Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Solid Salad, Jack

At some point in your life you will do something that will shame you. You won't want to tell anyone about it, because it makes you look really weird and creepy. Or stupid. But, for some reason, you'll tell one person. Then that person will forever know that thing about you and there will always be an awkwardness between you. Forever.

Welcome to my circle of shame.

Last Thursday night, I was up late feeling really guilty about my Thanksgiving gluttony. I woke up early on Black Friday and went directly to the grocery store to stock up on lots of fruits, veggies and various salad fixins. My goal was to eat clean for the remainder of the holiday weekend. Really clean.

Here's where things get weird.

While flipping through my 1977 Weight Watchers Recipe Booklet, I noticed I had all of the necessary ingredients to make myself something called a Solid Salad. That's right...

Solid Salad

2 cups cooked green beans
4 ounces artichoke hearts
4 ounces chopped green onions
1 medium cucumber, peeled and cubed
1 medium tomato, cubed
salt & pepper to taste
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 teaspoon lime juice
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt

Combine first 6 ingredients. Set aside. Mix mayo, lime juice and garlic salt. Blend all ingredients thoroughly. Chill several hours. Serves 4.

I chopped. I peeled. I mixed. And then I put it all in the blender. Looking back, I'm not even sure if that was really what I was supposed to do. But I did it anyway. In the world of Retro WW cooking, you just can't know for sure.

I put the pureed baby-food-like substance in a dish and stuck it in the fridge for about 15 minutes. Then I broke down and had to sneak a spoonful. It was tasty.

Five minutes later, I snuck another taste. It was still pretty tasty.

Within 15 more minutes I had eaten the entire Solid Salad. It stopped being tasty after the 4th or 5th bite. But I kept going.

In summation, I ate a giant bowl of lukewarm pureed vegetables and mayo. And I liked it.

By the way--if you Google the term "Solid Salad" here is the first thing that you'll find. Its a great video from 1944 with a trio of gals singing and dancing about a salad. Watch closely, and maybe you'll pick up some of the dance moves. They're fairly simple. Especially once you get past the one minute mark. Solid Salad, indeed!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A Very Retro WW Thanksgiving

At precisely 6:30pm on Thursday November 26th, 1970 - a completely "legal" Retro WW Thanksgiving Dinner was served by a laser-focused WW member somewhere in America.

The Menu:

Founding Fathers Soup

Thanksgiving Day Roast Cornish Hen

Celery Mushroom Dressing

Parslied Squash

Creamed Spinach

Pumpkin-Orange Melange

Coffee and Tea

This awe-inspiring meal was featured in Weight Watchers magazine as the snazzy centerfold of the month back in November 1970.

Are you drooling? I thought not.

No mashed potatoes? No candied yams? No green bean casserole? No cornbread stuffing? No gravy? No pumpkin pie? No wine???

That's how they did it in 1970. It was hardcore, baby.

Let us now give thanks for the flexibility and forgiveness of modern day WW and PointsPlus. It just keeps getting better...Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

The Retro WW Experiment Interview Project

I know you are out there. And I want to talk to you...

Are you one of the many people who actually followed the original Weight Watchers program in the 1970's? Did you eat fish 5 times a week, top your toast with cottage cheese and serve up your wieners six ways to Sunday?

Did you actually eat things like this:

Salmon Mousse

Did you ever slice a piece of bread horizontally to make a "two-fer" sandwich? Did you always keep a box of Knox Unflavored Gelatine on hand just in case you wanted to whip up something like this:

Tomato Juice Aspic

If so, please email me, twitter me or leave your contact information in the comments section below - because I would love to interview you for a new feature on the 1972 Retro WW Experiment called...

Real Life Retro WW Success Stories!

You did the hard work. You lived the program. Now it's time to share your story with the world.

Don't be shy.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Keepin' It Fresh

Twelve years ago this week, I reached my ultimate weight loss goal and became a WW lifetime member. I remember this vividly, because it was also just before my birthday weekend, and my parents had given me a HUGE gift card to go shopping for clothes.

That was one of the best weekends of my life.

I remember running through the mall, trying on clothes in sizes that I hadn't worn in years, and grinning so hard my cheeks hurt. I remember squealing in the fitting room and hugging the saleslady who kept bringing me smaller sizes.

"Honey, that's too big on you." She said obliviously, "I think you need the next smaller size." I was literally exploding with absolute glee.

It was amazing.

Twelve years later, I am still going strong and keeping off my 40 pound weight loss (give or take a few pounds depending on the day), but for some reason - I no longer squeal with glee when I try on a pair of jeans.

So what happened?


It ain't thrilling. It ain't sexy. It ain't easy.

But it's necessary.

I mean, Jean Nidetch lost 72 pounds and has kept it off for 50 years. That's right. I said 50 years. You gotta respect that.

Maintenance is tough work, and it is not very rewarding. The compliments are scarce and the accolades are few and far in between, so we need to find ways to settle in for the long haul and learn how to keep the WW love alive.

I, for one, like to focus on small accomplishments and try new things. Here's an example:

"No Guts, No Glory"
Frankfurter Spectacular
Yea, I made that sucker. What of it?

So how do you keep it fresh? How do you stay motivated and keep yourself excited about the weight loss journey after the thrill is gone? What's your "Frankfurter Spectacular"?

Do tell...

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Soup Season

Every WW gal knows that soup is a surefire weight loss secret. I mean--who hasn't made it through a tough week by loading up on WW Zero-Point Garden Veggie Soup?

And there are so many types of soup to chose from: hot soup, cold soup, creamy soup, chunky soup, and the list goes on and on.

But did you know that there is also a little known category of soup that will not only help you watch your waistline but also make you love your country?

Patriotic Soups!

Cue the marching band and fireworks.

There are two recipes on the 1974 Patriotic Soups card: Founding Fathers' Soup and Pumpkin Soup.

I decided to try the first one, because it just sounded like the right thing to do as an American citizen. What could be more patriotic than honoring our Founding Fathers with a hot bowl of sauerkraut and tomato juice?

Founding Fathers' Soup

1 quart water
1 1/2 cups sauerkraut
1 cup tomato juice
2 tbsp soy sauce
4 chicken bouillon cubes
4 beef bouillon cubes

Combine all ingredients in saucepan. Cook over medium heat for 15 minutes. Makes 6 servings.

Can you just imagine our Founding Fathers enjoying a big crock of this soup after signing the Declaration of Independence? I can't help but wonder--While they were paving the way for the freedom of our country, were they also counting their calories?

Life, Liberty, And the Pursuit of Weight Loss? Hey. If it's good enough for Thomas Jefferson, it's good enough for me.