On the Menu This Week

Greek Style Cheeseburgers
Vegetarian Black Bean Chili
Roasted Cornish Hens with Quinoa and Broccoli

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Recipe of the Week 8/22/09

Sloppy Joes

Serves 8
Cooking time 20 minutes
5 points each (including bun)


  • 1 pound extra-lean ground beef
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeno, minced
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 1 can small red beans or pinto beans, low sodium drained and rinsed
  • 1 1/2 cups no-salt-added tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 whole-wheat burger buns


Brown the meat and the onion in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat for 5 minutes, breaking up the meat into crumbles as it cooks. Pour the drippings out of the pan and discard. Add the garlic, jalapeno, and red pepper and cook 5 minutes more, stirring occasionally. Stir in the rest of the ingredients, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 5 minutes more. Place a half-cup scoop of the mixture onto each bun and serve.

Nutrition Facts

Nutritional Analysis per Serving (approximate)
Serving Size 1/2 cup sloppy joe mixture and one bun
Calories 248
Total fat 4 g
Saturated fat 1 g
Protein 18 g
Carbohydrates 37 g
Fiber 7g

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My Plan

I did WeightWatchers once before in 2004-2005. I lost 50 pounds. I gained some back going through my divorce but the good news is I kept off 20 of them until I restarted WeightWatchers in January 2009.

For the first time, I have found a plan that was easy to stick to. Something just felt right this time. Before embarking on WeightWatchers I re-read some books I had found helpful in the middle of my last journey. The books are listed under "Weight Loss" Books on the side bar, and a blog post about them will follow soon. These books helped get me mentally prepared to lose weight and they are the reason I think I am finding losing to be less of a struggle. I am not letting myself get discouraged by small gains and I am seeing far more consistent results.

WeightWatchers gives you a points target based on weight and basic daily activity level. Every food has a points value based on calories, fiber and fat. Then its like a checkbook you start with your daily balance, subtract for foods eaten and add for activity done which can earn you points. Exercise=More Food. Each food point is roughly 50 calories and each activity point is worth roughly 100, I use a heart-rate monitor to calculate my activity points earned.

You also get 35 weekly points to use as you want anytime during the week. For me the most successful both mentally and on the scale is to use most of those points on Saturday night for a splurge and to then stick to my daily points fairly closely the rest of the week. It helps me to know my favourite foods are only a week away if I want them. People can manage the plan however they want but for me this is the most successful. When I'm working out a lot I try to eat some of those activity points as well. Ironically I get much smaller losses the weeks I don't eat those points on Saturday, maybe it shakes up my metabolism, who knows I just know it works

Finally my last key to my plan is attending meetings. It helps keep me accountable and on track.

Weight Loss Slideshow