I'm now midway through My Year of Weight Watchers Crock Pot Cooking. I've made and posted 183 Weight Watchers Crock Pot Recipes over the last six months. And I've learned tons about slow cooking.
I'm even more in love with my slow cooker(s) than I was before beginning this project.
Why Is The Slow Cooker an Essential Kitchen Tool for Weight Loss?
I think the slow cooker is a busy person's most invaluable kitchen tool. Especially if you're trying to eat better and lose weight.
- Makes meal planning easier.
Many Weight Watchers crock pot recipes are complete one pot meals.
- Requires planning, which is critical to weight loss success.
If we want to eat right and lose weight we need a plan. If we leave it to chance, we'll end up opting for high calorie convenience foods: take out, the drive-thru, fast food, the vending machine, etc.
- Lends itself to big batch cooking and leftovers. Which can be re-purposed or portioned out for future meals.
- Saves time in the kitchen.
You can put your ingredients in the crock pot in the morning or afternoon, and dinner will be ready when you want it. I love the convenience of investing a little time and then moving forward with my day—while dinner cooks—practically unattended.No pots boiling over, burned skillets and last minute rushing around to get dinner figured out.
- Provides variety.
You can make a lot more than pot roast, soup and chili in your slow cooker, as I've learned during the last six months. Appetizers, beverages, breakfasts, main dishes, side dishes and desserts are all possible with a slow cooker.
- Makes cooking possible even for those with little kitchen know-how.
Slow cooking is practical, realistic and very forgiving, perfect for novice cooks. Recipes tend to be straightforward with minimal ingredients and very few steps. Meals made in the slow cooker may not be the prettiest ever. But, they can be some of the tastiest.
- Perfect all year round.
While most of us think of the slow cooker during the fall and winter, it's the perfect summer kitchen device. I've received lots of comments from folks in hot climates who depend on their slow cooker all summer to avoid heating up the kitchen.
Reassessing my Year of Weight Watchers Crock Pot Recipes
At the halfway point of this project, after 183 Weight Watchers crock pot recipes, I've decided it's time to adjust my plan for the next six months.
While I believe—now more than ever—that the slow cooker is an essential kitchen tool for busy Weight Watchers, it's NOT practical for me to keep up the pace of using it everyday.
We are a family of two, so most of the Weight Watchers Crock Pot recipes I make provide enough food for two or three meals. We love leftovers and I'm pretty good at re-purposing them, so I really only need to use my crock pot 2 or 3 times a week to avoid waste.
I could continue to honor my original commitment by filling in the other days with easy, healthy Weight Watchers crock pot recipes for appetizers and snacks. But it doesn't reflect how we really eat.
Appetizers and snacks are my trigger foods: the foods I need to limit having around the house to prevent myself from mindlessly munching and overindulging. So, I make them only occasionally, usually when there are friends and family around with whom to share.
When I'm hungry between meals, my go-to snacks are apples, baby carrots and nuts. Not Chex Party Mix or Slow Cooker Spicy Nut Party Mix which I LOVE, but CAN'T STOP EATING!
And breakfast recipes aren't a practical alternative because during the summer, I begin most of my mornings with a Weight Watchers Friendly Smoothie, not slow cooker oatmeal.
On top of all that, I have a very short attention span! I have a growing list of non slow cooker recipes I'm itching to make and post.
So, for the remaining six months, I'm planning to post two or three Weight Watchers Crock Pot Recipes each week. Alternative days will be filled with non slow cooker Weight Watchers recipes and whatever else suits my fancy 🙂
I could beat myself up for giving up my goal to use my slow cooker every day for an entire year to make easy, healthy crock pot recipes. Or, I could choose to blindly see my goal through to the finish, even though it's not realistic or fun. Neither alternative seems right.
So, I'm choosing to celebrate the 183 DAYS OF WEIGHT WATCHERS CROCK POT RECIPES I did complete and give myself permission to readjust in a way that makes sense for me. It's really what living a simple happy healthy life is all about.
Learn more about Weight Watchers Freestyle Program in this brief video:
*Points® calculated by WW. *PointsPlus® and SmartPoints® calculated by Simple Nourished Living; Not endorsed by Weight Watchers International, Inc. All recipe ingredients except optional items included in determining nutritional estimates. SmartPoints® values calculated WITHOUT each plan's ZeroPoint Foods (Green plan, Blue plan, Purple plan) using the WW Recipe Builder.
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Looking forward to the next 6 months. I cook Sunday thru Wednesday...with Thursday's as leftover night. It works well for us.
Thanks, Carolyn. I love the idea of cooking Sunday through Wednesday with Thursday as leftover night. Brilliant!! We also have floating leftovers nights when the fridge gets full of this and that.
I am sad all your recipes I have tried have been really good and everyone in the house eats them and I can put my husband on a diet and he doesn't even know. I do agree with you slow cooker cooking everyday is not fun it does get old after awhile. So I am looking forward to your new recipes. I am sure they will be just as tasty
Thanks, Angie. I love what you said about being able to put your husband on a diet without him even knowing. I really think the best diet is the one that is easy and feels natural and that we don't even realize we are on. It's what works best for me. My husband also lost quite a bit of weight just eating what I cooked without even realizing it was good for him 🙂
I understand where you're coming from. I enjoyed discovering your site about a month & a half ago...and I will, surely, enjoy whatever recipes you post in the future (slow cooker or otherwise.) Thanks for sharing recipes you've tried and any other tidbits.
Thanks, Charlene. There will still be slow cooker recipes. Like I said, I love my slow cooker more than ever. But, they'll be reduced to a few times a week. I hope you enjoy my non-slow cooker recipes too.
Good for you-I love that you are celebrating the crockpot recipes and moving on to what works best for you! You continue to be a great role model for me-thanks 🙂
Thanks, Sherrie 🙂
I have enjoyed your crock pot meals so much and even pinned most of them to Pinterest. I am sure that I will enjoy your other recipes just as much. I thank you so much for your blog and WW pp ready recipes. I think that we should support you in your own WW journey and applaud you for doing what works well for you and your family. Looking forward to any future blogging and recipes. Thank you so much for all that you provide here.
I really really appreciate your kind words and support. I'm looking forward to getting into a schedule that better reflects my current life. Thanks again.
My favorite aspect of your site is having the WW points listed per recipe and being able to search for recipes with a certain # of points. I will still look for the slow cooker recipes but it will be nice to have other recipes as well.
Thanks, Susan. I'm looking forward to mixing in some other recipes along with more slow cooker dishes.
Martha, I always enjoy every single post. I've made many of your recipes, and they were each delicious, but I enjoy reading what you write each time, as well. Kudos to you for deciding which way to go, and doing it. Sometimes it's difficult to change in midstream, but I'm sure there are many good things that will come to you for being true to yourself. 🙂 Thanks for what you do!
Thanks, Glenda. I appreciate your kind comments and I so hope you are right 🙂
I have really enjoyed the slow cooker recipes you have posted. I have a file set aside in my email account to I can readily find them. I applaud you for making a decision based on what works best for you and not trying to fight through something you are not whole-heartedly interested in. Your honesty is an inspiration to me as well that it's okay to move on. This is a great site to come for Weight Watcher friendly, tasty recipes that include ingredients that are easy to find and won't break the budget. I'm looking forward to what you post in the future.
Thanks, Barb. I really appreciate you taking the time to comment. It means the world to me!!
Thank you so much! I have used my crockpot 2-3 times a week since finding this site. I work a lot of hours and often past 7 so cooking when I get home is not practical. Your recipes have helped me prepare healthier meals, cut down on take-out and reduce much stress in trying to balance work and home life. I sincerely thank you for the time you put in to help us out!!
Thanks so much for taking the time to comment. I'm so excited to know that this site is helping you eat better and reduce stress. It makes my heart smile 🙂
Love, love, love the recipies that you share, the best part is not having to figure the points plus values after a long day. I am a fan of the crock pot recipes, but sometimes it just feels good to change things up a bit. I am sure that what ever you choose to do will be asuccess. I look forward to seeing what's next.
Thanks, Tracy! I'm glad my recipes with points information make it easier for you to stick with the program. Thanks so much for your kind words!! I appreciate it more than you know 🙂
Hi Martha - You inspired me to use my slow cooker more often this winter but I also look foward to trying your non-slow cooker WW-friendly recipes. I'm not creative in the kitchen so appreciate the time & effort you put into your culinary efforts. Thanks for sharing them!
Thanks, Martha! I appreciate your taking the time to stop by and leave such a thoughtful comment. Glad to be assistance to you in the kitchen 🙂
Looking forward to your new schedule, Martha. Here is my favorite quote:
"You can't cross a sea by merely staring into the
water." - Rabindranath Tagore
Thanks, Colleen. Love the quote!! I'm going to use it in a future post!!
I respect that decision more than doing crock pot recipes just for the sake of doing them. I'm sure there are more good ones out there but I started to wonder if maybe your favorite ones were already done and towards the beginning. Thanks for the recipes, I've made quite a few.
This is a wonderful idea! I just found your site and plan to follow you as you cook your way through the year. I am doing a similar thing, so I know how much work and commitment is involved. I have just started on my one-year journey to post all my favorite recipes, but come check out my site if you like. I have a healthy recipes category that are weight watcher friendly, so maybe you will find something you like. Happy cooking!
Thanks, Dawn! I'll definitely stop by. I love the name of your site. My nana was one of my favorite people in the entire world and now I'm a nana to my husband's first grandson 🙂
With appreciation - LOVE all your delicious recipes, and thank you so much for including the WW points plus, as I am WW life timer and track everything daily.
Like you, the slow cooker has been very valuable to me, being able to plan a meal, simply set it up to cook before I leave for work in the morning and have a delicious dinner awaiting when we get home at night. So much better than walking in tired and hungry and trying to pull something quickly together - our slow cooker dinners are always a more relaxing and certainly healthier alternative!
I had signed up for the emails, but unfortunately was not able to download the e-book of meals. Loved the new chicken collections too, and can't wait to try them. Is it possible to download the rest of the collection as an e-book? It would make searching and advance shopping for ingredients so much easier.
With ongoing gratitude for your sharing of these wonderful resources,
Hi Beth, Thanks for sharing your kind thoughts. I'll see if Peter can help you with the ebook. We don't have them all available as an ebook yet. We are working on an ebook of our 50 favorites that we will be offering for sale for a very reasonable price. It should be available very very soon.
Laura A. Brock
Have you thought of doing instant pot recipes? That might be a different twist.