General Diet Plans and Questions - How do you feel about Lean Cuisine/those type of meals

03-14-2008, 12:44 AM
Does anyone eat them on a regular basis? Are they filling/healthy (as healthy as frozen food can be, haha)?

What are your favorites?

03-14-2008, 12:53 AM
Do a search on Lean Cuisine .... we just had a (rather heated) thread on this very topic.

Summary is: some people think they're a great idea, some people don't.

I lean towards the "good once in a while" idea ... but not as a regular part of your meal plan.


03-14-2008, 12:58 AM
Do you know good/bad points about them?
Like, why the people who love them love them, and why the people who don't..don't?

I'll do a search, too

03-14-2008, 12:59 AM
Most of the people who don't - like myself - aren't a big fan of processed foods. Processed meals like this contain preservatives and chemicals that aren't in foods you cook yourself. I could make most of the meals that you can get in Lean Cuisine form, make them healthy, low calorie/low fat, and freeze them myself ... and have much healthier, chemical free meals for less money.


03-14-2008, 01:27 AM
I love lean cuisine and they no longer contain preservatives or artificial flavors. I work retail so it's great when I need dinner or lunch in fix. I eat 3-4 a week. I like to add extra frozen veggies or have a nice side salad to make sure I have enough veggies.
Some of my favorites are the Chicken Florentine, BBQ Chicken Pizza, and Steak Tips Dijon.

03-14-2008, 01:47 AM
Frozen meals can be really high in sodium. I won't eat them myself, but if you decide to then make sure to read the label.

03-14-2008, 01:49 AM
Chicken and rice, or chicken and veggies are great, can't remember the names though. It doesn't look like a lot a food, but it is satisfying. It is great to help you get an idea of what portions should look like, as far as meat. It's quick and EASY, and low cal.

As, for the bad points, the sodium is a killer in those.

03-14-2008, 09:11 AM
I might have one every 2 months...bottom line is they are tooooooo high in sodium for me. Otherwise, they taste decent...but I can make much nicer meals in little time on my own.

betty grrl
03-14-2008, 09:22 AM
I have to agree with Zenor, too much sodium (which can help you retain water). I do 1 or 2 in the freezer for those days when I'm in a rush and it's either that or fast food.

03-14-2008, 09:38 AM
I love lean cuisine and they no longer contain preservatives or artificial flavors.

Some of them don't now but some of them still do. Also, some have high fructose corn syrup and partially hydrogenated oils.

03-14-2008, 10:33 AM
I think some are quite tasty and I love them when I don't want to cook. They're great for lunches too. I usually have them with a salad if I have them for dinner. I think they're great for portion control and I ate them for dinner tons when I was single, and I lost weight then! Now that I'm married with kids they're just not that practical most of the time so I don't eat them for dinner as much.

03-14-2008, 10:39 AM
I really love the paninis and new flatbreads as a go-to lunch when I'm at work. I do not eat a lot of sodium at other meals, and my blood pressure is normal (slightly low, usually), so excess sodium is not a major concern of mine. As with everything else, "all in moderation", sounds reasonable to me!

03-14-2008, 10:50 AM
I try to cook my meals as much as possible, but I find Lean Cuisines to be a great thing for me to have on hand to grab when I do not feel like cooking - it is better than grabbing other convenient foods like burgers and pizzas.
I don't know that I have had one yet that doesn't taste good. But some of them give me heartburn, so I would never eat them as a staple in my diet. (And like others have said, they are high in sodium - if u r watching that)

03-14-2008, 12:20 PM
I think that they are perfectly fine in moderation. I don't recommend eating them for your lunch and dinner every single day-but during times when you don't have time to cook, or you have a craving for something like pizza and you want to satisfy it in a better manner-they fit the bill nicely.

If you are concerned mostly with sodium-Healthy Choice brand meals are usually the lowest in sodium (out of Healthy Choice, Lean Cuisine, and Weight Watchers meals).

If you are concerned more with artificial ingredients and preservatives, etc. then Lean Cuisine contains the least amount of those.

All in all, I don't eat them daily, but eating a Lean Cuisine or Healthy Choice entree when I get a craving for chinese food is much better than me ending up at the chinese buffet-where I would consume much more calories and sodium. :)

03-14-2008, 06:27 PM
I understand both the reasons to eat them and to not them. Yeah, they're not as healthy as cooking your own meals. But I am don't have the time to do all my own cooking. So pulling one of these out of the freezer once or twice a week is a better option for me than pulling a pizza or 2 burritos out of the freezer like I used to do. When I eat a Lean Cuisine type meal, I always add a salad or steam some green beans to go with it.
I think the goal is to take little steps towards being more healthy. One step I made was to go from burritos/pizza 1-2 nights a week to Lean Cuisine 1-2 nights a week. In the future I hope to make more steps towards healthy eating and move away from eating them as often as I do. I think we all need to do what works for us.

03-17-2008, 04:23 PM
I sometimes eat the smart ones..Mac and cheese and lasagna.

03-17-2008, 05:05 PM
DH is away at bootcamp, so I'm cooking for me and our 16 month old, so I do what a pp post said about cooking bigger meals, adn freexing them into serving sizes for the baby and I that way I don't have to cook everyday if I don't feel like it! I do chicken and veggies, sometimes I add buckwheat noodles. I made mini meat balls with ground turkey and made homemade low sodium sphaghetti sauce with buckweat noodles. Just get creative!!

03-20-2008, 06:59 PM
I don't like the lean cuisine meals because they are expensieve, salty and generally uninspired. I do eat a President's Choice low fat Shepherds pie which is good and I because I'm single I just can't make a big shepherds pie. Michelinas Avantage Red Pepper Tortellini is very good and I keep a few in the freezer for when I'm on the go - I only ever buy them on sale. President's Choice makes a low fat Butter Chicken that is decent too. I only eat maybe one frozen meal per week. For those of you in Canada - President's Choice is available at Superstore. Don't think they're avail. in the US

03-20-2008, 09:23 PM
I have them when I am at work (I only work on the weekends, and I sit and just do my homework).

I don't think they're as good for you as something you cooked yourself, but like someone else said, it's way better than fastfood on any day!

03-21-2008, 02:13 AM
I will do them from time to time. I think some are not very good, flavor wise, and others are passable. I know they are high in sodium, I just try not to eat too many of them in a week. But coming from someone with a very hectic schedule, sometimes its just much easier & better for me to have one of those for dinner then drive through McD's.

03-21-2008, 10:16 PM
When I went to the grocerys I bought a couple of SmartOnes. I think they're good to have on hand for emergencies. The only bad thing for me is that few of them make me full. The ones I bought were the SmartOnes Steamers.

Suzanne 3FC
03-23-2008, 10:44 AM
I eat frozen meals, but I stay away from Lean Cuisine, Smart Ones, and Healthy Choice. They are so highly processed and full of things I don't want to put in my body. I buy Amy's Kitchen, Seeds of Change, and other natural brands. The sodium can still be up there, but the rest of my day is naturally low in sodium so it all balances out.

03-23-2008, 11:21 AM
I don't eat any sort of prepackaged meals. Primarily because:

(1) loaded with sodium. That is not good for you and for me, it throws off my scale. Ruining what is actually a good run with tons of bloat.

(2) I am concerned about plastic leech into my food products. Anything wrapped in plastic is at risk for leech from either extreme cold (you have no idea what happens to it before it gets to the store; or extreme heat.

(3) I just don't trust them. I suspect they lie or bend the truth to make the calorie counts appear better than they are.