Seven weeks and 11 pounds are behind me as we reach the eighth installment of Food Blogger vs. Fat, my journey to better health through better eating and exercise. Here’s a look at the week that was May 13 – 19.


Recently, I wrote about Graze and how healthy snacking has helped me achieve my goals.

This week, I want to talk about another subscription service that has helped both Julie and me: Home Chef.

logo for Home Chef My Cookbook

Home Chef is meal-in-a-box delivery service similar to the more popular Blue Apron or Hello Fresh. As a subscriber, we choose our menus for the week, and on Wednesday, a box arrives with the ingredients for three full meals, including meats, sides and garnish.

We had experimented with all three aforementioned delivery services in the past and found Home Chef to have the best food – more inspired dishes that were closer to restaurant quality.

Home Chef recipe for sloppy Joes

Each meal comes with a recipe card that includes illustrated instructions and nutritional information. But most importantly for me, they’re perfectly portioned for two. There’s no waste and no temptation to overindulge.

Last week’s menu was a reminder of why we love the service so much.

sloppy Joe on toast with sweet potato chips

Our first meal was veggie sloppy Joes with sweet potato rounds. In place of ground beef, the sloppy Joe was made with button mushrooms (Georgio brand) that were mixed with shallots, walnuts, taco seasoning, crushed tomatoes, ketchup and honey.

It was served between two slices of Texas Toast and it was amazing, one of the best vegetarian meals that I have eaten at home or elsewhere. The sweet potatoes on the side were the perfect compliment. Best of all, it filled me up just as much as a “real” sloppy Joe.

chicken with cream sauce and red potatoes

Thursday night was our first repeat meal with Home Chef: chicken with basil-pecorino cream sauce and roasted vegetables.

A note on our menu card from the first time simply reads, “excellent!” And it is.

The cream sauce is incredible – a mix of heavy cream, pecorino cheese, basil pesto and butter. It serves as the bed for the chicken, which is already coated in pecorino and pesto. It’s sweet, rich and creamy, and pairs perfectly with the chicken. Of course, I sop up whatever is left with the red potato and bell pepper.

beef Wellington with mushrooms and carrots

The final component of last week’s box was steak Wellington with roasted carrots and mushroom demi-glace.

Georgio mushrooms were again featured, both in the sauce and in the pastry wrap with the steak. The carrots were well-seasoned with salt, pepper and thyme. And the demi-glace was delicious, giving a salty-sweet flavor to the steak.

As far as calorie-counting, it was three meals and three victories. The meals clocked in at 652, 830 and 800 total calories, respectively. Each one fit perfectly into my daily goal of 2000 calories.

The Challenges

Monday was the rough day. As I mentioned in last week’s blog, it was the day of the Montco Golf Classic, an event produced by my office that included lunch, dinner and on-course snacks.

I came in 427 calories over my daily budget (I would have been fine if I hadn’t indulged in the rigatoni sample from Maggiano’s or the vanilla soft serve at the end of the day).

The rest of the week was routine. With me hitting my budget every day, I was able to make up for my Monday and finish the week within 17 calories of my budgeted allowance.

The Results

This Week’s Weight: 177.0
Weekly Weight Loss: -1.0
Total: Weight Loss: -12.4

The plan worked exactly as it was supposed to. I had calories budgeted to lose one pound. I made it through the week on budget, and I lost one pound. I couldn’t have asked for a better week.

The Week Ahead

As always, I’m writing this on Saturday so by the time you read this, most of these things will have already happened.

This evening is the wedding of my college roommate and his best friend. Julie and I will be celebrating the wedding of Brian Ziller and Gina Biagiotti with our friends and trying to not overindulge on wedding cake.

Tomorrow (Sunday) I have a bike ride scheduled with my brother – 12 miles, here goes nothing – to hopefully offset any damage done at the wedding.

Other than the persistent rain that has marked this month, it’s a normal week and shouldn’t present too many challenges.

That means  a week of no excuses.

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