Saturday, November 20, 2010

This Week's Healthy Finds and Preparing for Thanksgiving!!

Since it was my mom's birthday this weekend, she didn't want me to cook, she wanted to eat out instead.  But I HAD to update with a post, lest I leave my readers stranded, so I'm dedicating this post to some healthy and delicious finds I made this week.

Last Thursday (11/11), I had an overwhelming craving for soup that came about in the middle of my Business Development class.  Right when class was over, I went out of my way to stop at Au Bon Pain, and to my disappointment, they didn't have any low-cal vegetarian soups available that day.  Well this week, I had quite some luck with finding several yummy low-cal soups, all available on the run.

Clearly I was so excited to eat it that I forgot to take a picture ahead of time, but this WAS Au Bon Pain's Tomato Florentine soup - ("Tender Pasta Shells and Leaf Spinach are simmered in a Tomato laced Beef Broth accented with select Spices, Fresh Garlic, and Pecorino Romano")  Even though I don't eat meat, the beef broth was acceptable.  The 12oz medium was 2 WW Points, and extremely fulfilling.  However, if you wish to indulge a bit more, the 16 oz large is still only 3 WW Points!  I'm definitely going to have to get this again - soon!

The day after that amazing find, I was still craving soup.  I decided to see what some of NYU's dining halls had to offer me.  While the nutrition facts were somewhat ambiguous (i.e. there were two sizes and only one set of nutrition facts), I figured I would go with the smaller size (which is still 12 oz) just to be safe.  I found a Chipotle Sweet Potato soup for 150 calories, and a Carrot Ginger soup for 120 calories.  I don't think I would have ever tried either of these if I weren't craving soup so badly, but I'm glad I did.  I will DEFINITELY be giving NYU soup more thought from now on.

 I saw these cute little Starbucks ornaments the other day, and I just couldn't resist sharing!  Find them here and here.

Unfortunately, my visit that started with holiday cheer ended in confrontation with a barista and speaking to the manager.  I ordered a Skinny Vanilla Latte (made with Sugar Free Vanilla syrup and Fat Free milk).  I caught the barista using whole milk for my drink!!! When I asked him about it, he denied it!  I don't feel it's necessary to waste calories on milk, when a lower calorie substitute is readily available, and I would not have had the drink as he made it.  Since he wouldn't remake my drink, I was forced to speak to the manager who made the drink herself, and assured me she would reprimand him.  Would you have done anything about it?  I promise you I saw him pour the whole milk straight out of the carton, into the steamer, and into my drink.  I'm not sure why I feel bad about this.

Anyway, on to happier things...

 As is the new tradition in my family, birthday cakes are out, and Edible Arrangements are in.  They are sooooooo expensive, but soooooo worth it!  I got my mom a medium-sized Dipped Fruit Bouquet... I'm semi-ashamed to say we devoured the whole thing (just the two of us) in about a half hour.

 The positive side is that we were both really full when we went grocery shopping right after that, so the impulse buying was limited.  And the one impulse purchase we did make was a healthy one...

 The Waldbaums by me happens to have a prepared hot food bar.  I noticed these cooked veggies a while ago, but my mom finally gave me the courage to give them a try - and boy am I glad she did.  These were DELICIOUS!  There was zucchini, carrots, string beans, and asparagus cooked in a balsamic vinaigrette.  This was the first time I've EVER had asparagus, but it certainly won't be the last.

So for my mom's birthday, she wanted to go to Applebee's - not at all a problem since they are dedicated to providing options for those who are counting calories, and some of their meals are even endorsed by Weight Watchers! YAY!

 I know what you're thinking - "That doesn't look like it's endorsed by Weight Watchers."  But I have an answer to that... This is the drink that I was desperately craving on my birthday, but I was unable to have one because I made myself sick from over-indulging at dinner.  Happy belated birthday to me - love, myself.

Anyway, it's Applebee's Mud Slide - "Blended with Kahlúa, vanilla ice cream, chocolate syrup and whipped cream"  I don't know how many calories, and frankly, I don't really care - It was AMAZING!

 This is the drink my mom got - Applebee's Bahama Mama -  "Malibu Coconut rum, crème de banana liqueur, pineapple juice, orange juice and grenadine."

Her and I both liked my drink better, but her's was about half the calories.  You win some, you lose some.

 Applebee's Cajun Lime Tilapia ("A grilled Cajun-seasoned tilapia fillet topped with lime juice and black bean & corn salsa, served on a bed of rice pilaf with a side of seasonal vegetables") is my go-to dinner that I literally ALWAYS get whenever I go to Applebee's.  Indeed, it is endorsed by Weight Watchers, and it is only 6 WW Points!  Needless to say, after that huge drink, I didn't have room for dinner, and I ended up taking most of it home anyway.

Now for a little previes of what's to come... My Low(er) Calorie Thanksgiving Plan:
(I don't eat meat, so my mom is dealing with the turkey.)

Yes, it's a lot, but my mom is helping, and I'm going to do as much as possible ahead of time.  I have faith that it will all get done, and it will all taste fabulous!  If you can't handle it all yourself, invite a friend or a few friends over and divide up the recipes.  There should never be a situation where you feel forced to eat something you don't want to... plan ahead and figure out how to enjoy the holiday your way!
Until Thanksgiving - Happy Eating!
- Steph =)

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