Taste of Home is sponsoring a company weight loss program based on our new cookbook, The Comfort Food Diet. I asked one of the participants, Associate Web Editor Heather Gergen, to share with us her journey to a healthier lifestyle.
Our Comfort Food Diet leaders started a new weight-loss competition last week. Our large group has been divided into 2 teams with a captain appointed for each. The captains of the teams are the members with the highest weight loss of the group. The team that wins will receive a catered lunch created with recipes from Healthy Cooking magazine. It’s amazing what people will do for free food.
I am on the “A-Team” as we like to call ourselves. Our team captain has lost 40 pounds since our weight loss group started on Jan. 4. That is my entire goal!
Last week, he shared some of his weight loss secrets with the group. (I’m not using his name as he prefers to remain anonymous.) He attributes the weight loss to watching calories and daily exercise. The Comfort Food Diet is all about making changes in your life and he’s made several.
- For the first five weeks, he made almost every meal out of the Comfort Food Diet cookbook, including side dishes. Currently, about 50% of his meals come from the book.
- Once a self-described “meat, potatoes and bread” kind of guy, he’s now started to enjoy chicken in the majority of his meals.
- He made a special chart to record everything he eats and all of his exercise for an entire week. He shared the chart with the group and agreed to share it with you, too. Download chart (pdf)
- Not only does he walk laps around our “track” in the warehouse every weekday, he rides an hour a day on his stationary bike at home while watching TV.
Our team captain and his family give each recipe that they make from the cookbook a star rating within the book. Some of their favorites include Corny Chicken Wraps, Chicken Marsala and Mushroom Chicken Cacciatore.
Recipe of the Week
I made this Herbed Chicken with Wild Rice in the slow cooker for dinner. The recipe uses all convenience items –wild rice mix, sliced mushrooms and chicken soup. It was relatively quick and easy to make in the morning before work. I doubled the recipe so we would have leftovers to eat throughout the week. I also increased the cooking time a little bit. The cooking time is only 4 hours, to prevent it from burning, you might want to add a little more liquid if you let it go longer.
The recipe isn’t in the Comfort Food Diet book, but is only 351 calories for a hearty serving of 1 chicken breast with 2/3 cup rice mixture. It’s definitely comfort food.
Eating Out: Applebee’s
Last week, I went to Applebee’s with a group of friends and their kids before our daughters’ poms performance at a girls basketball game. It was “Kids Eat for 99 Cents” night and the place was packed.
Applebee’s has a special Weight Watchers menu where all of the items are under 550 calories. I tried the Signature Sirloin with Herb Garlic Shrimp. It was delicious and I ate all 550 calories. I was surprised at how big the portions were for only 550 calories. Granted the plate was mostly filled with sautéed vegetables and a few potatoes, but the meal was extremely filling. The buttery shrimp sauce on the steak tasted very decadent. I would have thought that it was high in calories, but apparently it’s not.
My team captain revealed that he tried the Asiago Peppercorn Steak at Applebee’s this week and thought it was pretty good. Traditionally not an Applebee’s guy, he’s been converted. Their low-calorie entrees make it easier to stay on a diet.
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