra for these) and a medium diet coke.

Dinner at a Steak house (they did not have sirloin so I opted for chicken). Chargrilled chicken breast with steamed veggies (requested plain - no butter).

Orlando Studios - Simpson cafe. Grilled chicken sandwich with a side of fruit salad (instead of tater tots) and a large fruit salad and re-fill of diet coke. The bread on this was SO thick I ended up tearing most of it off because it made it awkward to even try to eat.

Lunch at Chick-fil-A. I have Chick-fil-A when I can at home ... but I noticed they came out with a new chargrilled chicken nuggets (they used to only be on the kids meal). So I opted for an 8-piece, a side salad with fat free honey mustard ... and since I really wanted waffle fries I ate those as well as my "indulgence."

Late night dinner at a BBQ restaurant - pulled chicken salad.

Lunch at New Jersey airport - burrito bowl (no rice, extra lettuce).
In between these meals I ate - hamburger, deli meat, oatmeal, frozen veggie burgers, etc. I just kind of ate what I liked and enjoyed what I felt like when we went out to eat.  While at Disney I spotted a huge gigantic donut in the Simpson section of universal ... and a small part of me wanted it. That is, until I saw the grease stains on the bottom of the boxes. Whoa nelly! And no, I did not eat this:

I opted to buy myself a mug at Disney because it made me laugh and is totally me. A carbivore.
Better yet when I got on the planes (both down and back - including lay overs) I was able to fasten the seat belt - a normal size airplane seat belt. When I was 17 I went on a plane for the first time and had to have a seat extender. There was absolutely NO need for one now ... and I actually had room in my seat to be as comfortable as one can be on a plane. Now that was a rewarding NSV and it's one I'm grateful for ... because after all it's the little things!

Haul: Skinnytaste Cookbook

Once I started cooking for myself, I wasn't much of a cook ... so I looked up recipes online that were Weight Watchers friendly that I could make at home without having to think about it. One of the websites that I frequented and tried many recipes and dessert recipes from was Skinnytaste. The great thing about the website was that it offered healthy flavorful (which was most important to me because I do NOT like bland food) recipes that were lighter in calories and "do able" regarding points plus values.
It was stated many moons ago that a Skinnytaste cookbook was in the works, which was exciting. A few months back there was a voting on the Skinnytaste Facebook page to vote for the cookbook cover. The cover I voted for didn't make the cut - but that's besides the point.
I received the cookbook in the mail the other day (pre-ordered from Amazon) and I'm pretty excited to give some of the recipes a shot. I find I'm pretty comfortable in the kitchen but there are times where I look for inspiration elsewhere. So this shall become a useful tool soon!
From what I have seen from the cookbook it's very much in-line with the recipes (or more notably the newer recipes -- within the last year that have been showcased on the website). Many gear towards a variety of eating: gluten free, vegetarian, paleo, etc.