Thursday, September 27, 2012

NutriSystem Food - Breakfast - Maple Sausage Patty

I turn this patty into my mid-morning snack with the egg scramble being the mid-morning protein serving, and always with veggies to work in more filling veggies.

I forgot to take a picture of the package first, but I'll add it later when I get some more.  My messy omelet is on a salad-size plate, but you can see how it is substantially more food than just the patty itself, which only requires heating in a microwave. You can also put it all into a whole wheat tortilla wrap if you don't mind using up one of your Smart Carbs for the day.

NutriSystem Food - Breakfast - Biscuit & Gravy Mix

This is one of my favorite breakfasts because it comes close to my favorite treat - biscuits & gravy (which I usually ate 3 times a year).  Sure, it has a "diet" flavor/flair to it, but close enough for me. It is probably the most tedious entree to fix up, as you must mix the biscuit mix, shape, and microwave it, and if you want to brown it on top, then spray it with nonstick cooking spray and broil while waiting for the boiling water you've added to the gravy mix rehydrates the sausage bits, etc.

NutriSystem Food - Dinner - Rotini & Meatballs

You can bake up some garlic zucchini and squash, etc. to add to this dish to make it more filling and you get to eat a Smart Carb with it. I always team up my Italian dinners with a piece of whole wheat bread and a pat of butter (an Extra). Here it is plain.  It fits into a 1-cup measure and appears to possibly be 3/4-cup serving size.

NutriSystem Food - Breakfast - NutriFrosted Crunch Cereal

This is a filler item I buy from Big Lots on the cheap when I find myself out of breakfast entrees and yet still have entrees left for the remainder of the day.  This serving size fits into a 1/2-cup measure. I don't like milk, but I add just enough to wet it a bit, and you have to eat it quickly before it gets soggy, so don't dally on the cereals.

NutriSystem Food - Breakfast - Maple Brown Sugar Oatmeal

What can you say about oatmeal?  I use water and don't measure.  I just like mine runny versus thick, so I make it the way I like it. Here it is.

NutriSystem Food - Snack - Chocolate Sandwich Cookies

Here they are, the NutriSystem version of Oreos.  They taste good & fit a crunchy craving.

NutriSystem Food - Dinner - Flame Broiled Beef Patty

So this patty is a little Freaky when you first open it.  You pour boiling water on it to rehydrate it.  The flavor is good.  It isn't very sturdy, can be a little drippy, and is a bit crumbly, but it's food.

and now for a couple of options to Fancy it up:

First, in an old-fashioned hamburger deluxe way,
and then in a turn-it-into-a-gyro way using the following ingredients,

Derailed for a Minute

Okay, it's been more like a week.  I got myself so worked up about a surgical procedure pre-op, I just didn't focus on my diet.  It didn't help that I'm down to about 23 dinners and 12 desserts and am out of breakfast and lunch entrees.  I did a couple of days of making my own meals for those first two of the day, but found myself stress snacking totally distracted by the upcoming procedure.  Am I a big old baby? Not really.  I was all worked up because I've never had a procedure, I'm a control freak and was having a hard time knowing that I would be unconscious and unable to have input should any problems arise during the procedure, and because the risks associated with anesthesia and obesity...I am, afterall, not up to snuff, and that worried me greatly. 

The good news is I survived and am recovering quickly.  Now if I can just get my sleep schedule turned back around....sleeping during the day seems to keep me up all night. 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

NutriSystem Food - Snack - Honey Mustard Pretzels

Here is my evening snack...the honey mustard pretzels in the package and then in the palm of my hand.  Why dirty a bowl or cup for this?

Wednesday Weigh In #23.

I seem to have gained 0.5 lbs. this week, and I'm pretty sure I know why.  I fell off the water wagon & had some (A LOT) of pop.

Overall, I am now down 24.5 lbs.


This blogging about weight loss thing may be helfpul, as I find myself embarrassed sharing that 0.5-lb. gain.

NutriSystem Food - Lunch - Black Beans & Rice

I use these ingredients--with the dressing, salsa, and avocado all being Extras (not a full serving of an Extra each though)--and 2 oz. of shredded chicken breast as my mid-morning PowerFuel, to turn my bucket of black beans and rice into a Mexican salad. The recipe for the Mexican Chicken Salad Platter is here. When its ready, I can just grab & go.

This entree is just shy of 1 cupful by itself.

Here it is jazzed up in a large soup bowl, and it counts as a veggie serving or two as well depending on how much lettuce you use.

NutriSystem Food - Lunch - Turkey Dog (old plan)

Again, because I wind up with uneven amounts of entrees to round out my days as I go further into each delivery, I go to Big Lots and buy some NutriSystem entrees from their old plan.  They do have some foods that are still on the new plan currently being offered though too.  These hot dogs are not on the new plan.  Again, when Big Lots has a sale, you can score the old entrees for around $0.25 each.  

I know it's the opposite problem from what many face.  While they fight temptation to not double up on some of the treats provided in their 28-day supply of food, I don't.  I wind up starting each day off well, and then get busy, sometimes forgetting the food I even took the time to pack, so I wind up eating the breakfast and lunch entrees mostly without problem and wind up having to make due while out and about as my NutriSystem food awaits me at home. This is my cost-effective solution compared to buying items a' la carte from NutriSystem to round out these days.

Here is a picture of the package first, the contents still wrapped, and then my turkey dog jazzed up with onions, ketchup, and mustard on a single slice of whole wheat bread.  You are allowed to put the dog into a bun, but I don't like to buy 8 buns & only use 1, allowing the rest to go bad.  I improvise a lot.

NutriSystem Food - Snacks - White Chocolate Chunk Cookie

Here is the cookie in the package and then outside of the package.  Pretty simple.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

NutriSystem Food - Supply Your Own Snack

On NutriSystem, I am to provide my own Smart Carbs and PowerFuels.  One of the two mid-morning and the other one of the two mid-afternoon.  This is a Smart Carb snack I have in between lunch and dinner.  It's 8 fat-free Wheat Thins and 1 tablespoon of hummus.

NutriSystem Food - Dinner - Italian Herb Flatbread Pizza

Here is the box.

Here are the contents.

How it looks assembled as supplied:

Here it is jazzed up a bit with my lunchtime PowerFuel (chicken), an Extra (BBQ sauce) in place of the pizza sauce they provide, the cheese they provide, and a veggie serving or two of spinach and onions (I usually use red onion, but I was out).  I also usually add mushrooms as well, but I was out of those too.  I call it my BBQ Chicken pizza.

And here it is cooked and placed on a salad plate. 

NutriSystem Food - Breakfast - Banana Nut Muffin

Here is the NutriSystem Breakfast Entree banana nut muffin in the package.

Here it is in a 1/2-cup measuring cup. 

and here it is pictured with my breakfast in total today with the chocolate spinach NutriSystem shake.

NutriSystem Food - Lunch - Split Pea Soup

Here is the split pea soup. I like the flavor.  This is it for lunch for me today, as I'm saving the PowerFuel I could team with it for my dinner later.

Here it is in a 1-cup measuring cup, so probably about 3/4 cup.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

NutriSystem Food - Breakfast - NutriCinnamon Squares Cereal

You may be wondering what the heck this is, as this isn't what you get in your Big Brown Box.  It's an old NutriSystem plan entree that you can buy on the cheap from Big Lots.  It's marked for $1, but they have sales that can allow you to get them for $0.25 each.

You may be wondering why I have it as well, and I'll explain.  Every day I'm on NutriSystem, the day starts off just fine and completely on plan.  Then something pops up that requires me to be on the run for the remainder of the day or I simply leave home and walk straight out the door completely forgetting the bag of food I had prepared to keep on plan while on the run.  This means that I sometimes wind up with 18 dinners and 20 desserts untouched and no breakfasts, shakes, or lunches to round out for a complete NutriSystem day, so I buy these to save money over the a'la carte items directly from NutriSystem.

This, like all of the cereals I've tried from them are similar in size.  This is a snack-size bowl.  You are allowed to add milk, but I don't like milk, so I just add a splash; just enough to get it wet. Since I consume alongside my spinach protein shake, it is completely satisfying.

NutriSystem Food - Breakfast - Blueberry Muffin

Here is the packaged blueberry muffin.  The package is pretty big.

Here it is outside of the package:

and here it is inside of a 1 cup measuring cup:


Friday, September 7, 2012

Day One on NutriSystem

It was a big decision to spend so much money on dieting, but I wanted a chance at maybe losing a few pounds over the summer compared to eating on the run with the kids home. This plan is expensive; at least for me. I went for it.

The day finally came when I received my first, what the plan members refer to as a, Big Brown Box. I excitedly opened it up and was immediately offended.  There were so many chocolate bars, chocolate in general, & junk food, i.e. cookies, chips, snack mixes, and muffins. It hit me.....not only is this how the world thought I had been eating, but NutriSystem was catering to that mentality as well. I decided to brush it off and go with it. I decided it couldn't hurt to try to lose weight eating all the stuff they thought I already did. At that point, I decided I could care less what anybody thought and, in the spirit of an old hair commercial, "I'm worth it."

Unfortunately, I wasn't prepared for all the minor details that accompanied this plan, but I figured it out quickly once I opened a tiny little package of instant mashed potatoes and thought "This is lunch?"

What was most surprising was that once I ate the breakfast entree and the shake, and a few hours later, the mid-morning PowerFuel, which was peanut butter out of a tablespoon measure, I suddenly found myself extremely hungry. I was actually starving--something I had never felt before despite not eating all day long prior. Suddenly, I was obsessed with food when I had never given it a thought prior. Ironic I think.

I toughed out the sudden urge I had to snack while giving up my pop simultaneously. By the end of the day I had a raging dull headache. It was relentless to the point I had to get up in the middle of the night and take some pain medications--something I never do--and I can count on my hands how many times I've actually ever had a headache. I wondered if it was from sugar withdrawal, and set out to the NutriSystem community to find out. What I found was nearly 1,000 posts in the blog section regarding this starter headache.

It appears many people suffer with the headache. Some have it for 3 days. Mine only lasted that one day.

Now that I've been on the plan for a few months with periods of being noncompliant when on the run, each and every time I restart, the headache returns the first day. It is resolved with Aleve. I can't say what causes that because it isn't sugar withdrawal. I've monitored what I've eaten during the day or two I've been off plan, and there was no sugar to withdraw from. I wonder if it isn't the preservatives found in this shelf-stable food.

Missing Real Unrehydrated Fresh Foods

I've been on NutriSystem since April 19 and I find that I'm really missing foods like these: I've made these stuffed pablano peppers because I had so many grow in my garden. Not only am I not sure if this fits into my plan at the moment, nobody but probably my husband will even try this dish. Sigh. That would be another item to add the cons list I posted earlier....having to take time out of an already busy day to make a call to talk to one of their counselors. Double le sigh.

NutriSystem Food - Lunch - Italian Style Wedding Soup

The soup is okay. As can be expected, the sodium is low, so this version is a little bland compared to say Campbell's version, but it's definitely edible. There is about 3/4 cupful, which you are to accompany with what they call a PowerFuel. I mostly choose to just eat a lite string cheese stick & sometimes put some of it into the soup.