Cranberry sauced burgers (BH&G Calorie Counter's Cook Book, 1970)


Like most of the Weight Watchers and diet-focused cookbooks, this one starts with a brief introduction to healthy eating habits. There's advice and suggestions, and even though it's nearly sixty years later for many of these books, the advice is still pretty sound. For example, weighing yourself only weekly or monthly to keep track of progress.

WW has an app these days for tracking your food and exercise, and as much as I like that part of the app, I despise the social media aspect they've included as well. The intention is good, especially the last few years when in-person socializing has been minimal or non-existent for folks: it's important to uphold Jean Nidetch's first goal for WW, which was community. That said, most of the posts I see on the WW community page are rife with disordered eating habits and language. Folks weighing themselves daily or more often, folks double-tracking on WW and other calorie or macro-counting apps to "make sure" they're doing well, folks bringing food scales out to restaurants to make absolutely certain of every single possible Point, and my biggest pet peeve of all: folks asking if they should count the Points for cough drops or vitamins.

I feel for these folks, because I've been there. I lost over 150 pounds about ten years ago, and with it came a complicated eating disorder that I have struggled with on and off ever since. Something I have loved about WW is another of Jean Nidetch's original goals: no calorie counting. I was so obsessed with weighing and measuring every single bite of everything for an accurate calorie count. Now, it is very liberating to eat fruit, veggies, chicken, fish, and not have to worry about if it's enough or too much. Yes, there are still Pointed foods that I weigh or measure, but the obsession isn't there - and with a lot of things, I can "eyeball" a portion because I have a good sense of what is a healthy amount.

In this BH&G book, there's a section at the end also, talking about what to do if you're slimming but your family isn't.

Adapting menus so the non-dieters have slightly larger portions is easy. Support is the harder part. I'm so, so lucky that my husband and son are so supportive - not just with my weight loss, but with the meals I make and the foods we keep in the house.

Oh boy, what a recipe. This one seemed simple enough, and I had ground turkey in the freezer, so I thought immediately of a Thanksgiving-inspired turkey burger with cranberry sauce. Like a delicious Black Friday leftovers sandwich, right?

The recipe was incredibly simple, and for that reason alone, we'll likely make it again. That said ... it needs something else. Maybe it's just me, but ground turkey is always so, so dry. Not even the Barbie doll pink goo of a cranberry sauce could perk this turk.

I might make the cranberry sauce on its own, though - it would be delicious with plain Greek yogurt or in oatmeal for some low Point sweetness.


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