Weight Watchers Magazine … for FREE

As many of you may remember from my post back in December, Weight Watchers was running an awesome Invite-a-Friend promotion. Each new member who joined Weight Watchers using the referral link of an existing member received a free one-year subscription to Weight Watchers Magazine. On top of that, the referring member also received a free one-month extension of their Weight Watchers membership.  Pretty cool, right?!

Sadly, the promotion ended on February 28. The good news? Weight Watchers has extended the promotion! That’s right, from now until April 30, 2014, you can still take advantage of this offer.

All you need to do is click this referral link and sign up for either a new Weight Watchers Monthly Pass or Weight Watchers Online membership. Once you’ve been a member for two weeks, you will receive an email with information on how to claim your free magazine subscription.

I always look forward to receiving my new issue every other month. I’m torn over what my favorite part is — the recipe ideas or the success stories. They’re both great! There’s always plenty of health and fitness information as well, plus just the right amount of fashion/beauty stuff. Speaking of fashion, can I just say that I’m totally lusting after the shoes and jacket from the cover of the March/April issue! lol If you want a better look at them, just click the image for a larger version.

So, if you’re sad thinking you missed out on the free magazine from my previous post, now’s your chance! As with any promotion, please be sure to visit the referral page for full details and eligibility requirements.

Before I close, I know it’s been a while since I’ve posted. Sorry about that! I think turning 50 right on top of the whole post about my past struggles with addiction threw me for more of a loop than I cared to admit. More about that in my next post which will be coming in the next couple of days.

Until next time …

melissayuku

Disclaimer: I was not compensated by Weight Watchers for this post. I’m a current member and sharing it as part of their Invite-a-Friend promotion.

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Weekly Weigh In: Birthday Edition

Weekly Weigh In

Hey everyone! I apologize that it’s been a couple of weeks since I’ve written anything, much less posted a weekly weigh in. Writing about my history of PTSD and addiction in my previous post kind of threw me into an emotional tailspin. It seems each time I think I’ve grown and made progress with emotional eating, it jumps up and smacks me squarely in the face again.

I spent several days eating completely out of control to the point that I opted to use a No Weigh In pass at my Weight Watchers meeting last week. Thankfully, I had the good sense to still go to my meeting. The meeting topic was all about emotional eating and was just what I needed to reset myself and get back on track. After getting in a week of healthy eating, I was able to minimize the damage on the scale by showing a gain of only 0.6 at my meeting on Sunday.

In other news, yesterday was my birthday. The big Five Oh.  Yes, that’s right, I’m now AARP-eiligible. lol   My friends showered me with gifts, phone calls, text messages, emails, etc. They sure made turning 50 a lot easier than I was thinking it might be. )

It started on Sunday at my Weight Watchers meeting when my pal Dee brought in these awesome cake pops (3 PointsPlus for two pops) that she made. She even made cute little custom tags for them with my monogram and a very subtle number 50. How cute & special is that?!

Cake Pops

My pals at my meeting also chipped in and got me a gift, but I forgot to take a photo of it. They got me a gorgeous leather wallet with RFID protection that I had on my Amazon wish list. It’s absolutely beautiful!!

I was also able to mark off one of my 50 for 50 list items. As planned, I bought some beautiful flowers for myself in honor of my birthday. I decided that just because I’m single, it doesn’t mean I shouldn’t have some beautiful flowers for my birthday. I picked them up on Sunday following my meeting so I would be able to wake up to pretty flowers on Monday for my actual birthday since I had the day off (President’s Day holiday).

Birthday Flowers

My day actually started out with some activity. I was inspired by something I saw Melissa (a.k.a. The ValentineRD) do a few days ago on her birthday. She ran 4.4 miles in honor of her 44th birthday, so I decided to walk 5.0 miles in honor of my 50th. It also more than covered the mileage I needed to complete my Medal Whore Pursuit Suck It Up 5k virtual race.

Medal Whore Pursuit

I got some pretty cool birthday love from the interwebz, too! I woke up this morning with birthday wishes from Google:

Google Birthday Doodle

Later in the day, I even got some love from the social media folks at Weight Watchers on my Instagram feed.

Weight Watchers Birthday Wishes

Pretty cool, huh?! So, as you can see, it was a pretty awesome birthday. Given I said this line (I’m 50!) about a dozen times over my birthday weekend, I’ll leave you with a little Sally O’Malley. )

Until next time …

melissayuku

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Tales of an Addict

Philip Seymour Hoffman
Philip Seymour Hoffman (1967-2014)
 

Most of us were stunned Sunday when we learned of the death of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman. He was truly one of the great character actors of my generation. He was an amazing talent on both stage and screen. He was an Oscar winner. He was an addict, and so am I.

Like Philip, I developed an appetite for drugs early in life. By the time I was a sophomore in college, I was using drugs on a regular basis.  Oh sure, I thought it was soooooo much fun at first because it meant I could stay up all night to party and still make it to class, but ultimately, drugs were just a way for me to escape all the painful memories of being sexually abused as a child.

After a while though, it stops being fun. It doesn’t take long to realize the pain you are trying to escape is still there and it now accompanied by a myriad of other issues all related to your drug use. It’s no fun waking up lying on the pavement in a parking lot having no idea where you are or how you got there. It’s no fun being awake for days on end because you’re so amped up on stimulants that you can’t come back down. It’s not fun realizing you are quickly losing control of your life.

Thankfully, once I came to the realization that the drugs weren’t actually working for me, I got help. I made the decision at 24 years old to get clean. It wasn’t easy, especially since my husband at the time was still doing drugs, but I did it and I’ve been clean ever since.

For many years, I attended 12-step meetings a few times per week because I knew they were an important tool for me to remain clean. Once I moved to California in my mid-30s, I just gradually cut back on the number of meetings I was attending until I eventually just gave them up completely. It wasn’t that I felt they were no longer important, but other things in my life just became more pressing as I went about living my life. While I know one is never truly “recovered” from an addiction, I just kind of felt that I’d reached a point in my life where drugs simply weren’t an issue for me any longer.

Yesterday’s news reminded me again just how insidious the disease of addiction really is for those who suffer from it. Philip had been clean for 23 years before picking drugs back up again last year and started using again. Sadly, that’s what also cost him his life apparently as it is believed he died of an accidental heroine overdose.

His death reminded me that while I’m grateful for all my years of being clean, I still need to be ever vigilant about my own disease of addiction because I could fall back into it at any moment. While I no longer think about drugs on a regular basis, I have had other addictions in my past (smoking, cutting, sex, etc.) as well, some of which do still haunt me on a regular basis,. For me, the one that haunts me the most is food.

I suffered many years with bulimia and binge eating disorder. It’s actually my oldest addiction (for lack of a better phrase) because I have vivid memories of sneaking and hiding food even as young as in my tween years. Since I was too young to use drugs or alcohol to cope with the abuse I was suffering, food became my drug of choice. In my young mind, I think I believed that if I stuffed myself with enough food, the pain I felt inside would be forced out or something because there would be no room for it any longer. Logically, I understand that it doesn’t work that way now, but as a 10 or 11 year old, it’s the only way I knew to cope.

At this point in my life, it’s been many years since I’ve actually purged. However, there’s still not a week that goes by that I don’t think about doing it. Even if it’s just for a fleeting moment, it’s there. It’s especially in the forefront of my mind if I’ve eaten too much and I’m uncomfortably full. That’s definitely a danger zone for me.

I think one of the reasons my food-related addictions have always continued to be a problem for me is that, unlike with drugs or smoking, I have to face my addiction on a daily basis. With most addictions, you just abstain completely from the trigger. That’s not an option with food. We all have to eat on a daily basis which is why it’s so difficult to overcome.

So, while I am saddened by the tragic and needless death of Philip Seymour Hoffman, I’m grateful for the pause his death has given me to think. I’m grateful for my 26 years of being clean. I’m grateful for the people in my life who helped me find the path to recovery. I’m grateful to be alive to fight my disease for one more day.

My name is Melissa and I’m an addict.  Rest in peace, Philip.

melissayuku

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Weekly Weigh In – Routines

Weekly Weigh In
This week’s meeting topic at Weight Watchers was all about routines.  In keeping with that, I followed my typical Sunday morning routine and headed over to my meeting for my weekly weigh in.  See what I did there? )

Just like the previous week, I went into my meeting having completed a great week!  I stuck with my eating plan every day. I drank lots of water. I got in some activity.  I checked off my Good Health Guidelines.  The result?  A maintain. bleh

My initial reaction? Honestly? I just wanted to say screw it and go out and eat a bunch of crap food. My brain immediately went to that place of wondering why on earth I’m putting myself through all of this hard work and then not even see the reward for my efforts.

Instead of going off on a binge, I did two very smart things.  First, rather than just bolting from the center as I might have done in my previous time on Weight Watchers, I stuck around for the meeting so I could see my friends.  Secondly, I reached out to those friends and shared my frustrations with my pals Dee and Kerry.  In order to help me stay on track this week, Kerry suggested we touch base with each other on a daily basis this week. Brilliant! By holding myself accountable to check in with Kerry, it will help keep me on the straight and narrow and not give in to my emotional reaction to the scale.

I guess I technically did three smart things. After leaving my meeting, I headed to the grocery store. I stocked up on lots of healthy foods for the week and plan to switch to Simply Filling again this week. I just seem to gravitate toward eating a lot more processed foods when I’m following Tracking. I do so much better about eating cleanly when I follow Simply Filling.  Here’s a peek at what I bought:

Grocery Haul
After I got home from the grocery store and had put everything away, I decided to check in on social media. I have so many awesome Weight Watchers/weight loss pals on Instagram and my Facebook page that I decided to share about my weigh in experience there as well. It was so awesome receiving support from my online pals, too!

Keep On Keeping On
As I was settling in for the afternoon waiting for the Super Bowl to start (Congratulations, Seattle!), I was thinking more about the topic of setting routines.  In many ways, I feel like I’m actually doing really well when it comes to healthy routines. There are several routines I have in place that are also definitely helping me on this journey.  Here are just a few of them:

  • Posting Daily Positives on my Instagram feed.
  • Walking a lap around the perimeter of my office building (~1/4 mile) every time I take a bathroom break.
  • Other than my morning coffee, not allowing myself to drink any flavored beverages until I’ve consumed at least 48 oz. of water.

On top of those, here are some new routines I’ll be working on this week:

  • As mentioned before, touching base with Kerry every day.
  • Get at least 7 hours of sleep per day.
  • Eat a fruit and/or vegetable with every meal.
  • Eat protein with every meal.

What are some of your healthy routines? Leave me a comment and let me know!

Until next time …

melissayuku

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Weekly Weigh In – Small Victories

Weekly Weigh In

It’s time for another weekly weigh in!  I headed over to my Weight Watchers meeting on Sunday morning.  Of course, it’s always great to see all my pals once I get there.  I knew I’d had a good week with my food and activity, so I was actually excited to hop on the scale.  Thankfully, my work for the week was rewarded and I lost 1 pound.  Woo Hoo!

Over the past 16 weeks, even with the holidays thrown in, I’m still averaging 0.9 pounds of weight loss per week.  Now I’m sure some people may be thinking to themselves that 0.9 per week doesn’t seem that fast.  Honestly, I would have been feeling that way in the past as well.  We all seem to want to lose our excess weight overnight even though it probably took years of overeating to put it all on.

Thankfully, the topic of this week’s meeting was just what I needed to hear to remind me that I’m not doing so badly.  It was all about building on our small victories to create a path for long-term success.  So, even though I may “only” be averaging 0.9 per week, when you multiply that by 52 weeks in the year, that means I would be down nearly 50.  I don’t know about you, but hey, I’ll take a 50 pound weight loss any time!  Even if my loss were even less than 0.9, it could still add up over time.  In fact, my pal Andrea posted this on Facebook which was a great reminder:

Keep Going

In other news, there were also three new products available at my local center this week.  They should be rolling out to all U.S. meeting rooms by early February, so if they aren’t available in your area yet, they should be soon.  There is a new 24 oz. double walled tumbler, a new cookbook full of recipes that can be prepared on a budget (including a chapter on slow cooker recipes), and a new chocolate chunk snack bar.

New Products

I’ve already skimmed through the cookbook and there are some really yummy sounding recipes that I can’t wait to try!  I think at the top of my list will be the Mexican-Style Beef and Hominy Stew.  It’s a Simply Filling/Simple Start recipe for the slow cooker.  For those following the Tracking method is 8 PointsPlus value per 1.75 cup serving.

How do you celebrate the small victories on your journey?  Do they motivate you to keep going and stick with it?  Leave me a comment and let me know your thoughts.

Until next time …

melissayuku

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Simple Start Slow Cooker Chili

Quick & Easy Slow Cooker Chili

Even though I’ve already completed the new two week Simple Start plan for Weight Watchers, I thought I would share this recipe since a lot of other folks are just getting started.  This is a pretty quick & easy slow cooker chili recipe that I’ve been making for several years.  Not only will it work for Simple Start, but it will also work for the traditional PointsPlus Tracking method as well as Simply Filling.  Enjoy!

Simple Start Slow Cooker Chili
 
Author:
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound 96% lean ground beef
  • 2 cans fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 2 cans beans (kidney, pinto, or black), drain one can
  • 1 tbsp chili powder, or to taste
  • 2 tsp ground cumin, or to taste
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • ½ tsp kosher salt, or to taste
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
Instructions
  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the onions and garlic and cook until the onions soften. Add the ground beef and all the spices. Cook until no longer pink, breaking the beef up with a wooden spoon. Transfer the beef into a 4-6 quart slow cooker. Add the tomatoes and beans. Stir well to combine. Cook on high for 3 hours or on low for 5-6 hours. Makes six servings of approximately 1-cup each.
Notes
This recipe is compatible with both the Simple Start and Simply Filling plans for Weight Watchers. If following the Tracking plan, it is 6 PointsPlus per serving. If you are a vegetarian, simply substitute a bag of Boca Crumbles in place of the ground beef.

 

Until next time …

melissayuku

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Weekly Weigh In – Change is a Process

I know it’s been a long time since I’ve done a weekly weigh in post, but I really want to try and get back in the habit of doing them.  Fingers crossed that I actually follow through with that plan. lol

After being sick for a few days, I finally ventured out yesterday morning and headed to my Weight Watchers meeting.  I’m happy to report that it was yet another successful week.  I dropped 1.4 pounds this week.  Woo Hoo!  That means I’m back to 45.6 pounds down from my heaviest weight.  Even with posting loses the past couple of weeks, I’ve still got about a pound a half to go to get rid of the holiday/Prednisone double whammy weight gain I had on Jan. 5, but I’m getting there.  Hopefully the rest of it will be gone by my next weigh in.

Simple Start Bling

Another positive thing from the meeting this week was the awesome bling I received.  This was a new promotion they introduced at the end of December for meeting members.  Any member who attends at least four meetings between Dec. 29 and Feb. 1 will get one of these awesome keychains.  Love it!

Change is a Process

The meeting topic this week was all about making small changes.  I’m a a true believer in the power of small changes.  I think it’s pretty natural for anyone who has a large amount of weight to lose.  It becomes very natural to break one’s weight loss down into smaller chunks and set more short-term goals because it just becomes far too overwhelming to focus on the big picture.

As the image above states, change isn’t an event.  It’s definitely a process, and it’s definitely been a process for me along my journey.  Even though I’m down 45 pounds from my all-time heaviest weight, I’m “only” down 13 pounds in the past two years.

Now, to a lot of people, that would mean I haven’t really been successful.  I would definitely disagree with that assessment!  While I may not have lost nearly as much weight as some others, I’ve still lost weight.  Not only have I lost weight, but I’ve done it while dealing with several challenges:

  • Working a full time (sometimes more than full time) job that’s extremely stressful and includes being on call 24/7
  • Commuting for work 32 miles each way in Los Angeles traffic
  • Going to school full time
  • Living with an autoimmune disorder
  • Having knee surgery
  • Having pneumonia

I could have easily let any of the above items as an excuse to just not even try to lose weight and get healthy, but I didn’t!  Not only did I not throw in the towel, but I’ve even managed to lose some weight along the way.  How did I do that amidst all the craziness listed above?  By making small changes along the way, such as:

  • Attending my weekly meeting no matter what (unless I sick or out of town)
  • Fitness?  What you can, when you can is my motto!
  • Giving up soda and starting to drink more water (203 days soda-free now!)
  • One of my latest small changes is tracking every day — good, bad, or ugly

I have to say, one of the other small changes that has helped me far more than I would have imagined is reaching out to other members at my meeting and developing friendships with them.  Having that connection with other members who are also there week in and week out keep me motivated to keep going.   Over time, we’ve truly developed a very special bond and our friendships have carried over beyond the meeting room and my life has definitely been enriched by knowing each and every one of them.  Because of that, I just want to take a moment to give a major shout out to my “crew” from my meeting — our fearless leader Jacki and receptionist extraordinaire Summer, Dee, Kerry, Tonja, Rebecca, Penny, Debi, and Daniel.  Thank you all for being such awesome friends!!

Oh, and speaking of those awesome friends, Dee was kind enough to treat us at the meeting.  Check out this lovely mini loaf of homemade wheat bread and meat sauce she gave me.  She rocks! yes

Bread and Meat Sauce

Yeah, half of that mini loaf of bread may or may not already be gone. sly   Thankfully, the whole loaf was only 12 PointsPlus value, so even with noshing on half of it throughout the day yesterday, it only set me back 6 PointsPlus.  It did throw me a bit into using some of my Weekly PointsPlus Allowance, but given yesterday was day one of my Weight Watchers week, it’s all good.  Thanks for much for the awesome treats, Dee!!!

What small changes have you made/are you planning to make on your journey?  I challenge everyone to come up with at least one small change to make this week.  My small change goal this week will be to get back into the habit of going to the ladies room upstairs rather than using the one on my floor.  Not only will it force me to take the stairs, but it will give me a little boost on my ActiveLink, too.  Bonus!

What small change will you be making?  Leave me a comment below and let me know so I can cheer you on.

Until next time …

melissayuku

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Attached to the Goal, Not the Journey

Attracted to the Goal

I was listening to a Jillian Michaels podcast last night that was recorded last summer (July 8, 2013).  I didn’t actually notice the title of the podcast when I started playing it.  I had just noticed the description which said it was about weird gym tools which I thought sounded like something fun to listen to as I drove home from the office.

As fate has it, that podcast was exactly what I needed to hear right now.  It started with segment that ran about seven or eight minutes where she was talking about the latest batch of people they had been interviewing as potential contestants for this season’s The Biggest Loser.  During the course of that discussion, she said something that kind of smacked me right in the face.

“It’s like being attached to the goal, but not to the journey. You can love the goal, but if don’t love the work, you’ve got problems.”

Wow, right?!  I think it’s often far too easy to fall into that trap of setting a goal for ourselves and being so excited about it, but then when the day-to-day nitty gritty of going after that goal sinks in, that enthusiasm begins to waiver or disappear completely.  Climbing those stairs to reach our goals can be so challenging. Given we’re already at mid-January (how did THAT happen?!), many folks who set those New Year’s Resolutions just two weeks ago have already abandoned them.

Personally, I know this is all definitely true for me.  I was so excited when I decided to go back to school, but then the endless hours of studying that were required starting hitting me and suddenly it wasn’t so exciting or fun any longer.  Thankfully, I persevered and, if all goes well, I should graduate this summer.

Similarly, when it comes to weight loss, it’s so easy for me to dream and pine about what it will be like when I get to my goal weight.  However, when the reality hits that I still have well over 100 pounds to go, yeah, it can be a struggle.  That’s one of the reasons I’m so glad that Weight Watchers breaks things down into smaller, more manageable goals like the 5 pound stars, 5% award, 10% award, etc.  It helps keeping it all from being quite so overwhelming.

After hearing Jillian’s comment, it’s made me realize that I need to start learning to embrace the “journey” part more and not focus so much on my end goal.  If I don’t, the odds of me actually keeping the weight off when I reach my goal is less likely.  By attaching myself the journey instead through focusing on healthy eating and exercise, the byproduct of reaching my goal will come naturally over time.

Which are you attached to the goal or the journey?  Hit me up in the comments and let me know your thoughts.

Oh, one last thing before I go.  If you haven’t already done so, please stop by and enter my Slender Kitchen Meal Planning Membership giveaway.  Tomorrow is the final day to enter and the winner will be selected and announced on Thursday!

Until next time …

melissayuku

Image courtesy of Master isolated images / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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Friend Makin’ Monday: Taboo Topics

Friend Makin' Monday

If you’ve taken part in Kenlie’s Friend Makin’ Monday (FMM), then you know the rules. If you’re new, please take a moment to answer this week’s question on your own blog then add your link in the comments section over on Kenlie’s post so everyone can see your FMM questions and answers. Please invite your blog readers to add their links here too so everyone has to opportunity to be seen. The idea is to connect with other awesome bloggers so take a moment to post your own FMM post and comment on a couple of other posts. Now it’s time for this week’s topic!

Taboo Topics

  1. Are you a registered voter?  Absolutely.  I’m a political geek and have only missed voting once since I turned 18 and became eligible.
  2. Do you believe in God?  No.  I used to, but I don’t anymore.
  3. How has your readership changed since you first began blogging?  I started blogging way back in 2001 before most people had even heard of blogs or knew what they were.  Given the change in online culture, I can definitely have a lot more readers these days. lol
  4. If you could choose between a serious relationship or $100,000, which would you choose?  Despite have a few failed relationships and having my heart absolutely broken twice, I would still choose the relationship over money any day of the week.
  5. Have you ever changed political parties?  Changed parties? No, but I have declared a party after spending many years independent of party affiliation.
  6. If you were put in a position in which you had to be in a room with someone that you can’t stand, how would you handle the situation? If it were just the two of us, I would just try to make the best of it and hope that the time passed by quickly.  If there were other people in the room as well, I would just focus on everyone else rather than the person I disliked.
  7. Do you ever eat in secret because you don’t want anyone to see what you consume?  Given I live alone, there’s no one around from which to eat in secret. lol   That being said, I did eat in secret quite often as a teenager and well into my college years.
  8. Do you use curse words in your daily conversations?  Yes, probably way more than I should. It’s a really bad habit I’ve developed after years of working in a predominantly male field.
  9. How much do you tip when you’ve had decent service at a restaurant?  I generally tip about 18% (double the sales tax).  If it’s exceptionally good service, I will often tip as much as 20-25%, depending on the quality of service.
  10. How do you respond when someone confronts you?  I despise yelling and arguing, so I typically try to diffuse the situation as much as I can in order to calm the other person down.  If that’s not possible, I will generally just walk away and tell them that I refuse to be yelled at and when they are calm enough to have a reasonable conversation about whatever the issue is that I will be happy to discuss it with them.

I hope you all still like me after bearing my soul on such taboo topics! lol   Now it’s your turn.  If you decide to play along, don’t forget to head over to Kenlie’s blog and link up.

Until next time …

melissayuku

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Slender Kitchen Meal Planning Giveaway

It’s hard to believe yet another new year is upon us, right?  As you know, there’s just something about starting a new year that makes people want to shed those holiday pounds and start dreaming of summer, right?.  Of course, one of the biggest challenges for meeting that weight loss goal is preparing and eating healthy foods that are tasty.  Meal planning takes a lot of time — looking up recipes, making a shopping list, etc.  You want to eat healthy and lose weight, but you just don’t have the time.  So, what’s a weight loss wannabe supposed to do?

Slender Kitchen Meal Planning

Well, Kristen over at Slender Kitchen may have just the answer for you!  If you aren’t already familiar with her site, do yourself a favor and check it out!  She offers her awesome Slender Kitchen meal planning subscription service.  It includes not only a meal plan of three meals per day for the entire week, but also includes a shopping list as well as what pantry staple items will be needed for all of the recipes in that week’s plan.  Pretty cool, huh?! Her meal plans include the full nutritional information which means it can be incorporated into any type of eating plan you might be following such as Weight Watchers, calorie counting, low-carb, etc.  If you want a sneak peek, you can view a complete sample weekly meal plan here (PDF link).

If you’re interested in more information, be sure to check out the Questions & Answers section on the meal plans page (scroll down to the bottom half of the page).  Here are the quick highlights of what the membership includes:

  • Weekly Meals Plans for 2 or 4 people
  • Nutritional information
  • Weight Watchers® PointsPlus® included
  • Complete, categorized shopping lists
  • Vegetarian Meal Plans available!
  • Low Carb Meal Plans available!
  • Quick and easy breakfasts
  • Packable lunches
  • Delicious dinners
  • Fallback meals to swap in
  • Over 100 Bonus Recipes
  • Ideas for snacks and desserts
  • Time saving tips on meal preparation
  • Month-to-month unlimited access!
  • Printable and cell phone/tablet friendly
  • Memberships are available for $6 monthly or at a discounted price of $35 annually

If you haven’t looked at the sample meal plan linked above, I’m sure you may be asking yourself what types of recipes are included and wonder how easy they are to prepare, if they taste good, etc.  I’ve been a subscriber for over a year and can vouch that they are definitely easy to prepare and taste delicious!  They also call for just basic ingredients that should be available at virtually any supermarket in the country.  You don’t have to worry about trying to track down some exotic ingredient you’d probably never use again.  Love that!!

As for the types of recipes, here are just a few examples for the types of recipes that have been included in the 2014 plans thus far:

Regular Plan

Vegetarian Plan

  • Tomato, Egg, & Cheese Cupcakes
  • Chickpea Pot Pie Soup
  • Slow Cooker Tuscan Sloppy Joes

Lowcarb Plan

  • Western Omelet Frittata
  • Chicken Cordon Bleu
  • Slow Cooker Pork Tenderloin Carnitas

You can also find lots of amazing recipes and information on her blog.  For example, just check out this photo of her Butternut Squash and Quinoa Salad with Pomegranate recipe that she posted recently.  It looks amazing!!  I definitely want to give this recipe a try.

Butternut Squash Quinoa Salad

Now comes the fun part!  Kristen is offering one of my readers a complimentary one-year membership to her meal planni service.  I’ll be using Rafflecopter for this giveaway, so please be sure to read the details carefully.  Giveaway ends at 11 p.m. PT on Tuesday, January 14, 2014.  There is one mandatory entry and all the others are optional bonus entries.  For the mandatory entry, leave a comment below letting me know whether you currently plan your weekly menus.  If not, why?  Please note this is a mandatory entry, so anyone who clicks the “I commented” button in the Rafflecopter window without actually leaving a comment will be disqualified.

Even if you don’t win the giveaway (or don’t want to wait), you can still take advantage of Kristen’s meal plan subscription service.  She is graciously offering my readers a special discount through Wednesday, January 15.  Rather than the usual $35 annual subscription price, you can get it for only $25!  If you do the math, that works out to basically just 50 cents per week for a year’s worth of great meal ideas, recipes, shopping lists, and more. At that price, even if you don’t follow the meal plan exactly as written each week, it’s still a great resource for ideas, inspiration, or just a jumping off point for your own weekly menu plan based on your family’s tastes and/or food restrictions. To take advantage of this special offer, please visit this special subscription link and use the password “skspecial” to access the discounted pricing.

UPDATE:  This giveaway has ended.  Congratulations to Candice on winning the one-year meal planning membership!!

Until next time …

Melissa Script Sig

Disclaimer:  Slender Kitchen provided me with a complimentary one-year membership for the purposes of this giveaway.  I received no compensation and, as always, all opinions expressed are entirely my own.

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