For Fighting Fat
By Nancy Finch, Food Columnist
It doesn’t take much to get church members in a stew,
as I’m sure many of you know. Our church is no exception.
I am enrolled in an eight-week Weight Watchers program
at my church. About 20 women, in various stages of roly-poly and in a wide
assortment of ages, meet every Sunday afternoon at 4 p.m. at the church to
work collectively on trimming down. Even the preacher’s wife comes.
This did not come about easily. Our parish nurse had to
point out what anyone who reads anything anytime would know. We Americans
are too fat. Obesity is a major health problem. For those churches, like
ours, that are offering not only spiritual but health guidance, the class
was a no brainer.
But it took weeks to get our governing body to agree.
And as I left the church last week, one of the elders was still grumbling
about “money changers in the temple.”
He was skinny, of course. Nothing like a skinny man to
tell you how easy it is to lose weight — just eat less. I’ve lived with
a skinny man for years who offers that advice regularly and, amazingly,
still lives. But, oh, how he has tempted me
to take up the weapon my mother often threatened to use — a frying
This is not my first venture with Weight Watchers. None
were successful in the past, but I think this one is going to be. Why?
Because I hated those meetings. Those meetings were with complete strangers
— our church meetings are with friends who enjoy our little weekly visits.
This is fun. Not something I dread. I was told we were going to have to have
a prayer to make it legit, but so far there hasn’t been a public prayer. I
think I could safely say there are a lot of prayers going on as we each take
our turn on the scales.
How we’re doing it: Some of the recipes Weight
Watchers has provided have been amazingly good. I even took one to a sick
neighbor who is a tiny little thing, but the soup was good enough that I
thought she would enjoy it. She said she did.
Weight Watchers, since my last attempt, has changed to
a point system — much easier to follow.
The Garden Vegetable Soup has zero points. That means
you can eat two gallons if you like! Have to admit I changed it some and
threw in some “point items” like corn, but it was pretty close to
The Crock Pot Chicken was delicious and easy. Skinny
husband even liked it. Chicken the next night may have been overdoing it,
but Apple Curry Chicken was also good, especially over couscous. I adapted
it for my diet by eliminating the chutney.
Apple Curry Chicken
skinless chicken breast halves
curry powder, divided
1 apple, peeled
2 T raisins
1⁄2 cup mango chutney
Directions: Heat skillet and spray with nonfat spray.
If breasts are thick, pound with meat mallet or similar utensil to flatten.
Sprinkle breasts with half of the curry powder and the salt. Add chicken to
skillet. Top with apple, onions, raisins, water and remaining curry powder.
Cover skillet. Cook about 15 minutes until apple and chicken are done. If
using chutney, add with other ingredients. Serves 4.
Crock Pot Chicken
1 lb. chicken
breast, boneless and skinless, frozen
fat-free mushroom soup
1 cup (8 oz.)
fat-free sour cream
2 T onion soup
Place chicken in slow cooker. Top with remaining ingredients. Cook on low,
covered, for 6 to 7 hours or until done. Serve over rice. Serves 4.
Garden Vegetable Soup
3 cups fat-free
broth (beef, chicken or vegetable)
1 can tomatoes
and salt to taste
Directions: Place all
ingredients in Dutch oven. Cook over medium heat until vegetables are done.
Makes 4 servings.