UPDATE AS OF 2-29-16…
Thanks to everyone who has participated in our giveaway!
We have a winner!
Congratulations to Christine Henderson!
You will be receiving an email shortly with instructions on
how to get your free cookbook and meal planner!
I am excited about our giveaway this month! I don’t know about you but I am always on the hunt for great tasting recipes to try that I think my family will love. I have been trying to improve my Weight Watcher friendly meal plans by spending a little more time searching out other bloggers who post delicious low smart point recipes and I have found a few I love. One of the blogs I noticed right away was SkinnyTaste.com where the author comes up with ways to take family favorite recipes that you already love and “skinny-fy” (that is, put a healthy spin on) them. Let me tell you a little bit about the author of SkinnyTaste.com
A little bit about Gina Homolka
Gina is a mother of two and the creator of Skinnytaste.com, which is an award winning blog filled with hundreds of easy, flavorful recipes that are low in calories and high in taste. Her blog, Skinnytaste, is the number one go-to site for slimmed down recipes that taste delicious!!
Each month millions of readers visit Skinnytaste to learn how to cook healthy recipes for their whole family. Her work has been featured on Fitness Magazine, Better Homes and Gardens, Glamour.com, Oprah.com, the Dr. Oz show, and The Food Network among many other media outlets.
On top of all these great accomplishments Gina has also published a couple of cookbooks and a meal planner book that you can order here. One of our readers this week is going to win a copy of both: “The SkinnyTaste cookbook: Light on Calories, Big on Flavor” AND her meal planner, “The Skinny Taste Meal Planner, Track and Plan Your Meals, Week-by-Week”.
You will want to keep coming back to Meal Planning Mommies this week because I am going to be sharing a few recipes from the cook book and will be using them in the meal plan for this Saturday. The MPM Weight Watcher friendly meal plan this weekend will feature six SkinnyTaste recipes.
Let me tell you a little bit about the cookbook and meal planner in this giveaway.
I reached out to the publisher of Gina’s cookbook because I wanted the cookbook so I expected that our readers might too. What I was not expecting was for the cookbook to be such great quality! Hard cover, large pages, beautiful pictures, excellent recipes! Everything I love in a cookbook. I wanted to give you an idea of how big the pages are so I had my six year old son hold up the cookbook. Check out these beautiful full page pictures! Love it!
Notice all those Garfield post-it notes? The first thing I do when I get a new cookboook is I go through the whole cookbook and put a post-it on the recipes I am most excited to try. I pretty much went through a whole post-it pad with this cookbook. Come back later this week for a couple of the recipes that I am cooking in the Hughes this week. Gina does not share the smart point values for each recipe in her cookbook, but she does give those values on her website here so you could just go to her site and look them up when you need them, or you could look them up and take a few minutes to write the values of each recipe right there in your copy of the cookbook.
Need gluten-free recipes?
As an added bonus, this cookbook clearly marks which recipes fall under categories that you might be looking for. For example some are gluten-free, freezer friendly, vegetarian, and/or crock pot meals etc. To make it easy to know which recipes fall under which categories Gina has given little symbols in the form of circles with a letter or two and put them at the top of the page close to the title of the recipe. I loved that because I wanted to throw in some gluten-free recipes this week and this made it easy for me to know which ones were gluten-free.
At a quick glance I can see that the Cinnamon-Roasted Butternut Squash Soup is vegetarian (V), gluten free (GF), and freezer friendly (FF). Awesome!
One of the main keys to success on Weight Watchers is to keep track of what you eat. According to an article I read on WebMD, many experts agree that the simple act of keeping a food diary can encourage you to eat fewer calories and lose weight. Here are some of the things keeping a food diary can help you with:
- Tracking instantly increases your awareness of what, how much, and why you are eating, which helps you cut down on mindless munching.
- Helps people identify areas where they can make changes that will help them lose weight.
- Reveals triggers to avoid, such as not eating enough throughout the day and then overeating at night, or overeating when drinking alcohol.
- Makes you reconsider eating something simply because you don’t want to write it down.
For me, personally, I like to use the Weight Watcher app. It is convenient for me, but I also understand the benefits of writing the things down that I eat. One of the reasons I love to have a hand-written track record of what I have been eating is because I can easily go back to the weeks when I did manage to lose weight and ask myself, “What did I do that work that seemed to work for me?” Everything is right there and I can re-do that whole week over again and probably have similar results.
To read more on how to make a food diary work for you, you can go here.
Here is how Gina’s meal planner works…
There is a “Weekly Meal Planner” page that looks like this…
It gives you a place to write in a personal goal for that week. For me, walking for a half hour 3 times a week is a reasonable goal. Then it gives you room to fill in what you plan to eat that week. I decided to write in the page numbers of where each recipe is in the SkinnyTaste cookbook and I wrote in the smart points for each one.
After each a meal planning page there are a couple of tracking pages. The tracking pages look like this:
The tracking page gives you room to write in how many calories or points each food is worth and then total up each day’s worth of points or calories.
Don’t these look great!? If you feel like you could benefit from Gina’s cookbook and meal planner be sure to sign up for this giveaway to try to win your own free copies!! Signing up for our giveaway is easy. Just enter in your email so we can contact you if you win and answer one question using the giveaway tool at the bottom of this post.
Update as of 2/29/16…
To get a better idea of what you will find in the SkinnyTaste cookbook you can go to these links below that we shared throughout the week…
Click here for the Mongolian Beef and Broccoli recipe from the SkinnyTaste cookbook.
Click here for the “Un”Stuffed Cabbage Soup recipe from the SkinnyTaste cookbook.
Click here for the Teriyaki-Glazed Grilled Pork Chops with Pineapple Salsa recipe from the SkinnyTaste cookbook.
Click here for the SkinnyTaste meal plan using 6 recipes from the SkinnyTaste cookbook.