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What's for Dinner?
As I’ve stated in both Part 1 and Part 2 of My 35 Pound Weight-loss Journey, it has taken me approximately a year to lose over 35 pounds. This was accomplished through a combination of the Weight Watchers (WW) diet and exercise. And going into my journey, I knew I would have to get a handle on one of the toughest daily decisions I would have to make – what’s for dinner?
Not Fast Food Again?
After a hard day at work (and after work/school activities), no one wants to come home and spend an hour or more in the kitchen cooking, not to mention cleaning up thereafter. For that reason, most of us would choose the quickest and most convenient option – ordering takeout. However, if we’re honest with ourselves, how many of us like serving this type of food to our families?
Unhealthy and “less than nutritious” options abound and are the typical “problem solver” for many households at dinner time today. That was me, but when I began my weight-loss journey, I knew that this could not be a repeating option, only as a reward or a treat once in a while. In addition, I would have to find dinner solutions that fit within my WW daily and weekly SmartPoints (SP) allowance.
Have You Never Meal Prepped?
I decided I needed some help in tackling this, so that’s why I did some research and ultimately discovered 5 Dinners 1 Hour. 5 Dinners 1 Hour is a recipe service that’s best known for showing you how to prep inexpensive and nutritious meals in an hour or less with very little cleanup. I wrote a review about them that you can read HERE.
Meal prepping was a lifesaver for me in more ways than one. It not only saved me time, but it also saved me money and inches around my waist. I would typically prep all my meals on Sunday, and I must admit, there was a strange satisfaction in knowing that going into a busy week all my dinners were prepped and ready to go – all I had to do was throw them in the oven or crockpot. And even better than that was not having a ton of cleanup to fool with afterword. So, needless to say, if you’ve never looked into meal prepping, I would highly recommend it.
Didn't You Ever Splurge?
Now, don’t get me wrong, I did splurge at dinner time every once in a while. I did go out to eat (both locally and while on vacations) and hosted dinners at my home. Even in doing this, though it was I hard (I ain’t gonna lie), I did my best to watch what I ate and fit my meals within my points allowance.
Two of my biggest splurges came from trying out a couple of meal delivery services. Neither of these were friendly on points or my wallet, but my goal in trying them was to see if they could somehow be used as replacement meals for weeks when I knew I was going to be extra busy and wasn’t able to prep (and as you know, those kind of weeks come around more often than not). The two services I tried were HelloFresh and EveryPlate. I’ve written reviews about both of them that you can read HERE and HERE. My conclusion about both of these was yes, they would make suitable replacements, but only if the prep times, costs, and SP’s were somehow reduced.
What Was for Dinner?
What follows is a list of the dinners I used in My 35 Pound Weight-loss Journey along with their associated SP values. If they came from a meal prep, delivery service, or recipe website, I also list that information.
Vegetables as side dishes – all 0 SP
Salad (with 1 tsp fat-free dressing) – 1 SP
Chicken Fajitas with black beans – 2 SP
Egg salad – 2 SP
Grilled chicken, potatoes, and green beans – 2 SP
Vegetable Beef Soup – 3 SP
Chili and cornbread – 5 SP
Grilled cheese and Campbell’s Soup – 5 SP
Smoked sausage with onions and peppers over rice – 8 SP
Barbecued turkey burgers, roasted potatoes, and green beans – 9 SP
Turkey Sloppy Joes with tater tots – 9 SP
Ham with pineapple, green beans, and macaroni and cheese – 10 SP
Grilled hamburgers with tater tots – 15 SP
5 Dinner 1 Hour Meals
Easy Salmon Patties – 2 SP
Pepper Steak Patties – 2 SP
Cheddar and Chicken Pitas – 3 SP
Corn and Sausage Chili – 3 SP
Mini Honey BBQ Meatloaves – 3 SP
Roasted Chicken & Potatoes – 4 SP
Slow Cooked Cajun Red Beans – 4 SP
Slow Cooked Creamy Turkey and Potatoes with Peas – 4 SP
Tangy BBQ Chicken with Green Beans and Potatoes – 4 SP
Zesty Grilled Chicken – 4 SP
Inside Out Chicken Cordon Bleu – 5 SP
Instant Pot Weight Watchers Lasagna – 5 SP
Maple Baked Pork Chops – 5 SP
Slow-Cooked Brown Sugar Glazed Pork Loin – 5 SP
Cheese Stuffed Meatballs – 6 SP
Chicken & Rice with Peas – 6 SP
Crispy Pork Chops – 6 SP
Slow Cooked Beef Stroganoff – 6 SP
Sweet & Sour Meatballs – 6 SP
Easy Marinated Steak with Corn on the Cob (w/ ½ tsp butter) – 7 SP
Holiday Mini Meatloaves – 7 SP
Salisbury Steaks – 7 SP
Slow-Cooked BBQ Smoked Sausage and Beans – 7 SP
Stuffed Meatballs with Marinara and Squash Noodles – 7 SP