Fish Oil Pills

Fish Oil Pills

The “I Love This Diet!” plan suggests a multivitamin and 1200 mg. of Fish Oil for Omega 3s. The pills are actually small enough for me to swallow.



I Love This Diet!


Six years ago, I came across an article from Good Housekeeping called The Frozen Entree Diet. I was so taken with the idea that I thought I would take that idea and run with it. You see, I am aware that there are all sorts of programs where you can buy pre-made meals. I am talking about Jenny Craig and Nutrisystem, of course, but I am sure there are others. I have watched the commercials, and seen the special offers at Costco, but I figured I could do that on my own. After all, there are so many choices out there: Smart Ones, Lean Cuisine, Healthy Choice are the big players. There are also choices from Amy’s, Kashi, and Cedar Lane.

Unfortunately, I am one of those people who loves to plan things. I am a planner, but not always a do-er. I got very involved in compiling a binder full of listings from every low-calorie entree I could find. I also explored single serving ice cream options. Then, I hit the wall. The truth is that I love to cook, and had my husband to consider. Still, I counted on frozen entrees for breakfast and lunch options at school. I am a teacher, with a small fridge/freezer and microwave in my classroom, and it was so simple to pop one of those things in and have food ready.

Now that I am recently divorced, I still like to cook. But I have a long commute to and from work, and am often too tired or stressed to plan and cook meals. Stress, in particular, prompted me to stop at a restaurant on the way home and eat a “snack” before going home. So, basically, I am doing very little cooking at the moment. My weight is increasing at an alarming rate, and I am spending too much money in restaurants. I began looking at Jenny Craig and Nutrisystem again, since I had still not gotten my Frozen Entree Diet Plan together.

I was surfing the net to see if I could find the Good Housekeeping article when I came across the link to I Love This Diet. SOMEONE took the idea and ran with it! It comes as a set of PDF files in a .zip folder. After reading about the program, I paid the $47.00 and downloaded the whole thing. As they state on the website, you can start that very day! I did. It was not perfect, but I was able to use what I had on hand to follow the diet that day. I also joined our school’s weight loss challenge. I am feeling very positive about this. I plan to write down what I eat in the Food Plan Diary that is provided, but I also may post some of my menus and weigh ins here.


There are actually more additions since this picture was taken. They have added Kashi and Amy’s Organic brands in two new .pdfs. Pretty cool. I will let you all know how it goes.

Alternative Frozen Entree Diet Sites

As I have mentioned in a previous post, I am currently paying for Weight Watchers.  I am paying the $39.99 per month fee that includes unlimited meetings and access to eTools, which is WW diet recording software.  Lately I have been very frustrated with the online tools – there are so many glitches in the FlashPlayer Diet Planner/Activity Planner that it often takes several tries to get my entries to post.

I am, for the most part, sticking to frozen entrees – especially for breakfast and lunch.  Sometimes, for dinner, I will make something in a large quantity – like a soup or stew in the crockpot.  Then I freeze the remainder so that my husband has meals when I am not cooking.

I was looking up the nutritional information for a Healthy Choice entree when I noticed that they have expanded their site to include a diet and exercise planner called Start Making Choices.  I have not signed up yet, but I may.

Other sites that have diet plans are Amy’s Kitchen and Lean Cuisine.  Of course, Smart Ones has a site:  It’s called WeightWatchers, but they also have a community message board on their frozen entree site.  Kashi also has a community message board as well as coupons for free entrees.

The Amy’s Kitchen website has a pretty extensive section on what they call the Amy’s Diet Plan.  There are 14 days worth of menus and shopping lists as well.  I might try that sometime, but it has usually been difficult for me to plan ahead when I am eating or dieting.  I guess I got that from my parents.  I am a very impulsive eater.

Lean Cuisine’s website offers Wellness Tools, and you must also sign up for that.  It is supposed to include a meal planner and a fitness planner, with pre-planned menus.  I will check it out later.

Shopping Receipt from WalMart

I am trying to get back on the wagon again and am going to eat mainly portion-controlled meals for a while.  I am trying to balance the expensive Amy’s Organic and Kashi Entrees with Michelina’s and Smart Ones on sale.  It’s more complicated than that, though.  The Amy’s are organic – not necessarily low fat and calorie.  So, if I get am entree that is high in WW Points, I have to have one that day with lower points!

I stopped by Aldi first, because I hadn’t been there in a while.  I bought one each of their Fiber One Bars knock offs.  I had tried the Peanut Butter ones in Asheville last week and thought they were pretty good.  I got one box of the Millville Fiber NOW chewy bars in Oats and Chocolate and one in Oats and Caramel.  I had one in the car before I went to WalMart so that I would not “hunger shop” and it was fantastic!  Really chocolate-y and rich and only 2 WW Pts per bar.  I am going to keep them at school in case I have a craving for a candy bar.

At WalMart, I bought a couple of Amy’s Organic Dinners.  WalMart has them for only $3.14 to $3.28 each.  I bought two packages each of the Cheese Enchiladas and the Cheese Tamale Verde, because they are gluten-free and will make an easy dinner for my hubby as well.  I also bought one package of the Indian Mattar Paneer and the Tortilla Casserole and Black Beans Bowl.  That last one was a stretch, at 9 WW Pts. per dinner.  I will have to eat really light on my other meals that day.

After that, I headed for the Michelina’s Lean Gourmet section.  Those are really cheap.  I bought one entree with the old packaging – you cook it in the box.  It was Chicken Alfredo Florentine, and cost $1.18.  The new packaging looks like it has a baking dish enclosed and costs $1.68 per entree.  I cannot find information yet on the new ones, but I think I got Curry Chicken, Mandarin Chicken and Pad Thai Chicken.   There are coupons on the back to get the 50 cents you paid extra off on another purchase.  We’ll see.

I bought only three Kashi entrees this time:  Sweet and Sour Chicken (my favorite – I had it for lunch when I got home), Lemon Coconut Chicken, and the Tuscan Veggie Bake.   I then went to the Lean Cuisine and Smart Ones aisle, because the WW Points are prominently displayed on the box.  I got Smart Ones Fettuccine Alfredo Smart Ones Lemon Chicken, and Lean Cuisine Pasta Romano with Bacon (It’s also new -I ate it yesterday and loved it!).   I also bought Lean Cuisine Santa Fe Rice and Beans, and two Healthy Choice French Bread Pizzas:  one cheese and one pepperoni.  The total came to about $45, but if you subtract the two entrees I bought for my husband, it was only $37 for 17 meals.

I didn’t buy any breakfasts:  I already had some.  I have two servings of Trader Joe’s Steel Cut Oatmeal and a package of Kashi Heart to Heart Waffles – I think that’s 3 servings of 2 waffles each.  I’ll lay out my daily menus in my Weight Watchers food diary.  It’s a start.

The Meal Plan

From “The Frozen Food Diet” (Good Housekeeping, October 2005):

Our meal plan: Below, we’ve outlined what you should eat every day. We’ve left some blanks – to be filled in with choices from the lists below and on the next page. Drink calorie-free beverages, and take a one-a-day multivitamin/multimineral.

-Milk (1 cup fat-free) or yogurt (6 ounces light)
-Cereal (3/4 cup Kashi GoLean; or 3/4 cup Cheerios or Wheaties mixed with 1/4 cup All-Bran Extra Fiber)
-one serving fruit (see list)

-Frozen meal (see lunch list)
-salad (2 cups salad greens – try to alternate varieties – with 1/2 cup bite-sized pieces of any combination of the following [raw or steamed]: cauliflower, broccoli, cucumber, celery, mushrooms, bell peppers, onions, radishes, tomatoes)
-2 tablespoons reduced-calorie dressing, no more than 50 calories per 2T serving (like Newman’s Own Low Fat Sesame Ginger) or 1 teaspoon olive oil mixed with flavored vinegar

-Frozen meal (see dinner list)
-salad (2 cups salad greens – try to alternate varieties – with 1/2 cup bite-sized pieces of any combination of the following [raw or steamed]: cauliflower, broccoli, cucumber, celery, mushrooms, bell peppers, onions, radishes, tomatoes)
-2 tablespoons reduced-calorie dressing, no more than 50 calories per 2T serving (like Annie’s Naturals Raspberry Viniagrette) or 1 teaspoon olive oil mixed with flavored vinegar

One a Day:
-Milk (1 cup fat-free) or yogurt (6 ounces light)
-one serving fruit (see list)
-one serving whole grain (see list)

Twice a Week:
-1 treat (see list)


I don’t remember exactly when it was that I picked up this article called “The Frozen Food Diet.” I am pretty sure it was while I was waiting in an examining room during my physical – about 6 months ago. I picked up an old issue of Good Housekeeping magazine, and came across the article. It was in the October 2005 issue and was written by Delia A. Hammock, M.S, R.D. I have looked for the same information online and have been unsuccessful. Here is what the introduction said:

“If only I had the time to diet…”

I bet you’ve said that before. We understand: It ain’t easy preparing diet-friendly foods every day, especially if you’re making something separate for the rest of your family. That’s why we’ve come up with this quickie diet – every meal in our plan can be prepared in nine minutes or less. The secret: 28 microwavable frozen meals that meet our strict nutritional criteria but still pack lots of flavor. Just press the start button on your microwave – and – voila!

Can a diet so simple really work? You bet. Our plan is based on research done by the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In an eight-week study conducted there in 2003, women who ate frozen meals as their main course for lunch and dinner lost an average of 12 pounds; women who were supposed to follow a calorically equivalent diet – but who had to plan and cook everything themselves – lost only 8 pounds. The results suggest that the second group of women ended up consuming more calories because they didn’t accurately measure their foods, says LeaAnn Carson, M.S., R.D., a research dietitian at the university and one of the study’s authors. The lesson: Frozen entrees can help keep portion sizes under control.

With our plan, portion control can help you lose about 1.5 pounds per week – 20 pounds in just over three months. Time to stock the freezer!”

At the same time as I was reading this, the Jenny Craig program was getting a lot of publicity with Kirstie Alley as a spokesperson. I did look into the program, but am shy about committing that much money at the moment. I also visited a lot of other sites that provide calorie-controlled meals to people who are dieting – there are quite a few, and they have some very attractive food. Some of it gourmet-quality, organic, etc.

I have gained at least 30 unwanted pounds since I got married – hey, maybe more!  I am aware that a lot of it has to do with my lowered activity level:  I no longer ride horses, and I am not a traveling teacher anymore (I used to go from room to room and that was some exercise).  I also LOVE to eat and cook – and go out to eat, and invent new recipes… but more on that later.

I am going to devote a separate entry to “the meal plan” – so I will close for now.  I am debating about whether or not to include before or after pictures.  I am obviously a narcissistic exhibitionist (my husband’s opinion of many bloggers), but I need some way of keeping myself honest.  I also would like to share some of the great health links and information I have found – and maybe even put them into practice!