Why did all the Boots Vitamin Shoppes in Canada disappear?

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Hi everyone, quick 1st question: Why did all the Boots Vitamin Shoppes in Canada disappear?.

My 2nd question is: Any suggestions of things (for the NS suggested Grocery list) that members use that you might not think of???..

Comments (89)

Your question was: Why did all the Boots Vitamin Shoppes in Canada disappear?.

The NS food tracker page lists a whole bunch of foods under recommended grocery items that you can use. Basically, just look at things that are "allowed" along with their caloric value and portion size. Any other foods that fall into that same range without a substantial difference in fat content, sodium levels, etc. would be allowable.

I use Brummel and Brown rather than margarine or butter, and usually never use the whole serving size. I also use Quaker Oatmeal Weight Control rather than the NS, because it is fewer calories (by 40!) and everything else is close enough to be compatible with NS. (And, I like the texture better, plus it's prob cheaper.) I ran that by the NS counselors first. There are tons of foods out there that are compatible...otherwise a person would have to maintain with NS and who could afford that? You just need to watch PORTION size no matter what you choose...

Comment #1

I definitely keep a supply of fat free cream cheese on hand. The calories are so low, and the protein is so high, you can either use 2 or 3 oz and still have a perfect protein/dairy serving. If you add extra water to the pancakes to thin it out and make one huge crepe, you can fill it with the cream cheese and some pureed fruit and have a filling, delicious breakfast. I've done it with strawberries, and next I think I'm going to try it with some apple sauce and extra cinnamon.

Fat free sour cream can be counted as a free food if you use just a tblsp, and that's just enough to give things like the black bean tortilla soup, a nice flavor...

Comment #2

I like to keep fresh salsa on hand, not the kind in a jar, but the stuff over by the deli items......might be called pico de gallo as well. I use 2TB's in a lot of the items...mac n cheese, black bean stuff, veggie fajita...

Comment #3

I agree on the LC cheese but make sure you grab the LIGHT one. My pantry has bacon bits (free food if you use 20 calories worth), frozen spinach, PB2, Sugar Free Splenda, Vanilla flavoring and baking powder and splenda for the chocolate cake, 40 calorie bread and english muffins, A variety of FF salad spritzers and dressings, Best Foods Light Dressing (it's like mayonaise but only 30 calories a tablespoon), Splenda Brown Sugar, Splenda for baking, butter buds, Low fat Mozarella, always lettuce in the fridge, always low fat turkey breast, and FF hot dogs...

Comment #4

I like Walden Farms products so I have a lot of them-.

Onion Dip, Chocolate Dip, Syrup, Salad Dressing.

Jennie-O Bacon.

Peppridge Farms hamburger rolls.

Frozen Strawberries to make the NS ice cream.

Bambino Pizza.

FF Hot dogs.

Wolfgang Puck chicken stock (10 calories).

FF Mayo.

FF luncheon meat (I do lunch on my own).

Canfield's Diet Chocolate Fudge soda - for a chocolate fix.

Swiss Miss Diet Hot Chocolate.

SF Popsicles.

SF Jello..

Comment #5

Nonfat Quark (use instead of FF sour cream).

Grated parmesan.

SF cocoa powder (use an expensive, rich does make a difference).

I also use lots of kale (fresh)..

Comment #6

There's a diet hot chocolate??? Wow...I will have to look for that next time I go grocery shopping..haha. That sounds so yummy. I'm having a hard time finding the fat free hot dogs though...

Comment #7

Mom2_4...Ballpark makes ff hot dogs...that's a common brand (of course there are many others, but I'd think Ballpark is in most markets)...

Comment #8

Not in this town...I'll have to look at the Wal*mart in another town from here...My kids eat hotdogs alot and I like to keep my meals as close to what they are eating .... so far I've done well except I can't find the right kind of hotdogs for Mom! LOL...thanks for the info!!!!..

Comment #9

Oh I am sucker for cream cheese and sour cream so this is a BIG sigh of relief for me ha ha ha!! I thought they were off limits..

Comment #10

It's definitely not off-limits as long as you go for the fat free versions. When I have the cream cheese crepe for breakfast, it keeps me full and completely SATISFIED. Mmm...

Comment #11

Great tips everyone. Of all the weight reduction diets I have been on for years this is the very first one that is so darn helpful. WW at their meetings you had to be in the click to be accepted, not by staff other fatties. Staff after meetings seemed to give us the bums rush, they had other meetings to get to. Nutrisystem folks on line are all very helpful so willing to take the time to share. It is so very much appreciated.

I am not a kitchen specialist, usually grabbed what was the easiest to find. Read labels now and must admit get frustrated when I can not find the above products. Spending lots of $$$$ to look presentable and feel good about me. Thank you all for listening/reading this post. You guys are awsome...

Comment #12

It also makes me realize alot I can do with the food.. especially since one day I will gradually go back to regular food and need to know stuff like this...

The crepe sounds YUMMY! I tried the pancakes yesterday morning. Tasted just the same as regular ones you make at home to me! Very good!..

Comment #13

Yah and my thing is I want to do this myself for me.. ya know.. and it's nice to have these forums to go to for advice and not have to go to meetings or weigh ins every week and all that.. it's all nicely done on your own pace ya know.. it's not forced upon you.. when I was deciding between NS and Jenny Craig not only was the price a major factor but so was the idea that I could do it myself on my own pace..

I weigh myself as I want to on NS!! And I am going at my own pace and love it!..

Comment #14

My favorite thing to have on hand is Laghing Cow Cheese, light swiss. It's just a great snack!..

Comment #15

Any suggestions on how you can still have mac and cheese if you dont want to eat the NS kind.. if you eat the regular kind would you just eat a very small portion? I love mac and cheese but I can't eat the NS kind....

Comment #16

I can only find the Oscar Meyer fat free hot dogs here.

I keep most of these things that all have posted. Two of my most used are fat free cream cheese and sour cream. Oh yes, PB2 also. I always keep Dannon Light and fit vanilla yogurt and add everything from fruit to PB2 to it.,..

Comment #17

The only low calorie hot dogs I can find are Hoffy's Lean & Juicy. They are 45 calories. I can't believe the regular ones are SO high in calories. They don't taste any different! I usually just brown them in a skillet and they're ready to go. Tonight I'm having NS Chili w/hot dogs, cheese & onions along with a salad. Yum-mo!..

Comment #18

Nicole...someone suggested Kraft easyMac packets of Macaroni and cheese for a good sub for NS.... eat everything that NS offers, but the M/C turns my stomach for some reason....and I love the Tuna Casserole!..

Comment #19

Here are some of my "must haves" from my shopping list:.

- Fat free cheddar.

- Butter flavored PAM.

- Eggbeaters. I have an eggbeaters "omelette" almost every morning (1/2 cup eggbeaters, put in a microwave bowl that I spray with PAM first, nuke for 45 seconds, add some ff chedder & stir, nuke another 45 seconds).

- ICBINB (I Can't Believe It's Not Butter).

- Morningstar Farms Frozen Veggie Sausage Patties.

- Boca Burgers.

- SF fruit preserves like orange marmalade.

- Cinnamon.

- Pouches of albacore tuna in water (protein).

- Small cups of mandarin oranges.

- Raisins (good for fruit in the granola, or mixed into FF cottage cheese).

- PB2 (powdered peanut butter from

- Skim milk for the cereal or for a dairy serving.

- Birds Eye Steamfresh frozen veggies (no corn or peas).

- Canned green beans..

Comment #20

I have a question. What does the FF hot dogs count as??? I know you can have soy dogs. I got smart dogs not a huge fan of them. So how many FF hot dogs can I have and is it a protein....Thanks Pam..

Comment #21

You can also use "Hebrew National " 97% fat free hot dogs. 2 count as one protein and they are delicious. A little pricey, but Stop & Shop has them "buy one get one" quite often............phyllis..

Comment #22

-I found this great Kraft cheese which has officially become a staple, since I am always on-the-go. It comes in a bag with 8 individually wrapped reduced fat 1oz servings! This might be old news, I'm new to these boards so I'm not sure. They have mozzarella and a colby/cheddar mix (I believe that's what it is). YUM. That plus a small apple is my snack almost every day..

-Veggie hot dogs (SmartDogs), which count as a protein..

-Latte with my 1c milk protein serving. Starbucks has the ones with sugar free syrup which are great and no added cals. They have a sugar free gingerbread latte for the holiday season and it is delish!.

-1 cup of frozen raspberries with yogurt for my breakfast servings... that is my fav combo. yumyumyum!!.

-Egg whites with salsa is my favorite weekend breakfast add-on. With NS pancakes, so good!..

Comment #23

The Kashi GO LEAN blueberry frozen waffels for breakfast. NS friendly..

The Boca meatless chili for lunch. Good sub for the NS sloppy joes. Spicy...

Comment #24

Lots of good ideas so far...hope I am not repeating some of them. I use the FF redi-whip to top off some of the desserts, the paul's bundt cake (made from pancake mix) or the sugar free jello. It makes it look so nice.

The turkey pepperonies are good on the pizza or in a salad as a protein. Also, you can microwave them in a papertowel and they come out crunchy like chips.

The Kashi waffles are really good. I have a difficult time finding them all the time.

I also keep some individually wrapped prunes and cheese sticks if I need to have an on the go snack to throw in my purse. Also, cranberry juice comes in a light form...not the says light which is 60 calories which makes for a good snack with a protein.

FF sour cream mixed with powdered ranch dressing makes a great dip for raw veggies. I always take this to parties or gatherings and never tell them it is FF.

Great thread!!.


Comment #25

Did they say how many calories are in the Kraft Easy Mac packets?..

Comment #26

I am new all these suggestions sound great. Wondering if all these are mainly exchanges for protein or diary I am on the women's plan and have 3dary/protein exchanges. Also I picked up sugar fugiclie bar at 4o cal for 2 can I have these at night if I get the munchies.......

Comment #27

Well, one fudgcicle bar, if it is 20 calories, could be a "free food" and you can have up to 3 free foods per day, just not all at once..

NutriSystem makes no distinction between dairy and protein on the under 60 year old women's and men's program (they are interchangeable). The stats you need to meet are: no more than 100 calories per serving (but you can go up to 120 calories once a day for yogurt, per Mary Gregg, the NutriSystem dietitian), no more than 3g fat, no less than 7g protein..

Some examples:.

1 package NutriSystem Soy Chips or 17 Genisoy Chips.

1/3 cup edamame beans or 2 Tablespoons Roasted Edamame.

2 FF or 97% FF hot dogs.

String cheese.

Cottage cheese (1/4 cup regular or 1/2 cup FF).

Boca Burger.

Morningstar Farms products.


Soy milk.





Lunch meats.

Boiled egg.

(Note: Mary Gregg does also state that if women are choosing soy milk or more protein options than dairy, women should also take a calcium supplement.).

This comes from the e-classes with Mary Gregg and e-mails from Mary Gregg and NutriSystem...

Comment #28

Okay I am new so all the foods you listed most sound great. So I am guessing most of you add the protein 3 times a day to your meals.. or do you save some to use at snack time. Also mention was bread or roll when would I add that?.

I hope I have this right. My day so far NS breakfast cereal with FF milk and a 60 cal yogurt, then for lunch NS meal 1 can of string beans, 2 slices low salt turkey,1 slice ham and and sugar free baked apple. Dinner salad NS meal and some veggies and then maybe a fruit and later NS pudding with a teaspoon of Cool whip free. Can I have sugar fugicile at 2o cal per one. Please help Hope Idone double post..

Comment #29

This might is my typical day:.

Here is a typical day for a Woman who is on the 1200 calorie a day plan (under 100 pounds to lose, under 60 years old)..


NutriSystem Low-Fat Granola mixed with 3/4 cup blueberries and 8 oz yogurt for a Breakfast Parfait (Entree/Fruit/Dairy or Protein).


NutriSystem Lunch Entree or Bar, Small Can Sodium-Free V-8 Juice or a Mixed Green Salad with FF dressing, Cottage Cheese or String Cheese or Tuna (Entree/Salad/Protein or Dairy).


Small Apple and String Cheese (Fruit/Protein or Dairy).


NutriSystem Entree (different one each night, I usually only repeat an entree 2-3 times a month, but you can have the same thing more frequently if you like), 2 Servings of Veggies (usually broccoli and cauliflower for me, but any veggies you like...remember, however, that peas and corns are carbs, not veggies), Mixed Green Salad with 0 Calorie Walden Farms Dressing.


NutriSystem Double Chocolate Almond Cookie spread with 1 Teaspoon Peanut Butter (Dessert/Fat) and 1/2 cup milk (left over from the breakfast cereal).

Raw celery and zucchini to munch on if needed, SF Popsicle, SF Jello, also.

You can eat up to 3 servings of "free foods" of under 20 calories each per day. Even 1 cup of air-popped popcorn works..

I generally keep on hand a bag of Mixed Greens salad, a box of sliced mushrooms, zucchini, broccoli, string cheese, yogurt, cottage cheese, apples, bananas and frozen blueberries. You will also need to drink at least 64 oz. of water a day...

Comment #30

Thanks so much Pam, I think I have it now so I can add protein to my lunch and dinner no wonder why I was staving last night after dinner. The hard part for me I miss the fruit I guess I will give up on 2 sllalds per day and have the extra fruit. Again thanks..

Comment #31

So if I get the munchies at my desk I could have some popcorn is microwaved okay! I love the idea of adding tuna to my garden salad at much along with my NS meal This is do or die for me I have to lose weigh I am pushing 60 and been saying it for years. Also how do you handle going to a a formal affair I am going top a Bar Mitzvah next Saturday night HElp..

Comment #32

It sounds like there are a lot of new members that don't realize that there's a list of additional Grocery Items that you need to add to your daily meal plan. If you look in your yellow daily planner that NS sends you, it is listed on oine of the pages in the back. Also, on this website, go to Program and scroll down to Additional Grocery Items and tells you what you can have as far as protein, dairy, fruit, veggies, fats, etc. You can also call NS and they will tell you more if you don't understand. The counselors are very good about that, and have a lot of tips that suit your individual needs..

As for as microwave popcorn-you may have 2 or 3 cups of air popped (I don't remember how much) no butter or salt but you can use ICBINB spray on it. Air popped is a free food and the free foods are posted on one of the threads. When you find them, just print it out and keep it with your grocery add ons. Good luck everyone. NS is a great way of life!..

Comment #33

1 CUP POPPED is a free more...only 20 calories' worth (NOT a bag of the stuff...LOL)...

Comment #34

You're right Pam. I just found the Free Food List and saw it was 1 cup of popcorn. However, on air-popped, I don't know the cals. because I don't like it. If I can't have my real movie theater type popcorn, I'd rather learn to go without it! I don't really crave it anymore. Disappointed though that NS doesn't have their caramel popcorn anymore. It was pretty good!..

Comment #35

They do still have caramel popcorn. It was on backorder for a while. It was the choco caramel popcorn that they discontinued...

Comment #36

I haven't seen it on my auto-delivery list, I'll have to check it out again. Thanks! The popcorn is something I really enjoy!..

Comment #37

Just looked, it's still not on the Auto-Delivery list...

Comment #38

I use a suggestion made by someone a while back for great mac and cheese. Prepare and mix together the mac and cheese with a chili. Cut in half for one serving of Chili Mac..

I love it...

Comment #39

This is such a great post, I'm a newbie, foods have just arrived..

Today I am cleaning out the frig and pantry!!!!!.

My first questions is about Protein Drinks..

My fam loves the EAS Carbcontrol drinks..

They have 17gms protein, 2carbs and 3gs fat.

And are 110calories..

Sounds to me like they meet the criteria PamSB listed as.


I am missing something or shld I through them out?!!!!!!.

Huge Thx in advance!.


Comment #40

Can we use microwave Heasrt Smart Popcorn. I dont have a air popper..

Comment #41

Less than 20 calories is the only guideline for a free food...

Comment #42

They are only 10 calories over the suggested in the guidelines for a protein. I use PureProtein shakes, also 110 calories. I say don't throw them out!!..

Comment #43

I had posted this same question on another thread. I started yesterday on NS and I've had a crazy schedule since yesterday. I didn't get in all of my food yesterday or this morning. I have Myolplex lite Protein Shakes and I was wondering if they were ok? They have 170 calories for 11 fluid ounces, 20g protein, 2g total fat, and 1g sugar. It looks to me that the calories are probably too high, but I missed breakfast this morning so the shake was all I had before lunch.

Does anyone have a good handle on whether these shakes could take the place of a whole snack dairy/protein and fruit?..

Comment #44

Laughing Cow cheese. I use some of this almost every day to make lots of lunches creamier..

I use Aunt Millies fiber for life 35 cal bread for burgers & occasionally toast.

Trader Joe's has a whole grain french toast that is awesome & makes up perfect b'fast stats when you eat it w/ 3 slices of turkey bacon..

Trader Joe's also have bambino pizza that are better than the NS ones & have great stats.

I buy low fat feta cheese to add into my eggs & I mix my NS eggs 1/2 & 1/2 w/ Eggbeaters for better taste..

I always keep Kitchen Basics chicken & beef stock on hand. I use as just a warm free food (20 cals for 1 cup) or to make my daily vegetables into soup. I also use them to hydrate my burgers or thin sauces..

I keep low sodium V-8 on hand to sub for a veg. or salad. It adds great flavor to the veg. soup I mentioned above..

Hope these help...

Comment #45

The NS food tracker page lists a whole bunch of foods under recommended grocery items that you can use. Basically, just look at things that are "allowed" along with their caloric value and portion size. Any other foods that fall into that same range without a substantial difference in fat content, sodium levels, etc. would be allowable.

I use Brummel and Brown rather than margarine or butter, and usually never use the whole serving size. I also use Quaker Oatmeal Weight Control rather than the NS, because it is fewer calories (by 40!) and everything else is close enough to be compatible with NS. (And, I like the texture better, plus it's prob cheaper.) I ran that by the NS counselors first. There are tons of foods out there that are compatible...otherwise a person would have to maintain with NS and who could afford that? You just need to watch PORTION size no matter what you choose...

Comment #46

This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.


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