For anyone who is a turkey fan, this might seem like gobbler heaven. Or if you are on Weight Watchers, it might seem like havoc to be played with your points; whichever way you want to look at it.
I opened my email this morning to find a clever message from Weight Watchers. It contains an interactive “points calculator” which includes an illustration of a dinner plate along with a chart of very yummy-looking photos of everyone’s favorite Thanksgiving dishes. The idea is to drag and drop the food photos onto the plate. The computer then adds up the points you’ve just “served” yourself so that you are duly forewarned about the imminent caloric ruin of your diet. My first reaction was, “Buzz Kills!” And then I relented, thinking, “Oh, why not?”, much as you do when faced with your own obvious weakness and a feast with all the trimmings.
So I plunked down a turkey leg on my “plate”, poured on some gravy, added stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberries, sweet potatoes, green bean casserole and a honking slice of pumpkin pie. 54 points! Ouch!
Close to two days-worth of points spent on just one meal!
Suddenly I found myself appreciating those monotonous magazine articles I generally hate about how to get through the holidays without gaining 20 pounds! (Well, maybe I won’t go that far. Those smug, self-satisfied how-to authors still give me the heartburn.) For the first time in my life, however, I have to admit that they might just have a point. And this is saying a lot for someone who, when the calendar turns to November, looks forward to any opportunity for a holiday party where they might be serving phyllo pastry appetizers filled with cream cheese and other savory bites.
Weight Watchers actually has some particularly helpful hints – not like those lame-o tips in magazines about filling your plate with selections from the crudité platter and skipping the dip. I mean have you ever seen one of those platefuls of veggies actually disappear at a party? No, you have not. The cream cheese and phyllo appetizers? Gone in an instant.
Anyway, I hope you don’t mind me sharing some hints with you. I’m sure Weight Watchers won’t mind if it means healthier eating for the American public. But as copyright laws probably prohibit me from sharing them verbatim, I will paraphrase some of their best tips.
Here’s one: if you taste a dab of something, or a smidge of something else, you need to count it as one point. Tasting the gravy? One point. Sampling the stuffing? One point. Licking the cookie dough out of the bowl? One point (well, maybe 10.) I could easily rack up a day’s points just nibbling, which as we all know is the best part about cooking a Thanksgiving meal. Who wants to give that up? So, I say samples don’t count.
Here’s another: eat the filling of your pie, but skip the crust. O.K., if you do that your guests will wonder if they should have left it on their plates, too. They’ll go home wondering if they are in for a night of food poisoning. If you are at someone else’s home, you risk your hosts wondering if you think their crust is inferior in some way. Not worth insulting your friends or in-laws. Unless you don’t want to be invited back. Or worse: they come to your place next year and eat only the crudités out of spite.
This my favorite: make it a rule of thumb to take two spoons full of veggie side dishes for every spoonful of starch-based ones you take. Apparently potatoes don’t count as veggies, they are in the starch family. So, how many other starches are there that can you think of still remaining on the Thanksgiving menu? The stuffing! They mean the stuffing! I don’t know about you, but for me, a turkey dinner is ALL ABOUT the stuffing. Using this Weight Watchers’ formula those two servings of veggies are going to be mighty hefty if they are meant to counter balance that loaf-sized single helping of stuffing that I’m no doubt going to eat!
So there you have it. Weight Watchers’ advice on how to handle the holidays.Buzz Kill, right?
Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone. Whether you are American and celebrating the holiday this week or Canadian and crossing the border for the sales, we hope you are filled with turkey (or veg, or starch) and the spirit of thankfulness.
Ken and I are enormously thankful for the job that he loves that brought us to Dayton where we have met so many wonderful new friends. We are also grateful for our home and our health, our families, our dear friends in other places, our pooch, Riley, and our Thanksgiving meal this year, which will be points-friendly.